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New Amsterdam - Famous Descendants

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  • Maj. General Stephen van Rensselaer III (1764 - 1839)
    General Stephen Van Rennselaer was a Major General in the New York State Militia during the War of 1812, and he commanded troops along the northern frontier. Stephen Van Rensselaer was badly defeated...
  • Brig. General Henry van Rensselaer (USA) (1810 - 1864)
    Henry Bell Van Rensselaer (May 14, 1810 – March 23, 1864) was a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and a politician who served in the United States Congress as a Representa...
  • John Updike (1932 - 2009)
    For more information, see Wikipedia or The John Updike Society .
  • Jacob Aaron Westervelt (1800 - 1879)
    See Wikipedia
  • Dennis Hopper (1936 - 2010)
    Dennis Lee Hopper was an American actor, filmmaker and artist, with a career that spanned half of the 20th century. Hopper was best known for directing and acting in the 1969 movie Easy Rider which won...



This project provides an overview of notable, direct descendants of New Amsterdam immigrants (1609-1674).

Wikipedia provides an interesting overview of famous Americans of Dutch descent. On this Geni page, we focus only on direct descendants from the 1609-1674 immigration (not necessarily of Dutch origin).

Famous New Amsterdam descendants


Media & Entertainment



  • Myndert Van Schaick, founder of New York University

Arts & Literature

  • Keith Haring, artist and social activist
  • John Updike, novelist and poet