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A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times
7: Adult Freeholders — Harmen Albertse Vedder

Prof. Jonathan Pearson

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[This information is from p. 196-199 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 an early settler in New Netherland, residing mainly at Beverwyck, even after he had purchased a bouwery at Schenectady.

As agent of Dirk De Wolfe, merchant of Amsterdam, in 1661, he erected a salt kettle on Coney Island, which was claimed by the inhabitants of Gravesend.

Vedder and one Pieterse laid claim to the island, but in a suit brought before the Governor and Council, were beaten and probably abandoned their enterprise. (197-1) After the Province passed into the possession of the English, De Wolfe returned to Holland; and in 1667 his house and lot in Albany, then occupied by Vedder, was ordered to be confiscated by Governor Nicolls. (197-2) He was a trader, at least so long as he remained in Albany, and made several voyages to Patria, — one in 1660, and another in 1668, on which occasion, being in Holland, he, with other traders, having purchased goods and chartered the ship King Charles, petitioned the King of England for permission to send the same to New York, which was granted. (197-3)

Vedder's bouwery in Schenectady was rented in 1663 to Symon Groot, for six years at a yearly rent of 500 guilders. (197-4)

In the spring of 1672, it is probable he gave up business in Albany, and retired to Schenectady, for in February of that year he purchased bouweries No. 8 of Dirk Hesselingh, to be delivered to him May 1, 1672, and the year following he was appointed one of the three commissaries or magistrates of the village. (197-5)

In 1674, the magistrates of Schenectady were reprimanded for not showing due respect for those of Willemstadt [Albany], and for pretending to the privilege of the Indian trade, and Harmen Vedder, schout, in particular, was complained of because of his conduct towards Capt. Schuyler, and was warned "to regulate himself accordingly." (197-6)

His children were probably born in Albany; but the records of the church there prior to 1684 being lost, neither the dates of their baptisms nor the name of his wife, are known. It is only known that in 1668 he was brother-in-law of Johannes Provoost, secretary of Albany. (197-7)

At the date of his death, which happened before June 18, 1714 (197-8), five sons and one daughter were living and had families of their own. (197-9)

Although Harmen Albertse was among the earliest proprietors of Schenectady, his name does not appear as grantee or patentee in the records until 1672, Gerrit Bancker received the patent for bouweries No. 6, in 1664 and 1667 (197-10); although in fact he had but a half interest in the same as appears by the lease given in 1663, by Bancker and Vedder to Symon Groot for these bouweries (198-1), and from the fact that in 1701, Vedder sold the easterly half of hindmost lot No. 6, which seems to have been his share in the above mentioned patent, to his son Albert for £91-16. (198-2) That he was an early proprietor also appears from the fact that he with Sander Leendertse, Willem Teller and others, petitioned the Governor in 1664, to have their lands surveyed. Hindmost farm No. 6, lying between the river road and the river was unfit for a hofstede by reason of the annual floods, but the purchase of the adjacent bouwery No. 8, gave him a convenient and pleasant site for his house and farm buildings beyond the reach of the highest floods. (198-3)

This farm was originally allotted to Marten Cornelise Van Ysselsteyn who sold it to Cornelis Corn. Vielè, from whom it passed successively to Jurriaen Teunise Tappen, to Dirk Hesselingh and finally Feb. 1, 1671/2 to Harmen Vedder, who purchased with "de bouwery (daer den Vooz: Dirk Hesselingh op woont op Schaenechtede), soo het landt als huys, schuer ende twee berghen &c. soo als het de voorn &c. Hesselingh van Jurriaen Teunissen gecocht heeft gehadt * * * to be delivered to Herman Vedder the coming 1st May, 1672, together with the seed in the ground. Vedder promised to pay 20 whole beavers to Jurriaen Teunissen for the same. (198-4)

In 1701, Harmen Albertse owned a pasture of two and a half morgens lying between Front street and the river, beginning 509 feet Eng. east of north street and extending easterly along Front street 210 feet Eng. to the New York Central railroad; in 1714-18 this lot belonged to his son Albert. (198-5)

Outside of the limits of Schenectady he owned several parcels of land besides several houses and lots in Albany.

Jan. 31, 1657, he bought of Rutger Jacobsen, "syne huys en erff gelegen in de doorpe beverwyck, breet voor en achter ses dertich voet, lanch vier en sestich voet en met aen ganch van vifte voet en breet lanch tot aen kil welcke ganch is Gelegen tusschen goossen gerritsen [van Schaick] en den Vercooper" &c., consideration 2325 guilders.

This lot was on the south side of State street, Albany, between Green and Pearl streets, and extended back only to the Rutten kil now arched over and used as a sewer; there was included in this sale Jacobsen's brewery which was to be delivered to Vedder the following November. (198-6)

In 1665 he owned a house and lot on the hill in Albany next to Cornelis Steenwyck's. (199-1)

He contracted in 1662 to buy a house and lot next to Philip Pieterse Schuyler's, for 1600 guilders. (199-2)

Aug. 21, 1670, he sold to Robert Sanders a parcel of land at Stone Arabia [Lansingburgh?]. (199-3)

And on Oct. 31, 1677, he and Barent Reyndertse sold "to Claes Janse Van Boekhoven [de Brabander] and Ryck Claase [Van Vranken] a farm in Canastagioene on the north side of the Mohawk river, consideration 550 skiples of wheat." (199-4)

After his death, his children on the 3 May, 1715, petitioned the common council of Albany for the renewal of a release (burnt at Schenectady when it was cut off) of a lot owned by their father Harme Vedder deceased, and lying on the south side of Albany, which petition was granted. (199-5)


(197-1) Valentine's Manual, 1863; O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N., II, 542.

(197-2) Col. MSS., XXII, 18.

(197-3) Col. Doc., III, 179; Deeds, II, 170.

(197-4) Not. Papers, I.

(197-5) Col. Doc., II, 609.

(197-6) Col. Doc., II, 675.

(197-7) Deeds, II, 736.

(197-8) Deeds, VII, 185.

(197-9) Albany Annals, VII, 35.

(197-10) Patents, 382.

(198-1) Not. Papers, I.

(198-2) Deeds, V, 107.

(198-3) This site is now occupied by the house of Mr. Jno. D. Campbell.

(198-4) Not. Papers.

(198-5) Deeds, V, 232.

(198-6) Albany Co. Rec., 20.

(199-1) Albany Co. Rec., 83.

(199-2) Albany Co. Rec., 306.

(199-3) Ibid, 468; or Deeds, II, 775.

(199-4) Albany Co. Rec., 166, also Not. Papers.

(199-5) Albany Annals, VII, 35.

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