The Elmendorfs of NY and NJ

The following is from Ruth DiAngelo, who sponsors a web-page devoted to the Elmendorf family. The text below the asterisks is from an old genealogical article, and is not written very clearly. The gist of it is to simply place the Elmendorfs within a larger European context. I am still looking for a better article on them, and when I find one, this will be replaced.



This is a well known Dutch family that settled in the Kingston/Hurley area in Ulster County, New York. The year was about 1667 when the first Elmendorfs settled here. They lived amongst other well known families in Ulster County, the Crispell, Delameter, DeWitt, DuBois, Kiersted, Nieuwkirk, Roosa, Van Buren and other families. There are original Elmendorf houses, to this day, in Kingston, New York. One of them is a museum and in another lives an Elmendorf descendant and her family. There are still many Elmendorf families in that area as well. The Dutch Reformed Church, although not the original, is still standing in Kingston with a graveyard behind it, full of Elmendorfs. One famous descendant was Captain Hugh M. Elmendorf, an Air Force pilot and hero. He died when his plane crashed during a test flight. The Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska is named after him.

There is a lot of published genealogy on this family. If interested, you can get a family history chart on the Elmendorfs, as well as other prominent families from Ulster County, from the Ulster County Genealogical Society, website:, or write to P.O. Box 536, Hurley, New York 12443.




Jacobus Van Elmendorf, who emigrated to New Netherland before the year 1667, settled at Wiltwyck, now Kingston, on the Hudson River, and there married Gerritje Aertsen Van Wageningen. He belonged to one of the old Dutch “border families” who lived on the borders of Gelderland and Westphalia during and before the period of the Eighty-Years’ War, when the eastern boundaries of the Netherlands had not yet been definitely established. The population of those regions was of pure Saxon blood. It was here that Charlemagne before the year 800, met with the greatest resistance when he attempted to force imperial institutions upon a free Germanic people.

These border families, as well as the Netherland refugees and descendants of Anabaptist settlers among them, were largely represented in the Army of the Dutch Republic during the Eighty-Years’ War of the Netherlands, which included the period of the Thirty-Years’ War in Germany (1618-1648), when under the supreme command of Prince Frederick Hendrick of Orange-Nassau, Stadholder of the Dutch Republic, the war against Romanism and Imperialism was mostly waged upon the eastern borders of the Netherlands. Numerous families of ex-soldiers, after the Peace of Munster in Westphalia (1648), sought homes in New Netherland and elsewhere.

There was a certain Herbert Van Elmendorf, who with many other Westphalians settled in Curland, one of the Baltic Provinces, at the outbreak of hostilities in 1620. Some of the descendants of these Curland Westphalian settlers, who were entirely Dutch in their language, their customs, their religion and other sentiments, came later to America. Among them we find the Wyckhoff and Van Courtland families. The persecutions by the Bishop-princes of Munster had much to do with the emigrations to the Baltic Provinces, where Mennonite congregations have existed from that time to the present. This Herbert Van Elmendorf was a relative, probably a lineal descendant of an earlier Herbert Van Elmendorf, who lived in Westphalia in the year 1535, and who had adhered to the Church of the Reformation.


Source: NJGM, April 1926

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