The Sickles Family of Bergen and Hudson County

The Sickles Family had much to do with the early settlement of Hudson and Bergen Counties. Zacharias Sickles, the common American ancestor of the family, was a native of the City of Vienna, Austria, who soon after reaching manhood drifted to Amsterdam, Holland, where he entered the military service and was sent with a fleet on a cruise to Curacoa, where he remained until 1655. In the service he attained the rank of Adelborst or Cadet. In 1655 Governor Stuyvesant paid a visit to the island where Sickles was on duty. The latter accompanied the Governor to New Amsterdam and soon after attached himself to the garrison of Fort Orange (Albany). In 1658 he became a tapster of New Amsterdam and upon the surrender by the Dutch to the British in 1664 he married Anna, daughter of Lambert Van Vaelkenburgh, and went to work to gain a livelihood as a carpenter. In 1676 he was elected “town herder,” which office he held for thirteen years on a salary of 18 gelders a head for the season. He was appointed rattle-watch, so called from the rattle used to give warning in making his nightly rounds. He was also for some time crier to call the people together on needed occasions, and porter or keeper of the city gates, to close them at night and open them in the morning.

In 1669 he purchased a lot of land in Bergen, New Jersey, on which his eldest son, Robert, settled. The children of this son scattered through Bergen County, where many of Zacharias’s descendants still reside. He had nine children, the eldest of whom was Robert, who married Gertrude Reddenhause and located at Bergen, where he was a prominent resident, and left a large family. His son William, born in October, 1704, married Elizabeth Cooper, and removed to Rockland County, New York, from which locality his numerous descendants spread south into Bergen County, where their descendants are still found.

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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