Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Book of Names
Especially Relating to The Early Palatines and the First Settlers in the
Mohawk Valley
Compiled and Arranged by Lou D. MacWethy
Published by The Enterprise and News
St. Johnsville, NY. , 1933
Dedicated to the Memory of Two faithful coworkers who labored until called
Boyd Ehle, C. E.
Hubert W. Hess, A. B.

Our Early Citizens
Names of Those Taking the Oath of Allegiance from 1715 to 1773
Compiled from the Colonial Laws by Lt. Com. L. F. Bellinger, U. S. N., Retired

How old is your family?
Who was the first pioneer in your family?
How far back can you trace your citizenship?
All of these are natural questions.

The following names have been gathered from the Colonial Laws, as they were set down at the time of the occurrence. The significance is that the parties taking such oath were present, and of lawful age, and did on that occasion by their act, furnish documentary evidence of their existence. Perhaps they sleep in unmarked graves. Perhaps no Bible record has come down to us. Perhaps no other proof is available or ever will be, but it is evident that on the day and date given below these men were alive and active and were taking the most important step in their careers. Just what that citizenship was to lead to is a story in itself. They could not foresee the great drama in process of unfolding. But they were there and it is our duty to preserve these names for the benefit of those who come after. The following columns constitute one of the most important contributions to history yet published. It is the first time these names have been made available in printed form outside the records. The work of Lt. Bellinger in preparing these names will be appreciated by the present generation and let us hope by many generations yet to come.


As a boy I understood perfectly why foreigners desired to become citizens of this land of the free and home of, for, and by the brave, but never did understand there could be any question of property rights, and thought if a man bought property, it belonged to him regardless of his nationality, present or past. Later in life I learned that Haiti, foreigners cannot acquire real estate, and the same is true in Japan at present. It appears that about 1700 one who was naturalized in one of the American Colonies; was by no means naturalized in all of them. Also, there were certain questions about owning property and buying property which seem queer to us. First, it was necessary to obtain a legal permit or license before any purchasing of lands from the Indians could be instituted. Undoubtedly there were "costs" connected with the issuance of these permits. Next, after the land was deeded by the Indians, aliens were always in trouble with the Colonial Government about quit rents, and transfers of the land to others, that did not cause trouble to citizens of the Colony, and a law was passed July 5, 1715 to remove some of these troubles. Fifty years or so later it was necessary to fix up the 1715 law so the property belonging to the first naturalized aliens could be received and held by their children born in the Colony of New York.

It is of interest to note how the scare of loss of land and the passage of new laws and privileges brought about surges in the desire for naturalizations.

It is noteworthy that some of our ancestors failed to save up the necessary 19 or 20 shillings in six months or a year as the requirement was, and their names had to go on later special acts for their benefit.

After all that trouble of theirs to acquire the land, how many in your "Descendants" column live now on the land that troubled their ancestors so much? Count 'em Mr. Editor!

Following this is given a list of names of the Palatines in the valley, as far as I can pick out names with which we are all more or less familiar.

I have tried to put in parenthesis a more modern spelling than is given in the books from which I quote. It may help some to determine ages and names that were in existence at the date specified, and may also reduce the number of those needing to be grafted to the "Family Tree."

As an example we have here evidence that Benton's statement is incorrect, as far as the Herkimer family not arriving until the 1722 immigration. Here is George Herkimer. His son, Johan Jost was evidently not yet 21, and his grandson General Nicholas was not born until about 1726, all of which is consistent. Similarly, Benton argues that Rudolph Staley of Staley's Patent did not arrived until the 1722 immigration, because he was not one of the Burnettsfield Patentees; yet we now have him as "Roelof Steel" over 21 on the date specified.

John Jacob Ehl shows up as the first of his tribe apparently.

Peter Bellinger now shown to be over 21 in 1715 appeared only as a sponsor at a Kocherthal record birth in 1715, from which the argument was that he was at least 15 years old when acting as sponsor. He signed deed to land in 1782 and 1784 and lived to be over 90 therefore. He was the father in law of Adam Helmer, the famous scout, the father of Colonel Peter Bellinger, the father of "Hoffrich" Bellinger of the "Mohawk Dutch Marines," and the father in law of Lieut. Timothy Frank. Longevity in Peter's family was hereditary. Colonel Peter lived to be 87, one daughter to 96, another daughter to 100, and the son of Colonel Peter lived to 93.

Note--All the names which appear in the Annals of Albany are given. Selection was made from the large number in "Colonial Laws." New York Palatines naturalized in Albany, N. Y. (Taken from Munsell's "Annals of Albany," pp. 40, 43, 46, 48, and 49). At a Mayors Court held in the City Hall of Albany, Oct. 11, 1715.

The following persons to wit.

*Did in open Court take the oaths by law appointed to be taken instead of oaths of allegiance & supremacy subscribe the test and make repeat and swear to & subscribe the abjuration oath pursuant to the directions of an act of general assembly entitled an act declaring yt all those of foreign birth theretofore inhabiting within this colony and dying seized of any lands tenements and hereditaments shall be for ever hereafter deemed taken & esteemed to have been naturalized and for naturalizing all protestants of foreign birth now inhabiting within this colony.

To whom certificates are forthwith to be given according to the directions of ye said act.

Att a Mayors Court held at the City Hall of Albany ye 22th day of November 1715.

The following person to witt

At a Mayors Court held in ye City Hall of Albany ye 3d day of January, 1715/6

The following persons to witt

At a Mayors Court held at ye City Hall of Albany the 17th day of January 1715/6

The following persons to witt

January 31--The following persons (to witt)

February 14--The following persons (to witt)

February 28--The following persons (to witt)

Colonial Laws, N. Y.

Vol. 1, page 858. General act of naturalization passed July 5, 1715, "declaring that all persons of foreign birth hereafter inhabiting within this colony and dying seized of any lands, tenements or hereditaments shall be forever hereafter deemed taken and steemed to have been naturalized and for naturalizing all Protestants of foreign birth now inhabiting within this colony."

These special acts became of no effect if oaths were not taken and fees paid within six months, then nine months and later one year from the passage of these special acts. One of these, June 17, 1726, prescribed no time limit another passed Oct. 14, 1737 had special provisions about removing from the colony of New York.

"Colonial Laws," Naturalization of Individuals

Volume 2, July 27, 1721.
Johannes Hausz (House).

October 14, 1732.
John Jacob Ell (Ehle).

Naturalization of Individuals, Colonial Laws

Volume 2, December 16, 1737.

Conrad Franck
Andreas Klebsatel
JorgRiht Meyer (Richtmyer)
Philip Schuttes

Volume 3, May 3, 1755.

John Godfrey Miller
Michael Hoffman
Jacob Tiefendorph
Hendrick Heger
Solomon Myer
Jacob Myer
Henry Bell
Jacob Miller
Jacob Abel
John Sherp (Sharp)
Michael Poltz (Folts)
Jacob Sherp(Sharp)
Michael Sherp (Sharp)
Cornelius Miller
Christopher Ring
Johan Hess
John Volmer (Fulmer)
Michael Polfer (Pulver)
Peter Polfer (Pulver)

Volume 4, July 3, 1759.

Volume 4, September 11, 1761.

December 31, 1761

George Snyder

Volume 4, March 20, 1762.

Volume 4, December 20, 1763

October 20, 1764

December 19, 1766

December 31, 1768

Volume 5, January 27, 1770

February 1*, 1771

Volume 5, March 24, 1772

March 8, 1773

Afterthought!! Anyone really interested should look over all the names given in the "Colonial Laws of New York" and follow the index which in one place is wrong, giving p. 535 where it should be p. 555. The reason for looking them over is that the name "Cognot" was discarded by me as Irish, not Palatine, and just now it appears that it might have become later "Coughnet" which united with one of the family trees of the Bellingers. In other words, a Coughnet and a Bellinger were participants in a second trial of matrimony about 100 years ago.

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