1. HARMON HENDRICK ROSENKRANS, the progenitor of the most numerous branch of the Rosenkrans Family in the United States of America, from whom were descended Colonel John Rosenkrans, of the Revolution, and General William Stark Rosecrans, of the Civil War, was of Holland descent, but came from Bergen, Norway, to New Amsterdam about the middle of the seventeenth century where he was married in 1657. His marriage record copied from the Genealogical and Biographical records of New York taken from the First Reformed Dutch Church of the city is as follows: Married: "March 3, 1657, Herman Hendrickszen Van Bergen in Noordwegen en Magdaleen Dircks, wed’r Cornelis Caper. †" This marriage record is in Holland Dutch, which modernized into English is: Married March 3rd, 1657, Herman Hendrickson, from Bergen, in Norway, to Magdalena Dircks, widow of Cornelius Caper. This form of our ancestor’s name denotes that he was the son of Hendrick or Henrik, and as it is nowhere else found so written, but is usually written Harmon Hendrick, we shall thus write it when speaking of him. Herman and Harmon were interchangeably used in Holland and among the early settlers, as were Jacobus and James, Johannis and John. But one instance is found where he wrote his own name, that being in 1683, when he signed his name to a petition, writing it "Harmon Hyndryx." As family names were then but little used he did not write the name Rosenkrans. After his marriage in New York, 1657, we next find him in Kingston where he settled about 1660. His son Alexander was born in Kingston, as his marriage record shows, and he was baptized in New York April, 1661. That he was living in Kingston in 1661 is evident from the fact also that according to the Kingston records Magdalena, wife of "Harmon Hendricx Rosenkrans" was baptized and received into the Reformed Dutch Church of Kingston, June 24, 1661, and he was taxed that year twelve guilders toward building a parsonage for the "Domane Harmanus Blom." The above record in 1661 is the first one found where his surname is written, it being Rosenkrans as we now write it, though not written by himself.
† A previous marriage of a female of the name Rosencrans is found in these records as follows: Married: "1642, November 9, Michoel Buguet j m VanNovan in Vranckryck en Eazabeth Rosencrans wed Van Vissengen." When translated this reads as follows: "Married, 1642, November 9, Michael Buguet, young man from Novan in France, to Elizabeth Rosencrans, widow from Vissengen." As the name Buguet has not been found in the Ulster County records, these were probably strangers to the Holland branch of the family, and settled elsewhere, perhaps in New York or on Long Island.
Harmon Hendrick must have had nine children at least, as the Kingston records show seven after Alexander between the dates 1661 - 1675, and the ninth one is found in a will recorded in Albany, dated 1726, made by his daughter Sarah not found elsewhere. Eventually he left Kingston and purchased a large tract of land on the Peterskill, in Mombaccus township, now Rochester, Ulster County, New York, where he settled prior to 1683, as at that date he signed a Rochester petition spoken of, praying for the election rather than the appointment of a certain official. The date of his purchase in Mombaccus cannot be ascertained as the early Kingston land records were lost. It was located on the Peterskill, near Alligerville, and contained a mill property, subsequently owned in part by his son Alexander. The Peterskill empties into the Rondout near Alligerville, whose post-office is Kiserike. In 1896 Mrs. Schoonmaker, widow of Judge Augustus Schoonmaker, of Kingston, who formerly lived near Alligerville, in answer to a letter of inquiry informed me that there was still an old mill standing on the Peterskill near Alligerville, and that this old mill probably stands on the site of Alexander’s mill, once owned by his father.
Harmon Hendrick died in Rochester about 1697, as the Kingston records show that Magdalena, his wife, and Alexander his son, Executors of Harmon Hendrick Rosenkrans, sold land to Moses DuPuy, September 14, 1697. (Book A.A., p. 185). September 21, 1703, Alexander Rosenkrans and other heirs sold 150 acres more to Moses DuPuy. This change of administrators and disappearance of the widow’s name indicate that Magdalena had died between the dates 1697 and 1703. Harmon Hendricks occupation in Kingston is not mentioned in the records, but Kingston was only a village at the time of his living there and he was undoubtedly a farmer or "yeoman" as in after years. In 1663, soon after his settlement there, Kingston was raided by the Indians, and the church and some dwellings were burned; some of the inhabitants were killed and a few of the children were carried off, but as far as known Harmon and his family were Providentially left uninjured. Kingston was then the nucleus of a great settlement which extended westward along the Rondout to the Neversink and the Delaware, and along this route Harmon Hendricks family mainly settled. As previously stated, though from Norway he was of Holland descent, but whether born in Holland or Norway has not been definitely determined. The probability is that he was born in Norway. As we learn from the Bendixen letter several of the Rosenkrans family named Herman and Hendrick, and Herman Hendrick went from Holland to Bergen between 1593 - 1652, and it is possible that he was one of them. But Mr. Thiset, the Royal Archivist of Denmark, thinks that Herman Hendrickszen was the son of one of the two "Dutchmen," as he calls them, Herman, the Merchant Fisherman, and Henrik, the Burgesell, the former probably a son of Captain Dirk, who obtained rights in Norway as early as 1617. He was evidently the son of Henrik, as the name indicates, and born in Bergen, but as the early records there were burned, the date and place of his birth cannot be positively determined. This, however, is evident, that he was of the Holland family of the Rose-wreath, which came from the early German family, descended from Erik, the Knight, who was presented with the Rose-wreath, added it to his coat of arms, and 1325 took the name of Rosenkrantz.
Of Magdalena Dircks, wife of Harmon Hendrick, nothing is known prior to her marriage, in 1657, but from that we learn that she was the widow of Cornelis Caper. She, like her husband, was undoubtedly of Holland extraction, and perhaps born in Amsterdam. The name, Dircks, was apparently a common one in the Rosenkrantz family, and the two families were probably associated prior to this marriage, 1657. In early life Magdalena, like Mary, had "chosen the better part," she had accepted the Saviour. As Mary Magdalena was the first to find and to recognize the Saviour after His resurrection, so Magdalena Rosenkrans was apparently the first of the family to find Him in the new world, and to confess Him before men. In doing so she fulfilled an important duty and set an example of love and loyalty to the Saviour worthy of imitation by all her descendants. Harmon Hendrick’s children were Alexander, Annatje, Rachel, Harmanus, Anna, Hendrick, Christiana, Dirk and Sarah.
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February 26, 2007
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