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A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times
7: Adult Freeholders — Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck

Prof. Jonathan Pearson

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[This information is from pp. 188-190 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.)]

Of the three sons of Broer Cornelis, Marten died in 1662, and Cornelis is only once mentioned in the records, — in 1659.

Jacques was born in 1640, at Canajoharie; his Indian name was Itsychosaquachka; he was also sometimes called Jacques Cornelise Gautsh. (189-1) He married Grietje, daughter of Harmen Janse Ryckman of Albany and had nine children living in 1697. He died probably about 1690, as his widow made an antenuptial contract 21 Feb., 1691/2, being then about to marry Adam Vrooman. His will was made 8th May, 1690. (189-2) In 1671, he was one of the two licensed tapsters in the village.

He seems to have had the regard both of the natives and the Dutch and to have had considerable influence with both peoples between whom he acted as interpreter. (189-3)

At one time he had a house lot in the village probably on the west corner of Washington street and Cucumber Alley, having a front on the former street of about 166 feet and extending back to the Binnè kil. The alley on the north side — 16 feet wide wood measure, — was the passage to the Binnè kil which was crossed by a scow to his farm on the Great island.

This lot passed to his son Capt. Harmen Van Slyck; in 1778, it was owned by Harmanus and Samuel sons of the latter, and still later by James Van Slyck Ryley their nephew, his mother being a daughter of Col. Jacobus Van Slyck.

The first patent for land at Schenectady was made Nov. 12, 1662, by Governor Stuyvesant and confirmed by Governor Nicolls April 13, 1667, — to Sweer Theunissen [Van Velsen] and Jacques Cornelyssen [Van Slyck] to each of them severally the moiety of "a certain Island, — Marten's island — near Schenectady over against the town, etc., containing [82] acres first taking out six acres or three morgens on said island the title to which was vested in said Theunissen, who married the widow of Jan Barentse Wemp to whom and to the said Jacques Cornelise said island was granted Nov. 12, 1662." (189-4)

After Van Slyck's death, Grietje Vrooman his widow, received a confirmatory patent April 2, 1695 for his moiety of said island in trust for the use of their four sons, — Harmen, Cornelis, Marten and Acus. (190-1) This island originally belonged to Marten Maurits (190-2), Van Slyck's brother, who dying in 1662, it fell to Jacques by inheritance; hence at first it was called Marten's island, afterwards Van Slyck's and sometimes Sweer Theunise's and Wemp's island, all of whom had an interest in the same.

Besides the half island above mentioned, Van Slyck also received a grant of land on the First flat on the south side of the Mohawk river to the west of the village, described in the confirmatory patent of Oct. 30, 1684, as "situate between two creeks, one called Stone creek to the eastward, the other the Platte creek to the westward; — the low land lying along the river side to the south of the Mohawk river and on the north of the land belonging to the inhabitants of Schenectady of which said Jacques is to have forty morgens or eighty acres of the best clearest land lying between said creeks, and also forty morgens or eighty acres of woodland on the west side of the Platte creek adjoining to his arable land along the river side. (190-3)

The land confirmed by this grant to Jacques Cornelise, is stated to have come to him in right of his mother who was a Mohawk woman. His sons Marten and Cornelis inherited and lived upon this farm which is still in possession and occupancy of the family. (190-4)


(189-1) [Gautsh, pronounced Hotch (nearly); can it be an abbreviation of Ots-toch, his mother's name? "A squaw was queen of the island which lies back of Washington street. She is buried on the island, under an old willow tree at the point towards the bridge. She had two children by a Frenchman — Mr. Harttell. Ots-toch was like her mother, savage and wild. She married Cornelius Van Slyck. Kenutje, the second child, was small and handsome, like her father Mr. Harttell; she was very white. She married a Bratt." — Statement of tradition in his family, by Laurence R. Vrooman, of Cortland county. — M'M]

(189-2) Wills, I, 11.

(189-3) Col. Doc. III, 823, 431, etc.

(189-4) Patents, 357; also the original patent belonging to Union College.

(190-1) Patents, 1474.

(190-2) Col. MSS., XXXIX, 216.

(190-3) Coun. Min., V, 11 12. Patents, 1200.

(190-4) Will of Jacques Cornelise in Court of Appeals office, and Deeds, Sec. State's office, VII. [See Ante, page 69, First Flat, page 77, Martens, Van Slycks, Wemp's Island]

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