He was educated chiefly by his father and became schoolteacher and tutor. In 1634, he married Agnietje Moens/Moriaens - a governess. The marriage produced several children. These educators opened and ran a small school for twelve years. Sometime later, he began to study for the ministry. In May 1652, he was ordained in the Dutch Reformed Church. In that year, he accepted a call to replace Johannes Megapolensis in the church serving Rensselaerswyck and Beverwyck. His first wife probabaly remained in Holland. Domine Schaets landed in New Netherland in July with two sons and a daughter. His wife, Agnietie, is said to have died in 1666.
He moved his family into a house in Beverwyck provided by Governor Stuyvesant and successfully served several terms as minister in Albany. The new church was built in Albany under his auspices. He also acted as a missionary to the Indians and, from time to time, supplied Schenectady and Kingston as well.
In 1683, he was joined by a much younger Domine Dellius although he continued to preach until his death. In 1683, he married the widow Barentie Hendricks. He would then have been 76 years old and was said to be "very feeble!" However, his second wife died. Her will of 1688 bequeathed her house to Schaets.
Domine Gideon Schaets died in 1691 after eighty-four years of life that spanned almost the entire seventeenth century.
Sources: The life of Gideon Schaets is CAP biography number 2211. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Useful genealogical material appears online. The chief narrative resource on his life is a chapter in Robert Alexander's Albany's First Church, pp. 31-60. The Domine does not appear to have been related to the Albany Staats family!
first posted: 3/5/05