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Schenectady County, New York: Its History to the Close of the Nineteenth Century
Chapter XXIV: Genealogy of the Fonda Family

Go back to: Chapter XXIV | Mynderse Family | ahead to: Davids Family

[This information is from pp. 261-264 of Schenectady County, New York: Its History to the Close of the Nineteenth Century by Austin A. Yates (New York: New York History Co., 1902). It is in the Schenectady Collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at Schdy R 974.744 Yat, and copies are also available for borrowing. Thanks to Carol Di Crosta for data entry help with this page.]

The Fonda stock from Jellis, who came here in 1700, is as follows:

Douw, the oldest son of Jellis, born September 1st, 1700, married, October 21st, 1725, Maritje, daughter of the heroic Adam Vrooman. He removed from Schenectady in Schenectady in 1751, and settled at Caughnawaga. Standing on the flats between the present turnpike and the Mohawk River, was the large stone dwelling with a wing on each side. Here, in October, 1780, with a few domestics, resided this aged widower. His three sons, John, Jellis and Adam, were living in the neighborhood.

Major Fonda died June 23d, 1791, leaving a son, Douw, aged eighty years; also a son Henry, who died at Caughnawaga, April 4th, 1815, aged twenty-nine years, leaving a son and a daughter.

Margaret, a daughter of Douw, and sister of Mary Jellis, born in 1764, married John R. Yates, Esq., brother of Robert Yates, long a distinguished chief justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, and himself many years Surrogate of the County of Schenectady.

Margaret Fonda was the mother of the late Giles F. Yates, and the grandmother of Mrs. Austin A. Yates.

Margaretta, a daughter of Douw, born November 10th, 1734, married Barent M. Wemple.

Peter, another son of Jellis, the first settler, born March 6th, 1711, married, June 27th, 1735, Maria, daughter of Daniel Van Antwerpen, and left only one child, born October 19th, 1736, named Rachel.

Abraham, also a son of Jellis, Sr., born July 17th, 1715, married first, July 30th, 1746, Maria, daughter of Abram Mebie; secondly, February 22d, 1755, Susanna, daughter of Alexander Glen; and thirdly, November 22d, 1774, Rachel Vrooman, widow of Abraham Wemp. Abraham Fonda lived in the house No. 27 Front Street, built by himself in 1752, and now occupied by his great grandson, Nicholas Yates, Esq. He died February 13th, 1805, aged nearly ninety years.

Rachel, his oldest child, born September 14th, 1748, married Jesse DeGraff.

Rebecca, another daughter, born June 7th, 1757, married, first, Nicholas Yates; secondly, Cornelius Van Vranken. She died March 7th, 1846, aged eighty-nine years.

Jellis A. Fonda, a son of Abraham, born October 27th, 1759, married Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher Yates. He held the commission of Lieutenant in Van Schaick's regiment, which he resigned for a captaincy in Colonel Willet's Independent Corps, under whom he served to the close of the war. He was for many years clerk of Schenectady County, and died August 27th, 1834.

Alexander Glen Fonda, his son, born August 17th, 1785, was a graduate of Union College, and for many years a physician in Schenectady. He died March 4th, 1869, aged nearly eighty-four years.

Christopher, another son, died at Clairborne, Alabama, August 26th, 1845.

Jane Helen, a daughter of Jellis, born March 1st, 1795, married Rev. Nathan N. Whiting, and died at Williamsburgh, N. Y., April 30th, 1852.

Jacob Glen Fonda, another son of Abraham, born August 29th, 1761, married April 4th, 1784, Aletta Willet, in Albany. He was admitted to practice law in the Supreme Court as attorney, but abandoned that profession soon after 1800, and removed to his farm in Glenville. He was for many years employed as deputy clerk of Schenectady County, and died on his farm in West Glenville, December 8th, 1859, aged ninety-eight. His son, Elbert Willet, born March 4th, 1794, is still living.

Jacob, another son of Jellis, Sr., born February 11th, 1722, married, first, April 29th, 1748, Maria, daughter of Nicholas Van Patten; secondly, November 4th, 1758, Margaret Fort, widow of Peter Bosie. He died in 1813, aged about ninety-one years.

Rachel, his oldest child, born October 10th, 1748, married Philip Viele.

Rebecca, another daughter, born December 26th, 1753, married Gerrit Van Antwerpen.

Major Jellis J., the only son of Jacob, born January 13th, 1751, married, first, November 5th, 1774, Maria Mynderse; secondly, Catrina, daughter of Hendricus Veeder, in 1783. This was the heroic Jellis J., of the Revolution, one of the earliest, most stirring and unhesitating patriots of Schenectady. On the first report of a shot from Lexington, this young brave, who had already tasted military life, just married, and surrounded by the comforts of considerable wealth, immediately raised and commanded the company of Schenectady minute men, numbering more than 100 men. It is impossible in a short notice like this, to follow him in his varied exploits. He was always ready for duty, and prompt at the post of danger. I will illustrate, by one incident, the estimation in which his bravery was held. In 1777, when Sir William Johnson, with his Scotch retainers, had fortified themselves in "Johnson Hall," Generals Schuyler, Ten Broeck and Herkimer, with a large body of militia, went there to reduce them. When, out of the whole number, General Schuyler selected Captain Fonda, from his known fearlessness of character, to command a forlorn hope of 200 men for the assault, of which his company of minute men formed one-half. The assailing forces were without cannon. But when this brave officer in the lead, under the eye and direction of the noble Schuyler, shouted on his column to the assault, with undaunted dash (for Fonda was in deadly earnest), Sir John immediately lowered his flag and surrendered without firing a gun. Fonda was ever afterwards called, wherever known, one of the most fearless of men.

Major Jellis J., died in 1839, aged about eighty-eight years. His wife Catrina died October 19th, 1828, aged nearly seventy-four years.

His son Jacob, born March 22d, 1786, died in 1817, leaving a son, whom I can trace no further.

Henry V. Fonda, another son, born August 20th, 1788, a graduate of Union College, and a successful legal practitioner at Schenectady, died March 1st, 1824, unmarried.

Gerrit, also a son, born November 5th, 1790, was married and had several children. After his father's decease he moved west.

Christopher, his youngest son, born August 28th, 1795, was a graduate of Union College, and was admitted to the bar. He died unmarried in the year 1832, while temporarily engaged in some business south, in or near Baltimore.

Helena, a daughter of Jellis, Sr., born April 22d, 1705, married Pieter Brower.

Eva, another daughter, born October 16th, 1707, married Joseph Yates.

Sarah, a third daughter, born May 3d, 1713, married Jacobus Van Vorst.

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