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David Abeel, Patriot of the Revolution, eldest son of Capt. David and Mary (Duyckinck) Abeel, was born in Albany, 1727. He married July 2, 1752, Neiltje, daughter of Garret Van Bergen and Annatje Meyer. He settled in Catskill as early as 1754. In 1771 he obtained a patent for one thousand acres of land “on the west side of and adjoining the brook called the Caterskill, at a place called the Bak-Oven.”
This estate was within the bounds of the Catskill Patent, and was formerly owned by Abeel’s father-in-law.
They had issue:
- Annatie, born in Albany, March, 1753; died in infancy.
- Anthony, born in Catskill, Oct. 9, 1754; died Feb. 25, 1822; married Oct 6, 1797, Catharine Moon.
- Garret. See further.
- Annatje, born April 8, 1760; married Jacobus B. Hasbrouck.
- Catharine, born in Catskill, Sept. 28, 1765; died Aug. 24, 1829.
During the War of the Revolution there were living at the Bak-Oven, David Abeel, Neiltje, his wife, and their four children: Anthony, Gerrit, Catharine, Anna.
The men of the household were zealous patriots, and between them and the few Tories in the neighborhood a bitter feud existed. One of these Tories, Jacobus Rowe, was especially malignant.
He harbored the Indians when they came into the valley of the Catskill, and guided the Indians in their depredations throughout that neighborhood.
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On a Sunday evening in 1780, a party of Indians with Jacobus Rowe and another Tory, entered the house of David Abeel. The inmates, who had been attending prayer meeting, were then at supper and were taken entirely by surprise. They had no time to take down their guns, which lay upon wooden baskets fastened to the walls and to the great beams of the ceiling. These weapons, however, would have been of no service, as the slaves of Abeel had been notified of the coming attack, and during the absence of the family in the afternoon, had removed the priming of the guns and had stuffed ashes into their pans. David and his son Anthony were made prisoners; Lon. a large and powerful slave of Abeel, assisting in binding his master. Owing to his extreme age he would doubtless have been released had he not inadvertently recognized his neighbor. Rowe, who was disguised as an Indian.
Gerrit Abeel, Anthony’s youngest brother, had been spending the day at the Old Catskill parsonage, and as he approached his home he heard voices which at once aroused his suspicions, and, calling to his assistance a neighbor. the two hid themselves in a thicket near the path which led to the house, and waited. As the party passed, lantern in hand, Gerrit was about to fire, but his neighbor, who was paralyzed with fear, warned him that he might shoot his own father and the party was allowed to escape unmolested.
Their journey was through a vast and unbroken wilderness, and both captors and prisoners nearly died from hunger. They lived on dogs, roots and herbs and such other food as they could pick up. After reaching Fort Niagara, Anthony Abeel was made to run the gauntlet, his father being excused on account of his age. Anthony was notified that the Indians would attempt to stop him, and he would have to fight his way. Soon after he started, a young Indian stepped into the path and faced him. Anthony dealt him a powerful blow under the ear, much to the amusement of the crowd, and before they could recover he reached the goal without receiving a blow.
In May, 1781, the Abeels were confined in the Prevot at Montreal with thieves, murderers, deserters and captive Americans. They suffered great hardship, and, in May of the following year, they determined to break their parole and endeavor to escape. On the evening of the 10th of September, 1782, everything being in readiness, they went to their room to go to bed, but jumping out of the window with their packs they groped their way to the lower end of the island, seized a boat and began the descent of the St. Lawrence. After many mishaps and much suffering, the party reached the headquarters of Gen. Bailey, upon the lower Coos on the 29th of September. They were treated with great kindness, provided with clothes and shoes and an abundance of food, and, after resting, continued their journey home.
David Abeel died Feb. 1813, in the 87th year of his age, and was buried upon a ridge between his house and the highway.
Gerrit Abeel son of David and Neiltje (Van Bergen) Abeel, was born in Catskill, March 27, 1757. About 1785 he moved to Catskill Landing, and built for himself a stone house. He was for many years a judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Greene County. Though not a lawyer by profession, he was endowed with strong common sense and an innate love of justice which was administered impartially, and his rulings seldom appealed from. He died Oct. 23, 1829. He married Elizabeth Cantine.
Their Children were:
- David Gerrit, see further.
- Charles Cantine
David Gerrit Abeel
Eldest child of Gerrit and Elizabeth (Cantine) Abeel, was born April 1, 1783; died April 29, 1868. He married April 28, 1804, Nellie Goetschius, daughter of Jacob and Catharine Schuneman.
Their children were:
- Eliza Catharine, born Oct. 18, 1805: unmarried.
- Amelia Emeline, born Feb. 23, 1807 ; married May 8 ; 1839, Jeremiah Romeyn.
- Gerrit Nelson, born Oct. 18, 1809; married Dec. 6, 1836, Alida Wynkoop; died 1874.
- Eleanor, born Feb. 1, 1812; married, 1st, George Phillips; 2d, Frank Parsons.
- Jane, born Dec. 23, 1815: died March 27, 1862; unmarried.
- Charles Cantine, born Aug. 5, 1817, died Aug. 18, 1890. He married Jennie Foland, daughter of Jacob Foland and Annie Gardner. They had issue:
- F. Romeyn
- Charles C
- Annie S.
- Emily E.
- Nellie B.
- David G.
- John, born June 30, 1821.
- Christine G, born Sept. 1, 1825; married Henry Seelye.
- Frances Mary, born Jan. 8, 1828; married June 25, 1850, Abram Winne. They had issue:
- Emily Winne Webster Winne.
- Frank N. Winne.
- Lida Winne Dakin Winne.