For a very long time, since 1809 to be precise, the best-known Knickerbockers have been the fictional characters depicted by the author Washington Irving in a satirical history of New York. His work spawned the use of the iconic name to mean a “real” New Yorker, the Dutch focus reflecting the fact that the first European settlers in New York were Dutch. The popularity of Irving’s work led to the popular depiction of the “Father Knickerbocker ” character, with a three pointed hat and knickerbockers, the pants that go just below the knee and socks take care of the rest. The name lives on popularly today in the basketball team, the New York Knicks, among others.
Bryan Knickerbocker lives outside of Philadelphia, and has been studying his family history for decades. DCHS is pleased to be publishing Bryan’s findings in a less traditional way, through the serial publication of chapters that will illuminate points along a trail in northern and central Dutchess County. That evolving trail can be found at www.dchsny.org/knickerbocker-trail.
Among the most extraordinary findings, 90% of the Knickerbocker’s in the United States are descendants of these northern Dutchess Knickerbockeers. Subsequent chapters will be told and assigned their place on the Knicerkbocker trail! Bill Jeffway
To best view the trail, align your mouse over the trail window (middle) and scroll up and down. To adjust the position of the window, align your mouse to the left or right edges and scroll up or down.