-^HNEAI OGY COLLECTION
ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
H I S TO R Y
'"-"■nnniiiiiiiiiiitrBUHMMirrift ifiMii liriirnnTmnhfrr""^! -nm
-929-, P,-CGui^tr-i--^t^-Sar.uel-::::j-. . :
083 — . '
. 'v"";;^/ ES^rly history of the Court ri^ijht
■ /ily. .^1907 J . . ■ -
'?!-----: = :^i?
'a. v v?
THh "BRINULHD COW."
i£arl\> Ibistor^ of
Zbe Cortcs^lDan Hvortrph^l^an IkortricjbMkortriobt
^C^^*^^" than a third of a century's unreinittant study and research of
^VJ>-> "'^ <^^'''y ^'"^ I'lt'^'' iiistory of the Couktkight Family has resulted
""^^ in discoverini; and brinijini; to litjht many facts of exceeding
importance to the Family and to History.
CORTEZ. a Spanish Nobleman, enjoyed either the proud distinction or
suffered the opprobrium of beinij the progenitor of a family of which we are
of the XXth century representatives.
History, research, study for years have persistently refused to open their
vaults and lead us further back into the dim ages of the forgotten past beyond
Cortez, the Spanish Nobleman. He is, therefore, our Alpha, while doubtless
among the latest posterity will be found our Omega.
Over in France, near tiic bttrders of Spain, Cortez had for a neighbor
a man whose name has been heralded through the ages, and whose memory will
be loved and revered by countless millions in the centuries to come — John
Calvin, The Religious Rekormer, The Pro-testant.
EARLY HISTORY OF THE COURTRIGHT FAMILY
.^^ J At that date all Europe and Continental Europe were in the throes of a
tremendous religious revolution. The clergy, the nobility, the men of affairs,
as well as the peasantry, became deeply concerned in the religious movement —
in the tremendous wave which was sweeping over civilization. Never, perhaps,
since the Christian Era were such scenes presented in the religious world. The
name of John Calvin on every lip— either to be praised or censured.
From the mighty vortex, which threatened the lives and property of all
the people, Cortez, strong of mind and body, a leader among the people, arose
in his majesty and publicly renounced the Church of State, and proclaimed the^
doctrine enunciated by Calvin; he become a Calvinist — a pro-testant/ Religious
zeal was followed by intoleration, and doubtless many wrongs were committed
^^"^^ under the cloak of the Church. Edifices of the Church of State were razed to
the ground ; their paintings, figures and stucco work were utterly destroyed ;
Protestant churches were erected on their sites, and great excitement and much
confusion prevailed among the people. Spain witnessed with horror and blanched
faces the people gathering in their might and throwing off the established
Church. A resort to arms followed ; the legions of the Spanish army were
assembled and gave battle. But Spain had too many guns for the Calvinists ;
and the latter, after suffeiing great loss of life and much treasure, were obliged
to retire into Flanders, later into Holland, and there, upon the river Lys, they
builded a city, which they named Kortryk, in honor of Cortez, whose name had
been changed to conform to the Dutch idea f>f the meaning* of the word, and he
EARLY HISTORY OF THE COURTRlGHT FAMILY 5
being a Nobleman, was entitled to tiie prefix " van " or " von " — his Dutcii name
being van Kortryk. Many French Huguenots accompanied him and his army of
protestants to Holland, and no contemporary writer disguises the fact that
Cortez — afterward van Kortryk — was esteemed as none others were: hence they
builded the city and gave it his name, that future generations might have his
name and deeds perpetuated until the cause of protestantism would need no
' monuments of stone or of brass to speak to the generations yet unborn of the
deeds of prowess, of heroism of the Cortez — van Kortryk — wiio sacrificed all
in life worth having, except honor, the respect of his people, the consciousness
of doing right and worshiping God according to the dictates of his own con-
science — but there, to-day, on the river Lys, stands the little old city, half
concealed by the ivy and the honeysuckle, the monument erected by his
neighbors to perpetuate the name of our progenitor — the Alpha of our people.
,The discovery of this tact atone, well authenticated, undisputed, were there none
others, fully justifies the writer for the long years of research in tracing the
name and .history of the Family whose name he is proud to bear.
After permanently making Holland their place of abode, protestant spires
pointed heavenward, while persecution, at times unabated, still continued ; but
the " Clan " MacGregor and the other " Clans " from the north of Ireland and
south of Scotland were tlieir true and trusted allies; (the "Clans" were
groups or communities of Calvinists, si>metimes called " Covenanters ;") and
when they were needed, rushed to. their aid. and unitedly they would sweep
/u ■* -
EAKLY HISTORY OF THE COIIRTRIGHT FAAMLY
down upon the hordes of Spanish soldiery, and drive them from their soil.
During the hundred or more years immediately following the arrival of
van Kortryk into Holland, his descendants were blessed with much of this
world's goods ; but, at length, tiring of almost incessant warfare, some of
them— Jan Bastiaensen Kortryk, his stms and his brother Michael disposed of
their property, and, having received glowing accounts of the new Harlem in the
New World, concluded to brave tiie wrath of Old Ocean and seek homes where
there would be less strife and religious persecution.
On April l6th, 1663, Jan or John Bastiaensen Kortryk, his three sons and
daughter, with their families, together with his brother Michael, sometimes
called 'Chiel, and his family, together witii some of his Dutch friends and French
Huguenots, refugees, t(.>ok passage on tiie good ship Brindled Cow — Jan Bergen,
Master— and set sail fi)r America. It cost Jan (John) Bastiaensen Kortryk, for
himself and famiiv, 20\ florins and 10 stivers (a florin is valued at forty cents
and a stiver at two cents, making the cost of passai;e jiSl.SO). One hundred and
thirteen years before the Declaration of Independence our name was trans-
planted t(.> American soil. The good ship which safely carried these Dutch
ancestors to the land oi the "Free" (or to become such more than lOO years
later) bore the poetic (?) name of the " Brindl<?d Cow." In this degenerate (?)
day, Shortht)rns and even Jerseys have to a great e.xtent supplanted the "Brindle,"
but, to the writer, a "brindled" cow commands his unqualified respect, and he
dofTs his hat to "Old Brindle" It must be borne in mind that, until within a
EARLY HISTORY OF THE COHRTRIGHT FAMILY
few years, both in the Old and New World, vessels and taverns (hotels) all had
■ names of some beast or fowl. The writer remembers that but a few years since
; down in New En)j;land he (.observed that the old custom still prevailed in the
rural districts, and the "Bald Eai^ie Tavern," the "White Horse Tavern," and the
like were quite common. It may be considered that the price paid for passage
of the Kortryk family was an insignificant sum ; yet, when it is remembered
that the purchase value of nK)ney at that time was about five times as great as
of to-day, it will be seen that Herr Jan Bergen was pretty well paid for carrying
these emigrants across the " pond."
I Before renewing the acquaintance of the Kortryks, after their arrival in
i America, permit me to sav, parenthetically, that much time and persistent labor
s were spent in "keeping on the right track" in tracing the family while in
J Flanders, and especially in Holland, for the reason that family names were the
i -exception and not the rule ; the mass of people in Fatherland used only a
patronymic form by adding to the child's Christian name that of the father.
j Another trouble encountered was the habit of some of the Dutch of calling
I themselves or permitting themselves to be called by "any old name," and the
\ only way of obtaining accuiucy was by securing the name as entered on the
i. church records and in titles to their lands— for when their names were entered
j on church or title records, they saw to it that their true names, their real
I names were properly inscribed. For instance, why did Jan or John permit
; himself to be known as "Jan Bastiaensen," instead of his full name — his real
EARLY HISTOKY OF THE COURTRIGHT FAMILY
name— of "Jan Bastiaensen Kortryk?" But when he bout,'ht real estate he was
always sure to have his name wind up with " Kurtryk "—or when the church
record was employed he was always determined to have, and he did have, his
name written thereon in full— he seemed to want to be known on the "other
side of Jordan " by his full name— and so it was always entered.
The "Brindled Cow" reached port in the New World in safety.
Cornelis Jansen (or the son of Jan), who emigrated with his father,
Jan Bastiaensen, was born in 1645, at Beest, in Gelderland ; in 1665 he married
Metje, daughter of Bastiaen Elyssen. and widow of Claes Teunisz van Appledorn;
a lady who, after Jansen's early death in 16S9, proved her ability both to manage
his business and enhance his estate, the use of which, under his will dated Feb.
25th of that year, vshe was to enjoy till her death or re-marriage. Having been a
trooper he gave his eldest son Johannes (John) "the best horse, and the best
saddle, and the best boots, and the best pistols, and holsters, and carbine, and
cutlass." He must have been his favorite child, for over and above his share of
the estate, he left him "the k>t of land at Jochem Fieters, to- wit, the lot by the
jfreat gate." He left four children— besides Johannes, above named, Laurens;
Aefie, who married Jonas Lewis, an Englishman, in 16SS ; becoming a widow,
she married Marcus Tiebaut, in 169S ; and Annetie, who married Adrian
Quackenbos. The widow was usually called Metje Cornelius, sometimes Metje
Jansen, and sometimes Metje Bastiaen ((ri>m her father). She drew from the
"common lands in the several divisions, a considerable acreage— but in her title
EARLY HISTORY OF THE COURTRIGHT FAMILY
papers, it was always Metje Kortright ! In the last years of the XXVII century
the name of Kortryk was so far anglicized as to be spelled and pronounced
Kortright, and we can find no one of the family who was known as Kortryk
after the year A. D. 1700. r.
Johannes Cornells Kortright (John Cornelius) was born in 1673. and in
1701 was married to Wyntie, the daughter of Cornells Dyckman. The next year
he was made constable. He died in l7il and in I7l7 his widow became the
second wife of Zacharias Sickels. Johannes (John) left three children, viz :
Metje (who married John Bussing), Nicholas and Jaimetie (who married Johannes
Van Wyck. Nicholas became a man of affairs, for he became constable of the
town in 1729, and afterward collector. In 1731 he married Elizabeth, the daughter
of Eide van Huyse, of Bloomingdale. On the death of his uncle Laurens, in 1726,
the Kortright lands were divided, his portion being 101 acres; he accumulated
considerable other real estate, and, at his death, on Nov. 19, l75l. he left a large
estate. He had two sons and one daughter, viz.: John, born in 1732; Nicholas,
born in 1743, and Frances, born in 1741, and who married John Norris, peruke-
maker (a peruke is defined to be "a periwig; an artificial cap of hair.") Nicholas,
a sail-maker, owned property in New York, where he lived, and he was a
vestryman of Trinity Church from 1787 to 1792. He died in 1820, leaving
children, two of whom were Nicholas and James, but of them and the rest ot
his immediate family we can learn but little.
Laurens Cornells (Cornelius) Kortright, the son of Cornells, the grand-
to EAKLY HISTORY OF THE COLKTRIGHT FAMILY
son nf John Bastiuensen, was born in l6Sl. From HIM sprani,'()UK Family. He
was married in 1703 to Helena, tine daiiiilUer of Captain Johannes (John) Benson.
Soon thereafter becominti a widower, he married, in or about 1708, Martraret,
the daui;hter of Arent Biissinvj. Laurens served as constable in 1708-9. He
succeeded to the homestead on Harlem Lane, which at his death, fell in the
division to his widow, Mari^aret, (called Grieta), together with other lands,
leaving her quite a landed estate. The old homestead descended to her son
Lawrence (the name Laurens anglicized.)
Laurens Kortrinht's children by his tirst wife were Cornelius and Elizabeth,
(she married Gilbert Garrison, of New York, in 1753) ; and. by his second wife,
Aaron, Lawrence, Eve (who married Adolph Benson), Mattie (who married
Abraham Myerj and Susannah (who married Aaron Myer.)
Lawrence was the last of the name to hold the old homestead; he was
never married and died in l76i. The old homestead was located upon what is
now known as 6th avenue, its north corner touchintj 1 10th street, New York city.
Liti)iation over the ownership of this property was begun by one Valentine Nutter
ajjainst Lawrence's brother and his co-heirs (who had continuous possession of
it until near the close of the century) when the "divers differences, controversies
and disputes about the said lands" were compromised, the defendants were paid
a consideration and deeds of release were ijiven to Nutter, after which he erected
a new dwellini^ thereon and continued to live there till the year 1831 (beinij then
90 years old), and until it was swept away by the opening of 6th avenue.
EARLY HISTORY OF THE COURTRIGHT FAMILY 11
Aaron Kortright married Margaret, daughter of John Delamater. He
purchased the Delamater farm and later other lands. At length he and his
nephew. Lawrence Kortright, merchant, of New York, made a trade of lands by
which Aaron secured 241 acres in Orange county, whither he moved, and
continued to live the remainder of his life. Many of the descendants of Aaron
people western New York and Pennsylvania, to this day.
Cornelius Kortright, eldest son of Laurens Cornelius, was born in 1704;
he married Hester, the daughter of John Cannon, of New York, and owned
property in Queen (now Pearl) street, where he conducted business. He was
assistant alderman of Montgomery ward, 1738-40. His two slaves, implicated in
the Negro Plot in I74t, were transported to San Domingo. He had six children,
viz : Lawrence, John, Cornelius, Maria, Helena and Elizabeth. Lawrence, the
eldest son, also a merchant, became very wealthy and prominent. In the old
\ -French war he was part owner of several privateers fitted out at New York
against the enemy. He was one of the founders of the Chamber of Commerce
in 1768. He had large interest in Tyron county lands, and on his purchase the
township of Kortright was settled. Before his death he conveyed his farm at
Harlem to his son (Captain John). By his wife, Hannah (Aspinwall). he had
one son and four daughters, viz : Captain John ; Sarah, who married Col.
Heylinger, of Santa Cruz, in 1775 ; Hester, who married Nicholas Gouverneur in
1790; Elizabeth, who married the Honorable James Monroe, who was twice
(iovernor of Virginia and President of the United States for eight years; and
12 EARLY HISTOKY OF THE COUKTRIGHT FAMILY
Mary, who married Thomas Knox, Esqr. Captain John obtained his title durini^
the Revolutionary War — where he served with great valor and distinction.
John, a brother of Lawrence, removed to Pennsylvania when a young
man, became an agriculturalist, served during the Revolutionary War— sometimes
known as Captain John — was the ancestor of our '• Courtright Family ".
His son, Abraham van Courtright, (who was likewise a soldier of the
Revokition), with his wife EtTa (whose maiden name was Drake, from
the south of Scotland), together with their entire family of five children,
consisting of three sons and two daughters, viz: John, Abraham van, Jesse
D., Margaret, (who afterward became the wife of Walter McFarland), and
Christiania, (who afterward became the wife of a Mr. Cahoon), moved to
Ohio, in the year 1801. They came "over the mountains" from Luzerne
county, Pennsylvania, (their former home), in two two-horse wagons, (with the
old English beds), bringing with them necessary bedding, cooking utensils, axes
and other implements, as well as a meagre supply of household furniture— and
they also brought a cow. En route to their new home they remained over night
at Lancaster— then a village built on the low lands just west of the hill, (upon
which the Courthouse is now situated). They put up at the "Tavern", a
two-story hewed log house, (regarded then as a very imposing structure),
immediately in the rear of which was a stout stockade, where the horses,
wagons, cow and other property were enclosed for the night, secure from the
depredations of wild animals, both two and four legged.
EARLY HISTORY OF THE COURTRIGHT FAMILY 13
The next morninji the " Courtright family" bade adieu to the "Tavern"
and started in a north-westerly course ; they plodded along covering as they
supposed about fifteen miles; night coming on and the locality pleasing them
they camped for the night; as was usual, (and necessary), one of the male members
of the family doing guard duty. The next morning the sun shone brightly, the
landscape was so inviting, and the locality being about where they designed to
•locate, they determined to locate right there — and they did SO. A log cabin
was erected without delay, and they were now at their own home in the
" North-West Territory." The farm upon which the cabin was built has been
owned by, in the possession of, and has been the home of some members of the
"Courtright Family" from that day to this.
Abraham van Courtright became recognized as a strong man intellectually
by his neighbors far and wide, and from an old Justice's Docket in possession
of the writer it appears that he was a Justice of the Peace tor several years on
and after 1806. On the •' twenty-seventh day of (3ctober in the year of our
Lord iJirist I8i7 " he executed his Will, (the original Will is now in the
possession of the writer). He died June 12th, A. D. 1825, in the 77th year of
his age, having been born on the 4th day of June, A. [). 1749.
When this (Blooin) township was organized, it required a name, and
many were suggested, when John (the grandfather of the writer) suggested the
name of " Bloom " ; "why call it Bloom?" was inquired of him. In his quiet
yet impressive way he answered — " My father and his entire family came from
14 EARLY HISTORY OF THE COURTRIGHT FAMILY
Bloom township, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania— that was our old home — and
let us name it Bloom." The suggestion was adopted— and the township was
The home of the "Courtright Family" was transplanted from Bloom
township, in the old Keystone State, to Bloom township, in the Buckeye State,
where many of the family have tilled their allotted sphere in life's great drama.
Samuel W. Courtrigkt.
Circleville, Ohio. August 22nd, 1907.
The history of our Family from the time of Abraham van Courtright to
the present, (fur want of time to complete), will furnish the subject of a paper
to be presented Liter, which will be known as
The Later History of the Courtkight Family,
and by preserving this paper, a history of the Family, (so far as this branch is
concerned), will then be ctmiplete.
The difficult matter of securing the early history of the family from the
tmie of Cortez, the original van Kortryk, to the dawn of the XIX Century has
been accomplished. Any industrious, painstaking writer can prepare the next
EARLY HISTORY OF THE COURTRIGHT FAMILY l5
paper. It is true that in many instances the portrayal in detail has been too
meager, yet it should be borne in mind that the difficulties encountered have
been enormous and in some instances well nigh insurmountable. Accuracy
has been the constant aim of the writer, fiction has not been drawn
upon, and every statement furnished is believed to be strictly in accordance with
The name of the direct and remote descendants of the van Kortryk.
emigrants of 1663 is legion, and it would require years of constant labor and
many volumes to record their history.
We have found Courtrights. Cartwrights and Cutrights (the name
Courtright corrupted) in almost every advanced civilization— " from the rivers
to the ends of the earth."
Soon after the Revolution, by common consent, the name Kortright was
completely anglicized and by like consent the "van" was omitted as a prefi-Y,
so that the name we bear of COURTRIGHT became the family name. One head
of a family called himself Cartwright, another Cutright, while still another took
the name of Low, (direct ancestor i)f Seth Low, former Mayor of New York
and President of Cfjiumbia Universitv). A few adhered to the "van " but the
prefix has almost entirely disappeare.l.
We havelound that from the earliest history most of the Fanfily have
been Agriculturalists— st)lid, substantial, intelligent farmers, yet the learned
professions, the Bench and Halls of Legislation have been honored by many of
16 EARLY HISTORY OF THE COURTRIGHT FAMILY
them — while others have carved their names in history by the sword wielded in
achieving independence and in defense of their country.
In the prosecution of this work many pleasing incidents have been afforded
and many pleasant acquaintances have been formed, and the "uninitiated"
would be furnished with a surprise it they knew of the great nuirberof persons,
who have " turned up," claiming to be of the blood of the Courtrights. Quite
recently a Senator from one of the Western states knew he was related— investi-
gation proved that he was— but a leetle too remote " to be counted,"
Now " just one word nioie "— qir.te a number of the family entertain the
belief that a " Coats of Arms " of tiie f-umily is extant, and want it "shown up:"
while we believe the information is reliable and trustworthy, we have not yet
been able to secure it. S<->me of the " Knickerbockers "—some of the " 400,"
who yet spell their nan-,e " Kortright "—I am sure could oblige us— and wlien we
succeed in breaking through the " Chinese Wall" bv which they are surrounded,
why— THEN WE WILL KNOW " Where we are at." S. W. C