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A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times
6: Division of Lands

Prof. Jonathan Pearson

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[This information is from pp. 58-81 of A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times; being contributions toward a history of the lower Mohawk Valley by Jonathan Pearson, A. M. and others, edited by J. W. MacMurray, A. M., U. S. A. (Albany, NY: J. Munsell's Sons, Printers, 1883). It is in the Schenectady Collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at Schdy R 974.744 P36, and copies are also available for borrowing.]

[Copies of this book are available from the Schenectady County Historical Society.]

[The original version uses assorted typographical symbols to represent footnotes. To improve legibility, the online version uses the form (page number - note number.)]

How the Lands Purchased by Van Curler from the Mohawks in 1661, Were Divided Among the First Proprietors

Four different allotments were made to each of the first settlers; first, a house lot in the village; second, a farm on the Great Flat or islands; third, a pasture ground east of the village, and fourth, a garden lot in the lowland (laeghte) west of Mill creek and near the Binnè kill.

First. — House lots. The village plat originally embracing mainly the land lying west of Ferry street, was divided into four blocks, or squares, which were again subdivided into ample house lots. For protection this plat was early surrounded by stockades. As the population outgrew these narrow limits, house lots were assigned on the "Albany path" [now State street], so that before 1690 it was sparsely built up as far east as Lange gang [Centre street] and until about 1700, only the north side was occupied by houses. Front, Green and Union streets east of Ferry street, used for cow paths to the pastures and woodlands, were not then built upon. The little church and graveyard stood at the junction of State, Church and Water streets and the Dominie's house upon the site of the present church. Many of the original village lots were about 200 feet square — four to a block or square, but were early subdivided to meet the demands for residences within the stockades.

[Bouwlands of Schenectady 1664: Map constructed from actual survey and the ancient deed.]

Second. The bouwland. The great tract of flat or bottom land bounded northerly by the river and State street, southerly by the sand bluff, easterly by Centre street extended south, and westerly by the hills west of the hills west of the first lock on the canal, embracing several hundred acres of arable land, was anciently called the Groote Vlaachte.

It was mainly cleared land when the white man first occupied it in 1662, and had been the Mohawks' maize land perhaps for centuries. This and other parcels of like soil along the Mohawk, formed the main inducement for the Hollanders to settle here; in them they recognized the Polders of fatherland. (59-1) The bouwland was originally divided into twenty-three separate parcels and assigned to fifteen individuals, no one, with one exception, holding more than fifty acres, — all being served alike, quantity and quality [and convenience] considered.

The farm nearest the village embracing twenty-four acres was Van Velsen's, bounded by State street, Coehorn and Mill creeks as far west as, or near to Church street. This, together with the water privilege was granted in consideration of his building a grist mill on Mill Lane. (60-1)

The second parcel consisting of about forty acres of bottom land, anciently called "Gerrit Symonse's meadow," commenced at or near the Coehorn kil at the south bounds of Van Velsen's land and extended southerly to and including "Veeder's Mills." This parcel has been preserved nearly entire and is mostly in the ownership and occupation of the Veeder family at the present time. (60-2)

The third the largest and most valuable farm, embracing 114 acres, was Arent Van Curler's, called the first piece of land and after his death, Juffrow's landt. (60-3) This was bounded northerly by the Binnè kil, easterly by Van Velsen's farm (excepting a few gardens on the south side of Water street), southerly by "Gerrit Symonse's meadow," and by the sand bluff, or hills, as far as the Schermerhorn Mills, and westerly by farms Nos. 1 and 4, owned by Arent Bradt and Pieter Van Woggelum. The New York Central Railroad runs through the southerly end of this valuable tract, and the canal nearly through the middle of it. (60-4) Van Curler fairly earned this distinction above his partners in this land grant, by reason of his great exertions and influence in procuring the extinguishment of the Indian title in the first place, and by his subsequent labors in acquiring patents for these lands from the Governor and Council.

The fourth large parcel of the bouwland called the second or foremost piece of land to distinguish it from Van Curler's which was called the first piece, lay next west. The east line of this tract ran along the west fence of the Schenectady car works yard, and so northerly to and around the east side of lot No. 1, belonging to Arent Bratt, following the small brook emptying into the Binnè kil, a little east of the farm buildings of the late John Myers. The westerly line of this parcel was the Poenties Kil and lot No. 10 belonging to Teunis Cornelise Swart. This second piece was divided into ten farms including De Winter's or Elias' Plantasie, by north-east and south-west lines from the river to the sand bluff, and by easterly and westerly lines nearly coinciding with the river road and canal.

The fifth parcel of bouwlands called the hindermost piece of land, commenced at the Poenties kil and extended west to the hills near the first lock, and was divided into ten farms by north-easterly and south-westerly lines from the river to the hills, and by easterly and westerly lines nearly coinciding with the canal and river road.

According to the measurements of that day the entire Bouwland consisted of

It is quite evident that this measurement was much too small. Probably only the good, clear, arable land was taken into account in the above allotments, creupelbos and dovegats being excluded. Since that early day these have been cleared and filled, thereby much enlarging the area of arable land.

The second and hindmost great lots of the bouwlands including Elias' Plantasie were subdivided each into ten parcels of about twenty-five acres, numbered from 1 to 10, beginning at the easterly and westerly extremities of these two parcels, and proceeding towards the Poenties Kil (61-1), on the west side of which lay the two farms numbered 10, united into one. So that persons to whom were allotted numbers 1, 2, 3, &c., of the second near the village, drew also numbers 1, 2, 3, &c., of the hindmost parcel at the western extremity of the bouwland, and only one person had all of his land in one place, to wit, Teunis Cornelise Swart, the fortunate holder of the double farm numbered ten. This ingenious plan of allotment was contrived to prevent any one person obtaining an undue advantage over his associates by selecting all his land near the village.

Two other parcels of arable land separated from the Great Flat by the river were also assigned at an early day, viz., Marten's or Van Slyck's island comprising about 82 acres, patented to Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck and Jan Barentse Wemp: — and the flat lying west and south of the lake in Scotia, granted to Sander Leendertse Glen, estimated at 50 acres. (62-1)

Finally, on the eastern side of the village, between Front street and the river, was a strip of land called the Calver Wey, which was allotted to the first settlers in parcels of 2 1/2 morgens, the easternmost lot being that of Jellis Fonda. Adjoining Fonda's lot easterly, was Hans Janse Eenkluys' bouwery of 18 morgens, which, on his death, became the property of the Dutch Church, — a legacy for the benefit of the poor of Schenectady. (62-2)

All lands lying outside of the palisades easterly of Ferry street, save the house lots on the north side of State street as far as Centre street, were originally allotted to individuals in parcels of a few acres as woodland or pasture ground.

Original Owners of the Twenty Farms Into Which That Portion of the Great Flat Lying Westerly of Arent Van Curler's Bouwery Was Divided (62-3)

Farms No. 1

Both farms numbered one were patented to Catelyn De Vos, widow of Arent Bratt the norman, June 2, 1668. Patents, 590.

June 15, 1668, a new patent was granted to Barent Janse [Van Ditmars] and Catelyn [De Vos] his wife. Patents, 593.

Feb. 27, 1690, on occasion of her third marriage with Claas Janse Van Boekhoven, Catelyn De Vos secured her childrens' share in their father's [Bratt's] property by a mortgage upon these two farms. Deeds, IV, 296.

Oct. 13, 1713, On her death an appraisal of these two farms was made when the foremost farm was valued at £393.15, and the hindmost farm at £354.7-6. (Schermerhorn Papers)

Jan. 1698/9. The will of Catalyntje De Vos speaks of the first lot as containing thirty-six acres and the aftermost lot thirty acres. Wills, I, 74.

15 Aug. 1705. Former deeds being lost in 1690, Ryer Schermerhorn only surviving trustee, gave a new deed to Arent Bratt, grandson and heir of Arent Andriese Bratt, for the first lot thirty-six acres and aftermost lot thirty acres. Deeds, V, 168.

In 1707, a contract was made that Margaret, widow of Andries Bratt deceased and wife of Harmanus Vedder, should have the use of farm No. 1, during her life.

27 Aug. 1713, Reyer Schermerhorn and Dirk Bratt conveyed to Samuel Bratt the hindermost farm No. 1, containing fifteen morgens and 467 rods. Deeds, V, 284-5.

Farms No. 2

They were first owned by Philip Hendrickse Brouwer.

April, 29, 1664, his administrators sold them to Cornelis Van Ness for Jan Dirkse Van Eps son of Maritie Damen his wife, for the sum of 1287 guilders. Deeds, II, 469.

April 29, 1667, the above sale was confirmed by the Governor's patent. Patents, 392.

May 1, 1681. Douwe Aukes claimed to have purchased at vendue half the hindmost farm which he afterwards sold to Davidt Christoffelse. Deeds, IV, 181.

Feb. 4, 1713/4, Johannes Baptist Van Eps eldest son and heir of Jan Dirkse Van Eps deceased, conveyed to Arent Bratt the hindmost farm No. 2, comprising twelve morgens. Deeds, V, 217.

See also Deeds, V, 310, 311 — will of Reyer Schmerhorn 5 April, 1717, and Will of Myndert Van Gyseling April 2, 1771, among H. Yates' Papers.

Farms No. 3

These farms were first granted to Sander Leendertse Glen, by Patent of date June 16, 1664.

On 6 April, 1704, Johannes eldest son and heir of Jacob Glen, eldest son and heir of Sander Leendertse Glen both deceased, conveyed to Claas Van Petten the foremost farm No. 3 containing ten morgens 130 rods together with two morgens of hindmost farm No. 3. Deeds, IV, 324.

Johannes Glen by will devised the remainder of hindmost farm, 26 Sept. 1706, to his younger brother Sander, comprising about twenty acres. Will in Court of Appeals office.

On the 4th June, 1711, Claas Van Patten conveyed to his son Andries the foremost lot. Deeds, V, 340, 353.

Feb. 24, and Aug. 11, 1714. To rectify a disputed line, R. Schermerhorn and Andries Van Petten make a final settlement. Deeds, V, 222, 341.

Farms No. 4

Farms No. 4 were granted to Pieter Adrianse Soegemakelyk, alias Van Woggelum, June 5, 1667, the first containing fourteen morgens, and the second twelve morgens. Patents, 478.

Van Woggelum conveyed both to Helmer Otten, Aug. 13, 1670. Deeds, II, 769.

Ap. 6, 1681, Van Woggelum reconveyed the same to Reyer Schermerhorn who had married Otten's widow. Deeds, III, 108.

June 18, 1695, Jan, eldest son of Pieter Adriaense Van Woggelum, quit claimed the same to Schermerhorn. Schermerhorn Papers.

Feb. 24 and Aug. 11, 1714, Schermerhorn and Claas Van Petten settle the disputed line between foremost farms No. 3 and 4. Deeds, V, 222, 341.

Feb. 27, 1702/3. Catherine Otten, wife of Gerrit Symonse Veeder, exchanged eight morgens of the hoek [foremost farm, No. 9] with R. Schermerhorn for eight morgens of hindmost farm No. 4. Deeds, V, 287.

The patent for R. Schermerhorn's mill privilege on the Schuylenbergh Kil [at Schermerhorn's mills], was given and recorded in the Secretary of State's office, in Boston, Mass., Sept. 29, 1688.

Farms No. 5

June 29, 1667, Governor Nicolls confirmed to Willem Teller the two farms, No. 5, which were first patented to him by Governor Stuyvesant, June 16, 1664. Patents, 491.

June 20, 1700, his son Johannes "being much reduced in property, in 1690 at Schenectady, by the French," received a conveyance of these two farms from his father. Deeds, IV, 209.

9 Ap., 1752, Willem Teller, son of Johannes, devised the foremost farm on the Poenties Kil to his son Willem, and the second or hindmost farm to his eldest son Johannes.

Farms No. 6

Gerrit Bancker, of Albany, received the patent for these farms June 16, 1664, which patent was confirmed Ap. 27, 1667 by Governor Nicolls. (65-1) Patents, 382.

Evert, son and heir of Gerrit Bancker, sold the foremost lot to Isaac Swits, July 7, 1702, for £183 12s; — it contained 22 acres. Deeds, V, 154.

Isaac Swits made his will Ap. 1, 1701, — proved Oct. 4, 1707, — and devised a portion of the first farm to his eldest son Cornelis. Will, Court of Appeals office.

The hindmost farm belonging to Harmen Vedder; he conveyed the southeasterly half to his son Albert, Mar. 12, 1700/1, for the sum of £91 16s. This moiety then contained ten acres. Deeds, V, 107.

Sept. 19, 1748, Albert Vedder was "now or late" the owner of the west half also. Deeds, VII, 212

Feb. 8, 1751/2, Albert Vedder, "synde out van daghen," made his will which was proved Feb. 13, 1753/4, and devised four and one-half morgens of this hindmost farm, No. 6, to his son Harme. Will, Court of Appeals office.

Farms No. 7

Pieter Jacobse Bosboom [Borsboom?] de Steenbakker received a patent of these farms June 16, 1664, — confirmed May 9, 1668. Patents, 552.

17 Sept., 1669, Bosboom conveyed the foremost farm to Jan Labitie, 11 morgens, 263 rods. Deeds, II, 759.

In 1702 this foremost lot belonged to Gysbert Gerritse Van Brakel, Deeds, V, 154.

Jan Labitie sold 12 morgens out of this farm to Johannes Van Eps.

The hindmost lot was partitioned among Bosboom's four daughters, to wit, Maritie, wife of Hendrick Brouwer, Fytie, wife of Marte Van Benthuysen, Tryntje, wife of John Oliver and Anna, wife of Jan Mebie. Deeds, VI, 185.

Farms No. 8

Marten Cornelise Van Isselsteyn received a patent for these farms June 16, 1664, — confirmed by Governor Nicolls, April 13, 1668. Patents, 527.

Oct. 23, 1668, he sold both farms to Claas Frederickse Van Petten and Cornelis Cornelise Vielè, comprising 22 acres. Deeds, II, 741.

The former sold his moiety, — the foremost farm to Jan Dirkse Van Eps, for which Jan Baptist Van Eps, his son and heir received a confirmatory deed from the trustees of Schenectady, Feb., 1701/2. Deeds, IV, 332.

Vielè sold his moiety, — the hindmost farm — to Jurriaen Teunise Tappen of Albany, the 25th Aug., 1670, and next day received from Tappen the conveyance of a house and lot in Albany, probably in exchange. Deeds, II, 777.

Tappen disposed of this farm to Dirk Hesselingh, who conveyed the same Feb. 1, 1671/2, to Harmen Vedder. Not. Pap., II; Deeds, VII, 185.

On the 15th Dec., 1672, Tappen confirmed the above sale by quit-claim to Vedder. Deeds, II, 866.

Farms No. 9

These farms were first conveyed to Simon Volckertse Veeder, de bakker, by patent of date June 16th, 1664, — confirmed Jan. 15, 1667, by patent from Governor Nicolls. Patents, 310.

Veeder made his will Jan. 8, 1696/7, bequeathing the hindmost farm to son Volckert. Wills, Court of Appeals office.

Volckert Veeder made his will Aug. 4, 1733, and left the hindmost lot to his four sons. H. Yates' Papers.

Nov. 2, 1682, Simon Volckertse Veeder exchanged the foremost farm called the hoek with Jacob Casparse Hallenbeck for land on the Normanskill. Not. Pap., II.

And June 8, 1687, Jacob Casparse and wife conveyed the hoek to Jan Jansen Bleecker for "two hundred and fifty good merchantable beaver skins." Schermerhorn Papers.

17 March, 1696/7, Reyer Schermerhorn agreed to convey to Gerrit Symonse Veeder 8 morgens of land out of the hoeck to be cut of with an east and west line from the south end. Deeds, IV, 106.

23d Feb., 1702/3, Jan Janse Bleecker conveyed the hoek to Reyer Schermerhorn.

5th March, 1705/6, Schermerhorn agreed to sell to Gillis Fonda four morgens out of the hoeck. Schermerhorn Papers.

When Gerrit Symonse Veeder made his will 12 March, 1746/7, he devised eight morgens out of the hoek to his children. — H. Yates' Papers.

Farm No. 10

The double bouwery No. 10, was first patented to Teunis Cornelise Swart, June 16, 1664, and confirmed Jan. 16, 1667. Patents, 309.

Elizabeth, widow of Teunis Swart, then wife of Jacob Meese Vrooman, of Albany, Feb. 20, 1685/6, conveyed to her son Jesaias Swart, eight acres of land out of this farm to be taken from the extreme south end. Deeds, III, 310.

26th April, 1692. Wouter Uythoff (third husband of Elizabeth), and said Elizabeth his wife, for 540 beavers conveyed the whole bouwery No. 10, to Claas Laurense Van Purmerend (alias Van der Volgen). Deeds, IV, 35.

Jan. 4, 1692/3. Claas Laurense Van Purmerend sold to Claas Janse Van Boekhoven for 147 pounds the half of farm No. 10 lying between the highway and the river, — eleven morgens. Deeds, IV, 34.

And Jan. 5, 1692/3. Claas Janse conveyed to Dirk Arentse Bratt, his stepson for 73 1/2 pounds, five and one-half morgens of the above purchase, being the easterly half of that portion lying north of the highway. Deeds, IV, 38.

On the same day, to wit, Jan. 5, 1692/3, in consideration of a sum of money paid him by Catharine Glen, sometime widow of Cornelis Barentse Van Ditmars, eldest son of Barent Janse Van Ditmars, Claas Janse Van Boekhoven conveyed to said Catharine Glen (and as her dower), now wife of Gerrit Lansing, Jr., a piece of land out of farm No. 10, being the westerly half of that portion lying between the highway and the river — consisting of five and one-half morgens. Deeds, IV, 37.

The land in the immediate vicinity of the village, — the Great Flat and island, — were all taken up in 1662, by the fifteen first proprietors. Other persons followed the next and succeeding years and finding no lands unoccupied, either bought up the rights of the earlier owners or pushed further into the wilderness, on both sides of the Mohawk river.

The south side was considered the safest from Indian attacks and for that reason the Governor and Council at first discouraged settlements on the north side; this was but a temporary check however. Before the year 1700 all the arable land on both sides of the river to and even beyond the western bounds of the town was taken up and sparsely settled. (68-1)

These lands had a rich alluvial soil formed by the annual overflow of the river, and were mainly found in the bends and eddys; excepting the Great Flat they were generally small, comprising but a few acres.

Flats or Plains on the South Side of the River

Poversen (68-2)

Going west this is the first arable land lying on the south side of the river above the Great Flat. It commenced at the road running west from the first lock (68-3) and extended up the river to the "stone kil," a dry creek next above the second lock. It was first purchased from the natives by Benjamin Roberts, who sold the same to Henderick Lambertse Bont. The latter sold the easterly portion to Barent Janse Van Ditmars and the westerly portion to Douwe Aukes, who conveyed the same to his [adopted] son Cornelis Vielè. In 1713 Vielè was then residing on this land between the two locks. (68-4)

First Flat

This flat or plain consisting of about 80 acres of lowlands is described in Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck's patent, granted in 1684, as "situated between two creeks, one called Stone creek to the eastward, the other 'Platte creek' to the westward, come to him in right of his mother who was a Mohawk woman." (69-1)

It has remained in the family to this day, passing from father to son by inheritance.

The easterly part of this flat called "Hazlenut flat" was owned by Manasseh Sixberry, in 1709; he then made his will, leaving his property to his four children. (69-2)

Second Flat

This farm beginning at a little above "Reghel brugse kil" (69-3) was first taken up by Jacobus Peek and Isaac Du Trieux about 1670, and patented to them in 1677.

It contained twenty-two and one-half morgens or forty-five acres and twenty acres of woodland.

In 1706, Maria widow of Isaac Du Trieux had permission from the trustees of Schenectady to sell to Jacobus Peek eight morgens of land on this flat.

Johannes and Jacobus, sons of Jacobus Peek, became the owners of the whole tract. It is now owned by John McCue on the west end, Abraham A. Bratt on the east end. (69-4)

Third Flat

This flat lies about eight miles above Schenectady, and consisted anciently of about 127 acres of lowland; in 1864, it was computed at thirty morgens or say sixty-three acres and was then occupied, — the upper or westerly part by Simon and Nicholas Mebie and Abraham N. Bratt, the lower or easterly portion by the Bratts.

It was taken up by Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen in 1670, and patented to him in 1680.

In 1706, he sold to Jan Pieterse Mebie, the west half of the same consisting of sixty-three acres and seventy-nine rods. Mebie at first lived on the westerly end of this flat near the river but subsequently moved to the lower end of the same, where his house is still standing and in the occupation of one of his descendants. The old Van Antwerp house was standing to the west of the Mebie house, until a few years ago. (70-1)

Fourth Flat

The Fourth Flat lying next west of the third was granted in 1715, by the trustees of Schenectady to Pieter Vrooman, who in 1742, conveyed the same or at least the western portion of it, to Jan Wemple and Arent Bratt. Johannes Veeder married a daughter of Pieter Vrooman and inherited the easterly portion, now in possession of Myndert, grandson of said Johannes Veeder.

Jan Wemple's land extended to the Zandig kil.

De Willegen, or Willow Flat

This flat commmenced at Stone creek below Port Jackson and ran down the river thirty-four rods [4188 ft.] and contained thirty-three morgens or sixty-six acres, 390 rods, — also 200 acres of woodland.

It was first granted to Pieter Van Olinda and Claas Willemse Van Coppernol. Van Olinda holding the easterly half and Van Coppernol the westerly half, which he conveyed to Philip Philipse in 1689 in exchange for the 6th Flat on the north side of the river. (70-2)

Flats or Plains on the North Side of the River

Claas Graven's Hoek

The first land settled upon west of Scotia was the Hoek. This farm was taken up by Claas Andriese De Graaf, the first settler. After his death, which took place before 1697, his widow, Elizabeth Brouwer, leased it to Jonathan Stevens and Daniel Mascraft. (70-3)

In 1714, Gysbert Marcelis received a patent for six acres of land on the Hoek for a hofstede, he being then the owner of the neighboring island called Gyse's island. (71-1)


Next west of the Hoek, lies a tract called from the earliest times, Maalwyck, — a name of obscure origin and signification.

Benjamin, or Bent Roberts first purchased this farm of the natives, with the approbation of the magistrates of Albany, — 36 acres of land, together with 40 acres of woodland, which was confirmed to him July 1, 1669.

This bouwery lay opposite to Arent [Bratt], the norman's hindmost lot of land. (71-2) After Roberts' death his land passed to his two stepsons, Joseph and Pieter Clement, who disposed of it, together with Benten island, to Carel Hansen Toll and Cornelis Vielè, Nov. 24, 1735, Toll taking the easterly half of the land, and westerly half of the island and Vielè, the remainder. The farm is still in the possession and occupation of a descendant of Carel Hansen. (71-3)

Second Flat

This flat extends from Rector's easterly, and in 1864 was owned by

The Second Flat proper, was originally taken up about 1678, — the eastern half by Pieter Cornelise Vielè, and the westerly half by Jan Janse Joncker, alias Rotterdam.

Vielè died early and his wife, Jacquemina Swart, married Benonny Arentse Van Hoeck, who was killed at Schenectady, in 1690. Afterwards she married Cornelis Vynhout, of Ulster county, and in 1699 they conveyed her share of this flat to her son, Lewis Vielè, — 19 morgens, 82 rods. Lewis, about 1709, conveyed the same to Ryer Schermerhorn for "ye behoofe of said town" of Schenectady, — 18 morgens, and in 1718, the patentees of Schenectady conveyed the "easternmost end of said flat to Reyer Schermerhorn, bounded south, by the river, west, by heirs of Jan Janse Joncker, north, by woodland, in all, 17 morgens Rynland measure — together with 17 morgens woodland on the north side of the Second Flat."

Reyer Schermerhorn, by will made 1717, devised this land to his son Arent; and Reyer Schermerhorn, grandson of Reyer Schermerhorn the first, in 1773, released said land to Abraham Schermerhorn.

After Joncker's death his share of this flat, being the westerly half, was divided among his five daughters. (72-1)

Fourth Flat

This flat extends westerly from Rector's to "Arent Mebie's kil," and was owned in 1864 by

In 1678 Sander Glen petitioned the Governor to grant the fourth flat to Lewis Cobes and his son-in-law Johannes Kleyn.

In 1683 the Mohawk Sakemakers conveyed this flat to Arnout Cornelise Vielè, — 16 or 17 morgens — for services rendered as interpreter, — lying over against the [second] flat occupied by Jacobus Peek, — and by the Mohawks called Wachkeerhoha.

In 1684 the patentees of Schenectady conveyed it to Ludovicus Cobes and Johannes Kleyn with a lapie (72-2) by it, on the other [north] side of the river, containing 17 morgens, 164 rods of land.

After Cobes' death, his widow Alida Pieterse married Dirk Ofmulder and occupied Cobes' portion. Maria, only daughter and heir of Cobes after her husband [Johannes Kleyn's] death in 1687, married Tam Smit "Van Nieu Englandt."

In 1698 Ofmulder and wife leased their share for life to Smith, save that on the death of Ofmulder's wife, her granddaughter Clara Kleyn was to have three morgens or the value of it.

By Kleyn's will his widow Maria Cobes had the half of this flat for life, by the above lease her husband Smith had the use of the other half for life.

In 1714 Willem Marinus, who had married Baefie, youngest daughter of said Kleyn united with his wife and conveyed her third share of three morgens to Pieter Clement and Anna his wife, — sister of said Baefie, and in 1716 said Pieter Clement conveyed to the trustees of Schenectady six morgens of land at the west end of said flat.

In 1725 Col. Stephanus Groesbeck owned the westerly portion of this flat, which "hindmost half" was the portion owned by Kleyn and contained nine morgens. (73-1)

Fifth or Wolf Flat

This flat extending from "Arent Mebie's kil" west, is now in the possession and occupation of John Barhydt and consists of about 85 acres of land.

In 1678 "the comissaries of Schanechtade made application to ye Go: that the fifth Plaine or Flatland on the other [north] side of the Maquaes river may be disposed of for a minister, reader, &c. — And also that the rest of the Plains or Flatts may be at the disposall of the Cort." It is presumed this application was successful, for in 1698, the trustees of Schenectady rented the westerly half for seven years to Arent Vedder, Jan Danielse [Van Antwerpen] and Dirk Groot for 24 pieces of eight and two quarties. (73-2)

Jasaias Swart succeeded them as lessee, probably for another term of seven years and in 1713 his lease was renewed for twenty years at a rent of £6-19-6, and the trustees the same day conveyed to him thirty acres of woodland, "northward of the Wolf, that is the Fifth Flat, and runs up on both sides of a kil commonly called the Fifth Flat kil." (74-1)

In 1716 the trustees of Schenectady sold the easterly half of this flat to Jan Mebie for 300 pounds and a reserved rent of fifteen skipples of wheat, — commencing at the north-west end of the fourth flat by a [Mebie's] creek, containing fifteen morgens Rynland measure. This rent was commuted by D. D. Campbell, Nov. 1, 1854.

In 1739 Lourens Claase Vander Volgen by will devised to his son Claas Lowrense his "lot of arable land, the hindmost [westerly] part of the five plains [Fifth flat] containing twelve morgens more or less, situate in the Woestyne on the north side of the Mohawk river come to me by the trustees of Schonegteday" — valued at 200 pounds.

In 1725, John Mabie by will devised to his eldest son Pieter "my lands… on the north side of the Mohawk between the lands of Lawrence Van Der Volgen and lands of Col. Stephanus Groesbeck;" the latter owned the westerly half of the fourth flat at this time.

In 1750, Claas Van Der Volgen sold to Pieter Mebie his twelve morgens and ninety-seven rods of land on the west end of this flat.

In 1768, Pieter Mebie by will devised his land being the whole of the fifth flat, to Jan Mebie his son, who in 1789, devised the same to his widow and two sons, Pieter and Simon, and they in 1799, conveyed the same to David Lawyer, Jr.

The latter sold the same to John S. Barhydt from whom it passed by inheritance to his son John, the present owner. (74-2)

Sixth Flat

This flat begins just east of the seventh flat from which it is separated by the Droybergh, Verf or color kil, alias Tequatsera. (74-3) It was owned in 1864, by Aaron Swart.

It was first occupied by Philip Philipse De Moer as a tenant of the trustees of Schenectady. In 1689 he exchanged his ownership in the same with Claas Willemse Van Coppernol for a portion of the Willegen Vlachte and in 1708, Sander his son, leased it for twelve years at a rent of £2.8s. It then consisted of five morgens with an additional three morgens of woodland.

On the 2d Sept., 1714, on a petition of Jacobus Van Dyck in the name of the consistory, Reyer Schermerhorn conveyed this flat containing about seven morgens or fourteen acres, — also ten morgens, or twenty acres of woodland lying behind it, — to the Dutch church. In 1770, Esaias Swart was in possession of this plain which then was computed to contain seven morgens. (75-1)

Seventh Flat

This flat lies near Hoffman's ferry between the Droybergh kil on the east and Van Eps' kil on the west.

In 1684 the trustees of Schenectady conveyed the westerly half to Carel Hansen Toll reserving a rent of one skipple of wheat.

Reyer Schermerhorn owned the easterly half. The whole flat contained 40 morgens. In 1721, Carel Hanse conveyed his half to his son-in-law Johannes Van Eps and Neeltie his wife.

In 1742, Pieter Cornu, another son-in-law of Carel Hanse, who "sometime then past" had had conveyance of the same from Johannes Van Eps, leased it to said Van Eps save what he had leased to Claas Van Petten, and immediately thereafter quit claims it to Johannes Van Eps.

In 1705, Reyer Schermerborn conveyed the easterly half of this plat to his son Jan; and by his will made 1717, devised the same to the children of his daughter Catalyntje, wife of John Wemp. In 1719 Jan, eldest son of Reyer Schermerhorn, confirmed by deed the bequest made in his father's will to Catalyntje's children.

In 1733 the Wemps transferred their interest to Johannes Van Eps, owner of the other half. (75-2)

Cambefort's Patent

In 1694 Gerardus Cambefort contracted to sell his patent to Carel Hansen Toll, land he had previously received of the Indians. In 1703 Lord Cornbury granted Cambefort a patent for 20 acres of land, "beginning from a place called Kanquaragoone [now Towereune] the westerly bounds of the Patent granted to Schenectady, running up westward to limits of land formerly conveyed to Henry Cuyler, deceased." Immediately thereafter Cambefort conveyed the same to Toll. This land extends along the river westward from Towereune to Lewis' creek. (76-1)

Claes Graven's Hoek — Cuyler's Vlachte or Adriucha.

This Claes Graven's Hoek is not to be confounded with that heretofore spoken of, situated near Scotia. (76-2) In 1686, "To Philip Wells, surveyor general; — the humble petition of Hendrick Kyler for a certain piece of land called Claes Graven hook, — about thirty acres of lowland and fifty of upland, being read was granted, provided the said land be not already appropriated or disposed of." (76-3)

Governor Dongan issued to Cuyler a patent for this and other lands in 1687. After his death Ann Cuyler, his widow and John his eldest son sold the same in 1699 to Carel Hansen Toll for 180 pounds.

Philip Groot of Schenectady early settled on this land and after his death in 1716 was succeeded by his son Ludovicus (Lewis), who gave name to the creek forming the easterly bounds of this patent.

Adriucha is still in possession of the Groot family at what is now called Crane's Village. (76-4)


Great Island in Niskayuna

This is one of the largest islands in the river, containing about 80 acres. It was conveyed to Hilletie Cornelise, sister of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck, by the Mohawks June 1, 1667, and confirmed by Governor Nicolls May 8, 1668. On the 4th March, 1669, and again Feb. 6, 1705/6, Hilletie and her husband, Pieter Van Olinda, conveyed it to Johannes Clute (77-1), which sale was confirmed by the Governor and Council Aug. 2, 1671. (77-2)

On 20 June, 1707, Johannes Clute and Bata his wife, conveyed it to his son Jacob, and sons-in-law of mature age, and to Robert Livingston, in trust, for his infant children. (77-3)

Again, on June 25, 1707, Clute and his wife transferred the same to Robert Livingston for 420 pounds (77-4), — and lastly to said Livingston, Aug. 9, 1707, for 706 pounds, together with 20 acres on the mainland between the two creeks, — to free himself from embarrassments. (77-5)

Five Small Islands at Niskayuna

At a conference with the Five Nations at Albany, 19 July, 1701, they say

"Brother Corlaer: —

Wee have a small right in the Maquase river att Canastagiowne, to wit, five small Islands containing about five or six acres between Rosendael and Cornelis Tymes's, which wee give to Jan Baptist Van Eps and Lawrence Claese [Vander Volgen], the two Interpreters to be equally divided between them, — John Baptist to have the uppermost halfe and Lawrence the lowermost, — and that in consideration, because they take much pains in interpreting." (77-6)

Marten's, Van Slyck's or Wemp's Island

This large island lying west of the city, and separated therefrom by the Binnè Kil was early granted by the Mohawks to Marten Cornelise (77-7) Van Slyck alias Marten Maurits, a half breed, who dying in 1662, Governor Stuyvesant gave a patent for the same, Nov. 12, 1662, to his brother and heir Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck and Jan Barentse Wemp. (77-8) Stuyvesant's patent was confirmed by Governor Nicolls Ap. 13, 1667; it then contained, including another small island separated by a creek, 82 acres. (77-9)

Sept. 13, 1694, another confirmatory patent was granted to the heirs of Sweer Teunise (who married Wemp's widow) for three morgens or six acres, more than the half of this island, and the small one to the rear of it, separated by a small kil, "containing in the whole of both islands, 22 morgens, or 44 acres." The entire contents of the island were, therefore, 41 morgens or 82 acres.

A portion of the west end of the island was anciently called, "Jan Pappen Leghten." (78-1)

Kruysbessen (Gooseberry) Island

This island lies northerly of Van Slyck's island from which it is separated by a rapid called "Knock 'em stiff." Jan. 2, 1698/9, the justice of the peace (Johannes Sanderse Glen), and gemeen-mannen of Schenectady, conveyed to Gysbert Gerritse [Van Brakel] an island on the north side of the river called Kruysbessen (Gooseberry) island lying west of Spuyten duyvel [island] consideration 32 beavers at six guilders per beaver to be paid within three years. (78-2)

On the 10th April, 1702, Reyer Schermerhorn by virtue of the Dongan Patent conveyed the same to Jellis Fonda, containing one morgen more or less.

Again the 22d Sept., 1706, Gillis Fonda conveyed the same to Hendrick Vrooman and Arent Danielse [Van Antwerpen], — two morgens more or less.

Hend. Vrooman and Arent Danielse conveyed this island to Barent Vrooman, on the 11 March, 1708/9.

June 6, 1750, Isaac Swits and wife Maria, by virtue of Barent Vrooman's will made Sept. 6, 1748, conveyed this island to Jacob Glen from whom it passed to the Sanders family in whose possession it has since remained. (78-3)

Spuyten Duyvel

Johannes Sanderse Glen bought this island of the trustees of Schenectady together with a parcel of "boslandt" in 1705/6 for £16-10. (78-4)

It lies just opposite the old Glen [now Sanders] House in Scotia and formerly contained several acres, but is now reduced to the fraction of an acre and quite valueless for tillage.

Varkens or Hog Island

This island lies at the north end of Van Slyck's island and is separated from it by an arm of the Mohawk river, which at the ordinary low water is a mere sluggish bayou.

It originally contained about three morgens or six acres. The eastern end next the Binnè kil is called the platt, a low muddy islet of triangular shape and at ordinary times scarcely separated from it. In early times this island was claimed by the owners of Van Slyck's island. In 1694 Rodè, a Mohawk Sachem, declared "that about thirty years ago when Schenectady began to be settled he and other Mohawks granted to Marten Cornelise [Van Slyck] the island known as Varken's island on the north side of Akus' island." (79-1)

On the 9th Nov., 1670, Pieter Jacobse Bosboom [Borsboom?] received a patent "to confirm to him a small island belonging to him, which hath heretofore been given to him by the Indians, lying in the river there next to the island of Sweer Teunise and Akes Cornelise [Van Slyck] containing about six acres or three morgens." (79-2)

Van Eps Island

This small island lies north of Varken's island from which it is separated by a bayou nearly filled up.

A portion of this island was devised in 1800 by John Baptist Van Eps to his son John, after his wife's decease; another portion — an undivided sixth part — was conveyed in 1808 by Tobias H. Ten Eyck to Cornelis Vrooman. (79-3)

De La Warde's, Joris Aertse's, or Guise's Island

This island lies on the north-westerly side of Van Slyck's island, and contained originally fifteen or sixteen morgens of land.

It was first owned by Jan De La Warde who sold it to Joris Aertse Van der Baast. (80-1) The latter was killed at the destruction of the village in 1690, and on the 27 Feb. 1698/9 his attorney Pieter Bogardus of Albany with the trustees of Schenectady, conveyed it to Gysbert Marselis of Albany. (80-2) This conveyance was confirmed by patent of date 23d June, 1714. (80-3)

The hofstede of this farm was on the mainland opposite, adjoining the land of Claas De Graff and consisted of 6 acres. Nicholas De Graff who owned the neighboring mainland purchased this island of Gysbert Marselis. (80-4)

Fonda's Island

The situation of this island is best described in the patent to Simon Simonse Groot, of date Aug. 9, 1694,

"to confirm to him a small island in the Mohawk river within the town of Schenectady possessed by him for twenty-seven years, to wit, a certain small island in the Mohawk river lying to the north of the Hoek, (80-5) or point of Reyer Jacobsen's [Schermerhorn], and the southward of the island belonging to Joris Aertsen [now Guise's] and to the westward of the island lately belonging to Sweer Teunise deceased, — containing five morgens or ten acres." (80-6)

Philip Livingston of Albany, afterwards became its owner and sold it to Jellis Fonda by whose will made Sept. 8, 1737, it was divided among his three sons, Pieter, Abraham and Jacob. (80-7)

Sassian's or Claas Vielè's Island

The next island above Guise's island is Sassian's or Claas Vielè's island containing between seven and nine morgens.

It lay opposite the "hindmost lot No. 1," of Arent Bratt, and belonged originally, to Hendrick Lambertse Bont alias Sassian, by whom it was sold to Douw Aukes and then to his adopted son Cornelis Vielè.

The Vielès long possessed and gave their name to it. (80-8)

Benten, or Bent's Island

This is the large island next above Sassian's island, lying on the north side of the river and originally contained about ten morgens. It was first possessed by Bent Roberts, from whom it passed by his will to his two stepsons Joseph and Pieter Clement. They sold the upper half to Carel Hansen Toll and the lower half to Cornelis Vielè. (81-1)


(59-1) [Smith in his History of New York published in 1756, says,

"the lands in the vale of Schenectady are so fertile that they are commonly sold at 45 pounds [$112.50] per acre. Through the farmers use no kind of manure, they till the fields every year and they always produce full crops of wheat or peas."

"I went with [Robert] Sanders to one Adam [Vrooman] and to examine the flats which are exceedingly rich land." "This Schoonechtendeel is situated as we have said twenty-four miles west of Fort Albany, toward the country of the Mohawks, upon a good flat, high enough to be free from the overflowing of the water of the river, which sometimes overflow their cultivated lands, which lie much lower. Their cultivated lands are not what they call in that country Valleyen, but large flats between the hills on the margin, or along the side of the rivers, brooks or creeks, very flat and level without a single tree or bush upon them, of a black sandy soil, which is four and sometimes five or six feet deep, but sometimes less, which can hardly be exhausted. They cultivate it year after year without manure for. many years.

It yields large crops of wheat but not so good as that raised in the woodland around the city of New York and elsewhere, nor so productively, but it makes white flour.

The wheat which comes from this place, the Hysopus [Esopus] and some other places is a little blue."

"The village proper of Schenectady is a square set off by palisades. There may be about thirty houses, which are situated on the side of Mohawk river." — Danker & Sluyter's Journal [i.e., Jasper Danker and Peter Sluyter, Journal of a Voyage to New York], 168 [1680?], 301, 315. See Miller's map, 1695, which shows 28 houses. M'M.]

(60-1) See Van Velsen.

(60-2) See Gerrit Symonse Veeder.

(60-3) Madam's [Van Curler's] land.

(60-4) See Van Curler.

(61-1) The Poenties Kil is the brook (dry a large part of the year now), forming the western boundary of the Van Eps farm on the river road, about a mile west of the city. The Kil next east of the Poenties Kil crossed by a stone bridge was anciently called Willem Teller's Killetje, because it formed the eastern boundary of his land. Many years since the Poenties Kil was connected with Willem Teller's Killetje by an artificial canal dug along the foot of the sand hill beginning near Col. Campbell's residence, and both streams now flow to the river in one channel.

(62-1) See Van Slyck, Wemp and Glen.

(62-2) See Eenkluys.

(62-3) The west line of Van Curler's farm is marked by the west fence of the Schenectady Car Works Yard.

(65-1) Although granted to Gerrit Bancker, Harman Albertse Vedder had a half interest in these farms from the beginning. In the final division Bancker took the foremost lot and Vedder the hindmost, it being nearly opposite to lot No. 8, which he purchased of Hesselingh. See Groot, Not. Pap., 1.

(68-1) It should be remembered that no land was considered arable, except the river bottoms and islands. There was not enough of this to meet the demand; hence it was parcelled out sparingly and in small allotments, with much larger quantities of upland for wood and pasture.

(68-2) This is the ancient name of this farm, the meaning of which is now lost. It is never overflowed by the river and can hardly be called a flat as the term was commonly used.

(68-3) [Erie Canal.]

(68-4) See Roberts, Bont, Van Ditmars, Aukes and C. Vielè; Patents, 1038; Alb. Com. Coun. Min., III, 75; Schermerhorn Papers; Deeds, V, 198.

(69-1) Council Min., V, 11, 12; Patents, 1,200; Deeds in Sec. State's office, III.

(69-2) Toll papers; Patents, V, B. 10; Joh. Van Slyck's will, Court of Appeals office.

(69-3) Rail bridge creek.

(69-4) See Van der Baast's survey, Land Papers, II, 59; Dutch church and Toll Papers; Deeds, IV.

(70-1) Deeds, V, 79; Land Papers II, 59; Albany Records, xx, 333, 334; Deeds, VI, 215, John Mebie's will in Court of Appeal's office.

(70-2) Deeds, V, 354, 358, IV, 234, 236.

(70-3) See De Graaf.

(71-1) Patents, 1673; Toll papers.

(71-2) Opposite the first lock above the city.

(71-3) See Roberts, Clement, Toll and Vielè; Patent, 981; Deeds, V, 108, 140, 141, 142.

(72-1) Gen. Entries, 12; Deeds, IV, 215, 216; VI, 464; Papers in Sec. State's Office, Mass. Book 129, p. 197; Toll papers; Reyer Schermerhorn's will.

(72-2) Lapie = remnant — a gore. — M'M.]

(73-1) Toll, Schermerhorn and Dutch Church Papers. Deeds, III, 119, 199; V, 196, 355. Col. MSS., XXVII. Col. Doc., IX, 251. Deeds, XIII, 514. Jan Mebie's will.

(73-2) Toll Papers.

(74-1) Dutch Church Papers.

(74-2) Col. Mss., XXVII, XXVIII, 18; Toll and Dutch Church Papers; Council Min., 1678; L. C. Van der Volgen's Will and John Mebie's will; Deeds, XVII, 312.

(74-3) Sometimes written Togeutchero, and Togqutchero.

(75-1) Toll and Dutch Church papers; Deeds, IV, 234, 236; Mort. III, 58.

(75-2) Deeds, V, 69, 70, 494; VI, 145; Toll and Dutch Church Papers; Wills of Reyer Schermerhorn and Volkert Symonse Veeder among H. Yates' Papers.

(76-1) Patents, 1577; Deeds, V, 71; Toll Papers.

(76-2) Perhaps Claes De Graff first acquired the Indian title to this flat, which he transferred to Cuylers.

(76-3) Coun. Minutes, V, 171.

(76-4) Patents, 1370; Deeds, V, 70, 357, 358; Deeds, VI, 9; Toll Papers.

(77-1) Deeds, 711.

(77-2) Gen. Entries, iv, 283.

(77-3) Deeds, V, 55.

(77-4) Deeds, V, 54.

(77-5) Deeds, V, 192.

(77-6) Col. Doc., IV. 906.

(77-7) Col. MSS., XXXIX. 216.

(77-8) See original in Union Coll. Library.

(77-9) Patents, 357, 1469, 1474.

(78-1) Deeds, VII, 248. One Jean Poppe lived at Flatbush, in 1679. See Danker and Sluyter's Journal [i.e., Jasper Danker and Peter Sluyter, Journal of a Voyage to New York], 131.

(78-2) Toll Papers; John Sanders Will.

(78-3) Sanders Papers; Deeds, V, 97.

(78-4) Groote Schuldt-boek; Toll Papers.

(79-1) Col. MSS., XXXIX, 216.

(79-2) See Patents, 651

(79-3) Deeds, XX, 25.

(80-1) Deeds, IV, 140.

(80-2) Deeds, IV, 264.

(80-3) Patents, 1673.

(80-4) Mortgages IX, 89; XII, 95.

(80-5) De bakker's hoek on the south side of the river, being foremost farm numbered 9 owned by Volckertse Symonse Veeder de bakker.

(80-6) Patents, 1466.

(80-7) Will of Jellis Fonda among Bratt papers.

(80-8) Patents III, 64; Deeds, V, 198; see also Douwe Aukes, Bont and Vielè.

(81-1) Deeds, IV, 13; V, 108, 140, 141; Groote Schuldt-boek; see also Toll, Roberts, Clement; Dutch Church papers.

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