Pieter Wolfertsen Van Couwenhoven1

#1584, (say 1612 - )
Relationship8th great-grandfather of Nelle Belle Bridges
Father*Wolfert Gerritsz Van Couwenhoven2 (1580 - 1662)
Mother*Neeltje Jacobsdochter3 (c 1584 - )

Family 1

Child 1. Tryntje Pieters+14,9

Family 2

Hester Simons b. s 1619, d. b 1665
Pieter Wolfertsen Van Couwenhoven was also known as Pieter Van Kouwenhoven. 
Birth*say 1612He was born say 1612 at NetherlandsG
by 1630He accompanied Wolfert Gerritsz Van Couwenhoven and Neeltje Jacobsdochter by 1630 to New Amsterdam, New Netherland.4 
Baptism2 October 1639He, as Pieter Wolphertszen, sponsored the baptism of Maryken Jansen on 2 October 1639 at Reformed Dutch Church, New Amsterdam, New Netherland.5 
Marriage*2 December 1640He married Hester Simons on 2 December 1640 at New Netherland.6 
Baptism19 May 1641He sponsored the baptism of Jan Jacobsen Van Couwenhoven on 19 May 1641 at New Netherland.7 
Baptism27 August 1645He sponsored the baptism of Aeltje Jacobs Van Couwenhoven on 27 August 1645 at New Netherland.8 
Baptism6 September 1648He witnessed the baptism of Geertie Lamberts Mol on 6 September 1648 at New Netherland.9 
The locality modifier "Van Couwenhoven" appears in New Amsterdam church records as early as 1649 when Jacob Van Couwenhoven is named as a sponsor for the baptism of Janneken Backerus. In 1651 appearing as a sponsor for the baptism of Albert Albertsen is Wolfert Gerritszen Couwenhoven, the head of the immigrant family. Earlier records use the familiar Dutch naming convention - given name with patronymic, i.e., the name of the father. In these cases we will find Wolferts sons as Pieter Wolfertszen, Gerrit Wolfertszen and Jacob Wolfertszen (as appears in the records of the Church at New Amsterdam). Only later is Van Couwenhoven (or by some Kouwenhoven) taken by the family as a surname.
Bergen's Register of the Early Settlers of Kings County (1881) states that the family migrated to New Amsterdam from Amersfooort in the province of Utrecht. The modifier "Van Amerfoort" as sometimes found in lieu of "Van Couwhoven" in the early colonial records. In New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, a 1939 contibution "The Van Kouwenhoven-Conover Family" says of Wolfer Gerritse that "it is certain that he came from an estate named Kouwenhoven in the neighborhood of the city of Amersfoort in the Netherlands." In the same publication, in 1997–1998, the contribution "Wolfert Gerritse in the Netherlands" states "there is more than one Couwenhoven in the vicinity of Amersfoort — not only a Couwenhoven to the northwest in Hoogland but also one on the east [actually west] near Zeist and one southeast in Woudenberg." This article includes many of the Dutch church sources to support the Amersfoort origins of the family. The same author, in 2004, comments "[the] farm Kouwenhoven is located in the neighborhood Coelhorst within the former district Hoogland, which is now a part of the district Amersfoort."
Finally, in the last mentioned work (129:3, p. 113), citing a 1639 contract, "the name Couwenhoven was used at this time in Amersfoort in reference to Wolfert's deceased brother Willem."10,11,12,13 
ChartsAncestors of Nelle Belle Bridges


  1. [S210] Isora Collord, Ancestors of William Adams Collord and Rebecca Severns his wife (privately printed, ca. 1870). Hereinafter cited as Ancestors of Collord.
  2. [S227] Van Cleave Family Tree, online http://vancleavefamilytree.com/index.php, WOLFERT GERRITSZ VAN COUWENHOVEN, b. 1580, Utrecht, Holland, Netherlands, d. 1662, Long Island, New Netherland.
  3. [S227] Van Cleave Family Tree, online http://vancleavefamilytree.com/index.php, NEELTJE JACOBSDOCHTER, b. Abt 1584, , , , Netherlands, d. Abt 1658, Flatlands, Kings, New York, USA.
  4. [S672] A. J. F. van Laer, editor, Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts (Albany: University of the State of New York, 1908), p. 158, citing V. R. B. Mss, Letter Book, f.35b (extract in V. R. B. Mss 36). "Instructions from Kiliaen van Rensselaer for Bastiaen Ianssen Crol, commis at Fort Orange, 12 Jan 1630."
    I have engaged Wolffert Gerritssz, farmer, to direct provisionally all my affairs concerning the farms and purchase of cattle, [asking him also to] show [said Gerritssz] every favor as to what he may need for me for that purpose, also to cause to be made what he may want in the way of hardware or other things and to charge the same to my account, and if he needs any carpenters, for the erection of my houses, barracks, barns, sheepfold or other buildings, to accommodate him therewith if they are not more needed for the Company . . .
    If it is a good acorn year there, that Wulffert Gerritssen or his foreman have a good quantity bought up for me to be kept for the winter as feed for the hogs . . .
    And inasmuch as Rensselaer has agreed to plant a colony, and is thereby bound to support 50 people in that country, he must necessarily have many animals or will otherwise not be able to maintain his colony. Wolffert Gerritssz shall therefore try to obtain as many animals as possible from this one and that one . . .

    And "Instructions to Wolfert Gerritsz," 16 Jan 1630.
    Amersfoort, this 16th of January 1630, in Amsterdam Wulfert Gcrritssz aforesaid is engaged by Rensselaer, his service to begin on his arrival in that country. He is bound for four summers, but Rensselr. may end the contract after one or two summers.
    The annual term of service of Wulfert is agreed upon to be from April to November, when all the winter seed is in the ground ; and if it is very necessary he must stay through the winter and he shall receive 20 guilders for each month of service being at his own expense as to board.

    Footnote, p. 161: "In the N. Y. Col. Mss, he is occasionally referred to as Wolfert Gerritsz van Couwenhoven. Couwenhoven is a farm or country seat about four miles northwest of Amersfoort."
  5. [S1171] Thomas Grier Evans, editor, Records of the Reformed Dutch Church in New Amsterdam and New York: Baptisms From 1639 to 1730 (New York: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1901), p. 10. Maryken, dau. of Claes Janszen [mother not named], bapt. 2 Oct 1639; sponsors Corm. Lambertszen Cool, Pieter Wolphertszen, Burger Joriszen Smit, Neeltje
    Wolpherts, Aaltje Cornelis.
  6. [S666] Samuel S. Purple, editor, Records of the Reformed Dutch Church in New Amsterdam and New York: Marriages from 11 December 1639 to 26 August 1801 (New York: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1890), p. 10. Pieter Wolfertszen, j. m. from Amersfoort, and Hester Simons, from Amsterdam, wid. of Jacques de Vernuis; 2 Dec 1640. Hereinafter cited as Records of the RDC in NY Marriages 1639-1801.
  7. [S1171] Thomas Grier Evans, Records of the RDC in NY: Baptisms 1639–1730, p. 10. Jan, son of Jacob Wolphertszen [mother's name not given], bapt. 19 May 1641; sponsors VVolfert Gerritszen, Pieter Wolfertszen, Aeltie Cornelis.
  8. [S1171] Thomas Grier Evans, Records of the RDC in NY: Baptisms 1639–1730, p. 19. Aeltje, dau. of Jacob Wolphertszen [mother's name not given], bapt. 27 Aug 1645; sponsors Wolfert Gerritszen. Pieter Wolfertszen, Maryken Thymens, Ariaentje Cornelis.
  9. [S1171] Thomas Grier Evans, Records of the RDC in NY: Baptisms 1639–1730, p. 25. Geertje, dau. of Lambert Huysbertszen Moll [mother not named], bapt. 6 Sep 1648; sponsors Pieter Wolfertszen and Aeltje Pilms.
  10. [S1176] Teunis G. Bergen, Register in Alphabetical Order of the Early Settlers of Kings County, Long Island, N. Y. (New York: S. W. Green's Sons, 1881), p. 81.
  11. [S1643] Lincoln C Cocheu, "The Van Kouwenhoven-Conover Family", The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 70, 71 (1939–1940): p. 232.
  12. [S1647] Willem van Kouwenhoven, "Wolfert Gerritse in the Netherlands", The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 128:210–218, 129:21–31, 109–120 (Oct. 1997, Jan./Apr. 1998): p. 212.
  13. [S1638] Willem van Kouwenhoven, "Wolfert Gerritse in the Netherlands: Further Thoughts", The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 135:4 (Oct. 2004): p. 252.
  14. [S210] Isora Collord, Ancestors of Collord, p. 19. "Lambert Huybertsen Mol. . .came about 1627, and settled at Bushwick, Long Island. He married Tryntje Pieters, probably a daughter of Pieter Wolfertsen Van Couwenhoven, as he and his brother appear as witnesses at the baptism of two of Lambert's children."