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Van Eps Beginnings in Schenectady


This excerpt is from the book "A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times; Being Contributions Toward a History of the Lower Mohawk Valley. by Jonathan Pearson. Pub. in Albany, NY: Joel Munsell's Sons, Printers, 1883, pg 176-180.

Van Eps


Dirk Van Eps married Maritie Damens and had two children, Johannes and Lysbet, who became the wife of Gerrit Bancker, of Albany. After Van Eps' death his widow married Hendrick Andriese Van Doesburgh, and had a daughter Jannetie, born in 1653, who married Marten, son of Capt. Marten Cregier, and settled in Niskayuna. And in 1664 Maritie Damens married her third husband, Cornelis Van Ness, of Albany. She had lands in Albany, Niskayuna and Schenectady, - which after her death were distributed among her three children.


Johannes Dirkse Van Eps, the eldest son of Maritie Damen and Dirk Van Eps, married Elizabeth Janse and had three sons and four daughters, all of whom left families save one, who with his father was killed in the massacre of 1690.


He was one of the five magistrates of the village in 1676 and 1678, and named one of the five patentees in the Dongan patent of 1684.


His home lot in the village was on the north corner of State and Church streets, comprising one quarter of the block, -200 by 225 feet. This lot together with bouweries No. 2 on the bouwland, were purchased for him April 29, 1664 by his stepfather Van Ness, at the sale of Philip Hendrickse Brouwer's property in 1664. The conveyance to him is dated April 15/25, 1667, and the patent April 29, 1667, -"to Jan Van Epps, son of Maritie Damens, to confirm a conveyance to him made April 15, 1667, by Cornelis Van Nesse, of a certain bouwery or farm at Schenectady on two several parcels of land containing about 42 acres or 21 morgens 570 rods, as set forth in the grondbriefe Jun 16, 1664, together with a house and lot and another lot of ground and garden lying near the place where he inhabits at Schenectady, being in breadth and length according as is Exprest in the General's grant to him said Cornelis Van Nesse dated April 10. 1665,his eldest son Jan Baptist, inherited the above mentioned parcels of land.


Jan Baptist Van Eps


He was the eldest son of Jan Dirkse Van Eps; was born in 1673, and married Helena, daughter of Johannes Sanderse Glen, in 1699, and had eleven children, five sons and six daughters, all of whom save one, reached mature age and had families.


When Schenectady was destroyed in 1690, he was carried away to Canada, where he remained three years but finally escaped in the following manner:


"1692/3 Feb 8, Wed. about 2 o'clock afternoon we had the alarm from Schenectady that the French and their Indians had taken the Maqascastles; soon after we had the news that a young man named Jan Bapist Van Eps (taken at Schenectady 3 years ago) was run over from the French, as they were to attack the first castle of the Mohogs, and came to Schenectady, who related that the French were 350 Christian and 200 Indians. "


During his captivity with the Indians he had acquired a knowledge of the Indian language and was subsequently often employed as an interpreter and ambassador to the Five nations.


"In 1701, the Mohawk sachems granted five small islands at Canastagiowe to Jan Baptist Van Eps and Laurens Claes (Van der Volgen), be equally divided between them."


In 1706 he was living on the east corner of State and Hays streets, the latter being his private lane leading to his land in the rear and along Coehorne creek upon which he had a corn mill, situated a few rods above Lafayette St. His ample lot of the north corner of State and Church streets and hindmost bouwer No. 2, he subsequently sold to Arent Bratt and Jacobus Van Dyck.


In Feb, 1701/2 the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to Jan Baptist Van Eps, his deed being lost, "a lot at the east end of Schenectady bounded "south by the high street (State) in breadth 9 rods, west by Symon Groot Jr., an the commons as far a Niskayuna high road (Union St.), and so upward eastwardly to a great pine, and from thence south east to ye hill (Prospect) to another marked tree, and from thence south to a kil (Coehorne), which is his east (west) boundary, containing 7 morgens."


The portion of this parcel fronting upon State street, extended from the west side of Jay street to Coehorne kill, nine rods or 108 feet: on Union Street it extended from the lot of Mrs. Jackson No. 152, along the old Niskayuna road to the foot of Prospect Hill. That portion of this land fronting upon Unions street came into possession of Isaac Quackenbos from whom it descended to his late son, Johannes and through his daughter to Abraham O. Clute.


"There was also conveyed to him another "lot on the south side and west end of the town over the town bridge (in Water street), in length on the south side 126 ft. bounded with the highroad (Water street), on the west also the highroad, to the north a small creek, to ye east Claas Van Boekhoven." This lot was on the east corner of Water and Washington streets; in 1729, it belonged to Annetie, daughter of Jan Baptist Van Eps, wife of Ahasuerus Wendel.


At the same time the trustees conveyed to him a third lot of ground near the last, "having to ye north the highroad (Water street) being 133 feet, -"the west side also ye high road 153 ft. -south Symon Groot being 133 ft., -east Claas Van Boekhoven 153 ft." This lot was probably on the south corner of Water Street and the old river road, which at that time occupied the place now covered by the Binne Kil.


On the 14 Oct., 1762, Edward Collins, innkeeper, gave to John Baptist Van Eps (perhaps son of the above Jan Baptist), "a house and lot on the south end of Schenectady on the north-easterly side of a street leading from where the Old Church stood to Albany (State street), on the northerly side of a road that leads from said road to the grist-mill of the said John Baptist Van Eps (Jay street), -in breadth in front 55 feet, -in rear one chain 60 links, -in length on both sides 6 chains. The front portion of this lot is now covered by Union Hall.


In addition to the above parcels of ground in the village, Jan Baptist also owned the foremost farm No. 8, on the bouwland. This was originally patented to Marten Cornelise Van Isselsteyn by whom it was sold Oct. 23, 1668, to Claas Frederickse Van Petten and Cornelis Cornelise Viele; the former immediately sold his moiety, being the foremost bouwery, to Jan Dirkse Van Eps, and in Feb., 1701/2, the trustees of Schenectady gave a confirmatory deed of the same to his son and heir Jan Baptist, his deed being lost, in which it is described as " a lot containing 12 morgens, bounded north by ye path, or highway (river road), south by ye hills, or woods, east by Pieter Jacobsen's (Borsboom) lot now in occupation of Gysbert Gerritse (Van Brakel), and west by a small kil or creek (Poenties Kil), all wood measure.


This farm has remained in the family till this day.


He had also another village lot at the north end and on the east side of Washington Street, bought by Myndert Van Guyseling July 5, 1728, extending from Pieter Mebie's lot to the river.

Evert Van Eps

He was the son of Jan Dirkse Van Eps. His first wife was Eva, daughter of Carel Hansen Toll, his second, Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac Truax. He had 13 children.

His village lot on the west side of Washington street is now divided into two parcels, on which stand the houses of the late Judge A. C. Paige and Mrs. Peck.

On the 3d day of April, 1707, the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to him four morgens of land on "both sides of the Hansen Kill (College Brook), beginning from the east side of woodland belonging to Gerrit Gysbertse (Van Brakel), where its 30 rods (360 ft.) wide and holds that breadth up along both sides of the said creek till it takes in four morgans."

This parcel of ground commenced at a point on College Brook 720 feet easterly of the west side of Romeyn Street or Symon Groot's bridge, and ran up the creek from that point 960 feet, having a breadth of 180 feet on each side of said creek, and was partly within the present (1883) College hands.


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