Name:                     Adrian (Aderyon?) ATEN


Birth:                      4 Sep 1695               Brooklyn, NY

Death:                     10 Dec 1757             Hunterdon Co., NJ

Father:                     Hendrick ATEN (~1661-1750)

Mother:                   Maria DEMOTT (1678-)


Misc. Notes

Hendrick ATEN

    Adrian Hendrickse ATEN* (abt 1630 - Apr 1700) & (Unknown)

        Hendrick ATEN (abt 1661 - 17 Jul 1750) & Maria DEMOTT (1678 - )

            Adrian (Aderyon?) ATEN (4 Sep 1695 - 10 Dec 1757) & Jacobje MIDDAGH (1693 - 1782)

                John (Jan?) ATEN (22 Dec 1732 - 1790) & Elizabeth BADYN (1733 - )

                    Cornelius ATEN (18 Jan 1766 - 21 Mar 1857) & Sarah (Sally) BELL (13 Feb 1770 - Jun 1856)

                        Aaron Kimble ATEN (18 Feb 1812 - 9 Sep 1901) & Dorcas GLASS (25 Jan 1814 - 20 Nov 1892)

                            Ellen Arminda ATEN (17 Dec 1849 - 6 Mar 1919) & Moody ROBINSON (1850 - 1938)

                                Adelia Gertrude ROBINSON (12 Sep 1878 - 16 Jan 1973) & Newton COFFEY (1875 - 1969)

                                    Leo Newton COFFEY (1901 - 1998) & Elsie Maureen WALKER (1903 - 1983)


Much of the following is from “An Aten Genealogy”, by Alan J. Lamb.

His name is also seen as Adriaen, Aderayon, and Adrieyien. Also note that over several generations numerous Aten children were named Adriaen, Adrian, or Aaron, all variations of the given name of their emigrand ancestor from the Netherlands, Adriaen Hendrickse Aten. This sometimes creates confusion!


“A New Testament and Psalms belonging to Adriaen and Jacobje Middagh Aten was printed in 1637 in Holland and has been in possession of their descendants over the years. The family entries are written in Dutch and were copied by Henry J. Aten. The transcription was found in the New York City Library by Janice Wilkes. One page of the Bible records the birth dates of the 10 children of Adriaen and Jacobje, followed by this entry:

   ‘Vader Adrieyien Aten and Jacobje ontslapen

   ‘Int Jaar 1757 den 30th December Adriaen Aten ontslapen

   ‘Int Jaar 1782 den 16th Maay is Jacobje Aten ontslapen’

Then on the next page are the entries:

   ‘Int Jaar 1750 den 19 July is gestorven Vader Hendrick Aten

   ‘Int Jaar 1752 den 23 April is gestorven Zyn Vrou Mary L’

The last line translated to English: In the year 1752 on 23 April died his wife Mary L. Both Dutch words ‘ontslapen’ and ‘gestorven’ translate as ‘died’ in English, and ‘Vader’ as ‘father.”


Adriaen was probably born in Queens Co., NY, where his parents resided at Foster’s Meadow most of their adult lives. He probably matured in that vicinity before migrating to New Jersey where his uncles Thomas and Jan Aten lived near New Brunswick. He is believed to have migrated to New Jersey in about 1715, probably because his birthplace on Western Long Island was becoming crowded. (By 1700 the estimated population of colonial New Jersey was 15,000 - about half that of neighboring New York.)


The Dutch Reformed Church would have been central to the lives of Adriaen and Jacobje. The baptisms of most of their children were recorded in thr records of the church at Readington. These baptisms followed by a few weeks or months the birth dates recorded in their bible record.


“The affility of the Dutch people for the Reformed Church with its accompanying church schools resulted in a tight-knit society well into the 1700’s. Where the Dutch mingled with other national groups, such as in the Raritan Valley, they slowly but surely depended on English speech, to the extent that by the late 1700’s Dutch had been abandoned in the New Brunswick Reformed Church, and common schools were replacing parochial schools.”


“The first Dutch churches were six or eight-sided, had a high pyramidal roof topped with a belfry and weather vane. Opaque glass windows made their interiors dark. In some churches, pew seats were on hinges and were turned up while the congregation stood during the singing of hymns. When they sat down, the seats fell with a slam that could be heard a mile away on a summer day... In early times older persons got the best seats. Men and women sat on opposite sides of the church. Anyone who unwittingly took the seat of another was fined one shilling... Sermons lasted two to three hours, sometimes longer...”


“The Dutch settlers in New Jersey had habits that were reflected in their homes. Generally they were squat, low-ceilinged, one-story structures of heavy logs. Interiors were combination sleeping quarters and granaries. Their fireplaces were unusually large and were designed to provide every member of the family with a seat around the fire. Children were brought up to habits of industry. Almost every son was taught some mechanical art, and every daughter was required to know how to keep house. No woman was considered a fit candidate for marriage unless she could bring out stores of domestic linen, or otherwise show evidence of economy and industry.”


It is probably that Adriaen and Jacobje and their family moved to Hunterdon Co. between 1723 and 1728. Adriaen purchased land in 1725 between the North and South Forks of the Raritan between Three Bridges and Centreville, and here his family was reared. Adriaen was a wealthy man for that time and devoted himself to the care of his plantation.


“Adrian Aten of Reading Township was listed in the County of Hunterdon’s Freeholders Book in 1741. The meaning of the term ‘freeholder’ was ‘the persons qualified to be Freemen... shall be every Planter and Inhabitant dwelling and residing within the Province, who has acquired rights to and is in possession of Fifty Acres of Ground, and hath cultivated ten Acres of it; or in Boroughs, who have a House and three Acres; or have a House and Land only hired, if he can prove he have Fifty Pounds in Stock of his own.’ Juries were selected from Freemen 25 years of age and older.



During the Revolution he was a patriot. Three of his sons were in the Volunteer Corps on Long Island where one remained a prisoner for two years. He purchased 300 acres in Northampton 31 March 1744, most likely for his son Dirck.


Will was signed 8 December 1757, his inventory was taken in 1858 and the will proved 28 February 1758.


"I, Adrian Aten, of the township of Reading in the County of Hunterdon and Western Division of the Province of New Jersey, being sick and weak of body but of sound and perfect mind and memory.. commit my soul into the hands of Almight God who gave it and my body to the earth to be decently buried.... I give my eldest son Derrick the sum of five shillings to be paid to him in full satisfaction of his primo-genitive or birthright.


I give also unto my beloved wife, Jacobbite, one bed and furniture thereto belonging and bedstead and the painted cupboard and one chest, died black, one wagon and two horses which she shall chuse and the room of the house where I now dwell and likewise firewood all during her natural life and likewise I give unto her the sum of Two Hundred pounds money at eight shillings ye ounce, these be for her to use for her subsistence druing her natural life and to be at her sole management and disposal after my just debts are paid. I will all the remaining part of my estate both real and personal be equally divided among my sons and daughters, namely Ann, Derick, Hendrick, Mary, Catalinta, John, Garret, Juda, and Adrian. I do hereby appoint my said loving son, Hendrick Aten and my loving brother-in-law Peter Middah, executors.


The inventory of Adriaen Aten's possessions was made by Thomas Atkinson and Cornelius Wyckoff and totalled 1042 pounds, 11 shillings including bills, bonds, and book debts, 635 pounds, five shillings, 5 pence, books of 5 pounds and 10 shillings and a negro boy valued at 40 pounds.

(Ref:Bill Aten of Michigan: Manuscript of Alice Kennedy of Pennsylvania, 1962;)



During the Revolution, like most of his Dutch associates, he was an enthusiastic patriot. Three of his sons were in the volunteer corps on Long Island, where one was captured and remained a prisoner full two years.

Patriots carrying messages to and from the Continental Congress and the Northern Capitals found his hospitable mansion an ever ready resting place. A detachment of Washington's Army passing Northward to Morristown, New Jersey, on a hot day, drank the well dry.





Marriage:                 1717                       Somerset Co., NJ


Spouse:                   Jacobje MIDDAGH


Birth:                      24 Oct 1693             Somerset Co., NJ

Death:                     16 May 1782

Father:                     Dirck Aertson MIDDAGH (1671-1710)

Mother:                   Catalyntje Van NESTE (~1672-1757)


Misc. Notes



Birth information was translated by a researcher in 1898 from a family bible of Jacobje and presented at a family reunion and comes to me via Bill Aten of Michigan. She was famous for her piety and referred to as the pious Jacobje.

She died at the home of one of her sons in Pennsylvania.

(Ref:Bill Aten of Michigan: Manuscript of Alice Kennedy of Pennsylvania, 1962;)


Her Will:

In the name of God, Amen. The 12 day of November in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven Hundred and seventy five I, Jacobje Aten of the township of Mount bethel in the county of Northampton & in the Province of Pennsylvania, Widow-- being weak in body, but in sound memory Blessed be God therefore-- Calling to mind the Mortallity of my Body Wherefore-- I do make & publish this my last will and Testament in Manner following that is to say-------

 I  recommand my soul to god from whence it came, and my body to the Earth to be Buried in a Decent Manner at the Discretion of my Executor, & as to my worldly estate or Movable Effects wherewith it hath pleased the Lord to bless me with, I Dispose of the same as followeth.

First of all I wish my just debts and debts & funeral charges first paid. I give unto my son Dirck Aten, as my oldest son the sum of 10 Shillings over and above his equal share hereafter mentioned. I give to my daughters Antie, Mary, Catholine & Judick, all my aprons, hankercheifs, cape, to be equally divided amongst them by my executor hereafter named--- I give & bequeath to my son Garret, above his share herein after mentioned, the Interest due from him to me by bonds, at the time of my Decease--------

 & the rest of my Estate or Effects, that is my wearing apparel such as is not already divided, my bonds, notes & all Debts due to me Excepting such as is befor given to be divided amongst all my sons & daughters equally, that is to say to my son Dirck, one equal share, the Heirs of my sone Hendrick deceased one full share to be equally divided amongst them, my son John Aten, one equal share, and my son Gerret Aten one equal share, & Adreaen Aten one equal share & each of my daughters (& the heirs of her body) before named one equal share each, excepting the share of my daughter Catholine which I will shall after my decease be put out on interest by my said executors, & the interest arising therefrom to be paid------------------

to be paid yearly, and every year unto my said daughter Catholine by my executors & after her decease, to the heirs of her body Lawfully begotten, or to be begotten & in Default of such, I leave then to my surviving sons and daughters to share and share alike. I make and ordain my brother Peter Middagh and my son Adriaen Aten sole executors of this my last will and Testament in trust, to see the same perfor[m]ed, acting to the true intent and meaning thereof: in witness whereot: I the said Jacobje Aten, have to this my will and testament set my hand & seal the day & year first above written.


NB (nota bene) between the thirteenth & fourteenth line was Inserted before the sealing here & also the word [….?] and also between 29 & 30 Line the words Heirs of her body were Inserted.


Signed,sealed and delivered by the said Jacobje Aten, and for her last will and testament, in the presence of us.

                    Robert Hood

                        Gerrit Middagh

                     Benj'm Depue

              Jacobje Aten






Adrian (Aderyon?) ATEN (4 Sep 1695 - 10 Dec 1757) & Jacobje MIDDAGH (24 Oct 1693 - 16 May 1782)

    Antje ATEN (25 Aug 1719 - 1813)

    Dirck ATEN (22 Aug 1721 - 8 Sep 1809)

    Hendrick ATEN (3 Sep 1723 - 4 Aug 1773) & Mary L BELLAS (abt 1741 - )

    Cathalyntie ATEN (27 Jan 1725 - 1726)

    Marritje ATEN (15 Jan 1727 - 6 Sep 1808)

    Cathalyntje ATEN (29 Jul 1730 - )

    John (Jan?) ATEN (22 Dec 1732 - 1790) & Elizabeth BADYN (1733 - )

    Gerradus ATEN (22 Dec 1732 - )

    Judick ATEN (9 Jul 1735 - 22 Jul 1819)

    Adrian ATEN (7 Nov 1737 - 18 Oct 1826)

Discussion Addendum:

Tim Peterman has raised some questions related to Adrian Aten and Jacobje Middagh, from a note dated January 14, 2016:


I am pondering the background of Adrian Hendrickse Aten (d 1757) & have a few thoughts to share:


1. As all of us know, there has been considerable debate among Aten genealogists about whether Adrian (d 1757) was the son of Hendrick Aten or Thomas Aten.  The will of Hendrick Aten (1749) clearly names a son, Adrian Aten.  The Dutch reformed records clearly show that Thomas Aten & Elsje Skillman had a son, Adrian, born or baptized Sep. 4, 1695.  If this was all that we knew, we could say either could be the father.


2. If Adrian (d 1757) is the son of Hendrick Aten, there is no reason to think he was born or baptized on Sep. 4, 1695.  Adrian's wife, Jacobje Middaugh was born Oct. 24, 1693.  Because of this, I wouldn't be surprised if Adrian (d 1757) is a few years older, perhaps born ca 1690-93.


3. Looking at the children of Adrian Hendrickse Aten & Jacobje Middaugh, we see:  Antje (b Aug. 25, 1719), Dirck (b Aug. 22, 1721), Hendrick (b Sep. 3, 1723), Cathalyntje (b Jan 27, 1726), Martyje (b Jan. 15, 1728), Judick (b Jul. 29, 1730), Jan, Geradus, Judith, and Adrian.

Notably -none of the children were named Thomas or Elsje.  Well balanced families frequently used the names of the 4 grandparents among the older children, especially back in that day; I'm not sure whether the Dutch actually adhered to this, but I repeat the names of the first four children & we may note an interesting pattern:


1. Antje

2. Dirck (? named after maternal grandfather, Dirck Middaugh)

3. Hendrick (? named after paternal grandfather, Hendrick Aten)

4. Cathalyntje (? named after maternal grandmother, Cathalyntje Van Neste)


This clearly supports the idea that Adrian (d 1757) was the son of Hendrick Aten.  But what about Maria DeMott?  Was she really his mother?


Maria DeMott was born in 1678, some 17 years younger than Hendrick Aten.  Her birth year is one of the reasons Aten genealogists feel certain Adrian was born in the mid-1690s.  He can't be too much younger than Jacobje; yet he has to be young enough to account for Maria DeMott being his mother... -unless she wasn't.


In 1698, Hendrick Aten & Antje Aten witnessed the baptism of a child.  Aten genealogists have speculated that she was a sister or niece of Hendrick.  Is it possible that she was his wife?  Perhaps she died young & Hendrick married (2) Maria DeMott.  Perhaps Adrian Hendrickse Aten (d 1757) named his eldest child after his deceased mother.


Have either of you seen evidence that Hendrick Aten married Maria DeMott?  What is the date of such evidence?


I have been looking at an abstract of the ancient Jacobje Middaugh family bible.  Hendrick Aten is clearly called Vader.  Mary is only called zyn Vrou (ie, his wife) -Mary was NOT identified as mother, although Hendrick was called father.


Jacobje never provided a birthdate for Adrian Hendrickse Aten, although she did provide such for all of her children, as well as her siblings and other relatives.


Anyway, I am proposing that the first wife of Hendrick Aten was named Antje & that Adrian may have been born as far back as say 1685-93.



Since the family Bible of Jacobje Middaugh reports the death of "Vader Hendrick Aten", it is fairly obvious to me that Hendrick really was the father of Adrian (d 1757).  The earliest record I see of Hendrick having a wife named Mary or Maria was 1713.


I now show the birth of Adrian (d 1757) as ca 1685-93.  I think Hendrick married Mary or Maria well after 1698, perhaps in the early 1700s.  Since she was born in 1678, this would be about right.





Please report corrections or additions to...

Fred Coffey