FREER FAMILY GENEALOGY RESEARCH - Huguenot Freers
This web page has been made possible through the generousity of Teresa Wilson (nee: Freer) of Texas whom has traced her ancestors to Hugo Freer (the Patentee) who was born in France and made his way to what is now New Paltz, New York. This information given here is from Terri's research and is placed here in the hopes that it might aid others in tracing their roots.
Built on "The Street of the Huguenots, New Paltz, N.Y. it is constructed in two sections. The North End by Hugo Freer, The Patentee, in 1694 and the South Portion Addition by Johannes M. Low in 1735. The Wooden Section was added in the late Eighteenth Century (drawing by John Gould).
HISTORY OF THE FREER HOMESTEAD
It is believed that the north end of the house was built by Hugo Freer, the Patentee, as early as 1694. A bill of sale definitely established it in his possession before 1706. The two windows on the north and one on the west are original. The door was located at the second west window - note the difference in the heights of the windows. An outside door is blocked over in the center of the south wall of the living room.
The projecting beams would indicate that originally this room had a hood fireplace like that at the Jean Hasbrouck Memorial House. A small mantel-piece held candles, so soot marks are still visible on the beams. The south section was probably added during the 1720's, and contained a hall and a single large room. The fire-place is now blocked over. The so-called "dark bedroom" was the result of dividing the large room into hall, bath, and bedroom. One of the attic windows on the south wall is original. The one to the west was converted from a door used to bring up the hay into the loft. The wooden lean-to was added about the time of the Revolution A cobbler's shop was located therein at the southeast corner, now the study.
OWNERS OF THE HOUSE
I. HUGO FREER, the Patentee, born in Normandy; died New Paltz 1698; married 1st MARIE de la HAYE who died 1666; married 2nd JEANNE WIBAU.
II. HUGO FREER, Sr. , born Palatinate 1666, died 1732; married 6-7-1690 MARIA ANNA LEROY. Released this property and other lands to his 13 children in 1732. The stone house went to his daughter:
III. REBECCA FREER, bp. 12-4-1715; married 1-19-1735 JOHANNES LOUW, bp. 1-23-1715. It was inherited about 1765 by their son
IV SIMEON LOUW, born 1747; died 1815; married CHRISTINA McMULLEN
V MOSES FREAR obtained the house by Executor's deed dated 6-7-1828 in B. D. 34/447 at a consideration of $1000 including a 4 acre parcel. I believe this is Moses, the son of Elias Frear & Maria VanKleeck, born 8-10-1802, died 11-7-1873; married JANE DuBOIS. He was a blacksmith, who later moved east of the village.
VI. ABIGAIL L. TELLER wife of STEPHEN TELLER, purchased 3 parcels of land from Moses Frear including the 4 acres & homestead on April 6, 1837, B. D. 49/51 for the sum of $2000. Foreclosure of a mortgage resulted in sale to
VII. BENJAMIN VanWAGENEN, by deed April 14, 1842, B. D. 59/282, for the sum of $521 for the 3 parcels. He and his wife Catherine sold to
VIII. ANDRIES DuBOIS, by deed 8-1-1845, B. D. 64/52, for the sum of $1953. He was the son of Andries DuBois and Sarah LeFevre, and he married Elizabeth LeFevre. He died in 1849 and his heirs sold to
IX. SAMUEL D. W. MOREY, by deed April 3, 1850, B. D. 79/210. His wife was related to this branch of the DuBois family. They sold to
X. LEVI DuBOIS, son of Jonathan DuBois & Maria Deyo. He died in 1893 leaving the house to his brother
XI. LEWIS DuBOIS, who married ABBIE MOREY . He died intestate in 1909 leaving as sole heir, his daughter
XII. ANNIE M. DuBOIS, who threw herself into the well of the homestead 7-14-1931, dying intestate. A long partition action ensued, following which the old house and 1/2 acre were sold to
XIII MARGARET A. JAMISON, by deed July 1, 1932, B. D. 560/44. She was niece and heir to the Arbuckle Estate and her death brought about the founding of the Jamison Memorial Fund which has been of great importance in the preservation of Huguenot Street . The homestead and 1/2 acre were purchased from her estate by
XIV JOHN WRIGHT FOLLETTE by deed February 22, 1943, B. D. 632/463.
It was he who restored and modernized the house and sold it to
XV. THE HUGUENOT HISTORICAL SOCIETY. NEW PALTZ, N. Y., INC by deed May 18, 1955, B. D. 920/365.
In 1677, the Duzine ("Twelve Men") united by religious and family ties, purchased a large tract of land from the Esopus Indians on terms of such generousity and mutal respect as to guarantee to the Patentees the peaceful home which they had sought through years of exile from their native France. They named their lands for the temporary refuge they had found in "die Pfalz", the Rhine-Palatinate.
By 1692 they began to replace the original log huts with sturdy stone dwellings which today constitute the oldest street in the United States with its original houses. The first one-room houses were enlarged as the next generation grew and prospered, but for over 250 years, five of the six original houses remained virtually unchanged and occupied by descendants of the builders.
Through the efforts of the Huguenot Historical Society, New Paltz,
N. Y. and its family associations, these houses are maintained as a
unique historic site...and a National Historic Landmark.
(From a Brochure - "Huguenot Street" by the
[The following is general information on New Paltz and the Huguenot Society. The web page author does not agree with the use of certain terms in reference to groups but leaves these terms in place indicated by [sic] to maintain the integrity of the article. Word usage reflects the time period in which it was written not the present day. - web author]
THE FOUNDING OF NEW PALTZ
By 1660 the Huguenot refugees, Louis DuBois, Antoine Crispell, and Mattys Blanchan had already built homes at the "Nieuw Dorp" (Hurley). The Dutch settlers of Wiltwyck (Kingston) had made them welcome, and yet they felt alien. Their whole way of life was different. The Dutch were interested above all in the Indian trade - the French dreamed only of quiet farms. The very religious tolerance of their hosts became irksome. They were all followers of Calvin, but in what a different fashion!.
Most important was their differing attitude toward the Esopus Indians who were their neighbors. The Dutch traders, with or without the assistance of "firewater", were quick to take advantage of the [sic] savages. They expected to make money from them, they considered them mere animals, but were swift to punish when these same animals did not follow white men's ways. The whole series of skirmishes known as the Esopus Wars had a simple be-ginning. The naive Indians had graciously granted the new settlers hunting rights in the territory, just as a modern farmer might post his land for the benefit of the local gun club. The paltry presents received from the Dutch were merely evidence of neighborliness and good faith, certainly not a sale price. In fact, an individual Indian could not sell land, because the tribes owned everything in common. He could merely grant life rights to hunt, fish and farm the land.
Little frictions grew up because the Indians had no understanding of property rights and boundary lines. Nor, unfortunately, were they acquaint-ed with domestic animals. A cow was killed, and immediately the Dutch captured twelve of the finest young braves and sold them as slaves in Barbados. It is hardly surprising that the Indians retaliated. Even so, they sought many times to ransom their young men before they turned to violence.
On June 7, 1663, while the men were working in the fields, the Esopus tribes fell on the "New Village". Hardly so much as a hayrick was left standing and 29 women and children were carried into captivity. Among them were the families of Louis DuBois and Antoine Crispell.
For months the bereaved husbands and fathers, reinforced by Capt. Martin Kregier and his soldiers from New Amsterdam, sought for the captives, but in vain. On July 31st they found the Indian fort near Wawarsing and burned its triple palisades and the cornfields around them; but alas, [sic] savages and captives were gone into the mountains.
Finally, on September 5th, they located the New Fort, a 15-foot palisade not yet completed, near the Shawangunk Kill in the Hogabergh area be-hind the present village of Wallkill. Tradition tells the tale of Basha, the squaw piling wood near the spring which bears her name, who was shot by Louis DuBois before she could give the alarm.
Legend also tells that the Indians, angry at the failure of their attempts to secure the release of their braves from slavery in Barbados, had determined to put their victims to death - that Catrina DuBois had already been tied to the stake and the faggots placed - but that intrepid lady, her faith rising, above her fears, lifted her head and sang the 137th Psalm, "By the waters of Babylon". Her clear voice charmed the Indians, so the story goes, into delaying the burning. More important, it served as a guide through the woods for her husband and the soldiers. The surprise was complete, the fighting was sharp. The Indians lost their chief and 21 killed. 13 others were taken prisoner, while Capt. Kregier lost 3 killed and 6 wounded. But the prisoners were released unharmed. It was on the return journey that Louis DuBois had the opportunity to note fertile plains of the Wallkill Valley and his dream was born. He had passed that way before, had killed an Indian scout near the present Libertyville with his own sword, but only now could he appreciate the beauty of these fields guarded by the "Great Wall" of the Shawangunks. As he continued to live in Hurley his dream grew - a French settlement where they could at last find permanent refuge, but could also retain their language, their customs, and their religion. When the young LeFevre brothers, Simon and Andre, arrived in Kingston, they quickly fell in with his dream, but it was not for 8 or 10 years until the arrival of the Hasbrouck brothers, the Beviers, the Freers, and the Deyos, that it seemed possible of fulfillment, and it was Abraham Hasbrouck who made it a reality.
After leaving the Rhein-Pfalz where the Huguenot families had found temporary refuge, Abraham had served for a time with the English army and had earned the friendship of Edmund Andros. By 1675, the English government had replaced the Dutch, New Amsterdam had become New York, and Edmund Andros was governor of the colony. Abraham spoke for the little group and out-lined their plans, and in April, 1677, he gained permission for his friends to make their attempt .
The history books have long given credit to William Penn as being the first colonizer to deal justly with the Indians and thus earn peace for his settlement. Penn received his huge grant in 1681, and then, a year later, to stop further difficulty with the natives, he made a treaty purchase with the Indians confirming his title.
However, five years before, this small band of Huguenots first approached the Indians themselves, the actual owners of the land. On May 26, 1677 five chiefs of the Esopus: Matsaysay, Nekahakaway, Magakahas, Assinerakan, and Wawawanis, contracted for the sale of the land to Louis DuBois and eleven others for: "40 kettles, 40 axes, 40 adzes, 40 shirts, 400 fathoms white network, 300 fathoms black network, 60 pairs stockings (half small sizes), 100 bars of lead, 1 keg of powder, 100 knives, 4 kegs of wine, 40 oars, 40 pieces duffel, 60 blankets, 100 needles, 1 measure tobacco, 2 horses (1 stallion and 1 mare). "
This was certainly no bargain by Dutch standards ($24 worth of trinkets for Manhattan) but how well these Huguenots were rewarded! They built the "Redoute" required by the governor, but never, even during the troubled Revolutionary period, was this settlement in danger of attack.
Only after the Indians were paid, as acknowledged on September 15th by 19 braves and 2 women of the Esopus, who thus confirmed the action of their chiefs for their families, did the Walloons sue for a grant from the king, given under the hand of Edmund Andros on September 29, 1677. These old deeds, the first record of a truly honest purchase of land from the Indians, are still to be seen at the museum.
The eleven families: Louis DuBois and his sons Isaac and Abraham, Christian Deyo and his son Pierre, Simon LeFevre and his brother Andre, Hugo Freer, Louis Bevier, the brothers Jean and Abraham Hasbrouck, (Antoine Crispell remained in Hurley) loaded all their possessions upon three ox-carts ("tri-cor") and proceeded to their new home. If this particular tradition were true, the ox-carts must have made more than one trip, judging by the many relics which survive .
Warned by friendly Indians of spring floods on the west side of the river, the Patentees built their log cabins along the east bank, on what is now the south end of Huguenot Street. They established their combined church and schoolhouse at the north edge of the little burying ground, but the land itself was owned in common. The first sale of land to an individual was in 1693, although four years earlier, the first schoolmaster, Jean Cottin, had received the gift of a house and lot.
As the settlement prospered and the log cabins were replaced by stone dwellings a bit further north, which still testify to the superiority of the old-time methods of construction, the settlers were granted homestead lots, but the farm lands remained in common under the control of "The Duzine", a council made up of representatives of each of the 12 original Patentees. At first position on the Duzine was hereditary, but with the growth of the village and the influx of Dutch families, it became advisable to elect these officers from the whole colony. It was not until 1728 that the Duzine authorized the allotment of the first lands to individual ownership. This was done not by deed, but by parole, the "twelve men signing a bond for the protection of title to these tracts, as recorded in the minute books of The Duzine. The last allotment was made only shortly before the Revolution, and one of the first actions of the new State government was to ratify the acts of this most democratic governing body in colonial history.
There were no really famous citizens of New Paltz, but the story of these simple farmers and merchants is an unparalleled record of justice, dignity and fair dealing toward each other and toward their neighbors, white and red, which might well be of even greater inspiration today than is found in the exploits of those whom the history books call heroes.
For over 70 years the Huguenot Historical Society, New Paltz, N. Y., Inc. has been dedicated to the preservation of the Oldest Street in America with its original houses". Huguenot Street has been designated by the Dept. of Interior as a national Historic Landmark Area. The Jean Hasbrouck Memorial House has recently been cited by the same group as the finest example in this country of medieval Flemish stone architecture. This house has been a museum since 1898.
In the past twelve years, six other stone houses on Huguenot Street have come under control of the Society. Together they make up a unique historic site, an educational experience for this and future generations, and a monument to the integrity, industry, and independence of the founders. Family associations have been formed within the Society, each to maintain its individual homestead and to furnish it with heirlooms cherished by generations of descendants. Membership in either the Society or the family group is open to anyone who is interested in their objectives.
The Freer-Low Family Association was founded in 1962 and now has a membership of over 250. Their hope is that the Freer Homestead will be opened in the near future as a museum. Founding officers were: Frank Freer, Jr., President; Claude E. Simmonds and Harold M. Lows, Vice-Presidents; Mrs. J. Leigh Sheridan, Secretary, and Walter Hasbrouck, Treasurer.
During the summer of 1967, the Society inaugurated a program of guided tours of Huguenot Street daily except Monday. Thousands of school children, as well as descendants from all parts of the country, visit the ancient Street of the Huguenots each year.
Note: This list below does not include names of all individuals associated with the Hugo Freer linneage, only those related to Terri Wilson; however, there may be names below that will help others in their research.
For additional information go to Dick Weisiger and Jane Martin's Genealogy web page (information based upon Leonard J. Terpening's data) on Hugo Freer and click on "F".
Hugo Freer (the Patentee) was born at Harly, now spelled Herly, a tiny village in the district of Haut Boulonnois, 20 miles SE of Boulogne, 25 miles SW of Hazebrouck, in Normandy, France. He moved to Mannheim (Germany) in the province of Die Pfalz on the Rhine River around 1651.
Hugo married Marie de la Haye of Douai (France) at Mannheim 10-02-1660. They had a daughter Marie born 09-13-1661, a daughter Sara born 01-22-1664, and a son Hugo born 07-01-1666. Marie and both daughters died in the Great Plaque of 1666. Hugo then married Jeanne (Jannetje) Wibau (also spelled Verbeau) of Bruyelle who was the widow of Simon Floquet on 01-22-1667. One year later a son died in infancy. A son Abraham was born on 06-16-1670 and a son Isaac born 02-20-1673. Hugo Freer, the Patentee, died in New Paltz in 1698. Jeanne died 12-08-1693. Both are buried in the Walloon Cemetery on Huguenot Street, New Paltz, but the headstones have disappeared.
Hugo Freer, Sr. was born 1666 in Mannheim, died 1732 at New Paltz. He married Maria Anna LeRoy, born 05-07-1673 in Quebec, daughter of Simeon LeRoy and Claude Deschalets. They were married 06-07-1690.
Their children were:
Hugo Freer, Jr. was born 10-14-1691 at New Paltz. He was married 04-24-1715 to Brejen Terpening, born in Minisink but lived in Rosendale, daughter of Jan Terpening of Flanders. They lived in Bontecoe.
Their children were:
Gerrit Freer, baptized in Kingston 04-30-1727; married on 03-14-1748 to Maria Freer, had been baptized 09-21-1729.
Their children were:
Ezekiel Freer born 04-17-1756, died 03-07-1821. He was married on 11-1784 to Elizabeth Sluiter, born 1763.
Their children were:
Ezechiel Freer, born 07-05-1785, died 07-17-1841. Married Esther Vaan Wagenen, born 06-07-1788, died 04-17-1854; daughter of Daniel Van Wagenen and Tryntje Low.
Their children were:
Gerrit E. Freer, born 1818, married Catherine Beaver.
Their children were:
Cornelius H. Freer, born 10-06-1847 (family record) or 10-06-1848 (tombstone) or 10-26-1847, baptized 10-06-1848 at Lloyd Methodist Church, died 02-16-1911. Married 01-01-1868 to Margaret Clinton, Born 09-10-1847, died 10-11-1905, daughter of Charles Clinton and Alice McCur.
Their children were:
For further information on this Freer family I would suggest
that you contact Christina Zahn below.
A Brief History of Huguenots
To Huguenot Historical Society
To Huguenot Society - Freer-Low Page
To A Genealogy and history of CHARLES LANG FREER
To Freer/Low Family and Huguenot Associations using Cyndi's List"
To Other Huguenot Sources via Cyndi's Web Site
To FREER USA
To Huguenots of France
To FREER FAMILY RESEARCH DIRECTORY