Recently I had a genie serendipity experience that was fun, productive and rewarding. Because I didn’t have faith in the published research I had found on my New Amsterdam families, I hadn’t pursued any of the families. What I had was spotty and incomplete. A trip to New York City in May with the New England Historical and Genealogical Society changed all that. I found confirmation and expansion of several Dutch ancestors in the 17th century. Last week I started to do the input into my genealogical program but got tired so I began to play.

Cornelis Hendricks Van Voorst was Annetje’s father and that was the sum total of what I knew. I had found him in Genealogies of New Jersey Families but only as a parent. Annetje married Claes Jansen Cuyper. Claes died in Hasimus. Here I got diverted.

Van Vorst Homestead

Van Voorst Homestead from New Jersey City University website

I Googled “Hasimus”. Wikipedia gave me the location of “Harsimus”, now a neighborhood in downtown Jersey City which included “Van Voorst Park”. The history gave a brief summary of Cornelis Van Voorst’s involvement in the settlement of the area and mentioned the “Van Voorst Homestead built in 1647”. So I googled “Van Voorst Homestead”. Up came an official web site “Jersey City Past and Present”. Old maps identified the location in the town and a current one showed where it would have been. There was a drawing of what the house is believed to have looked like (the stone foundation existed until 1967). This was followed by three pages, small print, of the history of Cornelis Van Voorst and family, showing a name change, his participation in rebellion in the Netherlands, other misdeeds, and eventual accomplishments. All provided with sources. Eureka!

S. Rabick

Link to Van Voorst homestead site