Dutch ancestry - two NYT articles

The Van Dusens of New Amsterdam:
As with the Old Testament patriarch who gave birth to a nation, it all began with Abraham, whose forebears were from the town of Duersen in northern Brabant. Known in official documents as “Abraham the miller,” or “Abraham Pieterszen,” as in son of Peter, he landed on the island of “Manatus” some time before February 1627. Nearly 400 years later, he has more than 200,000 descendants over 15 generations scattered across the Americas, according to several genealogical experts who have built on intensive studies of the family over the centuries. In the 1880 census, there were 3,000 heads of household with the name Van Dusen — or Van Deusen, Van Deursen, Van Duzer and other common variants — all, the experts say, traceable back to Abraham the miller.

Theirs is among a small cohort of large, long-running Dutch families — including under-the-radar Rapeljes, with more than a million descendants, and the more prominent Kips and Rikers, with their names on neighborhoods and institutions — whose well-documented histories provide a compelling window into the development of what would become New York and, later, the United States.

Two of Abraham’s progeny — Martin Van Buren, a great-great-great-grandson; and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (add four more greats) — served as presidents of the United States. A third, Eliza Kortright (Generation 7), married one, James Monroe. Egbert Benson (Generation 6) was the first attorney general of postcolonial New York. The Rev. Dr. Henry Pitney Van Dusen, a theologian (Generation 10), made the cover of Time magazine in 1954.

There were family members on both sides of the early border wars between New York and Massachusetts, the War of Independence and the Civil War. At the Battle of Gettysburg, Pvt. William Jackson Raburn of Indiana’s “Fighting 300” died of a gunshot wound on July 2, 1863; a day later, Matthew Henry Van Dusen — Raburn’s fourth cousin twice removed (by marriage) — a “reb” with the fabled Hood’s Texas Brigade, was sidelined with a head injury.

Cornelis Kortright (Generation 5) owned slaves accused of participating in a “Negro plot” in 1741. Jan Van Deusen Jr., Kortright’s second cousin, saved New York’s historical records when the British burned the state’s first capital to the ground in 1777. [. . .]

Phoebe shares her father’s fascination with the family, particularly since she read some of the excerpts from her great-great-great-great-grandfather’s Civil War diary. “It kind of amazed me that I knew someone who was part of what I was studying in school in textbooks,” she said. “A lot of my friends’ parents just came here and don’t speak English yet. And some came here two generations ago. The one who has been here the longest came from Scotland, and that’s only a hundred years.”

Jets’ Tebow Can Trace His Lineage to New Jersey:
Tim Tebow arrives in New Jersey, where the Jets practice and play, as the world’s most famous backup quarterback. It is a homecoming, of sorts, centuries in the making, because Tebow appears to be the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of a man from Hackensack.

MetLife Stadium, home of the Jets and the Giants in East Rutherford, is about 10 miles from where an immigrant, Andries Tebow (spelled variously as Thybaut, Tibout, TeBow and other derivations), settled down after landing from Europe in the late 1600s. One of his children was Pieter, born in Hackensack and baptized there in 1696, records show.

More than 300 years and 10 generations later, Tim Tebow brings the family name full circle, according to the amateur genealogist — and Tebow’s fourth cousin, once removed — Dean Enderlin. [. . .]

It is unclear how much Tebow knows about his genealogy. While his own recent background is well chronicled — born to Christian missionaries in the Philippines, raised in Florida, now a preacher in a championship quarterback’s body — little has been examined about his deeper roots.

But there is no doubt that early generations of Tebows settled in what is now Bergen County, and Tim Tebow appears to be the latest link in a long chain of North Jersey arrivals. [. . .]

Enderlin said that, like many Tebows in the country, he and Tim Tebow can be traced to Andries Tebow, who sailed to the New World out of Bruges, Belgium. Enderlin is unsure where Andries lived — either Belgium or Holland — but he believes his family was Walloon, a French-speaking minority rooted in southern Belgium.

“Belgium was governed by the Catholic rulers of Spain and persecuted Protestants, forcing many to flee,” Myra Vanderpool Gormley wrote in an article for Genealogy Magazine titled, “Belgian Migrations: Walloons Arrived Early in America.”

“Many went to the northern parts of the Netherlands,” she wrote. “It was from their exile in Holland that they emigrated again.”


Anonymous said...

“Belgium was governed by the Catholic rulers of Spain and persecuted Protestants, forcing many to flee,” Myra Vanderpool Gormley wrote in an article for Genealogy Magazine titled, “Belgian Migrations: Walloons Arrived Early in America.”

So they governed their territories according to a religious policy identical to that of the English Protestants in England and Ireland then?

Hail said...

So Abraham Van Dusen has 200,000 descendants after 15 generations.

How significant or unusual is this?

Everyone has 32,768 'ancestral slots' fifteen generations ago. 200,000 people, collectively, would have 6.55 billion 'ancestral slots'.

Many/most of the people now descended from him must have him filling multiple slots, inevitably. I suppose there is no way to guess how many of these 'slots' he occupies for each, on average. If he occupies only one slot for each(impossible), that is an inconsequential 200k/6.55 billion. Impossible. But how many, then?

n/a said...

"How significant or unusual is this?"

For colonial Americans, probably not very.

Anonymous said...

There's lots of surnames in the US that all come from a single founder in colonial America and yet seem to have hundreds or even thousands of people bearing the name today. If you figure that on average only 1 out of 2^n descendants (by the nth generation) of a given man is going to carry his surname, and that there have been 12 or so generations since colonial times, it seems you must have a fair number of early colonists who could claim millions of descendants. Definitely lots in the hundreds of thousands.