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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
DeGraff

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1275-1277 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 De Graffs of Amsterdam, New York, descend through the paternal line from Louis IX, "Saint Louis," King of France, and the blood of many nations has mingled to produce the present stock. Representatives of this family have served in every war in this country from the early Indian to the Spanish-American. Tillers of the soil, they have invariably been owners of the land they cultivated, from the days of the first grant, which they came up the Mohawk to possess. In church, state, business or war, they have borne well their part, and brought no disgrace to the brave soldier, Captain De Graff, who sleeps by the banks of the Mohawk. Through the maternal lines they trace to Cornelius Van Slyke, peacemaker with the Indians; Jan Bartense Wemp, who was granted by Governor Stuyvesant, November 12, 1662, the first patent for land, a large island of eighty-two acres, west of Schenectady; Maritie Myndertse, killed by the Indians in the massacre of 1690; Folkie Veeder, an early settler of Schenectady, New York, farm patented in 1664; and a number of others of whom mention is made hereinafter. They were sturdy pioneers, and through their pluck, suffering and the hardships they endured, helped to build the great Empire State.

(I) Louis IX, who reigned as King of France from 1226 to 1270, married Marguerite, daughter of Raymond, Count of Provence, and had six sons:

  1. Prince Louis, who died young;
  2. Prince Philip, who became Philip III of France, reigning from 1270 until 1285;
  3. John Tristan, Count de Nevers;
  4. Prince Peter;
  5. Prince George, and
  6. Robert, Count of Clermont, of whom further.

(II) Robert, Count of Clermont, son of King Louis IX and Marguerite of Provence, married Beatrice, Heiress de Bourbon, in 1272, and founded the House of Bourbon.

(III) Louis, Duc de Bourbon, founded the Ducal branch of Bourbon. Children:

  1. Charles (see forward);
  2. Blanche, married Bertrand de Castile;
  3. Jeanne, married Charles V, King of France.

(IV) Charles de Bourbon, born in 1340, was Charles I, Duc de Bourbon, and from him was descended:

(VI) Bertrand de Bourbon, Prince de la Roche de la Graffe, died in 1548. He was the owner of the Chateau de la Graffe, near l'Archimbault, and left his possessions to his son.

(VII) Charles de Bourbon, son of the preceding, was born April 7, 1527, Prince de la Roche de la Graffe, and was Charles I, Duc de Graffe, from 1550 until his death in 1572. From his father he inherited the Chateau de la Graffe and some other possessions situated near l'Archimbault, in the Province of Bourbonnais, and in 1550 his uncle, Louis de Bourbon, Prince de la Roche de la Guerreau, died, and left him Chateau de la Guerreau in the Auvergne mountains, and Chateau de l'Archimbault, the main possession of the Princess de la Guerreau, in which place Charles was born, and some possessions left by his grandmother, Blanche de Montpensier. In this year (1550) he was created Duc de Graffe and founded the ducal house of Graffe, the surviving branch of the younger House of Bourbon. He married Jeanne de Auvergne, a descendant of the Counts of Auvergne, the same year, and resided in the l'Archimbault country until 1572, when he went to Paris along with the others of the Huguenot leaders of France, and was killed at the massacre of St. Bartholomew, August 24, 1572.

(VIII) Louis de Bourbon, Prince de Graffe, was born December 27, 1551, and died October 29, 1628. He was Louis I, Duc de Graffe, from 1572 until 1628. He was born at Chateau de la Roche, and entered the Huguenot army with his father in 1568. He escaped from the massacre of St. Bartholomew, became the surviving heir to the House of Graffe, and returned to l'Archimbault in 1573. He married the Duchesse Jeanne de Longwy, a descendant of the Montpensiers, December 15, 1573. He was aide to Henri de Bourbon, who later became Henri IV, King of France, and his confidential friend and adviser, and fought by his side through the long battles between Catholics and Huguenots in the latter part of the fifteenth century. He resided at l'Archimbault until the breaking out of the Huguenot war in the sixteenth century, in the reign of Louis, when he removed to La Rochelle, and was killed on the day of the surrender of the siege of La Rochelle, in which defense his two sons and daughter lost their lives, leaving his possessions to his grandson, Louis III, who became Duc de Graffe. Children:

  1. Louis de Bourbon, Prince de Graffe, born at Chateau de l'Archimbault, October 31, 1577, died at the defense of La Rochelle, October 27, 1628; married, 1606, Charlotte de Chatillon, and had one son, Louis, mentioned above.
  2. Andrias (see forward).
  3. Charles, Prince de Longwy-Graffe and Prince de l'Archimbault, born June 8, 1587, and killed at La Rochelle, October 28, 1628.
  4. Beatrice de Bourbon, born June 17, 1599, was killed in the defense of La Rochelle, 1628; married Duc de Rohen, one of the Huguenot leaders at this defense.

(IX) Andrias de Bourbon, Duc de Andre de Graffe, was born at the Chateau de la Guerreau, April 17, 1582. He was captured in a rebellion in Eastern France about 1600 and taken to Brussels or Holland. He was a trader in Holland for the Dutch East India Company and died in 1623, leaving three sons: Andries, Cornelius and Regnier.

(X) Andries de Graff, son of the preceding, was also with the Dutch East India Company, and in 1624 or 1625, set sail for New Amsterdam in his own ship, the "Claas Aaron." His wife was Anneke Jans Weber, granddaughter of King William IV, of Holland. He and his two sons were brickmakers in 1661.

(XI) Claas Andries, son of Andries and Anneke Jans (Weber) de Graff, was the first settler west of Scotia. He had the Indian title of Andriucha. He married Elizabeth, daughter of William Brouwer, who was of Beverick [Beverwyck] in 1657.

(XII) Arenout, son of Claas Andries and Elizabeth (Brouwer) De Graff, married Areantse, daughter of Claas Van Der Volgen, who owned property in Schenectady in 1662, and granddaughter of Teunis Cornelius Swart, who bought his farm in 1664.

(XIII) Nicholas, son of Arenout and Areantse (Van Der Volgen) De Graff, was born in 1727, and his will was proved in 1771. He married Leah Gonsolus.

(XIV) Captain Emanuel, son of Nicholas and Leah (Gonsolus) De Graff, was born in 1751, and died in 1824. He served bravely as an officer during the revolutionary war, and was buried on the banks of the Mohawk river, where for many years his grave was unmarked. Recently the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution have interested themselves, have succeeded in identifying the spot, and have had it suitably marked. Captain Emanuel De Graff married Rebecca, born in 1757, died in 1792, daughter of Joseph Gonsolus, and granddaughter of Don Manuel Gonsolus, a Huguenot, who came from Holland in his own ship in 1690.

(XV) Emanuel E., son of Captain Emanuel and Rebecca (Gonsolus) De Graff, was born in 1789, and died in 1844. He married Jane Teller, born in 1738, died in 1840, at the age of one hundred and two years. She was of the sixth generation in descent from William Teller, born in 1620, the first of his name in New York, and a merchant in Albany for fifty years. His son, Johannes Teller, was captured at the time of the massacre of Schenectady in 1690, and taken to Canada.

(XVI) Emanuel, son of Emanuel E. and Jane (Teller) De Graff, was born in 1810 and died in 1865. He was always a farmer and spent his life in the house built by his father, with the exception of two years passed in Schenectady. He married Maria Myndersse, born in 1813, died in 1889, a great-great-great-granddaughter of Myndert Myndersee, the immigrant ancestor, who came from Iveren, Holland, and owned the corner of State street and Broadway, Albany, New York. His son, Johannes Myndersee, born in 1670, died in 1757, established the rights of Schenectady settlers to trade with the Indians, by suit, before the supreme court of the province in 1723, and won the suit. Children:

  1. John Teller, see forward;
  2. Myndert M.;
  3. Nicholas J., first lieutenant in Company D, One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment New York Volunteers, during the civil war, and brevetted captain for "gallant and meritorious conduct on the field of battle;"
  4. Elizabeth;
  5. Emanuel E.

(XVII) John Teller, son of Emanuel and Maria (Myndersee) De Graff, was born in the house in which he now resides, on the banks of the Mohawk, October 11, 1836. The land is a portion of the old De Graff grant issued by King George III, and the house was built by his grandfather in 1804. John Teller De Graff was educated in the public schools and for two years attended the Amsterdam Academy. He lived with his parents on the farm and at the death of his father assumed the management. He was a strictly up-to-date farmer, and by using all the improvements of the day built up one of the most valuable farms of the Mohawk Valley. He laid out and built up the village of "Tellers" on his homestead farm, which is fast becoming one of the desirable residential suburbs of Amsterdam, New York, as it is favorably located on the electric railway and the Mohawk turnpike.

Mr. John T. De Graff was always interested and active in politics and held many offices of trust and honor. He was supervisor for four years, first elected in 1880, when the city was a part of the town, and was the last supervisor to represent the whole city of Amsterdam. He is esteemed a good business man and a citizen of high repute.

John Teller De Graff married, November 10, 1869, Mary, born in 1839, died in 1904, daughter of James and Lura (Bartlett) Reid. They have two children:

  1. Edward Teller (see forward).
  2. Luella, born in November, 1875; married David D. C. De Graff, a real estate dealer in Amsterdam, in which city they have their home, and they have one daughter, Lura, born in 1900.

James Reid (see above), born in 1809, died in 1875, was the son of Edward Reid, born in 1776, died in 1856, and the grandson of Edward Reid, who came from Speddock, Scotland, accompanied by his entire family. Lura (Bartlett) Reid, wife of James Reid, was a daughter of Josiah Bartlett, born in 1757, granddaughter of Nathaniel Bartlett; great-granddaughter of Josiah Bartlett; great-great-granddaughter of Ichabod Bartlett; great-great-great-granddaughter of Benjamin Bartlett; and great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Robert Bartlett, who came to America in 1623 in the ship "Ann." Robert Bartlett married Mary, daughter of Richard Warren, who came to Plymouth in the "Mayflower," with the first company that landed at Plymouth Rock, December 22, 1620.

(XVIII) Edward Teller, only son and eldest child of John Teller and Mary Jane (Reid) De Graff, was born on the farm on which he new resides, December 3, 1870. He received a good education at the public schools and the Amsterdam Academy, after which he entered the banking business, receiving the position of teller of the Farmers' National Bank, at the age of twenty-one years. He filled this position until he resigned it in order to give all his attention to the standard bred poultry business, after serving in the bank for a period of twenty years. Through systematic advertising and scientific breeding, Mr. De Graff has built up a reputation for the best Rhode Island Red fowls on earth, and his "Book on Reds," which he publishes annually, is acknowledged to be the international authority on all subjects pertaining to Reds and the highest grade poultry literature ever published on earth. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party, and he is a member of the Presbyterian church. His fraternal affiliations are with the Royal Arcanum.

Mr. De Graff married, October 23, 1895, Anna, born in Amsterdam, New York, December 8, 1873, daughter of William J. and Julia (Matthews) Taylor. William J. Taylor was born June 8, 1835, died January 29, 1894. He was for many years cashier of the Farmers' National Bank of Amsterdam; his wife, Julia (Matthews) Taylor (whose family traces back to the Yost family, pioneers of Johnstown, New York, in Sir William Johnson's time), was born October 24, 1850, and died May 28, 1905. Mrs. De Graff was educated in the private schools in Amsterdam, finishing at Dana Hall, Wellesley College, Massachusetts. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. De Graff:

  1. John Teller, May 25, 1898;
  2. Margaret Anna, February 19, 1907.

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