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Richard Dexter Genealogy, 1642-1904

Being a history of the descendants of Richard Dexter of Malden, Massachusetts, from the notes of John Haven Dexter and original researches. Richard Dexter, who was admitted an inhabitant of Boston (New England), Feb. 28, 1642, came from within ten miles of the town of Slane, Co. Meath, Ireland, and belonged to a branch of that family of Dexter who were descendants of Richard de Excester, the Lord Justice of Ireland. He, with his wife Bridget, and three or more children, fled to England from the great Irish Massacre of the Protestants which commenced Oct. 27, 1641. When Richard Dexter and family left England and by what vessel, we are unable to state, but he could not have remained there long, as we know he was living at Boston prior to Feb. 28, 1642.

From Hudson to Albany along the Hudson River

Directly opposite Hudson, and connected with it by ferry, is the classically named village of Athens. An old Mahican settlement known as Potick was located a little back from the river. We are now in the midst of the great Ice Industry “Ice Industry,” which reaches from below Staatsburgh to Castleton and Albany, well described by John Burroughs in his article on the Hudson: “No man sows, yet many men reap a harvest from the Hudson. Not the least important is the ice harvest, which is eagerly looked for, and counted upon by hundreds, yes, thousands of laboring men along its course. Ice or no ice sometimes means bread or no bread to scores of families, and it means added or diminished comforts to many more. It is a crop that takes two or three weeks of rugged winter weather to grow, and, if the water is very roily or brackish, even longer. It is seldom worked till it presents seven or eight inches of clear water ice. Men go out from time to time and examine it, as the farmer goes out and examines his grain or grass, to see when it will do to cut. If there comes a deep fall of snow the ice is ‘pricked’ so as to let the water up through and form snow ice. A band of fifteen or twenty men, about a yard apart, each armed with a chisel-bar, and marching in line, puncture the ice at each step, with a single sharp thrust. To and fro they go, leaving a belt behind them that presently becomes saturated with water. But...

Biography of Howard Van Rensselaer

HOWARD VAN RENSSELAER AMONG the rising young men of our city, one whose fine tastes, cultured manners, general and professional intelligence, have brought him into favorable notice among a large circle of friends, is Dr. Howard Van Rensselaer, of 94 Columbia street. He was born in Albany on the 26th of June, 1858, and spent his earliest years in the old Dutch city, in which his forefathers, many generations ago, took such a prominent part in its history and development, as well as in that of the surrounding country. Many an interesting and eventful page have they furnished for our municipal and county annals. But they have almost all passed away to the silent land, and new generations of various nationalities have come to take their place, showing the mutability of human affairs and the ever-occurring changes of life. As we have already in the sketch of William Bayard Van Rensselaer, the brother of our present subject, given a succinct account of the ancestry of the Van Rensselaer family, we need only refer the reader to that memoir for information on this point. Howard Van Rensselaer is a son of Bayard Van Rensselaer, a native Albanian, whose earthly career was closed in 1859, when the boy was but nine months old. Thus early deprived of a father’s watchful care and love he was tenderly nursed and reared by his mother, a woman of many virtues, whose maiden name was Laura Reynolds, daughter of the celebrated Marcus Tullius Reynolds, who in his day was one of the brightest stars in the legal profession in Albany. This estimable lady still lives...

Biography of William B. Van Rensselaer

WILLIAM B. VAN RENSSELAER WILLIAM Bayard Van Rensselaer, one of the few living descendants of the Van Rensselaer family in Albany, was born in this city on the 4th of October, 1856. He is a son of Bayard Van Rensselaer and Laura Reynolds, both natives of Albany. His father died in 1859, but his mother is still living. His ancestry which is well known to the students of our early history is a remarkable one, of which we have only time and space here to give a passing notice. His great-grandfather, Hon. Stephen Van Rensselaer, was a man of high character and left a noble record behind him. His services in the history of our city, state and nation command admiration. He was born in the city of New York, in 1764, and was the fifth in lineal descent from the first ancestor of the family in America. His father was Stephen Van Rensselaer, who built the present manor house in Albany, as hereinafter referred to. His mother was Catharine, daughter of Philip Livingston, one of the signers of the declaration of independence. Gen. Ten Broeck, his uncle, had the management of his estate until he reached the age of twenty-one. He attended school in Albany and at the Kingston academy, where he was a classmate of old Abraham Van Vechten, afterward a distinguished lawyer of Albany. The young students became fast friends through life. Stephen Van Rensselaer first entered Princeton College, but on account of the troubles incident to the revolutionary period in the history of New Jersey, he went to Harvard College, where he graduated in 1782...

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