Tag Archives: Blauvelt

What we (think) we know about James Vanderbeek’s Parents…

29 Sep

Our family has been working on genealogy for a long time. My ancestors were actually working family history long before me and my brothers were born, so “we” have been at it for decades. And with all of that work, we’ve been stuck trying to find the parents of James Vanderbeek. So this post has two purposes:

  1. To describe what we know about this mystery…well, what we think we know and what the options may be.
  2. To get the help of possible relatives of James Vanderbeek. Maybe a descendant has a bible, some letters, or some kind of information that we can use to make some connections to continue to Vanderbeek line back to Holland (we’re assuming).

So, here’s James Vanderbeek, who we do know:

  • James Vanderbeek
  • Born: 23 February 1813, New Jersey (USA)
  • Married to Margaret Blauvelt, 11 Jan 1832, in Bergen County, New Jersey
  • Children: Margaret, John B., Court Lake, Garrett, and James Jr.
  • Death: 2 March 1888, Englewood, Bergen, New Jersey

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What we’re pretty sure about:
James Vanderbeek’s mother is (probably) Mary A. Stagg. We have two pieces of information that tie James to Mary. James’s death certificate lists his mother as “Mary A. Stagg” and lists his father as “— Vanderbeek” (notice there is a dash rather than a first name). We haven’t found any record of Mary A. Stagg being married to a Vanderbeek and can’t find her in many records after she is an adult. There is a chance we’ve found her baptismal record, but we’re still working to substantiate that.
The second tie between Mary A. Stagg and James is that James has a grandson with the middle name of “Stagg” (William Stagg Vanderbeek). That leads us to believe that “Stagg” is considered a family name and the only guess we have is Mary A. Stagg as the source.
Some possibilities pertaining to James Vanderbeek’s father:
We really don’t know who the father of James is. We don’t know if he was ever married to Mary or if he lived a long or short life. No idea.
  1. Maybe James Vanderbeek’s father was killed in the War of 1812. We don’t have any record either way and need to continue researching this option. Just a thought since we can’t find anything.
  2. There is a baptismal record listing a James Vanderbeek being “baptized on April 4” 1813 but it also may have another date attached to the record which is April 25, 1813 and we’re not sure what that means. The parents are listed as “Paul Vanderbeek” and “Hannah ?”. So, the dates lines up reasonably well, but we’re not sure where “Hannah” would fit in. Is “Hannah” Mary’s middle name (or visa versa)? Is “Hannah” James’ actual mother but then she died and Mary A. Stagg married James’ father and was listed on the death certificate? We really have no idea at this point. There could very well have been a James Vanderbeek born to Paul and Hannah and that could be separate from our James, born to Mary A. Stagg and ______ Vanderbeek. This option look promising in one regard, but then why would the family use the “Stagg” name as a middle name a few generations later?Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 6.07.11 PM
  3. Could James have been born out of wedlock in 1813 and his family only knew that the father was a Vanderbeek, but never knew the real identity of the father?
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