Jacobus Vanderveer, who built the house, was born September 12, 1743. He was descended from Dutch settlers who arrived in Flatbush on Long Island in 1659. His grandfather, Jan Cornelise Vanderveer, was one of ten children, four of whom eventually located in New Jersey. One of these was Jacobus Vanderveer Sr., the first member of the family to own the property on which the Jacobus Vanderveer House now stands.
Jacobus (Senior) married Femmetje Ditmars, and they had six children, all of whom lived to adulthood. He was a wealthy landowner and miller. Upon his death in 1776, he left the 560 acre tract of land on which this house is situated to his son, Jacobus (Junior).
Jacobus married his first wife “abt 1773” and she died four years later in 1777. He married again “sometime between 1777 and 1782,” only to have his second wife die in 1782. He was an active member of the Somerset County Militia during the Revolutionary War and helped supply the Continental Army. He died on February 3, 1810 at the age of 66.
Jacobus’ brothers included Elias, who was taken prisoner during a British cavalry raid on Pluckemin in 1776 and died in captivity in 1778, and Lawrence, who served as a surgeon during the war and was also taken prisoner by the British. Lawrence survived the war and was the founder of the New Jersey Medical Society.
The Vanderveer families remained in the Pluckemin/Bedminster area for generations and are remembered today as major contributors to the legacy of the area.