Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

This is typed article which was donated to the web site. No clue as to author.

(The original text is not well typed, but I will correct the obvious.)

Early Canajoharie

In searching facts in relation to "Early Canajoharie", any items, however small, that may be gleaned from contemporary records are useful in helping to piece out the story, which is a broken one, and very obscure at the best.

"From Tryon county Record, A."

"6th June, 1772, Deed from Philip Kock or Knock to Col. Hendrick Frey, Esq, of the land on the Canajoharie Creek."

This land was a part of a Patent, granted 20th June 1723, by George the 3rd, to Lewis Morris; Abram Van Horn; John Collins; Margaret Vedder; James Alexander; and Codwalender Colden; and begins at the Southern most corner of a tract formerly conveyed by the said Cadr Colden, to Marte Van Alstine, and Hendrick Scrimlie. It contained 775 acres, with appurtenances, except mines, minerals and ores. Frey paid 400 pounds current money of New York for this land. It is what has been known of late years as the Null place, all the Cemeteries are located on the tract, also the Walter farm, and other farms as far south as Marshville.

From the same "Record".

"Page 40, 2d March, 1773. George Scramling of Canajoharie mortgaged to Christopher Yates of Schenectady, for 344 pounds, two tracts of land lying on the south side of the Mohawk River, part of a Patent to Lewis Morris dated 1723.

Page 41, One tract on the Canajoharie, or Scramblings Creek, or Kill, begins on the kill above the third of great Fall.

On this land all of the village of the Creek stands.

From the same "Record."

"Page 225, Deed, 2d May 1778, from George Scrembling, to John Roof of 325 acres; this is all the land on the West side of the creek, on which the village stands.

I learned from a letter from one of the descendants of the Scremblings, that it was quite a large family that lived at Canajoharie at that early day; she mentions two Henry, two Johns, a Peter, a Jacob; but she is very uncertain as to the genealogy, and it is useless to try to unravel it. All we can say is that it was a large family, and that George was probably the most prominent one.

Col. Freys deed says, that the tract east of the creek, was "formerly conveyed to Hendrick, and Marte Van Alstine", this is indefinite; but as we know from a Family Record that on the 7th of Dec. 1737, Hendrick Scrembling and his wife were sponsors at the baptism of a child, and that on the 27th of April 1740, John Scrembling and his wife were Sponsors for another, we may assume with some certainty, that the Scremblings came about 1730, Hendrick, the partner of Marte Van Alstine settling on the property "formerly conveyed" to them, and John going to the West side of the creek, and building his little house about where the Wagner House stands. Hendrick then built the main part of the stone house, and the little mill, "with one run of stone" on the East side.

This continued for an uncertain number of years; the family increased in size; there were sons and daughters; children and grandchildren; one daughter married John Winns, a prominent man, Member of assembly; Sheriff, Member of the Convention that retified the Constitution; another daughter married Captain Martin Van Alstine.

It seems probable that about 1750 Hendrick Scrembling disposed of his share of the farm, to his partner Martin Janse Van Alstine, who then came to Canajoharie and occupied the house that Scrambling had built, and the little mill on the creek. Some of the story is told by John Van Alstine in his Reminiscences.

Through all of the following years till the close of the Revolution, the Scrembling family were much in evidence; in Col. Frey's ledger, John Scrembling is credited with "cutting timber for barn", and "for one trip batoing?" In March 1772, George Scrembling had three suits before John Frey Justice, as appears in the old docket; in Feb. 1773 Hendrick M. Scrembling sued Capt. Gose Van Alstine, for 2 pounds, II, 3. In Dec. 1773 Henrick M. Scrembling has a number of suits. There were a number of the family in the Army, serving in different capacities.

But that they were gradually closing out their interests here is evident, as we see by these suits to collect debts, and the sale of the farm to John Roof, and their mortgaging of other tracts, to raise money; it shows that for some years, they had been getting ready to leave this "Early Canajoharie Village."

But it is probable that it was not till the close of the Revolution that the removal took place; then they went to the Susquehanna and bought 1,000 acres of land, part of the sequestered estate of Sir Wm. Johnson ; here they lived for many years, but the family divided, after a time a part went to the Genesee country, a part to Canada, and others to Michigan; in the latter state their descendants still live, some of whom are still interested in the "Early Canajoharie: in which their ancestors were born.

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