Abram de la Montagne

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About Abram de la Montagne

ABRAM DE LA MONTAGNE, fourth son of Jan La Montagne, Jr., but oldest son of his second wife Maria Vermilye, was baptized on 16 March 1664 in the New Harlem Dutch Church. He was clearly named for his uncle Abram Vermilye who had been killed just months earlier in the relief of Wiltwyck. At the baptism, his sponsors were his uncle Willem de la Montagne, his grandmother Jacomina Jacobs (Vermilye), and Gerrit Van Trieht.

Abram was just eight years old when his father died. He was apprenticed to be a weaver and must have been a good weaver, since he afterwards gave instruction in that craft to other young men of the town. He was the only son of Jan La Montagne, Jr., who stayed in New Harlem all of his life, farming and plying his craft.

On 27 March 1689, he married Rebecca Van Huyse, daughter of Theunis Idens Van Huyse and his wife Jannetie Thyssen (Van Pelt). Theunis Van Huyse was the owner of a large farm in Harlem, along the North River between present-day 89th and 107th Street, a area which was known as Bloomingdale. Rebecca had been born at New Utrecht, probably about 1670. Theunis Van Huyse spent his early days on Long Island, although it is probable that he was born in Holland in 1639, the son of Ide Van Huyse and Teuntje Teunis of Nordingen.

It seems likely that Ide Van Huyse died in Holland and Teuntje Teunis came to New Amsterdam as a widow. She married second husband Jacob Hellakers in New Amsterdam. Jacob Hellakers was a strong member of the Labadist movement, and Jasper Danckers and Peter Sluyter, Labadist travelers, stayed with Teuntje and Jacob Hellakers in 1679 in New York City. In his Journal Jasper Danckers described his hosts and their children. In his account of Theunis Idens, Dancker takes credit for reforming a reckless and irresponsible youth. Theunis became a member of the Dutch Church and of the Labadist movement on 17 June 1680 and thereafter became a pillar of the community.

Abram’s mother, Maria Vermilye, died just six months after Abram’s marriage, leaving her house and lot in the village of Harlem to him. Abram’s rights as a patentee of New Harlem were by virtue of this freehold and upon this he drew lot #23 in 1691, which was five morgen now within Manhattan’s Central Park. The west side of his grant lay next to the lands of his father-in-law, Theunis Van Huyse, and Abram added to his lands by judicious exchanges with Samuel Waldron and Barent Waldron.

However, Abram evidently felt he also possessed the “morgen right” held by his father in the undivided common land, even though his father had sold his farm to Jan Louwe Bogert. Abram first raised the question in a letter to the Overseers of New Harlem in 1700, a letter that Bogert found so disturbing that he eventually sold the land. At last in 1723, the matter came to court and the court found against Abram.

The town records of Harlem show that Abram was a constable in 1694, a collector in 1702, and surveyor of highways in 1704 and 1707. The census of 1703 of Harlem showed Abram [unfortunately transcribed as Saml instead of Abrm in the printed version of that census] with six sons and two daughters.

In his old age, Theunis Van Huyse had his farm laid off in lots of 57 ½ acres each, and he and Jannetie conveyed these parcels to their children, including Rebecca Delamontanie, giving possession by “turf and twig” on 22-23 June 1720.

Rebecca must have died about 1725. After that date her sons left Harlem and scattered into New Jersey and upstate New York.

In 1729 Abram sold his land to his brother-in-law, George Dyckman, who owned an adjoining part of the old Van Huyse farm. In 1733, Abram was still living, with a second wife Aeltje Hoogland.

Abram’s grave was in the old Harlem graveyard, beneath a rough stone inscribed A.L.M., 12 Feb 1733/34.

No will has been found in New York or New Jersey for Abram, but there is a docket in the colonial papers of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, in which Isaac, Edward [Ide], and Joseph Montanye bring suit in 1744 against Matthew Benson of Hackensack, New Jersey, for debts owned to Abraham Montanye, in their capacity as executors of the last will and testament of said Abraham. Matthew Benson moved to Hackensack in 1731 from Harlem, while Abram was still alive. Since only two of Abram’s children are recorded in the baptismal records of Harlem, it would be extremely helpful if we could find a copy of Abraham’s last will and testament. Based on New Jersey records and patterns of family association, there are ten known children of Abram and Rebecca (Van Huyse) Delamontanie. This order of birth may not be correct but the place of these descendants in this family becomes more and more certain as evidence continues to mount.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION: 1. “Baptismal Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of New York City”. New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 7(1876) 23; 13 (1882) 70, 169. 2. Bergen, Teunis G. Register in Alphabetical Order of the Early Settlers of Kings County, Long Island, New York. Polyanthos Reprint: 1973. 151, 301, 357. 3. Danckaerts, Jasper and Peter Sluyter, “Journal of a Voyage to New York and a Tour in Several of the American Colonies in 1679-80.” Brooklyn: 1867. 4. Docket #24467, Colonial New Jersey Supreme Court Records, New Jersey Archives, Trenton, New Jersey 5. Honeyman, A. Van Doren, ed. “First Reformed Church, Raritan (Somerville) Baptisms; Translated and compared with Original Records,” Somerset County Historical Quarterly 2 (1913) 214-217. 6. Janeway Account Books, Rutgers University Library, New Brunswick, New Jersey. 7. Rankin, Russell Bruce. “Eighteenth Century Freeholders in New Jersey: Somerset County,” Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey 17:90. 8. Randolph, Howard S.F. “Teuntje Teunis and Her Descendants, Tracing the Families of Van Huyse, Van Schaick, DeNys, and Hellakers,” New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 59 (1928) 4-16. 9. Riker, James. Harlem (City of New York): Its Origins and Early Annals. Privately printed, 1881. 521-525. 10. - - -. Revised History of New Harlem, Its Origins and Early Annals. New York, 1904. 591-597. 11. Stryker-Rodda, Kenn. “The Janeway Account Books 1735-1746.” The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, 33 (1958) 79.

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Abram de la Montagne's Timeline

1664
1664
New Harlam, New York, New York, USA
1689
1689
Age 25
1689
Age 25
1691
1691
Age 27
1693
1693
Age 29
1695
1695
Age 31
New York, New York County, New York, United States
1697
1697
Age 33
1700
1700
Age 36
Harlem, New York, New York, USA
1701
1701
Age 37
1701
Age 37
New Harlem, New York City