Over the past week as I have been learning more about the Vanderbilts, it seems to be oft-stated that the ancestor of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt is one Jan Aoertson Van Der Bilt who arrived in this country from Holland in 1650. I would love to get ahold of some great primary evidence that confirms this, because I have already seen at least one contradiction to this theory. In his 1886 book about the Vanderbilt family, W.A. Croffut states that the Commodore’s great-grandfather was Aris Van Der Bilt and that Aris may have been a brother to Jan. The relationship is not stated. So far, I have not yet found any earlier accounts of the ancestry than this book. Now, in the 1887 History of Richmond County (Staten Island) book by Brayles, the claim to Jan is already made. Hmmm.. what is the true ancestry??