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Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture - Jan 2011

The latest newsletter of our friends at the HVVA includes a long article on the DeJoux House.   You can download a copy of the newsletter   HERE

As the author says "Why the southern room of the house had no heat source?" is a mystery.  Our recent renovation of that chimney and hearth proves there was no fire place on the south wall originally.  Seems very unusual but the article goes on to say that there have been other examples of this.  The piece also identifies the "spectacular" features of the house: the massive rafters and roof structures and the original doors and windows.  ("Possibly the best" John Stevens has seen -  and believe me he's seen a lot in his time as he is the author of the book on Dutch Vernacualar Architecture in America).

There are a few things that are inaccurate in the article.  Firsty, getting Daniel's name wrong -  "Flebus" rather than Flebut.   Secondy, why the article is titled Christian and Marytje Deyo House is more of a mystery than the fire place.  The description under the photos accurately describes the original owners as Christoffel and Deborah Deyo.  This matches the records in the tax office and the map of the area in 1790 -  all previously discussed on this blog.    I have looked up Christian (B3 )and Marytje in the Deyo family records -  yes I have the full family tree all the way back to the original Patentee.  

There is only one Christian and Marytje Deyo.  Christian was son of Pierre Deyo and married Marytje (Mary) deGraff in 1702.  Although they were said to live in the Springtown area,  my research had dismissed them as the original owners.   Firstly Christian was born in 1681 which would have made him about 60 when the house was built.  Secondly, there is no connection to a D. Deyo who is named as living in the house in both the Tax records of 1798 and the Map of the area in drawn in 1790.   Christian had three male children -  Peter (1702), Jacob (1704) and Moses (1707).     Can't find out much about Peter.  Jacob Deyo was married in 1724 and was a foot soldier of Kingston in 1738 and bought land in Poughkeepsie and died in 1741.  Moses was married in 1728 and was known to live in a "frame house about a mile north of Sprintown, torn down in 1820".   Any property passed to the daughters, who all married, would have lost the name Deyo and could not have been the D. Deyo on the map. 

His cousin Christoffel is a much more likely candidate.  One generation later (Christian was his uncle) he was born in 1728 (C-17 in the Family tree) and married  Deborah (Van Vliet) in 1736.  The house was built in or around 1740 and the couple had their first child David Deyo in 1758.  Two more children in 1764 and 1768  -  adding the kitchen in between in 1765.  Even though Christoffel was still alive in 1790 when the map was drawn he was 62 and died two years later.  Seems likely that, by the time the 1790 map was drawn up, the 200 acre farm had already passed to David Deyo his son who married Rachel Ean in 1771 and had their first son Christoffel Jr. in 1792 the year Christoffel senior died. 

The future descendents of David Deyo also match the names on the transfer of ownership deeds described in a previous blog post.  Case Closed!


  1. I am under the impression Hendricus (son of Pierre and father to Benjamin and Christoffel) was one of the first to venture beyond the confines of New Paltz into the Bontecoe area. The Deyo house on the opposite side of the Wallkill from yours was built by Hendricus and served as the family homestead until his death in 1739. Benjamin became heir to the house and his brother built the house you are currently restoring. This branch of the Deyos were a very closely knit group and for a few hundred years maintained a strong presence in the Bonticoe, Springtown and Tillson areas. My grandfather, of this line, was born and raised less than a mile away from your house and less than 5 miles from where the original Patentee settled. Speaks highly of the quality of the farmland.
    Hope this helps a little. Noble work you're doing.
    John B. Houghtaling

  2. Thanks john, You and I have both come to the same conclusions. i think it is wonderful that you are a descendent of the family that lived at Dejoux House. I'm testing out the farmland by planting a small vegetable garden. Will keep this site updated on the progress. So far everything seems to grow amazingly here, especially the poison ivy and the bittersweet vine...The house and property had been left natural for many, many years and the vines really have taken over the trees and the ground.


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