Adam Hendrickse Vrooman

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About Adam Hendrickse Vrooman

He arrived in New Netherlands on April 17, 1664 aboard the d'Eendracht.

He was born in Leiden, Holland, 14 Sep 1649 and naturalized in the province of New York in 1715. Adam Vrooman married three times, firstly to Engeltie Barentse Blom. Engeltie and her infant child were killed in the Schenectady Massacre. Adam married secondly in 1691 to Grietje Ryckman, widow of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck, and thirdly, 13 Jan 1697 to Grietje Takelse Heemstraat. Adam Vrooman died 25 Feb 1730.

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http://www.lutheransonline.com/servlet/lo_ProcServ/dbpage=page&gid=20061536161989937301111555&pg=20061536161996249601111555&fid=20072682782236157001111555#P12490

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  • From Pearson's Genealogies of the First Settlers of Schenectady:

In 1670, by consent of his father, [Adam Vrooman] bound himself for two years to Cornelis Van den Burgh to learn the millwright's trade for 80 guildders and a pair of new shoes the first year and 102 guilders the second year; 1638 he built a mill on the Sand kil where the Brandywine mills now stand; 1688 bought lands of the Mohawk scahems at Fort Hunter; in 1690, when Schenectady was attacked and burned by the French and Indians, he saved his life by his bravery in defending his house which then stood on the west corner of Church and Front streets; on this occasion his first wife Engeltie, with her infant child was killed, and his two sons Barent and Wouter were carried away captives to Canada; 1697 went to Canada with an embassy to try to obtain the release of his sons (one of whom had turned Catholic), his brother (Jan?) and cousin (son of Pieter Meese of Albany), all carried away in 1690; 1703-1708 obtained a patent for the Sand kil and adjacent lands for mill purposes; 1714 obtained a patent for lands in Schoharie upong which he settled in 1715; some of the Palatines attempted to drive him off. He commenced a stone house 23ft. square by help of his sons, and had proceeded as far as the second story floor beams, when one night his unruly neighbors, led on by one Conrad Weiser, entirely demolished it. He then retired to Schenectady and petitioned to the governor for redress. The governor commanded the sheriff of Albany to arrest said Weiser, and succeeded, it is presumed, in stopping the opposition to Vrooman's cultivating his land. {Doc.History,III,412.} In 1726 he received an additional patent for 1,400 acres for his son Pieter; made his will September 12, 1729, proved June 13, 1730, spoke of the following children, save Christina and Jannetie, d. on his farm in Schoharie Feb. 25 1730 and was buried in his private burying ground No. 35 Front Street.

From Carol Clemens, Vrooman descendent: Front Street was his original burial spot, but then all of those buried there were removed and taken elsewhere….mostly to Vale Cemetery. The burial grounds on Front street were a problem (health hazard). There is no burial ground there any more. I have not been able to find a marker for him at Vale, yet though. Nov. 2007.

From "Vrooman Family." http://members.aol.com/welzfam/vroman.html

Adam Vrooman remained in Schenectady where he operated a mill he had owned since 1683. He sold this mill to his son Wouter in 1710. In 1711 he purchased from the Indians about 600 acres, in two seperate deeds, north of town near Middleburg in the Schoharie Valley. Not having the proper utensils for surveying it, he paced off the tract and called it six hundred acres, for which he gave one hundred and ten gallons of rum and a few blankets. This tract became known as Vrooman Land. The purchase from the Indians had no legal meaning. However, as he had to live among them this was a form of “paying them off”.

One of the first two deeds contains the names of eighteen Indians, inserted in the following order: "Pennonequieeson, Canquothoo, Hendrick the Indian, [probably King Hendrick of the French war,]Kawnawahdeakeoe,Turthyowriss,Sagonadiet Tucktahraessoo, Onnadahsea, Kahenterunkqua, Amos the Indian, Cornelius the Indian, Gonhe Wannah, Oneedyea, Leweas the Indian, Johanis the Indian, Tuquaw-in-hunt, and Esras the Indian, all owners and proprietors of a certain piece of land, situate, lying and being in the bounds of the land called Skohere." The title is for two hundred and sixty acres of land near the hill "called Onitstagrawa;" two hundred of which were flats, and sixty acres wood-land. The instrument closed as follows: "In testimony whereof, we, the three races or tribes of the Maquase, the Turtle, Wolf and Bear, being present, have hereunto set our marks and seals, in the town of Schenectady, this two and twentieth day of August, and in the tenth year of her Majesty's [Queen Ann's] reign. Annoque Domini, 1711." Eighteen wax seals are attached to the conveyance, in front of which are arranged, in the order named, the devices of a turtle, a wolf and a bear, the former holding a tomahawk in one of its claws.

The second deed is dated April 30, 1714, and contains the eight following names: "Sinonneequerison, Tanuryso, Nisawgoreeatah, Turgourus, Honodaw, Kannakquawes, Tigreedontee, Onnodeegondee, all of the Maquaes country, native Indians, owners and proprietors, " The deed was given for three hundred and forty acres of woodland, lying eastward of the sixty acres previously conveyed, "bounded northward by the Onitstagrawa, to the southward by a hill called Kan-je-a-ra-go-re, to the westward by a ridge of hills that join to Onitstagrawa, extending southerly much like unto a half moon, till it joins the aforesaid hill Kanjearagore." This instrument closes in the manner of the one before noticed, except that each Indian's name is placed before a seal to which he had made his mark. The ensigns of the three Mohawk tribes, are conspicuously traced in the midst of the signatures. One of the two witnesses to both deeds was Leo Stevens, a woman who acted as interpreter on the occasion of granting each conveyance.

When the Palantines came in 1713, they also became traders with the Indians. Perhaps because they were jealous of the large amount of land Adam had or felt that he was going to “hem them in” they advised the Indians that the tract contained a much larger number of acres than the deeds they had signed. They convinced the chiefs of these tribes that they had been cheated by Adam. This caused them to refuse to barter with him for his goods. Instead of its being but six hundred acres, the grant that Adam recieved from the Govenor gives the same tract as eleven hundred acres.

In 1715 Vroman commenced building a house upon his land, and the Germans being jealous of his purchase, or, in truth believing he was sent to "hem them in" as they stated in the petition, took the responsibility of trespassing upon his domains in a very riotous manner; as will be seen by Adam's Letter , written from Schenectady to Gov. Hunter bearing the date of " the 9th day of July; 1715."

March 30, 1726, Adam Vrooman obtained the new Indian title to the flats know as Vrooman's Land, executed by nine individuals of the nation, "in behalf of all the Mohaugs Indians." The new title gave the land previously conveyed with the sentence, "let there be as much as there will, more or less, for we are no surveyors;" and was executed with the ensigns of the Mohawk nation - the turtle,wolf and bear.

"Schoharie County, NY"

From "Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State"

by J. H. French, LL.D. - 1860:

The first white settlement was made by a colony of German Palatinates, in 1711. These people had previously settled at East and West Camp, on the Hudson. Their number is estimated at 600 to 700. They settled in 7 clusters, or villages, each under a leader or head man, from whom the dorf, or village, was usually named. The Dutch soon after began a settlement at "Vroomansland," on the W. side of the creek, 2 or 3 mi. above the German settlement. Adam Vrooman, from Schenectady, obtained a patent for 1,100 acres, Aug. 26, 1714. His tract was afterward found to contain 1,400 acres. It embraced the flats along the creek in the present town of Fulton, except Wilder Hook, (Image 47K) at which place was an Indian castle and settlement. The Palatinates at first did not secure a patent for the lands they occupied, and a short time after their settlement Nicholas Bayard appeared as agent of the British Government, and offered to give the settlers deeds for their lands; but he was assailed by a mob and was obliged to flee for his life. Upon reaching Schenectady he sent back word that for an ear of corn each he would give a clear title to the lands occupied by each; but this offer was rejected. He returned to Albany and sold the tract to 5 persons at that place. A sheriff, named Adams, was sent to arrest some of the trespassers; but no sooner was his business known than he was assailed by a mob and ridden upon a rail. For considerable time after this outrage none of the German settlers dared visit Albany; but after a time they ventured to do so, and were at once arrested and thrown into jail. They were at length released on making a written acknowledgment of the outrage they had perpetrated. The settlers at length sent an embassy, consisting of Conrad Weiser, ___ Casselman, and another, to England to petition the king for redress. The ship that took them out carried also a statement of the outrages, and the ambassadors were at once imprisioned; but after a time they were set at liberty and permitted to return. Weiser was so chagrined at the result of the controversy that soon after, with about 60 families, he emigrated to Tulpehocton, Berks co., Penn.


At about the age of 15 he came to America with his father and four siblings. He became a Millwright and moved to Schenectady, New York in 1677. He married @1678 to Engletje Blom. Had 6 children. On 9/9/1690 his home was invaded by French and their Indians. His father Hendrick, brother Bartholomeus, wife Engletje, and infant child were all murdered. his sons Wouter and Barent were carried off and held captive in Canada until 1697.Adam married again on 11/18/1691 to Grietje (Ryckman) VanSlyck and she must have died because on 1/13/1667 he married once more to Greitje Margrietje Takelse Hemmstraat.


Robert Livingston (1654-1728) offers a vivid account of an attack by the French and their Indian allies on the Dutch and English settlement at Schenectady in New York on February 8 and 9, 1690. The attack came in retaliation for a series of devastating Iroquois raids on Canada, which had essentially stopped the French fur trade for two years. The raid was an attempt to punish the English for supplying arms and ammunition to the Iroquois and to bolster the morale of the French Canadians and western tribes with an easy victory since the Iroquois were impossible to defeat.

"Approximately 60 people were killed in the raid on Schenectady (including 10 women and 12 children) and between 80 and 90 were taken prisoner. The Schenectady raid was part of a three-pronged French attack on isolated northern and western settlements. The two other prongs of the attack were at Salmon Falls, New Hampshire, where 30 were killed and 54 prisoners were tortured to death and Fort Loyal (today, Portland, Maine), where the inhabitants were killed or taken prisoner. Overall, the raids convey a strong impression of cruelty on the part of the French and their allies and carelessness and greediness on the part of the English and Dutch. " This sad story should not pass from our memory but remain engraved on it and we should grieve over our sins rather than bewail our loss, for it is clearly shown that when the measure of our iniquities is full, we are cut down and almost exterminated, of which the present smoking ruins of houses and barns bear ample witness before the eyes of our few remaining people. As to the causes of this bloody war, which they pretend originated with us, jealousy arising from the trading of our people...seems to be the principal one, for the Indians, that is to say, the Five Nations, were very friendly disposed toward us. The French begrudged us this and therefore made every effort to make them hostile to us.... The French...invited several Indians to come into the[ir]...fort to be entertained...but they met with a different reception, for as soon as they entered the fort they were bound securely and carried off to Cubeck [Quebec], to the number of 60.... Having at once assembled an army, [the French]...marched against the Indians...with the intention of destroying them, but this failed. The Indians were so embittered by this that like madmen they fell upon the French farmers, murdering and burning to revenge this breach of faith, so that many suffered great loss and damage. Showing themselves greatly perturbed about this and holding us responsible for it...they [the French] found and cruelly murdered the Dutch, saying: "The Dutch are urging you to fight against us, therefore we shall excuse you"....

The bloodthirsty people [the French and their Indian allies], then, to accomplish their evil purpose, according to their own statement made the journey from Canada to this place in 11 days.... They divided themselves into three troops and after they had everything well spied out and found that the gates were open and that nowhere there was any sentinel on duty and that on account of the heavy snow which had fallen the day before no one had been in the woods by whom they could have been detected, the full wrath of God was poured out over us. Having posted three or four men before every house, they attacked simultaneously at the signal of a gun. They first set fire to the house of Adam Vroman, who when he offered resistance was shot through the hand. After several shots had been fired, his wife, hoping to find an opportunity to get away, opened the back door, whereupon she was immediately shot dead and devoured by the flames.... His eldest daughter...had her mother's child on her arm.... Asked...whether the child was heavy...she said yes, whereupon [one of the invaders]...took the child form her and taking it by the legs dashed its head against the sill of the house, so that the brains scattered over the bystanders....

The women and children fled mostly into the woods, almost naked and there many froze to death.... Oh, we poor, miserable people, how we were scattered during that dreadful night, the husband being separated from his wife and the children from both, one hiding for 2 or 3 days in the woods and in swampy and marshy land, where God in His mercy nevertheless did not forget them....

The rest, then, who escaped the bloody sword, were condemned to be prisoners, but here again God's guiding hand clearly appears, for many sorrowful women and children and some old men, seeing this dreadful journey ahead of them, which meant practically death, doubtless offered up their prayers to God, who from the depths of their woe granted them delivery.... Considering that the old men and children and also the women would be a hindrance to them in their flight, they [the French and their allies] discharged them from their place of confinement to the great joy of all....

In all as many as 60 people have been murdered by these fiends and 40 houses and 22 barns, all filled with cattle, have been almost completely destroyed."

Source: Gilder Lehrman Institute

Additional information: Robert Livingston, February 9, 1689-90, Livingston Papers Copyright 2014 Digital History

Adam Hendrickse VROOMAN (^) was born on 14 Sep 1649 in Leiden, Zuid Holland, The Netherlands.1,3,4,5 (THE LDS Family Search Family Group Record lists his birth date as 23 May 1649.)

"Adam Vrooman remained in Schenectady were he operated a mill he had owned since 1683. He sold this mill to his son Wouter in 1710. In 1711 he purchased from the Indians about 600 acres, in two seperate deeds, north of town near Middleburg in the Schoharie Valley. Not having the proper utensils for surveying it, he paced off the tract and called it six hundred acres, for which he gave one hundred and ten gallons of rum and a few blankets. This tract became known as Vrooman Land. The purchase from the Indians had no legal meaning, however as he had to live among them this was a form of “paying them off”. 

One of the first two deeds contains the names of eighteen Indians, inserted in the following order: "Pennonequieeson, Canquothoo, Hendrick the Indian, [probably King Hendrick of the French war,]Kawnawahdeakeoe,Turthyowriss,Sagonadiet Tucktahraessoo, Onnadahsea, Kahenterunkqua, Amos the Indian, Cornelius the Indian, Gonhe Wannah, Oneedyea, Leweas the Indian, Johanis the Indian, Tuquaw-in-hunt, and Esras the Indian, all owners and proprietors of a certain piece of land, situate, lying and being in the bounds of the land called Skohere." The title is for two hundred and sixty acres of land near the hill "called Onitstagrawa;" two hundred of which were flats, and sixty acres wood-land. The instrument closed as follows: "In testimony whereof, we, the three races or tribes of the Maquase, the Turtle, Wolf and Bear, being present, have hereunto set our marks and seals, in the town of Schenectady, this two and twentieth day of August, and in the tenth year of her Majesty's [Queen Ann's] reign. Annoque Domini, 1711." Eighteen wax seals are attached to the conveyance, in front of which are arranged, in the order named, the devices of a turtle, a wolf and a bear, the former holding a tomahawk in one of its claws.

The second deed is dated April 30, 1714, and contains the eight following names: "Sinonneequerison, Tanuryso, Nisawgoreeatah, Turgourus, Honodaw, Kannakquawes, Tigreedontee, Onnodeegondee, all of the Maquaes country, native Indians, owners and proprietors, " The deed was given for three hundred and forty acres of woodland, lying eastward of the sixty acres previously conveyed, "bounded northward by the Onitstagrawa, to the southward by a hill called Kan-je-a-ra-go-re, to the westward by a ridge of hills that join to Onitstagrawa, extending southerly much like unto a half moon, till it joins the aforesaid hill Kanjearagore." This instrument closes in the manner of the one before noticed, except that each Indian's name is placed before a seal to which he had made his mark. The ensigns of the three Mohawk tribes are conspicuously traced in the midst of the signatures. One of the two witnesses to both deeds was Leo Stevens, a woman who acted as interpreter on the occasion of granting each conveyance. 
When the Palantines came in 1713, they also became traders with the Indians. Perhaps because they were jealous of the large amount of land Adam had or felt that he was going to “hem them in,” they advised the Indians that the tract contained a much larger number of acres than the deeds they had signed. They convinced the chiefs of these tribes that they had been cheated by Adam. This caused them to refuse to barter with him for his goods. Instead of its being but six hundred acres, the grant that Adam recieved from the Govenor gives the same tract as eleven hundred acres. 
In 1715 Vroman commenced building a house upon his land, and the Germans being jealous of his purchase, or, in truth believing he was sent to "hem them in" as they stated in the petition, took the responsibility of trespassing upon his domains in a very riotous manner; as will be seen by Adam's Letter , written from Schenectady to Gov. Hunter bearing the date of "the 9th day of July; 1715." 
March 30, 1726, Adam Vrooman obtained the new Indian title to the flats know as Vrooman's Land, executed by nine individuals of the nation, "in behalf of all the Mohaugs Indians." The new title gave the land previously conveyed with the sentence, "let there be as much as there will, more or less, for we are no surveyors;" and was executed with the ensigns of the Mohawk nation - the turtle,wolf and bear. 
The family stayed in this area for many generations until Josiah moved to Granville in 1817." 
(This is a drawing of Adam, taken from the "Book of the Promised Land," page 145.) 
. He died on 25 Feb 1729/30 in Vrooman's Land, Middleburgh, Schoharie County, NY.1,3,4,5,6 

"New York City, and then Albany and Schenectady, had long been settled by the Dutch, with those areas having been named New Amsterdam (New York City), Willemstadt (Fort Orange/Albany), or Beverwyck (Schenectady). Thereafter, the English became the dominant settlers in New York, Long Island and Albany, and the names changed.

Thus, finally settled in their "Promised Land", these poor immigrants from the Rhineland erected their homes and began to start life anew. But they were not to stay comfortable for long. The Indians, who apparently did not really know the difference between squatters' rights and legal deeds of conveyance, had in 1711 given a deed to the lands "under the brow of Onistagrawa" (the Indian name roughly translated to "the Mountain of the Corn" and also known as "Vrooman's Nose) to one Adam Vrooman, a Dutchman from Schenectady. Being a thorough businessman, Vrooman proceeded to secure title from the King, so by 1714 he managed to increase his original tract from the Indians for about 400 acres to a Patent from the King for about 1,100 acres. Then he brought his three sons out from Schenectady to settle and farm the land. 
In the meantime, the Palatines, realizing as their number increased that they needed more land than had been set aside for them by Queen Anne, also purchased land and took a deed from the Indians(see photograph below), paying "three hundred pieces of eight." Vrooman also took another deed from the Indians, increasing his acreage to 1,400 acres. 
Apparently still aching from their experience at the hands of the English, the Palatines at Weiser's Dorf concluded that they would probably receive no better treatment from a Dutchman, and they thought Vrooman was trying to hem them in or squeeze them out. 
So, following the rule that the best defense is a good offense, a group of them, led by John Conrad Weiser himself, went on a raid into Vrooman's land on the night of July 4, 1715. They pulled down the dwellings, trampled the grain and, in general raised havoc. 
Probably without too much persuasion from Vrooman, Governor Hunter, who did not want the Palatine immigration to the Schoharie Valley in the first place, issued a warrant for the arrest of John Conrad Weiser, who had to go into hiding. 
That tension was growing steadily between the Dutch and the Germans is evidenced by the fact that when Nicolas Bayard, a so-called agent of the British Crown (grandson of the receiver of a land grant for the entire valley given in 1695, but not long after voided by the New York Provincial Council, with the approval of the Crown) appeared at Weiser's Dorf offering to give the settlers good title to their lands if they would but define the boundaries. The Germans drove him out of the Village. He then returned to Schenectady, where he again offered the same privilege to any who would come to the city with a single ear of corn from their lands, no one accepted. 
Bayard then traveled to Albany and Governor Hunter proceeded to sell all the remaining Schoharie lands (the so-called Huntersfield Patent) to Myndert Schuyler and four others: Peter Van Brugh, Robert Livingston, Jr., John Schuyler and Henry Wileman. Soon thereafter Lewis Morris, Jr. and Andrus Coeman (Coeyman), who were employed to survey and divide the lands of some 10,000 acres, found a piece not included in the original patent, and proceeded to secure it. Then the seven owners called on the Germans, asking them to take leases on the land, purchase it from them, or leave altogether..... 
After the Palatine emigration from Weiser's Dorf and Hartman's Dorf, the Dutch began to move in, mostly on Vrooman's land and Weiser's Dorf. Soon the Zeilies, Eckersons, Beckers, Swarts, Feecks, Mattices, Boucks, Hagars and Lawyers, primarily Dutch but also some Germans, came to this locality. The Germans who had remained received them in a friendly way, and peace and harmony reigned. But German immigration to the area virtually stopped, with the tide going either to Pennsylvania or the Mohawk Valley. These settlers busied themselves in getting their living from the soil, and the Indians did not harass them or make them afraid. The Indian settlement was on the West bank of the Schoharie River, just above the line creek on what we now call the Wilderhook (a Dutch term meaning Indian's Corner)." 

Adam Hendrickse VROOMAN (^) and Engeltie BLOM (^) were married in 1678.3,4 Engeltie BLOM (^) (daughter of Barent Janszen BLOM (^) and Styntie PIETERS (^)) was christened on 12 May 1652.4 She was born about 1652 in New York.3 She died on 8 Feb 1689/90 in Schenectady County, NY.3,5 She was killed in the Schenectady Massacre in 1690. Adam Hendrickse VROOMAN (^) and Engeltie BLOM (^) had the following children: +13i.

Barent VROOMAN. 

+14ii.

Wouter VROOMAN. 

+15iii.

Pieter VROOMAN (^).

+16iv.

Christiana VROOMAN (^).

+17v.

Captain Hendrick VROOMAN. 

18vi.

(Unknown Child) VROOMAN was born before Feb 1689/90.3 (Unknown Child) VROOMAN died in 1690 in Schenectady, Schenectady County, NY.3 He was killed with his mother in the Schenectady Massacre in 1690. DEATH: Killed by Indians

Adam Hendrickse VROOMAN (^) and Grietje RYCKMAN were married on 21 Feb 1690/91 in Albany, Albany County, NY.3,7 in the Dutch Reformed Church. Grietje RYCKMAN (daughter of Harman Janse RYCKMAN and (Unknown) UNKNOWN (RYCKMAN)) died about 1695 in Albany, Albany County, NY.3

Adam Hendrickse VROOMAN (^) and Grietje Margrietje Takelse HEEMSTRAAT were married on 13 Jan 1696/97 in Albany, Albany County, NY.3,7 in the Dutch Reformed Church. (This a picture of the Adam Vrooman House, built about 1720 in Schenectady.) Adam Hendrickse VROOMAN (^) and Grietje Margrietje Takelse HEEMSTRAAT had the following children: +19i.

Jan VROOMAN. 

+20ii.

Maria VROOMAN. 

+21iii.

Bartholomeus VROOMAN.

22iv.

Timotheus VROOMAN was born on 8 Nov 1702.3 He was baptized on 8 Nov 1702 in Schenectady, Schenectady County, NY.3 

+23v.

Seth VROOMAN. 

+24vi.

Eva Mae VROOMAN. 

+25vii.

Jacob Meese VROOMAN. 

+26viii.

Janneltie VROOMAN. 
view all 39

Adam Hendrickse Vrooman's Timeline

1649
May 23, 1649
Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Nederland
September 14, 1649
Leyden (Leiden), , , South Holland, NETHERLANDS,
1664
April 17, 1664
Age 14
Schenectady, , Albany, New York, USA,