B. 3 Mar 1615 in Ruinen, Netherlands
M. (1) about 1640 in Netherlands
Wife: Lammertje Seubring
M. (2) 30 Apr 1679 in New York
Wife: Zwaentje Janse
M. (3) 1687 in New York
Wife: Tuentje Teunise
D. before 3 Mar 1697 in New York
Jan Gerrits Stryker (sometimes spelled Strycker) was one of three men who organized the settlement that later became Flatbush. Jan was born in Ruinen, Netherlands in 1615. Little is known of his early years, but he likely apprenticed to become a gunsmith, which was in profession. In about 1640, he married Lammertje Seubring, and over the next dozen or so years, they had eight children.
In January 1643, Jan and his brother, Jacobus, were granted land in New Amsterdam by the Dutch West India Company, under an agreement they would bring twelve families to the colony at their own expense. It's not known how this offer played out, but in about 1652, Jan moved his family there, and Jacobus came over as well.
Jacobus was a portrait artist, and two of his known paintings were of himself and his brother Jan. It was thought that he painted them during the years 1653-1655. The portrait of Jan shows a bearded man of about 40 years-old, proud and confident. (The painting is in the possession of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and in spite of a note from Jan's 18th century relative identifying the painting, their official view is that the artist and subject are unknown.)
Within a year or two of arriving in New Netherland, Jan took the lead in founding a new settlement on Long Island called Midwout, later to be called Flatbush. Along with two other men, he petitioned Governor Stuyvesant for permission to develop some flat acreage next to other settlements that would be good for farming. Jan was appointed as one of two commissioners to build a church there, which would become the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church. (It's still in existence today at Flatbush and Church Avenue in Brooklyn, though it's a more recent building.) Jan was chosen as chief magistrate from Midwout, a position he held for 20 years.
In August 1664, when the Dutch colony was dealing with the threat of a takeover by the British, Governor Stuyvesant requested that the towns on Long Island send over "every third man to defend the Capital from the English now arriving in the Narrows." Jan gave the answer on behalf of the settlements that it was impossible to do this because "we must leave wives and children seated here in fear and trembling, which our hearts fail to do, as the English are themselves hourly expected there."
Jan was elected captain of the military company at Midwout on October 25, 1673, with his brother Jacobus given the authority to "administer the oaths and to install him into office." He was named as representative in a conference to confer with Governor Colve at New Orange (some sources say New Amsterdam) on March 26, 1674. At this meeting, those who gathered resolved that at least some of their descendants should settle in what is now New Jersey to secure the area from being dominated by the English. Various parcels of land were purchased by companies, and many, including Jan, selected Somerset county for their future home. Nonetheless, Jan took the oath of allegiance to the English crown in 1687 along with most of the other Dutch men.
Jan's wife, Lammertje died sometime before 1675, and he married a second wife, Zwaentje Janse, on April 30, 1679. She was the widow of Cornelius DePotter of Brooklyn. She died six year later, and Jan took a third wife in 1687, the widow of Jacob Hellakers, Tuentje Teunise. It's not known exactly when Jan died, but it was before March 3, 1697. He was buried in the cemetery at the church he founded in Flatbush along with his first wife Lammertje.
Children (all by Lammertje Seubring):
1. Aeltje Stryker – B. about 1642, Netherlands; D. 1697, Flushing, New York; M. Abraham Jorise Brinckerhoff, 20 May 1660, Flatbush, New Netherland
2. Jannetje Stryker – B. about 1642, Netherlands; D. 29 May 1705, Flatbush, New York; M. (1) Cornelius Jansen Berrien (~1625-1689), 1664; (2) Samuel Edsall (~1633-1702), 27 Aug 1689, Flatbush, New York
3. Angenietje Stryker – B. about 1646, Netherlands; D. 1692, Hackensack, New Jersey; M. (1) Claes Tysen; (2) Jan Cornelise Boogaard (~1647-1715), 1674
4. Hendrick Stryker — about 1648, Netherlands; D. 23 Jan 1688, Brooklyn, New York; M. Catherine Buys, 11 Feb 1687, New York City, New York
5. Sara Stryker – B. 1649, Netherlands; D. 1736; M. Joris Hansen Bergen (~1649-?), 11 Aug 1678, New York
6. Ida Stryker – B. about 1651, Ruinen, Netherlands; D. 29 Sep 1687, Flatbush, New York; M. Christoffel Probasco (~1649-?)
7. Gerrit Janse Stryker – B. 1652, Netherlands; M. Styntje Gerretse Dorland, 25 Dec 1683, Flatbush, New York
8. Pieter Stryker – B. 1 Nov 1653, New Netherland; D. 11 Jun 1741, Flatbush, New Netherland; M. (1) Annetje Barends (~1659-1717), 29 May 1681, Flatbush, New York; (2) Aertje Teunise Bogaert (~1655-1750), after May 1727, Flatbush, New York
Genealogical record of the Strycker family, William Scudder Stryker, 1887
An Album of New Netherland, Maud Esther Dilliard, 1963
Midwood, Brooklyn (Wikipedia article)