Domine Gideon Schaets
Stefan Bielinski

According to traditional sources, Gideon Schaets was born in South Holland in 1607 or 1608. He is said to have been the son of Rev. Bartholomeus Schaets and his first wife Anneke Blom Schaets. The marriage produced additional children who survived to maturity.

Gideon was educated chiefly by his father to become a schoolteacher and tutor. In 1634, he married Agnietje Moens/Moriaens - a governess. The marriage produced several children. These educators opened and ran a small school for a dozen years. Sometime later, he began to study for the ministry.

In May 1652, he was ordained in the Dutch Reformed Church. In that year, he accepted a call to replace Johannes Megapolensis in the church serving Rensselaerswyck and Beverwyck. His first wife probably remained in Holland. Domine Schaets landed in New Netherland in July with two sons and a daughter. His first wife, Agnietie, is said to have died in 1666.

He moved his family into a house in Beverwyck provided by Governor Stuyvesant and successfully served several terms as minister in Albany. The new church was built in Albany under his auspices. He also acted as a missionary to the Indians and, from time to time, supplied services to Schenectady and Kingston as well.

Translations of material relating to his clerical contract have been printed as Ecclesiastical Records of the State of New York in volume I.

In July 1658, his house and garden in Beverwyck were referenced in a property transaction.

His property was not among those enumerated in a census of Albany householders taken in 1679.

In 1683, he was joined by a much younger Godfredius Dellius although he continued to preach until his death. In 1683, he married the widow Barentie Hendricks. He then would have been 76 years old and was said to be "very feeble!" However, his second wife died. Her will presented for probate in December 1688 bequeathed her house to Schaets.

Domine Gideon Schaets died in February 1694 and was buried beneath the church. Living for more than eighty-seven years, his life spanned almost the entire seventeenth century.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Gideon Schaets is CAP biography number 2211. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Useful genealogical material appears online. The chief narrative resource on his life is a chapter in Robert Alexander's Albany's First Church, pp. 31-60. The Domine does not appear to have been related to the Albany Staats family! Schaets name information online. Janny Venema on Schaets as teacher and minister. VRBM. DH

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first posted 3/5/05; updated 9/20/14