On Februrary 8, 1690, the Iroquois and French attacked Schenectady in the dark of night. And the results were devastating. Burke, in his book, compares the Schenectady Massacre to other raids by the French and the Iroquois during the five year period from 1689 – 1704. During this time period, the Schenectady Massacre was by far the worst massacre in terms of fatalities (with 60 killed – the next highest was Deerfield, MA with 38 fatalities) with 27 hostages taken (and a number of people died in the cold, driven out in their bedclothes). To put things in perspective, over 50% of the community died.
Willem Abrahamse (Tietsoort),  a Schenectady settler, was severely wounded in the massacre, but fled with his family to Esopus (Kingston), where they had friends.
Willem and his wife, Neeltje Swart, had thirteen children, all of whom except Geertruy, Helena, Adrientjen, Marytje and Neeltjen were referenced in Willem's will (so may not have survived him). Of his children, Isaac, Helena, Adrientje, Marytje and Neeltjen would not have been born yet. Aaghe (Eytie), Elizabeth, Abraham, Sephanus, Jacob, Geertruy, Rebecca and Ariaantje would have been affected by the massacre.
Tragically, Willem and Neeltje's nine year old daughter, Gertruy, permanently lost the use of her legs due to exposure from the extreme cold during their escape, and never walked again (see petition of 1707 where Willem asks for help because of his daughter's permanent injury).
- Mohawk Frontier: The Dutch Community of Schenectady, New York, 1661-1710 (Excelsior Editions) This book is a good general resource on the Schenectady area and has genealogical tidbits here and there for the period 1661 – 1710
- Robert Livingston's comments and contemporary description of the massacre found in his personal journal (The Schenectady Massacre, Robert Livingston, 1690), available online [last accessed October 2010].
- History of the Schenectady Patent (based on Jonathan Pearson's book cited here and elsewhere in my blog), found online [last accessed January 2011]