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Genealogy and Ancestral History Pages
Created and Maintained by Dr. Mary Ellen Van Camp
Copyright � 1997-2004 Mary Ellen Van Camp
All Rights Reserved.

All That Was ...
Between Born and Died

Links to Ancestral Histories and
Other Genealogical Information at this web site:












New York

First Families:
Our Beginnings
in America

Genealogy and
Ancestral History



Jacob Janse

Arent Andriese Bratt

Jan Clement

The Ancestral Histories

of Mary Elizabeth Vandervolgan

and Harrie Ira Dillon


This section of my genealogy web site is an ancestral history of Mary Elizabeth Vandervolgan and Harrie Ira Dillon . In addition, it includes copies of information and documents concerning the Clement family history which were privately published by family members between 1895 and 1949. Since most of the original sources were privately published, they are no longer readily available. Thus, it seemed worthwhile to compile a collection of the family information, add the material I had found in my genealogical research, and make all of it more accessible to a wider audience.

As I sought out information about my family ancestors, I tried to organize it in an understandable manner so that the descendants of Mary Elizabeth Vandervolgan and Harrie Ira Dillon could easily trace their lines of descent within the several branches of the family. I have been especially interested in researching and compiling the ancestral histories of the Dillon, Vandervolgan , Clement, Schutt, Wilbur, Rush , and Schermerhorn families. Years ago, when I began the research, I discovered additional ancestral surnames that led to other branches of the family. For example, there were the Pattersons, the Dellezenes, and the Pratts.

Fortunately for those of us in this family who trace a line of descent from Aaron Clement and
Elizabeth Otman
, the Clement family history and genealogy was updated and privately published in 1993 by Daniel A.Wisner . Wisner achieved a significant goal when he finished that publication in time for distribution to family members at the 100th Clement Reunion in Hillsdale, Michigan. When I learned in 1990 that Dan Wisner had undertaken the arduous task of updating the 1949 Clement family history and collecting current family genealogy information, I was able to turn my attention to the ancestral histories of the other forementioned branches of the family.

When I began this research more than thirty years ago, I had no idea that it would be possible to construct lines of descent stretching across seven to twelve generations in five branches of this family. But, in 1978, I discovered an invaluable genealogical resource that simplified the process for researching the early generations of the Vandervolgans and Schermerhorns in America and that confirmed most of what had been discovered and published about the first four generations of the Clement family. This invaluable source was Jonathan Pearson's Contributions for the Genealogies of the Descendants of the First Settlers of the Patent and City of Schenectady from 1620 and 1800. Published in 1873, this book preserves significant information about several generations of the early colonial settlers for many families. Among those families, I found the Vandervolgans, the Schermerhorns, and the Clements. In Pearson's book, I also found information about several of the early ancestors who are listed on the "Ancestral Chart of Aaron Clement" by Merton L. Dillon in The Clement Family (1949). These ancestors included:

Most of these people were, in effect, identified in The Clement Family (1949) as the earliest known ancestors for their respective family lines. For the most part, Jonathan Pearson's research records confirmed that view. In a few instances, however, Pearson provided information about one or two earlier generations. Thus, our ancestral history was extended.

Pearson's research was also extremely helpful for one more reason: his extensive records of the families who lived in early Schenectady and Albany, NY enabled me to make connections among the family branches. For example, in the list above, taken directly from The Clement Family (1949), we see the names of Aeffie Bratt and Cataline de Vos. Pearson's information revealed that Cataline de Vos (or Catalyntje De Vos) was Aeffie Bratt's mother. Once that relationship was established, it was possible for me to find other relationships of significance for our family within Pearson's records.

My research over several years has convinced me that the early ancestors of the Clement, Vandervolgan, and Schermerhorn families knew each other. They may have been friends. Various records confirm that they lived near each other and that many of them attended the same churches, either in Schenectady, or in Beverwyck (Albany). One passage alone in Jonathan Pearson's Contributions for the Genealogies . . . Schenectady (1873) mentions Reyer Schermerhorn, Lourens C. Van der Volgen, and Aeffie Bratt (p. 231).

I am indebted to the previously published books and other documents of several other authors. Among them:

Edwin H. Vedder, who provided me with written permission to copy and quote extensively from his book The Vedder Family in America: 1657-1973;

Merton L. Dillon, whose publication of The Clement Family: A History and Genealogy (1949), was an endless source of fascination to me as a child and adolescent, and who long ago provided me with information about the Dillon family, which serves as the basis for the information in the Dillon Family Ancestral History ; and

Cornelius Clement, who several generations ago preserved important family information and, in 1895, privately published a family history that he presented at the Clement Family Reunion that year.

The work of these authors made my tasks of researching and organizing much easier than they otherwise would have been. The bibliography lists those books and documents that I consulted and the various authors who have provided relevant information concerning family ancestors. Anyone wishing additional information or wishing to verify statements in this work may find it useful and interesting to consult some or all of those original sources.

This page was created July 23, 1997 and
last revised July 1, 2003.

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