Early Dutch Settlers

Jacob VanDorn And His Descendants

This Jacob VanDorn was the Fourth Son of John VanDorn, the Original Settler of that name in Monmouth County

Jacobus (Jacob) VanDorn, the fifth child and fourth son of John VanDorn, the original settler of that name in Monmouth county, was born January 21st, 1703. He was baptized in Brooklyn April 27th, 1703. He married first Marytje, daughter of Jan Schenck and Sarah Couwenhoven, his wife. This made three sisters of this Schenck family who married into this VanDorn family. Marytje Schenck was born August 8th, 1712, and died October 31st, 1756.

Jacob VanDorn married a second wife. This wife was Rachel, daughter of Garrett Schenck and Neeltje Voorhees, his wife, also of Pleasant Valley, and a cousin to his first wife. She was at the time the widow of Guysbert Longstreet of Squan (Manasquan). Jacob VanDorn died February 26th, 1779, on the western half of his father's lands, containing about 317 acres. He had by his first wife seven sons and three daughters.

This Jacob VanDorn, at his father's death, came into possession, under his father's will, of about 317 acres, the western half of the tract next to Hillsdale. Jacob built the dwelling house where Elisha Holmes lived until his death. In 1745, while sick he executed a will now in possession of Hon. Daniel P. VanDoren of Freehold.

At the time the will was made he probably expected to die, but he afterward recovered and lived 34 years or until 1779. He had other children born after this date, so he cut off his signature from this will and so cancelled it. He probably made a later will. With the exception of his signature the paper remains as it was when he made it in 1745. It shows exactly what children he then had, what disposition he intended of his property, and also what friends he trusted to look after his minor children and carry out his wishes.

Jacob had six children at the time he made this will, and his first wife was still living. After he recovered from this sickness, which he feared was fatal, he had additional children by this wife.

The will which Jacob VanDorn made in 1745 contained the usual long "imprimis," or introduction, in which he prayed for a glorious resurrection on the last day. He gave to his wife the use of the farm and every thing on it as long s she should live or should remain his widow; and if she should marry again he left her 100 pounds.

At the death or remarriage of his wife the estate was to be divided into sixteen parts, and was to be divided among the children he then had, as follows:

    To his eldest son, Jacob, 3 parts.

    To his second son, John, 3 parts.

    To his third son, William 2 parts.

    To his fourth son, Isaac, 2 parts.

    To his daughter, Sarah, 2 parts.

    To his youngest son, Aure, 2 parts.

The will provided that if any of the children should die without issue, that child's share of the estate should be divided equally among the others. The will concludes as follows:

    My will and desire is that my executors here-in-after named, and I give them full power and authority, if my widow should marry again, so to dispose of the remainder of my estate as may be by them esteemed the most advantageous for my children. And if any of my said children be under age at that time to bind them out to such trades as they shall see most suitable, paying each their several portions as soon as they shall arrive at the age of twenty-one years, or as the payments shall come in if they shall sell the said estate.

    I do hereby nominate ordain and constitute, Roelof Schenck, the son of John Schenck, and William Wyckoff of said Freehold, executors of this, my last will and testament.

    Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of John Bray, Isaac VanDorn and Jacob Schenck.

All of Jacob VanDorn's children were raised on the western half of the homestead tract. Jacob, the first son, was born January 6th, 1731, and died October 19th, 1761, unmarried.

John, the second son, was born January 6th, 1733. He married about 1756 his cousin, Augnitje, daughter of Roelof Schenck and Engeltje VanDorn, his wife. John moved to and settled at Peapack about 1760. He had three sons, Jacob, William and Roelof, and one daughter, Ann.

William , the third son, was born December 3d, 1736. He married first Rachel, daughter of Guysbert Longstreet of Squan' (now Manasquan), and Rachel Schenck, his wife. She died about 1765 and he afterward married Mary Hunt. He moved to Peapack and had two sons, Jacob and Gilbert, and perhaps others. He died October 4th, 1816.

Isaac, the fourth son, was born January 21st, 1739, and died October 5th, 1749.

Sarah, the first daughter, was born February 20th, 1741. She married about 1761, John Antonides of Dutch Lane, at East Freehold, and had ten children.

Aure, sometimes written Aaron, was the fifth son and sixth child of Jacob VenDorn. He was born September 14th, 1744. On May 9th, 1765, he married Ghacy, youngest daughter of Jan Roelofse Schenck and Jacomyntje Couwenhoven. She was born February 14th, 1748, and died February 3d, 1820. She was named after her father's mother, Geesie Hendrickson, wife of Black Roelof Schenck, but as the younger generations lost knowledge of the Dutch language they spelled Dutch names according to sound, so "Geesie" became "Ghacy," "Antje" became "Onchee," "Altje," "Alchy" etc. This couple had known each other from childhood, for the homesteads lay near each other. Aure VanDorn and Ghacy, or Geesie Schenck, his wife moved to Peapack and settled there. They raised a large family of children. General Earl VanDorn, who was killed in the Confederate service during the war of the Rebellion, was a descendant of this couple and not of Aaron, son of Christian VanDorn, as has been stated in a recent historical work published at Somerville.

Mary was born November 3d, 1746. She married John Schenck of Penns Neck. He was a captain in the Revolutionary war.

Isaac was born March 14th, 1752. He married July 3d, 1784, Anne, daughter of Garret Couwenhoven and Neeltje or Eleanor Schenck, his wife, who was born May 21st 1754. She died June 11th, 1843. Isaac VanDorn died at Middletown village, where he lived on the farm on which his only son, Garret VanDorn, also lived and died.

Peter was born July 4th, 1755. He married January 9th, 1777, Jannetje, daughter of Elbert Williamson and Williamptje Schenck, his wife. Jannetje Williamson was baptized July 12th, 1758. Peter VanDorn lived in the home his father built and occupied his lands, and raised a large family of seven sons and four daughters. These were Peter's children:

    Mary, born February 21st, 1778, married Rulif Smock.

    Jacob, born October 13th, 1779, married Gitty Jane Schenck.

    Elbert, November 14th, 1781, married Sarah Couwenhoven.

    Williampe, born April 3d, 1784, married Dr. Benjamin DuBois, son of Dominie DuBois.

    Ann, born January 30th, 1786, died young.

    John, born November 28th, 1787, married Mary Couwenhoven.

    William, born March 2d, 1790, married Catharine Polhemus, died September 2d, 1850. His wife died the day previous. Both were buried at the same time in the yard of Brick church.

    Isaac, born July 13th, 1792, married Eleanor Hankinson, died August 16th, 1858.

    Peter, born April 15th, 1794, married first Catharine DuBois; second Elizabeth VanDerveer. He died February 20th, 1877.

    Arthur, born July 29th, 1797, married Harriet VanCleaf.

    Jane, or Jannette, born April 29th, 1799, married Elisha Holmes. She died September 27th, 1837, aged 37 years, 7 months and 27 days. She was buried by her husband in the Schenck-Couwenhoven yard.

    Sarah, born May 31st, 1803, married Pierson Hendrickson, who carried on business for many years at Tinton Falls.

William, the fourth son of Peter VanDorn, who married Catharine, a daughter of Daniel Polhemus of the Phalanx, bought a farm in the present township of Marlboro about 1816, where he lived until his death. He left two children, a son and a daughter. The son, Hon. Daniel P. VanDoren now lives at Freehold, and still owns his father's farm. The daughter, Jane, married the late John Rue Perrine, who was among the first farmers of Manalapan township during the greater part of his life.

Ann VanDorn, the last child of Jacob VanDorn, married Lewis Thompson, son of Thomas Thompson, who then owned the old stone house on the west side of the turnpike from Freehold to Smithburg (now Elton, formerly Clayton's Corner). This property was owned by Achsath Hendrickson, wife of Enoch Handrickson, for many years. Since her death a family named Hartman has owned it. The private family graveyard of the Thompsons is on the farm.

The Lewis Thompson who married Ann VanDorn was a zealous and active loyalist during the Revolutionary war. In courting and visiting his wife near Pleasant Valley he had become familiar with all the roads and byways, and also with the customs and habits of the Dutch settlers there. Captain John Schenck, the famous patriot leader, lived on an adjoining farm, now occupied by his grandson, David Schenck, and near the VanDorn's . A reward of fifty guineas had been offered for Capt. John Schenck's capture or death by the British. Several midnight raids were made by the Tories and British to capture him. Three different times these bands surrounded his house between midnight and daybreak to capture him. He generally slept out into the woods. When he slept in his house he had scouts outlying who brought him instant word of the approaching enemy.

On one of these occasions the Tories were guided or led by this Lewis Thompson, who had married among Capt. Schenck's near relatives and neighbors. Knowing the country, Thompson managed so well that Captain Schenck barely escaped in his night clothes from a rear window and concealed himself by lying down in a wheat field behind his house. It was in June and the wheat stalks were high enough to hide a man lying down, but so near was he that he could plainly hear them talk and their threats to his wife. He recognized this Lewis Thompson as the leader of the party.

When the war ended Lewis Thompson and his wife moved to Nova Scotia. After remaining there many years and learning that the old bitterness and anger had died away, they came back to visit their relatives. While visiting his wife's people at Holmdel he went one day into a country store kept by one of his wife's relatives. While there Captain John Schenck happened to enter. As soon as his eye fell on Thompson he turned to the storekeeper, saying, "Either that Tory rascal must go out or else I will. The same roof can never cover us both, and if I go out I shall never step foot on your premises again if I live a hundred years." Knowing that Captain Schenck would do just what he threatened and that he would lose the custom of his large family connections, he turned to Thompson saying, "You must get out of my store and never enter it again." So Thompson left. He died before his wife and left several sons and daughters. One of his sons became a lawyer at Somerville, N. J. His mother went there to live with him after her husband's death, and died there at an advanced age.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, November 23, 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 12 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