William Teller

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William Teller, son of (…) Teller, was born on the Shetland Islands, Scotland, about 1619/20.1,2,3 He died at New York, New York Co., New York, in 1701.4

William married (1) Margaret Duncanson, daughter of James Duncanson and Helen Livingston, at Amsterdam, Holland, 6 February 1639;1,5 he married (2) Maria Varleth, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), at Brooklyn, Kings Co., New York, 4 May 1664.6,7

Their marriage record (translated) reads: the 22 January 1639 Willem Taillere from Hitlant [Shetland Islands] soldier aboard ship (soldaet te waeter), living on the Prinsengracht having no parents [present] & Margrieta Donckess from Sterlinge, living in the Suyckerbackersteegh age 20 years having no parents [present]. Married 6 February 1639 in the Oudekerk, Amsterdam.2

Remington makes note of the following:
The names of Willem Teller's second son and first daughter were Jacob (i.e. James) and Helena, corresponding exactly to the names of the parents of the Duncanson children christened at Alloa, and reflecting, perhaps strict adherence to traditional Scotish/Dutch naming patterns. If this is the case, then Willem Teller's parents were named Andries and Martjen. Unfortunately, the earliest parish register for the Shetlands dates from 1695. There are testaments dative (i.e. administrations) for Marion Graham, spouse to Andrew Tailzeor/Taylor of Stromness on 12 Sep 1629 and for Andrew Tailzeor/Taylor and his relict Margaret Sinclair of Stromness on 30 Aug 1630. Further research might show that these refer to the parents of Willem Teller

Adrian Burke later reported he did try researching the Teller line, but didn't find anything.8,9

In 1667, the Governor and council got involved with the distribution of a portion of his property to some of the children he had "by his former wife:"
Page 292.—An Act of Governor and Councell about Wm. Teller and his children. January 30, 1667.
It was then agreed upon by the Governor and Councell, Mr. Cornelis Van Ruyven and Mr. Johanis De Brugh being present, in the matter between Wm. Teller and the children he had by his former wife, as follows.

Wm. Teller shall within twenty days pay unto his daughter 85 Beavers for her portion, without pretence of debt due to him from her deceased husband; and to see that the said beavers are to be used only for her own use and her children by her husband, deceased. That for securing the portions allotted to the four younger children, two houses which said Wm. Teller hath in Albany; that is to say the house he dwelleth in, and the house where his son Andeas now liveth, shall be mortgaged to the Overseers of Orphans till satisfaction be given.

As to Wm. Teller's other two children, it being alleged that they are already agreed with. If so there is no further care to be taken. By order of the Governor.10

By 1683, William and his wife were members of the Reformed Dutch Church at Albany.11

William left a will dated 19 March 1698, and proved 23 May 1701:
WM. TELLER, SR., New York. "Merchant." This 19th day of March, 1698.
Leaves to his eldest son Andrew, £500, in consideration of his birthright or primogeniture.
To son William, 20 merchantable beavers at 12 shillings each.
To Anna Margartie, the daughter of my son Jacob, deceased, 20 shillings, and no more, "for good and sufficient reasons I have for soe doing."
To daughter-in-law Susanah Brockholst and to my daughter Janake Schuyler, of their mother's portion, the quantity of 85 beavers at 12 shillings each.
Leaves to children Andrew, Helena Rumbout, the two children of my daughter Mary Van Allen, deceased, Elizabeth Vander Pool, William, John and Janake Schyler, all the wrought silver which my present wife found at the time of her marriage.
Legacies are to be paid after the death of his wife Mary, and the rest of estate to be divided among the persons above named. Mentions former conveyance of a piece of laud in New York, to his son Caspar, which he repudiates, and any of his children claiming under it, are to be cut off from inheritance.
Makes son Andrew executor.
Witnesses, Johnes Kip, Peter Rychman, Johanes Kierstede.12

Family 1

Margaret Duncanson b. 17 Mar 1618, d. bt 1659 - Apr 1664
  • Andries Teller13,14 b. 1642, d. bef. 3 Sep 1702
  • Helena Teller13,14 b. 1645, d. bt 1706 - 1707
  • Maria Teller13,15 b. 1648
  • Elizabeth Teller+13,15 b. 1652, d. bef. 29 Apr 1720
  • Jacob Teller13,15 b. 1655, d. bt 1696 - 1697
  • Willem Teller13 b. 1657, d. 1710
  • Johannes Teller13 b. 1659, d. abt. 1725

Family 2

Maria Varleth d. 1702
  • Casparus Teller13 b. 1665, d. 1694
  • Janneke Teller13 b. 1666, d. 1700
This person was last edited on13 Mar 2023


  1. [S1969] Adrian Benjamin Burke, "The Livingston Ancestry of the Duncanson Sisters of New Netherland: Pt I of III: Identifying their mother Helen Livingston," The Genealogist 27 (Spring 2013): 28-50, at 50, further cited as Burke, "The Livingston Ancestry, Part I."
  2. [S1760] Gordon L. Remington, "The Duncanson Wives of Four New Netherland Settlers: Glen, Teller, Powell, and Loockermans," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 128 (1997): 1-10, at 5, further cited as Remington, "Duncanson Wives of Four New Netherland Settlers."
  3. [S952] Lillis Teller Van Antwerp and Katherine Van Antwerp Venable, Teller and Related Families (1936; reprint, New York: Jonathan C. Teller, 1990), 4, further cited as Van Antwerp and Venable, Teller Families.
  4. [S952] Van Antwerp and Venable, Teller Families, 29.
  5. [S952] Van Antwerp and Venable, Teller Families, 5.
  6. [S952] Van Antwerp and Venable, Teller Families, 14.
  7. [S2047] Edwin R. Purple, "Contributions to the History of the Ancient Families of New York," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 9 (Oct 1878): 153+, at 153, further cited as Purple, "Teller."
  8. [S1760] Remington, "Duncanson Wives of Four New Netherland Settlers," 5n12&15.
  9. [S2119] Adrian Burke, "Duncanson Descents," e-mail message to Greg Cooke (West Jordan, UT), 14 Jul 2017. Hereinafter cited as "Duncanson Descents."
  10. [S1590] William S. Pelletreau, editor, Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogates Office, City of New York, 1665-1801 (17 vols., New York: New-York Historical Society, 1892-1908), 1:79, further cited as Pelletreau, New York Will Abstracts.
  11. [S2632] Louis Duermyer, Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany, New York 1683–1809: Marriages, Baptisms, Members, Etc. Excerpted from Year Books of The Holland Society of New York (1904–1927; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 2003), 1:21, further cited as Duermyer, Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany.
  12. [S1590] Pelletreau, New York Will Abstracts, 1:102-3 (liber 1-2:374).
  13. [S952] Van Antwerp and Venable, Teller Families, 30.
  14. [S2047] Purple, "Teller," 154.
  15. [S2047] Purple, "Teller," 157.