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Letters 12/31/2016 Review of the history of the Dutch Cousins

posted Jan 5, 2017, 11:23 AM by Pam Ellingson   [ updated Jan 5, 2017, 11:34 AM ]

Review of the history of the Dutch Cousins

Happy New Year 2017!

May the DUTCH be with you.


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 they would like to be on the list - and let us know their Dutch connection.  If you want to be removed from the mailing list, just hit reply and say, "remove me" -- and I will do so immediately !I promise we do not share our mailing list with anyone, and do not publish email addresses on the list because of possible scammers.


Our official website:
Webmaster Pam Ellingson of Wisconsin
(At the front page, click on "Gathering 2015" on the left)


THE COUSINS ARE COMING TO FRANKFORT September  8-10,  2017.   Put it on your calendar now.

We will have special rates at CAPITAL PLAZA HOTEL - 405 Wilkinson Blvd, Frankfort, Ky 502-227-5100

Our Treasurer Janice Cozine and the 2017 Gathering Coordinator Mr. Lynn Rogers are working out the details.  It will be memorable - we can guarantee you that! They will be giving us more information very soon.  Our Secretary Denise Meredith Perry is also working on getting the annual newsletter together.

(Another news collection coming soon about the Westervelt Massacre by Ron Belcher

SENT BY Carolynleonard (herself)

We will be meeting at the Kentucky History Center & research library. The library covers an entire floor and is supposed to be one of the best, where you can research as much as you want. I’d suggest you come a day early to do that, because Fri and Sat are pretty packed with talks and presentations about the Dutch group as well as networking and display tables on each family.

Friday afternoon we will be bussed to Shelbyville 30 miles for a re-enactment of the massacre and other history. Fri and Sat nights are dinners with expert historian speakers. On Sunday we move to Harrodsburg and the Old Mud Church built by our ancestors for a short worship and fun being together. On Monday the Harrodsburg Historical Society will have their Low Dutch Archives and other historical data open especially for us from 10 to 2 or 3.


SENT BY Barbie Abbott Hamman

Carolyn, Received the newsletter today.  It was so interesting and I can’t wait to meet everyone again in Frankfort.  I just wanted to let everyone (anyone who cares or needs to know) that Rod and I sold our home in KY and are now Floridians.  Our mailing address is 8618 28thAve. E. Palmetto, FL  34221 and our new email address is:  rbhamman at  We’re still getting emails from the old address but don’t know for how long that will be.  We’re looking forward to seeing you in September.

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to everyone!


SENT BY Jean Simon

Thank you Ellie Burnaford and Carolyn B. Leonard for Ellie's submission about Cornelis Melyn of Staten Island NYC, or New Amsterdam.  Cornelis is my ancestor.  I picked up the info somewhere that Cornelis Melyn won the lawsuit against him (sued by Peter Stuyvesant) back in Amsterdam across the big pond, but courts do not enforce.  Cornelis Melyn's daughter, nee Mariken Melyn, married my immigrant Hatfield ancestor, Matthias Hatfield.  Mariken's 1st husband had been killed by Indians.  Thus, I am descended from both Cornelis Melyn and Matthias Hatfield (Hetfeld).  Merry Xmas to all!


SENT BY James Thomas Moore

Yes, you may use it any way that you like; any where that you like.  I wrote it for us; now and us in the future.  Please give my permission for anyone to use it as they see fit.  Thanks for being so faithful to our Dutch Cousin group.  I hope to be able to make our next meeting.

Cousin, James Thomas Moore

PS: have any of the Westerfields had their Y-DNA tested?  If so, I would like their results, and their ID #


SENT BY Carolynleonard (herself)

You may already know this: A colony of Low Dutch settlers – 50 families in all – first came to Mercer County KY in 1781 and built the Old Mud Meetinghouse. After a few years around Harrodsburg, they purchased from Squire Boone the “Low Dutch Tract” of eight to ten thousand acres with Bantatown (present-day Pleasureville) at the center. Land titles became clouded with conflicting claims, and it was many years before those battles were settled.  In the meantime, industrious Low Dutch people continued fighting off Indian attacks and struggling to turn the frontier into their homeland dream.

If you had an ancestor who lived in Kentucky before 1850 named Banta, Bergen, Bodine, Brewer, Demaree, Dorland, Duree, Cosart, Cozine, Monfort, Rider, Shuck, Smock, Stagg, Terhune, VanArsdale, Van Nuys, Voris, Vorhees, or Westervelt/Westerfield (various spellings on all names) then you are probably one of us – Dutch Cousins, or descendants of the Kentucky Low Dutch Settlers.

PS if you want to receive info on the gathering, please be sure to send Janice Cozine or me  your current mailing address and all contact info.


SENT BY Sherron Westerfield

The Family was Westerfield by the time they got to KY, not Westervelt.

(note from editor - the Draper Manuscript documents refer to them as “Westervelt, Westerfelt"


SENT BY Ron Belcher

Thank you for this information Carolyn.  So pleased with the effort to increase knowledge of the tragic circumstances encountered by the earlier Dutch settlers that included my Westervelt ancestry.


SENT BY Bud Everett Riker

Carolyn, I have been a member of the Dutch Cousins since the Ryker Riker historical society disbanded. At one of our reunions in Madison Indiana we were told of the Floyd Massacre and we went to a sink hole across the Ohio river from Madison and put a monument at sink hole, believed to be where the bodies of the massacred were thrown for a burial place.I may be wrong but I thought Lynn Rogers may have gone and knows about placing the monument. As I recall, it was about 1998. Some of the Rykers whom had gone to Kentucky, with Squire Boone were killed in the massacre.


SENT BY CarolynLeonard (again)

Our ancestors adopted the term “Low Dutch” to distinguish themselves as being from the low countries of Holland and Europe rather than High Dutch from Germany, who were also called Dutchmen. Well-known historian, author and speaker Vincent Akers, in his book, History of the Low Dutch, copyright 1981, says our ancestors were always very careful to refer to themselves as Low Dutch.

Most of the earliest Low Dutch immigrants settled in what is now New York – then New Amsterdam. After the English takeover in the late 1600s, our particular group of Low Dutch migrated to New Jersey, later to a place called Conewago Valley, near present day Gettysburg, PA, and then they took the long hard road to the Kentucky frontier.


SENT BYCarolyn Leonard

E-mail me: Editor234 (at)

On my webpage, read the pages: DutchCousins and LowDutchHeritage

Dutch letters are archived on our official webpage,

Copyright © 2016 Buffalo Industries, LLC, All rights reserved.
Our Dutch Cousins MISSION STATEMENT: 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. We meet every two years to renew our love for each other. Our mission is to honor the memory of these ancestors and enjoy the friendship of cousins - both newly-discovered and long-loved.

Our mailing address is:
Buffalo Industries, LLC
6812 Newman Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73162