The Vanderhoof Project brings together genealogical information and sources related to the surname Vanderhoof and its spelling variations.

We have acess to up a considerable amount of material from Vanderhoof researchers about individual family lines, a number of primary and secondary sources and the 1959 and 1969 versions of Wilson Ledley's research on the Vanderhoof family.  The Project has a Facebook Group and a Rootsweb mailing list.

Currently available research indicates that everyone with the Vanderhoof name is descended from a single family who travelled from the Netherlands to America in the summer of 1661 aboard the ship De Bever.

Manhattan 1660 by Len Tantillo

De Bever and her companion ship, the St Jan Baptist, left the Island of Texel on May 1661 and sailed to to America by way of a route that took them north of Scotland.  After a storm in the Moray Firth, the two ships lost contact and De Bever continued to America alone.

De Bever passed close to Corvo in the the Azores by 12 June and reached Bermuda on 16 July.  Barnegat Bay, New Jersey was sighted on 27 July and the 79 day journey was completed on 29 July when De Bever reached Manhattan to a salute from the guns of the fort of New Amsterdam.

Origins in the Netherlands

Voorstraat and Reformed Church, Beesd

The origins of the family name begin with Cornelis Gijsbertsen, a farmer and alderman of Beesd, Gelderland  who was born before 1612.  In the late 1630's he married the daughter of a prominent local family, Geertje van Vulpen who was a descendant of the notable  Van Vulpen Family from Doorn, Province of Utrecht, who had become tenants of the Marienwaerdt Estate in the 1580's.   Cornelis Gisbertsen was known as 'van der Hoeven' and a discussion of the origins of his name can be found on the Vanderhoof Name page. He died sometime between 1651 and 1656.

Other families from Beesd were also passengers on De Bever, including Geertje's sister, Adriaentje, and Huijgh Barents de Kleijn, a fellow alderman of Beesd who motivated and organised the group. Their contact in America was probably Rev. Gideon Schaets, a former schoolmaster in Beesd, who had been minister at the Albany Dutch Reformed Church since 1652.


Soon after arriving in New Netherland, Geertje and her children settled in or near Albany and bought land in Kinderhook, where some of her sons farmed and worked until the 1680's. In addition to farming, they were involved in woodworking, building and in local transportation, which included operating a sloop on  the Hudson. The family is recorded may times in the Albany records until the 1690's.

Geertje married Steven Jansen Conick before 1673, although they were estranged sometime before the making of her will of 1684 which mentions her surviving children and her home opposite Castle Island, Albany.

The three sons of Geertje - Gijsbert, Cornelis and Jan - were known by the family name 'Van Der Hoeven' which their father had used back in the Netherlands. Gradually, this name changed into several phonetic variations, the most common of which are Vanderhoof and Vanderhoef.

Geertje's Six Children

  • Gijsbert Cornelis , the eldest son, had no children as far as we are aware and no definite reference to him is found after 1671.
  • Cornelis Cornelis, the second son of the family, lived in Albany and was an official carter and the master of a sloop trading between Albany and New York. He died in January 1688 and his widow and children subsequently moved to Brooklyn.
  • Elizabeth van der Hoeven married Jurien Calyer about 1667 and they lived in Kinderhook for several years before moving to Brooklyn.
  • Neeltje van Der Hoeven lived in Albany and was at her mother's home in 1684. Little is known of her.
  • In the late 1690's, the youngest son, Jan Cornelis, moved to Bergen, New Jersey, with a large family. Jan lived until at least 1705 and his sons are recorded in Hackensack and Aquackanonck in subsequent years. By the 1730s, three of Jan's sons, Gijsbert, Jacob and Isaac, were living near Horseneck, Essex County and in Lower Montvile, Morris County.
  • The sixth child remains a mystery. She may have been Jantgen, daughter of Cornelis Gijsbertsen, who is mentioned in the register of members of the Beesd Church in 1659 or, as Ledley suggests, Hadduwina(Edwina?) Vanderhoven who witnessed a baptism at the New York DRC in 1684. 
Fairfield(Gansegat) Reformed Church

The descendants of Cornelis Cornelis became the ancestors of the branches of the family in Brooklyn, New York and Monmouth and Middlesex Counties, New Jersey.  They often kept to the Vanderhoef spelling of the name.

Jan's family became the most numerous branch of the Vanderhoofs, moving gradually westward through New Jersey during the 1700's to settle in Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic Counties. After 1800, branches of this family began to spread into other states, notably to upstate New York, Vermont, Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania



Latest News

Updated Page  Elizabeth van Der Hoeven



DNA Project

Analysis of the Y-Chromosome DNA of modern Vanderhoof descendants has revealed that men of a number of different lines have very similar Y-DNA patterns. From these results it has been possible to propose a Y-DNA pattern for our common ancestor.

There is a Vanderhoof Y-DNA project with Family Tree DNA which can be joined here

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