During my military career I researched the Vanover name for many years.
While I was assigned to Europe I went to Holland to see if I could locate any of my ancestors. I went through many phone books, but did not find any Vanovers.
After I retired from the service, I got a phone call from a cousin who was a schoolteacher in Pound, Va., telling me he had written a book after 20 years of research of our Vanover name, and was sending me a copy. After reading the book I found out why I did not find the Vanover name in the phone books in Holland.
Cornelius Vanover is the earliest proven ancestor of the Vanover family. He was born in Flanders, Holland in 1640 and came to the United States in 1684. His name then was Cornelys Van- Hoveen and he was a cooper by trade.
He could not speak English and with his dealings with his customers, they thought he was saying his name was Vanover. His customers wrote his name down as Cornelius Vanover, and that is why our name is Vanover to this day, and is also the reason I did not find the name Vanover in the Dutch phone book.
The Vanovers have a marvelous ancestry that we can be very proud of. Our family has been in America for more than 300 years. The earliest members of the family settled in what is now Flatbush, Kings County, Long Island, New York, before 1685. From there they migrated to all our states.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.