Van Voorhees Coat-of-Arms History of the Van Voorhees Family

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The Largest Dutch
Family in America


Holland Farm 1180-1660

The history of the Van Voorhees family prior to migration to New Netherland in 1660 is closely tied to the hamlet of Hees and the three farms that existed there. The first mention of two of these farms is made in a document dated 1180, and describes two farms that are the property of the monastery of Ruinen. It is believed that these farms were Voorhees and Middlehees. The third farm, Achterhees, was a newer farm and in fact was not recognized as a “full farm” until 1632. No further mention is found in the records of the farms at Hees until 1568. It is likely that the farms suffered in the war between the bishop of Utrecht and the people in 1227-1228 as much of the land around Hees was burned. Voorhees and Achterhees were two of the larger farms in the region. While there is no certainty that these farms were occupied by the Van Voorhees family prior to 1600, it is believed that this is the case from at least 1544, although the Van Voorhees family could well have occupied any and all three of the farms at Hees prior to that time. We do know that Coert moved to Voorhees in 1602. Coert was the father of Steven Coert that immigrated to New Netherland in 1660.

The following is a register of Voorhees between 1645-1660.

Item Quantity
House 8 cross-beams, 27 feet wide
Barn 4 cross-beams, 18 feet wide
Sheep fold 4 cross-beams, 25 feet wide
Arable land rented from convent 18 'mud'
Arable land in private ownership 3 mud
Meadowland rented from convent 7 'deimt'
Meadowland in private ownership, Manningematt 2 'deimt
Meadowland in private ownership, Heekersmatt 1 'deimt'
Meadowland in private ownership, Boltenhorne 3 "deimt"
Langematte at Hees 3 'deimt'
Spyck at Hees 4 'deimt'
A part of Drenthland near Kraloo, Private ownership  

The register information was extracted from Through a Dutch Door: 17th Century Origins of The Van Voorhees Family which is published by the Van Voorhees Association.

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New Amsterdam 1660-1996

When Steven Coerte arrived in the new world, he settled at New Amersfoort which was renamed Flatlands after British occupation. New Amersfoort was previously the site of an ancient Indian village called Kaskachague and was at the crossing of two Indian trails. Many of the Van Voorhees relocated to New Brunswick, New Jersey where they were members of the Dutch Reformed Church around 1717.

Since 1660, members of the Van Voorhees family have spread to all corners of the United States frequently being the pioneers who opened up the territories.

Today the family is reported as being the largest Dutch family in America. The Family numbers in the thousands and sports many variations of the Van Voorhees name, including:

Van Voorhees, Voorhees
Van Voorhies, Voorhies
Van Vorhies, Vorhies
Van Voorhis, Voorhis
Voorheas, Voorhease, Voorheese
Voorheez, Voorheis, Voorhes, Voorhies
Vorhees, Voorhis, Vorhes

Van Voris, Voris
Vooris, Voress, Vorys, Vorhis, Voris
Vories, Voreese, Vores, Vorheis, Vorres

Van Vorous, Vorous
Voras, Voorus
Van Voorkiss
Vource, Vorce

In 2007, the Van Voorhees Association database lists 56,614 surnames of which about 39% are variations of the name Van Voorhees.

  • Surname Frequency - more common names (by Bob Voorhees based on research by Judith Van Voorhis)

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