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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 941-942 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.]

The present is the second generation of the Belser family in Albany, but they descend from an old and influential family in Germany on the paternal side, and from an equally ancient family of Holland on the maternal.

(I) Joseph Belser was born in Messingen, Germany, March 13, 1836. He was well educated in the German schools and in 1852 came to the United States, settling in New York City, where he remained two years. In 1854 he came to Albany, New York, where he engaged in the retail dry goods business, continuing until his death. He married Barbara Klett, of Albany. Children:

  1. Katherine, married John Wagner; children: Florence, Alfred, Clara, John and Bertha Wagner.
  2. Anna, married Jacob Hopp; children: Joseph, Catherine, Jacob, Frank, Anna and Bertha Hopp.
  3. Barbara, married George Silkworth, and has a daughter Marian.
  4. Joseph (2), see forward.
  5. Agnes.
  6. Emma, married Rev. M. G. K. Reitz, now a merchant in Albany; children: Earle and Francis.

(II) Joseph (2), son of Joseph (1) and Barbara (Klett) Belser, was born in Albany, New York, May 4, 1866, died March 22, 1904. He was educated in the public and high schools of that city, and from youth to the date of his death was engaged in the dry goods business. In 1889 he was admitted a partner with his father, continuing until the retirement of the latter. At that time Barbara Belser was taken in as a partner and the business continued under the firm name of Belser & Company until her marriage in 1896, when he bought her interests which he continued until his death, and now continued by Mrs. Belser under the firm name of M. E. Belser. He was successful in business and stood high in the business community. He married, June 7, 1898, Mary Elizabeth Holtslag, of Albany, daughter of Henry J. and Wallinga (Markle) Holtslag, of Holland descent. Children:

  1. Adelaide Viola, horn July 29, 1899.
  2. Beatrice, born January 19, 1901.
  3. Joseph Willard, born November 14, 1902.

Mrs. Joseph Belser (Mary Elizabeth Holtslag) is a granddaughter of Bernard Holtslag, who was born in Holland about the year 1808, descendant of one of the old and substantial Dutch families. In his youth he was a soldier and fought in the wars of that period. About 1846 he came to the United States and settled in the city of Amsterdam, later removed to the town of Scotia, Montgomery [i.e., Schenectady] county, finally settling in Albany, where he died in 1873. He married ———— Van Scanlanburgh in Holland. Henry Holtslag, their son, was born in Zietvand, Holland, April 3, 1842. He came to the United States with his father when he was about four years old. He was educated in the public schools, and has all his mature years been engaged in the gas business, having been employed by one firm, Donald McDonald, as inspector of metres for over fifty years. He is a lover of music, a fine musician himself, and for many years was a member of the Albany City Band. He married Wallinga Markle. Children:

  1. Magdalene;
  2. Bernard, married Catherine Higgass;
  3. Mary E., married Joseph Belser;
  4. Laurence;
  5. Rose, married Peter Schafer;
  6. Henry;
  7. Frederick William, married Mary Housler;
  8. Joseph;
  9. Frank and
  10. Raymond.

Mrs. Belser survives her husband and resides at 36 South Allen street, Albany, New York.

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