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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Brass

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 797-801 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.]

The progenitor of the Brass family of Albany, New York, was Charles W. Brass, born in Bremen, Germany. He came to the United States at an early age and was connected with a prosperous mercantile business in New York City. His residence was in Brooklyn, New York, where he died April 19, 1863, aged 45 years. He was buried in Bunton Thor cemetery in his native city, Bremen. He married Anna, daughter of Dr. John W. and granddaughter of Dr. William Bay, prominent physicians of Albany, New York. From 1863 to 1869 Mrs. Anna (Bay) Brass resided in Munich, Germany, removing in the latter year to Binghamton, New York, where her son was educated. She died April 20, 1892, aged sixty-two years.

Mrs. Anna (Bass) Brass, was of distinguished ancestry on maternal as well as paternal lines, being descended from Governor Robert Treat, of Connecticut, and from Dr. Samuel Stringer (of further mention), and through his wife from the Van Der Heydens so closely connected with Albany county and the early settlement of Troy. Dr. Samuel Stringer was a native of Maryland and was educated in Virginia where a medical school had just been started, and subsequently in Philadelphia. He served in the medical department of the British army in 1755, receiving his appointment from Governor Shirley. He accompanied General Abercrombie in 1758 and was present when Lord Howe fell in advancing to the attack on Ticonderoga. He served with the British army until the war closed, and then settled in Albany, New York, where he married and remained in the practice of his profession until the outbreak of the revolution. He received from congress the appointment of director-general of hospitals in the northern department. In his capacity of medical director he accompanied the army for the invasion of Canada. He was the friend and family physician of General Schuyler, and suffered ill favor with him. He was removed from his position, which called forth an angry remonstrance from the general to congress. In 1777 he returned to Albany where his after life was spent, and died there July 11, 1817, in his eighty-third year. He was a unique figure as he always adhered to the dress of the "olden time," cocked hat, knee breeches and shoes with large buckles. He was a physician and surgeon of high distinction and of high local repute as a citizen. He was a charter member of Masters Lodge, No. 5, Free and Accepted Masons, Albany, and worshipful master 1768 to 1781, excepting years 72-75 and 76. In 1776 he purchased the land upon which the Masonic Temple now stands and later deeded it to his lodge. He married Rachel Van Der Heyden, of the early Dutch family of that name. On the paternal side Anna Bay was of Huguenot ancestry. The forbears fled from persecution in France to Holland, thence going to Ireland. They later emigrated to the American colonies, settling in Maryland in 1720.

(The Bay Line)

John Bay, son of the emigrant, was born in Maryland in 1743. He was educated for the law, graduated from Princeton College, and settled in Albany, New York, where he practiced his profession as early as 1785, when his name appears on a list of lawyers present at a "Court of Common Pleas held for the city and county of Albany at the City Hall in Albany, Tuesday, January 10, 1785." He was in Albany much earlier than that date, as he had a son born there in 1773, and during the revolution was a member of the committee of public safety there. In 1779-80, he was a member of assembly from Albany county. He was a member of assembly from Columbia county in 1788-94-95, and presidential elector in 1792. He was an able and accomplished lawyer, a man of courteous and cultivated manners, while his home was an abode of a most generous and open-hearted hospitality. He died in Claverack, Columbia county, New York, in 1818. Claverack had been his home since 1785, and his legal place of business since 1786 when he was admitted to the Columbia county bar. He married Ann Williams, who died in Albany in 1845, at the age of nearly one hundred and two years, and had issue.

(II) Dr. William, son of John Bay, was born in Albany, New York, October 14, 1773, died September 7, 1865, just as he was rounding out his ninety-second year. While yet a lad his father removed to Claverack where he obtained his early and preparatory education. He attended Princeton College (his father's alma mater), where he remained until his senior year, when ill health compelled him to relinquish his college course and forego his degree. In 1794, having decided upon the profession of medicine, he became a private student of Dr. William Pitt Smith, an eminent physician and health officer of New York, who died in the discharge of his duty in 1795. During the four months that elapsed before the appointment of Dr. Smith's successor, young Dr. Bay filled the position. On being relieved he placed himself under the preceptorship of Dr. Samuel Latham Mitchell, with whom he remained until his graduation in May, 1797. He at once began practice at his home in Claverack where he gained great skill and reputation. In 1810 he removed to Albany where he associated with Dr. McClelland, who died a few months later leaving Dr. Bay in a field of large practice. He became a leading practitioner and was long known as a skillful and experienced physician, a sympathizing friend, a safe counsellor and a faithful Christian gentleman. Upon the completion of his half century of practice the members of the profession of Albany gave him a public dinner in honor of the occasion and as a token of appreciation. Only two physicians of the city were absent from the dinner which was given in Congress Hall, March 30, 1847. He continued in active practice thirteen years after the dinner, making a period of sixty-three years in all. In 1797 he married Catherine, a sister of judge William W. Van Ness, of Columbia county, and a descendant of Cornelis Hendrickse Van Ness, the founder. They lived to celebrate not only their golden wedding, but eighteen years longer. She died January 24, 1864. For sixty-five years they had been members of the same church and they lived lives of perfect devotion. "Never shall I forget the scene as the aged husband, with tears in his eyes and a sad oppression upon his heart, held the hand of his wife as her spirit was struggling to be released from its earthly tabernacle and soar away to the skies. But how short was their separation. * * * In a little more than a year and a half he follows her to the realms of the blessed." (From Dr. B. P. Statts' address before the Albany County Medical Society). Dr. Statts said further, "During a residence of forty-five years in this city I have never heard a word of reproach against him, but on the contrary have heard hundreds bless him for his kindness and good treatment towards them. May we all live as he lived and die as he died."

(III) Dr. John W., son of Dr. William and Catherine (Van Ness) Bay, was born in Claverack, Columbia county, New York, November 26, 1799. He entered Princeton College, and later was graduated in medicine from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, in 1823. He located in Albany, where he rose to eminence in his profession. He practiced there about twenty-five years. He filled the office of censor for two years and was elected president of the Albany County Medical Society in 1837. In 1849 he abandoned his profession and spent several years in California. He died in 1877. He married, June 2, 1823, Elizabeth, daughter of Judge Richard S. Treat (see Treat VI), of Albany, and a granddaughter of Dr. Samuel Stringer, of Albany, previously recorded.

(IV) Anna, daughter of Dr. John W. and Elizabeth (Treat) Bay, was born October 13, 1829. She married (first) September 16, 1852 Charles W. Brass, who died April 19, 1863. She married (second) August 21, 1865, Louis Stahl. They settled in Binghamton, New York, and later removed to Seward, Nebraska. Children of first marriage:

  1. An infant, born and died November 25, 1853;
  2. Rev. William Charles John, born August 22, 1857;
  3. Emily C. E., born November 26, 1858;
  4. Richard William (q. v.).

Children of second marriage:

  1. George Louis Stahl, born June 14, 1866; died July 1, 1890;
  2. Louis Stahl, July 12, 1869, died August 16, 1869.

(The Treat Line)

The Treat family was founded in Connecticut colony by Richard Treat, who was born in 1584 in Pitminster, Somerset, England, baptized in the Pitminster church, August 28, 1584. He was of Wethersfield, Connecticut, 1669, and was living October 11 of that year. The inventory of his estate was presented to court March 3, 1670. He married, April 27, 1615, in Pitminster, England, Alice, baptized May 10, 1594, in Pitminster, daughter of Hugh Gaylard. There is no record of the death of Alice Gaylard, but she survived her husband. Richard Treat was the son of Robert, and grandson of Richard and Joanna Trott, all of Pitminster. The name was spelled various ways in early New England records — Trott, Trotte, Trat, Treat, Treate and in other ingenious ways. Richard Treat attained social prominence in Wethersfield, Connecticut, where he was known as "Mr." He is of record there 1631. He was deputy in 1644, and annually re-elected fourteen successive years thereafter. He was elected assistant, or magistrate, eight terms, 1657 to 1665, and was one of the patentees to whom King Charles II granted a charter April 23, 1662, for the colony of Connecticut. He was a member of Governor Winthrop's council, 1663-64. He was a man of wealth for the times, and owned a great deal of land. He and his wife Alice had ten children, all born and baptized in Pitminster, England.

(II) Governor Robert Treat, son of Richard and Alice (Gaylard) Treat, was born in Pitminster, Somerset, England, where he was baptized February 25, 1624-25; died in Milford, Connecticut, July 12, 1710. He removed from Wethersfield to Milford, Connecticut, in 1639. In 1653 he was deputy and lieutenant. In 1665 he was again deputy and captain of the train band. In 1666 he went to Newark, New Jersey. There he was town clerk and for five terms, 1667-1672, was elected to the colonial legislature. In 1672 he returned to Connecticut, where he was placed second in command of the forces of New Haven county and commissioned major. He led an unusually active and useful life ever after, both in military and civil offices. He was one of the foremost men of his day and grappled with hard and trying conditions successfully. His public life may be thus summed up: Deputy from Milford six years; from Newark to the New Jersey assembly five years; magistrate in the New Haven general court and assistant in that of Connecticut for eight years; to these twenty years in legislative halls must be added seventeen years in the chair of deputy governor, and thirteen in that of governor, not including the two years under Governor Andros. His incumbency in the two offices for over thirty years is not equalled in the history of Connecticut or any other state where the office was elective. He was a man of wealth, with which he was very liberal. He married (first) Jane Tapp; (second) Mrs. Elizabeth (Hollingsworth) Bryan, being her third husband. He had by his first wife eight children.

(III) Captain Joseph Treat, son of Governor Robert and Jane (Tapp) Treat, was born in Milford, Connecticut, September 17, 1662, died August 9, 1721. He was a noted Indian fighter. He was sergeant, ensign, lieutenant and captain of the Milford company; deputy, justice of the peace, commissioner and a member of the church. He married (first) Frances, daughter of Richard and Mary (Pantry) Bryan, and granddaughter of Alexander Bryan, the emigrant. He married, (second) (his father, Governor Treat, performing the ceremony) Mrs. Elizabeth Merwin. He had seven children by his first, and five by his second marriage.

(IV) Rev. Richard Treat, son of Captain Joseph and his second wife, Elizabeth (Merwin) Treat, was born in Milford, Connecticut, September 28, 1708, died in Abington, Pennsylvania, November 29, 1778. He was graduated from Yale, class of 1725, and received from his alma mater, in 1776, the degree of S.T.D. He was admitted to full communion in the Milford church in 1730. He preached three years in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and on December 30, 1731, was ordained over the church at Abington, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Philadelphia Presbytery, 1732-42. He was a very pious man and a peacemaker, dying full of good works. He was one of the trustees of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) from its charter organization in 1748 until his death. He married (first) Mary Thomas; (second) Mrs. Rebecca Leech, widow of Isaac Leech. There were five children of the first marriage.

(V) Rev. Joseph Treat, eldest son of Rev. Richard and Mary (Thomas) Treat, was baptized in Abington, Pennsylvania, April 21, 1734, died 1797. He was graduated from Princeton in 1757. From 1758-60 he was tutor in the college. He was licensed to preach by the New Brunswick, New Jersey, Presbytery in 1760, and he supplied the pulpit in New Brunswick during 1760-62. In October, 1762, he was called to the First Presbyterian Church of New York City as assistant to the pastor, Rev. Dr. Bostwick. Upon the death of the latter, October, 1763, he succeeded to the pastorate, which he continued until the summer of 1784. He was an ardent patriot and held a commission as chaplain in Colonel Malcom's regiment, issued May 8, 1776. The New York convention, August 26, 1776, resolved "That Mr. Treat continue his services as chaplain to Colonel Lasher's and Colonel Malcom's battalions in Brigadier-General Scott's brigade; his pay to commence from the time of calling said brigade into service." After the war he preached and organized new churches in New Jersey. He was a popular and successful minister and preacher. He married Mrs. Elizabeth (Bryant) Woodruff, buried in Albany, New York, where her gravestone reads, "Mother of Richard Treat," and her age is given as seventy-six years. They had four children.

(VI) Judge Richard Samuel Treat, son of Rev. Joseph and Elizabeth (Bryant-Woodruff) Treat, was born in New York City, August 18, 1769, died in Albany, New York, May 22, 1837. He was a prominent and influential citizen of Albany. March 13, 1826, he was appointed judge of the court of common pleas by the governor of New York. The same year he was elected to represent his ward (third) in the Albany city council. He married, in 1794, Gertrude Stringer, who died February 15, 1839, in her sixty-eighth year. She was the daughter of Dr. Samuel and Rachel (Van Der Heyden) Stringer, before mentioned. Children of Judge Richard S. and Gertrude (Stringer) Treat:

  1. Elizabeth, born January 30, 1795, died March 10, 1837; married, June 2, 1823, Dr. John W. Bay (see Bay III).
  2. Samuel Stringer (1), died in infancy.
  3. Samuel Stringer (2), born April 27, 1798, died February 26, 1832, unmarried; graduated from College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, M.D., class of 1822; practiced in Albany in association with Dr. J. Eights; died of consumption, leaving a large estate inherited from his grandfather, Dr. Samuel Stringer.
  4. Rachel Stringer, died unmarried.
  5. Richard Joseph, born May 30, 1802, died May 5, 1839. He was a merchant of Albany.

(VII) Elizabeth, daughter of Judge Richard S. and Gertrude (Stringer) Treat, married Dr. John W. Bay.

(VIII) Anna, daughter of Dr. John W. and Elizabeth (Treat) Bay, married Charles W. Brass and had four children.

(IX) Richard William, son of Charles W. and Anna (Bay) Brass, was born in Brooklyn, New York, January 28, 1861. He is of the second generation of his name in the United States, fifth in the line of Bay and Stringer and ninth in the line of Treat. His mother lived in Munich, Germany, for a few years after his birth, and later came to Binghamton, New York, where he received his education and began the study of law under M. J. Keeler. He removed to Albany, New York, where he completed his legal studies under Judge A. B. Vorhees, and was admitted to the New York bar at the fall term held in Saratoga in 1883. May 1, 1884, he formed a law partnership with Judge Vorhees (his old preceptor), which continued until 1888. Since that time he has practiced alone, occupying offices in connection with E. W. Rankin. He has a satisfactory practice, is trustee of estates and administers important trusts. He is also director and was formerly for fifteen years treasurer of the Brandow Printing Company. He is a member of New York State and Albany County Bar associations; the Albany Camera and Aurania clubs; the Albany Burgess Corps, Old Guard Company B, Washington Continentals, Albany Institute and Historical and Art Society, Philip Livingston Chapter, Sons of the Revolution; Masters Lodge, No. 5, Free and Accepted Masons, and Albany Chamber of Commerce. He is a Republican in politics, and belongs to the Unconditional and Capital City Republican clubs. He was elected in the fall of 1907 justice of the city court, of Albany, New York, for the term of six years beginning January 1, 1908, and is highly regarded in the city, where he is well known. He married, June 2, 1886, Harriet C., daughter of Jacob Neville, a merchant of Middleburg, Schoharie county, New York. Children: Harold Neville; Gertrude Stringer, deceased; Janet Elizabeth; Karl Van Ness.

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