Olden Time - Chapter Two
The Van Den Bergh Patent
Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin. From the book entitled, "Ye Olden Time, as compiled from the Coxsackie News of 1889" written by Robert Henry Van Bergen, together with notations by Rev. Delber W. Clark, and edited by Francis A. Hallenbeck, 1935
An Interesting Sketch of the Van Den Burgh Patent Lying in Coxsackie, Greene Co.,--About the
People Who Have Owned It.
Martin G. Van Bergen emigrated from Holland to this country in 1630. He resided near Albany and after the lapse of a few years revisited Holland and on his return he persuaded his sister, the wife of Clany Seberson, and Rykert Van Den Berg, a near relative, to accompany him to America.
This man, Rykert Van Den Berg, married a daughter of Matthias Hotaling, and was the progenitor of the Van Den Berg family in this country, as was Matthias Hotaling the progenitor of the Hotaling family. It appears that these men, Rykert and Matthias, had imbibed from their renowned prototype, Martin G. Van Bergen, an intense yearning for the acquisition of large areas of land, and accordingly about the year 1700, *(Dr. Van Slyke corrects this date 1697.) on their application, a Patent was granted to them under the title of "Hotaling and Van Den Berg Patent", by Benjamin Fletcher, then colonial governor under her majesty Queen Ann. This Patent is recorded in the State Archives at Albany.
The whole grant, comprising about 3400 acres of land, may be described as follows:
Beginning at a stone monument, erected by Rev. Lewis Lampman a few years ago, under the direction of R. H. Van Bergen, surveyor, which is the south-west corner of the tract, as also the beginning of the "centre line" (so called) of the Roseboom Patent, which lies south and west of Bronk’s lake, and running thence northerly along Coeyman’s Patent, which a straight line to a point at the head of Diepe Kill, on the farm of Hiram Miller, in the town of New Baltimore; thence southerly and easterly, as the stream winds and turns, to the Indian footpath, at the base of the hills, and at its intersections with the highway near the farm now occupied and by owned Charles Mackey; *(The house of Charles H. Mackey is now occupied by Mr. Hintzman and is located west of "The Towers" at the base of Roberts Hill.) thence southerly along said Indian trail, at the base of the hills, west of Coxsackie flats, to Stony creek, it being an outlet of Bronk’s lake; thence along said stream, southerly and westerly, to Bronk’s lake and the stone monument aforesaid, the place of beginning.
This whole tract of land, containing some 3500 acres, lay, as it were, in abeyance for a long term of years. The proprietors did not undertake in any way to utilize any part of this territory, heavily wooded as it was. They did, to be sure, turn to account, here and there, the water falls on the streams.
The Hotalings built on the north part of the tract and the Van Den Bergs on the south. The Hotaling homestead was near the house now occupied by Charles Mackey and the Van Den Berg homestead was near the house now occupied by Mrs. M. Truesdell and formerly owned and occupied by Robert L. Van Den Berg.
The remarkable fact is here to be recorded that these old settlers respectively married, reared large families, and lived up to the third generation harmoniously, all occupying the same house for the space of about 70 years. It appears then that after this long time had elapsed, it being now about the year 1770, the successors and owners of the original Patent, they being on the Hotaling side—"Hendrick"; and on the Van Den Berg side—"Robertus and Henricus;" each having families of sons grown to man’s estate, and realizing that the shadows of life were fast growing behind them, determined to survey the Patent and made an equal division of the whole territory. They employed an Albany surveyor—Mr. R, Blecker—for this purpose, and the whole work was accomplished and the division line run to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. This division line, as then made, constitutes now, after the lapse of 120 years, a main line of division of several farms, from its eastern end, near the old stone house now owned by Winslow Case, at the base of the hills, west of Coxsackie flats, to its western extremity. Beginning at the east end it makes a line of division between the lands of Winslow Case and R. H. Van Bergen; between the lands of R. H. Van Bergen and the estate of P. H. Hotaling (deceased); between the farms of A. V. B. Armstrong and Casper I. Hallenbeck; between the lands of George Turpin and Christian Moore, and thence westerly, on to the outbound of the Patent, on the east line of Coeyman’s Patent, which point is a short distance west of Coxsackie and Greenville turnpike road and near the house of Charles Losee.
This division then being made and the Van Den Berg’s, "Robertus and Henricus", owning the south half of the original Patent, styled now the "Van Den Berg Patent", about the year 1780 employed a surveyor, Clute, of Schenectady, to divide their lands into lots of 50 acres each, as near as might be. There were 34 of these lots, numbered from 1 to 34 inclusive. Each of the joint owners, had a family of grown up children, the Van Den Bergs all living as has been before stated in common on the homestead now occupied by Mrs. M. Truesdell.
The male children of Robertus were Jno. R., Richard and William . The male children of Henricus were Robert, Matthias, William and Richard. These cousins having the same Christian name was distinguished at that time according to the Dutch vernacular as "Grote Rike," "Grote Bill", "Kleine Rike," and "Kleine Bill." About the year 1790 Henricus and Robertus made a distribution of the lots among their heirs. The heirs of Henricus taking four lots each and the heirs of Robertus taking five lots each, the balance of the lots, 3 in number, were owned in common and were afterwards satisfactorily divided and quit claims one to the other among the heirs and the owners executed deeds to their respective children in the year 1795.
The only remaining point which may now be of interest to the present generation is to designate the successors of each one of the seven children before named who are known to us today. We may mention Walter L. Van Den Berg, a lawyer living in Fulton Co., grandson of Jno. R.; Richard Van Den Berg, who lived at Coxsackie Landing and was a tailor and grandson of "Grote Bill; " R. H. Van Den Berg, grandson of Robert; Rev. Matthias Lusk and Matthias Van Den Berg, grandsons of Matthias; Richard Van Den Berg, father of Jno. R. Van Den Berg, grandson of "Kleine Rike."
Many other names of well known citizens might be mentioned but this article is perhaps already too long and will be continued at another time.