G.W.G. Bowen Homestead Association
Eddyville, New York

Eddy Family Association web site

The Dutch Families of Coerten

This genealogy was taken by John Henry Greener of New York City. It was later copied by George W. Courter at Renton, Washington, at the home of a Courter family he was visiting while stationed at Fort Lewis, during WW II.

It is apparent from the early records of New Amsterdam that there were three or possibly four separate families of Coerten, who, as far as can be ascertained, were in no way related. It must be remembered that in the time with which we are dealings writing was a somewhat rare accomplishment and spelling, especially the spelling of names was all a matter of individual taste of choice. It is not surprising therefore to find that the name of this family is spelled in various places in the following styles: 1. Coers, 2. Coert, Coerts, Koerts, 3. Coerten, 4. Courten, Corten, Korten, Coerte, Korte, Courte, Corter, Courter.

Surnames among our Dutch ancestors were the exception rather than the rule and each person took a second name. The given or baptismal name of his or her father usually added an s, se, son or ten. For instance, Stephen, son of Coers Alberta was known as Stephen Coerts (Koerts, Coerten or Korten). His son Coert was known as Cort Stevenson, and his son Albert as Albert Coerte, or Koerte. Some of the families took names from the localities whence they had come such as "Van Voorhies" meaning from near Hees a city of Holland.

A careful sorting of the early records of the New Netherlands shows the following Coertens among the first generation of settlers, arranged according to the date of their emigration.

Guert Coerten (Before 1645)
Harmen Coerten (1659)
Stephen Coerten (Van Voorhies 1660)
Myndert Coerten (1660)
Barent Coerten (?)

Guert and Harmen were brothers. This family which came from Voorthuysen in Guelderlandt, Holland, is the family from which the entire present family of Courter is descended.1

Harmen Coerten (1610-?)

Harmen Coerten was born in 1610. He arrived in New Amsterdam from Voorthyuysen in Gelderland on the ship "De Trouw" (The Faith), February 12, 1659with his wife Aertje Gerrits and five children ages 17, 9, 8, 6, and 5. Apparently, he settled in New Utrecht. he had one son, Jan. Harmen and his wife Aertje are both buried in the Bergen Dutch Church. Their children were as follows:

1. Gysberte 1641
2. Geertje 1649
3. Neeltje 1652
4. Ryckje 1650
5. Jan 1653
6. Cateleyntje 1660

Jan Coerte (1653-?)

Jan Coerte, the only son of Harmen Coerten was known in his early years as Jan Harmens. Born 1652 or 1653.2 Jan had a son, Harme, born 1690.

Harme (1690-?)

Harme had a son, named Johannis (spelled Johannis or Johannes) born in the year 1716.

Johannis (1716-?)

Johannis is where the records begin to fail us, as some of the old records were burned. However, it is believed he had a son John.

John3 (?-?)

John had a son, Jonathan (1780).

Jonathan Courter (1780-1870)

Jonathan was the sixth generation since Harmen arrived in New Amsterdam in 1659. Jonathan Courter4 was born April 8, 1780 and died in Eddyville, Cattaraugus County, New York in the year 1869 or 1870. He married Elizabeth Thompson and in 18255 they moved to Eddyville and lived there the rest of their lives. Jonathan enlisted in the war of 1812 and served in battles in Canada. They are both buried in Pen Yan, New York. Their children were:

1. David, born about 1808. He married and removed to Michigan about 1846 or 1847. He had large family.
2. William, born about 1810. He married and went with his brother to Michigan. He also had a large family.
3. Alexander, born about 1812.
4. Matilda, born about 1815. Married Hadley Sutton, moved to Wisconsin. had large family.
5. Elizabeth, born about 1817. Married Benjamin Franklin and settled in Wisconsin. had large family.
6. Alanson S. Born May 7, 1820.
Alanson S. Courter (1820-1892)

Alanson was born on May 7, 1820, in Pen Yan, New York, and died on February 14, 1892 in Eddyville, New York. He was a farmer and broker. Alanson married Diantha Harvey, a daughter of William Harvey. She was born on February 6, 1823, in Cattaraugus County and died in Eddyville on May 12, 1895. They are both buried in Eddyville, New York. Their children were:

1. Elizabeth, born April 3, 1842, married William Hults on August 5, 1866 and died March 23, 1896.
2. Alzine A. born March 28, 1843.
3. Alexander A. born December 20, 1844.
4. John G. born May 17, 1850.
5. Charles, born June 1834 and died June 20, 1869 not married.

William H. Courter (1850-1897)

William was born in the town of Mansfield, Cattaraugus County, New York, on May 17, 1850. He died relatively young in Eddyville, New York, on November 15, 1897. He was a merchant and married Sarah Bowen, who was born on February 6, 1853, in Mansfield, New York. She was a daughter of George G. Bowen and Amanda Meacham. She died June 25, 1908, in Eddyville, New York, and she and her husband are buried there. Their children are as follows:

1. George A. Born May 15, 1876.
2. Frank A. Born October 13, 1879.
3. Mildred D. Born April 25, 1882.
4. Nellie M. Born October 2, 1891.
Frank A. Courter (1897-?)6


G.W.G. Bowen Homestead Association
Eddyville, New York.