James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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which they bad been driven by persecution but a few
years before, while the latter, if not themselves natives

of Holland, were the immediate descendants of those
born in that country, which then offered an asylum
for the persecuted and oppressed of all nations, and
whose struggles in behalf of civil and religious lib-
erty were so memorable.

The first settlers came here directly from Ulster Co.,
N. Y., the tide of immigration setting up the Mama-
kating valley and thence to the Delaware, down
which it flowed until it was met by another current
ascending from Philadelphia. The two currents of
population which thus met and mingled in the ancient
valley of the Minisink and spread along the borders
of these counties from the Neversink to the Musco-
netcong were of divers nationalities, yet all uniting
in one common characteristic, — a native love of liberty
and a desire to find freedom from the civil and eccle-
siastical restraints which had hampered and burdened
them in the Old World. Those coming in from the
north, we have said, were Huguenots and Hollanders,
— the most renowned Protestants and dissenters of con-
tinental Europe ; those reaching our territory from the
south were Welsh, Quakers, Germans, and Scotch-
Irish, with a considerable intermixture of the Puritans
of New England, all noted for their struggles for civil
and religious liberty in the several European countries
whence they came. These formed the basis of the early
population not merely of Sussex and Warren Counties,
but of the upper Delaware valley generally, including
the river settlements in the three States of New Jer-
sey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

The precise period at which the Dutch and Hugue-
not settlers entered the Minisink valley is uncertain.
We find the following in Mr. Edsall's " Centennial Ad-
dress." Speaking of the " Old Mine Road," which he
thinks was constructed and used by a company of
miners from Holland as early as 1650, and abandoned
as a mining-road upon the accession of the English
rule, in 1661, he says, —

"The main body of these men are believed to have
returned to their native land, yet a few undoubtedly
remained and settled in the vicinity of their aban-
doned mines. In this county we class the Depues,
Ryersons, and probably the Westbrooks and Sehoon-
makers, as among the descendants of those ancient
immigrants. . . . Here, then, wehavethepointatwhich
the first settlement in Sussex County was made clearly
established. Here log cabins were built and orchards
planted when the site of Philadelphia was a wilder-
ness. The Swedes in West Jersey and the Dutch
and Norwegian settlers in Bergen antedate the pio-
neers of Pahaquarry but a very few years. The light
of civilization had shone but for a brief period upon
the eastern and southwestern borders of New Jersey
ere it penetrated our northern wilds. Feeble at first,
it grew brighter as time advanced. News of the fer-
tility of the Delaware flats was doubtless carried to
Esopus, whence it was taken to Communipaw, to the
island of Manhattan, and even into Bushwick and
the vales of Mespat. Esopus was a favorite place of


resort from 1600 to 1685, because of the great strength
and richness of its soil ; but immigrants who came in
there from around the bays and inlets of New York,
Hergen, and Long Island, and who found the best

locations occupied, turned their tl ghts to these

bottom-lands on the Delaware, whereof many-tongued
rumor had frequently spoken, and, led by necessity
and curiosity, they followed the Mamakating until at
last the blue outlines of the Pahaqualin Mountains
greeted their vision, and the cabins of three or four
bermit-like settlers were found reposing beneath their
shadow. Here they mei a hospitable welcome and

here they made tlo-ir locations, enlarging by their in-
gress the social circle and aH'ording strength to the
infant colony."

This line and beautifully rhetorical passage, we are
constrained to believe, is slightly in error as to its
historical accuracy. The date assigned for the " three
or lour hermit-like setl lew" and the " infant colon} "
is undoubtedly too early bj a considerable period,
Certainly, none of the Huguenot names could have
been among those mentioned as having been in the
valley prior to 1664, or for more than twenty years
suliseipient to that date; for the decree revoking the
Edict of Nantes, which Bent them to this country, was
nol passed till L685.

We notice that some other writers, probably relying

for authority on the traditions of Scull and Lukens,
who passed through the Minisink on a survi
tour in 1780, have taken a similar view as the writer
above quoted, ami have even given to the early .Mini-
sink settlement ■■< greater antiquity. Thus M. R.

Ilulee, in a letter to I,. W. lirodhead, Esq., ->

"This valley was settled by the Dutch about one :
hundred years before Penn founded Philadelphia."

This is quite too great a stretch of the imagination
to entitle the author to any credit as a historian ; yet

it is published in a work claiming to give information
to the public. Brodhead, in his "History of the
Minisink," says. " li i- difficult to determine the ex-
act date of the first European settlement in the upper

valley of the I tela ware. 'I'll a I llnTe ivov white people

here at an early period, and even before the arrival
of William 1 Vii n ai Philadelphia, seems non to bi
generally admitted; but it must be confessed that

concerning those who inhabited the Mini-ink pre-
vious to 17i!"> we have little knowledge. It is quite
Certain that the first tide of immigration iin

valley thiwed from the direction ol the Hudson, and

30 down the valleys of the Mamakating and Xever-

sink, and, entering the Minisink at the Delaware,
Bowed throughout its bordi i -."

The best authorities in Ulster and ( (range Counties
make the prior settlements in and about Port Jervis
to have begun about 1690. Jacob ('aud.-l.ee and Peter
(iuiniar|- were the first settlers. The location of their

• Ddnwara Witoi -Gup, p. -Ti.

t The da


settlement was known as the " Upper Neighborhood,"

being in the valley of the X.-vei-ink. at 1'eenpaek,

now known as Port Clinton, on the Delaware and
Hudson Canal. Dr. Mills, in hie "Historical Ad-
dress," -a-.-. "A few year- after the settlement at
Gumaer's- probably about I7I"> a number of fami-
lies came into what was subsequently called the

' Lower Neighborh 1," and located on either side ol

the Neversink, from what is now named Huguenot
south to Port Jervis. These families came from 01-

Sti t I OUnty, and were all Hollanders or of II

descent, as indicated bj their names, — Cortright, Van
Auken, Westbrook, Decker, Kuykendal, Westfall,

< !ole, and Davis."

We find the same names in the records, and many
others of Hollandish extraction, extending from the
settlements named above all along the .New Jersey
el- ol the Delaware to the Water ( lap. The settle-
ments from Port Jervis southward were undoubtedly

made about the same time as those above, or verv

soon after, as the rich Minisink Hats opened a most
inviting prospect to immigrants, especially to Hol-
landers which could not, in the nature of things,
have remained long unoccupied. In l7.'!o the sur-
veyor-general, Scull, and his deputy, John Lukens,
speak of the valley as being quite thickly settled on

both Bides Of the river from the Water Gap north for
a distance Of thirty or forty miles, and of their ad-
miration being excited bj n " grov< of apple-(r<
exceeding in size any near Philadelphia." This would

indicate that the settlement must have been made at
an earlier date than lTl'o. as given by one author.

or than 1715, as given by others. Fifteen years would
hardly be sufficient to grow such apple-trees as the
witnesses describe, even in the rich soil of the Mini-
sink. Smith, in his " History of New Jersej ."
that in lT-V, the settlements were more numi rous on
the Jersej than on the Pennsylvania side of the river,
and they were probably so from the beginning, and
made at an earlier date

We arc of the opinion that both classes of writers
havi i ired, the one in giving too great an antiquity
i" the Minisink settlement, and the Other in making
it of t recent origin. We shall probably find thai

the truth lies between the two eMreln.-. \\',- ha\e

positive documentary evidence that there was a con-
siderable colony of settlers at the Neversink and in

thi Mmi-ink valley, including both of the Minisink

Islands, prior to the beginning of the eighteenth cen-
tury. A voting precinct, with a municipal organiza-
tion, was laid off there before this date, which implies
a considerable number of voters; and by an
the Provincial Assembly of New Y.-rk, passed <>ct.
L8, 1701, "for the more Regular proceedings in the
[ ' of Reprea I he " inhabitants of

r-ink and < Ircat and

Mini-ink (Islands)" were "empowered to give their

vote- in the C lty of Ulster." Thus the people of

Sussex vot.d in Ulster Co., X. Y., not only at that



time, but continued to vote there for eight years sub-
sequently, until, by the passage of an act by the same
provincial authority, Nov. 12, 1709, their votes were'
restored to Orange County.*

This evidence clearly substantiates the fact that
there were many settlers in the Jersey Minisink pre-
vious to 1700. And with this agree the researches of
B. A. Westbrook, Esq., of Montague. We quote
from an article entitled " Old Minisink," published
in the New Jersey Herald of June 25, 1879, wherein
Mr. Westbrook says, —

"Just prior to the year 1700 many of the Low
Dutch farmers from Ulster Co., N. Y., together with
fugitives from the states of Europe, principally from
France, commenced the establishment of a chain of
kindred settlements along the Machockemack (Never-
sink) and Delaware Rivers, extending from Ulster
County on the north to the Delaware Water Gap at
the south, and covering a stretch of territory about
fifty miles in length, and of variable width.

" The old ' mine road,' extending from iEsopus
(Kingston) on the Hudson to the Water Gap on the
Delaware, constructed previously to facilitate mining
operations at the latter point, had been abandoned as
part of an unprofitable venture. This road, though
a failure as to its original purpose, yet proved to be
of great advantage to the pioneers in settling our
valley, by furnishing them with convenient access to
their future homes in the wilderness, and for the first
hundred years of the history of the settlements referred
to, as a common thoroughfare, it was instrumental in
continuing a close relationship with and attachment
for the parent settlements upon the Hudson River."

The records of the old Reformed Dutch Churches
of the Minisink valley furnish us with the names of
many of the pioneers who settled this region. They
are the oldest and most valuable records of the valley
extant; and the descendants of those who first settled
that portion of Old Sussex, as well as every earnest
searcher after historic data, have cause to be thankful
for the learning and piety which made these old rec-
ords and caused thein to be preserved in the heart of
a wilderness country. Let it be observed that these
records, although beginning with the baptisms of
children in 1716, do not reach back to the beginning
of the settlements, but only to the period when they
had acquired sufficient numbers and strength to begin
tu look after the religious interests of the community,
and to employ ministers to visit them occasionally
from the older settlements. Rev. Petrus Vas and
Rev. Georg Wilhelm Mancius, of Kingston, first vis-
ited and administered the ordinances to them, from
1710 loi- about twenty-live years. A brief outline of
these churches preparatory to some extracts which
we propose to make from the records, will here lie

■ pm t ui' tiii

In 1737 four churches of the Dutch Reformed faith
were formed in the Minisink valley, two of which were
in what is now Sussex County, in ancient Walpack, the
third at Port Jervis, and the fourth at Lower Smith-
field, on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware. The
congregations connected with these churches ex-
tended from the Neversink, some eight miles above
Port Jervis, to the Delaware Water Gap, — a distance
of about fifty miles, including portions of New Jer-
sey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

From 1741 to 1756 all these churches were under
the pastorate of the Rev. Johannes Casparus Fryen-
moet, a young man who was sent to Holland at the
age of sixteen to finish his education, receive ordina-
tion by the Classis of Amsterdam, and return as their
pastor. He was a native of Switzerland, and had
been partially educated before coming to this coun-
try. By an agreement with the people of the several
congregations, he was furnished with the means to
return to Holland and prepare himself for the minis-
try, which he did ; and, being ordained, he returned
and on June 1, 1741, became the first regular pastor
of the four churches, each congregation agreeing upon
his services for one- fourth of the time. The parson-
age, subsequently built, was at Nomanock, near the
old fort, in what is now Sandyston, Sussex Co., where
the ruins of the old cellar still remain. It appears
from the records that this young man was married
soon after his return from Holland by Abraham Van
Campen, Esq., and that he steadily continued in the
relation of pastor till 1756, and irregularly after that
till the fall of 1759. During most of this period he
kept the records of the churches, the Consistories, the
baptisms, and the marriages in a peculiarly neat and
finished handwriting. A few years ago they were
translated from the original Dutch by the Rev. J. B.
Ten Eyck, late pastor of the Reformed Church of
Berea, and in 1877 were published in a neat and con-
veniently-arranged pamphlet by Wm. H. Nearpass,
Esq., of Port Jervis. We give from these records the
names of many of the primitive settlers of the Mini-
sink valley, a considerable part of whose descendants
are among the worthy and influential citizens of Sus-
sex and Warren Counties at the present day. They
were mostly justices of the peace, holding the king's
commissions, and members of the Consistories of the
several churches, and of the Joint Consistory which
usually held its meetings in the old parsonage at No-
manock. The names are given as they appear in the
original Dutch, but most of them have since under-
gone changes conforming them to the English method
of orthography.


1741.— Jan Kortrecht, Jan van Vliedt, Abraham
van Campen, William Cool, Johannel Westbroeck,
Hendrick Kortrecht, Peter Kuikendal, Derrick West-
broeck, Jacobus Swartwood, William Kortrecht, Sol-
omon Davids.



L745. Jacob Westfael, Jan van Campen, Johannes
Brinck, Johannes Decker, Cornelius Westbroeck, Jan
v.'in Etten, Abram Bevier, Dirk p en Broeck, Samuel
Bevier, Cornelius Louw.

1746-48. — Nicholas Dupui, Lambert Brinck, Sam-
uel Schammers, Abram Kermers, Moses Dapui, An-
driii- Dingenman, Ja. Swartwoudt.

1750. — Benjamin Shoemaker, William Ennes, Ger-
rit Brinck.

1761. — Arie Verdenburg, Hendrick Eover, Nich-
olas Brinck.

17i)l.- ■•-Alir:mi Middag, Thomas Schoonhoven, Dai -
iel Roaenkrans.

1765. -Abram Kittle, Isaac van Campen, Adam

Dingman, Jacob Dewitt, Philip Wintern t, Jo-

hannes Dewitt, Earmanus Nimwegen, Abram C.
\ i ' i.l »avid < tool.

1785. Jacob R. I »ewitt, I [el mas I tole, Jacob I »i -
win Gumaer, Elias V. Bunschooten, Thomas Kyte,
Geysberi Sutfin, Benjamin Fisher, Abraham Dutch) r.


We give below a few of the marriages taken from
the record, covering the years from 1788 to 1797.
'J'Ik' dates are given from the iir.>t publication of

Itaiins :
■■ 1738, Mar h :.. — fohannes Westbroeck, Jr., young man, imrit at

Nyleucld, t.. Magdalena u.-ti k, young woman, born ul Hurly, un 1

both dwelling al Ueubuluck; married by Authouj U
of tli.- peace, the lasl .Ijiy <>r March.

14 IT:-, Mil. )i 20. — Jan van Kitten,; g man, born al Nybtfleltl, to

HnrUJo Westfael, young woman, born nl Menhwluck, ami t •< - ■ I < living

m trrte I by A hi I of the iieace, kpril 13,

" 17-SJ. — loh. Casparus Fryoi ith.young man, born In Switzerland,

u,y g w ni, burn at N \ t-.ii.-1-l : married with a

from Oovornoi Morris, In Ken Jersey, by Justice Abniin van
Cauupen, the 23d July. 1742.

'■1742,Ji voung man,hom at Rxcheetcr, dwell-
ing In mii nl. it. 1. 1, in Bucks County, to Maria Westbr ik.youui womnn,

al Moulaaluck ; married tit
by me.

" 1741, Julj 19 librani HI li tgh, j man, b i

ran Aukon, young « , burn al Itocheater, both dwelling

here; married lugust 18, t.t me, J U. Fryoiimuth.

"iTi::, March 13, Slmuti Wcstfat'l, young man, born in Dutchess
Ouunty, dwelling in Sniiihit. ■!.!, Bin ki I onnty, to Jan

• ..in.. I, dwelling ul Meuiatiiiii k ; married the I'lli i I
laljlisllceol the item
" 1743, AiiKii-t 21. ■ Jiihu ■ Boguert, born in DntcheM Comity, i ■

: ,, ,: I. Iwelllng ..t

. ni u i. i tin Oili ■! November, .Int.., bj Abraham run An
ken, Justice >.l tho neat o.
" 1 . to, Maj IS Swl imoit i ! . it . young man, boi it

ta Quick, yuimg wuinaii, Ituru at SletschoiHtkouckraud

both dwelling ul Mulsjlicpekuuck ; married . i U. Vryeumnth, J


■• 174 i, -luh 21 i. .1. .nun. li. .in .in. y ig in ui. to Caihnriu , Kort-

recht.j g wnman, both bom nl Rochester, uud bnlli llvltt,

Grouty, Pe i I.e. Fr; timulli,

1 obruarj IU Bciduntlii Tl mm, young man, lwru lu Klou*.

Kuglanilt, t.. Lltabetlt Westluel, young > t orn at Muchui kt b,

tin. I both dwelllug Ihero; iitiirrlt.il February Dili bj me, I I
" 1717. Soptembot 1 I Jai ub run Cinipen \

I boi Decker, young w an, born al Nlakul u k, U tit living in

Bucks County; murriud tbo Uth .,i Octobet h) me, .1 '. > •

" 1748, March 20.— 1

mech, to Haria Westbroeck, young w an, bom al Ollsford, and built

■ kpril, ditto, bj
Mat li.

"1748, December 11. — BenjamluWi . young man. born

at Wawnrsslnck, and dwelling al Noun nack, ti I < dl i U Nfael, young

» in born al Mai bai kenit-ck, and dwelling there ; uiarrle t tbe Mil "f

January, 1749, by .1. Fryenmoet.

" 1749, Jauuarj - J leph W. Ibnieck youn( in .. ttWawara-

slnck.and dwelling at Namena :k,to Llzabetli Kuykondal, young woman,
bom at Machockemeck, and dwelllt i f Jnna-

ary by me, J. C. Fryei

" 1760, January 7.— luiac Hlddngh, young man, born al Menlsrinck,

tin. I dwelling at Teeahucht, to Femnllje Decker, youug w au,

,it Meulesinck, and dwelling utShlppeconk; uiunled IhelGth
ary by me, J. C. Fryenmoet.

" 1760, July 8.— Anthony van Elten, yttiing man, born at N
and dwelllug at Nameuack, to Annatje Decker, young wom.iu f bora at
M.i... kemech, and dwelling Uiore; married the 3d ul August by me, J.
c. Fryenmoet, est 20.

"1761, April 11. — lun Kormer, young man, born ut Kingston, and
dwelling amoiig[ondei | w ..i, . . ! to Llzubeth van Cntnpeu, young ^ man,
born in Upper Smithfleld, and dwelllug Ihora; married the I'.th of May
I 0. Fryel -t, ii-t. :;n.

- 17..J, Kii. limit ■ :>.— At. ml., mi Westbroeck, young man, bora al w.,-
warssl lick, and dwelling at Kamonack, to Blaudlna R
woman, boi and dwelling Mm bat kern

Oth ,.i March by mi . i 0. 1 ryenniot

" 1762, Dec ber 17.— Pctre<i Kuykeudal, yimngman, bora al Machack-

• iii. I., hi., I dwelllug there, to Cutlbiriun Klttel, young wnniau, bora at
YVuwartduk, and dwelllug at Meuliteluck ; married the 12th of Jauuary,
t. at. 32.

'• IT.'.j, December 31. — Jacobus Guusales, yonng man, boi u si Mammo-
kaUng, uud dwelling there, t.. Sarah Wretbroeck, young womuu, burn at
Nameuack, and dwelling there; murried the 28tk <-( January
in,-. .1. C. Fryeni -t, sat. 32.

"1763, Julj ti. — Jama* ltisla, yonng man, bora In N. Jersey, I

.,T.-.-iiii 1 _r. I i ,.t i: lh dwelling at Heuutduck;

married the 2ath of August by me, J ot.32.

" iT'.t, November 1 1.— Daniel van Aken, y ig man, born al Ma.-l.n. k-

emech, and dwelling there, t.. Lea Klttel, young womuu, burn at \v„.
wurslnk, and .l». -IIihk al Mel -

ttif. J. 0. Fry. -in >t,

"1763, Deccnibei 2. — Jeremlas KitteL young man, ln.ni ut ll-.tli, to
i , youug woman, bom at Meubnluck, and both dwvllln
married tho 4th of .Inn nary, IT.vi. by me, J. C l'i\>- oet,

"1754, February 17.— ThomiiaWellisyuuug man, burn in Philadelphia,

and dwelll tbelli Duwld.y ^ w an, ltuniul

r, and dwelllug in Upper Smithfleld; ma I 1 1, ■ I lib ,.r

March by mo, J. 0. Fryeiiuiot I

" 1764, Attgii-t 4. — Abram Klltol, v z man, l-.rn Wawarslnk, t,.

Christina Wlslfnol, young woman, bora ..t Moubalnck, and both dwelling
tl....... n,a in.. I tho 30lh of ditto by me, J 0. Fryenmoet, act 34

1 .iiii.i'.v 20,— Alexander Ivory, widowei .■( Uj

dnk, and both dwelling at Walpeck ; t
bj me, J. C. 1

t To ,.t I the reader In and

the aboi Is, Hi., r.dlowliis la i|

. lite t vtti ..r vlll.u;.. ..f t

where Montagon I w situated ; Uie churcti lleubaduck

church. A number of the parties married ware bora bore, au
,. residents >-f the plat a,

lied A in Island In tin D

old 17. it I. .nit ..n tl.. - in. .in laud, opposite the Islaud, dur ng the Fienvli

red here -.r ..n II

.i..' Italian n. in i. • uf Hi. ti

Delaware, whan * "I Un

At tlii* date ih- spelling ul the i ic t liungt •. aud su n inalua evei





The Minisink country, originally so called, com-
prised a portion of what are now the three States of
New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and in-
cluded the soil on both sides of the Delaware River
from the Water Gap to the Lackawaxen. According
to Heckewelder, who is regarded as excellent author-
ity on Delaware Indian names, the term "Minisink"
signifies "the place or home of the Minsies." It is
probable, however, that the name was first given to
the valley or locality where these Indians settled,
and that they were subsequently called Minsies be-
cause they lived there. We find the following in
Eager's " History of Orange County," pages 407 and

" The tradition of the Indians in this vicinity at
the early settlement of the country was that their
nation lived at Kittatinny (now Blue Mountains), in
Warren Co., N. J., which means ' chief town ;' that
at an early period there was a difficulty or disagree-
ment of some kind in the nation, and the discontented
portion removed to the other or north side of the
mountain, upon the lowlands along the Delaware.
The tradition also was that long ago, and before the
Delaware River broke through the mountain at the
Water Gap, these lands, for thirty or forty miles along
it, were covered by a lake, but became drained by the
breaking down of that part of the dam which con-
fined it. When the discontented retired from the
nation they settled upon the lands from which the
water had retired, and by the others were called
' Minsies' because they lived upon the land from
which the water had gone. The name .in the first
instance was descriptive of the land from which 'the
water is gone,' and afterwards was applied to the In-
dians who lived upon it."

If this be true, — and there can be little doubt of
its correctness, — Heckewelder gave only the secondary
meaning of the word, — that is, the meaning given to
it by the Indians of his time, — without going back to
search for its derivative signification in the events
and circumstances which first led to its use. Scull
and Lukens, the early surveyors, were both conversant
with the language of the Lenni Lenapc, and they
give the meaning of " Minisink" as " the water is
gone." The editor of Heckewelder's manuscripts
says, "The upper valley of the Delaware was pre-
eminently the home of the Minsies (the historic
Minisink), where they built their towns, planted their
corn, and kindled their council-fires, and whence they
set out on the hunt or the war-path. The Minsies,
Miniseys, or Muncys were the most warlike of their
people, and proverbially impatient of the white man's
presence in the Indian country," yet the early settlers
of the valley managed to live on peaceable terms

with them till the war broke out, in 1755. The only
exception we know of was the murder of Wright, at

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 6 of 190)