|Note: The original pamphlet can be found in the New York State Historical Library, in Albany, NY. The date of the original pamphlet is 1913; Dingham Versteeg & Royden W. Vosburgh; 90 West St. New York, NY., pp. 113-130. Document was translated into electronic form by OCR of the scanned images.|
|The New Netherland Register|
Vol. I Special Number No. 6
PIONEERS AND FOUNDERS OF NEW NETHERLAND
The Vosburgh Family
By Royden Woodward Vosburgh
The name of Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh appears in the records, as a settler in the colony of Rensselaerswyck as early as August in the year 1649: beginning with Easter in 1651, he paid rent to the Patroon of 16 florins a year for a house lot, north of the Patroon's house. In the "Oath to the Patroon taken by all the householders and free men of the Colonie, November 23, 1651," we find among the names, Abraham Pietersz Vosburg. On April 15, 1652, he was given permission by the Court1
to continue building his house, notwithstanding the location. On the same day, Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh and Derrick Janssen were appointed surveyors of buildings: they were sworn in two days later. The duties of Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh as surveyor of buildings also appear to have included the surveying of land; he held this office up to 1654 and probably later. He was by trade a carpenter, and he contracted with the authorities to build the first bridges at Beverwyck. March 17, 1654, a warrant was issued to the treasurer, "in favor of Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh, carpenter," to the amount of 200 florins, for building two bridges. May 19, 1654, he was fined for not finishing the bridge over the Second Kil. That he experienced difficulty in completing his contract is shown in the Court Minutes, for on May 30, 1654, he stated that work on the bridge over the Third Kil would be begun in eight days. Further difficulties in the completion of the work took place in June, and he was compelled to employ Andries De Vos as his attorney to protect his interests. September 2, 1654, a warrant was issued to the treasurer, "in favor of Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh for his work on the two bridges in Beverwyck." But this did not settle the matter by any means, because as late as May 1, 1655, the Court granted him delay in paying his fines for not completing the work on time.
Through his occupation as carpenter and bridge builder, Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh became a sawmill operator and owner. Hans Jansz Enchuys, or Hans Jansz from Rotterdam, conducted several sawmills in the colony. On September 30, 1656, Hans Jansz and Abraham Pietersz Vosburch obtained a lease of the water power on the creek south of the farm of Jan Barentsz Wemp. The lease commenced January 1, 1657, and ran for six successive years; rent, 100 guilders or 100 good merchantable boards and two pair of fowls each year. A condition of the lease was that the lessees were not to sell liquor to the Indians. A sawmill was erected on the creek, which was in later years known as Wynant's Kil. Hans Jansz was more or less of a silent partner in this enterprise; at least his name never appears again in the records in connection with it. On August 26, 1658, Abraham (Pietersen) Voschborgh brought a suit against Wynant Gerritsen (Van Der Poel); he complained about Wynant Gerritsen's absence from the sawmill and that he had not put in his full time at work there, according to their contract; the case was referred to arbitrators for settlement.
On January 29, 1657, Abraham Pieterse Vosburgh proposed to sell his house and lot in Beverwyck to the highest bidder. The lot was 10 rods deep and 4 rods wide; it was next to Thomas Clabbort's (Chambers) lot. This paper is imperfect and unexecuted and there is no evidence that a sale was made; but it is important as it shows that Thomas Chambers was his neighbor, this being the Thomas Chambers who was one of the early settlers at Esopus (Wildwyck or Kingston).
The last events in the life of Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh are found in the documents relating to the early history of the Esopus settlement. After a hostile demonstration by the Esopus Indians Director Stuyvesant visited the place in the month of June, 1658.
The following is from his journal covering the visit: "Four carpenters came also on the I8th engaged by Mrs. de Hulter to remove her house, barns and sheds (within the stockade) and on the 19th three more, whom I had asked and engaged at Fort Orange to make a bridge over the Kil. They were also to help the others remove their buildings, for which they had asked me before my departure for Fort Orange." While there is no mention of the name of Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh at this time, there is a strong supposition that he was among the carpenters that came from Albany; this is strengthened by the fact that Director Stuyvesant went to Albany from Esopus "as we were much in need of a few five and six inch planks for building a guard-house and some carpenters to help us at our work," according to his journal. (See suit brought by Geertruy Vosburgh, in 1661, for payment of boards delivered at Wildwyck.) The outlying settlers withdrew within the stockade for better protection, and no further severe encounters with the Indians took place until September, 1659. The documentary history of what transpired in that month is somewhat obscure; the facts, however, as far as they relate to Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh, are definite and clear enough to admit of no doubt.
Thomas Chambers engaged eight Esopus Indians to break off corn-ears for him, while he was gathering his crops for the winter. On Saturday, after the day's work, he unwisely gave them a quantity of brandy, probably as a reward for good service during the week. The Indians retired a short distance away, and after drinking the brandy they became noisy and quarrelsome; the supply being exhausted, they tried to obtain more brandy from Chambers, but were unable to do so. The debauch continued well on into the night, and after a time soldiers were sent out from the fort to ascertain the cause of the disturbance. When the reconnoitering party approached the Indians, for some unexplained reason they became alarmed (possibly by the rustling of the bushes in the wind) and thinking that they were being attacked, they fired upon the drunken savages and one of the Indians was killed. As a direct result of this ill-advised and apparently unprovoked night attack, Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh lost his life. The Esopus Indians, always warlike and troublesome, were quick to revenge themselves upon the settlers. The next morning, Sunday, they began to make threatening demonstrations, and a dispatch was prepared to be sent up the river to Albany, to notify the Vice-Director of the turn affairs had taken. After dispatching the letter to the General, on a yacht hired for the purpose, by Jacob Jansen Stoll and Thomas Clabbert; the escort party while returning to the Fort were surprised by the Indians, and "at the tennis-court near the strand they allowed themselves to be taken prisoners." There were thirteen men in the party that was captured. The Sergeant with five soldiers: Thomas Clabbert; Jacob Jansen Stoll, (or Jacob Hab) who was badly wounded; "a carpenter, Abraham by name"; Pieter Dircks and his man; Evert Pelt's (Pels') boy; and Lewies the Frenchman, who was killed. In a letter from Vice-Director La Montagne to Director Stuyvesant, dated September 6, 1659, he states that the capture took place "at the Esopus last Sunday the 21st inst. about two o'clock the afternoon" and in the list of those captured, the name Abraham Vosburgh appears in the place of Abraham, the carpenter.
The next day, Thomas Clabbert was exchanged for a savage, and one soldier escaped during the night, leaving ten in captivity. An account of certain Catskill Indians, giving their story of the origin of the affair is without date, but states that: "Thomas Chambers is free again, have have been cut in the head with a hatchet, one has been shot dead, the Sergeant is still living with two others." It is probable that the prisoners who were scalped were put to death shortly after their capture one historian says that they were "burned at the stake," but I have not found the documentary evidence to support this statement2
), and it seems unlikely that Stuyvesant would have let such an outrage as this pass unmentioned in his dispatches. A letter to Director Stuyvesant from Ensign Smidt of the garrison at Esopus, dated November 1, 1659, states that as a result of the good efforts of two "Mahikander" Indians, two prisoners were returned to the Fort "on the first of this month." They were a soldier named Pieter Lamertzen, and a free man named Pieter Hillebrantzen. Again in a letter from Ensign Smidt to Vice-Director La Montagne, dated November 13, 1659, he says: "it is true we have got back two prisoners, but they keep the boy yet and have killed all the others." The boy of Evert Pels was still in captivity as late as February 24, 1660. According to tradition, his life was saved by an Indian maiden whom he afterwards married, and it is said that he refused to be exchanged or ransomed.
The letter from Ensign Smidt reporting the uprising of the Indians at Esopus, gives the date of the capture as September 20th. But according to the calendar September 21st was Sunday, and the last date is undoubtedly correct. September 21, 1659, is also assumed to have been the date of the death of Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh, as it cannot have been more than a few days from that, in any event.
Geertruy Pieterse Coeymans
Although Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh met his death in the prime of manhood, and probably when under the age of forty years, his family was not destined to become extinct. The task of raising his three sons, who became progenitors of the thousands bearing the name Vosburgh in this country fell to his widow, Geertruy Pieterse, a sister of Barent Pieterse Coeyman, the miller of Norman's Kil. The story of her life as it comes down to us is gleaned principally from the Fort Orange Court records. Her name appears before the Court many times, both as plaintiff and defendant. The causes of the suits are often trivial and many of them are not alluded to here; Geertruy was perhaps too zealous in preserving her rights, and in so doing she seems to have made more enemies than friends. The life of the early settIers was not an easy one under the most favorable conditions. She was left a widow with four or five small children, all under the age of ten years: she had to fight her way with this burden in a community where hard manual labor was almost the sole means of livelihood. Her husband's estate consisted of a partnership in the sawmill at Wynant's Kil with Wynant Gerritsen Van der Poel, which was more or less encumbered with outstanding accounts, some being assets and some being liabilities. Her husband kept a book of accounts to which reference is made in one of her suits in the Kingston Court records. As she was robbed of the sheltering arm of a husband, it is not surprising that Geertruy resorted often to the Courts as her only means of protection. She did not marry again within a year or two as was usually the custom with the early settlers, but remained a widow for nearly ten years and fought her battles unaided. Her second marriage, with Albert Andriessen Bratt, was short-lived and ended in divorce.
The name of "Geertruyt Pieters, wife of Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh," first appears in the Court records on September 1, 1654, when she did not appear although summoned for the third time. On December 17, 1658 she brought an action against Annetie Lievens, wife of Goosen Gerritsen, "for payment of some coronets (or chaplets) which she loaned defendant; the latter pleads that she and Maria Wesselsen being bridesmaids, borrowed the articles in common; they are ordered to pay the bill between them." On June 15, 1660, Adriaen Jansen from Leyden, attorney of the widow of Abraham Vosburg, brought action against Wynant Gerritsen for delivery of a sawmill; judgment for plaintiff. On November 8, 1661, she sued Jan Van Breemen in the court at Kingston for payment for 200 boards to be delivered at Wildwyck (Kingston). This may have been an old account for boards that were sold by Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh, but it is not possible to determine this from the Court records. The next suit brought also in Kingston on October 31, 1662, shows that she was still collecting debts due her husband. The defendant was Marten Harmensen. "Complainant demands payment of the amount of 53 gldrs 5 st. originating from debts for liquor as per biil shown by her, and which she says has been taken from her husband's book."
On March 20, 1663, Geertruy Pieters, widow of Abraham Vosburgh, et al. leased to Wynant Gerritsen Van der Poel, her half of the sawmill south of Jan Barentsen Wemp's farm, for a term of four years. A valuation of the property appears in Notorial Papers, Vol. II, page 393. Translation from the Dutch:
"To day the 6th of November 1663 have Willem Bout and Pieter Meesen (Vrooman), accompanied by ......, at the request of Wynant Gerritze and under instructions of the magistrates of the Colony of Rensselaerswyck, visited, inspected and valued according to their best knowledge the Sawmill and the dwelling house belonging to Wynant and to the Widow of Abraham Vosburgh in partnership, as the same stands at present. They value the mill and the dwelling house (which were in very bad shape) at twelve hundred and fifty guilders in Sewant. (Wampum.)
"List of Tools (belonging to the partnership.)
7 upper----------; 9 under----------; 4 ----------------; 1 ---------------- 1 long saw; 1 short saw: 1 set iron; 1 saw set: 7 old saws; 1 ----------------; 1 heap of old iron."
Geertruy Vosburgh and Wynant Gerritsen were unable to agree on their partnership, and on February 4, 1668-9, the Court decided "in relation to the case of Wynant Gerritsen Van Der Poel vs. Geertruy Vosburgh, either that they come to an amicable settlement, or that the sawmill owned in partnership, be sold at auction." On May 10, 1671, Geertruy Vosburgh sued Wynant Gerritsen for pay for the mill formerly owned in partnership and on July 31, the partnership accounts were brought into court. On October 18, 1674, Geertruy, late widow of Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh, sold to Wynant Gerritsen Van der Poel her half of the sawmill in the Colony of Rensselaerswyck, on the east side of the river, standing on the Kil, opposite Philipp Schuyler's bouwery, and south of Jeronimus Ebbinck's bouwery. This ended the transactions relating to the sawmill on Wynant's Kil.
Land in Albany was patented to Geertruy Vosburgh on September 6, 1667, being described as follows: "Lot No. 3, 36 1/2 x 6 rods, on the west side of Pearl street, about 150 feet north of State street." On November 6, 1685, she sold this lot to Johannes Beekman: "Lot bounded south by Johannes Beekman, north by Luycas Gerritsen et al., west by Omy La Grangie and Ian Byvanck, and east by the street. "On August 6, 1683, Geertruy Vosburgh contributed to the support of the new minister at Albany, Dominie Godfridus Deiius, "two pieces of eight."
Geertruy Pietersen Vosburgh married about 1669, Albert Andriessen Bratt of Norman's Kil, who was a widowed4
. On January 13, 1669-1670, Geertruyt Vosburch asks that the marriage contract with her husband may be enforced and that he may be reprimanded for his extravagance; so ordered. May 2, 1670, Resolved to order a division of the property between Geertruy Vosburch and her husband. July 27, 1670, order to sell the property of Geertruyt Vosburch and her husband, for the purpose of division. On October 24, 1670, the governor gave an order for the separation of Albert Andriese and Geertruy Vosburgh because "strife and difference hath arisen between them." July 31, 1671, Geertruyt Vosburgh sued Aelbert Andriessen for arrears of alimony. August 13, 1672, Geertruyt Vosburch asks for satisfaction of demands on her former husband, Aelbert Andriessen; referred to the judgment of August 25, 1671. After her divorce, Geertruy continued to use the name Vosburgh; in fact, as far as the evidence in the records is concerned, it is probable that she never used the name Bratt at any time. This whole unfortunate matrimonial venture can hardly have occupied more than a year and a half.
In 1676, Geertruy Vosburgh sued Jan Tyssen Goes for trespass on some land at the Half Moon, at Kinderhook. This was probably the same land that she occupied there for her eldest son, Pieter. Report of this suit appeared at least three times in court, but owing to shortness of time, the documents were not translated. After 1681 and possibly before that year, Geertruy Vosburgh was a resident of Kinderhook; she probably lived with her eldest son, Pieter. Translations of two court actions follow. While the events are of trivial importance, they still throw an interesting light on the everyday occurrences in the lives of the early settlers at Kinderhook.
"July 5, 1681. Pr. Borsie, from Kinderhook, plaintiff, vs. Geertruy Vosburgh, defendant. Plaintiff says that defendant has accused his wife of theft of her chickens and that she has proofs of it (the accusation). Defendant says that some of her chickens remain with the plaintiff (that is to say, Geertruy's chickens are in the plaintiff's yard) but, he denies having accused her of theft. The Hon. Court, having heard the case, threw it out of court, as being too unimportant to be dealt with, and condemns both parties to pay the costs.
"September 5, 1682. Andries Jacobse Gardenier, plaintiff, vs. Geertruy Vosburgh, defendant. Plaintiff complains that one of his pigs has been bitten to death on the land of Geertruy Vosburgh and that her land lies open unfenced. Plaintiff asks for damages. Defendant denies that she has caused his pig to be bitten to death and says that her land is not open. The Court orders that the plaintiff's demand be dismissed as there is no proof. Plaintiff to pay the costs."
Both these cases show that Geertruy was a woman of sharp wits and well able to look out for herself, when appearing in court. She had evidently profited by her long experience in other cases, and had learned most of the legal tricks.
The closing years of Geertruy Vosburgh's life were spent at Kinderhook, surrounded by the families of her sons, whom she saw become men of affairs in that community, and in their success in life she must have felt that her early struggles and trials were well repaid.
ABRAHAM PIETERSEN VOSBURGH.
THE RECORD OF HIS FAMILY.
b. about 1620; died September 21, 1659
m. Geertruy Pieterse Coeymans.
b. about 1652;
m. Jannetje Barentse.
b. about 1654; died 1732;
m. Dorothea Janse Van Alstyne.
b. about 1656; died before 1698;
m. October 20, 1689, Albany, Isaac Janse Van Alstyne.
b. about 1658; died 1760-65
m. August 1, 1686, Albany, Annetje Jans Goes.
b. about 1660, doubtful, no records found concerning him.
Although the eldest son of Abraham, Pieter was the last of the three brothers to have children, and he is the progenitor of the smallest branch of the Vosburgh family. He married Jannetje Barentse, daughter of Barent Meyndersen and Eytje, his wife. The marriage took place as early as 1689 and probably before 1683. Pieter Vosburgh was administrator for the estate of his father-in-law, who died about 1689. Pieter Vosburgh made his will before he had any children; when the will was made he apparently had no expectation of having any issue, and the will contains no provisions for his children. The original will is recorded in Notorial Papers, Volume II, page 564. It was at first dated May 1, 1690, this date being scratched out and June 29, 1690, substituted. A translation of the will follows:
In the name of God, Amen. Let it be known to everybody whom it may concern that on the 29th of June, 1690, being the 2d year of the reign of William and Mary, King and Queen of Great Britain, there appeared at Albany PETER VOSBURGH, residing at Kinderhook, firm and strong of body, going and standing5
(i.e. of sound mind and in good health) possessing his mind and reason, understanding and speech as was evident, who considering the frailty of life and the uncertain hour of death, hath deemed it advisable from his own free will, without persuasion or inducement of whomsoever in the world, not to leave this world before having disposed of his temporal estate, granted to him from the Almighty.
Commending his soul into the hands of God and desiring for his body a Christian burial, he nominates and appoints as his only universal and general heir, as he is doing by this instrument, his wife JANNETJE, of all his estate and goods, nothing in the world excepted, of his lands, houses, ground, inventory, cattle, money (coined and uncoined) actions and credits, or what ever be the name, with full power of possessing, selling or encumbering the same, in the same manner as the testator could do during his life. He does not want her to be molested by his brothers, sisters (or in case they have died by their child or children, or during their minority by the guardians or relatives of such children) or anyone else, to give account or inventory of the estate much less to furnish bond or security; but it is his positive will that she shall be administratrix and executrix of the entire estate and all the goods. But an expressed condition of the testator's will is that his said wife shall cede to his brothers all his linen and woolen clothing and besides give to the same fifty beavers or their lawful equivalent. Besides his brother Isaak shall have the half of the land of the farm at the Kinderhook, situated on the "Groote Stuck," provided he pay half of what is still due on account of the farm. Besides, Adriaantje, the sister of his said wife shall have two cows without any dispute whatever, under conditions as above. But in case it should happen that the testator and his wife should die without certainty of who of both had died first, it is his last will and desire that his entire estate shall be divided into two equal parts for the next of kin and legal heirs of both sides, to wit one legal half to the kinsmen of the testator and the other legal half to the kinsmen of his said wife.
All the above statements the said testator declares to constitute his testament and last will which he wishes (to be carried out) in detail, be it as testament, codicil, donation for life among the living or any other disposals whatever their name be even if all solemnities and forms of law and administration should not have been observed, petitioning hereby the benefice of justice for the maintenance of the same. And in testimony of the truth he has signed and sealed this with his own hand, the 29th of June at Albany, 1690, as above.
(Signed) PIETER VOSBURGH.
Signed and sealed in our presence:
ARNOUT CORSELISZEN VIELE
JOHANNES BECKER, JR.
In my presence: J. BECKER.
There is no record of the date of probate of this will, but it is certain that Pieter Vosburgh lived for many years after it was made. The fact that no mention is made in the will of his mother, Geertruy, indicates to my mind that she was deceased before it was made. The will was executed about three months after the burning of Schenectady; and during the summer of 1690 an expedition was assembled at Albany for the purpose of making an attack upon the French. The supposition is that Pieter Vosburgh made his will because he expected to join this expedition. The preceding document in the Notarial Papers, is dated July 23, 1690. It is the "Will of Jan Lucasse (Wyngaard) having fled from his lands at Schenectady and intending to engage in a warlike expedition against the French & Indians." The two wills are not written on the same kind of paper, showing that at some subsequent period they were bound with the rest of the book.
On December 9, 1676, a lease was recorded from Louwrens Van Allen to Pieter Vosburgh, for five Morgens of land at Kinderhook (a Morgen was two acres), and also a piece called the Achterland (rear tract) in the Groot Stuck: the lease ran for six years, commencing in August, 1676. At about the same time Geertruy Vosburgh bought from Maria Van Ness one-fourth part of the Groot Stuck. On October 8, 1678, Maria Van Ness brought suit against Geertruy for the payment of 150 whole beaverskins already due on this purchase. On November 5, 1678, Pieter Vosburgh assumed the indebtedness of his mother and agreed to make the various payments. In later years, apparently for the purpose of finally clearing the title to this land, the heirs of Pieter Van Alen, under date of June 30, 1695 sold Pieter Vosburgh one-quarter of the Groot Stuck," as occupied by Geertruyt Vosburgh for her eldest son Pieter the grantee." Here is positive proof that Pieter was the eldest son. Pieter Vosburgh was engaged in numerous other land transactions, but the final disposition of the land owned by him cannot be traced from the Albany county records. He was one of the grantees of the Kinderhook Patent, receiving six allotments. On July 6, 1713 Pieter Vosburgh, Johannis Van Alen and Pieter Van Buren obtained by exchange from Jesina Gardenier and her husband, Evert Wheeler, "the water Course of a Certain kill or Creek, called or own by the name of Valleties kill, for them to Erect and build a Saw mill thereon, above the bridge which leads to Pompoenick from groot Stuck." This land was at Valatie.
Pieter Vosburgh was sworn in on May 27, 1691 as one of the Justices of Albany city and county. He held court at Kinderhook according to the records he held this office until the year and probably later. On June 8, 1703 a certificate of the election of Pieter Vosburgh, Lammert Janse and Pieter Verslyke, as Trustees of the town of Kinderhook, was filed at Albany. He continued to hold office as a Trustee, until April 1, 1707, and probably later. Pieter Vosburgh was elected an Elder of the Kinderhook church, in 1716 and probably he had held the office from the first organization of the church. The last time that his name appears in the records is among the freeholders and inhabitants of Kinderhook, in the year 1720. At this time he was about seventy years of age. No record of his death has been found.
THE RECORD OF HIS FAMILY.
b. about 1652
m. before 1689, Jannetje Barentse, daughter of Barent Meyndertsen and Eytje, his wife.
Geertruy b. about 1691; no record of baptism; m. May 20, 1708, Albany, Pieter Van Buren.
Eytje bp. June 11, 1693, Albany; m. Jan Tysen Goes.
Abraham bp. January 20, 1695, Albany; m. Elizabeth Winne.
Barent bp. November 7, 1697, Albany; m. Jannetje Van Schaack.
Meyndert bp. January 4, 1702, Albany.
It seems certain that Jacob Vosburgh was the first one of the second generation to become married, and his eldest son, Abraham, must have been the first grandchild of Geertruy Vosburgh. He set up an establishment for himself at Kinderhook, when he leased from Louwrens Van Alen, on May 7, 1678, a farm and one-half of an island occupied by Pieter Moree. The lease ran for six years: the homestead, which consisted of a house, barns and two haystacks, was surrounded by a fence, valued at 31 whole merchantable beaverskins at 8 guilders the piece. His name was affixed to the lease as Jacob Abrahamse Vosburgh, and his mark, made by himself appears as I A V B. This lease fixes approximately the date of his marriage to Dorothea Janse Van Alstyne.
From 1677 to 1682, a number of unimportant suits appear in the court records, bearing his name. Most of the suits were brought against him for debt. On June 12, 1677, Gerrit Teunissen sued Geertruy Vosburgh, for debt due by her son, Jacob Vosburgh. On the same day, Jacob Vosburgh sued Gerrit Teunise, for the expenses of a trip to Wostenhoock, probably by way of a counterclaim. On August 24, 1681, he sold a negro named Terk, to Dierck Hermensz for 37 beaverskins payment to be completed by May 1, 1682. On August 6, 1683, he contributed to the support of tbe new minister at Albany, Dominie Godfridus Dellius, "one and one half pieces of eight." On the contribution list, his name appears just below the name of his mother, Geertruy,—another proof of his early marriage and indicating that he was the head of a family. On July 16, 1681, Jacob Vosburgh bought from Marten Cornelise Vas, "a bouwery at Kinderhook" consisting of the one-fourth part of the Groote Stuck, containing a house and barn, and also the plow and harrow on the premises. At the time of the purchase, this farm was occupied by Pieter Bosie whose tenancy did not expire until May 1, 1682. Jacob Vosburgh agreed to deliver the winter wheat sown by Pieter Bosie, one-half to Marten Cornelisen (Vas) and the remainder to Bosie. This was the same Pieter Borsie who sued Geertruy about the chickens.
On January 4, 1681, Jacob Abrahamse Vosburgh appeared in court at Albany and took the oath as Constable of Kinderhook, for one year or until further orders; he was authorized to demand from Jochem Lambertse, his predecessor, "the constable staff and the instructions." He held this office until May 5, 1685, when he was relieved from the duties, with the thanks of the Court for his services and "Dirck Hendricks Bye, elected by the majority of the inhabitants of Kinderhook, was sworn in as constable, entering service immediately." This is the last time that his name appears in the Albany County records, in connection with Kinderhook. He was one of the grantees of the Kinderhook Patent, but no record can be found of the transfer of the several Allotments made to him. According to the census of Albany County, taken on June 16, 1697, Jacob Vosburgh was at that time no longer a resident of Kinderhook. At some time between 1685 and 1697, he removed to Livingston Manor, where he was one of the first settlers. The house of Jacob Vosburgh appears upon a map of Livingston Manor, made on the 20th day of October, 1714, by John Beatty, deputy surveyor. It was situated on the bank of Roeloff Jansen's kil, about five or six miles southeast of the manor house, near a point where the road leading to the manor house crossed the kil. Huntting's history of the Nine Partners tract states that "Justin Vosburg" was with Mr. Livingston and Beatty when the line for the southtern boundary of the Manor was surveyed. In some way the name "Justin" has been copied for "Justice," which is probaby the way the name appears in the field book of the survey. On June 6, 1722, the Grand Jury of Albany County sent in their presentment against Jacob Vosburgh, Esq., for giving a judgment which was not in his powery concerning a cow—the property of John Bernhard. This transaction undoubtedly took place in Livingston Manor, which was taken off from Dutchess County and annexed to Albany County in the year 1717. It is evident from the presentment that Jacob Vosburgh was a Justice in the year 1722. Jacob Vosburgh is listed among the inhabitants of Dutchess County, in the census of 1714. Four of his sons — Abraham, Jan, Dirk and Marten — were members of the Independent Company of the Manor of Livingston, as the company was mustered at the Manor house on November 30, 1715. On July 4, 1722, Jacob Vosburgh was elected one of the Elders of the Linlithgo church, and he was installed on the following day. He held this office until his death; on October 15, 1732, Coenrat Ham was installed as an Elder there "in the place of the deceased Jacob Vosburgh." Thus approximately the date of his death is determined; he was about eighty years of age at the time.
Jacob Vosburgh was the progenitor of by far the largest branch of the Vosburgh family; in the early generations his descendants remained principally near where he settled, that is on Livingston Manor and in upper Dutchess County.
THE RECORD OF HIS FAMILY.
b. about 1654; died 1732;
m. Dorothea Janse Van Alstyne, daughter of Jan Martensen de Wever and Derckien Hermanse. (See the New Netherland Register, Volume I, page 20).
b. about 1680; no record of baptism; m. about 1705, Claartje Bressy.
b. about 1683; no record of baptism; m. about 1715, Cornelia Knickerbacker.
bp. May 23, 1686, Albany; m. February 18, 1717, Albany, Dirkie Van Alstyne.
bp. June 16, 1689, Albany.
bp. December 31, 1693, Albany; m. April 8, 1729, Kinderhook, Alida Van Alen.
b. about 1695; no record of baptism; m. May 23, 1725, Albany, Evert Knickerbocker.
bp. Jan. 31, 1697, Albany; m. 1st, October 21, 1719, Albany, Eytje Van Buren; m. 2nd, Betje Van Dyck ( ? ).
bp. November 12, 1699, Kingston; m. Jacob Decker.
bp. July 10, 1703, Kingston; m. August 9, 1734, Kinderhook, Mattheus Goes.
Jacob (Jr.) doubtful
Isaac Vosburgh, the youngest of the three brothers, was born about 1658. He is the progenitor of a large branch of the family, a restless branch, strongly characterized with the pioneer instinct. His descendants spread out in all directions; and within two generations we find them in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, the Mohawk Valley and the Province of Quebec. The Albany and Coxsackie members of the family originate through this line.
Isaac Vosburgh first appears in the Albany court records, while still a minor. On September 5, 1676, his brother Pieter sued Jan Thyse Goes, for an assault upon Isaac committed in Pieter's barn. The wife of Jan Thyse saw Isaac chasing her husband's cows; she told Jan Thyse. Whereupon he jumped over the fence, and according to his own testimony, admitted that he had hit the lad (Isaac) once. It appeared in the testimony that the fence was in bad condition and that Jan Thysen's cows were on the Vosburgh land at the time that Isaac was chasing them. Goes was fined for the assault, and also he had to pay the costs of the action. Before his marriage, Isaac lived with his brother Pieter on the homestead farm on the "Groot Stuck." One of the provisions in Pieter's will, made in 1690, was that his "brother Isaak shall have half of the land of the farm at the Kinderhook, situated on the Groote Stuck, provided he pay half of what is still due on account of the farm."
On August 1, 1686, the first banns were pronounced at Albany, of the marriage of Isaac Vosburgh and Annatje Jans Goes, daughter of Jan Thyse Goes, mentioned above. On April 2, 1713, Pieter Vosburgh sold Isaac a part of the land on Kinderhook Creek, at Paponoeick, and Isaac also bought adjoining land from Dirck Wessels Ten Broeck, which he shortly afterward sold to Abraham Van Alstyne. There is no record of Isaac Vosburgh owning land before the year 1713. He may possibly have been regarded as the owner of one-half of the homestead farm, although the title still remained in Pieter's name. Isaac Vosburgh was not one of the original grantees, in the partition of the Kinderhook Patent. The name of Isaac Vosburgh and also of Pieter Vosburgh appear in the several lists of the inhabitants of Kinderhook, as follows; Census of the City and County of Albany, June 16, 1697; a petition of Protestants to King William III, dated December 3, 1701; inhabitants and freeholders of the City and County of Albany in 1720. Isaac Vosburgh was a private in Capt. Abraham Van Alstyne's company, according to the muster roll of the company, dated September 17, 1715. This was evidently a Kinderhook company. So far as can be ascertained, he held no public office.
Isaac Vosburgh probably lived to the advanced age of 105 years, and died at Kinderhook about 1760-65. The Balance and Columbian Repository was a weekly paper, published at Hudson, N. Y. In its early numbers, there appears a very interesting serial article entitled "Notes on the Natural History of Kinderhooke." In the part of this article published on February 9, 1802, in Volume I, No. 6, the author mentions that one of the characteristics of the town is the longevity of the inhabitants, and cites the following instances:—"Isaac Vosburgh of this place was 105 years of age when he died—Eliza Vosburgh was 93—another woman of the same name was 95–" This article was written before the year 1802. A careful analysis of all the known Isaacs in the Vosburgh family leaves only two that the article can refer to. I do not hesitate to affirm that it is almost a certainty that the Isaac written of here is the one who lived to that advanced age. There may be some small discrepancy in the age given that is more than likely, depending of course upon where the author obtained his information. If he read the inscription on Isaac's grave, it is more likely to be accurate than any tradition handed down, which would possibly have been subject to some exaggeration. The only other Isaac who could have been 105 years old in 1802, is the fourth son of Jacob Vosburgh and Dorothea Janse Van Alstyne; he belonged to the Livingston Manor branch of the family. It is true that some of this Isaac's brothers were residents at Kinderhook after they were married, but the name of Isaac never appears as a sponsor for any of their children. The record of this Isaac appears to end with his baptism, as it also begins.
THE RECORD OF HIS FAMILY.
b. about 1658; d. about 1760-65;
m. August 1, 1686, (first banns) Albany, Annetje Jans Goes,
daughter of Jan Tysz and Steyntje Jans.
bp. October 16,1687, Albany; died young.
bp. April 4, 1689, Albany; died young.
bp. August 3, 1690, Albany; m. January 30, 1720, Helena Goes; marriage recorded at Albany and Kinderhook.
bp. August 28, 1692, Albany; m. May 24, 1722, Albany, Maria Van Buren.
bp. January 17, 1694, Albany.
bp. March 11, 1696, Albany, m. October 11, 1719, Albany, Geertie Van den Bergh; he died 1761-63.
bp. November 7, 1697, Albany; m. June 16, 1721, Albany, Jochum Calliera (Collier).
bp. September 3, 1699, Albany; m. January 16, 1737, Kinderhook, Cornelia Goes
bp. January 4, 1702, at Kinderhook; baptism recorded at Albany; m. February 15, 1725, Albany, Theunis Van Slyck, Jr.; she died before 1739.
bp. February 13, 1704, at Kinderhook; baptism recorded at Albany; m. 1st, February 1, 1735, Kinderhook, Johanna Winschil; m. 2nd, at Windsor, Conn., September 11, 1750, Ann Loomis, widow of Stephen Gillett; Isaac died December 2, 1771, at Sheffield, Mass., Second marriage and death from Wintonbury parish record.
bp. February 22, 1708, Albany; m. 1728, Kinderhook, Pieter Van Valkenburgh
Abraham Vosburgh was the sixth child of Isaac Vosburgh and Annetje Jans Goes. He probably left Kinderhook before his marriage and went to Albany, not being satisfied to spend his life on the Kinderhook farm as a husbandman and tiller of the soil. Here is the first example of the restless spirit of the descendants of Isaac Vosburgh, already referred to before. Abraham was the founder of the Albany branch of the family. At Albany in the year 1719, he sought and obtained in marriage the hand of Geertje Van Den Bergh, the daughter of Willem Gysbertz Van Den Bergh and Catryn Wynantsz Van Der Poel. Catryn Van Der Poel was the eldest daughter of Wynant Gerritsen, the partner of Abraham Pietersen Vosburgh in the sawmill at Wynant's Kil. On March 25, 1721, Abraham Vosburgh bought from the City of Albany, a lot 35 x 120 feet, at the foot of Gallows hill; this lot was on the west or upper side of South Pearl Street between Beaver and Hudson Streets. This lot was probably his home while he remained in Albany.
On April 30, 1728, Abraham Vosburgh leased from the city, for a term of twenty-five years, two acres of land on "Gallo hill for ye use of a brick kiln and plain." The land was on both sides of a kil (Rutten creek) east of Luykas Hoghkerk's lot; rent twelve shillings per year. And here he established his brick yard, a business which he himself continued for about ten years. On November 14, 1729, Abraham Vosburgh and Johannes Redcliffe were appointed Firemasters of the First Ward of the City of Albany. That the brick yard was a prosperous venture is evidenced by the fact that in 1732 Abraham Vosburgh applied to the Common Council for more land on Gallows hill. On October 12, 1733, he secured an additional strip of land, twelve rods long and forty feet wide, at a rental of twenty shillings per year, for a term of three years in addition to the higher rent, he had to make payment of three pounds down and he was "to pay for the writing." All of which shows that the city fathers on this occasion drove a much better bargain than at the time of the opening of the brick kiln; possibly in this year Albany was experiencing its first wave of reform in politics. How long the brick yard on Gallows hill existed is not certain, but probably it was continued at least to the end of the twenty-five year lease. After Abraham left Albany, it was conducted by his sons, Isaac and Willem.
In the year 1738, when about forty-two years of age, Abraham Vosburgh decided to leave the city and to return to the farm life of his youth. Passing over the old Hoosick road, and leaving the settlement of Hoosick behind him, he went about ten miles further up the Hoosick Valley and with rare judgment he picked out a farm lot which, by reason of a bend in the river, embraced almost all of the lowland in that part of the valley. The next matter of record that presents itself in the history of Abraham Vosburgh is an affidavit signed by him and used in connection with the boundary dispute between New York and Vermont. In this document, sworn to on November 14, 1760, he states that he settled at Hoosick in 1738, and that for many years he had paid rent to Johannis Van Veghten. He signed the affidavit with his own distinctive mark, which is almost identical with the mark of his uncle, Jacob Abrahamsen Vosburgh, except that the letter "I" is omitted. The Vosburgh farm was Lot No. 10, on the Hoosick Patent, now situated within the town of Pownal, Vermont, as the boundary was finally fixed. The Hoosick River runs north here, and this lot lies upon the east side, including in a bend of the river practically all of the rich level bottom land. Originally the lot had a frontage on the river of one-half a mile and it extended back up into the foot hills of the Green Mountains for two miles. There on the river bank, far enough back on the rising ground to be safe from the spring freshets, Abraham Vosburgh built his homestead. The trail from Hoosick crossed the river at this point, and an old wooden bridge still marks the spot. A short distance north of the road and between the present house and the river, a part of the foundations of the old homestead were plainly discernible in the year 1899, though covered by turf. The foundations were small in area, and the building itself probably covered more ground than is now occupied by the remains of the cellar. The old Dutch barn with its fourteen-inch square hewn oak timbers, which was erected shortly after the homestead, was still standing in 1912, and will probably remain so for many years to come unless destroyed by fire.
A map of the land surveyed by Jno. R. Bleeker in May, 1754, shows the Hoosick Patent divided into farm lots. Lot No. 10 is entered on this map with the name "Roberts" as the tenant. This was Ebenezer Roberts, the husband of Geertie Vosburgh, a daughter of Abraham. This is the only unexplained point in the records, as they unfold the story of the life of Abraham Vosburgh. Petrus, the youngest surviving son and the future heir to the farm, was already married in the year 1754, and it is presumed that he was working on the farm. In addition to this, it is clearly shown by his affidavit that Abraham Vosburgh was living there also. Abraham Vosburgh died within a year or two after signing the affidavit above referred to. He was about sixty-eight years of age at the time of his death, which must have occurred within a year or two from the time that his father died in Kinderhook.
[Mr. Royden W. Vosburgh who for many years has been engaged in compiling a history and genealogy of the Vosburgh family in America, has kindly furnished the New Netherland Register with the above biographies. They show the thoroughgoing character of his searches and what may be expected of him as the genealogist of the Vosburgh family. This will be Mr. Vosburgh's only contribution on his family to this publication, as he intends—at some future date to publish the result of his investigations in a separate volume]
Minutes of the Court of Fort Orange and Beverwyck, 1652-56,1:15 - (Annotation made to original pamphlet by A.J.F. Vanlaer).
"doch Clabbort vry gekomen maer hap en noch 8 ofte 9 daer van grouwelyck om der hals gebraccht, meh Brande(n) Blacken, hachen en houwen, waen onder onse Buerman Abraham Pietersz Vosburgh mede ce van geweest is die inde Esopus gewerckt had. "Correspondence of Jeremias van Rensselaer, p. 220 (Annotation to original pamphlet by A.J.F. Vanlaer - deciphered to the best of my ability K. Vosburgh).
See also Olde Ulster, 1905, 1:93, and Dutch Settlers Society of Albany, Yearbook, 1:6-7. - (Annotation made to original pamphlet by A.J.F. Vanlaer).
His first wife was Annetje Barents from Rolmers, who died shortly before June 3, 1662. V.R.B.Mss, p 360; E.R.A. 3:161. His second wife was Pietertje Jand, widow of Claes Jansz de Ruyter. She died shortly before Jan 29, 1666/7. New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, 1934, 65: 128-129. – (Annotation made to original pamphlet by A.J.F. Vanlaer).
"guende en staende"; literally, up and about, meaning that the testator was not lying sick abed.. – (Annotation made to original pamphlet by A.J.F. Vanlaer).