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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Steers

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1200-1202 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 family is of Holland descent and first appears in the Mohawk Valley in 1700. The name is found here and elsewhere under the, spelling Stiers, as well as Steers and sometimes as Stearns. Through intermarriage they connect with the oldest Dutch families in the valley, Vanderpoel and Schermerhorn. Another marriage carried descent to Scotland and another to France. This commingles a variety of nationalities and in this generation has produced men and women worthy of their ancestry. The Vanderpoels were remarkable for the number of their men active in judicial, military and political lines, rather than for an entail of landed possessions, as were the Knickerbocker families of New York, the Livingstons, Van Cortlands and Van Rensselaers. The Vanderpoel family originally were Gouchens, on the Rhine, in Germany In 1600 a branch settled in Amsterdam, Holland. From this branch the Vanderpoels of America descended.

Teunis Vanderpoel was a magistrate of Albany in 1671. He owned one-half of an important island off the coast of Holland and city property in Amsterdam, Holland, which he bequeathed to his heirs in addition to his American possessions. Tennis Vanderpoel died without male heirs, but Myndert Vanderpoel had a son, Melgert Mynertse, who remained in Albany. He maintained a high position in the city and was assistant deputy under the first charter granted Albany by Governor Dongan. Descendants of the ancient Vanderpoels intermarried with many early Dutch families of note. Among the alliances contracted are the Van Buren, Van Planck, Pruyn, Van Alen, Van Schaick, Van Zandt, Van Vleck, Brinkerhoff, Schuyler, Schoenhoven, and the list could be extended still further. An important member of the family was Melgert Vanderpoel, born 1676, a freeholder of Kinderhook and part of the manor of Livingston, in 1720. Melgert was the founder of the Kinderhook branch which has always been considered one of the leading family lines. Melgert's mother was a Van Planck, and he married one of the grand dames of the section, Catherine, daughter of Lourens Van Alen. An old time and lasting friendship existed between the Vanderpoels and the Schuylers. It was at the house of Madame Schuyler, "The American Lady" that Johannes Vanderpoel was married to Annetje Staats. Abram V. Vanderpoel, of Kinderhook. held important office in New York City, and was a warm personal friend of Martin Van Buren and Silas Wright. Neither has the family lost its vitality, as now, two and a half centuries later, descendants are numerous and prominent in all walks of life. The line of Steers herein traced settled in Schenectady about the middle of the eighteenth century, and are of Dutch descent. The name is not a common one, and must not be connected with the New England family of Steere, who are of English descent.

(I) The first to bear the name of Steers of whom there is record in Schenectady, New York, is St. Jan Steers, a soldier, and his wife, Trientje (McGregor) Steers. Children:

  1. Samuel,
  2. John, see forward;
  3. Peter, married Geesje Vrooman.

(II) John, son of St. Jan and Trientje (McGregor) Steers, inherited from his father a lot on Green street, near the fort, which was granted the father in 1756. John Steers married, November 3, 1759, Clara, daughter of Pieter Van Slyck. Children:

  1. Catarina, baptized December 7, 1760;
  2. Engeltje, May 19, 1765;
  3. Geertruy, August 16, 1767; married John Lambert;
  4. John, married Annetje Nesbit;
  5. Petrus (Peter), married Lydia Van Schaick;
  6. Margarita;
  7. Cornelius, see forward; Samuel, baptized April 14, 1780.

(III) Cornelius, son of John and Clara (Van Slyck) Steers, was baptized August 17, 1777, died November 21, 1863. He married ————. Children:

  1. Peter, see forward;
  2. Carrie, married Jacob Brewer, a veteran of the civil war; was captured and confined in Libby prison; was finally exchanged; was broken in health from his hardships; died soon afterwards.
  3. William Farmer, married Ann, daughter of Dr. Palmer, of Cobleskill; has sons and daughters living;
  4. John, died unmarried;
  5. Sarah, married John Gumble;
  6. Caroline, married Cornelius Lansing; she is the only surviver of the family (1910) and is nearing the century mark.

(IV) Peter, eldest son of Cornelius Steers, was born in Schenectady, New York, 1800, died in 1870. He was a well-known expressman between Albany and Schenectady. He established the line in association with his brother William F., and operated it for eighteen years, when he sold out to other parties. He married Mrs. Sarah (Vrooman) Steers, widow of Jacob Steers. By her first marriage she had a daughter Mary and a son Bleeker Steers. By her marriage to Peter Steers, there were two children:

  1. Susan, died in early life of dyptheria;
  2. Jacob Vrooman, see forward.

(V) Jacob Vrooman, son of Peter and Sarah (Vrooman-Steers) Steers, was born on the Steers homestead, now a part of the city of Schenectady, July 9, 1843, died there February 5, 1885. He was a managing farmer and looked after the Steers estate only. For several years he was engaged in mercantile life in Schenectady. He was a Democrat and held many of the town and city offices. He was a member of the Lishaskill Reformed Church, and a man of influence, and his death was much deplored. He married, in Schenectady, June, 1875, Katharine V. McClyman, born in Schenectady county, New York, educated in the high school, graduated at Union Classical Institute, and was a teacher for several years before her marriage. She is prominent in church, benevolent and educational work, has unusual business ability, and manages her own estate. She is a member of the Womans' Club, being an active member of the art and musical department; member of Schenectady County Historical Society; Second Reformed Church, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union; and one of the early members of the Young Women's Christian Association. She is a daughter of George B. McClyman, born February 7, 1828, died at his home in Schenectady, February 4, 1897. Mr. McClyman was a contractor and builder, an expert mechanic and well regarded. He married in Albany, 1852, C. Alida Vanderpoel, born in Stuyvesant, Columbia county, New York, February 28, 1833, who survives him and resides with her daughter, Mrs. Katharine V. Steers. She is now in her seventy-eighth year, remarkable for her activity and for her keen intelligence. She is a member of the First Reformed Church, and retains a lively interest in all current happenings. She is a daughter of Samuel and Katharine (Schermerhorn) Vanderpoel, of Schoodic, [Schodack?] Columbia county, New York, where her father died; her mother died at New Baltimore, Greene county, New York. Children of Samuel and Katharine Vanderpoel:

  1. Maria, married Edward Stevens, of Albany.
  2. Smith, died at New Baltimore; married and left issue.
  3. Andrew, of New Baltimore; married (first) Abbie Thorn; (second) Jane Mathews; had issue.
  4. Elizabeth, died unmarried.
  5. C. Alida, married George B. McClyman, aforementioned.
  6. John, deceased; married (first) Abbie Weingert; (second) Addie Weingert (cousins); had issue by both marriages.
  7. Amanda, married Edward Carhart; she died in Providence, Rhode Island, leaving two daughters.
  8. Abbie, deceased; married Ira Wilson, of Troy, New York, and left children:
    1. Kate, a resident of Troy, unmarried;
    2. Emma, married Henry Potts, managing editor of Troy Times;
    3. John, collar manufacturer of Troy, New York;
    4. Edwin, captain of the Adirondack steamship plying on the Hudson river.

Mrs. Katharine V. Steers is a granddaughter of William McClyman, of Scotland, the first of the family to settle in the United States. He married Mary Le Croix, of French descent, born in the Mohawk Valley. They spent most of their married life in Schenectady. William McClyman died there at age of sixty, and his wife at age of eighty. They had eleven children, five sons and six daughters, of whom George B. (father of Mrs. Steers) was the youngest. A strange fatality attended the sons. One was killed in the Mexican war; one was drowned in the Hudson river; one was lost on a voyage around Cape Horn; the fourth son was accidentally killed. Jacob Vrooman and Katharine V. (McClyman) Steers are the parents of two children:

  1. Lucia, married Elliot R. Stafford, formerly of Michigan, now of Schenectady, a mechanician with Vrooman Brothers; Mrs. Stafford was educated at Schenectady.
  2. Adele V. S., married, Alexander M. Fennick, an electrical engineer; children: Doris Marjorie and Helen Winifred. Mrs. Fennick is a graduate of Union Classical Institute in the class of 1903, taking the Cornell scholarship. J. Vrooman Steers died after a brief illness when Adele V. S. was but a few days old.

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