Edward Ryckman (pronounced R (eye) kman) was baptized in Tappan, Orange County, New York in 1767. Tappan was in Rip Van Winkle country in the Dutch community made famous by Washington Irving. Tappan was a dangerous place for loyalists during the American Revolution. Although loyalist forces held Manhattan for the most of the revolution, the area immediately north was not so safe. Washington made his headquarters there on several occasions. At Tappan the British Adjutant, Major John Andre, was captured, tried, and hanged for negotiating with Benedict Arnold.
Edward’s parents were loyalists: his mother, Susanna Brouwn, was from Hackensack, New Jersey. His father, John or Johannis Ryckman, was a leather dealer and possibly a tanner and shoe-maker who had a house in Tappan and a house in Manhattan. John served as a guide to the British Army before he was captured and imprisoned at Fishkill in Dutchess County across the Hudson River from Tappan. All of his family’s goods and property were confiscated by the Rebels. The now destitute family escaped to Sorrel Quebec where John received emergency relief supplies. John died shortly thereafter in 1784 leaving his older sons Tobias and Edward to fend for their mother and her family. She made a claim to the Commission for Losses of American Loyalists and they settled in the townships of Adolphustown and Sophiasburg on the Bay of Quinte.
Edward married Anna Warren and they moved to West Flamborough just before the outbreak of the War of 1812. Edward was listed as an owner of substantial property in the 1819 assessment rolls of West Flamborough Township where the family farm was located in lot 24 concession 3. In 1831 he was appointed a commissioner to oversee the construction of the road from Waterdown to Rock Chapel which would pass through his property. Edward and Anna had the following children:
- Susannah who married John Graves Simcoe Green of Greensville Ontario;
- Elizabeth who married Jacob Markle of Millgrove, Ontario;
- Catharine who married Solomon Washburn of Millgrove;
- John Warren Ryckman who married Martha Smith and who founded the Ryckman Chapel in Millgrove;
- Abraham Warren Ryckman who married Margaret Bradshaw and who inherited the Ryckman homestead at Rock Chapel.
Edward’s death was reported in the Toronto Examiner on 3 June 1846 as follows:
On the 27th ult. at his residence, in the Township of West Flamboro, Edward Ryckman, aged 83 years.
Anna’s death was reported in the Christian Guardian on 6 July 1859 as follows:
Mrs. Anna Ryckman was born in the state of new (sic) York in 1763 (sic) and came to Canada at an early age, settling on the Bay of Quinte. Before the war of 1812, she moved to this part of the country with her husband, settling in West Flamboro’, where she died March 17 1859 in her 86th year, having lived to see the fourth generation of her children. Rev. E. B. Ryckman of Montreal is her grandson.
Anna and Edward were buried in Rock Chapel cemetery although only Edward’s grave stone survives. It reads “In Memory of Edward Ryckman who departed this life May 27, 1846 in the 83d year of his age.” Edward’s broken stone was missed in the 1960s by the transcribers of the Ontario Genealogical Society. It has since been mended and placed upright.
Also buried here are Edward’s son, Abraham and his wife, Margaret Bradshaw; also Edward’s 6- year-old grandson, George; as well as Edward’s day-old and un-named great-great-great-grandson whose maternal grandfather, Sir Henry Conway Belfield, had been the British Governor of Kenya and whose paternal grandfather, Edmond Baird Ryckman, had been Canada’s Minister of Revenue.
Edward Ryckman’s grandson, Rev. Dr. Edward Bradshaw Ryckman, a native of Rock Chapel, became one of Canada’s leading Methodist ministers.
presented by W. Raymond Cummins UE at the unveiling of a UEL plaque at Rock Chapel Cemetery