JAN VAN CLEEF
NEW UTRECHT, L. I., N. Y.
AND SOME OF HIS DESCENDANTS
MURRAY EDWARD POOLE, D.C.L., LL.D.
THE ITHACA JOURNAL
1. Jan ^ Van Cleep. Boru in 1628 in Holland. Mar-
ried, prior to 1661, Angelica Lawrence, daughter of Peter
LaAVTence. He settled at New Utrecht, Long Island, N. Y., as
early as 1659. His name appears in a list of members of the
Dutch Church of that place, 1677-85. He owned a plantation of
24 morgans and other plots of land in the Village of New
Utrecht, and also 21/2 lots at Yellow Hook (now Bay Ridge),
L. I., N. Y.. which he appears to have disposed of in 1691.
Delegate from Bushwick Colony to the Representative Conven-
tion in New Amsterdam, April 10, 1664, to send delegates to
Holland, to represent to the States General and the West Indies
Company the distressed state of the country. In consequence
of his old age the heirs of Nichols De Meyer agreed that he
should occupy during life a farm, which their father had bought
of him. A few of his descendants reside in New Utrecht and
Gravesend, L. I., N. Y., but most of them removed to New
2. Joseph. Born Nov. 25, 1663. Soldier, Capt. Timothy Bagley's
Co. Horse. Queens Co., 1715. Married Catharine Rappleye
(daughter of Daniel Rappleye), and had a daughter, Sarah,
born Sept. 25, 1709.
3. Rebecca. Married in 1693, Andrew Emans of Gravesend. She
died in 1756.
4. Catharine. Bom Oct. 23, 1681.
5. Benjamin. Born Nov. 25, 1683. 100.
6. Angelina. Married March 4, 1701, John Emans of Gravesend.
7. Cynthia. Born May 13, 1688. /••',
8. Cornelius. Married Phebe Vandewater and had two children i^^^j^
John, ancestor of the New Utrecht and Gravesend branches,
and Lawrence, born April 25, 1696.
9. I sbrant . Resided in New Jersey. Married Jane Acstre Van-
derbilt, and had three children: Mary, born Jan. 15, 1716; John,
born March 8, 1720; Benjamin, born Jan. 7, 1724.
10. Nellie. Married John Van Meteren.
11. Richard. Lieutenant; commission dated Sept. 10, 1684.
12. John. Lieutenant, Kings Co., 1728.
13. Lawrence. Soldier, Capt. Thomas Stillwell's Co., Kings
100. Benjamin - Van Cleef. (Jan.') 5. Born Nov. 25,
1683. Married (1st), as early as 1711, Henrietta Sutphen.
Married a second time. He resided as early as 1707 in Mon-
mouth County, N. J. His first wife was a member of the
church in that county in 1711. Residence, Freehold, N. J.
101. Elizabeth. Born May 13, 1705. Married William Cowen-
102. .loiiN. Married (1st) Maria Hoft'ert; (2nd) Sarah Cowen-
103. RicHAKD. Born May 3, 1713. Died very young.
104. Maby. Born Oct. 6, 1715. Married John Berkan.
105. Rtchari). Born Dec. 21, 1718. Married Elizabeth Leek.
106. Ben.tamin. Born Dec. 3, 1721. Married July 2, 1741, Helen
107. Nellie. Married Henry Vanderbilt.
108. Lawrence. 500.
109. Helena. Married John Brown.
110. Joseph. Married Elizabeth Van Werkelen.
111. Alice. Married William Bayet.
112. AxNiE. Married John Wilson.
500. Lawrence^ Van Cleep. (Benjamin,- Jan.^) 108.
Married Fannie Laan (or Loan, or Loon, or Van Loon) . Soldier,
Capt. Nathaniel Richard's Co., N. Y. City, 1746, to serve in the
Expedition against Canada. He died before 1780. Residence,
Freehold, N. J.
501. Isaac. Born Oct. 24, 1724. 1000.
502. Jacob. Born Jan. 31, 1731.
503. Phebe. Born June 24, 1733. Married Oct. 19, 1751, Abraham
Adi'iance. Residence, Flshkill, N. Y.
504. LawSence. Born May 29, 1737. Married Mary Suydam
(daughter of Ryck Suydam).
505. jAiVE. Born Sept. 2, 1739.
1000. Isaac * Van Cleef. (Lawrence,^ Benjamin.^ Jan.^)
501. Born Oct. 24, 1724, at Freehold, N. J. Married Dorcas
Pomeroy. Residence, Freehold, N. J.
1002. Lawrence. 4040.
1006. Jacob. Born 1779, at Six Mile Run.
1007. Van Mater.
4040. Lawrence^' Van Cleef. (Isaac,* Lawrence,^ Ben-
jamin,- Jan.^ 1002. Born April 15, 1754, in New Jersey.
Married Sarah Angevine. She was born in 1763. Sohlier, Col.
Goose Van Schaack's (1st) Regt., N. Y. Continental Line; also,
Col. James Clinton's (3d) Regt., N. Y. Line in Rev. War. Sol-
dier in Gen. John Sullivan's Exj)edition against the Six Nations
of Indians in Central New York. For his militaiy services he
received a grant of land in the Town of Cineinnatus, Cortland
Co., N. Y. lie was the first permanent settler at Seneca Falls,
N. Y., in 1789. He died Jan. 15, 1830. She died April 30, 1815.
The Seneca Falls Reveille of Jan. 30, 1903, says of him :
In 1779 the army of Gen. Sullivan, to which had been as-
signed the task of driving the hostile Indians from our then
western frontier, comprised the first white men that penetrated
the wilderness of "Western New York. This army numbered five
thousand men and came from Pennsylvania, up the Susque-
hanna, and down the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, through this
County, carrying destruction to many Indian towns and settle-
ments as far west as the Genesee country. On the return the
forces under General Sullivan as far as the foot of Seneca Lake,
Colonel Gansevoort was detached with one hundred men to march
through the Indian country of the Cayugas, Onondagas and
Oneidas direct to Albany. With this party of hardy warriors,
was Lawrence Van Cleef, who afterwards returned and became
the second of the early settlers of Seneca Falls. The detachment
under Col. Gansevoort encamped the first night at this place,
occupying quarters on the north bank of the river near the Hos-
kins homestead in Cayuga Street. The attractions of this imme-
diate vicinity, the beautiful scenery, the richness of the soil, and
the rapid flow of the river, so impressed themselves upon the
minds of this body of patriotic soldiers that some of their number
resolved to return and make this place their future home. Only
one of the party, Lawrence Van Cleef, adhered to this resolution.
Mr. Van Cleef had served in several engagements during
the Revolutionary War — at Bunker Hill, White Plains and
Valley Forge — and took an active part in Sullivan's campaign
against the Indians. As a soldier of the Revolution, he enlisted
for three years as a member of the Seventh Company, First
Regiment of the State of New York, in the service of the United
States. He served during the entire war, and for his services
was granted a tract of 600 acres out of the Military Tract, being-
allotted Lot No. 71 in the township of Cincinnatus. A patent for
this land was issued to him under date of July 8th, 1790, but he
never occupied it, and continued as a resident of Seneca Falls,
until his death, January 15th, 1830, at the age of 75 years. He
was a brave soldier and his knowledge of the Indian character
served him well in later years. In the spring of 1789, two years
after the arrival of Job Smith. Van Cleef came to Seneca Falls,
and located on the Flats near where Smith had erected his log
house, having purchased the hundred acres which Smith claimed
to own. With an eye to the future he constructed a double log
house, which afterwards served as a tavern, and in which he lived
with his family for many j^ears. With Smith he shared the
profits resulting from drawing by the falls the small boats, canoes
and goods of emigrants on their way westward. He also began to
till the soil, but the troublesome Indians, jealous of the encroach-
ments of the white men. for a time made that occupation un-
certain and unprofitable. Amicable relations were finally estab-
lished and with one exception no serious trouble subsequently
occurred. An Indian who ^vas deemed vicious and revengeful
shot at ]\Ir. Van Cleef one day. while the latter was standing in
the doorway of his dwelling, the ball entering the post of the door
near his head. Van Cleef pursued the Indian, took his gun from
him, broke it over his head, and then threw him into his canoe
and set him adrift. He was subsequently found dead at the
outlet of Cayuga Lake. The other Indians seemed well satisfied
with Van Cleef 's action.
In the fall of 1789. Van Cleef returned to Albany for his
family, after which he engaged more actively in traffic and busi-
ness with his friend Smith. They constructed rude craft for the
river and lakes and continued more actively employed in piloting
boats over the rapids at this place. Wlien Smith disappeared.
Van Cleef continued the business, until the locks were built in
1815. and it was his boast that he never lost or injured a boat,
although there were many lost and damaged by other pilots. In
physical strength and powers of endurance lie was well adapted
to the business in which he was so actively engaged.
The first frame house of the place was built by Van Cleef in
3 794. It w^as located in Fall Street, where the west end of the
King block now is, and into which Van Cleef moved his family,
being succeeded in the tavern business on the Flats by a Mr.
Parkhurst, whose family came with him and was the second one
that settled here. Parkhurst afterward built a tavern on the
site now occupied by the Stanton House.
The same year Mr. Van Cleef was apprised of the fact that
the State's hundred acres, which he had purchased of Smith for
$500, was to be sold at Albany. He immediately started for that
city, carrying $1,800 in specie on his person, and an axe upon his
shoulder to avoid being molested. He reached Albany after a
long and laborious journey, only to see his land bid away from
him by the Bayard Company, for which Col. Wilhelmus Myn-
derse was agent. The property was sold for $2,100, but a satis-
factory settlement was afterwards made with Van Cleef by Col.
Mynderse and he relincjuished all claims upon the land.
]Mr. and Mrs. Van Cleef were the parents of six children,
their oldest daughter. Jane Van Cleef. being the first white child
liorn in Seneca Falls, which was in November. 1700. and their
son, George C. Van Cleef, being the first white male child born
here, in April, 1797. The names of the other children were
Polly, Martha, Harriet and Sally, and many of their descendants
are still living, the greater number being in Tyre find Junius,
while a few are in other localities, like Mynderse ^"an Cleef of
Ithaca and Lawrence Van Cleef of Niagara Falls. Wherever
they are they represent intelligence and manhood and are hon-
ored and respected by the communities in which they now live.
Lawrence Van Cleef was a man of courage, pluck and per-
severance. He was also active, thrifty and popular. The sub-
stantial results which he achieved were accomplished in the face
of difficulties that would have discouraged natures less brave and
strong. He was the real founder of the town, and for many long
years he was held in the highest esteem by the people of the
place. Cordial in his greetings, kindly in his friendships, hopeful
of the future progress and prosperity of Seneca Falls, he was
happy and contented in the realization of a rapidly developing
industrial community, where thrift and enterprise and genius
would ultimately find their full reward. The world owes a debt
of gratitude to those who founded our early civilization and
made it strong and clear, and when they passed from us after
years of earnest endeavor and modest usefulness, we realized,
partly at least, what we had lost in the cessation of lives unos-
tentatiously devoted to a noble and unselfish mission. The work
accomplished by Lawrence Van Cleef, when measured according
to present standards, was not phenomenal, but it was unselfish
and patriotic, for which his memory will ever be kindly cherished.
His death occurred in 1830, and his remains were buried in the
old cemetery near the Silsby residence, the last resting place of
many of the pioneers of this village.
4041. Polly. Married Mr. Chambers.
4042. Jane. Married (1st) Mr. Goodwin; (2nd) Col. Wilhelmus
Mynderse. He was born in 1767 at Albany, N. Y., and
was prominent in the early history of Seneca Falls, N. Y.
4043. Harriet. Married Joseph Harpst.
4044. Martha. Married (1st) Mr. Silence; (2nd) Mr. Hancock.
4045. George Cunningham. Born April 30, 1797. 6000.
4046. Sally. Married Mr. Hall.
6000. George Cunningham" Van Cleef. (Lawrence,^
Isaac,* Lawrence,^ Benjamin,^ Jan.^) 4044. Born April 30,
1797. He was the first white male child born in Seneca County,
N. Y. Married Joanna W. Squires. She was born Sept. 25,
1795. He died Dee. 14, 1844. She died Aug. 6, 1886.
6001. William G. Born Nov. 8, 1814. Married Feb. 27, 1844,
Hannah M. Green.
6002. Harriet S. Born March 6, 1817. Married Nov. 8, 1837,
6003. George A. Born March 12, 1819. Married Jan. 1, 1846,
6004. Alexander Martin. Born Feb. 19, 1821. 8000..
6005. Jane G. Born June 22, 1823. Died July 3, 1825.
6006. Margaret M. Born Oct. 14, 1825. Married, Nov. 4, 1846,
William J. Smith.
6007. Sarah Jane. Born Map 21, 1828. Married, Oct. 21, 1847,
6008. Mary Euphania W. Born Jan. 28, 1830.
6009. Edward M. Born Aug. 12, 1833. Married, June 1, 1864,
Nellie H. Green.
6010. Charles M. Born April 11, 1836. Married Nov. 10, 1862.
M. Elmina Huff.
6011. Lawrence. Born Sept. 19, 1838. Died Aug. 4, 1839.
6012. Julia Phelps. Born Aug. 13, 1841.
6013. James S. Born Jan. 8, 1844. Died Jan. 8, 1844.
8000. Alexander Martin' Van Cleef. (George Cun-
ningham/' Lawrence/' Isaac,* Lawrence,^ Benjamin,- Jan.^)
6004. Born Feb. 19, 1821. Married Jane Elizabeth Garlick. He
died Aug. 1, 1879. Residence, Ithaca, N. Y.
8001. Dr. Charles Edward. Boru Sept. 29, 18.50. 9000.
8002. Mynderse. Born Aug. 29, 1853. 9020.
9U0U. Dr. Charles Edward"* Van Cleef. (Alexander
Martin," George Cunningham,*' Lawrence,"' Fsaae,* Lawrence,''
Benjamin,- Jan/) 8001. He was born Sept. 29, 1850, at Seneca
Palls, N. Y. He prepared at Canandaigua Academy and gradu-
ated at Cornell University, 1871, and the Homeopathic Medical
College of New York City, 1873. He settled in the practice of his
profession in Brooklyn, N. Y., where he was resident surgeon at
the Homeopathic Hospital and a member of the Brooklyn Board
of Health. He removed to Ithaca in 1880 where he practiced
medicine until his death. He was president of the Tompkins
County Homeopathic Medical Society and of the Cornell Uni-
versity Alumni Association of Ithaca, and a Director in the
Ithaca Trust Company. Member of the Protestant Episcopal
Church. He died, unmarried, Aug. 4, 1896. at Ithaca. N. Y.
9020. Mynderse * Van Cleef. (Alexander Martin,'
George Cunningham," Lawrence,' Isaac,* Lawrence," Benjamin, -
Jan.^) 8002. He was born Aug. 29, 1853, at Seneca Falls,
N. Y. He prepared at the Ithaca Academy and graduated at
Cornell University, B.S., 1874. He attended the Columbia Law
School, 1875-6. He also studied law in Ithaca and was admitted
to the Bar in September. 1876. He married Dec. 21, 1882, Eliza-
beth Lovejoy Treman (daughter of Elias Trenian, and sister of
Robert H. Treman and Charles E. Treman of Ithaca, N. Y.) . He
is one of the leading attorneys of Ithaca, has been referee in
many important law-suits and executor, administrator and
trustee of many important estates. He is a Republican in
politics, was President of the campaign club in the presidential
campaign of 1896, and was Commissioner of the United States
Circuit Court, 1880-1900. President of the Ithaca Trust Com-
pany and the Ithaca Security Company. Attorney for and a
Director in the Tompkins County National Bank. Attorney and
Trustee, Ithaca Savings Bank. Attorney for Cornell University.
Director in Cayuga Lake Cement Company, and various other
business corporations. President Corporate Association of
the Kappa Alpha college fraternity since 1886. Alumni
Trustee of Cornell University, 1881-91 ; Trustee by elec-
tion of the General Board since 1895. Trustee of the Cornell
Librarj^ Association. Trustee of the First Presbyterian Church
of Ithaca. Member of St. Augustine Commandery, Knights
Templar, and Country Club. Member of the Town and Gown
Club. Member of the Protective Police of the Ithaca Fire De-
partment. Residence, University Avenue, Ithaca, N. Y.
9021. Eugenia. Born Aug. 18, 1886. Graduated at Vassar Col-
9022. Jeannette. Born March 14, 1888. Student in Mrs. Dow's
School, at Briarcliff Manor, N. Y., 1906-1908.