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The articles found on this page are exerpts from newspapers, books, and other published works. The content is as it was originally written, therefore, any inaccuracies belong to the author. Name and date of publication, and name of author where available, have been provided.

Source: Olde Vlster, date unk


First is mentioned in the records as having at one time resided in Amsterdam, became interested in New Netherland (New York), and was a partner of the Dutch West India Company, in the Amsterdam Chamber. He was a Patroon in this company. This association was divided in four chambers for convenience, established in different cities of the Netherlands, the managers of which were called Lord-Directors. Of these, Amsterdam was the most important, and to this Chamber was entrusted the management of the New Netherlands. Of the 19 delegates who constituted the board of managers, Amsterdam furnished nine. Each director had to have 6000 Guilders of his own money invested in the company, and his pay was one percent commissions on the outfit and returns, and prizes, with one half percent on the gold and silver. Commissions on prizes were an important part of a managers fees, as on Sep 9th, 1628, Admiral Pieter Pietersen Heyn proceeded to the West Indies, and captured the Mantanzas, the entire spanish plate fleet, with cargos valued at 5,000,000 Guilders.

Amoung the names of these Lord-Directors who served the company from the Chamber at Amsterdam, we find five who are designated as Principal Partner Directors. These are Pieter Ranst, Carel Looten, Jehan Raye, Killaen Van Rensselaer, and Matthys Van Ceulen. On the 16th of Oct, 1630, Van Rensselaer, Bloomer, deLaet, Van Ceulen, Hendrick Hamel, and other directors formed an association for planting a colony on the South Delaware River. Equalizing all expected advantages, they equipped a ship and a yacht for that quarter, where they designed to raise tobacco, and grain, and to prosecute the whaling industry.

In the meantime, such had been the activity of the agents employed by the Patroons to purchase their colonies, that the titles from the Indians were laid, duly authenticated, by the Director-General and the council at Fort Amsterdam, before the Assembly of 19, on Nov 28 of 1630, when the new Patroons received the congratulations of the other Directors of the company. The formal registration of the Patens followed a few days afterward and on Dec 2, 1630, they were sealed with the seal of New Netherland. Fourteen days after, complete lists of the several Patroonships were delivered to the companies solicitor, and the whole transactions were unanimously confirmed by the Assembly of 19, at the meeting of that body in Zeeland, in the beginning of the following Year.

(Jan 8, 1631)

Around 1638, Van Ceulen came to America. An account on the books at Rensselaerswyk, dating 1644 to 1646, shows him in Fort Orange (Albany) at that time, and it further states that he died in 1648. Riker, in his history of Harlem, States that Matthys Jansen Van Ceulen obtained a patent for fifty Morgens of land at Kingsbridge, and that at the date of the Patent he lived at Fort Orange. The list of patens issued by the Dutch Government states further that the patent was issued Aug 8 1646, that it was called the Pappermemins (Manhats) and that it was confirmed to his heirs in 1667.

Sometime before 1660, his widow married Thomas Chambers, as her name appears on the register of The Olde Dutch Church as Margriet Chambers. Some money of his estate must have been invested in the Esopus as, upon the 15th of February, 1663, the Deacons loaned one thousand Guilders upon his estate.

Matthys Jansen Van Ceulen (Ceulen is the Dutch name for Cologne) left four children, and His descenants have always been identified with Olde Vlster.

Source: 1879 Atlas, Washington Township, Pg 126

Evert Van Curen, born in New York, settled here in 1840 in Section 19, P O Address Wooster. Farmer and Stock raiser.

Source: History of Ulster County, Sylvester, 1880, Part II, p. 167

According to "A List of Slaves Within the Precinct of Shawangunk under the Command of Capt. Benjamin Smedes", Jacobus VanKeuren owned male slaves (over the age of 14) named Lancaster and Tom and a female named Bett.

Source: History of Kosciusko County (Lewis Pub, Chicago, 1887)

WILLIAM L VANCUREN, farmer, resides on the west half of the southeast quarter of section 6, Washington Township, where he was born November 23, 1848, and where he was reared and educated in the common schools. His father, Benjamin Van Curen, was born in Genesee County, New York, April 17, 1823 and died March 1, 1886. He is buried in Morris Chapel Cemetary. He was an Old settler of Washington Township, having settled there in the fall of 1840. When he was a small boy, he removed with his parents to Pennsylvania, remaining there a few months, then loading their worldly possessions upon a wagon, and started for the wilderness of Ohio. They lived their for a few years, then removed to Kosciusko County. Benjamin was then 17 years old. The country was then a wilderness, and the soil was mainly in the possession of the Indians. The family first rented land for a few years. Benjamin married Eliza Crouchand soon after purchased the farm opposite Mr Alexanders, on section 8. He made his first start by working out, by the month and by the day. Even after his marriage, he worked by the month. He bought his first fourty acres by clearing land for Jacob Stinson, and paying at the rate of $1.50 per acre. His second fourty acres he bought in the same way. At his death, he left an estate worth several thousand dollars. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in politics, a republican. Many friends and relatives mourn his loss. The mother was born in Pennsylvania in 1824 and came to this county about the same time that Mr Van Curen did. The crouches were of Irish descent. The Grandfather of our subject, James Van Curen, died in Illinois, at the home of one of his sons, and is buried in that state. The Grandmother Van Curen died at the home of her son Benjamin, and is buried at Morris Chapel Cemetary. William L was married November 15, 1871, to Miss Rachel C Roath, who was born in Noble County, Indiana, March 12, 1850. and died November 6, 1883, and is buried in Morris Chapel Cemetary. She left five children: Wilson, born August 22, 1872; James B., born November 22, 1873; Arthur M., born September 1, 1875; Homer E., born February 10, 1878; Jennie M., born August 19, 1880. April 19, 1883, Mr Van Curen was married to Mrs Delilah Gillespie, who was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, October 9, 1846. When a child she was brought to this county by her parents, who settled near Warsaw, where she grew to womanhood, and recieved her education in the common schools. Her father, AAron Bohlenbaugh, was born in Ohio, October 8, 1820, and is living in Harrison Township, this county. The Mother, Catherine (Walters) Bolenbaugh, was also born in Ohio, March 8, 1822, and is still living. Mrs Van Curen has been twice married. Her first marriage was with Benjamin Gillespie, who was born in Ohio, June 10, 1846. They had 3 children: Charles A., born May 6 1867; Eveleana, born January 22, 1870; and Lotta, born September 15, 1873. Mr and Mrs Van Curen have two children: Alice, born June 19, 1884; and William Grant, born August 19, 1886. Mr Van Curen is a republican in politics and himself and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs Van Curen is of German Ancestry. Her Grandparents, Jacob and Elizabeth (Moore) Walters, were born in Germany and were early settlers in Ohio>

Source: The Northern Indianan Republican (dtd Sep 9, 1909)

Van Curen Family Reunion

100 members of the Van Curen Family fully enjoyed the third annual reunion held at Winona Lake on Thursday, and the occasion was 1 long to be remembered by all present. After the dinner the crowd went to Rex Hall, where L J Bibler was elected as Chairman of the meeting, Lemuel W Van Curen was elected President of the organization, W G Shafer secretary, and William L Van Curen treasurer. A number of selections were sang, Miss Bernice Bibler presiding at the piano. Rev J L Goshart, Rev J W Cummings, and others made intersting Adresses at the meeting. The out-of-town guests included: Mrs Lucinda Oxenford of Lake City, Iowa; Mr and Mrs E A Van Curen of Plymouth; Mrs Maud Winters; Mrs Perry Herrin and 2 daughters; Mrs Ed Bear; Mr and Mrs Roy Van Curen of Ft Wayne, Indiana; Mrs William Cook of Huntington; Mr and Mrs John Crouch of North Webster; Mr and Mrs Dan Crouch of Cromwell; and Mrs Ashley of Bourbon. E A Van Curen and Miss Bernice Bibler were placed on the music committe for the reunion of 1910, which will be held at Winona Lake.

Source: Northern Indianan Republican (dtd Sept 16, 1909)

Van Curen Celebration

23 took train at Warsaw Station.

Mr and Mrs Earl Van Curen entertain large crowd of relatives at Plymouth.

On Tuesday, the tenth wedding anniversary of Mr and Mrs Earl Van Curen was observed at Plymouth, relatives to the number of 73 being present. There were 23 members of the family who took the train at Warsaw and 14 of the relatives were there from Michigan. A very elaborate dinner was served and it proved to be an unusually enjoyable family gathering. The Van Curen Family historian has this to say:

"It was over in Holland in mid 1700's where our Great Grandparents were born and in after years came to this country where they raised a large family of children, of which our grandfather was one. Our Grandfather and Grandmother lived in Indiana and raised a family of children. Later they went on to Michigan to live with their children. Henry S Van Curen, Son of Nathaniel and Marjorie, was married to the youngest daughter of Grandfather and Grandmother Otis, St Anne, Illinois. All the Otis's were born in Massachusetts and Vermont, and were of the old eastern stock. After the civil war, which our father served, he and his wife located in Indiana, and reared a large family of children. In after years they moved to Michigan, and father was laid to rest in Henderson Cemetary, 1892. Our dear mother, with her bright, cheery face, is still with us, we trust, amoung her children. The gathering at Plymouth was 1 long to be remembered.

Source: History of Leesburg and Plains Township (dtd 1914)

After the county was organized in 1836, it was divided into three townships. G. W. A. Royse was one of the two appointed County Assessors for Plain Township. Royse moved to Whitely county in 1853, where he died in 1859.

Source: Barron County and Citizens (dtd 1922)

Peter H Van Curen


Peter H Van Curen, health officer of Maple Grove Township since 1903, and owner of 80 Acres in section 23 west, Maple Grove Township, was born April 4th, 1854 in Koscuisko County, Indiana., son of Evert and Elizabeth (Hover) Van Curen, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Ohio, who came to Indiana in the early 50's and settled in Kosciusko County, where they spent the remainder of their lives; the father dying in 1889, and the mother in 1877.

Peter received his education in the district schools and learned farming from his father. In 1877 he bought a farm in his native county and operated it for several years. He traded the Indiana property for his present place in 1886 and moved here at that time.

He has cleared 40 acres, erected a good set of buildings and fences and successfully carries on general farming and dairying.

He is one of the influential and leading men of the community. For five years he has served on the town board and for fifteen years on the school board.

The family worships at the Baptist Church

Mr Van Curen was married November 8th, 1875 to Isobelle Ione Royse, Daughter of George and Nancy Royse. She died February 8th, 1920 leaving 9 children: Mabel (Mrs Ora Kuhnly), Lemuel E, Blanche (Mrs Byron Coon), Muriel (deceased), Logan, Lloyd, Bessie (Mrs Lawrence Granger), Benjamin, Florence (Mrs Charles Goodenow), Russell and Cecil(deceased).

Source: Barron County and Citizens (dtd 1922)

Russell Van Curen


Russell Van Curen, a veteran of the world war, now assisting his father in farming 80m acres in section 23, Maple Grove Township, was born in the place where he now resides - February 10, 1893, son of Peter H and Isobelle (royse) Van Curen. He was reared to farm pursuits and received his education in the public schools. He was inducted into the United States Service May 7, 1917, was assigned to the 16th Supply Company, of the First Division, and was in France 27 months, thirteen of which were in active service at the front. He was discharged September 23, 1919 and returned home.

Mr Van Curen was married March 25th, 1920 to Minnie Snider.

Source: Newspaper article in the Liberty Register, Feb. 14, 1952, entitled "Tracing His Familly Takes VanKeuren back 300 Years", there was the following note about Jacobus VanKeuren: "He served in the Revolutionary War when almost 60 years of age along with four of his sons and three of his slaves."

Source: History of Township of Shawangunk, VanKeuren section compiled by Chester VanKeuren for Kenneth E. Hasbrouck, 1955, p. 62)

"Jacobus VanKeuren (1719-1803) obtained a tract of fertile land bordering the stream called Kerkeerders Kill. The land embraced part or all of the Steven DuBois Patent and part of the Hendrickus DuBois-Cornelius Schoonmaker Patent. His stone dwelling house, built about 1745, still stands, and can be seen at the flats on the north side of the main highway (route 52) opposite the hamlet of Ulsterville. Its appearance has been somewhat altered by recent owners in an attempt to modernize the old structure, but a visit to the cellar clearly shows its Dutch colonial construction. After Jacobus VanKeuren died in 1803 the house passed to his widow, after which it was to go to his son Abraham. It came into possession of another son, Hazael, who sold it on May 17, 1816 to Peter Relyea for $5,650. It stayed in the Relyea family for 51 years. Then Benjamin Relyea sold it to John Jordan on March 26, 1867 and for many years was known as the Jordan House. The property has had other owners in modern times and is now in the possession of Mr. Ernest Mirring."


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