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During the past four centuries the name of Gesner has 
been borne by many men who have attained to positions of 
conspicuous honor. Originally brought into prominence by 
the indefatigable labours and achievements of the most 
renowned scientist of his age, Conrad von Gesner, of Zurich 
(1516-1571), it was further honored in the 16th and following 
centuries by not a few who held high position in the Universi- 
ties of Germany and Switzerland, and who have left a memorial 
of their works in the several departments of science, letters, and 
theology. The names of Solomon Gesner (1559-1605), divinity 
professor in the University of Wittenberg, and the three 
brothers — Andrew Samuel, (1690-1761), Jean Albert (1694- 
1760), and John Matthew, (1691-1761), philologist and pro- 
fessor at Anspach — were among the most noted scholars of 
Europe in their day. Solomon Gesner (1730-1788) was both 
poet and painter, John Gesner (1709-1790) was a physician 
and naturalist, and John James (1 707-1 787), brother of the 
last mentioned, was a noted clergyman and missionary of 
Zurich. The list if given in fullness would be a long one. 
Here in America the family found a worthy son of fame in the 
person of Dr. Abraham Gesner (1 797-1 864) of Nova Scotia and 
New York, inventor, scientist, and lecturer in Dalhousie, and 
Kings College, Canada, whom a generation now passing away 
remember with respect for his learning and achievements; while 
others of less note have done, or are doing, the work of 
clergymen and educators in our land. 

These notes are the result of several years of occasional 
study of the family history pursued at odd moments of leisure. 
The writer has been diligent in his search of civil and ecclesi- 
astical records, and when possible has included in the Notes 
such references and authorities as may be of further service 
and interest to the reader. The writer's aim has also been 
to make these notes of special interest to his own children, and 
for that reason has included some material which concerns 
them alone. 

It had been our hope that the life of the late William 
Nicholas Gesner of New Haven and Whitney ville, Conn., 
might not close before his Genealogy of the Gesner Family had 
issued from the press. He gave freely and lovingly of his 
time to this subject, and we here desire to acknowledge our 
debt to him for information in several particulars. 

Dr. Oscar Kuhns of Wesleyan University, Mr. Winthrop 
S. Gilman of New York, Mr. Robert H. Fenton of Nyack, the 
Rev. T. C. Mellor, formerly rector of St. John's Parish, 
Cornwallis, N. S., Professor Frederick W. Mar, and the Rev. 
Dr. Arthur Eaton of New York, have rendered assistance 
which we also wish appreciatingly to acknowledge. 

Anthon T. Gesner. 

Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown, Conn., 
September, 19 12. 


The plat is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. James W. Gowdy. 
Here lie buried the remains of John Gesner and Famitcha 
Brower Gesner, Cornelius Gesner, Famitcha Gesner (wife of 
Peter Wilsey), Elizabeth Gesner (wife of Jacob Concklin), 
Famiche Concklin (daughter of Elizabeth Gesner and Jacob 
Concklin), Jacob Concklin (son of Jacob Concklin and Hester 
Barhyt), Jacob Concklin, Jr., David Concklin (d. 1851 or 1852, 
no stone), Phcebe Concklin and David Concklin, Jr. (children 
of David and Famiche Concklin), Eleanor Cooper (d. Dec. 25, 
1813, aged 50 yrs. and 10 mos.), Mary Quidor (wife of Jacob 
Concklin, Jr.), Peter and Rachel (children of Jacob Concklin, 
Jr.), and two infant children of Jacob Concklin. The graves 
of the last four mentioned are unmarked. 

There are in all seventeen graves. 


II. JOHN HENRY GESNER of Tappan, N. Y., 1724-1811. 

in. " COL." HENRY GESNER of Cornwallis, N. S., 1756-1850. 

IV. DR. ABRAHAM GESNER of Nova Scotia and New York, 1797-1864. 

V. REV. ABRAHAM HERBERT GESNER of New York, 1832-1895. 

( REV. RICHMOND HERBERT GESNER of Oswego, N. Y., b. 1862. 
( REV. ANTHON TEMPLE GESNER of Middletown, Conn., b. 1865. 

VII. CONRAD HERBERT GESNER, son of Anthon T. Gesner, b. 1901. 


I. Johan Hendrick Gesner, 1681-1745. The first 
of the name of Gesner in this country, and the ancestor of the 
Hudson River and Nova Scotia Gesners, was Johan Hendrick 
Gesner, who, in the twenty-ninth year of his age, accompanied 
by his wife Anna Elizabeth and infant daughter Margaret, left 
the Palatinate of the Rhine, with many others who in that 
oppressed region had suffered through war and misrule, and 
came to London; from whence he sailed by ship Lyon for 
America, arriving in New York, June 10-12, 1710 (note ia). 

Of the young emigrant's birthplace and parentage we have 
no certain record. Possibly he was a son of that John Gesner 
who was a practitioner of the Imperial court which in the year 
1693 was removed from Treve to Wetzler (note 2). 

The winter of 17 10 was spent in New York. In the spring 
he may have removed to Yonkers Fall (note 3). 

Within a short while, however, he is found residing in the 
vicinity of Tappan, Rockland Co. , New York, and at no great 
distance from Hackensack, N. J., where he had acquaintances 
and friends. 

He was a miller by profession, though in the ship's papers 
his trade is described as that of a carpenter. 

He was a man of pious life, brought up in, and adhering to, 
the Lutheran faith, and, as the early Lutheran Church records 
show, more than once a sponsor on the occasion of some 
child's baptism. 

On the 30th day of October, 1745, the elder Gesner made 
his will. By this will John Hendrick Gesner devised all his 
property (excepting "one negro woman" ) to his wife Elizabeth 
during her lifetime, and provided that at her death it should 
go to his son John. The "one negro woman" was left to his 
daughter Gerittye ( Margaret ) , wife of Jacob Valentine who 
resided in Yonkers. Margaret however appears to have had 
some share of ownership in her father's mill on the Hackensack 
river, for his grandson Nicholas expressly states that "his 
father bought Margaret's share" for a consideration.* 

* For will see note 4, also Fernow's Catalogue of Wills of N. Y., and notes 4 and 5. 


The exact date of the elder Gesner's death is unknown. It 
must have occurred some time between the making of his will 
in 1745 and the date of its proving, July 16, 1748. Nor are we 
sure of his burial place. His remains may rest in the family 
burial plot near those of his son and grandchildren. One may 
well regret that we have not more of the life-history of the 
plucky young Palatine, who, after sharing the misfortunes of 
his fatherland, went forth with his young wife and child to 
brave the perils of the sea and a strange land, where there 
were hardships to be endured which tried even the stoutest 
hearts in the days when New York City was a village and the 
interior of the Empire State a wilderness inhabited by savages. 


II. John Henry Gesner, 1724-1811. John Henry, 
Jr., was born on the 25th of May, 1724. He learned the pro- 
fession of his father and became a miller, and like him gathered 
a comfortable property (note 6). 

In the year 1 744 he married Famitcha Brower. The banns 
of marriage were read on the several Sundays following Easter 
of that year in the Lutheran Churches at Hackensack, Schral- 
enberg, Tappan, and Yonkers. In the banns they were 
referred to as " young people of Tappan, ' ' which well establishes 
the place of the Gesner residence at that time. 

Famitcha was the fifth child of Adolphus Brower and 
Jannette Ferdon. She was born in the year 1723, and was 
descended from Adam Brower, who emigrated to New Amster- 
dam from Cologne, in the year 1642 (notes 7 and 8). 

John Gesner and his wife Famitcha Brower began and ended 
their married life in a house built about a mile and a half south- 
east of Tappan village, not far from the state road and close 
to the New Jersey-New York state line. The slight depression 
in the field a hundred yards south-east of Mr. James Gowdy's 
place and the old Gesner burying ground marks the spot (note 8 ) . 

In this house was reared a large family. Nine children were 
born to John and Famitcha, viz. : 

1. Elizabeth (n. 9), t>. Dec. 6, 1745, m. Jacob Concklin, Jr., (11. 9). 

2. John Henry (n. 10), bap. Sept. 24, 1749, m. Ann Onderdonck (n. 10). 

3. Jacob (n. n), b. Dec. 23, 1751, m. Ann Brigs, became Captain in 

English Army. 


4. Isaac (n. 12), b. May 15, 1753, m. Johanna Lavidsjer or Lafarge. 

5. Henry, J tw . ng lb. Nov. io, 1756, m. Sarah Pineo (n. 17). 

6. Abraham, ( v 5> jb. Nov. 10, 1756, m. Elizabeth Steadman. 

7. Cornelius, b. Feb. 1, 1761, d. Sept. 7, 1790. 

8. Nicholas (ns. 14-15), b. Dec. 10, 1765, m. Grace Post. 

9. Famiche (n. 16), b. Mar. 31, 1768, m. Peter Wilsie of Tappan, 1789 

(note 23). 

Several letters of John Gesner, II. , have been preserved and 
are in the keeping of his descendants. Nicholas Gesner in his 
Diary has left us an interesting note regarding the position 
taken by his father during the period of the Revolutionary 
War. He says ' ' It may not be improper to note here that our 
Father and Mother, John Gesner and Famitcha Brower, wished 
to remain neutral in the War of the Revolution. He refused 
to sign the Association Articles, dreading the Consequences; 
was called a tory, but truly he was a peaceable man in every 
respect! Threatenments were made, and his sons grown up 
were all menaced to be taken to New Kn gland, and confined 
in dungeons (or mines). Violence was used in many places 
and with many. Father Gesner, now about 52 or 53 years old, 
admonished his sons Jacob, Isaac, Henry, and Abraham to take 
opportunity to go to New York, now in possession of the British. 
With some others, after their father had admonished them to 
be good boys, they went off in an open pettiauger belonging to 
Denis Sneeden." (Note 19.) 

This decision was fraught with serious consequences to the 
family. The two boys, Henry and Abraham, at the conclusion 
of the war settled in Nova Scotia, where they became well-to- 
do and influential men. Jacob was lost at sea, Isaac settled in 
New York, and John, the eldest, after his experiences with the 
British, spent five years in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, and then 
returned with his family to live near Nyack. The old home 
was broken up, and judging from the few letters of their 
father that remain, after Famitcha his wife was laid to rest, in 
Feb. 1788, there were many dreary days of sadness (note 24). 


III. "Col." Henry Gesner, born Nov. io, 1756. 
At about the age of 18 years, Henry and his twin brother 
Abraham joined the King's Orange Rangers. At the outbreak 


of the Revolution, because of their strong loyalist sympathies, 
they enlisted with the British and in consequence suffered the 
loss of all their property, in lieu of which the British granted 
Henry 400 acres in the Cornwallis Valley, and Abraham a tract 
of similar area near Annapolis Royal in the Annapolis Valley, 
Nova Scotia (note 19). 

In Nova Scotia, Henry Gesner met and married (May 4, 
1786) Sarah Pineo, daughter of David and Rebecca West Pineo. 
The Rev. Hugh Graham, Church of England minister, per- 
formed the ceremony. The Pineos were French Hughenots 
who came to Nova Scotia before the Revolutionary War from 
Lebanon, Conn. They were descended from Jacques Pineo, 
who came to Bristol from France in 1706, and removed to 
Lebanon ten years later. The ancestors of Rebecca West were 
also from Connecticut (note 17). 

Sarah, Henry's wife, bore him twelve children, viz.: 

Rebekah, b. May 27, 17S7, m. Elkanah Terry. 
John Henry, b. Mar. 20, 1789, m. Mary Dydia Chase 1818. 
Elizabeth, b. Mar. 11, 1791, m. Hon. Samuel Chipman 1815. 
David Henry, b. Mar. 7, 1793 (note 18). 
"Famitcha, b. Mar. 27, 1795, m. Benj. Cossett 1821. 
Abraham (IV), b. May 2, 1797, m. Harriet Webster Jan. 31, 1822. 
Gibbs Henry, b. July r2, 1799. 
Sarah, b. Feb. 21, 1802, m. Dr. Carr. 

Harry, b. April 17, 1804, m. Catherine Kidston at Cornwallis. 
Anna Maria, b. Sept. 28, 1806, m. Edward Hamilton of Horton. 

Lavinia Caroline, b. May 22, 1809, m. Kerr (she died May 

26, 1890, note 20). 
12. Charlotte Herbert, b. Sept. 8, 1813, m. Samuel Barnaby. 
All baptized in St. John's Church, Cornwallis. 

Sarah Pineo Gesner, the mother of these children, was born 
Sept. 3, 1768, and died April 23, 1842. Henry died Oct. 13, 
1850, aged 94 years. Their bodies rest in the churchyard of 
the English Church, at Cornwallis, N. S. 

The Natural History Society of New Brunswick printed in 
1896 (bulletin XIV.) a biographical sketch of Dr. Abraham 
Gesner, written by his son, George Weldon Gesner, and read 
before the Society, April 7 of that same year. We regret to 
say that this sketch contains some serious genealogical errors. 
Dr. Abraham Gesner' s grandfather was certainly not "Nicholas 
Gesner," but John Gesner, and it was not this John Gesner, 
but his father, John Henry Gesner, who emigrated to this 


country and settled near Tappan. Nor was Major Andre" 
executed on the Gesner property. The Gesner lands lay a 
mile eastward of the hill where Andre was hung. Several 
books and a copy of a pamphlet by Dr. Abraham Gesner, pub- 
lished in New York in 1862, entitled "The Gold Fields of 
Nova Scotia," are in the possession of Rev. Anthon T. Gesner, 
as also are Dr. Gesner's two writing desks and surgeons' lance. 
The family bible is preserved by the Rev. Richmond Herbert 
Gesner of Oswego. For other sketches of Dr. Gesner's life see 
Appleton's Encyclopedia and Dr. Eaton's History of King's 
Co., N. S. 

The old Henry Gesner residence at Cornwallis still stands in 
good repair, backed by a great orchard of nearly 7,000 apple 
trees largely grown from seeds brought from New York by 
Henry many years ago. Across the road there dwells his 
great-granddaughter, Katherine Eliza Gesner Boak, now over 
seventy years of age, but full of memories of the past, dear 
to every descendant who reckons back to the old Nova Scotia 
homestead which has given shelter to so many who have 
passed on to Paradise. 


IV. Abraham Gesner, born at Cornwallis, May 2, 
1797; died at Halifax, N. S., April 29, 1864; married on 
Jan. 31, 1822, Harriet Webster (b. July 24, 1801, d. at Tarry- 
town, N. Y., Feb. 23, 1868), daughter of Dr. Isaac Webster of 
Kentville, N. S. They were married by Rev. Hugh Graham, 
Church of England minister, at Horton. At the age of 
twenty-eight, after several commercial ventures in shipping, in 
one of which he came near losing his life, he went to Dondon 
to study surgery and medicine at Grey's and St. Bartholomew's 
Hospitals, the former being under the direction of Sir Astley 
Cooper and the latter under the direction of Dr. Abernethy. 

After taking his degree he returned to Nova Scotia and 
settled at Parrsboro, on the Bay of Fundy. The district was 
especially rich in minerals, and the young physician, who was 
a man of scientific tastes, seldom returned home without a 
load of "specimens ' ' in his saddle-bags. In 1836 he published 


his ' ' Remarks on the Geology and Mineralogy of Nova Scotia, 
which brought him at once to the attention of the government. 
Two years later he was appointed Provincial Geologist of the 
Province of New Brunswick. On the acceptance of this 
position he moved to St.' John, N. B., and began a systematic 
exploration of the region, embodying his observations in a 
number of geological reports published by the government 
(1839-1843). He established at St. John the " Gesner 
Museum," which was afterwards purchased by the Natural 
History Society of New Brunswick. He was an excellent 
naturalist and taxidermist, and many of the large animals 
were stuffed and set up by his own hand. 

At the expiration of his office Dr. Gesner returned to Nova 
Scotia to reside in the old homestead of his fathers at 
Cornwallis, where he wrote two more volumes, " New Bruns- 
wick, with Notes for Emigrants, ' ' and ' ' Industrial Resources 
of Nova Scotia," meanwhile engaging in the practice of 
medicine and experimenting in electricity. " He constructed 
an electrical engine or motor which was driven by a voltaic 
battery, the principle being identical with that now used in 
electrical motors, ' ' etc.* In 1850 he removed to Sacville, and in 
1852 to Halifax, where he met L,ord Dundonald, Admiral of the 
B. N. A. Station and the original discoverer of illuminating 
gas, and with him examined the asphaltum of Pitch L,ake, 
Trinidad, and from it extracted burning oil for lamps." 
Afterward he extracted an illuminating oil from coal and 
other bituminous substances, which he patented in 1854 under 
the name of " Keroselene" in the United States. f 

About 1855, after the perfection of his discovery, Dr. Gesner 
removed to Williamsburg, New York, and built kerosene oil 
works on Newton Creek, near Penny Bridge, in the locality 
later called ' ' Blissville. " In 1 86 1 Dr. Gesner published ' ' Coal, 
Petroleum and other Distilled Oils." In 1863 he returned to 
Halifax, N. S., and was offered the chair of Natural History 
in Dalhousie College, but the following year, on the 29th day 
of April, he entered into rest from earthly labor. 

* See Bui. of Nat. Hist. Soc. of New Brunswick, vol. xiv. There are several genea- 
logical errors in this Bulletin. 

t The patents were numbers 11,203, '11,204, 11.205, U. S. Patent Office, June 27, 1854. 
The name keroselene, afterwards shortened to kerosene, was given to this illuminating 
oil by Dr. Gesner, which he derived from two Greek words, keros= waxand^/a/or = oil. 


Dr. Gesner is described as " a man of medium height, with 
deep chest and square shoulders. He had black eyes which 
shone brilliantly when he was excited or in earnest conversation. 
His hair was black to the end of his days. He was popular with 
those with whom he came in contact and often urged to take 
some political office, but he was devoted to scientific pursuits 
and refused to enter the political arena. ' ' He was musical and 
played with the flute and violin. He was a man of abstemious 
and temperate habits, genial and generous in disposition. He 
was a firm churchman all his life and for many years Warden 
of Christ Church, Williamsburg, New York. In the later 
years of his life he was a fellow of the Geological Society of 
England, Corresponding Member of the Royal Geographical 
Society of Cornwall, Member of the L-iterary and Historical 
Society of Quebec, Corresponding Member of the Academy of 
Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and a member of the Geograph- 
ical Society of New York. His body rests in Camp Hill 
Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

The following 1 1 children were born to Dr. Abraham Gesner 
and Harriet Webster his wife. 

1. Henry, b. at Cornwallis, May 26, 1823, died in Philadelphia. (No 


2. Isaac, b. at Cornwallis, June 4, 1825, died July 13, 1826. 

3. William, b. at Cornwallis, May 26, 1827, m., 1st, Annie Herty at 

Milledgeville, Ga., 1841. Their children were William Henry, 
b. 1852; Francis James, b. 1854, d. 1879; Harriet Luana, b. 1857 
who mar. 1st Chas. F. Miller, and 2nd, Dr. Alton G. North; Mary 
Herty, b. 1859, mar. Dr. Henry Clark. William, mar. a second 
time to Mary Virginia Jones, daughter of Samuel G. Jones, and 
sister of Governor Jones of Alabama, June 21, 1866. The children 
of William by his second marriage all died in infancy. He was a 
man of very high character and noted as a geologist and for his 
scientific attainments. During the Civil War the Confederate 
Government sent him to England to arrange for securing 

4. George Weldon, b. at Parsboro Oct. 13, 1829, died Nov. 11, 1904, at 

Bay Ridge, L. I. Eminent as a mineralogist and geologist and 
the inventor of the Gesner rust -proof process in the treatment of 
j ron — married Miss Corbett — one daughter, Harleston Gesner, a 
deaconess of the Episcopal Church. 

5. Abraham Herbert, b. at Parsboro, N. S., June 25, 1832, d. April 30, 

1895. A well-known clergyman of the Episcopal Church for over 
thirty-five years. Most of his ministry spent in New York State. 
Married Dec. 29, 1859, in Christ Church, Brooklyn, Helen Catlin 


Dickinson, daughter of Andrew Dickinson and Elvira Catlin, 
formerly of Milton and Litchfield, Conn. Their children were 
Landon, b. Feb. 22, 1861, at Briar Cliff, N. Y., died soon after birth; 
Richmond Herbert, b. April 26, 1862, at Rondout, N. Y., and 
Anthon Temple, b. July 20, 1865, at Le Roy, N. Y. Helen Catlin 
Dickinson, beloved wife of Abraham Herbert Gesner, died at West 
Farms, N. Y., March 5, 1868. He married, second, Sarah Adeline 
Barretto, daughter of Dr. Francis Barretto, of New York, June 12, 
1S73. No children by this marriage. 

6. Brower, b. Nov. 13, 1834, at Parrsborough, Nova Scotia, married in 

1863, Frances A. Field, of New York, and died Nov. 1874. While 
a student at the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons 
the Civil War broke out, and Brower offered his services to his 
country in the capacity of a surgeon. Distinguished for bravery he 
received the Kearney Medal of Honor. Later was promoted to 
Surgeon in Chief of Artillery in the 2d Corps. Made Lieut. -Colonel 
by act of Congress after the War. He first served in the 38th N. Y. 
Volunteers as Surgeon and later was on Gen. Hancock's Staff. 
Buried in Greenwood Cemetery, N. Y. Brower had one child 
Lillian, who married the Marquis Vincenzo Perreca of Italy, 
formerly a member of the King's Guard. Their daughter, Mary, 
is at present with her mother at Bay Ridge, L. I. 

7. Harriet Luana, b. at Parrsboro, N. S., Mar. 10, 1S37, died at St. John, 

N. B., Sept. 8, 1838. 

8. John Frederick, b. at St. John, N. B., July 24, 1839, graduate of 

Columbia College, N. Y., 1861. Chemist, geologist, and inventor, 
resided in New York, never married, died Feb. 3, 1899. He pat- 
ented several electrical and chemical appliances, for some of which 
he received honorable mention at the Paris Exposition in 1889. 
He was a man of literary tastes, writing frequently for magazines. 

9. Conrad, b. at St. John, N. B., 26 Aug., 1S41, never married. A man 

of great promise and rare excellence of character, whose life was 
cut short on the 19th of October, 1877, by drowning. Mr. Gesner 
was engaged in working the gypsum quarries of San Marco in the 
Gulf of California in which he was interested as a. partner with 
Lucas Brothers, manufacturers of plaster paris in San Francisco. 
With a party of eight Mexicans and Indians, he endeavored to 
reach San Marco in a sail boat. He crossed the Gulf safely, but 
was caught in a gale to the leeward of San Marco island and all 
were lost. The crew of the Brig, which he was loading, endeavored 
to reach the party, but was unsuccessful in finding them. Later 
Mr. Gesner's body and those of three Indians were washed ashore 
three miles north of La Paz and there buried (see notice N. Y. 

10. Robert Parker, b. in Cornwallis, 27 Mar., 1844; d. Halifax, Mar. 26 


11. Elizabeth Cochran, b. Sackville, N. S., Dec. 10, 1848; d. 23 July, 1850, 

in Halifax. 



V. Abraham Herbert, son of Dr. Abraham Gesner, 
was born at Parrsboro, N. S., June 25, 1832, died April 30, 
1895, married, first, Dec. 29, 1859, Helen Catlin Dickinson, 
daughter of Andrew Dickinson (of Milton, Conn., Brooklyn, 
N. Y., and of Ridgewood, N. J.) and Elvira Catlin, of Ditch- 
field, Conn. Three children were born of this marriage, the 
first, Dandon, died the day of his birth, Feb. 22, 1861, who 
was buried near the east end of the old All Saints' Church, 
Briar Cliff, N. Y. The second son, Richmond Herbert, pre- 
sent rector of Christ Church, Oswego. N. Y. The third son, 
Anthon Temple, Professor of Ethics and Evidences in the 
Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown, Conn. 

Abraham Herbert, after a short business career, studied for 
the Episcopal ministry. Graduated from the General Theo- 
logical Seminary, N. Y., in June, 1859, was ordained, and 
became rector of All Saints', Briar Cliff, Ossining, New York. 
Other charges: Holy Spirit, Rondout, N. Y., Deroy, N. Y. 
(1863-1867), Grace Church, West Farms, N. Y. (1869-1872). 
During this last mentioned rectorship his wife died (Mar. 5, 
1868), and in 1871, by reason of over-exertion, he suffered a 
serious stroke of paralysis, from which he never wholly recov- 
ered his former strength. Became again rector of All Saints', 
Briar Cliff, where he remained till 1874. In 1873, June 12, 
married, 2nd, Sarah Adeline Barretto, daughter of Dr. Francis 
Barretto, of New York. In 1875, became rector of the Church 
of the Good Shepherd, Milford, Pa. , where he remained until 
October 1878. Became for the third time rector of All Saints', 
Briar Cliff. His last charge was St. Mary's Church, " Beech- 
wood," Scarborough-on-the-Hudson, where in 1894, by reason 
of failing health, he became rector emeritus, which position he 
held till the day of his death. A man of singularly beautiful 
and lovable character, of great self-sacrifice and devotion to 
duty, he was greatly beloved by all who knew him (note 22). 


Richmond Herbert Gesner and Anthon Temple 
Gesner, sons of Abraham Herbert Gesner. 

Richmond H. Gesner, b. Apr. 26, 1865, at Rondout, N. Y., 
Graduated B. A., from St. Stephen's College, 1883; General 


Theol. Seminary B. D., 1887; rector of Christ Church, Oswego, 
N. Y., since 1906. Married Ida Virginia Brett, of Albany, 
1890. Four children, Gertrude, Marguerite, Virginia, and 

Anthon T. Gesner, b. July 20, 1865, at Le Roy, N. Y., 
Trinity College B. A., 1890, M. A., 1894. Berkeley Divinity 
School, 1893. Mutter Professor of Ethics and Evidences in 
Berkeley Divinity School, 1910. Married Blanche Louise 
Pinniger (born in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England) June 14, 
1893, in Chicago. Four children, Helen Sargent, Dorothy 
Dickinson, Conrad Herbert, and Harriet Davis. 

Sons of Rev. Abraham Herbert Gesner of Ossining, N. Y. 

1. From Dominie Evardus Bogardus, first Dutch Minister of New 
York, and Annexe Jans, through FamiTCHa Brower, daughter of 
Adolphus Brower and granddaughter of Jacob Brower and his wife 
Anneke Bogardus. Anneke Bogardus was the daughter of William 
Bogardus, who was the son of Dominie Evardus Bogardus and Anneke 
Jans Van Masterland. Famitcha Brower married John Gesner of 
Tappan, 1744. 

2. From CapT. Myles Standish and John Alden of the Mayflower, 
through Sarah Pineo, daughter of David Pineo, wife of Col. Henry 
Gesner, whose mother was Elizabeth Sampson. Elizabeth Sampson's 
father was David Sampson (1685-1772). David was the son of Caleb 
Sampson and Mercy Standish of Duxbury. Mercy Standish was the 
daughter of Alexander Standish and Sarah Alden. Alexander Standish 
was the son of Myles Standish, and Sarah Alden was the daughter of 
John Alden and Priscilla Mullens. ( See The Mayflower Descendant 
Magazine. See also Pineo Genealogy in Dr. Arthur Eatons History of 
Kings Co., N. S.) 

3. From Governor John Webster of Connecticut, through Harriet 
Webster, wife of Dr. Abraham Gesner. Harriet Webster (b. 1801) was 
the daughter of Dr. Isaac (b. 1766), who was' the son of Moses (b. 1743), 
who was the son of Noah(b. 1706), who was the son of George (b. 1669), 
who was the son of Thomas (d. 1786), who was the son of Hon. John 


4. Through Helen Catlin Dickinson, wife of Rev. A. H. Gesner. 
Helen Catlin Dickinson was a great-granddaughter of Margaret Seymour, 
who was the daughter of John Seymour ( 1666-1748) and Elizabeth 
Webster. Elizabeth Webster was the daughter, of Lieut. Robert Webster 
and his wife Susannah Treat (daughter of Hon. Richard Treat). Lieut. 
Robert Webster of Middletown was the son of Hon. John Webster (1596- 
1661), Governor of Connecticut. 




Descendants of Abraham Gesner and Elizabeth Steadman. 

Elizabeth Gesner and Jacob Concklin. 

Famitcha Gesner and Benjamin Cossett. 

John H. Gesner and Ann Onderdonck. 

Nicholas Gesner and Grace Post. 

William H. Gesner and Mary A. Mann. 

William N. Gesner and Margaret Paton. 
The Brower Family. 
The Ferdon Family. 
The Pineo Family. 

Individual members of the Gesner Family. 
Sources of information, etc. 

Note i 

a. Tobler-Meyer derives the name of Gesner from in der Gassen, i. e., 
the man who resided near the street approaching some town or city. 
Three brothers, Vasa, Paul, and Andrew, resided in Germany, near 
Switzerland, during the first half of the 16th century. Vasa was the 
father of the eminent naturalist, Conrad, who received knighthood. 
Paul was the father of Solomon (1559-1605), the scholar and theologian. 
Andrew, who received 39 wounds in the battle of Zug, lived exactly 39 
years afterward and was a progenitor of the modern Gesner family in 
Germany, Conrad died without issue (see Biog. Univers., Paris, 1818). 

B. See Rupp's 10,000 Names of Palatines, O'Callaghans Doc. Hist, of 
N. Y., vol. iii., p. 568; also Ecclesiastical Records of State of N. Y., vol. 
iii. , and Professor Kuhns' authoritative work, ' ' History of the Palatines. ' ' 

Note 2 
John Gesner, practitioner at the Imperial Court at Wetzlar (see Ber- 
gischen Geschichts vereins, vol. xx., p. 102, Library of Cologne). The 
Court was moved from Trier (Treve) to Wetzlar in 1693 owing to the 
unsettled condition of the country. 

Note 3 
See Records of the Broome Street Lutheran Church (N. Y. Gen. and 
Biog. Soc); Records of Dutch Church at Tappan, in Cole's Hist, of 
Rockland Co.; Year Book of Holland Soc, 1903, etc. 

William N. Gesner, whose unpublished notes are in the possession of 
Professor Frederick W. Mar of Brooklyn, was of the opinion that John 


Hendrick Gesner, sen., resided for a short time in Yonkers, and that the 
name of his wife was Ann Elizabeth Smith. See List of Palatines 
emigrating to America, in the Library of the Historical Society of Penn. 
in Philadelphia. 

The Will of J. Hendrick Gesner reads: 
"In the name of God. Amen. Oct. 30, 1745. 
I, Hendrick Gesener of Tappan, Orange Co., being sick, my execu- 
tors are to sell my personal property to pay debts. I leave my 
wife Elizabeth all my estate for life, but in case she be willing 
that my real estate should be sold, then from the proceeds my 
son John is to have ^"150, and the rest to remain in my wife's 
hands for her support. After her death I leave to my son John 
all real estate remaining, except one negro woman, which I 
leave to my daughter Gerittye, wife of Jacob Valentine. I 
make my wife Elizabeth, and trusty friends Isaac Blauvelt and 
Johannes Ferdon, executors." 
The will is witnessed by Johannes Waldron, Gerritt Erickson, and 
Johannes Vleirboom. It was proved July 16, 1748. 

Shortly before drawing his own will John Hendrick Gesner was a. 
witness to the will of his friend and neighbor, Jacob Ferdon of Scralen- 
berg, Bergen Co., N. J., whose daughter Jannetje (Jannette) married 
Jacob Brower, father of Famitcha Brower, wife of John Gesner, jr. See 
note 7 for Brower and Ferdon families. 

Note 5 
In the list of baptisms in Coles " History of. Rockland Co." is to be 
read "No. 1151 Johannes Matthyrs Valentine born July 14, 1741, 
baptized August 9, child of Jacob Valentine and Grietye Gesner." This 
is Margaret Gesner's child. Margaret was an infant when her father 
came to America in 17 10. 

Note 6 
In . 1796 John Gesner deeded to his son-in-law, Jacob Concklin, a 
very considerable tract of land near Rockland for the sum of ^875 
current money of New York. John is described as a resident of 
Harrington, Rockland Town, Bergen Co. (see Record of Deeds, 
Hackensack, N. J.). 


"The Browers were descended from Adam Brower who emigrated to 
New Amsterdam from Cologne, France, 1642. Three years later he 
married Magdalena Jacobs Ferdon of Long Island. He was a miller 
and lived in New Amsterdam until 1647 when he removed to Brooklyn 
where he joined the Dutch Church in 1677. His issue was fifteen 
children, of which number one, Jacob, was a second son " (see Harveys 
Genealog. Hist, of Bergen Co., N. J.) Jacob Brower married Anneke 
Bogardus January 29, 1682, and their sixth child was Adolphus (born 


October 5, 1693) who married Jennette Ferdon (b. August 23, 1690). 
Famitcha who married John Gesner was the fifth child of Adolphus. 
She was baptized December 1, 1723, and married in 1744. 

"The Ferdons were descended from Thomas Ferdon. (He spelled it 
Verdon.) Thomas emigrated to America as early as 1645. It was 
probably his sister Magdalena who in March 19, 1645, married Adam 
Brower at Flatlands, L. I. The Ferdons came of a French family which 
had for some time resided in Holland. Thomas settled in the Gowan- 
nus section of Brooklyn, on a farm of one Anthony Hulse. 

He married Mary Dodge, a daughter of Aeltje Bredenbend, widow of 
William Bredenbend by a former husband, by whom he had one child 
whom he named Thomas. This Thomas (jr.) was born about 1654. 
His father, the elder Thomas, was a magistrate in Brooklyn in 1661, 
1662, 1663, and 1664, and is recorded as having taken the oath of allegi- 
ance to King Charles in 1687. The younger Thomas was thrice married. 
His first wife was Yte (or Elsie) Jurianise, widow of Tunis Ten Eycke. 
The second and third wives had no issue. His only child, born of his 
first wife at Brooklyn, March 19, 16 — , was Jacob Ferdon. Thomas 
Ferdon (son of Thomas) was an ensign in the Kings Co. Militia, 1715, 
and both he and Yte were members of the Dutch Church. He was 
Constable in 1664, and in 1718 was a Deacon of the Dutch Church at 
New Utrecht. 

Jacob Ferdon married, May 17, 1678, at New York, Femmetye Williams 
of Flatlands, L. I. She was a native of Mepple, Holland. The couple 
lived at Flatbush, L. I., where they joined the Dutch Church in 1694. 
In 1698 Jacob bought a farm at New Utrecht where they removed and 
lived. Their children were Barbara, Wilhelmus, Thomas, Maria, 
Jannetje, Fammetje, Dirke, and John." Jannetje married Adolphus 
Brower (Family Records. Also see Harvey's Biograph. Hist, of Bergen 
Co., N. J.). 

Note 8 

The land upon which the house stood was part of the ' ' Lockhart 
lands." "The title passed from Dr. George Lockhart to his half- 
brother, Col. William Merritt, whose heirs sold it to John Corbett, an 
English sea captain, in 1703, who at his death devised it to his only 
child, Mary, wife of Henry Ludlow. The Ludlows sold it to William 
Ferdon, John Ferdon, Hendrick Geisener, and his sons, John and 
Nicholas, and to Matthew Concklin,'- and certain others (see the story 
of the Old Ferry in the Palisades Library, also see page 28 Harvey's 
History of Hudson and Bergen Counties). 

This property during the course of the dispute concerning the state 
line was sometimes in Rockland County, N. Y., and again in Bergen 
County, N. J. It is now in Bergen County, on the road to Closter, 
and formerly bordered Closter Creek. Gesner at the time of the 
Revolution was regarded as a citizen of Orangetown, and several of his 
sous belonged to a militia company . known as the "King's Orange 
Rangers," organized in 1766. Rockland County was erected out of 
Orange County in 1798. 



Elizabeth, (born Dec. 6, bapt. Dec. 29, 1745), married Jacob Concklin. 
He was the son of Jacob Concklin, Esq. (b. 1718, d. June 9, 1718), 
and Hester Barhyte (b. Apr. 11, 1720, d. Oct. 12, 1783). The children 
of Jacob Concklin and Elizabeth were: Jacob, b. July 15, 1766; 
Famiche, b. Feb. 18, 1773; and Elizabeth, b. Jan. 13, 1778. 

Jacob Concklin (b. July 15, 1766), the son of Jacob and Elizabeth, 
married Mary Snider, daughter of Peter Snider and Elsie Truman. 
Their children were: (1) Jacob, b. May 14, 1794, who married Elmira 
Stephens and died October, 1832, in New York. (Their only child, 
a son, died young.) (2) John Gesner Concklin b. Sept. 18, 1796, 
married Madeline Fortier, Mar. 26, 1821, daughter of Louis H. 
Fortier and Mary Pineo. Their children were Louis Henry Fortier, 
b. Mar. 11, 1822, and Mary Elizabeth, b. Aug. 14, 1832, who married 
James W. Gowdy, Sept. 11, 1853, and had issue as follows: William 
Edwin, Louis Henry, Sarah Madeline, John Concklin, Jerome 
LeRoy, Emma Ellen, Benjamin, Virginia, Leah, Margaret. 
Mr. and Mrs. James Gowdy reside on a. portion of the old Gesner 

farm and the Gesner burying ground is but a few rods from their door. 


John Henry the eldest son of John and Famitcha ( Brower ) 
Gesner was born Sept. 24, 1749. 

He married Anne Onderdonck, daughter of Andros Onder- 
donck and Sarah Remsen, Sept. 18, 1771. His name is on the 
list of signers of the Orangetown Resolutions of 1775, but he 
appears to have taken no very active part in the war. Mr. 
Wm. N. Gesner was diligent in looking up the main facts of 
his life, and to him and to Mr. Robt. H. Fenton of Nyack the 
writer is indebted for most of the following account. 

"During the first part of the Revolutionary War he resided 
in a small house in the north end of the Onderdonck property 
at Nyack and ran a pettiauger on the River. 

' ' His business seems to have been the carrying of stone to 
Peekskill and other places in New York. In the spring of 
1777, Col. Bird with five hundred men was sent by the British 
commander in New York to destroy the commissary stores at 
Peekskill and John Gesner was there at the time with his vessel 
in Annsville Creek. As soon as he learned the object of the 
British he made an attempt to secure some of the goods by a 
plea of being loyal to the Crown, but was unable to get anything. 
The account states that he left as the stores were being com- 
mitted to the flames. In going down the Creek he was fired 


upon by a detachment of red-coats stationed in a field near by. 
They signaled him to stop, but as he continued they sent a 
volley of musket balls at the boat. He and his boatman, who 
was named Riker, escaped being struck. A little further down 
the river Gesner encountered a British war vessel (probably the 
frigate Brune) which had brought a detachment up the Hudson. 
This time he fared less fortunately. Gesner turned to escape 
up the river, but the light wind completely died away and left 
the two vessels becalmed. The British then lowered a boat 
and came aboard the pettiauger which they said they intended 
to take with them down the river, and as Gesner and Riker 
were non-combatants they might go ashore. Gesner however 
preferred to remain with his ship with hope of regaining pos- 
session of his property. The boat was used as a ferry between 
New York and neighboring shores for a considerable time. 
On the occasion of a foggy night Gesner attempted to regain 
possession of his property by sailing off with his vessel, but he 
was captured and brought back to New York where his family 
joined him and for a time he was forced to remain there. While 
in New York he worked for a while in a saw-mill and then went 
with his family to Nova Scotia where he remained a few years 
and where at least three of his children were born." 

They lived at Shelburne, where Henry was baptized by the 
Rev. Wm. Walters of the Episcopal Church, Feb. 2, 1785. 

John returned to Nyack some time previous to 1797, in the 
opinion of Mr. W. N. Gesner, and lived there till his death, 
June 10, 1833, "an honorable and highly respected citizen of 
the community." 

' ' On John Gesner' s return to Nyack he built the house long 
known as the Hasbruck house and resided there till his wife 
died, when he went to live with his son Henry, the ship- 
builder, and died in the old homestead, afterwards known as 
the Perry place, on Franklin Street. 

"This John, following the example of his father, gave a 
burying place to his children with the provision that it should 
remain in the family and never be sold. It passed out of the 
hands, however, of his children in course of time, for in 1870 
when the Northern New Jersey Railway was built, it ran its 
track right through it. The stones and what few remains 
could be found were taken to Oak Hill Cemetery and placed 
in the Presbyterian ground, where the relics of the Tallman 


and Cornelius burying grounds were also consigned. The 
Gesner burial ground was located on the south side of Smith 
Avenue, a short distance from the South Nyack R. R. Station. 
It was eighty feet in length north and south, and sixteen broad 
east and west." 

Mr. Robert H. Fenton of Nyack states that the effect of 
John Gesner' s escapade with the British at Peekskill and on 
the river gave rise to the rumor that he had joined the enemy, 
and as a result the Committee of Safety called upon his wife to 
make inquiry into the matter. ' ' Ann was indignant, and, being 
of a high temper when aroused, gave the representatives of the 
Committee such a tongue-lashing that they became angered, 
and it became necessary for her to move, with her two or three 
small children, to New York and join her husband." 

Note io 

The children of John H. Gesner and Ann Onderdonck (daug. of 
Andrus Onderdonck and Sarah Remsen) were ten in number, viz: ist, 
John Henry who married Rachel Palmer, 2nd, Ann who married Joshua 
Brush, 3rd, Phoebe who married John Sneden, 4th, Henry who married 
Rachel Townsend, 5th, Sarah who married James Lent, 6th, Elizabeth 
who married Sylvester Hayford, 7th, David (born in Cornwallis, June 19, 
1787), who married Elizabeth Coren, 8th, Mary who married Elijah 
Appleby, 9th, Abraham who married Wilmina Onderdonck, 10th, Jane 
who married Evert G. Wandell of Troy, Apr. 1833. (See Tappan Dutch 
Ch. Records, etc.) 

The descendants of Ann Brush are represented by the family of Peter 
Brush of Englewood, N. J., and Baltus Brush and C. W. Fullwood of 
Nyack. Phoebe Sneden settled at Piermont and her last known 
surviving descendant is Charles Lawrence of Sparkill. 

Of the above children John's fourth child, Henry (b. Feb. 2, 1785), was 
the builder in 1826 of the Orange, the second steamboat to ply regularly 
on the waters of the Hudson. In later years he was the proprietor of 
the old Tappan Inn (1819). In 1811 Henry and his cousin, William 
Herbert (son of Nicholas), were ensigns in Col. Blauvelt's regiment. 
In 1814 Henry was commissioned lieutenant in the 83d N. Y. Reg. 

Henry (son of John Henry) married Rachel Townsend Jan. 16, 1806. 
The following children were born by this marriage: Philip Debay, Ann, 
Phoebe, Sylvester, Jane, John, Sarah, Elmira, and Henry. 

Philip D. (b. Feb. 22, 1807), married Mary Perry and had Henry T. 
(b. Mar. ist, 1835). Henry T. married June 26, 1854, Eliza M. Lavender 
and had William Henry and John Millard (b. Mar. 1859). 

John Millard, who is now the cashier of the Nyack National Bank, 
married Armena C. Lyon, Nov. 12, 1879. They have two children, 
Sarah Louise (mar. to Louis L. Robbins, Jr.), and John Millard Gesner, Jr. 


Another descendant of Henry Gesner and Rachel Townsend through 
their son, Sylvester, is the Rev. Oscar Gesner. Oscar Gesner was born 
Nov. 16, 1840, graduated from Rutgers College 1862; married Caroline 
Elizabeth Brush. Their eldest son was Dr. J. B. Gesner, graduate of 
Rutger's College and Princeton Theological Seminary; not living. 
Another son is Rev. Herbert M. Gesner, at one time pastor of the 
Second Presbyterian Church in Saratoga, and now pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church of Atlantic City, N. J. 

A record of Henry Gesner's military service is to be found in Military 
Records (1784-1821), Vol. II., Council of Appointment, published by 
State of New York. These volumes contain the military record of 
Nicholas Gesner, also who was the first to receive appointment as 
colonel under the resolution of the Council. 

Note ii 

Jacob, the second son, born Dec. 23, 1751. We know little of him 
beyond that told us by Nicholas Gesner in his diary that he was 
"lost at sea. " (See " Story of the Ferry, " and the ' ' Diary ' ' in 
Palisades Library.) There is some reason for believing that Jacob 
also enlisted with the British, and became a captain in the loyalist 

Note 12 

Isaac (born May 15, 1753) became a tailor. In a letter written by John 
Gesner to Henry, his son, under date of June 23, 1791, he speaks of 
" his son Isaac as residing with his family in New York, where he 
is pursuing his trade. In 1790 he resided with his wife, Johanna 
Lefarge, in the "west ward." Near him dwelt Peter Gesner's 
family of which I find no further record. 


Abraham, twin brother of Henry, born Nov. 10, 1756. 

An interesting sketch of Abraham Gesner is to be read in 
Calneck's Hist, of Annapolis Co., which we quote in part. 
Through his loyalty to the British cause he lost his patrimony. 

In a memorial to Sir James Kempt in 1828 asking for half 
pay he informs his Excellency that he had " entered the mili- 
tary service of his country at the age of 16 years in the King's 
Orange Rangers, then commanded by Samuel V. Bayard. 
That he was with Sir Henry Clinton in his northern expedi- 
tion, and was present at the storming and taking of Fort Mont- 
gomery, and was in another engagement of less note. That 
he bought his quartermaster's commission of a Capt. Bethel; 
that he took refuge with the British army in 1776 and came to 
this place in 1779, and that he had served in the militia of this 
colony the long time of forty years, that is from 1788." 


' ' Towards the close of the last century he became proprietor 
of the Noble property in Granville, then known as the Alex- 
der Howe farm, which included lots No. 95 and No. 96 and 
No. 97 in that township, including an area of 1500 acres of 
marsh, pasture and woodland. He took much pride in improv- 
ing and beautifying the estate, and to him the people of the 
county are much indebted for the present flourishing condition 
of the fruit orchards," etc. 

"In 1824 Abraham Gesner, or as he was more commonly 
called, ' Major Gesner,' accepted the appointment on the bench 
of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas. His uprightness of 
character and sincerity of purpose commanded the respect of 
parliament and people. In 1827, on grounds of infirmity, he 
declined a nomination in the general election," etc.* 

Abraham, Henry's twin brother, born November 10, 1756, married in 
1786, Elizabeth Steadman of Nova Scotia, and by her had children: 

1. Hannah, b. 1787, d. 1883, m. John Troop. 

2. Eamitcha, b. 1788, d. 1879, m. Andrew Walker. 

3. Jacob, b. 1791, d. , m. Eliz. Trites of Westmoreland, N. B. 

4. Elizabeth, b. 1793, d. 1833, unmarried. 

5. Maria, b. 1795, d. 1886, unmarried. 

6. Henry, b. 1797, d. 1869, m. Mary Bent. 

7. Horatio, b. 1799, d. , m. John H. Ditmars. 

8. Caroline, b. 1802, d. , m. Moses Shaw, M. P. P. 

9. Isaac, b. 1804, d. 1824, unmarried. 

10. Abraham, b. 1806, d. , m. Christina Young. 

11. DeLancy Moody, b. 1809, d. , m. 1st Lucy A. Longley. 

m. 2d Jane Eggleston. 

12. George Provost, b. 1812, d. , m. Phoebe Young. 

See Calneck's Hist, of Annapolis Co. 

L- D- Gesner, son Del,ancy Moody Gesner resides on the old Gesner place at Belle 
Isle. Annapolis, N. S. 

Among the descendants of Abraham Gesner living in the United 
States is to be mentioned Mrs. Horatio Jane Cunningham of Mont- 
clair, N. J., widow of David Beale Cunningham, and daughter of John 
Henry Ditmars, who married Horatio (b. 1799), daughter of Colonel 
Abraham Gesner. 

Mrs. Cunningham's four children are: 1. Arthur Sinclair Cunning- 
ham, unmarried. 2. Marion Hobart, wife of Mr. James D. Freeman of 
Englewood, N. J. 3. James Wellet Cunningham of New York, who 
married Ellen Avery Painter. 4. Horatio Blanch Cunningham who in 
1895 married Mr. Charles Hoyt Ellingwood of Englewood. The latter 
has, Evelyn (b. 1896) and "Virginia (b. 1898). 

* Calneck's Hist, of Annapolis Co., p. 417, and History of Members of Canadian 


Other descendants of Abraham are George R. Gesner (b. 1851), whose 
father was George Provost, and lived at Grenville, N. S., and Percy 
Eugene Gesner of Belle Isle, Annapolis Co., N. S. 

Calneck in his History of Annapolis Co., N. S., gives a considerable 
list of Abraham's descendants. 


Nicholas, youngest son of John and Famitcha, was a born 
mechanic and shipbuilder. He invented a loom for weaving 
the Dutch double-faced blankets and bed covers. He married 
Grace Post by whom he had four children: William Herbert, 
Nicholas, Sarah, and Jacob. The last named entered the 
Baptist ministry. His boyhood years from eleven to seventeen 
( 1 775-1 783) were lived in exciting times, but his father who 
was of a quiet, religious disposition could take no part in the 
questions of "Rights" and "Resolutions," and bade his 
children to follow their own conscientious convictions. For 
some years Nicholas Gesner taught school near his home. 
His abilities more and more received recognition from neigh- 
bors and acquaintances. He was frequently called upon to 
draw legal papers for his neighbors, and was an experienced 
surveyor. His diary which in its present fragmentary condi- 
tion covers a period of 21 years from 1830 to 1851, is one of 
the most valuable possessions of the Palisades library. It is 
remarkable for its accuracy and carefulness of composition. 

In 181 1 he was first major in I^ieut. Col. Blauvelt's regiment 
of Rockland County, and in 18 16 he was promoted to colonel 
of the 160th N. Y. Regiment. As early as 1798 he had held 
the position of ensign in the Rockland County militia, from 
which post he had steadily risen. 

In the '40's he with others of the family who were descended 
from Anneke Jans, through the Bogardus and Browers, spent 
much time and money in an effort to recover possession of the 
Trinity Church property, to which they believed that corpora- 
tion had no title.* The letters written on this matter to his 
brother Henry, and to his nephew Dr. Abram Gesner, are 
models of penmanship and expression, and are permeated with 

* The Gesner claim to a share in the inheritance of the Trinity Church property was 
based upon the descent of Famitcha Brower, wife of II. John Gesner. Famitcha was the 
daughter of Adolphus (b. Oct. 5, 1693) , who was the son of Jacob Brower and Anneke 
Bogardus, daughter of William Bogardus. William was the son of Dominie F,vardus 
Bogardus, second husband of Anneke Jans (note 21) . 


a spirit of Christian manliness and justice. In 1834 he enjoyed 
a visit from his brother Abraham of Nova Scotia. The visit 
was repeated in 1837, when Abram brought with him his 
daughter, Anna Maria. 

Note is 

I. A. WnxiAM Herbert Gesner, son of Nicholas Gesner, was born 
at Nyack July 10, 1790, and died Feb. 4, 1866. He married Mary Ann 
Mann (daughter of George and Helen Mann), May 30, 1814 (see Tappan 
Dutch Church Records). Their children were: 

1. Amelia Helen, b. Apr. n, 1815, d. Apr. 12, 1901. 

2. William Nicholas, b. Feb. 19, 1817. 
George Mann, b. Feb. 25, 1819. 
Charles Albert, b. Dec. 5, 1820, d. Oct. 5, 1863. 

5. David Sidney, b. Aug. 21, 1825. 

6. Margaret Ann, b. Mar. 28, 1827, d. Oct. 10, 1846. 
John Edwin, b. Nov. 26, 1828, d. July 1, 1855. 
Eugene, b. Oct. 9, 1830. 

9. Matilda, b. Oct. 26, 1831. 
10. Herbert, b. Dec. 14, 1832, d. Nov. 16, i860. 

The mother of these ten children died Nov. 22, 1883. William Her- 
bert and his wife are buried in the new cemetery at Rockland. 

b. Whuam N. Gesner, late of Whitneyville, Conn., one of the ten 
children born to William Herbert Gesner and Mary Ann Mann, and 
grandson of Nicholas Gesner, married Margaret Taylor Paton whose 
grandparents came to New York, from Picton, Nova Scotia. The 
Patons were pure McClean Scotch. Writing in 1900, Mr. Wm. N. 
Gesner says "we have seven children living, two called to the Heavenly 
Father, seventeen grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren." 

William Nicholas Gesner was an experienced shipbuilder, a man of 
sterling character and piety. His widow still survives. him in Maine. 
His unpublished notes on the Gesner family are in the keeping of Pro- 
fessor F. W. Mar, Richmond Hill, Brooklyn. 

c. Children of Mr. William Nicholas Gesner and Margaret Taylor 
Paton : 

1. Mary Jane, married H. K. Parkin. 

2. Margaret Taylor, died at 21. 

3. Helen Douise, married Professor Fred. W. Mar of Brooklyn. 

4. Matilda Ann, married Horace Dines. 

5. Myra, married William H. Mar. 

6. Salina F., died aged four years. 
E. H. Gesner, lives at Stratford. 
Alice Francis, married J. W. Payne. 
George P., married Dena Dyman. 


II. Nicholas Gesner, son of Nicholas Gesner and Grace Post was 
born July 10, 1790, and died without issue Feb. 4, 1866. 

III. Sarah (" Sally "), daughter of Nicholas and Grace Post, was born 
June 27, 1796; married May 28, 1817, Jonathan Lawrence (b. 10 Sept. 
!795, d. 1870) son of Jonathan and Mary (Mann) Lawrence. Their five 

children were: 


1. Mary, b. 20 Sept., 1818. 

2. William H., b. 28 June, 1820, who married Mary Jane Brooks, 

no children. 

3. Charles, b. 7 Feb. 1822. 

4. Sarah G., b. 31 Dec, 1825, d. 1899. 

5. Cornelia, b. 10 Jan., 1831, m. 7 Sept. 1856, Albert Snook. 

IV. Jacob Gesner, son of Nicholas Gesner and Grace Post, born at 
Rockland, April 7, 1801, died August, 1883, married first, October 15, 
1831, Elizabeth Cooper (b. 6 Mar., 1802) daughter of Lucas and Caroline 
Cooper by whom he had seven children : 

1. Elizabeth, b. 7 Nov., 1836, d. Dec. 1836. 

2. Emeline, b. 15 Feb. , 1839, m. Sidney W. Darling, their son 

Sidney A., b. Mar. 17, 1857, m. Ella A. Saxton. 

3. and 4. Twins, b. 25 July, 1841, died in infancy. 

5. Sarah Ann, b. 30 Sept., 1842, d. Oct. 1896, unmarried. 

6. Amanda, b. 27 Feb., 1846, m. Dec. 30, 1866, John D. Concklin, 

and had Edmond Ernest, b. Oct. 19, 1867, married Hattie 
Wiedenbach; Elsie, b. June 22, 1869, d. April 7, 1890; and 
William, b. 6 Dec, 1871, m. Willie Ruth Stevens. 

7. Nicholas, b. 30 Dec, 1847, m. 1st Mary Perry and 2d Margaret 

J. Ganley. 

Jacob Gesner married second time (20 May, 1867 at Newark) Henrietta 
Clark (b. 7 Dec. 1839) daughter of James H. Clark by whom he had the 
following children: Annie, b. 1868, died in infancy; Elmer, b. 13 Jan., 
1870, at Jersey City; and Marretta, b. 1873, died aged 4 years. 


FamiTCHa Gesner, daughter of Col. Henry Gesner of Cornwallis, 
mar. Nov. 15, 1821, Benjamin Cossett. This Benjamin Cossett was a 
son of Rev. Rama Cossett, Cornwallis. Nine children were the fruit of 
this marriage: 

1. Elizabeth, b. Aug. 15, 1822 (deceased). 

2. Henry B., b. Feb. 26, 1824. 

3. Edward W., b. Mar. 21, 1826. 

4. Maria, b. June 3, 1828, mar. Mr. Chas. Hill. 

5. Caroline, b. 1830, mar. John Peters. 

6. George B., b. Dec. 9, 1832, mar. Emily Hill Dec. 25, 1865. 

7. Eugene H, b. Oct. 22, 1834 (deceased). 


8. Emily, b. T838, mar. Marshall Hill of Sidney, Cape Breton, 

Feb. 2, 1865. 

9. Evelyn, twin sister of Emily — died — see Calneck's History 

of Annapolis Co., N. S. 

Of the above children, Emily, b. 1838, wife of Marshall Hill, bore her 
husband eight children. Of the number, Edwin Samuel mar. Elizabeth 
Peters Oct. 1, 1901, and resides in Stillwater, Minn. Another child 
named Evelyn, born Oct. 16, 1873, married Mr. W. H. Peters of Still- 
water, Minn. 


I. James Pineo (or " Pineau "), a French Huguenot, came to Bristol, 

R. I., in 1706, where he married Dorothy . On or about 1717, 

he removed to Lebanon, Conn., where he resided until his death. 
His children were : 

1. James, b. 1707. 

2. Elizabeth, b. 1709. 

3. James, b. 1710 (m. Priscilla Newcomb). 

4. Sarah b. 1712. 

5. Daniel, b. 1715. 

6. Submit, b. 1717 (m. Silas Newcomb). 

7. Joseph, b. 1720. 

8. Peter, b. May 4, 1723. 

9. Dorothy, b. 1725 (m. Capt. John Reed of Taunton). 

II. PETER Pineo, born 1723, married Elizabeth, daughter of David 

and Mary (Chaffin) Sampson, and had 

III. David, who married, November 12, 1767, Rebecca, daughter of 

Capt. Stephen and Margaret West of Cornwallis, N. S. 

IV. Sarah Pineo, born September 3, 1768, was David's eldest child. 

She married Henry Gesner May 4, 1786. Her mother Rebecca died 
May 23, 1803. 

For descent of Elizabeth Sampson (Sarah's grandmother) from Capt. 
Myles Standish see page 16. 

Note 18 
David Henry had a son Abraham who moved to Michigan and settled 
in St. Clair. Another son of David is Dr. George B. Gesner of Eckford, 
Mich. In an old letter of Henry Gesner to Nicholas, his brother, dated 
March 1, 1848, he says the number of his grandchildren are about 70 
and great-grandchildren 18. 

Note 19. 
Henry and his twin brother Abraham were both members of the 
King's Orange Rangers. Henry had the heel of his boot shot off at 
Yonkers during the Revolution. "The King's Orange Rangers was a 


loyalist corps, raised mainly in Orange County, N. Y., by Lieut. John 
Bayard in 1766. It was ordered to Nova Scotia and embarked to 
Halifax Oct. 27, 1778. It remained in Nova Scotia until 1783 and was 
then disbanded at Inaco, near St. John." (See Winslop Papers pp. 33, 40, 
73, 93 and 125). 

Henry's military experience acquired during the war became of value 
to the Province in later years. In 1818 he held a major's commission in 
the 6th "Battalion Kings County Militia, and in 1828 was lieutenant 
colonel of the 1st Battalion. (See Dr. Arthur Eaton's History of Kings 
County, Nova Scotia, p. 434.) 

Note 20 

Lavinia married Kerr, a lawyer by profession, to whom she 

bore several children. One daughter married a Mr. Sweet of Fox River, 
N. S., with whom Lavinia dwelt during the closing years of her life. 
Lavinia was a woman of deep and fervent piety and possessed a genuine 
love of literature. She composed several poems of considerable merit, 
but we believe never published anything. She died May 26, 1890, the 
last surviving child of Henry Gesner and Sarah Pineo. 

Charlotte Herbert (b. 1813, d. May 4, 1882), buried in the Episcopal 
churchyard at Cornwallis, near her parents. 


1. Evardus Bogardus, familiarly known as "Dominie Bogardus," 
first minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in New York, married in 
1635 Anneke Jans, widow of Roeloff Jans Van Masterland. Prior to his 
marriage certain lands (later in history known as the ' ' Trinity Church 
property ") lying in the city of New York, were granted to Anneke Jans 
by Woulter Van Twiller, the Dutch Governor of the Province. This 
grant was afterwards confirmed to the children of Dominie Evardus 
Bogardus and Aneke Jans by the Hon. Richard Nichols, the first 
British Governor of the Province of New York. 

The children of Evardus Bogardus and Anneke Jans were: 

(2) Wiiaiam, b. 1638, m. Wyntie Lybrant, Aug. 29, 1658. 

(3) Cornelius, b. 1640, bap. Sept. 9, 1640. 

(4) Jonas, bap. 1643, Jan. 4, d. without issue. 

(5) Petres, b. 1645, m. 

2. Wiujam Bogardus (son of 1 Evardus) married Aug. 29, 1658, 
Wyntie Lybrant. They had three children : 

(6) Evardus, bap. Nov. 2, 1659. 

(7) Lytie, bap. Mar. 16, 1661. 

(8) Anneke, bap. Oct. 3, 1663, m. Jacob Brower, Jan. 29, 1682. 

Anneke Jans, widow of Roeloff Jans Van Masterland, and afterwards 
wife of Dominie Evardus Bogardus of New York, was a granddaughter of 
Anneke Webber. Anneke Webber was the daughter of William Prince 
of Orange ("William the Silent "). 


Note 22 . 

Helen Catlin Dickinson, wife of Rev. A. H. Gesner, was descended 
on her father's side from Oliver Dickinson (1757-1847) of Litchfield, 
Conn., and on her mother's side from David Catlin (1747-1839), also of 
Litchfield. Both these men were privates in the Connecticut troops 
during the American Revolution, serving under Col. Webb, and both 
were granted pensions in the year 1832, having then reached years of 

Oliver Dickinson's father was als'o named Oliver (1724-1783), whose 
father was Ebenezer Dickinson, who came from Hatfield, Mass., to 
Litchfield, where he died Nov. 21, 1774, in the 85th j'ear of his age. 
Ebenezer (b. Oct. 7, 1690) was the son of that Nathaniel Dickinson 
whose grandfather, Nathaniel, settled in Wethersfield, Conn., 1637. 

David Catlin's father was John Catlin (1693-1759) of Hartford, and his 
mother was Margaret Seymour, daughter of John Seymour, Jr., and 
Elizabeth Webster, also of Hartford. 

NoTB 23 

Mrs. W. C. Denike of Rockland, N. J., is the daughter of Elizabeth 
Wilsey, the daughter of John Wilsey, the son of Peter Wilsey and 
Famiche Gesner. 

We have been unable to obtain complete records of all the descendants 
of children of John Henry Gesner. 

NOTE 24 
There was an error made in cutting on the gravestone the date of 
Eamitcha's birth. It was cut 1722, but according to the direction of 
Nicholas Gesner, her son, it should have been cut 1723.