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Conover and Cowenhoven family papers

Call Number



1801-1836, inclusive


Cowenhoven family


0.08 Linear Feet in one oversize folder

Language of Materials

English .


The Conover and Cowenhoven family papers consist of documents relating to Peter Cowenhoven, Jacob Conover, and Jacob Cowenhoven from the early 1800s.

Biographical note

The Cowenhoven family (alternate spellings include Couwenhoven, Kouwenhoven, and Covenhoven) were descended from the common ancestor Wolphert Gerritson Van Kouwenhoven, who emigrated from the Netherlands to the town of New Utrecht in the Dutch colony of New Netherland (later New York) in the 17th century. The Cowenhovens had ties to other Brooklyn families, including the Conover family and the Bergen family.


The eight documents in this collection are stored in a single oversize folder. The six documents relating to Peter Cowenhoven are grouped together.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes six documents pertaining to Peter Cowenhoven, including military commissions and financial documents. Cowenhoven was appointed to the rank of Lieutenant in 1807 and Captain in 1812, in both cases in Lieutenant Colonel Jeremiah Johnson's regiment.

Additionally, the collection includes documents concerning Jacob Conover and Jacob Cowenhoven. The document pertaining to Jacob Conover's estate is signed by Garret Bergen and Peter Conover, executors, and Peter Bergen, witness. It concerns the transfer of a "servant girl," Mary Ann, described as the daughter of a woman named Elizabeth who had been enslaved by Jacob Conover. The document is dated December 1, 1826, prior to the 1827 final emancipation of enslaved people in New York State.

The document pertaining to Jacob Cowenhoven is dated 1801 and relates to an agreement between Cowenhoven and York Lyell regarding a debt between them and an arrangement to pay the debt via the work and labor of a Black man, Robin John Johnston, presumably enslaved.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

While many items at the Center for Brooklyn History are unrestricted, we do not own reproduction rights to all materials. Be aware of the several kinds of rights that might apply: copyright, licensing and trademarks. The researcher assumes all responsibility for copyright questions.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Conover and Cowenhoven family papers, 1974.141, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Public Library, Center for Brooklyn History.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Henry Cruse Murphy, 1882.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

If digital surrogates exist, they should be used in place of the originals whenever possible.

Related Materials

Rem Cowenhoven and Hendrick Brant bill of sale 1977.397

John R. Couwenhoven papers 1973.167

Teunis G. Bergen and Bergen family collection ARC.006

Collection processed by

Matthew Gorham

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 11:18:27 +0000.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Description is written in: English, Latin script.

Processing Information

This collection was originally minimally processed to the collection level. In August 2023, Dee Bowers rehoused the collection and revised the finding aid to include more detail.


Brooklyn Historical Society


Box: OS-25 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201