Number 28 - The Loveridge Patent No. 9 -
The Van Orden Family
Originally published in the Catskill Examiner by Henry Brace between the years 1876 and 1879. Article 28 was published on March 8,1879. Extracted from the microfilm copies of the Catskill Examiner located at the Vedder Research Library. Transcribed by Barbara Bartley.
“The Examiner”, March 8, 1879
LOCAL SKETCHES, No. 28., History of the Town of Catskill, To The Year 1783. By Henry Brace.
I regret that I never made the acquaintance of Benjamin Sax, who died in 1876, at a good old age. His retentive memory was stored with the traditions of a by-gone century, and with the intricate pedigrees of the Dutch families in the Inbogt. With his help I could, perhaps, have written a history of Lot Number Three in the Loveridge Patent. As it is, I can only give to the readers of the Examiner a dry and meagre account of the distribution of land within this tract.
Until June, 1762, the lot remained undivided, in the possession successively of Michiel Van Vechten, of Raritan, New Jersey, who was the eldest son of Dirk Tennisse Van Vechten, of Catskill, of Michiel’s son Dirck and daughter Jannetje, and of her sons Dennis and Jacobus Hegeman. None of these owners built upon the tract.* [*Michael Van Vechten, in Dec. 1718, bought from William and Waldron Loveridge their interest in their father’s estate, so that in the division of the Loveridge Patent, Lots 3 and 5 fell to him.] It remained an unbroken forest from the Hudson to the Katerskil. In 1762, however, the Hegemans conveyed the estate to Paulus Schmidt and to Philip Spaan and Johannis Burger--and the clearing of the land began.
In 1783, five houses had been built upon the Lot. Lena Fiero, the wife of John Fiero, was the owner, by gift from her brother Frederich Schmidt, of the west portion, Nicholas Trumpbour of the farm now occupied by Charles Anderson, and Johannis Sax of the farm which Benjamin Sax tilled. Johannis Burger lived where his son Adam was born and died, and just south of him was Philip Spaan, who in 1791 sold his land to Evert Wynkoop, of Kingston, the father of William.
A vague tradition connects the boyhood of William Van Orden with Perth Amboy and with the life of a seaman. But what is known respecting him is that, about the year 1716, he married Temperance, one of the daughters of William Loveridge, lived in the Inbogt, upon lands which his wife had inherited, and died in 1765.
After the division of the Loveridge Patent, in 1718, William Van Orden, in right of his wife, took possession of Lot Number Four, which contained fourteen hundred and fifteen acres. The boundary line of this Lot can still be easily traced. The northern line begins at the Hudson, at or near the mouth of Burget’s Creek, crosses the road to Saugerties a few rods north of the house of the Longendyks, and touches the Katerskil above the bridge on the turnpike to the Palenville Clove. The southern line nearly bisects Green Point, is covered by the lane which passes by the house of Abraham Post, and touches the Katerskil, I believe, at the southwest corner of Badeau’s farm. Within this Lot Number Four, upon the Kalkberg, the picturesque hollow, called the Streeke, almost wholly lies.
The house which William Van Orden built, and in which he lived until his death, was torn down about thirty years ago. It stood on the east side of the Vly, on the south side of the Post lane, and about fifty paces southeast from a barn of Jacob Van Orden, was of stone quarried from the Kalkberg, and was built against the hill, so that it was two stories high on the east side and one story high on the west side. The room on the first floor on the north side of the house was kitchen, bed-room and sitting-room, in one; the room on the same floor on the south side was occupied by the slaves. Behind these rooms, against the bank, was the cellar. The lower windows were guarded by heavy oaken shutters; the doors were also of oak and were divided horizontally, so that while the upper half could be thrown open, the lower half could be kept closed and bolted. The upper chambers were used as a granary. The house seems to have lacked the characteristic stoop.
It was a sheltered and lovely situation. The hill and the forests on the west kept off the coldest winds, and the sun shone upon the house all the winter’s day. In front was the Hudson, in front also was the ‘canoe-place’, at which the boats were tied.† [†Ancient deeds of indenture record the jealous care with which access to the ‘canoe places’ as they were called, was guarded by the landholders of the last century. The roads along the Hudson being rude paths, over which hauling was always difficult and sometimes impossible, the yeomen brought their wheat and staves to the nearest accessible point on the river and loaded them into skiffs or bateaux, as they were then named. Besides the canoe place in front of William Van Orden’s house, there was another at the head of Burget’s Creek, and another at the first bend in John Dubois’s Creek or the Uylen Kil.]
The house was torn down about 1819. Many of the stones which formed its walls lie scattered over the meadow. The old well, however, remains, and perhaps a portion of the barn.
William Van Orden was buried on the crown of the hill northwest from his house, in a field which lies in front of Abraham Post’s. The rude stone, which marked his grave, lies upon the ground. It bears the inscription, W. V. O. 1765. Of the character of this man I know nothing, excepting that he was one of the first elders of the Dutch Reformed Church, at Old Catskill, and that under his training his children became leaders in the little community in which they lived.
These children were:
First, William, born in 1717, married Dec. 22, 1742, Sara, daughter of Hezekiah Dubois, of Kingston, died January, 1793, aged 76.
Second, John, born May 16, 1727, married Feb. 15, 1751, Tryntje, daughter of Benjamin Dubois, died Feb. 6, 1813.
Third, Ignatius baptized at Kaatsbaan, Feb. 4, 1731, married (1) Annaatje, daughter of ---Oosterhoudt, (2) Sara, daughter of ----, died July 9, 1807, aged 76.
Fourth, Peter baptized at Old Catskill, Oct. 9, 1732, died unmarried before 1761.
Fifth, Margaret, born ---, married John Baptist Dumond, of Kingston, died about 1764.
Sixth, Elizabeth, born ---, married David Dumond, of Kingston, died ---.
In 1767, these children cast lots for that portion of their father’s lands which lay between the Kalkberg and the Hudson. William Van Orden received one hundred and eighteen acres, which lay upon the road to Saugerties, and which afterwards became the farm of his grand-daughter Mistress Angelica Overbagh. He also drew a lot of six acres, nearly in the centre of the eastern half of Lot Number Four, of the Loveridge Patent, which was known as “T. Kleine-hooilandtje, or the little hay field. Margaret, the wife of Jan Baptist Dumond, received ninety-three acres which lay upon the road to Saugerties, and which afterwards became the farm of John Langendyke. She also drew a lot of twenty-five acres, which lies in front of Abraham Post’s house. Elizabeth, the wife of David Dumond, received a lot of one hundred and eighteen acres, east of her sister Margaret’s portion, and another lot of --acres, upon and around Green Point. John received a hundred acres and more, lying upon the Hudson, in the northeast corner of Lot Number Four. Ignatius received the homestead and the farm which surrounds it. The Vly upon the south side of Burget’s Creek, and the woodland upon the Kalkberg to the Katerskil, were reserved by the children as commons.
The personal property of William Van Orden was not divided until 1774, after the death of his wife Temperance. The inventory is in the possession of his great grandson, William H. Van Orden, of this village. It is an interesting paper to a careful reader, not only because it gives some notion of the kind and quantity of furniture which went to the due furnishing of the houses of the well-to-do yeomen of the earlier portion of the last century, but also because it affords an insight into their habit and mode of life. The Indian baskets, for example, set down in the list recall the drunken and shiftless savages, who dwelt at the junction of the Catskill and the Katerskil, in the Wilden-hausje, below the Bockoven, and along the Kiskatom, and who earned a scanty living by basket-making, by hunting, and by working in rare emergencies for the farmers. The careful pride with which the women laid up great stores of linen is illustrated in the fifty-one ells of home-spun cloth, the fifteen sheets, the thirty pillow cases, the five table cloths, the thirty shifts, the twenty-three kerchiefs and the fifty women’s white caps, which are duly set forth in the inventory. The six cups and saucers of china, the three silver tea-spoons and the five silver table-spoons, were only brought out upon occasions of ceremony. For daily use, the spoons of pewter and the plates of yellow earthen ware were sufficient. That William Van Orden, like most of his neighbors, was not given to reading, may be inferred from the fact that the only book in his possession seems to have been a Dutch Testament with silver clasps. Of money, however, there was a good store. Three hundred and sixty dollars, fourteen half-joes and one guinea, are mentioned.
My next paper will contain some account of the children of William and Temperance Van Orden.