Early Dutch Settlers

Jacob Couwenhoven And His Eleven Children

Jacob was the Seventh Child of William Gerritse Couwenhoven-All His Children Were Born Near Middletown Village

Jacob Couwenhoven was the seventh child and fourth son of William Gerritse Couwenhoven by his second wife, Jannetje, daughter of Peter Monfoort. Jacob was born at Brooklyn on January 29th, 1679, and spent his youth in Brooklyn, but the greater of his life was spent in Monmouth county. He married at Flatlands, Long Island, November 12th, 1795, Sarah Schenck, who was baptized in the Dutch church at Brooklyn December 18th, 1635. She, too, was a resident of Flatlands, and the couple had doubtless known each other from earliest childhood.

Jacob Couwenhoven received such education as the schools in Brooklyn at that time could give, and also such as he could pick up from chance associations with the traders, merchants, sailors and emigrants who frequented the harbor of New York. Like his brother Cornelius, he is said to have owned a sloop, which made trips from Brooklyn across the bay to the Monmouth shore. It is likely that this boat was owned jointly by two or more of the six Conover brothers; for one boat of this kind would be amply sufficient to transport all their families, goods, chattels and stock from the shore of the East river over to Monmouth county, and also to take back such peltries, venison and other articles they had to sell, and for which a demand existed in the New York markets.

Jacob Couwenhoven, by his wife, Sarah Schenck, had the following children, all of whom are supposed to have been born in his dwelling house, which stood on the north side of the street through Middletown village, somewhere between the location of the present Baptist church and the Hartshorne burying ground. (The same plan is pursued here as in the former articles of this series, in putting the names and church records in small type and other facts concerning the children in larger type.)

    Jannetje, born December 10th, 1706.

    Annetje, born February 1708, married John, son of Daniel Hendrickson and Catherine VanDyke, his wife.

Daniel Hendrickson, a son of this couple, married Nelly or Eleanor VanMater. She was born August 4th, 1735, and died February 12th, 1828, and is buried in the Hendrickson burying ground, on the farm of the late George Crawford Hendrickson, in Middletown village. A son of this last couple, John, was born June 13th, 1773, and married Mary, daughter of John Lloyd. He died in January, 1807. He was the father of the late Charles I. Hendrickson, John Lloyd Hendrickson and Daniel Hendrickson, who owned the farm now occupied by the Morfords at the eastern end of Middletown village and opposite to the farm owned by his brother, John Lloyd Hendrickson, in his lifetime.

    William, born February, 1710, married Antje, daughter of Daniel Hendrickson and Catherine VanDyke, aforesaid.

He was baptized December 30th, 1711. The records in the secretary of state's office at Trenton show that letters of administration on his estate were granted October 17th, 1742, to his widow, Ann, his brother Ruliph and his brother-in-law, William Hendrickson. The Brick church records show that he had two children baptized-Daniel, March 30th, 1737; and Jacob, October 14th, 1739. His widow married March 17th, 1744, for her second husband, William, son of Cornelius Couwenhoven, of Pleasant Valley, and who has been heretofore mentioned as "William C. Kouwenhoven of Carroway." By this last marriage she had three children. The first was Cornelius, who was baptized April 7th, 1746. He married Mary, daughter of Hendrick Hendrickson and Neeltje Garretse Schenck, his wife, and died October 10th, 1806. The second was Catherine, baptized April 16th, 1749; and the third was Williampe, who married Martin or Matthias Couwenhoven, a brother of her mother's first husband. This Martin or Matthias Couwenhoven was the tenth child of Jacob Couwenhoven, and he is mentioned more particularly further along in this article.

    Ruliph, born March 1st, 1712, married August 12th, 1741, Jannetje, daughter of Daniel Hendrickson and Catherine VanDyke, his wife, aforesaid.

The church records show the following children baptized: Sarah, baptized February 21st, 1742; Daniel, baptized January 15th, 1744; and Catherine, baptized February 16th, 1746. Letters of administration on his estate were granted to Peter Couwenhoven, his brother; William Hendrickson, his brother-in-law; and Tunis Denyse, or Denise. His widow married for her second husband Peter Janse Schenck, who had been already mentioned in these articles, and the names of her children by this last husband have also been given.

    Jacob, born February 1st, 1714, married December 21st, 1742, Margaret, daughter of William Couwenhoven and Arriantje Bennett, his wife. The marriage license was granted November 16th, 1742.

    Garrett, born November 5th, 1716, married October 12th, 1744, Neeltje, or Eleanor, daughter of Roelof Schenck and Geesie Hendrickson, his wife, died December 9th, 1797

Garrett owned quite a large tract of land in what is now Marlboro and Holmdel townships. Part of this land is still (1898) in the ownership and occupation of his lineal male descendants. The two farms near Taylor's mills in Holmdel township, where Daniel D. Conover and Garrett Rezo Conover lived about forty years ago, and where their sons now live, is part of the tract. The family burying ground is on the farm owned by Daniel D. Conover and is near the dwelling house. It is especially noticeable for the care, neatness and good taste which it always shows. Here Garrett and his wife and many of his descendants are buried.

    Peter, born December 14th, 1717, died January 14th, 1718, aged 1 month.

    Peter, baptized May 29th, 1720, married Catherine, daughter of Roelof Janse Schenck and Geesie Hendrickson, his wife, and at that time widow of Simon DeHart.

Garrett and Peter Couwenhoven are the two sons-in-law named as executors in Black Roelof Schenck's will.

    John, born May 17th, 1722, married Mary, daughter of Arie VanDorn and Antje Janse Schenck, his wife.

    Martin, as spelled in the will, but spelled Matthias elsewhere, was born in 1725, married Williampe, daughter of "William C. Kouwanhoven of Carroway." His second wife was Antje Hendrickson, the widow of his oldest brother, William.

This Matthias Couwenhoven lived on a farm on the right side of the road from Ogbourn's Corner to Middletown, just east of the Golden farm. There is an old Conover burying ground on the Golden farm near the line, which would show that the Conovers owned all the land around this burying ground at one time.

The Matthias Conover interred in the Baptist church yard at Middletown and whose tombstone shows that he died September 28th, 1842, aged 80 years, 2 months and 5 days, and the Ruliph Conover, interred near him, who died June 12th, 1873, aged over 85 years, are I believe, descendants of the above-named Matthias Couwenhoven.

There was also another child, named Sarah, but I can find no record of her except in her father's will.

Jacob Couwenhoven made his will July 5th, 1743. He appointed his sons Ruliph, Garrett and Jacob, as executors and they all qualified. He mentions in his will six sons, Martin, (Matthias) Ruliph, Garrett, Peter and John; one daughter, Sarah; three grandsons, Daniel Hendrickson, Jacob Hendrickson and Daniel Couwenhoven; and one granddaughter, Sarah Couwenhoven. This grandson, Daniel Hendrickson, became sheriff of Monmouth county during the revolutionary war. He was the grandfather of the late Charles I. Hendrickson, who owned the farm on the north side of Middletown street, between the lands of the late Dr. Edward Taylor and the Murray homestead, now owned by his son, John S. Hendrickson.

Jacob Couwenhoven in his will describes himself as a yeoman and a resident of Middletown. I have not been able to find out where he was buried. He owned a large tract of land, and it is likely he was buried somewhere upon that, as was then the custom.

According to tradition current among the descendants of his son Garrett at Taylor's mills, Jacob provided all of his seven sons with a farm. Of course such traditions are very uncertain and unreliable, but they sometimes contain a few grains of truth. I do not know whether there is any truth in this tradition, and only repeat what it said. The story handed down among the descendants of his son Garrett, who, as everybody knows are among the most respectable citizens of Monmouth county, and whose everyday word is better than a good many people's oath on the Bible, is that they have been informed and so understand from talk of their forefathers, that Jacob Couwenhoven's seven sons owned and occupied the following farms:

William had the farm where Daniel G. Conover lived, and is now (1898) or was lately owned by Edward Hopping, in Middletown township.

Ruliph owned lands where the late Ezra Osborn lived, and the farm adjacent on the west, on the north side of the highway from Balm Hollow to the John Golden farm.

Matthias owned the lands on the opposite side of this highway. The private family burying ground of the Conovers on this land supports this claim. Jacob owned the farm occupied by the late John Eastman.

Garrett owned what was in after years known as the farm of "Farmer Jacob Conover" and the farms of Daniel D. Conover and Garrett Rezo Conover, near Taylor's mills, in Holmdel township. The last two are still (1898) in the family ownership.

John owned the farm known as the Murray homestead in Middletown village, together with lands adjacent, which are now part of the Morford farm and part of John S. Hendrickson's farm.

Peter owned the Garrett VanDorn farm on the south side of Middletown street, now owned by the son of the late Azariah Conover.

Jacob Couwenhoven is said to have been a large, well-proportioned man, bluff and straightforward in manner, and hospitable and obliging to all who sought shelter under his roof or aid at his hands. It will be noticed that there were several marriages between his children and Daniel Hendrickson's children. This man was quite a near neighbor, living where his great-grandson, Hon. William H. Hendrickson, now lives, at Holland, or the Luyster neighborhood, as it is sometimes called.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, June 1, 1898

More Early Dutch Settlers

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  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 13 Red Bank Register

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