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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Best

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[This information is from Vol. IV, p. 1691-1693 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.]

In "Documentary History of New York," [i.e., Documentary History of the State of New-York] volume III, page 58, among the list of emigrants who embarked in the ship "Beaver," May, 1661, are the names of several persons all ending in Van Beest, which is taken to mean that this was intended to designate them as being from the village of Beest in Holland, from which place they came. In early Dutch records the name Best first appears about 1700, which is the first since the before-mentioned emigration in 1661.

(I) Jacob Best settled at what is Germantown, in 1710, on or near the lands bought for the German Palatines from Robert Livingston. He was a Palatine who volunteered for the expedition against Canada in 1711, his name being written Bast. Before 1750 his descendants were living on the Flats in Livingston Manor, near the Hollanders. Jacob Best married Anna Christina Dietrichin (Dederick), of Kingston. Children:

  1. Anna Maria, married John Mare;
  2. Elizabeth, married Heinrich Berringer;
  3. Johannes, of further mention;
  4. Harmanus, married Marytje Ruigh;
  5. Jacob, married Annatje Tact;
  6. Edward, married Coenradt Ray;
  7. Coenradt.

(II) Johannes, son of Jacob and Anna Christina (Dederick) Best, settled on a life-leased farm of one hundred and thirty acres in the northern part of Livingston Manor in the town of Clermont, Columbia county, New York.

His name appears on the register of the Dutch church of Johnstown, as deacon, January 7, 1759, elder, December 18, 1763. He served in the revolutionary war in the Tenth Regiment (Land Bounty Rights), Captain Conrad Cline, and in the Independent Company, Captain Petrus Van Gaasbeck. Five of his sons also served in different bodies of troops constituting the Albany county militia. One of the earliest wills on record in Columbia county is that of Johannes Best, made December 10, 1787, probated April 4, 1788. In it he speaks of himself as being "sick and weak of body," mentions his "dear and lovely wife," to whom he bequeaths two negro women, "Bet" and "Rose." He married, about 1740, Eva, daughter of Philip Lounart, of "Rhinebeck Precinct, Livingston Manor, Yoeman." Eva Best survived her husband and was living in 1790, occupying the old homestead "on the right hand side of the road to the Manor House from the Linlithgo Reform Church, being the first house." Children:

  1. George (Jury), revolutionary soldier, married Marytje Hooft;
  2. Eva, married Hendrick Platner;
  3. Johannes, revolutionary soldier, married Margaret Mesick;
  4. Elizabeth, married Jacob Power;
  5. Jeremias, unmarried;
  6. William (Wilhelmus), revolutionary soldier, married Mary Platner;
  7. Anna, married Philip Rockefeller;
  8. Jacob, married Elizabeth (Eva) Smith;
  9. Benjamin, revolutionary soldier, unmarried;
  10. Catherine, married Elias Young;
  11. Hendrick, unmarried;
  12. Peter, of further mention.

(III) Peter, youngest child of Johannes (John) and Eva (Lounart) Best, was a farmer of Livingston Manor, Columbia county, and an important public man. He served in the revolution as lieutenant in Captain Leonard Ten Broeck's company, Albany county militia, Tenth Regiment, Colonel Peter R. Livingston, appointed May 28, 1778; also served in the Independent Company of Captain Petrus Van Gaasbeck. He was constable of Livingston Manor and serving in 1776. He married, in 1778, his cousin, Christina (Dederick) Best, daughter of Harmanus and Marytje (Rurigh) Best. Harmanus was a son of Jacob and Anna Christina (Dederick) Best.

(IV) Henry, son of Peter and Christina (Best) Best, was born at Livingston, Columbia county, New York, about the year 1800, died 1850. He was a farmer; member of the church and a good citizen. He married a Miss Hicks and had sons, Henry and Herman B., perhaps others.

(V) Herman B., son of Henry and ———— (Hicks) Best, died in Hudson, New York, 1899. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and lived a quiet, retired life on his estate at Carmel, New York. He married Jane E., daughter of Cornelius and Jane Bodley, of Rondout, New York. Children:

  1. Josephine, unmarried;
  2. Henry, deceased;
  3. Rockwell;
  4. Mattie;
  5. Gertrude;
  6. Jennie, deceased;
  7. Dean.

(VI) Dean, youngest child of Herman B. and Jane E. (Bodley) Best, was born in Carmel, New York, November 21, 1865. He was educated in the public school and at Drew College, Carmel.

Dean Best early became interested in manufacturing, a business he has followed all his life. He was superintendent of the Bailey Knitting Mills Company of Fort Plain for two years and since 1895 has been superintendent of the carding department of the Acorn Knitting Mills at Philmont. He is a Republican in politics and has always taken an active interest in public affairs. Since February 5, 1910, he has been postmaster of Philmont, New York, his home. For ten years he has been a member of the county committee. For four years he served in the New York National Guard in the Twenty-first Separate Company of Hudson. He is a member of the Protestant Episcopal church; Agawamuch Lodge, No. 841, Free and Accepted Masons; Cascade Lodge, No. 197, Knights of Pythias, and of the order of Maccabees. He married, in Hudson, New York, July 20, 1887, Mary A., born in New York City, daughter of John Edward Hetherington. Child,

  1. Henry B., born August 21, 1892.

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