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The Van Etten family of Ulster and Orange Counties of New York

By Mike Holland

The name Jansen occurs frequently in the lists of immigrants to New Netherland from Holland during the years between 1640 and 1665, but I have been unable to identify any of them with Jacob Jansen, the ancestor of all in America who bear the name Van Etten.

The first record of him that I find is in the Baptismal Register of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston, under date August, 1663, where he acted as a witness or sponsor at the baptism of Grietjen, the daughter of Aart Pietersen Tack and Grietjen Vooght.

This Grietjen Vooght may have been a second wife of Tack, for the Baptismal Register shows that on August 14, 1660, Aart Pietersen Tack and his wife Annetje Adriaesen were present at the baptism of their son Cornelis by Domine Harmannus Blom.

If Grietjen Vooght was another wife of Tack, there is something inexplicable concerning the second marriage while his first wife was living; but while we are ignorant of the cause of the seperation, it is certain that the warmest affection and closest family intimacy always existed, as well between Cornelis and his mother and her second husband, Jacob Jansen, as between Grietjen, daughter of Tack by Grietjen Vooght, and Jacob Jansen and wife, for in the Baptismal Register Jacob Jansen and Annetje Adriaensen and their children appear many times as witnesses and sponsors at the baptism of the children of Cornelis and Grietjen Tack.

Jacob Jansen came from the town of Etten, six miles from Breda, in the province of North Brabant, Holland, and to distinguish him from the numerous other Jansens, according to the usual Dutch custom, he was given the suffix Van Etten.

The following is a translation of the record of his marriage in the Old Dutch Church Register:

"1665, 11 Jan. Jacob Jansen, young man of Etten in Brabant and Annetje Arians of Amsterdam, deserted wife of Aaert Pietersen Tack, both residing here in Wiltwyck (now Kingston). First publication of Banns, 28 Dec. 1664; second 4 Jan, third 11 Jan 1665."

In Schoonmaker's "History of Kingston," at, page 491, it is stated that said Anna Ariens was the widow of Aert Petersen, and this probably was the fact, as I can obtain no trace of him in any of the Dutch, French, or English records of New York subsequent to August, 1663. He disappears, and his children remained under the care of his wife Annetje Arians. The same mystery surrounds Grietjen Vooght, mother of his daughter Grietjen. No record of their marriage has been discovered, and it is possible she was his wife Annetje Arians, recorded under another name, as we find numerous instances of this being done in the baptismal and marriage registers.

In the record of the baptism of her children by Jacob Jansen Van Etten, the name of Annetje is variously spelled Ariaens, Adriaens, Gelvins, Adriaander, Ariaans and Adriaentse Kam.

The eccentricities of the orthography of proper names in the early Dutch Records of New York resulted from the arbitrary attempts of the writers to imitate the sound by the spelling, and the name Van Etten is frequently written Van Ettyr, Vaneter, Van Atta, Van Netta, and Van Etta.

Jacob Jansen Van Etten and Roeloff Swartwout, in 1676, were signers of the petition to Governor Andros for his assistance in procuring for them a minister at Esopus "That can preache both Inglish and Duche." (Doc. Hist. N.Y., vol iii, p. 965. Doc. Relat. to Col. Hist. N.Y., vol ii., new series, p. 543.) His name is also found on "A roll of names and surnames of them that haue takin the oath of allegiance in ye County of Ulster, by the order of his Excely: Ye Governor;. ye first day of September Anno Qe: Domini, 1689." (Doc. Hist. N.Y., vol i., p. 280.)

1. Jacob Jansen Van Etten and Annetje Arians had the following
children, viz,:

* 2. i. Jan Van Etten, bap. Jan 3, 1666: married, about 1690,
Jannetje Roosa, daughter of Captain Arie Roosa; second
June 22, 1731, Cornelia Van Aaken widow of Jan Chammers

3. ii. Sytie, bap. March 23, 1668; married Jan Evertz

4. iii. Adriaen, bap. June 26, 1670; married Catharina Crom

5. iv. Pieter, married Eva de Hooges

6. v. Petronella, born about 1675; married Aldert Roos

7. vi. Heiltie, bap. April 21, 1679; married William Van Vredenberg

8. vii. Emanuel, bap. Dec. 29, 1681; married Antje de Hooges

9. viii. Tietie, bap. Feb. 24, 1684; married Evert Roosa

10. ix. Jacobus, bap. May 2, 1686; married Rebekka Roosa

11. x. Gessje, bap. Dec. 25, 1688; married Jacob Decker

* Our direct line is through Jan Van Etten and Jannetje Roosa, their daughter Rachel, bap. June 20, 1708 married Richard Kittle or Kittel (they didn't spell very well back then!).


Added July 3, 2006