Van Houten Genealogy

Roelof Cornelissen Van Houten is my 9g grandfather and progenitor of the van Houten family in America. The text below is from History of Paterson and Its Environs (the Silk City) Volume 2 by William Nelson and Charles Anthony Shriner published in 1920 by the Lewis Historical Publishing Company.

VAN HOUTEN — The progenitor of the Van Houten family in the region of Totowa was Roelof Corneliussen. There is no record of him previous to 1638, when Roelof Cornelissen Van Houten[FG] was among the emigrants that year to Rensselaerwyck. The records show that four brothers — Roelof, Pieter, Helmigh and Theunis, all sons of Cornells somebody — came to New Netherlands between 1638 and 1650, settling in various places, but ultimately taking up their several abodes at Amesfoort, Long Island. Their descendants took different surnames. Under date of Jan. 13, 1657, the Schepens of Amesfoort assessed Roelof Corneliussen for ten florins. His wife was Gerritje Van Nes[FG], but there is no record to show where either of them came from before their emigration to America. Their children in their later years sometimes assumed the name Van Houten, which might indicate that Roelof was from Houten, a small village in the southeastern part of the province of Utrecht in Holland. The children of Roelof Corneliussen and Gerritje Van Nes were three sons and a daughter Geesje, who became the wife of Lubbert Lubberts in (Westervelt).

Michiel Jansen Vreeland

The founder of the Vreeland family in the vicinity of Paterson was Michiel Jansen (Michiel, son of John) Van Broeckhuysen, who sailed from Holland, Oct. 1, 1636, on the same vessel as Jacob Van Hoorn and Simon Van de Bilt. He was accompanied by his wife and two children. Michiel came to America as a farm servant in the employ of the Lord Patroon Van Rensselaer. Jansen made his fortune in a few years at Rensselaerwyck, and removed in 1646 to the island of Manhattan. He purchased a farm comprising several acres south of Communipaw avenue, Jersey City, where he attained much prominence. He was selected in 1647 one of three farmers to be a member of the nine men, the others being merchants and citizens, to advise Director General Stuyvesant on the pressing difficulties between the Indians and the whites. In a raid made by the Indians, Sept. 15, 1655, on Manhattan Island and Pavonia, Michiel Jansen’s family alone escaped; this caused him for greater safety to remove across the river again. Having lost all his property in the Indian War, he opened a tavern between the old church and the [Heere] Gracht, the latter being a ditch or canal running through what is now the center of Broad street, New York City, the lot in question being on what is now Pearl street, just south of Broad street. He was admitted to the small burgher right of Manhattan, April 13, 1657. He followed his business as tapster until the Indian affairs were settled, when he returned to his Pavonia farm, re-erected his farm buildings, and renewed his former operations. On the incorporation of Bergen in 1661 he was named as one of the first magistrates of the first court of justice erected within the present limits of New Jersey. He died in 1662, leaving a widow whose maiden name was Fitje Hartman, or daughter of Hartman, who survived him thirty-five years, dying Sept. 21, 1697.

Nelson & Shriner, “History of Paterson and its environs (the silk city); historical- genealogical – biographical,” 1920, p. 9