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Schenectady County, New York: Its History to the Close of the Nineteenth Century
Chapter XXIV: Genealogy of the Bradt / Schermerhorn Families

Go back to: Chapter XXIV | Teller Family | ahead to: Wemple Family

[This information is from pp. 226-233 of Schenectady County, New York: Its History to the Close of the Nineteenth Century by Austin A. Yates (New York: New York History Co., 1902). It is in the Schenectady Collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at Schdy R 974.744 Yat, and copies are also available for borrowing. Thanks to Carol Di Crosta for data entry help with this page.]

Catalina Bradt, widow of Arent Andreas, sent down the following posterity so that the blood of the old proprietor, Arent Andries, still courses in the veins of many of Schenectady's sons and daughters.

For, of their remaining children, Aeffie (Eve) married Nicholas Van Patten, who came to Schenectady in 1664, and in 1668 purchased the bouwery of Cornelise Van Esselstyne, lying next west of the farm of Ryer Schermerhorn, who was his brother-in-law. This farm remained in the Van Patten family for several generations. They each lived to an advanced age. He died October 3d, 1728, aged eighty-seven years and five months; she died January 23d, 1728, aged seventy-eight years. In 1690 he was appointed a justice of the peace by Leisler.

Arent, the oldest son of Nicholas, April 10th, 1703, married Jannetje, daughter of Philip Coyn of Albany.

Andries, another son of Nicholas, December 26th, 1712, married Muike, daughter of Jacob Ten Eyck of Albany.

Nicholas, also a son of Nicholas, Sr., April 20th, 1712, married Rebecca, daughter of Simon Groot, Jr.

Deborah, another daughter of Nicholas, Sr., April 1st, 1700, married Cornelius Viele, Sr., who was the first Viele settled at Maalyck, on the north shore of the Mohawk River, about two miles above the Reform church in Scotia.

Catalynje, also a daughter of Nicholas, Sr., November 8th, 1694, married Teunis Dirkse Van Vechten of Lunenburg (now Athens), Greene County.

Gertrude, also a daughter of Nicholas, Sr., April 17th, 1687, married Lourens Class Van Der Volgen. At the destruction of Schenectady, in 1690, he was carried away captive to Canada by the Indians, with whom he remained several years — so late as 1699 — acquiring a perfect knowledge of their language. After his return he was appointed interpreter for the province for the Five Nations, at a salary of 60 pounds per annum, which office he held until his decease in 1740.

Harriet, another daughter of Catalina Bradt, and widow of Helmer Otten, in July, 1676, married Ryer Schermerhorn, son of Jacob Janse Schermerhorn. Their immediate children have been herein before noticed. But it is deemed proper to note some particulars about their grandson, a son of their son John, named Ryer, who was a man of remarkable perseverance, energy and determination.

Ryer Schermerhorn was born on the 24th of September, 1716. June 8th, 1746, he married Maria, daughter of Corset Vedder, and secondly Maria, daughter of Ryckert Van Vranken, June 8th, 1750. He died March 6th, 1795, and had always resided at Schuylerberg (the Mills).

Richard, son of Ryer, born March 9th, 1755, married Annatje Van Vechten. His daughter Maria, July 18th, 1779, married Douwe J. Clute, and his daughter Helena, November 8th, 1781, married Nicholas P. Clute.

Maria, a daughter of Ryer, born November 10th, 1752, married Peter Van Guysling, in 1770.

Gerrit, a son of Ryer, born October 23d, 1763. On May 18th, 1787, married Mariatje, daughter of Arent Schermerhorn, Jr. He died in Rotterdam, March 24th, 1848, in his eighty-fifth year, leaving the following children: Jacomyntje, born August 10th, 1790; Maria, born March 27th, 1792; Jacob, born May 28th, 1794; Catharia, born September 27th, 1796.

Engeltie, a daughter of Ryer, born August 11th, 1762, married Class Schermerhorn. She died October 6th, 1834, aged seventy-three years, one month and twenty-five days.

Bartholomew, another son of Ryer, born August 24th, 1757. On the 10th day of July, 1785, married Annatje, daughter of John Teller. He died at his country seat in Rotterdam (the Mills), July 16th, 1845, aged eighty-seven years. His wife died May 4th, 1844, in her seventy-seventh year.

Ryer, their oldest son, was a printer, born December 8th, 1786. He married Gertrude Abel, and died November 11th, 1850.

John, their second son, born October 12th, 1787. On the 6th of April, 1806, married Gertrude, daughter of Andries Van Patten. He died February 29th, 1872.

Bartholomew Teller, born March 26th, 1807.

Andrew Vedder, born April 18th, 1809.

Ann Maria, born December 18th, 1811.

William, born June 30th, 1814.

Angelica, born February 25th, 1819.

Barnardus Freeman, born February 4th, 1812

Abram Van Patten, born July 9th, 1823.

Simon ————, born October 4th, 1823.

James ————, born February 17th, 1827.

Bartholomew, their son, was born December 8th, 1789

Jane, their daughter, born April 16th, 1792, married Nicholas Viele of Glenville. She died November 17th, 1860. He died November 24th, 1861.

Maria, a daughter of Bartholomew Schermerhorn, Sr., born July 26th, 1794, died April 5th, 1816.

Annatje, also a daughter, born August 14th, 1799, married Jacob DeForrest, Jr., of Rotterdam, and died April 27th, 1851, aged fifty-two years.

Bernardus Freeman, also a son of Bartholomew, born December 22d, 1801, died suddenly, August 25th, 1871, at a religious meeting in the First Dutch Reformed Church of Schenectady.

Catherine, a daughter of Bartholomew, born October 9th, 1804, married James B. Schermerhorn of Rotterdam.

Eliza Margaret, the youngest daughter of Bartholomew, born October 13th, 1811, married Martin DeForrest of Schenectady, September 19th, 1832.

It has been said that Ryer Schermerhorn, the father of Bartholomew, and grandson of the first Ryer, was a man of remarkeable perserverance, energy and determination. An illustration cannot be out of place at this point. It is handed down by well established authority, that shortly after the termination of the Revolutionary War, when the long contested suit of Ryer Schermerhorn against the Trustee of the Schenectady Patent was pending in our Supreme Court, Ryer Schermerhorn, the plaintiff, was unexpectedly informed by his counsel, Judge James Duane, that certain documents, then in the hands of one Appel, at New York, must be in court at Albany, within eight days from that time, or his cause would be greatly endangered. Bear in mind there were then no telegraphs, no steamboats, no stage routes, miserable roads, only a weekly mail, the sloops took generally two weeks, sometimes three, to accomplish the distance between Albany and New York. Nothing daunted, Schermerhorn started single-handed, in a canoe from Albany, went to New York, procured the necessary documents, and on the morning of the first session of court, much to the surprise and gratification of his counsel, delivered him the desired papers. This certainly would be called something of a feat for a young man of the present day.

Samuel Bradt, another son of Arent Andreas and Catalina, married Susanna, another daughter of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck.

Arent, their oldest child, built and resided in the ancient brick house, now standing southwest of the first lock above the city. He married Catrina, daughter of Jan Pieterse Mabie. She died in 1773, aged eighty-two years, two months and seventeen days. They had five sons and five daughters. Their youngest child, Angelica, born August 26th, 1733, married Daniel Campbell of Schenectady.

Margaret, a daughter of Samuel, born April 26th, 1686, married Captain Daniel Toll, who, on the 18th of July, 1748, was murdered by the French Indians at a place (in the present town of Glenville), called the Cleykuil, less than half a mile north of Beukendahl, where, on the same day, Nicholas DeGraff and twenty-four others were killed by the French and Indians. They had two sons and five daughters. Their second daughter, Elizabeth, born January 14th, 1721, married the Rev. Cornelius Van Santvoord. Their youngest daughter, Gertrude, born August 7th, 1729, married Jellis Clute.

Jacobus, second son of Samuel, born January 3d, 1695, married Margaret, daughter of Johannes Clute. They had five sons and three daughters. Their daughter Bata, born January 30th, 1732, married Abraham Watson.

Catalyntje, another daughter of Samuel, born December 21, 1701, married Jacobus Van Slyck, September 2d, 1732. He was colonel and commanding officer at Schenectady in 1754. He was a member of assembly in 1750 and 1771. He left two sons, Harmanus, born August 5th, 1733, and Samuel, born March 17th, 1738; and two daughters, Gertrude, born November 1st, 1734, and Jannetje, born June 13th 1736. This last married Philip Riley.

Susanna, also a daughter of Samuel, born January 2d, 1704, married Bartholomew Vrooman, March 11, 1726.

Andreas, another son of Samuel, born October 28th, 1705, married Anna DeGraff of Esopus, January 29th, 1743.

Samuel, son of Samuel, born April 30th, 1707, married Catharina [spelled Catharia in book], daughter of Arent Van Patten, October 10th, 1732. They had four sons and six daughters.

Ephraim, also a son of Samuel, born February 12th, 1712, married Clara, daughter of Philip Borsie, and widow of Cornelius Viele, Jr., in May, 1751. They had three daughters of whom Susanna married David Siger; Cornelia married Martin Van Benthuysen and Margaret married Nicholas Van Patten.

Dirck Bradt, another son of Arent Andrease and Catalina, born in 1661, married Maritie, daughter of Jan Baptist Van Eps. He inherited his stepfather's, Van Bockhoven's, farm in Niskayuna (Van Bockhoven was the third husband of his mother, Catalyntje). They had three sons and four daughters. Catalina, born June 27th, 1695, married in 1725, William Berrit. Maria, born September 22d, 1698, married Rykert Van Vranken. John, born May 22d, 1704, married, February 10th, 1732, Margaretta, daughter of Gerrit R. Van Vranken. Dirck, born July 20th, 1710, married, November 5th, 1732, Annatje, daughter of Arent D. Van Antwerpen.

Catalina, this venerable woman, the daughter of Andreas DeVos, deputy director of Rensselaerwyck and Veeders, hereinbefore noticed, was thrice married. First, in 1648, to Arent Andrease Bradt, to whom she bore all her children, except one to her second husband, Van Ditmars. Arent Andrease dying in 1662, on the 12th of November, 1664, she married Barent Jans Van Ditmars, who, with his son Cornelius, their only child, was killed at the massacre in 1690. Cornelius had married Catharina, a daughter of John Alexander Glen of Scotia, who, after his death, married Gerrit Lansing, Jr. In 1691, Catalina married Class Janse Van Bockhoven, her third husband. He made his will January 11th, 1698, devising his whole estate equally to the six Bradt children of his wife Catalina. She survived him and died in 1712, aged about eighty-four years.

It has been stated that Andries Arent Bradt (brewer, son of Catalina), and one of his children, were killed at the massacre in 1690; but he left two children surviving him, Bathsheda, a daughter subsequently married to Charles Burns, and Captain Arent Andrease Bradt, a son, who, under then existing laws of the colony, was the right of his grandfather, Arent Andries, one of the first settlers of Schenectady.

There are no means of ascertaining accurately when Captain Andrees was born, but with the knowledge that his father, Arent Andrees, was killed in 1690, at the age of thirty-seven years, and that Captain Bradt was married March 4th, 1705, to Jannetje, daughter of John Hendrickse Vrooman (brother of the heroic Adam Vrooman, the bold defender of his home in 1690), it is quite safe to assume approximately that he was born about the year 1680, and as he died in 1767, he must have been, at the time of his death, about the age of eighty-seven; tradition hands it down as about ninety years.

Captain Bradt was one of the most remarkable citizens of Schenectady's olden time, and was distinguished for marked decision and probity of character. He was a member of the Provincial Assembly in 1745, and a trustee of the township of Schenectady from 1715 to 1767, when he died, (a period of fifty-two years), being for many years sole surviving trustee. Well knowing the legal difficulties and contentions which had previously existed, through the claims of Ryer Schermerhorn, his relative and a former surviving trustee, to ownership, to prevent a recurrence of such claims and litigation, he, with great care and solemnity, executed a will of date March 11th, 1765, which was admitted to probate at Albany, November 19th, 1770.

It became the sheet-author of Schenectady's common land interests in subsequent legal conflicts with Ryer Schermerhorn, and a fictitious set of trustees, appointed by him as the successor of his father, John, and his grandfather, Ryer, Sr., the old surviving trustee.

Captain Bradt built and occupied, until his death, an ancient house with a brick front, standing on the north side of State Street, near Washington Avenue (on his ancestral village lot), being the building once occupied by Mr. J. W. McMillan for his marble works. Its appearance was truly venerable. Its unpretentious Dutch gable fronting on State Street was erected of brick said to be imported from Holland. The building was deep in proportion to its frontage, its pitch-pine timbers were immense, and apparently not affected by age, unless as they seem hardened and solidified. It was taken down a few years ago.

This was unquestionably the oldest building remaining in the city of Schenectady, but precisely when erected, cannot now be determined. Old settlers have long called it the oldest dwelling, and unless it be the Scotia mansion, erected by John Alexander Glen, in 1713, (Mr. Glen was thirty years older than Captain Bradt, and a contemporary with him), the Bradt building was probably the oldest dwelling standing in the former province of New York, unless we also except the old Pemberton building standing on the corner of North Pearl and Columbia Streets, in the city of Albany, believed to have been erected in 1710, now taken down.

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