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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Blessing

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1283-1284 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 Blessings have inhabited the Helderberg region from an exceedingly early date. They have been identified with agriculture in its varied forms in all the generations and have been men of progress. They have been, and still are, devoted to stock raising, and much of the earlier blooded stock in the town was of their importation. A branch of the family settled in Montgomery county, New York. Here Adam, the first of the present family of which record is made, lived and from the best sources it is found his son Martin, or Martinus, was born.

(II) Martin, son of Adam Blessing, was born in the town of Florida, Montgomery county, New York, died in Manlius, Onondaga county, New York, in 1845, aged seventy-seven years. He married Margaret Syver, whose death preceded that of her husband, she dying in the town of Guilderland, Albany county, where they were living upon a farm. After her death Mr. Blessing removed to Onondaga county, where he died. He was a member of the Dutch Reformed church, and a Democrat. Children:

  1. Adam, born, lived and died in Guilderland: married Hannah Relyea, and had a large family.
  2. John M.,. born in Guilderland, August 5, 1799, died in Albany, 1860; married Margaret La Grange.
  3. Frederick, mentioned below.
  4. Mary, married Wilhelmus De Forest, of Montgomery county, where both died in old age leaving many descendants.
  5. ————, married John Smith, and settled with him on a farm near Syracuse, New York.
  6. ————, married William Murray, a farmer, lived near Syracuse, and there died; had a son Martin.

(III) Frederick, son of Martin and Margaret (Syver) Blessing, was born in Guilderland, Albany county, New York, in 1801 (in the house and on the farm now owned by his grandson, William M. Blessing), died in Guilderland Center, 1879. He was a well-to-do farmer, and fifteen years prior to his death retired from active business life. He was a Democrat, and an active member of the Reformed church. He married, in Guilderland, Christianna Van Norman, daughter of an old Albany county family, born 1803, died in 1858. She was a member of the Reformed church, as was her husband. Children:

  1. Jane, married James McChesney, a farmer of Guilderland; children:
    1. Frederick, died young;
    2. Frederick, living;
    3. William, killed in the General Electric Works, Schenectady, New York.
  2. Margaret, deceased, married (first) Aaron Groat; (second) James Van Norman.
  3. Catherine, married John Hotaling; children:
    1. Garrett, married Anna Van Alstine;
    2. Ellen, married George Becker; children: William, George and Frederick.
  4. Martin F.,. see forward.
  5. Henry F., a farmer of New Scotland; married Ann Jeannette Hayes, who survives him, a resident of New Scotland; of their large family all but one are living.
  6. Lorenzo, now of the town of Orr, Nebraska; a teacher in the public schools; married in New Jersey, 1860, Catherine Van Riper.

(IV) Martin F., son of Frederick and Christianna (Van Norman) Blessing, was born near Meadowdale, Albany county, New York, August 10, 1826, died in Guilderland, August 13, 1895. He was educated in the public schools, and reared a farmer. In 1853 he purchased the old homestead farm of the Blessings in Guilderland, which he operated all his active years. He was prosperous and respected by all who knew him. He was an ardent Democrat, and a great admirer of the sturdy, independent Democratic leader and president, Grover Cleveland, also of Governor Flower. He was a leader in town politics, but always used his influence for his friends and never for personal office. He was equally active in church work, belonging to the Dutch Reformed denomination. He married, in Guilderland, 1844, Maria, born in Guilderland, 1825, died March 31, 1906, daughter of William and Sophia (McMichael) Becker, both natives of Guilderland. William Becker was a wealthy farmer, a lifelong and influential member of the Reformed church. He died in 1858, aged seventy years. His wife died in 1867, aged seventy-seven years. Of their seven sons and three daughters all lived to maturity but one, and all lived to be over seventy years old, and all are deceased. An unmarried son lived to be over eighty years old. Children of Martin F. and Maria (Becker) Blessing:

  1. Christianna, born 1845, died 1861.
  2. Juliette, born 1847, died in 1861 (both these sisters died at about the same time during an epidemic of scarlet fever).
  3. Mariette, twin of Juliette, died in 1896; married William Larking, a farmer of Schoharie county, who died in 1906, leaving a son Martin, now of Schenectady, and three daughters, Jennie, Ella and Anna, all married.
  4. Frederick, born in 1849, now a retired farmer of Voorheesville; married Maria Van Husen; no children.
  5. William M., mentioned below.
  6. Jennie, born in 1853; married Henry Wormer, a farmer of Guilderland; has issue.
  7. James D., deceased, born 1855.

(V) William M., son of Martin F. and Maria (Becker) Blessing, was born August 26, 1851. He was still an infant when his parents removed to the Blessing homestead in Guilderland, which has ever since been his home. The farm came into his possession by deed, and is a valuable estate, consisting of practically two farms, having two sets of farm buildings and dwellings in different parts of the property. His son-in-law occupies one dwelling. Mr. Blessing is a general farmer and fruit grower, although for several years he conducted the hay and grain business in Albany in connection with his farm. He is a prosperous, substantial citizen and held in high esteem. He is a member of the Reformed church, and a Democrat. He married, in Guilderland, December 12, 1871, Sarah, born in that town, February 15, 1855, daughter of Abraham and Mary J. (Lovett) Van Auken. Abraham Van Auken was a farmer of Guilderland, and died in 1906 in his ninetieth year. His wife still survives him in Guilderland Centre, and was eighty-five years old in October, 1910. They had thirteen children, eleven of whom are living: Peter, Henry, Addison, Montress, Edward, Ellsworth, Derick, Fanny, Sarah, Elsie and Lena. Children of William M. and Sarah (Van Auken) Blessing:

  1. Jenny, born October 26, 1875; a graduate of State Normal school, and taught prior to her marriage to William D. Murphy, who since 1901 has been collector in the freight department of the Delaware & Hudson railroad; child, William.
  2. Elsie, born August 13, 1877; educated in the public schools; married Burton H. Woodward, of Oneonta, New York, an engineer on the Delaware & Hudson railroad; child,
    1. Sarah, born September 3, 1899.
  3. Maria, born July 31, 1882; educated in the Albany high and State Normal schools; taught prior to her marriage to Fred Gardiner, attorney for the Bell Telephone Company, New York City.

The entire family are members of the Reformed church.

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