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Recent discoveries relating to the Abeel family, of which little has hitherto been known, have brought to light certain facts which have an important bearing on the Revolutionary period of our country’s history.
The Genealogy of the Williamson and Abeel families, compiled by James A.Williamson, proves conclusively that the famous “Cornplanter” of the Seneca Tribe of the Six Nations was a direct descendant of Christopher Janse Abeel, the founder of this old Holland family in America. The faithful mother, who so carefully provided for her son’s welfare, little dreamed of the influence that would be exerted by him and his descendants in the New World.
Christopher Janse Abeel
Christopher Janse Abeel, the progenitor of this family in America, was born in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1621. Both his father and mother fell victims to the great plague which scourged all Europe in 1633, when he was twelve years of age. Soon after his mother was taken ill, she sent for a trustworthy neighbor and friend, and placed in her keeping all the ready money she had with instructions to keep it until the lad should become of age. He was placed in charge of the master of an orphanage, and grew to manhood well equipped for the duties of life, having been taught in the meantime the trade of a carpenter.
On reaching his majority, the faithful friend, true to her trust, delivered to him the principal with the accumulated interest, and with this little fortune he purchased a stock of hardware and started for America, settling in Beaverwick, now Albany, about 1647. His name first appears on the records of the town in the conveyance of a piece of property, April 23, 1652. In 1665, as a master builder, he erected the First Reformed Dutch Church, which took the place of the crude log house in which the first settlers worshiped. Two years after this Abeel was elected deacon of the church, and a vote of thanks was tendered him for faithful service as treasurer of the poor fund. In 1665 he made a voyage to Holland to receive a legacy from a deceased great uncle. Passport was made in the name of the Honorable Stoffel Jans Abeel. He was a magistrate of Albany and filled other important positions, and in ordinary documents, as was the custom, he omitted the surname, but to all important legal documents he attached the full name.
He died in 1684.
He married Nov. 22, 1660, Neiltje Jans Croom (or Kroom), a native of Holland.
They had issue:
- Magdelena, married Gerardus Beekman;
- Marie, born 1666; married Garret Duyckinck;
- Johannes born 1667; Elizabeth, born probably 1670; married Evert Bancker.
While you can traverse this family line using Johannes as the next branch of the family tree, or you can peruse the table of contents below: