Presented herein is a working genealogy of the Van Campen Family of America. It is a story whose chapters continue to be written by each new generation comprised of an ever growing number of descendants of Gerrit Jansen Van Campen (1640-1745) as well as numerous friends who wish to celebrate the family's rich heritage and countless contributions to family, community and country.
The story, in its present form, was initiated in 1923 by Charles Howard Van Campen when he contributed his research to Charles E. Stickney of the Wantage Recorder newspaper. The research was subsequently published as news articles together with Charles E. Stickney's sketch of Major Moses Van Campen as a hero of the American Revolution.
Additional chapters were added in 1936 by Rosalie Fellows Bailey with the publication of "Pre-Revolutionary Dutch Houses of Families in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York." Jonah Howell Van Campen contributed to the story in 1975 with an updated genealogical chart. Arlene Hutson and Robert Williams contributed additional chapters in 1992 with the publication of "A Place Called Home: A History of the Van Campen Inn and the Families Who Lived There."
The story benefited greatly from the publication of "Contributions to the Family History and Genealogy of the Van Campen Family of America Ulster County, N.Y., Branch, Volume I." A vast collection, edited by LeRoy Beck DePuy, David A.D. Ogden, Jr., and Jerry H. Van Campen, published in 1995. The Editors also acknowledged Linda A. Stroud for her many contributions. In Notes to the Reader, the Editors offered these words of reflection and inspiration.
In the case of the Van Campen genealogy, we are off to a good start, with the collected works of all past workers, gathered together, edited and published for the first time. The rest of this work will have to be done chapter by chapter by the next generation of family genealogists. But they will not have to reinvent the wheel. Seeing what a rich heritage their ancestors have left behind, others will be inspired to continue the story.
In 1999, the story was broadened extensively when David A. D. Ogden, Jr., Jerry H. Van Campen, and Richard A. Stowe published, "Contributions to the Family History and Genealogy of the Van Campen Family of America Ulster County, N.Y., Branch, Volume II." The Editors also acknowledged contributions from Monna Aldrich, Harman R. Clark, Jr., Eva Duke, Jayne De Fratus, Wayne Kellog, Pat Kile, Lois Ann Schoenfelder, Henry C. Smith, Sr., Dorothy A. Stratford, Linda A. Stroud, and Frances Van Campen. In Notes to the Reader, the Authors and Editors described their work and its purpose.
...this work might more properly be termed a 'research draft' or 'research guide.' It is to be hoped that all such guides will be compiled with care and are respectful of sources. But its purpose is an intermediate one. It is designed to guide serious family researchers into productive arenas of further inquiry. It summarizes, often tentatively, past research. It points to but does not pretend to exhaust lodes of primary sources such as land, probate, estate, census, diary, and newspaper records. The hoped for outcome is that research guides such as this will facilitate the writing of 'real' genealogies. If Volumes I and II help Van Campen genealogists in their labors, they will have met the criteria.
Most recently, the internet has served as a powerful research tool and another means by which family and friends have contributed additional chapters to the story. One of those contributors is Lee Wise who shared his extensive genealogical research on Ancestory.com; including updates through March 2010.
Inspired by these great works and the authors' and editors' words of encouragement, some dating back nearly 100 years, this working genealogy is respectfully offered as the latest chapter in the continuing story of the Van Campen Family of America. It chronicles the descendants of Gerrit Jansen Van Campen as referenced in the many fine works noted above and includes a great deal of new information discovered as a result of countless hours spent researching the life and times of Moses Van Campen, his ancestors and his descendants.
This chapter, like its predecessors, does not seek to conclude the story, but to contribute in a meaningful way both to the story itself and to the lives of the people who make up its very essence. Please consider it a "working" genealogy, in the same way that the authors of Volume II considered their work a "research guide." There remains a great deal of work to be done; including the validation of sources where needed, correction of errors whenever discovered, and, most importantly, the addition of descendants both missing and new. Contributions in any and all of these areas are most welcome.