Monday, April 6, 2015

Nelson DeWitt T. Stryker: A Monmouth Junction Physician

Nelson DeWitt T. Stryker:
Monmouth Junction Physician

Genealogy is so fascinating. People do not suddenly appear – they have a history that continues from generation to generation. A case in point is the story of Dr. Nelson T. DeWitt Stryker’s origins as well as considering medical coverage in South Brunswick. From the 1876, Transaction of the Medical Society of New Jersey, is the obituary of Nelson D.W. T Stryker, MD.  Dr. Stryker died at his residence in Monmouth Junction, Oct. 20, 1875 at age 84. Born to John Stryker, Jr., grandson of John Stryker, Sr. a Revolutionary War soldier from Somerset County, Nelson’s first jobs were in a printer’s office and then in the mercantile business in partner with his only brother, John at Six Mile Run. He later studied medicine with Dr. Ferdinand Schenck of the area, attending lectures at Rutgers Medical College in New York where he later graduated.  He then located to Long Bridge, now Monmouth Junction, establishing his medical practice and home there along Ridge Road. He married three times, his first two wives dying with no surviving children. His first wife was Lydia Anna Williamson of Three Mile Run, his second wife was the daughter of John Pumyea of the same place and lastly he married Mary Stout, the daughter of John Stout of Monmouth Junction. Their son was Nelson DeWitt Stryker.

Dr. Nelson Stryker’s medical practice at Long Bridge, now Monmouth Junction shows how various doctors cared for people in nearby communities. Dr. Bayles of Kingston cared for people there. When Dr. Stryker retired his patients had the option of the Kingston doctor or the medical practice started in Dayton with Dr. Clarence Slack (1868-1880), Dr. Baldwin (1881-1884) and Dr. Edgar Carroll (188? – 1930).  Other doctors took care of people in Cranbury and Jamesburg.   

I just came across a Stryker family genealogy I found last year. You might find this interesting as I did. After learning some names and family stories of past residents of South Brunswick this additional information allows helps explain how people from diverse backgrounds came together. Genealogists find many details about their subjects for example the story of Dr. Nelson Stryker links the Tenbrooks, Strykers, Pumyeas, Stouts, Harts, Van Dykes, Bayles, Rowlands, and other families. It also links Hopewell, Kingston, Six Mile Run, Three Mile Run, Long Bridge (Monmouth Junction), Dayton, and other communities. Nelson Tenbrook DeWitt Stryker was born in 1802 and baptized at the Kingston Presbyterian Church in 1805. He married Lydia Ann Williamson (born in Kingston, they had two daughters who died in infancy. Lydia died in 1839); Ann Pumyea (born in Kingston, she died in 1842) and Mary Stout (born in 1817 in Kingston and died in 1888). Their only surviving child, Nelson DeWitt Stryker was born in 1847 and died in 1916. He married Josephine Bayles of Kingston, daughter of Alexander Bayles and Catherine Van Dyke Bayles. They had 14 children.  Dr. Stryker must have been friendly with the Rowland family of the same area and Dr. Stryker’s granddaughter, Mary Stryker, married Lewis Dunham Rowland.

From a History of the Stout Family by Nathan Stout in 1823 he gives the genealogy of the Stouts that led to the marriage of John Stout (1886-1873) and Sarah Hart and the birth of their daughter, Mary Stout (1817-1888) who married Nelson Tenbrook DeWitt Stryker in 1844. In addition this genealogy source relates information found in a book by Ralph Ege in 1908, Pioneers of Old Hopewell, where he notes in article No. 20 how the Hon. John Hart, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was the great uncle of Sarah Hart, the daughter of Levi Hart, son of the Hon. John Hart’s brother Daniel Hart. John Stout and Sarah Hart married in 1799. They moved with the Hart family to New York state, but soon returned to Rocky Hill where he worked as a blacksmith.  They had 8 children. Their daughter Mary becoming the wife of “Dr. Nelson Stryker, a prominent and successful physician of Monmouth Junction, and the father of N. DeWitt Stryker…”

There is more to Stryker’s Ridge Road lands at Monmouth Junction, but that is another story.