1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Knickerbocker, Harmen Jansen

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KNICKERBOCKER, HARMEN JANSEN (c. 1650–c. 1720), Dutch colonist of New Netherland (New York), was a native of Wyhe (Wie), Overyssel, Holland. Before 1683 he settled near what is now Albany, New York, and there in 1704 he bought through Harme Gansevoort one-fourth of the land in Dutchess county near Red Hook, which had been patented in 1688 to Peter Schuyler, who in 1722 deeded seven (of thirteen) lots in the upper fourth of his patent to the seven children of Knickerbocker. The eldest of these children, Johannes Harmensen, received from the common council of the city of Albany a grant of 50 acres of meadow and 10 acres of upland on the south side of Schaghticoke Creek. This Schaghticoke estate was held by Johannes Harmensen’s son Johannes (1723–1802), a colonel in the Continental Army in the War of Independence, and by his son Harmen (1779–1855), a lawyer, a federalist representative in Congress in 1809–1811, a member of the New York Assembly in 1816, and a famous gentleman of the old school, who for his courtly hospitality in his manor was called “the prince of Schaghticoke” and whose name was borrowed by Washington Irving for use in his (Diedrich) Knickerbocker’s History of New York (1809). Largely owing to this book, the name “Knickerbockers” has passed into current use as a designation of the early Dutch settlers in New York and their descendants. The son of Johannes, David Buel Knickerbacker (1833–1894), who returned to the earlier spelling of the family name, graduated at Trinity College in 1853 and at the General Theological Seminary in 1856, was a rector for many years at Minneapolis, Minnesota, and in 1883 was consecrated Protestant Episcopal bishop of Indiana.

See the series of articles by W. B. Van Alstyne on “The Knickerbocker Family,” beginning in vol. xxix., No. 1 (Jan. 1908) of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.