Flatlands Reformed Church Cemetery – Flatlands, Brooklyn

Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery - Flatlands, Brooklyn

Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery - Flatlands, Brooklyn

Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery - Flatlands, Brooklyn

Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery - Flatlands, Brooklyn

Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery - Flatlands, Brooklyn
© Frank H. Jump

A colleague and myself took our after-school photography program to the Flatlands Reformed Church Cemetery on Kings Highway for a photo-shoot. This is the same organization as Marble Collegiate and one of the oldest churches in Brooklyn.

Founded in 1654, Flatlands’ tradition and history is firmly grounded in the history of Dutch immigration and settlement and Dutch Reformed liturgy and theology. The Flatlands Reformed Church shares the distinction of being the oldest church in Brooklyn with Old First Reformed Church in Park Slope and the Flatbush Reformed Church on Flatbush and Church Avenues. The three congregations were founded on February 9, 1654. There are only two other Reformed Church congregations that are older than those in Brooklyn – the Collegiate Church in Manhattan and the North Dutch Church in Albany (later renamed First Church).

Walking through the tree-filtered late Autumn sunshine, you will recognize many of the names as street names in Brooklyn (i.e. Wyckoff). The sanctuary is a beautiful setting for the fall foliage and there are still a few roses in bloom late this November. Unfortunately there has been some vandalism.

Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery - Flatlands, Brooklyn

Above is a marriage announcement for the same Teunis J. Bergen that was buried on February 27, 1922 (one of the later burials amongst many from the late 18th century and earlier). Below is a map of the Netherlands from around the time the first settlers came to Brooklyn (Breukelen).

Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery - Flatlands, Brooklyn

11 responses to “Flatlands Reformed Church Cemetery – Flatlands, Brooklyn

  1. Hey Frank,

    I’m about to post a photo of the Dutch Reformed Church on Church and Flatbush Avenues, and I was doing some research on the oldest church in Brooklyn. When I googled the oldest church in Brooklyn, this post came up as the first on on Google’s list. How about them apples?

  2. It had better after all the money I paid Google! Just kidding.

  3. Aaron Gleim

    I am from Ohio , and I was wanting any info on some of my ” Dutch ” ancesters that were members of the Old Dutch Church of Brooklyn . I was also wondering if any of my ancestors may be buried there ?

    here are several of my ancesters , any info / gravesite info / records greatly appreciated

    Tuenis Nyssen ( Denyse ) , the Sprungh ( sprong ) family , Hyendrick Slecht and wife Elsje Barentse Lieveling ( daughter of Barent Lieveling )

    Any records of them greatly appreciated…

    Thanks ,

    Aaron , Ohio

    • Do you know if they were buried at the Flatlands Church or the Dutch church on Church Avenue? I can look around and snap a pic if I find one.

  4. Aaron Gleim

    Thanks ,

    I found a list online , it list some of my relatives as members of the ” First Protestant Reformed Duthch Church of Brooklyn , on 12 March 1660 , when the church was first organized . included on the list were :

    Dirck Janse ( Jansen) ( b. abt 1630 – d. after 1708 ) , He immigrated in 1647 .

    He later assumed the name ” Woertman ” , you will see him as Dirck Jans , Dirck Jansen …and Dirck Janse Woertman . He lived at ” Verb Van Breukelen ( Brooklyn ). He was the owner and lived at the Brooklyn Ferry . he married 10 april 1661 to Marretje Denyse ( bp. 3 april in Brooklyn – died 1690) she was daughter of Tuenis Nyssen Denyse & Femmetje [ Seales ]. Any of these may be buried at the ” Flatbush ” lacation ” ?

    another ancester would be : Heynderick ( Hendrick ) Cornelissen Slecht ( b. 1642 Holland – died 1690 Flatbush , Brooklyn ) He Immigrated to America in 1652 with father Cornelius Barentsen Slecht .

    Heynderick Cornelissen Slecht was married to Elsje Lieveling ( b. 1646 – died 1705 Flatbush , Brooklyn ) She was the daughter of Barent Lieveling .

    I read somewhere online that Henderick Cornelissen Slecht and wife Elsje Lieveling may be buried their …their Grandaughter Elsje Slecht ( daughter of Abraham Hendrickse Slecht & Jannetje Van Der Hoeve ( Hoeven ) was on record as being baptized 29 May 1705 at Dutch Reformed Church of Brooklyn .

    I have many ” Dutch Ancestors , most are recent finds ” I plan on hopefully going on a trip to frind them all , someday .

    I thank you for you time , any photos of graves , locations , babtism record , or any other info greatly appreciated !!….

    Best Regards

    Aaron Gleim


    • Wow. That is 400 years to the day before my birth date. Incredible. I will look around with my camera. I live a mile away and teach two blocks. We got there with my students for photo sessions annually.

  5. Aaron Gleim

    Thanks ,

    So you are in to Photography , and teach Photography ? thats cool . My cousin , a lifelong New Yorker , She is a photographer . she grew up in Stanten Island .

    Speaking of Photos, Today I took my Nieces ( ages 14 , 13 and 6 ) to visit some of our Ancestor’s Gravesites , at the Old Lutheran Church Cemetary , in Powellsville ( Scioto County) Ohio ….Powellsville Community was an old German Community where all the German Immigrants settled ( mostly mid to late 1800’s )

    We photographed many of our German ancestors , on my Grandfather’s side ( my dads dad ) , Surnames such as : Gleim , Schneider , Bentine ( actually this one is Prussian) , Ruth , Kuhner , Wittig , Albrecht , Bachmann , Wagoner ( Wagner )…..

    The names I sent you from my early ” Dutch ” ancestors come from my Grandmother ( my dad’s MOM )

    The surmanes are : Slecht , Nyssen ( Denyse) , Woertman , Bosch ( Bos ) , Van Der Hoeve , Lieveling , Beeckman , Sprungh ( Sprong ) , Sodelaers ( this one is from Norway ) , Van Kessel , Van Court .

    I am also ” cousins ” to some others names ( not directly descended from ) : Bergen , Rapalje , Roose , Blanschan , Crespel , …and others…

    Some others early Ancestors that are French Hugonots , that fled to Holland , before coming to America :

    Surnames are :

    Couvers ( later changed to Covert ) , Marselis ( Marcelis ) , Coryell ( Coriell )

    The Coryell ( Coriell ) line is interesting , The Coryell ( Coriell ) Family stems from Abraham Coryell who was in Piscataway Twp , New Jersey by 1701 . He had 4 sons…

    one son John Emanuel operated Coryell Ferry , It operated across the Delaware River between New Jersey and Penn .During the American Revolution , George Washington crossed it many times with troops and supplies . ( search Coryell Ferry ) George Washington camped his Army and Spied on the British at the ( David ) Coryell Farm ( my 6 x great grandfather )

    later when Geroge Washington died , ” George Coryell ” ( a cousin ) was one of the 6 Pallbearer at his funeral , that laid George Washington to rest .

    Elsje Slecht ( in my previous email ) married to David Coryell ( son of Abraham Coryell and brother of John Emanuel ) , that is how my Slecht line meets my Coriell line . later a ( Lucretia ) Covert would marry an Elias Coriell , the family would move west to Ohio in 1818 , bringing many sons ….thus….connecting my Ohio lines to all of the early Dutch, French , lines from New York & New Jersey .

    Today , all the ” Coriell’s from southern Ohio ” stem from Elias Coriell and sons….my Great Grandmother was ” Serena Coriell ” ….the mother of my still living grandmother , she will be 92 on june 30th ( born 1918 )

    Sorry to write a Book , haha

    Aaron Gleim

    Portsmouth Ohio

  6. I’ve walked through the cemetery at the “Flatbush”Reformed Church. Most of the headstones are all worn away. To the best of my knowledge, the only ones that are readable are from the 19th century. I’m in the neighborhood frequently enough and I too, would be happy to take a look for your ancestors.

    While you are waiting, here is an image of the church itself:


  7. Aaron Gleim

    Erik and Fadingad ,

    Thanks for info and effort , appreciated .

    I wondered since it was long ago , if any of the gravestones were readable …..

    Still , I am proud of all of my ” early Dutch roots ”

    I hope to visit the Church someday .

    On another note , I also had 2 direct ancestors , who attended the first organized ” church communion ” at the ” Church of Kingston , on 26 Dec 1660 ” The Church service was led by Hermanus Bloem ( Blom ) , and He led service to about 17 others .

    The town of kingston was known as ” Esopus ” at the time . in 1661 , Gov . Stuyvesant , granted it a town and renamed it ” Witwyck ” . He appointed ” Roeloff Swartwout ” the first sheriff , and appointed the first 3 schepens ( magistrate or alderman ) they were : Evert Pels , Albert Heymans Roose , and Cornelius Barentsen Slecht ( my 9 x Gr. Grandfather ). Cornelius Barentsen Slecht ( Immigration 1652) and wife Tryntje Tesse Bos , were living at ” Esopus ” as early as 1658 or 1659 .

    Today , in the present Dutch Church of Kingston N.Y. , there is a marble Plaque in the Vestible , honoring the First Communicants . the names of 17 are on the plaque .

    Included were the above mentioned : Albert Roose and wife , Roeloff Swartwout and wife , and my ancestors , Cornelius Barentsen Slecht and wife Tryntje Tysse Bos ( Bosch ) .

    there are also serveral other names ( on the plaque) that married into my family lines as well, so they are cousins :

    Crespel , Blanschan , and a couple others…..

    I think it is very , very neat that I have connections in both churches ….

    Thanks again , If you are interested in seeing the Plaque , let me know and I will get you the link…

    Best Regards ,

    Aaron , Ohio

  8. Phyllis V Curry

    Enjoyed reading your exchange of info re your

    Enjoyed reading your exchange comments re
    your research . We are not connected to your
    family as far as I know but one never knows.
    However,a family that is related to us is very
    interested in his family history. The Ringo
    family immigrated to N.Y in 1678 & they were
    members of the Dutch Reformed Church in .the
    Netherlands. I promised him I would try.
    This family moved to Brazil Ind & then to Fl
    where they now reside. They married into our
    family the Knights. So if you happen onto the
    Ringo name we would appreciate any info.
    I have names going away back but no dates like birth etc.


    Phyl Curry

  9. Aaron Gleim


    Will look for the ” Ringo ” name . If I come across any info , will be sure to foward to you..

    Best Regards