Curiosity about his ancestry led Gage DeWitt of Vidalia to a major archeological dig that captured the attention of people in and around Kingston, New York.
“Gage was asking me about our family history, and I really didn’t know a lot except what my father had told me,” said Gage’s father, Kenneth.
“Dad’s father died before I was born, and he really only knew that our ancestors were Dutch,” Gage said. “He told me his dad was from Maine.”
That led the self-employed appliance repairman on an Indiana Jones-type adventure in Kingston, New York to literally uncover remnants of his ancestors.
DeWitt’s journey to uncover his ancestry began in 2012 and ended at the Old Dutch Church on Wall Street in Kingston.
DeWitt, a descendant of one of Kingston’s earliest families of Dutch settlers, recruited a team to help dig up the remains of his oldest ancestors on American soil.
Three of those descendants are Tjerck Classer-DeWitt, Barbara Andriessen, and their son and his eighth great-uncle, Andreis DeWitt.
DeWitt is the eighth grand-nephew of Tjerck and Barbara Dewitt’s son, Andries DeWitt, who died in 1710. He was the eldest of 12 children.
“It took me a couple of years to make the connection to Kingston through ancestry sites,” DeWitt said.
DeWitt, 30, searched a Facebook page about Dutch genealogy, where a distant cousin,…