Retyped from Beers "History of Greene County" by
Jan Van Loon, the first settler of the name and ancestor of a very numerous
race, and who gave the name to the Loonenburg Patent, is supposed to have
come to this country from Holland about 1686.He had a wife, Maria, and a
family of four sons and four daughters. The sons were Matthias, Albertus,
Jan and Nicholas. The daughters were Eltje, who married Omay Lagrange;
Neelje, who married Johannes Hallenbeck; Maria, wife of Arent Van Schaack;
and Christina, wife of Christian Vroom. In 1720 he gave all his lands
to is sons, and he probably died about 1841. Of these sons, the
oldest, Matthias, kept the old homestead, at the south part of the Village
of Athens; Albertus lived in what is called the upper village; Jan probably
located at Klinkenberg, on the place now owned by William Reed Adams; and
Nicholas lived on the flats, on the farm now owned by Marcus Hallenbeck.
Matthias Van Loon married Annaatje, daughter of
Hans Lagrange, July 1st 1721, and had daughters Eytje, wife of Stephen
VanDyke; Christina, wife of Peter Fonda; and Catherine, wife of John
VanBuskirk; and a son of John M., who was born 1722, and died in 1823 at the
age of 100 years. It was on his farm that the present village of
John Van Loon had a son Matthias, who died before
his father. He married 1st, Alice VanHoesen; 2nd Susanna Haight; 3rd
The children of the first marriage were, 1. Maria,
who married John Folger, and whose daughter Elsie is the widow of Capt.
David Winne, a brave soldier of the War of 1812, whose family now live in
Athens; 2. John; 3. Casper, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Peter
Coeyman's Bronk, and had nine children, Henry, Bronk, Andrew, Mary, Alice,
Catherine, Sarah, Helen, and Caroline, most of whom are living in Athens.
The children of the second marriage were, Samuel,
whose family removed to other parts of the State; Henry, who has a son
Lyman; Matthias; Elsie, wife of Jeremiah Clough; Elizabeth, wife of John R.
The children of the third marriage were, Jacob, who
has a son Ezra, of Athens, and others abroad; and Rebecca, who was
Matthias, the third son of Matthias Van Loon and
Susanna Haight, was born August 16th 1797. He married Maria, daughter of
John Tolley, brother of Judge William Tolley, and his children were, Susan,
John, Matthias Staats, Catherine A, and Henry T., who married Anna Macy, and
has three children, Ella, Jessie and Charles. He is very extensively
engaged in grape raisding with good success.
Matthias, the third child of this family, was born August 26th 1822.
He married first, Susan Everts, daughter of George Everts, September 21st
1846; second, Sarah A., daughter of John Terry, of Coeymans, June 24th 1863;
third, Ellen, widow of Leander Kenney, and daughter of Walter Howland, January
27th 1879. He has two children, Herman and Elizabeth. The residence of Mr.
VanLoon was built in 1872.
About 1843 William I. Coffin and some others came up the river and set up a
dry dock and ways on land that belonged to Timothy Bunker, and where he had
established chemical works. They sold the dock and ways to William H.
Morton, C. Haddon, and Emory Edwards, in 1848. Mr. Haddon retired from
the business, but afterward bought back his interest and took Matthias Van
Loon as a partner and also Lewis R. and John R. Wheeler. The concern was
carried on for four years, when it was sold to a company of seven, of which
Mr. Van Loon was one. It was afterward sold to Mr. E. R. Edwards, who
carried the business for ten years. Mr. Van Loon went to New Baltimore
during this time, and in 1871 he returned, and with Peter Magee as a partner,
bought the ship yard, and the business has ever since been conducted by them.
The ship yard of Van Loon & Magee has such an established and extended
reputation that it is sufficient to state that no ship yard on the river has
so far proved its superior. The following list of boats at this yard is all
that is needed to attest the claim:
Barge "G.L. Hardy"; three masted schooner "A.H. Peary";
steam yacht "Marriquita"; tug boats "G.. Harding", "G.H.
Pratt". "Walter Betty", "Lafayette", "Gen
Newton", "Thomas Purcell, Jr.", "Richards",
"Excelsior", "Millard", Groton". and
"Exchange"; steamboats "Minnie Cornell", "New
Brunswick", "Belle Horton", "City of Catskill",
"Kaaterskill", "Pierie C. VanWyck", and
"Flushing"; yacht "Isabella"; ferryboat "A. F.
Beach"; annex boat, "Silliman"; tug boats "Fuller"
and "H.W.Temple"; yacht "Dashaway"; ice barge "Robert
Scott"; and tug "Z.W. Wilson".
Of the branches of the VanLoon family who are descended from the brothers
Nicholas, Jan, and Albertus, sons of the first settler, our limits forbid more
than a brief notice.
Nicholas VanLoon married Rachel Clow at Claverack November 19th 1721, and had
children: Maria, born in 1722; Jurge, who had a son Nicholas; Elsie; Johannes,
born in 1726; Matthias and Petrus (twins), born in 1736; William, born in
1731; Abraham, born in 1740; Isaac, born July 22nd 1743, who married Catherine
Hallenbeck 1763, and had two sons, Jacob, and Major Nicholas I. Van
Loon, who was a very prominent citizen of Athens. He married Hannah,
daughter of Isaac Hallenbeck, and had children; Isaac, Casper, William
Prentiss, Catherine, Mary A., Cornelia and Jacob, who has a son Van Ness of
Catskill. His descendants are very numerous.
Major Van Loon was killed by being caught on a picket fence which he was
endeavoring to get over, near the upper village of Coxsackie. Being unable to
extricate himself he was found dead in the morning. This occurred in 1846. A
tombstone with the inscription "N.I. Van Loon, aged 80," marks his
last resting place in the Athens Cemetery.
Jan Van Loon, the second son of the first settler, married Rebecca, daughter
of Johannes Hollenbeck, March 2nd 1709. He had children: Rachel, who married
Evert Everson (to whom his father-in-law gave the farm now owned by Walter
Hallenbeck, in Athens); Elsie; Maria: Jan (who married Janetje, daughter of
Abraham Valkenburg); Helena; Catherine; Johannes; and Jacob, born July 12th
1744, died in 1823; and Albertus (who died at Klinkenberg, on the present
homestead of Mr. William Reed Adams). Jacob had a son John, who had sons;
Isaac (now living near the railroad station in Athens), John, Joseph, and
Jeremiah. Isaac has children; Parnelia, Sarah, Rebecca, Charlotte, and John
J., who has children, Henry J., and Anna Maria.
Albertus, the forth son of the first settler, had a wife, Maria Caspersen,
married April 12th 1709. He had children: Albertus (born March 31st 1792)--(I
question this date--AC), Maria, Rachel, Jan, Jacob and Hendrica, wife of Jan
Casperse Van Hoesen.
The father of this family died in 1754. His son Albertus died April 30, 1791,
had a wife Maria, and left children: Eytje, wife of Shadrach Sill; Maria, wife
of Cornelius DeGroot; and a son Albert A., who died in 1799, aged 28, leaving
three sons, John and Ezra (who died young), and Albert, who died unmarried,
and was the last of his race who lived in the old stone house in the upper
village of Athens.
Peter Magee, the partner of Mr. Mattias Van Loon, was born in Baltimore, MD,
November 23rd 1838, and learned the business in the ship yard of John J.
Armstrong, a great shipbuilder. His wife was Mary Jane McCabe, whom he married
August 10th 1870. They have children, Joseph, Francis, Mary Jane, and Annie.
He worked at first in New York, and afterward went to Port Royal SC, where he
was in the quarter-master's department, two years. He spent one year in
Illinois, at Mound City. He came to New Baltimore in 1866, and to Athens in
1871, and he is prominently known as a skillful workman and a good citizen.