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Schermerhorn Genealogy and Family Chronicles:
Chapter II: Descendants of Ryer Jacobse Schermerhorn (Part 1 of 4)

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[This information is from pp. 55-73 of Schermerhorn Genealogy and Family Chronicles by Richard Schermerhorn, Jr. (New York: Tobias A. Wright, Publisher, 1914).]

The Schenectady Branch

Schenectady, N. Y., was founded in 1661 by Arent Van Curler and a company of other pioneers, mostly Albany families, who desired to be relieved of the restraints thrust on them by Patroon Van Rensselaer, and to provide a more fitting opportunity to do for themselves. Therefore, after receiving formal permission from the authorities at New Amsterdam, the tract of land known as Schenectady was purchased from the Indians, and its development begun. It was a rich farming land, covering in all 128 square miles, 16 miles long and 8 miles wide.

The descendants of Ryer J. Schermerhorn, eldest son of Jacob Janse, constitute what is known as the Schenectady branch of the Schermerhorn family. The history of Schenectady would not be complete without the frequent mention of the Schermerhorn name. The early affairs of the town were almost wholly directed by Ryer Schermerhorn, who was sole Patentee for many years, and his descendants occupied prominent positions in Schenectady's government for lengthy periods. Even today, though Schenectady has grown from a modest town to a large and still growing city, the Schermerhorn name is well known and respected there. There are even now more Schermerhorns in Schenectady than in any other one place. The majority of them, however, come from other branches of the family, strange to say, as Ryer's descendants are well scattered over the entire country.

The Schenectady branch has perhaps furnished a greater share of statesman and professional men than any of the other branches. On the rolls of Union College are found many of the Schermerhorn name, and the great majority are descendants of Ryer Schermerhorn.

Unfortunately the oldest of the Schermerhorn residences in Schenectady have been destroyed in recent years. The old "Schermerhorn Mills," which had been in existence since the early part of the 1700s was burned in July, 1898 (?). The original Schermerhorn homestead in Schenectady, which was said to have been occupied by Jacob Janse himself, was burned in 1911, and was still the property of members of the Schermerhorn family.

In the possession of Simon Schermerhorn of Schenectady is an old silver tankard, with inscription of Jacobus Schermerhorn engraved on the bottom. This is claimed to be over 150 years old. In the possession of John Campbell, Jr., is the old coach [view picture: original size (58K) | 4x enlarged (171K)] of Daniel David Campbell Schermerhorn. This came into the family during Governor Clinton's time and is said to have been the only private coach in New York State at that period besides that of the Governor himself. There are several old homesteads in Rotterdam, just outside of Schenectady, occupied by Schermerhorn descendants, which have many interesting family heirlooms; in fact, these houses are veritable storehouses of graceful and interesting specimens of old furniture, paintings, portraits and other relics of the olden time. In Schenectady and its suburbs, more than any other one place, have the Schermerhorn family's individuality and traditions been preserved, although each passing generation attended by the growth of the community and changing conditions, tends to strengthen the position of the new order of things, and leave still fainter memories and traces of the old days and the old families.

Ryer Schermerhorn

Ryer Schermerhorn was the eldest son of Jacob Janse Schermerhorn and the most prominent one. After his father's death in 1688, he naturally took the place as head of the family and became a leading spirit in the community, as had been his father before him. His name early appears on official records when Oct. 6, 1690, he was commissioned by Jacob Leisler, as Justice of the Peace of Albany County. During the troubles with the French and Indians following the massacre at Schenectady, an order from Jacob Leisler, following one to Major Thomas Chambers of Ulster County, dated Nov. 2, 1690, in respect to furnishing soldiers for the defense of Albany, reads as follows: "To Capt. Barent Lewis, Mr. Schermerhorn and their assistants * * * to press 20 men with arms and 300 skepples peas and 250 skepples of Indian corn within the County of Ulster for the expedition of Albany." In this same year, Apr. 8, Ryer Schermerhorn and Jan Jansen Bleecker were chosen members of the Provincial Assembly meeting in New York, and on Oct. 10, he, with five others, was appointed by Jacob Leisler, "to superintend, direct and control all matters and things relating to the City and County of Albany." His children were all apparently baptized at the Dutch Reformed Church at Albany, the last one in 1693, but it is not quite certain when Ryer took up a permanent residence in the Schenectady district, though he was a freeholder there before 1684. He was the owner of two lots in Albany on the east side of Chapel St., between State St. and Maiden Lane, 65 ft. x 100 ft. and 35 ft. x 100 ft., the first one of which he held until 1713.

Ryer was a man of great determination and a strong faith in his own judgment and his interpretation of what seemed to be his rights. This is early evidenced in 1696, when he refused to do what was pointed out to be his share of cutting and drawing logs for the repair of the fortifications in Schenectady. It may be on account of his living (at the "Mills") some distance from the center of the village, that he did not believe he was justly entitled to bear this share of work, but at least, he absolutely refused, and nothing could budge him. He was called before council, Apr. 30, 1696, for this misdemeanor and put under bail for his appearance before the next supreme court. What finally resulted in this case, the records do not show, but it is quite likely that Ryer stood fully on his rights and had his way. No matter what appearances may have been, the reputation of Ryer did not suffer on account of this little controversy, because he is still found to be Justice of the Peace in 1699, and on May 1, 1700, was appointed assistant Judge of the Common Pleas at Albany. That he was trusted and recognized as a man of affairs by the Colony officials is indicated through the considerable amount of business intrusted to him, shown by the warrants issued to him from time to time for services rendered, such as Oct. 4, 1698, for military transportation; Nov. 1, 1699, furnishing candles and firewood to the garrison at Schenectady; Sept. 9, 1700, for public transportation; Aug. 8, 1700, for freight and provisions delivered to Sachems of the Five Nations at Albany; May 7, 1702, for repairing the fort at Schenectady; Apr. 14, 1702, for firewood to the Schenectady garrison, etc.

In September, 1698, Ryer Schermerhorn and Jan Janse Bleecker, representing the city and county of Albany, delivered a communication to the Governor, Richard, Earl of Bellomont, (letter dated June 6, 1698), protesting against the grant of a tract of land by the latter's predecessor, Governor Fletcher, to Col. P. Schuyler, Maj. Dirck Wessels (Ten Broeck), Doctor Godfrey Dellius, Capt. Evert Banker and Wm. Pinhorne, Esq. This land had been occupied by the friendly Indians and most likely a proper bargain for it had not been made. The protest avers that the effect of this grant would lead the Indians "to desert this Province and fly to the French," whereas formerly they had been most friendly to the Dutch and much benefit had been gained from trade with them. Later Ryer and the Mayor of Albany, Hendrick Hanse, were commissioned by the Governor to visit the Indians (commission dated May 19, 1699), to arrange for the conveying back to them of "certain lands unlawfully acquired from them by Domine Dellius & Col. Bayard." Accompanying them were Garrit and Johannes Luykasse (warrant dated Oct. 27, 1701), and the account of Ryer Schermerhorn and Hendrick Hanse for presents to the Indians was rendered May 7, 1702. The journey to the Mohawks must have been satisfactorily concluded, as Governor Bellomont stated in a letter to the "Lords of Trade," dated Jan. 16, 1701, that Schermerhorn was a "very sensible man and has managed to bargain with the Mohawks very skilfully."

During this same period Ryer was again called upon by the New Amsterdam officials to render them service, and made a contract to deliver lumber for supplying masts for English ships. He had previously, in company with a ship's carpenter, John Latham, made a visit and survey of the woods "up the Hudson & Mohawk," (warrant dated Nov. 5, 1700), the project being broached as early as 1699, as indicated in correspondence between Governor Bellomont and Frederick de Peyster. The project was successfully terminated, (warrant to Ryer for bringing ships timber from Albany, June 16, 1702), although some time must have elapsed between its institution and conclusion, as it was not until Sept. 8, 1702, that an order appears for Samuel Blackman of the Jersey man-of-war, and Beverly Latham, for the valuation of Ryer Schermerhorn's ship timber. A letter from Lord Cornbury to the "Lords of Trade," dated Sept. 29, 1702, mentions the fact that Ryer had received 410 pounds for supplying 24 masts.

There is no doubt that in spite of Ryer Schermerhorn's stubbornness and apparent inclination to override all who opposed him, that this did not affect his religious principles. He was undoubtedly an early member of the Reformed Church at Albany, and later of the congregation at Schenectady, being foremost in the matter of building a new church at the latter place, as is indicated by the petition, dated Oct. 27, 1701, signed by him and Domine Bernard Freeman, for a license to collect funds to build a church. He was deacon of the Reformed Church at Schenectady from 1701 to 1704, and elder from 1705 to 1713. From 1706 to 1713, during which period there was no minister, Ryer Schermerhorn and Johannes Teller were managers of the church finances. Beyond all doubt Ryer was as thorough and commanding in his church duties as he was in other walks of life.

The prominence of Ryer Schermerhorn's position in the early affairs of Schenectady was due in part to the legal authority vested in him as one of the original patentees of the Schenectady Patent. On November 1, 1684, the Patent of Schenectady was confirmed by Governor Thomas Dongan to William Teller, Ryer Schermerhorn, Sweer Teunessen Van Velsen, Jan Van Eps and Myndert Wemp. The latter three were killed in the Schenectady massacre of 1689 and William Teller, an aged man, then residing in Albany, took little interest in the Patent, and in 1692 removed to New York, where he died in 1700. Thus Ryer Schermerhorn was left in entire control of affairs, almost from the beginning. The story of his struggle to maintain his authority is aptly and clearly told by Mr. G. S. Roberts in his very interesting volume, "Old Schenectady," and it is quoted as follows:

"The reason for the Schenectady Patent of 1684 from Governor Dongan was this: The fifteen original proprietors had obtained possession of the land by deed from the real owners of it, the Mohawk Indians, and if the Colony had remained in the possession of the Dutch, any further right to the land might not have been necessary. The Colony, however, passed into the possession of Great Britain and it soon became evident that complications would arise in regard to titles, — hence, the necessity for a patent. * * * The Patent of Schenectady included about 80,000 acres, the affairs of which were absolutely in the control of the five Patentees and their heirs and successors. In 1700 when Ryer Schermerhorn was the sole surviving Patentee, the people objected to being under the rule of one man. They said that he disposed of the public lands without giving any accounting of his transactions, so they petitioned for a new patent in October, 1702, which should give the right to elect five trustees to serve three years, who should be required to render an accounting of their trust to their successors. This Patent was granted in February of the following year, and Col. Peter Schuyler, John S. Glen, Adam Vrooman and John Wemp were made trustees to serve with Ryer Schermerhorn. But the Schermerhorn determination asserted itself. He continued to receive the rents and the profits of the town and brought suits in the court in his own name, without giving an account to the people. He utterly disregarded the new Patent, claiming that he was sole trustee of the village. Even the fact that he was suspended by the Governor made no difference to him. He fell back upon the authority of the Patent of 1684, which was really binding, notwithstanding the Patent of 1703. He knew that the old Patent gave to the five trustees, their heirs and assigns, forever, the control of the land, and as survivor, he intended to live up to the rights secured in that Patent. From the standpoint of Ryer Schermerhorn and by precedent, he was right. But the germ of that great principle of government of the people, by the people and for the people, although not expressed in words until many years later, was beginning to take root, probably without any suspicion of that fact, by those interested.

The people seeing that the determination of Ryer Schermerhorn was based on very solid foundations, petitioned, by two of the new trustees, Col. Peter Schuyler and John S. Glen, for an annual election of trustees, with a more strict provision requiring an accounting of their proceedings. This petition was granted and a new charter was given in April, 1705, with Ryer Schermerhorn's name not among the trustees. In 1704, the Governor and Council gave a hearing to Mr. Schermerhorn. He was suspended as a trustee, but this mattered little to him. He disregarded the action of the Governor, insisted that he was the only trustee and persisted in refusing to render an accounting; so in July, 1705, the new trustees began suit in the Chancery Court against him. The suit was the first of a series of suits brought by both sides for a period of nearly one hundred years, the second Ryer Schermerhorn, a grandson of the first, continuing the contest until his death in 1795, but not one was ever finished. Ryer brought a counter suit against the trustees, John S. Glen, Adam Vrooman, Daniel J. Van Antwerp and J. B. Van Eps. The trustees, weary of the contest, attempted to affect a compromise, but without success, and an appeal to the Colonial Legislature also failed to accomplish anything.

In 1714, on October 22 and 23, Schermerhorn, by lease and release, conveyed his title to William Appel of New York — Appel kept a tavern in that city — with the understanding that he, Appel, should reconvey the lands to Ryer Schermerhorn, Jan Wemp, Johannes Teller and Barent Wemp. This was done on the 25th and 26th of the same month and year. To confirm the conveyance, Gov. Hunter granted the fourth Charter on November 14, 1714. This grant was practically the same as that of 1684, the township in both patents being granted to Ryer Schermerhorn and his associates, their heirs, successors and assigns. These conveyances settled for a time the controversy over the management of the common lands.

In 1750, Jan Schermerhorn, son of Ryer, who died in 1719, claimed that all who were freeholders of Schenectady, when the Dongan Patent was granted in 1684, had equal title in the common lands. This meant that only those would inherit who were descendants from the first settlers in the male line of the eldest sons, for at this time the law of primogeniture was in force. There were, when this claim was set up, but 27 eldest sons who were legal heirs. The death of Jan Schermerhorn in 1753, before legal action had been brought, ended this claim.

But this did not end the contest, for Jan left a son, another Ryer Schermerhorn, who had all the devotion to purpose, and the determination for which the family were noted. He began suit against Arent Bradt and others as patentee, in 1755, for his share in the common lands, which he claimed were his by inheritance from his grandfather, the first Ryer. For 41 years he fought for what he believed to be his rights, and died in 1795 with the struggle unfinished. So strongly did he feel on the subject, that he willed the contest to his heirs, with the penalty of disinheritance should they fail to continue it.

This second Ryer retained Judge James Duane, of glorious memory, as his attorney. Judge Duane told his client that a document in the hands of a man by the name of Appel, living in New York, was of greatest importance to his case, but for it to be of use, it must be in Albany within ten days. Between Albany and New York was nothing but a wilderness with here and there an Indian trail, and the Hudson River. To make the journey to New York and back through the woods, in eight days, was utterly impossible, and the river craft were far too slow. No Schermerhorn had yet been beaten by difficulties, and this member of the family decided that a journey could and should be made in one of the light and graceful birchbark canoes of the Indians, with his muscle and will as motive power, so he started alone, obtained the document and was in Albany again before the expiration of eight days. It is a most unfortunate thing for the present generation that Mr. Schermerhorn wrote no account of the trip. As he was a man who did things without talking of them, one of the most interesting journeys of the early days is left to the imagination."

Ryer Schermerhorn, the Elder, was a large individual property owner, in addition to his being sole trustee of the Schenectady Patent. His property may be listed as follows:

  1. In addition to Bouwery No. 4, acquired through his wife, he owned the easterly half of the Seventh Flat on the north side of the Mohawk River. This property contained about 20 morgens (40 acres) and was bounded east by the Tequatsero Creek, west by another small kill, north by the hills, and south by the river, as described in deed. This property finally came into the possession of the children of his daughter, Cataleyntje, wife of Johannes Wemp.
  2. A lot on the east corner of State and Church Sts., Schenectady, 170 x 160. Part of this lot was left to his daughter, Cataleyntje, wife of Jan Wemp, and the remainder to his son, Jacob, who then dwelt upon it. The latter let it to his son, William, who sold it in 1806.
  3. A lot in Schenectady, purchased Feb. 23, 1703, on the north side of State Street, having a frontage of 73 feet.
  4. Another lot on State Street, 50 x 100, which he left to his son Arent.
  5. A tract of land on the south side of State Street, near the Coehorne Kill, 256 feet in length, which he bequeathed to his son Jan. This parcel contained 4 morgens, or 8 acres.
  6. A lot on the west corner of Union and State Streets, which he owned as early as 1684, and which he acquired through his wife. It was about 190 feet square, and later was owned by one of his wife's grandsons, Helmus Veeder.
  7. A tract of land in Bergen County, N. J., purchased from Gerbrant Claesen, Feb. 6, 1701-2. One-half of this property he deeded later to his daughters, Jannetie and Catalina, and to Catharine Helmers, his step-daughter, wife of Gerrit Symonse Veeder, each receiving a one-sixth part.

The Seventh Flat, as above mentioned, lies near Hoffman's Ferry, between the Droybergh Kil on the east and Van Eps' Kil on the west. Bouwery number 4 contained 26 morgens, or 52 acres. It was known as Schermerhorn's Mills and remained in the family 200 years. Ryer came into possession of this tract through his wife, Ariaantje, whose first husband, Helmer Otten of Albany, purchased it from the original proprietor, Pieter Adrianse Soogemakeleyck. Ryer's marriage took place in July, 1676, at which time in anticipation of this marriage, his wife made a contract with the guardians of her daughter, Catharine Helmerse Otten, by which she mortgaged the farm at Schenectady, for the payment of 225 beaver skins to her daughter, when she arrived at mature age, also to give her one-half of her late husband's property in Holland. The east line of Bouwery number 4 ran along the west line of the Schenectady car works yard, and so on northerly, following the small brook, emptying into the Binne kil. The west line was the Poenties kil. (The property was so described in 1883.)

Anecdote of Ryer Schermerhorn, the Elder. — When a youth, Ryer was sent to Holland at the solicitations of two maiden aunts, who each desired to make him their heir, both, however, owning separate establishments, and each wishing him to live with her. This caused so much jealousy and unkind feeling, and made him so unhappy, that he finally left without notice or intention, and went to London and there learned the shoemaker's trade. His family for a long time gave him up for lost, but he was finally discovered by a sea captain who had been a good friend of his father's, and he was induced to return to America.

Abstract from Will of Ryer Jacobse Schermerhorn on File in Surrogate's Office, City of New York, Page 171, Liber 10

In the Name of God, Amen. I Ryert Schermerhorn of Schenectady, Esq., do make this last will and testament. I leave to my eldest son John Schermerhorn 5 Pounds in lieu of all demands or pretensions he might hereafter make to any part of my estate by virtue of priority of birth. I leave to my wife Ariantie all my real and personal estate during her life and after her death I leave to my son John all my lands where I now live at Schenectady, and he is to convey and confirm unto John Wemp's three children, viz., Myndert, Ryert and Ariantie "procreated in the body of my deceased daughter, Catalina, late wife of John Wemp," the one half of the house and farm where my said son John now lives, on the north side of the Maques River above the town of Schenectady, and the other half to my daughter Janeke, the wife of Valkert Symonsen. I give to my son John the lot of ground lying in Schenectady and adjoining to the lots of ground of Hendrik Vroman and Barent Wemp. I leave to my son Job, eight morgen of the hindermost lot called number 2, bounded east by land of Samuel Bratt; also five and one half morgen of woodland, bounded by the lots of Samuel Bratt & the woods; also part of the lot in the town of Schenectady where he now lives, and which shall be 70 feet broad at the front, to be taken in the middle of the whole lot, which is 170 feet wide, and it is to keep the same width to the end of the lot "Joyning westerly by the street, by the house now in the possession of Josias Swart." I leave to my son Arent, all that farm of land called the Second Flatts, where Simon Groot, Jr., lately lived, with the woodland thereto belonging; also one lot of ground in Schenectady, lying on the west side of the lot belonging to Dow Antes (Aukes) De Frieze, being 50 feet wide in front and 200 feet in length. "But it is my will that the 18 scheppels of wheat yearly forever to be paid for the ground rent of the said Second Flatts, are to be paid equally by my sons John, Job and Arent." I leave to Ariantie Wemp, daughter of John Wemp, one lot of ground, heretofore given to my son John, "being broad in front 50 feet and long 160 feet." I leave to my daughter Janeke, wife of Volkert Symonsen, one half of my land in the Raritans in East Jersey, and I give the other half to my three grandchildren Myndert, Ryert and Ariantie Wemp, "with the condition that my youngest brother Lucas Schermerhorn shall enjoy the same for six years at the annual rent of one pepper corn." I also leave to my brother Lucas all my cattle on said land. I leave to Wilhelminus Symonsen son of Gerritt Symonsen, the lot of pasture ground lying on the south side of the town of Schenectady, next to the lot of Geritt Symonsen. I leave to Hannah Symonsen, daughter of Geritt Symonsen "my lot in the Jerseys, called the Garsnegat." I leave to my son John my old negro man "Tom" and my negro boy "Abraham." To Ariantie Symonsen, wife of Daniel Daniels, I give one cow. I leave all the rest of my estate to my four children and to the children of my daughter Catalina, deceased. I make my three sons, John, Arent, & Jacob, executors.

Date Apr. 5, 1717.

Witnesses Dow Aukes, Ph. Schuyler, Ph. Verplanck. Proved before Killian Van Rensselaer, Apr. 9, 1726.

From Letters of J. Crane Schermerhorn

The widow of Arent Curler, after his death, made the first purchase of land at Schenectady, and received a patent from Governor Stuyvesant. They called it Schuylenburgh, and it was just one mile south of Schenectady. Ryer Schermerhorn settled there in 1685, built a house with bricks and sash brought from Holland and put up five mills on a creek, which he dammed up. Four of the mills were torn down in my time, for they did not pay any more, but the Flour or Grist Mill, as they called it, is still there, but the old house was burned. I have been in the house a great many times. The cellar was divided by iron doors, so that they could keep things secure from the Indians, as well as from their negroes, who had a portion of the cellar to themselves. One of the young negroes was scalped by the Indians on one of their raids, and the Indian bound up his head and carried him away to Canada, a prisoner, for he wanted to get double price for him. But he got nothing, for they grew careless as they neared the Canada line and the negro got up one night when the Indians were all asleep, took his scalp and started for home, all alone through the deep snow. He got back all right and was quite a hero. When my father was a little boy, he saw the scalp, and I think, the negro boy, who was then an old man. * * *

Have I told you in any previous letter that my grandfather's great grandfather was the Burgomaster of Schenectady, at the time Schenectady was burned by the French and Indians? The latter had come in the middle of winter from Canada, and the snow was very deep. The old Dutchmen had not shoveled it away from the gates, so that they could be shut, and the Indians had no trouble getting in. The Burghers were awakened by the light of their burning houses and the whoops of the savages, and Simon Schermerhorn, who had no time even to put on sufficient clothing, rode bare backed over to Fort Orange (Albany) to notify the garrison there.

All goods were brought up to Albany by vessel, in these days, and carried across the pine plains (sand dunes), to the Dutch village of Dorp (Schenectady), and then loaded on flat boats and poled up the river over the rapids and so on to Oswego Lake, and then to Buffalo. I have seen the old wharves at the foot of the Binnekill, but of course they are all gone now.

When the Rev. John F. Schermerhorn went to Holland, it was not to get the pedigree of the Schermerhorn family, but to trace the pedigree of those who claimed to be the heirs of Anneke Janse Bogardus. I was a small boy when I heard the old folks talking about it. They collected money to defray his expenses, my father giving several hundred dollars. So you see he did not get data for the Schermerhorns only, but for all who claimed to be heirs of Anneke Jans. If I remember rightly, the Rev. John F. Schermerhorn remained in Holland for at least one year. * * *

The old fort at Schenectady is now but a name, and there is very little from which to get the exact location. But it was enclosed from Washington Street along Front, to a little above Ferry Street. Schermerhorn Mills consisted of five mills. The first was a flouring or grist-mill, and the others a saw-mill, a hat factory, a fulling mill and a wool-carding mill. The manufacture of cloth and clothing in the factories closed all of the above except the grist-mill. I worked in the wool-carding mill when I was a boy.

The slaves were freed in New York State, I think, in 1817. At this time my grandfather had to drive the negroes away from the house. That was the only home they had ever known. Some of them married Indians, and there was a mixture of half and quarter breeds that were called Yanseys. I do not know of a single one left. The last one I knew was Jim Cuff, a big fellow, who made baskets and fished.

When I was a boy, I knew everybody and his dog in Schenectady and the neighborhood. There were about 7000 inhabitants in that time, but now everybody is a stranger. The Schermerhorn farm that my people sold to the General Electric Company for forty thousand dollars twenty-five years ago, now has improvements on it worth ninety millions.

Second Generation

2

RYER J., son of (1) Jacob Janse Schermerhorn and Jannetie Egmont; bp. June 23, 1652, in New York; d. Feb. 19, 1719; m. in July, 1676, ARIANTJE ARENTSE BRADT; d. 1717; dau. of Arent Arentse Bradt and Catalyntje Vos; widow of Helmer Otten.

Children:

Third Generation

6

JAN, son of (2) Ryer J. Schermerhorn and Ariantje A. Bradt; bp. Oct. 14, 1685, in Albany; d. 1752; m. Apr. 28, 1711, ENGELTIE VROOMAN; bp. Dec. 22, 1695; d. 1754; dau. of Jan Hendrickse Vrooman and Giesie Veeder.

Children:

Jan Schermerhorn inherited the Schermerhorn homestead at Schuylenburgh. He also acquired from his brothers Jacob and Arent an extensive property in "the Raritans," New Jersey. This had been originally owned by his father. His name appears, in 1715, on the roll of Capt. Johannes Sander's Company of Schenectady Militia.

Will Filed in Surrogate's Office, New York City. Liber 25, Page 543

John Schermerhorn of Schenectady township, farmer, made will Oct. 28, 1752. Leaves to son Ryer, 5 Pounds "for his primogenture," — to his wife Engelie, the use of "one third my lands and grist mill during her widow hood and the house where I dwell, also all the money I may have and my negro wench and household furniture. I leave to my son Reyer all my real estate, lands mills, farm, barracks, except as here given. I leave to my son Symon a lot in Schenectady next to the lot of Petrus Van Driesen with the creek. I leave to my son Jacob 4 morgen of land next to the land of Wouter Vrooman on one side and the land of Nicholas A. Van Petten on the other. My two sons Symon and Jacob are to have the privilege to saw 200 logs yearly at the saw mill. I leave to my son Johanes my land in East Jersey which I bought of my two brother100 Pounds to be paid in eight years after my wife's decease. I leave to my son Symon a lot in Schenectady, southeast thereof, adjoining the lot formerly of Hendrick Vroman, and the road to Albany, being 4 morgen, with the creek or stream, with the liberty of building a dam & mills and he has the privilege of sawing 200 logs yearly at my saw-mill. I leave to my daughter Ariantie, wife of Claas de Groff, 100 Pounds, to my daughter Gesina, wife of Philip Van Petten, 100 Pounds, to my daughter Catlyna, wife of John Dodde, 80 Pounds, to my daughter Neeltie, wife of Claas Vielen, 100 Pounds, to my daughter Maghdalene, 130 Pounds. I make my sons Reyer, Symon & Jacob, executors.

Wit. Hendryckes Feder, miller, Jacob Vroman, Hermanus Terwillgen.
Proved Jly. 27, 1767, in Albany before Wm. Hanna, Surrogate.

7

JACOB, son of (2) Ryer J. Schermerhorn and Ariantje A. Bratt; b. ————; d. July 4, 1753; m. Nov. 20, 1712, in Albany, MARGARITA TELLER; bp. Feb. 19, 1693; d. May 22, 1741; dau. of John Teller and Susanna Wendel.

Children, bp. in Schenectady:

Jacob R. Schermerhorn settled on the Schenectady Flatts in the Town of Rotterdam, N. Y., on an estate inherited from his father. His name appears on the roll of Capt. John Sanders Glen's Company of Schenectady in 1715. He attended the First Reformed Church of Schenectady and occupied Bench No. 6 as early as 1734. He was an elder of the Church in 1746.

8

ARENT, son of (2) Ryer J. Schermerhorn and Ariaantje A. Bradt; bp. Jan. 1, 1693, in Albany; d. July 14, 1757; m. Apr. 16, 1714, in Albany, ANTIE FONDA; bp. Feb. 2, 1690; dau. of Douw Jillese and Rebecca Fonda.

Children:

Arent Schermerhorn inherited from his father "the easterly half of the second Flatt," on the north side of the Mohawk River, where is now the present town of Glenville, N. Y. He lived at "The Mills." His name appears in Capt. Harmon Van Slyck's Company of Schenectady Militia in 1715.

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