The Van Allen Home Page




  Origins of the Van Allen surname

"The Van Alen family in this country are undoubtedly from the direct and ancestral lineage of Lourens von Hallen, who came to Amsterdam from the town of Hallen, lying between Amsterdam and Utrecht, in the Netherlands.  The name Van Alen is evidently derived from Haelen or Hallen -- and an anglicization of Van from "Von" signifying "from" -- and Hallen to Alen -- making the name Van Alen -- or in Dutch, Von Hallen, and has passed throught the varied forms of Von Hallen, Van Haelen, Van Haelen -- Van Ale -- Van Aelen --Van Allen and Van Alen.  The Kinderhook family, and a large majority of descendants adopted the spelling Van Alen and the Albany branches, Van Allen."    Benjamin Taylor Van Alen - 1902

Subsequent research by the Rev. Harry John Van Allen shows that the progenitors of the Van Al(l)en family in America are Johannes Van Alen and Catharina van Meirborch, from Oldenzaal, Holland.

"Nescire autem quid antequam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum."

"Not to know what happened before you were born, that is always to be a child."


As common as the surname "Van Alen" or Van Allen seems to be today, I was surprised to find that our genealogy has little web presence.  With that in mind, it is my goal to network with other researchers, so that we can all share a small part of what we know, in the hope of assembling a fuller picture of our place in American history and heritage.  


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I am Paul Horvat, the Van Allen Home Page  "Web master".  I am a native of Joliet, Illinois, where my branch of the Van Allen family settled in about 1852.  I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1987.   My first interest in family history started when I was in my early 20's visiting my grandfather, Lawrence Van Allen.  While in a back bedroom of his home that was seldom used, I saw a dresser drawer open, full of old photographs.  My grandfather walked in, saw that I was curious, and told me to take them.   Within months he died, before I had a chance to ask him about the identity of the people in the photographs.  Sadly, neighborhood children broke into his house shortly thereafter, and burned it down.  I know now that the photographs would have been lost, and perhaps so would have my desire to learn of my family history.    I hope that after you have toured these pages you, too, will leave with something to add to your own Van Allen family legacy.  Welcome!

Who was the Rev. Harry John Van Allen?

"At the turn of the century the Rev. Harry John Van Allen gave generously of his time, his efforts, and his means gathering data for a Van Alen-Van Allen Genealogy.   The voluminous correspondence, and copies of wills, deeds, an other court records, from far and wide, attest to the magnitude of his undertaking.  His notes were purchased by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Socity and, as a tribute to his zeal, it has been a labor of love to supplement them and to put them in order for publication.

Harry John Van Allen was born May 27, 1866, in Clayton, Jefferson County, NY, and died April 15, 1919, in Utica, NY, a direct descendant in the male line of Pieter Gerritse van Halen of Hackensack and Yapough, NJ.  At the age of nine an attack of scarlet fever left him totally deaf and, after receiving his early education in the public schools of Duluth, MN, he attended the Central New York Institute for deaf mutes in Rome, NY.  In 1889, he was graduated from Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C., and, after studying for the ministry, was ordained deacon in 1898 by Bishop William Croswell Doane of Albany, NY.   In 1902 he was ordained priest by the same bishop, and as a Diocesan Missionary among the deaf and dumb he was known and beloved throughout New York State. - Innes Getty" (As taken from the opening of the series of articles on "The Van Alen Family in America", published in back issues of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record).

Click here to see a summary of the genealogy of the Van Allen family, as compiled by the late Rev. Harry John Van Allen.  This genealogy is published in back issues of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.

Van Allen Trivia

The Stephanus Van Alen Home, built in 1721 , built in 1721

The Luykas Van Alen Home, built in 1737

Van Allen stories and obituaries

Early Van Allen pioneers of Jefferson County, NY

Other Van Allen Websites

Van Allen Biographies

The Van Alen Family in America, Part 1

The Van Alen Family in America, Part 2

More Van Allen biographies, researcher contact list and census information coming soon. Thanks for visiting.

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