American Family Croesen

My search for General Kroesen

Flag of the United States of AmericaIn 1981 I read in the papers of a terrorist attack in Italy where terrorists attacked the vehicle of an American General stationed with NATO. He was General Kroezen. His vehicle was attacked with a Rocket Propelled Grenade and was severely damaged, but evidently General Kroezen escaped serious injury. From that moment I knew that there were Kroezen's in other parts of the world.

I have recently been fortunate enough to locate General Frederik (Fritz) Kroesen who is now retired from the Army.

General Kroesen can trace his ancestors back to a Garret Dircksen Croesen who was born in The Netherlands, baptized in 1639 in Wynschoten. Garret landed in America in 1660, was an original settler in Bruecklyn and an early owner of land on Staaten Island. He is believed to have married Nealtje Jans Staats and had 6 children. Descendants are spread across the US using, at last count 13 or 14 different spellings of the name, none of which are Croesen. The first sons switched to a K, then others to spellings that "sound like" as they were inducted into or mustered out of the colonial militias and armies of the next 300 years.

Family members who have tried to link with family in the Netherlands have failed. No record of Garret's parents or siblings has been found and they have been informed that anything before 1650 has been lost to floods or war destruction.

There is no obvious link between our ancestors..

I have checked a map of Holland and Winschoten is about 55 km from Hoogeveen. While this is not a long distance by our standards, back in Holland in the 1600's it was probably the end of the earth.

If anyone can provide any information about Garret Dircksen Croesen, I am sure General Kroesen and the family chronicler in the US, would be very interested.

Incidently, General Kroesen became a Four-star General and was the Vice Chief of Staff, United States Army, prior to his retirement. He is now a successful businessman and Chairman of a large corporation.