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Patroons Branch

Robert E. Van Vranken

Posted Sep 9, 2013

Holland Society of New York
Patroon Branch Annual Meeting

October 26, 2013 (Saturday)
Grooms Tavern, Clifton Park, New York


          The Patroon Branch of the Holland Society of New York, a history and genealogy organization focused on the New Netherland period of New York State history (1609-1675),  will hold its annual meeting at the historical Grooms Tavern located in the Town of Clifton Park, Saratoga County, New York. This meeting will take place following the annual meeting of the Friends of Grooms Tavern, also a historical organization focused on Grooms Tavern and the tavern’s contribution to Clifton Park history.

The first permanent settlers on the land area now included within present day Clifton Park were New Netherlanders who built farmsteads located along the north shore of the Mohawk River in the 1670s. Many of these settlers were of Dutch or northern European heritage, including Forts, Clute’s, Cragiers, Winnes, Witbecks, Vischers and Van Vrankens. Some descendants from those families still reside in or near the town.

            The Patroon Branch meeting will feature noted author Firth Haring Fabend, who has written extensively regarding the history of the Dutch in New York, New Jersey, Delaware Connecticut and parts of Pennsylvania, otherwise known as New Netherland. Her most recent book is entitled New Netherland in a Nutshell: A Concise History of the Dutch Colony in North America, recently published under the auspices of the New Netherland Institute in Albany, New York. The title of her program is “The People of New Netherland: Roughnecks, Grandees, Multi-Taskers or All of The Above.” Author Fabend will include a power point presentation as part of her program, and also will welcome questions regarding this historical period of our state and country.

            Well known author Russell Shorto, whose book “The Island at the Center of the World”, published in 2005, began the national and international interest in the New Netherland period, writes “ For anyone seeking to answer the question, ‘What was New Netherland?’ this little volume is a handy, richly packed resource. It gives you the background, the actors, the action and the legacy. In clear prose, it covers a lot of history in a few pages.” It is a beautifully written and artfully illustrated book. Copies will be available for purchase and signing.

            The meeting will begin at 2:00 pm. There will be light refreshments offered. All are welcome and there is no cost for this event.


Patroons Branch Annual Meeting
September 27, 2008
Hudson Harbor Steak and Seafood Restaurant
Albany, New York

The annual meeting of the Patroon Branch was held on Saturday, September 27, 2008 at the Hudson Harbor Steak & Seafood Restaurant in Albany, New York. It began with a luncheon hosted by the Branch and which included 33 in attendance. Following the luncheon, Branch President Van Vranken provided a brief report regarding Society activities, new publications of interest and a brief update on the Quadricentenniel celebrations. Guests of the Branch were also introduced and who will be listed in this report.

The program was presented by Society Medalist William "Chip" Reynolds, Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors of the New Netherland Museum, which is the not-for-profit corporation that owns and operates the replica ship Half Moon. The title of Chip's program was "17th Century Navigation: How the Half Moon Arrived in Albany". A very comprehensive presentation was made that described how various navigational resources were developed prior to 1609 and how Henry Hudson and his crew were able to use those tools to travel across the North Atlantic and eventually arrive at the present day Port of Albany. This most interesting power point presentation was supplemented by examples of 17th Century navigational aids not only used by Hudson and his crew, but also now used by middle school students who participate in the annual Voyages of Discovery on the replica ship Half Moon. Following this program, approximately half of the attendees walked a short distance from the restaurant to the replica ship, docked at the Albany City Pumping Station. Captain Reynolds continued describing how the Half Moon navigated from the Netherlands to North America and demonstrated what life on board the ship was like during this lengthy journey of several months. Those who participated in the second portion of the Branch meeting were reminded, once again, of the tenacity, courage and skill of those mariners of long ago who because of their adventures made possible the lives that we are blessed with today. The meeting, which began at 12:30 p.m. concluded at approximately 4:15 p.m. with an expression of gratitude to Chip Reynolds for another wonderful program and opportunity to see this remarkable replica vessel.

Those in attendance included Patroon Branch members John Cole, Robert Haff (and Bonnie), Paul Palen, Kipp Van Aken, John van Schaick (and Sally), Charles Vosburgh and Bob Van Vranken (and Lori). Society Trustee Courtney Haff was also able to attend and connected up with his distant relative, Bob Haff, during the meeting (an unexpected family reunion!). Society Fellows Peter Christoph, Dr. Janny Venema and Shirley Dunn (and Jerry), together with former Society and Branch member John Van der Veer added to the representation from the Society at this meeting. Other guests included Doug Boettner (Windmill Project), Sharon Miller, Dean Hartley, Dutch Settlers of Albany members Jon Van Derpoel (and Gloria), Joan Wemple Burns (President), Jim Schermerhorn (and his three children), Clifton Park Town Historian John Scherer (and Martha), former Town of Clifton Park Parks Director Patricia Haffner (and Ernie), Richard Baldwin and Robert Hess (Half Moon replica ship).

Captain Chip Reynolds

(L to R) Patroons Branch President Bob Van Vranken, Lori
Van Vranken, Sharon Miller (guest), and Capt Reynolds

The Holland Society of New York
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