Founded 1962
Mrs. Harry Clark Boden, IV
Dutch Colonial Society
Image of New Amsterdam

History of the Dutch Colonial Society

Honoring our Dutch Ancestors and Heritage

The Dutch Colonial Society of Delaware was founded in 1962 on the occasion of the Tercentenary of the first Dutch settlements in the Delaware Valley by the Historical Society of Lewes (formerly Zwaanendael), Delaware.

The President of the Historical Society of Lewes, Delaware, Dr. James E. Marvil, asked Mrs. Harry Clark Boden, IV (Marguerite duPont DeVillers Ortiz), a Director, to suggest some unusual way to celebrate the founding of the first Dutch settlements in the Delaware Valley. Mrs. Boden was uniquely qualified to lead the Society. She later became one of the founding members of The National Gavel Society, whose members are the highest governing officers of recognized hereditary societies in the United States.

Her project to form a Dutch Society was unanimously accepted and she was asked to supply the names of eligible persons to join this new groups whose first organizational meeting was held in Dover, Delaware on May 11, 1963.

Mrs. Boden envisioned a truly national society in which members could reside in any part of the United States, and their eligible ancestors could have settled in any colony or state. In keeping with this goal, the Society's name was modified subsequently to the Dutch Colonial Society to more accurately reflect its national focus and activities.

Mrs. Boden remained as the Society's President and driving force until her death in 1977. Other Presidents of the Society have been Mrs. Karl Kinder Brown, Bruce St. John, Mrs. E. Paul duPont, and John Sinclair Edinger. The late Rev. Dr. Dixon A. Barr served as President of the Society in 2008-2009 and had the vision to reactivate the Society in commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson in his ship The Half Moon, just as the original Society was created by Mrs. Boden to commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the founding of the first Dutch settlements in the Delaware Valley.