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A Genealogy History of The Ryckman Family of Kalkaska County

Updated June 30, 2010

Willard Allen Ryckman Jr.

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This is a work in progress! I started researching the Ryckman name in April of 2002. My late brother, James E. Ryckman, had written a paper for a Michigan history class at Central Michigan University in 1971. The paper was about Orange Township (Kalkaska County, Michigan) and the Ryckmans. Jim gave me a copy of his report about 25 years ago. I really read it for the first time last year. The interviews with the older generation were fascinating and brought back many memories. That sort of got the ball rolling and I began doing research from that point on.

I have followed the Ryckman genealogy from New Amsterdam to Canada, during and after the Revolutionary War, and back again to the settling of the Ryckmans all across the United States in the 1800s. Some of the other family lines prominently associated with the Ryckman name, also spelled (Rickman, Rykeman, Ryckeman, Wrightman, Rightman, Wrickman. Ryjkeman) in this report include; Bradt, Dick, Jenkins, Kip, McTaggart, Montgomery, Moran, Nagel, Neihardt, Neiman, Rugg, Sheridan, Sherwood, Uitvlugt, Van Buren,& Woodhams.

I am especially interested in the American Revolutionary time period. The Revolution caused some Ryckman families to leave their homes and go to Canada during and after the war. My family line was one so affected. The historian Richard M. Ketchum, in his newest book – Divided Loyalties: How the American Revolution Came To New York, says in his source notes:

Anyone who is truly interested in history finds a way, sooner or later, to get into the shoes of the people of that other day, to try to see things as they saw them, to understand the problems that confronted them. Once you have done so you appreciate that we cannot judge the people of another time in the light of what we know today, or how our society chooses to assess right and wrong. Judge, if you will, but on their terms and from the perspective of their times.

I want to thank everyone who shared their information with me. A special thanks to my Aunt Gene Ryckman Woodhams, “Canadian cousins” Sharon Marshall and Sharon Lutz, for jump - starting this project, and also to Richard Moran & Rod Rugg for their information on the Rugg & Van Buren family lines.

I have attempted to document and give credit to all of my sources. However, there will be mistakes in this genealogy. Also there are plenty of blank spaces that need to be filled in.I would appreciate your help & input to this “evergreen” project. I will be adding more of the Rugg, VanBuren relatives as I continue to work with this site.

As of December 2010, I will be glad to update any information that should be included in the reports.



My Family History



  • The Ryckman Family Connection to Kalkaska County, Michigan (view PDF)


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