My last tour in Europe, I was assigned to the European Air Force Headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany for three years
I always wanted to know more about my Dutch ancestors. I visited Holland twice, and I must have gone through every phone book in that country and found no Vanovers.
After I retired from the Air Force, I had more time for my genealogical research of the Vanovers, Shorts, Flemings and Brummetts.
I found Cornelys Van Hovgem, born about 1640 in Flanders, Holland who is the earliest proven ancestor of the Vanover family. He emigrated to New York about 1684, and died in 1691. He as a cooper by trade, making barrels.
He spoke no English and the people he did business with thought he was saying his name was Cornelius Vanover, and they wrote his name down that way. Over the years, the name stuck.
The Vanovers have an ancestry that they can be proud of. Our family has been in America for more than 330 years.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in California.)