Tuesday, April 7, 2015



Weatherwax family ancestral  land search in Rensselaer County New York.

Previous research by Arthur Johnson a descendant of Isaac Johnson husband of Betsey Weatherwax identified the location of the Land purchased by Andreas (Andrew) Weatherwax in 1765 as lying under the existing  Tomhannock Reservoir in Rensselaer county  NY.
This research is not supported by sources in Johnson's limited published work. He only sites several geologic maps without reference to why they were selected.. There is little or no correlation with the Known published Will of Andrew Weatherwax (the immigrant's son) or known locations and deed of other family members
The Will of Andrew Weatherwax probated in 1784 and found in Fernow's Calendar of Wills states the following regarding the disposition of lands and deeds granted to his children.
1. "To my son Hannes- 231 &3/4 acres of land wheron he now lives in Tamhanick." "He having a deed for the land from me already."
2. "To Martin Widderwax- the farmhouse whereon I now dwell in Tamhanick at the extent of a farm surveyed for Alexander Widderwax containing 235 & 1/2 acres."
Although Andrew's Will gives further disposition of lands to his other children these two provisions of the Will provide sources that lead to the identifying the current location of the lands in Question.
Clearly based on #2 Martin Widderwax (Weatherwax) inherited his father Andrew's farm of 235&1/2 acres of land. Subsequent land records will show the location of this property today.
It must be remembered when doing land searches in New York that most land was in one huge county called Albany county. Rensselaer County NY was not broken off from Albany county until 1792. So when researching land that was purchased or deeded prior to 1792 the Land records of Albany county must be consulted to provide a continuous chain of ownership for lands being searched.
Hannes Widderwax (Weatherwax)
Johannes or Hanes Weatherwax was the first born son of Andrew Weatherwax by his 2nd marriage to Jo Anna Edeli. His exact date of birth is not found, but other documentation indicates a dob of 1740. He married Anna Premmer abt 1761. He died 11 Mar 1818 in Schaghticoke, Rensselaer co. NY. He had seven known children. The son Andrew Weatherwax b:9 Sep 1766 provides the chain of land ownership from his father Hannes to Andrew's son John A. Weatherwax b:1794. His son was John A. Weatherwax b:4 Sep 1841
Additionally the approved S.A.R. application of John P. Weatherwax clearly indicates the land in question remained within the family until  the last parcel was sold by him in 1972.
Contained in the holdings of the Rensselaer county Historical society is the family Bible of John A. Weatherwax this Bible provides a clear consistent line of descent to John Peer Weatherwax b:23 Sep 1904, d:28 Jun 1991. These papers containing over 15 boxes of documents, photos and family records provide a chain of land ownership that points to the location of this land on Weatherwax lane in present day Schaghticoke, Rensselaer co. NY.
Deed found, Albany co. Deeds, Book 9, page402 for lot "H" containing 233 acres and 3 rods.
Deed dated 2 Dec 1772 and recorded on 25 Apr 1774
Grantor: Andrew Weatherwax  (the original immigrants son)
Grantee: Johannis Wederwax
original record was examined by myself in Albany County Clerk's office on April 19,2013. This record  does not specify anything that would indicated the present day location of the land in question.
Deed found, Rensselaer co Deeds, Book 267, page 6
Deed dated: 17 Apr 1899
Grantor: John  A. Weatherwax b:1794
Grantee: Freeman C. Weatherwax b:31 Aug 1868
140 acres of land located in Schaghticoke
Another Deed found Book 330, pg25 indicates that Freeman Cooper Weatherwax and wife Edith sold some of this land to his brother William M. Weatherwax on 22 Oct 1910.
Upon Freeman C. Weatherwax's death on 3 Feb 1953 the remaining parcel of original land passed through inheritance to his son John Peer Weatherwax and his sisters Louis W. Austin and Esther W. Sykes.
Utilizing the 1976 Rensselaer County New York Tax maps for the town of Schaghticoke  indicated   a parcel of property on "Weatherwax Lane" , at the junction of Gunbadt Road. A cross reference to property sales indicated that John P. Weatherwax sold property in 1972  A surveyed plot map with information confirmed  that the property at this location was sold by John Peer Weatherwax and his sisters. The  Schaghticoke  Tax Map #041.00 clearly indicates the property in question and also indicates that the 10.66 acres sold was part of the original 231+ acres of the original patent. This last parcel of land owned by Hannes Weatherwax's decendants was sold  based on a land survey dated  26 Jun 1972 and registered on 11 Jul 1971. The land was sold to James A. and Caroll Jennison of Schaghticoke.
This then confirms along with other documentation that Andrew Weatherwax's purchase of 1/3 of a parcel of land  encompassing 8602 acres on the East bank of the Hudson which was transacted in 1765 was in fact located in present day Schaghticoke, not Pittstown NY. It appears that the Northern boundary was along Tomhannock creek. Some indications are that the patent continued southward to the Deep Kill. In total on his death Andrew parceled out a total of  about 2800 acres of land, reserving 800 acres to pay for anything due on the whole patent.
Andrew Weatherwax's original farm of 235 1/2 acres which was deeded to his son Martin Weatherwax 1741-1813.
Martin Weatherwax bap:13 Jan 1741; d:27 May 1813.
Martin Weatherwax and his brother David Weatherwax (1747-1831), both these brothers sold their Rensselaer county farms and moved to Peru, Clinton county NY by 1794. Clearly in 1796 both appear in Road tax lists for the town of Peru, Clinton co. NY. No record of the sale or transfer of David's property has yet been found. But evidence exist based on land purchases in Clinton co NY that both bought 300 acres farms in Peru on the Western shore of Lake Champlain
Deed found: Rensselaer county Deeds Book 1, pg.44 (First Deed book of the new Rensselaer co. NY)
This deed date 29 Nov 1792 clearly indicates that the
Grantor Martinus Weatherwax
Grantee: Benjamin Holt
purchased land on 185 1/2 acres on 29 Nov 1792
then on 23 May 1811 Rensselaer county deed book 5, pgs.496-497
Indicates that land in possession of Benjamin Holt is conveyed to James Brookins.
Here it gets fuzzy because the Court of Common Pleas took a certification of this transaction by Martin Weatherwax who was then living in Peru NY. Possibly he traveled to Rensselaer county, but he would die within 2 years and it appears he would not have traveled that far but provided a written certification to the court.
So further research is needed to identify the land held in 1811 by James Brookins. It is noteworthy that Peter Weatherwax 1752-1805 is buried in the Brookins Family cemetery on  NY route 41 along with  James Brookins.
Peters property is rumored to be located near this site again in Schaghticoke. It seems a reasonable assumption that the reason Peter Weatherwax was buried in the present day Brookins Family cemetery is that prior to the land purchase by Brookins that this was in fact a Weatherwax family cemetery with only the tombstone of Peter Weatherwax remaining in present day. Why else would Brookins allow Peter Weatherwax to be buried there?


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