My oldest ancestor was John DeGroodt born 1784 in New Paltz NY. The census records list him as DeGroot, DeGroote, or DeGroat. I believe neither the census takers nor perhaps John new the correct spelling. My two definitive records are. 1. His gravestone lists John DeGroodt and 2. His Will lists John DeGroodt. These were both completed around 1859 to 1864.