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A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times
Notes from 13: The Reformed Nether Dutch Church

Prof. Jonathan Pearson and the Editor

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[This information is from pp. 334-388 of A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times; being contributions toward a history of the lower Mohawk Valley by Jonathan Pearson, A. M. and others, edited by J. W. MacMurray, A. M., U. S. A. (Albany, NY: J. Munsell's Sons, Printers, 1883). It is in the Schenectady Collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at Schdy R 974.744 P36, and copies are also available for borrowing.]

[Copies of this book are available from the Schenectady County Historical Society.]

[The original version uses assorted typographical symbols to represent footnotes. To improve legibility, the online version uses the form (page number - note number.)]

(335-1) Annals of Albany, I, 103.

(335-2) The following is a copy and translation of the first page in its present mutilated condition:

aen Myndert Wemp,F. 48To Myndert Wemp, guilders,F. 48
aen een kan,8To [paid for] a pot8
aen Jan Roelofsen voor……………24To Jan Roelofsen, for……………24
aen 5 Witte broden,1To 5 white loaves,1
aen domine Tassemaker………24To domine Tassemaker………42
aen emanual Consaul,6To Emanual Consaul,6
aen Lubbert gysbertse voor 2 dagen Wercke,6To Lubbertse Gysbertse for two days work,,6
aen spyckers van Albanie,6To nails from Albany,6
aen den 1/2 duyzend harde steen18To the half thousand hard bricks,18
aen 2 bevers aen Laseysers tot het huys te singelen,48To two beavers to Laseysers shingling the house,48
aen 12 gulden aen… door stacken en… voor verbruyck aen de heyninge,12To 12 guilders… for stakes… for use on the fence,12
27 april voor wyn tot het naght mael aen domine tasschenmaker betalt,2027 April, For wine for the Lord's supper paid to Domine tasschenmaker,20
27 May domine Schats Verstelt,3627 May, presented to Domine Schaets,36
Schoonmaken van der Kerche,13Cleaning the church,13
… … … …1.10… … … …1.10
… … … …5.00… … … …5.00
… … … …2.10… … … …2.10
Voor wyn van het naght mael,20.00For wine for the Lord's supper,20.00
aen Adam Vroom,24.00To Adam Vrooman,24.00
nogh aen domine tasschemaker voort maken vande heyninge aen het erf,45.00Also to Domine tasschemaker for making the fence to the lot,45.00
nogh voor 7 maal witte broot tot het avont mael @ fl., 1.10 a maal,10.10Also for white bread 7 times for the Lord's supper @ fl. 1.10 a time,10.10
Claas permurent een dagen ryden,18.00Claus Purmerent [Van der Volgen] one day carting,18.00
2 3/4 dagen aen de heyninge,22.002 3/4 days on the fence,22.00
Voor te singelen van 't huys,12for the shingles of the house,12
aen 2 Vragsten posten gasacht,6To two loads of posts sawed,6
2 glazz Raamen, (336-1)102 window glasses, (or sashes)10
Somma, (336-2)fl. 516-13Total,florins 516-13

(336-1) [Sewell's Dutch-Eng. Dictionary, 1708, gives Glaze Raam = a pane of glass; Raam = a frame; Venster Raam = a window frame. — M'M]

(336-2) The money of accounts of the Dutch was the guilder or florin and stuyver, 20 of the latter to one of the former. There were the guilder sewant and the guilder beaver; — the latter of the value of about 40cts. or three times that of the former. The guilder of accounts was commonly valued at one shilling N. Y. currency.

(337-1) There is no evidence that this was a dwelling house for the minister, or that a lot was assigned to build one on. In so poor a community a parsonage for a bachelor was hardly a pressing need. Is it not likely that a minister settled among them, had the house of worship repaired and put in order? A church without a minister is seldom well kept, and the arrival of a new one is usually marked by alterations if not improvements in the church building. This one never having had a minister, was doubtless much dilapidated — yet only two lights of glass — 500 bricks, $1.50 worth of shingles were used on the house — most of the materials and labor being put on the fence, which was possibly around the grave lot adjoining the church.

There is a tradition that the Do was killed in the house of one of his parishoners.

The Consistory did not own the present church lot. — M'M.]

(337-1a) The Amsterdam foot consisted of about 11 in. English. [Editorial note: this footnote does not appear to correpond to anything on page 337.]

(337-2) Hist. Mag., IX, 323.

(338-1) Doc. Hist., III, 583.

(338-2) Patents, IV, 90.

(338-3) "Do. Tesschenmaecker hath promised to make satisfactory in ye Spring for ye pattent and ye other wrytings, 40 shillings in wheat, as by yorself demanded, wh I think is soe reasonable as can be considering ye trouble wh to my knowledge yrself had in yt buisnesse." Eph. Herman to Matthias Nicoll. — Albany Records, Jan., 17, 1679-80.

(338-4) Anthology of New Netherlands, p. 100-1.

(339-1) "Dom. Petrus Tesschenmaker the minister at Schenectady has met with misfortune. He and most of his congregation were surprised at night and massacred by the French and Indians in their interest. His head was cloven open and his body burned to the shoulder-blades." Domine Selyns to the Classis of Amsterdam. — Anthology of New Netherland, p. 116.

(339-2) Patents, IV, 902.

(339-3) 1692, 2 Nov. "Upon reading Anoyr Petiçon of the sd Representatives [of the county of Richmond] setting forth that Mr. Tuschemaker having some reall and personall Estate in Staten Island was killed by the French and Indians at Schenectady and in his lifetime had promised the sd Estate to the Poor haveing noe heirs, praying an order for the same.

The sd Petiçon is likewise referred to the Attorney Generall who is to report what may be proper therein to be done." — Leg. Council, 4, 28.

(339-4) See chapters "Indian Wars on the Border." (1 and 2)

(340-1) He sometimes wrote his name Freeman, but oftener Freerman.

(341-1) Col. Doc., IV, 727.

(341-2) Col. Doc., IV, 833.

(342-1) Col. Doc., IV, 835.

(342-2) Hillitie was a half-breed, — sister of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck. She married Pieter Danielse Van Olinda. — See Van Slyck.

(342-3) Lord Cornbury to the Five Nations, 1702; Col. Doc., IV, 983.

(342-4) Col. Doc., V, 227.

(342-5) Col. Doc., VIII, 815.

(343-1) Ano 1700 den 16 martius tot 25 Augustus is de kerkenraat Debet an Do. freeman

Voor de Verlopene tractement van den 16 maert tot 25 august is 5 maenden en 9 dagen en bedraegt een Somme van fyftig pont en wat meer — is an sewant. 2.000

Noch ankostinge op Reise gehad so an Versche waren, wyn, Brandewyn, Creuderye en hoenden neffens omtrent dry weeke expences op het Eylant wigt is een som tot 374

gl. 2.374


Barnhardus Freerman.

— See Church Papers.

(343-2) This sum is exclusive of 800 gl. paid by the Albany church as part of the expenses of Do. Freeman's passage. — Munsell's Collections, I, 53, 54.

(344-1) Albany City Records.

(344-2) Mr. Freerman yck veresoeck dat gyu de voor aen went om de heydens tot het Kristen geloof over te brengen en tot gerhoorsaemheyt van bekonning gy sult geensins on beetaalt blyve. yck sal nu boston schryve die dispositse hebben van het corperasi gelt en yck Verspreeckne 60 pons in 't year en so die van boston bet wygeren yck Versekerene het yt de revenue van dese provinci, etc.Gov. Bellomont's Letter, Col. MSS., XLIV.

(344-3) Col. MSS., XLIV, XLV, 134, 179; LIII, 7, 70.

(344-4) Doc. Hist., III, 89.

(345-1) Doc. Hist., III, 89.

(345-2) Council Minutes, Doc. Hist., III, 93.

(346-1) [In an ancient deed dated 1692, the phrase occurs "'t blok huys (te weten de kerche)," that is to say "the block house known as the church."

This deed is supposed to apply to a lot on corner of Church and State street. Miller in 1695 indicates a blockhouse at the north-west corner as "the blockhouse designed for a church." The Dutch deeds were so blind and crude in their descriptions that they convey little information without collateral evidence. They usually refer to something somewhere near, and are not usually very clear as to what direction or how far.

There were but five or six houses spared in the town and the last building one might suppose would be left by French and Indians led by Jesuit propagandists of their faith would be the heretical church, more particularly if that church was capable of being used as a military defence.

To add to the probability that in 1695, (three years after the deed of 1692), and even later, the statement in the petition to Governor Nanfan in 1701, for aid in erecting a new place of worship "the place where itt is now Exercised in Nott bein Large Enough to contain the whole assemply oft ye Inhabitants & Indian Proselytes," &c. "The Town of Schonegtade hath been wholly destroyed by ye French in ye late War & Sins the resattling oft ye same being verry low & oft mean Estates have not been able to Erect a place convenient for ye Public Worchip of God" …… they want assistance in ye buylding a convenient Place for ye Public Worship of God."

Any sized church large enough before 1690 was large enough surely for the depleted almost depopulated town of 1692 to 1701, when there were not exceeding 250 souls in the township.

Gov. Nanfan grants the petition because "nothing conduces more to the peace and well being of this Province than that the public worship of Almighty God be punctually observed and celebrated …… especially on the frontiers in a public and acknowledged place thereto dedicated." He authorizes contributions to be collected "to be employed solely for the erection and building a necessary and becoming place for public worship."

In view of the phraseology of the petition and permit and the known circumstances, may not the church that was too small have been either Blockhouse No. 8 of Miller's map or possibly an improvised house of worship on the walls or site of the destroyed church?

If French and Indians did not destroy the church, they were remarkable lenient for their time; for this was one of the wars Louis XIV. waged against Holland and England mainly on religious grounds. They would certainly have been remiss in their duty as soldiers. The sack of an heretical town in which it was wholly destroyed by infuriated half frozen Canadian French and Indians who were avenging their losses and disgrace at the sack of Montreal the previous year, could scarce have been complete without the destruction of the heretical church which owned the civil authority and religious faith of William of Orange. — M'M]

(347-1) (Translation).

"To the Honble John Nanfan, Esq., Lt. Gouvr and Commandr in Cheif oft ye Province oft New Yorke in America and ye Honble Councell oft ye same.

"The humble Petiçion oft Barnardus Freerman minister oft ye Gospell aft Schanegtade & Ryer Schermerhoorn Esqr in ye behalf oft the Inhabitants oft said Town.


"That whereas The Town oft Schonegtade hath been wholy destroyed by ye french in ye late Warr & sins the resattling oft ya same The Inhabitants oft ye same being verry low & oft mean Estates have not been able to Erect a Place convenient for ye Publick Worship oft God, the Place where itt is now Exercised in nott being Large Enough to containe [the] whole Assembly of ye Inhabitants & Indian Proselytes.

"They Therefore humbly pray yor hounrs Lycense for the collecting a free will offering oft ye Inhabitants oft this Province for ye buylding a convenient Place for ye Public Worship oft God in ye town aforesaid and yor Peticrs shall ever Pray, &c.

"Ryer Schermerhooren"

"B. freerman, Ecll. Skagnagt."

Col. MSS, XLV.

(347-2) "By the Honorable John Nanfan, Esq., Governor and Commander-in-Chief over the Province of New York and territories dependent thereon in America, &c.

"Whereas the Village of Schenectady in the County of Albany, has been wholly destroyed through the incursion of the French in the late war, and after the rebuilding thereof the inhabitants have been and still are in a poor and low condition, so that they have not been able to erect a proper place for the public worship of God: — and whereas nothing conduces more to the peace and well being of this Province than that the public worship of Almighty God be punctually observed & celebrated in all parts & places and especially on the frontiers, in a public and acknowledged place thereto dedicated, that the inhabitants and sojourners of this province may through their good example of piety and religious reverence be brought over & persuaded there to dwell to the great strengthening of said frontiers, which thereby become a defence for the other parts of this province if a war should again occur between his most Sacred Majesty and the King of France: — Therefore I by and with the advice of His majesty's council for this province and in his majesty's name hereby give and grant full & free liberty and licence to the Inhabitants of said Village of Schenectady in said county of Albany, or to such person or persons as by them or the majority of them shall be employed to gather, collect and receive the the free and voluntary offerings and contributions of all and every of his majesty's faithful subjects, — inhabitants of this Province at any time after this date and during the time of six months; — the said contributions to be employed solely for the erection and building a necessary and becoming place for the public worship of God by the Inhabitants of said village. And I hereby in his majesty's name require all his majesty's justices, schouts, and all other his majesty's officers within this Province, together with all Protestant ministers in their sundry & respective Counties, Cities, Colonies, Churches, districts & jurisdictions to use their utmost endeavors and diligence to arouse the liberality of the inhabitants on this occasion, which conduces to the honor and service of Almighty God, the welfare of this province in general & for the peace & security of all the inhabitants thereof.

"Given under my hand and seal in Fort William Henry in New York, this seven and twentieth day of October, AO 1701, and in the 13th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord William the third by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France & Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c.

"Was signed,

John Nanfan."

"Pr order of the Council,
B. Cozens, Sec. Coun." (348-1)

(348-1) B. Cozzens Secretary of the Council in a letter to Reyer Schermerhorn, of date 30 Jan., 1801, says "The Govr and Councill have given 10 pounds towards the church at Schonectady." — Schermerhorn Papers.

(349-1) [Mary Ann Roque's map, 1750, indicates its greatest dimension as east and west. The site certainly indicates that. — M'M.]

(349-2) Doc. Hist., III, 540.

(349-3) Act of the Assembly (1734?)

(349-4) Jno. Myndertse's will in Court of Appeal's office… and Deeds, XII; Collins to van Eps.

(349-5) Consistory Minutes.

(349-6) Consistory Minutes.

(349-7) When the public cistern was built here in 1848, the ancient burial ground was encroached upon and many bones were thrown out.

(349-8) Minutes of the Board.

(350-1) Letter to the secretary of the society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts; Doc. Hist., III, 540.

(350-2) [Shortly after the arrival of Do. Brouwer the larger portion of the present church lot was acquired by deed from Daniel Janse Van Antwerp. (See facsimile [ original size (160K) | 4x enlarged (398K)].) It was for "'te Dominie's huys." The original deed was found by the Ed. in a bundle of ancient papers in the Deacons' chest stored in the tower of the present church. This old package was wrapped in a piece of leather tied hard with a leathern string and from appearance may have been unopened for many years — its existence seems to have been forgotten. Early in this century strong efforts were made to remove the church to a locality more central for the majority of the church people, but the terms of this deed seem to have barred the sale of this lot and the new church [1814] was built on it. — M'M.]

(351-1) On file in the office of the clerk of the Court of Appeals.

(351-2) He had been disabled by sickness however, since the month of August, 1723, and unable all that time to perform the active duties of his calling. An assistant was employed to do his work but the records do not give his name.

(351-3) Sixty or seventy loads of wood was the Domine's annual supply in these early times. For this purpose a bee was made, usually in the month of January.

The congregation then turned out with their teams and in from one to three days his yard was filled.

The consistory made bountiful provision for the entertainment of the bee makers on these occasions as appears by the following extracts from the treasurer's books:

16 Jan. 1743/4to Johannes De Peyster for five gallons of Rum for the Domine's bee @ 3-6£-17-6
19 Jan. 1743/4to Pieter Groenendyk for 1/2 Gall. wine4-0
23 Jan. 1743/4to Metie Fairly for the use of the house at the bee4-0
1748, 28 Aprilto Jacobus Mynderse for rum for the Domine's bee3-12-2
1749, Jan.Beer for the bee1-14-6
1751, Jan. 1for rum and sugar1-7-6
1751, Jan. 2for beer0-12-0
1751, Ap. 28to Anna Wendell for house hire twice for a bee9-0
 to Isaac Abr: Truex for rum and sugar1-13,6


16 Jan. 1743/4aan Joh: de Peyster Voor 5 gall: Rhum Voor Do. bee á 3 sh. 6d.£0-17-6
19 Jan. 1743/4aan Pr. Groenendyk Voor 1/2 gall: Wyn4-0
23 Jan. 1743/4aan Metje Fairly Voor 't hays gebruyck op de bee4-0
1798, 28 Aprilaan Jacobus Mynderse Voor rum Voor Doms Bee£3-13-2
1749, Jan.Bier Voor de Bee1-14-6


— (Old church accounts.)

(352-1) Maquaas Landt was that part of the valley of the Mohawk river lying west of Amsterdam.

(352-2) The following is that portion of this list made up of Schenectady names:

July, 1730.

List of the voluntary gifts which were promised here at Schenectady in the county of Albany, for the building of a new church for the behoof of the Dutch Reformed church at Schenectady:

We or I the underwritten promise to pay to Arent Bratt, Jacobus Van Dyck, Dirck Groot and Cornelis Van der Volgen and Robert Yates, Jacob Swits, Wouter Vrooman and Jan Barentse Wemp, Elders and Deacons, or to their successors, the sum which we or I subscribe with our hands so soon as the foundation of said church is laid; and failing of the same, we or I promise to pay ten pounds current money, if we or I are negligent in the payment of the sum of money, which I with my hand subscribe, as witness our hands or my hand.

(353-1) The pound New York currency was $2.50.

(355-1) This is a genuine Dutch word signifying master or chief.

(355-2) In 1761 the pulpit was newly adorned at an expense of £1-14-1 as follows:

Church Accounts

(355-3) Church Records.

(355-4) 1733/4, Jan. 13. — De Eerste predicatie gedaen in de nieuwe Kercke door heer Doomeny Erichzon uit den prophet Yesaia het 2 Capittel Vers 3. — Syn inlyding uit Luce 22 Verse 32 ent'tot besluit gesonge uit psalm 100, Vers. 3. — De twede predicatie gedaen door den Heer domeny Van Driessen uit den prophet Yesaia 35 capittel Vers. 1 en 2 en tot besluit gesonge uit 118 psalm, Vers 1.—20 ditto [Jan.] Den predicatieunit jesaia 2, Vers. 3 het middel part en tot besluit gesongepsalm 25, Vers. 2.—27 ditto [Jan.] De vierde predicatie uit jesaia 2 cap. 3 Vers., laste part, en tot besluit gesonge psalm 110 Vers. 2. — From Simon Volkertse Veeder's Bible now owned by Mrs. H. J. Bratt.

(355-5) Church Charter, Aug. 23, 1734.

(356-1) Patentees Deed, 10 July, 1733.

(356-2) The slips or Bancken were numbered nearly alike in 1734 and 1754, but the numbers were quite different in 1788.

As before stated, each sitting in the church was held by its occupant for life, unless forfeited by nonpayment of the seat rent, or by removing from the town; and descended to his or her nearest male or female heir. Hence the same sitting was in some cases retained in the family for three or four generations. It will be noticed also that the males occupied the wall pews (gestoelte) chiefly, which were slightly raised above the others; whilst the females sat upon the benches (bancken) in the body of the house. The slips for the two sexes were numbered from one upwards, — those of the males from I to XIII: — those of the females from 1 to 62 (see plan [ original size (28K) | 4x enlarged (102K)]).

Bench No. I was occupied by magistrates and men of note.

The Deacons and elders sat in the four benches on either side of the pulpit or doop-huisje, and the magistrates and other men of note upon the long bench on the west side of the church extending from the pulpit around to the south door.

(358-1) The following bill for these stoves is translated from the treasurer's book. [See original below]

1792, Dec. 23.Paid James Murdock for 2 stoves12158
29 cash for riding stone for the stove floor0133
 Paid James McWilliams for setting the stoves in the church0120
 to a cart to Albany to haul the gryp (?) iron (358-2) for the stoves0100
 to 140 lbs. of iron by Swits for the small work about the stoves3101 1/2
 to 1 quart of rum for the workmen 25
1793/4, Jan.Cash to Maas Schermerhorn paid for set (?) iron, 25lbs at 11 pence a pound1211
 Cash paid Walter Swits & Peter Symens for the iron work on the stoves8196
 £280510 1/2
1792, Dec. 23.Aen James Murdock betalt voor 2 kaghels12158
29 Dec.aen cass voor Roye stein voor de Caghel vloer0133
 aen James McWilliams betelt * * de Kaghels in de Kerk to sette0120
 aen Een wage na Albany voor 't gryp Eyser, an de Kaghels te hale0100
 aen 140 1/2 lb. Eyser Door Swits voor Clyn werk an de Kagheles3101 1/2
 aen 1 qart rom an de work Luyde 25
1793/4, Jan.Cassa aen Maas Schermerhorn voor set eyser betalt 25lb. at 11 pence p pont1211
 Cassa betalt aen Walter Swits en pieter Symens voor het eyser werk an Cagels8196
 £280510 1/2

(358-2) [Is this grip irons = grapple irons or braces to hold the stoves on their elevated platforms. — M'M]

(359-1) "The bell of the Low Dutch Church of Schenectady procured by themselves in the year 1732."

(359-2) "De Grave and Muller Amsterdam made me."

It was the custom to ring the bell three times before commencing religious services down to January, 1810, when the consistory

"Resolved, that in future the Bell shall be rung twice as usual, previous to the commencement of public worship and that tolling shall be substituted for the third ringing."

It is said the bell was also rung at the close of the service that the servants at home might have the dinner ready on their masters' return.

(360-1) The bricks used in it were made by Jacobus Van Vorst at 1 pound [$2.50] per M — Church Treasurer's book.

(361-1) The old church was sold to the contractors for 450 dollars, and they were about to remove it in the spring of 1813, when on a remonstrance being made to the consistory against thus depriving the congregation of a place of worship, whilst the new house was building, the contract was annulled and it was left standing until 1814.

In the remonstrance allusion is made to the desecration of the old church by lawless persons breaking the seats and pews and it was advised to prosecute the marauders. — Consistory Min.

In the treasurer's book is the following entry under date 5th July, 1814. "To paid for liquor when the old spire was taken down, 37 1/2 cents. Nov. 30, 1814, Charles Kane and Henry Yates bought the old church for $442.50."

(361-2) The dimensions of the church of 1734 were 80 feet by 56 feet, those of the church of 1814 were 86 feet by 57 feet.

(362-1) 1759 Aen Johannes Vedder Voor een Voorlezer's Bybel £2.0.0. — Church account book.

(363-1) Philip Ryley was catechisatie meester (and probably Voorsanger and doodgraver) of the church of Albany in 1761; in 1767, the church of Schenectady complained that he had taught unsound doctrine and he was called upon by the church of Albany to recant, refusing to do so, they deprived him of his office of Voorlezer, doodgraver etc., and ordered him to vacate his house. — Albany Church Minutes.

(363-2) Cornelius De Graaf was voorzanger 1771 to 1800.

(364-1) She lived on the north corner of Union and Church streets.

(364-2) "Oct. 25, 1799. A complaint having been delivered in against G. Van Sice, the sexton, that he had delivered the scull of a corpse to the house of Doctor Anderson; being sent for and interrogated, he finally confessed that he had taken a scull out of the burying yard and delivered it to Mr. Hagaman, student of medicine with Dr. Anderson:"

"Resolved, that Van Sice without fail return the scull to-morrow morning and deposite it in presence of one of the members of this board in the place whence it was taken.

"Resolved, moreover, that said Van Sice be and is hereby dismissed from his service as sexton."

"26 Oct., 1799, Mr. James Lighthall was appointed sexton in place of G. Van Sice, removed."

(365-1) Little can be learned now of the courtship customs in the early days of the frontier settlements.

"Old maids" were unknown and widows with families of helpful hands were well endowed and in such request that they seldom died in widowhood unless at very advanced age. After a year or sometimes less, they took another husband, a very necessary protection in the sparse settlements of the border lands.

The girls were needed at home and they were also in great demand as huysvrouws (literally house wives) by the bouwers as in all newly settled districts. They needed no fortune save health and strength as their marriage portion.

Until the Revolution the law of primogeniture was generally strictly observed. As a rule, inheritance was by the male line, the daughters having provision for support merely, or some agreed upon dower if they married. The eldest son was the Erf genaame or heir (patrimony named).

If marriages of convenience were made, the wealth brought the husband was in the bride's strength, housewifely skill and the family influence gained by the match.

According to the Holland custom the Dutch here kept the sexes apart in church, but not elsewhere. (366-1)

The settlement was isolated and small. Every one was related to or intimately acquainted with every one else, the houses were small, bringing people in close contact, no newspaper, cheap book or circulating library was in existence and they had but their own local affairs to discuss. This enforced an intimacy and familiarity which would be called license now. While it would be intolerable at present, for the small community there then, it had advantages. Faults were well known and criticised and the wrongdoer was sure of punishment either by public opinion or legal condemnation. — M'M]

(366-1) [From Notarial Papers of Albany and other sources, tradition being the most prolific as well as the most uncertain, the practice of "bundling" was common in the early days along the whole of both sides of the Hudson river and in all the settlements of the back country. As civilization advanced the practice grew into desuetude and along the great highways of travel it had become uncommon before the close of the last century in the cities and towns of this vicinity.

In searching for information as to such customs the trace is always difficult to follow. They were seldom matters of record, and very old men consulted rarely locate the practice in their own town. In Albany it was said to be a custom along the Mohawk. At Schenectady no one is old enough to remember it as nearer than the Catskills, Helderbergs and Schoharie and German flats. It is difficult to say where the people there locate it. It is like malaria, always over in the next valley.

Records of Albany county show some early cases in this locality. In 1804 the testimony is clear as to the practice in Orange county then and previously (Seager v. Slingerland; Caine, S. C. Reports).

In Graham v. Smith, 1853, witnesses of the highest respectability testified that that manner of courtship was the universal custom of that part of the country. One lady fifty-six years old said that such had been the custom since she was a little girl.

The court stated that some of the early settlers of the country from the continent of Europe had brought with them the custom, which had been proved in this case. At the time of the Revolution it was generally prevalent in the Dutch settlements on both sides of the Hudson river, insomuch that the idea of anything wrong in it did not prevail. The custom still (1853) lingers in the land, back in the woods and mountains not habitually accessible to the moving, advancing world outside.

Other cases might be referred to.

Stiles' "Bundling" contains much poetry or rhyme devoted to its defence and some in deprecation of the custom as generally practiced in Connecticut. Sermons were preached attacking it and the minister soundly rated for them.

It was doubtless common in most provincial parts of England, Scotland and Wales, and brought to Connecticut by immigrants from those districts.

Washington Irving refers to the practice and quotes it as imported from Connecticut. It may have been, but it was like carrying coals to New Castle, it was already a time honored and highly respectable custom in the Dutch and German settlements.

Sewall's Dutch-English Dictionary (1708) defines the custom as "Queesten, an odd way of wooing usual in some Sea towns or Isles of Holland," &c.

The derivation of Queesten is not given, but was doubtless analogous to Quest to examine, to discuss, to seek and Quests to question, debate.

We know from dry court records and from tradition that the practice existed. Tradition says that within this century, sermons were preached against it in the Dutch church here and that it was earnestly defended, but thus far neither sermon nor rhyme has been found to compare with Stiles' collection of Connecticut doggerel verse.

Doubtless it was the practice at remote times of all peoples — and was maintained by poor communities in out of the way places from motives of habit or economy; later it fell into disuse save in the fishing islands, remote nesses or promontories — out of the way glens or mountain valleys, where the people lived in hardship and poverty, their houses far apart, merely of one or two rooms, and even light and fuel deemed luxuries. In the thinly settled regions of the new world in early days these conditions existed, but the compact settlement of Schenectady was productive of easy social intercourse and the custom was not necessary for very long. It was easy for young people to get up their merry makings and other means of acquaintance which the isolated settlers could not do, but must go to distances after their day's work was done and do their courting in the dark, returning many miles to their work before daybreak. — M'M.]

(368-1) July 14 [1758]. Predikant Vrooman and some of ye quality of ye town attended Prayers in ye Fort in ye Evening.

July 15. Three o'clock P.M. attended ye funeral of Mr. Vrooman's Brother-in-law. After ye people were collected who kept abroad, except the relatives of \the Deceased; the clerk proclaimed from ye Stupe before the door, "If any where disposed to see ye corpse they might come in." But few from the many abroad went in; — the corpse was soon brought out and laid upon the Bier. The coffin was made with a regular Taper from head to foot; the top like a pitched roof of a house. The relations to remote cousins follow next ye corpse two and two.

The mourners all silent at the grave.

All returned from ye Grave to ye house and drank wine plentifully — Rev. Daniel Shute's Journal, Essex Inst. Coll., April, 1874.

1718-19: De Erfgename van Rijer SchermerhoornDr
Voor Aenspreecken in de Stadt en buijten De Somme van 14sh. 
 Theunis brat
Ano 1719gulde
Voor het aen spricken van de over leedene Reijer schermerhooren en voor het beegraaven54
en Voor het aen sprecken op nijstakaijoenie12
en Voor het Doot kleet6
die bekene Voldaengulde 72
toe zyn tato dese den 27 April
 Jan Vrooman

I will give you a sketch of the manner of burying the dead among the Dutch nobility. When any one was dead the friends would commence to make preparation for the funeral; in the first place after the corpse was laid out they would send for 35 or 50 gallons of Cherry wine, and some 15 or 22 gallons of it was taken and a compound of spices was put in it and made hot, and the rest was used cold; also two or three bushels of small sugar cake was made which was called Dote Kooken or dead cake, also three to five pounds of tobacco and from two to three hundred pipes; then a table was set through the house in every room, on those tables is plates of cake, plates of tobacco and at each side of the plates of tobacco is a number of pipes and a roll of paper done up to light the tobacco; also candles lit, also wine put up in bottles and set on the table, and wine glasses; the spice wine was put in silver tankers and sat on the tables.

After the funeral has taken place and while the corpse is going to the grave then the tables was set by the slaves or hired help and after the person is buried then they return to the house and to partake of the wine, cake, and smoke; it was more like a wedding than a funeral.

The coffins was black and a large silver plate weighing from five to seven ounces the name age and time of death carved on it and the coffin was carried on a bier with the corpse in it, they had from six to eight pall bearers and each of those pall bearers had four yards of linnen given to them for scarfs and also had the minister the same.

If there was spiced wine left after the funeral was over, it was taken in the silver tankers and sent to the sick friends and those that were not able to come to the funeral.

No one would attend a funeral in the old times without they had a invitation to come. There was always a list made out by the friends of the deceased who they wished to have come to the funeral, and this list was given to the sexton of the church and he would go around and invite them to attend.

The bell of the church would ring three times and toll once, the day the person was a going to be burried — End.

I give you the facts just as they are and you will have to dress it up in your own language to make it read well. — L. R. Vrooman, Cortland Co., 1850.

(369-1) Annals of Albany, I, 129.

(369-2) The church owned two palls, which were always used on these occasions; for the use of the great pall a charge was made of three shillings; for the small pall nine pence.

(369-3) The following is a list of prices established in 1711:

"Rules for Cornelis De Graaf, appointed sexton the 18th November, 1771, in regard to what he is at liberty to take for inviting [the friends] and burying [the dead].

All thus when he is obliged to invite [the friends] within the village; but when he likewise is obliged to extend the invitations without, he may ask 4 shillings [altered to 6 shillings] more each; — this is to be understood, as far as Claas Viele's [upper end of Maalwyck], or this side; but when he is obliged to extend invitations further, — to Syme Vedder's [Hoffman's Ferry] or this side, — then he may ask yet 3 shillings [altered to 6 shillings] more. The prices in the above standing rules are increased by reason of the hard times."

"Regulations for Jacobus Van Sice appointed grave digger and bell ringer for the dead on the 18th November 1771, in respect to what he may take for grave digging and bell ringing.

The above mentioned Jacobus Van Sice, shall at his own expense, keep proper tools for making and filling graves, likewise proper cords, etc."

(370-1) It was usual for persons residing without the village to bury their dead upon their own lands. Many of these enclosures are still found on the old homesteads along the banks of the Mohawk. The only private burying ground known to have been within the village was that of Adam Vrooman. This was on his pasture lot on the north side of Front street, on lot now numbered 35, its dimensions were 46 feet in depth by 9 1/2 feet in width.

(371-1) See old deed among church papers.

(371-2) The Ael plaas was above the state dam at the aqueduct.

(371-3) It is believed that this lot of Zeger Van Santvoord, fronting on Front street, was subsequently acquired by the church and added to the burial ground. — See Church Papers.

(372-1) Regelatie voor Graften in de kerck van Dooden als Volght:

(373-1) About fifty years after the village was laid out, the church first received a formal conveyance of their house of worship and lot from the Patentees of Schenectady. This is dated 3d October, 1715, and on the back is this endorsement, made doubtless at an earlier date:

(375-1) A memorandum made by Do Van Santvoord makes mention of the conveyance of The Pasture by Gov. Lovelace (Grondbrief van de weide by Gov. Lovelace), as among the important papers of the church. This was probably the Governor's patent to Eenkluys and must have been dated about 1670. It is no longer among the church papers.

(377-1) See Church Papers.

(378-1) Jan De Laggers kil is a small brook or rill emptying into the Mohawk river from the north side near the Aqueduct and many rods easterly from the Ael plaats kil; by assuming this as the starting point of the south-easterly line of the town patent, the area of the town lands was increased at the expense of the church, whose lands adjoined them on the south-east.

(380-1) The guilder or florin beaver was worth about 38 or 40 cts. — the guilder seewant, or wampum, was equal to one shilling N. Y. currency or one-third of the former; — the beaver skin being considered the specie of the Province.

These accounts are kept in guilders and stivers, partly seewant and partly beaver.

(381-1) It would seem from this that a single seat in the church at this time cost 36 guilders or $4.50.

(381-2) The town miller, killed in the massacre of 1690.

(381-3) Did the Consistory act as a court of justice imposing and collecting fines, or were the fines collected by the magistrates handed over to the deacons for the poor?

(382-1) The magistrates of the village.

(382-2) The "little pall" owned by the church was used at the funeral of children.

(382-3) A name given to that part of Broadway, Albany, from State street to Steuben street, as also to Albany itself.

(383-1) The Plantasie here mentioned for the first time in these accounts, but afterwards called de wey and de arme wey was the 18 morgens of land bequeathed "for the poor of Schenectady" by Hans Janse Eenkluys. This parcel of ground was known later as the Poor Pasture.

(384-1) Son of Anneke Janse by her first husband Roeloff Janse.

(385-1) Daughter of Willem Teller and wife of Abraham Van Tricht of Albany.

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