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The VanSchaick-Breedlove-Weaver-Proudfoot Legacy
The Dutch Settlement of America and Origins of the Name

How we all got here...


           When delving into the pasts of many Americans, North, Central, and South alike, more often than not, the people and cultures of Western Europe play an important role.  The history and peoples of Western Europe are deeply involved with almost all aspects of the Americas.  A large portion of the American population can directly trace their ancestries to regions within Western Europe.  American culture, while eclectic and incredibly dynamic, can trace many of its base institutions to practices from the various countries of Western Europe.  While the Americas are not, nor ever were, copies of Western Europe, one could say that there is a distinct family resemblance.

           Yet just like the members of any family in the world, the countries of Western Europe were each very unique.  And as with any family, this resulted in no small amount of conflict.  More than likely, if there had been no conflict in Europe during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, the Americas would not be the continents they are today.  Conflict among the peoples of the nations of Western Europe was the fuel that sped them on their way to the New World.  The primary mainland Western European participants in the New World were the Dutch, the French, and the Spanish.  Britain, another Western European nation, had an even greater impact on the North American continent.

           The Dutch, the French, and the Spanish were a diverse and often very aggressive group.  There had been times, particularly under the auspices of the Holy Roman Empire, when their governments had been aligned, but those times were infrequent, and often fraught with troubles.  Competition amongst these brothers was often the primary motivator for sending expeditions to the New World, rather than any religious or nationalistic commandments.  Economics played an important part in New World expansion.  The Western European economy has always been, and continues to be, a potent and very complex system.  The resources that the New World offered could be used to claim dominance in the Old World.  Consequently the New World was a tool to these countries, as were the other holdings of their respective empires.  The New World was probably the most effective tool in the Age of Discovery.


The Dutch Immigration

           These days, Dutch is a rather generic term referring to anyone originating from the north-central part of Western Europe, now composed of countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, and Holland.  Consequently, while the Dutch of today hold an identity linked to the term Dutch, it is often subservient to their identity as a member of their native country.  However, in the time of our forefathers, the Dutch were a much more singular people, and it was they who brought much of the commercial viability of the New World to light.

           The Dutch were the later of the early colonists, setting sail for the New World after the Spaniards and French had long since settled. The reasons for this centered around the Dutch fight for independence from Spain during most of the late 1500s.  Once they were free, however, the Dutch had different aims for the New World than their Western European brethren or their former oppressors.  The Dutch were not interested in shipping off their malcontents to the New World as Britain, or exploring for the City of Gold as the Spanish, but were instead interested in the trade goods that the New World held.  Specifically, they were initially interested in furs, and then later, in sugarcane.  The Dutch West India Company was chartered to exploit the New World through a series of towns that gathered the raw materials their mother country needed.  The locations of the first Dutch holdings reflected this focus and were situated along the Atlantic coast where furs were plentiful.  Many of these towns became significant cities; the most famous of which was New Amsterdam, now known as New York City.


           The Dutch were content during the beginning of their colonization to rely on the Native Americans for the furs they needed.  After a time though, more and more Dutch themselves ventured out into the wilds to trap furs.  The French had invested heavily in this tactic during previous decades and had a good lead on the Dutch.  Consequently the Dutch met with mixed success in expanding the fur trade of Dutch North America.  With the beginning of a series of Anglo-Dutch Wars, the Dutch provinces in the New England area were quickly captured, and the Dutch, for the most part, were forced out of North America.  They continued to do business with their colonies, however, but thanks to the French control of much of the fur industry it was not at great profit, and they instead turned their efforts to the Caribbean and the sugarcane industry.

           The Dutch were the singular power in the Caribbean for many years.  The Spanish had chosen to focus more on the inland areas of South America, leaving much of the Caribbean free for the taking.  That is not to say that the area was conflict free.  Indeed, conflicts between the Spanish, the Dutch, and the British in the Caribbean created some of the most horrible, yet enduring stories of the day.  Pirates, Spanish doubloons, mutinies, and all the favored elements of stories like Treasure Island were present, and the region spawned a tradition of fantasy that is popular even today.  Of course, the actual engagements fought in the region were very different than Treasure Island.  From these conflicts, the Dutch proved to have endurance and eventually dominated the Caribbean.  It was only in 1975 that the colony of Suriname was released from its colonial status.


           The primary trade good of the Dutch holdings in the Caribbean was sugarcane.  The Dutch were ingenious in their exploitation of the sugarcane trade and established the now infamous slave triangle system of sugar, molasses, rum, and slaves.  The system brought the Dutch vast amounts of wealth, and became so large that virtually all nations of Western Europe and the Americas were involved in it at one time.  It is also because of their system that many of the people of the Caribbean now call it home.  The numbers of slaves imported from Africa by the Dutch to work the cane fields was staggering.  The importation of slaves to the United States for the tobacco industry was only a small fraction of the people the Dutch displaced in their quest for profits.  The descendants of these slaves became the Caribbean peoples of the Americas.

 Source: Generations Family Tree Plus; Western Europe Immigration data CD2

Last name Definition:
(origin: Local)  From the town of Scheyk, in Holland.

Sample family crest; Size=135 pixels wide

Origins of the name "VanScahick"- "VanScoy" Netherlands to America   Mid 1700's
Herman Egbertsz: Before 1392          Netherlands; Wife listed: Unknown;Son listed:
Egbert Hermansz: After 1435 (Name changed from Egbertsz to Hermansz and back) Wife listed:Unknown; Son listed:
Gerritsz Herman Egbertsz: Wife listed: Alverade Claesdr Hovenare; Son listed:
Gerrit Herman Egbertsz:   Before1494  Before 1517  Wife listed: ???? Reymborch;  Son listed as:
Jan Geryt Hermansz Overdam: wife listed: Hildegont Gerstd De Keyser; Son listed as:
Geryt Jansz Overdam: Died before 1536 Married to Gybertgen VanSchaych 
Note: For some reason or another he chose to take the name of his Bride; thus establishing the name; this is the apparent reason we are  the VanSchaick's, VanScoyoc's, VanScoy's and dozen of other Variations instead of the "Egberts"  The Son of this Union is listed as:
Williem Gerritsz VanSchaych: His wife is listed as: Unknown. Son listed as:
JanWilemsz VanSchayck: Wife listed as Unknown   Son listed as:
Adrian (Aert) VanSchaick abt. 1580 (Earliest Listed VanSchaick) Wife listed as:Unknown; Son listed:
Cornelis Aertsen VanSchaick- abt 1610     abt 1669  The first Ancestor to emmigrate to the New World A Captian in the Dutch Military and Militia in New Amsterdam, New Netherlands  (New York City)
This is the Origins of the VanSchaick name up to the when the son's of Francis Sedan VanSchaick: 07/July/1689  Died 1754 changed their names:
 Peter (VanSchoick) and Aaron; Sr, (VanScoy) .

Here I might list all of the family names and variations I've found while researching my family tree.

I may include a map of our family's place of origin in this area.