This website explores the ancestry of Francis Joseph Van Manen (1927-2017) and Lillian Pohle Culhane (1929-2016). Genealogical information has been drawn from a collection of historical documents, including census records, maps, and death certificates, among other records. We’ve also included digitized versions of original photos, artwork, and videos made by family members over the years. The purpose of this project is to collect and share these items, and help us create an illustration of our ancestors’ lives.

The backdrop for most of this history is primarily Brooklyn and Queens. The Van Manen side is predominantly Irish, although the “Van Manen” surname has a Dutch origin. Francis Joseph Van Manen’s paternal lineage includes the Murray, Mackey, and Bailey surnames, and his maternal lineage includes the Murphy, O’Brien, Cosgrove, Cullen, and Conner surnames, all descending from Ireland in the early to mid-1800s. On Lillian’s side, the Knopf ancestors descend from German Bohemia of Austria-Hungary, and the Beiswengers from Stuttgart, Germany, both immigrating to New York around the turn of the 20th Century.

Hannah Van Manen, 2023
Lillian Culhane, 1991

Ancestor Tree
The tree below shows the direct ancestors for both sides, along with the date and location of birth and death, if they are known. Expanded trees that include siblings can be found on the “Van Manen Ancestors” and “Knopf Ancestors” pages. Click below for a larger view of the tree.

Ancestor Tree
KEY: *Birth / +Death

Watch family footage from the 1964-1965 World’s Fair

Digitized archival footage, Flushing Meadows Park