27 February 2014
The first part of the “Do” step of the PDAA research process . . . .
The first step in researching Magdaleantje Chine is to better understand the place where she apparently resided, roughly from 1690 to the mid-1700s. This should help in understanding any migration patterns and locations of possible records. It should also provide context for events in the lives of John Simson and Magdaleantje.
Timeline for Richmond County (Staten Island) and Kings County, Province of New York
|1647||Nieuw Amersfoort (Flatlands) patented.|
|1652||Midwout (Flatbush) patented.|
|1654||The people of Gravesend purchased Coney Island from the local tribes for about $15 worth of seashells, guns, and gunpowder.|
|1657||New Utrecht patented.|
|1660||New Utrecht settled, though unchartered, on February 16 on a plot of land between the Bushwick and Newtown Creeks by fourteen French and Huguenot settlers, a Dutch translator named Peter Jan De Witt, and one of the original eleven slaves brought to New Netherland, Franciscus the Negro, who had worked his way to freedom.|
|1661||Boswijck (Bushwick) patented.|
|1661||Permanent Dutch settlement of Oude Dorpe (Old Town) established on Staten Island. There were nineteen families of Dutch, French, Belgian and English nationalities, unified by the common purpose of enjoying religious freedom.|
|1661-3||Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island established as a Dutch fort.|
|1664||English fleet anchors in Gravesend Bay and capture block house on Staten Island. Dutch surrender to English – August 18th.|
|1670||Governor Lovelace purchases Staten Island from the Indians – April 13th.|
|1673||For fifteen months, the Dutch recaptured New York, long enough for Pierre Billiou to be appointed Schout Scheppen (Sheriff and Magistrate) of Staten Island.|
|1675||Staten Island courts separated from Long Island’s courts.|
|1676||Population of Kings County: 250 taxables.|
|1677||New Utrecht Reformed Church chartered.|
|1683||The English organized the six old Dutch towns of Southwestern Long Island as Kings County; also Staten Island becomes Richmond County – November 1st.Thomas Dongan appointed Governor. Staten Island contained about 200 families.|
|1685||Duke of York ascended the throne in 1685 as James II; New York became a royal rather than a proprietary province.|
|1685||Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, followed by the severe persecution of Protestants in France, alarmed all Protestants in New York and on Staten Island.|
|1685||Courts moved from Gravesend to Flatbush.|
|1688||Richmond (Staten Island) divided into four towns – Castletown, Northfield, Southfield, and Westfield.|
|1688||James II, a Catholic, was deposed after a short reign of 4 years and William, a Protestant, was proclaimed king of England.|
|1693||Members who had met for thirty-five years for religious services in churches and barns on Staten Island were honored by the arrival of a resident minister. Reverend David de Bonrepos preached to a congregation of 36 French, 40 English and 44 Dutch settlers.|
|1695||Population on Staten Island was divided evenly among the French-speaking people, the English and the Dutch.|
|1696||The oldest schoolhouse still standing in the United States was built on Staten Island.|
|1698||French Huguenot Church was built at Greenridge, Staten Island.|
|1698||Two different estimates of population for Staten Island: One says 1,063; another says the population of the entire island was 727, including about 70 slaves.|
|1698||Population of Kings County: 2,017 , split as follows: Brooklyn 509, Flatbush 476, Bushwick 301, New Utrecht 259, Flatlands 256, and Gravesend 215. Negroes were 15% of the population.|
|1699||Captain William Kidd shipped out of New York for Caribbean waters to pursue pirates, but soon became a pirate himself. He buried treasure on Long Island.|
|1702||Yellow fever in New York kills more than 500 people.|
|1704||Kings Highway, now Fulton Street, laid out. It began at Fulton Ferry and ran southeast to Flatlands; then on to New Utrecht, and finally to Yellow Hook, ending at Denyse’s Ferry. This was Brooklyn’s “mother road.”|
|1705-12||Reverend Aeneas Mackenzie held services at the French Church on Staten Island until the Protestant Episcopal Church of St. Andrew was built.|
|1712||Population of Staten Island grew steadily to 1,279.|
|1713||War between England and France (Queen Anne’s War) concluded with the Treaty of Utrecht.|
|1729||The county seat of Richmond County was established in Richmond Town. Court was held in the new county court house, southeast corner of Richmond and Arthur Kill Roads.|
|1723-30||Smallpox epidemic in Boston, New York and Philadelphia.|
|1738||Population: Brooklyn 721, Flatbush 540, Bushwick 302, New Utrecht 282, Flatlands 268, Gravesend 235 (this is total people, including slaves).|
|1740||Ferry from Staten Island’s east shore to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn established by Thomas Stillwell.|
|1746||Population of Staten Island was 2,073.|
Timeline for East Jersey and Elizabeth Town
|1 December 1664||Gov. Nicolls grants patent for settlement on Achter Koll (Newark Bay), subsequently called Elizabeth-Town, which had been purchased from the Indians on 28 October by John Ogden, Luke Watson and others.|
|August 1665||Capt Philip Carteret, cousin of Sir George, arrives as governor of the new colony. Elizabeth-Town is named in honor of Lady Elizabeth Carteret, wife of Sir George.|
|February 1666||Lot owners in Elizabeth-Town take oath of allegiance.|
|May 1666||Southern half of Elizabeth-Town patent sold to settlers from Massachusetts; becomes Woodbridge. Portion of Woodbridge patent sold to settlers from New Hampshire; becomes Piscataway. The two townships are set aside by Gov. Carteret on 21 May.|
|1 August 1673||Dutch recapture former New Netherland area; begin to set up government at Achter Koll (New Jersey).|
|9 February 1674||Westminster Treaty returns Dutch-held New York and New Jersey to the English.|
|13 November 1675||Four counties are designated (without names) in East Jersey based on settlements at Bergen; Elizabeth-Town and Newark; Woodbridge and Piscataway; and Middletown and Shrewsbury.|
|3 March 1677||West Jersey’s Concessions and Agreements, drafted in 1676 by Edward Byllynge and signed by the proprietors and inhabitants; sets forth a framework of government and fundamental laws of the colony.|
|1-2 February 1682||East Jersey is sold by the trustees of Sir George Carteret to twelve men, all Quakers except one, led by William Penn.|
|August-September 1682||The twelve East Jersey purchasers each take on a partner in the venture, resulting in the Twenty-Four Proprietors.|
|7 March 1683||East Jersey’s counties—Bergen, Essex, Middlesex and Monmouth—are formalized, each with its own court.|
|14 March 1683||New patent for East Jersey is issued by the Duke of York to the Twenty-Four Proprietors.|
|1686||Perth Amboy becomes capital of East Jersey.|
|late 1680s to 1695||Challenges and lawsuits occur in East Jersey over quit-rents and land titles in the areas patented by Gov. Nicolls.|
|June 1687||East Jersey Proprietors assure royal council that they are willing to have customs collected and also are willing to surrender governance rights provided land rights are retained. With English proprietors of West Jersey, they petition that East and West Jersey be united rather than annexing East Jersey to New York.|
|mid-1688 to April 1689||New Jersey and New York are temporarily annexed to the Dominion of New England under Gov. Edmund Andros, seated in Boston.|
|1689||England enters war with France; New York presses for annexation of New Jersey for reasons of defense.|
|1690s||East Jersey Assembly presses for taxation of proprietors’ unimproved lands; East Jersey Proprietors press for collection of quit-rents or taxation to support government.|
|31 October 1693||East Jersey’s counties are formally divided into townships for administration of local government; all of Somerset County is treated as a single township.|
|1696 to 1699||Ongoing crises arise in East Jersey between the assembly and the proprietors during Jeremiah Basse’s governorship.|
|1697||Sixty-five inhabitants of Elizabeth-Town petition the crown to abolish the proprietary government and unite East Jersey with New York.|
|1699||“Revolution” occurs in East Jersey, with violence and civil disturbance in Elizabeth-Town, Newark, Piscataway and Middletown. Returning governor Andrew Hamilton calls on militia, but repelled.|
|December 1699||Clinker Lot Division occurs in Elizabeth-Town, where 17,000 acres of undivided townlands are apportioned in disregard of the Proprietors’ survey.|
|15 April 1702||East and West Jersey Proprietors surrender governance rights to Queen Anne. New Jersey becomes a single royal colony, although the provincial capitals of Perth Amboy and Burlington continue as dual seats of government for the colony’s eastern and western divisions, respectively. Proprietors retain land rights. Deeds, surveys and other records will continue to refer to the provinces of East and West Jersey into the revolutionary period and later.|
|1721||William Trent establishes Trent’s Town.|
|1736-1738||Another allotment of lots in Elizabeth Town. Roughly 280 100-acre lots.|
|1738 to 1776||Disputes prevail relative to quit-rent rights of the East Jersey Proprietors and land titles in areas for which patents were granted by Gov. Nicolls.|
Summary of Key Events for John and Magdaleantje Simson
Magdaleantje’s spouse, John Simson, was born about 1690-1695, probably in Flatlands (location of his father at this time). His family removed to Staten Island after 1711 and before 1713 (based on church records in Flatlands and his father’s will in 1713). Sometime after 1721 John and his family moved a few miles west to Elizabeth Town in the Province of New Jersey, where his children resided for the remainder of their lives and where John died in 1773. There is no known record of Magdaleantje in New Jersey or of her death or burial.
Magdaleantje and John were married about 1715, probably in Richmond County (Staten Island) – based on birth date of son John and being witness to baptism of sister Tabitha in 1716. They sold land on Staten Island in May 1721. By 1729 John’s sister Sarah Janetje apparently married in Elizabeth Town, although there is dispute on this matter. Certainly by 1751, John was in Elizabeth Town participating in a chancery suit with the Elizabeth Town Associates.
Analysis of Timeline Events and Record Sources
The history of Kings County and Richmond County shows a community of English, Dutch and French with the French being either Huguenots or descendants of Huguenots. By the early 1700s, this community had lived together for more than 25 years and the French were notable in New Utrecht. If “Chine” is French then Magdaleantje’s family may well be one of the Huguenots and records of New Utrecht should be examined. Furthermore, given a marriage on Staten Island about 1715, we should also look for a French family in the late 1600s in that place, particularly on the south side of the island where John owned land. The timelines for both New York and New Jersey show constant land issues being played out for this period, which is to be expected given that immigration is occurring, land is available and wealthy individuals are trying to profit from their holdings – this suggests that deed, survey and land patent records will be useful.
These timeline events also show that records should exist in archives in England and The Netherlands; however, this avenue of research won’t be pursued at this time.
Records of the churches of Kings County, as well as town records, up to about 1715 should be examined for evidence of John and Magdaleantje; then, records of Richmond County should be examined from about 1715 to 1750 with emphasis on the earlier years. East Jersey and New Jersey records for the period 1720 to 1775 are available and need to be examined.
Where Are the Sources?
The first places that I look for possible sources are:
- FamilySearch.org Research Wiki.
- FamilySearch.org Catalog for specific places.
- State archives of New York and New Jersey.
- State and local genealogy societies and historical societies.
- Ancestry’s Red Book, 3rd edition, edited by Alice Eichholz
Some of these sources are on-line, at least in transcript form, and images of the original records can be obtained from the Family History Library (https://familysearch.org/) as well as the municipal archives of New York City (http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/archives/archives.shtml), where the early town records are archived. See the research wiki at FamilySearch.org for Gravesend, New Utrecht and Elizabethtown for a good summary of material. Also, see the Brooklyn Historical Society website (http://brooklynhistory.org/) for additional information on sources. The New Jersey State Archives website (http://www.nj.gov/state/archives/index.html) has some of the records of Elizabeth Town and the research wiki at FamilySearch.org has good references at “New Jersey Church Records.” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (http://newyorkfamilyhistory.org/) has an extensive database for members as well as a complete copy of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Record, an invaluable New York resource that has been published since 1870. The Genealogical Society of New Jersey has its extensive manuscript records housed at the Alexander Library, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey (http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/libs/scua/scua.shtml).
This overview of the history of the places that involve Magdalenatje has led to a number of sources for pertinent records. Now, all that remains is to “examine appropriate records of this time and place to develop a listing of possible surnames.” This is quite a bit of work and needs to be further broken down to a manageable task that can be done in a reasonable amount of time – always a challenge. The next blog will cover this.
References for the above material:
Thomas Mateo, “Staten Island History Time Line,” The Staten Island Historian (http://www.statenislandhistorian.com/Staten_Island_History_Time_Line.html : accessed 26 Feb 2014).
Joseph R Klett, “Using the Records of the East and West Jersey Proprietors,” (2008); digital images, New Jersey State Archives (http://www.nj.gov/state/archives/pdf/proprietors.pdf : accessed 25 Feb 2014).
Ira Rosenwaike, Population History of New York City (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1972); digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com/ : accessed 26 Feb 2014).
Lori Weintrob, “Huguenot Staten Island,” Wagner Faculty Sites (http://faculty.wagner.edu/lori-weintrob/huguenot-staten-island/ : accessed 26 Feb 2014).
Wikipedia contributors, “Gravesend, Brooklyn,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gravesend,_Brooklyn&oldid=579826916 : accessed 26 Feb 2014).
Wikipedia contributors, “Bushwick, Brooklyn,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bushwick,_Brooklyn&oldid=591011374 : accessed 26 Feb 2014).
Wikipedia contributors, “Brooklyn,” Wikipedia, The Free Enclclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Brooklyn&oldid=597233855 : accessed 26 Feb 2014).
Phyllis DeLisio and Rose Stella Proscia, “SI350 and the Memorial Church of the Huguenots,” (2012?); digital images, The Reformed Church of Huguenot Park (http://huguenotparkchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/History_of_the_French_Huguenots-history_book-updated-20121.pdf : accessed 26 Feb 2014).
Edwin F Hatfield, History of Elizabeth, New Jersey; Including the Early History of Union County (New York: Carlton & Lanahan, 1868); digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com/ : accessed 26 Feb 2014).