Mr 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 was returning to New York following a business and pleasure trip abroad, having visisted his sister in Europe, a trip he took every three to four years.

Interestingly the Belfast Newsletter states that a "Mr Wyckoff Derholf" aged 61 had booked a first class passage from Belfast to New York. Leaving Belfast on the evening of 2 April he is the only passenger to have been identified as boarding at Belfast for what was essentially a delivery trip. He boarded the vessel 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 a relative, Mr Daniel Chauncey for forwarding to New York.


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.



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

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.


  1. née Marshall?


Wyckoff Van der hoef

Articles and Stories

New York Times (1925) 
New York Times (1912) 
New York Times (1912) 
Brooklyn Daily Times (1912) 
Brooklyn Daily Times (1912) 
Brooklyn Daily Times (1912) 

Comment and discuss

  1. Richard Coplen said:

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

  2. avatar

    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.

Reply Watch Thread


Gavin Bell, UK
Michael A, Findlay, USA

References and Sources

Daily Graphic, April 20, 1912
Record of Bodies and Effects (#245)
Stephen Cameron (1998) Titanic: Belfast's Own. Dublin, Wolfhound Press. ISBN 0 86327 685 7
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic (Public Archives of Nova Scotia)
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2015) Wyckoff Van der hoef (ref: #303, last updated: 28th June 2015, accessed 17th April 2021 00:19:22 AM)

Discover More

Join the Encyclopedia Titanica Community (21k)     Join the Encyclopedia Titanica Facebook Group (11k)