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

Prof. Jonathan Pearson

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[This information is from pp. 213-216 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.)]

Adam, son of Hendrick Meese, was born in Holland, in 1649; in 1670, with consent of his father, he bound himself for two years to Cornelis Van den Bergh, of Albany county to learn the millwright's trade, for 80 guilders in silver and a pair of new shoes the first year, and 120 guilders in silver the second year; and in 1683 he built a mill on the Sand-kil where the Brandywine mill now stands. In 1690, when Schenectady was destroyed, he saved his life by his bravery in defending his house, which stood near the north gate on the west corner of Front and Church streets. (213-1) On this occasion his first wife, Engeltje, with her infant child, was killed, and his two sons, Wouter and Barent, were carried away to Canada. In 1697, he went to Canada with an embassy to obtain the release of his sons (one of whom had become a Catholic), his brother (Jan?) and cousin (Matthys, son of Pieter Meese, of Albany), all held as prisoners. He made his will Sept. 12, 1729, — proved June 13, 1730, and died on his farm in Schoharie, Feb. 25, 1730, and was buried in his own private burying ground on lot No. 35 Front street.

Vrooman married three times, first, Engeltie ————, secondly, Grietje Ryckman, widow of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck, in 1691, and thirdly, Grietje Takelse Heemstraat, Jan. 13, 1697, in Albany. He had thirteen children, — nine sons and four daughters, all living at the date of his will save two daughters.

Besides his village lot above mentioned be owned divers other parcels of land.

On the 22 April, 1703, he received a patent for his mill right on the Sand kil, described as "all that creek called Sand creek near Schenectady and the mill thereon erected and all profits &c. to the said creek belonging." He is said to have "enjoyed the same" about 20 years. (213-2)

In 1707, he petitioned to have his patent confirmed and explained because some people insinuate that two small springs or sprouts of water which run into said creek and all meet at a place called Symonse's [Veeder's] meadow were not included in his patent; he therefore desired a new patent, which should include the same and the whole Sand kil to the Mohawk river. (214-1) The result of this petition was a new patent dated Sept. 17, 1708, for "all that creek, called the Sand Creek and the mill thereon erected with two small springs or sprouts of water which run into the same creek and all meet at a place called Symon's meadow and so continue under the name of the Sand creek till it empties itself into the Mohawk river." This mill property and land adjoining were conveyed to his son Wouter. (214-2)

Jan. 2, 1705/6 Vrooman bought additional land of the trustees of Schenectady for the purpose of erecting another saw-mill there. (214-3)

All that remains to show the occupation of this spot for milling purposes by the Vroomans, is the ancient brick house built probably by Adam's son Wouter, still standing and used as a dwelling.

Vrooman's patent for lands in Schoharie is dated Aug. 26, 1714; this tract comprised "600 acres of lowland and upland," and was occupied by his son Pieter and his descendants. (214-4)

March 30, 1726, he obtained a new Indian title to the flats known as "Vrooman's Land" about 1400 acres of the best land in the Schoharie Valley. (214-5)

He likewise with his brother Jan, inherited about 20 morgens of land from his father Hendrick, who bought the same of the administrators of Mrs. Antonia Van Curler.

Adam's portion, consisting of 10 morgens, lay directly south of the village and is now largely occupied by the canal and railroads; he conveyed his portion to his soil Jan, in 1726. (214-6)

June 5, 1688, "Adam Vrooman doth petition ye Common Council [of Albany] yt whereas Rodè ye Maquaase sachem, for divers considerations hath about three years agoe granted him two flatts or plains upon both sides of ye Maquaase river above Hendrick Cuyler's land [at Crane village] containing about eleven morgens wh: said land he doth presume is included in ye grant given to this citty and inserted in their charter and therefore prays yt ye Mayor, Aldermen and commonalty would be pleased to grant him a conveyance for ye said two parcels of land lying near ye stone house [Juctenunda] so called by ye Indians, as ye goe to ye Maquaase Country, and forty acres of Woodland adjoining them, which would be a convenient settlement for ye sd Adam Vrooman, and is willing to pay a small acknowledgement for ye same yearly." (215-1)

These lands were granted and consisted of sixty acres, for a yearly rent of two bushels of winter wheat, conditioned that he should build a small house on it and plow a part of the land next spring. This grant is described as "being on both sides of the Mohawk river west of Hendrick Cuyler's land; — on the south side ten morgens opposite a place called by the Indian jucktanunda that is ye stone houses, being a hollow rock on ye river side where ye Indians generally lie under when they travill to and from there country. The other pieces on the north side of the river, one a little higher than ye said hollow rock or stone houses att a place called by ye natives Syejodenawadde and so eastward down the river so as to comprehend twelve morgens… The other just above the marked tree of Hendrick Cuyler… one morgen and three or four little islands." (215-2)

The patentees of Schenectady, on May 4, 1718, conveyed to him "a piece of woodland containing three morgens 527 rods, butting the street southward [Union street] that leads from the town 49 rods, and on the northmost end [on Green street] 49 rods, and butting westward the land of Symon Groot 47 rods, and butting the woodland of his son Barent 48 rods all Rynland measure." (215-3) This wood lot commenced on the north line of Union street at the westerly line of the lot of John B. Clute, and extended along Union street to the original easterly line of the grounds of Union school, now occupied by the New York Central railroad track, and was bounded northerly by Green street. This lot he gave to his son Jan, January 17, 1726/7, "being four morgens of bushland with one-half of the brewhouse thereon erected, and likewise one-half of the furnaces, coppers, vats, vessels and all other utensils in said brewhouse, being at present in the use and occupation of said Adam Vrooman and Barent his son." This brewhouse stood on the easterly end of the aforesaid lot where the canal and railroad cross Union street, which was often called Brewer's street. (215-4)

On the 4th May, 1718, being about to dispose of his house and lot on the west corner of Front and Church streets, the patentees of Schenectady gave him a new deed describing it as a lot "in Schenectady fronting the street eastward [northward] that leads from the Fort to the river [Front street] 97 feet, and butting the lot of Gerrit Symonse [Veeder] southward 97 feet, and butting the lot of Symon Groot [westward] 144 feet, all Dutch wood measure, together with the houses, brewhouses, &c."

On the 6th of May he conveyed the above lot to Pieter Quackenbos. (216-1)

The patentees likewise conveyed to Adam Vrooman on the 4th May, 1718, "a piece of pasture land butting the road [Front street] south that leads from the north gate towards Jan Luykasse's (216-2) forty rods and four feet, northward by the Mohawk river 29 rods, butting eastward the pasture ground of Johannes Teller 46 rods, and westward the land in possession of David Lewis 42 rods, all Rynland measure, containing 2 morgens 346 rods." (216-3) This lot commenced on the north line of Front street at the east line of the lot of Nicholas Yates' and extended easterly along said street 498.5 feet English, to a point 194 feet westerly from the west side of North street (216-4), including that part of Ferry street between Front street (216-5) and the river.

In 1727 he conveyed all that portion of this pasture lot lying between the west line of No. 35 Front street and the easterly line of said lot, — 335 feet Amsterdam measure, — to his son Jan, reserving however a parcel 35 feet long and 18 feet broad, for a burying place for himself, his heirs and assigns forever.

This burying place now forms a part of lot No. 35. (216-6)


(213-1) Henry Yates and Dutch Church Papers.

(213-2) Patents, 1578.

(214-1) Land papers, IV, 106.

(214-2) Patents, 1624. Deeds, VI, 259.

(214-3) Groote Schuldt-boek.

(214-4) Patents, 1680.

(214-5) Simms' Hist. Schoharie.

(214-6) Old deed.

(215-1) Albany Annals, II, 101.

(215-2) Deeds, IV, 2.

(215-3) Yates' and Dutch Church Papers.

(215-4) Old Deed.

(216-1) Deeds, V, 417, 514.

(216-2) The north gate through the palisades was at the north end of Church street, and Jan Luykasse'a lot was on the west corner of Jefferson and Front streets.

(216-3) H. Yates' Papers.

(216-4) To the lot of the late Isaac Ledyard.

(216-5) This part of Ferry street was not then opened.

(216-6) Deeds, VI, 209.

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