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A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times
7: Adult Freeholders — Gerrit Bancker

Prof. Jonathan Pearson

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[This information is from pp. 85-87 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.)]

Though one of the first proprietors, he never became a permanent resident of Schenectady. He probably came from Amsterdam where his brother Willem was a merchant as late as 1700. Before 1655 he was in New Amsterdam where he owned a house and lot; two years later he settled in Beverwyck, which became his residence until his death about February, 1690/1. His home lot in Albany was on the south side of Yoncker [now State] street — the third east from Pearl as it then was; he also owned divers other lots in the village.

Mr. Bancker married Elizabeth, daughter of Dirk Van Eps, and sister of Jan Van Eps, one of the first settlers of Schenectady. After her husband's death Mrs. Bancker removed to New York and engaged in trade; — she died July 3, 1693, aged 70 years, leaving a large property for those times, to her only son Evert. According to the inventory of her estate, she had three houses in State street, Albany; — a hofstede, barn and two lots of land at Schenectady; — in Katskil two pieces of land; in Colonie Rensselaerswyck a bouwery, two houses, barn, orchard, hofstede, negro slaves, &c., and lastly a house and lot in New York, besides considerable personal property. (86-1)

When Arent Van Curler began the settlement of Schenectady in 1662, he became one of the fifteen proprietors, receiving the usual allotment of a village lot and two bouweries on the Groote Vlachte.

His house lot was the north quarter of the block bounded by Union, Washington, State and Church streets, — 183 ft. on Union, and 184 ft. on Washington streets, Rhynland measure.

In the confirmatory patent granted by Gov. Nicolls 27 April, 1667, it is described as follows:

"A certain parcel of land at Schenectady to the north of Catelyn [Bratt] Norman's to the South of the hills (86-2) being behind to the East of the way [Washington Street] and before to the West of Pieter Adriaensen's in length 15 rods 4 ft. [184 ft.] and in breadth 15 rods 3 ft. [183 ft.]" (86-3)

His son Evert, who inherited this lot, sold it on the 7th July, 1702, for 42 pounds [$105] to Cornelis Swits, who also bought one of the Bancker farms at the same time, in whose family a portion of it remained until 1760. (86-4)

Towards the close of the last century this village lot was divided into several smaller parcels, which were owned by John Duncan and John and Henry Glen, the last occupying the corner lot, which about 1802 he sold to James Murdoch. [Occupied by D. L Van Antwerp.]

Bouweries No. 6

The farms allotted to Gerrit Bancker were numbered six, the one on the second piece, the other on the hindmost piece, and described in the Patent of 27th April, 1667, as, "two parcels of land at Schenectady both marked number six, the one being on the second piece of land to the west of No. 5 and to the east of No. 7 striking on both sides from the creek or kil [Dove gat] (87-1) into the woods with a south west line something more southerly; it is in breadth 36 [Rynland2] rods containing about 22 acres or 11 morgens and 145 rods: — the other, on the hindmost piece of land near the river, to the west of No. 10 to the east of No. 4, striking on both sides from the river to the small creek [Dove gat] with a south west line; it's in breadth 50 rods containing about 20 acres or 10 morgens and 520 rods: in all 44 acres, or 22 morgens 65 rods as granted by Gov. Stuyvesant June 16, 1664." (87-2)

As neither Gerrit Bancker nor his son Evert were ever permanent settlers here, both these farms were sold soon after the death of the former, — the foremost lot to Isaac Swits in 1702 for £183-12 and the hindmost parcel to Harmen Vedder. (87-3)

Gerrit Bancker had a patent also for "a piece of pasture granted [between Front street and the river] at Schenectady lying to the south of the woodside, to the east of Pointers or Cornelis Dirksen's [Teunis Swart's], and to the west of Simon the Baker's [Symon Veeder], containing the quantity of ground as the land of said Cornelys Dirksen's doth." The date of this patent was Oct. 15, 1670. (87-4) The dimensions of Swart's pasture was, length ninety-two rods, breadth by the river fifteen rods and by the highway (Front street] seventeen rods or about two and a half morgens. (87-5)

In 1715, Evert Bancker sold this lot to Willem Abrahamse Tietsoort of Dutchess county.

This pasture was between Front street and the river, commencing nearly opposite John street and extending easterly along the street 210 feet English.


(86-1) Court of Appeals office.

(86-2) These hills or more properly hillocks, lay then on the westerly side of the block bounded by Front, Church, Union and Washington streets and were long since graded down.

(86-3) The Rynland rod consisted of 12 feet, of 12.36 Eng. inches each. Patents, 383.

(86-4) Deeds, IV, 296.

(87-1) [Dove gat, — a cove, — a pool where water sets back from the river — M'M.]

(87-2) Patents No. 382.

(87-3) Deeds, V., 107, 154, VII; Isaac Swit's will and Albert Vedder's will in Court of Appeals office.

(87-4) Patents No. 754.

(87-5) Patents No. 761.

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