Swart Tavern

Swart Tavern
Circa: mid 1800s
Artist: Unknown

Last week I was given the task of researching the Swart Tavern painting that had just been hung in the hallway of the second floor. I was excited to start, especially after my relatively easy breakthrough on researching the Veeder Family Homestead. Initially I was told that the painting was called the Swart Tavern and that it had existed along the old Mohawk Turnpike. Other than that little was known.
I initially decided to find the genealogy of the Swart family and see if they had been living in Schenectady County. I found A Partial Genealogies of Schenectady Families by Neil Reynolds. In this record were listed; Tunis Cornelius Swart and his wife Elizabeth Van de Linde of Holland. Tunis filed a petition for land with the West India Co. in 1663. He received a land grant for property in Schenectady in 1667 and he and his family had settled there. Tunis and Elizabeth had three sons: Cornelis, Adam, and Esaias. Of these sons only Esaias stayed in Schenectady. After this the record gets very confusing.

Adam Swarth

Next I decided to look at the 1790 census records. I found several Swart family members but gleaned not much new information. I decided to do a base search of Swart Tavern on Google. At the top of the list was a website for the Mohawk Valley Library Association. It is an interesting website that is designed for children to learn about their local history. They list the Tavern to be built by Josias Swart in 1792. This sparked my interest and I found that there was a Josias Swart in the area around that time. But I was not completely comfortable with this information. It had no reference list and I could not confirm that Josias had owned the property. I then found a reference to a Nicholas Swart building a brick home on his families homestead in 1792. (Carpenter)
Today I was able to find a Building-Structure Inventory Form created in 1976. It listed Swart Taverns location to be Amsterdam Rd. Scotia, N.Y. 12302. The Taverns main building still stands and can be found on Rt. 5 near Lock 9 of the Erie Canal. This inventory form listed the building to have been constructed by Nicholas Swart around 1792. Interestingly Nicholas family consisted of two males over 16, two males under 16, five females, and one slave. Since the Taverns initial construction many of the other buildings seen in the painting have been torn down, but their foundations can still be found on the property.

Reynolds, Neil B. A Partial Genealogies of Schenectady Families. 1956.

Purtell, Megan. http://www.mvls.info/ispy/scotia/sco_site03.html

E. Z. Carpenter’s Notes on 19th Century Glenville Families

Karis, Adrienne. Building Structure Inventory Form: Swart Tavern. 1976

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