Van Campens in the US

In a fit of boredom, I somehow ended up on I started doing a bit of poking around and found a ton of info on the Van Campens going all the way back to Gerritt Jansen VanCampen, about whom the only piece of information known is that he was married 29 January 1658 (or ’59) and had a son named Jan Gerritsen VanCampen before 1661 in Ulster County, NY. It looks like the family spent a lot of time in New York counties close to PA. At some point in the 19th century, it looks like the VCs moved into Ohio, where my parents were born and married. It was only in the late 1970s that they–and, in turn, my dad’s parents–moved to TX.

Fascinating stuff for me if for no one else. Here is Gerritt Jansen’s descendency, my Granddad is Victor Lee (9 generations out). I am the second “Living VanCampen”(11) listed as a child of Jack Dennis VanCampen (10).

In addition I discovered that my relatives were quite active in the Revolutionary War. I knew a lot about Major Moses but was not aware of the others, including his brothers. One of my distant uncles (Abraam) was apparently well acquainted with John Adams. Here is a quote concerning Abram Van Campen from The History of Cattaraugus County, New York (1879):

His old stone mansion on the Delaware was the seat of unbounded hospitality. It was here that the distinguished patriot, John Adams, notes in his diary, after driving in his coach from home, on his way to Philadelphia, that, “when I arrived on the Delaware, I always stopped several days to rest with ‘Squire Van Campen.”

Clearly, I have run out of ways to waste time and postpone sleeping. Interesting, nonetheless.

One Response to “Van Campens in the US”

  1. That’s pretty cool. I’m going to have to take some time to look at that. I started a family tree over at Geni, but it looks like rootsweb is far more complete. I’ve been meaning to get down into the cellar and see if the family tree that you and I were working on about ten years ago (is it really that long ago) is down there in my files somewhere. I’m pretty sure it is. If it is, I’ll use rootsweb and Geni to fill in the family tree and see where it gets us.

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