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Genealogical and family history of southern New York and the Hudson River Valley : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the building of a nation (Volume 2) online

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recognized as one of the most prominent busi-
ness men of his time. Among the various
pieces of property owned by Mr. Lydig were
the famous Lydig mills on the Bronx river.
In 1680 the town of Westchester granted to
William Richardson the privilege of erecting
mills at this place. They afterwards passed
into the hands of Everet Byvanck, and were
known for long years as "Byvanck's Mills."
His widow sold them to W'illiam Provoost in
171 1." three grist mills and a saw mill." He
sold thetn to Stephen De Lancey, and from his
heirs they were purchased by David Lydig.
Through the estate of Mr. Lydig the Bronx
ran for nearly a mile, and it was one of the
finest country residences in Westchester
county. This tract is now the Zoological Gar-
dens.

Philip Mesier Lydig married Katherine,
eldest daughter of John Suydam, a member of
one of the oldest Knickerbocker families. They
were the parents of seven children: T. Philip
Mciscr. of whoin further. 2. David, marrietl
Hannah Tomokins, and is now living in New
York. 3. Maria, married Judge Charles P. Daly.
4. Margaret lane, wife of Carl Otto; has three
children: Philip, Kate, Emma, wife of Henry
Hoyt, who is now living at Sag Harbor. Long
Island, having inherited the estate of Hon.



Charles P. Daly. 5. Katherine Matilda, mar-
ried Judge John R. Brady, and has children:
May M., wife of Albert Stevens, deceased, of
the famous fainily of Stevens Point, New Jer-
sey, and Katherine, married Sidney Harris,
and has one child, Katherine C. 6. Rosalie,
wife of John J. Staples. 7. Florence, married
Frank K. Sturgis. ex-president of the New
York Stock Exchange.

(IV) Colonel Philip Mesier (2) Lydig, eld-
est son of Philip Mesier (i) and Katherine
(Suydam) Lydig, was born in New York
City, in 1837. Graduating from the Columbia
Law School in i86r, he entered upon the prac-
tice of his profession, but the otitbreak of the
civil war changed the tenor of his life. Among
the first to enlist in the service of his country,
he was commissioned captain and aide-de-
camp, United States Volunteers, January 9,
1862, and served on the stafT of Brigadier-Gen-
eral J. G. Parke, commanding the Third Brig-
ade in Bnrnside"s expedition, and was attached
to the Third Division. Department of North
Carolina. In this position he remained until
July. 1862. He was then with the Third Divi-
sion of the Ninth Army Corps of the Army of
the Potomar to September of the same year,
and -was with General Parke of the staff of
General Burnside from September to Novem-
ber. 1862. and continued under the same com-
mander until March. 1864. On March 18.

1864. he was commissioned maior and assist-
ant adjutant-general. L^nited States Volun-
teers, and served on the staff of General Burn-
side to August, 1864. and on the staff of Gen-
eral Parke to April. 1865. On August t. 1864.
he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel of United
States Volunteers "for gallant and tneritorious
service in the battles of the Wilderness. Spott-
sylvania and Bethesda Church, and during the
operations before Pctcr^bursr." and for similar
services before Fort Sedgwick. \^irginia, he
was brevetted colonel of volunteers. April 2.

1865. His record during the war is a long
and honorable list of faithful and meritorious
services, of which the following are most
conspicuous. Burnside's expedition to Hat-
teras Inlet and Roanoke Island. North Car-
olina. January. 1862 ; capture of Roanoke
Island. February 7-8 (received special men-
tion for gallantry) : attack on Newhernc.
March 14 (again mentioned in General Parke's
report) ; attack on Camden. April 19; capture
of Fort Macon. April 23 ; Maryland campaign.



SOUTHERN NEW YORK



267



September, October; battles of South Moun-
tain, September 14; Antietam, September 16-
17; Fredericksburg, December 11-15 (received
special mention in report of General Burnside
for courage and efficiency) ; Burnside's second
movement of Ninth Army Corps to Kentucky,
March, 1863; member of the military com-
mission to try Clement C. Vallandigham for
treason. May, 1863 ; siege of Vicksburg, June
17 to July 4; siege of Jackson, July 10-17;
East Tennessee campaign, August 22 to Octo-
ber 17; capture of Cumberland Gap, Septem-
ber 10; Knoxville campaign, November 4 to
December 23. In all these important move-
ments he was repeatedly mentioned for cour-
age and efficiency. Rapidan, Virginia, May-
June, 1864 ; battles of the Wilderness, May
5-7; Spottsylvania, May 8-1 1 ; Spottsylvania
Court House, May 12-21 ; Cold Harbor, June
1-2; Bethesda Church, June 2-3: siege of
Petersburg, June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865;
Fort Stedman, March 25 ; fall of Petersburg,
April 2 ; pursuit of Lee and his army, April
3-9. In these he was often mentioned in
corps reports for courage and faithful service.
Before Petersburg at the time of the failure
by Burnside to cause a breach by a gigantic
mining operation, known as the crater. Colonel
Lydig was the officer selected to ride from the
federal lines into the crater to order back
the troops who were being slaughtered with-
out a chance of retaliation. On April 25, 1865.
he resigned from the army and was honorably
mustered out of the service. Colonel Lvdig,
after an honorable and useful life, died in
New York. 1868.

Colonel Philip Mesier Lydig- married, Octo-
ber, 1865. Pauline, daughter of Charles A. and
Georgianna Louisa f Coster) Hecksher. Their
onlv clu'ld was Philip Mesier. of whom fur-
ther.

fV) Cantain Philin Mesier (3) Lydig, son
of Colonel Philin Mesier (2) and Pauline
(Hecksher) Lydie. was born on the Lydi?
estate on Bronx river, August 16, 1867. He
entered Harvard University, p'raduating in
1880. During the war with Snain he was
commissioned captain bv President McKinley,
May 17, 1897. and served as chief commis-
sary, artillery brigade, and as chief and pur-
chasing commissary at Honolulu. Hawaii, and
was sent before his resignation took effect to
France to make a report, for which he re-
ceived the thanks of the war department. He



resigned July i, 1899. Returning to New
York, Mr. Lydig engaged in business as a
banker and broker, being the senior partner
of the firm of Lounsbery & Company, with
offices on Broad street. New York, and in
Montreal, Canada. He is a member of the
New York Stock Exchange and of various
clubs, including the Knickerbocker, Union,
Metropolitan, Racquet and Tennis, South Side
Sportsmen's, and the Metropolitan of Wash-
ington. He is a member of the Society of
Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Loyal
Legion, Spanish-American War Society, and
Holland Lodge. No. 8, Free and y\ccepted
Masons, of New York. Captain Lydig mar-
ried, 1902, Rita de Alba de Acosta, daugh-
ter of Ricardo and Micaela Hernandez y ( de
Alba) de Acosta. Mrs. Lydig's father was a
well-known merchant of Havana and New
York.



The family name of Erskine
ER.SKINE is also found in the forms of
Erskin, Ayerskin, Harskin,
Earskin and Harkin. Lower says that the
name was derived from the barony of Erskine
on the river Clyde in Scotland, and that it was
first assumed by Henry of Erskine about the
vear 1220. On the other hand, the name was
probably applied to the barony, which is situ-
ated in Renfrewshire, by an early Celtic clan,
according to the Gaelic fashion, which usually
gave places names derived-^rom their own
patronymics or family names, in contradis-
tinction to the custom among the later Nor-
mans, who derived their names mostly from
places with which they were connected. Pos-
sibly the custom arose amonsr the Celts of
applying to places the name thcv themselves
bore or the name the head of the clan bore,
from the fact that in those early times places
had no names at all. These are easily recog-
nized when it is recollected that the earliest
civilization of Europe when history dawned
"•as that of the Celts, under whom Eurone
formed a loose Celtic empire, of which Gaelic
was the language. The Gauls whom Caesar
encountered in France were Gaels, and Gallia
or Gaul or France was the land of the Gael.
The probability is, therefore, that Erskine was
first a Celtic clan name, then the name of a
place, and finally became a Norman-Celtic
patronymic. O'Hart in his "Pedigrees" de-



268



SOUTHERN NEW YORK



scribes the Erskine arms as : Ar. a pale sable
a mullet on a crescent for diff., and gives the
following portion of the Erskine pedigree:
(1) John Erskin (modernized Erskine), Earl
of Mar. (II) Alexander, his third son. (Ill)
Sir James (his son). Knight of the Bath at
King James' Coronation, died in Dublin,
March 5, 1636; married Mary, daughter and
co-heir of Adam Erskin, of Chambuskeneth ;
was buried in St. Michael's Church, Dublin.
( IV) Robert Erskin. married Anne Mutray.

(1) Christopher Erskin. or Erskine. the im-
migrant ancestor of the Erskine family, was
born in Ireland in the year 1701, died at
Abingdon (Bridgewater) Massachusetts, April
i9» '775- ^^^ spent his youth in Ireland, and
came to this country unmarried when a young
man in 1725. It has been supposed that his
ancestors were kinsmen of the earls of Mar,
whose family was also Erskine, and that they
lived sometimes in Ireland, and sometimes in
Scotland, according to the swaying of the for-
tunes of the cause with whicli they were con-
nected. There is not very much in the records,
nor has much been carried to us by family
tradition indicating his business or profession.
It is very likely that he engaged in the pioneer
work of the time, which was mainly agricul-
tural. Po.ssibly he landed at Plymouth, and
after visiting several places with a view to
settlement, finally pitched his tent at Abing-
don, married, and made his home there for the
remainder of his life. He married, at Abing-
don (Bridgewater), Massachusetts, Susanna,
born in 1714, died August 19, 1789, daughter
of Gain or Gains Robinson. Christopher was
then twentv-eight years old. and his wife was
then but fifteen. She lived for fourteen years
after her husband, and slabs to the memory
of both arc still said to be standing in the
old burial ground at Bridgewater. Gains or
Gain Robinson was also from Ireland, and
landed at Plvmouth. lived at Braintree. Pem-
broke, and finally at East Bridgewater, and
had recommendations from churches in Ire-
land, Braintree and Pembroke. A passage in
the "History of Bridgewater." bv Nahum
Mitchell, says of him : "He also had by a for-
mer wife a son. Archibald, and a daughter,
Susanna, who married Christopher Erskins,
an Irishman, who settled in Abingdon.'' Chil-
dren of Christopher and Susanna (Robinson)
Erskin : Mary, born at Abingdon. Massachu-
setts, in 1730; John, mentioned below; Chris-



topher, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, 1734;
Jeremiah, 1736.

(II) John Erskine, son of Christopher and
Susanna (Robinson) Erskin or Erskine, was
born at Abingdon, Massachusetts, in 1732. He
married, and his children were: John, men-
tioned below; Elizabeth, born in 1755; Chris
topher, 1758; James, born at Abingdon, 1701.

(III) John (2), son of John (i) Erskini-,
was born in 1752, at Abingdon or Bridge-
water, Massachusetts, died at Richland,
Oswego county. New York, where he was
buried, 1843. John was in the revolutionary
war and drew a pension from the government
from 1831 to 1843, the year he died. He
went to Winchester at an early age and there
he married and settled down, remaining for a
great many years. He was a lieutenant, and
was selectman in 1796. Children, not in order
of birth: Susan; Sarah, June 3, 1782: Phebe;
John, mentioned below ; Matilda ; Deborah ;
Walter; Zuba.

(IV) John (3), son of John (2) Erskine.
was born in Winchester. New Hampshire.
November 22, 1780. He married a womin
of the baptismal name of Phoebe, though her
surname is unknown. Children : Walter.
mentioned below; Gilman, born May 28. 1799;
Rollina. December 25, 1801 ; George, Decem-
ber 18, 1813.

(V) Walter, son of John (3) and Phoebe
Erskine, was born at Winchester, New Hamp-
shire, about 1798. He received a good educa-
tion, became a doctor by profession, but died
when he was little over twenty-five years old.
He married Margaret Bowen.

(\T) Massena. son of Walter and Mar-
garet (Bowen) Erskine, was born at Royal-
ston, Massachusetts, December 19, 1819. died
at Racine, Wisconsin, May 20. 1894. His
name has often been corrupted into Messina,
the name of a famous city in the isle of Sicily,
but he was named after one of Napoleon's
celebrated generals by his father, and that
name afterwards became well known through-
out Wisconsin, when he entered into the
public life of that state. His was the only
branch of the family that left Massachusetts
after John (2). though lately members have
settled in New York. Massena Erskine re-
moved from Massachusetts in 185 1 to Racine,
Wisconsin, where he engaged in business as
one of the four orieinal partners of the T.
I. Case Threshing Machine Company. He



SOUTHERN NEW YORK



was a very public-spirited man and was iden-
tified with a great many movements which
aimed at municipal progress, holding many
positions of trust in the city of Racine, and in
the state of Wisconsin. He was several times
mayor of Racine. Mr. Erskine was a Repub-
lican in politics, and in regard to religious faith
was reared under his stepfather, who was a
Universalist. Later he was a trustee in the
Presbyterian church of Racine. He was a man
of great business acumen, and possessed of
considerable inventive ability. He had to his
credit a great many inventions for the im-
provement of the threshing machine. He was
fond of travel, though he finally settled down
in Racine. He lived first in Lexington, Mas-
sachusetts, then in Westford, Massachusetts ;
from 1849 to 1851 he was in California, and
finally went to Racine. He married, at Natick,
Middlesex county, Massachusetts, Susan, born
at Natick, possibly at South Natick or Little
South, Middlesex county, Massachusetts,
August 16, 1820, died at Racine, Wisconsin,
June 4, 1901, daughter of William and Han-
nah (Leland) Perry. Children: i. Susan
Eliza, born in 1843, ^'^^ in 1845. 2. Freeman
Whitney, born January 7, 1845, died at Mem-
phis, Tennessee ; was in the civil war. 3.
Charles Edwin, mentioned below. 4. Emma,
born at Natick, Massachusetts, living at
Racine, Wisconsin ; married, at Racine, No-
vember 14, 1876, William Howard Crosby. 5.
Flora .Mbertine, born at Racine, Wisconsin ;
married Herbert Edwin Miles, of Racine.

(\^n') Charles Edwin, son of Massena and
Susan (Perry) Erskine, was born at West-
ford, Massachusetts, December 26, 1846, died
at Kenosha, Wisconsin, July 10, 1908. He
received his education in the high school at
Racine, and later engaged in business He
was a Presbyterian in religion, and was deacon
of the First Presbyterian church of Racine.
He lived for some years at Westford and
Natick. Massachusetts. Later he lived at
Tryon. North Carolina, in winter, and at Ra-
cine, Wisconsin, in summer. He married, at
Racine, Emma, daughter of Alfred and Olive
(Child) Payne.

(Vni) Harold Perry, son of Charles Ed-
win and Emma (Payne) Erskine, was born
at Racine, Wisconsin, June 5, T879. He re-
ceived his preparatory education at Pasadena,
California, and then at Phillips Academy,
Andover, Massachusetts, and was graduated



from Williams College in 1902, where he be-
longed to the Delta Psi Society. He was two
years at Columbia University, and was for
three years at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris.
He is an architect by profession, and started
in partnership with Wendell P. Blagden and
Elliott W. Plazzard. Already this firm has
several fine buildings to the credit of its mem-
bers. They have built the Springs Building at
29-33 West Thirty-eighth street ; the Schneider
Anderson Building at 16-18 West Forty-sixth
street ; two police stations for the city, and
the Lord and Taylor Building at Fifth avenue
and Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth streets. In
1910 and 191 1 Mr. Erskine traveled in East
Central Africa, China and other places, shoot-
ing big game, and has made a collection of
antelope, lion, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies.
He belongs to the St. Anthony Club. He is
an independent in politics, and a Presbyterian
in religion.



The . surname Van
VAN NOSTRAND Nostrand is mani-
festly Holland-Dutch
in origin and became widely known in the New
Netherlands in the seventeenth century. The
records of the Van Nostrand family are to
be found in the archives of New York, Albany,
Jamaica and Oyster Bay. The name had a
number of variation;, such as Noorstrand,
Oorstrand and the like. The family has al-
ways been of the substantial class, and in late
years has given to the country many men of
great ability in commercial and professional
life,

(I) Jacob Jansen Van Nostrandt, first
American ancestor of the New York family
of that name, emigrated to this country in
163S and settled in the colony of Rensselaer-
wyck, where Jacob Jansen Van Nostrandt,
May 21, i6=;2, took the oath to the patroon.
That immediate locality was in the south east-
ern corner of the now Saratoga county, at
a place called "Halve Maen" or Half Moon,
as his daughter Jannetje on the marriage rec-
ord stated that she was born there. Jacob
Jansen Van Nostrandt was by occupation a
brewer. He obtained a patent for land in
Albany in 1652 as Jacob Jansen Van Nos-
trand^ the brewer: and had a patent for a lot
on the east side of Beaver and South Pearl
streets nine rods by eight and a half. This
plot seems to have been divided into three



SOUTHERN NEW YORK



smaller parcels, numbers one, two and three.
In 1680 Jacob Jansen Van Nostrandt con-
veyed nurnber one to Hendrick Gerritse Van-
der Muelen. On the same block on Beaver
street, and at the other corner adjoining an
alley, on lots five and six, was his brewery,
wnich he sold in 1654 to Rutger Jacobsen,
alias Rut Van VVoert, viz. : Jacob Jansen Van
Noorstran's brewery and lot in Beaver street,
except the Horse Mill and brewer's tools
(nearly opposite the present Middle Dutch
church j. In the year 1656 he was appointed
inspector of beer barrels. The massacre of
the Esopus occurred June 7, 1663, when
Jacob Jansen Van Nostrandt, the brewer, ap-
pears to have been present. In August and
November of that year he was present at the
two baptisms in Kingston as Getuigenis. In
1676 he signed a petition of the inhabitants
of Esopus for a ministry. The Dutch church
was founded in Beverwyck, or now Albany,
about 1640, and was the only one not of
Esopus having a permanent ministry until
1700, save that of Schenectady. He married,
February 20, 1650, Jennetje Jacobse, daugh-
ter of Aaron Jacobsen, widower, who married,
August 16, 1685, Elizabeth Volvinck, widow.
Unfortunately the records of the Albany
church previous to 1684 are missing, or some
particulars of the bajitism of his children
might have been found. From the records of
the Dutch church of Kingston and New York
he appears to have had issue : Jan Jacobse,

married .Agniette ; Jacob Jacobse, married

.'\nnetje Creesvelt ; Aaron Jacobse, mentioned
below : Jannetje Jacobse, married Jacob Hoog-
teeling; Marie Jacobse, married A. V.
Bremen ; Agniet Jacobse ; and possibly Peter
Jacobsen. the miller of Esopus.

(II) Aaron Jacobse Van Nostrand, son of
Jacob Jansen and Janet je Jacobse (Jacobsen")
Van Nostrandt, was born in Albany, and
lived in the town of Hempstead. In 1693 he
was on the assembly roll in Flatbush. In
March, 1693, he bought two house plots from
Gerardus Bcckman. which he sold May 27.
1704, to Johannes Jansen. In 1678 he was
in the census and is there described as having
five children. April 14, 1707, he and Aeltje
were witnesses in Jamaica at the baptism of a
granddaughter, by name Elizabeth .Mburtis.
In August, 1708, they were also witnesses in
Jamaica at the christening of Jacob .\lburtis.
Aaron J. filed, May 17, 1714, the "ear-mark"



for his cattle. There is a record, too, dated
June 17, 1714, of a letter written by Will Lake
to George Clark requesting him to pay Aaron
J. Van Nostrand for the construction of a
well in some part of the neighborhood. From
another record it is ascertained that Aaron
J. was a member, September 17, 1715, of Cap-
tain Treadwell's trained band for the vicinity
of Hempstead. June 2, 1726, he was of Fos-
ter's Meadow as per H. T. R. In February,
1729, he and Geerty were witnesses at the
baptism of Aaron, son of his son John and
Jammatie Ryerson, and there is a record that
he subscribed three pounds ten shillings to-
wards the building of the church at Success.
In 1732 his "sit place" was transferred to his
son Abraham, and in 1762 the "vrou's'' place
of Aaron J. was transferred to her daughters,
Maritie and Elyzebet. His will was dated
June 12, 1745, proved June 16, 175 1. He mar-
ried (first), September 4, 1687, in Kingston,
Aeltje Van Steenwick, born in Kingston,
daughter of one Albert, died after September
12, 1708, and (second) Geerty von Gelder,
who survived him. Children of first wife:
Jannetje, married James Alburtis ; Jacob, of
Jamaica and Wolver Hollow, who did not
marry; Albert, married (first) Echberte Hen-
dricksen, and (second) Antje De Mott; John,
mentioned below ; Aaron, married Sarah Am-

merman : Moses, married Abigeil ; .\nn,

married John Wortman ; Gertry. married Joost
Durvea : Tlillecke, married .\braham Hen-
dricksen ; William, married Catherine De Voe.
Children by second wife: Alche. baptised in
1710 in Jamaica; Abraham, baptised June 25,
171 1, in Jamaica: Isaac, married Fransentje;
Evert, married Phebe Skidmore : David, mar-
ried Mary Deen ; Mary, baptized January 17,
1720, in Jamaica ; Yornace. bai^tizcd November
28, 1725".

(Ill) John, son of Aaron J. and .A^eltie
(Van .Steenwick) Von Nostrand. was born in
Flatbush, April 23, 1702. He lived for a num-
ber of years at Hempstead, where he was by
trade a turner. He wrfs mentioned third in
his father's will. In his own will, dated Octo-
ber 14, 1749, and proved May 10. 1753. he
gives to his eldest son, Aaron, the great Bible
and to Cornelius his gim. His wife, his
father-in-law. Cornelius Ryerson. and his son,
Aaron, were the executors. On November 17,
T720, he is recorded as filing the "ear-mark"
for his cattle. On April 14, 1731, he sub-



SOUTHERN NEW YORK



271



scribed two pounds five shillings towards the
cost of buildnig the church at Success. There
is a record of liis buying a parcel of land at
Foster's Meadow on May i, 1744. He was
a devout man and was regular in attending the
services in his church. He was well looked up
to in the community, and his services as a
turner were much in request. In addition to
his ordinary occupation he engaged in farming
and was the owner of considerable land and
cattle. Children: Aaron, married (first)
Susannah Cornell, and (second) Elizabeth
Ryder (nee Brinckerhoft) ; Cornelius, married
(first) a girl whose first name was Jemime, but
whose surname remains unknown, (second)
Catharine Dorlant, (third) Millicent Betts ;
Alche, married John Beedel; Sarah, married
a man of the name of Flowers ; Abraham, re-
mained unmarried ; Martin, mentioned below ;
Jannetje, married Whitehead Skidmore; An-
tic, married \Vill Watts; John, married (first)
Helena (Eleanor) Lefferts, (second) Sarah
Bishop; George, married Milletje Durland.

(IV) Martin, son of John and Lemetie or
Lameche (Ryerson) Van Nostrand, was born
February 19, 1738, died August 13, 1816, aged
seventy-eight, at the house of his son, Abra-
ham. He was a shoemaker by trade, though
he seems to have engaged in a number of
other occupations. He enlisted in a company
of Provincials, April 12, 1758, and in the ac-
count given is described as being five feet
eight inches in height, of a fair complexion,
born in Queens county, his age at the time
being twenty years and his occupation that of
a shoemaker. On October 16, 1776, he signed
the petition to General Howe for the restora-
tion to royal favor. On May 30, 1778, Jacob
and Martin Von Nostrand, sergeants under
Captain Timothy Cornell, demanded from
Silas Hicks eight shillings for his not going
to help building the fort at Brooklyn, and took
a pair of andirons worth fourteen shillings.
Later he was one of the vestrymen present at
the induction of Thomas L. Moore, St.
George's, Hempstead, and he. is also recorded
as being one of the officials of the same church
in 1780 and the years following up to 1789. He
married, July 31, 1764, Sarah Losee, born
August 17 or 20, 1749, died March 8. 1833,
aged eight-three years six months and nine-
teen days. There are monuments of the fam-
ily in Greenwood cemetery and on the monu-
ment of Sarah (Losee) Van Nostrand the



Online LibraryCuyler ReynoldsGenealogical and family history of southern New York and the Hudson River Valley : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the building of a nation (Volume 2) → online text (page 51 of 95)