The history below is adapted from the following article:

Van Osdall, Charles R. (1998). "Migration to Conewago." The Vanguard, Vol 1 (1) , (pgs. 1-7).

Our direct-line descendants of our emigrating ancestor, Sijmon Janse van Aersdalen (1628-1710), are shown in bold-face type, with their generation number listed behind their name.

Simon Cornelisz Van Arsdalen3 (1697-1789; Cornelius Sijmons Van Arsdalen2, Sijmon Janse van Aersdalen1) moved prior to 1723 with his wife, Antje (Dorlandt; 1704-1789) from Flatlands, New Amsterdam (Kings County, New York), to near New Brunswick and Somerset, in Middlesex county, New Jersey. Their children, born over a 23 year period (from 1723-1746), were all baptized at the church at Millstone, which eventually was known as Harlingen, after the first preacher there. In 1766, Simon and several of his children left New Jersey to settle in Conewago, Pennsylvania. His brother, Jan Cornelisz Van Arsdalen (b. abt 1696), also migrated with his family to the same area of New Jersey, and died there in 1750, leaving behind four sons, at least three of whom accompanied their Uncle Simon C. to Conewago. Simon Cornelisz wrote his will on Deceber 3, 1787, and appears to have died in 1789 (his will was probated on April 29th, 1789, and is on record in the York County Courthouse).

The Dutch settlement of Conewago was erected on the western edge of Scotch-Irish communities in what was York County, and is present-day Adams County, Pennsylvania. Situated about halfway between Gettysburg and York, in Straban Township, this area was opened up in the mid 1760s as prime farm land. The first land in the area was deeded to a member of the Van Arsdale family in 1768; by 1783 (15 years later), there were at least 6 Simons, 4 Corneliuses, 2 Abrahams, 4 Johns, 5 Isaacs, and as many as 5 Garrets, all with the Van Arsdale surname (Dutch patryonymic naming patterns resulted in a profusion of Van Arsdale's with the same Christian Names), making it quite a challenge to sort out who belonged to who.

The Van Arsdalens constituted a large family at Conewago. Simon C's eldest son, Cornelius Van Arsdalen4 (1723-1787), had at least four sons and three daughters who were baptized at Conewago and survived to adulthood: Sons Simon Van Arsdall5 (1746-1802), Luke (1755-1825), and daughters Ida (1752-), and Antje/Anne (1756-1828) were born to Cornelius's first wife, Lammetje (Van Vorhees; 1729-1761); whereas Willem/William (1765-1824), Jan/John (1768-1813), and Marre Grietje/Margaret (1771-1834), were born to his second wife, Jannetje (Cornel; 1728-1805). Cornelius died in mid 1787, and his will, also filed at York, mentions all of these children. Several family trees also indicate a fifth son, Cornelius (1748-1787), who, along with his brothers Simon and Luke, eventually migrated to the Dutch colony in Mercer County, Kentucky; whereas their half-siblings William, John, and Margaret all accompanied their mother, Cornelius's second wife, Jannetje (Cornel), to Montgomery County, Ohio.