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a. Note:   baptized in the Dutch Reform Church, Brooklyn on 15 Jan 1699[1]; died at Whitehouse N.J. in Nov of 1759. He married at Freehold N.J. in 1719 Antje (Ann) Covenhoven, daughter of Cornelius W. and Magaretta Schenck Covenhoven. Antje was born ca. 1702. She died at Whitehouse N.J. on 12 Dec, 1759.
Abraham's father bought land in Middleton Township, Monmouth Co. New Jersey and deeded one half of the Middleton land to each of his two sons.
In 1722 Abraham sold his half of the property and purchased 490 acres of land in Readington Township, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey through which ran Rockaway Creek. This land was in 490 acres of �L� shape. Here he developed a grist mill and saw mill on the banks of the creek. About 1750 Abraham Van Horne built the first tavern in the area. It was on the road from Clinton to Somerville where it crossed Rockaway Creek (now route 22). Because the building had white plastered walls it became known as the "White House". The name also was given to the village which sprang up around the tavern. It's location on this early trail immediately led to it's being a favorite stopping place for travelers and later for stage coaches of the Easton-New Brunswick Turnpike. By the time of the Revolution it's popularity had been well established. The homestead built about 1757 by Abraham Van Horne is about one hundred yards farther down Rockaway Creek from the site of the tavern and is still occupied (March 1976).
After conducting Antjie Van Horne's funeral service, Rev. Muhlenberg made this note: "17 Dec 1759. Had to bury the deceased wife of Abraham Van Horne, who himself died only recently. Both died of a contagious kind of pox. The youngest son, his wife, and his negroes are still sick with the pox. I preached at the home in English on Psalm 90:12 and read the customary prayers in English at the grave. I also prayed for the sick in the home."
Abraham Van Horne Jr. operated the tavern after his father's death, probably through 1776. His "petition to keep a tavern" dated May 1776 with it's long list of witnesses required by law to prove a properly run establishment, is preserved in the New Jersey Archives in Trenton. [2]
The oldest house and landmark of Whitehouse is a complete wreck. In Whitehouse proper there used to stand a curious looking old building which was noted by every stranger who visited the town. The structure tumbled down Wednesday and is now a heap of bricks. The house was known as Washington's Headquarters, for the general once stopped here for a night's entertainment. An aged citizen who died some forty years ago left a journal in which was an account of his staying there the same night that General Washington was there. Stage coaches were then in vogue and some thirty or forty persons were accommodated that night and the time was spent very pleasantly dancing, etc. The house was painted white and gave the name Rockaway River. [3]
Stones from the tavern's foundation are said to be in the retaining wall about the old cemetery located not too far from the tavern's original site.[4]
Shirley Van Horne Walburn a descendant of Hiram Arthur Van Horne son of Willard Putman Van Horne went to New Jersey ca 1993 and told me that Abraham and his brother Cornelius were the first founders of the Dutch Reform Church in New Jersey. Which one I do not know.
She also said she was able to enter Abraham's house in White House, New Jersey. In the fireplace was carved in one of the stones 1757. The first two Abraham's are buried 20 yards from the house.
Abraham Van Horn, Owner, White House Tavern
By Paul E. Van Horn, 76-43
Abraham Van Horn, owner of the White House Tavern, White House, New Jersey, was christened 15 January 1699 in the Dutch Reform Church in Brooklyn, New York[5] the son of Matthys Cornelissen who arrived in Long Island in 1663.
Matthys married Fytie Brouwer Hendricks, widow of Evert Hendricks (Van Gelder) in the Flatbush Dutch Reform Church, 20 February 1692.[6] She was the daughter of Adam Brouwer and Madalina Jacobus Verdon of Gowanus, Long Island.[7]
Matthys Cornelissen owned land in Brooklyn and eventually purchased 223 acres of land in Middletown Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey from Obadiah Bowne, son of Capt. John Bowne of the famous Monmouth Patent.[8] He eventually deeded half of the Middletown land to each of his two sons. This may have been the reason why Abraham and brother Cornelius and their half sister Sarah moved to Monmouth County about 1718.
There, Abraham married beautiful Antje Covenhoven,[9] daughter of Cornelius W. Covenhoven and Margaretta Schenck who also came from Long Island.
Through �A Facsinating Deed of 1722, �Abraham sold his half of the property to Richard Salter of Middletown.[10]
Abraham then purchased 490 acres of �L� shaped land in Readington Township, Hunterdon County, through which ran Rockaway Creek.[11] It was part of a tract owned by Willocks, Bud & Logan.
In addition to adding to his land holdings, due to the great Dutch driving tradition of �LAND FOR THE SONS�, he developed a grist mill and saw mill on the banks of Rockaway Creek, and a large Tavern.
Charles S. Boyer in �Old Inns and Taverns of New Jersey.� has this to say in his book,[12] �The village of White House, located at the confluence of two branches of the Rockaway River, ten miles northeast of Flemington, was from the early days noted for its taverns. There were two of them before 1785, both with well established reputations, but neither of which is standing today.
The earliest of these taverns was built by Abraham Van Horn Sr. about 1750 and was on the road from Clinton to Somerville where it crossed Rockaway Creek. (Now Route 22) Because of its WHITE plastered walls it became known as the �WHITE HOUSE,� a name also given to the village which sprang up around the tavern. It�s location on this early trail immediately led to its being a favorite stopping place for travelers and later for stage coaches of the Easton-New Brunswick Turnpike, so by the time of the Revolution, its popularity had become well established. Van Horn kept this tavern until he died in November 1759, after which it was carried on by his youngest son, Abraham Jr.�
The Abraham Van Horn Homestead which is still lived in, is only about 100 yards farther down Rockaway Creek from the site of the Tavern and dates from 1757.[13]
Abraham Jr. must have operated the tavern through 1776, because his �Petition to keep a Tavern�, dated May 1776, still remains in the New Jersey Archives in Trenton.[14] The long list of witnesses required to prove a properly run establishment is very interesting.
All this must have been good training for Abraham Jr. when he became Forage Master for Washington�s Army during the encampment at Morristown, New Jersey.
Abraham Sr. and Antje were blessed with 3 sons and 4 daughters, all of whom married into fine local families.
Abraham Sr. died in November 1759 and Antje a month later. Here are the notes the minister made after conducting Antje�s funeral service,[15] �17 December (1759) had to bury the deceased wife of Abraham van Horn, who himself died only recently. Both died of a contagious kind of pox. The youngest son, his wife, and his negroes are still sick with the pox. I preached at the home in English on Psalm 90:12 and read the customary prayers in English at the grave. I also prayed for the sick in the home. On the way home I visited the aged Ludewig Schmidt.�[16]
Abraham Sr.s Will dated 29 December 1758 and probated 5 December 1759, distributes his expanded land holdings saw mill and grist mill among his children and grandchildren.[17]
The family line started by this wonderful couple, now numbers many hundreds scattered throughout this country and Canada. One of the most notable members is Sir William C. Van Horn whose branch of the family moved to Illinois. He started as a telegrapher with the Milwaukee Road. He progressed with the Company and was eventually selected to build the Canadian Pacific Rail Road across the Western Plains and through the Canadian Rockies. His amazing exploits were crowned with success and he became President of the Canadian Pacific and was knighted.
Many years ago, his daughter Adaline, kindly invited me to tea at the Sherbrooke St. mansion in Montreal. I was thrilled to see Sir William�s large collection of original Rembrandts and ship models. There were also a number of his paintings which he painted at night from memory.
The following summer I was invited to the summer estate on ministers Island, New Brunswick. The island was about a mile wide and three miles long, connected to the mainland by a gravel roadway which disappeared from view with each rise of the tides, as did his large swimming pool.
Here he raised prize white belted Dutch cattle. The island is now an exclusive Canadian summer resort of excellent homes.
The thrilling story of the building of the Western part of the Canadian Pacific R.R. is ably told by Canadian author Pierre Burton in his book �The Last Spike�[18] and other books he has written about the Railroad which are very popular in Canada and are now available here.
Other family notables would include Owen D. Young, past President of General Electric Co. and benefactor of Van Hornsville, N.Y. His mother was a Van Horn.
I had the honor of introducing their son Philip Young as the medalist at the Holland Society of New York banquet at the Plaza Hotel, 10 November 1965 as the former Ambassador to Holland.
Each branch of the family is equally proud of their people as am I. I greatly admire my grandfather William B. Van Horn and his wife Anna Lockard who on the family farm near Huntington Mills, Penn�s., raised 10 children including 6 boys, of which two became excellent farmers, one a teacher, one a school principal, and two doctors, one of which was my father.
I spent most of my life in the Life Insurance business and eventually started and became President of The American Life Insurance Co. of New York, now owned by Transamerica Corp., and has 3/4th of a Billion of Life Insurance in force.
One of my sons Paul Jr. is an orthopedic surgeon of the Princeton Orthopedic Group and Peter is a manufacturing jeweler in Mountain View, California.
I�m especially pleased that my favorite ancestors, Abraham Van Horn and his lovely bide, Antje Covenhoven have enabled me to become a member of Flagon & Trencher. I�m sorry to admit that the culinary arts so successfully commercialized by my tavern keeper ancestor have not descended to me through the male line.
Note: Fred Sisser III has kindly sent me a copy of the Hunterdon County Tavern Application, Vol. 8:1069, in which Cornelius Tunison petitions the court for a license stating that he has rented the white house for a term of three years at the heavy rental of 25 lbs per year and that it is well known that it has been kept as a publick house for 40 years past. (This proves that it was started as a public house in 1744, since the application for license was dated April 16, 1784.)
Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications in the National Archives, Bicentennial Edition: National Published by, National Genealogical Society, Arlington, Virginia 1976.
Van Horne, Abraham, N.J., Anne, R10872 Abraham Van Horne was married about 1719 to Annetje, daughter of Cornelius Williamsen & Margaretta (Schenck) Covenhoven, b. abt 1702; d. 17 Dec 1759. The lived for a time in Monmouth Co., and later near White House, Hunterdon Co. where both are buried in the old cemetery. They joined the Readington Church in 1749, and both are said to have died of smallpox.
Found in the New Jersey Marriage Book page 38:
Nov 10, 1746. Marriage Bond. Boltes Pickle jun of Hunterdon Co., yeoman, and Sophia Vanhorne of said county, spinster; surety, Matthias Van Horn of same county, yeoman.
boltes bueckel junr
Mathias Vanhorne
attached to the bond are the following:
"New Jarsey November ye 7th 1746 Hunterdon This Is to Sarty that It Is with my and my wifes Consent that my sone Boltise shold Be Marred to Sofie Vanhorne So Whe pray that Lisons Ma Be Granted
Balttes Bickel "New Jarsy November ye 7th 1746 Hunterdon This Is to Sarty that It Is With my and my Wifes Consent that my Dater Sofie Shold Be Mared to Boltes pickle Jun So Whe pray that Lisons Ma Be Granted
Abraham Van horn (Note: there may have been a final "e" to the last signature, which is written right up to t he margin of the paper. If so, it has worn off.[19] Harlingen Reform Dutch Church Records:
22 Apr 1746 bp. Matteeuwig son of Matteeuwis Van Hoorn and Neeltie Crum.
14 Oct 1731 Aafje Van Horne rec'd by Cof (?) 24 May 1747 bp. Geertie, daughter of Henrious Stegeman & Catrine Van Hoorn
4 Apr 1747 bp. Adriaen, son of Tobias Te Nyck & Antie Van Hoorn
7 Nov 1728 bp. Antje, Daughter Abraham Van Hoorn & Antje Couenhoven: Witness by Jacob Goejewey.
Readington Reform Dutch Church Records:
May 1750 bp. Mattheus & Nelly Van Hoorn witness bp. of children of Abraham & Antje Van Hoorn.
(Are parents and witnesses transposed?)
21 Apr 1758 Matthias Vanhorne a chainbearer (?) at survey on houch (?) of Jonis River for Capt. Jeremiah Stillwell. (NYASM)
10 Aug 1755 bp Tobias, son of Tobias Ten Eyce & antje Van Hoorn
10 Sept 1731 bp Abraham son of Abraham & Antje Van Hoorn 1 Apr 1733 Abraham Van Hoorn & wife Antje w.b.o.c.o. (?) Jacob & Neeltje Vanderbilt.
14 Apr 1734 bp. Neeltje daughter of Abraham & Antje Van Hoorn wit: Jacob Vanderbilt and wife Neeltje
May 1750 bp Antje daughter of Abraham & Antje Van Hoorn Wit: Mattheus Van Hoorn & Nelly Van Hoorn
bp Antje daughter of Abraham & Antje Van Hoorn wit: Tobias Ten Eyk & Antje Ten Eyk
(was it possible that parents and witness' were switched)
The above records were sent to me from the New Jersey Archives. They were hand written and very hard to read.
Abraham Van Horn of White House Abraham Van Horn was baptized Jan. 15, 1699. About 1719 he married Anetje Couwenhoven. They dwelt near White House, Hunterdon County, N.J. Anetje was born 1702 (estimated); she was buried Dec. 17, 1759. Abraham's will was probated Dec. 5, 1759. Both died of smallpox; they are believed to have been buried in the old cemetery southwest of the railroad station. Anetje was a daughter of Cornelius Couwenhoven and his wife Margaretta Schenck.
It is of interest to note that Anetje was a descendant in the 4th generation from Wolphert Garretsee Couwenhoven who was born 1589 and who on Jan. 17, 1605, married Neeltje Jan.
Wolphert and Neeltje were married in the Church "Tower of Our Lady" now belonging to the Dutch Reformed Church in Amersfoot, Utrecht, Netherlands. In 1630 Wolphert and Neeltje with their five sons left Amersfoot for Long Island where Wolphert bought a large tract of land at Flatbush. He died after 1660. The names of their sons were Gerrit, Jacob, derrick, Pieter and Jan.
The name has been variously spelled, Couwenhoven, Covenhoven, with and without the "Van", and with both "C" and "K" as the first initial.
The surname Couwenhoven was later changed to Conover; this change appears to have been made soon after the close of the Revolutionary war. There was at that period a tendency throughout the country to shorten names and simplify the spelling; and the surmise is that such changes were prompted in part by the thought 'We are now citizens of a new nation, let us mark this great change by taking a new name.'
Abraham Van Horn and his wife Anetje lived for a time in Monmouth County; three of their earlier children were baptized at Freehold. Later Abraham removed to Hunterdon County. He and his wife united with the Readington church in 1749; this church was first known as the Church of North Branch. Their names are thus: "Abram Van Hoorn and his wife Antje Kouwenhoven". They were received into the membership of that church by Rev. Johannes Casperus Fryenmoet.[20]
Migrations in Jersey
The Van Horn brothers, Capt. Cornelius, 1696-1744, and his brother Abraham, 1699-1759, came to White House, Hunterdon County, N.J., about the same time, probably 1729. Cornelius lived elsewhere for a time, but both are buried at White House.[21]
Abraham (1697-1758). This Abraham�s name is on a monument in White House memorial Park in White House, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. He arrived in Readington township about 1723, coming from Monmouth County, New Jersey, where his family had lived for several generations. He settled in the northwest corner of the township where he had large landholdings. Abraham was one of the early Dutch settlers in the area. He owned a mill, a farm and a tavern. The tavern had white plaster walls and became known as the �White House�. Eventually the town took its name from this tavern.
Abraham (1740-1817) This Abraham apparently is the son of Abraham above and his name also is on the monument in the Memorial Park in White House. He was born and died in White House. He was issuing forage master in the Commissary General�s Department of the New Jersey Militia. He was married in 1761 to Gertrude Wyckoff (born 1743. (DAR, Vol. 70, pg1). In 1792, The Rockaway Reformed Church was organized in Abraham Van Horn�s home and for almost 15 years services were held in his barn...the same barn which held provisions for General Washington�s army camped at Pluckemin and Morristown when Abraham was forage master. Legend says the barn also held Revolutionary War prisoners! In 1807, the congregation began building a small church in Van Horn�s apple orchard, facing the old cemetery, now part of the Old White House began building a small church in Van Horn�s apple orchard, facing the old cemetery, now part of the Old White House Memorial Park. This Abraham or his father built a house in white House about 1757. It still stands on Washington Drive.[22]
[23] They lived in Monmouth County until about 1724 then he purchased four hundred ninety acres of land in Hunterdon County, N.J. this land was situated along the Rockaway Creek near the confluence of its north and south branches, and was part of a large tract of land originally owned by George Willocks, John Budd, and James Logan, and had been surveyed and made a matter of record in 1720. He built a large public house or inn on the main highway which ran from New Brunswick to Easton, Penna. and one can still see traces of its foundation about a hundred feet below the old church cemetery. It had fourteen large rooms, a slave kitchen with bedroom above, and a large barn and it soon became a favorite place for stagecoaches and truckers to stop for meals and lodging. He painted it white and the village that gradually grew around it, became known as Whitehouse, N.J. In 1731 he built a private residence (Traditions of Hunterdon by John W. Lequear) The Van Horn family, now very numerous in our State, were originally from Holland, as the name indicates. Abraham Van Horn came from Monmouth to White House, in this county, about 1749. Tradition says that he was from Holland, and that the name was Tyson, being changed to Van Horn for some political reason. (Note: this has not been proven and in the my opinion is not true. LAS) ..... Abraham took up about 400 acres of land, prudently selecting that which had the stream running through it, upon which he afterwards built a mill. But before his was built he was compelled to go to Middlebrook to mill. The road to Flemington was then an Indian path. It was afterwards laid out as a public road and was, for many years, the only road to the settlement. After the mill, a tavern and store were built. White House named for Tavern Casper Burger, a mason by trade, who sold himself to pay his passage to this country, worked out his freedom in building the tavern. It was plastered on the outside, and when dry the mortar became white -- and so it was called the �white house,� a name retained by the village to this day. the �White House� stood close by the bridge on the turnpike. Abraham Van Horn�s land extended south of the railroad and on both sides of the creek, along what is now the Easton & New Brunswick turnpike.
Children of Abraham and Anetje Couwenhoven Van Horn: (first 2 baptized in Freehold, NJ)
1. Matthias, bp. 1 May 1720; m. Mary Crum.
2. Margaret, bp 3 Apr 1722; m. Herman Rulefson.
3. Cornelius, b. 1726; m. Charity Wyckoff
4. Sophia, b. 1726; m. Baltus Pickle, Jr.
5. Anetje, bp. 7 Nov 1728 in Millstone, N.J.; m. Tobias Ten Eyck
6. Neeltje, b. 21 Mar 1734; m. Anthony Mellick.
7. Abraham, b. 1 Mar 1740; m. Gertrude Wyckoff.
Back to Van Horne Page
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[1] 1st Book of Record, Dutch Reform Church of Brooklyn p. 173, H.S.Y.B. 1897. �Son Abram-Parents Mathys Cornelise & Fytie, Wit: Nicklaes Brouwer & wife Jannetje.�
[2]Colonial Tavern Keepers: NLSR Vol 1 Pages 21 and 22
[3]Hunterdon County Democrat 1 Nov 1898
[4]Fred Sisser III
[5] 1st Book of Record, Dutch Reform Church of Brooklyn, p. 173, H.S.Y.B. 1897
�Son Abrahm-Parents Mathys Cornelise & Fytie, Wit: Nicklaes Brouwer & wife Jannetje.�
[6] H.S.Y.B. 1898, p. 95, �20 Feb. 1692, Matys Cornelisen to Fytye Adams Brouwer.
[7] N.Y.G.&B.R. 75:169
[8] The Fascinating Story of a 1722 Deed, by Paul E. Van Horn, in de Halve Maen, published by the Holland Society of N.Y., April 1976 Issue.
[9] H.S.Y.B. 1897, p. 173
[10] The Fascinating Story of a 1722 Deed, by Paul E. Van Horn, in de Halve Maen, published by the Holland Society of N.Y., April 1976 issue.
[11] Map of Readington Township, Hunterdon County, N.J. land owners, Map Section, Firestone Library, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersy.
[12] Old Inns and Taverns of New Jersey, by Charles S. Boyer, p. 225. Printed by Camden County Historical Society of Camden, New Jersey.
[13] �Abraham Van Horne Homestead� Picture on the front of the Hunterdon Historical Newsletter - Winter 1973- p.9.
[14] New Jersey State Library - Archives and History Bureau, Trenton, New Jersey. Tavern Licenses, 1 May 1776, p. 1084, p. 1012, George Couwenhoven Petitions to keep a Tavern in home of Abraham Van Horn.� (Jr.)
[16]The Journals of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. (Philadelphia, 1942) Vol. 3 p. 424. Courtesy Fred Sisser III, Greenwich Rd. Stewartsville, N.J. 08886.
[17] Our Van Horne Kindred by Elsie O. Hallenbeck, ps. 129-134.
[18] The Last Spike, The Great Railway 1881-1885, by Pierre Berton, Published by McClelland & Stewart Ltd., Toronto and Montreal. �All I can say is that the work has been done well in every way.� W.C. Van Horne at Craigellachie.
[19]Copies of information sent to me from the New Jersey Archives.
[20]Pioneer Families: page 412
[21]Pioneer Families: Page 412.
[22] �Historic White House� by Susan Marino
[23] http://www.rulifson.org/roots/rulifson.htm (Web page)
Note:   Abraham Van Horne, son of Matthyse Corneliussen and Fytie Brouwer, was


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