Sometimes censuses can take us back for several generations and sometimes they don't. I tried to discover if two friends who live in Philadelphia and share a common surname were related.  I was able to get one of the friend's family back to around 1840 using the censuses, but could not get before 1910 for the other.

The other night, I found out that the mother of a long-time Internet friend was a friend to Beth Van Hoesen, an artist. Because I've done a lot of Internet searches for Van Hoesens, I had seen links to articles about Beth many, many times. But I really knew nothing about her, and I still don't really know much about her art.

All Van Hoesens in the US are descended from one immigrant ancestor and are thus related. My mother was a Van Hoesen, so I don't have to go far up the tree to find it. It turned out in my quick censuses analyses that Beth and I are more closely related than I would have thought.  Her family had some more unusual locations and names which made them easy to track.

I started out with Beth who, I found out, was born in 1926 in Boise, Idaho. Idaho is an unusual place to find Van Hoesens. Because she was born before the last census that is available to us, I found her in the 1930 census. She was living in Mesa, Adams County, Idaho.  You can see that her father Enders was born in New York around 1898.


I found her father in the 1920 census living in Mesa, Adams County, Idaho, with his father David, who was a widower.  David was also shown as being born in New York and was working as the manager of an orchard.  Also noteworthy is the presence of a brother, two years younger, Mynders.


They were not living in Idaho in 1910, so I searched New York and found them fairly easily even having to deal with the ubiquitous spelling issues when dealing with "Van Hoesen."  Since this household has an Enderse and Mynderse of the right ages, this has to be the right family. They are found in Cortland, Cortland County, New York.  My Robert C. Van Hoesen was born in Preble, Cortland County! Three Van Hoesen brothers came with their father from the Hudson River area to Cortland County around 1806.  So now we're narrowing the options and expanding the possibilities that Beth might be related to me.


In 1900, D.W. and Enderse Van Hoesen are found again in Cortland, Cortland County, New York.  David is a lawyer.


There is little to the census of 1890 which was mostly destroyed in a fire. So jumping back to 1880 can be a problem.  However, in this case since we had a middle initial and the year of birth (1864), I was able to identify him in the household of Henry M. Van Hoesen  in Preble, Cortland County, New York.  His father is Henry M. and mother is Maggie A. Henry is 43 years old which would place his birth around 1837.


At this point I had trouble finding them in the censuses, but from a genealogy of our branch of the Van Hoesens in Preble, we know that there was  Henry M. Van Hoesen who was the 11th child (scroll down to the list of children) of Gerrit and Catharine (Van Buskirk) Van Hoesen of the right age. According to the genealogy manuscript (done by descendant of one of these children and herself a genealogist for the DAR in Washington D.C.), Henry was married to Maggie A., just as we saw in the census. I also have the will of their father.

Henry M. Van Hoesen was the brother to my Robert Cravath Van Hoesen who was the 5th child in that family. Beth Van Hoesen and I are third cousins twice removed.