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September 2019


In 2012 HFA member Catherine Hasbrook, a viticulturist, signed on as assistant winemaker at Saucelito Canyon Vineyards in in the Upper Arroyo Grande Valley, southeast of San Luis Obispo, CA.  When the owner’s wife saw her name, she brought out an old journal/notebook from an earlier vineyard/winery in the same area called St. Remy and started by Abram Bruyn Hasbrouck!  What an unexpected discovery, by a current family member, of a previously unknown (to us) ancestor in the same area and both far from our New Paltz roots!  When HFA President Bob Hasbrouck learned of it, he recognized that the names Bruyn and St. Remy almost certainly connected the winery founder with Abraham Bruyn Hasbrouck, the prominent lawyer from Kingston, NY (close to New Paltz) who won a precedent-setting court decision to recover the son of civil rights pioneer Sojourner Truth after he had been sold illegally into slavery in the South.  In addition he served terms as a U.S. congressman and president of Rutgers University as well as holding other important posts.  (See article covering all this in the September ’11 newsletter).  And he named an outlying hamlet of Kingston St. Remy (for reasons no one now knows for sure – see further below).  So we burrowed into our genealogy database and confirmed that Abram Bruyn in California was the grandson of Abraham Bruyn in Kingston.  (He was identified as Abraham in the database but adopted several variations over the year, including Byron Hasbrook – presumably to simplify the name for others).

Next we wanted to find out how the grandson wound up so far from his home base, especially considering that his father, Jonathan Howard Bruyn Hasbrouck (a bank president, U.S. attorney and law firm partner), never seems to have left the area.

…..The Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo (SLO) County, Libbie Agran, who by serendipitous coincidence, had already done the research for us and created an article last November covering his interesting life and the evolution of the winery.  She graciously gave us permission to use it in the newsletter……

To find out more about the life of Abram Bruyn Hasbrouck, the winery and other stories ……

Download Hasbrouck Journal for Sept. ’19 Part One       Download Hasbrouck Journal for Sept. ’19 part Two


June 2019


       Josiah C. Hasbrouck, Sr.’s mother was a freed slave of Joseph Hasbrouck (“General Joe”) of Guilford. A New York census record gives his birth about 1818, Ulster County. It is from Josiah Jr’s obituary that we learn his grandmother was a slave of General Hasbrouck.

In the mid 1800’s, New York State law dictated that African-Americans must own at least $250 in real estate or a house in order to obtain the right to vote. Determined to help would-be voters secure this right, abolitionist and real estate baron Gerrit Smith devised a “scheme of justice and benevolence” that he hoped would provide refuge to black families. In 1846, Smith divided 120,000 acres of untouched land that he owned in the Adirondacks into 40- acre plots and began granting them to three thousand free African-Americans living in New York State. While this untouched land was not worth $250 per lot, Smith believed with cultivation it could achieve that value, and in turn provide black men with a means to vote.

Gerrit Smith made three grants of land in North Elba to Hasbroucks: John Hasbrook, Lot 257, west half, Township 11, eighty acres; Josiah Hasbrouck, Lot 9, southeast quarter, Subdivision 4, Township 12, thirty-five acres; and Simeon G. Hasbrouck, Lot 98, northwest quarter, Township 12, forty acres. Josiah’s was rather isolated land – it certainly was not the choicest of the Gerrit Smith lots.

For complete article:    Download HFA Journal for June’ 19


March 2019


            Our February ’06 newsletter featured an article about the Hasbrouck motor carriage of 1902, powered by a one-cylinder engine, which could be “operated by any intelligent person.  Its speed is gauged from one mile per hour to as fast as one may care to go.”  The company, Hasbrouck Motor Works, was run by 24-year-old Stephen A. Hasbrouck, a 7th generation descendant of Abraham.  It was founded in 1899 for the production of marine engines and in 1900 expanded to motor vehicles, first buses and trucks, then, in 1901, a car.

To continue reading the article:  Download HFA Journal for March 2019