Early Dutch Settlers

The Descendants Of Garrett Couwenhoven

Garrett had Nine Children, and Descendants of Some of Them Still Occupy Lands Tilled by the Original Settlers of the County

Garrett, one of Jacob Couwenhoven's sons, married Nelly or Eleanor, daughter of Black Roelof Schenck, and had nine children. Jacob, the oldest, was born June 19th, 1746. He married April 25th, 1771, Mary, daughter of Hendrick Schenck and Catherine Holmes, his wife. Jacob was known as "Farmer Jacob," and the farm he lived on was considered the model farm of that day in Monmouth county. He left two sons, Hendrick, who married Ann B. Crawford; and Garrett, who married Alice, daughter of Tobias Hendrickson and Rebecca Coward, his wife, of Upper Freehold township. A daughter of this couple named Rebecca H., born in 1805, married Thomas Meirs and was the mother of Collin B. Meirs. Collin B. Meirs was born September 7th, 1 833, on the old Meirs homestead in Upper Freehold township. He was auditor of Monmouth county for seven years, and is now one of the first citizens of Upper Freehold township.

Ruleph was born November 8th, 1747. He married June 22d, 1773, Anna, daughter of Garrett Coertse Schenck, and Nelly Voorhees, his wife.

Sarah was born January 3d, 1749. She married John Lloyd and died September 8th, 1773. She is buried in the Conover family burying ground on the Daniel D. Conover farm, near Taylor's mills. One of her daughters, Mary, married John Hendrickson, son of Daniel Hendrickson and Eleanor VanMater, his wife, before mentioned. She is buried in the Hendrickson burying ground at Middletown village and the tombstone at her grave states that she died July 11th, 1865, aged 92 years, 8 months and 24 days. She was the mother of the late Charles I. Hendrickson of Middletown village.

Daniel C. was born January 20th, 1750. He married February 9th, 1786, Margaret Reseau, often spelled Rezo. She was born February 23d, 1763, and died December 28th, 1823.

Daniel G. Couwenhoven, or Conover, as the name was spelled in his time, lived and died on the homestead farm near Taylor's mills, and is buried in the family burying ground on this farm. After his death the land was divided between his two sons, Daniel D. Conover and Garrett Rezo Conover, whom many persons now alive remember. Garrett married, as before stated, Mariah Schenck. Daniel D. married May 26th, 1825, Mary, daughter of Garrett G. Vanderveer, and died October 22d, 1861. He was a genial hearty man and endeavored to make everything pleasant to all with whom he came in contact. His hospitality was unlimited, if the roof of his house was left. His widow, who was born February 21st, 1806, is still living on the homestead with her son, Garrett. She is remarkably active and hale for one so near the century mark. Hon. William B. Conover, who occupied the farm left his by his father, Tylee Conover, on the north side of the Shrewsbury river, opposite Red Bank, and who died a few years ago, was a grandson of the above-named Daniel G. Conover and Margaret Reseau, his wife.

Gachey was born February 5th, 1753. She married Hendrick P. son of Peter Albertse Couwenhoven and Williampe Voorhees, his wife.

Anne was born May 21st, 1754. She married July 13th, 1785, Isaac, son of the second Jacob VanDorn, and Maria Janse Schenck, his wife, and died June 11th, 1 843.

Anne and her husband are buried in the Episcopal church yard at Middletown village. They were the parents of Garrett VanDorn, who was born May 31st, 1789. He married Williampe, daughter of Hendrick P. Couwenhoven and Gachey Couwenhoven, his wife, above-mentioned, his cousin. She was born January 1st, 1793, and died on the VanDorn homestead at Middletown village, January 31st, 1874. She and her husband are buried in the Episcopal churchyard at Middletown aforesaid.

Garrett VanDorn died childless and without leaving a will. He was well known throughout Monmouth county, being gentle and placid in disposition, without an enemy in the world, he was respected and liked by all who knew him. He left a large estate, with no debts beyond funeral expenses and charges of his last sickness. Yet this estate has remained unsettled down to the present day. It is the "Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce" case of Monmouth county. It shows how an estate involved in no lawsuits and no debts can be dragged through the courts for years. A true history of this estate would be of great interest, not only to the relatives interested but to the public at large, so that we all might know "how not to do it," while making great pretension of doing, settling and distributing. A more honest man never lived than Garrett VanDorn, and no man ever left property freer from all claims and litigation than he. Yet the estate became entangled and has been left unsettled, although more than forty years have passed away since administration papers were granted to Williampe, his widow. She of course, depended on and wholly trusted others to do the business.

The seventh child of Garrett Couwenhoven and Neeltje Schenck, his wife, was Mary, who was born April 5th, 1756, and who died young.

Garrett was born September 15th, 1758. He died unmarried.

John was born May 23d, 1760. He married August 22d, 1778, Jane, daughter of Garrett Coertse Schenck and Nelly Voorhees, his wife, and died May 11th, 1802. He was buried in the yard of the Marlboro Brick church. His widow married August 20th, 1812, her second husband, John H. Schenck, and died November 5th, 1836


John Conover, the last child of Garrett Couwenhoven, and Jane Schenck, his wife, were the parents of seven children:

Elias was born August 10th, 1779, married July 1st, 1798, Mary, daughter of Ruliff H. Schenck and Sarah Schenck, his wife. They were the parents of John E., Ruliff E. and Hendrick E., already mentioned in a former srticle.

Garrett I. was born March 31st, 1785. He married January 6th, 1807, Sarah, daughter of Ruliff H. Schenck and Sarah Schenck, his wife, and died May 12th, 1829. He owned and occupied the farm where Gideon C. McDowell now lives in Marlboro township.

Jane was born September 10th, 1789. She married October 23d, 1805, Jonathan R. Gordon, son of Ezekiel Gordon, and died June 1st, 1831. Her husband was born March 17th, 1785 and died May 13th, 1830.

Sarah, John Conover's third daughter, married Albert VanDorn, March 14th, 1803

Nelly, John Conover's third daughter, married George Morris, December 7th, 1796.

There were two other children who died young.

There were, of course, other descendants of Garrett Couwenhoven and Neeltje Schenck, his wife, but I have not the dates of their births, marriages and deaths, and therefore do not name them; but the record I give will enable all who can go back to their grandfathers to fix their family descent without any mistake. Garrett Couwenhoven, the progenitor of this line of Conovers, is said to have been a hearty, whole-souled man. He resembled in a marked degree his father, and because of is (his) tall, well proportioned form and his handsome appearance, attracted notice wherever he went. He is also said to have taken great interest in and care of his children. He endeavored to train them to habits of sobriety, economy and industry. Judging by the results after all these years, his descendants seem to have profited by his efforts, for with very few exceptions they seem to have been among our principal citizens down to the present day.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, June 8, 1898

More Early Dutch Settlers

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 1 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 2 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 3 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 4 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 5 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 6 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 7 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 8 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 9 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 10 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 11 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 13 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 14 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 15 Red Bank Register

  • Early Dutch Settlers Part 12 Red Bank Register