Jan Van Husum and Volkje Juriens - First Van Husses in America.

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.

But before we set sail, let us explore what little we know of Jan and Volkje. Jan was born 1608 or 1609. He hailed from the city of Husum in Schleswig, then part of the Danish kingdom and now part of Germany. Shortly before sailing for America, he married Volkje Jurrians of the island of Nordstrand, part of the North Frisian chain of islands, along the Danish coast and near the port city of Husum. All this we know from the 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 Keshna's Kill.

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.


References

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.

13 comments:

  1. I am one of the descendants of the Van Huss/VanHoose/VanHusum family members. We live in Texas now. If you would like some information about us let me know.

    Lester Van Huss. lvtekdad1@yahoo.com

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    1. Yes I am too descendants of Solomon van huss and the DeBusk family. I too love in Tx

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  2. I am the 8th great granddaughter of Jan Fransse Van Husum. We are going to Husum next week!

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    1. Lynda...you did what i have always wanted to do...visit Husum....how was the trip? anything interesting? i too am the 8x great grandaughter of jan fransse!

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    2. One of these days, I hope to go too.

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  3. Hi, my family are Van Housens who live in Pennsylvania and I assumed for a while that they were related to Jan Franse, as I remember hearing that the family had "owned land in New Netherland" but I'm not sure it's him. Seems to be most are named Van Huss?

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    1. I was planning on visiting Husum as well as I travel back and forth to Germany, but if I'm not related then it wouldn't be as interesting :P

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    2. I wonder how many different spellings there are.

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  4. Van Huss Van Hoose Van Hooser Van Hoozer Van Hoosier Van Hoozier Hooser maybe Hoover all related. these are just the ones I can think of at this moment. I believe the john that was in Berks co, at one time was van housen ========= J Van Hoosier has been Van Hooser Van Hoozer

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  5. Please contact me at nurseypoo5@yahoo.com. I'm a Van Huss I'm not good at this genology but have found my way back to Solomon and rebecca Van Huss and Rebecca's family the DeBusks.

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    1. Sorry, I am slow to respond, but I am back at it.

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  6. Hello, all! I'm sure we're all related somehow. I have a book written by Joyce Lindstrom on the Van Huss/Van Hooser (and all the other variations) line! My grandma was a Van Hooser from TN. I've managed to trace my roots all the way back to Jan and Volkje because of the book (they are my 10th great-grandparents). Feel free to contact me at jazzybess@gmail.com and I will look up any info I can find in the book! :)

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