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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Banker

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1152-1155 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

This family dates in America to the year 1655 and was originally spelled Bancker. The American founder of the family was Gerrit Bancker, of Amsterdam, Holland. He was in New Amsterdam before 1655 and two years later in Beverwyck, where he continued to reside until his death, 1691. His home lot in Albany was on State street, the third lot east from Pearl. When Arent Van Cuyler began the settlement of Schenectady in 1662, he became one of the original fifteen proprietors when the village lot comprised one-quarter of the block bounded by Washington, Union, Church and State streets. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Dirk Van Epps and sister of Jane Van Epps, one of the first settlers of Schenectady. After the death of her husband she removed to New York and engaged in trade. She died July 3, 1693, aged seventy years, leaving a large property to her only son Evert. Children:

  1. Evert, see forward.
  2. Anna, married, September 21, 1688, Johannes De Peyster, of New York.
  3. Maria, who was licensed to marry Cornelis De Peyster, also of New York, September 19, 1694, is thought to have been a daughter of Gerrit and Elizabeth Bancker.

(II) Judge Evert, son of Gerrit and Elizabeth (Van Epps) Bancker, was born in Beverwyck (Albany), January 14, 1695. He was a merchant of Albany, but during the latter part of his life retired to his farm in Guilderland, where he died in July, 1734, and is buried. His life from 1692 until his retirement to the farm about 1730 was spent in the public service. He was appointed justice of the peace, 1692. On October 15, 1695, he was appointed mayor of Albany (the third to hold that office) by Governor Benjamin Fletcher; served until 1707, when he was reappointed by Governor Edward Hyde, and served until October 13, 1709, when he was succeeded by Johannes Abeel, who had also been his predecessor in that office and his brother-in-law. In 1702 Judge Bancker was a member of the assembly; in 1705 appointed master in chancery; in 1696-1706-10-20-24-26-28 was Indian commissioner. He married, September 24, 1686, Elizabeth Abeel, born March 23, 1671, buried March 20, 1734, preceding her husband to the grave by a few months. She was a daughter of Stoffel Janse and Neeltje Janse (Croon) Abeel. Children: Gerardus, Elizabeth, Christoffel, Anna, Willem, Jannetje, Adrianus, Gerardus, Anna, Johannes, Johannes, all born between the years 1688 and 1710.

(III) Johannes, son of Judge Evert and Elizabeth (Abeel) Bancker, was born March 15, 1710. Under his father's will he was left 50 pounds "provided he continues to live with me till my decease or till I dispose of my farm." As the judge died four months after making his will, the bequest was no doubt paid. He settled on "Norman's Kill," in Albany county, but afterward settled in Schenectady. He married Magdalena, daughter of Gerrit Symondse Veeder. Children, all born in Schenectady:

  1. Elizabeth, married Simon H. Veeder;
  2. Gerrit, see forward;
  3. Thomas Brouwer.

(IV) Gerrit (2), son of Johannes and Magdalena (Veeder) Bancker, was born February 27, 1737. He married, September 15, 1755, Hester, daughter of Jan Van Arnhem, of Albany. Children:

  1. Magdalena, married Isaac A. Vrooman;
  2. Johannes, see forward;
  3. Catarina, baptized December 20, 1767.

(V) Johannes (2) (John), son of Gerrit (2) and Hester (Van Arnhem) Bancker, was born in Schenectady, December 17, baptized December 25, 1764, died March 30, 1826. In his generation the name was changed to Banker. He married, March 15, 1788, Annatje, daughter of Peter and Matilda Onderkirk. [Ouderkirk?] Eight children.

(VI) Peter, son of John and Annatje (Onderkirk) Banker, was born in Schenectady, New York, January 18, 1794, died in 1873. His early life was spent in Guilderland. He was a wagon maker by trade, but the greater part of his active life was devoted to contracting on public works. He served as postmaster of Schenectady, where he spent the latter years of his life. He married (first) February 3, 1816, Hester, daughter of Gershom Van Vost; she died 1832. He married (second) Susannah De Graff, who was killed by the cars, June, 1855. Children, all by first wife:

  1. Eleanor, born September 2, 1816; married, July 26, 1845, Samuel Skinner, an importer of New York; one son.
  2. Anna Eliza, born October 13, 1818, died August 22, 1832.
  3. Alida, married William Van Vrankin; children: Hester A. and William.
  4. John N., born April 25, 1824; was county clerk of Schenectady county from May 1, 1861 until his death in November, 1863; married Anna O'Neil; children: Eleanor E., Isabella and Garrett N.
  5. Gershom, see forward.

(VII) Gershom, son of Peter and Hester (Van Vost) Banker, was born in Schenectady, May 22, 1826, died at his home in Fonda, Montgomery county, New York, January 16, 1907. He became one of the prominent men of the city. He was for some years the general passenger and ticket agent at Albany, for the New York Central railroad, and at the request of Mr. Corning he took charge of the emigrant business at Castle Garden, where he superintended all the business for his road, making his home in New York City during the time he had charge of this business, from 1860 until 1865. He then went to Schenectady and bought out the gas business of that city, conducting same for several years when he sold out and removed to Fonda. He was a member of the Masonic order. He was one of the founders of the H. S. Barney Company of Schenectady. He twice represented Schenectady in the state legislature, 1870-71. He was active in all public affairs of the city, and a valuable citizen. In 1874 he retired from public life and settled in Fonda. In his latter years his time was devoted only to his own extensive private interests. He married, in Fonda, October 14, 1852, Ellen Gertrude Cushney, born in Johnstown, June 27, 1832. She survived her husband and continued her residence in Fonda. She is interested in the social life of the town and in the historical and genealogical history of her section and family. She is a member of the Episcopal church and worships in the edifice built so largely through the generosity of Judge Cushney, her father. Children:

  1. Richard C., born March, 1854, died August, 1854.
  2. Mary C., born 1855, died 1859.
  3. Eleanor Alida, received an artistic education and is a talented portrait artist; she resides with her mother.
  4. Carleton B., born August 2, 1860; is division superintendent of the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville railroad; married Ada L. Worcester, a descendant of the noted Ann Lee, the Quakeress; children: Mary and Helen.
  5. Grace Livingston, born September 22, 1863; married Eli P. Yost, who died in 1901; she survives him, a resident of Fonda.

(The Cushney Line)

Dr. James Cushney, the founder of the Cushney family of Montgomery county, New York, was born in Ulster county, New York, of Irish ancestry. He was educated for the profession of medicine, and when a young man settled and practiced at Tribes Hill, Montgomery county. He was an expert civil engineer and surveyor, and made many of the first plats and maps and located the numerous boundary and estate lines of Montgomery and Fulton counties. He died in Tribes Hill, 1834. He married Nellie Hun, a descendant of the Schuylers and Lansings, famed in the military and civil history of the Mohawk Valley. She died in, 1870, aged eighty-two years. They had nine children.

(II) Judge Richard H., son of Dr. James and Nellie (Hun) Cushney, was born November 28, 1809, died May 10, 1895. His birthplace was in the town of Johnstown (now Mohawk). He was educated in the common schools, the Cambridge and Johnstown academies. He studied law under William J. Dodge and was admitted to the bar in 1831. During his course of legal study he was deputy county clerk and remained such until 1837, when he removed to Fonda, holding the same office at the new county seat. He began legal practice in 1831 and continued in professional practice until his death, being the oldest lawyer in Montgomery county and one of the oldest in the Mohawk Valley. He was appointed surrogate, July 17, 1838, remaining as such until April 1, 1843. In November, 1859, he was elected county judge and served with acknowledged ability and judicial fairness. He was one of the founders of the Mohawk River Bank, was for a long time vice-president and its legal adviser until his death. Politically Judge Cushney from his first vote at twenty-one until his last was a Democrat, and held public office as a representative of that party. He was a man of high character, a learned lawyer and an able jurist.

He married Mary Brevoort, born February 4, 1810, died 1890, daughter of Henry Brevoort. Henry and his wife, Catherine (Livingston) Henry, daughter of Colonel James Livingston and first cousin to Garrett Smith, the well-known Abolitionist of Otsego county, also aunt of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Mary Brevoort (Henry) Cushney was a descendant of Hester Roome, eighth child of Peter Willemse Roome and his wife, Hester (Van Gelder) Roome, who were married November 26, 1684, as shown on the marriage records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch church of New York City.

The family descent is through Hester Roome's second husband, Nicholas Anthony. Their daughter, Maria Anthony, married Henry Brevoort; their daughter, Hester Brevoort, married Joseph Henry; their son, Henry Brevoort Henry, married Catherine Livingston; their daughter, Mary Brevoort Henry, married Richard H. Cushney; their daughter, Ellen Gertrude Cushney, married Gershom Banker. Colonel James Livingston was a son of John and Catherine (Ten Broeck) Livingston, and grandson of Robert and Margaretta (Schuyler) Livingston. Robert was a nephew of Robert Livingston, "First Lord of the Manor," and came to America in 1696 in company with his uncle, who was returning to America from a business trip to England. Robert Livingston (the nephew) married Margaretta, daughter of Colonel Pieter Schuyler. Their descendants are largely found on the upper banks of the Hudson; in the Valley of the Mohawk and in the states west. John, son of Robert and Margaretta Livingston, was born in 1709, and resided in Montreal, Canada. After the revolution he removed to Stillwater, Saratoga county, New York. His daughters:

  1. Margaret, married Edward Chinn, of Claverack, New York;
  2. Janet, married Jacob Van Der Heyden, of Albany;
  3. Catherine, married Dr. Elias Williard, of Albany;
  4. Maria, died unmarried at age of seventy-eight years.

His eldest son, Robert, died unmarried; James, the youngest son, was Colonel James of whom we write.

Colonel James Livingston was born in Lower Canada, March 27, 1847. He inherited from his father a large landed estate in Canada. He attended King's College (Columbia) New York City, and was colonel of the regiment of Canadian refugees who originally went from the United States to Canada, but returned at the outbreak of the revolution. They were organized into a regiment by General Montgomery at the time of the invasion of Canada, and his brothers, Abraham and Richard Montgomery, served respectively as captain and lieutenant-colonel. Colonel Livingston participated in the battle of Quebec; in the capture of Fort Chambly, St. Johns and Montreal. The night before the battle of Quebec, where he met his death, General Montgomery spent at the home of Colonel Livingston near by; at the moment of the general's death he was so near him that the blood from the general's wound fell on his arm. He was at the battle of Stillwater and at the surrender of Burgoyne, October 17, 1777. He was stationed on the Hudson to defend the passes, to protect King Ferry and strengthen West Point. On August 3, 1780, he was ordered by General Washington to garrison the redoubts at Stony Point and Verplanks Point, thus leaving Arnold alone at West Point. On September 21, 1780, Colonel Livingston obtained a four pounder from John Lamb and on his first shot cut the cable of the "Vulture" causing her to drop down stream to Tarrytown; this prevented Andre's return on that vessel and his action resulted in Andre's capture. When Washington returned from Hartford, September 25, 1780, he sent for Colonel Livingston and first heard from him the details of Arnold's treason and escape. He was retired on half pay at the close of the war, and as his property in Canada had been confiscated by the British government, he removed to Jamestown, New York, where he engaged in farming and kept a store. He was a member of the state assembly from Schuylerville, New York, 1784-91. He died at the latter town, November 29, 1832. He married Elizabeth Simpson, of Montreal. The Cady-Stanton connection is through Margaret C. Livingston, daughter of Colonel James and sister of Catherine, who married Henry Brevoort Henry. Margaret married Daniel Cady, of Johnstown, New York.

Children of Judge Richard H. and Mary Brevoort (Henry) Cushney:

  1. Henry B., born January 14, 1830, died January 11, 1901, in Fonda, New York; he was a learned and prominent lawyer for many years; he married Lavina Fonda, a descendant of Major Zellis [Jellis?] Fonda and Hamilton Fonda, pioneer settlers of Montgomery county and founders of Fonda, named in their honor; she survives her husband and resides in Amsterdam; children:
    1. Mary B.;
    2. Anna, married Simon Dockstader;
    3. Frank M., of Amsterdam;
    4. Edith, married Peter Brinton, of Schenectady.
  2. Ellen Gertrude, married Gershom Banker (see Banker VII).
  3. Howard B., born September 24, 1834; married Mary Fox, born June, 1841, died June 30, 1908; no living issue. He is now living a retired life in Fonda, where he spent his active years engaged in the grocery business.

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