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SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs

A Record of Achievements of the People of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys in New York State, Included Within the Present Counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Washington, Saratoga, Montgomery, Fulton, Schenectady, Columbia and Greene.

Prepared under the editorial supervision of Cuyler Reynolds, Curator of The Albany Institute and Historical and Art Society, since 1898; Director of New York State History Exhibit at Jamestown Exposition, 1907; Author of Albany Chronicles, Classified Quotations, and several other published works. [Photo and signature: original size (26K) | 4x enlarged (148K)]

[This information is from the 4-volume, 1900-page Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. An index prepared in 1951-52 by Marie Noll Cormack is also available at SCPL. This online edition includes an index of families by county as well as keyword searching. We have added Schoharie and Warren Counties to the index because they are part of the region served by our library. The errata mentioned in the foreward have been incorporated into the text.]

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington | List of Families Not Yet Added

Historical Appendix: Albany County | Cities and Towns | Progenitors: Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | V | W | Y

Foreword

That many hundreds of persons have shown their personal interest in the publication of these volumes is sufficient evidence that it is a deserving field in historical literature. But this is by no means the limitation, for these family sketches will be a matter of daily reference by persons throughout this country, and thus they will be rendering a proper service, warranting the painstaking labor expended in their preparation. As time goes on, a work of this nature will be considered as a godsend.

But aside from individual interest in family matters and the consequent inclusion of historical information, there is a special and pertinent value in this work, for instead of being an affair which some would heedlessly consider lightly, the effect on the student of these matters is known to be an inspiration, because through understanding the hardships and the successes of our ancestors, and reading of worthy feats, one certainly becomes imbued with an esprit de corps which builds character, and good results invariably follow.

In the times when the French and Indian wars were engaging the attention of every colonist from Maine to Florida, who never was able to rest easily at home lest the savage pillage his house within the high palisade, the settlements near Albany, although protected in the crude fashion of that day, were the subject of attack time and time again. This was, in part, because the vicinity of Albany was the seat of settlement of several tribes of continually warring Indians, principally the Mohawks and Mohicans. Not only were the bergs of Albany and Schenectady surrounded in entirety by stockadoes, and the villagers warned not to build outside of them, but the residents erected their dwellings for defense, much in the manner of individual forts, by providing their walls, massive in those days, with portholes through which the musket could be directed at the enemy; and such houses, although rare, are still standing there. Notable among these conflicts with the aborigines and French was the frightful massacre at Schenectady in the winter of 1690, when few in the peaceful village were permitted to escape the tomahawk, and later on the Beukendaal massacre shocked the settlers, fraught with as high a percentage of brutal murders.

When the French wished to possess the land in America, their armies came by way of the Adirondack lakes, as a facile passage from Canada, and Albany had to be the resisting point to save the other sections of the country. The orders issued in Europe by the higher officials who directed operations, were generally to the effect that Albany must first be taken; but it never was a place which suffered conquest. Its citizenship was composed of such men as would extract the lead from their windows in order to have it cast into bullets, and naturally such valor was indomitable.

Some fifty years after the massacre mentioned, the French were once more decidedly active, and it was necessary to check them before they came further south than Ticonderoga, or, at worst, Fort William Henry, on Lake George's southern end. The region in and about Albany was then given over to the massing of troops, and under General Abercrombie, in 1758, a large army was gathered and the raw recruits drilled. It was then that "Yankee Doodle" was composed by the surgeon in his army, while in the camp at Greenbush.

In the Revolutionary period, the citizens sacrificed everything down to the condition of depriving themselves of their cattle, which were driven from their fields to supply the soldiers, while produce had to be brought in in such quantities that, when winter approached, the inhabitants made an appeal that they could not survive the winter if the drain continued. The best citizens were turned into officers, and the stories of their lives, headed with such names as Generals Schuyler, Ten Broeck and Gansevoort, furnish us to-day with both interesting and instructive reading. It was in 1777 that Albany was made the center of attack by large armies of British troops, planned to attack it from the north by General Burgoyne; from the west, by General St. Leger, proceeding from Oswego, and Lord Howe, coming up the Hudson. It was a brilliant enterprise and a fierce campaign; but the men of Albany were victorious.

In its later life, the people of this section of the country have placed themselves creditably on record in the walks of peace, and one finds commerce, the arts and sciences, represented most worthily. There is no reason to gloss over the list by generalities, for definite cases are readily to be cited; but one should take up these families one by one and read them thoughtfully. The entire country never furnished a more wonderful scientist than Professor Joseph Henry, born in Albany, who successfully demonstrated there the feasibility of his invention of the electric telegraph. The military men, lawyers, artists, authors, clergymen and doctors, have been among the foremost, and added a luster to a section of the country which furnishes itself as a topic for a history.

For the benefit of those who seek details about this section of the state, as regards its topography and legislative formation, besides the more important information in other lines, there has been added a section of this work, devoted to this subject.

Many persons will take special interest in salient features about the early settlers, and for their benefit a compilation of names and facts about six hundred different families, who arrived in that part of the State before the year 1700 has been purposely made. With the idea of making a creditable, authentic and full record of these families, each person associated with this work has put forth his best endeavor in the hope of affording abundant satisfaction.

The editor and publishers are grateful to several gentlemen for valuable advisory assistance — to W. Max Reid, of Amsterdam; Frank W. Thomas, of Troy; Rev. Dr. E. C. Lawrence, of Schenectady, and William Richard Cutter, of Woburn, Massachusetts — all well known in historical and antiquarian circles.

In various instances there are differing forms of names in the same family, different lines preserving their own nomenclature, and these differences have been preserved in these volumes. In all cases the narratives have been submitted to the person in interest, and their corrections have been carefully regarded.

Some corrections and additional data were received after the pages had gone through the press, and these have been carried into a page of addenda and errata preceding the index, in the last pages of Volume IV.

Cuyler Reynolds.

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