NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
This surname has been variously spelled in this country Petree, Petry, Petri, Petrie.
(I) Johan Jose Petree, the immigrant ancestor, born in the Palatinate, Germany, as early as 1690, arrived in New York with the second company of Palatine immigrants in 1710, and accompanied his countrymen to the camps on Livingston's Manor, where he remained until he removed to the German Flats.
He was tall and well formed; even more than "six feet high and well-proportioned." He is said to have resembled in stature and appearance the best of the ancient German race. He and Coenradt Rickert were the leading men of the little colony which first came to German Flats. He early won the confidence and good will of the colonial government, and it is no doubt owing to this circumstance that he was first named in the license given by Governor Burnett to purhcase the Indian title to the lands afterwards granted, and was also named first in the patent. He was selected with others to search out the promised land. The eighty-six acre lot, then and afterward called the Stone Ridge, was allotted to his wife. This lot is described as woodland, "lying in the middle of the great flatts." The present town of Herkimer, or the compact part if it, is mostly on this lot. This was the best lot, and was afterwards divided by Petree and various parcels given to the owners of the adjoining low lands. It has been said that no written conveyances were ever made by him and his wife. "It seems very probably," says the historian of Herkimer, "that Mr. Petree was one of the principal men in the settlement called the German Flats from the first planting of this little frontier colony until 1757, or till his death. Up to that time he had been employed by the colonial government and had accumulated considerable wealth."
He was one of the co-patentees of Philip Livingston and John De Peyster of a grant of six thousand acres of land in 1740, being six lots in a tract called Henderson, of Petrie's Purchase, now (1910) in the towns of Columbia and Warren.
When the French and Indians attacked and destroyed the settlement on the north side of the river, Nov. 11, 1757, all Petree's property was taken or destroyed, and he and his family were carried into captivity, with a hundred or more of his neighbors. In the French account of the affair he is called "the mayor of the village of the Palatines," and in speaking of the losses sustained by the inhabitants it is stated that "the mayor of the village alone has lost 400,000 livres." The livre was worth nearly nineteen cents, and the sum must have been exaggerated. But it is known that he had a large sum in silver on hand, some of which may have been government money. Mr. Petree was detained in Canada for some time, and was frequently compelled by the Indians to wear a cap with tassels and small bells and dance for their amusement.
Upon his return he took steps to confirm the title of the church to the site of the building, viz:
"I, on the end undersigned, testify herby that I have given an acre of land for a High Dutch Reformed Church, on the Stone Ridge; but whereas, the church, with all its writings, in the devastation of this place by the Indians anno 1757, in an unfortunate manner has been burned away; and whereas, I have this land wherein the same likewise did precede me to eternity, I John Jost Petri, testify that the oldest son of the deceased Dietrich must give other writings as soon as the same comes to his years, and a new church with my consent, on the same acre of land build again."
He died before 1775. He married Gertrude ____, a lady of education and considerable refinement, far above what was found in the German peasantry of that day. It has always been believed that her father was a man of wealth and distinction in Germany, and that her marriage was not in accordance with the wishes of her family.
She was granted land in 1723, when the family came to Burnetsfield, and had a son old enough to have land allotted to him, though he may not have been of age.
Petree's name is found among the volunteers who went in the expedition against Montreal in 1711, under Colonel Nicholson. But much of the record attributed to Johan Joost, Sr., must belong to his son of the same name.
Mark, must have died before his father.
Dietrich, died before his father.
Johan Joost, mentioned below.
Probably other children.
(II) Johan Joost (2), son of Johna Joost (1) Petree, was born probably as early as 1720. He was a member of the Tryon county committee from the German Flats and Kingsland district which met June, 1775, to consider the state of affairs between the mother country and the colonies, then rapidly approaching a crisis. He was appointed by the Tryon county committee, Aug. 16, 1779, one of the delegates of the county to a state convention called to consider proper measure "for appreciating the currency, restraining extortion, regulating prices and other similar purposes." He leased to his sons, Johan Jose Petry and Johan Dietrich Petry, for a nominal rental, 326 acres of land of his father's estate. A copy of the lease in full is given herewith:
THIS INDENTURE, Made the Twenty-third day of June in the sixth year of the Reign of our sovereign Lord George the third, by the grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King Defender of the faith &c. Annoy Domini one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six BETWEEN Johan Jost Petry of Burnetsfield in the County of Albany and Province of New York, yoeman of the first part and Johan Jose Petry, Juer. and Johan deiterich Petry of the same place yeomans of the second part, WITNESSETH, that the said Johan Jose Petry for in consideration of the sum of five shilling current money of :-: York to him in hand paid by the said Johan Jost Petry Junr. and Johan Dietrick Petry the Receipt whereof he doth herby acknowledge Have granted bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain and sell unto the said Johan Jost Petry, Junr. and Johan Dietrich Petry three hundred and twenty-six acres thereof Lying and being in all that certain tract of land formerly granted by his late Majesty King George the second by his certain Letters parent bearing date the twenty-eight day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twenty three unto Johan Jost Petry and Conrath Rickerd situate lying and being in the County of Albany on the north side of the Mohawks River and also the other one hundred acres lying in the aforesaid County at the north side of the Mohawks River in Glens Purchase near the Little falls. The aforesaid Land is nown by the name of Lott No. 64 being Low Land and Lott No. 24 being wood Land and Lot No. 6 being wood Land and Lott No. 17 being part thereof being wood land in the aforesaid first patent and also Lott No. 2 and Lott No. 6 in a larger Lott No. 23, in Glens Purchase, Lott No. 24 being Low Land beginning at the south east corner of Lott No. 23, and runs from thence North sixty-four degrees East Eleven chains fifty links thence North thirty-two degrees and thirty minutes west forteen chains, then north eight degrees west twenty seven chains and fifty links thence to Lot No. 23, thence along the sd. Lott the place where first begun, containing thirty acres Lott No. twenty four gbeing wood Land begins at the southewest Corner of Lot No. twenty three being wood Lott and runs from thence North forty seven degrees west one hundred and eighty-five chains, thence south twenty six degrees acres west four chains then south forty seven degrees East one hundred and eighty five chains thence to the place where first begun containing seventy acres and also Lott No. six being wood land begins at the North side of the Mohawks River at the upper end of the great flats and runs from thence North forty seven degrees west seventy chains, then South eighty degrees west twenty chains thence North Forty seven degrees East to the River, then down along the sd. river to the place where first begun containing in all One One hundred acres and also Lott No. seventeen, part thereof being wood land lying in the Middle of the Great flats is called the stone ridge begins at the Northwest corner of the Lott of Low Land No. One and runs from thence south thirty three degrees east fifteen chains thence south seventy seven degrees west twenty two chains then to the place where first begun containing twenty-six acres and also Lott No. six out of a Larger Lott No. Twenty three in Glens Purchase beginning at the East corner of Lott No. three and runs from thence due North thirty chains, then due westg sixteen chains and two rods and one half, then due south thirty chains, then due East sixteen chains two rods and one : - : to the place where first begun, containing fifty acres of land and also Lott No. two in aforesaid Larger Lott beginning at the west Corner of Lott No. one and runs from thence due North thirty chains then due west sixteen chains and sixty two links then due south thirty chains then to the place where first begin, Containing fifty acres of Land, and all the aforesaid Lotts containing three hundred and twenty six acres of land, with the usual allowance for highways together with all and all manner of woods under woods trees timbers hawkings huntings fishings, Impvoements hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever to the premises aforesaid belonging or in any manner of ways appertaining To Have and To Hold the above bargained premises with the appurtenances unto the said John Jost Petry, Junr. and Johan dietrich Petry their heirs, ests. admts, and assigns from the day before the day of the date of these presents for and during the Term of one whole year from thence next ensuing and fully to be compleat and ending yieling and paying therefore one pepper corn on the last day of the term only if the same shall be demanded to the intent that by virtue of these presents and of the statute for transferring of uses into possession, they the said Johan Jost Petry Junr. and Johan dietrich Petry may be in the actual possession of the premises and thereby be enabled to accept a grant and release of the Reversion and Inheritance thereof to them and their heirs and assigns forever.
In Witnes Whereof, the parties of these presents have herun interchangeabley set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.
Johan Jose Petri (Seal)
Johan Jost Petry Junier (Seal)
Dietrick Petrie (Seal)
Sealed and Delivered in the presence
of us The words Lott No. 23 thence
along the said Lott to - "in the eighteenth
line was interlined before executed.
Jacob G. Kleck
Mareks X Demuth
X his mark.
Recorded Nov. 15, 1907 at 1:45 P.M. [transcriber's note: yes, it says 1907].
in Book No. 194 of Deeds at page 286.
Herkimer County : : ss
Clerk's Office :
I, Gersham Smith, Clerk of said County, do hereby certify that I have compared the annexed copy of Deed, Johan Jost Patri to Johan Jost Patrie Jr., and Deitrick Petrie with the record thereof, now in this office, and that the same is a true copy thereof and of the whole of said record Recorded in Book 194 Deeds at page 286.
WITNESS my hand and seal of office this
twenty-eighth day of February, 1908.
Gersham Smith, Clerk.
By A. B. Dingman, Deputy Clerk.
Johan Joost Petree, or his father of the same name, made a will in 1757 and died in 1770, leaving four sons and four daughters. One of the daughters married Christian Shell, the hero of Shell's Bush.
(III) John Jost, son of Johan Joost Petree, was born before 1745, as he was of age, doubtless, when the above lease was executed in 1766. He evidently lived on the homestead of his father and grandfather, and it is difficult in some cases to determine which of the records refer to him and which to his father and son. But for the fact that teh son Deitrich of the elder John Jost was dead in 1757, the lease might be from the first to the second Johan Jose Petree. But Johan Dietrich appears to be the son of the grantor in this lease.
(IV) John Jost (2), son of John Jost (1) Petree, was probably born about 1775. He married Eva Bellinger.
(V) Joram, son of Johan or John Jost Petree, was born about 1810; married Frances Ford, daughter of Philip Ford.
(VI) Charles L., son of Joram Petree, was born at Little Falls, New York, Oct. 3, 1852. He was educated in the public schools of his native town. For the past twenty years he has been in the real estate and insurance business in Little Falls. He is active in public affairs and was president of the incorporated village of Little Falls before it became a city.
In politics he is a Republican, in religion a Presbyterian.
He is a life member of the Herkimer County Historical Society, and greatly interested in local history. He recently presented to the society the original of the lease which is given above. Most of the village of Herkimer is located on the property described therein.
At the time of the Centennial celebration of Herkimer, in 1907, Mr. Patree caused a marker to be placed near the old church.
He married Fanny, daughter of Nelson Rust, March 20, 1884. They have no children.
The Petree family has been from the first one of the most prominent in Herkimer and vicinity.
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