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On Oct 3, 1660, Catryn Matthyssen, Daughter of Mathij Jansen Van Ceulen(Immigrated @ 1639, an employee of the Dutch West Indies Company), married Jan Jansen Van Amesfoort, officialy the colony carpenter, at Kingston, New York. This was the first entry in the Kingston DRC marriage register. Catryn and Jan also have the third entry in the Kingston DRC baptism register - the baptism of their daughter Styntje on 19 Dec, 1660(gestation periods must have been much shorter back then). They had 6 children, all christened at the Kingston Church, and all choosing later to use the surname Van Steenberghen. Although the exact reason for the change in surnames is not known, it is believed to be related to the legal troubles their father was involved in.

Jan Jansen Van Amesfoort was reputed to have a violent temper. The early records of the New Netherland/New York colony show him to be a regular at court. Many of the cases involved his drinking habits and abusive nature. Thoomas Chambers sued him for calling Thoomas' wife (Catryn's mother) a whore, a hog, and a beast. Several times he appeared in court for physically abusing his wife and/or mother-in-law, at one point nearly beating his pregnant wife to death. Finally, in February of 1668, he was exiled from the colony, while still being required to pay the support of his family. Perhaps this is the first case of New York Alimony.

Anyone interested in the genealogy of the Van Steenberghen, Steenbergh, Stinebergh, etc family of Ulster County, New York can find the early history of this family in a book titled:

The Descendents of Mathijs Jansen van Ceulen


D G Van Curen


Although this book focuses on the Van Keuren/Van Curen family(descendants of Catryn's brother Matthys), the Van Steenberghen genealogy is covered through the early 1800, and later for some branches.

To find out more about the book, or order a copy: