Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Chapter 63 - Our Hallock Ancestry

Suffolk County, England
While there are no historical records that can be found, it is generally believed that our first Hallock ancestor to immigrate to the "New World" was a man named Peter Hallock (abt 1585- abt 1640), my 11th great grandfather. Peter is believed to have married my 11th great grandmother, Elizabeth Youngs (or Yonges) (Abt 1589-Abt 1616) in Suffolk County, England around the year 1610. While the exact number of children born to Peter and Elizabeth is unclear, what is believed is that only two of their children survived before Elizabeth's early death in 1616, their son William Hallock (1615-1684), my 10th great grandfather, and his younger sister Elizabeth Hallock (1616-?). My great grandmother Elizabeth is reported to have died rather tragically along with her brother and 20 others when they drowned following a boating accident off the eastern coast of England near the town of Southwold in Suffolk County. Unfortunately we have been unable to confirm for certain that Elizabeth Youngs was actually the wife of Peter Hallock, and that the date of her death was in 1616. Elizabeth's father is believed to have been the Rev. Christopher Yonges (1575-1626) whose records show that he had a daughter named Elizabeth who drowned. Strangely perhaps, her name is listed in the drowning records as Elizabeth Yonges and not Elizabeth Hallock which certainly might suggest that this Elizabeth was not married at the time of her downing.  Another negative is that when Christopher Yonges died in 1626, his will mentions only two of his grandsons but does not mention his supposed grandson William Hallock who would have been around 11 years old at the time of his alleged grandfather's death. One final problem that we encountered was that some records indicated that Elizabeth was born in either the late 1590s or possibly as late as 1602. Both dates of course would suggest that she was unlikely the mother of William Hallock who was definitely born in 1615.  While it is not clear whether or not Peter Hallock and Elizabeth Yonges were husband and wife, it is clear that Peter Hallock lived in the same area as the Yonges family and that he was a friend of Elizabeth's brother, the Rev. John Yonges/Youngs (1598-1672). We will explain this in the subsequent paragraphs.

Mary Anne to America in 1637
Peter Hallock remarried sometime after 1632 a woman whose maiden name is believed to have been Margaret Jane Forsone (1603-abt 1660). Margaret had lost her first husband, John Howell, in 1632 but not before she had given birth to a son, Richard Howell, and a daughter, Margaret Howell, both of whom were quite young when they went to live with their new "father". It also appears that Peter Hallock may have remained good friends with his former brother-in-law, his first wife's brother, the Rev. John Yonges or Youngs, since they both moved to Hingham in Norfolk County, England shortly following John Youngs being denied the right to immigrate to America in the year 1634 apparently because he was a Puritan minister. As we have mentioned many times in previous chapters in this blog, Puritans during this period of English history were the "enemies" of both the Church of England and the English crown and hence many fled from the civil and religious oppressions that they faced in England. Both Peter Hallock and the Rev John Youngs were both very zealous Puritans and apparently Hingham was populated largely by members of the Puritan faith. It was here in Hingham, at least for a short period, that the Rev John Youngs was the minister of the local Presbyterian Church. The record of the Rev John Youngs' emigration to America along with his family seems to be well documented as they departed on the ship Mary Anne in 1637 and upon arriving in America they settled for a short period in Salem, Massachusetts and then soon moved to New Haven, Connecticut where John again served as a minister. Unfortunately, there are no records that show that Peter Hallock accompanied his former brother-in-law on the Mary Anne although this would seem to make sense. Another very confusing and perhaps controversial issue, is that many documents describing the life of Peter Hallock write that he apparently left his wife and his children and step-children back in England when he first departed for America and then he later returned to England and brought them all back to America. We really doubt that this was the case but then who knows and there are no clear records of his behavior one way or the other.

Connecticut controlled much of Long Island
 including Southold in early years.
One thing that is known is that in October of 1640, the Rev John Youngs along with twelve other men and their families including our Peter Hallock, left their homes in New Haven, sailed across the Long Island Sound and soon landed at the far eastern end of Long Island and then founded the town of Southold. Southold is now acknowledged as the first permanent English settlement on Long Island and in the future State of New York. The Dutch of course were the original settlers, settling in New Amsterdam at the western end of Long Island. What we find truly fascinating is that of these original thirteen settlers of Southold, seven of them including both Peter Hallock and the Rev John Youngs are my great grandfathers. In a subsequent listing of the early Southold settlers named in a history book describing the founding of Southold written back in 1902, of the 51 founders' names listed in the book, 16 of them are my great grandfathers including of course both John Youngs and Peter Hallock. Considering the rather small number of original settlers in Southold, Long Island, it should not be that surprising that so many of them were my ancestors as obviously sons and daughters would marry their neighbors' sons or daughters and hence in a rather small community soon many families would be related.  That said, it should also not be surprising to learn that Peter Hallock's only son William Hallock, my 10th great grandfather married his step-sister and the daughter of his father's second wife, Margaret Howell (1622-1707), my 10th great grandmother. The exact date of their marriage is not known although most sources agree that it occurred shortly after their arrival in America. The exact date of Peter Hallock's death is also not known for certain although it is believed to have possibly been as early as 1660 or maybe as late as 1689 which although unlikely would have made him over one hundred years old.  Obviously we do not know a great deal of real facts about the life of my 11th great grandfather, Peter Hallock. 

Peter's son William Hallock and his wife Margaret Howell Hallock lived the rest of their lives in the Southold area or more accurately in an area just west of Southold now known as Mattituck. Unfortunately we really know very little about their lives other than William must have been a successful farmer and a fairly wealthy man as he apparently owned a large amount of land based both on his tax records and on the quantity of land that he left to his sons in his final will. Some of the land of course, he would have inherited from his father or was granted to him by his father during his father's life. William and Margaret had four sons and five daughters together before William's death in 1784. Their fourth child and second son, Thomas Hallock (1660-1718), is my 9th great grandfather. The Hallock family lived during an interesting period of history on Long Island during the 17th century. Following the settlement of Southold in 1640, the eastern half of Long Island started a rapid population growth by English settlers as compared to a much slower growth of the Dutch settlement at the western end of the island. The Dutch on the other hand and despite the English population growth had always maintained that they controlled all of Long Island. In 1664 however, the English military attacked and took control of New Amsterdam. It undoubtedly must have come as a quite a surprise to all of the English settlers on the island including our Hallock family, when the British government was then forced to yield control of the entire island back to the Dutch in 1673 following a successful Dutch counter military attack. When the eastern English towns including Southold refused to yield any control of their area to the Dutch, the Dutch military warships attacked the village of Southold. The English colonists however, fought back and ultimately forced the Dutch to back off. Then in the following year 1674, all of Long Island once again was brought under British control following stronger British counter attacks. Whether or not any of our Hallock ancestors took part in any military action is unknown but it would seem highly unlikely based on William's older age and his sons younger ages. It is probably a safe assumption however, to believe that at least a few of my many ancestors who lived in Southold during this time period would have at least helped to fire a canon or a British shotgun at the Dutch ships trying to take control of their city. Great speculation. My great grandfather William died around the age of 64 on 28 September 1684. His wife and my great grandmother Margaret out lived her husband by many years finally dying on 9th day of May in the year 1707. Exactly where they are buried is a mystery.

Their son and my 9th great grandfather, Thomas Hallock, married my 9th great grandmother, Hope Comstock (1660-1732) in 1680 most likely in the local Presbyterian Church in Southold with dozens of their family members present.  On the other hand, Hope's parents and her brothers and sisters were all born and raised in New London, Connecticut as was Hope, so at first we were a little confused as to how she ended up meeting and later marrying a young man from Southold over on Long Island. We soon discovered however, that Hope's older sister, Mary Comstock, had recently married a man named Samuel Youngs, a descendant of the Youngs family over in Southold, and we quickly concluded that Hope may very well have met her future husband Thomas Hallock while either attending her sister's wedding or visiting her sister later in Southold.

Like so many of the families during this time period in history, Thomas and Hope Comstock Hallock had a large number of children and by some records as many as nine or ten including my 8th great grandfather, Zerubabel Hallock (1696-1761). Unfortunately however, we know little to nothing about the life of Thomas and Hope. He was undoubtedly like so many others in his community, a farmer or possibly even a fisherman which was a very common industry during this period of Southold history. He was also a likely strong Puritan and deeply religious. We also could not help but enjoy a hopefully accurate historical record noting that when Thomas was granted money in the death will of his wife's father, Daniel Comstock (1630-1683), my 10th great grandfather, he turned down the money and asked that it be given to his mother-in-law, Palthiah Elderkin Comstock (1630-1712), my 10th great grandmother. If this is an accurate fact, Thomas Hallock and obviously his wife Hope, were truly wonderful people.

Hallock State Park Preserve
Zerubabel Hallock was around 22 years old when his father died in March of 1718 and less than a year later in January of 1719 he married Esther Osman (1695-1773), my 8th great grandmother. One of the interesting things about my great grandmother Esther Osman was that her great grandfather on her mother's side, a man named Matthias Corwin (1590-1658), also my 11th great grandfather, was also one of the original settlers in Southold joining many other of my ancestors as we previously mentioned. Zerubabel and Esther were to have around ten children during their married lives including their oldest son, Zerubabel Hallock (Jr) (1722-1800), my 7th great grandfather. In the final will of Zerubabel Jr's father written on 3 March 1761, he writes in part "I leave to my wife Esther the improvement of my now dwelling house for life , to improve as she sees fit and 1/4 of the grain raised on my land, and all the provisions, and 3 cows, a riding chair, and a horse, and all household goods (except a feather bed), and a negro slave and . . . " We were naturally quite surprised to learn that he owned a "negro slave" but that fact alone would suggest that he had wealth. We also learned during our research of our Hallock family that they lived and owned a large amount of land in Mattituck that as we mentioned earlier was just west of Southold. Zerubabel had inherited land from his parents and grandparents and later he had willed land to his sons and grandsons. What was truly remarkable to learn as a Hallock ancestor was that some of the land once owned by the Hallock family is today part of a large public park named the Hallock State Park Preserve that consists of 225 acres sitting on the Long Island Sound and located just a few miles west of the present day city of Mattituck. We wonder how many visitors of this state park know anything about the history of our Hallock ancestors?  Another interesting thing to learn was that Zerubabel Hallock's grandfather, William Hallock, had a home built on what today is named Hallock Lane which sits along the eastern border of the Hallock State Park Preserve. We could not help but be very jealous when we discovered that today one of the homes currently for sale on our great grandfather's former property on Hallock Lane is for sale for just under $5 million dollars. Anyway, William's oldest son Thomas, inherited his father's home as did Zerubabel Hallock when his father Thomas died. Then unbelievably, Zerubabel Hallock Jr. also lived on Hallock Lane through most of his life.  My 8th great grandparents Zerubabel and Esther Hallock are both buried in the Old Bethany Cemetery in Mattituck.

Zerubabel Hallock Jr married my 7th great grandmother, Elizabeth Swezey (1722-1806) in December of 1743. She, like so many others in the Southold/Mattituck area, was a descendant of many of the earliest settlers of Southold. Her great, great grandfather (and my 11th great grandfather), John Swezey (1595-1686) while not one of the original settlers of Southold in 1640, he did arrive shortly thereafter. Another of Elizabeth's many great grandfathers was the original founder of Southold, the Rev. John Youngs who though a different line in my family tree is my 10th great grandfather. Like we said earlier in this story, many of the children and then their children, married and thus many of the descendants of the early settlers of this area of Long Island are related to multiple families of the earliest settlers. Zerubabel Hallock lived during an important period in our American history, the Revolution War. While the beginning battles of the Revolutionary War began in the Boston and the Massachusetts Bay area, nevertheless in 1775 numerous men in the Suffolk County area including many members of the Hallock family, signed a petition called the "Form of Association" which basically was a pledge of support to the new Continental Congress. In the following year they all formed a regiment of minute men and our Zerubabel Hallock was listed as a sergeant. Unfortunately in August of 1776, General George Washington who led the American forces, was defeated by the British at the Battle of Long Island (in Brooklyn) and thus the British maintained control over Long island for the remainder of the war. Whether our grandfather Zerubabel Hallock ever engaged in any of the battles is unknown and it is also unlikely, but to his benefit following the war he was granted the title of Captain Hallock. During the war he remained at his home in Mattituck and he and his family apparently managed to coexist with the British occupation and generally kept his mouth shut one way or the other. Many of his friends on the other hand had left Long Island and joined forces with the American army in Connecticut. Following the war with many of the patriot families having left the Long Island area, Zerubabel Hallock was able to buy up much of the abandoned farmland in the area thus dramatically increasing his wealth and land holdings. It probably would not be a good idea to try and use Zerubabel Hallock as your Revolutionary War soldier ancestor as your means of joining either the Sons or Daughters of the American Revolution. Well, at least it is not wrong to call him Captain Zerubabel Hallock and in his defense we might note that near the beginning of the war in 1775 he was 53 years old which is a little old to be engaged in a battle and around 10 years older than their leader, General George Washington (1732-1799).

Zerubabel and Elizabeth Swezey Hallock  had as many as twelve children including their 4th son and my 6th great grandfather, John Hallock (1751-1842). All of their children were born before the start of the Revolutionary War. We did not do a lot of research on his male children although we have to believe that most of them were soldiers during the Revolution. We also believe that my grandfather John Hallock spent about twenty-two months in the military in years 1776 through 1778 although somewhat strangely, an application for a membership to the Sons of the American Revolution listing his name as the ancestral soldier was turned down apparently for lack of evidence as to his service. Unfortunately we were unable to locate a copy of the will prepared by his father Zerubabel Hallock but we have to believe that he left to his wife and children a great deal of land, goods, and money.

Minisink was at western end of Orange County
John Hallock married my 6th great grandmother, Mehitable Aldrich (1752-1828) around the year 1775 which makes us wonder why he would have spent two or three years away from his wife fighting in the American Revolution. We did note however, that their first child was born around 1776 shortly after their marriage but their second child was not born until the year 1779, a fact that clearly suggests he may have been away from his wife serving as a soldier. In Chapter 22 of this blog titled "My Revolutionary War Ancestors Part 2", the individual in this chapter described as Patriot #32 is our John Hallock. If you are interested in reading about John Haddock's service during the war this chapter is a fairly detailed outline. A short summary of his service during this period is as follows. When the British landed at the west end of Long Island, John and the other men in his local militia marched westward to join with George Washington's forces. As the total American troops were greatly outnumbered by the British forces they soon retreated following the Battle of Long Island which took place on 27 August 1776. Subsequently many of the militia troops were then disbanded including John's militia.  He then returned home to his wife and recently born child and they rapidly left their home in Mattituck and leaving almost everything behind, they moved to Blooming Grove in Orange County located about  60 miles north of New York City and by land around 135 miles from Mattituck. John Hallock was shortly thereafter drafted into the Orange County militia where he served for the next several years although fortunately for my great grandfather his militia was focused more on constructing fortresses along the Hudson River than they were in engaging in any major battles against the British. Sometime near the end of the war, John and Mehitable Haddock moved and settled in the town of Minisink in Orange County where they remained for the rest of their lives. While the exact number of children born to John and Mehitable is not known for certain, most informed sources list a total of four children only, which seems to be confirmed by John Hallock's last will and testament written on 28 December 1838. The birth year of their daughter Sarah "Sally" Hallock (? - 1844), my 5th great grandmother, is usually listed as sometime between 1785 and 1790 although with Sarah's first child being born in 1799, even a birth year as early as 1785 would seem unlikely.

The Old Hallock Family Cemetery
Orange County, New York
It is not clear what John Hallock did for a living following the war although most likely he was a farmer. Also as he is often referred to in some of the historical writings as the "Deacon" John Hallock, he obviously was deeply involved with his local church. My great grandmother Mehitable Aldrich Hallock died in the year 1828 at the age of around 72. Her husband John lived to the remarkably old age of 91 years old, finally dying in the year 1842. They are both buried in the very old Hallock Family Cemetery located near the town of Ridgebury in Orange County, New York.

Sarah "Sally" Hallock married my 5th great grandfather, Joseph Smith (Abt. 1778 - 1846) around the year 1799 or 1800 and they are recorded as having ten children including my 4th great grandmother, Maria Smith (1804-1897). One of the most interesting things about this ancestral family is that Joseph and Sarah moved along with most of their children to Elmira in Chemung County, New York in the year 1834. Why this is most interesting is that my father, Charles Asbury Baker (1916-2000) was born in Elmira which means that this side of my family lived in Elmira for at least six generations.  My family tree from this generation down is as follows:

5th Great Grandparents:  Joseph Smith  m  Sarah Hallock
4th Great Grandparents:  Maria Smith   m  Henry Wisner 
                                      (1804-1897)        (1801-1862)
3rd Great Grandparents:  Clara Wisner  m  Henry Spaulding
                                      (1822-1906)       (1812-1902)
2nd Great Grandparents: Charles Spaulding  m  Mary Catherine Sly
                                      (1841-1875)              (1844-1917)
Great Grandparents:        Henry Spaulding  m  Elia Reynolds
                                       (1863-1889)           (1963-1935)
Grandparents:                 Helen Spaulding  m  Charles S. Baker
                                       (1887-1937)               (1885-1952
Parents:                          Charles A Baker  m  Marian Patterson
                                       (1916-2000)              (1916-1973)
Living Generation:            Charles A. Baker Jr.
                                       Anne Baker Fanton
                                       Joan Patterson Baker

And so ends another story. . . . .



Thursday, July 26, 2018

Chapter 62 - My German Ancestry in Nova Scotia

Eliza West and her granddaughter
One of the things that always has confused me about the results of my DNA test is that it shows that my ancestry is 63% Western European, but only 24% Irish, Scottish, or Welch, and but a mire 11% British. Yet when we review all of the chapters in this family history blog it would seem that our ancestry is largely British other than perhaps my Ferree and Rappleye French ancestry, and my Bogaert, Schenck and a few other Dutch ancestors. It just does not seem like it should add up to 63% Western European. Anyway, we figured that we had better do some more research.

One of the things that we discovered as we again reviewed our family tree was that we had never uncovered the ancestry of our 2nd great grandmother on my mother's side of our family, a woman by the name of Eliza West (abt 1831-1912), who is pictured in the photograph above along with her cute granddaughter Irene Stevenson, who is my late 1st cousin, 2x removed. The photograph was taken around 1902. Eliza West was the grandmother of my mother's father, Douglas Ross Patterson (1888-1979) who was born in Nova Scotia, Canada as were all of his parents and grandparents including Eliza West. Our Patterson ancestry is described in Chapter 5 of this blog and while Eliza West is briefly mentioned in the story no details about her life are described. For some reason over the many years that we have built our family tree on, we never focused on Eliza West's ancestry in part because we believed that little has been uncovered about her ancestors and hence we made little effort to do any research. Unfortunately this is still true to some degree although we have finally uncovered the names and origins of many of her ancestors and we believe that their story is worth telling. One of the reasons that it is worth telling is that most of her ancestors were born in "Western Europe", or as we noted in the title of this chapter, they were born in Germany.

There is a lot of confusion about the birth year of my great grandmother Eliza West. While her name and birthyear appear in at least four different Canadian census records from 1871 to 1901, the birth dates vary somewhat especially in the year 1871 which places her birth year as 1825. The other records however, suggest that she was born later around 1831. If the year 1831 is accurate as her birth year, then she was only around 17 years old when she married her then 42 year old husband and my 2nd great grandfather, Thomas Savage (1806-1876) around the year 1848. Who knows but perhaps our Eliza was lying to her husband and the census taker about her age when she was younger. Unfortunately we know nothing about the ancestry of my great grandfather Thomas Savage. All that is known about his early life is that he was born in Ireland and that he joined with thousands of other Irishmen and their families who emigrated to Nova Scotia and other areas in America in the 1830s. In his case he arrived in the year 1836 at the age of around 30 years old. All of the census records report that his occupation was that of a "laborer" which we are sure that even back in the 1800s was not a highly paid position, however, considering the rapid growth in their town of Dartmouth, he was undoubtedly busy. Despite Thomas' rather low paid but busy occupation and the around 25 year age difference between Thomas and Eliza, that did not seem to stop them from have sex frequently as between 1849 and 1869, Eliza gave birth to eleven children including my great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Savage (1856-1931 who was undoubtedly born in her parents' home in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Not unexpectedly considering their age difference, my great grandfather Thomas Savage died many years before Eliza. The exact year of his death is not known for certain although a few sources list it as sometime just prior to 1876. In the 1881 census record Eliza is listed as still living with 8 of her 11 children and her youngest child was still only 11 years old. There is no reason to believe that Eliza ever remarried and she finally died at around the age of 81 years old in the year 1912.  In the final years of her life she is shown living with her youngest daughter and her daughter's husband. We have to believe that her funeral was attended by many family members especially considering the size of her family. Perhaps even my grandfather, Douglas Ross Patterson and his parents, his mom being Elizabeth Savage, were in attendance. He was around 24 years old in the year of his grandmother's death and still living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The following year he moved to Niagara County in New York State.

One thing that we had not previously mentioned was that Eliza West Savage was born in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia as were both of her parents and three of her four grandparents. Surprisingly, even six of her eight great grandparents had also lived in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia before their deaths and all of these six great grandparents were born in Germany and were among the group of original founding settlers of Lunenburg around the year 1753. Furthermore and even more surprising was that several of Eliza's great, great grandparents were also among the original settlers. We think that their participation in the original founding of the City of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia is a story worth reviewing.

The earliest settlers of Nova Scotia and the other coastal areas of eastern Canada were the Indians known later as the Mi'kmaq. The Mi'kmaq tribes are believed to have settled in the area at least a 1,000 years before the French landed in Nova Scotia in the year 1605 and created a village later to be known as Port Royal located on the northwest coast of the island. Obviously this early French settlement took place twenty years before the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock in the year 1620. These early French settlers were primarily fur traders and fishermen and growth in the colony was slow for unlike the British who for religious reasons were rapidly moving to New England by the 1630s, in Nova Scotia there were less motives for the French to leave their country. Fortunately as the years went by, the French settlers and the Mi'kmaq Indian tribes were able to live peaceability together and many even married as the years pasted by. Furthermore in the year 1627, the French declared that the native Indians could become Roman Catholics if they so desired which further helped to strengthen the relationship between the original inhabitants and the new French settlers. In contrast in the New England area, the new British settlers took an entirely different approach with the local Indian tribes. The area of Nova Scotia and the other surrounding areas were soon to be known as Acadia and the French were to be called the French Arcadians.

Unfortunately for both the French Acadians and the Mi'kmaq Indians life in Nova Scotia and most of eastern Canada was never peaceful during the 17th century for it seemed that there were almost constant wars between the British and the French and in some cases between the Mi'kmaq Indians and the British such as during the King Philip's War in 1675-1678. There was even a short period in the 1670s when the Dutch gained control of parts of Nova Scotia. Without going into a lot of details about the prolonged wars during this time period, it should be noted that in 1713 a peace treaty was made between the British and the French titled the Treaty of Utrecht that basically gave control of much of Nova Scotia to Great Britain. Unfortunately for the British, the Mi'kmaq Indians were not a part of the treaty so military conflicts did not entirely disappear.

Early painting of Halifax in year 1750
Also unfortunate for the British was that they found it very difficult to encourage a lot of English emigrants to settle in Nova Scotia despite the signing of the treaty and the offering of land at no cost. Apparently by the year 1749 the British felt that they had no choice if they wished to continue to strengthen their position in Arcadia but to encourage families living in Central Europe to emigrate to Nova Scotia provided of course that they were Protestants as opposed to being Roman Catholics. Their primary focus was to be on German Protestants who were farmers living along the Rhine River corridor. To facilitate the new emigration plan, the British constructed fortresses in and around the future city of Halifax which was located on the southern shoreline of Nova Scotia. Furthermore the new town was located just off the Atlantic Ocean and within a larger harbor that was well suited for the access and the docking of large vessels. Then over the next three summers from 1750 through 1753 more than a dozen ships unloaded passengers into Halifax including an estimated 2,400 southwest German farmers and tradesmen including many of them who were mine and Eliza West's ancestors. In the year 1753, 1,400 Germans settled in the nearby and newly created community of Lunenburg located about 100 kilometers west of Halifax and also just off the Atlanta Ocean. Obviously considering the new and rapid immigration, the existing French settlers and Mi'kmaq Indians continued attacks against the British and the new settlers, however the British were able to hold control over the area until the present day. Battles and wars were not uncommon during this period including the French and Indian War that took place all through northeast America between the years 1754 and 1763 including battles in Nova Scotia.

The first ship to carry any of our ancestors from Germany to Nova Scotia was the Murdoch which set sail out of Rotterdam in Holland on 22 June 1751 and arrived in Halifax after three awful months at sea in late September. On board the ship were an estimated 398 passengers or approximately 100 families including all four of Eliza West's great grandparents on her father's side plus three of her great, great grandparents, plus in some cases their children. The ship was very crowded, the food was awful, and almost 10% of those onboard died before the ship landed in America. Johann Wendel Wuest (West) (1721-1811) and his wife, Maria Apollonia Ewald (1724-1759), my 5th great grandparents, were onboard along with three of their young children. Unfortunately we know almost nothing about the lives of Johann other than he listed himself as a blacksmith and he most likely ultimately lived and worked on a farm. Unfortunately for the majority of the passengers onboard all of the ships traveling to Halifax during this time period, the cost was not free and as a result Johann and many others were obligated to work for the British owners to help pay off their loans. It was of course, this strong obligation that quickly led to the development of Halifax and the other local expanding villages including Lunenburg. In late May of 1753, Johann Wendel Wuest was among the original settlers of Lunenburg located west of Halifax. These mostly German settlers and their English leaders spent a number of months building temporary shelters and then protective walls before any of the settlers were granted any land for all of the work that they performed. One source that we found online claims that the deed granted to Johann Wendel West was the very first deed executed in Lunenburg and it was dated 3 December 1753. It is also written that a few of the local British did not treat these new German settlers with any degree of respect and cheated them out of some of their originally promised entitlements and our Johann Wuest was among a group of men arrested and imprisoned for protesting. Fortunately he was soon released and pardoned. Johann and Maria are believed to have had seven children including my 4th great grandfather, John Jacob Wuest (1755-1836), before Maria's early and untimely death in 1759 at the age of only 35 years old. Johann Wendel Wuest remarried a woman named Maria Elizabeth Wittesham in 1760 and they had five children before Johann's death in Lunenburg in 1811 at the surprisingly old age of 90.

Their son John Jacob Wuest in 1684 married in Lunenburg a young girl by the name of Maria Magdalena Morasch (1761-1834), my 4th great grandmother, whose parents and two of her four grandparents had also sailed from Germany with John's parents on the Murdock in 1751. While both John and Maria were born in Nova Scotia, their parents were likely friends after their arrival and were also likely close neighbors in Lunenburg. While Maria's grandfather on her father's side, a man named Johann Leonhard Morasch (1706-1739), had died before the voyage to America, his wife and my 6th great grandmother, Anna Elizabeth Dosch (1710-1790) had remarried and with five of her children including Maria's father, Johann Michael Morasch (1728-1784), had sailed along with almost 100 other families on the Murdock. Obviously these German families were very close as not only did Maria's father's mother travel to America in 1751 but so did her mother's father. Her mother's name was Maria Elizabeth Haas (1722-1786) and her maternal grandfather's name was Barthol Haas (abt. 1692-abt. 1753). Also traveling with Maria Elizabeth Haas were all of her brothers and sisters. So, despite a lot of names and dates some of which may be incorrect, it is probable that onboard the ship Murdock we estimate that at least 18 to 20 of the passengers were either my direct great grandparents or my great uncles or aunts most of whom were early settlers in either Halifax or Lunenburg or both. Here again we know very little about the life of John Jacob Wuest and his wife and my great grandmother, Maria Magdalena Morash. We know that John Jacob and his family lived in Lunenburg from birth to death and that John Jacob was a tanner. We also know that they had at least ten children including my 3rd great grandfather, John Wendel West (1785-1843). These ancestors of mine were remarkable in their willingness to immigrate to an unknown and wilderness county, but they personally were not great heroes, wealthy individuals, nor politicians and therefore very little is known about their personal lives.

Early construction in Halifax
On 22 August of 1752 another ship arrived in Halifax, the Pearl, wherein at least four of my great grandparents and around four to six of my great aunts and uncles were onboard all of whom were born in Germany. The trip on the Pearl must have been terrible for the passengers as of the original 251 passengers onboard, forty of them died during the voyage and when they landed in Halifax the locals required the passengers to remain onboard for two more weeks as they were deeply concerned that contagious diseases might be passed along to the Halifax residents. The voyage from Rotterdam to Halifax took around 2-1/2 months and for most of the time the passengers were crammed below the main deck in quarters that were hot, crowded, bedless, and food was poor at best. It was also a long and stormy passage.  My two 6th great grandparents, Johann Philip Herman (1706-1758) and Sabina Maria Elizabeth Weick (1709-1753) were ages 46 and 43 when they arrived. Sabina died less than a year after their landing and Johann Philip died around five years later in 1758 at the age of only 51 years old. The voyage and the harsh life in Nova Scotia obviously encouraged their early demises. Also on board the Pearl were their children including their oldest son who was both married and my 5th great grandfather, Johann Philip Herman (Jr) (1723-1788). Johann Philip Harman Jr. had only recently married my 5th great grandmother, Elizabeth Sevilla Knauff (1728-1815) around two years earlier than their departure and they had yet to have any children.  Unfortunately here again we know very little about the lives of my 5th great grandparents other than they too were relocated to Lunenburg where they were granted land and where they were to have around ten children including my 4th great grandmother, Anna Barbara Herman (1767-1821). Anna Barbara Herman married a somewhat older man named Isaac Gray (1754-1831) in Lunenburg in 1791. He was 37 years old; she was only 23. Isaac was born in Pennsylvania and as the story goes he was opposed to the Revolutionary War and apparently after supporting the British during the war, near or at the close of the war he emigrated to Nova Scotia where he met and married Anna. One of their children was a daughter named Catharina Elizabeth Gray (1794-1871) who married John Wendel West in 1816. John's family is described in the earlier paragraphs. Catharina Elizabeth Gray and John Wendel West are the parents of my 2nd great grandmother, Eliza West.

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia today
Obviously we have spent the last three paragraphs listing the names of our many German ancestors who were early settlers in Halifax and Lunenburg and hopefully in doing so we did not overlook the importance of what they and other German settlers did for their British leaders and for Nova Scotia. When the British decided to take control of Nova Scotia and created Halifax in 1749, the initial settlers of Halifax were described by the then British leader, Col. Edward Cornwallis, as follows:
"the number of settlers men, woman, and children is 1,400 but I beg leave to observe to your Lordship that amongst these the number of industrious active men proper to undertake and carry on a new settlement is very small - of soldiers there is only 100 - of tradesmen sailors and other able and willing to work not above 300 more - the rest are poor idle worthless vagabonds . . . "  Not surprisingly over the following year or so many of these initial settlers left Nova Scotia and moved south to areas near Boston. Partially as a result of this problem as well as the difficulties that they were having encouraging English settlers to emigrate, a decision was made to encourage French, German, and Swiss Protestants most those living along the Rhine River in Germany to make the move to Nova Scotia and between 1750 and 1752 approximately 2,400 Europeans arrived in Halifax including as we noted above somewhere between 25 and 30 of my great grandparents and great aunts and uncles. Partially as a result of the overly rapid growth of the town of Halifax and the fact that the land surrounding Halifax was not ideally suited for farming, in the year 1753 approximately 1,500 of these mostly German settlers relocated to what would soon be the town of Lunenburg including our ancestral family.  We believe that it is very safe to say that we should be extremely proud that a line of our ancestors on my mother's side of our family, were among the group of initial settlers of Halifax, now Nova Scotia's largest city with a population of 297,900, and Lunenburg, a beautiful but quiet and fairly small coastal town located just west of Halifax with a population of only around 2,300. Again we are quite proud to be the descendants of some of the original founders of these two early Nova Scotia cities.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Chapter 61 - Our Sanford Ancestry

William the Conqueror
Unlike many of our ancestral families that we have researched over the years, within this particular family there are some stories that claim that our earliest known Sanford ancestor originated as far back as the early part of the 11th century AD. Their claim is that our ancestor, a man named Thomas de Sanford, was born in Normandy, France, and that he was a friend of William the Conqueror and took part in the invasion of England by the Normans back in 1066. It is also claimed that following their conquest, he was granted land in England. If it is true that there was a Thomas de Sanford and that he was my ancestor, both possibilities by the way are highly unlikely, then Thomas de Sanford would have been around my 26th great grandfather. This would have made a wonderful beginning story about my Sanford ancestry, but we are afraid that it might also be an incredible waste of time considering the total lack of evidence. Fortunately however, we have learned quite a bit about our Sanford ancestry although unfortunately not as far back as the Normandy invasion of England in 1066.

Current map of drive from London to Stansted Mountifitchet
While not all family historians would agree, it is generally accepted that the man who would be my 10th great grandfather was named Thomas Sanford (1556-1597). Thomas was born in the ancient village known as Stansted Mountifitchet, in County Essex, England. Perhaps not surprisingly, Stansted is known to have been first occupied by Anglo-Saxons prior to the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and then subsequently it was one of the many villages and manors that was brought under the control of a Norman leader following the invasion. Obviously a very old city even at the time of Thomas' birth in 1556 and the fact that Thomas' father is believed to have lived his entire life in the Stansted area and maybe even his ancestors makes one wonder if perhaps the family was not indeed a descendant of one of the early Norman invaders. The village of Stansted Mountifitchet is located about 40 miles northeast of downtown London.

Likely burial location of Thomas and Mary Sanford
St Andrew and Holy Cross Church
Thomas Sanford was around 25 years old when he married his first wife, Friswith Eve, in Stansted in 1581 however, and unfortunately their marriage lasted only 64 days as Friswith unexpected died at the age of only 20. Perhaps as a result of the loss of his wife although more likely due to business reasons or possibly the lessor cost of land, Thomas soon relocated to the nearby and smaller town of Much Haddam which was around 7 miles south of Stansted Mountifitchel and closer to London. Here Thomas started up a "glover" business which essentially consisted in the trading of fine furs and skins. Thomas apparently was quite successful in his new business and as a father. Based on what was written in his final will, the children by his second marriage around 1584 to my 10th great grandmother, Mary Lewes (or Mellett) (1563-1620), were all well educated and his will implied that he was "an active, enterprising citizen, and bore his part in public matters, though he did not achieve distinction in a political way." There was another document that noted that Thomas Sanford was appointed as one of two constables in the town of Much Hadham in 1585 showing that while not a major leader he nevertheless did serve in some of the public roles within his community.  Thomas and Mary had at least five children (named in his will) including my 9th great grandfather, Ezekiel Sanford (1586-1683) who was born or at least baptized on 20 February 1586 before Thomas Sanford's rather early death on 6 April 1597 at the age of only 41 year old. Most family historians point out that Thomas Sanford's final will was beautifully written implying that he was both intelligent in addition to his being well educated, however at the young age of only 41 he was unable to grant in his will a lot of land or money to his wife and children. Mary, my 10th great grandmother, outlived Thomas by almost 23 years and unfortunately we were unable to learn much about her life after her husband's death although Mary is believed to have married a man named John Haddsley shortly after Thomas's death. Assuming that this second marriage is a fact, it would make a lot of sense considering the very young age of all of Thomas' and Mary's children at the time of their father's death. It is assumed by most family historians that Thomas and possibly Mary (and probably second husband John as well) are buried at the graveyard alongside the St Andrew and Holy Cross Church in Much Hadham (see photograph above.)

Not surprisingly considering that my Sanford ancestors from England were neither wealthy nor important political individuals, we learned very little about the life of my 9th great grandfather, Ezekiel Sanford and most of what has been learned was obtained from old church records. We know that as the eldest son of his parents that he inherited a small amount of land in Stansted Mountifitchel when his father died, however, at the young age of around 20 or 21 he moved to the nearby village of Hatfield where he soon met and married 19 year old Rose Warner (1588-before 1707), my 9th great grandmother. Their marriage is estimated to have taken place in the year 1607. Ezekiel's lack of wealth was pretty well confirmed by the fact that following his marriage to my great grandmother, he and Rose lived with her parents at their home in Hatfield at least until the birth of their first two sons which took place sometime between their marriage date and maybe 1609. Unfortunately most of the church and other records that might have recorded information about the life of the Sanford family in Hatfield and then later around 1614 back in Stansted Mountifitchel have been lost so that nothing much is known about the life of Ezekiel including exactly where he and his family lived, nor anything about his trade or occupation. Many family historians report that Ezekiel and Rose had as many as eight children (some say even more) including at least three sons who emigrated to America including my 8th great grandfather, Robert Sanford (1615-1676).  Ezekiel Sanford is believed to have outlived his wife by many years and then finally dying at the age of 96 years old in 1683.

Early New England settlements
Before we discuss the life of my 8th great grandfather, Robert Sanford, we might mention that his mother's younger brother, a man named Andrew Warner, who was born in 1595, was probably very influential in convincing Robert and two of his brothers into emigrating to America around the year 1632. Considering that in 1632 the boys' father was only in his mid-40s, it certainly might well suggest that things were not going well for the Sanford family at the time, plus the fact that the current king of England, King Charles 1, was very unpopular, had dismissed the British Parliament, and his opposition to the Puritan reformers was driving many of  them out of England, was clearly a motivation for the young Sanford boys and many others to seek a better life in America. It is also a strong possibility that their father encouraged such a movement.  It is not clear however, that they all came over to America on the same ship with their uncle, but it is noted that most of them settled for a period in what would soon become the city of Hartford, Connecticut along with their uncle Andrew. Robert was only around 16 or 17 years old when he arrived in America with his two brothers, Thomas, who was around 25 years old, and Andrew who was only around 15 years old. The young ages of the three brothers would certainly strongly suggest that they may very well have traveled overseas with their older uncle Andrew Warner.

Map of Hartford showing original founders
(Picture can be clicked to enlarge)
Obviously based on their young ages there are no records that we could uncover about Robert and his brothers in America for at least a decade after their arrival. On the other hand, the life of their uncle Andrew Warner who is of course my 10th great uncle, is fairly well documented and if we assume that the young Sanford boys followed Andrew, then it is worth mentioning what Andrew did during his early years in America. We know that his first residence in America was in the community of Cambridge (originally named Newtowne) where he lived from 1633 until 1636. Cambridge was (is) located up the Charles River just a little west of Boston. Andrew almost immediately joined the local church and was soon chosen as a Cambridge selectman. Perhaps due to his involvement with the church and his friendship with the Rev. Thomas Hooker, he along with around 100 other men including the Rev. Hooker moved in 1636 and helped create the new settlement of Hartford located on the Connecticut River in the future state of Connecticut. Andrew Warner's name appears in the list of the founders of Hartford (and his name appears on the map of Hartford above.). The Sanford boys names do not appear on the list but then neither does Andrew Warner's wife's name appear nor do the names of their children all of whom obviously moved with their parents to Hartford. The list of course includes only the names of the male adults so it is entirely possible that my 8th great grandfather, Robert Sanford, arrived in Hartford with the other families in 1636 which would technically make him also an original founder of Hartford.

The first mention of Robert Sanford in Hartford and in America for that matter was the birth of his son and first child Zachariah Sanford in 1644. It is estimated that he married my 8th great grandmother, Hannah "Ann" Sarah Adams (1624-1682) in Hartford in 1643 when she was around 21 years old. Ann Adams according to many family historians was the daughter of Jeremy Adams (1604-1683) and Rebecca Taylor (1608-1678), my 9th great grandparents, and Jeremy's name also appears on the list of the original Hartford founders. It probably needs to be mentioned that there are also many family historians that adamantly dispute any claim that Robert Sanford's wife Ann was a daughter of Jeremy Adams and his wife. They may be right, therefore we will not spend any time describing this side of our ancestry. It is a well known historical fact that Hartford was originally settled by Puritans under the leadership of the Rev. Thomas Hooker. Hooker had encouraged his Puritan followers to leave the Boston area because he was very much disturbed with the "undemocratic ways" of the colony's government. What we found interesting in our research of the Sanford family as well as the Andrew Warner family for that matter, is that there was no mention of either of these families ever being Puritans. While it may be unlikely that Robert Sanford was an avid Puritan when he emigrated to America at the age of only 16 or 17, it would seem highly likely that he ultimately became a strong proponent not only having moved to Hartford but also because his new wife as the likely daughter of a Puritan and an early Hartford settler was undoubtedly herself a Puritan.

We unfortunately do not know a great deal about the life of our Robert Sanford although he was known to have been granted land in the Hartford area as well as land in nearby Windsor. He does not appear to have been in any major leadership positions in his town's government and when it comes to his occupation we learned only that he was a chimney inspector (or chimney viewer) in 1651/52, a leather sealer in most years between 1658 to 1672, and finally a fence viewer between 1662 and 1674. On the other hand he was an apparent leader in his family as between 1644 and about 1665 he and Ann had eight children which meant that Ann was pregnant about 30% of the time during her child bearing years. Their third child, Ezekiel Sanford (1648-1716) is my 7th great grandfather. Unfortunately Robert Sanford died fairly young at the age of 60 in the year 1676. His death is known to have hit him fairly quickly and unexpectedly as he only partially completed his last will and testament before he died. My great grandmother Ann only outlived Robert by a few years finally dying herself in 1682. It is assumed that they are both buried in an old "Ancient Burying Ground" in downtown Hartford known as the Center Church Graveyard. Unfortunately both of their gravestones have long ago been lost.

Hanging a Witch
Before we continue with the next generation of our Sanford ancestors, it is worth telling a brief and cruel story about Robert's younger brother Andrew Sanford (1617-1681), my 9th great uncle. Andrew like his brother Robert, also moved to Hartford probably with his brother and their uncle. Records show that in 1643, then 26 year old Andrew married a girl named Mary Botsford and then they like other young married couples of the time, began to raise children. Andrew worked according to some records also as a Chimney Viewer. A "chimney viewer" was a position responsible for making sure that all residents kept their chimneys clean. His brother Robert as we previously mentioned also held this rather silly position for awhile. Unfortunately in 1662 both Andrew and Mary got caught up in one of Hartford's worst historical actions. They were both accused of being witches. The Hartford records show that between 1647 and 1768, 38 individuals were accused of witchcraft including eleven of them between the years 1661 and 1663. Anyway, in the year 1662 Andrew was tried as being a witch but fortunately he was not convicted although many voted against him. His wife on the other hand was also tried shortly after her husband, but in her case she was found guilty and most historical records report that she was hanged. It is almost impossible to imagine that a community that was governed entirely by strong religious leaders operating in a country that was originally founded by individuals who sought liberty and religious freedom, that they would have sunk so low in their behavior to hang people believed to be witches. Oh well . . .

Original Sanford home still exists today
Ezekiel Sanford (1648-1716) was the third child and second son of Robert and Ann and my 7th great grandfather. He was around 22 years old when he made the decision to leave his parents and his birth home in Hartford and move in 1670 to what today is known as Bridgehampton Village in the Town of Southampton at the far eastern end of Long Island. The first European/American settlers relocated to Bridgehampton in 1656 although at the time the areas were separated by the Sagg Pond and were then known as Mecox on the western side of the pond and Sagaponack on the eastern side. We find it interesting that only a few years following Ezekiel's move to Long Island, the English, primarily those living in Connecticut, declared war on the Dutch who were living primarily on the western end of Long Island and by 1674 the English following an attack took possession of New Amsterdam and all of its occupied land and subsequently renamed it New York. There is no evidence that our Ezekiel Sanford was among those men from the Southampton area who joined with others in invading the Dutch held areas but then who knows. In any case, it is believed that in 1678, Ezekiel was leased 15 acres of land just south of Bridgehampton and alongside the west side of the Sagg Pond and it was here that he eventually built his home (see photo above). In 1679, Ezekiel married my 7th great grandmother, Hannah Mitchell (1662-1716). Hannah was born and lived in Hartford so it is possible that Ezekiel may have met Hannah when he lived in Hartford although when he left Hartford in 1670, Hannah would have only been around eight years old. It is possible that Hannah later moved to the Bridgehampton area with her father or one of her siblings although we could find nothing to verify this possibility. Some sources also suggest that they married back in Hartford although this would seem highly unlikely. In any case, following their marriage, Ezekiel and Hannah Mitchell Sanford soon moved into the home show in the above photograph and together they had at least five children born in their Sanford home between the years 1681 and 1694 including my 6th great grandfather, Ezekiel Sanford (Jr) born on 9 April 1681.

Old photo of  Ezekiel Sanford bridge over Sagg Pond
Ezekiel Sanford's (Sr) occupation was known to have been that of a wheelwright or someone who builds or repairs wooden cartwheels. Obviously with this carpentry talent it might explain in part why around the time of the mid-1680s his local town commissioned him to build a bridge over the Sagg Pond. Unfortunately for the local residents, the Sagg Pond ran along the eastern side of Bridgehampton all of the way down to the Atlantic Ocean and thus anyone wanting to cross had to make a long trip around the Pond. At least one source noted that the deal was that once Ezekiel completed the construction of the new bridge, then the 15 acres of land that he was leasing from the village would be given to him outright.

In any case, Ezekiel Sanford helped to solve the problem when he completed the bridge construction in 1686. The village itself was actually renamed "Bridgehampton" shortly following the construction of the bridge both to reflect the construction of the new bridge and to include the name of the village of Easthampton on the eastern side of the pond. While obviously the original bridge built by Ezekiel does not exist today, there is still a bridge crossing the Sagg Pond in almost the same location as our great grandfather's masterpiece. The road crossing the bridge is called Bridge Lane and still sitting on Bridge Lane on the western side of the pond is the old Sandford homestead. We found it quite interesting to learn the Sanford homestead remained in the Sanford family for over 325 years until it was finally sold outside the family.

Sagg Pond flowing to the Atlantic Ocean
My great grandfather Ezekiel Sanford died a fairly wealthy man at the age of 67 in February of 1716. He outlived my great grandmother Hannah by at least a decade and they are both believed to be buried in an old burying ground in Bridgehampton although their gravestones have long been lost. Their oldest son and my 6th great grandfather Ezekiel Sanford was around 34 years old and married at the time of his father's death. The modern day photograph above shows the Sagg Pond and in the distance the modern day bridge built to replace our ancestor's constructed bridge. The land owned by our Sanford family today is worth in the multimillion dollar price range.  

Howell's Water Mill, Southampton, NY
Despite spending a large amount of time researching the life of my 6th great grandfather Ezekiel Sanford (1681-1755), we really learned very little. As his parents' oldest son he undoubtedly eventually inherited their home on the Sagg Pond and he may have even lived there with his wife and many of his children even before his father's death in 1716. Ezekiel married my 6th great grandmother, Elizabeth Moore (1681-1738) in Bridgehampton in 1705. One of the interesting things about Elizabeth Moore's family is that her great grandfather on her mother's side, a man named Edward Howell (1584-1655), my 9th great grandfather, is included in the list of men named as the original settlers of Southampton in 1640. Southampton is located about seven miles west of Bridgehampton. Edward is also listed as the "acknowledged leader" and that he was born in Marsh Gibbon in Buckinghamshire, England. Historical records note that he served as a magistrate in Southampton (then called "Mecox") until 1653 and as Assistant of the Connecticut Colony (which controlled at that point western Long Island) from 1647 until 1653.

One of the fascinating things that our great grandfather Edward Howell accomplished during his time in Southampton was that he built a water mill for grinding grain, rye, and wheat into flour. This mill still exists today as an historical structure and it is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Obviously our great grandfather was during his lifetime an extensive landowner, a fairly wealthy man, and generally credited with being the leader of the first English settlers in the future state of New York. The first settlers of New York before the English were of course the Dutch living in New Amsterdam. Edward's wife and my 9th great grandmother was Francis Paxton (1584-1630) and they had six children including my 8th great grandmother, Margaret Howell (1622-1707). Our Howell ancestry is described in far great detail in Chapter 45 of this family blog.

Moore Home in Newtown before it was torn down
My 8th great grandfather, the Rev. John Moore (Abt.1620-1657) married Margaret Howell in Southampton, Long Island around 1641. John Moore had move to Southampton around 1640 along with Margaret's father and many others including Margaret and he too is credited with being one of the original founders of Southampton. He had originally emigrated to Massachusetts from England in 1636. It is written that he purchased a home in Cambridge the following year (which is hard to imagine at the age of only 17), and subsequently he served as a magistrate in the town. Some family historians claim or at least suggest that he became associated with the founding of the school in Cambridge that later in 1639 became known as Harvard although here again it would seem more likely that he simply either attended Harvard or worked for them, as the school was originally founded back in 1636. It is believed that John Moore studied in England to be a minister and perhaps again at Harvard for he spent most of his life as a church minister particularly after John and Margaret and their family moved around 1651 from Southampton to Newtown, Long Island located in what was then part of the Dutch controlled area now known as New Amsterdam. John is credited with being among the original settlers of Newtown which was originally called Maspat, then called  Middelburg (or Middleburgh) and then following the English takeover of New Amsterdam in 1664, the name changed to Hastings. Apparently however, the early English settlers had long called their home, Newtown. Whatever its name, it was obviously the first English settlement in Queens County, New York. Together John and Margaret had seven children including my 7th great grandfather and their last child, Joseph Moore (1651-1724), who was born in Newtown in 1651. Unfortunately Joseph was only six years old when his father died at the relatively young age of only 37 in 1657. It was said that his father died of a "pestilence disease" which implies he died of some serious infectious disease that was totally unknown back in the 1600s . . . perhaps measles or chicken pox? Incidentally, one of the main leaders of the English move into New Amsterdam back in 1642 was a man by the name of the Rev. Francis Doughty, a strong proponent of Puritanism. When John Moore died in 1657, his wife and my great grandmother Margaret married in 1660 a man named Francis Doughty (Jr) who was not only the son of the Rev. Francis Doughty, but who was also a minister himself and soon took over the church previously run by John Moore.

The Old Hasley House built by Thomas Hasley about 1648
Unfortunately we were able to find very little about the life of my 7th great grandfather, Joseph Moore (1651-1726). He obviously spent his younger years living with his mother and his stepfather Francis Doughty in Newtown, which was then under the general control of the Dutch and the Dutch colonial governor, Peter Stuyvesant. In 1664 when he was in his early teens the Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the English and things undoubtedly began to change included a rapid influx of English settlers. In 1673, the Dutch retook the leadership in the area but quickly this changed back to English control by the following year. Whether or not all of these changes were motivating factors for Joseph to leave western Long Island and move back to Southampton is not known nor do we know exactly what year he moved. All that is know is that Joseph Moore married my 7th great grandmother, Sarah Halsey (1658-1725) in her home town of Southampton sometime before their first child was born in 1681. It was a great match for Joseph for Sarah's father, my 8th great grandfather, Thomas Hasley (1626-1688), was not only one of the original founders of Southampton along with his brothers and his father but he was also one of the wealthiest men living in the area. In his will that was written in the year 1688, he mentions his married daughter Sarah and her husband Joseph Moore. One interesting thing that we did learn about Thomas Halsey, is that his father's wife and my 8th great grandmother whose name was Elizabeth or Phebe, is recorded by some as having been killed by indians in 1649. Unfortunately we were unable to find any details about this claim as it might have made an interesting additional tale in this chapter of our blog. One source however, did report that the Indians who killed my great grandmother were captured, tried and found guilty, and were executed.  Good ending. Anyway,

Joseph and Sarah Halsey Moore lived the rest of their lives following their marriage in Southampton. We do not know all of the names nor the exact number of children who were born to our great grandparents although only four children were named in Joseph's will that was "proved" on 30 May 1726 and originally written in 1723. Records show that their oldest daughter and my 6th great grandmother, Elizabeth Moore (1681-1738), was born or baptized on 29 October 1681. Elizabeth Moore as we mentioned earlier in this chapter was later to become the wife of my 6th great grandfather, Ezekiel Sanford (1681-1755). Also mentioned in Joseph's will is the fact that he lived next door to his then son-in-law Ezekiel Sanford and that he gave his slave Peter a half acre of land. Joseph Moore was also apparently fairly well off financially or at least enough to be able to own a slave and a considerable amount of land. Incidentally it is recorded that Long Island had the largest slave population of any rural or urban area in the north during the colonial period and that the future state of New York slave population had grown to almost 20,000 about the time of the Revolutionary War.

So we now again return to the story of our Sanford ancestors. Elizabeth Moore married Ezekiel Sanford in Bridgehampton early in the year 1705 and their first child was born in October of that same year. Ezekiel's father only a few years earlier had become quite well known in Bridgehampton having recently completed a new bridge over the Sagg Pond. We do not know for certain what Ezekiel did for a living although most of the families living in Bridgehampton during this time period were farmers including the leaders of the community. Ezekiel was undoubtedly a farmer. The original settlers of both Southampton in 1640 and later in Bridgehampton were Puritans who had moved from Connecticut. By the time of Ezekiel's birth however, most of the residents of the area were thought to be Presbyterians and we believe that the only church in Bridgehampton at the time was a Presbyterian church. Originally the eastern end of Long island was under the leadership of the Colony of Connecticut, however in 1665, then Governor John Winthrop Jr of New York announced that the towns on the eastern end of Long Island were now part of New York. All of these changes of course took place before Ezekiel's birth and the local citizens by the late 1600s were undoubtedly by that point accustomed to the changes. Some records of Ezekiel Sanford's public life report that he was at some point a local constable and that he had held a few town offices. He is also noted to have been a "lieutenant of the third Militia Company" although there is no record that he ever participated in any local battles  The French and Indian War began in 1754 shortly after his death in 1748,

Elizabeth and Ezekiel Sanford were know to have had around seven children as mentioned in Ezekiel's will although some other records show that they had eight children between their marriage in 1705 and Elizabeth's rather early death at the age of 57 in the year 1735. Not surprisingly, Ezekiel remarried following his wife's death. He finally died in 1755 at the age of 74. The daughter of Elizabeth and Ezekiel Sanford, Abigail Sanford (1712-1748) is my 5th great grandmother.

Abigail Sanford was 20 years old when she married my 5th great grandfather, Silas Sayre (1708-1747) in Bridgehampton in 1732. The story of my Sayre family ancestry is well told (I hope) in Chapter 13, "The Sayre Family" in this blog. What we learned is that Silas Sayre's great grandfather, Thomas Sayre (1597-1670) is one of the original settlers of Southampton back in 1640. We also just learned that two of Thomas' sons, Daniel Sayre (1633-1708), who was Silas Sayre's grandfather, and his brother Job Sayre (1637-1694), are both my great grandfathers. When we wrote the chapter about our Sayre ancestors, Chapter 13, we were not aware at the time that Daniel Sayre was also a great grandfather. Another interesting but surprising connection that we discovered is that one of Job Sayre's sons, a man named Job Sayre (Jr) (1672-1755) married a girl named Susannah Howell (1680-?) who was the great granddaughter of Edward Howell (1584-1655) who we mentioned earlier in this Sanford Ancestry chapter and who was also an original founder of Southampton. Obviously these communities were all quite small back in the early 1600s so it should not be surprising that find that one's children and grandchildren married their neighbors' children and grandchildren.

Anyway, the marriage of Abigail Sanford to Silas Sayre marks the end of my Sanford ancestry. My relationship to my Sanford ancestors is shown below.

5th Great Grandparents:  Abigail Sanford  m  Silas Sayre
4th Great Grandparents:  Elizabeth Sayre  m  Nathaniel Seeley
                                       (1760-1806)          (1756-1796)
3rd Great Grandparents: Elizabeth Seeley  m  Archibald Campbell
                                       (1790-1869)          (1770-1855
2nd Great Grandparents:    Jane Campbell m  Joshua Rappleye
                                       (1819-1891)          (1814-1888)
Great Grandparents:  Helena E. Rappleye  m  Asbury H. Baker
                                       (1860-1944)          (1860-1933)
Grandparents:               Charles S. Baker  m  Helen Spaulding
                                       (1885-1952)          (1887-1937)
Parents:                       Charles A. Baker  m  Marian C. Patterson
                                       (1916-2000)          (1916-1973)
Living Generation:    Charles A. Baker Jr.
                              Anne Baker Fanton
                              Joan Patterson Baker

And so ends another story . . . . . .

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Chapter 60 - Our Van Voorhees Ancestors

The Netherlands
My great grandfather Stevense Coerte Van Voorhees was born in the Province of Drenthe in the northeastern part of the Netherlands back around the year 1600. His parents, who of course were also my great grandparents, were Coerte Albertse and Mergin Hendrikje and they lived near the small town of Hees in Drenthe where they are believed to have raised at least eight children including their son Stevense. The Province of Drenthe during this period of history was rural and scarcely populated and consisted mostly of farmers who struggled to raise crops in predominately sandy and unfertile soils. By this time in history Drenthe had been populated by human beings for over 100,000 years, a fact that most likely contributed to their poor soils. It is not surprising therefore to learn that in the period of the 1600s many of the families living in Drenthe were known to have immigrated to America obviously with the hope that they would improve their lives in a "New World". It did not help that during this same period of history there was an almost constant war taking place between the Dutch and the English now called the Anglo-Dutch Wars, and most certainly Stevense Coerte did not want any of his children to be forced into this awful conflict. He was 60 years old when he moved his family to America in 1660 and it is pretty clear that his motive for moving was based almost entirely on his desire to find a better place for his children to grow up.

Stevense Coerte is believed to have married twice and had around ten children.  His first wife was my 9th great grandmother Aeltje Wessels whom he married sometime before 1633 or shortly before their first child was born. Stevense and Aeltje are believed to have had four children, three of whom survived to adulthood, including my 8th great grandfather, Coerte Stevense Van Voorhees, who was born around 1637. Unfortunately my great grandmother died sometime around 1645 or possibly a year or so later. Not surprisingly considering where and when they lived, the exact dates of her birth, her marriage, her death and the birth dates of her children are not known for curtain.

Stevense Coerte married for a second time around the year 1650, a woman by the name of Willemtje Roelofsen Seubering who also happens to be my great grandmother as three of her six children were also my great grandparents, an almost unbelievable circumstance. The fact that Stevense Coerte had four children who were my great grandparents is truly amazing and this unusual genealogy will of course form a major part of this family's story. His children with his second wife Willemtje include Jan Stevense Van Voorhees who was born in 1652 and who is my 9th great grandfather, Jannetje Stevense Van Voorhees who was born around 1658 and who is my 9th great grandmother and Hendrickje Stevense Van Voorhees who was born around 1659 and who is also my 9th great grandmother.

New Amsterdam 1664
Despite the rather rural area in which Stevense Coerte grew up and then raised his own family, he apparently had accumulated enough wealth to be able to afford to emigrate to America in the year 1660. Traveling with Stevense to America were his wife and all of his living children except for his eldest daughter, Marchisen Stevense, who had already married and elected to stay behind in the Netherlands. The ship upon which they sailed is believed to have been the De Bonte Koe or the "Spotted Cow" which set sail probably out of the city of  Amsterdam in the month of April and then arriving in New Netherlands or what would later be called the Island of Manhatten around six to eight weeks later in June of 1660. Obviously the Van Voorhess family were not among the earliest settlers in this Dutch colony which was originally settled back in 1625. The population of New Netherlands by this point had grown to almost 6,000 or 7,000 people (estimated 9,000 by 1664) with around 2,000 living at the western end of the island or in New Amsterdam. Fortunately for our Van Voorhees family they had friends who were already living in New Amsterdam including two of my grandmother's siblings and their families and thus they were not total strangers upon their arrival. Obviously considering their large family consisting of many young children, friends in the new world would have been a major benefit.

The strong character of Stevense Coerte Van Voorhees became very apparent soon after their arrival in America. Within six months after their landing, Stevense had purchased a little over 60 acres of land in what was then called New Amersfort and later Flatlands (and now Brooklyn) and included within the fertile land that he purchased that was perfect for farming, was an already built home, and a large and completely furnished brewery. Stevense Coerte is also credited with being one of the founders and original deacons and elders of the Dutch Reformed Church of Flatlands and in 1664 he was appointed as one of the magistrates of the town of Flatlands. He was obviously a highly respected individual within his new community. By the time of his death in February of 1683 at the age of 83, all of his children had married and it is estimated that by that point he had upwards of 30 grandchildren. The present day Van Voorhees Association which was organized back in 1932 by descendants of Stevense Coerte Van Voorhees, proclaims that there are more Van Voorhees descendants in America today than those of any other single early Dutch settler in America. Fascinating possibility.

New Amsterdam in 1660
There are several other historical issues that should be mentioned at this point. The first is that the Dutch during this period of history did not use surnames as we all do today. We have referred to our great grandfather as Stevense Coerte Van Voorhees, however the surname of Van Voorhees was not what the family called themselves when they arrived in America in 1660. Their second names were in fact a variation of their father's first name so in Stevense Coerte's case, the Coerte was his father's first name. You will also note that all of Stevense Coerte's childrens' second name was Stevense after their father's primary name. All of this changed however, when the

British took over control of New Amsterdam in 1664 only four years following the arrival of our Van Voorhees ancestors. Our Van Voorhees ancestors were forced in part by the British to adopt the surname "Van Voorhees" which roughly implied in the Dutch language that they were from the village of Hees, which of course was the case. And then several generations down from our original Van Voorhees settlers, the "Van" was removed from the surname and thus present day direct descendants have their surname simply as "Voorhees". Anyway . . . the oldest son of Stevense Coerte was named or at least referred to today as Coerte Stevense Van Voorhees.

Coerte Stevense Van Voorhees (abt 1637-abt 1702): Coerte Stevense, my 8th great grandfather, was the oldest son of Stevense Coerte and his first wife Aeltje Wessels and he was around 22 years old when he disembarked from the ship De Bonte Koe in New Amsterdam in 1660. In 1664, Coerte Stevense married my 8th great grandmother, Marretje Gerretse van Couwenhoven, who was then 20 years old and the daughter of Gerret Wolfertse Van Couwenhoven (1610-1645) and Aeltje Cornelius Cool (1620-1683). Marretje's father had immigrated to America with his parents around 1630, married his wife in 1635, and then Marretje, their 5th child, was born in New Amsterdam and baptized on 10 April 1644.  What is really interesting about my Van Couwenhoven ancestors is that one of Marretje's older brothers, Willem Gerretse Van Couwenhoven (1636-1663) is also one of my great grandfathers also on my father's side of my family. Obviously I have no shortage of Dutch ancestry.  Coerte Stevense, perhaps even more so than his father, was an active participant in his local government and in their Dutch Church of Flatlands as well as servicing as a Captain in their local militia. He also owned a large section of land in Gravesend located just southwest of Flatlands as well as 60 to 70 acres or more of land in Flatlands. He obviously was quite well off financially which obviously was a great benefit to his children when he died in 1702.

Coerte Stevense and my great grandmother Marretje had nine children who survived to adulthood including two of their children who are also my great grandparents, their oldest son Steven Coerte Van Voorhees who was born in 1667 and his sister, Annatie Coerte Van Voohrees, born in 1680. Annatie incidentally, married Jan Jorise Rapalje whose family's history story is told in Chapter 1 of this blog. Just to show how interwoven the families were during this period of history, the youngest son of Coerte and Marretje, a boy named Johannes Coerte (1683-1757) married another one of my great grandmothers, a woman named Sarah Van Vleit, although it was her second marriage and we are not directly related to any of their children.

Steven Coerte Van Voorhees (1667-1723): We actually could find very little about the life of our 7th great grandfather Steven Coerte Van Voorhees. We believe that he was born in Gravesend where his parents lived and he died in Flatlands. As his parents' oldest son he was probably fairly welloff financially but other than learning that he was an officier in the militia in Kings County, New York in 1715, we learned nothing else about his life and other public services.  We do know that he married my 7th great grandmother sometime in the late 1680s, a woman by the name of Agatha Eva Janse Van Dyck (lots of different spellings) and that they had as many as eleven children including my 6th great grandmother, Lucretia Van Voorhees, who was born in 1696. Lucretia incidentally, married a man by the name of Nicholas Williamson (1689-1779) who just happens to be the grandson of another of my ancestors, one Pieter Claesen Wyckoff (1625-1694) whose family story is told in Chapter 49 of this blog. From this point down our tree is as follows:
                        Lucretia Van Voorhees m  Nicholas Williamson
                             William Williamson  m  Geetje Hegeman
                               Sarah Williamson  m  Jeremiah Rappleye
                                  Peter Rappleye  m  Mary Covert
                               Joshua Rappleye  m  Jane Taft Campbell
                              Helene Rappleye   m  Asbury Harpending Baker
                      Charles Schenck Baker  m  Helen Mary Spaulding
                       Charles Asbury Baker   m  Marian C. Patterson
                   Charles Asbury Baker Jr.   m  Kathleen Therese Mahar

Jan Stevense Van Voorhees (1652-1735) is the fourth son of Stevense Coerte Van Voohrees (1600-1684) and he is one of four children of Stevense Coerte who all happen to be my great grandparents. In Jan Stevense's case he is my 9th great grandfather and also the son of Stevense Coerte's second wife, Willemtje Roelofsen Seubering (1619-1690). Jan Stevense of course, was only around eight years old when he arrived in America with his parents in the year 1660 and it is highly unlikely that by the time he married his first wife and my 9th great grandmother, Cornelia Reinierse Wizzelpenning (1656-1680) whom he married on 17 March 1678, that he had any memories left of his birthland. Cornelia's parents, Reiner Wizzelpenning (1635-1670) and Jannetje Jans Snedecker (1638-1713) are believed to have arrived from the Netherlands in the year 1658 when they daughter was only two years old so that she too like her husband had little to no memories of their homeland. They both grew up in the Flatland's area so it might not be that surprising that they knew each other at a young age. This assumption is pretty well confirmed by the fact that one of Jan Stevense's younger brothers, Albert Stevense (1653-1727) married one of Cornelia's sisters, Helletje Reinierse Wizzelpenning (1665-1691). Clearly the families were close.

Unfortunately my 9th great grandmother, Cornelia Reinierse Wizzelpenning, died on 7 January 1680 shortly following the birth of their only child, my 8th great grandfather, Stephen Van Voorhees (20 Dec 1679-18 Sept 1759) who was born only around three weeks before his mother's death. Cornelia was only 24 years old when she died. Jan Stevense remarried less than a year following my great grandmother's death and he had many more children, around ten more, but it was just not the same. Unfortunately we could learn very little about the life of my 9th great grandfather, Jan Stevens Van Voorhees other than the names of his children, where and when he was born and died plus the fact that based on his Will which was dated on 3 January 1723, he apparently was a fairly well-off individual since he owned quite a bit of farmland most of which was in the area of Flatlands. Incidentally, he signed his will with the name John Stevenson, obviously reflecting that the English were strongly influencing the Dutch by this point. Why he did not mention his surname "Van Voorhees" in this Will is curious.

Stephen Van Voorhees (1679-1759): Here again, we know very few details about the life of my 8th great grandfather. We know that based on his father's will he received slightly more in his inheritance than did his step brothers and sisters. Stephen apparently moved westward on Long Island for we know that in 1705 at the age of 28 he married my 8th great grandmother, Catrina Van Duyn (1683-1757), in Jamaica in Queens County located about 14 miles from Flatlands.  Stephen and Catrina had around eight children including my 7th great grandfather and their youngest son, Stephen Voorhees (1729-1799). From this point to the present day our family tree is as follows:
              Stephen Voorhees  m  Ann Baldwin
             Margaret Voorhees  m  Jothan Purdy
                    Andrew Purdy  m  Esther Miller
                       Maria Purdy  m  Thomas Maxwell
               Susan C. Maxwell  m  Mathew McReynolds Sly
             Mary Catherine Sly  m  Charles Henry Spaulding
      Henry Clinton Spaulding  m  Ella McBlain Reynolds
         Helen Mary Spaulding  m  Charles Schenck Baker
         Charles Asbury Baker  m  Marian P. Baker
             Charles A. Baker Jr  m  Kathleen Therese Mahar

 Jannetje Stevense Van Voorhees (25 Dec 1658-10 Sept 1709): Jannetje Stevense is my 9th great grandmother and the second daughter and fourth child of her parents, Stevense Coerte Van Voorhees (1600-1684) and Willemtje Roelofsen Seubering (1619-1690). Like her siblings she was born in the Netherlands and came over with her parents and siblings at a very young age in 1660. She was also quite young, around 14 years old, when she married my 9th great grandfather, Jan Martense Schenck (abt 1631-1688) in the year 1672. What is really more surprising however, is that her new husband and my great grandfather was around 40 years old when they married and there are no records that we could find that show that he had married previously. Jan Martense had arrived in America from Amsterdam with his two siblings in 1650 so the fact that he remained unmarried for about 22 years following his immigration would seem very unusual. Also unusual was the fact that Jan Martense Schenck's older brother Roelof Martense Schenck (1619-1703) was also my 9th great grandfather as in 1660 he married a girl named Neeltje Gerretse Van Couwenhoven (1641-1674). You may recall that we previously mentioned a girl named Marretje Gerratse Van Couwenhoven (1644-1708) who happens to be Neeltje's younger sister and who married Coerte Stevense Van Voorhees (1637-1699) (see above) who is Jannetje Stevense Van Voorhees older step-brother. So Jannetje's brother Coerte Stevense married a Couwenhoven daughter and her husband Jan Martense Schenek's brother also married a Couwenhoven daughter and they are all my great grandparents. Unbelievable these close family marriages and we have to believe that this was not that uncommon in our lowly populated "New World" in the 17th century.      

The history of my 9th great grandfather, Jan Martense Schenck is really quite interesting. He married Jannetje Stevense around the year 1672 and around the same time he purchased a large parcel of land on an island then named Molen Eylandt (later called Mill Island) on which he built a home for his new family. It is said that the total land purchased amounted to around 75 acres. On the adjacent map, Mill Island is shown off the coast of what was then called Flatlands, one of the six provinces of Brooklyn. The land that he purchased was bordered in part by the waters of the Jamaica Bay which then led to the Atlantic Ocean so not surprisingly he had built a large dock suitable for docking the ocean going ships of the late 17th century. Our great grandfather Jan Martense Schenck has been referred to in some historical writings as Captain Schenck as apparently his dock and its location allowed him to become a major trader of imports and exports between Holland and the New World which obviously would have led to his great wealth and notoriety. There are also some writings about his business that jokingly suggest that one of his good customers was the infamous pirate Captain William Kidd who was known to have lived in the area during the early part of his life. There is also some humorous writings that suggest that our great grandfather Jan Schenck may have even worked for or at least sailed with Captain Kidd shortly following his arrival in America although considering that Kidd was born in 1654, this hint would seem highly unlikely.

Schenck House before 1952
Upon purchasing the land on Mill Island, Jan Martense Schenck almost immediately built a new home, the construction of which was completed around 1675. Unbelievably the Schenck home is still in existence today. For approximately 275 years the Schenck house remained in its original location but then in 1952, the Brooklyn Museum made a commitment to save the house which was at that point scheduled for demolition. They then carefully dismantled the home and then after a decade of storing it, they opened a museum in 1964 which soon contained in part the reconstructed "Jan Martense Schenck House". 
Schenck House in Brooklyn Museum

Our great grandfather's home can still be visited to this day at the Brooklyn Museum and perhaps some day we shall do so. Jan Martense Schenck and Jannetje Stevense Van Voorhees were known to have nine children including their oldest son Martin Janse Schenck (1675-1730) who inherited his parents' home upon his father's death. Martin Janse Schenck is my 8th great grandfather. He married my 8th great grandmother, Cornelia Rochussen Van Wesselen (1663-1736) on 2 December 1703 and they lived in the Schenck home until their deaths at which time it was willed to their son and my 7th great grandfather, John Schenck (1705-1775).  The heirs of John Schenck who would include my 6th great grandfather, Martin Schenck (1738-1794) eventually sold their great grandparents home on the 15th of April in the year 1784. The Schenck home is today, despite the fact that it currently sits in a museum, considered by many to be the oldest surviving home in the New York City area. My family tree from Martin Schenck down to myself today is as follows:
                   Martin Schenck  m  Sarah Couwenhoven
            Antje (Ann) Schenck  m  John M Bogart
                       Sarah Bogart  m  Francis Baker
                        Elijah Baker  m  Susan Emmeline Osborn
       Charles Schenck Baker  m  Hannah E. Harpending
     Asbury Harpending Baker  m  Helena Ely Rappleye
       Charles Schenck Baker  m  Helen Mary Spaulding
          Charles Asbury Baker  m  Marian Coapman Patterson
               Charles A Baker Jr  m  Kathleen Therese Mahar

Hendrickje Stevense Van Voorhees (abt 1658-abt 1693): Hendrickje Stevense is my 9th great grandmother and the youngest child of Stevense Coerte Van Voorhees and Willemtje Roelofsen Seubering. She was only two years old when the family arrived in America so obviously she too had no memories of her birthplace in Amsterdam. While it was probably not that uncommon during this period of history as parents wanted their daughters to find husbands as early as possible, nevertheless her age of only 16 or 17 years old when she married in 1675 was still a bit unusual. Her husband and my 9th great grandfather was a man named Albert Albertse Terhune (1651-1709) who was at the time of their marriage around 24 year old.

Unfortunately we learned very few details about the life of my 9th great grandfather, Albert Albertse Terhune, and even less about the life of his parents. What has been written about the life of Albert's father is filled with contractions with everything from when he arrived in America, to exactly when he married, and even where he lived. That said, we have to admit that what we are now writing about my Terhune ancestors may not be entirely accurate. Albert Albertse Terhune's father was also named Albert Albertse Terhune. He is believed to have been born in the Netherlands around the year 1620 and in his late teens around the year 1637 or 1638, he emigrated to the New World or what would later be called New Amsterdam. There are some historians who suggest that he may have emigrated as an indentured servant which was not all that uncommon and would make sense especially since he travelled at a young age and without a family and then following his arrival he did not appear to immediately purchase any land or start a business. In fact most historians report that his first occupation was working under the control of the colony's governor general, a position he may have held for a number of years as nothing is known about Albert Sr. until he married his wife and my 10th great grandmother, Geertje Dircks (Denyce?) sometime just prior to 1648 when their first son was born.  From what other information we could learn about my 10th great grandfather, we know if nothing else, that he had a rather aggressive personality. In 1657, he and his wife rented a piece of property on an assumed former Nyack Indian tract of land out in New Utrecht on Long Island. He then went ahead and built a rather crude home on the property. Apparently the Nyack Indians later denied that they had sold the land upon which the Terhune home was built and when an Indian uprising was threatened, the Director General of New Amsterdam ordered that the Terhune home be destroyed. Apparently it must have been built without the proper authority to do so. My great grandfather refused to tear down his home and he was hence arrested and issued a fine. When he refused to pay the fine he was thrown in jail. He was eventually released and later moved his family to Flatlands where they purchased 50 acres of land and a home and he subsequently became a successful farmer. He died in 1685 but not before he and his wife had eleven children including his fourth child in 1651, my 9th great grandfather, Albert Albertse Terhune (Jr).

Terhune Home in Hackensack, New Jersey
My 9th great grandparents Hendrickje Stevense Van Voorhees and Albert Albertse Terhune had as many as ten or eleven children including the birth of my 8th great grandmother, Marritje Terhune (1685-1746) before her mother Hendrickje died in 1693 at the young age of only 34. One has to wonder if the role of being a mother of so many children plus being an almost annual child bearer might not have been a major cause of her early death. Despite the loss of his first wife, Albert married twice more, having five more children with his second wife who died in 1705 and then three more with his third wife who subsequently and perhaps fortunately outlived him. My great grandfather died on 9 September 1709 at the age of only 58 year old.  Fortunately for his large family he died a fairly wealthy man as shows quite clearly by the quality of his home shown in the photograph above. The photograph was taken of his beautiful home in Hackensack, New Jersey sometime before it was torn down in 1951.

Albert Albertse and his wife Hendrickje Stevense and their parents as well, lived in New Amsterdam during an interesting period of early American history. Albert Jr was about 13 years old when a small fleet of British ships landed in New Amsterdam in 1664 and ordered that the entire area was now to be under British control. The Dutch Governor at the time, a man named Peter Stuyvesant, was unable to get any support from the local Dutch settlers and he had no choice but to surrender. The following year the second Anglo-Dutch War began between the British and the Dutch and the war which was fought mostly in Europe or out in the ocean, ended in 1667 following a major Dutch battle victory followed with a peace treaty.  What appears to be really interesting is that even with a Dutch victory, the former city of New Amsterdam which was now being called New York, was still under the leadership of the British. What this apparently tells us is that the majority of the Dutch speaking people living in the New York area at the time did not relate in anyway to the home of their ancestors or in the case of Albert Jr., to the birth home of his mother. Incidentally, the Dutch regained control over "New Amsterdam" for a brief period in 1673 but by 1674 the British resumed control again and maintained control until their defeat during the American Revolution.

Map showing location of Hackensack
We really learned very little about the public life of my 9th great grandfather, Albert Albertse Terhune. We do know that sometime before 1689 he moved his family including by that point his second wife, to a new home near an area later to be known as Hackensack, New Jersey. It is believed that he had obtained a patent along with several other men on a large parcel of land, reported to be 5,000 acres, back in the year 1682 and eventually he ended up personally owning around 600 acres as well as a lovely home in northern New Jersey that he had built along the Passaic River as shown in the photograph above. [Some historians write that it was Albert's father who actually purchased his portion of the patent for the 5,000 acres. Both father and son had the same names so it is easy to understand the possible confusion.] Records show that Albert was a member of their local Legislature in 1695 and 1696 as well as an Elder in the local Dutch Reformed Church beginning in 1689. We have to believe that during his life he had gained a considerably amount of wealth, was a highly respected individual, and his family was saddened when he died on 7 September 1709.

The daughter of Albert Albertse Terhune and Hendrickje Stevense Van Voorhees, Marritje (Mary) Terhune was 21 years old when she married her husband, Hendrick Bertholf in the Dutch Reformed Church in Hackensack on the 29th day of March in the year 1707. The story of their family is continued in Chapter 56 - "Our Bertholf Family" in this family history blog. My family tree from this point is as follows:

               Hendrick Bertholf  m  Marritje Terhune
                Jacobus Bertholf  m  Elizabeth Bertholf
        Petrus "Peter"Bertholf  m  Angenietje Van der Bogart
              Elizabeth Bertholf  m  John Wisner
                    Henry Wisner  m  Maria Smith
                     Clara Wisner  m  Henry Clinton Spaulding
    Charles Henry Spaulding  m  Mary Catherine Sly
    Henry Clinton Spaulding  m  Ella Mc Blain Reynolds
        Helen Mary Spaulding  m  Charles Schenck Baker
         Charles Asbury Baker  m  Marian Coapman Patterson
            Charles A. Baker Jr  m  Kathleen Therese Mahar

Considering the very large number of my ancestors who emigrated from the Netherlands in the 1600s, it is not surprising that my DNA shows an "Ethnicity Estimate" of 63% Western European. Based on my family tree which is displayed on, it does seem to confirm that the majority of my "Western European" ancestors did in fact originate from the Netherlands with only a few from France and Germany. These ancestors were granted Dutch based surnames in this country such as Wyckoff, Bertholf, Couwenhoven, Bogart, Schenck, Williamson, Covert, Coapman, as well as numerous other names. As fairly recent examples, my mother's middle name was Coapman (originating from her Dutch 5th great grandfather Johannes Coapman), and my grandfather Baker's middle name was Schenck (from his Dutch 8th great grandfather Jan Martense Schenck). Considering how relatively small the Dutch population is in Europe compared to the rest of the world, it is fascinating how many Dutch ancestors we really have. Perhaps more stories should follow about the lives of some of our other numerous Dutch ancestors.