B Cornell University
The original of this book is in
the Cornell University Library.
There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.
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
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.
OLD FAMILY BURIAL GROUND
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.
I. JOHN HENDRICK GESNER, 1681-1745.
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
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
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.
8 THE GESNER. FAMILY
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
THE GESNER FAMILY 9
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
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
IO THE GESNER FAMILY
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
THE GESNER FAMILY 1 1
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
12 THE GESNER FAMILY
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.
THE GESNER FAMILY 13
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
14 THE GESNER FAMILY
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,
THE GESNER FAMILY I 5
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
1 6 THE GESNER FAMILY
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.
DESCENT OF RICHMOND AND ANTHON GESNER
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
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.
THE GESNER FAMILY 17
NOTES OF OTHER BRANCHES
OF THE GESNER FAMILY
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.
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. ' '
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.
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
1 8 THE GESNER FAMILY
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.
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.
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.
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.).
NOTE 7. BROWER AND FERDON DESCENT
"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
THE GESNER FAMILY 19
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
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.).
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.
20 THE GESNER FAMILY
NOTE 9. DESCENDANTS OF ELIZABETH GESNER
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.
NOTE 10. DESCENDANTS OF JOHN H. GESNER
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
THE GESNER FAMILY 21
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
' ' 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
22 THE GESNER FAMILY
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."
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.
THE GESNER FAMILY 23
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.
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
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.
NOTE 13. FAMILY OF ABRAHAM GESNER
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."
24 THE GESNER FAMILY
' ' 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
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
THE! GESNER FAMILY 25
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.
NOTE 14. "COL." NICHOLAS GESNER'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) .
26 THE GESNER FAMIEY
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.
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
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.
THE GESNER FAMILY 27
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
1. Mary, b. 20 Sept., 1818.
2. William H., b. 28 June, 1820, who married Mary Jane Brooks,
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
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.
NOTE 16. DESCENDANTS OF FAMITCHA GESNER.
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
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).
28 THE GESNER FAMILY
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-
NOTE 17. PINEO FAMILY
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.
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.
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
THE GESNER FAMILY 29
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.)
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.
NOTE 21. THE BOGARDUS FAMILY
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 ").
30 THE GESNER FAMILY
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.
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
We have been unable to obtain complete records of all the descendants
of children of John Henry Gesner.
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.