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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Van Alstyne

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1808-1810 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.]

William Arthur, A. M., in his dictionary of Family and Christian names [i.e., An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names] says: "Van Alstyne" Local, from the old or high stone Dutch. Records in Holland show the family to be of ancient origin being traced under different names back to the crowning of "Otho" in the year A. D. 936. The family first appears tinder the name, Ralsko, which it abandoned in order to take that of Warternberg, which they bore for several centuries. Jean Ralsko who died in Flanders in 1236, had built there the Chateau de Waldstein, the name of which he took to distinguish himself from his brother who bore that of Warternberg. The family has been traced under the name of Balstein in Spain, Vallenstein in France, Halsteyn in Flanders and Van Alstein in Holland. From Waldstein the name changed to Wallenstein, Walstein, Valstein, and finally became Van Alstein, which with slight variations in spelling has ever since been used. On early records in America, it appears as Van Aelsteyn, Van Aalstyne, Van Alstyn, Van Alstein, Van Alstyne and Van Alstine. One branch dropped the Van and are known as Alstyn. In the present day three forms of spelling are found: Van Alstine, Van Alstyne and Alstyn.

(I) The direct ancestor of the family in America was Jan Martense, signifying John, son of Marten Van Alstyne, the final se meaning son of. Jan Martense was of record in New Amsterdam (New York) as early as 1643. In the Dutch manuscripts there is a bill of sale to him, dated December 11, 1646. How long he remained in New Amsterdam is not known but in 1657 he is recorded in Albany, New York, as owning a lot lying "East of Broadway and North of Columbia Street." This he held as late as 1693 and in the meantime became patentee of two tracts of land in the county of "Ulster." At that period Albany county embraced about all of the state of New York lying north and west of Dutchess and Ulster counties. He also purchased a large tract of land "behind Kinderhook" where he resided until his death about 1698. In 1695 he conveyed his home farm to his son Abraham, the latter giving back a covenant to pay the other heirs certain sums of money as provided in the conveyance. His wife was Dirkje Harmense (Dirkje being the feminine form of Richard). Their sons were:

  1. Abraham, see forward.
  2. Marten, born July 18, 1655; married (first) Jannetje Bogart; (second) Cornelia Van Den Bergh.
  3. Isaac, born July, 1657, married (first) Marritje Vosburgh; (second) Jannetje J. Valkenburg.
  4. Lambert, married Jannetje Mingael.

All had the middle name Janse, signifying they were sons of Jan (John).

(II) Abraham Janse, son of Jan Martense and Dirkje Harmense Van Alstyne, born 1650, owned and cultivated the homestead farm at Kinderhook, deeded him by his father. This land as well as the deeds of conveyance has ever since been in the possession of his descendants. The name of his first wife is not recorded. He married (second) January 17, 1694, Maritie Van Deusen, Children:

  1. Janneke, born March 15, 1685, died May 31, 1727.
  2. Jan, born May 22, 1687; buried September 27, 1738, married Elizabeth ————.
  3. Jacob, born September 8, 1689, see forward.
  4. Johannes, born August 26, 1694.
  5. Matthews, born June 14, 1696.
  6. Dirkje, born December 4, 1698.
  7. Sander, born January 5, 1701.
  8. Abraham, born August 15, 1703.
  9. Lena, born November 18, 1705.
  10. Isaac, born January 28, 1708; buried July 6, 1746; married Maritje Van den Bergh, January 23, 1728.
  11. Dirkje, born April 30, 1710.
  12. Catryntje, born October 12, 1713.
  13. Jacobus, born April 21, 1717.
  14. Marten, born May 3, 1719.

(III) Jacob, son of Abraham Janse Van Alstyne, was born at Kinderhook, New York, September 8, 1689. He was buried November 4, 1730. He married, October 10, 1722, Pietertje Van Iveren (alias of Myndertse), born August 22, 1703, daughter of Myndert and Saartje (Bratt) Van Iveren. Children:

  1. Jannetje, born November 22, 1723.
  2. Rinier, born April 4, 1725, see forward.
  3. Sara, born June 4, 1727.
  4. Maria, born July 27, 1729.

(IV) Rinier, son of Jacob and Pietertje (Van Iveren) Van Alstine, was born at Kinderhook, New York, April 4, 1725. He settled near Blooming Grove, town of North Greenbush, Rensselaer county, which he bought from the Rensselaers. He married, November 5, 1748, Cornelia Van Den Bergh, born May 24, 1724, daughter of Matthias and Cathalyna (Van Deusen) Van Den Bergh. Children:

  1. Jacob, born May 28, 1750.
  2. Catalyntje, born March 17, 1751.
  3. Matthew, born June 3, 1753, see forward.
  4. Pietje (Peter), born August 30, 1776.

(V) Matthew, son of Rinier and Cornelia (Van Den Bergh) Van Alstyne, was born June 3, 1753. He served in the revolution as a member of Tryon county, first regiment, militia (Land Bounty Rights). He married, March 31, 1782, Rachel De Forest, born March 23, 1764, daughter of Marten and Tanneke (Winne) De Forest, a descendant of the early DeForest family of Harlem and New Amsterdam. Matthew Van Alstyne located in the town of North Greenbush, Rensselaer county, on the homestead farm. Children:

  1. Marten.
  2. Cornelia, born February 3, 1788.
  3. Rinier, see forward.
  4. Peter, lived a mile north.
  5. Cataline, married Martinus Lansing.
  6. Antoinette, married John R. DeForest.
  7. Catherine, married John R. Fonda.

(VI) Rinier (2), son of Matthew and Rachel (DeForest) Van Alstyne, lived on homestead in Rensselaer county, New York. He married Catherine Whitbeck, born about 1790, died March 28, 1880. He died August 14, 1865. Children:

  1. Matthew, see forward.
  2. Catherine, married John K. De Forest.
  3. Catalina, married William P. Whitbeck.

(VII) Matthew (2), son of Rinier (2) and Catherine (Whitbeck) Van Alstyne, was born December 11, 1812, died October, 1886. He married Rachel De Forest, born March 18, 1819, died July 29, 1877. Children:

  1. Rinier, see forward;
  2. Frank Pruyn;
  3. Van Dyke;
  4. Elizabeth;
  5. Ann, married Dr. Ten Eyck;
  6. Isabella.

(VIII) Rinier (3), son of Matthew (2) and Rachel (De Forest) Van Alstyne, was born March 22, 1845, died October 30, 1877. He married, December 8, 1869, Alice Catherine Brownell, born December 21, 1847, daughter of Edwin and Catherine (Whitbeck) Brownell. Child,

  1. Matthew, see forward.

(IX) Matthew (3), son of Rinier (3) and Catherine (Brownell) Van Alstyne, was born at Bath-on-the-Hudson (Rensselaer), New York, October 9, 1870. He was educated at Troy Academy, finishing his studies at Albany high school. He at once entered upon an active business that has continued without interruption, with the Albany Belting & Supply Company. He is an energetic, capable man of business and has fairly won the important position he occupies. He is a member of the First Dutch Reformed Church of Albany and in political preference a Democrat. His clubs are the Fort Orange and Albany Country. He married at Albany, December 14, 1899, Adaline Yerks, born in that city, January 1, 1875, daughter of George Wilbur and Adaline Maria (Benjamin) Yerks, of Albany. George W. Yerks was born at Unionville, Westchester county, New York, February 4, 1848, died at Albany, August 9, 1903, son of William H. and Mary A. (Clark) Yerks. Mary A. was a daughter of Amos and Elizabeth (Van Wart) Clark. Through both Clark and Van Wart lines, she was of splendid revolutionary stock. George W. Yerks was educated at Amenia and finished at Claverack Academy. After graduation he entered the employ of the United States government. He came to Albany and established in the fancy grocery business on Broadway, under the firm name of Benjamin & Yerks, in 1877 becoming sole proprietor. In 1878 he admitted a partner under the firm name of George W. Yerks & Company. He held offices of honor and trust in the city; was trustee of the Madison Avenue Reformed Church and a member of the Fort Orange Club. He married, July 8, 1868, Adaline Maria, born in Cleveland, Ohio, died in Albany, New York, October 30, 1900, daughter of George Whitman and Adaline (Powell) Benjamin. George Whitman Benjamin was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and was a descendant of Governor John Webster. His mother was a Seymour of Hartford, Connecticut, and descended from the famous English house which bears the title of Dukes of Somerset. Adaline (Yerks) Van Alstyne was educated at Albany Female Academy and St. Agnes School, and is a member of the Albany Country Club, the Mohawk Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Society of Graduates of St. Agnes School. Child of Matthew and Adeline (Yerks) Van Alstyne:

  1. Wilbur Yerks, born Albany, December 16, 1904.

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