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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Getman

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1652-1654 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.]

(II) George, son of Frederick Getman, "the founder," was born in the town of Ephratah, now Fulton county, New York. He succeeded his father in possession of the Ephratah homestead. He married and had five sons, all of whom died in the cause of the revolution.

(III) George (2), son of George (1) Getman, was born in Ephratah, Fulton county, New York, about the year 1770. He was a captain in the war of 1812. He was a farmer of Ephratah all his life. He married Catherine Cook and had six sons.

(IV) David, son of George (2) and Catherine (Cook) Getman, was born in 1809 in Ephratah, Fulton county, New York, died March 3, 1890. He removed to the town of Mayfield, same county, in 1846, and engaged in mercantile life, continuing until 1863, when he retired. He was a justice of the peace for twenty years, and an active worker and liberal supporter of the Dutch Reformed church of Mayfield. He married Mary Burdick, also born in Ephratah. They had five children, two only arriving at maturity. David, of whom further; Sarah.

(V) David (2), son of David (1) and Mary (Burdick) Getman, was born in Ephratah, Fulton county, New York, January 21, 1836. He was educated in the public schools and Kingsboro Academy, where he was graduated. When he was ten years of age his parents removed to Mayfield and after David had completed his studies he worked as a clerk in his father's store. At the outbreak of the civil war he enlisted, August, 1861, in Company I, Seventh Regiment, New York Volunteers. This company was recruited in Fulton county and was mustered into the United States service, October 30, 1861. He was commissioned first lieutenant, later captain, and assigned to the Tenth Regiment, New York Cavalry. His army record is exceedingly honorable, and is thus recorded in the history of the Tenth Regiment.

"Captain David Getman, Jr., age twenty-six, commissioned from Mayfield, October 17, 1862, with rank from September 17, 1862, mustered in October 30, 1862, wounded by saber-cut of arm and taken prisoner at Brandy Station, Virginia, June 9, 1863; escaped while in transit near Winnsboro, North Carolina, February 14, 1865; arrived in General Sherman's army February 21, 1865; returned to duty June 3, 1865; transferred June 24, 1865, to Company L, First New York, Prov. Cavalry.

"The first and only captain of the initial company of the new battalion was David Getman, Jr. This officer entered the service as Captain of Company I and remained as such to the termination of its service. At the time of the dissolution of the regiment he was transferred as Captain to Company L of the First New York, Prov. Cavalry. No braver knight or more courteous gentleman ever led men to battle. He came of fighting stock, his grandfather, George Getman, being an officer in the American army in the war of 1812. Captain David Getman, Jr., in civil as well as military life has exhibited a dignity of character and a spirit of enterprise that causes his fellow-citizens to mention his name with pride. While in Libby Prison, on the sixth day of July, 1863, his name, with seventy-four other prisoners of the rank of captain, was placed in a ballot-box, from which two names (Captain Sawyer, of the First New Jersey Cavalry, and Captain Flinn, of the Fifty-first Indiana Infantry) were drawn for execution. President Lincoln (informed of the circumstances by Mrs. Sawyer, who had received a letter from her husband) held General W. H. F. Lee and Captain Winder, hostages for Sawyer and Flinn, and they were subsequently exchanged by special order from the Confederate War Department. Captain Getman, with other officers, was for sixty-four days under fire in the city of Charlestown, South Carolina. General Foster had erected batteries on Morris Island and was shelling the city, inflicting serious damage. In order to save it from destruction these officers were placed in this position, and General Foster was notified that he jeopardized his comrades if he continued firing. It failed. However, it had the desired effect, as Foster erected other batteries and increased his fire, which resulted in the Federal officers being removed to Columbia, South Carolina. A man of excellent judgment, Captain Getman so regulated his habits and daily life while a prisoner of war that he emerged from the terrible ordeal with less of the evil effects than most of his associates. He has always manifested a deep interest in the members of the regiment, the feeling partaking of the paternal in regard to those who composed his old company."

After the war he returned to Fulton county, New York, where until 1880 he was engaged chiefly in the purchase and sale of patent rights. He employed at times a score of men and double teams and carried on a very large and profitable business. In 1880 he began operations in real estate and made many of Gloversville's most substantial improvements. The Getman and Choral Union blocks, now known as the Martin & Nailor and Weed & Willoughby department stores, are monuments to the activity during this period of his eventful life. He purchased a farm in Mayfield where he indulged his love for horses and stock to the utmost. He built a track for training purposes and has owned some of the best horses in the county. Recently he purchased the old Judson mansion on Kingsboro Heights, surrounded by two acres of land, where he intends to found the David and Helen Getman Old Ladies' Home. Denied children of his own Mr. Getman had taken unusual interest in young men, two of whom he educated and furnished with clothes during their school years. During his long life he has strictly adhered to principles of sobriety and abstinence from both liquor and tobacco. He is a Republican in politics, and for many years was notary public and was the first elected president of the village of Mayfield. He is a member of Canby Post, Grand Army of the Republic; the Veteran Association; the Cavalry Society of the United States; the Sons of Veterans of Gloversville, and named their camp David Getman Camp or post in his honor. He was made a Mason nearly half a century ago, while at home on a furlough, receiving from the New York Grand Lodge a special dispensation to receive the three degrees in less than the constitutional time. He is a member of Gloversville Lodge, No. 429. He is a most liberal and generous-hearted man, using his wealth in and for churches, schools, hospitals and other charitable institutions. He is well known and everywhere respected. He married, November 6, 1881, Helen Morris Van Buren, a descendant of President Martin Van Buren.

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