Talk:Bergen Township, New Jersey (1661–1862)

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Naming[edit]

Though the explanation of the name Bergen is well-referenced in the last addition to this article, it is not definitive. The discussion as to the naming of Bergen, just as the naming of Hoboken, has been going on for a long time. It seems that not including that fact is mis-leading. Though New Netherland was polygot society its de facto official language was Dutch. In that language (as well as German and Scandanavian tongues) the word bergen means mountains. It was quite common during the Dutch colonial period that land and bodies of water to be called by a Lenape phrase (Hackensack), be named for its geograghic location (North River), or, occasionally, character (spitting devil, hell gate). To exclude the widely believed interpretation that Bergen refers the mountians (Palisades) on the west bank of the Hudson does no justice to this article.Djflem (talk) 18:26, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

I believe the simplest explanation is probably correct: that the county was named for one of its early families. Descendants of Hans Hansen Bergen moved into the region when it was still under Dutch control, before it became 'New Jersey' and while it was still 'Nieuw Netherlands.' The College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), founded in the state in 1746, had this to say about one of her alumni of the class of 1863: "Martin Voorhees Bergen is a long-established law practitioner of Camden, N.J., whose legal attainments and reliability of character were recognized last year by his appointment as judge of the District Court of this city. He is a descendant of the old Bergen family, of Netherlands origin, after whom Bergen county in New Jersey is named...."[1]
I have created an entry for Jacques Cortelyou, the surveyor who laid out the first town of Bergen and was an investor. Maybe this will help us narrow the search for the origin of the name. Regards,MarmadukePercy (talk) 04:16, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


The Hans Bergen theory does not really hold up. The family, by then, third/fourth generation did not move to New Jersey until 1700s and then to the Raritan Valley, long after founding of Bergen. There is very little evidence that the name is derived from this family. More likely they gave the name to Bergen Street in Brooklyn, where they did own land, but to not Bergen Square. see: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pasulliv/settlers/settlers24/settlers24.htm-- djflem

As noted in the Hans Hansen Bergen article, he died in 1654:

Following Bergen's death in 1654, his widow remarried Teunis Gysbert Bogart.[1][2][3]., four years before the re-purchse of the territory by Petrus Stuyvesant and six yeras before the founding of the village. It was not generally the custom of New Netherlanders owning small parcels to use surnames to describe locations, and Bergen was not so important as be honored with having a chartered village named after him. (besides going againist all decorum in Calvinist circles).Djflem (talk) 02:05, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

City of Jersey (1820)[edit]

I have added some more information regarding early settlement. The establishment of Jersey City, which is cited as being in 1820 was most likely do to Alexander Hamilton's real-estate speculation during the early 19th century, when he and other prominent New Yorkers were trying to develop the area along the waterfront. Information regarding this period would be interesting to include, if anyone has some. Djflem 12:25, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Hamilton died in 1804. --ChrisRuvolo (t) 18:51, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

And in March of that year he and Mr. Dey, for whom Dey Street in Lower Manhattan is named, clarified the articles of association for the society which purchased the land and eventually made the petition to the NJ State legislature to form the "City of Jersey". Hamilton was expressly interested in the real estate opportunities available, as seen in his other effforts, correspondence, and interest is making S.U.M. work —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.80.116.183 (talkcontribs)

External links modified[edit]

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  1. ^ Evjen, John O. (1916). Scandinavian Immigrants in New York 1630-1674. Genealogical Pub. Co., Baltimore, 1972.
  2. ^ Bergen, Teunis G. (1876). The Bergen Family - or the descendants of Hans Hansen Bergen. J. Munsell, Albany, New York.
  3. ^ Shorto, Russell (2004). The Island at the Center of the World, The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America .Doubleday. New York.