Van Voorhees Coat-of-Arms Famous Family

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The Largest Dutch
Family in America

Distinguished Members of the Van Voorhees Family

If you have any information of distinguished members of the Van Voorhees Family, this site would welcome your submission of such information. We ask that you compose a paragraph or two describing the individual and his or her accomplishments. Pictures are welcome but it is preferred that they be sent in electronic format as paper prints cannot be returned. For more information on submitting entries please e-mail us at

Congressman Nelson H. Van Voorhes

Nelson Holmes was born in 1822 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. In 1832 he moved to Athens county, Ohio where he farmed for several years after which he worked as an apprentice in his father's printing-office. In 1850 he was elected to the state legislature eventually becoming speaker. During the war between the states, Nelson joined the 92nd regiment of U.S. troops attaining a commission of colonel in 1863. After leaving the military, Colonel Van Voorhes again became speaker of the Ohio Assembly for a period of four years (1871-1874). In 1874 he was elected to the as a representative in the 44th Congress. He was re-elected two years later to the 45th Congress.

The previous information was submitted by Ross T. Dunlop.

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Danial W. Voorhees

U.S. Senator Daniel Wolsey Voorhees

Daniel Wolsey Voorhees was a leading Indiana politician and orator of renown in the mid to late 19th century. He made history in his state and in Washington, D.C. Daniel was born on 26 September 1827 at liberty Township, Butler County Ohio, the son of Stephen Voorhees and Rachel Elliott. He was of the Lucas line: Stephen, Peter, Stephen, Petrus Van Voorhees, Jan Lucasse, Lucas Stevense and Steven Coerts. In his year of birth, Daniel moved with his parents and two siblings to Fountain County, Indiana, near Veedeersburg. Daniel's known homes in Indiana were in Covington and Terre Haute. He died in Washington DC on 10 April 1897 and was interred at Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana.

William E. Wilson, author of Indiana, A History (Indiana University Press, Bloomington IN, 1966) says: “Voorhees, a Democrat, an exponent of popular sovereignty, opposed to the war, opposed to emancipation, and in the Gilded Age of the 1870’s and 1880’s an enemy of the Eastern moneyed interests, served thirty-one years in Congress as representative and senator.... Wilson points out that Daniel had the quality of “... personal honesty. It is perhaps more for that virtue, in a period of shabby public morals, than for his brilliance as an orator and his long and steadfast service to his party in indiana, that the Tall Sycamore of the Wabash should be remembered in the company of distinguished Hoosier politicians.” Daniel acquired the name Tall Sycamore of the Wabash because he was over six feet in height, had a large head and broad shoulders, and “in the excitement of forensics, his hair stood out like the quills of a sycamore's button-ball” (p.111) In 1856, Daniel ran for Congress. His opponent was James Wilson. Their debates over slavery were similar to those of lincoln and Douglass some two years later. According to historian Wilson, “The position of Voorhees was similar to that of Stephen A. Douglas: ‘I do not favor the institution of slavery, I don't want it here; but they have a right to it elsewhere; property in slaves is not to be distinguished from other kinds of property which are protected by the same constitution.”’ (p.112) Daniel lost by 230 votes and moved from Covington to Terre Haute.

Between 1858-61, Daniel was U.S. Attorney for Indiana In 1859, Governor Willard's wife's brother was arrested with the followers of John Brown at Harper's Ferry and charged with treason and murder. Daniel journeyed to Charlestown VA to plead eloquenty on the behalf of John E. Cook. The accused was judged innocent of treason but was found guilty of murder; he was hanged. However, Daniel's “... appearance at the trial was a personal and political success. His speech received praise from all parts of the nation” (Wilson, p.113).

Daniel was initially elected to Congress in 1860. He served in the House for most of the years between 1861 to 1873. When he first arrived, Daniel was confronted with the fall of Fort Sumter and the secession of South Carolina. While he had originally been opposed to war against the South, he supported preserving the Union. In 1876, Daniel campaigned for Blue Jeans Williams, the Democratic candidate for governor of Indiana. Williams won and in 1877 appointed Daniel to the unexpired U.S. Senate term of the late Oliver P. Morton. He had an active part in bringing about the building of the congressional library.” (Vol.23, p.254) A clipping from the Sullivan Union (not dated; Terre Haute was at one time in Sullivan County) states that Daniel was Chairman of the Senate

The previous information is an excerpt originally written by Manning Voorhees and published in the Van Voorhees Nieuwsbrief Jan. 1, 1997.

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Alfred Voorhis

Alfred H. Voorhies (Civil War Diary)

The Diary of Alfred H. Voorhies was transcribed from the original by his sister. Margaret and Gene Whelan had it in their possession and shared it with Pat Whelan Brokaw who re-transcribed it to pass on to the family. I found a book* published in 1902 about the 1st New York (or lincoln) Cavalry in which he served.

"Voorhies, Alfred H.—Age 22 years. Enlisted August 5, 1861 at New York; mustered in as private. Company H, August 5, 1861 to serve three years; re-enlisted January 1, 1864; captured May 13, 1864; died of disease August 13, 1864; at Andersonville, Ga."

Interestingly, the next entry reads:

"Voorhies, Robert C.—Age 19 years. Enlisted August 5, 1861 at New York; mustered in as private. Company H, August 5, 1861 to serve three years; killed May 6, 1863 in action at Upperville, Va."

In A list of the Union Solders Buried at Andersonville (copied from the Official Record in the Surgeon's Office at Andersonville) is listed:

No. of Grave Name
5503 Voorhies, A. H.; 1cav. Co H, died Aug 13, diarrhea c.

The previous information was submitted by Annie Brokaw Tobin and was published in the January 1998 Nieuwsbrief.

*Beach, William, The First New York Cavalry from April 19, 1861 to July 7, 1865. Annandale, VA; Bacon Race Books.

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LTG Daniel Van Voorhis

Lt. General Daniel Van Voorhis

Daniel Van Voorhis was born in Zanesville, Ohio in 1878 and died in Washington in 1956. General Van Voorhis was a key figure in the mechanization of the United States Cavalry. The General has been called the “Grandfather of the Armored Force” by no less than General Creighton Abrams, the Army chief of staff between 1972-1974. Daniel Van Voorhis joined the army in 1898 as a corporal in the 10th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Later in the same year he was appointed captain. In 1900 he was appointed a second lieutenant in the Regular Army. In 1929 he graduated from the Army War College and was appointed colonel in 1930 at which time he assumed command of the newly formed experimental Mechanized Force. This unit was redesignated the 1st Cavalry Regiment (mechanized) in 1933 and later in 1936 it became the 7th Cavalry Brigade, Mechanized.

The previous information was submitted by Lt. Col. J. A. Ward. For more information please consult “Armor: The Magazine of Mobile Warfare”, March/April 1986.

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Donald Voorhees

Donald Voorhees

(The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

Donald Voorhees (July 26, 1903, Allentown, Pennsylvania–January 10, 1989, Cape May Court House, New Jersey) was an American composer and conductor who received an Emmy Award nomination for "Individual Achievements in Music" for his work on the television series, The Bell Telephone Hour.


From 1935 to 1941, and from 1949 to 1953 (with Ardon Cornwell), Voorhees was the musical director and conductor for the radio and television show, Cavalcade of America. [1]

Voorhees also served as conductor of the Bell Telephone Hour orchestra for 26 years, from its first broadcasts on radio in 1942 until its final television episode in 1968. [2]  He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1966 for "Individual Achievements in Music" for his work on the series. [2]

He was also the first conductor of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. Voorhees served as conductor and musical director of the orchestra from its inception in 1951 until 1983. [3]

(The following is an excerpt from IMDb, The Internet Movie Database [4]


Actor: The Bell Telephone Hour" (2 episodes)

  • "The Many Faces of Romeo and Juliet" (1967) - Conductor
  • "First Ladies of the Opera" (1967) - Conductor

Composer: "The Bell Telephone Hour" (1 episode)

  • "First Ladies of the Opera" (1967)

Music Department: The Bell Telephone Jubilee (1976) (TV)

  • Conductor: footage of "Bell Telephone Hour" clips for Jubilee! (USA)

Director: "The Bell Telephone Hour" (1959) (TV Series)

Self: Host

  • "The Bell Telephone Hour" (1967) (1 episode)
  • "The Virtuoso Teacher" (1967) TV Episode

Rehearsal: The Bell Telephone Hour (1947) - Conductor


  1. Cavalcade of America Log, 29 May 2007 (
  2. Donald Voorhees, 29 May 2007 (
  3. About the ASO, 27 May 2007 (
  4. Donald Voorhees, 29 May 2007 (

The previous information was submitted by Florence Christoph, CG.

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