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Who are Dutch Cousins?

~ by Carolyn Leonard (February 23, 2009)

pictured: Barbie Abbott

GOAL:  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.

The Dutch Cousins will be gathering at Harrodsburg in late September 2009 to see progress on restoration of our treasure, the Old Mud Meetinghouse which our Low Dutch ancestors built more than 200 years ago. It was almost a law for the Holland Dutch group to marry within their circles.  You can read the marriage bonds in the Dutch Reformed Church records of New Amsterdam, New York, New Jersey, Conewago, PA and in Mercer County, KY. 

My ancestor, Rev. Cornelius Cozine, the Dutch Reformed minister at Conowago Colony, was an “intend friend” of the Kentucky move, but died before the land was ready. His children heard and followed the call of the wild west.

Rev. Cozine’s eleven children, all married within the group. His daughter Elizabeth married Peter BANTA, two daughters became VANARSDALES (however spelled), one son and one daughter married SMOCKs, one son a BREWER, one daughter WESTERFIELD, my ancestor -the youngest- Garret married a LIST, and they ALL went to Kentucky in 1780s and continued intermarrying.  At least those who survived the Indian attacks and starvation did. 

The eldest son, Peter COZINE, died before the migration, but his widow Willempe WYCKOFF chose a VOORHEES for her second husband, and Peter’s grandchildren came west. Rev. Cozine’s youngest daughter Maria married a BROKAW and they did not come to Kentucky so far as we know, but we are sure they stayed within the Dutch community and some of their children came to Kentucky. So that is why we decided instead of a family reunion for one name, we should just all get together. It is very gezellig!

What started fourteen 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 returned in Sept 2007 and plan to be there again in 2009. This will be the third gezelligGathering of Low Dutch Cousins. The Riker family, VanArsdale family and Demaree family associations joined us in 2007, as well as the Darlands, Bantas  Brewers, Montforts and Vorhees.

We welcome any other Low Dutch descendants to join us as well on 26 Sept 2009 at Harrodsburg KY.  Join our email list to stay updated on plans. We have about 500 on the *Dutch Cousins* mailing list now. Just send an email and ask to be added to the Dutch Cousins list. Click on the icon below: