The VanHorn Line

The VanHorn line starts around 1640 in Denmark, when our 7th great-grandfather Matthys Corneliussen was born. Little is known about Matthys, which is Danish for Matthew, early life. We know that he has 2 sons, Cornelius and Abraham. He arrived in America in 1663, landing at what was then New Netherlands that included parts of present-day New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The main city was called New Amsterdam, which later became New York City. If you wonder why the Dutch have a reputation for greed, then you should know that New Netherlands and New Amsterdam were created by a company, simply to enrich its owners. Slavery was common during the Dutch era, as the Dutch West India Company was one of the most prominent in the world’s trade of slaves.

This was the world that Matthys sailed into.  It is known that in February of 1692 he married Fytje Sophia Brouwer.  Fytje was born in 1664 in New York. This was her second marriage, she has 5 children in her first marriage. Her father was Adam Brouwer Berkhoven, born in Cologne, K├Âlner Stadtkreis, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.  Fytje came from a huge family, having at least 20 siblings.

So we see that our heritage is Danish on our 7th great- grandfathers side, and German on our 7th great-grandmothers side.

VanHorn Overview

As an overview, there are four primary family's that make up our ancestry. VanHorn, Hunt, and then Bostick and Reed. The Bostick and Reed family's go well back in time. The Van Horn family goes back to about 1640 in Denmark.

The VanHorn family is no where near as large as the Bostick’s. For one thing, the VanHorn name only goes back 7 generations, and the Hunt family proper dies out with the Great Grandfather George Hunt. There is little information on him.

However, on George Hunt’s wifes side, Alice Clay, the family runs quite deeply. Her father, Amzy Clay’s side of the family runs out of information in 1725. Amzy’s wifes side (Hillyers) also runs well into the 1500’s, and is made up of German and Dutch descent. Names such as Rorick, Talmage, Bancroft and Meeker are prevalent here

Starting with Benjamin V VanHorn (2nd Great Grandfather) in 1807, his mothers (Mary Smith) family goes very deeply into French, English, Dutch, German and Norwegian ancestry. This family is made up of many names, Smith, Pelton, Schoonover, Schoonhoven, Westfall, DuPre,VanAken, Crommette, Swartwout, Otsen, Bradt and many many more.

Finding the mother and father of Benjamin V. was a roadblock to finding out exactly where we came from as VanHorn’s. Happily we now know their names as George VanHorn and Mary Smith.