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Ramsey’s Oldest Family Tree


When you ask families how long they have lived in Ramsey, they may say 5 years or even 25 years or more, but the Van Gelder family can lay claim to a whopping 296 years. That makes them the oldest resident family tree in Ramsey.

Irene Van Gelder lives on Elbert Street and her cousin Marilyn and nephew Joseph Van Gelder also still live in town.

The family first settled around the area known as Van Gelder’s pond in 1712. That’s 30 years before Jan Westervelt built the Old Stone House.

The Van Gelder House at 37 Oak Street, built in 1794 still stands today.

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3 Responses to “Ramsey’s Oldest Family Tree”

  1. Bob Perkins says:

    When I was in school my mom worked, so everyday after school, My sisters and I stayed with “Aunt” Saddie Van Gelder and her sister Blanch, until mom came home. I mowed their lawn for years as I grew up. I often got to shine up their pristine green 1938 Buick sedan after they took it to church on Sundays.

  2. Cathy Shuart says:

    My family, the Van Gelders came to Ramsey in 1612, not 1712 as you stated. We settled around Van Gelder pond. My mother Evelyn married Joe Shuart, whose family also has been here since the late 1600’s. We have been here the longest, and we’re still here!

    • Dan says:

      This is an article from an old printed RHA newsletter, we’d love to update it for accuracy (as well as hear more about the old Ramsey families). That said, the first Dutch settlement in North America, Fort Nassau, was created in 1615, so 1612 doesn’t sound right. Bergen, the first settlement in New Jersey, was founded in 1660.

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