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VAN WORMER Family History, Part II

December 2015

Based on an entry in "The Biographical History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa," 1891, our Erastus Converse married Elizabeth Van Wermer and had six children. Unfortunately, this is the only "firm" record of Elizabeth's maiden name to date. This page attempts to piece together the fragments and chase down a few possible leads on her origins.

As such, our Van Wormer roots are still very disjointed but the available clues trace back to New York which reflect Dutch origins in 17th Century New Netherlands. The name perhaps relates to the town of Wormer, about 10 kilometers up the Zaan river, north of Amsterdam, in the province of North Holland.

November 2015The first likely connections to Elizabeth are the Van Wormer families found in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, in 1830, where Elizabeth's son, John Converse2, was born the year before. However, in 2015 I found an autosomal DNA match with a descendant of Mathew D. Van Wormer (1808-1883) of Rensselaer County, New York, that suggests lineage that ties in with that family. This page explores these families to find possible connections to our Elizabeth.

New York Dutch

November 2015Early research in New York is based on the records of Dutch Reformed Church along the Hudson River Valley, from Tarrytown, Westchester County, in the south to Fort Ann, Washington County, in the north.

After the American Revolution, the Phelps and Gorham Purchase of 1788 acquired 6,000,000 acres of land from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the pre-emptive right to the title on land from the Iroquois Confederacy. Thereafter the region became part of the State of New York. The survey spanned from modern-day Monroe (1821) and Wayne (1823) counties on Lake Ontario south to the Pennsylvania line and contained the western half of the Finger Lakes (west of Seneca Lake). It was subdivided into nearly 100 townships. Van Wormer families moved west across the Mohawk Valley into Gorham, Ontario County, and Middlesex, Yates County, before 1810, after which they continued southwest into Ohio and perhaps western Pennsylvania.

VAN WORMERs of Crawford County, PennsylvaniaTop

Two Van Wormer families are found the 1830 census of Randolph Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. Randolph lay to the south of Rockdale Township where Elizabeth (Van Wormer) Converse's son John2 was born the year before.

The elder of the two Van Wormer men was Henry Van Wormer, who was in his 50s (born 1770-1780) at the time. With him was a woman in her 60s and five children: one young man in his late teens, two boys in their early teens, and a boy and girl between the ages of 5 and 10.

This Henry may have moved west to Defiance Township, Williams County, Ohio, by 1840, where a younger Henry (born in 1810), believed to be the son of Mathew Van Wormer, later was married. The elder Henry was enumerated with a man in his 20s and a boy and girl in their late teens, which roughly correspond to the three younger children in Randolph Township in 1830. Of the three males, two were engaged in agriculture and one in manufacture and trade. There was no mention of the elder woman.[Cen 1840]

This Henry may also be the one buried at Brunersburg Cemetery in Defiance County, south of the northwesternmost county of Williams. No birth or death years were given, but his wife, Mary was born about 1781 and died in 1847.[Grave] This Henry (Hendrick) is held to be that born on August 16, 1776, in Coxsackie, Green County, New York, and died on April 9, 1852, in Brunersburg. He reportedly was the son of Jon Vanwormer and Francyna Ouderkerk. Brunersburg is about 25 miles southeast of St. Joseph Township where Mathew Van Wormer settled by 1840.

The younger of the two Van Wormer men was John Van Wormer, who was in his 30s (born 1790-1800). His apparent wife was also in her 30s and they had three children: one boy in his early teens, one girl between the ages of 5 and 10, and one boy under the age of 5.[Cen 1830] John has not been located in the 1840 census.

Sources
  • Cen 1830: 1830 Census, Randolph Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania
  • Cen 1840: 1840 Census, Defiance Township, Williams County, Ohio
  • Grave: Cemetery, City, County, State, Find A Grave <http://www.findagrave.com>

John VAN WORMER (~1756-< 1810)Top

November 2015A. John Van Wormer (or perhaps as many as three separate Johns married to three separate wives) trace back to Rensselaer County, New York, in records of the Dutch Reformed Church of Schaghticoke. The sale of property in 1811 after his death named seven apparent children. Together they suggest that John was married to Francyntje Ouderkerk, reportedly in Febrary 1770, and had at least two children born between 1774 and 1778 (Elisabeth and Neeltje ("Nellie"))[Bap 1774,1779]; a suspected second wife in the 1780s has not been identified; and the third was Oronde, whom others have identified as Orenda Wilcox. They had at least two children born between 1792 and 1794 (Jerusha and William). His sons Mathew and Charles have been proposed as likely the father of our Elizabeth (Van Wermer) Converse1. The reconstructed family looks like:

AA. Elisabeth Van Wormer[Bap 1774] 11 May 1774 --  -- 
AB. Neeltje "Nellie" Van Wormer[Bap 1779] 6 Oct [1778/1779] --  -- 
AC. Neeltje "Nellie" Van Wormer[Land 1811] (25 Dec 1781) (25 Oct 1870) (88)

AD. Godfrey "Fields" Van Wormer[Land 1811] (1780-1784) (1832) (48-52) 
AE. Mathew Van Wormer 4 Mar 1784 1856 (71)
(AF.) Jacob/Joel Van Wormer[Land 1811] --  --  -- 
(AG.) Mary Van Wormer --  --  -- 

(AH.) Charles Van Wormer[Cen 1810] (1789) 7 Apr 1851 (61)
AI. Jerusha Van Wormer[Bap 1792, Land 1811] Oct 1792 --  -- 
AJ. William Van Wormer[Bap 1794] 12 Feb 1794 --  -- 
The Dutch Reformed Church at Schaghticoke, , which may have be about a mile up the Hoosic River near the Knickerbocker Cemetery, and some 4 miles downriver from the modern town of Schaghticoke, was an offshoot of the First Church at Albany. It dates back to 1714. The original log church was destoyed by Native Americans and rebuilt in 1760. Church baptism and marriage records date back to 1750.

John and Francyntje Ouderkerk were first recorded together in the birth and baptism records of Elisabeth and Neeltje (Nellie) in the Schaghticoke Dutch Reformed Church.[Bap 1774,1779]

John and "Oronde" were first recorded together in the birth and baptism records of Jerusha and William in Schaghticoke.[Bap 1792,1794]

Federal census records begin with John in Hoosick, modern-day Rensselaer County, New York, in 1790 and 1800. Hoosick lies 20 miles up the Hoosic River from the modern town of Schaghticoke. John's age suggests he was born roughly between 1756-1758. In 1790 he and two other men were recorded to be 16 years or older, and with three boys under the age of 16 (perhaps Godfrey, Mathew, and Charles) and two females (perhaps Orenda and Nellie).[Cen 1790] In 1800, his six children consisted of one boy between 10 and 15 (perhaps Godfrey or Mathew); three boys under the age of 10 (Charles, William, and another); and two girls under the age of 10 (Jerusha and another).[Cen 1800]

"Oranda" is first recorded the federal census in 1810, apparently widowed and enumerated next to apparent son Charles in Middlesex, Ontario County (now in Yates County), New York, about 11 miles south of Gorham. With her she had one daughter between the ages of 16 and 26 (likely Jerusha) and one son between the ages of 10 and 16 (likely William).[Cen 1810]

As noted above, John Van Wormer died by 1810, after which his widow, Oranda, and seven apparent children (Nelly, Mathew, Godfrey/"Field," Jacob/Joel, Charles, Jerusha, and Mary) were named in the 1811 sale of 52 acres in the north part of Lot 41 of Township 9, Range 2, which generally lies between Gorham to the east and Canandaigua Lake to the west. The property lie between those of Samuel Reed to the north and William Sherwood to the south. It sold for $800 to John Faurote (1757-1842).[Land 1811]

The family thereafter reportedly moved about 65 miles northwest to Murray, then in Genessee County and now in Orleans County, west of Rochester.

Orenda moved back east to Potter, Yates County, New York, about 10 miles south of Gorham, where she resided at the time of her death.

Orenda (Wilcox) Van Wormer died of "old age" on June 12, 1849, in Potter, Yates County, New York. She was 90 years old.[Dth 1849]

Sources
  • Bap 1774: 11 May [1774], Book 5, Schaghticoke, Rensselaer County, New York
  • Bap 1778: Birth/Baptism, 6 Oct [1778/1779], Book 5, Schaghticoke, Rensselaer County, New York
  • Cen 1790: Hoosick, Albany County, New York
  • Birth 1792: Oct 1792, Book 5, Schaghticoke, Rensselaer County, New York
  • Bap 1794: 24 Apr [1794], Book 5, Schaghticoke, Rensselaer County, New York
  • Cen 1800: Hoosick, Rensselaer County, New York
  • Cen 1810: 1810 Census, Middlesex, Ontario County, New York
  • Land 1811: Jun 1811, Ontario County, New York
  • Dth 1849: Deaths 1849, Potter, Yates County, New York

Nellie (VAN WORMER) HOLMES (1781-1870)Top

November 2015AC. Nellie Van Wormer was reportedly born on December 25, 1781, in Schaghticoke, Rensselaer Coonty, New York. She married Reuben Holmes and had as many as 11 children:

AC1. Alva Holmes (1800-1801) --  -- 
AC2. John W. Holmes (1801-1802) --  -- 

Nellie and Reuben are first recorded in the sale of her late father's property in Gorham, Ontario County, New York, in June 1811, along with her widowed mother and six apparent siblings.[Land 1811] Afterward the Van Wormers moved northwest to modern-day Orleans County and the Holmes settled a litte further west in Hartland, Niagara County.

Reuben Holmes reportedly died on March 18, 1840, at the age of 63. He was buried at Johnson Creek Baptist Cemetery, believed to be about a mile east of Hartland.[Grave]

After Reuben's death, Nellie continued on in Hartland and lived with her son John and his family in 1850.[Cen 1850]

Sons Alva and John moved west to Eaton Rapids, Eaton County, Michigan, south of Lansing, by 1860. There Nellie lived with the John and Sarah Payne family (perhaps Nellie's daughter).[Cen 1860] She later moved with son John north to Lansing, Ingham County, by 1870.[Cen 1870]

Nellie (Van Wormer) Holmes died on October 25, 1870, in Lansing, at the age of 88 years. She was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Lansing.[Grave]

Sources
  • Land 1811: Jun 1811, Ontario County, New York
  • Cen 1850: 31 Jul 1850 Census, Hartland, Niagara County, New York
  • Cen 1860: 19 Jun 1860 Census, Eaton Rapids, Eaton County, Michigan
  • Cen 1870: 27 Jun 1870 Census, 2nd Ward, Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan
  • Grave: Cemetery, City, County, State, Find A Grave <http://www.findagrave.com>

Godfrey VAN WORMER (~1780s-1832)Top

AD. Godfrey "Fields" Van Wormer was born in the early 1780s, likely in Schaghticoke, Rensselaer Coonty, New York, as his sibling reportedly were. He reportedly had four children, the first two of whom were twins:

AD1. Phila Van Wormer (1811) 20 Jun 1849 (38)
AD2. Philander Van Wormer (1811) 1881 (80)
AD3. Clarissa Van Wormer 1814 --  -- 
AD4. Asa Van Wormer 2 Jun 1818 11 Aug 1909 (91)

"Field" is first enumerated in Ontario County, New York, in 1810, along with apparent elder brother Henry, who was of similar age (26-45). Field had one son and daughter under the age of 10 years and Henry had a son and daughter between the ages of 10 and 16 and six other children under the age of 10.[Cen 1810]

The following year, Godfrey (as "Godfrey" and "Fields") was recorded in the sale of his late father's property in Gorham in June 1811, along with his widowed mother and six apparent siblings.[Land 1811] Afterward the Van Wormers moved northwest to modern-day Orleans County and then to Ohio.

Fields (recorded as "Fielding Vanworver") was enumerated in Springfield, Hamilton County, Ohio, about 12 miles north of Cincinnati. Both he and his wife were recorded to be between the ages of 26 and 45; they had one boy and one girl under the age of 10; and one boy and one girl between the ages of 10 and 16. One (Fields) was engaged in manufacturing, as were most of his neighbors.[Cen 1820]

By 1830, the family moved about 20 miles to the southwest corner of Hamilton County in Miami Township. There Fields and his wife were identified as being in the 40s and with them were a girl, aged 15 to 20 (Clarissa); a boy 10 to 15 (Asa); and three children, two boys and one girl, under the age of 5.[Cen 1830]

Godfrey "Fields" Van Wormer reportedly died in the Cincinnati cholera epidemic of October 1832. He was likely in his his late 40s or early 50s.

Sources
  • Land 1811: Jun 1811, Ontario County, New York
  • Cen 1810: 1810 Census, Gorham, Ontario County, New York
  • Cen 1820: 1820 Census, Springfield, Hamilton County, Ohio
  • Cen 1830: 1830 Census, Miami Township, Hamilton County, Ohio

Mathew VAN WORMER (1784-1856)Top

November 2015AE. Mathew Van Wormer was reportedly born on March 4, 1784, in Schaghticoke, Rensselaer Coonty, New York. He reportedly married Margaret Tedford by 1806 and had six children before her death. Later Mathew married Mary "Polly" Westbrook and had as many as nine more children, however this is a curious ovelap of the children's names:

AEA. Joel Van Wormer 1807 --  -- 
AEB. Abram Van Wormer 9 Sep 1806 1 Jun 1875 (71)
AEC. Mathew D. Van Wormer 16 Aug 1808 24 Jan 1883 (74)
AED. Henry Van Wormer 1810 (1840-1850) (30s)
AEE. (Elizabeth Van Wormer1) 14 Dec 1811 30 Oct 1899 (87)
AEF. David/Daniel Van Wormer 13 Jul 1812 23 Oct 1889 (77)

AEG. John W. Van Wormer 1817 --  -- 
AEH. Marian Van Wormer (1817-1823) --  -- 
AEI. Lorain Van Wormer 1823 --  -- 
AEJ. Abram Van Wormer* 1823 --  -- 
AEK. Emily Van Wormer 1824 --  -- 
AEL. Lucius Durfy Van Wormer 13 May 1824 6 May 1891 (66)
AEM. Henry Van Wormer* (1828-1829) (> 1880) (> 51)
AEN. Henryette Van Wormer (1828-1829) --  -- 
AEO. Betsy Van Wormer* (1831-1832) --  -- 

The Van Wormers reportedly lived in Gorham, Ontario County, New York, until the Fall of 1810 when they moved west to Hartford, Licking County, Ohio, northeast of Columbus. The family was missed in the 1810 census. The following year, Mathew was mentioned in a land transfer back in Gorham.[Land 1811]

Margaret Tedford reportedly died after 1812 and Mathew remarried to Mary Westbrook by 1817.

In the 1820, the family was enumerated in Hartford with one man between the ages of 26 and 45 (Mathew); one woman of the same age range (Mary); one male between the ages of 16 and 26 (Abram?); one boy between 10 and 16 (Mathew D.?); one girl under the age of 10 (Elizabeth?); and one boy under the age of 10 (Henry, Daniel, or John?).[Cen 1820]

November 20151830

The Van Wormers resettled in St. Joseph Township, Williams County, in the northwest corner of Ohio by 1840. There he was recorded with a family of nine with five (Mathew and four boys) engaged in agriculture.[Cen 1840] Come 1850, Mathew was recorded to be 65 years old and Mary 58. Children Henry, Henryette, and Betsy (ages 21 to 18) remained at home, as did a 9-year-old boy named George Howard, and a 48-year-old carpenter named Leonard Westbrook, perhaps Mary's younger brother. Their property was valued at $600. Eldest son Joel and his young family were enumerated two households afterward.[Cen 1850]

Mathew Van Wormer died in 1856 in St. Joseph, William County, Ohio. He was about 71 years old.

Sources
  • Land 1811: Jun 1811, Ontario County, New York
  • Cen 1820: 1820 Census, Hartford, Licking County, Ohio
  • Cen 1840: 1840 Census, St. Joseph Township, Williams County, Ohio
  • Cen 1850: 9 Sep 1850 Census, St. Joseph Township, Williams County, Ohio
  • Cen 1860: 24 Jul 1860 Census, St. Joseph Post Office, St. Joseph Township, Williams County, Ohio

Charles VAN WORMER (Sr.) (~1789-1851)Top

November 2015AE. Charles Van Wormer (Sr.) had been proposed as likely the father of Elizabeth (Van Wermer) Converse. Charles was born about 1789 in either New York or Connecticutt. He married Elizabeth "Betsy" Sherwood and had as many as six children:

AH1. Phila Van Wormer (1810) Apr 1849 (39)
AH2. (Elizabeth Van Wermer2) (1811) (1900) (89)
AH3. Sarah Jane Van Wormer (1819)    
AH4. Philander Van Wormer (1828)    
AH5. Malinda Van Wormer (1831)    
AH6. Charles Van Wormer (Jr.) (1834)    

Charles is first recorded in Middlesex, Ontario County (now in Yates County), New York, enumerated next to his apprent mother "Oranda." Charles household consisted of a wife and one daughter under the age of 10.[Cen 1810]

The following year, Charles was named as a signatore, along with "Orenda" and six apparent siblings, in the 1811 sale of 52 acres in the north part of Lot 41 of Township 9, Range 2, which generally lies between Gorham to the east and Canandaigua Lake to the west. The property lie between those of Samuel Reed to the north and William Sherwood (perhaps one of Charles' in-laws) to the south. It sold for $800 to John Faurote (1757-1842).[Land 1811]

Some of Charles siblings thereafter reportedly moved about 65 miles northwest to Murray, then in Genessee County and now in Orleans County, west of Rochester; but Charles remained in the same general area where in 1820 he lived about 11 miles southwest of Gorham in Middlesex, Ontario County (now Yates County). That year he was enumerated his apprent wife, four daughters under the age of 10, and perhaps his mother. Coincidentally, the families of Anthony Sherwood and William Sherwood were enumerated nearby.[Cen 1820]

November 2015https://books.google.com/books?id=b8cpAQAAMAAJ

Sources
  • Land 1811: Jun 1811, Ontario County, New York
  • Cen 1810: 1810 Census, Gorham, Ontario County, New York
  • Cen 1820: 1820 Census, Middlesex, Ontario County, New York

Mathew D. VAN WORMER (1808-1883)Top

A2C. Mathew D. Van Wormer was reportedly born on August 16, 1808, in Onondaga County, New York. He reportedly married Cordelia Stanton on March 4, 1843, in Skaneateles, Onondaga County. They had as many as 11 children, the first born in New York and the rest born in Ohio:[Cen 1850]

A2CA. Mary J. Van Wormer (1832-1833) --  -- 
A2CB. Julia Van Wormer (1833-1834) --  -- 
A2CC. Eliza Van Wormer (1835-1836) --  -- 
A2CD. William H. Van Wormer (1837-1838) --  -- 
A2CE. Sarah M. Van Wormer (1840) --  -- 
A2CF. Phoebe M. Van Wormer (1842-1843) --  -- 
A2CG. Henrietta Van Wormer (1843-1844) --  -- 
A2CH. Abraham "Abram" Van WormerBlue Star (1845-1846) 21 May 1877 (32)
A2CI. Eleanor Van Wormer (1846-1847) --  -- 
A2CJ. Francis Van Wormer (1847-1848) --  -- 
A2CK. Frederica Van Wormer (May) 1850 (< 1860) (< 10)

A2CH1. Charles Van Wormer (1868-1869) --  -- 
A2CH2. William H. Van Wormer (1872-1873) --  -- 

The Van Wormer started their family in New York but moved southwest to Ohio by 1833 or 1834, when daughter Julia was born. In 1840 they were recorded in Kingston Township, Delaware County, 31 miles north of Columbus and about 16 miles west of where Mathew's father had first settled in Ohio--Hartford, Licking County. They had three girls under the age of ten and one boy (William H.) under the age of five.[Cen 1840]

By 1850 they moved about 20 miles south to Blendon Township, Franklin County. Mathew worked as a tanner and currier in Blendon Township. That year he and Cordelia had 11 children between the ages of 2 months and 17 years.[Cen 1850]

The family moved about 15 miles back up Big Walnut Creek to Delaware County and settled in Berkshire Township, just south of Kingston Township, by 1860. All the children from Sarah on down, except for youngest Frederica, lived at home. Mathew worked as a shoemaker with Timothy Aldrich, age 20, who lived with the family, perhaps as an apprentice.[Cen 1860]

The Van Wormers moved again, about 195 miles northwest to Pierceton, Kosciusko County, Indiana, about 35 miles west of Fort Wayne, by 1870, perhaps as early 1865 when grandson Owen was born. Only daughter Henrietta remained with her parents. Mathew worked as a tanner and currier and, as in Blendon, had an apparent apprentice living with them. Sons William and Abraham lived nearby with their families and also worked as shoemakers.[Cen 1870]

Henrietta left home by 1880 and Mathew and Cordelia adopted two grandsons, Charles and William H., ages 11 and 7. They were the sons of son Abraham, a wounded and disabled Civil War veteran, who died three years earlier.[Cen 1880]

Mathew D. Van Wormer died on January 24, 1883, in Pierceton. He was 74 years old.[Dth 1883] Mathew was buried at Hillcrest Cemetery, south of Pierceton.[Grave]

Cordelia (Stanton) Van Wormer died nine years later in 1892. She was about 81 years old and was also buried at Hillcrest Cemetery.[Grave]

Sources
  • Cen 1840: 1840 Census, Kingston Township, Delaware County, Ohio
  • Cen 1850: 26 Jul 1850 Census, Blendon Township, Franklin County, Ohio
  • Cen 1860: 26 Jun 1860 Census, Berkshire Post Office, Berkshire Township, Delaware County, Ohio
  • Cen 1870: 14 Jul 1870 Census, Pierceton Post Office, Pierceton, Kosciusko County, Indiana
  • Cen 1880: 2 Jun 1880 Census, Pierceton, Kosciusko County, Indiana
  • Dth 1883: Death Record, Warsaw, Kosciusko County, Indiana
  • Grave: Cemetery, City, County, State, Find A Grave <http://www.findagrave.com>