EARLY GATTERs OF THE AMERICAN EAST COAST
Gatters as early Settlers in New York and Boston
As remarked in Part Two, the Gatters of the New York/Boston line and those of the Philadelphia family share the same genetic "fingerprint" (with a slight mutation), which suggests that they are of common origin.
The New York appears in 1797 with the birth of John Gatter, son of Samuel Gatter. Samuel Gatter who is born around 1774-1780) is listed in the US Federal Census of 1800 in New York City. He married Deborah Garrison of Tarrytown on the Hudson River. Tarrytown is located in Westchester County between Irvington and Sleepy Hollow.
The Garrisons family, pioneers of the East, were founders of Garrison Landing , New York. The town is located on the Hudson River across from West Point and is called "Garrison-on-Hudson" today. The site played important roles in the early history of New York colony and the American Revolution and was an important ferry crossing until construction of the Bear Mountain Bridge.
The Garrisons were well established in the area at the time, as we learn in the 1790 US Census, where 11 Garrison families are listed in Westchester County. One of the descendant of this family was Abraham Garrison, member of New York state assembly from 1780-82.
We do not know how Samuel Gatter and Deborah Garrison met. Whether the New York Gatter family had settled in Westchester County, or whether Samuel met Deborah, when on business up in the Hudson Valley. Quite possibly they could have also met in New York, as the Garrison family seemed to have connections there.
The origins of the New York Gatters remain in the dark. The book "Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley" (edited by Cuyler Reynolds and published in New York by the Lewis Historical Publishing Company in 1914) contains two pages on the New York Gatters and suggests that they were of French origin and that the name may originally have been Gatier.
In the 1800 Census we find Samual Gatter living in New York. His household consists of 6 free white persons (3 males and 3 females). He posesses no slaves. If we interpret the little date we have. We come to the conclusion that both he and his wife are in the age group between 16 and 26 years of age. This mens he was probably born between 1774 and 1780. The couple gas two children below 10 years of age (one boy, one girl). In the household lives another male of 16-26 years of age (maybe a brother or a lodger), and female above 45 yers of age (mother, mother in law?).
The son below 10 years of age listed in the census is quite
certainly John Gatter born 1797 in New York City.
By 1810 we find Samuel Gatter living in Boston. The household has now shrunk to 3 persons. Samuel Gatter in the age-group 26-45 years (comparing with the agegroups of the 1800 census he cannot be older that 36), another female between 26-45 (his wife?... she was said to have died young), and a child below 10 years of age.
Samuel Gatter is listed in the Boston Directories for the years 1805 to 1809. He runs a boarding house on Ship Street, quite possibly a well going business, since Boston is at the time one of the major ports on the East Coast.
He is said to have died in a hotel fire in Boston. Was it his own boarding house that burned down?
Samuel's son John Gatter seems to have remained in New York. He was born on John Street in downtown Manhatten, just a few blocks from Wall Street. He became a black smith by trade and married in the Dutch reformed church.
His descendants live today spread between New York and California. On of his descendants (his grandson) was the well know New York Jeweller and Diamond Dealer Robert S. Gatter (1865-1940). Below a picture of his catalogue of 1900:
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Click here for Part Two
Gatter Archive 2000-2008