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You are here: Home » Resources » Pearson's History » Pieter Danielse Van Olinda

A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times

7: Adult Freeholders — Pieter Danielse Van Olinda

Prof. Jonathan Pearson

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[This information is from pp. 183-185 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.)]

He was a tailor in Beverwyck in 1663, about which time he came to Schenectady and married Hilletie Cornelise Van Slyck, — sister of Jacques Cornelise, — a half-breed of the Mohawk tribe, through whom he received valuable grants of land at De Willegen (the Willows), below Port Jackson, at the Boght in Watervliet, and the Great Islands in the river at Niskayuna. Van Olinda made his will Aug. 1, 1715, — proved Dec. 27, 1716, — and died at Watervliet in 1715, at an advanced age.

For many years Hilletie his wife, was employed at a salary of 20 pounds as Provincial interpreter. Her death occurred Feb. 10, 1705.

Van Olinda in his will (183-3) speaks of only three children, — Daniel, Jacob and Matthys. The first inherited his land at the "Boght of the Kahoos" and married Lysbet, daughter of Martinus Cregier, Jr. To Jacob who married Eva, daughter of Class De Graaf, he gave his land at De Willegen, and Matthys being non compos mentis, was to be maintained till his death.

Hilletie though born and brought up in her early years among the Mohawks, was soon separated from them and received the rudiments of a Christian education in Albany and Schenectady. She made excellent use of her advantages and is spoken of as an estimable woman. (184-1)

Great Island (185-1) at Niskayuna was conveyed to Hilletie Van Olinda, by the Mohawks, June 11, 1667 and confirmed by Governor Nicolls, May 8, 1668. On the 4th March, 1669, and again 6 Feb., 1705/6, she and her husband conveyed the same to Johannes Clute, which sale was ratified by the Governor and Council on the 2d Aug., 1671. (185-2)

His house lot in Schenectady was on the south side of Union street, 100 feet westerly from Ferry street and had a front of 100 feet and a depth of 210 feet Amsterdam measure. He held it until 1712, when it was conveyed to Isaac Van Valkenburgh for 53 pounds [$132.50]; it remained in Van Valkenburgh's possession until 1764 and perhaps later; from 1793 to 1821 or later it was owned and occupied by Hendrick Dellamot and is now the site of the Court House. (185-3)

The "Willow Flat" (De Willegen) was granted to Pieter Van Olinda and Claas Willemse Van Coppernol, by Governor Dongan on the 9th Nov., 1685. It commenced at Stone creek and ran down the river 349 rods and contained 33 morgens or 66 acres and 90 rods of land, together with 200 acres of woodland adjoining. Van Coppernol owned the westerly half and Van Olinda the easterly half. (185-4)


(183-3) Wills, I, 148.

(184-1) "While we were there [at Schenectady], a certain Indian woman or half-breed, that is, from an European and an Indian woman, came with a little boy, her child, who was dumb, or whose tongue had grown fast. It was about four years old; she had heard we were there, and came to ask whether we knew of any advice for her child, or whether we could not do a little something to cure it. Sanders [Glen] told me aside that she was a Christian, that is had left the Indians and had been taught by the Christians and baptized. I was surprised to find so far in the woods and among Indians, a person who should address me with such affection and love of God. She then related to me from the beginning her case, that is how she had embraced christianity. She was born of a Christian father and an Indian mother of the Mohawk tribes. Her mother remained in the country and lived among the Mohawks, and she lived with her the same as Indians live together. Her mother would never listen to any thing about the Christians, as it was against her heart, from an inward unfounded hate. She lived there with her mother and brothers and sisters; but sometimes she went with her mother among the Christians to trade and make purchases, or the Christians came among them, and thus it was that some Christians took a fancy to the girl, discovering in her more resemblance to the Christians than the Indians. They therefore wished to take the girl and bring her up, which the mother would not hear to. The little daughter herself had no disposition at first to go. This happened several times when the daughter began to mistrust the Christians were not such as the mother told her. She therefore began to hearken to them, but particularly she felt a great inciination and love in her heart towards those Christians who spoke to her about God and of Christ Jesus and the Christian religion. Her mother observed it and began to hate her, her brothers and sisters despised and cursed her, threw stones at her and did all the wrong they could. They compelled her to leave them, as she did and went to those who had so long solicited her. They gave her the name of Eltie or Illetie. She lived a long time with a woman with whom we conversed afterwards, who taught her to read and write and do various handiwork. She felt such a desire and eagerness to learn that she could not be withheld, particularly when she began to understand the Dutch language and what was expressed in the New Testament where her whole heart was. Finally she made her profession and was baptized.

"She has some children; her husband is not as good as she is, though he is not one of the worst; she sets a good example before him, and knows how to direct him."

"She had a brother [Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck], who was also a half-breed, who had made profession of Christianity and had been baptized and who was not by far as good as she but on the contrary, very wicked; though I believe he has been better and has been corrupted by the conversation of impious Hollanders; for this place is a godless one being without a minister and having only a homily (postyl) read on Sundays." Danker's and Sluyter's Journal [i.e., Jasper Danker and Peter Sluyter, Journal of a Voyage to New York], 1680, p. 341-5.

(185-1) [Great Island is now known as Shaker's Island. — M'M.)

(185-2) Deeds, V, 55; II, 711; Gen. Entries, IV, 283; Albany Co. Rec., 436.

(185-3) Deeds, II, 788; IV, 236,; V, 153, 264, 343, 354, 358; Schen. Deeds B., 293. etc.

(185-4) Deeds, IV, 236.

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