08 December 2014

Mystery Monday wonders who parented my George Van Horn

George Van Horn was my 4x great grandfather. I have his parents listed as John and Jane Van Horn but I have little to nothing on John and his parents. I am hoping that if I take a step back and re-evaluate what I do know then perhaps I will be able to document the next generation.

As do most stories that involve my mom’s paternal side, this one begins with my Aunt Helen and her say so.  Aunt Helen Still Webster is my great grandfather’s sister. Their parents are Franklin Still and Sarah Jennie Van Horn. Sarah’s parents are Chrispin Pierson Van Horn and Maria Rice. Chrispin’s parents are George Van Horn and Jane Dudbridge. These facts are certain. Not only could Aunt Helen personally recall the information, but I have also documented through several sources. It is George’s parents who are my mystery. 

One note of interest that I should point out before continuing: I have seen the surname written primarily as Van Horn. However, I have seen it too as Vanhorn and even Vanhorne. 

According to Aunt Helen, George’s parents are John Van Horn and Jane. She had no further information except birth dates. 

My problem though is that I have found my George (1815-1878) and his direct line of descendants on other family trees on Ancestry.com (which I never use as documentation but do look at for direction or possibilities when stuck). They (there are a couple but they look like they shared information) list George’s parents as Nicholas Young Van Horn (1785-1845) and Catherine Shobert (1780-1840). They lived in Monroe County, PA. These trees list Nicholas’ parents as Benjamin Van Horn (1759-1833) and Nancy Young (1760-1818). Benjamin is the son of Bernard van Horn (1707-1748) and Prentice Hellings (1717-1752).  

A quick note: Bernard and Prentice – according to these other trees – have six children. One of them is a John T. Van Horn (1787-1850). That’s the John I have listed as George’s father. So do these other trees have George under the wrong brother or did Aunt Helen have the wrong one? 

To finish the lineage … these other trees list Bernard’s parents as Peter Barentsen Van Horn (1686-1750) and Tyrntje Catharine Van Dyke (1689-1708). Peter Barentsen Van Horn’s parents are Barent Christiansen Van Horn (1651-1726) and Geertje Dircks (1662-1726). He (along with his parents) is the immigrant Van Horn. She was born in Amsterdam, NY.  Barent Christiansen Van Horn’s parents were Christian Barentsen Van Horn (1625-1658) and Jannetje Jans (1629-1694). Christian Barentsen Van Horn was born in Hoorn, Terschelling, Friesland, Netherlands and died in Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware 

I have come across one other family researcher who does list John and Jane Van Horn as George’s parents. She is descended from Benjamin Franklin Van Horn, who was the brother of my Chrispin Pierson Van Horn and therefore son of George Van Horn and Jane Dudbridge. She too does not have documentation regarding George’s parents. 

So – the ONLY documentation I have that lists John and Jane Van Horn as George’s parents is that one letter from my Aunt Helen. If it were not for that letter, I would be tempted to assume (yes, I said the A word!) that George was the son of Nicholas and John was a brother. Alas, I do so hate assumptions and I do love my documentation. I suppose this means a trip to Bucks County – virtually or in person or both – is in order soon!
Mystery Monday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.