Percival Glenroy Ullman.

The Coursens, from 1612 to 1917 : compiled from ancient and modern records, with the Staten Island branch online

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Online LibraryPercival Glenroy UllmanThe Coursens, from 1612 to 1917 : compiled from ancient and modern records, with the Staten Island branch → online text (page 1 of 4)
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This is to (flcrtifg that descendant^of

named in this book

are eligible to membership in this Society



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3 1833 01733 9042

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

1612 TO 1917




From 1612 to 1917 compiled from Ancient

and Modern Records with the

Staten Island Branch


Percival Glenroy Ullman

Counsellor at Law



Motto on family crest



Of the Coursens in France

The ancestors of Peter Coursen, the French
Huguenot, who emigrated from France to New
Amsterdam in 1612, originated in Bretagne (Brit-
tany), France. They were ancient, influential and
possessors of large landed estates, as the records

In the French volume of ancient armorial bear-
ings and crests (illustrated), and entitled, "Armorial
General Reitstap I. A. K. Tome," the French Coat
of Arms of the Coursen branches are as follows:

Of the Baron de Coursen — also of the Compe
(Count) de Coursen as shown by illustrations. Also
the coat of arms of the Coursen family now in use
by their American descendants in Pennsylvania and
Staten Island, as follows:

"Three owls (facing you) upon a background of
"gold — with the motto 'Toujours Droit — Coursen.' "

M. Aurelien de Coursen, the eminent French his-
torian, in one of his works, published in Paris in
1863, entitled "Du V au XIP Siecle-La Bretagne,"
gives valuable historic information of Bretagne
(Brittany), France, and its ancient inhabitants.

Of Peter Coursen the First French

Huguenot Emigrant from France

to New Amsterdam in 1612

Who was probably one of the First
French Settlers in America, in the
Dutch Colony of New Netherlands
(New Amsterdam), which began to
colonize in 1611




Compiled from ancient Colonial records of
New Amsterdam and the early and modern records
of the State of New York, as an appendix to the his-
tory by Hiram Corson, M.D., entitled, "The Corson
Family," by Percival Glenroy Ullman, counsellor
at law, of Staten Island, N. Y., is as follows:

Peter Coursen the 1st, French Huguenot refu-
gee and founder of the family, arrived in New
Amsterdam, in America, in the year 1612, one year
after the date of the first colonization of New
Amsterdam by the Dutch, as the records show was
commenced in 1611. (See the International Cyclo-
paedia, 1892 issue, p. 587, under the title of New

Woodrufif, in his volume entitled, "The Coursens
of Sussex County, New Jersey," says, on page 1 :

"The Coursen ancestors originated in Walloon, France ; that
Cornelius Piertertse Vroom or Froome, was born in 1611/12, in
a hamlet in Holland called 'Langeraer or Langerak,' and came
from France to America by way of Holland. He refers to the
following records as his source of information, namely, 'The Cal-
endar of Dutch MSS.,' pp. 5-62, and Collection of New York
MSS., Vol. I, p. 72."

I have made a careful examination of each of
said volumes and fail to find such date of birth, ham-
let or places named. Neither do they appear upon
any map or in any encyclopaedia. Therefore there
is no doubt, that Woodrufif, the author, was mistaken,
but it is very probable that he intended Langes, a
hamlet in France, near the border of Belgium, for
Langeraer or Langerak, so named in his book.


The origin of the Coursens in France was in
Bretagne (Brittany), where the Coursen name is
frequently found upon ancient French records, and
up to the present period. M. Aurelien de Coursen,
the French historian, in 1863 thus appears as a native
of that place.

Peter Coursen the 1st, who emigrated to New
Amsterdam in 1612, had the following issue:

Jan Coursen (his son), born not later than 1608
in France. (See Woodruff, p. 1 ; also Clute, p. 359.)

Arendt Coursen (his son), a soldier in Fort
Nassau, in 1633. (See Register of New Nether-
land, p. 49.)


Arendt gave a power of attorney to Covert
Lookerman, of New Amsterdam, dated August 4th,
1642, to receive moneys from one David Provost.
(See Calendar of the N. Y. Historical MSS., Part
I, p. 19.)

I regard this as a remarkable coincidence, for
the reason that Covert Lookerman, of New Amster-
dam, of that date (his descendants changed the spell-
ing of his name to Lookman, lastly to Lockman) was
the direct ancestor of my great-grandfather, Samuel
Lockman, of Manhattan, who married Catharine
Crowal, March 16th, 1790 (see Clute, p. 402), and
whose daughter, Henrietta Maria, married Richard
Corson (Coursen) in the year 1820.

Samuel Lockman was a shipping merchant, whose
warehouses and residence were on the corner of
Broad and Water Streets, where his daughter, Hen-
rietta Maria, was born February 14th, 1806.


Arendt had one Moerheart Laurens Cornelison
arrested in 1644, for expressing himself disrespect-
fully of one Doretor Kieft. (See Coll. of N. Y. His-
torical MSS., p. 28.) William Kieft was Governor
of New Amsterdam from 1638 to 1647. Doretor
was probably his daughter.

He was a plaintiff on August 2Sth, 1645. (See
same, p. 911.) He married Angenetta Gillis, who,
after his decease, applied for a marriage license on
July 18th, 1647. (See N. Y. Historical MSS.
(Dutch), pp. 111-316.)

Jean Coursen (a son of Peter the 1st) married
Catharine van Campen, in New Amsterdam, in 1619.
Doubtless he was born in France, emigrated to New
Amsterdam with his father Peter in 1612, and
resided there seven years prior to his marriage. (See
Records of the Huguenot Society of America, in
New York City, for which I am greatly indebted to
Mrs. James M. Lawton, the Secretary to the

Cornelius Corsen (a son of Peter the 1st) and
apparently his eldest child, and a brother to Jan,
Jean and Arendt, was called and commonly known
by his New Amsterdam neighbors from 1612, as
"Cors. Pietertse Vroom or Fromm," in the following
manner: Pietertse is a Dutch word, meaning in
English, "a son of Peter"; "Fromm," then spelled
Vroom, is also a Dutch word, translated in English
means Pious. "Cors," then often used, was meant
as an abbreviation of the name Cornelius. Thus
translating the name as he was called in New Amster-
dam, of "Cors Pietertse Vroom or Fromm." Trans-
lated it meant Cornelius, the son of Peter the Pious,


and therefore it is clear that by so designating him
his good neighbors of New Amsterdam did not
intend to change his true name of Cornelius Cour-
sen, who was in fact the son of Peter, who, no doubt,
was a pious member of the Reformed Dutch Church
at that period.

Such misnomers were then customary and fre-
quent. However, "Bergen," at the time he wrote his
book (see p. 383), did not understand the Dutch
language and thought that the Coursens had changed
their names to Vroom, as he states.

For the translation of the words, Vroome, Fromm
and Pietertse, see Woodruff, p. 12.

Cornelius Coursen (whom I designate the 1st,
who was a son of Peter the 1st) married one Tryntje
Hendricks, who, after his decease in the year 1657,
made a petition to the Orphan Masters of New
Amsterdam, dated September 19th, 1657, for the
guardianship of their children, in which she de-
scribes her deceased husband as "Cors. Peterson,"
and in the same instrument states the names of their
children as "Corssen." The explanation for an
apparent change of her husband Cornelius Coursen's
name to "Cors Peterson" is that Cors. meant Cor-
nelius," as I have before explained, and "Peterson"
meant Peter's son. Therefore, by such misnomer she
had no intention of changing her husband's name.

In her Petition, among other things, she states as

"Cornells Corssen 12 years old. Peter Corssen 6 years old
"and Hendrick Corssen 3 years old."

She also describes the location of their home as


"On the North Side of Pearl Street in this city. Bounded on


"the South by said Street. West by Isaac Gravenaad, North by
"Fort Amsterdam. On the East by Peter Couwenhoven." (See
Register of the Minutes of the Orphan Masters of New Amster-
dam, page 40.)

A Royal Patent of the above described plot was

granted by the Dutch Government to her husband

on June 21st, 1647, described as follows:

"Of the lot South of Fort Amsterdam." (See Register of
Land Papers, page 372.)

I have succeeded in locating the residence plot
of Cornelius Coursen the 1st, occupied by himself
and his said wife and children from 1647, when he
became its owner, until his decease in 1657, as the
following letter will show:

"The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New York
42 Cedar Street— N. Y. City

"Dear Sir — Let me acknowledge the receipt of your letter of
"Feb. 1st. In answer to your inquiry about the exact Location
"of the former Fort Amsterdam, allow me to say — That it is
"rather hard to give such information in a letter.

"The Fort was of course at the lower end of Manhattan Island
"approximately on the site of the custom house etc. etc.

Yours Very Truly

Caris E. Du Pont,

Deputy Secretary.
To Percival G. Ullman, Esq.,
45 Broadway, N. Y. City.

Their children were baptized as follows:

Cornelius (the 2nd), in New Amsterdam Re-
formed Dutch Church, April 23rd, 1645.

Peter (the 2nd), in New Amsterdam Reformed
Dutch Church, March 5th, 1651.

Hendrick, in New Amsterdam Dutch Reformed
Church, November 3rd, 1653.


(See New York Genealogical and Biographical
Society, Baptisms in the Reformed Dutch Church
of North America; also Bergen, p. 383.)

Peter Coursen, the 2nd, a son of Cornelius the
1st, born in 1651, married Catharine Van der Beek,
who was the widow of one Daniel Rehanco, on Octo-
ber 19th, 1679, and resided in Brooklyn, N. Y.,
where his son Peter held the office of County Clerk
of Kings County, N. Y. in 1739. (See Bergen, p.
383.) He appears as grantor in Kings County (see
Liber I of Deeds, p. 180) in 1689.

Hendrick Coursen, a son of Cornelius the 1st
and a grandson of Peter the 1st, born in 1653; bap-
tized November 3rd, 1653. Adopted the name of
Vroom, by which his father, Cornelius Coursen the
1st, had been called by the church members of New
Amsterdam, whether through ignorance of his true
name of Coursen or by previous habit I am unable to

He married Josina Pieterse Van Ness in 1677.
His name appears in the Assessment Rolls of Brook-
lyn in 1683 and 1693. He finally settled at Raritan,
near New Brunswick, in the State of New Jersey,
and became the ancestor of Governor Vroome of that
State. His issue were as follows:

Cornelius, baptized March 6th, 1679.

Rachael, who married Christopher Van Zant.

Hendrick, baptized May 7th, 1683, whose first
wife was Jannetje Bergen; his second wife was Dar-
tie Demond.

Alfred, baptized April 6th,/' 1^90. (See Bergen,
pp. 382-3.)


Tryntje Hendricks, the widow of Cornelius
Coursen the 1st and mother of Cornelius the 2nd,
Peter the 2nd and Hendrick, married one Frederick
Lubbertsen, of Brooklyn, on August 3rd, 1657. (See
Bergen, pp. 382-3.) This same Frederick Lubbert-
sen was selected in 1642 by the Dutch Government
in New Amsterdam as one of twelve men to punish
the Indians for murder. (See The N. Y, Civil List,
issue 1870, p. 5.)


New Amsterdam (New Netherland) was first
colonized in 1611. (See International Cyclopedia,
issue 1892, p. 587.)

Hendrick Hudson discovered the Hudson River
in 1609. Peter Coursen the 1st located in New
Amsterdam in 1612, one year later after the first col-
onization. Manhattan was bought from the Indians
in 1624. The population of New Amsterdam when
Peter the 1st located was considerably less than 300.

In the New York Public Library is a book
printed in Holland in 1651, with an engraving of
old Fort Amsterdam (on the land now occupied by
the United States Custom House) at the lower end
of Manhattan, showing the old Fort as it appeared
in 1650, with about thirty dwelling houses close to
its north side and five or six houses near its south
side, one of which was the home of Cornelius Cour-
sen the 1st (the son of Peter the 1st) and for which
he received a Royal Dutch Patent June 21st, 1647
(see land papers, p. 372), and in which he resided
with his wife, Tryntje Hendricks, and their children,
Cornelius the 2nd, Peter the 2nd and Hendrick, until


his decease in 1657, and which premises are described
in the petition for the appointment of a guardian
for his children by his widow, Tryntje Hendricks, to
the Orphan Masters of New Amsterdam, dated Sep-
tember 19th, 1657. (See Register of the Minutes of
the Orphan Masters of New Amsterdam, p. 40.)

This engraving, taken prior to 1651, shows the
home of Cornelius the 1st four years after he received
his Dutch patent conveying it to him in 1647 and six
years prior to his death in 1657. He resided there at
the time this picture including his house, was taken.

Thus making the colonial record of Cornelius
the 1st given in this book from the earliest settlement
of New Amsterdam, when his French Huguenot
father, Peter, arrived there with him in 1612, unpre-
cedented and extraordinary, as in the following
order :


First. The record of Cornelius the 1st begins
with his arrival with his father, Peter the 1st, in
New Amsterdam in 1612.

Second. His action to recover the interest of his
wife, Tryntje Hendricks, in the estate of her deceased
mother from her brother in 1638, named Adam Roe-
lantsen. (See Coll. of N. Y. Historical MSS., p. 62.)

Third. The Royal Dutch Patent of his home
on the lot bounded north by Fort Amsterdam, on
June 21st, 1647. (See land papers, p. 372.)

Fourth. The petition of his widow, Tryntje Hen-
dricks, to the Orphan Masters for guardianship of
their children, Cornelius the 2nd, Peter the 2nd and


Hendrick, on September 19th, 1657. (See Regis-
ter of the Minutes of the Orphan Masters of New
Amsterdam, p. 40.)

Fifth. The marriage of his widow, Tryntje Hen-
dricks, to Frederick Lubbertsen on August 3rd, 1657.
(See Bergen, p. 383.)

Sixth. The baptism of his children in the Re-
formed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam, as
follows :

Cornelius (the 2nd), on April 23rd, 1645.

Peter (the 2nd), on March 5th, 1651.

Hendrick, on November 3rd, 1653.

(See Bergen, p. 383, and N. Y. Genealogical and
Biographical Society, Baptisms in the R. D. Church

of N. A.)

Seventh. An engraving of the house occupied
by himself and family from June 21st, 1647, the date
he received a Dutch Royal Patent for it, until his
decease in 1657, which can be seen in the engraving
in the Dutch book in the Historical Room in the
New York Public Library, printed in Amsterdam,
Holland, in 1651, and the copy in this book. Fol-
lowing the colonial history of Cornelius Coursen
the 1st at short connected intervals from 1612, gath-
ered from sparse and incomplete records of that wild
and early period, beginning three years after the dis-
covery of the Hudson River, in 1609, and being able
in the year 1917 to look upon the picture of the house
and land lying on the south side of Fort Amsterdam,
in which he lived and for which he received the
Royal Dutch patent on June 21st, 1647 (see land
papers, p. 372), as it now distinctly appears in the


little Dutch book in the New York Public Library
and which was printed in Holland in 1651, is
unequaled in the records of any colonial family in
America and is a subject of great interest.

The Dutch book of New Amsterdam, printed in
1651, above referred to, will be found in the His-
torical Room of the New York Public Library, and
copies of the engraving in the book of "Old New
York," by Anson Phelps Stokes, also there, and of
which the following is a copy of the original.


I -t* "tprt nituw t^mAerJanv e^ ^JAanhaianf



Copy from Original Book in the Neiv York Public Library

It contains the house of Cornelius the 1st, near the Windmill

Of Captain Cornelius Coursen

Designated Cornelius the 2nd

Who Located in 1678 on Staten Island, N. Y.

A Son of Cornelius the 1st
A Grandson of Peter the 1st


Founder of the Pennsylvania, New Jersey

and the Staten Island Branches of the

CouRSEN Family

Captain Cornelius Coursen, the son of Cor-
nelius the 1st and grandson of Peter the 1st, and who
is designated as Cornelius the 2nd, was born in New
Amsterdam in 1645 ; baptized in the Dutch Reformed
Church of New Amsterdam on April 23rd, 1645
(see Bergen, p. 383 ; also Reg. Bapt. in R. D. Church
of N. A.) ; located with his parents on Pearl Street,
south of Fort Amsterdam, in Manhattan, in June,
1647 (see Register of Land Papers, p. 372), and
moved to Brooklyn with his mother and her second
husband, Frederick Lubbertsen, whom she married
after the decease of Cornelius the 1st, on August 3rd,
1657, and where Cornelius the 2nd (later known as
Captain) married Maretje Jacobse Van Der Grift
on March 11th, 1666 (see Bergen, p. 383), and where
their son, Cornelius the 3rd, was born in 1667.

Cornelius the 2nd appears on Brooklyn, Kings
County, Assessment Rolls in 1675-6 and as a member
of the Reformed Dutch Church of Brooklyn in 1677
(see Bergen, p. 383) and located on Staten Island
in 1678, where he was appointed a Captain of Militia
by the English Government. (See Bergen, p. 383,
and Colony of Englishmen, pp. 132-7.)

He organized on Staten Island a large land invest-
ment company and received royal patents of large
tracts, one covering the village of Port Richmond,
(See copies annexed; also patents in New Jersey.)

The following is a copy of his Last Will and

Copy of the Last Will and Testament of Captain Cornelius
Corssen (Coursen), probated in New York County in 1693;
Recorded in Liber 5 of Wills, page 12:

"In' the name of God amen — I Cornelius Corssen of Staten
Island within the county of Richmond in the province of New
Yorke in America yeoman being sick in body but of sound and
perfect minde and memory praise be therefore given to Almighty


God doe make and ordaine this my present last Will and Testa-
ment in manner and form following that is to say first and princi-
pally I commend my Soule into the hands of Almighty God hoping
through the merrits death and passion of Jesus Christ my Savior
to have full and free pardon and forgivness of all my Sins and to
inherrit everlasting life and my body I commit to the Earth to be
decently buryed at the descretion of my executrix hereafter named
and touching the disposition of all such temporall Estate as itt hath
pleased Almighty God to bestow upon me I give and dispose thereof
as foUoweth

"First: I will that my debts and funeral charges shall be paid
and discharged.

"Item, — All the rest residue of my Reall and personall estate
watsoever lands and tenements goods and chattels I doe give and
bequeath unto my loving and deare wife Maritie Corssen for and
during her naturall life and after her decease the same lands tene-
ments goods and chattels shall be equally divided between all my
children Each child to have an equal portion or share but if my
said wife Maritie Corssen shall happen to marry then my will and
meaning is that the one halfe of all my estate both goods and chat-
tels lands and tenements at the time of such her marriage shall be
equally divided between my children, sufficient security being given
by my said wife, That the youngest childrens parte and portion of
the same or see many of my children as att the time of her mar-
riage are not of the age of Twenty one years that the same shall
be payd faithfully to each of them when they shall attain or come
to the age of Twenty one years as aforsaid dureing which age of
Twenty one yeares my will and meaning is that such young childes
portion or parte shall be and remaine in the hands of my said wife
Maritie Corssen for such young childe or childrens Education she
giving security for due payment of the same as aforsd. and if any
of my children shall happen to dye before they come or attain to
the age of Twenty one yeares that then such childes or childrens
parte shall be equally divided amongst such of my children as shall
happen to survive and I doe hereby make my Loving and deare
wife Maritie Corssen before mentioned full sole executrixe of this
my Last Will & Testament hereby revoking and making Void all
former Wills & Testaments by me heretofore made.

"In witness whereof I the said Cornelius Corssen to this my
Last Will & Testament have sett my hand and seale the nineth day
of December in the yeare of our Lord Christe 1692.

"CoRS. Corssen [Seale]

"Sealed and Subscribed by the said Cornelis Corssen in the
presence of Cornelis X nephews — Peter X Staes, Tho.

"Probated Dec 7th 1693"


Note that he signs "Cors." for Cornelius and
Corssen for Coursen in 1693. Also note that he
received a royal patent of lands thirteen years prior,
dated December 30th, 1680, under his true name
(correctly spelled), "Captain Cornelius Coursen,"
twelve years prior to the date of his will in 1692.

The issue of Captain Cornelius Coursen (Cor-
nelius the 2nd) were as follows:

His son, Cornelius (the 3rd), died on Staten
Island intestate prior to 1732. As his deed of his
one-sixth part of the lands inherited from his father.
Captain Cornelius the 2nd, to his brother Jacob, who
had recorded deeds from each of the children of
Cornelius the 2nd, dated in 1698 and 1711. The
deed of Cornelius the 3rd does not appear of record.
As their deeds, which were acknowledged after their
respective dates, to wit: four in 1732 and one in 1742
— thus showing that none of these deeds were ac-
knowledged at the date of their execution and could
not be recorded until after they were duly acknowl-
edged, long after their respective dates. It is appar-
ent that the reason the deed of Cornelius the 3rd's
one-sixth share is not recorded is that when he signed
and delivered it to his brother Jacob, like the other
heirs had done, that he was deceased in 1732 when the
other heirs acknowledged their deeds of 1698 for
the purpose of enabling their brother Jacob to
record them, and therefore the deed of Cornelius
the 3rd could not be recorded for want of proper

Benjamin Coursen (a son of Captain Cornelius
the 2nd) settled in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in
the year 1726. (See Hiram, p. 13.) He conveyed


his one-sixth part in the plantation he inherited from
his father, Captain Cornelius the 2nd, to his brother
Jacob by his deed dated March 24th, 1711, recorded
in Liber "C," page 444, on December 8th, 1742,
Richmond County.

The name of his wife was Nelly.

For his descendants, originally in Bucks County,
Pa., see "The Corson Family," by Hiram Corson,
M.D., for the history of his numerous and promi-
nent descendants, in the New York. Public Library.

Catharine Coursen (a daughter of Captain
Cornelius the 2nd and the wife of Peterson Staats)
conveyed her one-sixth interest in her father's plan-
tation to her brother, Jacob Coursen, by her deed
dated September 28th, 1698, acknowledged and re-
corded later on September 7th, 1732, in Liber "C" of
Deeds, p. 430, Richmond County.

Cornelia, daughter of Captain Cornelius Cour-
sen the 2nd and the wife of Hendrick Cruser, con-
veyed her one-sixth part in her father's plantation
to her brother Jacob, by her deed dated September
28th, 1698, recorded in Liber "C" of Deeds, page
434, in 1732, in Richmond County.

Their issue were several children, who were bap-
tized on Staten Island between 1698 and 1716. (See
Clute, p. 366.)

The following deed of Christian and the fore-
going records of deeds show that Captain Cornelius
Coursen of Staten Island had six children, not spe-
cifically mentioned by name in his Will of 1692,
whose names were Cornelius the 3rd, Jacob, Chris-
tian, Benjamin, Catharine, and Cornelia, each of
whom became seized and possessed of an undivided


one-sixth part of the real estate devised to them by
will of their father, Captain Cornelius Corssen
(Coursen) the 2nd.

Christian Corsen (the son of Captain Corne-
lius Coursen the 2nd) and his wife Antea conveyed
his one-sixth part of his father's plantation to his
brother Jacob, by deed dated September 28th, 1698,

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