Our original family were called 'van der Hoeven' - a common and widely distributed name in the Netherlands. The usual meaning of the name is 'of the farm or farmstead' but it can also indicate an area where there were a number of scattered farms forming a small hamlet. An alternative explanation is that the name derives from 'hof' meaning a court or courtyard.

The family came from Beesd, Gelderland, but the location of the particular 'hoeven' after which they were named is not yet known. There are places near Beesd with names such as Tienhoven and Achtienhoeven, for example, and Oudehoeven and Nieuwehoven are in the nearby township of Tricht.

The use of of afternames was not universal at this time. Some families bore a distinguished name (the Van Velpens, for example) which they preserved down the generations, but many people were known by their first name plus their father's forename(patronymic) which could change every generation. If there were two men with the same name in a town, one might adopt an aftername,possibly based on a location or occupation, so that the two could be distinguished. Our ancestor Cornelis Gijsbertsen van der Hoeven took the patronymic 'Gijsbertsen' from his father Gijsbert Hendricksen

In Dutch, the 'oe' long vowel is pronounced as 'oo' (as in tool) and the Dutch 'v' is pronounced almost as an 'f'.

Listen to the modern Dutch pronunciation of Van Der Hoeven

The 'n' is often dropped at the end of words in informal speech and this is reflected in documents and signatures where the name is spelled Van Der Hoeve, Van Der Oef and Vander Hoef. Gradually, the name became established in a phonetic form which must have sounded like 'Fan De Hoofe' withlong 'oo' sound an a  breathed 'e' (schwa) at the end of the word.
Listen to Dutch pronunciation of words relating to New Amsterdam.

Early references

Only three references have been found where Cornelis, the father of the family who made the voyage to America, uses the aftername 'van der Hoeven'. The first is in the register of the Reformed Church of Tuil on the occasion of the baptism of his daughter Lysbet in 1647.

12 September 1647
Gedoopt 12 Sept. Lijsbet, dochter van Cornelis Gijsbertsen van der Hoeven, en van Geertje Cornelis van Vulpen, zijn huijsvrouw. (Doepregister Tuil)

The other two are recorded in the Rechterlijk Archief Beesd en Rhenoij (Local Aldermen's Court)

10 April 1651
Cornelis Gijsbertsen van der Hoeven, husband of Guertgen Cornelis van Velpen, and Gerrit Cornelissen van Velpen, together transfer to Jan Aertsen Spaen their share in 4 morgen of meadow-land, situated in Beesd, in Nijland. Rechterlijk Archief van Beesd en Rhenoij(RABR, Bk. 201, fol. 49

1651 Document
Extract from 10 April 1651: RABR 201:49 showing the earliest written example of van der Hoeven name.The image shows the words
'Cornelis Gijsbertsen vander Hoeven man van Guertgen Cornelis van Velpen'

25 September 1651
Cornelis Gijsbertsen van der Hoeven transfers to Dirck Anthonissen Castelijn a house and yard, situated in Beesd, at the Oosteind (adjacent above Cornelis Willemsen Schipper and below Evert Ceelis. RABR Bk. 201, fol. 68

Extract from 25 September 1651 :RABR 201:68 second/third lines read 'voor uns gecomen is Cornelis Gijsbertsen Vander Hoeven'

It's possible that, for many years, Cornelis Gijsbertsen [van der Hoeven] was the only Cornelis Gijsbertsen in the area, so there was no need for him to be identified by an aftername. Only when another man of that name [maybe Cornelis Gijsbertsen Hack] was it necessary to adopt the name 'van der Hoeven'. Our Cornelis Gijsbertsen may also have been known by the name 'van Hagesteyen'.

Cornelis Gijsbertsen died sometime between September 1651 when he is last mentioned in the RABR and May 1656 when Geertje is recorded as 'widow of Cornelis Gijsbertsen' in the list of members of the Beesd Reformed Church.

In 1661 Geertje, and her six children migrated to America aboard the ship 'De Bever' along with several other families from Beesd and is recorded as 'the widow Geertje Cornelis of Beesd'. She is listed as Geertje Van der Hoeven in the 1683 membership list of the Albany Reformed Church but just as Geertruy Cornelisz as she presents Cornelis, her grandson, for baptism on Sept 16 1683. The inventory of Jan Becker's papers ( ERA3:590) mentions ' the will of Geertje van ffulpen'  dated 5 December 1684, in which she is  named Geertje Cornelis van Fulpen

Her sons, Gijsbert, Cornelis and Jan, and her daughter, Neeltje, use the aftername of their father in a number of spelling variants.

Gijsbert is known as 'van der Oeven'( CMA1:201 10 November 1670)

Cornelis appears in the Albany members list of 1683 as 'van der Hoeve' although his wife Metje[Beekman] who is next on the list is 'van der Hoeven'. In the baptism register, he appears as father of his own children and sponsor of others as both 'Van der Hoeve' and 'Van Der Hoeven'. In ERA and CMA he is usually recorded with the same two spellings, although Jan Becker lists his will as that of 'Cornelis van der hoef' and Cornelis signs the will 'Knelis va de Hoeve' (ERA 3:590 and 605). On the conveyance of the sale of his house in Albany in March 1677/8 he signs 'Cornelis Kornelissen Van Der Hoeve' and, on a contract for the building of a boat in May 1682, he signs Kornelis Cornelissen van Ouven.

Jan appears as 'Van der Hoeve' in the Albany Church membership list and as 'van der Hoeven', 'Van der Hoeve' and 'Jan Corn Oef' in the baptismal records. The records in ERA and CMA generally keep to the forms van der Hoeve/Hoeven, although he is named in the Deacons' records of 1684 as 'Vanderhoef' (MC 1:46) The minute recording his appointment as constable of Albany in October 1693 (AA 2:26) records him as 'vanderhoev'. He signs 'Jan vander Oeve' when he witnesses the sale of a boat in 1684 (ERA 3:573) and, on the lease of a house from Annetie Schaets on 10 June 1681 (ERA3:518), he signs 'Jan Cornelisse vander Hoef'

The Bergen registers record him as Jan vander Oeven and Jan Oeven

Neeljte is recorded as Van der Hoeven/Hoeve in the Albany membership list and on the occasions where she is recorded as a sponsor at baptism in the Albany Baptism Register.

The above examples show a surprising degree of consistency, especially where members of the family give the information directly. The spelling of the name without the final 'n' suggests that this was the colloquial pronunciation of the name. The children of Geertje Cornelis were probably educated and literate and it is possible that the older ones may have attended the school in Beesd where Gideon Schaets was the schoolmaster. Albany had a school which was taught at one time by Jacob Joosten [Van Covelens] the husband of Ariaentje Van Vulpen[Schuers]

As years went by, and the family moved to areas where education was less organised and harder to access Dutch surnames were less familiar to administrators and the name is seen in a wide range of variants and mistranscriptions

Variant Spellings

In the USA, the following variants have been found(among others!):

Banderhoef, Banderhoef, Fanderoof, Van Derhoof, Van Drouff, Vanderhoefen, Vanderhoeve, Vanderhof, Vanderhoff, Vanderhoif, Vanderhoof, Vanderhooph, Vanderhooven, Vanderhorf, Vanderhough, Vanderhoven, Vanderhueven, Vanderhuff, Vanderhuff, Vanderif, Vanderuff, Vandrehoof, Vandrewf, Vandroff, Vandroop, Vandrough, Vandruff, Vanduff, Venderhoof, Vinderhoof, Vonderhoof

In the Netherlands, the following main variants are found :
van der Heuff, van der Huef, van der Hoeff, van der Hof, van der Huven, van der Hoeven van der Hove ter Hoven, ver Hoven.'Van linie en stamme Heueff': G. Heuff, Verloren: Hilversum 2008 p 9

Today there are about 6,000 people in the USA with the Vanderhoof surname. 

The town of Vanderhoof, British Columbia was named after Herbert Vanderhoof, a Chicago publicist and organiser, who helped to design the town in the early 1900's.


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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