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September 2, 2007


The following is a description of the documentary proof assembled by John Wolcott that the house at 48 Hudson was built in 1728 by one Johannes Van Ostrande, and not at a later date by other parties as had been previously believed. John put this together in 2006 for the City of Albany so that they would have record of his proof. He modestly refers to his research as a companion to the dedronology analysis instead of the other way around.


To the Albany Historic Resources Commission and the Albany Common Council c/o Richard Nicholson :

It has been brought to my attention by the present owner of 48 Hudson Avenue , Albany, Brian Parker, that proof of early ownership, of that property, by Johannes Van Ostrande, is needed. I am informed that both the Historic Resources Commission and the Common Council want this information for purposes of according local historic designation for the building and especially those major framing components of an early 18th. century Dutch-American house encapsulated within the present structure.

I will here supply transcriptions of a later 18th Century mortgage for an adjoining property and a mid-18th Century will for another adjoining parcel. Both of these documents prove that a Johannes Van Ostrande owned the property prior to John L. Radley or Ratliff or Redcliffe etc. owning it.

Let me say , at this point, although it should be obvious , that the dating of the Dutch House at 48 Hudson Avenue should not depend only on these and supporting documents that go back further. Certainly the historic value of the structure should not, at all depend on these documents alone or soley on the question of who was the first owner. It would have been just as valuable historically if I had never come up with the name of Johannes Van Ostrande . The tree ring date of 1728 and the details of the structure and overall architectural composition, are enough by themselves, to warrant providing the highest local level possible of protection. The tree rings and the structural details singularly and all together, are themselves important documents to read.
And since I don't know as yet when the Historic Resources Commission or the Common Council will meet to consider this issue, and since I am leaving for Canada and wont be back for , at least , a week, I feel obliged to send this data to you now. If the meetings happen after I return, I can appear and read this material and, perhaps answer any questions about it. Otherwise, I request that it be read in full or in abstract, aloud in my absence.

Document I :

" Registered for and at the Request of Jacob H. Ten Eyck of the City of Albany Esq. the twelfth day of June 1775.

Memorandum: that on this 1st. day of June in the year of Our Lord 1772 is and stands held and firmly bound unto Andries Ten Eyck, Abrahm Gardiner and David Verplanck in the sum of one hundred pounds conditioned for the payment of fifty pounds with lawful interest at a day long since past and whereas. And whereas the said Andries Ten Eyck by his attorney John Verplanck did on the 24th. day of August 1774 assign and make over the said obligatory bond and the interest then due thereon. And whereas there is now due on the said obligatory Bond the sum of 50 Pounds current money of the Colony of New York, the interest being paid to this day .

Now this Indenture witnesseth that the said Thomas Hilton for and in consideration of the said debt amounting to 50 pounds current money aforesaid, now justly due and owing by him the said Thomas Hilton in manner aforesaid and for the better and more perfect securing the payment thereof together with the interest due thereon and also for and in consideration of the further sum of 5 shilling current money of the Colony of New York to him in hand paid by the said Jacob H. Ten Eyck at or before the ensealing and delivery of these presents the reciept whereof he doth hereby acknowledge.

Hath Mortgaged all that messuage house and lott of ground situate , lying and being in the First Ward of The City of Albany ; Bounded as follows: On the north by the lott of John L. Radcliff formerly Johannes Van Ostrande, The heirs of Isaac Lansingh and John Kidney. On the east by the lane that leads to sundry pastures, meadows, and gardens. On the southby the lot now in possession of the heirs of Isaac Kip formelry belonging to John Byvanck on the west by the lot belongin to the heirs of David Verplanck deceased.. Containing in front on the east by the said lane 20 feet and one inch. On the west sixteen feet and 6 inches English measure. In length from east to west 81 feet Rynland measure. Excepting what the said David Verplanck hath conveyed to the City of Albany. Together with all houses etc. provided nevertheless and this present bargain and sale grant is upon this condition, and it is the true intent and meaning of the said parties that if the said Thomas Hilton his heirs, executors or administrators do and shall well and truly pay or cause to paid unto the said Jacob H. Ten Eyck, his executors , administrators , or assigns, the just and full sum of fifty pouds current money aforesaid, together with interest for the same on or before the 1st. day of June which will be in the year of our Lord ONe thousand and seventy seven without any deduction or abatement or defalcation whatsoever; That then and in such case this present indenture and the grant and release hereby made etc. and every clause article and thine herein contained and also the said bond or writing obligitory shall cease determine and be absolutely void. Which said mortgage was acknowledged before Henry Bleecker Esq. one of the Judges of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas for The City and County of Albany; This second day of June 1775.

Recorded and Executed '
the day and year first above written SS Stephen De Lancey Clerk."

Book 4 of Mortgages, page 246

This is documentary evidence that John L. Radcliff owned the property now 48 Hudson Ave . in 1772 , and that Johannes Van Ostrande owned it prior to that . This is the key document and as for identifying the location above described wtih 48 Hudson Avenue; I have several other document which can be produced to demonstrate that. Another document which brings the Van Ostrande ownership of this property back ten years is , here, excerpted as pertaining to 48 Hudson Avenue, as follows;

"IN THE NAME OF GOD amen : I David Verplanck of Beeren Island in the Mannor of Rensselaerwick in the County of Albany being of perfect health and of sound mind and memory do this thirteenth day of March in the Year of our Lord 1762 make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following: "......

"Item the 2nd.

I give devise and bequeath unto my daughter Areantie Verplanck all that my lott of ground lying in the First Ward of the City of Albany on The Plain . Bounded on the north by the street. On the south by the lane. East by the ground of Johannis Ostrande . And on the west by the ground of the heirs of Jan Lansing deceased containing in breadth on the north and south thirty feet, " ......

Liber 24 of Wills page 81

I feel that there is a high probability that the Johannes Van Ostrande cited in the above mortgage and will can be identified with a Johannes Van Ostrande who was born in Kingston , New York in 1688. He married Elizabeth Vandenbergh in 1713 at the Kingston Reformed Church and they both moved to ?lbany not long after. He was the son of Peiter Pieterse from Amsterdam, Netherlands and Rebekka Traphagen of Kingston. His grandfather was Pieter Carstensen from the Island of Nordstrant Friesland on the border of Denmark and Germany. Hence the name taken a few generations later; of " Van Ostrande", Van Oostrant, or sometimes; Ostrander which are all morphings of " Van Noorstrant " It was never meant to mean " from the East Bank or Shore as I once mistakenly. thought. This geneaological data was culled from the internet ; primarily from the " Traphagen Home Page ". The online edition of " Baptism and Marriage Records of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston" by Roswell Hoes 1891.

And from the geneaological websites of David Pane - Joyce. I further feel it fairly safe to identify the same Johannes Van Ostrande from Kingston , with the one elected several times to the Albany Common Council in the 1720's and 30's. And in the records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany as having his children baptized or being a witness with his wife, for others. These baptismal references appear almost every year from 1718 to 1762 always with his wife cited as either Elizabeth Van Ostrande or Elizabeth Vanden Bergh. After 1762 they appear no longer.

In 1718 Johannes Van Ostrande was appointed a firemaster in the 3rd Ward then off and on in the 1720's he was elected an Alderman for the Third Ward. In 1729 he was elected every year as the same for the First Ward. The tree ring date for the Van Ostrande House is 1728 showing it was built in 1728 or 1729 and this is probably not a coincidence.

I am 99 and 9/10's certain that the substantial early 18th. century Dutch - American house frame components at 48 Hudson Avenue were built by , or for Johannes and Elizabeth Van Ostrande in 1728 or 29. The remaining 1/10th per cent of uncertainty can be assigned to his son Johannes who was born in 1734. There are reasons why I rule out Johannes √an Ostrande the younger as a late owner of 48 Hudson Avenue with an unknown owner or owners before him. These include my findings of when it appears that the elder Johannes van Ostrande died, and when it can be inferred that John L. Radley occupied the property. But I have to leave now and this can be presented at a later date.

Very truly,

John Wolcott



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