Teller Family History

Margaret Teller-Stoutenburgh
Margaret Teller-Stoutenburgh

The following comes from the collection of papers kept by the Stoutenburgh family, specifically a piece contributed to the family by Caroline T. Wells. Ms. Wells (now deceased) is the same person who bequeathed the original paintings (done on wood) of Jacobus Stoutenburgh and Margaret Teller-Stoutenburgh to the Museum of the City of New York. I hope this helps to at least fill in some of the gaps here.
Teller Family Coat of Arms

Teller Crest
Teller Crest

Teller Family History

Contributed to the family by
by Caroline T. Wells

William Teller, born 1620, was the son of a minister of distinction — which may account for the pulpit design in the Coat of Arms of the Teller Family published in Helmes Wappenbuch in Nuremburg in 1700.

He was the first of the family in this country. He went from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Holland, served with the Dutch East India Company, and came to New Netherlands, landing at New Amsterdam in 1636, where he settled and later became a merchant. Pearson’s First Settlers (See below.) says in a deposition given July 6, 1698, that William Teller was sent in the year 1639 to Fort Orange by Gov. Kieft, served as corporal, later advanced to Wacht-Meister of the Fort, sergeant of cavalry. He continued his residence there from 1639 to 1692 with small intermissions of voyages to New York and Delaware and one short voyage to Holland.

He was a teacher for about fifty years in Albany, one of the early aldermen, and a Justice of the Peace. He moved to New York with his two sons, William and Jacob, and died there in 1701.

Plan of Schenectady about 1750In his Will, he mentions six of his nine children. In 1662 he was one of the early proprietors of Schenectady, a tract embracing 80,000 acres in the Mohawk Valley. He was one of the five patentees mentioned in the first patent of the town in 1684, (See below.) but never resided there. He endowed the Dutch Church with a fund sufficient for its maintenance and his Coat of Arms was painted on one of the windows, as was the custom (in 1657.) This and other windows were donated by the Commissionaires and Magistrates. “Munsell’s Collection of Albany History” gives a description of these windows, the bell and pulpit brought from Holland. The Church was destroyed by fire. William Teller’s first wife was Margaret Duncassen, the name Margaret has been carried down in successive generations (no record of marriage date but was named as his wife in Court records of 1641-2.) She died prior to 1664 when he married Maria Vableth, widow of Paulin Schwick.

Rensselaerswyck, 1630His son, William Teller, Jr., born 1657, was supervisor of farms in Renslearwyck. He married Rachel Kierstede November 19, 1686. She was the daughter of Dr. Hans Kierstede, who came to this country from Magdeburg, in 1633, and was the earliest practicing physician, apothecary, and surgeon in the province. Her mother was Sara Roeloff, daughter of Anneke Webber Jans, whose father, Prince Wolfert Webber (a cousin of Queen Anne) bequeathed by Will, dated 1664, valuable holdings in Holland, Dutch Borneo, and New Amsterdam, to the ninth generation of her descendants. This promise of untold wealth lured many of her descendants to make a vain attempt to gain this inheritance. William, Jr. speaks of it in his Will, also William, Jr’s son.

Peter Stuyvesant in New Amsterdam“Colonial Records, Archives, and Annals” tell that in the year 1617 (typist’s IMSM note: 1664 penciled above this date with an arrow) “a formal treaty of peace and alliance was made or concluded by Gov. Stuyvesant between the Dutch and the powerful nation of the Iroquois, the pipe of peace smoked and hatchet buried, on site of Albany. Sara Roeloff, being most proficient in the Indian language, acted as interpreter.” William, Jr., soon after his marriage to Rachael Kierstede, moved to New York, where he and another Jacob became merchants, and his four children were baptized there. His only daughter, Margaret, born Feb. 2, 1696, died Feb. 23, 1789, married May 25, 1717, Jacobus Stoutenburgh, whose tablet we had just seen unveiled by President Roosevelt. This union began the many alliances between the Teller and Stoutenburgh families. I have a record of seven.

Old Dutch Church, Sleepy Hollow, New YorkWilliam, Jr. was an elder in the Sleepy Hollow Church. He acquired large tracts of land in Westchester County — there is still a Teller Avenue there — one tract now the town of Ossining, a portion projecting into the Hudson River was known as Teller’s Point, separating Tappan and Havershaw bays — two miles in length, and was purchased by him of the Indians (who called it Se-was-gua) for two barrels of rum and twelve blankets. His old stone house was standing in 1866, when, according to “Lossing’s History of the Hudson River,” he visited it.

William Jr’s son, John, born March 2, 1693 and died 1766, married Aulie Vermilyea, and had eight children — four of whom married Stoutenburghs.

Most of this family came to Hyde Park, their chief residence being on Teller’s Hill, on Fourth Water Lot, a house standing till 1830. Jacobus, Jr. and Josina Teller lived in a stone house at Lower Corner. His son John, born 1733, died Jan. 15, 1818, married Oct. 8, 1764, his cousin Margaret Stoutenburgh, the daughter of Jacobus and Margaret. They and fourteen of their descendants and relatives are interred in the Teller vault at “Elmwood,” Rhinebeck.

Map of A Partition and Division made agreeable to a Rule of the Court of Common Pleas in January Term last, of a Part of Great Lot Number One granted by the Trustees of Rochester to Philip DuBois by Deed bearing date June 1, 1730John Teller settled on Great Lot No. 1 in the northern part of the town of Clinton on land owned by his father-in-law. He built a stone house, still standing, but in dilapidated condition. Here Margaret, wife of Jacobus died, and “was followed to the silent grave by seventy-six children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren,” as an account of her funeral given in The County Journal and Poughkeepsie Advertiser states. Here John Teller built the Teller Mills. His descendants include land-owners, politicians, and lawyers, and some are living in Kingston, Penn Yan, and Auburn (the house of the late Judge John Teller) Stanfordville and Rhinebeck. His son John 3rd, born October 16, 1762 died July 26, 1844, and married his double cousin Margaret Stoutenburgh, daughter of Jacobus, Jr., and Josina Teller, the widow of another cousin, John L. Stoutenburgh, and had four children.

My mother asked her grandmother “why she married two cousins” and her reply was, “Mary, no one else was good enough.”

John Teller, with his parents, moved from Clinton to Rhinebeck in 1816, purchasing the farm and story-and-a-half stone house built by Hans Kierstead, a descendant of the first Dr. Hans Kierstead, whose daughter, Rachel, married William Teller, Jr.

Cornelius Kierstede TankardThey brought with them the portraits, silver tankard and ladle, mahogany furniture, and old millstone now at “Elmwood,” as they named the place. By him the house was raised to two stories, and later additions were made by his son William, his only surviving child who inherited. When he added the tower, he again used the old millstone as a doorstep — another bit of sentiment. Abraham de Peyster-Mayor, 1692-1695) to Hon. Pieter Stoutenburg in recognition of his public service as Schepen, Surrogate, Treasurer of the Colony, and in many other capacities. He came from Amersfoort in Utrecht in 1638 with Gov. Kieft, and died in New York, 1699.

The tankard is about seven inches in height, of silver, in perfect preservation, and bears the hall-mark C. K. of Cornelius Kierstede (A silversmith, 1674-1753, of New Amsterdam and New Haven and an intermarriage in the family).

In the cover of it is incorporated a Quintuple Thaler struck in 1654 by order of Christian Louis, Duke of Luneberg-Celle (1648-1663), as head of the House of Hanover, to commemorate the Treaty of Westminster, April, 1654, between England and Holland. On the inside of the cover this medal bears the monogram “C.L.” in relief, 10 coats of arms identified, the motto and date 1654, and the hall-marks of the coinmaker “L.W. 5” followed by crossed shepherds’ crooks. The obverse on the outside of the cover shows a large “white horse of Hanover” leaping a river between two cities. Above the horse’s head is an olive wreath held by a hand and arm issuing from the clouds above.

Among ancient papers of the Stoutenburg-Teller family the following note in writing is found: (On the 4th of August.)

“Peace was published” (in New Amsterdam) by the ringing of the bell from City Hall and the 12th of August, 1654, was appointed by Stuyvesant as a day of General Thanksgiving.”

This medal being evidently in the possession of and prized by the family was evidently inserted, by Kierstede’s suggestion, into the cover of the tankard he was making for presentation to Pieter Stoutenburg as above noted.

Contributions for the genealogies of the first settlers of the ancient county of Albany, from 1630 to 1800

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A history of the Schenectady patent in the Dutch and English times: being contributions toward a history of the lower Mohawk Valley

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