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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Van Schaick

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 992-995 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.]

When Henry Hudson, in 1609, in his expedition up the river that now bears his name, arrived at what is now Albany, he anchored the "Half Moon" there and in smaller craft continued his exploration of the upper river to what is now Waterford, and beheld what is now Van Schaick Island. Hudson was perhaps the first white man that ever trod within the limits of the latter-day city of Cohoes. The islands at the mouth of the Mohawk river were, in early days, favorite resorts of the Indians. They were the southern limit of the Sarachtogue, their famed hunting and fishing ground. On Hanver Island (now Peebles Island) was the Indian stronghold "Moenimmes Castle." The island, later known as Van Schaick, was granted by the Indians to Goosen Gerritse Van Schaick and Philip Pieterse Schuyler, in an instrument dated September 11, 1665, from "Itamonet, Ahemhameth and Kishocama," all Mahicanders, proprietors and owners of the island, called in the Dutch, Long Island, and in the Mohican "Quahemesicos." Besides Long (Van Schaick) Island, the "Halve Maan" patent embraced the other islands formed by the Spruytes ("Sprouts") of the Mohawk and a large tract of land to the northward, including the present village of Waterford (originally called Half Moon). These grants from the Indians were under permission from Governor Nicolls, and were confirmed by subsequent governors, Lovelace and Thomas Dongan. Philip Pieterse Schuyler conveyed his interest in the lands embraced in his patent to his associate, Goosen Gerritse Van Schaick, by deed dated July 12, 1674, the latter having, by will, devised the said lands to his wife Annetie; after his death she conveyed them to his son Anthony for the consideration of "550 good merchantable beaver skins." The Indian name of Van Schaick Island was "Quahemesicos." The, Dutch called it "Long Island." In early writings it is called "Whale Island," from a whale once found stranded on it. After its transfer to Van Schaick, it was called "Anthony's Island," "Isle of Cohoes," and "Cohoes Island."

The Van Schaick family, into whose possession the island thus early came, was one of distinction. They were from Holland, and possessed a coat-of-arms granted by the Dutch government. The first owner, Captain Goosen Gerritse Van Schaick, was a brewer, prominent in Albany. He was born in 1633, died in 1676. He does not appear to have occupied the island himself. In 1680 Harmon Lievense, or Lieveise, was an occupant, and one Van Schoonhoven had a farm there in 1681. The first wife of Captain Goosen Van Schaick was Gertie Brantse Peelen, who died in 1656. In 1657, being about to marry a second wife, he made a contract in which he reserved from his estate 6,000 guilders for his four eldest children of his first wife, that being her separate estate. He married (second) Annetie Lievense, to whom the foregoing Harmon Lievense (first white settler of the island mentioned) was doubtless related. In 1668, he being about to depart for Holland, he and his wife made a joint will in which ten children were named. His widow, Annetie, conveyed the lands, as before mentioned, to Anthony, fourth child by the first wife. Children:

  1. Gerretze, married (second) Johannes Lansing. She was then the widow of Hendrick Coster.
  2. Gerrit, born 1650; married, in 1678, Alida, daughter of Brant Arentse Van Slichtenhorst; died November 11, 1679.
  3. Sytrant [Sybrant?], see forward.
  4. Anthony, married Maria Van De Poel; he owned and lived upon the island, as is clearly proven by his will. He requests, "Moreover I desire that my aforesaid son, Anthony, shall set off on the orchard above-mentioned, a burying space about fifteen feet, four square, and also keep the same from time to time in good fence, to keep out cattle, which burying place may never be sold, but always remain a burying place for mine and my said wife's posterity." This burying place is well filled with his posterity, but none now among the living have their abode upon the land to keep it in "good fence." The dwelling house referred to in his will is still standing, known as the "Van Schaick" house. It was built prior to 1737, the date of his will. The Van Schaicks were slave owners in that day; from the same will we quote: "I give and bequeath to '* * *' all my slaves of negroes and negro wenches to be equally divided among them or their heirs" * * * etc. His will further provides: "I will, devise and ordain that no land up on my farm lying on Anthony's Island or any part thereof, depending or building, shall be sold to strangers, but when it be sold, it must be to one of my children, grandchildren or any of my family or posterity." For nearly two centuries this clause in his will was respected, but the only part of the island now not owned by "strangers" is the burial plot reserved in his will.

Maria Van De Poel, wife of Anthony (1), was the owner of land in Amsterdam, Holland, which she devised to her daughters. Certain bonds and other personal property there she divided among her sons. A large silver christening cup of the first Anthony, from which in 1684 his sons Anthony (2) and Goosen (2) were christened, is still preserved in the family. Anthony (2) married Anna Cuyler, and had issue. He was commissioned lieutenant and captain of militia by Governor Hunter in 1717 and 1725. He was also named by the colonial legislature to act with Captain Jacobus Van Schoonhoven in laying out highways in the "Half Moon" patent, and in 1723 Captain Philip Schuyler was associated with them. Goosen Van Schaick (2), his brother, married Nettie Abeel and had issue. He was commissioned ensign in 1725. Children:

  1. Anthony (2), born 1682;
  2. Goosen, 1684;
  3. Gerritze, 1687, married Coenvadt [Coenradt?] Ten Eyck;
  4. Catherine, 1690, married Samuel Coeymans;
  5. Goosen, 1696;
  6. Sytrant, 1700;
  7. Anna Margarita, 1702.

In the next generation Anthony (3), a son of Goosen, son of Anthony (1), married his cousin, Christina Van Schaick, a daughter of Anthony (2). Their only daughter, Anna, married John G. Van Schaick, a descendant of Sytrant, son of Captain Goosen Van Schaick. The children of Captain Goosen Gerritse Van Schaick, by his second wife, were Levinus, Cornelis and Margarita.

(II) Sytrant [Sybrant?], second son of Captain Goosen Gerritse Van Schaick, by his first wife, Gertie Brantse Peelen, was born in 1653, died 1685. He married Elizabeth Van Der Poel. Children:

  1. Goosen, born 1677;
  2. Catherine, 1679;
  3. Anthony, see forward;
  4. Gerritt, 1685.

(III) Anthony, son of Sytrant [Sybrant?] and Elizabeth (Van Der Poel) Van Schaick, was born in 1681, died 1756. He lived in Albany. He was commissioned "Cornet" by Governor Hunter in 1717. He was a glazier and in an act passed by the colonial assembly, December 22, 1717, providing for the payment of claims against the colony, there is this item: "To Anthony Van Schaick, his executors or assigns, the quantity of two ounces two penny weight of plate (Spanish coin), aforesaid for mending of glass windows in his Majestey's garrison at Albany." There are many references to his family in the colonial and early records. They dealt in most everything in the way of business possible at that early day, drew deeds, indenture, conveyances, dealt with the Indians, followed agriculture merchandising, and were a most numerous, prominent and interesting family. Anthony Van Schaick married, October 19, 1707, Anna Catherine Ten Broeck, who was buried December 30, 1756. They lived in 1704 on the south corner of Pearl and State streets, Albany. She was a daughter of Wessels Ten Broeck, and granddaughter of Major Dirk Wesselse Ten Broeck, a prominent Indian trader, and public official of Albany; first recorder under the city charter in 1686, and mayor 1696-98. He bought of the heirs of the famous Anneke Jans the lot on the east corner of State and James streets, Albany, which he retained until his death. Children of Anthony and Anna Catharine (Ten Broeck) Van Schaick:

  1. Sytrant, born 1708;
  2. Wessel, see forward;
  3. Elizabeth, 1716;
  4. Jacob, 1718;
  5. Levinius, 1720;
  6. Goosen, 1722.

(IV) Wessel, son of Anthony and Anna Catharine (Ten Broeck) Van Schaick, was baptized February 16, 1712, died March 13, 1783. He married Maria Gerritse Van Schaick, who died January 31, 1797, aged seventy-nine years. Children:

  1. Anthony, born September 6, 1744;
  2. Maria, July 25, 1746, died August 16, 1813;
  3. Jan Gerritse, see forward;
  4. Catryne, married Brigadier-General Peter Gansevoort, of the United States army;
  5. Gerrit Wessel, born 1758, died in Lansingburg, December 14, 1816.

(V) John G. (Jan Gerritse), son of Wessel and Maria Gerritse (Van Schaick) Van Schaick, was born September 24, 1748, died July 7, 1828. In 1805 he had a store on the west side of Broadway, Albany, next north of the Museum building. During the revolution he lived on the island, and in 1777 was the host of the American officers quartered on Van Schaick's Island, which was part of a well-beaten path leading down from the forts and battlefields of northern New York, during the French and Indian wars, and the revolutionary general, Philip Schuyler, and his staff were quartered at his home and the breastworks thrown up on Hanver (Peebles) Island, near Waterford, are plainly visible. General Schuyler was superseded in command by General Gates (a not over-scrupulous rival), or the glory of conquering Burgoyne would have been his. The army was in a destitute condition in 1777, and General Schuyler's influence caused John G. Van Schaick to advance ten thousand dollars in gold to be paid to the soldiers. For this he received an equal amount in continental scrip, which it may be said, in passing, the government never redeemed. The Van Schaick home sheltered many of the men noted in American revolutionary history, General Philip Schuyler, General Gates, General Arthur St. Clair, General Benedict Arnold, General Enoch Poor, General Daniel Morgan, General John Stark, who announced to General Schuyler at the Van Schaick house, August 18, 1777, the victory at Bennington. After the surrender, General John Burgoyne and the surviving members of his staff were entertained there also.

John G. Van Schaick married Anna, born 1756, only daughter of Anthony Van Schaick, son of Goosen, son of Anthony (1), son of Captain Goosen Gerritse Van Schaick and his wife, Christena, daughter of Anthony (2), son of Anthony (1), son of Captain Goosen. They were cousins. Her father, Anthony, was made a captain of Indians and woodmen in 1755, and of Rangers in 1756. A letter from Sir William Johnson, colonial superintendent of the Six Nations, written in 1750, is still preserved. In his will, dated August 18, 1781, he bequeathed all his estate to wife, Christena, during her widowhood, and after death or remarriage to his only daughter Anna, wife of John G. Van Schaick, except his farm on "Isle Cohoes, or Van Schaick Island, where I now live, together with Hanver Island, and the Island called Plate," which land he devised to his grandson Anthony. The executor of his will was his son-in-law, John G. Van Schaick. Mrs. Anna Van Schaick was the hostess of the revolutionary officers who visited the Van Schaick home on the island, and charmingly seconded her husband in his patriotic hospitality. Children:

  1. Wessel, born 1776, died 1836;
  2. Anthony, born 1779, died 1822; was the law partner of Abraham Van Vechten in Albany;
  3. Maria, see forward;
  4. Augustus, died May 16, 1810;
  5. John G. (2), born 1789;
  6. Christina, born 1790;
  7. Gerard, married Araminta Platt, who married (second) William L. Adams, who in 1852 came into possession of the lower portion of the island, in later years it has been called "Adams Island" after him;
  8. Henry, born 1795, died 1829.

Of these children Augustus and John are buried in the island family burial plot, as is Anna, the mother, who died September 26, 1815, and John Gerritse, the father, husband, and patriot, who died July 7, 1828, in his eightieth year.

(VI) Maria, eldest daughter of John Gerritse and Anna (Van Schaick) Van Schaick, was born 1782, died 1865. She married Gerrit Peebles, a merchant, son of Thomas, of "Halve Maan," and Elizabeth (Bratt) Peebles (see Peebles II). Children: Anna and Anthony Augustus. An oil painting of Mrs. Maria (Van Schaick) Peebles shows her to have been a very beautiful woman. Through the foregoing, it is seen that the Peebles-Van Schaick marriage connects the descendants with nearly every Dutch family of prominence during the years from 1665 to 1820 (the year of her marriage), the Gansevoort, Lansing, Van Der Poel, Ten Broeck, Bratt, Ten Eyck, and many others not named.

(The Peebles Line)

(I) Thomas Peebles was of Scotch descent. He was a farmer, and lived most of his days within the confines of what was then Albany county. He married Elizabeth, a descendant of Albert Andriese Bratt, who settled in Albany in 1662. Children:

  1. Gerritt, see forward, and
  2. Gerritze, born September 12, 1771.

(II) Gerrit, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Bratt) Peebles, of "Halve Maan," New York, was born March 28, 1769, died in Lansingburg. He was a merchant in different localities. He was twice married. His first wife bore him four children. He married (second) Maria, daughter of John G. and Anna Van Schaick (see Van Schaick VI). Children:

  1. Anna, born 1820, died 1832;
  2. Anthony Augustus, see forward.

(III) Anthony Augustus, son of Gerrit and Maria (Van Schaick) Peebles, was born January 19, 1822, in Lansingburg, New York, died February 28, 1905. He was educated in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, at the Parker school. He was never active in business, but devoted himself to the care of a large estate and agriculture. He was the sole owner of Hanver Island, which he retained until his death and which became the property of his widow. He was prominent in public affairs; was a supervisor of the county of Rensselaer, and held other public positions. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and a Democrat. He was one of the founders and first director of the People's Bank of Troy, where he was held in deep affection and esteem, and his judgment and counsel were sought and respected in the fullest sense. In the memorial tribute by the directorate appears the following: "He was a sterling friend as well as business associate, possessing, to a remarkable degree, the faculty of making friendships that withstood every test and grew strong with the advance of time. His strong traits of character and rare qualities of mind stood out boldly in all his relations with his fellowmen, inspiring the esteem and good-will of all his acquaintances. Absolutely unostentatious and with a kind word for all, he was the valued friend and counselor of many in time of trouble. No cloud was too dark for him not to be able to point to where the light would soon break through, and his words of wisdom and encouragement will ever have a sacred place in many hearts." He married, July 7, 1862, Mary Louisa, daughter of Elias Ripley and Eleanor (Allen) Parmalee, of Lansingburg, New York. Eleanor Allen, born 1802, died December, 1860, was a daughter of David and Elizabeth (Lansing) Allen, granddaughter of Cornelius Lansing, baptized July 6, 1752, great-granddaughter of Abraham Jacobse and Catherine (Lievens) Lansing, great-great-granddaughter of Jacob Lansing, who was a grandson of Gerrit Lansing, the American ancestor and founder of the Lansing family of America. William Parmalee, brother (?) of Elias Parmalee, was a leading lawyer and public official of Albany. He was born in 1807, died March 15, 1856; graduated from Yale in 1826, practiced law in Albany; was city attorney, 1836; county judge, 1839-47-52; recorder, 1840-46; mayor of Albany, 1846-48, and again elected in 1854. He died during his last term as mayor. Children of Anthony A. and Mary L. (Parmalee) Peebles:

  1. Charles Backman, born September 16, 1863, died September, 1872;
  2. Allen Van Schaick, born November 8, 1868, died in infancy.

Mrs. A. A. Peebles survives her husband, and resides in Troy.

(Parmalee, Ripley and Bradford Lines)

Elias Ripley Parmalee was a son of Elias and Fanny (Fitch) Parmalee, and a direct descendant of John Parmalee, born in Kent, England, 1618. He came to America in 1639 and settled in Guilford, Connecticut. The line of descent is traced by generation:

(I) John Parmalee.

(II) Job Parmalee, born 1673, died 1761; married Betty Edward.

(III) Hezekiah Parmalee, born 1710; married Sarah Hepson, of New Haven.

(IV) Hezekiah Parmalee (2), born 1737; married Elizabeth Cook.

(V) Elias Parmalee, born about 1760, married Fannie Fitch.

(VI) Elias Ripley Parmalee, born 1800; married Eleanor Allen.

(VII) Mary Louise Parmalee, married Anthony Augustus Peebles. Other children of the generation children of Elias Ripley Parmalee:

  1. Ellen, married Eliphalet Wickes, of Albany;
  2. Sarah, married Robert C. Haskill;
  3. Frances, married William P. Kellogg;
  4. Julia, married Wilbur F. Corliss.

The survivors (1910) are Mrs. A. A. Peebles, Mrs. Wm. P. Kellogg and Mrs. Wilbur F. Corliss.

Fannie Fitch, wife of Elias Parmalee, and grandmother of Mrs. A. A. Peebles, was a descendant of Rev. James Fitch, of Cooking, England, born December 24, 1622; came to America in 1638; was ordained minister of the church at Saybrook, Connecticut, in 1643; married Abigail, daughter of Rev. Henry Whitefield, the first minister of Guilford, Connecticut, and one of the founders of that town. She was also a descendant of Governor William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony. The Bradford descent is shown by generations:

(I) William Bradford, of Yorkshire. England.

(II) Governor William Bradford.

(III) William Bradford.

(IV) Hannah Bradford, married Joshua Ripley (1).

(V) Joshua Ripley (2), married Elizabeth Lathrop.

(VI) Olive Ripley, married Jabez Fitch, December 7, 1773.

(VII) Fannie Fitch, married Elias Parmalee, June 27, 1793.

(VIII) Elias Ripley Parmalee, married Eleanor Allen.

(IX) Mary Louise Parmalee, married Anthony Augustus Peebles.

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