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Archiver > COURTER > 1999-06 > 0928549688

From: <>
Subject: Courter research
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 22:28:08 EDT


To start with you must understand the deep roots of the
Courter clan, both in family and religon. In the Paterson N.J.
library, there is a Dutch Bible that was brought over from
Holland by Harmen Coerten. At the time the Dutch people were
suffering from religious persecution, and when reading the Bible
was forbidden, the ancestors of the Courter family used to read
this Bible secretly and the seal it away in a niche in the wall.
The cover pages from the Bible were removed in about 1925 and
lost to us. Other pages list Hermanus Coerten (Jan son) birth and
death and records of his wife Susannah and his eight children.
The bible was lost due to fie in about 1938.

The Courter (COERTEN) family is often referred to in the
records of New Netherlands. "as stated by Rev W. E. Deriemer of
washington D. C., in a leflet attached to his 'history of the
DeRiemers Family', they were (the Courter Family) were
conspicuous among those who were the original settlers and
builders of New York and its suburbs.

Before tracing the courter families let examine the setting in
which the early Courter families lived. The Dutch Settlement know
as New Amsterdam (New York City) was really a trading post of a
private corporation rather than a town or village. Soon after the
discovery of Manhattan Island by Henry Hudson in 1609, a grant
was made by the Dutch Government to "New Netherland Company'
which was followed later by similar grant to the 'West India
Company'. #2

"as stated in a paper by William C. Dewitt, esq., of Brooklyn,
each of these grants was simply a concession of a monopoly of
trade and commerce with the Indians together with the incidental
right of government as exigencies might require: there was no
recognition of any right of those hardy pioneers who should
settle in New Netherlands to self government or to personal
liberty; they were left to the mercy of the Director general and
a council selected at Amsterdam by the 'West India Company'. #3

"In 1653 the town of new Amsterdam was created by charter and
existed until 1664 when the British took possession almost
without opposition. In 1665 the City of New York was created by
charter from Col. Richard Nicolls, the first British Governor,
and in 1664 all eastern part of New Jersey was granted by the
Duke of York to Sir George Carteret" #4

1 Greener,John H., "The Courter Family" p. 104
2 Greener, p. 65
3 Greener, p. 66
4 Greener, p. 67
5 Paterson Morning call dated Jan 16, 1939

The history of the Coerten families in America began sometime
after 1641 when Guert Coerten came to New Amsterdam to work for
Van Twiller. Guert must have been the force which lead Harmen to
come to America in 1659. For details on Guert see his family

During the adminstration of Peter Stuyesant, the last of the
Director Generals, Guert Coerten's brother Harmen Coerten 1659,
Stephen Koerts or Koerten 1660 (Van Voorhis) and Myndert Koerten
1661, Barent Coerten 1664, all arrived in New Amsterdam. "It is
apparent from the early records of New Amsterdam that there were
three or four seperate families of Coerten, who, as far as we can
be ascertained, were in no way related. #6

Mr. Greener in his genealogy made an extensive study of the
Courter families coming to New Netherlands and by the process of
elimination arrived at the following conclusions:

Guert Coerten arrived after 1641 from Voorthuysen in
Guelderlandt, Holland. He had no children.

Harmen Coerten, brother to Guert Coerten, also came from
Voorthuysen in Guelderlandt, Holland wife his wife and five
children on feb 12 1659. He is the "FATHER" of the Courter line
in the United States.

Stephen Coerten Or Koerten (Van Voorhees) came in 1660 from near
Hess in Holland. Most of his children used the family name
spelled Van Voorhis, Van Voorhees, Voorhis, or Voris, etc. His
son Coert Stevenson, and his children used the name Coerte part
of the time, but the next generation used the name Van Voorhees.

Myndert Coerten Came in 1661 from Arbhem, a city in Holland. He
had three daughters and five sons. Of the five sons, four" died
young". The fifth son had a son who" died young". Myndert was a
friend of Jacob Leisler who in 1691 took charge of Fort James and
refused to return it to the English. Jacob leisler, and his son-
in-law Jacob Milborne, Myndert Coerten, Gerardus Beckman,
Johannse Vermelje, Thomas Williams, Abraham Brasher and Abraham
Gouverneur were convicted of high treason with Leisler and
Milborne being hanged. 7

Barent Coerten came from "Rhenen in Stift Munster". he came in
1661 and was married in the New York Dutch Reformed Church. He
had two sons. The first" died young". The second married and had
a son who apparently did not marry.

From John Greener's study we can conclude that Harmen Coerten was
our immigrant ancestor and the Courters in Northern New Jersey.
The other Coerten Families in the area died (males) out or
changed their names.

6 Greener p 68 7 Purple p30

A William Courter B: 1729 and his wife Catherine Van Dusen
has appeared in a paper written by Jackson in 1935 William
is stated as born in Holland and settled in Red Bank NJ,
( There are two one by Trenton and the other in momouth Co).
In the Jackson paper it stated that one son John worked for
the Hussens. I found there were a Large number of Hessens
near the Red Bank at Trenton.
I can not find a ship bringing either to America and not
reference to her in any Van Dusen lines.
The family moved to KY and other states.

A samuel E Courter (corter) is in the 1810 census of Ohio.

Peter and John Courter are in the 1790 Census of Pa.

There is A James B 1810 in Ky.

The name Courter has been spelled several ways. Due to the many
different types of people and the way each country uses the
surname our name over the years has been changed and miss-written
on many documents. "it must be remembered that in the time with
which we are dealing writing was a somewhat rare accomplishment
and spelling especially the spelling og names was a matter of
individnal taste or choice. It is not surprising, therefore, to
find that the name of the family is spelled in various places in
the following styles: Coers, Coert, Coerts, Koerts, Coerten,
Courten, Korten, Koerte, Korte, Coerte, Courte, Corte, Corter,
and Courter. When I was in Germany all my bills were made to
Korter they do not use the C. And I guess all of us have been
called two-bits twenty-five cents at one time. #7

The surname for each generation as we now know it was an English
custom, the Dutch and other countries followed the naming customs
of time immemorial, the beginnings of which are found in the
Bible. Identification by the father's first name, that is, the
patronymic, was the predominant system among the Dutch in
America. The first emigrant's marriage record as translated from
the records of the Dutch Church of Flatbush, long island. It
tells us that the: (1) The groom's first name was Jan or in
English, John; (2) his father's first name was Barent-the ending
z, or more commonly szen, sen and se, meaning 'Son of'; (3) their
surname at the time was apparently Van Driest. For females an
"s" was added to the father's names. luckly for us the family
used the English surname standard. The main problem in tracing
our family is that each family used the same names such as John,
Peter, Hermanus, Neetlje, Jacob, and etc which takes time to pair
up parents.#8

7 Greener p68
8 Greener p68, 69

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