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A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times
Adult Freeholders — Arent Andriese Bratt

Prof. Jonathan Pearson

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[This information is from pp. 93-95 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.)]

Two brothers of this name, — Albert Andriese and Arent Andriese, were among the early settlers of Albany. (93-2) They often were called De Noorman or De Sweedt. The former remained in Albany and is the ancestor of most of the name in that county; the latter became one of the first proprietors of Schenectady in 1662, about which time he died, leaving a widow and six children. His wife was Catalyntjè, daughter of Andries De Vos, deputy director of Rensselaerswyck. After the death of her husband, the grants of land allotted to him were confirmed to her.

In 1664, she married Barent Janse Van Ditmars. Her ante-nuptial contract with the weesmeesters (93-3) for the protection of the interests of her infant children, is of date Nov. 12, and binds her to pay to them their patrimonial estate of 1,000 guilders at their majority, and mortgages her land at Schenectady to secure the payment of the same. These children were Jefie, aged 15 yrs., Ariaantje, 13 yrs., Andries, 11 yrs., Cornelia, 9 yrs., Samuel, 5 yrs. and Dirk aged 3 yrs. (94-1)

Van Ditmars was killed in the massacre of 1690, and the following year she married Claas Janse Van Boekhoven. By their ante-nuptial contract, made Feb. 27, 1690/1, among other things it was agreed by them that on the death of both parties thereto, their property should go to her children. (94-2)

Van Boekhoven and wife made their wills Jan. 11, 1698/9, and Jan. 7, 1705, they added a codicil by which her youngest son Dirk, was to have his farm at Niskayuna, and on the 17th January this codicil was revoked; his will was proved 28 Oct., 1707. (94-3) Mrs. Bratt survived her third husband, and finally died in 1712.

On the 18th Dec., 1712, the estates of both herself and Van Boekhoven, were appraised for the purpose of partition among her children.

The real estate in Schenectady belonging to her, amounted to the sum of £976 12s. 6d., current money of the Province, and that of Van Boekhoven in Canistageioone [Niskayuna] and Albany, to the sum of £700 — together, £1676 22s. 6d., [equal to $4,191.56]. (94-4)

Mrs. Bratt's home lot was the west quarter of the block bounded by Washington, State, Church and Union streets, being about 200 feet square. In the confirmatory patent issued to her and her second husband, Van Ditmars, June 15, 1668, it was described as:

"A certain house and lot of ground at Schenectady now in occupation of said Barent Janse [Van Ditmars] and Catelyn being in a square of 200 feet." (94-5) And in her will she spoke of "my house and lot lying west of "Maritie Damen's [Van Eps] lot and south of Evert Bancker's lot and having the street [State and Washington to the south and west." (94-6) In 1723 her grandson Capt. Arent Bratt sold the corner parcel, 45 feet wide on State street and 190 feet deep on Washington street, to Hendrick Vrooman, but it soon returned to the family and was again sold by Arent J. Bratt in 1769, to James Shuter. The remainder of this lot remained in the family until the beginning of this century when it was sold to Robert Barker and Isaac De Graaf.

The ancient brick house standing on this lot, one of the few specimens of Dutch architecture remaining in the city, was probably built by Capt. Arent Bratt.

Mrs. Bratt's allotments on the Great Flat are described in the patent of June 2, 1668, as — "two certain parcels of land at Schenectady both marked No. 1: — the first lying to the west of Arent Van Curler's, being enclosed with the kil and the creek to number two containing 27 acres or 13 morgens 487 rods; — the other being upon the hindmost piece of land, to the west of number two, lying in a bottom containing as it is enclosed by the river and the woodland about 22 acres or 11 morgens: — altogether 50 acres or 24 morgens, 487 rods, as granted by Governor Stuyvesant June 16, 1664, to said Catelyn Andriese [Bratt] widow aforesaid." (95-1)

In her will she spoke of her foremost farm containing 36 acres and of her hindmost lot comprising 30 acres. The former is now embraced mainly in the farm formerly owned by the late Judge Tomlinson, purchased in 1855 by John Meyers, deceased. The easterly boundary was the small creek running through the canal culvert and emptying into the Binnè kil just east of and behind the farmhouse, and it extended west along the Binnè kil and river about 1,300 feet to the Dove gat or dead hole lying between the canal and the river. Farm No. 4 owned by Van Woggelum and later by Reyer Schermerhorn, lay directly south of Mrs. Bratt's foremost lot. (95-2) Her eldest son, Andries, was killed in 1690; his son Arent succeeded to his inheritance and held this bouwery until his death in 1765. In 1732 he added 94 acres to the west by the purchase of a portion of No. 2.

The hindmost farm No. 1 fell to Mrs. Bratt's second son Samuel. (95-3)


(93-2) Albert Andriese De Noorman, had a mill on the Norman's kil, to which he gave name; when he died June 7, 1686, he was "een Van de oudste en eerste inwoonders der Colonie Rensselaerswyck," having arrived in Albany in 1630. — Hist. N. N., I, 433.

(93-3) Weesmeesters — orphan masters, or officers who cared for orphan's estates. M'M.]

(94-1) Albany Co. Deeds, B. 597.

(94-2) Deeds, IV, 296.

(94-3) Wills, I, 64, 74; and Court of Appeals office.

(94-4) Schermerhorn Papers.

(94-5) Patents, 593.

(94-6) Wills, I, 74.

(95-1) Patents, 590; Deeds, IV, 296; V, 168; Wills, I, 74.

(95-2) It was inventoried after death in 1712, at £393-15 equal to $984.37, or about $27 an acre.

(95-3) This farm consisting of 30 acres was inventoried at £354-7-6 equal to $708.93 or $23.63 an acre.

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See Also: Bradt Family Genealogy updated March 30, 2015

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