Schoharie County NYGenWeb Site
Prepared by Alfred L. Becker
(As sent to his son Phillip Dix Becker in a letter on the birth of his first child: Linda Becker June 6, 1939. With editorial notes by his grandson Peter Becker Ph.D. December 2000)
Genealogy in itself is of little worth except as a hobby. One another collects ancestors as another collects
birds' eggs, another postage stamps. Too often the newly rich succumb to the salesmanship of
professional pedigree searchers who offer the specious self glorification of proof of descent from
Charlemagne in the thirty-first generation or from William the Conqueror in the twenty-fourth.
Genealogy has been made ridiculous by both snobbery and eccentricity yet, it may have a more worthy
quality. To gain anything of real value from genealogy, we must study with it heredity and, above all, in
the case of a truly American family, the part which our forebears have played in the great sweep of
development of the particular form of civilization which today we treasure and are ready to defend.
The Different Blood-strains
Philip Dix Becker is neither English nor Dutch. He is not of anyone European stock. He is American
of an already old blend. In his hereditary endowment can be found strains of Yankee and southern
planter, Holland Dutch Germans French, Swedish, Norwegian, Scotch, Flemish. While he has a slight
admixture of rather recent English, in the main branches his people have been here since long before the
Revolutionary War. The melting pot has done its work.
However, it is a mistake to think of the result as a nicely compounded mixture of so much flour,
milk, eggs and sugar, flavored to taste. Heredity does not work with that exactness. It is always
possible that some one great grand-parent-- and if we had been better acquainted with the great
Grandparents perhaps we could say which-- is exercising a predominating influence. That is the
factor known to eugenics as atavism. Artistic gifts seem to be more for skipping a generation
than passing direct from parent to child. The subject is too speculative for any certainly.
All we can be sure of is that all we have at our birth by way of equipment is what we had from
our ancestors. What we may have afterwards is dependent upon ourselves.
The Beckers of 1653
In the early seventeenth century the Hollanders, spurred by the Protestant movement had just
succeeded in throwing off their Spanish rulers. New ideas, Self Government, commercial
adventure and new found wealth gave the people a great spiritual boost. Amsterdam became
the greatest port and mart in the world. Dutch ships sailed the seven seas. The navy won great victories
and brought rich booty from capture of enemy merchantmen. Colonies and trading posts were
established in the East and West Indies in Brazil and on the Hudson, Connecticut and Delaware
Rivers of North America. Like the preceding Elizabethan age in England it was the golden age of art
taking for the most part the form of painting rather than literature. The universities of Leiden, Utrecht
and Groningen were attended by the migrant scholars of all nations. Education began to spread among
the masses. Traders flocked to the great commercial cities, attracted by their prosperity. These cities
became a haven for all religious sects and since they brought trade and wealth; Jews, Catholics, Baptists,
English dissenters were welcomed and religious tolerance became an economic as well as a social policy.
Organization of foreign trade was through the great venturing corporations the Dutch East and the Dutch
West India Companies. The latter controlled New Netherland until it was lost to the English in 1664. It
established a trading post at Albany in 1614 and a colony on Manhattan island in 1624. A few years
later both the Dutch West India Company and the Swedes established posts on the Delaware River. The
Swedish settlement was at Fort Christina, now Wilmington (DE (pb 2000)). New Amsterdam, on
Manhattan grew until by 1653 it had about one-thousand inhabitants a motley throngs speaking many
different tongues. A considerable coastwise trade between New England and Virginia had grown up
following the route through Long Island Sound and Hell Gate. The East River was the mooring place
and the plenty of taverns the resort for the visiting sailors. Traders from up the Hudson to the Indian fur
country arrived with their goods for shipment. Everyone wanted to be a trader, to make a quick fortune,
as many of lowly origin did. There were few of even the lowest rank of the Dutch rural nobility. Most of
the settlers were city folks of burgher rank, and peasant farmers from the country.
Jan1 the son of Jeuriaen 2 (George) Becker was sent over by the West India Company to
serve as its clerk. (Eds Note: 1 recorded as Juriaensen in Dutch church records (b. 1630 Amsterdam,
Holland. D. 1698 Albany, NY 2 Jurian Becker b. 1608 Amsterdam Holland. d. ? New Amsterdam, NY)
He was doubtless a very young man. We know that he was from Amsterdam and that he had a fair
education. There is no record of his having attended any of the universities. He arrived at New
Amsterdam in 1653 on the ship "King Solomon". From the name we may be sure that the ship had
at its prow a figure of Solomon in all his glory. (eds. Note: here Alfred L. Becker (ALB) had edited
in pencil "..On its "ports" (my best guess from his hand writing.)(pb 2000)))
In 1655 the West India Company resolved to reduce the Swedish colony on the Delaware by conquest.
Director General Stuyvesant set sail with a fleet and bloodlessly took Fort Christina. Jan Becker went
with him and was posted as clerk of the colony. In 1658 he was made provisional commisary or
commander. Two years later a permanent commander was sent. He found Becker insubordinate and
engaged in violating the law by trading liquor to the Indiana for game. So Decker was brought to
Manhattan tried and convicted, and ousted from his post as punishment.
While living in the Delaware River colony Jan Becker appears to have married Maria Adriaens, and
to have had a daughter, perhaps the daughter Martina who afterwards married William Hogan, from Bor in
Kings County, Ireland, a discharged British soldier and (a) tavern keeper of Albany, the founder of the Dutch
Hogans. (Eds. Note: the "a" was inserted by hand in pencil by ALB )
On being returned to Manhattan, and out of his job with the Company for want of anything better
to do (as he himself said in a petition to the Company) he opened a tavern. It was located just east of
Bowling Green, on the part of Marketfield Street now covered by the produce Exchange. Not far away
was the anchoring place and dock at Whitehall and Pearl Streets. Across the street was the Fort and in
the fort was the church.
On the fourth of August 1660, a Sunday, his son Jeuriaen was born, and there was a tapping of casks
for the neighbors and midwives and a carousing. There followed a prosecution for disturbing the peace,
and the services in church, and a fine. Not all went well with the tavern business. The visiting sailors
were not always quiet. Too many patrons were trusted. The following year he begged the Company for
a job; if it could not be a clerkship, a license to teach school. The license the Company gave him and as
there was a place or a schoolmaster at Fort Orange (Eds.note Albany, NY) he removed there and continued
to teach the three R's to the youth of Albany thirty-six years, until his death in 1697. Besides this he acted
for years as the Notary Public, a position requiring not only the drafting of deeds, wills, contracts and the
like but the pleading for clients of petty cases in court. On the chartering of the City Of Albany in 1686
he was the first treasurer, and in 1690 he served as Alderman. On his death he left little property but a will
which was a notarial masterpiece, longwinded and full of praise of his daughter Martina Hogan, and
disparagement of his only surviving son, Johannes, Jr.. Johannes Becker, Jr. must have been born about 1662.
(Eds. Note: Dutch church records reveal a Johannes Becker b. 1663. D. 1712 which fits with this narative.)
He married Anna, the daughter of Storm Van der Zee. Storm was the son of Albert Andriesz (son of Andries)
Bratt, from Frederikstad, Norway. Storm was born on the voyage over in 1638, in the North Sea, during a
storm. The vessel was the Arms of Rensslaerswyck, and the log of the voyage, recording the birth, is still
extant. Hence the name Storm. His father settled on the stream just at the southern bounds of Albany,
called after him the Normans Kill. Here was the Vale of Taswasentha, of Longfellow's Hiawatha. Albert Bratt
was a notoriously quarrelsome man. Tradition has it that Storm and he had a failing out, and Storm,
in his dudgeon, dropped his father's name and called himself thence forth Van der Zee, from the Sea, in
which he had had his birth.
At Albany the brothers-in-law Hogan and Becker conducted a tavern. I have had in my
possession a letter to Johannes Becker from Lieut. Matthew Shanks, sailing for England, with a
promise to pay in time his indebtedness for drinks. The back of the letter served for a reckoning of
drinks served to the first citizens of Albany. The date is 1698. Shortly after 1700 Johannes
removed to a farm on the Van Rensselaer patroonship, in the town of Bethlehem, near the hamlet
once known as Becker's Corners, now Selkirk. it was there that many years ago I found in a homespun
linen pillowcase in an old trunk in Mrs.Gallup’s barn, a treasury of Becker papers, among them
the Shanks letter. It is probable that for some generations the Beckers had been city dwellers,
burghers. Now they returned to the soil, and so continued until after the Revolution. This was,
be it said, a step up, for a freeholder, or even a lessee on a manor paying a moderate quitrent
ranked higher in social respect
Johannes Becker, Jr., and Anna had many, children, two of them being Johannes (the third), born in 1691, and Storm, born in 1696. When Johannes, Jr., died, about 1712 , Johannes, his son, became head of the family. He and his brother Storm achieved the ambition to be f'reeholders, un-beholden to the Van Rensselaers. Thirty-five miles west of' the Hudson and beyond the bounds of Rensselaerswyck lay the fertile valley of the Schoharie. About 1712, a flock of German refugees from the wars that had been ravaging the Rhenish country, from the Palatinate, had squatted there, and in time acquired titles from the land speculators who held patent from a grateful colonial governor. in 1724 Johannes and Storm Becker bought lands and a mill on the Schoharie, and settled
there. These lands were of wondrous fertility. In the time of the Revolution Washington referred to them as granary of the colony. The Beckers grew wealthy and locally influential. They raised large families of sons, and when the boys grew to manhood there were other good lands to be obtained.
Johannes the third married Cornelia, daughter of a French Hoguenot named Pierre Uzille (of a family) from the neighborhood of Calais, whence his father David fled from persecution to Manheim, Germany, and later to Staten Island. The Uzilles or still Zellies reside in Schoharie.
Storm Becker, his brother, married Gertrude Klein, the daughter of Adam, one of the Palatine refugees. He had a daughter, Eizabeth, and Johannes had a son, Abraham, born and in time the cousins, Abraham and Elizabeth, married.
Abraham Becker lived until 1815. During the Revolution he was a member of the Committee of' Safety from Schoharie, the war-time governing body, and attended many meetings held at Albany. After the war, in 1784 and 1785, he was a member of the State Legislature and as such served on the Council for the Temporary Government of the Southern District, that is to say, New York City and Westchester, after the evacuation by the British. His life appears to have been that of a gentleman farmer. He had good lands and kept slaves, until New York emancipated them.
Abraham Becker had a son, Storm A. Becker. The practice was to designate the son's paternity by the initial of the father's name. I surmise the explanation lies in the fact that in 1780, he was a candidate for, and received, a commission as an Ensign in the Levies. He had an interest in military affairs and after the War continued in the Militia, rising to the rank of Brigadier General, in command of the Schollarie regiment. In those days militia regiments were far from trained for actual war service. Annually there was "general training", a sort of grand jamboree and precursor of the county fair. Whether by reason of age or lack of qualifications, General Becker was not called on for service in the War of 1812 in any active capacity.
When the County of Schoharie was created in 1795, Storm A. Becker was appointed as the first Surrogate, and he was also a justice of the peace and member of the State Legislature. Consulting the records of the Assembly for 1800, I noted that he was one of those who voted against the bill to abolish dueling from which we may conclude that he was a gentleman of the old school.
Storm A. Becker married Dina Eckerson, a descendant of an Englishman from Plymouth, England, who settled in New Amsterdam as early as 1640. His name .was Thomas Higgson, corrupted by the Dutch to Eckerson.
Opposite the record of the baptism of' his four children on the NewYork Dutch church records the good Dominie who recorded- the records years later has noted that they were quadruplets. This is a mistake. Later records show that some were born in England., some in New York, so it is
quite impossible that they were quadruplets. Dina Eckerson’s grandmother was Dina LeRoy of the same family as my mother.
General Storm A. Becker died at the family homestead in Middleburgh, Schoharie County, in 1829. His youngest son, Storm A. Becker the 3d was born on St. Valentine's Day in 1806.
High in the hills between Schoharie valley and Albany is the the little village and waterpower
of Berne. In Connecticut, at Winsted, there was one of the forerunners of the Yankee artisans named
Tracy Ebnenezer Cannon. He came of a family of shipbuilders, blacksmiths, mechanics. The
time was at the beginning of New England manufacturing. At Salisbury in Connecticut there was an
iron mine, and during the Revolution it had been a center of munitions manufacture. In the hills back
of Albany there were small, but in those days important iron deposits. Daniel Simmons was an edge
tool manufacturer in Connecticut. He determined to remove his factory to Berne. He took Tracy
Cannon, an expert trip hammer worker, with him. Tracy was a , tall, gaunt man with a stiff leg
injured in a forge accident. He was a seventh child of a seventh child, and reputed to be gifted with
the magic touch to cure the "King's Evils", or erysipelas. The Cannon family was a migratory one,
never attached firmly to the soil. Back through Tracy, Timothy (born in Barnstable on Cape Cod,
living afterwards in Plymouth County at various places in Connecticut, a long time at Southwick,
Massachusetts, and finally at Winsted, Connecticut) it traces to a widow, Joanna, husband's name
unknown, who appeared first at Barnstable in 1690. One of these Cannons conducted for years at
Mattapoisett a shipyards very well known in its day. The Cannons intermarried the Howlands and
Blossoms of Barnstable, staunch Mayflower and Puritan stock. It has been an interesting thought
that the Cannons might be Irish but this is doubtful. In recent years the family produced two rather
noted bankers, Henry W. and James G. Cannon. They were of the nearly related branch that settled
in Delaware County, New York.
The new prosperity of Berne from location of the D. Simmons axe factory attracted a
storekeeper named Jacob Settle (striking name for a shopkeeper) and he had as a clerk a young man
by the name of Storm A. Becker. Storm met and married, at Berne, Tracy Cannon’s daughter,
About 1830 a group of English capitalists organized the Cohoes Company and developed
the Mohawk (f)Falls waterpower. D. Simmons soon removed his factory to Cohoes and took with him
Tracy Cannon and his son-in-law, Storm A. Becker, as employees. Before many years passed
Simmons died and William H. Weed and Storm A. Becker became owners of the axe factory, under
the name of Weed & Becker Mfg. Co. The business prospered and became about the largest of its kind
in the United States. Sheffield, England, had the reputation of leading the world in the edge tool
industry but Storm A. Becker conceived the idea of "Carrying coals to Newcastle" to the extent of
the products of Weed & Becker in England at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London, a few years
after the Civil War. This was not, I suppose, a serious attempt to penetrate the English market but
rather a piece of showmanship to be talked about and boasted of, Yankee fashion, at home. Yet
there were a few, a very few, orders from England, and they were a pride to Storm Becker as long as
he lived. After the business depression of the 1870's the business of Weed &, Becker failed. At the
age of seventy Storm had nothing.
In the same years 1876, his youngest son, Tracy Chatfield Becker, born like himself on St. Valentine's Days 1855, was married to Minnie Alfredena LeRoy of Cohoes. Two years later Tracy removed to Buffalo to practice law and Storm and his wife Eliza came to live with them.
I was eight when Grandfather Becker died, and I remember him well. Coming from the Schoharie Valley and the son of a Revolutionary soldier, he was the inheritor of many traditional stories of "Redskins" and warfare on the frontier. Many a night he told me bedtime stories of the Indians and the raids of Tories in the Valley, and I would fall asleep in his bedroom in the midst of the bloody tales and wake up in the morning to find myself transported to my own bed. Storm was nearly six feet tall, in his youth dark and handsome. A daguerreotype of the 1850's shows but slight resemblance to his son and grandson and great-grandson, all of whom it must be said have something in common in looks.
Tracy Chatfield Becker was named for his maternal, Grandparents, Tracy Cannon and his wife Betsy Chatfield. Betsy was a daughter of John Chatfield, a mariner who sailed his ship in the 1790's out of the port of Hudson, New York, then a thriving town founded by a group of Nantucket men. My grandmother Eliza Becker, hardly a trustworthy family historian, has a tale that Captain John Chatfield was captured by Algerian pirates and held a long time for ransom. Liberated at last (she says) he returned to Americas only to find that his wife, Mary Browns had married again, believing him dead. So he went away and was never heard from more. Grandmother was an incurable romantic, a little daft. She fancied herself as a poetess. Many of her children died in infancy, and the tombstone of each was inscribed with her verse. I have searched the records of Algerian captives which seem fairly complete, and cannot find Captain Chatfield listed, and so I have concluded that the sad story of
Enoch Arden appealed to Grandmother enough to lead her to appropriate it. Perhaps I should say that
I searched the files of a newspaper published in Hudson from 1785 for news of the arrival or sailing of a ship of which John Chatfield was master, and found no mention. However, that he was a seafaring man is beyond question.
All of Tracy Becker’s life he had a strong love for ships and the sea. He qualified for Annapolis but as he
was about to leave his mother decided that she could not part with her darling last begotten son, so he
went to Union College instead and was educated for the law. Admitted to the bar in 1876, at the age of twenty-one, he practiced for fifty-nine years, and was in the harness at the time of his death in Pasadena,
California, February 25, 1935. A short account of his career will be found in the "Abridged Compendium
of American Genealogy" vol. 1 p. 231. (Eds. Note: Tracy Chatfield Becker divorced his wife in 1907
and moved to Los Angeles, CA. He remarried Ada King Wilbur in Sept. 9, 1908. He was an assistant
district attorney in LA County at his death. We are trying to obtain a copy of his obituary to determine
heirs and assigns as of Dec 2000. For another reference see: Who’s Who in the Pacific Southwest, The
Mirror Times Printing & Binding House, Los Angeles, CA 1913, p.34-35)
Tracy Becker’s first wife, Minnie Alfredena LeRoy, was a remarkable woman, and she had a remarkable
father. She devoted herself all her life, until her untimely death on June 15, 1915I, to good works. Her
great interest was as president of the Buffalo Orphan Asylum for many, years. She was also, by
appointment of the Governor, a manager of the Buffalo State Hospital. The date of her birth was 1855. 1
am glad to say that I never gave her very much to worry about so that she could devote herself to church
and charities without neglecting maternal duties.
Her father, Alfred LeRoy, was the son of a country shoemaker, Simeon LeRoy, a man broken in health
and spirit. Born in 1795, Simeon married a stalwart woman, Harriet Dun, of Scotch and Puritan ancestry,
being the grandchild of Henry Dun, who came from Wigtownshires Scotland, in 1774, with letter from
the Presbyterian Kirk, and of Stephen Southworth, or Southward, as it was usually pronounced and
phontically spelled, of Saratoga County. Stephen was a Revolutionary soldier from Rochester, Massachusetts, a sergeant in the regulars. He fought in the Battle of Saratoga and, probable tradition relates, was so attracted by the country thereabouts that he removed there after the war was over. He belonged to a noted Plymouth family, with Mayflower antecedents.
Alfred LeRoy had sterling dualities. It seems, he took after his mother. He learnt the trade of mason, and won local fame by plastering a whole church in one day, single-handed. This was at Mechanicville. He removed to Cohoes, learnt telegraphy, and was the first Morse operator there. Then with his partner Lamb, he started and operated until his deaths in 1885, a knitting mill. He served in the State Assembly and at the time of his death, aged fifty-nine, was Mayor of Cohoes.
The LeRoys were of French extraction. Simeon Leroy, dit Audy, from Creances in Normandy, near Coutances, a Catholic, settled in Quebec in 1668. He married Claude (or Claudine) DesChalets, an orphan, called fille du roit, brought to New France at the King's expense. There is still a Canadian branch, called Roy-Audy, or Audy. One of them has won fame as a six day bicycle racer. Simeon with all but one of his children removed to New York colony in 1682 and the family became assimilated to the Dutch Calvinists. They were among the first settlers of Poughkeepsie and Schoharie. Simeon was a master carpenter and in the archives of Montreal and Quebec I found contracts for buildings which he constructed. In various issues of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record can be found articles on him and his descendants.
For my record until 1927 see the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. 17 page 361. Enough for so recent an ancestor.
My parents were Tracy Chatfield Becker and Minnie Alfredena LeRoy.
My grandparents were Storm A. Becker (the 3d. (ed.)), Eliza Mary (or May) Cannon;
Alfred LeRoy, Amelia Vail.
My great-Grandparents were Storm A. Becker, Dina Eckerson; Tracy Ebenezer Cannon, Betsy Chatfield; Simeon LeRoy, Harriet Dun; Chauncey Vail, Susan Burton.
My Great-great grandparents were Abraham Becker, Elizabeth Becker;
Johannes Eckerson, Engeltje Vrooman; Timothy Cannon, Lucy (Tracy?);
John Chatfield, Mary Brown; Henry LeRoy, Anna Mors; James Dun, Sylvia
Southward; Lieut. Isaac Vail (of Union Vale, Dutchess County, later of'
Saratoga County), Eleanor Ferguson; John Burton, Catherine Eights.
My Great-great-Great grandparents were Johannes Becker, Cornelia Uzille; Storm Becker, Gertrude Klein; Tunis Eckerson, Cornelia Becker; Adam Vrooman, Dina LeRoy; Ebenezer Cannon, Mercy Blossom;
Tracy (?), Chatfield, Browns, Francis S. LeRoy, Elizabeth Ellis; John Mors, Sarah Henry Dun, Elizabeth McDowell; Stephen Southward, Rebecca Jenney; Capt. Israel Vail, Rebecca Hubbard; Farrington Ferguson, Catherine I ; Josiah Burton, Sarah Winans; Abraham Eights, Rebecca Totten.
I have given these names from memory and may have erred in one or two Christian names of the wives. In many cases the ancestry can be carried back further to the first settler or even beyond that.
There was Revolutionary service by Storm A. Becker (sr.), Abraham Becker, Johannes Eckerson, Henry LeRoy, Isaac Vail, Francis S. LeRoy, Stephen Southward, Israel Vail, Josiah Burton, and perhaps others.
Alfred Leroy Becker married Eulabee Dix, a noted artist, in 1910. The marriage produced 2 children, a son Phillip Dix Becker b. June 4, 1912 and a daughter Joan Lillian Antoinnette Becker,
b. February 13, 1914. The marriage ended in a bitter divorce in 1926. Eulabee Dix was born in St. Louis, MO, 1879 and died in June 1961 at Waterburybury, CT. Alfred Becker married Mrs. Mary Cecelia Hawkins (often referred to as Daisy) in 1933 and adopted her son George Vincent Becker. Alfred Leroy Becker died at home at 2121 Cedar Ave in the Bronx, NY at the age of 70 on July 13, 1948. Alfred Leroy Becker was a noted attorney of his time and served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of New York Southern District (New York City) 1915-1919. He was the author of several noted law texts, Medical Jurisprudence, 1910 and Forged Checks and Drafts, 1927, both still in use today.
Phillip Dix Becker (b. June 5, 1912 at Buffalo, NY) married Mildred Virginia Peacock (b. June 5 1908) in Charleston SC on August 7, 1937 in Charleston, SC. Mildred P. Becker was a para-legal, Garden Club President and homemaker. She died July 25, 2000 at Southbury, CT at the age of 92. They had 3 children, a daughter Linda b. June 17, 1940 Boston, MA; a son Peter b. April 12, 1942 at Boston, MA.; and a second daughter Elizabeth, b. December 29, 1944 at Boston MA.
Phillip Dix Becker (known as Dix Becker) was a Naval Architect 1932-1947( studied at Web Institute of Naval Arcitecture3 years (1929-32) (but no degree) and a Mechanical Engineer (studied at MIT 1935-36, 1947-1950 Certificate). At his death he was the vice-president for production at Anchor Products Division of Buell Industries Inc. (now Chicago Tool Works on the NYSE) and the president of the Half-Becker Co Inc., a manufacturer of specility flush rivets for the appliance industry. He was regarded as a genius in the design of progressive dies and small parts manufacturing for the automotive industry and held over 40 patents. He died at the age of 76 on May 24, 1987 at Waterbury CT.
Peter Becker Ph.D. was married on 4 April 1964 at Staten Island NY to Karen Adams. He was divorced in July, 1970 with no issue. Peter Becker married Sara Jane Bishop on December 17, 1970 at Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI. Sara Jane Becker is an educator, artist and homemaker. They have 2 children, a son, Nils Peter b. May 10, 1972 at Seattle, WA. and Snowden Rosemary Alexandra, b. May 24, 1976 at Seattle, WA. Nils P. Becker married Laura Tischer in San Diego, CA on July 4th 2002.
Peter Becker holds a BS in Chemistry (Wagner College, Staten Island, NY. 1965) and a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from The Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. He has been a pioneer in Oceanography and Aquaculture since 1967.
As a final note, the "seagoing" tradition seems to have persisted to this day. Tracy C. Becker was a noted sailor and chartered yachts out of Watch Hill Is. RI at the turn of the century. Alfred did not go to sea except on steamers, but Philip Dix Pecker voyaged widely despite being born cross eyed (undergoing the first operation to surgically correct it in 1914!) and being an obligatory glasses wearer all his life.
His voyages ranged from Rio de Janiero and Bermuda on steam ships as either crew (or stowaway!) to Key West FL to the coast of New Brunswick, Canada under sail and his own command.
Peter Becker has cruised from above the North Polar Circle to below the south Polar Circle, serving over 10 sea years on icebreakers as a scientist for the US Navy and over 5 years living on the Polar Ice pack. He raced under sail to Bermuda in 1963, sailed around Cape Horn (1970) on the USSS HERO and cruised for 15 years on the 50’ ketch MORNING BELLS he built, transiting the Panama Canal in 1987. Nils Peter Becker, raised aboard under sail, sails today on Lake Powell, NV and follows the artist strain introduced by Eulabee Dix Becker. He is an industrial lighting designer. Also raised aboard under sail, Snowden Rosemary Alexandra Becker also follows the artist strain introduced by Eulabee Dix Becker. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and a Master's Degree in Information Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.
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