of Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York

By Capt. Franklin Ellis42


    It is probable that the allottees under the Kinderhook patent were also the first settlers of the territory which it covered, and that they may have come as early as 1650.  They were emigrants from Holland and Sweden, and came provided with all the means necessary to make themselves good homes, having building material, cattle, and farming implements to cultivate the virgin soil of this fertile country.  In 1687, among others, Jan Hendrik De Bruyn, Peter Schuyler, Gerrit Teunissen, Lawrence Van Alen, Isaac Vosburgh, Jacob Vosburgh, Andries Gardner, Hendrick Coonrad, Adam Dingman, Lambert Jansen, Frans Pieterson, Peter Vosburgh, Albert Gardenier, and Jan Jacobson Gardenier were reported as freeholders.  In many instances descendants of these yet remain in town.

    The records of the Dutch church, in 1729, contain besides the foregoing the additional names of Adelbert Vanderpoel, Cornelius Schermerhorn, Tobias Van Buren, Barent Van Buren, Gilbert Sharp, Martin Van Buren, Cornelius Van Schaack, Abram Staats, Jochum Collier, Edward Wheeler, Mathew Culver, Laurence Sharp, Cornelius Sluyter, Peter Jochim, Hendrick Van Valkenburgh, John Peters, Peter I. Vosburgh, Casper Rowe, Klaas Van De Karr, Johannes Hogeboom, Lucas Witbeck, Nicholas Kittle, John Bukman, Arent Van Dyck, Isaac Van Deusen, Robert Decker, Peter Bower, Killian Muller, Andrew Van Der Bergh, William Clark, Isaac Staats, John Van Ness, and John Gardenier as being citizens of Kinderhook.

    A map of old Kinderhook, made in 1763, shows the following improvements: Isaac Staats, living at Chittend's falls; Samuel Staats, at the mouth of Stockport creek, in the house now occupied by Joseph Wild; J. Van Hoesen, west of and near Stuyvesant falls; Martin Van Alstyne, northwest of Stuyvesant falls, in what is yet known as the Van Alstyne neighborhood; Martin Hoes, northwest from Van Alstyne's; Francis Clow, still farther west towards Kinderhook, now Stuyvesant Landing; Isaac Van Alstyne, on the flats on Kinderhook creek, opposite Lindenwald; John Burgaart, near Van Alstyne's,--the farm is now owned by Van Alen; Francis Pruyn, south of the village corporation, and including the Kennedy place; Cornelius Van Schaack, in the neighborhood of the present Reformed church.

    The village contained at this time fifteen houses, seated along the creek ridge.  North of the flats, on the old Carpenter place, lived Lucas Hoses; John Hoes, near Wild's mill; Robert Van Deusen, somewhere near Rathbone's wadding-factory; Samuel Wheeler, on the site of C. Wild's residence; William Clow, Derick Hoes, and Burger Huyck in Valatie, east of Wheeler; Andries and John Huyck lived farther up the Kinderhook; just above Valatie, and still farther east, was the home of Richard Huyck.  Following up Kinderhook creek, in Chatham, was the house occupied by Stephen Van Alen, Peter Vosburgh's house, and the home of Abraham Van Alstyne.  Tobias Van Slyck lived at the junction of the Kline Kill with the Kinderhook, and northward was the home of Peter Van Slyck.  Jacob, Aaron, and Derick Gardenier were along the Kline Kill, in what is now known as the Gardenier neighborhood; and along the same stream, in what is now Ghent, lived Derick Vosburgh, Barent Van Buren, and Jacob Mesick.

    At a later period the names of John Leggett, Arent Meddaugh, Peter Snyder, Roeloff Ganz, Isaac De Lameter, Jonas Bronk, Christoffel Miller, Andrew Garner, Johannes Spoor, John J. Van Ness, Abraham Van Vleck, Daniel Weidman, Aaron Ostrander, Hendrick Shever, Sylvester Bayley, Jacob Legget, Peter Ham, John Reynolds, Johannes Pruyn, Johannes Laut, and Johannes Moet appear upon the church records as prominent citizens of what was then Kinderhook, although it is probable that a few of the foregoing, and those named in the list following, may have resided in Claverack.  In 1784, John Mesick, Cornelius Miller, Mathew Pruyn, Jacob Sprugstein [Springstein?], Thomas Son, Peter Wynkoop, Philip Diedrick, Nicholas Holsapple, Jacobus Sickles, Zachariah Sickles, Isaac Van Ness, John Schenkel, Peter L. Van Alen, Barton Flagelar, John Conklin, Daniel Ludlow, and Joseph T. Green are noted as living in the territory tributary to the old church.  In the same connection, a little later, appear the names of Walter Carpenter, Johannes Hover, Daniel Paddock, Michael Shufelt, Samuel Buskirk, John Pruyn, Nicholas Miller, John Salsberg, Adam Hoffman, Peter Snyder, Jr., Isaac Labayh, John Devoe, Peter Pulver, John Holland, and John Bogardus.

    Owing to its proximity to the river, and the favorable conditions afforded by it for the sale of farm products, the settlements of Kinderhook were denser at an early day than in some of the other towns.  This proportion has not been maintained to the present day.  The population in 1875 was three thousand nine hundred and ninety-six, twelve less than in 1865.


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