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Teunis G. Bergen collection of Van Brunt family genealogy papers

Call Number



1770-1881, inclusive


Bergen, Teunis G.


0.25 Linear Feet
in one manuscript box and one oversize folder.

Language of Materials

English .


These papers include letters, legal documents, and genealogical notes and transcriptions concerning the Van Brunt family and collected by Teunis G. Bergen. The legal documents include deeds, wills, and enslaved persons' bills of sale.

Biographical note

Teunis G. Bergen (1806-1881) lived in the Bay Ridge area of New Utrecht (Kings County, N.Y.), now part of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Bergen was a farmer, surveyor, civic leader, Democratic Party politician, and, especially relevant to this collection, a historian and genealogist. Among his works was Genealogy of the Van Brunt Family, 1653-1867, published in 1867. Bergen had a personal interest in the subject: he married Elizabeth Van Brunt (born 1804) in 1827.

Elizabeth was the daughter of Rulef (1777-1833) and Gertrude (nee Cowenhoven; 1782-1865) Van Brunt. Rulef was the son of Jaques (1746-1811) and Mary/Maria (nee Johnson). Rulef's brother, Isaac Van Brunt, had a son, Albert I. Van Brunt (1761-1838). Albert I. was married to Cornelia (nee Bennet); they had two children, including Albert (born 1833). This is an abbreviated genealogy, noting individuals who appear in some of the legal documents in the collection, including in connection with transactions with Teunis Bergen. The source for this information is Bergen's genealogy of the Van Brunts; see pages 26-30. It can be found in the CBH library at call number CS71.V36338.

While the names of many other Van Brunts appear in the collection, especially on correspondence to Bergen, two appear frequently and significantly enough to mention in this note: George Van Brunt and John Van Brunt. George appears on several legal documents, among them a will and enslaved African Americans' bills of sale. George is likely that person appearing on page 44 of Bergen's book; he was born in 1769, lived in New Utrecht, and died in 1830. He married Aletta Lott and, after her death, Catherine Barre. One of his brothers was Rutgert W. Van Brunt, who appears on some transactions with George. Their father was Wilhemus Van Brunt. (See page 41-42 of Bergen.)

John Van Brunt (1802-1880) was a businessman, originally from New York, who settled in New Jersey at some point, certainly by 1834, shortly after his 1830 marriage to Margaret Westervelt. John and Margaret lived in a village in Bergen County in what was then called English Neighborhood; in 1859 that village took a new name, Englewood. John was an organizer and officer of the Northern Railroad, which in the 1850s extended the train running from Jersey City to English Neighborhood on to the New York State line. John was a member of the Democratic Party and a state senator for two terms. Among other positions, he was Englewood's Town Superintendent for Education for 20 years. His father was Cornelius Van Brunt (1760-1827), who married Jannetie Adriance. Adriance was the name given to one of John and Margaret's sons; Adriance became an architect and some stationery with his letterhead is in the collection, used by John for his correspondence. (See page 39-40 of Bergen's book for genealogy. See Adaline W. Sterling, The Book of Englewood for information about Van Brunt.)


The collection is arranged into three series by type. Folders are ordered loosely chronologically.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence, genealogical notes, and legal documents primarily concerning the Van Brunt family and compiled by Teunis G. Bergen. The bulk of the correspondence, ranging from 1827 to 1881, is of two categories: letters to Bergen from John Van Brunt of Englewood, New Jersey, on various topics and letters from various Van Brunts concerning family genealogy. John Van Brunt's correspondence typically concerns genealogy, historical inquiries, and general matters of family and friendship, but often also include his perspectives on national and local politics; the development of Englewood and the surrounding area, including reference to the Northern Railroad; a controversy concerning racially segregated schools in the town; and other matters. There are also two letters from Van Brunts, circa 1816, to a Catherine Conover.

The genealogy notes compiled by Bergen cover various branches of the Van Brunt family. The notes include transcriptions from Bibles, deeds, and other documents. The legal documents include several related to the estate of Albert I. Van Brunt and Bergen's acquisition of property from the estate and Albert's heirs. There are several other wills, deeds, indentures, and the like in the collection. Some of the other surnames appearing in the legal documents are Debevoise, Denyse, and Lefferts. There are a small number of manuscript property maps. There are also nine deeds of sale for enslaved African Americans, mostly between parties in New Utrecht (Kings County, N.Y.).

Conditions Governing Access

Open to users without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

The material in this collection is in the public domain. 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); Teunis G. Bergen collection of Van Brunt family genealogy papers, 1978.157, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Public Library, Center for Brooklyn History.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Henry Bergen, 1919.

Related Materials

Center for Brooklyn History holds several other collections that reference some member of the Van Brunt family. The principal collections are:

Rutgert A. Van Brunt estate papers (1978.156)

Anita Lott Cruikshank collection of Kings County, N.Y., family papers (ARC.281)

Lott family papers (ARC.186)

Van Brunt v. Gifford arbitration judgment (1977.168)

Rutgert Van Brunt survey map of Brooklyn lot at ferry (1974.164)

Collection processed by

Larry Weimer

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2024-02-27 20:41:16 +0000.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Description is written in: English, Latin script.

Processing Information

The collection was processed likely around 1980, but no finding aid was written then. In 2012, the initial arrangement was slightly revised, oversize items flattened, and a finding aid written by Larry Weimer. Oppressive descriptive language was remediated from the subject terms, abstract, biographical/historical, and scope and contents notes in this finding aid as part of an anti-racist descriptive language audit performed in December 2020. The collection was rehoused and the finding aid revised by Dee Bowers in 2024.

Revisions to this Guide

December 2020: Revised by Amy Lau, Archivist, to remediate oppressive language from subject terms, abstract, biographical/historical, and scope and contents notes.


Brooklyn Historical Society
Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201