Terhune Family


It was not our intention to write a complex document, rather a short exposition, and a few pages of corrections to early Terhune genealogy. However, it sort of grew like Topsy, and one thing led to another.

First, we ran into a situation in which the record of our ancestor by marriage, Dominee Frelinghuysen, had been less than accurately recounted by early historians, primarily ministers. Actually, these errors cut both ways, both underestimating his influence and omitting some problems he had. Then, we chanced upon a book containing the autobiography of his slave, freed upon Frelinghuysen's death, which led us to certain insights.

Next, an 1890 novel, we had acquired years ago, based on the Jacob Leisler Rebellion titillated our interest in that event, since our direct ancestor Jan Albertse Terhune had been an officer in Leisler's militia. Illustrations on pages 41-A and 43-A came from this historic novel.

Source: [The Begum's Daughter by Edwin Lassetter Bynner; Little, Brown, and Company 1890] This book is now available online at Google Books.

The 1674 map of Gravesend, Long Island, found on page 5 (transcribed for clarity on page 6) is actually the centerpiece of this work. It is unique in that it is an actual survey, rather than a mere sketch of this portion of Western Long Island. In addition, it pinpoints the precise location of the homestead of Albert Albertsen Terhune, the immigrant. It is evident that the surveyor, Jan Albertsen Terhune, son of the immigrant, was rather sophisticated and well educated at a reasonably young age. This map can be viewed in a larger scale on the internet at:


Courtesy of Brooklyn Genealogy Information Page at:


Research into these various matters thus led to a story of the vicissitudes of the Dutch colonists through their trials with the West India Company and their subjugation by the English, and finally to the strife within their ethnic group which rent their society and religion. We found that all these matters both put into context the life of our ancestors and, in some cases, actually clarified certain details related to their genealogical records.

We are not selling this paper, however copies can be made available to any interested party at the cost of copying at plus postage, as necessary. With appropriate citation, all material herein may be used freely for noncommercial purposes.

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