Some fascinating connections

Courtesy of De Nederlandsche Leeuw.

For years I have received De Nederlandsche Leeuw [The Dutch Lion], the journal of the Koninlijk Nederlandsch Genootschap voor Geslacht-en Wapenkunde [Royal Dutch Society for Genealogy and Heraldry], published since 1884 in The Hague. I scan each issue for any scraps on the ancestry of the settlers of New Netherland in the seventeenth century.

Sometimes there is an article on a family that emigrated to the United States in the nineteenth century or had American connections. In the September 2017 issue (vol. 134, no. 3), at pages 143–60, is a fascinating and complex article, “Hendrik Willem Jacob van Tuyll van Serooskerken (1777–1824) en zijn tweede echgenote Catherine Halsey geb. Will (1780–1841).” The author, C. P. Briët, shows that Hendrik Willem Jacob van Tuyll van Serooskerken, a divorced Dutch baron, married in 1818 or 1819, perhaps in Philadelphia, Catherine (Will) Halsey, the American widow of an Englishman, Charles Herman Halsey, by whom she had three children. She and the baron had one child, Louise Henriette, born in 1819. The couple then moved to the Dutch East Indies, where the baron died in 1824.

Catherine must have many descendants who are unaware of their fascinating ancestry and connections.

Catherine’s oldest daughter, Catherine Henriette Halsey, married a Dutch officer in 1823 in Jakarta and they returned to the Netherlands. Catherine’s second daughter, Anna Maria Halsey, married in the Dutch East Indies in 1825, Joseph White of Salem and Boston (1791–1867). The couple soon returned to Massachusetts, and they had several children.

Catherine and her youngest daughter, Louise Henriette van Tuyll van Serooskerken, returned to the United States in 1825. Louise married in Cranbury, Middlesex County, New Jersey, in 1838, William Schenck, and they had several children. Her mother, Catherine (Will) (Halsey) van Tuyll van Serooskerken, died in 1841 and was buried in Cranbury.

Catherine must have many descendants who are unaware of their fascinating ancestry and connections. Her Halsey children had English gentry ancestry through their father; her daughter Louise had multiple noble and royal lines through her father.

The article is brilliant, and the author’s command of American sources is impressive. He includes substantial biographical material about the baron, Charles Herman Halsey, and Joseph White, and several illustrations.

Henry Hoff

About Henry Hoff

Henry Hoff is Editor of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register and is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists as well as a Fellow of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. He is also a Certified Genealogist. His genealogical interests include New York and the West Indies. Henry is the author of more than 125 genealogical articles in numerous scholarly journals and is the co-author, compiler, or editor of seven books.View all posts by Henry Hoff