Robert Gilbert Livingston (1712-1789) Biography

Duchess County Doorways

In the War of the Revolution the men of the Livingston family of New York, numerous and influential, were nearly all identified with the Whig cause. One of the few exceptions was Robert Gilbert Livingston, a son of Gilbert and Cornelia (Beekman) Livingston of Kingston, who early in life became a resident of NYC. As a merchant there he amassed a fortune, had a handsome home in the city and owned real estate on Long Island, while from his mother he inherited a large acreage in Dutchess County that she had received from her father, Henry Beekman.

When the Americans lost NYC Robert G. Livingston retired to Dutchess County and endeavored to steer a neutral course. But his success was a qualified one for the British seized his property in NY and on Long Island and his personal intercourse with his Whig relatives up the Hudson must inevitably have been embarrassed by his failure to give active support to their side of the controversy. In 1781 he moved from Dutchess to the village of Sharon, CT. After the evaculation of NYC he returned there, suffered a long illness with gout, and dying at the age of seventy-six was buried in the family-vault in the Dutch burying ground.


Abstracts of Wills, Vol XIV, 1786-1796
Page 256.--ROBERT GILBERT LIVINGSTON, of New York, to my wife Catharine, all my household furniture, books, plate, horses, carriages, slaves, stock, and farming utensils of every kind; Also an annuity of 600 during her natural life in quarterly payments by Aaron Burr, of New York City; my executors to sell the following houses, farms, and lots so as to raise money to pay the above annuity, also my debts and funeral charges: The farm which I bought of Michael Hopkins, where Josiah Ingersoll lived; the two houses and lots in Brooklyn, Long Island, which I bought of Christopher Codwise; Also all my lands in Ulster County and three-and-a-half Townships in the tract known as Jessup's Purchase; Also my farm at little Hempstead; Also my house and lot in Queens Street, New York City, now in possession of Samuel Corp as my tenant, adjoining the lot I bought of John Van Zandt; Also the lot I bought of the heirs of Abraham Ketteltas, deceased; Also the house and lot in Water Street, No. 28, New York City, now in possession of George Pollock as my tenant; Also two lots I have in Nicholas Bayard's pasture in the out ward of this City; Also two farms on land in Schuyler's patent near Cherry Valley, each containing five hundred acres; after the death of my wife, the principal sum, which shall be so vested for the payment of the annuity to her, to be divided as follows among my said children and the children of my daughter Helena, deceased: One-fifth part to each of my children, Robert Gilbert Livingston, Jr., Henry, Gilbert Livingston, and Catharine Reade, and the remaining to the above-mentioned grandchildren; to my eldest son, Robert, all my third part of a tract of land in Dutchess County, called Rhinebeck, lot numbers Three and Four; Also nine-and-a-half farms described in a deed of partition between Colonel Henry Beekman, Albert Pawling, and Catharine, his wife, and Gilbert Livingston, and Cornelia, his wife, dated at Kingston, August 20, 1737; Also three hundred and eighty acres which are to be conveyed to me by the award of Abraham Lott and Samuel Jones, dated December 30, 1769, which number of acres are to be taken out of lot No. 5, formerly belonging to John Rutzen; Also the one equal fifth part of all the residue of my real estate; to my son Henry, one other fifth part of the residue of my estate; another fifth part to my son Gilbert; one-fifth part to my daughter, Catharine Reade; the remaining fifth part to my brother-in-law, Peter Stuyvesant, and Aaron Burr, in trust for my children until they reach legal age or marry. If they die before reaching lawful age and without legal issue, the share or shares to revert to the estate. I appoint my three sons, Robert Gilbert, Jr., Henry and Gilbert Livingston, executors. Dated August 20, 1789. Witnesses, Nicholas Romine, Samuel Hallett, yeomen; Peter Macgowan, writing clerk. Proved, September 4, 1789.

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