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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Van Valkenburgh

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 613-615 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 Dutch families of New Amsterdam and the Valley of the Hudson that laid the foundations for the present prosperity of that section and reared families whose descendants are the leading citizens of the cities and towns founded by their rugged pioneer ancestors. Lambert and Annatjie Van Valkenburgh in 1645 bought a house and twenty-five "Morgens" of land in New Amsterdam (Manhattan). In 1654 he was of Beverwyck (Albany). He died prior to 1697. His widow died September 17, 1704. His heirs owned a house and lot in "ye Voddermark" (now the west corner of Green and Beaver streets, Albany). He had sons: Jochem, baptized in New Amsterdam in 1646. Lambert, baptized July 2, 1652.

(II) Jochem, son of Lambert and Annatjie Van Valkenburgh, settled in Kinderhook, Columbia county, New York, where his descendants may yet be found. He married (first) Eva Hendrickse Vrooman, who died 1706; (second) Jannetje Van Alsteyn and had nine children.

(III) Hendrick, son of Jochem Van Valkenburgh and his first wife, married Anna Huyck. He was a member of the Dutch Church at Kinderhook, New York.

(IV) Jochem (2), son of Hendrick and Anna (Huyck) Van Valkenburgh, married and had issue.

(V) Lawrence, son of Jochem (2) Van Valkenburgh, was born in Kinderhook, New York. After his marriage he removed to St. Armand, Canada, where he died. He married Elizabeth Krans; children:

  1. Hannah, born at Kinderhook, buried at St. Armand, Canada;
  2. Peter, born at Kinderhook, buried there;
  3. Henry, born at Kinderhook, buried there;
  4. Peter, born at St. Armand, buried in Canada;
  5. John L., see forward;
  6. Rosannah, buried at St. Armand, Canada;
  7. Lydia, buried at Greenbush, now Rensselaer;
  8. Henry, buried in Kansas;
  9. Francis, buried in Poughkeepsie;
  10. Eliza, buried in St. Armand, Canada;

the last five named were born in St. Armand, Canada.

(VI) John L., son of Lawrence and Elizabeth (Krans) Van Valkenburgh, was born January 5, 1803, in St. Armand, Canada, where his parents had recently removed. He received his education in that country, but about the time of attaining his majority returned to Columbia county, the home of so many of his kindred. The Van Valkenburghs and the Van Derpoels married and intermarried until in many instances double cousins were to be found in and around Kinderhook. He began his business life in Hudson, was also for a time of Utica and Catskill, New York, and finally settled in Albany, where he was in partnership with Auger Wills. They had a factory and manufactured patent leather. Their factory was located on what is now the north side of Washington Park. Soon after he dissolved the partnership and purchased the tannery at Greenbush (now Rensselaer) where he throve and prospered for forty years. In connection with the tannery he had with partners, Frost and Ruyter, a store at 17-18 Hudson street, Albany, for the sale of leather and findings. This business was destroyed in the great fire in Albany which burned over an acre of buildings extending from Westerloo street to the rear of their store on Hudson street. Much of their stock was saved by removing it across the river and storing it on the grounds surrounding his Greenbush homestead. In 1870 he retired from active business life and devoted himself to building and improving his farm, at that time consisting of one hundred and forty-five acres, but afterward enlarged to two hundred acres, situated at Castleton Heights, town of Schoodic. The loss of his son, Lawrence Hubbell, who died at the age of twenty-nine years, and of his daughter, Mrs. Anna E. Godley, who died within eight months of each other, seriously affected his health, and in the spring of 1873 he suffered a stroke of paralysis, from which he rallied and enjoyed fairly good health for the following eight years, when another attack left him a cripple for the remaining three years of his life. He died May 4, 1884, leaving a record of undisputed integrity, of an industrious and successful business life, and of good citizenship. He was one of the founders of the Church of the Messiah and always a helpful member. The church was founded in 1853, and for several years was a mission of Old Trinity Church, New York City. He was for many years a warden as well as a faithful, generous supporter. The founders were Dr. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, John L. Van Valkenburgh and Benjamin B. Kirtland. He was a strong Democrat and an influential politician. He held many of the offices of the village of Greenbush, among them supervisor, school commissioner and loan commissioner under John C. Mathers. In connection with his long business, political and religious career, he had made a wide circle of acquaintances and friends, and was perhaps more widely known personally than any man in the community. When he first came to Greenbush the only way of crossing the Hudson from Albany was the horse ferry, and a row boat owned by "Captain Josie," whose familiar cry of "over" could be heard from shore to shore, and was a source of amusement to the early settlers. Mr. Van Valkenburgh lived to see and watch the building of the "Lower Bridge" directly in front of his house, and when that magnificent structure was completed with the street cars crossing it, he attended the formal opening, and the retrospective view, with the thought that the old order was passing, visibly affected him.

He married, in 1831, Caroline Hubbell, born in Hudson, August 24, 1813, daughter of Luther Hubbell, of revolutionary stock. She died November 8, 1909, in her ninety-seventh year. She was a direct descendant of Governor Slade, of Connecticut, who was governor during the revolution. She was a perfect type of the lady of the colonial days, dignified, retiring, yet with a motherly affectionate disposition that won all hearts. She was most charitable, giving much money and property to the Church of the Messiah, of which she was a member for over half a century. She always led an active life, retained all her faculties to the very last, and but for an unfortunate fall that shortened her days would no doubt have reached the century mark. She was always a great reader, although her sight had failed during the last year of her life, which prevented her regular reading habits. During her last four weeks' illness, she never murmured or complained. She was able to be up and around the house previous to her accident and looked forward from year to year to her birthdays. She was a most remarkable woman. In 1881 Mr. and Mrs. Van Valkenburgh celebrated their golden wedding, the husband surviving until three years later. Children of John L. and Caroline (Hubbell) Van Valkenburgh:

  1. Anna E., died July 10, 1872; married Richard Godley, died July 20, 1872. They left children:
    1. John L., died November 1907;
    2. Caroline P., unmarried, and
    3. Harry Edward, died April 13, 1909.
  2. Lawrence; died at the age of seven years and eight months.
  3. Harriet, see forward.
  4. Lawrence Hubbell died March, 1873. He married Florence Van De Water, and had a daughter, Amelia Anna, who married Richard Anthony, of New York, and had a son, Richard Allard.

(VII) Harriet, only surviving child of John L. and Caroline (Hubbell) Van Valkenburgh, was educated at the Albany Female Academy. A memento of her school days is a set of Mrs. Heman's poetical works, earned for excellence in English composition. For twenty-five years she was her father's valued assistant and sole business manager, during his long period of incapacity from ill health, and to her aged mother she was not only a devoted daughter, but her confidential friend and adviser. Her life has been spent in the service of others. Five old people have been the object of her loving care. She is a lifelong member of the Church of the Messiah, and has always been an active worker in the Sunday school and choir. The rectory building was her gift to the parish, given in memory of her father and aunt, so was the ground for the parish house. She is the capable administratix of the Van Valkenburgh estate and resides at the old homestead in Rensselaer.

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