Every story has a beginning.
This one begins with Jan Fransse Van Husum, age 31, and his wife Volkje Juriens, ten years younger, who set sail from Amsterdam for America in 1639. Jan was the first Van Hoesen, Vanhooser, Van Huss to come to America.
marriage certificate issued by the Dutch Reformed Church for the marriage of Jan and Volkje.
Additionally, we know that a devastating flood struck the island of Nordstrand and the coast of Denmark, including the city of Husum in 1634. The flood killed tens of thousands, destroyed entire villages, swept away farms and churches, killed thousands of livestock on which the villagers depended for a living. Among the dead were the parents of Volkje Jurriaens, but a sister Annetje, survived. This we know from the fact that Annetje would follow Volkje to America.
Those are the precious few facts we know for certain. Whether Jan was born in Husum or emigrated there is open to speculation. Whether Jan and Volkje were Dutch or Danish, Frisian or German is all open to speculation. It is also equally possible that because of intermarriages, Jan and Volkje were a combination of many peoples, which I suspect to be the more likely explanation. Thus, coursing through the blood veins of the Van Huss, Vanhooser, Van Hoesen clan is the thriftyness of the Dutch, the steadfastness of the Germans, the fiery spirit of the Danes, and even perhaps the curiosity and adventure of the Viking forefathers of the Danish and north German stock.
Jan's middle name Fransse tells us one more fact, that is that he is the son of Fransse. The spelling is Dutch, but that is only because the marriage certificate was written in Holland. Of Fransse the father we know nothing more than the name.
The turning point in the lives of both Jan and Volkje was without question the great flood of 1634. The events of that day have been recorded in history books for about 15,000 lives were lost. Maps were changed because the island of Nordstrand was, for the most part, submerged.
October 11, 1634 had been a calm day, but by evening strong winds came from the northwest The North Sea hammered the dikes and the skies opened up with a heavy rain, lightning and hail. By nightfall the dikes failed and the flooding was complete.
More than 6,000 lives were lost on the island of Nordstrand alone.
Five years later, in 1639, we find Jan and Volkje living in Amsterdam on Tuinstraat. Again, the address comes from the marriage certificate. The location is interesting. Today, it is just around the corner from the Anne Frank House. Then as now it is close to the Dam Plaatz and the church where they were married. As neighbors they could include both Rembrandt and the Blaeu family, who lived at nearby Bloemgracht.
They married in May and set sail on July 7th from Texel, an island off of Amsrterdam, much like Long Island is to New York. They sailed aboard the ship Den Harinck for New Amsterdam, and eventually made their way up the Hudson River to Fort Orange and Renssalaerwyck.
Jan prospered, for on June 5, 1662 he purchased several hundred acres around Claverack from the Mohican
Indians. This land includes present day city of Hudson and a part of Greenport. The land extended
south along the Hudson River from Stockport Creek to the mouth of
Humankind was as litigious then as now, for Jan would find himself in court defending his claim against the suit of the powerful Van Rensselaer family which owned adjacent land. Eventually, after Jan's death, the suit would be decided in his favor.
A good summary of Jan's history and some court records can be found at Welcome to the Van Hoesen/ Van Hoozer/ Van Hoose History&Court Records Page.
A second history of early Dutch settlement and Jan Van Husum.
Of course, read Joyce Lindstom's account of VAN HOOSE VAN HOOSER VAN HUSS FAMILY IN AMERICA.