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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Du Bois

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1579-1580 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 Dubois families of Ulster and other Hudson river counties in New York state are the descendants of Louis and Jacques Du Bois, Walloons and Huguenots. Louis was born October, 1626, in the province of Artois in Wicre, a hamlet about twenty miles southwest of the ancient city of Lille; son of Christian Du Bois. Little is known of his early life; he was possessed of some education and was reared a Protestant. While young he removed to Manheim in the Palatinate of Germany. October 10, 1655, he married Catherine Blanjean (or Blanshan), daughter of a burgher of that ancient city. They had two children born in Germany. In 1660 with his wife and two children he came to New Netherland. He first settled at Esopus near or in what is now the village of Hurley, where he engaged in trade. In the Indian war of 1663 when Esopus was destroyed, his wife and three children were carried off by the savages, but were subsequently recaptured by a pursuing party, including Louis Du Bois. In 1617 he with eleven other Huguenots and Frenchmen, like himself, obtained from Governor Andros a patent for a large tract of land which now lies in the Valley of the Walkill in the town of New Paltz; removed there with the other patentees, and began the life of a pioneer. A church was founded and until 1689 Louis remained in New Paltz, removing in that year to Kingston, New York, where he died about 1695. He left a numerous progeny and descendants yet own and till the soil, first brought under cultivation by their sturdy faithful Huguenot ancestor. Children:

  1. Abraham, born in Manheim, Germany, was one of the twelve patentees of New Paltz and the last survivor, dying October 7, 1731, aged about seventy-four years; he married Margaret Deyo.
  2. Isaac, born in Manheim, Germany, was one of the patentees of New Paltz, where he died June 28, 1690, aged thirty-one years; married Marie Hasbrouck.
  3. Jacob, the first child of American birth, born in Kingston, October, 1661; he settled upon one of his father's farms at Hurley; married Gerilje [Geritje?] Gerritsen, daughter of Gerrit Cornelissen, son of Cornelius Van Nieuwkirk.
  4. Sara, married Joosl [Joost?] Jansen.
  5. David, married Cornelia Varnoye.
  6. Solomon, married Trintjn Gerritsen, sister of Jacob's wife. He was a very large land owner in Ulster and Greene counties, New York, and in Pennsylvania; one tract of three thousand acres in the Walkill Valley he gave to his son Cornelius (subject to certain payments); he was also an official of the French church at New Paltz and held many public trusts.
  7. Rebecca, born 1671, died young.
  8. Rachel, born 1675, died young.
  9. Louis, born 1677, married, 1701, Rachel Hasbrouck.
  10. Matthew, born 1679; married Sarah Mattheyson; he inherited half of his father's Hurley farm and his house and lot in Kingston where he was living in 1706.

Jacques Du Bois, a near relative and perhaps a brother of Louis Du Bois, born in the same neighborhood as Louis, came to Esopus fifteen years later than his kinsman. The letter of church membership from the Walloon church at Leyden, Holland, which he took with him when leaving that city, is dated April 15, 1675, as is evidenced by the church records still extant. He must have died after his arrival as his widow, Pieronne Bentyn, married (second) prior to December, 1677. On leaving Leyden in 1675 Jacques had put on record a power of attorney to sell his house in that city which would indicate that he had been a resident there some time. He is described in the Leyden records as a manufacturer of gros-grains, coarse grained fabrics of cloth and silk. He left three sons of tender years: Jacques born in Leyden where he was baptized in the Protestant church of the Walloons, by the name of Jacobus, in March, 1665; John, baptized July, 1671; Pierre (known as Pieter), born at Leyden, March 17, 1674, being but three years of age when his mother again married. Jacques also left daughters, Maries, Jean and Anne. Louis and Jacques Du Bois are the ancestors of all who bear the name who trace early Huguenot ancestry. Louis left seven sons to perpetuate the name, Jacques but three, one of whom it is thought never married. The name is not a frequent one and is invariably borne by men and women of worth. It is an eminent name in the Hudson Valley, representatives being found in the profession and in business. Many served in the continental army and fought for the land that gave their ancestors asylum from religious persecution.

Peter (Pierre), son of Jacques Du Bois, is the ancestor of the Dutchess county family, from whom the Columbia county family descend through the following generations:

(II) Peter (Pierre), son of Jacques Du Bois, married Jeannette Beuhans and had issue.

(III) Jonathan, son of Peter Du Bois, married Ariantje Osterhout, and had issue.

(IV) Cornelius, son of Jonathan Du Bois, married Charity Griffin and had issue.

(V) Cornelius (2), son of Cornelius (1) Du Bois, married Deborah Payne and had issue.

(VI) Richard, son of Cornelius (2) Du Bois, married Harriet Brink and had issue.

(VII) Charles, son of Richard and Harriet (Brink) Du Bois, was born in Columbia county, New York, August 3, 1843, died May 3, 1881. He was educated in the public schools, and after completing his studies learned the trade of a smith, making a specialty of carriage smithing. He lived an honorable, useful life, and died universally regretted by his friends and neighbors in Kingston, where he had been in business many years. He was a Democrat in politics, and a faithful, consistent member of St. John's Episcopal Church of Kingston. He married Catherine S., daughter of Robert Merritt, born at Clermont, Columbia county, New York, married Hannah Hover, and had a family of ten children. Children of Charles and Catherine S. Du Bois:

  1. Harriet Louise, married George Edward Race.
  2. Albert, born March 12, 1868, resides in New York City.
  3. Mary Frances, died in infancy.
  4. Charles Royal, born June 8, 1875, resides in New York City.

Mrs. Catherine S. (Merritt) Du Bois survives her husband and resides in Hudson, New York, which city is the home of her only daughter, Mrs. Harriet Louise Race.

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