The story of the Van Schoonhoven family in Albany begins with Holland born Geurt Hendrickse, a carpenter, farmer, and Albany householder, who may have come to America as early as 1638. Two or more brothers also may have emigrated to New Netherland. Of the six surviving children of the marriage of Geurt Hendrickse and Maria Cornelis, three daughters and a son married and established the second generation of the family in the colony of New York.
The son, known as Jacobus G. Van Schoonhoven, was listed next to his father on the Albany census in 1697. Middle aged, he married Susanna Bradt in 1714. He was a farmer and sawyer at Half Moon and Tomhannock. Their seven children included two sons (Geurt and Dirck Bradt) who raised families of their own.
While his older brother worked the farm, Dirck Bradt Van Schoonhoven became a prominent Hudson River skipper, a sometime carpenter, and a well-known member of the Albany community. His marriage to Volkie Vandenbergh produced ten children who spread out in the upper Hudson region. Their son, Jacob, was a carpenter who lived on the section of North Market Street that was annexed to the city in 1814.
Here since the New Netherland period, the descendants of Geurt Hendrickse and Maria Cornelis persisted in Albany well into the 19th century. We have identified twenty-six Van Schoonhoven family members who lived in the city prior to 1800.
Van Schoonhoven family history: The chief published resource on the family is Norwood J. Barris's compilation entitled Dutch Cousins: 784 Descendants of Geurt Hendrickse Van Schoonhoven of Albany and Half Moon, NY (privately printed, 2001), which includes material from this website but goes far beyond Albany in tracking family members! See also Andrew Brink, "The Van Schoonhovens: Enterprising Immigrants," De Halve Maen 72:2 (Summer 1999), 33-40. We are particularly indebted to Derrick B. Van Schoonhoven of Pennsylvania (not Watervliet) for much useful material, valuable leads to other resources, and continued encouragement. See also, his online transcription of family cemetery information.
first posted: 2/18/00; last updated 11/6/12