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March 2001


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AW & LE Hendrix <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 2 Mar 2001 18:48:45 -0500
text/plain (49 lines)
Ruth may be on to something. My German dictionary lists Baumeister as
meaning "architect" or "master builder." Bau itself means building, edifice
or structure. I'm not that familiar with the language, particularly of that
period, but German often combines several words into one, as in this case,
and I don't know if it is/was common to abbreviate with the initials of the
elemental words. I checked the dictionary's list of German abbreviations,
incidentally, and BM is not there.

I believe the church, was High Dutch (German). The Low Dutch (Hollander
Dutch) was/is at Middleburgh, five or so miles down the road.

The stones with the names are not in the foundation; some are quite high up.
It is purported that Jacob Bartholomew, whose name is among those carved,
was the stone mason. The name of John Eckersons, who gave the land, is
followed by "favour of the ground". Only two names are followed by BM,
Willwm Dietz and Peter Shneider. Johan Schuyler's name is followed by V.D.M.
(with periods). Dietz's BM has a period after M but not after B while
Shneider's has periods after both, in the list I have.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ruth Piwonka" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 8:13 PM
Subject: Re: Meaning of BM after an early settler's name

> Harold --
> This might work for you.  There is a Dutch word *bouwmeester*, that
> means 'architect' and/ or 'surveyor' (see Sewall's Dutch-English
> Dictionary, various editions between c1700-1750).   In this same
> dictionary, *bouw* is given for 'building' -- and of course *meester*
> is 'master'.
> I do not know what this would be in German -- but the languages were
> close.
> If this is the meaning of BM, it suggests that the men who had this
> after their names were the designers / architects of the building.
> Perhaps that was their only role (though they may had a hand in or
> directed the construction, etc.), while the other names were the names
> of the men who built it.
> Ruth Piwonka
> Kinderhook