It’s been an exciting week!
Before I start, I just want to say that little Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie is so beautiful with its neoclassical architecture and design! I loved it there.
I journeyed over to the Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie because Professor Roper mentioned to me that they held some special collections pertaining to Dutchess’ local history. Unfortunately, though, their collections focuses primarily on Poughkeepsie’s history and the librarian at circulation told me nothing on the Mesiers/Reeses came up in the catalog. I would have been interested in taking a look anyway, but the woman told me I had to make an appointment with the archivist in order to see the records. But all was not lost! Adriance library has a great little room with local genealogy records, including some genealogy books from New York City (New Amsterdam/Netherland). I didn’t uncover much about our Mesiers, but a little! I took pictures of everything I found which mentioned the Mesiers. Ironically (in the “local” genealogy room), I found more mentioning the original Peter Mesier than anyone else.
These are the records that mention our first Peter Mesier. They are mostly in reference to the court of Fort William Henry (New Amsterdam) ordering Peter among many others to destroy their homes and relocate. This was because new fortifications were being built and these properties were in the way.
I also found a record of a Peter “Johnson” Messier petitioning to build a windmill (hm!) with a man named Jasper Nessepat. The reason I think this is Peter Mesier is because the Dutch pronunciation of Jansen very closely resembles the name Johnson (pronounce Jansen like this: y AH n s uh n). An English transcriber could have easily taken Johnson from Jansen and recorded the name as familiar to him, especially as Johnson was an popular English surname. I want to run this by someone who could help me validate this idea. If it is our Peter, then this may be an important clue because 1) It refers to a windmill (maybe the future Mesier Mill?) and 2) we have an association. Associations are important. Understanding the people that Peter networked with gives us an idea of what kind of positions Peter himself held and what he did; some more clues about his life in the fort. Here’s that:
Then I found a very interesting record of Peter Mesier Jr. (who bought the homestead). This was intriguing to find because it mentions Peter’s ownership of a “sloop.” There is a lot to be said about this new information, but I want to discuss it with Professor Roper before I lay it out here. And the record:
Thank you for reading – and sorry for delays! I never stop trying to find new information on the Mesiers, and something new seems to come up every day. But, alas! It’s midterm/exam/paper season!