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History of the Heerschap-Hascup Families

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In the mid-nineteenth century a great migration took place from Europe to the United States. Many families left the life they knew to come to a land with much promise. This site is dedicated to one of those many adventuresome families. In the Netherlands, a series of changes in both economy, religion and politics caused the Heerschap and allied families to leave. Emigrating from the Goeree-Overflakkee area of Zuid Holland (South Holland), these families immigrated to the area of Bergen-Passaic counties of New Jersey and Dutch communities in the Midwest such as Grand Rapids, Michigan. The earliest known Heerschap family arriving in the United States belonged to Abraham Laauwe Heerschap who left Ouddorp in 9 April 1853 and arrived in Hackensack, Bergen, New Jersey with his wife and children. Soon afterwards came Aaron Heerschap in 1860, Zacharias Klaasz Heerschap in 1861, and Nicholas "Klaas" Heerschap in 1862. In the years after, many other members of the family made the voyage. Many of the earliest immigrants were the children of Adrianus Arensz Heerschap.

The name Hascup is an anglicization of the Dutch Heerschap. Within the records it also appears as Hierskup, Haskup, Hascuff, Hareschap, Herscap, and Heerschup. The surname can be found in Dutch written records back to the sixteenth century. As of this time, a complete lineage tying the families over the centuries has not been completed.

The best guess as to the meaning of the name has been "master of the house." It appears to be the Dutch equivalent to the Scottish "Stewart." A fun family story is that the name means "fast rabbit." "Heer" sounds like "hare" or rabbit; "schap" is said to be fast in this tradition. Today that name remains in the Netherlands as Heerschap and is found as Hascup or Heerschap in North America. In some city directories of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the same individuals are listed under both surname forms. This displays the fluidity of the spelling of the name. One can only imagine the census worker in 1880 hearing a Dutch accented person say the name and then attempt to spell it via the sounds heard.

This site is structured according to family stories, birth marriage and death records, census records, pictures, and places. Some of the information we are able to gather only allows us to provide the family members, with very little stories. For other families we are able to provide narratives. Most of the immigrants are descendents of Aren Pietersz Heerschap. It is with him that the family story will begin. An index to all mentioned family members will also be available in the future.

Also, if you are a member of this family and find you are missing, it is because we do not know how to fit you in. While we have collected over 400 individuals related by birth, adoption or marriage, we do not yet know how we are all related. You can help by contacting us.

The fruit of this history is the work of some descendants of the original immigrants. The person responsible for the good and bad is Dr. JohnDavid Hascup. Much of the collecting and understanding of the material comes from those family members without whom this history would be small: Henry Hascup, Christi Hascup Smith, Lauren Hascup Dale, John David Hascup, John Michael Hascup, Jack and Wink Hascup, the late Joseph and Mary Yancey, Cindy Burns, Judy Frerichs, and Marge Tamboer. Special mention must be made for Karen Sue Anderson. She has written an excellent history of the children of Leonard Heerschap-Hascup. We have gathered much from her work.

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