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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 42-46 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.]

This is an ancient and noble family of Scottish origin, more remotely descended from Leving, a Hungarian noble, who came to Scotland in the train of Margaret, queen of King Malcolm of Scotland, about 1068. This once powerful family of Livingston through their romantic attachment to a "lost cause" suffered a complete downfall in Scotland, and is now represented in the female line only. Sir William de Livingston, founder of the House of Callendar, served under Sir William Douglass at the siege of Sterling Castle in 1339. King David, son of Robert the Bruce, granted him the forfeited Callendar estates. Sir William afterward married the daughter and heiress of Sir Patrick de Callendar. In America the family name is an honored one, and above one of the dormer windows in the state capitol at Albany their armorial bearings are sculptured, a mark of public honor. The arms of the American family are the quartered arms of Livingston of Callendar and date back to the fourteenth century. Chancellor Livingston stands chief among the chancellors of New York state and is honored with a bronze full figure statue in the state capitol. William Livingston was the famous "war governor" of New Jersey during the revolution. At the battles of Saratoga, eight Livingstons were in command of troops, three of them led their regiments at critical points of the battles. The history of the family is a history of over a century and a half of the most exciting and important years of American life. The name is found everywhere in honorable position and all are descended from Robert Livingston whose line is traced herein; Robert Livingston, "the nephew," and James Livingston, whose descendants left the Hudson valley, settling in the Schoharie valley and along the upper Susquehanna.

The immediate English ancestor is Rev. John Livingston, son of Rev. William Livingston, minister of Lanark, Scotland. Rev. John Livingston was born at Kilsyth in Stirlingshire, Scotland, June 21, 1603. He was for a time chaplain to the countess of Wigtoun, and was shortly afterward installed over the church of Killinchie in Ireland. Being persecuted for non-conformity, he determined to emigrate to America, actually embarking for that purpose in a vessel bound for Boston, but being driven back by contrary winds, he abandoned his purpose and settled in 1638 at Stranraer in Scotland. In 1648 he removed to Ancurm in Teviotdale, where his son Robert was born. In March, 1650, he was sent as a commissioner to Brede to negotiate terms for the restoration of Charles II. After that event the persecution against him being revived, he went to Rotterdam, Holland. Here he began to publish an edition of Bible which he did not live to complete. He died at Rotterdam, Holland, in August, 1672. He married, at Edinburgh, in the West church, June 23, 1635, Janet, eldest daughter of Bartholomew Fleming, of the old Scottish family of that name, of which the then head was the Earl of Wigton, who with his eldest son, Lord Fleming, was present at the wedding. She was born at Edinburgh, Scotland, November 16, 1613, died at Rotterdam, Holland, February 13, 1693-94, and was buried in the French church in that city. Children, fifteen in number, all born in Scotland, except John the eldest, who was born at Melton, Ireland June 30, 1636. The youngest son, Robert, is the ancestor of the American family of Livingston Manor. James, the ninth child, is the father of Robert Livingston, "the nephew".

(The American Family)

(I) Robert Livingston, youngest son and fourteenth child of Rev. John and Janet (Fleming) Livingston, was born at Ancrum, Scotland, December 13, 1654, died October 1, 1728 (some authorities say at Boston, Massachusetts), and is buried in the family vault at Livingston Manor, town of Livingston, Columbia county, New York, over which the Livingston Memorial church has been erected in recent years. It is supposed he accompanied his father to Holland as he was familiar with the Dutch language. He was eighteen years of age when his father died and he was left dependent upon his own resources for support. His thoughts naturally turned to the New World which his father had before him made an attempt to reach. He return to Scotland with his mother where he made but a short stay. April 28, 1672, he sailed from Grenock, Scotland, a passenger on the ship Catherine of Charlestown, Captain John Phillips, master, bound for Charlestown, New England. The exact date of his arrival in New England is unknown. He was soon, however, at New York, which was now under English control. Not being suited in New York, he proceeded to Albany, the next largest city in the colony and an important trading point. His knowledge of the Dutch language here was of great advantage to him and he was appointed in February, 1676, secretary of the commissaries who then superintended the affairs of Albany, Schenectady and adjacent territory, which office he held until July, 1686, when Albany being made a city, the board of commissaries was dissolved.

He was appointed with his brother-in-law, Peter Schuyler, to proceed to New York to obtain the charter of the city from Governor Dongan, under which he was afterwards made town clerk, to which annexed the additional office of farmer of the excise. He was also secretary for Indian affairs and collector of customs.

As early as 1675 he became a lot owner in Albany, owning the lot at the corner of State and North Pearl street, where he lived until his removal to the Manor. On July 18, 1683, he made a purchase of tracts along the east side of the Hudson containing 2,000 acres of land from four Indian chiefs, a purchase which was later confirmed by Governor Thomas Dongan.

His purchases were continued and on July 26, 1686, Governor Dongan issued a patent erecting a vast territory of not less than 125,000 acres into a lordship and manor to be recognized as the Lordship and Manor of Livingston, the only requirement being the annual payment to the government of Great Britain of twenty-eight shillings sterling, to be paid at the city of Albany, March 25, of each succeeding year. The land included, commenced about five miles north of the city of Hudson, running twelve miles on the Hudson, extending back to the Massachusetts line, widening as it receded from the river, so as to embrace not less than twenty miles on the boundary of the latter colony. The patent allowed the proprietor the privilege of holding a court seat and court baron with the advowson and right of patronage of the church within the manor. The tenants also had the privilege of assembly together to choose assessors to defray the public charges of cities, counties, and towns within the manor, in the same manner as those within the province. It granted the right of fishing, hawking, hunting, and fowling, the possession of mines, minerals (silver and gold mines excepted), and the right to fish in the Hudson along the boundary of said Manor. In 1715, however, the grant being confirmed by royal authority, the additional privilege of electing a representative to the general assembly of the colony and two constables were conferred upon the tenants. In 1710 more than 5,000 acres were taken to constitute a settlement for the Palatinates, which was callod Germantown. This tract was purchased by the crown for this purpose, for the sum of 200 pounds sterling. The Manor of Clermont, comprising about 13,000 acres was severed from the upper manor by the will of Robert, the first lord of the Manor, and bequeathed to his youngest son, Robert (grandfather of Chancellor Livingston), to reward him for having discovered and frustrated a plot which had been formed by negroes on the estate to murder all the whites. In 1689 the tide of prosperity turned and he became involved in the troubles with Leisler, taking sides as did most of the prominent families against the Dutch governor. His party being beaten, he retired to one of the neighboring provinces probably to avoid the fury of his enemies. He made a trip to England during this period and brought back with him his nephew, Robert Livingston. His fortune ebbed and flowed alternately; in 1702 his estates were confiscated and he was suspended from the council board. But the tide again turned in his favor, and February 2, 1703, he once more obtained possession of his estates and in September, 1705, received from Queen Anne a commission reinstating him in all his former appointments. A mansion was erected on the Manor as early as 1692, but he did not reside there until 1711. In that year he was elected a member of assembly from the city and county of Albany, and in June, 1716, a representative from his Manor. In 1718 he was chosen speaker of house of assembly, which position he retained until 1725, when ill-health compelled his retirement from public life.

He married, July 9, 1679, in the Presbyterian church at Albany, Alida, daughter of Philip Pieterse Schuyler and his wife, Margarita Van Schlechtenhorst, only daughter of the director of Rensselaerswyck and widow of Rev. Nicholas Van Rensselaer. She was born February 28, 1656, died March 27, 1729. Children:

  1. Colonel John, born April 26, 1680, died February 19, 1720; married (first), at New London, April 1, 1701, Mary (died Jan. 8, 1713), only child of Fitz John Winthrop, governor of Connecticut. He married (second) October, 1713, Elizabeth, daughter of Mrs. Sarah Knight, who died March 17, 1735. No issue by either wife.
  2. Margaret, born December 5, 1681; married, December 20, 1700, Colonel Samuel Vetch, first English governor of Annapolis Royal. She died June, 1758.
  3. Johanna Philippina, born February 1, 1683-84, died January 24, 1689-90.
  4. Philip, of whom further.
  5. Robert, born July 24, 1688, died June 27, 1775. He was first proprietor of Clermont. He married, November 11, 1717, New York City, at the Reformed Dutch church, Margaret Howarden.
  6. Gilbert (or Hubertus), born March 3, 1689, died April 25, 1746; married, December 22, 1711, Cornelia Beekman.
  7. William, born March 17, 1692, died November 5, 1692.
  8. Johanna, born December 10, 1694; married Cornelius Gerrit Van Horne.
  9. Catherine, born May 22, 1698, died December 6, 1699.

(II) Philip (second lord of the Manor), second son and fourth child of Robert and Alida (Schuyler-Van Rensselaer) Livingston, was born July 9, 1686, died February 4, 1748-49. He was named for his maternal grandfather, Philip Schuyler. He studied law and was admitted to the New York bar, December 31, 1719. In the following year he was appointed one of the commissioners of Indian affairs and succeeded his father as secretary of that board. He was an appointed member of the legislative council, 1715, and the following year was despatched on a mission to the French governor of Canada to prevent the French proceeding further with the erection of a fort at Niagara. On the death of his father he succeeded to the entailed and largest portion of the Manor estate and for many years the new lord of the Manor took a prominent part in the political affairs of the province. His family connections and personal attractions made him a person of note in New York City, where "he lived in a style of courtly magnificence". He became involved in a quarrel with Admiral George Clinton, the English governor of the province, who made serious charges against him and endeavored to have him dismissed from the council but failed, Philip holding the office and continued to take a leading part in the affairs of his native province until his death. His funeral was a most elaborate and expensive one and was the occasion of general comment. He married, September 19, 1707, Catherine Van Brugh, baptized November, 1689, died February 20, 1756, daughter of Peter and Sarah (Cuyler) Van Brugh. Of their seven sons, Peter Van Brugh, Philip "the signer," and William, became prominent in the war of the revolution. The fourth son, John, was the only important member of the family who adhered to the king during the war for independence. Children, all baptized in Albany:

  1. Robert, of whom further.
  2. Peter Van Brugh, baptized November 3, 1710, died 1793. He was a member of the committee of one hundred, 1775, a member of provincial congress, 1775, president of the same, 1775, and treasurer, 1776. He was a merchant of the city of New York. He married (first), Mary Alexander, (second), a widow, Mrs. Ricketts. Twelve children by first wife.
  3. Peter, baptized April, 1712, died young.
  4. John, baptized April 11, 1714, died 1788; married, December 3, 1742, Catherine, daughter of Abraham de Puyster and Margaret Van Cortlandt.
  5. Philip, born January 15, 1716; member of committee of one hundred, 1775, president of the provincial convention, 1775; member of continental congress, 1774-78; signer of the Declaration of Independence, 1776; member of provincial congress, 1776-77. He died at York, Pennsylvania, June 12, 1778. He married, April 14, 1740, Christiana Ten Broeck, born December 30, 1718, died June 29, 1801, daughter of Dirck Ten Broeck, recorder and mayor of Albany, and Margarita Cuyler. They were the parents of nine children, of whom two served as officers in the war of the revolution.
  6. Henry, baptized April 5, 1719, died in Jamaica, West Indies, February, 1772.
  7. Sarah, baptized May 7, 1721, died October, 1722.
  8. William, born November 8, 1723, died at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, July 25, 1790. He was a member of continental congress, 1774-76, brigadier-general New Jersey militia, 1775-76, governor of the state of New Jersey, 1776-90, signer of the federal constitution, 1777. He married, about 1745, Susanna, daughter of Philip and Susanna (Brockholst) French. She was baptized at New York, June 19, 1723, died at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, July 17, 1789. They were the parents of thirteen children, one of whom, Sarah Van Brugh, married John Jay, chief justice of the supreme court of the United States. Another daughter, Susanna, married John Cleve Symmes, of New Jersey, associate justice of the supreme court of New Jersey and a judge of the supreme court of the new Northwest Territory in 1786.
  9. Sarah, baptized November 7, 1725; married, March 1, 1748, William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, major-general in the continental army. His right to this title was never recognized by the British government, but as a matter of courtesy he was always addressed during the war as Lord Stirling. She died March, 1805.
  10. Alida, baptized July 18, 1728; married (first), September 26, 1750; Henry Hansen, of Harlem; married (second), Colonel Martin Hoffman, September 26, 1766. She died February, 1790.
  11. Catherine, baptized April 18, 1733; married, April 18, 1759, John Lawrence, alderman of New York City.

(III) Robert, third lord of the Manor, eldest son of Philip and Catherine (Van Brugh) Livingston, was born in Albany, New York, December 16, 1708, died November, 1790. He inherited the vast estates entailed to the eldest son, and although he filled no official position himself during the revolutionary war, he proved his loyalty to the cause by placing his iron mines and foundry at the disposal of the New York committee of safety. His seventy years, no doubt, was the cause of his not taking a more active part. He was elected representative from his Manor to the twenty-first New York assembly, 1737, and during the next twenty years he sat uninterruptedly through seven general assemblies, returned at every election by the Manor Freeholders. When the elections were being held for the twenty-eighth assembly he retired in favor of his younger brother, William, then coming into prominence as a leader of the Presbyterian party. He married (first), May 20, 1731, Maria, daughter of Walter Tong and granddaughter of Rip Van Dam, president of the council. He married (second), Gertrude, daughter of Killaen Van Rensselaer, and his wife, Maria Van Cortlandt, and widow of Adonijah Schuyler, born October 1, 1744. Children, all by first marriage:

  1. Catherine, born August 4, 1732, died in infancy.
  2. Philip, born February 9, 1733, died unmarried April 3, 1756.
  3. Sarah, born April 23, 1735, died September 4, 1745.
  4. Peter R., born April 27, 1737, died 1793; he was a member of the provincial convention, 1775, member of the provincial congress, 1775-76, president of provincial congress, 1776-77, member of assembly, 1780-81; colonel of militia during the revolutionary war. He was the last of the representatives returned to the New York assembly under the patent of 1715 and with him ends the political history of the old Colonial Manor of Livingston, which became by the new order of events absorbed into the electoral district of Albany. He married Margaret Livingston.
  5. Maria, born October 29, 1738, died May 6, 1821; married, October 21, 1759, James Duane, afterwards one of the New York delegates in the continental congress.
  6. Walter, born November 27, 1740, died May 14, 1797; he was a member of the provincial congress 1775, member of the assembly, 1777-78-79, speaker of the assembly, 1778, commission of United States treasury, 1785, deputy commissioner-general of the northern department, 1775. He married, in 1769, Cornelia, daughter of Peter and Gertrude (Schuyler) Schuyler. She was baptized July 26, 1746, died 1822. Walter Livingston built and resided in his mansion "Teviotdale" in Columbia county, New York.
  7. Robert (better known as Robert Cambridge, because he was a graduate of Cambridge University, and to distinguish him from numerous other Roberts), born December 26, 1742, died August 23, 1794. He married, November 12, 1778, Alice, daughter of John Swift.
  8. Catherine, born December 22, 1744, died May, 1832; married, 1766, John Paterson.
  9. Sarah, born February 16, 1745-46, died May 11, 1749.
  10. Alida, born December 15, 1747, died September, 1791; married Valentine Gardiner.
  11. Margarita, born February 16, 1748, died June 22, 1749.
  12. John, of whom further.
  13. Hendrick or Henry, born January 8, 1752, died unmarried, May 16, 1823.

(IV) John, twelfth child and fifth son of Robert and Maria (Tong) Livingston, was born at New York, February 11, 1749 died at Oak Hill, Columbia county, New York, October 24, 1822. He built the family mansion, "Oak Hill," the only Livingston mansion, except "Clermont," now owned by a Livingston, and lived there the life of a country gentleman. He married (first), May 11, 1775, Mary Ann, daughter of Jacob and Cornelia (Rutgers) LeRoy; married (second), November 3, 1796, a kinswoman, Catherine, daughter of William Livingston, the "War Governor of New Jersey," and widow of Matthew Ridley. Children, all by first marriage:

  1. Cornelia, born October 23, 1776; married Nicholas G. Rutgers.
  2. Robert Le Roy, of Claverack, New York, born October 10, 1778; married Maria Diggs, of Washington, D. C.
  3. Jacob, of Cherry Valley, New York, born July 13, 1780; married (first), Catherine De Puyster; married (second), Levantia White and had issue by both wives.
  4. John G., born January 29, 1782, killed in a duel, unmarried.
  5. Child, born November 30, 1783.
  6. Daniel, of New York City, born June 3, 1786; married Julia Oothout.
  7. Philip Henry, born November 17, 1787.
  8. Anthony Rutgers, of Tarrytown, New York, born April 27, 1789; married Anna Hoffman.
  9. Henry, of Claverack, New York, born September 2, 1791; married Ann Eliza Van Ness.
  10. Herman, of whom further.

(V) Herman, son of John and Mary Ann (LeRoy) Livingston, was born August 2, 1793, died May 9, 1872. He inherited "Oak Hill," where he maintained an open-handed hospitality for forty-five years until the death of his wife. He was a Republican and member of the Dutch Reformed church. He married Sarah Lawrence Hallett, who died September 10, 1868. Children:

  1. John Henry, born September 8, 1822, died October 7, 1846;
  2. Cornelia, born February 29, 1824, died September 21, 1851, married Clermont Livingston;
  3. Herman Tong, of whom further.

(VI) Herman Tong, youngest child and second son of Herman and Sarah Lawrence (Hallett) Livingston, was born at "Oak Hill," Columbia county, New York, June 12, 1827, died October 20, 1899. He continued in the ownership and occupancy of "Oak Hill" and adjoining estates, bequeathing same to his son Herman, the present owner (1910). He was an active business man the most of his life. As a merchant and ship owner in New York City, first in the firm of Livingston & Crocheron, owning a line of steamers plying between New York, New Orleans and Savannah to their line with the others. Their vessel, commanded by Captain Bullock, was the last to enter New Orleans before the war. It was seized by the rebel government and afterwards released by order of Jeff Davis, on the grounds that they were not fighting private interests. Captain Bullock was formerly of the United States navy, but resigned and accepted a position with this firm. Later joined the confederacy, and was sent to England, where later he fitted out the Florida and the Alabama.

Herman T. Livingston spent the latter part of his life in his home on the Hudson. He was a strong Republican, and a member of the Episcopal church. He married, December 6, 1853, Susan Bard, daughter of Archibald and Anna (Pendleton) Rogers, of Hyde Park, New York. Children:

  1. Herman, of whom further;
  2. Edmund Pendleton, born September 21, 1857, died December 10, 1888;
  3. John Callendar, born May 8, 1862;
  4. Anna Pendleton, born January 6, 1866;
  5. Archibald, born November 23, 1868;
  6. Sarah, born August 22, 1871.

(VII) Herman (2), son of Herman Tong and Susan B. (Rogers) Livingston, was born in New York City, June 24, 1856. He was educated in private schools in New York City, entered Yale university and was graduated A. M., class of 1879. He is now (1910) engaged in the operation of his oil properties in Virginia. His home is the old Livingston mansion at Oak Hill overlooking the Hudson, which was built by his grandfather. He is the fourth generation of the family to own and occupy the fine old mansion. He is a Republican and has taken quite an interest in local politics, holding minor offices, attending state and county conventions as delegate, and was presidential elector when Harrison was defeated.

He was married, November 9, 1882, to Emmeline C., daughter of Henry and Mary Elizabeth (Cornell) Hopkins. Children:

  1. Herman, born August 18, 1883; graduate of Williams College, now engaged in the insurance business in Boston; married, April 24, 1909, Alga Kobbe, of New York.
  2. Henry Hopkins, born February 5, 1887; graduate of Yale University, now engaged in the oil business in West Virginia.
  3. Edmund Pendleton, born October 23, 1889, student at Yale University.

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