William Ingraham Kip was born on October 03, 1811 New York City, New York, United States, the eldest son of Leonard and Maria (Ingraham) Kip. The Kip family was originally French. Ruloff de Kype was forced during the religious wars of the sixteenth century to flee to the Low Countries. He returned to France to die in battle in 1569; but one of his sons remained, settled in Amsterdam, and became a Protestant. About 1637 Hendrick, the then head of the family, came to New Amsterdam where he and his sons secured large properties and from that time on the family, now known as Kip, was prominently identified with the social and business life of Manhattan Island. They were Loyalists during the Revolution and lost much of their property but Leonard reestablished the family fortunes. William's boyhood was spent in New York.