History FAQs

Why didn’t any of the Dyckmans get married?

We frequently use this chart to explain who was living in the farmhouse in 1820 – both Jacobus Dyckman and his family as well as the servants and enslaved worker.  So, it is NOT a full Dyckman family tree.  When looking at the chart visitors often assume that none of […]

Household Tree showing who lived in the Dyckman Farmhouse in 1820.

Auctions of the Property of Isaac Dyckman, 1868-1871

How Big was the Dyckman Farm?

This is a hard question to answer because the Dyckman family started acquiring land in Northern Manhattan in the 1660s and continued to increase their holdings until the mid-19th-century.  The Dyckmans were continually buying and selling property so,  the boundaries changed depending on the year. The mythology that we commonly […]

When was the Farmhouse Moved?

The Dyckman Farmhouse was NEVER moved.  There seem to be several reasons for this persistent myth: * This is not the first Dyckman family home. Jan Dyckman, the first Dyckman to arrive in the 1660s, had nine children and 25 grandchildren. With a quickly expanding family, there were multiple houses […]

Image of Pete Campbell from AMC

Isn’t Pete Campbell a Dyckman?

We always know when a new season of Mad Men is ready to air because the questions we receive about Pete Campbell’s heritage sharply increase. Yes,  Pete is a fictional character on a television show. Now, let’s ignore that and treat him just like any other person claiming to be […]

People Were Shorter Back Then, Right?

By far the most common reaction to the low ceilings at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum is the comment “Well, people were shorter back then!” That always spurs great conversations among staff and visitors as we try to explain the truth behind the myth. Imagine Northern Manhattan after the devastation of […]

Dyckman Farmhouse. Historic American Building Survey. Library of Congress.

Isaac Michael Dyckman

Getting the Name Right – Isaac Michael vs James Frederick

Isaac Michael Dyckman and James Frederick Smith (1813-1899) It is always a bit of a confusing point in the Dyckman family history that there is one person known as both Isaac Michael Dyckman and James Frederick Smith.  The reason behind the name switch is intriguing . About 1820, a seven-year-old […]