Continuing on my journey through the siblings of Chester Van Syckel, this week in #52ancestors brings us to Bennet Van Syckel. Due to his having served on the state Supreme Court, Bennet is relatively easy to track. His wife and children, however, were not documented as prominently.
Bennet Van Syckel was born 17 April 1830 to Aaron Van Syckel and Mary Bird Van Syckel of Hunterdon County, New Jersey. He was something of a prodigy, entering Princeton at thirteen and graduating three years later with high honors. He then studied law under Alexander Wurts, of Flemington, but he was forced to wait to take the bar exam due to his being under 21 by some years. He practiced law in Flemington until 1858, when Governor Theodore Fitz Randolph appointed him to the New Jersey Supreme Court. At that time the Supreme Court was still a circuit court and Bennet covered Salem, Cumberland, Atlantic and Cape May, and I would be jealous of his shore time except I am pretty sure he was traveling by horse. When the districts were readjusted, he took over Union and Ocean counties. He was reappointed five times, retiring from the court in 1904 due to poor health. One of the more significant opinions he delivered had to do with race track gambling and this lead to a change in the state constitution.
Bennet married Mary Elizabeth Sloan (1839-1899) on 21 July 1857 in Flemington. She was the daughter of William Henry and Caroline Imlay Sloan of Hunterdon County. Sloan was a noted attorney in the area. Bennet and Mary E. Van Syckel had five children:
- William Van Syckel 1858-1939
- Mary Van Syckel 1861-1882
- Charles Sloan Van Syckel 1864-1963
- Bessie Van Syckel 1871-1946
- Bennet Van Syckel 1873-1873
William Van Syckel was an attorney in Trenton, New Jersey. He attended the Trenton Academy, Trenton Business College, and was a member of the Mercer County Bar Association.
Charles Van Syckel remained in Trenton, as well. According to a Princeton alumni publication “Charlie” prepared for Princeton at the Trenton Model School, entered college in the fall of 1882 and graduated in 1886. After graduation he took a Continental trip and then became assistant superintendent of the Mercer Rubber Company at Trenton. By 1890, he was the treasurer of Greenwood Pottery Company and the Greenwood China Company. He was married October 11, 1888, to Isabel S. Stephens, of Trenton, and had four children: James Stephen Van Syckel, born September 5,
1889; Mary Elizabeth Van Syckel, born March 12, 1892, died August 24, 1910;
Isabel Van Syckel, born June 18, 1897, and Helen Van Syckel, born December
Bessie Van Syckel lived for most of her life with William in their parent’s home on Greenwood Ave. She was active socially in Trenton and involved with various heritage societies.