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See Also: Schermerhorn Family Genealogy

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

Prof. Jonathan Pearson

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[This information is from pp. 142-145 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.)]

Reyer was the only son of Jacob Janse, who settled permanently at Schenectady. He was gebortigh alhier in Albanie, — his wife, Ariaantje Bratt, in Esopus. (142-1) She was the widow of Helmer Otten and was married in July, 1676, at which time, in anticipation of this marriage, she made a contract with the guardians of her daughter Catharina, by which she mortgaged her farm, No. 4, at Schenectady, for the payment of 225 beaver skins to said daughter when she arrived at mature age, or married; also to give her one-half of her late husband's property in Holland. Tryntje (142-2) married Gerrit Symonse Veeder, in 1690, and in 1697, Gerrit and his wife made the following settlement with Schermerhorn and his wife, in relation to the patrimonial property of Veeder's wife:

Schermerhorn agreed to make over

1st. Eight morgens of land at Schenectady, out of Symon Volckertse's hoek.

2d. To convey to Gerrit Symonse, four morgens of land from the south end of bouwery No. 4, hindmost land.

3d. To make satisfaction for money of Helmer Otten obtained from Holland.

And Gerrit Symonse agreed to make satisfaction to Schermerhorn for the house the latter bought of Lewis Cobes for Catharina Otten before her marriage. (142-3)

He was one of the five patentees mentioned in the patent of Schenectady 1684, and for nearly 15 years (1700 to 1714), was the only survivor, for which reason he was complained of as exercising arbitrary power over town affairs and rendering no account of his proceedings. In 1690 he was member of the Provincial Assembly from Albany county and justice of the peace. In 1700 he was appointed assistant to the Judge of Common Pleas. The mills on the Schuylenberg kil, together with the bouwery No. 4, remained in the family nearly 200 years and have but lately passed into other hands. Schermerhorn made his last will April 5, 1717, — proved April 8, 1719, and died Feb. 19, 1719 (143-1), leaving two daughters and three sons, all of whom had families.

Real estate owned by Reyer Schermerhorn

First. In addition to bouwery No. 4, acquired through his wife, he owned the easterly half of the Seventh flat on the north side of the river. In 1705 he conveyed this farm to his eldest son Jan, but in 1717 devised the same in his will to the children of his daughter Cataleyntje, wife of Johannes Wemp, which bequest her brother Jan confirmed after his father's death in 1719, by a deed in which the whole flat is said to contain 40 morgens, and to be bounded east by the creek called Tequatsero [Droybergh, Verf or Color kil], west by another small kil, north by the hills and south by the river. In 1733 the Wemps conveyed their half of this flat to Johannes Van Eps who owned the other half. (143-2)

Second. He owned the lot on the east corner of State and Church streets, purchased probably of Claas Laurense Van der Volgen, having a front of 170 feet on State street and 160 feet on Church street. Of this lot by his will the corner lot, 50 feet by 160 (lately the property of Gen. Jay Cady), was devised to his daughter, Ariaantje, wife of Jan Wemp, and the next seventy feet, now belonging to the Schenectady bank and estate of the late S. C. Groot, to his son Jacob, who then lived upon it; this lot afterwards passed to Jacob's son Willem, who sold one-half of it to Cornelius Groot in 1806. (143-3)

Third. On the 23d February, 1702/3, Johannes J. Bleecker of Albany, guardian of Catharina Otten, sold to Reyer Schermerhorn a lot on the north side of State street, next west of the present lot and building of Isaac I. Truax, having, a front of 73 feet. This included the lot of the late Nicholas Van Vranken, now occupied as a public house, and probably at the death of Schermerhorn or before, passed into the possession of Volkert Symonse Veeder, who married his daughter Jannetie, and who also owned the lot of 120 feet front, next east on the north corner of State and Ferry streets.

Fourth. He also owned a lot on the west side of the lot of Douwe Aukes De Freeze, of 50 feet front on State street and 200 feet deep, which he bequeathed to his son Arent. This is the lot on which stands the house and store of the late G. Q. Carley.

Fifth. He also owned a parcel of land on the south side of State street, extending from the lot of Edward Ellis to the Coehorne kill — 256 feet English, which in 1717, he devised to his son Jan. In Jan's will made 1752, this lot is said to comprise four morgens, it must therefore have extended in the rear from 1,000 to 1,500 feet.

Sixth. In 1684, he owned the lot on the west corner of Union and Church streets, — about 190 feet square, which he acquired through his wife. (144-1) This lot subsequently became the property of Helmus Veeder, grandson of Mrs. Schermerhorn, to whom he devised the "lot of pasture ground lying on the south of Schenectady next to the lot of Gerrit Symonse [Veeder] and now in occupation of said Gerrit Symonse."

This pasture was between Mill creek and the Canal, east of Ferry street extended south:

Reyer Schermerhorn in his will bequeathed to his children the following parcels of real estate:

"To his son Jan, all his real estate, provided he shall convey to his deceased sister Catalina's three children, Myndert, Reyer and Ariaantje Wemp, one-half of the house, farm and land where my son John now lives on the north side of the Maquaas river, [Seventh Flat] and the other half to my daughter Jannetie wife of Volkert Symonse [Veeder]: — to his eldest son Jan, that lot of ground lying in Schenectady adjoining to the lots of Ground of Hendrick Vrooman and Barent Wemp, [east end and south side of State street]: — to son Jacob, eight morgens of the hindmost bouwery No. 2, bounded east by land of Arent Bratt and west by lands of Samuel Bratt, with 52 morgens of woodland bounded by the lands of heirs of Samuel Bratt and the woods: — also part of the lot of ground in the town of Schenectady where he now lives which part shall be broad on the front 70 feet, to be taken in the middle of the whole together with a passage of four feet broad from the north end of said lot going Westerly to the street [Church] by the house now in possession of Josias Swart: — to son Arent the farm called the Second Flat, where Symon Groot Jr., formerly lived with the wood lands thereunto belonging; also one lot of ground in the town lying on the west side of the lot of ground belonging to Douwe Aukes De Ffreeze [sic] being broad in Front 50 feet and long 200 feet [the late G. Q. Carley's lot]: — to Ariaantje daughter of Jan Wemp a lot of ground in Schenectady lying on the west side of the lot of ground hereinbefore devised to my son Jacob, being broad in front 50 feet and long 160 feet, [lot of the late Gen. Jay Cady]: — to daughter Jannetie wife of Volkert Symonse [Veeder] half of my lands on the Raritan in East Jersey, and the other half to my three grandchildren, Myndert, Reyer and Ariaantje Wemp: — to Hannah Symonse [Veeder] my lands in the Jerseys called Ganse gat: (145-1) — to Wilhelmus Symonse, son of Gerrit Symonse [Veeder] the lot of pasture lying in the south part of the town of Schenectady next to the lot of said Gerrit Symonse, now in his occupation." (145-2)


(142-1) Will made by them 7th Sept., 1678. — Not. Papers, II. He was baptized in New Amsterdam, June 23, 1652. — Valentine's Manual.

(142-2) [Tryntje = Dutch for Catherine. — M'M.]

(142-3) Deeds, IV, 106, 287, 298.

(143-1) Wills, 1, 163. The following is a copy of the sexton's bill for his funeral expenses:

Ano. 1719. Voor het aen sprecken van de overledene Reyer Schermerhorn en Voor het begraaven.54
en voor het aen sprecken op Nystakayoene,12
en voor het doot Kleet,6
en bekenne vol daen toe zyn tato dese den 27 April. Gulden,72

(143-2) Deeds, V, 69, 70, 494; VI, 145; Toll Papers.

(143-3) Deeds, XIII, 513; Deeds, IV, 298.

(144-1) Deeds, III, 324.

(145-1) [Query, Goose pond. — M'M.]

(145-2) Wills, I, 163.

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See Also: Schermerhorn Family Genealogy updated March 30, 2015

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