JOHANNES SPOOR son of JAN
WYBESSE SPOOR and ANNA MARIA HANSE
was born Abt. 1680 in Albany, NY,
and died in Kinderhook, Columbia Co., NY
He married MARY OR MARIA SINGER 21 Apr 1700 in Kingston,
Ulster Co., NY.
She was born Abt. 1686 in England
Child of JOHANNES SPOOR and MARY or MARIA SINGER is:
i. DERICK SPOOR b. 28 Jan 1710, Albany, NY;
d. 28 May 1780, Sheffield, Berkshire Co., MA
He married CHRISTINA
BRESIE or VAN ALSTYNE 01 May 1733 in Catskill, Greene Co., NY. She was born 10
May 1712 and died 12 Jun 1795
Children of DERICK
SPOOR and CHRISTINA BRESIE or VAN ALSTYNE
i. NICHOLAS SPOOR b 24 May 1734; d 25 Jun 1772
married SARAH HALLENBECK
ii. MARY SPOOR b 30 May 1736
married WILLEM HALLENBECK
iii. JOHN SPOOR b 14 May 1738; d 1776
married CHRISTIE; d 1776
iv. CATALINA SPOOR b 12 May 1740
married GUSBERT DECKER
SPOOR b 19 Aug 1742 in Columbia Co., NY; d 10 Jun 1745
vi. GESIA SPOOR b 12 Dec 1744; d Jan 1834
married NICHOLAS REES
vii. HANNAH SPOOR b 13 Oct 1747
married TOBIAS VAN DEUSEN 1772
viii. ABRAHAM SPOOR b 29 Jan 1749
ix. ISAAC DERICK SPOOR b 22
Sep 1752; d 15 Jul 1827, Sheffield, MA
married DIADAMIA SMITH b 1759; d 20 Aug 1846 Sheffield, MA
The Housatunnuk Indians' winter
quarters and hunting grounds during the late 1600's included the slopes of Mt. Everett.
Many found a spot in a little valley just west of Black Rock to build bark
dwellings and stone huts to store winter supplies. They hunted deer, wild
turkeys and other smaller mammals among a forest of largely deciduous trees.
They gathered nuts from the oak, chestnut, and hickory trees, bark from the
paper birch, and sap from the maple trees.
A small village called Tachanack,
located not far from Mt. Everett at present-day Copake, New York,
was obtained in 1685 by scurrilous means from two Indian chiefs, Nishotowan and Testamashatt.
Englishman Robert Livingston drove Indian refugees from Tachanack
and Mt. Washington village toward Black Rock.
The small Indian settlement in the valley just northwest of Berkshire School's
property continued to grow. In short time, Dutch settlers followed the Indians'
footsteps from Tachanack to the Housatonic River Valley.
They cut a road that followed the current Elbow Trail from Berkshire School to
the Appalachian Trail, extending northwest in a straight line to the old Patent
Farm located in the saddle of the mountain and descending north of Lake Undine.
The old road can be traced on USGS maps by following the elbow trail to the
Indian trail; however, the latter is no longer maintained and has blended into
One courageous Dutch settler, Johannes Spoor, acquired
land in the Housatonic
from the Indians and built log huts by what is now called Glen Brook as early
as 1691. He didn't stay long, returning to his homestead in Coxsackie, New York,
to continue his wheelwright and leather working trade. His cabin may have been
the first built in Berkshire
County. In 1724, the land of Sheffield was purchased from a man named
Konkapot and twenty other Indians for four hundred
and sixty pounds, three barrels of cider, and 30 quarts of rum. Captain John
Ashley and Captain Ebenezer Pomroy were sent by the
settling committee to survey and lay out lots of land. The town of Sheffield was incorporated on June 22, 1733.
Johannes' son Direck Spoor and
grandsons Nicholas, John, and Abraham returned to Glen Brook to build the
Decker House in 1762 and the Spurr farmhouse between
1762 and 1764. The Decker House is known today as Chase House and the Spurr farmhouse was razed in 1967. A number of chestnut
trees that once dominated forests along route 41 were felled for lumber.
Unfortunately, further expansion was delayed, as nine of the Spoor family were called to battle in the revolutionary war and Direck's son John and wife Christie were claimed by the
small pox epidemic in 1776.
It wasn't until the early 1800's that Direck's
family cleared the land and developed pastures that extended north and west up
the Mt. Everett watershed. They fenced the
pastures with stone walls and dug half-dozen wells. The original stone walls
are largely intact through much of the forested landscape that surrounds Berkshire School. The Spoors proceeded to set out
apple and pear orchards, grow their own wheat and rye, tap maple trees, and
burn charcoal to be hauled to iron furnaces in Salisbury. As late as 1825, the
Spoors were careful not to plow alone without muskets, afraid that embittered
Indians might return. The old Indian trail was still the chief means to get
supplies. One sole pear tree still remains on the southern border of the
school's property. A living witness to when the land was first sowed.
Ancestry.com. Spoor Family in America,
Pg 76, 77, 79
Descendants of Direck Spoor 1710-1780
The towns of Massachusetts,
in common with other New England States, usually possess complete vital
statistics dating back to early times. In tracing the present family, however,
we have been hampered by the fact that the town records of both Egremont and Mt Washington have been destroyed by fire;
these towns are near the border line of Columbia county, NY, where several
Spoors were among the early settlers. Sheffield records have furnished some
facts not included in family records, and those of
have given a few marriages. Much of the history has been derived from private
records in the possession of various members of the family, among which the old
Dutch bible in the possession of Mrs. Abner Roys (daughter of Jacob Spoor, no. 120), of Sheffield, is
most important as giving a nearly complete record of two generations from the
founder of this branch. As already noted, lands were purchased in Massachusetts
by Johannes Spoor (no.2), father of Direck Spoor, as
early as 1730, but the settlement in Sheffield apparently was not made until
1762. Before this and for a long time afterwards the members of the family were
baptized at the various Dutch churches in Columbia county, NY, so that the
records of Linlithgow and Groenebosch
(now Mt Ross) have supplemented this record materially, especially among female
lines. Some of the descendants of Direck Spoor still
reside in Sheffield and neighboring towns.
Among these the name was changed first to Spur and later to Spurr.
Other members of the family migrated to central and western New York toward the close of the eighteenth
century and later. These have retained the original spelling of the name and
their descendants have become widely scattered. Of the seventeen grandsons of Direck Spoor, the descendants of only eight have been fully
Direck Spoor was probably married at Catskill, NY, or at least lived
there at the time of the birth of his first child, Nicholas, who is recorded on
the list of baptisms 1 Sept 1734. He lived afterward at Copake and removed to Sheffield, Mass.,
1762. He was a farmer and settled on the Under Mountain road about three miles
west of the village of Sheffield and directly under Mount Everett
- the dome of the Taconics. He died 28 May 1780 ae 70; his wife, Christina, d. 12 Jun 1795 ae 83. They were long buried in a private cemetery near
their original home, but in May 1879, they were removed with others of the
family to the village cemetery at Sheffield,
where a monument was erected by some of their descendants. The movement
resulting in this removal originated with the sons of Moses Spur (no. 165) and
was largely carried out by them. The monument is a tall granite shaft and the
original headstones are placed in a circle about it. The graves of Direck Spoor and those of his brothers, Johannis,
at Coxsackie, and Abram, at Copake, are the oldest that have been found.
- Cornelius Spurr born 11 Feb 1786 in Sheffield, Mass., was the oldest
son of Isaac Derick Spoor (1752-1827) and grandson of
Derick Spoor (1710-1780). 1812 in Sheffield,
Mass., Cornelius married Rachel Newman born
1794 in Lenox, Mass.,
a daughter of Samuel and Eunice Newman of South Egremont. Cornelius and Rachel (Newman) Spurr were the parents of 10 children. Cornelius was a
farmer in Egremont, Lenox and Sheffield and in 1821
moved to a farm in Mount Washington where he
died in 1848. He and his wife Rachel were both buried in the Spoor plot in Sheffield, MA.
Their descendents continue to live in Mount Washington
into modern day (2007).
SPOOR/SPURR FAMILY TREE