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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Gansevoort

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 65-72 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 original ancestors [of] the Gansevoort families of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys in New York state lived in a town called Ganzfort, which was situated on the borders of Germany and Holland. Wesselus Gansefortius, otherwise known in his own day as Wessel Gansevoort and also as John Wessel Gansevoort, was born at Groningen, Holland, in the year 1419, in a house standing in the Heerestraat, near the Caroliweg, and which can be recognized by the family arms which remain to this day in the front stone. The arms themselves appear to present an emblem of agriculture and commerce, from which it may be assumed that the Gansevoorts of early times were engaged in those avocations. And besides the family name of Gansevoort (doubtless derived from the village of Ganzfort, in Westfalen), he bore in later times among men of eminent learning the name of Basilius, and the title of Lux Mundi (light of the world), and also the name of Magister Contradictionis (Master of Contradictions or Debates). For this latter title he is probably indebted to his continued attacks against the errors and abuses of the church. He also has been referred to and mentioned as the forerunner of Luther, and he favored the school of absolute nominalism in philosophy. He was a leader in the pre-Reformation movement in Holland, and ranked among the most learned men of his time; was an intimate friend in early life of Thomas á Kempis, studied at several of the great schools of Europe, and was offered and declined a professorship at Heidelberg. At Paris he was the instructor of two men who afterward achieved wide fame, Reuchlin and Agricola, and subsequently he visited in Rome when Sixtus IV. was Pope. He had been on terms of intimacy with Sixtus when the latter was superior-general of the Franciscans. It is related that he was asked by Sixtus what favor he could do for him, and in answer Wessel asked for a Greek and Hebrew Bible from the Vatican library. "You shall have it," said the Pope, "but what a simpleton you are; why did you not ask for a bishopric or something of that kind?" "Because I do not want it," replied Wessel, a reply truly characteristic of his high tone and independent spirit. On religious subjects his views were broad and deep, and he promulgated with boldness the doctrines of the Reformation forty years in advance of Luther, who held his character and attainments in high esteem and who published an edition of part of his works. His name, still retained by the family in this country, is reverenced in Groningen, his native city, where in 1862 an ancient tablet to his memory was restored by the authorities of the city and placed in the large church with demonstrations of public regard.

The Hon. Harmanus Bleecker, when minister to The Hague, stated that there was no doubt of the descent of the family from this philosopher, and papers in possession of the family of the late Judge Peter Gansevoort, of Albany, show the fact more clearly. In 1860 his tomb at Groningen was visited by judge Gansevoort and his son, and a few days previous to their arrival the remains had been disinterred and were lying in the cloister of the Holy Virgins, to which place they had been removed from the chapel of the University to make room for modern improvements. His tomb also had been removed and was lying in pieces ready to be reërected. It was of the medieval style and surmounted by a bust of Wessel, such as was usually placed over tombs of that description. The bust was of marble, but, like that of Shakespeare at Stratford, it had been painted in different colors. It showed him to be a man of intellect and benevolence, and the inscription on the tomb was elaborate and magniloquent. The bones of the body were in perfect preservation and were regarded by those in charge with great reverence, and they were reinterred with ceremony. It is a somewhat singular fact that at the time of the arrival there of Judge Gansevoort and his son, the house of their ancestor Wessel Gansevoort was being demolished to make room for a more modern building. It contained above the front door a marble slab on which was carved the same coat-of-arms as that borne by the family in America, viz.: 4 quarters, a ship and wagon.

Wesselius Gansefortius died October 9, 1489. It is said that during his last sickness he complained that through various considerations and reflections he felt his belief in the great truths of the Christian religion shaken, but not long before his death he was heard to exclaim with great thankfulness, "I thank God, all these vain thoughts have gone, and I know nothing but Christ and Him crucified." Such then are something of the qualities and characteristics of the great scholar and philosopher, who, without doubt, is the remote ancestor of the family of the Gansevoort surname purposed to be treated in these annals. It is not known in what year the first Gansevoort emigrated to the Low Country of Holland, but it is known that the first of the surname on this side of the Atlantic Ocean appeared in New Netherlands in the year 1660.

(I) Harme Van Ganzvort (he so wrote his name in all of his business and family transactions so long as he lived) came to America and settled at Catskill, on the Hudson river, in 1660. There he had an extensive manor, doubtless acquired from the Indians, but afterward his lands were granted to others. It is related by one chronicler of the family history that Harme lived for some time at Catskill, on an estate more recently owned by the Van Vechten family, and that he was unjustly deprived of his property by one of the Dutch governors who went by water from New Amsterdam to Albany and on his passage up the river anchored his vessel opposite Catskill creek. There the governor went ashore with his secretary or aide, walked up to the Ganzvort dwelling, and was hospitably entertained by the proprietor. The secretary expressed his admiration of the estate, solicited a grant of it from the governor, and secured it. In consequence of this, Harme Van Ganzvort, who had no other title to the land than that of possession and the consent of the Indian owners, was compelled to leave and locate elsewhere. From Catskill he removed with his family to Albany, where, having been brought up to the trade of a brewer, he set up in that business and continued it so long as he lived. His home and brew house were at the corner of Market street and Maiden lane. This property has been kept in the family and on the site now stands Stanwix Hall.

Harme Van Gansevoort (or Van Ganzvort) died July 23, 1710. He was a man of character and ability, a member of the Lutheran church. Of his means he gave to the society of that church a lot of land on which to erect a house of worship, and beneath the pulpit in the church his remains were buried. The lot is on South Pearl street, where the market house was built in later years. His wife was Marritje Liendarts, who died in 1742. Children:

  1. Elsie, married, 1689, Francis Winne.
  2. Maria.
  3. Aguitie, married, 1698, Teunis Williams.
  4. Anna, married, 1692, Jacobus De Warrien.
  5. Lysbeth, married, 1701, Johannes De Wandelaer.
  6. Hillitie, married, 1706, Albert Van Derzee.
  7. Catarine, married, 1714, Asent Pruyn.
  8. Leonard, born 1681 (see post).
  9. Rachel, born 1686, married Teunis Hamerin.
  10. Lydia, born 1690.
  11. Rebecca, 1693.
  12. Hendrick, 1696.

(II) Leonard Gansevoort (Liendart Van Ganzvort), son of Harme and Marritje (Liendarts) Van Ganzvort, was born in Albany, in 1681 and died there November 30, 1763. He succeeded his father in the ownership of the brewery and its business, and continued it as his principal occupation. He is remembered as a man of small stature, of placid and serene countenance, and of upright character. He married, in 1712, Catherine De Wandelaer, who survived him, and it was in a large measure through her strong character and superior business abilities that her husband was enabled to accumulate a comfortable fortune. One of her descendants writing of her said that "her activity of mind made her quite a business woman and rendered her a great blessing to her husband, who was a quiet, moderate man." Children:

  1. Harme, born 1712, (see post);
  2. Henry, born 1716, died 1746;
  3. John, died young;
  4. Sarah, born 1718, died 1731;
  5. Johannes, born 1719, died 1781, married (first) 1750, Marritje Douw (born 1725, died 1759), married (second) Elsie Beekman, daughter of Jacob;
  6. Maria, born 1723, died 1739;
  7. Peter, born 1725, died 1809, married, 1751, Garritje Ten Eycke;
  8. Elsie, born 1728, died 1753;
  9. Aguitie, born 1730, died 1731;
  10. Elsie, died 1761.

(III) Harme, son of Leonard and Catherine (De Wandelaer) Gansevoort, was born in Albany, and baptized there April 20, 1712, and died there May 7, 1801. He was a merchant in Albany and carried on an extensive business, importing his goods from Europe. He inherited from his father the brewery property and continued it in connection with his other business interests. He also appears, to have been somewhat engaged in public affairs, and it is evident that he was a man of excellent understanding and business capacity. From September 25, 1750, to 1760, he was clerk of the county court and of the court of common pleas, clerk of the peace and of the sessions. In 1763 he purchased and caused to be brought over from England what probably was the second hand fire engine ever used in Albany, paying therefor the sum of $397.50. He married, May 29, 1740, Magdalena Douw, born August 1, 1718, died October 12, 1796, daughter of Petrus and Anna (Van Rensselaer) Douw. Petrus (sometimes written Pieter) Douw was born March 24, 1692, died August 21, 1775, son of Jonas Volkertse Douw of Manor Rensselaerwyck, who married (first) November 14, 1683, Magdalena Pieterse Quackenboss, and married (second) April 24, 1696, Catrina Van Witbeck, widow of Jacob Sanderse Glen. Jonas Volkertse Douw was the eldest son of Captain Volkert Janse Douw, who came from Frederickstadt and was in Beverwyck as early as 1638. He died in 1686. He had his house on the west corner of State street and Broadway, which property is now owned by his descendants. He was a trader and brewer, and in connection with Jan Thomase he dealt quite largely in real estate. Their brewery was located on the east half of the Exchange block lot and extended to the river. This they sold in 1675 to Harmen Rutgers, son of Rutger Jacobsen. In 1663 they bought of the Indians, Schotack or Apjen's (Little Monkey's) island and the main land lying east of it. Captain Douw also owned Constapel's island, lying opposite Bethlehem, half of which he sold in 1677 to Pieter Winne. In 1672 he owned Schutter's island, below Beeren island, which he sold to Barent Pieterse Coeymans. He married, April 19, 1650, Dorotee Janse, from Breestede, Holland. She was a sister of Rutger Jacobsen's wife, and died November 2, 1681. He died in 1686. Anna Van Rensselaer, wife of Petrus Douw, was born January 4, 1719, daughter of Killian and Maria (Van Cortlandt) Van Rensselaer, granddaughter of Jeremias and Maria (Van Cortlandt) Van Rensselaer, and great-granddaughter of Killian Van Rensselaer, merchant of Amsterdam, Holland, who married (first) Hillegonda Van Bylet and (second) Anna Wely. Killian Van Rensselaer, son of Jeremias, was the first lord of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck. Children of Harme and Magdalena (Douw) Gansevoort:

  1. Sarah, born 1741, married John Ten Broeck.
  2. Peter, born 1742, died 1743.
  3. Anna, born 1744, died 1794; married, 1778, Cornelius Wyncoop.
  4. Catherine, born 1747, died 1749.
  5. Peter, born 1749 (see post).
  6. Leonard, born 1751, died 1810, married, 1770, Hester Cuyler, born 1749, died 1826.
  7. Henry, born 1753, died 1755.
  8. Hendrick, born 1757.
  9. Catrina, died 1761.

(IV) General Peter Gansevoort Jr. [Portrait with signature: original size (21K) | 4x enlarged (117K)], son of Harme and Magdalena (Douw) Gansevoort, was born in Albany, in 1749, where Stanwix Hall now stands, and died in his native city, July 2, 1812, at the age of sixty-three years. On July 2, 1775; he was appointed by congress a major in the Second New York regiment. In August of that year he joined the army which invaded Canada under Montgomery. In March, 1776, he was made lieutenant-colonel, and on November 21 following became colonel of the regiment. In July, 1776, he was colonel commanding at Fort George, on Lake George. In April, 1777, he took command of Fort Stanwix (afterward called Fort Schuyler), on the present site of the city of Rome, and made a gallant defence of the post against the British under St. Leger, which was the first blow to their great scheme to sever New York from the residue of the confederacy, and by thus preventing the cooperation of that officer with Burgoyne, contributed most essentially to the great and decisive victory at Saratoga. For this gallant defence the thanks of congress were voted to Colonel Gansevoort. In the spring of 1779 Colonel Gansevoort was ordered to join General Sullivan in an expedition against the Indians in the western part of New York. At the head of a chosen party from the army he distinguished himself by surprising, by the celerity of his movements, the lower Mohawk castle, and capturing all the Indian inhabitants of the vicinity. In 1781 the state of New York appointed him brigadier-general, and afterwards he filled a number of important offices, among which was that of commissioner of Indian affairs and for fortifying the frontiers. He also was military agent and a brigadier-general in the United States army in 1809, sheriff of Albany county from 1790 to 1792, a regent of the University of the State of New York from 1808 until the time of his death, and one of the first board of directors of the New York State bank in 1803.

The foregoing account is hardly more than a very brief outline of the career of one of the bravest and most determined soldiers and patriots of the revolution, an officer whose courage never was doubted, whose achievements as a commanding officer were fully appreciated, but whose splendid service never was more than half rewarded. And it has remained for one of his descendants, a granddaughter, to cause to be erected an appropriate memorial of his noble record and unselfish patriotism; and all honor is due Mrs. Catherine Gansevoort Lansing for the gift which marks the place of old Fort Stanwix — "a fort which never surrendered," and the fort from which the first American flag was unfurled in the face of the enemy. The "General Peter Gansevoort Statue," in bronze, stands in the circle in the East Park, Rome, New York, facing the west. The figure is in full uniform, heroic in size, seven feet two inches tall, standing at ease in military position, the left foot slightly forward. In the right hand is held the letter of St. Leger demanding the surrender of the fort, while the left hand rests on the hilt of the sword. The pedestal weighs nearly three tons and stands on a base weighing twenty tons, and the whole rests on a solid concrete foundation nearly four feet thick. On the outer edge of the flag walk around the monument is a stone coping of Barre granite, rock finish, the same material on which the statue rests, the coping being a foot wide and a foot thick. On the front tablet of the monument appears this inscription:

Brigadier-General Peter Gansevoort, Jr., Colonel in the Continental Army. He served under Montgomery in Canada in the campaign against Quebec in 1775, and in 1777 he successfully defended Fort Stanwix against the British forces and their Indian allies under St. Leger, thus preventing their junction with Burgoyne at Saratoga. He took part in the campaign of 1779 under General Sullivan. He was in active command at the outbreak of the War of 1812, and died on the second day of July of that year at the age of 63.

On the rear tablet this inscription appears

Erected near the site of
FORT STANWIX
at the request of Peter Gansevoort,
Henry S. Gansevoort, U. S. A.,
and Abraham Lansing, all of
Albany, N. Y.
Presented to the City of Rome by
Catherine Gansevoort
Lansing
A. D. 1906.

The designer of the statue was Edward L. Henry, N. A., the sculptor E. F. Piatti, and the architect D. N. B. Sturgis, all of New York City. The ceremony of unveiling was held on Thursday, November 8, 1906. The principal orator of the occasion was Hon. Hugh Hastings, then state historian, who said, in concluding his address:

"In these days an heroic defense of such conspicuous character would have met with the reward of a brigadier-general's commission at least. Upon the intrepid commander of Fort Schuyler, however, congress conferred the anomalous rank and empty honor 'Colonel Commandant of Fort Schuyler,' an absurd compliment of the record, for Gansevoort had held the rank of colonel since November, 1776, and been in command of the fort since April, 1777. General Gansevoort blocked the way of the triumphant invader like a wall of granite. His achievement is all the more creditable when we consider the delinquency of his superiors in estimating the true situation and the refusal of Tryon county to protect itself or to support him with reinforcements. The fall of Fort Schuyler would have been followed by the certain defeat of Gates, whose left and rear would have been absolutely unprotected before the New England troops could reinforce him. The defeat of Gates would have given the enemy complete control of the valley of the Hudson, would have meant the severance of New England from the rest of the confederacy, led to a cessation of hostilities and the restoration of the colonies to the mother country. The victory at Fort Schuyler paved the way for the final triumph on the heights at Saratoga, or, as it has been so aptly expressed, 'Without Fort Schuyler there would have been no Saratoga.'"

General Gansevoort married, January 12, 1778, Catherine (Catrina) Van Schaick, baptized August 16, 1752, died December 30, 1830, daughter of Wessel Van Schaick, who was baptized February 10, 1712 and married, November 3, 1743, Maria Gerritse, who died January 31, 1797. Wessel Van Schaick was son of Anthony (or Antony) Van Schaick, Sybrant, filius, glazier, born 1681, married, October 19, 1707, Anna Catherine Ten Broeck, who died in December, 1756. In 1704 Anthony Van Schaick's house lot was at the south corner of State and Pearl streets, Albany. He was a son of Sybrant Van Schaick, born 1653, who married Elizabeth Van Der Poel, and died about 1785. In 1678 his stepmother agreed to sell him her half of the brewery on the easterly half of the Exchange block for one hundred beavers. He was a son of Captain Goosen Gerritse Van Schaick, brewer of Albany. In 1664 he and Philip Pieterse Schuyler were granted permission to purchase Halve Maan of the Indians, to prevent "those of Connecticut" from purchasing it. In 1664 also he bought of his stepfather, Ryner Elbertse, a lot on the north corner of Columbia street and Broadway, and in 1675 he and Pieter Lassingh bought Harmen (or Harme) Rutger's brewery on the Exchange block. "In 1657, being about to marry his second wife, he made a contract in which he reserved from his estate 6,000 guilders for his four eldest children by the first wife, that being her separate estate; and in 1668 he and his second wife made a joint will, he being about to depart for Holland." Captain Van Schaick married (first) in 1649, Geertie Brantse Van Nieuwkerk, who died about 1656; married (second), 1657, Annatie Lievens, or Lievense.

[Editorial note: His first wife is referred to below as Peelen rather than Van Nieuwkerk.]

General Gansevoort's children:

  1. Herman, born 1779, died 1862; married, 1813, Catherine Quackenboss, born 1774, died 1855.
  2. Wessel, born 1781, died 1862.
  3. Leonard, born 1783, died 1821; married, 1809, Mary A. Chandonette, born 1789, died 1851.
  4. Peter, born 1786, died 1788.
  5. Peter, born December 22, 1788, (see post).
  6. Maria, born 1791, married, 1814, Allan Melville, born 1782, died 1832.

(V) Judge Peter Gansevoort [Portrait with signature: original size (18K) | 4x enlarged (83K)], son of General Peter and Catherine (Van Schaick) Gansevoort, was born in Albany, December 22, 1788, and died at his home in that city, January 4, 1876. His higher literary education was acquired at the College of New Jersey, Princeton, where he graduated, and afterward he attended the celebrated Litchfield Law School; still later read law in the office of Harmanus Bleecker, and was admitted to the bar about 1811. His practice for many years was very considerable, and he ranked among the prominent members of the profession. For some time he acted as private secretary to Governor DeWitt Clinton, and then on his military staff as judge advocate general from 1819 to 1821. In 1830-31 he was a member of the assembly, and then a senator for four years, 1833 to 1836 inclusive. In all matters of public interest he took an active part, and was thoroughly attached to all that concerned his native city. He was a trustee of the Albany Academy for fifty years, and for twenty years was chairman of the board. In 1840 he was one of a committee, with Stephen Van Rensselaer, John A. Dix and others, to organize the Albany Cemetery Association, and to select grounds for the cemetery. He was a trustee of the cemetery until his death, and took a warm interest in arranging and beautifying the grounds. For many years he was a director of the New York State Bank, and occupied other positions of trust. Although his military service was short, he took a warm interest throughout life in military matters.

Among the public positions held by General Gansevoort was that of first judge of the county court of Albany county from 1843 to 1847, the duties of which office he discharged with great fidelity and to the entire satisfaction of the legal profession and the public. He carried marked traits of his ancestry with him through life, and was a most thorough representative of the Dutch element of his native city. He was the very embodiment of high-souled honor and integrity, pure in private life, and devotedly attached to his country and its institutions. On more than one occasion he visited the countries of the Old World in search of health and instruction, but always returned home with his love for his own government strengthened by comparison with those abroad. He was a man of courtly manners and commanding presence, and in society was very genial and engaging. His kind heart and generous impulses made him a favorite with all classes of men, and he lived without enemies, and no one is left of all who knew him who does not mourn his death and honor his memory. The illness of judge Gansevoort was long and trying; but he retained his mental powers to the last and sank quietly and peacefully to his rest, just as his country had entered on the centennial vear of its independence, in achieving which his father had rendered such important service. His funeral took place on Saturday, January 8, 1876, and was very largely attended by public officers as well as by family friends and citizens. The officers of the Albany Burgesses Corps, with the patriotic spirit which always marked that organization, attended in military undress as a guard of honor; and the cadets of the Albany Academy, to the number of nearly one hundred, were also present in their drill uniform. Religious services were performed at the house by the Rev. Dr. Clark of the North Dutch (Reformed) Church, of which church Judge Gansevoort was a member in communion; and his remains were conveyed to that cemetery for which he had done so much.

In 1833 Judge Gansevoort married (first) Mary Sanford, born 1814, died 1841, daughter of Hon. Nathan Sanford, chancellor of this state, and subsequently senator in Congress. He married (second) December 12, 1843, Susan Lansing [Portrait with signature: original size (9K) | 4x enlarged (26K)], who died in October, 1874, daughter of Abraham G. Lansing, of Albany. Children:

  1. Henry Sanford, (see post);
  2. Mary;
  3. Catherine, married Abraham Lansing, and survives him;
  4. Herman.

(VI) Colonel Henry Sanford Gansevoort, U. S. A. [Portrait with signature: original size (17K) | 4x enlarged (79K)], son of Judge Peter and Mary (Sanford) Gansevoort, was born in Albany, New York, December 15, 1835, and died April 12, 1871, on board the steamer "Drew," in the Hudson river, opposite Rhinebeck, on the passage home from Nassau, New Providence. His earlier education was received at the Albany Academy and Phillips Andover Academy, where he fitted for college, then entered the sophomore class at Princeton College, where he soon became a member of the same literary society to which his father had belonged many years before, and was graduated in 1855, with distinguished honors; his collegiate course having been highly successful; not alone in mere scholarship, but in having secured to him a fixed position among his associates as the possessor of leading and brilliant qualities of mind. This general success as a student culminated well at the close of his college life, when his display of oratorical ability at commencement was regarded as showing the possession of powers of a high order. Leaving college he entered Harvard Law School, and afterward became a student in the law office of Sprague & Fillmore, Buffalo, New York, and still later with Bowdoin, Barlow & Larocque, New York City; and while with the latter firm he accompanied his father, mother and sister to Europe, and remained abroad about fifteen months. On his return he became law partner with George H. Brewster, in New York, and as a member of that firm engaged in active practice at the beginning of the civil war.

Many incidents of his life thoroughly prove that while emulous of civil distinction he nevertheless had a strong inclination for the military service; and with tastes and predilections of this character it is not strange that in the public incidents at this time occurring his active mind should at once seek employment in a new and congenial career. He had joined the Seventh Regiment of New York militia, which was among the first to be sent to Washington at the outbreak of the war, and at a time when that city was cut off from all communication with the North. He served as private with the regiment until its return; but what was to some of his comrades the termination of a dangerous service was to him but the beginning of an active public duty to which he became solely devoted, and to which he finally gave up his life. He accordingly applied himself to obtaining a commission in the regular service, for which purpose he went to Washington, and after many delays and disappointments he was rewarded by receiving a commission as second lieutenant in the Fifth Regiment of regular artillery, U. S. A. After receiving his commission and while General McClellan was moulding the material under his command into the Army of the Potomac, Colonel Gansevoort was under orders as second lieutenant in a camp of instruction at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, fitting himself for the duties of an artillery officer. He joined McClellan on the Peninsula, and was with the Potomac army throughout the peninsular campaign after it left Yorktown. He was in the second battle of Bull Run, and afterward at Antietam, where his battery was placed in a position near the famous cornfield, by Hooker's orders, and sustained heavy loss in men and horses. He was with his battery throughout the battle, and for a time was in command.

Obtaining a leave of absence from the regular army to take a command in the volunteers, Colonel Gansevoort was appointed by Governor Seymour, lieutenant-colonel of the Thirteenth Regiment New York Volunteer Cavalry, took command of his regiment soon after his appointment, and was almost immediately ordered to take it to Washington. This was about the time when Lee was advancing to the Potomac and just previous to the battle of Chancellorsville. His command, new, undisciplined, and never before in the field, was put on duty in the defenses of Washington. It is stated in Colonel Gansevoort's letters that after he had obeyed orders to report at Washington and had reported the strength of his command, he received an immediate reply that there were an equal number of horses and saddles awaiting them, and orders to go forward to the defense of the capital. In these embarrassing circumstances, with a regiment secured in the advanced period of enlisting, with untried and to a great extent turbulent and insubordinate soldiers, Colonel Gansevoort's conduct was worthy of the highest commendation. After Lee's retreat the Thirteenth was stationed in Virginia and at other posts with troops engaged in watching the actions of Mosby, and in seeking to effect his capture, a feat at one time actually accomplished by a detachment acting under Colonel Gansevoort's immediate orders. The escape of Mosby after capture, by his feigning to be badly wounded and dying, was an incident of peculiar interest among the many adventures that attended his sphere of service. At another time, through a well-conceived and successfully executed plan, Colonel Gansevoort was rewarded for his patience and energy by the capture of Mosby's artillery, which crippled him and in a measure defeated his further raids on the troops stationed in that vicinity. The duties of this service demanded constant vigilance and activity, and he discharged them with zeal and fidelity, at the time fully acknowledged by the government. His regiment was among the very last mustered out of service, and its condition at that time was not inferior to any other cavalry regiment in the volunteers.

Colonel Gansevoort was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers and lieutenant-colonel in the regular service, and held at the time of his death the rank of captain of artillery in the regular line of promotion in the United States army. After the close of the war he was ordered to Fortress Monroe and thence to Barrancas, Florida, and from the latter place to Fort Independence, Boston Harbor. During his long period of service he was several times prostrated with fever, the germs of which appeared to remain in his system and to cause at intervals new attacks. He was thus prostrated anew in the fall of 1870, and when the fever had nearly abated he sought his home at Albany, where he arrived with a bad cough which constantly increased upon him. Not long after his return he insisted on going back to Boston, and although his strength seemed not to warrant it he had so determinedly made up his mind to go that remonstrance was without avail; and it is evident that his chief purpose was to arrange such affairs as he had been unable to attend to during his illness. His visit to Nassau, New Providence, which failed to give him any hopes of a restoration to health; his yearning for home and its comforts and consolations; his homeward journey in company with his sister who could not be kept from his side; his gradually wasting strength as he neared that home, the goal of his earthly hopes, on the bosom of his beloved river; his consciousness of the death soon to close over him; and his readiness to meet his end, firm in his honor as a soldier and humble in his faith as a Christian — these scenes follow in sad but quick succession upon all that was earthly of the beloved object of this sketch.

Colonel Gansevoort had taste in drawing and painting and was a devoted lover of history; and his inclination for oratory was very strong. He also had a taste for writing, and from boyhood he was distinguished for his readiness in debate and the facility with which he could express his thoughts. When he left Albany Academy he delivered the salutatory oration, and his address at Princeton when he graduated is remembered as conspicuous among the exercises of the day. On one occasion at Allentown, Pennsvlyania, he delivered an Independence Day address which was spoken of in terms of warm commendation. While in the army he was frequently called upon to act on courts-martial, where his powers were thoroughly tested and his ability conspicuously exhibited, and he was undeviatingly honorable, and the possession of this admirable trait was fully recognized by all who came in contact with him. Notwithstanding his decided political convictions, it was a part of his creed that the duties of a soldier were incompatible with any active participation in political strifes; and as he never was troubled with misgivings when the path of duty lay clear before him, the adoption of this article of faith without hesitation was followed by a strict adherence to its injunctions from which he never departed.

(The Van Schaick Line)

Those islands formed by the spuytens or sprouts of the Mohawk, and a large tract of land to the northward, including the present village of Waterford, originally called the "Halve Maan," or Half-Moon, were granted by the Indian chiefs (permission having been obtained from Governor Nichols) to Goosen Gerritsen Van Schaick and Philip Petersen Schuyler, September 11, 1665 (the original deed is still extant). The latter, on July 12, 1674, conveyed his interests in the lands embraced by the government to his associate, Van Schaick, who by will deeded the lands to his wife Anetje. After his death she conveyed them to his son Anthony for the consideration of five hundred and fifty good marketable beaver skins. This grant was confirmed by Governor Lovelace, March 30, 1672, and afterward Governor Thomas Dongan, then governor of the province of New York, by his patent dated May 31, 1687, confirmed in Anthony Van Schaick the sole title to said land in consideration of an annual quit rent of one bushel of winter wheat (both the Lovelace and Dongan patents are still in existence, and are in an excellent state of preservation). The Indian name of Van Schaick Island was "Quahemesicos," and the names of the Indian proprietors at the time of the transfer to Van Schaick and Schuyler were Itamonet, Amenhasnet and Kishocasna. The Dutch called it "Long Island." In the early writings it was called "Whale Island." After the transfer it was called "Anthony's Island." It is also called "Isle Cohoes," or "Cohoes Island." It was the first land cultivated north of the present city limits of Cohoes.

(I) Captain Goosen Gerritsen Van Schaick, born in 1630, died in 1676. He married, (first) in 1649, Geertje Brantse Peelen or Pealen, who died about 1656, married (second) in 1657, Annatie Lievens or Lievense. Captain Van Schaick was a brewer and a prominent man in Albany. Children by first wife:

  1. Genetie, married Johannes Lansing;
  2. Gerrit, born 1650, married Alicia Van Slichtenhorst;
  3. Sybrant, see forward;
  4. Anthony, born 1665.

Children by second wife:

  1. Livenius, whose daughter Gerritje married Andrew Drawyer, a Danish admiral in the Dutch service;
  2. Cornelis;
  3. Margareta.

(II) Sybrant, son of Captain Goosen Gerritsen Van Schaick, was born in 1653, died in 1685. He married Elizabeth Van Der Poel. Children:

  1. Goosen, born 1677, married Catherine Staats;
  2. Catherine, born 1679;
  3. Anthony, see forward;
  4. Gerrit, born 1685.

(III) Anthony, son of Sybrant and Elizabeth (Van Der Poel) Van Schaick, was born in 1681, died in 1756. He was a glazier, and lived in Albany. In 1717 He was commissioned cornet by Governor Robert Hunter. In an act passed December 22, 1717, there is provided for the payment of claims against the colony, "to Anthony Van Schaick, his exeecutors or assigns the quantity of two ounces two pennyweight of plate (Spanish coin) aforesaid for mending of glass windows in his Majesty's garrison at Albany." There are many references to him in the records of his day. The family were in most everything in the way of business merchandising, trading with the Indians, agriculture. Deeds, indentures, conveyances, accounts, etc., in the family name, are numerous and interesting. He married, October 19, 1707, Anna Catherine Ten Broeck, who died in 1756. Children:

  1. Sybrant, born 1708;
  2. Wessel, see forward;
  3. Elizabeth, born 1716;
  4. Jacob, born 1718;
  5. Loomis, 1720;
  6. Goosen, 1722.

(IV) Wessel, son of Sybrant and Anna Catherine (Ten Broeck) Van Schaick, was baptized February 16, 1712, died March 13, 1783. He married Maria Gerritse Van Schaick, who died January 31, 1797, aged seventy-nine years. Children:

  1. Anthony, born September 6, 1744;
  2. Maritje, born July 25, 1746, died August 16, 1813;
  3. Jan Gerse, born September 24, 1748. died July 7, 1828, married Anna Van Schaick;
  4. Cattrina (Catherine), born August 16, 1752, see forward;
  5. Gerrit, born May 22, 1758, in Albany, died December 14, 1816, in Lansingburg.

(V) Catherine, daughter of Wessel and Maria G. Van Schaick, was born August 16, 1752. She married December 17, 1778, General Peter Gansevoort (see Gansevoort). With this marriage the relationship between the Lansing, Van Schaick and Gansevoort families is established.

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