My earliest ancestor in New Netherland – 1631-Cornelis Maessen Van Buren

Discovered an amazing history on my maternal side of the family going back over ten generations to my Dutch ancestor, Goosen Gerritsen Van Schaick, who settled in Rensselaerwyck near Fort Orange in 1637.

I didn’t travel to Albany, New York to look for the other side of my Dutch lineage — the Van Buren side of the family tree.  I knew that my great-great-great grandfather, William Van Schaick, married Eunice Van Buren.  Her name comes up researching the Van Schaick lineage.  The interesting fact is that I have TWO Van Buren “grandmothers” in my family tree.  Two Van Burens married two Van Schaicks in different generations.

More out of curiosity than a specific need to know, I traced the Van Buren lineage  back to Holland in the early 1600s and discovered some interesting facts about these ancestors.  It also answers a family rumor that we are related to Martin Van Buren of Kinderhook, New York.  He was the eighth President of the United States (1837-1841).  YES–I am a descendant of common Dutch ancestors from both sides of the Van Buren “grandmothers”.

How am I connected?  Garrett’s grandfather, Jacob Van Schaick (1740-1795), who is mentioned as Elsie’s great-grandfather on her family tree comments, married Maritje Van Buren (1743-1814) around 1765. Their son, William Van Schaick married Eunice Van Buren (1793-1854).

Maritje was Eunice’s mother-in-law, about fifty years older, and distant cousins through the common Dutch ancestor, Cornelis Maessen Van Buren,  who came to New Netherland in 1631.

All this time I thought Eunice Van Buren was the link to Martin Van Buren, the US President.  It’s not.  The more direct link was with Maritje Van Buren.  Her sibling, Abraham Van Buren, was the father of Martin Van Buren.  This makes Maritje, Martin Van Buren’s aunt.  Still not a direct lineage, but this makes William Van Schaick (her son), first cousin to the eighth President of the United States. Eunice Van Buren is more of a distant cousin to the famous Van Buren in the family.

Now I have documentation that links my Van Buren ancestors with Martin Van Buren.

Because two branches of Van Burens exist in the lineage, I’ll record both sides here.  The thing to remember is that they go back several generations in New York and link up with  Cornelis.  Proof that my Van Buren family tree branches trace back to the same person.  In reality, I have two direct lines back to our first Dutch settler in New Netherland.  You tell me–which branch of the family is the most direct line?

A bit of background on the Van Buren who emigrated from Holland.  Cornelis lived near Buurmalsem, Gelderland, Holland.  He came to New Netherland twice under 3-year contracts to Kiliaen van Rensselaer.  He emigrated in 1631 as a young man on the Holland ship “d’Eendracht” (The Unity) and settled in Rensselaerwyck, near Fort Orange.  When his contract was over in 1634, Cornelis sailed back to Holland.

He returned to Fort Orange, New Netherland a second time, permanently, on the ship “Rensselaerwyck” in 1636 with his wife.  Catalyntje Marense Van Alstyne (1619-1648) gave birth on January 30, 1637 to a son, Hendrick Cornelisse Van Buren, onboard ship at sea before arriving in New Netherland in April, 1637.  A second son, Marten Cornelissen Van Buren, was born in 1638.

Both of these brothers grew up, married, and raised children that eventually married into the Van Schaick line.

On a sad note, Cornelis and his wife, Catalyntje, both died in 1648.  He farmed on Papsknee, an island near Fort Orange, New Netherland.  They were buried on the same day.  Their cause of death and burial location is lost in time. The children were young and raised by guardians in Rensselaerwyck.

My records indicate that Hendrick Van Buren remained around the Albany, New York area.  Most of his descendants are listed in Albany.  Marten Van Buren settled further south on the Hudson River around Kinderhook, New York.  This is where Martin Van Buren (the US President) was born and raised.

FIRST GENERATION:                                                                                                                 Cornelis Maessen Van Buren (1612-1648)                                                                                   both were born in Holland/died in Papsknee, New Netherland                                           married around 1635 in Utrecht area-Holland                                                                         Catalyntje Martense Van Alstyne (1614-1648)

SECOND GENERATION:                                                                                                                     (1) Hendrick Cornelisse Van Buren (1637-1703)                                                                          married around 1663 to Elizabeth Van Slyck (1639-1683)

(2) Marten Cornelissen Van Buren (1638-1703)                                                                              married around 1662 to Maritje Quackenbos (1646-1683)

THIRD GENERATION:                                                                                                                         (1) Cornelis Hendricksen Van Buren (1672?-1678)                                                                    married Hendrickje Van Nes (??)

(2) Pieter Martense Van Buren (1670-1755)                                                                                married abound 1693 to Adriaantje Barentse Meindersen

FOURTH GENERATION:                                                                                                           Willem Cornelisse Van Buren (1706-1752)-died at Papsknee, NY                                   married around 1735 to Teuntje Vandenberg (1712)

(2) Marten Pieterse Van Buren (1701-1741)-died at Kinderhook, NY                                married around 1729 to Dirckje Van Alstyne (1710-1741)

FIFTH GENERATION:                                                                                                                           (1) Hendrick Van Buren (1750-1814)  This “Hendrick” is mentioned on my great-grandmother’s Van Schaick family tree list as her great-grandfather.                               married to Maria Van Den Berg

(2) Maritje Van Buren (1743-1814)                                                                                         married around 1765 to Jacob Van Schaick (1740-1795)                                                 Abraham Van Buren (1737-??)-father to Martin Van Buren

SIXTH GENERATION:                                                                                                                   (1) Eunice Van Buren (1793-1854)                                                                                                  married  (2) William Van Schaick (1785-1870)

This is where two branches of the Van Buren family tree are joined together through marriage.

SEVENTH GENERATION:                                                                                                               Garrett Van Schaick (1823-1902)                                                                                                    married to Hannah Watkins (1825-1885)

EIGHTH GENERATION:                                                                                                                   Elsie Van Schaick (1866-1956)                                                                                                      married to Frank Ellsworth (1866-1928)

NINTH GENERATION:                                                                                                                      Vera Ellsworth (1889-1983)                                                                                                                married to Warren Zollars (1889-1980)

TENTH GENERATION:                                                                                                                  Mildred Zollars (1916-1992)                                                                                                             married to Blanchard Hindman (1901-1983)

ELEVENTH GENERATION:                                                                                                       Diana Hindman (1952-)

I traced my Van Schaick lineage back an additional three generations to the oldest known ancestor born in Holland in the 1500s.  I could investigate further with my Van Buren side of the family, since there’s a possibility the family name is linked to the royal line of King William of Orange.  Isn’t that why we Americans are so diligent in researching our family lineage?  Wouldn’t we be thrilled to discover that our ancestry does indeed go back far enough to be of royal blood?

That’s not my intention of going on the road trip to Albany, New York.  I wanted to settle family rumors and questions that drove a childhood curiosity to the land my forebears settled.  I was there.  Knowing more about the family tree and that my Dutch ancestor, Cornelis Van Buren, arrived at Fort Orange several years before my other Dutch ancestor, Goosen Gerritsen Van Schaick, came to New Netherland in 1636 is a revelation.

I was all about finding documentation regarding the Van Schaick family.  Only I know now that in 1850, most of them left New York and moved to Wisconsin.  Perhaps I should have studied up on the Van Buren side of the family and been ready to gather any documentation about that side of the family.

Sure, the Van Buren side can claim a President of the United States, but my Van Schaick ancestor actually owned the island in the 1600s that bears his name to this day.  And I drove to that island in the middle of the Hudson River on July 5-6, 2002.  I walked on the island that once belonged to my family–350 years earlier.

I traced my family roots and history back to their home locations in Holland and know which Dutch ancestors settled at Fort Orange in New Netherland.  Cornelis Maessen Van Buren arrived in 1631 and Goosen Gerritsen Van Schaick arrived in 1636.

I believe most, if not all, of my family tree branches came to America long before the Revolutionary War.  I’ll be surprised if any other ancestors settled that far back in the early 1600s.  My quest to document the arrival of the Dutch emigrants who settled at Fort Orange is accomplished.  I know who, I know when, I know where they lived in Holland and I know where they settled in what later became New York.

The common factor is the Patroonship that Kiliaen van Rensselaer established with the help of emigrants like Van Buren and Van Schaick.  Next blog I’ll put their arrivals in context.  A bit more of the history of Rensselaerwyck.  I was in the area where my Dutch ancestors settled in 2002.  To me it is a turning point in American History, because it’s the origins of my family–they established themselves here.  I can’t visit Ellis Island and know my grandparents came over as immigrants on a ship around the turn of the century.

Albany and Rensselaer Counties, along the Hudson River in upper New York state is my “Ellis Island”.  I found the pieces of a missing family puzzle.  Even today, I’m glad I traveled there on my road trip.  It’s almost a primordial impression to know I was there–where it began for my ancestors on American soil.

Next,  I’ll research the settlement of Rensselaerwyck.  First home of the Van Burens and Van Schaick families.

Credit sources:            cornelis00peckgoogle – book about Cornelis Maessen Van Buren

Google search: Martin Van Buren, Abraham Van Buren, Hendrick Van Buren


About onewomanamericanpilgrimage

In 2011, live in the tropical paradise of Maui, Hawaii. Author, published poet, award-winning speaker (Toastmasters-Kihei chapter), and photographer of Hawaii's inspirational scenery. In 2002, I was a divorced, single mother, living in rural Medina County, Ohio. Suffered from the big 3Ds--debt, divorce & depression. About to turn 50, I fantasized my life could be better, lived with a greater purpose. I was a writer in need of a lifestyle change. At a turning point in my life, July, 2002, I took a solitary road trip to visit important American locations that were also turning points in History. What I observed during my personal "odyssey" became an American Pilgrimage that changed my life. Delivered from the 3Ds--I now live an extraordinary life of purpose and joy. This blog is about my journey through Pennsylvania & New York history. It was also an awakening into my inner potential to have the courage and determination to "life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness" for the 2nd half of my life.
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4 Responses to My earliest ancestor in New Netherland – 1631-Cornelis Maessen Van Buren

  1. David tansill says:

    My name is David tansill,, I too am a descendant of the van burens. I have all the tangible history at my house. Nothing is for sale,however if you are interested in viewing the items past down from generation to generation contact me at Items to view are the original Dutch sea chest that arrived in 1631 .along with an iron fire place backer. (Radiator). Five old bibles three written in Dutch all signed . Deeds to the house in ny, Kingston ny. Witch I would like to donate to the museum, many other items. I’m new to computers and enjoying this history,and possibly chatting with long lost family who will appreciate this stuff as much as I do. Would love to hear your knowledge

    • Gary Robson Bovina, New York says:

      Hi Mr. Tansill, my grandfather was a Vanburen and I have been busy tracing the family history. My grandfathers grandfather was Henry Vanburen, born in Rensselaer County to Peter and Margaret Vanburen. I note that you mentioned a seachest which I would very much appreciate it you could email me a picture of.

  2. Trish says:

    I would love to chat with you sometime on documents you may have on the Van Schaick side. I too am a descendent of this branch and have info dating to the 1300s on the Van Schaick side. ( on another note.. A dispute between brothers led to the variations in spelling of the surename. I am from the Van Scoyk family) all spellings are linked to these brothers. In Dutch history surenames were given based on place of family baptismal records. So van meaning “of” or “from” and Schaick a village in holland in which many baptism records reference throughout the early generations.

  3. Terri VanSchaick Hockensmith says:

    Fascinating to see your journey and research intertwined with my own. My father, George Heiman VanSchaick, lives in Malone, N.Y.. This is where my grandfather, Edward Heinrich VanSchaick, resided while his brother Charles lived with his family in Glenn’s Falls, N.Y.. My father has a handwritten lineage dating back to Henry Hudson’s September 11, 1609 arrival – and before. We visited VanSchaick island and the Mansion a number of times as children and I am looking forward to taking my children there. Our oldest son was named for Goosen Gerrit, using his middle name, of course!

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