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Mathij Jansen van Ceulen's first born son, Jan Matthyssen, was born at Fort Orange, New York in 1646. On September 28, 1667, he married Magdalena Blanchan at the Kingston DRC, New York. In holding with Dutch patronymics, his children all bore the surname of Jansen(son of Jan).

In 1687, the British colonial government outlawed patronymics and required each family to declare a surname. Before this time, there were many unrelated Jansens in the records of old New York(New Netherlands), as it simply alluded to a father named Jan, but after the required declaration the only Jansens that remained were Jan Matthyssen's descendants. The rest declared a surname related to some part of their particular family. One such, the family of Jan's sister Katryn, shows older children referred to as "Jansen" in certain early records, but by 1687 they were all using the surname of Peersen.

Toward the end of the 18th century, two name variations came out of this family. First to appear was Jonson, followed one generation later by Johnson. These were simply Americanized versions of the original Dutch name. Most of the Jansens, Jonsons, and Johnsons of 1800 Ulster County, New York are of the same family.

For anyone researching this family, the pre-1800 history can be found in a book titled:

The Descendents of Mathijs Jansen van Ceulen

written by

D G Van Curen


For more information, or to order a copy of the book: