Section 9 – Van Zandt, Van Buren

Written by Sandy Kinter, from Waterford Genealogical Society E-Newsletter Volume 18 Number 4

Williams Lake Road is the northern
boundary of Section 9, and the southern
boundary is Hatchery Road. West is
Huntoon Lake and Airport Road. The
Detroit & Milwaukee Railroad cuts across
the northeastern corner. In 1872 Section
9 would have been covered with farms.
Today it is mostly residential with
Waterford Kettering High School located
on the farm of George Richmond. The
adjoining farms of Beekman Van Zandt and
Richard King are now covered with
businesses along the railroad tracks.

In the southwestern corner of the section is part of the farm of Emily Huntoon. The Huntoon family was included with Section 8. Two parcels were owned by Oliver Hazard Perry Osmun. His residence was in Section 10, and he will be reported with that section’s biographies. George Richmond was a son-in-law of Oliver H.P. Osmun and, since he lived with his Osmun in-laws in the 1870 census, Richmond will be included with their biography. D.M. Judd, or Daniel M. Judd, owned an 80 acre property in the southwestern corner of the section. He resided in Section 15 and will be included with those biographies.

Beekman Van Zandt
Frances Susan Van Buren

The 1872 Waterford plat map shows the 160 acre farm of B. Vanzandt on the south side of Williams Lake Road, east of the intersection with Depot Road (now Airport Road). Included in the property is the eastern part of Huntoon Lake and the Detroit & Milwaukee Railroad cuts across the northeastern corner. Today, the western half of the farm is now homes around Huntoon Lake and the eastern half contains businesses.

Found in the 1870 census is Beekman Van Zandt, age 63, farmer, born in New Jersey; Frances S., age 63, born in Italy; Eugene, age 26, and Clarence, age 24, both born in Michigan. Also with the family are: Elizabeth Voorheis, 33, keeping house, born in Michigan; Franklin Millard 44, farm laborer, born in New York; Frances A. Millard, 37, domestic servant, born in New Jersey; E.V.B. Voorheis, female, age 5, born in Michigan; and C. Suisenger, female, age 15, domestic servant, born in Michigan. The 1870 census shows three family groups. First is Beekman and Frances Van Zandt and their sons Eugene and Clarence. The second group is Van Zandt daughter Elizabeth Voorheis/Voorhees, wife of John Voorhees, (2) and her daughter E.V.B. (Emilia) Voorhees.(1) In the 1880 census the John Voorhees family is residing in Detroit on Joseph Campau (1) and eventually they will move to Kosciusko County, Indiana. (1) The third group is another Van Zandt daughter, Frances Ann, and her first husband, Franklin Willard. Frances will marry her second husband, Charles Titus Church, 26 August 1873, in New York City. (3)

Beekman Van Zandt’s Find A Grave entry has a picture of his headstone in the Drayton Plains Cemetery with the years 1808-1881. (4) Both dates appear to be incorrect. The baptismal record of Beekman Van Saun, son of Isaac Van Saun and Catherina Van Buren, says he was born 12 February 1807, and baptized on 8 March 1807, in the Schraalenburgh Dutch Reformed Church, Bergen County, New Jersey. (5) Beekman married his first cousin, Frances Susan Van Buren, (6) 20 April 1820, Bergen County, New Jersey. (7) They are residents of Oakland County when Beekman receives a land patent for property in Section 9, Waterford Township, with a date of 10 April 1837. (8) In 1853, Beekman will acquire more land in Section 9 when his wife purchases part of her father’s estate from her brothers, Lewis and Egbert Van Buren. (6)(9) According to the death records of Oakland County, Beekman Van Zandt died 15 November 1880, (10) not in 1881 as given on his headstone. (4)The 1880 date is confirmed by an obituary from a Pontiac newspaper. (11)

The Find A Grave entry for Frances Susan Van Zandt has a picture of the headstone she shares with her husband, Beekman. Like Beekman, Frances only has the dates of 1806-1898. (4) Given the inaccuracy of Beekman’s birth and death dates, are Frances’ birth and death dates correct? Unfortunately, no proof, for or against these dates has been found. They could not be proved or disproved with available online sources. Frances Susan Van Buren was born in Italy, the daughter of Engelbert (aka Egbert) Van Buren and Frances Fonerden. (6).

Engelbert Kemmena Van Buren was born about 1775, possibly in New York City, the son of Dr. Beekman Van Buren and Elizabeth Gilbert. (6) His sister was Catherina Van Buren who married Isaac Van Saun/ Van Zandt, and they are the parents of Beekman Van Zandt. (6) Engelbert was a sea captain which may explain his daughter Frances’ exotic birthplace. (6) He married Frances Fonerden, 5 August 1800. (6) Engelbert has a land patent, dated 15 October 1835, for land in Section 9, Waterford Township. By then his name is given as Egbert Van Buren. Egbert Van Buren died 8 August 1847 and is buried in the Drayton Plains Cemetery. (4) A 1903 Oakland County history has a biography of Clarence P. Van Zandt, son of Beekman and Frances. This biography claims that his mother was a cousin of President Martin Van Buren. (13) A Van Buren genealogy, which appears in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, addresses this claim and says: “no connection between the families has ever been discovered”. (6) This Van Buren family line has been traced back to Engelbert’s grandfather, Dr. Johannes Van Beuren, who came to New York City about 1700. (6)

Frances Fonerden, wife of Engelbert/Egbert Van Buren, was born 23 August 1780, the daughter of Adam Von Erden and Martha McCannon. (6) She appears in the 1850 Waterford Township census residing with her daughter and son-in-law, Beekman and Frances Van Zandt. Frances died 25 January 1852 and is buried in the Drayton Plains Cemetery. (4)

Beekman Van Zandt’s family line has not been traced past his father, Isaac Van Saun/Van Zandt. However, through his mother, Catherina Van Buren, he has another Van Zandt connection. Catherina’s mother, Elizabeth Gilbert, was the daughter of Maria Van Zandt and William Gilbert. (15) The Van Zandt family has been traced back to Adam Wensel Van Zandt, from Arnhem, the Netherlands, to New Amsterdam, New Netherlands, in 1658. (15)


  1. 1880 Census, page 304B, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan
  2. Death Certificate, Elizabeth S. Voorhees, Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011,
  3. Descendants of Captain Samuel Church of Churchville, Etta A. Emens, Rochester, New York,
    1920, Ancestry,
  4. Drayton Plains Cemetery, Waterford Township, Oakland County, Michigan, Find A Grave,
  5. Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989; New Jersey, Bergen County,
    Schraalenburg, Schraalenburgh II, Book 74, page 51, Ancestry,
  6. Jones, William, “The Van Beuren Family of New York and New Jersey”, The New York
    Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volume 63, January 1932, pages 23-29 and 37-38,
    Images 319-320, 322, and 326-327, FHL #1425530, Item 1, FamilySearch,
  7. New Jersey, Marriage Records, 1670-1965; Bergen County, 1795-1914, page 122,
  8. Land Patent, Beekman Van Zandt, Certificate #14612, Bureau of Land Management,
    General Land Office Records,
  9. Deed Records, Oakland County, Michigan, Volume 50-51, 1853-1854; Volume 50,
    pages 309-311, Images 173-174, FHL #0975583, FamilySearch,
  10. Oakland County, Michigan, Record of Deaths, Volume 1-2, 1867-1902; Volume 1,
    1867-1886, page 187, Image 247, FHL #0973983, FamilySearch,
  11. Obituary, Beekman Vanzandt, The Pontiac Gazette, Pontiac, Michigan, Friday,
    26 November 1880, page 4, Michigan Digital Newspaper Portal,
    Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University,
  12. Land Patent, Egbert Van Buren Certificate #12126, Bureau of Land Management,
    General Land Office Records,
  13. Biographical Record, Oakland County, Michigan, Biographical Publishing Co.,
    Chicago, IL, 1903, pages 674-675, Hathitrust Digital Library,
  14. 1850 Census, page 122, Waterford Township, Oakland County, Michigan
  15. Randolph, Howard S.F, “The Van Zandt Family of New York City”, The New York
    Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volume 61, October 1930, pages 321-325
    and 330, FHL #1697532, Item 1, FamilySearch,