Well I’m deep in it again. I have mentioned before that I do some family genealogy research. A lot of that research was aided by a distant (now late) cousin I mentioned in an earlier blog, My Cousin Frank. Well last year I finished my wife’s update. Why, you may ask, do I continue to go back over this stuff? Well, every day(?) more and more facts are being discovered and placed on the internet. Here’s why it takes me so long. I don’t research JUST the main line but all of the branches (married into) that come in to the main line, whether paternal or maternal.
To give you an example, I have begun to re-examine my line, which currently has, with the aunts, uncles and cousins, paternal and maternal, 1403 names. Since I only trace the lines in this country, some of the family lines are short, since their arrival in the U.S. occurred in the mid 1800’s. My longest line dates back to the 1660’s. Some lines that merged by marriage to us include people who originally settled Hartford, Connecticut.
When the Dutch explored the new world, they claimed a peninsula and adjoining land for the mother country and named it New Netherland. The English began settling in a pocket of New Netherland called Gravesend, named after a town in England. Years later the Dutch give up New Netherland to England and the territory was renamed New York. There were five settlements/towns including Gravesend that will eventually become Brooklyn. The area of Gravesend eventually expanded to include Coney Island, which was originally identified as three islands separated by inlets now closed, Coney, Pine and Gysbert’s (later called Johnson’s Island). The Dutch King Williem Keift gave a land patent to the English in 1645, turning that portion over the residing English. It’s notable that Gravesend was the first settlement founded by a woman, Lady Deborah Moody. Looking at Brooklyn today, it’s difficult to imagine that the land was all woods, pasture and tillable soil.
In a document known as Hotten’s Immigrants, pg. 44, it states that (my) John came from Lavenden England in 1635 and was allotted land in Gravesend in 1672. He eventually owned lots 30, 11, and 15, and later purchasing land on the Coney Island. While my roots are English, the men took Dutch women for their wives. A review of the Records of the Dutch Church of Gravesend (1695-1805) shows a number of my families children being baptized there, yet the parents were not listed on the rolls of membership. While I was surprised that my non-member family was allowed to baptize children in the church. I can only surmise that since the women/wives/mothers were Dutch that their families must have been members.
Here’s an early map of the “Burroughs” of Brooklyn.