Got Etiquette?

Yesterday, the hubby picked up a book for me – The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Ettiquite. He got it because he knows of my interest in Vanderbilt genealogy.  Well, as I’d not worked on Amy’s specific lineage, I just HAD to work on it today!  Her Wikipedia entry states that she “claimed descent from Jan Aertsen van der Bilt”, who is the Commodore’s ancestor; I searched to see if I could document it.


Jean Rand has a great book on descendants of Jan Aetrsen Vanderbilt that is my go to resource for a lot of Vanderbilt genealogy. Using her book, and other resources, I have a tentative lineage done. Amy’s great-grandfather, Oliver Vanderbilt, is indicated as possibly being the son of Oliver Vanderbilt and Sarah King. If this is the case, then Amy is indeed a descendant of Jan Aertsen van der Bilt, and also a cousin of the Commodore; his 1st cousin 3 times removed to be exact.


Doing this work also prompted me to go ahead and register the Vanderbilt Surname with the Guild of One Name Studies. Last year, I registered the Koonce Surname as I’ve been researching many people with my last name for years, and have been meaning to register Vanderbilt. I also decided to keep my  Vanderbilt research tree online using RootsFinder and have enabled the option where my work will be archived in FamilySearch “Genealogies” collection for perpetuity – this will be a great way to keep it around for awhile. 😀


I’m looking forward to continuing the research and seeing what else I may learn about her Vanderbilt ancestry.

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New on My Bookshelf

While on vacation last week, I found a used copy of T.J. Stiles’ book – The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

YAY! Mr. Stiles came to Vanderbilt back in 2010 when the book came out and I am looking forward to reading it!  If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear from you.


Author T.J. Stiles Speaks About the Commodore

One of the benefits of working at Vanderbilt University are the plethora of lectures that are held across campus.  Recently, T.J. Stiles, author of “The First Tycoon: the Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt” presented a lecture on his book.   The book received the National Book Award in 2009 and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2010.  I wasn’t able to attend the lecture, but I do plan to watch it now that it is available online.  You can either click on the image below to watch the video or go directly to the Vanderbilt University site.  Enjoy!

I’ve Got Rand’s Book

My public library’s interlibrary loan department ROCKS! In the past few weeks, I’ve requested several books through interlibrary loan.  Today, I picked up the copy of Jean Rand’s book,  Some Descendants of Jan Aertsen Vanderbilt, and will begin to really start looking it over tomorrow.

The book is dense! Over 300 pages of geenalogical data about various Vanderbilt families and spans 10 generations of descendancy from Jan Aertsen.  I am very excited!

Vanderbilt’s In My Life

I recently checked out a few books about the Vanderbilt family, one being The Vanderbilt’s In My Life: a Personal Memoir.  This book was written by Shirley Burden, who was a 2nd great-grandson of the Commodore.Shirley was the son of Florence Twombly Burden, daughter of Florence Adele Vanderbilt Twombly, daughter of William Henry Vanderbilt, eldest son of the Commodore.

This is mostly a pictoral book, with excerpts by Shirly to narrate the pictures. It is a very touching and humrous read, even though it is not a long book. By reading it, I was able to add to this branch of the family, as up until now, I’d only had that documentation of his grandmother’s marriage to Twombly and no other information.  So, now I have several more details to follow up on.  I learned from his obituary in the New York Times that he was a photographer by trade, so no surprise his book is a pictoral.

I’m still in the process of adding to the tree, but if you can find this book in a library near you and  you’re interested in the Vanderbilt’s, it is worth looking at.