Genealogical history of Hudson and Bergen counties, New Jersey

Biography of The Bertholfs of Bergen County

The Bertholfs, who are very numerous in Bergen County, particularly in the western part, are descended from Guilliam Bertholf, who was born at Sluys in Flanders, and with his wife, Martina Hendricks Verwey, came to America in 1684 and first located at Bergen in New Jersey, where they joined the church, October 6, 1684, and where their son Henry was baptized April 6, 1686. Guilliam had studied theology at Middleburgh, Holland, and had come to America in the capacity of catechiser voorleser and schoolmaster. In these capacities he labored at Bergen until 1690, when he removed to Hackensack, where the people so esteemed him that in 1693 they sent him to Holland to the licensed as a minister of the Dutch Church. The Classis of Middleburgh, Holland, ordained and licensed him, and on his return in 1694 he accepted the pastorate of the “Church on the Green,” at Hackensack, where he preached until his death. For the first fifteen years of his ministry he is said to have been the only Dutch preacher in New Jersey. During his pastorate he had the control of all the surrounding churches, preaching at Tappan, Tarrytown, Staten Island, Raritan, Pompton, Belleville, and The Ponds. He was a well-read and eloquent man, indefatigable in his work, and organized many churches. His issue were Sarah, Maria, and Elizabeth (all born at Sluys in Flanders), and Henry, Corynus, Jacobus, Martha, and Anna, all of whom joined the Hackensack church. Sarah married David D. Demarest, Maria married John Bogert, Elizabeth married John Terhune and Rolof Bogert, Henry married Mary Terhune, Corynus married Ann Ryerson, Martin married Albert Bogert, Jacobus married Elizabeth Van Emburgh, Ann married Abraham Varrick. Rev. Guilliam Bertholf purchased from John Berry, a farm at Hackensack, extending from the Hackensack to the Saddle River, on which the village of Hackensack is now partly located, and there he died, universally respected, in 1724. All his children remained in Bergen County, over which their descendants are thickly scattered.

Source: Harvey, Cornelius Burnham, Editor; Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, New York: The New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900.

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