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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Salisbury

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1596-1598 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 ancestors of the Salisbury family of Catskill, New York, is Silvester Salisbury, born in England or Wales about the year 1629. That he was a kinsman of the ancient family of Salisbury in Denbigshire, Wales, is proven by his coat-of-arms, which he brought with him from the mother country, and which is now in the possession of his descendants in Catskill. This coat-of-arms is carved in hard wood, and except that the demi lion in the crest does not hold a crescent or, in its paws is identical with the coat-of-arms of the Welsh Salisburys. Two swords or rapiers also brought by Silvester Salisbury are preserved in the family, one stamped 1544 and in a hollow near the hilt is the word "Sachgum." The other sword bears the date 1616. Another heirloom is the portrait of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII; said to have been painted by Holbein. That he was well educated is shown by his letters. In 1664 Silvester Salisbury, being an ensign in the English army, took part in the conquest of the New Netherland. In 1670 he was sent either as lieutenant or captain to take command of Fort Albany, and was almost immediately appointed schout fiscal of Rensselaerwyck. The next year he aided in making a treaty of peace between the Mohawks and the Indians of New England. Soon afterward he was appointed one of the justices of the peace of Albany. In 1673 he was forced to surrender his post to the Dutch, who sent him a prisoner to Spain, at that time an ally of the United Provinces. During the next year he was released; returned to New York, and placed in command of his old post. In 1675 he was sent to England as bearer of dispatches to the king. He was probably chosen for this mission on account of his gentle birth. He was most graciously received by the Duke of York, to whom he had been commended by Sir Edmond Andros. He returned to New York in the spring bearing letters from the duke to the governor of the province. In one of the letters the duke wrote, "I send you this by the hand of Captain Salisbury; of him I have a good character and therefore would have you remember him, upon any fit occasion for his advantage in my service." Since 1677 he in company with Marte Gerritse Van Bergen became the purchaser of an immense estate at Catskill, included within the boundary of the "Catskill Patent." But before a patent was obtained for their purchase Silvester Salisbury died. The date is unknown, but it was between August 26, 1679, the date of his will, and March 24, 1680, the day on which his widow was confirmed as executrix of his will. He married, in 1669, Elizabeth, daughter of Peter Cornelise Beck, a master carpenter from Rotterdam. She survived him and married (second) Cornelius Van Dyck, a physician of Albany. He died in 1687 and in 1691 she married (third) Captain George Bradshaw, of the English army. Children of Captain Silvester Salisbury:

  1. Pieter, baptized in New York, March 15, 1676, died in infancy.
  2. Mary, born August 5, 1678; married, in New York, May 15, 1701, Jacob Marius Groven; she was living in 1755.
  3. Francis, of further mention.
  4. Silvester (2), died leaving no issue.

(II) Francis, son of Captain Silvester and Elizabeth (Beck) Salisbury, was born in 1679. He became of age in 1700, but did not enter into possession of his father's estate in Catskill for several years thereafter, as it passed through a long and severe legislation before its boundary was finally settled by the court of error. While still a lordly domain, much of it was lost by the line being established by circular instead of straight lines of a specified distance. In the division between the Salisbury and the Van Bergen families, Francis took the northern portion of the lowlands, which included the plain on the Kattskill between the highway from Leeds to Kaaterskill and Wolcotts Mills. It contained forty thousand acres in what is now the town of Leeds. Prior to coming into his inheritance, Francis lived at Albany and Kingston. In the autumn of 1699 he enlisted as a private soldier for the defence of the frontier against a threatened invasion by the French. In 1703 he removed to Catskill and was appointed supervisor of the district between the Inbogt and the northern bounds of Coxsackie. Two years later he built the Salisbury mansion on the northeastern side of the Windham turnpike on the terrace beyond Leeds. It was then the largest and most costly house between Albany and Newburg. Its walls were of massive stone quarried from the sandstone ledge in the neighborhood and pierced with loopholes, reminders of the days when all lived in terror of the Indians. Under the eaves are the initials of the builders and the date of building in letters of wrought iron, F.S. 1.7.0.5. Here Francis Salisbury lived until his death, about 1755. He married Maria, daughter of Abraham Van Gaasbeck, of Kingston, New York. She died in 1756. Children, all baptized in Kingston, except William.

  1. Laurentia, baptized June 2, 1695, died young.
  2. Sylvester, October 10, 1697, died unmarried, January 1738-39.
  3. Abraham, December 17, 1699, married, November 6, 1730, Rachel, daughter of Wessel Ten Broeck.
  4. Peter, April 25, 1703, died young.
  5. Lourens (Lawrence), August 18, 1706; married, January 2, 1735, Anna Maria Van Gaasbeck.
  6. William, January 30, 1709, died young.
  7. Elizabeth, August 3, 1712, married Rensselaer Nichols.
  8. William, of further mention.

(III) William, son of Francis and Maria (Van Gaasbeck) Salisbury, was baptized in Kingston, December 25, 1714, died 1801. He received by his father's will the farm of Potick with the house which stands near the tollgate. The house built of stone was erected in 1730 by Francis Salisbury for his son Abraham, and was originally a story and a half high. He married, March 27, 1740, Teuntje (Eunice), daughter of Barent and Neeltje Garritse (Van Denberg) Staats. Children:

  1. Sylvester, baptized in Albany, January 27, 1741, died 1815-16, at the house. of his brother Abraham at Leeds, Greene county, New York; he married, in 1764, Neeltje Staats and had eleven children.
  2. Francis, baptized at Catskill, October 8, 1742, died before the date of his father's will; married, January 27, 1772, Elsje, daughter of Joachim Staats, and had six children.
  3. Neeltje, baptized in Catskill, November 23, 1744, died November 3, 1825; married, December, 1763, Henry, son of Pieter and Christina (Costar) Van Bergen, and had nine children.
  4. Maria, baptized in Kingston, October 12, 1746, married Nicholas Staats.
  5. Barent Staats, baptized in Albany, April 3, 1749, died April 11, 1797; in 1776 he was appointed first lieutenant in First Regiment of the New York line and remained in the service during the war of the revolution. He served with distinction at the battles of Saratoga, Monmouth and at Yorktown. He married, October 13, 1782, Sara, daughter of Solomon and Margaret (Sammons) Du Bois, and had three children.
  6. Elizabeth, baptized in Albany, May 12, 1751.
  7. Annatje, baptized in Catskill, January 7, 1756, died young.
  8. Catrina, baptized in Catskill, March 25, 1758, died December 16, 1809; married Benjamin, son of Solomon and Margaret (Sammons) DuBois, and had seven children.
  9. Abraham, of whom further.
  10. Laurens, baptized in Catskill, September 28, 1760, died February 10, 1825; married Nancy, daughter of James Barker, of Freehold, and had three children.
  11. William, baptized in Catskill, July 24, 1763; unmarried.

(IV) Abraham, son of William and Teuntje (Staats) Salisbury, was baptized in Catskill, October 3 or 8, 1758, died June 16, 1825. He inherited the Salisbury homestead and the land adjoining, including the farm of Potick with the stone house built in 1730 by the first Francis for his son Abraham. He married (first) Hannah Staats; (second) December 1, 1799, Rachel Eltinge, widow of ———— Van Dusen; she died April 11, 1844, in her eighty-sixth year. Children of second wife:

  1. Anna, born June 13, 1800; married, December, 1825, Henry Lane.
  2. William, of further mention.

(V) William, son of Abraham and Rachel Eltinge (Van Dusen) Salisbury, was born August 13, 1801, in the old Salisbury homestead at Leeds or "Old Catskill," died at Catskill, May 12, 1883. At the decease of his father he inherited a large tract of land in the most fertile part of the Catskill patent. His home at Leeds was the mansion built by Francis Salisbury, before mentioned, where he resided until overtaken by severe financial reverses, when he left the old farm and removed to the village of Catskill, which was his home until death. Throughout his active life he was connected with the militia of the county and advanced through all grades of service from sergeant in 1822 to lieutenant-colonel of the Third Regiment; brigadier-general, commissioned July 15, 1835, by Governor William A. March, and major-general of the Eighth Division by Governor Silas Wright, January 17, 1845. His agricultural operations were conducted on a very extensive scale, and his connection with the Greene County Agricultural Society and the American Institute continued throughout his active life. He was progressive in his methods as a farmer and stock breeder, and his operations along these lines marked an era in the way of local development. He was extremely benevolent and a great lover of nature, particularly of trees, flowers and domestic animals. He was a faithful member of the Dutch Reformed church, serving the old church at Leeds as deacon, and was one of its most liberal supporters. His home at Catskill contained many relics of the past, among them a portrait of Queen Anne Boleyn; the arms of the family carved in wood, brought from Europe by Captain Silvester Salisbury, together with Indian deeds and land grants. General Salisbury married Jane Mairs, born 1813, died 1886, daughter of Rev. James Mairs, a minister of Galway, Saratoga county, New York. Children:

  1. Rachel E., died in 1909.
  2. James, died in Memphis, Tennessee.
  3. William, died in infancy.
  4. William L., died in St. Louis, Missouri.
  5. Elizabeth M., resides in Catskill.
  6. Eli H., died in Michigan.
  7. Romeyn, resides in Brooklyn; engaged in wall-paper business; married Lillie M. Kenyon, of Brooklyn, New York; children:
    1. Jane K., wife of Harold W. Chapman, and has Chester and Thayer;
    2. Albert T.;
    3. Helen M.
  8. Anna, resides in Catskill, New York.

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