Henry's parents stayed in Kingston, where Gilbert was active in the Dutch Reformed Church, and was County Clerk,
himself, of Ulster County. He had originally been intended for the church, and had studied with Rev. Solomon
Stoddard in Connecticut, but he had decided the church was not for him and had returned home, where his father,
Robert Livingston, trained him in surveying, a useful talent for land speculation.
Cornelia, Henry's mother, was the daughter of a major landowner, Colonel Hendrick Beekman,
and the family would have been comfortably off except for some financial reverses that caused some of Cornelia's
inheritance to be spent for their debts. Gilbert's father had been a collector of taxes, a position that required you
to give to the crown the requested amount of money, then recover that from the population. For Robert, it had worked
out well. Gilbert, unfortunately, took on that position during an economic downturn, and the amount he had to pay
was not recovered by what he took in. They were lucky to have Cornelia's property to be able to cover their shortfall.
The upshot was that Gilbert did not succeed in the eyes of his parents, and so the amount he would have been
expected to inherit was reduced and redistributed among the other children. It was probably because of that fact
that Gilbert's will carefully divided his estate equally among all the children. They might not have received
a great monetary estate, but they did receive a family bonded in love, with little of the jealousy that uneven
divisions can cause.