The Meyer Family

from "The "Old Times Corner"

First Series 1929-1930 George Halcott Chadwick editor and compiler. Mrs. Jessie Van Vechten Vedder (Greene County Historian) co-editor. Republished from The Catskill Examiner by the Greene County Historical Society at Catskill, N.Y. 1932


Transcribed and contributed by Celeste MacCormack


The Meyer or Myer Family is another of which information is desired. One branch sprang from Christian MEYER, a Palatine who settled just west of Saugerties, at "Churchland," where his fine old stone house stands in good condition on the Palenville concrete road. We have the earlier generations of this family, and we know a few of its modern representatives; but we need to hear from all the others, with what they can give us of their parentage, so that we can link them in. Much of the history lies at Kaatsbaan and elsewhere over the county line, as does that of the inter-related Wynkoop family. But they had large holdings extending north towards Kiskatom. The stone house of Jonathan Myer just south of the Kaaters Kill from Britt’s Corners was burned some time ago.* This is likely the Jonathan Myers aged between 30 and 40 who is listed in the 1830 census of Catskill with 5 in family as living between Mary Myers on one side and Stephen Root on the other; we suspect that Mary, being past 60, was his mother, and that Hezekiah Myers next beyond Mr. Root was his brother. Can someone tell us?

In 1830 Tobias Myer was advertising for sale the water power and a grist mill and saw mill at "Myer’s Falls" seven miles southwest of Catskill, on the Kaaters Kill. Which falls are these? Are they High Falls, or the dam at the mill (in Ulster county) on the road from there to Asbury?* Ruins of old mills are plainly to be seen below High Falls.

[*See correction following.]

This Tobias Myer is buried in the Bloom cemetery on the Palenville road, below Kiskatom, with his wife Hannah Post (daughter of Isaac Post and Catrina Snyder). Their children were two daughters: Emeline 1813/8/29-1900/8/4 married 1842/10/15 Isaac (son of Frederick and Maria Dederick) SAXE 1816/10/29 -1889/ 11/17; and Christina 1816/10/14-1905/3/1 married 1844/11/7 Barzillai (son of Joseph and Elizabeth Snyder) RANSOM 1813/9/17-1884/6/4. Are there any descendants of Tobias Myer living?

He was a great-grandson of Christian Meyer 1688-1781 and his wife Ann Geertruy Theunyes through their son John Wilhelm 1714-1794 married Sarah (daughter of Ariaan and Altjen Bogaard) Newkirk, and the latter couple’s son Rev. Johannes Myer "jr.," familiarly known as "Oom Hans" [Uncle John], 1746-1829 married Seletje [Celia] (daughter of Johannis of the Revolution and Rachel Swart) Snyder. Tobias was the son of Oom Hans and Seletje.

Buried at Kiskatom somewhere, also, are an aunt and cousin of Tobias. Can someone direct us to their graves? These are Hendricus Myer (baptized at Saugerties 1796/1/6) and his mother Annatje (daughter Gerrit and Geertje Schermerhorn) Heermans, widow of Benjamin Myer 1755/11/11-1800/5/19, a brother of the Rev. Johannes, who may have afterward married Gerrit(?) MYNDERSE. Information about these is desired. Annatje was born 1764/5/8 and a long survived her husband Benjamin, whose children by her were (1) Garritje, died young, (2) Cornelia 1791, (3) Garritje 1793 (baptized at Saugerties 7/28), (4) Hendricus, as above, and (5) William B. 1798 (baptized Saugerties 6/10). There must be descendants living of these. Hendricus is probably the Henry B. Myers with 3 both being under 40 years.

Other Myers in 1830 census, besides those already mentioned, are Andrew P. (two males over 70), Adam, Susanna and Frederick (who had a bakery), in Catskill; William in Coxsackie; Abram in Hunter; Herman and Jacob in Windham.

The Myer family furnishes an interesting series of intermarriages. Living in a restricted community, they could scarce avoid this. Petrus B. (son of Benjamin and grandson of Christian) married his own cousin Jannetje (daughter of Petrus, Benjamin’s brother), and their daughter Helen married Charles SNYDER, and afterwards Charles DEDERICK. It will be recalled that the mother of Tobias and the mother of Tobias’s wife were also Snyders; I cannot at the moment give the exact degree of relationship. More complicated is the history of Gerrit Mynderse Myer and his wife Mary. Gerrit’s parents were own cousins -Benjamin C. (son of Christian, and grandson of John Wilhelm) and Rachel (daughter of Rev. Johannes, Christian’s brother). Thus both he and his wife were descended from the two brothers, Christian and Rev. Johannes. His wife’s father was his maternal uncle; his wife’s mother was his second cousin of the same generation. They had six children, four of whom grew up and at least three were married. Word from any descendants would be welcome.

The parents of Gerrit Mynderse Myer were nephew and niece (by marriage) of Annatje wife of Benjamin, and I think he was named for Annatje’s second husband, supposed to have been a Mynderse, but await correction.

In old Prattsville cemetery we found buried "Cathrine Myres who died Dec. 15th, 1810, in the 62 year of her age." Now who was she?

Two other unplaced members of the family are the Maria Meyer married Philip Fenton, whose son John P. married 1833/12/20 Ann Eliza Burhans, and the Jacob P. Myer married 1827 Ann Maria Dederick. The latter’s children were (1) Rachel Catharine married John A. VAN ETTEN, (2) William E. married Sarah Jane Plank, (3) John H., and (4) Andrew D. married Margaret Rightmyer.

Quite Another Line from that of Christian seems to be represented by Annatje MEYER who married (Kingston 1711/6/1) Gerrit Van Bergen, and the Catrina Meyer, perhaps Annatje’s sister, who married (Albany 1715/6/7) Gerrit’s brother, Martin Van Bergen. Then we have Jeremiah DE MEYER or Demeyer married Annatje Moor, whose daughter Elsie married 1804 William Herman Dederick, while a Catharine (perhaps Elsie’s sister) married 1801 Wilhelmus Schuneman as his second wife.

Benjamin Demyer, between 20 and 30, with three in family, lived in Leeds in 1830, next to John Osterhout and Richard P. Elmendorf. He was senior member of the firm of Demyer, Demarest & Co., which dissolved in the spring of that year, but their business is not stated. Who knows about him?

Still another form of this name may perhaps be represented by spelling Mairs, while Moyer seems to be another extreme. The wife of General William SALISBURY of Catskill village was born Jane Mairs, but I do not know her descent. Out of Kiskatom, I am told, on the Jonathan Myer place before mentioned, lived "Hannie Moyer" as the name was pronounced, and I judge that this was Johannes Meyer, (in English from John Myers). -C. June 19, 1930.

[Corrections] It was not Jonathan Myer’s stone house that burned -that house was demolished by the hand of man- but the later frame building of John C. Rider that had replaced it. The Tobias Myer mills, and his old stone house yet standing, are not where I guessed, but nearly two miles above High Falls, toward Kiskatom- a lovely spot with the road crossing a bridge just below the dam and passing close between house and mill. The old overshot water-wheel has been replaced by a turbine, but in many ways the place is unchanged since 1830. There are two or three other old stone houses in that vicinity, on the Myer-Wynkoop tract, that are now falling to ruin. Who can give their history? Has anyone good photographs for us of these houses in their prime? -C. June 26, 1930.


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