May your fun be large and bills be small!

Thinking warmly of each of you and wishing your family an extra measure of comfort, joy and hope this Christmas. We wish all our cousins, descendants of the Netherlands, a very Zalig Kerstfeest or Zalig Kerstmis (both mean Merry Christmas), Vrolijk Kerstfeest (Cheerful Christmas) or Prettig Kerstfeest (Nice Christmas)

Feel free to share these items, just credit DUTCH LETTERS (date), free genealogy round robin published by Carolyn Leonard. Anyone who wishes to be added to the mailing list, send an email to me at and say you would like to be on the list – and let us know your Dutch connection and full contact info. Please send any pertinent info to be included in the next Letter. If you no longer wish to receive our emails, I’ll be lost, confused and probably lose sleep at night. I mean, seriously. I will feel like I have failed somehow. But if you really feel that way and want to be removed from the mailing list, just hit reply and say, “remove me”.  I will do so immediately!  I promise we do not share our mailing list with anyone, and do not publish email addresses on the list because of possible scammers.

SENT BY: Bob & Grace Banta,

…I was browsing your fantastic website “Letters” collection and came up with an interesting entry:

From Charles Vanorsdale of Saudi Arabia:
The emails about Arthur Weaner stirred a memory, and I think this list may be an ideal venue for this question. Franklyn Frick was another great researcher of the Dutch families (from NY to VA/KY) and had amassed a tremendous library and genealogical collection. He passed away about 10 years ago. I was curious as to whether anyone on the list knew what became of Franklyn’s collection? Thanks, Charles Vanorsdale (a very distant Dutch cousin in Saudi Arabia).”

As you might remember, i mentioned that we had lived from the early 1980’s to 2000 in Saudi Arabia. I knew of several Dutch Cousin connections there (Van Cowenhoven/Conover, Demarest and Ackerman) but never Charles Vanorsdale. Do you have Charles’ email address? a way to contact him? We had a very active genealogy club in Saudi Arabia and perhaps it is still going. Love to have your help on this, time permitting.


SENT BY: Carolyn (herself)
How’s this for the “who are the Dutch Cousins? info on the website.  Please let me know your thoughts:
Who are Dutch Cousins of Kentucky?Our ancestors called themselves the “low dutch” because they came from the lowlands of the Netherlands and spoke a different dialect from the German groups who were also called Dutchmen. It was almost an unwritten law for the Holland Dutch group to marry within their circles up through the 19th century, so we are all cousins.

Immigration to the New World started in the early 1600s with the West Indies Company (WIC) offering farmland to European workers who would help settle the area that became known as New Amsterdam.  After the English took over in the late 1600s and renamed the infant settlement New York, our ancestors migrated across the Raritan river to “the Jerseys,” mostly around Somerset County. Later, the Dutch bunch moved on West in the 1700s, to near Gettysburg, and settled the Conewago Colony. Beginning around and shortly after the time of the Revolutionary War, they began to populate the Kentucky frontier.

Most of the present-day Dutch Cousins are allied through Dominee Cornelius Cozine, the Dutch Reformed minister at Conowago Colony, and his eleven children who married into other church families: Banta, Vanarsdale, Smock, Brewer, Westerfield, and List. Even if they claimed varied nativity, the in-laws had been “hanging around” for years with the Dutch pioneers. The Dutch groups migrated to Kentucky in the 1780s and continued intermarrying—at least those who survived the Indian attacks and starvation did. Dominee Cozine was an “intend friend” of the Kentucky move, but he died before the land was ready. His children and church members followed the call of the wild west. They wanted to remain a separate people, to feel free to raise their families in their unique faith with a Dutch-speaking Dominee.  Their first settlement was in Mercer County, their Dutch Fort near Harrods Fort (later Harrodsburg), until they were able to get title to several thousand acres north of there with its center at Pleasureville still know as the “Low Dutch Tract.”

What started many years ago as a Westerfield family reunion, expanded in 1998 to include Cozines, and in 2005 all Dutch Cousins were invited to Harrodsburg, KY, where we learned a little more about our history. We have returned every odd-numbered year since. Attendance has been above 100 every year with almost a thousand addresses around the world on the mailing list. The Riker family, VanArsdale family and Demaree family associations joined us in 2007, as well as the Darlands, Bantas, Brewers, Montforts and Vorhees.

We are an all volunteer organization, non-profit registered in Kentucky, and do not require dues at this time. Our goal and mission statement is here:  We are descendants of the Low Dutch who settled New Amsterdam, moved to New Jersey, migrated to near Gettysburg, and made history when they later populated the Kentucky frontier. Our Dutch Cousins goal is to research, share and preserve the genealogy and history of our common Low Dutch heritage, including but not limited to, the restoration and preservation of the Old Mud Meetinghouse near Harrodsburg, KY. Our mission is to honor the memory of these ancestors, and enjoy the friendship of cousins – both newly-discovered and long-loved.

Join our email list to stay updated on plans. Send an email to and ask to be added to the Dutch Cousins list. Include your family tie with your contact info including  phone numbers, US Mailing address, and your email addresses. (If you have more than one email, send it in case the first one bounces.)

I ran across the name, RYERSON, many years ago.  That family has an old very large hardback book genealogy.  As I remember, it is a New Netherlands DUTCH Family.  And, it has the same many alternate spellings you find in my REYNERSON family as you would expect.

But, my line descends from Arent Teunissen van Hengel, the father of a family that arrived in the mid 1650’s and settled on Staten Island.  That is my mother’s line.  The best clue is the missing “N”.  My line will have an “N” after the “Y”.  But, it is more complicated.  The original name was patronymic.  The descendants, through several generations, adopted our present naming system.  Some of the descendants took surnames based upon variant spellings of Rijner, or Arent or van Hengel.  There are many variations of each..  I also ran into a similar Norwegian name.  The difference in that name was a “T” before “son”  as in RYNEARTSON.

Bottom Line, RYERSON is not a variant spelling of the descendants of Arent Teunissen van Hengel.

Thanks for thinking of me,
SENT BY:  olive tree genealogy
Olive Tree Genealogy has recently updated its exclusive Ship Reconstruction
Project for ships sailing to New Netherland (New York) from 1624 to 1664.

Another passenger has been added to the ship Groote Christophel
<> sailing from
Holland to New Netherland in 1654. http://www.olivetreegenealogy.
Another ship has been added (never before published) – the Jonge Prins van
sailing shortly after June 1647. http://www.olivetreegenealogy.

SENT BY: Harrodsburg Herald @ our Dutch cousin and forever Miss America,
Heather French HenryThe Mercer County Public Library is preparing to host local veterans for a special event on Monday, Nov. 6, entitled “Thank You For Your Service: Honoring Mercer County’s Veterans.”

A special exhibit will also display memorabilia from local veterans.

Lolita Short, children’s librarian at MCPL, says the event is a small token of appreciation for local veterans.

“In general conversation around the library, we don’t necessarily give enough support and homage to those people who laid their lives on the line to protect us and to make sure we maintain the freedoms we have,” Short said.

Heather French Henry, deputy commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, is the special guest of the event.

Henry, crowned Miss America in 2000, is the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and has been recognized for her work on behalf of vets through the Heather  French Foundation for Veterans.

She will read  from her book, “Pepper’s Purple Heart—A Veterans Day Story,” to preschool groups at the library at 11 a.m.

She will then take photos and speak at the event.

Short says the events are just a small token of appreciation for all the veterans have done for our country.

“We just need to do more. Homeless and veteran just don’t belong in the same sentence to me,” Short said.

Those who would like to contribute memorabilia for the display are encouraged to contact Lolita Short at 734-3680 extension 107. Weapons are not permitted.

Veterans advocate Heather French Henry will read from her book and speak at the Mercer County Public Library.

SENT BY: Marilyn Douglas

On Nov 15, 2017, at 1:11 PM, Marilyn Douglas <Marilyn.Douglas@NYSED.GOV> wrote:
Flatbush Church Records available for sale by the Jacob Leisler Institute – order form attached
Records of The Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Flatbush, Kings County, New York, Volume I 1677-1720; Volume II Deacons’ Accounts 1654-1709. Translated by David William Voorhees
Records of the consistory minutes, baptismal and marriage records, and membership lists of the Dutch Reformed congregations located in the present-day New York City borough of Brooklyn.

Thanks Marilyn

Marilyn E. Douglas, Vice PresidentWebsite

SENT BY: Robert Hastings
I am a Desendent of Richard Whitfield Hastings who married Mary Polly Banta in Gibson Co. Indiana in 1823 done pretty good tracing back the Banta family. But not too good on the Hastings include me in the letter.


  • “You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas lights.” -Maya Angelou

SENT BY: Carolyn (herself)

  • Get your fat pants ready, it’s Christmas!

How about sending us your favorite Christmas and New Year traditions?

SENT BY: Carolyn Leonard
Editor, Dutch cousins of Kentucky

E-mail me: Editor234 (at)
On my web page
On the welcome page, choose DutchCousins and LowDutchHeritage.
Dutch letters are archived on our official webpage, by Pam Ellingson
Barbara Whiteside has a facebook page that you may find interesting, Dutch Cousins in Kentucky