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To assist the reader in identifying direct-line ancestors and following the generations of the Schermerhorn family, this listing is presented containing the names of the members of each generation through which the family line of descent was continued.
1. Jacob Janse Schermerhorn and Jannetie Segers Van Voorhoudt
2. Reyer Schermerhorn and Ariaantje Bratt
3. Johannes Schermerhorn and Engeltie Vrooman
4. Barnhardus Freerman Schermerhorn and Ariaantje Van der Bogart
5. Engeltie Schermerhorn and Lourens Claessen Van der Volgen
6. Freeman Schermerhorn Vandervolgen and Mary Clement
7. Henry Vandervolgen and Susan M. Rush
8. Mary Elizabeth Vandervolgan and Harrie Ira Dillon
First Generation and Their Children
The ancestral history of the Schermerhorn family in America begins with Jacob Janse Schermerhorn, who was one of the early settlers of Beverwyck (Albany), New York. The following information, taken from The Vedder Family in America 1657 -1973 by Edwin H. Vedder, is a summary of what is known about Jacob's life.
JACOB JANSE SCHERMERHORN, brewer and trader, b. 1622 in Waterland, Holland it is said although in 1654 his father was living in Amsterdam. He came to Beverwyck quite early. He was arrested in 1648 at Fort Orange by order of Governor Stuyvesant on a charge of selling arms and ammunition to the Indians. His books and papers were seized and he was taken a prisoner to Fort Amsterdam where he was sentenced to banishment for five years together with confiscation of all his property. By intervention by leading citizens, the first part of his sentence was revoked but his property was totally lost. This action was later a ground for complaint against Stuyvesant to the States General in Amsterdam. He made his will 5/20/1688 and soon died at Schenectady (VFH, p. 226). (Vedder's source for this information was CGDS, pgs. 158-59.)
His wife was Jannetie Segers Van Voorhoudt, daughter of Cornelis Segerse Van Voorhoudt (Name later became Segers) and Bregje Jacobsen. (CGDS, p. 159)
Jonathan Pearson (1873) also records the following:
His estate was large for the times, amounting to 56,882 guilders. ... The following children are mentioned in his will: Reyer; Symon; Helena, m. Myndert Harmense Van der Bogart; Jacob; Machtelt, m. Johannes Beckman; Cornelis; Jannetie, m. Caspar Springsteen; Neeltie, m. Barent Ten Eyck; Lucas (CGDS, p. 159).
Jacob and Jannetie Schermerhorn had nine children, four daughters and five sons. Of these children, Reyer Schermerhorn was to gain prominence as one of the early settlers of Schenectady, New York. The date of Jacob and Jannetie's marriage is unknown as are the dates of the births of their children.
CHILDREN SCHERMERHORN (as mentioned in Jacob's will)
Helena; m. Myndert Harmense Van de Bogart, son of Harmen Myndertse Van de Bogart
Machtelt; m. Johannes Beekman
Jannetie; m. Caspar Springsteen
Neeltie; m. Barent Ten Eyck, d. 2/19/1719
Lucas; b. 1676? in Schenectady? m. Lysbeth Janse Damen on 1 Dec 1700
Source of information: CGDS, pgs. 158-65.
Second Generation and Their Children
Reyer Schermerhorn, son of Jacob Janse Schermerhorn and Jannetie Segerse Van Voorhoudt, was the second generation ancestor through whom the family line continued. The date of Reyer's birth is unknown, but it is believed that he died on February 19, 1719. He was married sometime in June of 1676 to Ariaantje Bratt, daughter of Arent Andriese Bratt and Catalyntje De Vos, daughter of Andries De Vos. Edwin H. Vedder records the following information about Reyer:
Reyer settled in Schenectady; was one of the five patentees of the Schenectady patent granted in 1684 and was the sole surviving patentee of the township in 1705 when he was complained of as exercising arbitrary power over the town affairs and rendering no account of his proceedings. In 1690, he was a member of the Provincial Assembly from Albany County and Justice of the Peace. In 1700, he was appointed assistant to the Judge of Common Pleas.
In Jonathan Pearson's A History of the Schenectady Patent, the name of Reyer Schermerhorn figures prominently. On November 1, 1684, a charter, known as the Schenectady Patent, was granted to five of the descendants of the original settlers of the Schenectady area. The five men who thus became the original patentees were Myndert Wemp, Swere Teunise Van Velsen, Jan Van Eps, William Teller, and Reyer Schermerhorn. According to Edwin Vedder, the Schenectady Patent consisted of about 80, 000 acres and the charter granted to the patentees and their heirs the right to control the land forever. Since the Patent was poorly worded, it resulted in numerous legal proceedings for many years.
Reyer Schermerhorn gained control of the Schenectady Patent after the first three patentees (Wemp, Van Velsen, and Van Eps) were killed on February 9 of 1698 or 1699, and the fourth, William Teller, moved to Albany. In the colonial records there are many complaints against Reyer Schermerhorn concerning his administration of the Patent until May 25, 1714, when he was relieved of further control of the Patent by the issuance of a new Patent. Vedder records that the legal proceedings against Reyer and his descendants continued until 1795 when the second Reyer Schermerhorn, grandson of the first, died and the suits were dropped. Ariaantje Bratt, Reyer's wife, was born about 1651 and died in 1717. It might here be noted that her brother, Samuel A. Bratt, and her sister, Aeffie Bratt, married into the Van Slyck and the Van Petten families, respectively, and thus, also became direct line ancestors of Mary Elizabeth Vandervolgan.
Reyer and Ariaantje had five children, two daughters and three sons:
Catalina; m. Johannes Wemp Janneke; m. Volkert Simonse Veeder
Jan (Johannes), b. October 4, 1685
Arent, b. January 1, 1693
Source of information: CGDS, pgs. 158-65.
The Census of Albany County, New York, taken in 1720 records Jacob, Jan, and Arent Schermerhorn as living in Schenectady, Albany County.
Third Generation and Their Children
Johannes Schermerhorn, eldest son of Reyer Schermerhorn and Arianntje Bratt, was the third generation ancestor through whom the family line continued. Johannes, or Jan, was born October 4, 1685. Little is known about him or his life except that on either April 8 or 28, 1711, he married Engeltie Vrooman, who was born December 22, 1692. She was the daughter of Jan Hendrickse Vrooman and Geesje Veeder. Johannes died in 1752 and his will was proved August 22, 1767. Engeltie died in 1754.
Ariaantje, b. June (?), 1712; m. Nicholaas De Graaf
Gesina, b. December 9, 1713; m. Philip Van Petten
Reyer, b. September 24, 1716; m. (1) Maria Vedder, dau. of Corset Vedder
Catalyntje, b. November 13, 1718; m. John Dodds
Johannes, b. November 24, 1720; m. Eva Van Petten Simon, b. January 22 or 23, 1723; m. Hillegonda Van Vranken Neeltje, b. May 25, 1725; m. Claas Viele
Bartholomeus, b. November 11, 1727; d. 1742
Jacob, b. November 21, 1729; m. Marie Vedder, dau. of Arent Vedder
Barnhardus Freerman, b. June 25, 1732; probably died young
Magdalena, b. January 9, 1734
Jannetie, b. November 21, 1736; m. Barent Veeder
Barnhardus Freerman, b. October 14, 1739; m. Ariaantje Van der Bogart
Source of information: CGDS, pgs. 158-65.
Fourth Generation and Their Children
It is through the last recorded child of Johannes and Ariaantje Schermerhorn that the family line continued. Barnhardus Freerman Schermerhorn was born October 14, 1739. On May 9, 1767, he married Ariaantje Van der Bogart, daughter of Takerus Van der Bogart and, presumably, Neeltje De Graaf. Ariaantje Van der Bogart was born September 15, 1745, and died October 29, 1827. Barnhardus' death date is not known. Barnhardus and Ariaantje had five children:
John, bp. October 14, 1767; d. Young
Neeltje, bp. April 16, 1769; m. Thomas Barton Clinch
Engeltie, bp. March 13, 1774; m. Lourens Van der Volgen Margarita, bp. December 21, 1777; m. Henry Frey Yates
John, b. September 24, 1786; m (1) Kitty Yates; (2) Mrs. Spottiswood; d. March 16, 1851 in Richmond, Virginia
Source of information: CGDS, pgs. 158-65.
Fifth Generation and Their Children
In this generation the family line of descent is traced through Engeltie Schermerhorn, who was born in 1774 and baptized on March 13 of that year. Most previously published genealogies would end at this point or would only trace the children of Engeltie's brother, John Schermerhorn. It is generally accepted in the past that a direct line of descent is only traced through the male line. Fortunately, through Engeltie's marriage to Lourens Claessen Van der Volgen, the name of the subsequent children were recorded. Engeltie and Lourens were married May 24, 1794. Lourens was the son of Cornelis Van der Volgen and Rebecca Fort and was baptized on May 5, 1776. Engeltie Schermerhorn was the daughter of Barnhardus Freerman Schermerhorn and Ariaantje Van der Bogart Schermerhorn.
Engeltie and Lourens had eight children:
CHILDREN VAN DER VOLGAN
Rebecca, b. December 13, 1794
Freeman Schermerhorn, b. November 18, 1796; d. October 10, 1873; m. Mary Clement
Susanna, b. September 28, 1799
Harriet, b. November 14, 1802; d. May 1844; m. Henry Clement, September
Note: Mary Clement and Henry Clement were sister and brother.
Sources of information: CGDS, pgs. 158-65; and Merton Dillon's The Clement Family, p. 12.
Sixth Generation and Their Children
The sixth generation ancestor of the Schermerhorn family was Freeman Schermerhorn Vandervolgen. He was born November 18, 1796 and died October 10, 1873 at the age of seventy-six. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Mary Clement, daughter of Aaron and Elizabeth Clement. It is through this first marriage that the family line continued. Mary Clement was born September 7, 1802 and died June 2, 1847 at the age of forty-four. They had ten children. After Mary's death, Freeman married Lydia Gannett on June 22, 1848. Freeman and Mary first lived in Root, Montgomery County, New York; but in May of 1838, they and six of their children moved to Pittsford Township, Hillsdale County, Michigan.
Joanna, b. 1/8/1823; m. 4/24/1845, James Robbins Elizabeth, b. 2/25/1825; d. 11/14/1844
Angelica, b. 1/14/1827; d. 4/7/1914; m. John Salisbury on 9/26/1849
Aaron, B. 9/--/1828; d. 9/--/1830
Lawrence, b. 10/31/1830; d. 12/16/1872; m. March 1861, Mary Jaques
Jane, b. 11/7/1832; d. 10/--/1833
¥Henry, b. 12/15/1834; d. 10/11/1917; m. Susan M. Rush on 9/13/1860
Cornelius, b. 5/3/1837; d. 12/28/1914; m. Harriet Elizabeth Salmon on 12/28/1875
John C., b. 4/16/1840; d. 8/4/1910; m. Alice Rush on 11/24/1868
Peter, b. 8/29/1842; d. 1/27/1898; m. Amy Minor on 2/22/1869
Source of information about this generation: The Clement Family (1949)
Seventh Generation and Their Children
The seventh generation ancestor of the Schermerhorn family was Henry Vandervolgan. Henry was the son of Freeman Schermerhorn Vandervolgen and Mary Clement Vandervolgen. He was born in Root, Montgomery County, New York on December 15, 1834 and died in Hillsdale County, Michigan on October 11, 1917. Henry Vandervolgan married Susan M. Rush, daughter of Jehiel M. Rush and Laura A. Wilbur Rush, on September 13, 1860. Susan M. Rush was born in Macedon, Wayne County, New York on August 27, 1836 and died March 22, 1919. Susan and Henry had two children.
Anna Laura, b. September 21, 1861; d. January 6, 1888
Mary Elizabeth, b. November 3, 1866; d. February 8, 1955;
m. Harrie Ira Dillon on March 6, 1890
A biography giving additional information about Henry and Susan Vandervolgen may be found in Appendix C. This account of their life was taken from The Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale County, Michigan, published by the Chapman Brothers in Chicago in September of 1888. The biography was written and published while Henry and Susan were still alive. Some parenthetical comments have been added to the account to facilitate reading of the information. The sketch is interesting not only because it presents information about Henry and Susan, but also because it gives some background about their parents and grandparents as well.
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