The following is quoted from "The Opdyck Genealogy" (1889) by Charles Wilson Opdyke (1838-1907), and was also reprinted by Robert Smith Craig (1928- ) in his 1985 genealogy of the descendants of John Updike, "The Virginia Updikes-Updykes":
JOHN UPDIKE OF VIRGINIA
(Son of Third Son; Son of Johannes; Son of Louris)
[Comment by Bryan S. Godfrey: YDNA results indicate no patrilineal relationship between descendants of John Updike of Virginia and those of the Louris and Johannes Opdyck family of Holland (?), New York, and New Jersey, in spite of reasonable assumptions by Charles W. Opdyke that John Updike was from that lineage. Current research focuses on proving John might be descended from or related to the Gysbert and Lodowick Updike family of New York and Rhode Island instead, originating in Wesel, Westphalia, Germany, and some of the traditions quoted below give credence to that possibility, or that he may have been a son of a daughter of Johannes Opdyck of New Jersey].
Born 1718, died 1802; married 1st in 1744 Sarah Farnsworth of Bordentown, N.J.; 2nd in 1751 Sarah Brown, or Carker, of Pennsylvania; resided in Burlington County, N.J., and in Loudoun County, Virginia.
In the office of the Secretary of State of N.J., is the record of the marriage of "John Opdike of Burlington and Sarah Farnsworth of Bordentown, Oct. 7, 1744." The marriage-bond with his autograph has been lost in the vaults. The Farnsworths were English Quakers of high standing and character. In 1665 Thomas Farnsworth was imprisoned in Tupton, Derbyshire, England for attending meetings of Quakers. His brother, Richard, was tried and sent to prison in Yorkshire, England, for not taking off his hat to a Justice. In 1677 Thomas Farnsworth came in the ship Kent to Philadelphia, and in a boat up the river to Bordentown. The following year his wife Susannah came over, bringing her children and two servants, in the ship Shield, the 1st vessel that ascended the Delaware River to Burlington. Her coming was looked for with great interest, as she had been a Quakeress preacher of note in the old country. Thomas had been a shoemaker but was a man of considerable means, and in 1682 and later bought 548 acres, which proved to be in fact 800 acres and covered the whole site of the present city of Bordentown. He is supposed to have settled on his Bordentown tract at about 1683; his cabin was the first house in the place. He appears on the records as Constable in 1689; died 1693, leaving sons, Samuel, Nathaniel, and others. His son Samuel Farnsworth filled at different times all the township offices of Bordentown. The place was called "Farnsworth's Landing," and was a place of importance as the tolls from there to Philadelphia were fixed by a special statute.
The records of the office of the Secretary of State, and those of Burlington County, show that Samuel Farnsworth of Bordentown devised land to his grandson and namesake Samuel, son of John Updike and Sarah Farnsworth; that John Updike's son Samuel died in Bordentown in 1796, leaving a daughter Mary who married a Hance, and a son John Updike who recorded deeds in Burlington County in 1810, 1816, and 1823; that Rachel Farnsworth (daughter of Samuel Farnsworth's brother Nathaniel) bequeathed property to her cousin Mary Updike, wife of David Hance. These records are very explicit. They are confirmed by the testimony of two elderly ladies now living in Bordentown, who report that their father John Updike, born 1789, died 1851, was the son of Samuel Updike who was the son of John Updike who "settled and died in Virginia and owned a great deal of land in that State;" they also say that their grandfather had a brother who settled in Boston, but this probably refers to a brother of their great-grandfather John Updike of this sketch.
John Updike's wife Sarah Farnsworth, died after becoming the mother of his children Samuel, Edith, and Amon. After her death John moved to Virginia, leaving Samuel with the Farnsworths of Bordentown, and taking with him Edith and Amon; he married again, and his second wife bore to him three sons and six daughters. From these three sons, Rufus, Daniel, and John, and from Amon, are descended the "Virginia Updikes" who now comprise fifty families (1889) and amount to 300 persons of the name, including those who later have moved from Virginia over into Ohio. These Virginians have kept good family records, and all trace their ancestry to John Updike who married Sarah Farnsworth of New Jersey, and after her death, before the Revolution, moved to Loudoun Co., Va., leaving his son Samuel in Bordentown. These recollections are unusually trustworthy because a number of John's Virginia grandchildren are still living, from 70 to 80 years of age, who have retained in memory the traditions covering almost two centuries, as handed down to them by their parents. No further particulars concerning John Updike, his father, or children, having been found upon the records, it is important to preserve these interesting recollections, which can best be done by giving the following extracts from letters written to the author by descendants of each of John's four Virginia sons.
From Nathaniel B., Descendant of John's son Amon:
"The children of Amon Updike have all been dead many years. The records have been much neglected and the traditional account seems to have been confused, but the following points are well remembered by the present generation. Amon was a son of John Updike the tailor, who came from near Philadelphia to Loudoun County, VA. We have always been told that he was a tailor by trade, but for a time drove a market-wagon to Philadelphia. Where he was born or what his father's name was, we have never heard. It is the opinion of all the Bedford County Updikes that Amon's mother, John Updike's first wife, was Sarah Farnsworth. The error of the Warren County Updikes, in thinking that she was Abigail Farnsworth, may have arisen from a confusion with an aunt Abigail. A granddaughter of Amon, who lived with his family many years, remembers having heard her aunts speak of 'Aunt Abigail,' who died about 1800 when he was a small child. At the time of Amon's settlement in Bedford, there were a goodly number of immigrants from Loudoun Co., all Quakers, who also came here. There were families from Northeastern Virginia, named Dobyns, Woodford, Sheppard, Bond, and Wilks, all kindred to each other; and this 'Aunt Abigail' was Mrs. Abigail Wilks, and I believe that she was the Abigail Farnsworth spoken of by our Bentonville relatives. It has always been a noticeable propensity with the Updikes of Bedford to name straight after their kindred, and nearly every Bedford family has had a Sarah, while none have had an Abigail. The following is a correct copy of the births of the children of John Updike by his first wife, Sarah Farnsworth, taken from the Age Book of Amon Updike.
Samuel Updike was born Oct. 9th., 1745.
Edith Updike was born Nov. 2nd., 1747.
Amon Updike was born Feb. 25th., 1749.
I cannot find any further account of Edith. If she came to Bedford with Amon, she evidently did not remain here long; none of the present generation has any rememberance of her, and she is not buried in the family burying ground."
From Capt. James G., Descendant of John's son Rufus:
"The history of the original stock of Updike families in this state is as follows. Four brothers of this name emigrated with their families from New Jersey to Virginia soon after the close of the Revolutionary war. Their names were Rufus, John, Daniel, and Amon. Rufus (my grandfather) settled in Loudoun County, VA.; John and Daniel in Culpepper (now Rappahannock); and Amon in Bedford Co., on the south side of the James River. Their father's name and from what part of New Jersey they came are not known to me. These men at that day were young, strong and active, and each one lived to be over 80 years old; and during life, through honesty, industry and economy, managed to accumulate considerable estates besides raising large and respectable families, each one having 9 or 10 children. The descendants of this old stock are now scattered over several States of the Union. Many of the descendants of John and Daniel live in Page and Warren Counties in the Shenandoah Valley; Amon's in Bedford County; and the descendants of Rufus in Ohio and Indiana, except your humble servant, and one brother who lives in S.W. Virginia in Bland County. I will now give you some of the leading characteristics of the Updike families in this State, so that you may be able to compare them with their Northern brethren. In stature they are as a general rule rather above the medium height, of hale robust constitutions, and many of them have been remarkable for great muscular strength. I think they are commonly regarded as honest and industrious, and possess the rare faculty of attending to their own business and not meddling with other people's affairs. None of this stock have ever achieved much distinction in science, arts, or politics. There are one or two divines, several lawyers and two or three third-rate politicians among them, and one or two became a little conspicuous as officers and soldiers during the late war. They generally confine themselves to agriculture and merchandise and have but little ambition for place or power, and are chiefly noted for longevity and progeny."
(Later) "It appears from the charts and reports of some of my Virginia cousins, recently received by you and forwarded to me, that my great-grandfather John lived in Loudoun County. I was speaking from memory rather than record. I have always been under the impression that the four brothers came from New Jersey. If my cousins hold the records against me, I must submit. The name John appears to be well preserved throughout the past generations, and is probably correct. I was born and raised in Loudoun and never lived anywhere else until I came to Rockbridge, when 33 years old. There has been little intercourse between my branch and the Rappahannock families for the past 30 years or more; neither of my children has ever seen an Updike, except two: their Uncle Albert, and one from Rappahannock. I hope your efforts may have the tendency to bring the families in closer communion."
From Daniel, Son of John's Son Daniel:
" I am now 74 years old, and can yet handle the plow better than the pen. I have three sisters living, older than myself; and one younger. I have taken some pains to learn what I can about our ancestors, and I give you the following notes of what I have gathered.
"My grandfather, John Updike the tailor, was said by my father and uncles to have been born in Rhode Island about 1717. His father was shot by accident when young; I don't think I ever heard his name or that of his wife or of any sister of his. John and his brother were put to trades; John to the tailor's trade, and the brother to the shoemaker's. During his time of service, John went to Long Island, was moved almost every year, and got about Philadelphia and Bordentown, N.J. He never had any positive knowledge of his brother after they were parted; he heard of a man who called himself Opdike, or Obdike, whose age and description agreed with that of his brother. I have always thought that this brother's name was William. But I have just received a letter from my sister in Ohio saying that his name was Asa. This is probably so, as my grandfather named a son Asa. We have always supposed that this brother, William or Asa, died unmarried, but we have no certain account.
"Our family belief that our grandfather, John Updike the tailor, was born in Rhode Island and resided in Long Island, may be a mistake. The various members of our family differ in their recollections in other points. It has been fifty years or more since the death of our uncles and aunts. My sister thinks that the name of our great-grandfather (father of John Updike) was Albert; but it is not certain that she is correct. The only name connected with my grandfather's family, that I recollect with any certainty, is Edith. I have heard my father and uncle say that a legacy was coming to the family, --but that Edith had been dead so long that they would never make any effort to get it. I also recall that they mentioned a name something like Roderick, as one of the family, and as engaged in a naval action. But a boy of my age then had a very imperfect idea as to whom they meant. My conclusion is that our ancestor, my grandfather John, was born fifty years or more after the capture (of New York) by the English; that his father died young in Rhode Island, leaving only the two boys; that these boys went, with their mother or guardian, to Long Island, and probably were members of the family that settled there. If there was any record, it was destroyed by the burning of the Court House in the (Revolutionary) war, as it was in the same locality.
"My grandfather John grew to man's estate about 1740, married his first wife, who was a Farnsworth, and resided in or about Bordentown, N.J. His first wife was mother of his three children,---Amon, Edith, and Samuel. After her death, John came to Loudoun Co., Virginia. His children Amon and Edith came with him, but Samuel remained in Bordentown, New Jersey. John married again; I have always thought that the name of his second wife was Sarah Brown, but my sister thinks it was Sarah Carker. (Her mother was married to both a Brown and a Carker and hence the confusion). Her parents lived in Pennsylvania. The oldest child of this marriage, Rufus, was born in 1753. Amon settled in Bedford Co. and Edith went with him.
"My grandfather had only a limited education; was a man of reserved habits; depended on labor for support; was fond of sport, horse-racing and cock-fighting. In his time the work of a tailer was much in buckskin, and the tailor went from house to house. After he came to Virginia, John was often from home at work or taking in work. He owned land in Loudoun, Campbell, and Bedford Counties, but lived and died in Loudoun.
"Many of the family held membership in what they called the Church of England. Others were of the Quaker order, and on that account few of the name ever owned many slaves.
"In Virginia it is seldom that land or any other property remains in the same family through three generations. Changes of ownership and family cause sometimes even changes in churches. Almost all families have a burial-ground, but after changes of owners these family burial-grounds are neglected and go to waste. Village graveyards too suffer from neglect. I have seen few tombstones 100 years old. Families that owned large tracts of land are all gone, and so is their memory. Much land here was held under bond from what they called the British Lords, --perhaps for 99 years; this makes titles uncertain.
"The occupation of the Updike family in Virginia has been agriculture. At present they are engaged in almost all occupations, as the younger members try to keep pace with the age.
"My father, Daniel Updike, married Ruth Heaton, daughter of Benjamin and Nancy Heaton. Nancy Heaton was by birth Nancy Jackson; her brother, Richard Jackson, married my father's sister, Phebe Updike; Nancy's sister Sarah married Elijah Houghton , and her sister Phebe married a Hart. The mother of these four Jacksons was Abigail Haskins; and Abigail Haskins' mother was mother also of Sarah, the second wife of John Updike the tailor. The name Abigail has in this way become frequent in our family bibles and has been mistaken for Sarah Farnsworth, the first wife of John Updike the tailor. The families above named all came from New Jersey and settled together in Virginia, and were connected by marriage.
"My eyes are growing weak. One of my age can have but a short time to remain before he goes to his ancestors."
From James B., Grandson of John's son John:
"My great-grandfather was John Updike, a tailor by trade. I have been told that he came from Germany, and a sister came with him by the name of Edith. He lived on Long Island five years. His first wife was a Miss Farnsworth; she died and the Farnsworths took two of their children, named Samuel and William; I do not know what became of them. John brought two children of his first wife with him to Loudoun County, Virginia; their names were Amon and Edith. Amon married in Loudoun Co., and moved to Bedford County where he died. Edith married Joseph Fagan who died in Washington City. John married, for his second wife, Sarah Carker; and had nine children, among whom were Rufus, Daniel, and John. **I have just received a letter from old Daniel Updike of Bentonville, Va., stating that great-grandfather John Updike was born in Rhode Island about the year 1717, and that his father was shot by accident when John was young. The description of the Virginia Updikes, given by Capt. James G. Updike, agrees with my own knowledge of them; they are in general very large and strong men."
These facts and traditions are valuable, not only for preservation by the Virginia branch and their descendants, but also by reason of their intrinsic interest. The name "something like Roderick as one of their family" would seem to refer to Lodowick Updike of Rhode Island, and to strengthen the tradition that John Updike came originally from that State. It is true that Lodowick Updike's son Richard died young from an accident in 1734, and left sons who were directed by Lodowick's will to be put to trades. But Richard's son John is known to have lived and died in Providence, R.I., where he left numerous descendants, none of whom know anything of the Virginia branch; and the identity of this John as Richard's son is distinctly established by the recollections of the Rhode Island family and by his giving to a son the name of Eldred, the maiden name of Richard Updike's wife. We are therefore forced to conclude that the Virginia tradition has in the lapse of time altered Rhode Island into Long Island, and that John Updike, the ancestor of the Virginians, was born on Long Island, and was in fact a nephew of the Albert Opdyck whom one of their traditions makes his father. For this reason we have placed the Virginia John as a son of the "Third Son of Johannes Opdyck."
It is especially noteworthy that the character and traits of the Virginia Updikes agree with those of the other branches of Updikes--Opdykes, received from many widely different sources.
The Virginians say that John knew nothing of his brother William (or Asa) after they parted in youth. No record has been found of this brother in New Jersey, or of any probable descendant of his unless it be that he had a son Thomas, mentioned in the following record in the office of the Surrogate of Burlington Co.
1826 Thomas Updike of Nottingham, Burlington County, died leaving will on record, bequeathing his property to a niece, and mentioning no wife or children.
Below are the will and estate settlement of John Updike, located and transcribed by Richard B. Weber of Falling Waters, WV in 2008, a descendant of John's daughter, Sarah Updike McCave Brown:
Page 1 (of the will)
Be it remembered this twenty sixth day of June in the year
of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety one that I
John Updike of the county of Loudoun and state of Virginia being
[Indisposed] in body but through [mercy] of sound mind and memory do
... make my last will and testament hereby revoking all
... [writs] or will by me made in manner following first it is
... will and desire that all my just debts and funeral expenses
... out of my personal estate and secondly I give & bequeath to my
Page 2 (of the will)
Eldest son Samuel the sum of five shillings Thirdly it is my desire ...
my personal estate after paying my just debts together with what debts
may be due to me be equally divided between my four sons Amon,
Rufus, Daniel & John Fourthly I give and devise to my two youngest
sons Daniel and John that tract of land lying in Camell County Virginia
for which I have a [power of attorney] to be equally divided between them.
Fifly I give unto my eldest ... Elizabeth the sum of five
shillings to be paid by my three youngest daughters Phebe, Jane and Sarah
unto whom I give and devise all the plantation I now live on to be
sold and equally divided between them and lastly I appoint
Joshua Gore and James More as executors to this my last
will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto
set my hand [and seal] the day and year first above
John Updike . seal .
Signed in the presence of
James Caven Jr.
Found the following on pages 5 and 6 of the accountings/inventory
(only partially transcribed due to clarity issues??)
Pages 5 & 6 (partially transcribed only)
To a Legacy Left Samuel Updike son of the Deceased 5 [Shillings]
To one Legacy Ditto Left Elizabeth Orrison 5 [Shillings]
James Moore and Joshua Gore Executors of Said Estate:
By paid Rufus Updike No.1
By paid Daniel Updike No.2
By paid John Updike No.3
By paid Amon Updike No.4
" " " No.5
By paid Edward Miller No.6
" " " No.7
" " " No.8
By paid Richard Jackson No.9
" " " No.10
" " " No.11
By paid John McCave No.12
" " " No.13
" " " No.14
NOTE: "Orrison" is not shown in No.'s 1 through 14 at all ????
Below is a condensed article that Bryan Godfrey wrote for the Cocumscussoc Association newsletter in 2008 and mailed to regular attendees of the Virginia Updike Reunion:
The Family of John Updike of New Jersey and Virginia:
Possible Long-Lost Descendants of the Rhode Island Updikes and the Only Ones Still Carrying on the Surname?
In 1889, Charles Wilson Opdyke published The Opdyck Genealogy, tracing the descendants of the two Opdyck-Updike families in America that were descended from two likely unrelated settlers of New Amsterdam in the mid-1600s who were both born about 1605: Gysbert Opdyck, from Wesel, Germany, whose family subsequently settled Smith’s Castle AKA Cocumscussoc at Wickford, Rhode Island and became known as the German or Rhode Island Updikes, and Louris Jansen Opdyck, believed then to have come from Elburg, Holland but now proven to have been born in Husum, Germany, whose descendants settled New Jersey and New York and became known as the Dutch or New Jersey Opdycks-Updikes. Ever since that book was written, it had been assumed, without proof, that John Opdike/Updike (ca. 1718-1801), who established the Virginia Updike family when he came from Burlington County, New Jersey, to Loudoun County, Virginia, about 1750, was a grandson of Johannes Opdyck (ca. 1651-1729) of Long Island and Hopewell, New Jersey, and great-grandson of Louris Jansen Opdyck (ca. 1605-1659) of Albany and Long Island, New York, an assumption the author made mainly due to John’s residence in an adjacent county in New Jersey from where his assumed grandfather Johannes had lived, from the fact that Johannes had at least eight children but only the names of six are known, and from the fact that the Rhode Island Updikes were otherwise accounted for. The author placed John among the descendants of Louris and Johannes in spite of the fact that John’s grandson Daniel Updike, Jr. (1814-after 1888) claimed in a letter to him that he heard his grandfather was born in Rhode Island and that there was someone in the family “named something like Roderick” who was “engaged in a naval action,” strongly hinting at a connection to the family of Lodowick Updike (1646-1737) of Rhode Island, the only son of Gysbert who is known to have left male-line descendants (up to the early 1900s but who now appear to have died out).
However, YDNA tests on two patrilineal descendants of John Updike of Virginia indicate no patrilineal connection between the John Updike family and the proven descendants of Louris and Johannes Opdyck. Because of this and what Daniel Updike, Jr. stated, there is a possibility that John Updike might have descended from or been related to the more prominent, better-traced family of Gysbert and Lodowick Updike of Wesel, Germany, New Amsterdam, and Rhode Island after all. Lodowick had at least four brothers, Richard, Daniel, James, and Johannes. It is known that Richard was born about 1651 and killed in the Great Swamp Fight of 1675, and the 1889 genealogy states that he was unmarried (possibly an erroneous assumption), that Daniel and James (both of whom left wills) had no sons, and that no mention of Gysbert’s son Johannes was found after his baptism in 1658, leading the 1889 genealogy author to conclude he probably died young. Maybe that is not true, that he lived to begat offspring and was the father or grandfather of the Virginia John Updike and his family was simply omitted in wills of the early Smiths and Updikes. Indeed, many of Wickford’s earliest records were destroyed, no will has been located for Gysbert Opdyck that should have delineated all of his children, nor did Richard Smith’s will of 1664 list his grandchildren by name. Moreover, the information on the early generations of the family of Richard Smith and his son-in-law Gysbert Opdyck is largely based on traditions handed down in the family of Gysbert’s son Lodowick Updike, who inherited Smith’s Castle AKA Cocumscussoc. Lodowick’s family may be accounted for, but perhaps not all of his brothers or their possible offspring are yet. It seems the only way John could descend from Lodowick is if he were an illegitimate son of one of Lodowick’s daughters, but even if that were the case, he probably would have been mentioned in Lodowick’s will (and of course it is still possible that John descends from the Louris and Johannes Opdyck line if he were an illegitimate son of one of Johannes’ daughters).
Unfortunately, it appears that the male line of Lodowick Updike’s descendants has died out, so the Virginia Updikes have no one from that family to compare their YDNA with. Both of the Virginia Updikes tested match persons with the surnames Germain, Wastle, and Appel, and the results seem to indicate the patrilineal origins of that Updike family are likely German rather than Dutch, as one of the matches has roots in Westphalia, the same German state in which Wesel is located. The news is disappointing to some of the Virginia Updikes because the first three assumed generations of their lineage are no longer valid, whether their Updikes were of Dutch or German descent is now questionable, and they must be content to begin the line with John Updike unless further discoveries are made, but at least the uncertainty the Virginians have had for 120 years is now settled. The only way John Updike could still be related to Johannes Opdyck, son of Louris, is if there were a break in the male line and someone in his ancestry took the Updike surname from the mother instead. Unless that is the case, the news also means that John Updike’s descendants are not related to the rest of the Updikes-Opdykes in America of variant spellings, who all appear to descend from Louris and Johannes, including author John Updike.
Hopefully one of the Rhode Island Updikes left behind locks of hair or other items from which YDNA samples might be extracted to see if there is a match with the Virginia Updikes. Otherwise, the only way YDNA samples could be obtained from the Gysbert Opdyck line is if one of the descendants were exhumed, a far-fetched endeavor. The well-known printer Daniel Berkeley Updike (1860-1941) of Providence, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts, a childless bachelor like so many of the Rhode Island Updikes, was possibly the last male-line descendant of the Lodowick Updike family.
Not only did Daniel Updike, Jr.’s remarks suggest a Rhode Island connection, but also the fact that John’s son Rufus had a grandson named Smith Newton Updike (1832-1917), makes it worthy of serious consideration. Lodowick’s wife and first cousin, Abigail Newton, had a brother named Smith Newton. Furthermore, a granddaughter of one of John Updike’s sons who remained in New Jersey said her grandfather had a brother who settled in Boston, but the 1889 author concluded she was probably referring to an earlier generation instead. None of Louris and Johannes’ early descendants went to New England, yet two of Gysbert’s sons, James and Daniel, are known to have lived in Boston and were mariners, possibly explaining why Daniel Updike, Jr. heard there was someone in his grandfather’s family who was engaged in a naval action, an exploit which no one in the Louris and Johannes line had been engaged in from available records.
In terms of social class and personality, the pioneering, agrarian Virginia Updikes were much more like the New Jersey Opdycks-Updikes than the high-society, bookish Rhode Island family. However, if John Updike’s father was “shot by accident” when John was young, he and his brother were subsequently put to trades, and he went to Long Island and subsequently to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Bordentown, New Jersey, as Daniel Updike, Jr. stated, then that might explain why John Updike and his descendants were not as prominent as their possible Rhode Island Smith-Updike forebears, and why this line lost contact with those who remained in Rhode Island.
Or, is it possible that John was an immigrant, since one of his great-grandsons claimed hearing that he came from Germany to Long Island with a sister named Edith, and was either a descendant of one of the Opdycks who remained in Wesel, Germany, or perhaps from a third line that is not connected with either Gysbert or Louris? It seems more likely that if John were born abroad, his grandson Daniel would have known, and that this great-grandson may have confused him with an earlier generation. Many of the Virginia Updikes are exceedingly proud of their Dutch heritage, and one has admitted she does not want to claim German heritage instead due to World War II. The aforementioned tradition of German origins strengthens the likelihood that John might descend from the Wesel, Germany Opdycks, yet the Virginians have steadfastly claimed Dutch origins. Is this a claim that arose since the 1889 book was written, or had the Virginians claimed Dutch origins long before that? This is uncertain. The discovery in the 1990s of an Albany court record in which Louris Jansen Opdyck deposed that he was born in Husum even questions whether his descendants are entitled to claim a Dutch heritage, unless of course his family indeed came from Elburg or somewhere else in The Netherlands and lived in Husum temporarily.
Bryan S. Godfrey, an avid genealogist and triple descendant of the John Updike family of Virginia, resides in Richmond, Virginia and is a high school mathematics and social studies teacher. He welcomes input on this and can be reached at email@example.com. He hopes that there might be a few Rhode Island Updikes left contrary to what he and other Updike researchers have deduced from charts in the 1889 book and from updates to the genealogy since then. He serves as a secretary and genealogist of the annual Virginia Updike Reunion and is updating an excellent 1985 genealogy of the descendants of John Updike, The Virginia Updikes-Updykes by Robert S. Craig, now of Charleston, West Virginia.
Evidence in Favor of John Updike (1717?-1801) of Burlington Co., NJ and Loudoun Co., VA Being Descended from the Louris Jansen Opdyck (1605?-1659) and Johannes Opdyck (1650?-1729) Lineage of New York and New Jersey, believed by the authors of the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy to have originated in Elburg, The Netherlands
1. Proximity: The main reason why Charles Wilson Opdyke (1838-1907), author of the The Opdyck Genealogy (1889), containing the male-line descendants and ancestry of both Opdyck-Opdyke-Updike-Updyke families in the United States, placed John Updike of Virginia among the descendants of Louris and his son Johannes, is because John is known to have lived and married in New Jersey, where Johannes and his family settled ca. 1697. When John married Sarah Farnsworth of Bordentown, NJ in 1744, the marriage record listed him as of Burlington, meaning either Burlington County or the town of Burlington. His alleged grandfather Johannes Opdyck (ca. 1651-1729) had died 15 years earlier in what was then Maidenhead, present-day Hopewell, Mercer Co., NJ, which is only 21 miles north of Bordentown. Trenton, NJ, where several of Johannes’ daughters settled, is even closer to Bordentown and Burlington.
Charles Wilson Opdyke concluded that the Virginia tradition had in the lapse of time altered Long Island into Rhode Island and that John Updike of Virginia was probably born on Long Island instead. Of the 4 grandsons or great-grandsons of John Updike whose letters were quoted in the 1889 book, only Daniel Updike, Jr. had mentioned a tradition of John being born in Rhode Island.
2. In addition to all the evidence in favor of a Rhode Island origin, Daniel Updike, Jr.’s letter also hints at a New Jersey origin when he says his sister thinks the name of their great-grandfather (John Updike’s father) was Albert, the name of one of Johannes Opdyck’s sons. No Alberts have been found in the early generations of the Rhode Island Updikes. Perhaps John was a son of one of Albert Opdyck’s sisters and the name Albert had been retained in memory for 2 generations of John’s Virginia descendants. Or, if one can estimate Albert’s birth year earlier than 1685 as was listed in the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy, it is possible one can argue that John could have been a son of one of Albert’s older daughters, making him a great-grandson rather than a grandson of Johannes Opdyck.
3. John Opdike’s name was still spelled with an O in 1744 when he married his first wife, and Johannes Opdyck’s son Albert in New Jersey retained the O spelling, becoming by 1889 ancestor of all Opdykes-Opdycks-Opdyckes in America, whereas all of the Rhode Island Updikes had changed from the O to the U spelling after Gysbert’s generation.
4. Many of John Updike’s descendants have been adamant about being of Dutch rather than German ancestry, and Louris Jansen Opdyck was most likely of Dutch ancestry, believed by the authors of the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy to have come from the Opdycks of Elburg, Holland, but more than a century later, an Albany, NY court record was discovered in which Louris deposed ca 1653 that he was born in Husum (in Germany). However, it is still possible his family was from Elburg but had lived in Husum temporarily, and YDNA results of the Louris line show that he was most likely Dutch based on matches with others with Dutch rather than German ancestry.
5. Striking resemblances between several proven descendants of Louris and Johannes and those of John Updike as seen in the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy and as remarked by those who have commented that famous author John Updike (1932-2009), a descendant 2 ways of Johannes’ son Lawrence Updike of New Jersey, resembled some of the Virginia Updikes. Even though these Opdycks-Updikes were distantly related to each other, if John was from this lineage, it is possible that they resembled one another because they were related, albeit in a non-male line. Some Virginia Updikes had advised against DNA testing being necessary, saying there is no doubt the descendants of Johannes were related to the Virginia Updikes once the below pictures from the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy were shown. Perhaps an opinion poll could be taken from unbiased people, in which they are told the person on the left is unrelated to the person on the right yet they all have the same surname or variation of the same surname, to determine how many would not believe they are unrelated. (Comment for this Findagrave or FTM page: this is copied and pasted from a report in which pictures of the persons listed below are shown from the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy or other sources, and Bryan Godfrey can email this report upon request).
a. Above on left is Russell H. Opdyke of Yates Center, Kansas, descended from Johannes’ son Albert Opdyck, and on the right is Asa Byrd Updike AKA Byrd Franklin Updike (1860-1906) of Warren Co., VA, descended from John. If John was Johannes’ grandson, these men, whom some have said look like they could be brothers, would have been 5th cousins as great4-grandchildren of Johannes.
b. Above left are Charles Aitken Opdycke (1864-?) on top, and below him is Levering/Levings Attwood Opdyke, MD of Jersey City, NJ, both descended from Johannes’ son Albert Opdyck. Above right is Charles Shannon Updike (1855-1909) of Buena Vista, VA, on top, a great-great-grandson of John Updike of Virginia. Bottom right above is Amon Tucker Updike (1863-1950) of Bedford Co., VA, also a great-great-grandson of John of Virginia. These men on left would be about fifth cousins to the ones on the right if John of Virginia was grandson of Johannes of New Jersey.
c. Peter Updike (1812-1866) (top left above) and his son Archibald Updike (1838- ?) (bottom left above) , both of Pennington, NJ (Archibald being a great-great-grandfather of author John Updike), both resemble Christopher Columbus Updike (1826-1900) of Bedford Co., VA (right top above), a grandson of John Updike’s son Amon Updike. Peter and Archibald were descended from Johannes Opdyck’s son Lawrence. They also seem to have a slighter resemblance to Samuel Updike (1817-1893) of Bentonville, VA (right bottom above), a son of John Updike’s son John Updike, Jr.
d. William Updyke (1815-1877) of Illinois and Missouri, above left, a great-great-grandson of Johannes’ son Albert, seems to resemble William Updike (1804-1882) of Bedford Co., VA, above right, a great-grandson of John Updike of Virginia and the earliest-born Virginia Updike for which there is a photo or portrait (great-great-great-grandfather of Bryan Scott Godfrey).
e. Albert Willard Opdyke (1856- ?) of Leo, IN (above left), a great-great-grandson of Johannes’ son Albert, resembles James Miller Updike (1858-1940) of Rockbridge Co., VA (above center), a great-great-grandson of John Updike of Virginia, and both seem to have a slight resemblance to Amon Updike (1848-1933) of Bedford, VA (above bottom)(great-great-grandfather of Bryan Scott Godfrey), great-grandson of John Updike’s son Amon.
f. Samuel J. Opdyke (1834-1871) of New Jersey and New York City (above left), a great-great-grandson of Johannes’ son Albert, seems to have a slight resemblance to Joseph Updike (1813-1894) (above right) of Rappahannock Co., VA and Leipsic, Putnam Co., OH, a son of John Updike, Jr. of Rappahannock Co., VA.
6. For the Family Tree DNA Family Finder Test, which can be used to determine relatives within several generations and is not limited to males and one’s relatives in a male line of descent, Bryan Godfrey, whose maternal grandfather was a triple descendant of John Updike’s son Amon Updike (1749-1828) of Bedford Co., VA, matches, so far, 3 persons descended from Louris’ son Johannes, 2 from his daughter Annetie who married Cornelius Anderson, and 1 from his son Lawrence who married Agnes Post. One descends from Annetie 2 ways. Bryan has not determined whether any of his matches descend from the Rhode Island Updikes. A fifth cousin of Bryan’s through the Bedford Co., VA Updikes, who is a match to Bryan on the Family Finder Test probably because of their Updike and/or Perrow descents, matches another descendant of Johannes’ son Lawrence. Even though YDNA results prove the Louris/Johannes family and the John family are not related patrilineally, it is possible the mismatch is due to a break in the male line, which is possible if John Updike took the Opdike-Updike surname from his mother instead of his father, which could have happened if he were out of wedlock or if he was raised by Opdyck-Updike relatives after one or both parents died and took the surname as a result of that. Though uncommon in those times, illegitimate births have seemed more common than usual among his descendants in the 19th and early 20th centuries. John could have been a son of a daughter of Johannes Opdyck, since YDNA results prove he was not a son of one of his sons.
Johannes Opdyck referred to having 8 children in his 1729 will who were then living, and only 6 have been determined: Lawrence, Albert, Bartholomew, Tryntie, Annetie, and Engeltie. The 1889 Opdyck genealogy author concluded John’s father may have been another son, referred to as “Third Son” who apparently died about 1730 in an accident, leaving two sons, John and William or Asa. (Comment by Bryan Godfrey: Why does he call this the third son instead of fourth son, since the names of three sons were already known?) Several later Updikes in that area of New Jersey were untraced and could have stemmed from other children of Johannes. Because the descendants of the Rhode Island Updikes seemed accounted for, the author of the 1889 genealogy arbitrarily placed the Virginia John as a grandson of Johannes, mainly because he is known to have lived and married in New Jersey where Johannes lived the last 32 years of his life.
7. Smith Newton Updike could have been given his first and middle names with no family significance.
8. When Johannes Opdyck’s son Albert’s son Benjamin Opdycke (1721-1807) purchased land in Bethlehem, Hunterdon County, NJ in 1766, it was witnessed by an Albert Opdyck, presumed to be his son of the same name, and by John Farnsworth and Adonijah Farnsworth. The Farnsworths were sons of Henry Farnsworth (ca. 1691-1758) of Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County, and first cousins of Sarah Farnsworth, first wife of John Updike of Virginia. It would be too coincidental for these brothers to have witnessed a deed for an Opdyck and for their first cousin to have married an Opdike in the adjacent county of Burlington 22 years before who was totally unrelated and from another state, if in fact the John Updike in question was from Rhode Island and descended from Gysbert instead of Louris.
9. John Updike’s first wife Sarah Farnsworth had a first cousin, Mary Farnsworth, sister of the above John and Adonijah, who married Cornelius Anderson, of the same family as Johannes Opdyck’s daughter Annetie Opdike who married Cornelius Anderson, probably her grandson of the same name. As with the preceding circumstantial evidence, the rarity of the Opdyck-Opdike-Updike surname would make this very coincidental if Sarah’s husband was from Rhode Island and from an unrelated lineage instead of a nephew of the three daughters of Johannes who married Andersons.
10. In addition to the Farnsworth-Opdycke connections mentioned above , this item of circumstantial evidence was pointed out by Richard B. Weber of Falling Waters, WV in 2008, a descendant of John’s daughter Sarah Updike McCave Brown:
There seems to be neighbors in common between Johannes’ son Albert Opdyck of Hunterdon Co., NJ, the Green family which 2 of Albert’s sons married into, and John Updike of Loudoun Co., VA. In the will of Albert’s son Esq. John Opdycke (1710-1777) of Hunterdon County, the signatures of Zedekiah and Uriah Bonham appear. In Peggy Shomo Joyner’s Abstract of Virginia’s Northern Neck Warrants and Surveys 1697-1784, Volume IV, page 99, there is an entry for John Ethell, dated 18 Sep 1758, apparently witnessed by John Updike and John Wilks. Mr. Ethell was the one who sold land to Updike in Loudoun County. On the same page is an entry for Gabriel Fox, 10 Oct 1764-18 Dec 1764, mentioned as “assigness of Urial Bonham.” For 13 May 1765, Mr. Bonham is quoted “As I am entended (sic) back to the Jerseys from where I came have given up my right to Mr. Gabriel Fox.” Witnesses: Anthony Russell and Amariah Bonham. Then, Bryan Godfrey, upon googling Uriah Bonham’s name, discovered a record of a marriage between Albert Opdyck’s grandson, Esq. Richard Opdycke (ca. 1740-1825), of Kingwood, Hunterdon Co., NJ, and Dinah Bonham, Uriah’s daughter, on 5 Dec 1805 in Kingwood. She is listed in the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy as Dinah Sutton, a widow, nee Bonham. So Uriah Bonham’s daughter married into the New Jersey Opdycks and he apparently settled for a short time near John Updike in Loudoun Co., VA before returning to New Jersey. If John Updike of Virginia were not related to the Albert Opdyck family, it would be another peculiar coincidence.
Evidence in Favor of John Updike being Descended from the Gysbert Opdyck (1605?-after 1664) Lineage of Wesel, Germany; Hartford, Connecticut; New Amsterdam (New York); and Wickford, Rhode Island
1. Even though John lived near where Johannes Opdyck and family settled, that could be coincidence and explained by the fact that his grandson Daniel Updike, Jr. stated that he and his brother were put to trades following their father’s death in Rhode Island, and that he then went to Long Island, was moved every year, then drove a market wagon to Philadelphia, which is across the Delaware River and only a short distance downriver from Burlington and Bordentown where his first wife Sarah Farnsworth was from.
2. Main evidence: Letter written by Daniel Updike, Jr.--
In a letter to Charles Wilson Opdyke, which was quoted in the 1889 genealogy, Daniel Updike, Jr. (1814- ?) of Bentonville, VA, a son of John Updike’s son Daniel Updike (1767-1844) of Rappahannock Co., VA, stated that his grandfather “John Updike the tailor” was said by his father and uncles to have been born in Rhode Island about 1717, that John’s father was shot by accident when John was young, that John and his brother were put to trades (John to the tailor’s trade and the brother William or Asa to the shoemaker’s), and that he recalled having heard there was someone in the family named something like Roderick who was engaged in a naval action. The name “something like Roderick” seems to refer to Gysbert Opdyck’s son Lodowick Updike (1646-1737) of “Smith’s Castle,” Wickford, Washington Co., RI. Lodowick’s brother Daniel Updike, who died ca. 1704 in England, was a mariner who was involved in a “naval action” in 1680 when he was captured by Algerine pirates. He was ransomed by his uncle Richard Smith, Jr., and came back to the family home, “Smith’s Castle” at Wickford, RI to thank his uncle , where he spent one night before sailing to England. He was married to Martha ? but apparently had no children; Daniel’s will mentioned his siblings Elizabeth, Sarah, Lodowick, and James, and nephew Daniel (Lodowick’s son). His brother James was also a mariner, and their brother Richard was killed in the 1675 Great Swamp Fight near Wickford, RI as part of King Philip’s War. No one in the early generations of the Johannes Opdyck family of Long Island and New Jersey had been engaged in maritime or naval pursuits. Coincidentally, Lodowick Updike’s son Richard (ca. 1691-1734) died as a result of a blood vessel burst after lifting a heavy stone, leaving sons who were specifically directed by Lodowick’s will to be “put to trades.” This is the same wording used by Daniel Updike, Jr. But as Charles Wilson Opdyke stated, Richard’s son John lived and died in Providence, RI, and none of his descendants had heard of the Virginia branch of Updikes. So if John of Virginia was descended from this line, it would have to be some other way, perhaps from a sibling of Lodowick instead.
3. John’s great-grandson James Burrell Updike (1846-1929) stated in a letter to the author of the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy that he had been told John came from Germany with a sister named Edith and lived on Long Island 5 years. If so, this might suggest John was not descended from either Louris or Gysbert. More than likely, he was mistaking John for an earlier generation, perhaps referring to Gysbert, for if John were an immigrant, more than likely his grandson Daniel Updike, Jr would have known, but he claimed John was born in Rhode Island. The adamance of John’s descendants in being Dutch could stem from the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy or assumptions that any name with “dike” in it is automatically Dutch due to dikes being a common feature in The Netherlands. The closest YDNA matches of the Virginia Updikes are to persons with German origins and surnames rather than Dutch ones.
4. The fact that YDNA testing in 2007-08 showed no match between 2 male-line descendants of John Updike and several male-line descendants of the Louris/Johannes lineage (samples from male-line descendants of his sons Lawrence and Albert match one another perfectly) proves the Virginia Updikes were not related patrilineally to the Louris/Johannes line, so by process of elimination it seemed safer to conclude John was instead descended from the Rhode Island Updikes, especially in conjunction with comments made by Daniel Updike, Jr. in his letter to the author of the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy. However, because the proven male line of Gysbert’s son Lodowick Updike appears to be extinct, the descendants of John have no one from that line with which to compare their YDNA. It appears that famous printer Daniel Berkeley Updike (1860-1941) of Providence, RI and Boston, MA, a childless bachelor like so many of his lineage, was the last of the male-line Rhode Island Updikes. The closest YDNA matches of these 2 Virginia Updikes are to 3 persons with German surnames, Appel, Wastle, and Germain, one of whom has roots in the German province of Westphalia, which is where Gysbert’s ancestral city of Wesel is located.
5. In regard to the Family Finder DNA tests mentioned above, matches to possible relatives this distant should not be used as definite evidence of kinship, for there is a good chance the matches are due to being related other ways, perhaps closer than these possible kinships, or to what is called “false positives”. One of the 3 matches to Bryan is related to him through several Colonial Virginia lineages, so that rather than common Opdyck ancestry could explain their match. If Johannes were John’s grandfather, then Bryan would be 11 generations removed from Johannes on 2 lineages and 12 generations removed on the third lineage. Some experts believe kinships this distant are not detectable on a Family Finder DNA Test. To make the Family Finder evidence more conclusive, additional Virginia Updike descendants need to be tested, preferably those only 6 generations removed from John Updike and 8 from his questionable grandfather Johannes and who are, like Bryan, Updike descendants more than 1 way. If, over time, other descendants of John Updike match descendants of Louris and Johannes and are not shown to be related to one another other ways, then it might be safer to conclude John was descended from Louris and Johannes.
6. In spite of the fact that the author of the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy implied that the Gysbert Opdyck family seemed accounted for, perhaps some were not. Gysbert had a son Johannes who was baptized in 1657, believed to have died young as he was never mentioned in later records of the family. Gysbert’s son Richard, killed in the 1675 Great Swamp Fight, presumably died unmarried at about 24 years of age. Perhaps Johannes did survive to maturity and was the father or grandfather of John Updike of Virginia, or perhaps Richard left children, and not all of the Rhode Island Updikes were accounted for. There could have been familial estrangements that might explain why not all the family members were mentioned in the early wills of the Smith and Updike families.
7. John Updike of Virginia’s son Rufus Updike (1753-1838) had a grandson named Smith Newton Updike (1832-1917), who was born when his grandfather was living and could have been named in honor of ancestral surnames. Gysbert Opdyck’s wife was Catherine Smith, daughter of Richard Smith, and her sister Joan Smith married Thomas Newton whose daughter Abigail Newton married her first cousin Lodowick Updike (1646-1737), son of Gysbert. Abigail had a brother named Smith Newton, mentioned in the will of her uncle Richard Smith, Jr., which was quoted in the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy. It would seem coincidental for Smith Newton Updike to have such a name when the first two names occur earlier in the Rhode Island Updike ancestry.
8. Granddaughters of John Updike’s son Samuel Updike (1745-1796), who remained in Bordentown, NJ and was raised by his Farnsworth relatives after his mother died and his father settled in Virginia, stated to the author of the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy that their grandfather had a brother who settled in Boston. Because John’s sons were all accounted for, the author seemed to imply they were probably confusing this with an earlier generation, perhaps a brother of John instead. Or perhaps it was an even earlier generation. None of Louris and Johannes’ known descendants in the first few generations are known to have settled in New England, yet two of Gysbert’s sons, Daniel and James, are known to have lived in Boston, MA, and were mariners. If John of Virginia was a grandson of one of Gysbert’s sons, could these ladies in New Jersey have been referring to uncles or great-uncles of their great-grandfather John Updike?
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Virginia Updikes in Being Able to Claim Each of the Above Lineages
Louris Jansen Opdyck-Christina ? , son Johannes Opdyck-Catherine ? Lineage
ADVANTAGE: If descended from this line, the Virginia Updikes would be able to claim kinship to nearly all, if not all, of those bearing the surname and its variants (including Opdyke) in the U.S. and perhaps the world today, the Rhode Island Updikes apparently being extinct in the male line since 1941. Although YDNA results indicate the Virginia Updikes are not related patrilineally to this lineage, they may still be related in a non-patrilineal way and able to claim kin to these Updikes, who were very prolific.
DISADVANTAGE: Louris was believed by the authors of the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy, based on similarity of names and the inability to discover those with the surname anywhere else in Holland, to have been descended from the Opdycks of Elburg, Holland, a surname which has been found there back to about 1355, although the family lines cannot be traced definitively. However, no records have been found proving Louris was from Elburg, and this theory was challenged in the late 20th century when a 1653 Albany, NY court record was discovered in which Louris deposed he was born in Husum, now part of Germany. This might even debunk the assumption he was Dutch, but others suggest his family was probably from Elburg and had settled in Husum temporarily at the time of his birth about 1605 to work on the dikes in need of repair. So unlike the Gysbert Opdyck family and his Rhode Island Updike descendants, the European ancestry and origins of Louris Jansen Opdyck are unproven.
ADVANTAGE: On account of being predominantly Northern or Midwestern, and many in the earliest generations having adopted or married into those of the Baptist or Quaker faiths, few of the descendants of Louris appear to have been associated with slavery and other racial vices.
DISADVANTAGE: There is no site that these Opdycks-Updikes can claim as an ancestral home, farm or graveyard common to all. The burial places of Louris, his son Johannes, Johannes’ children, and almost all of their children are unknown, nor are the homes of these earliest Opdycks-Updikes extant. Only among the great- and great-great-grandsons of Johannes does one begin to find extant homes, mills, and gravestones.
ADVANTAGE: If satisfactory proof can be found over time that John Updike of Virginia was from the Louris and Johannes lineage, then the information in both the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy and the 1985 Virginia Updike genealogy would be accurate, the only difference being that it may be due to a break in the male line, perhaps caused by an illegitimate birth which would have been very taboo to discuss at the time of the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy. In other words, John Updike was not a son of one of Johannes’ sons, but could have been a son of one of his daughters and taken his surname from a mother instead.
DISADVANTAGE: Although many became prominent farmers and millers in the early generations, as exemplified by the magnificent homes or farmsteads pictured in the 1889 Opdyck Genealogy, this lineage would be less appealing than the Rhode Island lineage for those who use genealogy for snob appeal. This Opdyck-Updike family was not regarded as aristocratic or high society like the Rhode Island Updikes, and unlike Gysbert and his offspring, Louris was not a colonist of prominence in the New Netherland colony.
ADVANTAGE: For those who delight in finding as many famous or prominent relatives as possible, the Virginia Updikes could claim author John Updike (1932-2009) of Beverly, MA as a distant cousin if they could find convincing evidence of descent from this lineage, and to the mayor of New York City (George Opdyke 1805-1880) during the Civil War, father of Charles Wilson Opdyke (1838-1907) who wrote the 1889 genealogy.
Gysbert Opdyck-Catherine Smith Lineage
DISADVANTAGE: If descended from this line, the Virginia Updikes would not be able to claim kinship with any other Updikes-Opdykes-Updykes living today, as the rest all appear to descend from Louris Jansen Opdyck’s son Johannes, including prolific branches in Western New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania, Western New Jersey, and the Midwest. This family was not nearly as prolific as the Louris-Johannes lineage, in both the male-line and non-male branches.
ADVANTAGE: The Gysbert Opdyck male lineage has been traced back to about 1261 in Wesel, Germany, so his American descendants can be proud to have a well-established connection back over eight generations in Europe. However, it is unfortunate that Wesel was almost entirely destroyed by bombs during World War II and had to be rebuilt, so the original homeland of these Opdycks-Updikes is not extant.
DISADVANTAGE: Gysbert Opdyck, in spite of his prominence in the New Netherland colony, began his life in America with a shameful incident about 1639 when he was questioned for killing one of his boy slaves, and the account is quoted as follows from http://www.hartfordhwp.com/HBHP/exhibit/02/index.html : “Our story starts with slavery. The first Hartford Black of which we are aware is Louis Berbice from Dutch Guiana. He was brought here in 1638 by his master, the Commissionary Gysbert Opdyck, to the Dutch fort in a neighborhood that was to be known as Dutch Point. For some reason, Louis was killed the following year by Opdyck.” The 1889 Opdyck Genealogy seems to sugarcoat the incident as follows: 1639, Nov 9. "Declaration. Gysbert Opdyck, Commissary at Fort Hope respecting the manner in which Lewis Barbese, his black-boy, came to his death, ‘Gysbert Opdyck at request of the Fiscal, declares that Lewis Barbese took a pan to bake cookies and as the fire was too hot for the boy, Opdyck took the pan from him and ordered him to bring a shovel. The shovel which the boy brought was dirty, whereupon Opdyck whipped the boy who, to escape the whipping, ran away and Opdyck gave him a kick in the side. The boy ran before the door where he fell down. Opdyck went toward the boy and found a crooked knife bent like a hook and that the boy had a wound `' left side near his arm wherefrom he died very soon.’". . (Dutch MSS IV, 52.) . Even if the boy’s death was accidental as Gysbert described, one must question his character if he would whip a child just for bringing him a dirty shovel and then kick him just for running away from being whipped. This incident casts dispersions on Gysbert’s character and makes one wonder whether they would want to claim descent from him.
In spite of being in New England where slavery overall was less common and became illegal earlier than in the South, the early Rhode Island Updikes, living along Narragansett Bay outside Wickford, RI, were part of a distinctive northern aristocracy of dairy farmers known as the Narragansett Planters, who practiced agriculture and slavery on a large scale compared to most of the North. So these Updikes have an ugly racial legacy that the Virginia Updikes might not want to claim (but there seems to be a large amount of bigotry among many of them).
ADVANTAGE: The Rhode Island Updikes can claim as an ancestral home “Smith’s Castle,” also known as “Cocumscussoc,” at Wickford, RI, home of Richard Smith, Jr. (ca. 1630-ca. 1692) and his nephew Lodowick Updike (1646-1737), maintained by the Cocumscussoc Association as a tourist attraction. Although in poor condition now in the woods on an adjoining property, the ancestral graveyard of the Updikes and Smiths can be visited, and Richard Smith’s grave is marked. Other early Updikes are buried nearby at St. Paul’s Episcopal Churchyard in Wickford.
DISADVANTAGE: In both the 1889 and 1985 genealogies, John Updike of Virginia is placed arbitrarily with the Louris and Johannes Opdyck family, so if he were actually descended from Gysbert Opdyck instead, then both books would be partly debunked.
ADVANTAGE: For those who take delight in claiming prominent ancestors or lineages, and claiming New England ancestry because of its “snob appeal” to genealogists, this would be the more appealing lineage not only because it was New England rather than Middle Colonies, but also because of the prominence of Gysbert Opdyck and his father-in-law, Richard Smith, in the New Netherland and Rhode Island colonies. In addition, this lineage has been traced back to a dynasty of city officials in Wesel, Germany. If descended from this line, the Virginia Updikes could claim kin to well-known New England printer and typographical historian Daniel Berkeley Updike (1860-1941) of Providence, RI and Boston, MA, likely the last male-line descendant of Gysbert’s son Lodowick. Another person of prominence descended from this lineage was Lodowick’s daughter Sarah Updike Goddard (ca. 1700-1770) of Rhode Island and Philadelphia, PA, an early female publisher. This lineage was truly “high society” as opposed to the Louris line, with sea captains, lawyers, planters, and businesspeople in the earliest generations, whereas the early generations of Louris’ and Johannes’ descendants were farmers and millers and not noted for military or political service.
DISADVANTAGE: If descended from the Rhode Island Updikes, the Virginia Updikes would not be able to claim kinship to the most famous Updike, John Updike the author.
The following is an article in the July 31, 1985 issue of the "Bedford Bulletin-Democrat" newspaper concerning the descendants of John Updike and the recent publication at that time of the genealogy of his descendants:
Updike Reunion to be held in Front Royal August 11
The 45th annual Updike Reunion will be held Sunday, August 11 at the Lion's Club Shelter in the recreation park near Bing Crosby Stadium on Route 522 Bypass at Front Royal.
The reunion was started by descendants of John Updike, who came to Virginia about 1750 from New Jersey, and had four sons who lived in Virginia: John, Jr., and Daniel, who lived in Rappahannock and Warren Counties; Amon, who lived in Bedford County; and Rufus, who lived in Loudoun County, and many of whose descendants lived in Bland County.
All Updike descendants and friends are cordially invited to attend the Reunion, bring a picnic lunch, and eat together about noon. Following the lunch hour there will be a short program, conducted by the president, Mrs. Evelyn Updike Ransom, of Towson, Maryland.
A highlight of the reunion this year will be the distribution of the recently published genealogy book, "The Virginia Updikes-Updykes," compiled by Robert S. Craig of Buckhannon, W.Va. Mr. Craig was married to the late Mary Ellen Updike Craig, and they began collecting material for this book in 1963. Mrs. Craig died of cancer in 1976 before the book was completed, and was the daughter of Dr. Ernest Hampton Updike (1877-1942) and Lula Cook Updike (1885-1983), both of whom were born at Bentonville in Warren County.
This book is a result of 22 years of work and consists of over 1,000 pages of biographical information about 13 generations of Updikes in the United States. The first Updike came from Holland to New Amsterdam (New York City) and owned property there prior to 1650. Copies of the book will be on sale at the Reunion for $37.50 or may be obtained by sending a check in the above amount to Mr. Robert S. Craig...
Sarah Farnsworth Updyke (1717 - 1749)
Phebe Updike Jackson (____ - 1833)*
Amon Updike (1749 - 1828)*
Rufus Updike (1753 - 1838)*
Daniel Updike (1767 - 1844)*
John Updike (1775 - 1852)*
Specifically: Buried probably in a family plot where he lived in the Guinea Bridge area of Loudoun Co., VA
Created by: Bryan S. Godfrey
Record added: Jan 26, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 104206598