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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Becker

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 628-629 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

This family early appears in the records of New Amsterdam and the Hudson Valley. Their course may be marked in their northward migration from New Amsterdam by descendants still to be found in the cities and towns along the river. They are found in the earliest records of Beverwyck and Albany counties, where there have been many men of prominence bearing the name.

(I) Jan Jurianse Becker (Bekker) in 1656 was clerk at Fort Casimir (on the Delaware). He sold liquor to the Indians, which brought him into conflict with the authorities. In 1660 he was deprived of the office and went to New Amsterdam, where in the same year he had leave to "keep a school." In 1663 he was an inhabitant of Greenbush (Rensselaer); afterwards was notary public and schoolmaster for the youths of Beverwyck and "esteemed very capable that way." He was city chamberlain, 1686, and was an attorney, as the early records show. He made his will August 3, 1694, in which he speaks of son Johannes and daughter Martina (wife of Willem Hogan), who was made administratrix of his estate, December 16, 1697.

(II) Johannes, son of Jan Jurianse Becker, married Anna Van der Zee and had children: Marken, Hilletje, Johannes, see forward, Hilletje (2), Storm, Gerritt, Elizabeth Albertus, Annatjie and Pieter.

(III) Johannes (2), son of Johannes (1) and Anna (Van der Zee) Becker, married Sara Van Arnhem and had children: Johannes, Abraham, see forward, Cornelia, Isaac, Nicholas and Cornelius.

(IV) Abraham, son of Johannes (2) and Sarah (Van Arnhem) Becker, married Elizabeth Van der Zee. He settled in what is now the town of Westerloo [Westerlo?], Albany county, New York, prior to the revolution, where he was known among the very earliest settlers.

(V) Willem (Wilhelm), son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Van der Zee) Becker, was baptized March 12, 1781. He was a farmer of the town of Guilderland, Albany county. He married Sophia McMichael. Children: Peter, John, Alexander, Nicholas, Angelica, Maria, Eliza, George, William, Henry.

(VI) John, son of Wilhelm Becker, was born on the homestead farm in Guilderland, 1814, and followed the business of a general farmer in that town all his life. He married, 1838, Margaret Ogsbury, daughter of one of Guilderland's pioneer families. Children:

  1. David, married Emma Keenholts.
  2. Angelica, married Silas Hilton.
  3. Abram, see forward.
  4. Edward, married Alida Crounze.
  5. Sanford, married Jennette Ogsbury.

(VII) Abram, son of John and Margaret (Ogsbury) Becker, was born on the old Becker homestead in Guilderland, 1843, died in Albany, New York, 1892. He was educated in the town schools, and for many years followed farming. In 1877 he located in Albany, where his later years were passed. He married, 1864, Hester, daughter of Henry P. Shaver, who was the only son of Peter Shaver, of Guilderland, and a grandson of Henry Shaver, who was born February 14, 1758, and served in the revolutionary war as an enlisted soldier of the First Regiment, New York Continental Line, under Colonel Goosen Van Schaick, and in the Fifteenth Regiment, Albany County Militia, under Colonel Peter Vrooman. He married Alida Bradt. Peter Shaver, son of Henry and Alida (Bradt) Shaver, was born in New Scotland (then Bethelehem), Albany county, New York, July 19, 1795, died in Guilderland 1886. His parents settled in Guilderland when he was eight years of age, and his subsequent life was passed within a few miles of his birthplace. He served as a private in the war of 1812, and was a man of prominence in his town. He was an active worker in the Whig party and attracted the attention of such men as William H. Seward and Thurlow Weed. Many lucrative public positions were offered him, but were always declined. From 1842 to 1846 he represented Guilderland on the board of Albany county supervisors, and was a member of the constitutional convention of 1846. Although possessed of little education beyond that obtained in the little log schoolhouse of his early days, he had gained by close observation and reading a fund of information that made him a most formidable opponent in debate or argument. He was of unusually sound judgment and a wise counsellor. He had obtained a good knowledge of law and was often chosen as referee in important cases. He married, in 1817, Catherine Banker, daughter of Hon. Cornelius H. Waldron. Children: Henry P., father of Hester (Shaver) Becker, and Hester. Children of Abram and Hester (Shaver) Becker:

  1. Allen J., born June 16, 1865; married Elizabeth Bryan, and has a daughter, Jessie Isabelle.
  2. John Austin.

(VIII) John Austin, second son of Abram and Hester (Shaver) Becker, was born in Guilderland, Albany county, New York, October 31, 1867. He was educated in the city schools of Albany, finishing with the high school. He began his business career as clerk with a firm of grain merchants, and has since devoted himself to that business. In 1891 he began as an independent dealer in Albany, and so continues. He has been successful in his undertakings and has attained a high position in commercial and financial circles. He is director of the First National Bank, trustee of the Exchange Savings Bank, both of Albany, and a member of the Chicago Board of Trade. He married, January 9, 1901, Minnie Belle, daughter of David and Elizabeth Skinner. Children:

  1. Elizabeth Skinner, born November 7, 1901;
  2. John Austin (2), January 2, 1906.

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