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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Serviss

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 788-790 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 is one of the old families of Montgomery county, that has always been conspicuous in public life. The founder of the family in the Mohawk valley was George Serviss, a soldier of the revolution. He served in the Third Regiment, Tryon county, New York militia. He was probably a son of Christian Serviss, of New York City, and had brothers Christian, John, Peter and Frederick, and a sister Margaret. George Serviss, the revolutionary soldier, was born February 23, 1755, died February 9, 1812. He was a farmer of what was then Tryon county, New York. He married Mary Overbaugh, born October 21, 1754, died in 1839. Children, born between February 15, 1776, and January 20, 1796: Sarah, Sophia, Philip, Lawrence, see forward; John G., Wilhelmina, David, Solomon, Sophia, George, Mary.

(II) Lawrence, son of George and Mary (Overbaugh) Serviss, was born December 16, 1780, died May 13, 1866. He was a man of strong character, a prominent and progressive farmer. He was conspicuous in the organization and management of the Whig party in his county, and everywhere a man of influence. He married, January 28, 1813, Mary Bigham, born in Scotland, July 11, 1791, died March 26, 1870. Children:

  1. Helen Marie, born February 17, 1814, died January 25, 1846;
  2. George L.; David, August 30, 1816, died August 25, 1818;
  3. Alexander, see forward;
  4. Elizabeth, September 6, 1819, died February 3, 1897.

(III) Alexander, third son and fourth child of Lawrence and Mary (Bigham) Serviss, was born in Florida, Montgomery county, New York, July 25, 1818, died May 19, 1887. He was one of the leading farmers of Montgomery county. He married Nancy Sherburne, born September 29, 1827, who survived him and is living (1909) in Amsterdam, New York. Their children were:

  1. John G., see forward.
  2. Lawrence A., born October 24, 1849; a successful lawyer of Amsterdam; married Emeline Stowetts and has issue.
  3. Jane Vander Veer, September 18, 1852; widow of Paige Enders.
  4. Mary Bigham, August 11, 1856; resides in Amsterdam, New York, wife of John Enders.

(IV) John G., eldest son and child of Alexander and Nancy (Sherburne) Serviss, was born in Florida, Montgomery county, New York, May 1, 1847, died in Amsterdam, New York, January 14, 1909. His early education was obtained in the public schools of the town. Developing an ambition to become an instructor, he studied a year at the Jonesville Academy and then entered Fort Edward Collegiate Institute, where he completed the classical course in his twentieth year. He at once entered upon his chosen career. On August 18, 1873, he was appointed principal of the Union Free School, No. 11, of Amsterdam. Here he demonstrated his worth as an educator, and remained fourteen years. In 1887 he was appointed superintendent of the same school, retaining that position until 1894, when the school was made a part of the consolidated city school system. During his term of office he brought his schools and teachers to the highest point of efficiency. He had the love and confidence of his pupils and of his associates. He had executive ability of a high order and has left a deep impress upon the educational system of his city. Naturally the high qualities of Professor Serviss attracted attention outside the schools. In March, 1890, he was elected secretary of the board of trade. During the two years he was in office he ably discharged his duties, resigning through a press of other duties. He served for many years on the board as chairman of the educational committee. He was chairman of the Tri County Educational Council, which arranged a course of study for the schools of the three counties — Montgomery, Herkimer and Fulton. He served on United States examining boards for admission to Annapolis and West Point, and on the state civil service examining boards. He was interested in the work of the Young Men's Christian Association, and was one of the trustees, and for a number of years a trustee of the Amsterdam library. In business he was keen and farsighted. He had a phenomenal knowledge of real estate values, and used this to his own profit. He had large real estate holdings in both business and residential sections. He was regarded as one of the best authorities along this line, and his opinion was often sought in large realty transactions. In church work he was equally active. He was of the Presbyterian faith, and served as superintendent of the Sunday school of the Second Church, until the founding of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, when he joined that congregation and was chosen an elder. He was a member of the Artisan lodge of Masons. His life was indeed a busy one and no good cause appealed to him in vain. Professor Serviss married Charlotte Schuyler Bussing (see Bussing V), September 25, 1872. Children:

  1. Schuyler Bussing, see forward;
  2. Florence Margaret, born July 22, 1887, was educated in the Amsterdam schools, completing her studies at Lasell Seminary, Auburndale, Massachusetts. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Amsterdam Chapter; of the Century Club, and the Antlers. She resides in Amsterdam with her mother, Mrs. Charlotte Bussing Serviss.

Mr. Serviss is buried in the cemetery at Minaville.

(V) Schuyler Bussing, son of John G. and Charlotte Schuyler (Bussing) Serviss, was born in Amsterdam, New York, February 28, 1880, died there June 18, 1909. He was a man of high standing in the educational and scientific world, and gave promise of becoming one of the leading scientists of the country. He graduated from the Amsterdam high school, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, and then entered Harvard University, graduating with the class of 1902 with the degree of A. B. In 1903 he received the degree of A. M. He accepted an appointment as an instructor of Physics at Harvard, which position he filled for five years, and was an assistant in astronomy for three years. In 1908 the university conferred upon him the degree of M. S., and he was appointed an instructor in mathematics. Mr. Serviss was well known, not only for his scientific research and investigation in his chosen profession, but as a zealous student of the masters of the English language and a great lover of the literature and history of his own country. His diversions from the depths of exact sciences were in the enjoyment which he found in the study of Shakespeare, in folio and drama, and in the works of classical literature. He ranked high as an instructor, and his premature death left a vacancy in the Harvard faculty not easily filled. He was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society.

(The Bussing Line)

Arent Harmans Bussing, one of the most worthy of the early Harlem (New York) settlers, appears in the earlier records only as Arent Hermens (Harmens or Harmans, for he has varied the spelling), and is so-called in the Dongan patent, but he finally dropped the patronymic and took his proper surname. By his marriage with Susannah Delamater, in 1673, he obtained two of the west gardens on which he built a house, and where he lived the remainder of his life, serving often in the magistracy and bearing church office. Arent Bussing was not unmindful of his temporal welfare. At his death, in 1718, he owned one hundred and twenty-seven acres, then valued at 511 pounds. This property today would be worth that much per lot, much of it almost that much per foot. He married (first) Susannah Delamater, May 24, 1673. He married (second) Eva Lubberts, March 31, 1678. By his first wife he had: Peter, Harman (1), Harman, (see forward). By his second wife, Dirck, Margaret, Susanna, Engelite [Engeltie?], Elizabeth, Gessie (Gertrude), John and Mary.

(II) Harman, son of Arent Harmans and Susannah (Delamater) Bussing, was baptized in Harlem, New York, March 12, 1677, died July 29, 1762. He married, January 27, 1707, Sarah, daughter of Isaac Selover; children Susannah, Isaac, Anna, Eve, Arent, see forward; Jacobus, Abraham and Sarah.

(III) Arent, son of Harman and Sarah (Selover) Bussing, was baptized February 16, 1718, died February 17, 1781. He married, April 29, 1749, Sarah Roome; children: Sarah, Mary, Anna, William, Harmanus, (see forward); Hester, Peter, Peter (2, Hester (2).

(IV) Harmanus, son of Arent and Sarah (Roome) Bussing, was born December 19, 1759, died May 28, 1845. He married Alida Fort, October 6, 1787. Children:

  1. Rebecca, born November 23, 1788, died November 19, 1790.
  2. Aaron, September 8, 1790, was lost at sea.
  3. John, September 12, 1792, married Mary Brown.
  4. Peter, September 14, 1794, married and had two children.
  5. Sarah, February 1, 1797, died August 22, 1879; married Roswell Granger, July 31, 1816, and had six children.
  6. William, November 10, 1799, died March 28, 1860; married (first) Miranda Lum, and had one child, Jane Ann, who married Benjamin Humphrey; married (second) Susan Winegar.
  7. Jane, September 6, 1802; married David Johnson, October 18, 1827, had six children.
  8. Mary Ann, March 10, 1805; married Edwin B. Chamberlain, December 29, 1835, and had three children.
  9. Harman, see forward.
  10. Abraham, August 22, 1808, died in infancy.
  11. Harvey Hyer, July 10, 1812, died April 25, 1860; married, September 17, 1839, Avilda Hilton, and had five children.

(V) Harman (2), son of Harmanus and Alida (Fort) Bussing, was born August 22, 1806. He married (first) Catherine Schuyler, May 20, 1836. She bore him a daughter Catherine, who married Jonathan Morey, July 2, 1861. He married (second) May 21, 1840, Margaret Schuyler, a cousin of his first wife. She was a daughter of Daniel Schuyler, born July 13, 1779, died in 1862, and a granddaughter of Jacob Schuyler, born March 24, 1730, died October 3, 1807. By his second marriage Harman Bussing had:

  1. Daniel Schuyler, born March 8, 1842; resides on the old Bussing homestead in Florida, Montgomery county; married, October 11, 1876, Fannie W. Starr, and has Harman, John, Daniel, Mary, George and Edward.
  2. John W., 1846, died in Chicago, Illinois, July 28, 1908.
  3. Charlotte Schuyler, September 8, 1851; married John G. Serviss, September 25, 1872 (see Serviss IV); she survives her husband and resides in Amsterdam, New York. She has always taken a great interest in the patriotic orders to which she is eligible through the revolutionary services of two of her ancestral lines — Bussing and Schuyler. She is a charter member of the Amsterdam chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, which she has served as secretary, registrar and vice-regent. She is well known in the state and national society. At the national congress of the order held in Washington, D. C., in 1905, she was a delegate from Amsterdam Chapter. She is a member of the Century Club of Amsterdam, and of the Presbyterian church. She is a woman of education and refinement.

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