Van Voorhees Coat-of-Arms 2009 Family Reunion

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The Largest Dutch
Family in America

The Van Voorhees Association Henry Hudson 400 Celebration Reunion

October 1-3, 2009

Hampton Inn, Albany, New York

Brochures will be mailed to family members, late 2008 or early 2009. Please send questions or request a brochure by sending email to the reunion organizers at: Details will be posted on this page as they become available.

The Van Voorhees Family Association is a national organization with members in almost every state, most residing in California and the New Jersey/New York area. We have planned a program to draw you from across the country. The venue will be Albany, New York, and the headquarters hotel will be the downtown Hampton Inn. Trolley buses will be available to and from the Hampton Inn to reunion activities. The reunion is a two and a half day event. Plan to arrive Friday afternoon, October 2, and depart Sunday, October 4. You may wish to arrive earlier and stay later to enjoy some of the other special commemorative events that will be available in the immediate area. Our official activities begin Thursday evening with a catered family dinner and a business meeting Friday evening.

Unique to this reunion is that the Albany-based New Netherland Institute will be holding their annual "Rensselaerswijck Seminar" and we, along with several other Dutch-American families have been invited to participate.

Join us at the downtown Hampton Inn, 25 Chapel Street, Albany, New York 12210 (phone 518-432-7000). We have negotiated a special Van Voorhees Association rate of $109 per night (plus $15.26 tax and $13.50 parking fee per day). A hot breakfast is included. Be sure to mention Group Code R07 when making reservations. This rate is good only through August 2009 and while rooms are still available.

Tentative Program (subject to change)

Thursday, October 1
5:00pmReception & Lecture 
Friday, October 2
10:00amFour PresentationsSee Saturday for more details. 
3:00pmTour the replica of Henry Hudson's ship The Halve Maen (Half Moon) 
Saturday, October 3
10:00amFour PresentationsExact day (Friday or Saturday), times, and subjects have not yet been finalized, but speakers will include:
  • Florence Christoph, our VVA Genealogist
  • Peter Christoph speaking on Dutch manors
  • Dr. Jan Folkers, visiting us from the Netherlands
3:00pmTour the New York State MuseumThere will be a special Henry Hudson exhibit.
5:00pmReception & New Netherland DinnerThere will be a Van Voorhees section in the dining room. 

Distances from the Inn

1.0 mileSchuyler Mansion, ca 1763, was home to General Philip J. Schuyler (Revolutionary War hero and U.S. Senator) and his wife, Catherine Van Rensselaer. The wedding of Elizabeth Schuyler to Alexander Hamilton took place in the house in 1780. 
0.7 milesNew York State Library & Museum 
0.5 milesAlbany Institute of History & Art 
0.4 milesThe Half Moon ship on the River Front, a full-size replica of Henry Hudsonís 17th century vessel constructed in Albany in 1988-1989.  
0.4 milesTen Broeck Mansion, built in 1797 for General Abraham Ten Broeck (commander of the NY Militia at the 1777 Battle of Saratoga) and his wife Elizabeth Van Rensselaer. Now the headquarters of the Albany County Historical Association.  
0.3 milesNew York State Capitol Building 
0.2 milesQuackenbush Square 
0.2 milesQuackenbush House, ca 1730, the oldest existing structure in the city and one of the finest remaining examples of Dutch urban architecture in the U.S. 
0.2 milesAlbany Visitors center 
Across StreetFirst Church in Albany 

Albany Area Attractions

Special Events and Programs

  • Explore NY 400 (The Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Office)
  • NY 400 (Holland on the Hudson)

New York Genealogy

Halve Maen

Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission Official Website

Governor George Patake signed legislation in 2002 establishing the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission. The 21-member commission will plan and develop the 400th anniversary celebrations of the voyages of discovery made by Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain in 1609, as well as the 200th anniversary of the launching of Robert Fulton's steamboat on the Hudson River in 1807.

History of Albany

by Bob Voorhees, Chair, VVA Genealogy Committee

The city of Albany is located in the Hudson River Valley about 150 miles north of New York City in the state of New York. The community was settled in 1648 but was preceded by fur-trading operations that began in 1614, shortly after Henry Hudson discovered the river that bears his name in 1609. The Dutch first knew the area as Maykans Landt, or "land of the Mahicans," the Algonquin speaking Native Americans who occupied the Hudson Valley prior to the Europeans. A trading post was established at Fort Orange in 1624 prior to the founding of a permanent community called the Fuyck in 1648. Fuyck became the city of Albany in 1686. During the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, Albany grew into one of the most important trade, transportation, and military regions in North America. The Erie Canal was finished in 1825. The Mohawk & Hudson Railroad, opened between Albany and Schenectady in 1831, was the first railroad in New York State. In 1797, Albany became the permanent capital of New York State and went on to become a major political center, helping shape New Yorkís and the nationís growth and prosperity. Thurlow Weed, 1797-1882, was a New York political boss, operating from Albany. Weed was a masterful political organizer and became arguably the most powerful man in New York for at least a decade. He controlled the Whig Party totally. While he never held national office himself, he was the principal political advisor to the prominent New York (Auburn) politician William H. Seward (governor of New York State in 1838 and 1840) and was instrumental in the presidential nominations of William Henry Harrison (1840), Henry Clay (1844), Zachary Taylor (1848), Winfield Scott (1852), John Charles Fremont (1856), and Abraham Lincoln (1860). Harrison, Taylor, and Lincoln became president. There were four Whig Presidents. Harrison and Taylor were the only Whigs to be elected President. John Tyler was a Whig and he became the 10th President after William Henry Harrison died in office. Millard Fillmore was a Whig and he became the 13th President after Zachary Taylor died in office. Like Seward, Weed abandoned the Whig party in the late 1850ís and became a Republican. Weed supported Seward and then Lincoln for the nomination in 1860. Lincoln appointed Seward Secretary of State in 1861 and he served until 1869 (during his term he acquired Alaska from the Russians).

Martin Van Buren was governor of New York in 1829 and was the first Dutch President of the US, from 1837 to 1841. Theodore Roosevelt, was governor of New York from 1898 to 1900 and the 2nd Dutch President, from 1901 to 1909. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was governor of New York in 1928 and 1930 and the 3rd Dutch President, from 1933 to 1945. Van Buren and Theodore Roosevelt were members of the Dutch Reform Church (FDR was an Episcopalian).

Brochures will be mailed to family members, late 2008 or early 2009. Please send questions or request a brochure by sending email to the reunion organizers at: Details will be posted on this page as they become available.

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