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See Also: Fonda Family Genealogy

A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times
7: Adult Freeholders — Jillis Fonda

Prof. Jonathan Pearson

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[This information is from pp. 110-111 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.)]

The first settler of this name, — Jillis Douwese Fonda, was in Beverwyck as early as 1654, with his wife Hester. (110-2) In 1666 she was the widow of Barent Gerritse.

Douwe Jillise, son of Jillis Douwese Fonda, married Rebecca ————. He owned land at Lubberde's landt [Troy], in 1676; and died Nov. 24 (27), 1700. Besides other children he had a son Jillis, who married Rachel, daughter of Pieter Winne of Albany, Dec. 11, 1695, and about 1700, removed to Schenectady. He was by trade a gunstocker. At the date of his will made Sept. 8, 1737, his wife and eight of his eleven children were living.

Of his sons, Douw removed to Caughnawaga where he was slain by Sir John Johnson's Indians in 1780; Pieter was a shoemaker and tanner and lived upon the south corner of State street and Mill lane (now the site of the Young Men's Christian Association building), and had his tan vats in the rear; Abraham was a carpenter and in 1752, built and occupied the house No. 27 Front, now owned by his great-grandson Mr. Nicholas Yates.

Jillis Fonda's farm was next west of the "poor pasture" and his house at the easterly end of Front street was within the memory of many persons marked by two huge elms, which throw their arms across the whole breadth of the street. This lot commenced at the centre line of Mohawk street and extended easterly along the street 480 feet to the Arme wey and north to the Mohawk river, comprising latterly 6.43 acres; the land opposite this lot on the south side of the street extending easterly as far as the canal culvert and southerly across the canal and Fonda street, likewise belonged to this farm.

He also owned a farm of kreupelbos land on the north side of the river about a mile north of Freeman's bridge, now in possession of Mr. Charles Ellis. (111-1) Besides this he owned the island called "Fonda's island," next west of Van Slyck's island, containing seven morgens, which he bought about 1736 of Philip Livingston, and devised in his will of date Sept. 8, 1737, to his three sons, — to Pieter two morgens, — to Abraham four morgens, — and to Jacob one morgen. This island originally belonged to Symon Symonse Groot, and was patented to him in 1694. (111-2) For a hofstede to this island farm he had two morgens of land on the mainland near Claas Gravens' hoek, which in his will was devised to his son Douwe.

In addition to this, Reyer Schermerhorn [trustee] conveyed to him 10th April 1702, Kruisbessen (gooseberry) island, containing one morgen, more or less, by virtue of the Dongan Patent of 1684, which island he sold to Hendrick Vrooman and Arent Danielse Van Antwerpen, 22d Sept., 1706, — two morgens, more or less. (111-3)

Jillis Fonda also owned a village lot on the north side of State street, extending from the canal to the centre of Wall street, at present owned by Messrs. Robert Ellis and Vandebogart brothers.

On the 6th April, 1709, he sold this lot to Arent Danielse Van Antwerpen for 48 pounds [$120]; it was "then bounded on the east by the house and lot of said Arent Danielse [now Givens' hotel lot], west, by the lot of Willem Appel [what was not taken by the canal now belonging to the estate of the late Peter Rowe], north, by the lot of Gysbert Gerritse [Van Brakel] and south, by the [State] street; — length on the east side, 393 feet, — and on the west side, 348 feet, — breadth on the south, 80 feet, behind on the north, 83 feet, wood measure." (111-4)

Notes

(110-2) Oct. 21, 1656, a suit was brought against her for removing Lewis Cobussen's wife's petticoat from the fence; — defendant said plaintiff pawned the article for beaver; — Put over. — Dutch MSS., XVI, 2, 14, 15.

29 April, 1664, Hester Douwese assisted by her son Douwe Gillise and her daughter Geertien Gillise, sold to Jan Costerse Van Aeken two distiller's kettles for 400 guilders sewant. — Albany Co. Records, 347. It would seem by this transaction that the husband Jillis Douwese Fonda was deceased.

(111-1) See his will.

(111-2) Patents, 1466.

(111-3) Sanders Papers.

(111-4) Deeds, V, 188.

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See Also: Fonda Family Genealogy

http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/resources/patent/fonda.html updated September 28, 2013

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