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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Van Gaasbeek

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 207-210 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.]

From entries made in the family Bible of Dominie Laurentius Van Gaasbeek, extracts of which are still preserved, it is learned that his parents were Goevert and Jacomyntje Van Gaasbeek, presumably residents of Leyden, Holland. From the same record it is learned that they had least three children: Dominie Laurentius, Cornelius and Cornelia.

(II) Among the first of the Dutch clergy educated in the universities of Holland and sent to this country by the classis of Amsterdam, was Dominie Laurentius Van Gaasbeek. He was born in Holland and died in the city of New York, February, 1680. He was the first to arrive in America, and was progenitor of all who bear his name in this country. From his diploma, secured from the University of Leyden, it appears that he was graduated from that university with honors, May 25, 1674, receiving the degree of M.D. He married, May 28, 1673, Laurentia Van de Kellemaar (died May 3, 1703), sister of Sarah Van de Kellemaar, who married Dominie Johannes Wieckstein, the third pastor of the Dutch church at Kingston, New York. After having been without a regular pastor for about ten years, the consistory of the Dutch church at Kingston, Hurley and Marbletown made a request to the classis of Amsterdam for a pastor to be sent out to them by that body. (The original call in the Dutch language with the signatures of the consistory was brought back to this country by Dominie Van Gaasbeek, as part of his credentials, and is still preserved). In response to this call, Dominie Laurentius Van Gaasbeek, duly accredited by the classis of Amsterdam, sailed for New Amsterdam, May 13, 1678, arriving there August 21 of that year. He departed for the town of Kingston, in Ulster county, New York, where he arrived with his family on September 8, 1678, and delivered his first sermon on the 15th of the same month. In consequence of the protracted vacancy in the pastorate, the church had become somewhat weakened and scattered. Dominie Van Gaasbeek at once set to work with vigor to recover some of the ground lost in the previous eleven years. He was zealous in the work of the church, and faithful in the discharge of his duties. In one year he increased the membership to one hundred and eighty. During his pastorate a new and substantial stone church, forty-five by sixty feet, was erected on the northeast corner of Wall and Main streets. It was built in the Holland style, with highly-colored painted window glass bearing the coat-of-arms of William, Prince of Orange. The new edifice was completed and dedicated about January 1, 1680. Dominie Van Gaasbeek did not live long to enjoy and preach in the new and commodious church, as his career was cut short by death in February, 1680. He was taken sick with a fever, and for medical treatment went to New York, where he died. Dominie Van Gaasbeek was a man of culture and refinement, having been educated both as a physician and clergyman, and was familiarly called the "Dominie Doctor."

He was a member of the first ecclesiastical body of the Dutch church in America. In the year 1679 Governor Andros authorized and directed the Dutch clergy to form a classis, and ordain Peter Tesschemacker, then a candidate for the ministry. Accordingly Dominie Van Nienivenhuysen, Schaats, Van Gaasbeek and Van Z———— formed a classis and examined and ordained Tesschemacker to the university. The proceedings of this classis, convened at the call of an Episcopal governor, were afterwards confirmed by the classis of Amsterdam.

The widow of Dominie Van Gaasbeek, Laurentia (Kellemaar) Van Gaasbeek, married (second), 1681, Major Thomas Chambers, Lord of the Manor of Foxhall, who departed this life April 8, 1694, leaving his property to the children of the dominie, and devising his manor to the dominie's only son, upon the condition of his assuming the surname of Chambers. Laurentia married (third), September 26, 1695, Wessel Ten Broeck, Sr. The three children of the dominie were as follows:

  1. Jacomyntje, born November 26, 1673, at Leyden, Holland, died January 29, 1741; married, June 6, 1694, Wessel Ten Broeck, Jr.
  2. Maria, December 10, 1674, at Leyden, Holland, married, 1693, Francis Salisbury.
  3. Abraham, see forward.

(III) Abraham, known as Abraham Gaasbeek Chambers, son of Dominie Laurentius and Laurentia (Kellemaar) Van Gaasbeek, was born December, 1679, died September 28, 1759, buried in the Foxhall family vault at the Strand (Rondout), Kingston, New York. He married, August 26, 1703, at New York, Sarah Bayard, baptized March 11, 1683, died November 13, 1739, daughter of Peter and Blandina (Kiersted) Bayard. Abraham assumed the surname of his stepfather, Major Thomas Chambers, and inherited the lordship and manor of Foxhall. When Abraham Gaasbeek Chambers became lord of the manor of Foxhall, in 1700, vested with all its privileges and estates, he became the richest and one of the most influential men in the Esopus. His children:

  1. Laurentius, born July 11, 1704, died October 15, 1705.
  2. Blandina, November 16, 1705, died August 7, 1784; married, December 15, 1727, Wessel Ten Broeck.
  3. Thomas, March 23, 1707, see forward.
  4. Anna Maria, baptized October 20, 1708, died May 10, 1761; married, January 12, 1735, Lawrence Salisbury.
  5. Lawrence, born March 4, 1710, died August 16, 1785.
  6. Peter, July 21, 1712, died October 17, 1731.
  7. Abraham, October 21, 1714, died December 31, 1715.
  8. Sarah, April 30, 1716, married, August 26, 1744, Abraham Delamater, Jr.
  9. Abraham, December 3, 1718, married, June 1, 1751, Sarah Ten Broeck.
  10. Catherine, December 3, 1718, died March 28, 1785; married, January 6, 1738, Anthony Hoffman.
  11. John, December 26, 1720, died September 8, 1759; married, August 16, 1746, Antje Louw.
  12. William, January 10, 1723, died November 6, 1792; married, December 7, 1750, Catharine Delamater.
  13. Elizabeth, August 21, 1725, died March 26, 1734.

(IV) Thomas Van Gaasbeek, son of Abraham Gaasbeek and Sarah (Bayard) Chambers, was born March 23, 1707, died 1755. He married, December 22, 1732, Margaret Elmendorf, baptized October 24, 1708, died February 3, 1788, daughter of Jacobus and Antje (Cool) Elmendorf. Thomas was the eldest and probably the most esteemed son, and heir-apparent to the manor of Foxhall. In 1750 his father deeded to him large portions of the manor. One deed bearing date of December 3, 1750, is in consideration of two thousand pounds. Another, dated April 3, 1752, is in consideration "of the natural love and affection and for the advancement of the said Thomas." In 1738 he was cornet in the company of troopers under command of Captain John Ten Broeck. He died in 1752 and was buried in the Foxhall family vault at the Strand (Rondout), which stood where the present residence of Janson Hasbrouck now stands. Children:

  1. Thomas, baptized September 9, 1733, died in infancy.
  2. Jacobus, born February 27, 1737, see forward.
  3. Sarah, baptized December 4, 1743, died September 6, 1795; married Philip Whittaker.
  4. Antje, baptized January 11, 1747, married, August 10, 1783, Tobias Van Steenburg.
  5. Abraham, January 14, 1750, died 1750.
  6. Elizabeth, March 4, 1753, married, February 5, 1781, Jacob Marius Groen.

(V) Jacobus, son of Thomas and Margaret (Elmendorf) Van Gaasbeek, was baptized February 27, 1737, died January 23, 1825. He married, November 5, 1766, Deborah Kiersted, born July 4, 1745, died September 19, 1836, daughter of Christopher and Catharine (De Meyer) Kiersted. Children:

  1. Catharine, born April 20, 1768, died August 15, 1854.
  2. Margaret, December 13, 1769, died 1828.
  3. Thomas Chambers, August 29, 1772, died August 15, 1857; married, November 10, 1791, Margaret Folant.
  4. Ariaantje, February 5, 1775, died August 14, 1852; married, February 14, 1799, William Swart.
  5. Christopher, August 6, 1777, died December 20, 1864; married, April 24, 1800, Catherine Osterhout.
  6. Jacobus, February 2, 1780; see forward.
  7. Peter, December 16, 1782, died December 16, 1870; married, December 11, 1810, Catherine Chipp.
  8. William, August 14, 1786, died August 14, 1786.
  9. Abraham, January 21, 1788, died December 21, 1854; married, July 9, 1811, Catharine Beekman.

(VI) Dr. Jacobus, or James, Van Gaasbeek, son of Jacobus and Deborah (Kiersted) Van Gaasbeek, was born February 2, 1780, in Kingston, Ulster county, New York, died April 14, 1863. He was a prominent physician in Middleburg, Schoharie county, New York, where he practiced medicine for many years. He was long connected with the Reformed church of that town, as an active member and elder. He married (first), October 1, 1809, Helen Boyd, born at Middleburg, New York, died March 21, 1823, daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth (Becker) Boyd. He married (second) Susan Parsons Sanderson, born March 20, 1789, died September 12, 1869, daughter of David and Hannah (Parsons) Sanderson. Children of first wife:

  1. Eliza C., born August 4, 1811, married, 1836, Elijah Parsons; children: Deborah, John, Elijah, Eliza and Edwin.
  2. Deborah, September 14, 1812; unmarried.
  3. Margaret, August 4, 1814; married, 1840, Israel Larkin; children:
    1. Mary Helen, born September 15, 1841;
    2. Susan, October 11, 1842;
    3. John G., August 29, 1844;
    4. Eliza, January 2, 1846;
    5. James E., May 10, 1848.
  4. Alexander B., April 11, 1816, see forward.
  5. William, March 29, 1818, died December 19, 1903; married, June 6, 1840, Helen Ford; children:
    1. William Alexander, born September 5, 1841; killed in civil war;
    2. Eliza Jane, February 15, 1843;
    3. Edwin, January 20, 1847;
    4. Helen P., June 5, 1850;
    5. John, June 9, 1856.
  6. John, October 20, 1820, died December 19, 1902; married May Groat Groat, of Schenectady, New York; no children.
  7. Edwin, March 7, 1823; married ————; had one son, Edwin, now deceased.

By his second wife Dr. Van Gaasbeek had one child, Sarah P., born July 14, 1826.

(VII) Alexander Boyd, son of Dr. Jacobus and Helen (Boyd) Van Gaasbeek, was born in Middleburg, New York, April 11, 1816. He was educated in his native town in a private school. At an early age he began vhat proved to be a long and successful business career. His first work was in a lawyer's office in Middleburg, and for a short period he was engaged in a general store in that town. He then went to Lawyersville, where he was employed as a clerk for Peter Osterhout. He remained in that position for a year, and in 1832 went to Albany and clerked for John Garnsey in the dry goods business for the following two years. He then secured a position with a Mr. Bagley, with whom he remained until 1836, and in that year started in for himself. In connection with Frank Moseley he established a dry goods business under the firm title of Mosley and Van Gaasbeek. This partnership continued four years, when it was dissolved and Mr. Van Gaasbeek continued the business himself for the following nine years. About this time gold was discovered in California. Like many another of his day, he caught the gold fever, sold out his business and started for Panama. He got as far as New York City, where he was induced to associate himself with a man by the name of Reynolds, to start a commission business in Panama. On arriving at the Isthmus, however, he, becoming dissatisfied with his relations with Reynolds, decided to dissolve the partnership. This accomplished, he formed a partnership with Amos Corwin, at that time United States consul to Panama. They carried on a successful business until December, 1850, when he returned to Albany to be married. Mr. Van Gaasbeek after his marriage went back to Panama to continue the business there, but owing to an illness brought on by the climatic conditions of the tropics he was obliged to give up his work and return North. Once more he established himself in Albany, this time going into the carpet business, opening a store on the corner of Broadway and Columbia street. The business growing rapidly, he moved, in the early sixties, to larger quarters on Pearl street, where he acquired the property which he held at his death. He became the leading carpet man in Albany, and continued to conduct a large and successful business until he retired, in 1901, from an active participation in commercial life. Mr. Van Gaasbeek was a member of the First Reformed Church, of Albany, and for many years was one of the most active elders. In politics he was first a Whig and later a Republican, and, though urged many times to hold office, always declined. For nine years he was a volunteer fireman in Albany in the days of the old hand-engine. Though Mr. Van Gaasbeek had attained the ripe old age of more than ninety-four years, he was in possession of all his faculties, attended to all the business connected with a considerable estate personally, and gave no visible signs of the approaching end until shortly before his death, January 15, 1911.

He married, February 20, 1851, Antoinette Hoyt Keeler, born March 12, 1827, died April 22, 1901, daughter of Jasper S. Keeler. Children:

  1. Amos Corwin, born July 29, 1852, married, November 4, 1874, Helen W. Comstock; resides at Orange, New Jersey.
  2. Theodore Cuyler, November 22, 1852, died December 17, 1858.
  3. James Boyd, December 6, 1856, died December 6, 1858.
  4. John Irwin, April 30, 1859, died December 29, 1875.
  5. Mary, June 15, 1860, died August 11, 1860.
  6. Bertha, January 17, 1864, died July 31, 1864.
  7. Antoinette, March 30, 1868, married, October 3, 1894, John F. Nash; children:
    1. Helen, born August 24, 1895;
    2. Alexander Van Gaasbeek, October 19, 1859 [sic];
    3. Antoinette Van Gaasbeek, October 9, 1904.
  8. Alexander, and
  9. William, twins, December 1, 1869, died in infancy.
  10. An infant daughter, May 7, 1871.

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