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Van Nostrand Biography

This was sent is by Ann L. Clapper, who writes: "I am the granddaughter of Jesse Washington Leavitt. I have collected much information about the Leavitts, Bliss, Helmer, Browns (of Oppenheim), Lindsley, Getman...

I received most of the Van Nostrand information below from David Kerridge, 85 Ballek Road, Riegelsville, PA 18077.... He received the History from the great granddaughter of the author.... The history of the Van Nostrand family was written by Henry Van Ostrand (1818-1902)."

WILLIAM VAN NOSTRAND2 (William Van Nostrand1) was born 01 October 1765 in Greensburg, Westchester County, NY. He was the son of William Van Nostrand,1 and Catherine de Vou.

    He was a youthful patriot in the Revolutionary War, was taken prisoner by the British and confined in the Old City Hall, New York City in 1779, and remained a prisoner until near the close of the war when he was exchanged and returned to his home. He had been drafted to help guard the neutral ground between the Union forces and the British Army which then occupied New York City. His squad was surprised by the British Patrol and was taken prisoner. During his confinement he had the Small Pox and was taken to the Post Hospital... he was exchanged and sent home about the close of the Revolutionary War.

    William married 09 January 1782 Phoebe Sherwood, daughter of John Sherwood and Elizabeth Crawford. Soon after his marriage, William moved to Johnstown, Montgomery County, where he settled on a farm and improved it, including the planting of an orchard. He was a Justice of the Peace for many years.

    William and Phoebe had seven children, all boys. Their eldest child, William Van Nostrand, was born on August 29, 1783. Two years later, their second child, Isaac Van Nostrand was born on September 29, 1785. The following year, their third son, John Van Nostrand came into the world on June 01, 1786. Their next son, Abram Van Nostrand, was born on January 29, 1789. Jacob Van Nostrand, their fifth child, was born on March 10, 1792. He later settled in Black River Falls, New York and not much else is known about him. On March 04, 1793, Benjamin Van Nostrand was born. William and Phoebe's seventh son, and their last, was born on January 26, 1799. They named him George Van Nostrand.

    Their old homestead farm was situated five miles north of Johnstown village where his seven boys grew to manhood and began to scatter west. His wife, Phoebe, died January 5, 1842. William survived his wife by seven years and died at his home in Johnstown, May 5, 1849 age 84.

Descendants of William Van Nostrand:

1.    WILLIAM VAN NOSTRAND,3 (WILLIAM VAN NOSTRAND2, WILLIAM VAN NOSTRAND1) was born August 29, 1783 in Johnstown, Fulton Co., NY. He married Esther Monroe on January 01, 1808 in Johnstown,NY.

    Soon after their marriage, they moved west to Tompkins County, New York where several of his older children were born. He was a millwright by trade and a miller by occupation. In 1820 they moved to Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, New York. Here they farmed for several years and then moved west to Sodus Bay, New York. Later in life they made their last move west to Plymouth, Michigan. William died of Michigan Chill Fever on October 23, 1838 in Plymouth, Michigan.

    William and Esther were to have a very large family; ten children. The first five children were all born in Gloversville; Diodema Van Nostrand (born November 06, 1808), William Darius Van Nostrand (born December 17, 1810), Hannah Van Nostrand (born January 24, 1813), Almira Van Nostrand (born July 08, 1815) and Phoebe Van Nostrand (born May 07, 1817). It is interesting to note that Phoebe and their next child would share the same birthdate. During this time, the family moved to Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, NewYork. James Van Nostrand was born on May 07, 1821 in Cape Vincent. William and Esther had another daughter, Electa Van Nostrand, who was born on March 19, 1824. Truman Walter Van Nostrand, their next child would be born the following year on November 04, 1825. Nearly three years later, Jonathan Van Nostrand was born on October 23, 1828. On January 20, 1832, their last child was born and they named her Emily Esther Van Nostrand.

    Information on their children becomes scarce; they all diversed, settled, and died throughout the country. Diodema Van Nostrand died in 1879 in Kansas. William Darius Van Nostrand died February 09, 1892 in Wauauwaga, WI. Hannah Van Nostrand married Sweezy Burr in Cape Vincent. She died in 1882 in Kansas. Almira died in 1852 in Wisconsin. Truman married Louise Rice and Jonathan married Josina Van Nocken on November 04, 1847 in Conquest, Cauga County, New York.

2.    ISAAC VAN NOSTRAND,3 (WILLIAM VAN NORTHSTRAND2, WILLIAM VAN NOSTRAND1) was born on September 29, 1785, in Johnstown. No further information is available.

3.    JOHN VAN NOSTRAND,3 (WILLIAM VAN NORTHSTRAND2, WILLIAM VAN NOSTRAND1), was born June 01, 1786 in Johnstown, New York. He married JANE WILSON on November 21, 1805 in Johnstown. John died February 26, 1843 in Johnstown, NY; he and his wife are buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery.

    John would also have a large family. John and Jane had the following nine children: Phoebe, William, Elizabeth, Ann C. (she married Gilbert Phelps in 1845 in West Bush), Hannah, Wilson, Margaret, Robert(born October 16, 1805) and Sally.

4.    ABRAM VAN NOSTRAND,3 (WILLIAM VAN NORTHSTRAND2, WILLIAM VAN NOSTRAND1), was born January 29, 1789 in Johnstown, New York, and died 1867 in Johnstown, NewYork. He married SUSANNAH LINDSLEY on January 25, 1817 in New York.

    Abram was a lawyer in Fulton County. There is an Abram Van Nostrand from Johnstown is listed as being a Private in the 153rd Regiment of New York Volunteers in the Civil War.

    Abram & Susannah had three children: Eliza Van Nostrand, Emeline Van Nostrand and Phoebe Van Nostrand (born January 04, 1818).

5.    JACOB VAN NOSTRAND,3 (WILLIAM VAN NORTHSTRAND2, WILLIAM VAN NOSTRAND1), b. March 10, 1792.: Settled in Black River Falls, New York. No further information.

6.    BENJAMIN VAN NOSTRAND,3 (WILLIAM VAN NORTHSTRAND2, WILLIAM VAN NOSTRAND1), was born March 04, 1793 in Johnstown, New York, and died April 13, 1876 in Albion, Calhoun County, Michigan. He married SUSANNA CROCKER on September 18, 1815 in Johnstown.

    Benjamin and Susanna moved around New York State quite a bit, (as did their children) as shown by the birth locations of their children: Their first child, Permilia Van Nostrand was born on October 09, 1816 in Euriskany, Herkimer County, NY. She married Jesse Wade and died on February 26, 1861, Albion, Calhoun County, Michigan.

    Their second child, Henry Van Nostrand was born October 21, 1818 in Ulysus, Thompkins County, NY. Hied also traveled. At the time of his death, at age 84, Henry died on December 23, 1902 in Yankton, Yankton Co. South Dakota.

    In 1821, Philomelia Van Nostrand was born to Benjamin and Susanna, also in Tompkins County. Philomelia died before 1840.

    The last child born to Benjamin and Susanna, they named, William Henry Van Nostrand. William Henry was born on March 15, 1824 in Auburn, Wayne County, New York. He married a Nancy Smith and died sometime after 1840 in New York.

All of the information from this point down is from Ann Clapper...

7.    GEORGE VAN NOSTRAND,3 (WILLIAM VAN NORTHSTRAND2, WILLIAM VAN NOSTRAND1) was born January 26, 1799 in Johnstown. He married HANNAH LINDSLEY, February 23, 1818, daughter of EPHRAIM LINDSLEY and POLLY KRAUS.

    In the 1850 census George Van Ostrand was counted in Fulton County. He is listed as age 50... Hannah is listed as age 48.... Mary is listed as age 10. Also living with them at that time were Caroline Mead, age 11 and Lucius E. Allen, age 8. His occupation is listed as farmer and the value of his property is reported at $7000.

    George and Hannah had only one child that has been discovered; Mary Van Nostrand, born August 08, 1841, West Bush, NY.

    Mary married early at the age 16 to JEFFERSON MADISON LEAVITT on September 14, 1857. He was the son of JOSEPH LEAVITT and LYDIA BLISS. It is believed that she lived in the country near Johnstown. Jefferson is listed in Child's Gazetteer 1870 in Oppenheim as a Dairyman, hop and stock raiser and farmer, with 95 acres.

    Mary Van Nostrand in her later years lived in a family home on N. Helmer Avenue in Dolgeville and was cared for by Lela Leavitt Handy. She died December 06, 1924. Annie Helmer Leavitt remembers: "I don't know how many brothers and sisters she had. She was the youngest and I think some of her family were grown up when she was born.... and she lived with a sister".

They had four children:

Jesse Washington Leavitt, born on February 22, 1875, Oppenheim. He married Anna Brockett Helmer on June 24, 1903 in Dolgeville, NY - First Methodist Church(a double wedding). Anna was the daughter of EDWARD HELMER and NANCY BROWN. They moved to Hudson, New York where their two children were born. Jesse was a pharmacist and owned "Leavitt & Smiths" drug store on Warren Street in Hudson. Jesse Washington died 1954 in Hudson, New York.

John Arthur Leavitt was born October 24, 1870. He died on September 07, 1888, Dolgeville, NY.

George Byron Leavitt was born on December 17, 1868 and died September 26, 1927. George married Arvilla J. Cool. He was a farmer on State Route 29, east of Dolgeville.

There are some interesting notes about this family & the farmhouse: "There was no plumbing. There was a pump on the kitchen sink and the water for that came from a cistern that collected roof water. The main pump and well was halfway between the house and barn and served both. The outhouse was a two-holer near the barn that sported both a Montgomery Ward & Sears Catalog (both serving dual purposes). In addition there was a chemical toilet in an unheated room in the house, but people were not allowed to use it as it was so difficult to change or clean. It was used only at night. The kitchen had a wood stove and at haying time Villa would cook for as many as twelve men at noontime as neighbors joined together to help on each farm. The parlor had an Estey Organ (which ended up in Nina's flat on North Helmer Avenue)."

Lela Leavitt was born June 21, 1866, Oppenheim Center. Lela married Klock Handy and they had two children. She was a member of the society Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A. R., #518948). She died December 30, 1949, Dolgeville, NY.

Copyright ©1999 Ann L. Clapper, Jeanette Shiel
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