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The landing of the British forces in Bergen County, NJ November 19th-20th, 1776
from an 18th century painting by a British officer.

Our Chapter

Polly Wyckoff-David Demarest Chapter was founded as two separate chapters. The two chapters united in 2002. 

Polly Wyckoff Chapter was founded April 9, 1926. On the night of November 19-20, 1776, three loyalists guided the British across the Hudson River and up the Palisades in an attempt to attack the American soldiers at Fort Lee, NJ. A young girl, Polly Wyckoff, saw British soldiers crossing fields and gave warning. The next day 2,000 American troops retreated through present day Englewood, across the Hackensack River by the bridge and ferry at New Bridge Landing, and made their way up to the Village of Hackensack. They took all the boats and destroyed the bridges, which temporarily denied the British a crossing as the American soldiers moved on to Newark. The loss of the supplies and equipment at Fort Lee was a disaster for the Americans. The British failed to capture the American army at Fort Lee, and Washington continued his retreat across New Jersey to the Delaware River with his army more or less intact. 

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Washington's Retreat across NJ in 1776 painted by Howard Pyle

David Demarest Chapter was started November 3, 1950, by descendants of the immigrant David Demarest. David Demarest, born in 1620 in France, was one of the original French Huguenot settlers in Bergen County, NJ.  He purchased the land from the Hackensack River to the Palisades, which became known as the French Patent. At least twenty-five of his descendants are known to have served as patriots in the American Revolution.  His namesakes who were ancestors of DAR members are:

  • David (David D.4, David J.3, Jean2, David1) Demarest (NSDAR Ancestor #A031608) b. March 3, 1723 in Hackensack, NJ. He furnished forage for horses. 
  • David (Joost 4. David S.3, Samuel2, David1) Demarest (NSDAR Ancestor #A031610) b. 1733 in Bergen County, NJ. He served as a Lieutenant under Capt. Samuel Demarest, Col. Theunis Day in the Bergen County Militia. 
  • David (Arie4, Samuel3, David2, David1) Demarest(NSDAR Ancestor #A031613) b. April 26, 1742 in Schralenberg, NJ. He was taken prisoner by the British in 1779. 
  • David P. (Peter3, Jean2, David1) Demarest (NSDAR Ancestor #A031614) Baptised in April, 1738 in Schralenberg, NJ, died Nov 1820. He served as a private under Capt. John Outwater, NJ State Troops
  • David (Jacob D.4, David S.3, Samuel2, David1) Demarest (NSDAR Ancestor #A031606), b. Nov. 11, 1749 in Schralenberg, NJ. He moved to New York and served as a private in the 4th Regiment Orange Co, NY Militia under Lt. Col Winser.


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Polly Wyckoff-David Demarest Chapter NSDAR, West Englewood, New Jersey