Encyclopedia Titanica

Wyckoff Van der hoef

First Class Passenger from Brooklyn, New York

Wyckoff Van der hoef
Wyckoff Van der hoef

Mr Wyckoff Van Derhoef was born in Brooklyn, New York on 13 May 1850.

He was the son of William J. Van Derhoef (b. 1819), a jeweller, and his wife Isabella 1 (1827-1908). Both his parents were born in New York, his father likely of Dutch ancestry whilst it is believed his mother was of Irish descent. He had two known siblings: William J. (b. 1848) and Minnie (b. 1854).

Wyckoff, known as Wynn, first appears on the 1850 census as an infant living in Brooklyn with his parents and when he appears on the following 1860 census he is still resident in Brooklyn with his mother and sister. The whereabouts of his father and brother is unknown. He had left home by the time of the 1870 census and the 1880 census shows him, still living in Brooklyn and working in the Williamsburgh Fire Insurance Company, a profession he would continue with for the rest of his life, rising from the role of a clerk to becoming the company secretary by 1910 and the largest shareholder in that institution.

He was married around 1888 to New York-born Laura Ellen Newell (b. September 1855), the couple soon having twin sons, Marshall and Newell (b. 29 March 1889) and the family remained living in Brooklyn; by 1912 they were living at 109 Joralemon Street.

Van Derhoef had travelled to Europe on 26 March for a brief business and pleasure trip abroad including a visit to his sister; a trip he took every three to four years.  He is thought to have had some Irish Ancestry which might explain his presence in Belfast and the opportunity to be the Titanic's only paying passenger on the 2 April voyage between Belfast and Southampton, for what was otherwise, essentially a delivery trip.

As far as can be traced, by inquiries amongst the local shipping gents, there has been only one direct booking from Belfast by the Titanic, this being per Messrs. Whiting and Tedford, the passenger being a visitor from America named Mr. Wyckoff Vanderhoef. — Belfast Newsletter, 15 April 1912


The only passenger who booked from Belfast was Mr. Van der Hoef, who was returning to the United States, in which country he has his home. He was amongst the first-class passengers. — Belfast Newsletter, 17 April 1912

He boarded the Titanic again at Southampton on 10 April. The fare for his first-class cabin (B19) was £33, 10s (ticket number 111240).

Mr Van Derhoef died in the sinking and his body was recovered by the MacKay Bennett, being delivered to Mr Daniel Chauncey2 for forwarding to New York.

NO 245. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 60. - HAIR GREY; AND BEARD, BALD.

CLOTHING - Evening dress; "W. V." on drawers; black boots.

EFFECTS - Two false teeth (top); gold ring, marked "L. E. N. to V. W."; gold watch and fob with gold medallion; 5 studs; gold links; keys; knife; glasses; $62 in case.

FIRST CLASS.

NAME - WYCKOFF VAN DER HOEF.

He was buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Grave of Wyckoff var der Hoef
Grave of Wyckoff var der Hoef

Coincidentally, he is buried just within a few hundred feet of Mr George Harder and his wife Dorothy, both of whom survived the Titanic disaster.

His widow Laura was never remarried and remained living in Brooklyn, latterly at 15 Clark Street, where she died on 17 March 1925. Both his sons became businessmen; Marshall died in New York 1954 and Newell in Los Angeles in 1959.

Notes

  1. née Marshall?
  2. An acquaintance of (if newspaper reports are to be believed) 60 years,

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Wyckoff Van der hoef
Age: 61 years 11 months and 2 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to Laura Ellen Newell
Occupation: Businessman
Embarked: Belfast
Ticket No. 111240, £33 10s
Cabin No. B19
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 245)

Page Options

Watch this page

Improve this Biography

If you have any corrections or something to add please  get in touch.

Join Us

Browse Encyclopedia Titanica without any adverts Annual Membership.

More info may be available, sign-in for instant updates and the latest version.

Newspaper Articles

Belfast Telegraph (15 April 1912) The Passengers
Brooklyn Daily Times (16 April 1912) Brooklynites are Lost as Titanic Sinks
Several Are Believed to Have Sunk With Ship
Brooklyn Daily Times (16 April 1912) Wycoff van Derhoef had Big Circle of Friends
One of the wealthiest and best known residents of the Eastern District
Brooklyn Daily Times (19 April 1912) Still Refuse to Believe Wyckoff Van Der Hoef Has Perished
Holding out hope that Mr. Van Der Hoef is alive
Daily Graphic (20 April 1912)
New York Times (29 April 1912) Veterans Honor the Dead
Seventh Regiment Men Attend Memorial Services
Brooklyn Daily Eagle (2 May 1912) Brooklyn Man Titanic Victim
Funeral of Wyckoff Vanderhoef to be held tomorrow
New York Times (2 May 1912) Death Notice (van Derhoef)
At sea, on steamship Titanic
Brooklyn Daily Eagle (10 May 1912) Titanic Victim's Will
Testament of Wyckoff Van Der-hoef 
New York Times (18 March 1925) Obituary Notes [Laura Van der Hoef]
Widow of Wyckoff Van Derhoef

Documents and Certificates

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912, National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]).
(1912) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax, N.S.

Bibliography

Stephen Cameron (1998) Titanic: Belfast's Own, Dublin, Wolfhound Press. ISBN 0 86327 685 7
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. Richard Coplen

    Richard Coplen said:

    Hey all, boarded at Belfast, but where did he stay while Titanic was docked in Southampton???

  2. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    I have often wondered about in Belfast. As a First Class passenger, he must have had the ship's public rooms virtually to himself during the trip to Southampton. Thomas Andrews and a few of the Harland & Wolff "Guarantee Group" were also in First Class but I suspect they were busy planning ahead most of the time. Therefore, Van der Hoeff was probably quite lonely. As to the previous post, he probably stayed at one of the upmarket hotels near the Southampton docks during the layover there.

  3. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    Van der Hoef died in the sinking, BUT he could have spoken to someone in the hotel he stayed at in Southampton... Read full post

  4. Cam Houseman

    Cam Houseman said:

    Those were the only two other members he met (besides Mr. Andrews)? William Parr can be seen in the famous Gymnasium photo with Instructor McCrawley in the background.

  5. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner said:

    Wasn't actually breaking the law by been a paying passenger at Belfast, before Titanic had received from the Board of Trade certificate of clearance for paying passengers at Southampton?

  6. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    Maybe it was some sort of "arrangement" with White Star. He might have been allowed on board in Belfast - effectively an "official stowaway" - with the understanding that when he paid for his First Class... Read full post

  7. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    It would be really nice to get some idea of Van der Hoef's feedback for that trip. He was in First Class and with the GG people otherwise busy, he would have had the public rooms pretty much to himself, I imagine. With so few people about in those huge rooms, the perspective of a lone man would have been rather different from general, post-disaster comments of surviving First Class passengers. He must have spoke to some people about his impressions during the 6 days he (probably) remained in Southampton before the actual maiden voyage started.

  8. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner said:

    If the law states your must have a Government certificate clearance before having paying passengers and wasn't given at Belfast and was performed by Maurice Clarke from the Board of Trade at Southampton. As for crew members which must have to past the BoT seaworthy certificate. You may argue about stewards, but I don't see them as paying passengers. Sorry or may not be, I shall be on holiday for the this week. See the replies 8 days time.

  9. Cam Houseman

    Cam Houseman said:

    Mr. Thomas Andrews' secretary, Mr. Hamilton, also went on her delivery trip, but he stayed behind in Southampton

  10. Seumas

    Seumas said:

    It would be really nice to get some idea of Van der Hoef's feedback for that trip. He was in First Class and with the GG people otherwise busy, he would have had the public rooms pretty much to himself, I imagine. With so few people about in those huge rooms, the perspective of a lone man would have been rather different from general, post-disaster comments of surviving First Class passengers. He must have spoke to some people about his impressions during the 6 days he (probably) remained in Southampton before the actual maiden voyage... Read full post

  11. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner said:

    Did we known if Wykoff van der Hoef had a partner? If was on his own must felt a bit lonely been the only passenger in the first class restaurant, or did he mix in with the crew members, or seat at the captain table? I wander what was on the menu to?

  12. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    AFAIK, WvdH was the only First Class (or any class) fare paying passenger who boarded in Belfast. He was on his own in that respect but there were 4 people from Harland & Wolff's "Guarantee Group" who were also berthed in First Class cabins. They were Thomas Andrews himself, William Parr, Roderick... Read full post

  13. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber said:

    Harold Sanderson was there, too.

Showing 15 posts of 33 total. View all.

 Reply  Watch Thread

Acknowledgements

Gavin Bell, UK
Michael A. Findlay, USA

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2021) Wyckoff Van der hoef (ref: #303, last updated: 24th April 2021, accessed 30th November 2021 22:21:30 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/wyckoff-van-der-hoef.html