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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Visscher

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 806-808 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 name is one of the oldest in Holland, and was borne by men of distinction — artists, statesmen and soldiers, as well as by those in other walks of life. Unlike many other families of the early immigrants, who lost their surnames in this country, the Visschers have retained theirs, and although the spelling has been changed in some instances, the original is easily recognized. On the records are found Visscher, Visgar, De Visser, Visselaer and Vysaer. Tradition has it that two brothers only of this name came from Holland and settled in Rensselaerwick, New York, and that one of them, a Roman Catholic, was dissatisfied with his surroundings and returned to Holland. Of the five sons of the other brother, three settled in or near Beverwyck (Albany), one in Greenbush, and one in Schenectady.

(I) Bastian Visscher, of Hoorn, Holland, was living in 1675; had two sons who emigrated to America prior to 1644 and settled in Rensselaerwick: Frederick, supposed to have returned to Holland: and Harmen, who remained in this country.

(II) Harmen, son of Bastian Visscher, of Hoorn, Holland, was born in 1619, died prior to the year 1693, and his widow in November that year. Both he and his eldest son Tierk were householders in Beverwyck in 1678. He had a garden on the river, below Hudson street, and a house and lot on the west side of Pearl street, between Maiden Lane and Steuben street. In 1666 he was village surveyor, which shows him to have been a man of education far beyond the average of that early day. He married Hester Tjerkse, probably in New Amsterdam. Children:

  1. Tierk, baptized July 7, 1652, in New York; married Emmetje Janto.
  2. Bastian, married Dirkje Tennis [Teunis?] de Metselaer.
  3. Nanning, see forward.
  4. Frederick, married (first) Margareta Hansen, January 13, 1692; she died August 30, 1701; he married (second) Elizabeth Sanders, widow of Everet Wendell, December 15, 1694.
  5. Sarah, married Gerrit Lucas Wyngaart, November 4, 1694.
  6. Hester, married Abraham S. Groot, July 9, 1699.
  7. Johannis, born 1669; married Elizabeth Nottingham.
  8. Maria, married Philip Wendell, June 17, 1688; she died February 5, 1735-36.
  9. Ariantje, married Hieronomus Wendell, before 1676.
  10. Geertje, married Cornelius Dirkse Van Spellyne, before 1684.

(III) Nanning, son of Harmen and Hester (Tjerkse) Visscher, died April 8, 1730, in Albany. He married, January 6, 1686, Alida, daughter of Jan Dirkse and Maritje Vinhagen. Children, with dates of baptism:

  1. Harmanus, January 23, 1689.
  2. Maria, December 4, 1689; married, November 18, 1715, Jacob Hallenbeck.
  3. Hester, July 21, 1692; married, May 3, 1720, Jacob Vander Heyden.
  4. Harmanus, September 2, 1694.
  5. Geeting, March 8, 1696; married, December 26, 1725, David Vander Heyden.
  6. Alida, March 8, 1696.
  7. Johannes N., see forward.
  8. Harmen, December 26, 1700; married, February 24, 1739, Rachel Vander Heyden.
  9. Alida, August 1, 1703; married, June 17, 1728, Jacob Ten Eyck.
  10. Nicholas, November 25, 1705; married, January 18, 1734, Annetje Tymensen.

(IV) Johannes Nanning, son of Nanning and Alida (Vinhagen) Visscher, was baptized in Albany, New York, August 14, 1698. He married, February 16, 1728, Annetje (Anna), daughter of Barent and Neeltje Gerritse (Van Den Berg) Staats, born December 24, 1703. Johannes N. Visscher made his will September 18, 1744, naming all the children mentioned below except Anna; the will was proved June 8, 1753, and recorded February 11, 1789. Children, with baptism dates:

  1. Alida, July 18, 1729.
  2. Neeltje, March 28, 1730; married, July 24, 1751, Jacob Van Wagner.
  3. Anna, October 31, 1731.
  4. Nanning, December, 1732; married (first) August 17, 1760, Catrelie Wendell; (second) November 2, 1764, Helena Lansing.
  5. Alida, March 23, 1735; married, September 5, 1753, Gerrit Roerback, of New York.
  6. Barent J., see forward.
  7. Johannis, April 23, 1739; married, May 7, 1763, Elizabeth Bradt.
  8. Jochim, December 31, 1740, died in childhood.
  9. Gerrit, October 24, 1742; married Lady Sarah Turner, in Ireland.

(V) Barent J., son of Johannes Nanning and Annetje (Staats) Visscher, was baptized in Albany, March 13, 1737. He married, April 22, 1765, Sarah Harmense, daughter of Harmanus and Sarah (Wyngaart) Visscher, baptized September 20, 1741. Children:

  1. Annetje, born August 25, 1766; married, before 1788, ———— Lieverse.
  2. Sarah, November 24, 1767; married, August 5, 1787, Benjamin Van Zandt.
  3. Johannes B., see forward.
  4. Alida, November 7, 1772.
  5. Harmen, November 26, 1774; married, September 10, 1823, Anna M. Chapman.
  6. Alida, February 8, 1777; married John Everton.

(VI) Johannes B., son of Barent J. and Sarah Harmense (Visscher) Visscher, was born in Albany, September 4, 1769. He married (first) Geertruy (Gertrude), daughter of Lavinus Dunbar and Margarita Hansen, born October 17, 1777, died February 1, 1804. Married (second) Catharine, daughter of Edward S. and Sarah (Fryer) Willet, born June 14, 1779. Children by first wife:

  1. Harmen, born January 4, 1802, died July 14, 1872; married, September 10, 1823, Ann M. Chapman.
  2. Geertruy, December 5, 1803, died June 11, 1831; married ———— Lovell.

Children by second wife:

  1. Barent, died in infancy.
  2. Barent, born January 8, 1812, died May 17, 1824.
  3. Edward, died in infancy.
  4. Gerrit, died in infancy.
  5. Edward, born November 18, 1817.
  6. Sarah Ann, November 30, 1819; married, December 19, 1849, Philip S. Lansing.
  7. Lydia, January 16, 1822.
  8. John B., see forward.

(VII) John B., son of Johannes B. and Catharine (Willet) Visscher, was born in Albany, August 31, 1825. His entire life was spent in Albany where he died January 31, 1890. He was educated in private schools, and after reaching manhood engaged in the management and improvement of his estates. He was a large land owner and did much for the improvement of the city. His principal interest outside of his private estate was in the First Reformed Church of Albany, to which he was devoted. He held the office of trustee, which he administered as a sacred trust. He was a member of Albany Chapter of the Holland Society, and affiliated, after its formation, with the Republican party. He was of modest, retiring disposition and would never accept public office. He married (first) July 8, 1857, Ann, daughter of Abraham R. and Annetje (Visscher) Ten Eyck, born April 17, 1822, died February 5, 1863; no children. Married (second) October 18, 1866, Alida, daughter of Douw and Jane Ann (Leversee) Lansing, born October 1, 1844. Children:

  1. John Douw, born August 31, 1867, died December 27, 1868.
  2. Edward Willet, April 5, 1870; was educated at the Albany Boys' Academy; was connected with the Mechanics' & Farmers' Bank, of Albany, for ten years, then engaged in the real estate business in Albany, New York, January 22, 1895, married Mame Eugenia Palmer, of Chicago, Illinois.
  3. William Leversee, see forward.
  4. Clarence Eugene, died in infancy.

Alida Lansing was a descendant of Jacob Lansing and his wife Helena Huyck, who came from Holland about 1700. Their son John settled in the vicinity of "the Bocht" [Boght] and founded the family in that section.

(VIII) William Leversee, son of John B. and Alida (Lansing) Visscher, was born in Albany, June 3, 1874. He was educated at the Albany Boys' Academy, graduating with the class of 1892. In that year he entered the employ of Spencer Trask & Company, bankers, in Albany. After remaining a year and a half with them, he toured Europe, remaining for nearly a year. On his return to Albany he began the study of law in the offices of Harris & Rudd. In 1898 he matriculated at the Albany Law School, graduating in 1900 with the degree of LL.B., and was admitted to the bar the same year. In 1901 he became associated with the law firm of Harris & Rudd, now composed of William P. Rudd and William L. Visscher. Later he was admitted to practice in the United States district and circuit courts. The firm do a general legal business, making a specialty of corporation law. They are well established and command a large practice. Mr. Visscher is a member of the New York State and Albany Bar associations, and politically is a Republican. He is a trustee and secretary of the board of trustees of the First Reformed Church of Albany. Through his pure Dutch ancestry, both paternal and maternal, he gains membership to the Holland Society of America, belonging to Albany Chapter. He is a trustee of the Fort Orange Club, governor of the Country Club, member of the University, Albany and Troy clubs. His fraternity is the Phi Delta Phi (legal) of Albany Law School. He has always been fond of athletics and out-of-door sports, particularly of tennis. His vacations are spent in automobiling and as much as possible in the open country. He is unmarried.

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