Genealogie Bos

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7 Apr 2014

Madness Monday - Joannes Abeel, "an alleged lunatic", was baptized on April 8, 1722 in Albany

Joannes (John), eldest son of Christoffel Abeel and Margarita Bries, was baptised in Albany on April 8, 1722, and was described in 1872 by J. Munsell in his "Contributions for the genealogies of the first settlers of the ancient county of Albany from 1630 to 1800" as "an alleged lunatic": 

In 1899 H. Whittmore gave additional detail about Joannes' life in his book "The Abeel and allied families": 

Joannes wasn't mad at all. In 1748 John settled in Minden, a short distance from Fort Plain. He erected a stone dwelling upon a knoll directly above the flats. He first married the daughter of a Seneca chief in an Indian ceremony and had a son, later chief Corn Plant (Ki On-Twog-Ky). On September 22, 1759, Joannes married Mary Knouts and had additional issue.  
Joannes was taken prisoner by Indians in October 1780 and expected immediate death, but when chief Corn Plant addressed him as father, his safety was secured. Soon Joannes was able to return to his white family. 

His parents, Christoffel Abeel and Margarita Bries, had married on September 23, 1720. Christoffel had been baptised in New York on December 16, 1696, as son of Johannes (John) Abeel, mayor of Albany in 1994-5 and 1709-10, and Catalina Schuyler. After losing his father at age 13, John had become a successful trader and merchant. John had died on January 28, 1711, aged 44. He was originally buried in the Second Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery on Beaver Street, one of several downtown burial grounds that had their remains removed to Albany Rural Cemetery in the 1830s.  

Christoffel Abeel had been named after his grandfather, master carpenter Stoffel Janse Abeel, who had been born in The Netherlands. Both Stoffel's father and mother had fallen victim to the great plague which scourged all Europe in 1633, when Stoffel was around 12 years of age. He was placed in an orphanage and was taught the trade of a carpenter. Around 1647 Stoffel traveled to America, settling in Beaverwick, now Albany. In 1665 Stoffel made a voyage to Holland to receive a legacy from a deceased great uncle. He died in 1684. 

Sources:, and

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