Van Voorhees Coat-of-Arms Dutch Door Review

The Family: Home Membership Calendar of Events Reunion Coat-of-Arms DNA Project Nieuwsbriefs Publications Geneaology: Family Tree Famous Family 9th Gen Index Research: History Brooklyn De Bonte Koe Hees & Ruinen Netherlands Research Links Explore: Site Map Contact Us

The Largest Dutch
Family in America

Mr. Harry Macey at New York Genealogical and Biographical wrote a review of “Dutch Door” in the October 1992 issue of the Record.

NYGB Dutch Door Review

We reprint it here:

Through a Dutch Door: 17th Century Origins of The Van Voorhees Family. 1992, Hardcover, illus, Index, xviii + 209 pages, price: $22

Clues to the origins of the Van Voorhees family come from their surname, from the record of their arrival in New Netherlands, and from four ancient family letters which were published thirty years ago. To learn more about these origins The Van Voorhees Association commissioned Drs. Jan Folkerts and Drs. D.J. Wijmer, Dutch scholars and archivists, to do research in the Netherlands. They were aided by the discovery, in the Teunis G. Bergen papers at Albany, of still more 17th and 18th century letters sent to New York by friends and relatives in the Netherlands. Although they could not trace the lineage back beyond the immigrant Steven Coerte’s father with much certainty, the researchers did discover the name of Steven’s first wife (Aeltje Wessels) and were able to develop considerable information on later members of the family who remained in the old country. They also developed interesting data on the family’s landholdings in the native province of Drenthe, the conditions under which they lived, and the likely reasons for their emigration.

This attractive volume produced for the Association by Gateway Press, includes an extensive scholarly article by Drs. Wijmer, on “Steven Coerts-his Family and His Dutch Background,” and two articles by Drs. Folkerts, “Drenthe and New Netherland-Two Outer Provinces at the Time of Emigration” and “Emigration from Drenthe to America in the 17th Century” (which touches on other families as well). Another section of the book contains new translations of the now eleven old family letters. The accompanying illustrations include useful maps and copies of original documents. There is some repetitiveness in the text, as no attempt has been made to edit out material duplicated by the various contributors. But this does not detract from the importance of this publication. We have here an example of what can be accomplished when qualified Dutch researchers are put to work in their countries archives. Steven Coerte Van Voorhees probably has as many present-day descendants as any New Netherland settler. The genealogists among them should be grateful for the Van Voorhees Association’s good sense in sponsoring this project. The results will undoubtedly encourage other families to pursue the same goal.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!