Place:Van Alst Cemetery, Queens, New York, United States

NameVan Alst Cemetery
Alt namesVan Alst Burying Ground
Coordinates40.747854°N 73.937608°W
Located inQueens, New York, United States     (Abt. 1652 - present)
Also located inNew Netherland     (1652 - 1664)
Long Island, New York, United States     (1652 - present)
Long Island City, Queens, New York, United States     (1870 - present)
Queens, Queens, New York, United States     (1898 - present)

The Van Alst Cemetery is an inactive family cemetery in Long Island City, Queens, New York, which was obscured by development after 1873. An 1873 atlas estimated the boundaries of the cemetery as a slightly trapezoidal plot of approximately 10,700 square feet (as loosely reconstructed on Google maps) located at the south west corner of the southern end of West Street (a small spur street running south from Jackson Avenue), approximately one block south of Queens Plaza, between Jackson Avenue and the Long Island Rail Road tracks.

The cemetery is in the process of being investigated and remains likely need to be removed prior to destruction of the cemetery for the development of a 42 story tower at the Gotham Center in early 2015.

The cemetery went inactive prior to 1887, when six tombstones were still visible. In 1925 some remains were uncovered during a construction project and removed to Cypress Hills Cemetery. Research on the number and identity of remains in the cemetery is needed. In 1925 Harry Van Alst indicated that he thought burials had been removed previously (possibly the six burials still visible in 1887) and he arranged for the remains unearthed during construction in 1925 to be removed to Cypress Hills Cemetery.

However, the inferred cemetery size of 10,000 square feet is similar to other family cemeteries in Queens which are known to hold at least 80-140 burials, based on the remaining visible tombstones in 1919 (not counting burials for which the stone is lost) and there is no historical record of removals at that scale. A 2001 and subsequent 2003 report indicate: "The Phase 1A archaeological survey concluded that "the subsurface disturbance record suggests that there is still the possibility that undisturbed burials exist within the potential development site, on Block 264 and along West Street and beneath the railroad siding [that served the West Disinfecting Company and runs along the south side of the building] and right-of-way""

The cemetery is associated with the family of Joris Steven Van Alst[1] [2], who arrived in New Amsterdam (New York) in 1652 and for whom no other burial location has been discovered. Relatives associated with the Van Alsts and possibly interred in the cemetery also include "Hunter, Parsalls, Bragaw, and Paynter"[3].


Queens cemeteries which may have similar characteristics

  • Burroughs Cemetery, Elmhurst
  • Moore Cemetery, Woodside
  • Riker Cemetery, North Beach, surveyed in 1919, at approximately 75 x 175 feet (13,000 square feet) with at least 131 burials visible and located at that time
  • Luyster Cemetery, North Beach
  • Rapelje Cemetery, Steinway
  • Mott Cemetery, Maspeth
  • Brinkerhoff Cemetery, Blackstump
  • Lawrence Cemetery, Bayside (Steinway?), 250 x 150 feet (37,500 square feet) with at least 89 burials visible in 1919
  • Wyckoff-Snedicker Cemetery, Richmond Hill, 81 x 250 feet (20,000 square feet) with at least 136 burials visible in 1919
  • Cemetery on Duryea Farm
  • Remsen Cemetery, Hopedale
  • Cornell Cemetery, Little Neck
  • Alsop Cemetery within Calvary Cemetery
  • Cumberson Cemetery at Queens Blvd & Betts Ave
  • Private Cemetery on Pullis Farm
  • Willet Burying Ground

Research Project Sources

Van Alst family background

"This name is derived from the estate or manor house of Alst, anciently in the possession of this family, who, in accordance with the custom of that time, were designated as of {van) Alst. This manor is that district in Flanders which still bears the name of Alst, lying between the rivers Scheld and Dender, and having a capital of the same name." [1]

Possible burials

Burial identified at Name Birth year Death year M or F Inferred Y-DNA (M only) Inferred mtDNA
Descendants and in-laws of Joris Van Alst, associated with Queens
Van Alst, Joris Steven Abt. 1625 Abt. 1710 M
Van Alst, Geesie (Hendricksen) Abt. 1632 After 1670? F
Van Alst, Stephen 1653 died without issue, possibly young M
Atkins, Isabella aka Belitje (Van Alst) (Brevoort) May 1655 F
Brevoort, Frans Abt. 1650 Bef. Dec 1684 M
Franse aka Brevoort, Hendrick 1673 died young M
Bill, Geesie aka Geesje (Frans/Brevoort) Nov 1675 F
Bill, Benjamin Abt 1675 M
Bill, Benjamin Abt M
Atkins, George M
Van Alst, Harman 1657 M
Timmer, Jane aka Jannetje (Van Alst) Abt. 1656 F
Timmer, Wit Cornelisz Abt. 1650 M
Timmer, Cornelius April 1680 M
Timmer, Cornelia (Meyer) (Basset) Dec 1682 F
Van Alst, Andries 1658 Bef. 1664 M
Van Alst, Andries 1664 M
Van Alst, Maria (Van Gelder) Abt. 1657 F
Van Alst, ? (Van Dam) - sister of Rip Van Dam, Esq. Abt. 1657 F
Van Alst, Johannes 5 Aug 1667 1749 M
Van Alst, Aeltje (?) 23 Aug 1732 F
Van Alst, Joris 31 Aug 1701 15 Sep 1767 M
Van Alst, Aletta (Bragaw) 1700 8 Oct 1760 (aged 60) F
Van Alst, Aletta died unmarried F
Van Alst, Isaac died single M
Stockholm, Heyltie (Van Alst) F
Stockholm, Aaron M
Van Alst, John M
Bragaw, Catherine (Van Alst) F
Bragaw, Abraham - of NJ M
Van Alst, Leah (Van Alst) F
Van Alst, John 6 Dec 1729 20 Sep 1767 M
Van Alst, Aletta (Van Alst) - cousins, dau of John F
Van Alst, George - descendants in Dutchess Co Abt. 1760 M
Van Alst, Isaac - descendants in Dutchess Co Abt. 1761 M
Pilgrim's Rest Cemetery, Dutchess Co Van Alst, Burgune, aka Bergoon, aka Bragaw - moved to Fishkill, children not included here 22 Aug 1737 11 Nov 1803 M
Pilgrim's Rest Cemetery, Dutchess Co Van Alst, Margaret (Hoogland) - moved to Fishkill 3 April 1738 10 April 1805 F
Parcell, Grace (Van Alst) F
Parcell, William M
Waldron, Anna (Van Alst) 1743 28 Feb 1803 (60th year) F
Waldron, Samuel 13 Mar 1738 4 Sep 1799 M
Waldron, Aletta
Waldron, Ann
Waldron, Hannah
Waldron, Samuel 16 July 1775
Waldron, Mrs. Samuel (?) Abt. 1777
Waldron, Hendrick E.
Waldron, Sarah
Waldron, Aletta
Waldron, Anna
Waldron, Cornelia
Van Alst, Johannes
Van Alst, Catalina (Bragaw)
Van Alst, John 1735 14 Jan 1823 M
Van Alst, Hannah (Bennet) Abt. 1735 F
Van Alst, John M
Van Alst, Jacob M
Van Alst, Isaac M
Van Alst, Peter M
Van Alst, William M
Van Alst, Abraham M
Van Alst, Elizabeth F
Van Alst, David M
Van Alst, Henry M
Reformed Church of Newtown Cemetery Van Alst, George 1740 10 Nov 1811
Reformed Church of Newtown Cemetery Van Alst, Ann (Meserole) Abt 1755
Reformed Church of Newtown Cemetery Van Alst, John G. 1781 7 Aug 1851
Reformed Church of Newtown Cemetery Van Alst, Alletta (Polhemus) 1788 1873
Reformed Church of Newtown Cemetery Van Alst, Jane Ann 1792 24 Feb 1844
Van Alst, Aletta (Van Alst) (see above)
Jacobs, Catherine (Van Alst)
Jacobs, Hetty (Van Alst)
Jacobs, Henry
Van Alst, Jacobus
Van Alst, Jane (Bragaw)
Parcell, Leah (Van Alst)
Parcell, John
Riker, Geesie (Van Alst)
Riker, Abraham
probably with husband Skillman, Jannetje (Van Alst)
reportedly Kingston Presbyterian Church Cemetery, NJ Skillman, Jacob
Brazier, Mary (Van Alst) Abt. 1658
Brazier, Henry Abt. 1655
Bassett, Helena (Van Alst) Abt. 1659
Bassett, Michael Abt. 1655

  1. 1.0 1.1 Source:Riker,_James._Annals_of_Newtown_in_Queens_County,_New-York
  2. Source:Loveless,_Richard_William._Twenty_Long_Island_Families
  3. [1]