William S. (William Smith) Pelletreau.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) online

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which, from the peculiar charges, sliowed that he had distin-
guished himself in the defense of some fortified town or castle.
There is strong evidence to show that lie married a sister of
Abraham Cuyler, of Amsterdam, a well-to-do merchant, whose



158



GENEALOGICAL AND EAMILY HISTORY



son Heiidrick came to Albany in 1664, and in 1675 gave a power
of attorney to his brother Keinier in Amsterdam to receive
some property from Peter Nicholas (Tcuvernenr who seems to
have been the execntor of his brotlier-in-hiw, Abraham Cuyler.
This Peter Xicliolas Gonvernenr was tlie father of Nicholas
Pierre, the American ancestor, who was l)orn abont 1685. In
KioO he went to the Island of Curacoa, in the interest of his




■rOLU/ZRWOaR.



maternal grandfather, who had a business established on the
island and both the Gonvernenrs and the Cuylers kept np a
connection with the island till after the Revolntion. In the
sjjring of 1663 Mr. (xonverneur came to New Amsterdam, and
became connected with the Dutch Church, July 9, 1663. In
August, 1664, he appears in Albany as attorney for Cornelius
Steenwyck. In 1670 he married ^lacliteldt De Reimer, daugh-
ter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Greverait) De Reimer. After the
death of Isaac De Reimer, his widow married Elbert Elbertsen,



GENEALOmCAL AX I) FAMILY HISTORY ]5t^

and after his decease she married Hev. Samuel Drissius. Both
she and her hrother, Isaac (Jreverait, were eliildri'ii of Metje
Jans, whose sister, Tryntie, was the mother of thi' famous
Anneke Jans. Their motlier was living in Bridge street in KiSli;
Mrs. Elizabeth Drissins hy her will, proved Januai'y '17). KiHIJ left
property to her grandsons, Al)raliam and Isaac (icnivernenr,
and in 1675 Rev. Samnel Drissins conveyed some land to
Nicholas Gonvernenr, his "ste]) son in law." Nicholas <Ji)uver-
neur died in the sjjring of 1682, and his widow married Jasjier
Nissejiot, Septeml)er 14, 1685. They had a daughter Elizahetli,
who married Samuel Farmer, and had two sons, Sanniel and
Jasper. The latter had In- a first marriage two sons, Peter and
Jasper. He married for his second wife Maria (or ^lai'y),
daughter of Abraham Gonvernenr and his wife Mary ^lilbourn,
wlio was the daughter of the famous but ill fated Jacob Leisler.

Tlie old Gonvernenr family Bible says "Tn the year of our
Lord Jesus Christ, 1721, on the 27 of Seiitember on Wednesday
at 11 o'cloc, in the evening, died ye mother, aged 77 years, 8
months and 9 days, and was buried in Our Church." This
refers to ^lachteldt, the widow of Nicholas Gonvernenr, then the
wife of Jasper Nissepot. The children of Nicholas Gonvernenr
were Abraham and Isaac.

Abraham Gonvernenr received his earliest education in
Holland, where he had gone with his mother, 1nit after his re-
turn he was a scholar in the school of the Dutch church, the
schoolmaster being Jac(jb (Joelet. Tn 1687 he was clerk in the
otfice of the secretary of the colony, and in 1688 was town clerk
of New York. AVhen Jaeol) Leisler assumed power in 1689 he
formed a Council of Safety, and made young (bniverneur its
clerk. After the downfall of Leisler, Abraham Gouverneuf
was one of the six (besides Leisler and his son-in-law, .lacob
Milbonrue) who were sentenced to be executed. By the favor of



160 GEXEALOaiCAL ASD FAMILY HISTORY

tlie new governor, the six in;"lnding (xDnveiiieur, were rei)rievecl.
Xotwitlistanding- lie with the othei-s liad given his parole not
to leave the Province, he resolved to escape. He took passage
in a vessel honnd for Boston. The vessel was wi-ecked off Nan-
tucket, and all l»nt {iouvernenr ]ierished. Reaching shore he
procured a boat and finally arrived in Boston, and wrote to
his parents, under date of October 12, l(i92, announcing the
loss of all his eai'thly ])ossessions, inchiding liis clothing. He
then sailed for London and arrived in 1()9;>, where h'^ was joined
by Jacob Leisler, Jr., who had escaped to Holland. It was
three years befoi'e they could obtain a hearing from the govern-
ment, but eventually the attainder of Leisler was reversed, his
estate restored to his family, and his com])anions in the as-
sumed government were freed from danger. The tardy
atonement alas, could not restore the lives of Leisler and ^lil-
boume, who had been most barbarously executed. Young
Gouverneur thus went to his relatives in Holland, and returned
to Xew York in l(i9S, and was made a freeman of the city. In
1699 he was a Member of the Assembly, and was the ablest of
the Leislerian party. In 1701 he was speaker, and the same year
was made recorder of Xew York and served with great ability-
until 1705. In 1702 he was one of the commissioners to settle
the accounts of Robert Livingston. He became the owner of
large tracts of land in Harlem and in Kings county. From
1705 to 1712 he resided in "Brookland, " and was one of the
board of ruling elders of the classis.

Mr. Gouverneur married, May 16. 1699, ]\[aria, daughter
of Jacob and Elsie Leisler, and widow of Jacob ^lilliourne.
Their children were: 1. Jacoba, l)orn 1701, died without issue,
17S1. 2. Elizal)eth. l)orn 1701. died 1751. 8. .Jacob, born 1710,
died young. 4. ]\Iaria, l)orn 1712. She married Henry Meyers.
Jr., and had one son, who died in infancy. Her husband died



GEXEALOiUCAL AX I) FAMILY HISTORY 101

in 1740, and she married Jasper Farmer, who died in June,
1758. She survived liini many years, and died in August, 1790,
and was the last ])erson in New York buried after the ancient
Dutch custojn, an account of wliich is given in tliis work. 5.
Nicholas, wlio was made freeman in 1728. He married Ger-
trude, daughter of Barent and Hester Eeynolds (his cousin).
He died March 20, \1?>'^. His widow married David William
Frovoost. Nicholas Gouverneur left an only son, Aliraham,
horn in 1730. He was a farmer and miller in Bergen, New
Jersey, and died unmarried ahout 1770. In addition to the
ahove named children, there were several who died in infancy,
and the elder line of the family is extinct.

Isaac Gouverneur, son of Abraham, was born in the Cingle
(now Wall street) near the Koenings Valy (now Pearl street),
in 1673. He went with his mother to Holland and returned in
1682. Like his brother, he studied in the school of the Dutch
Church under Jacob Goelet. In 1698 he was made freeman
and licensed as merchant and trader. In 1700 he was ensign
in the company of Captain Lewis, in Colonel Abraham De
Peyster's regiment. He was the owner of much property in
Harlem and in New York, and also on the Island of Curacoa.

Isaac Gouverneui' married, June 24. 1704. Sarah, daughter
of Dr. Samuel Staats. Their children were: Johanna, wife of
Cornelius Low, Jr., ^Nlagdalena, married John Hall. ^largaret.
died unmarried in 1758. Alida, wife of Judge John I'ldughton.
Nicholas, born August 7, 1713, died September 15, 17S6. Sarah.
born October 14, 1714, married Hon. Lewis ]^rorris. of ^torris-
ania, November 3, 1746. She died January 14, 178(i. Gertrude,
wife of David Ogden. Sanmel, born February 24. 1720. died
September 12. 1798. Isaac, born October 3. 1721, dieil without
issue, September 24, 1794.

Nicholas Gouverneur, born August 7, 1713, entered very

Vol. I— 11



162 GEXEALOaiCAL AXI) FAMILY HISTORY

early into husinoss life, and was execntor of his uncle, Al)raliam
Gouvernenr. Aliout 1710 he went to Curacoa and remained
there till 1752. In 1771 he was commissioner of the loan office.
During the Revolution he sympathized with the Loyalists, and
lived in retirement on a small farm at Mount Pleasant on the
west bank of the Passaic river near Newark, and died there
in 1787. He married (first) Maria, daughter of Herman and
^laria (Van Dam) Weelen. (Second) Sarah, daughter of John
and Maria (Cuyler) Crieger. (Third) ^[ary, daughter of Ben-
jamin and ]\[ary (Troup) Johnson. The children of Nicholas
Gouvernenr, all by his first marriage, were: Johanna. Ger-
trude, born 1744, married Captain Anthon}'' A. Entgers. After
his death she married Dr. William Burnet. Herman, born 1746,
died 1774. Isaac.

Herman Gou^■erneur married his cousin Mary, daughter
of Hon. John Broughton. They had two children: Mary, who
died mimarried. Alida, born 1772, who married her cousin,
Isaac (louverneur, in 1794. After the death of Herman Gouver-
nenr, his widow married Gilbert Robertson, British Consul.

Samuel Gouvernenr, son of Isaac, born Fel)ruary 21, 1720,
married Experience Johnson, 1748. Their children were Isaac,
born 1749, died 1800. ^Margaret, married Lewis Ogden. Nicho-
las, born 1753, died 1802. Mary, wife of Rev. t'zal Ogden. An-
thony, born 1757, died 1795. Catherine, wife of Charles Ogden.
Gertrude, wife of Peter Kemble. Rebecca, wife of Caiitain
Thomas Bibby. Sarah, married Major Samuel Reading. Sam-
uel, born 1771, died 1847. Joseph.

Nicholas Gouvernenr, son of Samuel, ])orn 175."), married
Hester, daughter of Lawrence and Hannah (Asi)inwall) Kort-
right, February 25, 1790. (Her sister Eliza married President
Janu^s ^lonroe, Fel)ruary 16, 178(5). She was born 1770, and
died 1842. Their children were: Emilv, wife of Robert Tillot-



GENEALOGICAL AND FAMILY HISTORY 16:3

sen. Isaac. Samuel Lawrence, born 1795, died 1866. Nicholas,
died without issue. Louisa A., wife of Daniel J. Ver Planck.
Maria C, wife of General Thomas Cadwalader.

Samuel Lawrence Gouverneur, born 1795, married, 1820,
Maria, youngest daughter of President James ^fonroe. She
died in 1851, and he then married ]\[ary Lee. His children by
first wife were: James Monroe, who died childless. Elizabeth
K., married (first) Dr. Heniy L. Heishell ; (second) James M.
Bibby; (third) Colonel G. D. Sparrier. She had among other
children a son, James ^lonroe TTeishell, who has son, Monroe
Fairfax, now living in Washington, and has taken the name of
Gouverneur, and is the only man of the name now living. Samuel
Lawrence Gouverneur was for some years postmaster of New
York. At his residence, at the corner of Prince and Marion
street, President James Monroe died.

Samuel Gouverneur, son of Samuel, son of Isaac, born 1771,
died January 28, 1847, aged seventy-six years. He married
Mary, only child of Frederick Philipse, of Putnam county, New
York, June 18, 1801. She survived her husband a year and
died December 4, 1848. A ]iortion of the ancestral estate still
remains in the family. Their children were: Frederick, born
July 5, 1804, died October 26, 1874. By act of legislature he
took the name of Frederick Philipse. Adolphus Nathaniel,
born Sei)tem])er 29, 1805. Samuel ^longan AVarburton, born
Septemlier 9, 1807, died unmarried December 18, 1876. Mar-
garet Philii>se, l)orn June 10, 1809, married William ^Moore,
and died January 11, 1892. leaving no children. Mary Marston,
born August 2, 1811, died unmarried June 25, 1893.

Frederick (Gouverneur) Philijise, the eldest son, married
Catharine Wadsworth Post, July 1, 1857. She was born Janu-
ary 11, 1827, died June 18, 1869. Their children are: ]\Iary
Philipse, born ^May 4, 1858, died January 6, 1862. Frederick



lU GENEALOGICAL AND FAMILY HISTORY

Philip.se, boru January 9, 1860, died Marcli 5, 1860. Catlierine
Wadswortli, born September 18, 1861. Margaret Oonvernenr
Pliilipse, born June 27, 1864. A portion of the original estate
in Pntnam county is still in possession of the family.

Adolphus Xathaniel (louvernenr, was educated at Colnmbia
College, graduating in 1833. He married Elizabeth, widow of
Adolphus Gill. He died January 28, 1853, leaving one daugh-
ter Mary Phili])se, who married John H. Iselin. After liis de-
cease she married Doctor Francis Le Roy Satterlee. The chil-
dren of Mr. and Mrs. Iselin are: John Henry Gouverneur, Mary
Ethel, wife of Frederick Goodridge, Warburton Gouverneur,
and Margaret Marston. John H. G. Iselin married Caroline
Lydia Goodridge, May 21, 1899. Warburton Gouverneur Iselin
took the name of Warburton (Jouverneur. He died unmarried
December 28, 1906.

About the middle of the eighteenth century Nicholas and
Isaac Gouverneur purchased from the Walton family a wide
lot on the north side of Water street. They also purchased a
water lot of equal width, extending to the river. Through that
lot was laid out the street called (rouverneur's Lane. Upon
a part of that lot, then No. 27 Front street, was the house of
Isaac Gouverneur, and op]iosite at No. 26 was his store. In
later years he ])urcliased a lot on the west corner of Pearl street
and "Sloat Lane," (now Hanover street), and made it his
residence. His grandson, Isaac Gouverneur, the third, built
a more elegant residence upon the same site. After the Revolu-
tion Nicholas Gouverneur ])urchased a great many lots on the
De Lancy farms which had been confiscated. Through these
lots Gouverneur street was laid out in 1798. Large tracts of
land in the western ]iart of the state were also purchased and
u])on them is the town of Gouvermnir. (Jouverneur Hosi)ital.
an institution which has done so mucli to relieve human suffer-




Waiijiirron Goiiverneiir.



GENEALOaiCAL AXD FAMILY HISTORY 167

ing, also i>eriietnates tlie name, wliich although extinct as re-
gards the family, still has an honored and honorable memory.

Among the descendants of this family one deserves a
special mentioii. Hon. Le^Yis ^Morris, of ^lorrisania, married
one of the daughters of Dr. Samuel Staats, and had a large
family of children. Her sister Sarah married Isaac (rouverneur,
and among other children had a daughter Sarah, who became
the second wife of Hon. Lewis Morris, being the niece of his
former wife. This marriage excited the seltish wrath of his
children, and to this he makes pointed allusion in his will. The
(Hily child by his second mni'riage was Gouverneur ^lorris. "a
name famed in his country's annals."

roT^OXEL K()(H^R ^lOKRlS AXD HIS HOME.

Colonel Eoger ^Morris, whose residence, l)etter known in late
years as the "Jumel ^lansion," is the last I'elic on Manhattan
Island of Colonial homes, was a descendant of Cadigan, of Phil-
ip Horddw, a ]»owerful AVelsh chieftain in high favor with the
Duke of Argyle and Ear! of Pembroke. Plis father, Roger ^lor-
ris, married Alary, daughter of Si\- Peter Jackson, a Turkey
merchant of London. He died .hnuiary IM, 174S. His third son
was Colonel Roger Alorris, born January 2S, 1727, entered the
army and rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He was en-
gaged and was wounded in the battle of Monongahela, in which
(xenei'al Braddock was killed. Aftoi- the war he settled in Xew
"^^nk. and was a member of the Council till the time of the Rev-
olution. On Jnnnary P>, 17r)S. he mari'ied the famous beauty,
.Mar)- Miilip-e. (hniulitcr of Erederick Philijise, the Lord of the
Manor of Philipsbnrgh, the marriage being ceU'brated in gi'eat
state at the Manor House at Vonkers. It was about this time
that he pui'chased lands at Ilarlejn and erected the mansion
which still remains.



IGS OEXEALOGICAL AXL) FAMILY HISTORY

During the war both Colonel Morris and his brother-in-law,
Colono! Beverly IJoliliisoii. wei-e offit^ers in the British army and
took an active part in the ett'orts to subdue the colonies. When
the revolution was ended, CV)h)nel ^lorris and his wife were
among those included in the bill of attainder, their property was
confiscated, and themselves banished from the country. They
went to Enelaiid and resided at Cliester. Tn the cathedral of that
city is a tablet with the folloAving inscription:

Xear this spot are deposited the remains of

(V)l. Roger ^lorris,

Formerly of TTis ]\rajesty's 47th Begiment of Foot,

Who de])arted this Life on the lotli day of September, 1794, in

the fiSth vear of his Age.

And of

INTary jloi'ris

Edict of the same,

AVho (le})arted this Fife on the F'-^th day of July, 1825, in the

71st year of her age.

<'olonel Alorris left cliildren : Joana, wife of Thomas Fow-
])er Hindis; Amherst, who died unmarried, in 1S02; ^laria and
Heiiry Gage.

TIenry Ciage ^NFoi'ris A^as l)orn in New York. 1770, and at-
tained the rank of rear admiral in the British navy. In 1805 he
married a daughter of Eev. F. Orjien. Their children were:
Rev. Francis Orpen ^Forris. rector of Burholme. Yorkshire;
Henry Gage Morris, an officer in the navy; Frederick Philijise
^Nforris, barrister of Lincoln Tun; Beverly Robinson ^[orris, ]\r.
D., of Xottingham; Rev. Adolph Philipse ^lorris, of Leeds; and
Charles D'I'rban ^Eorris.

Professor Charles D'Frban ^lorris was born at Chermouth,
Dorset, Febrnai'y 17. 1827. He was educated at Oxford, and ob-
tained the degree of B. A in 1849; and in 1852 was Master of
Arts and Fellow of Oriel. He came to America in 1853, and was



170



aEXEALOaiCAL AM) FAMILY HISTORY



made rector of Trinity Scliool, and was afterwards master of a
school at Moliegan. Westohestei' county, and later was professor
in the University of Xew York. In ISTH he was chosen professor
of Latin and (ireek in Joluis ?iOpkins Tniversity, lialtimore, and
remained in that position till the tinu' of his (U'atli, wliicli oc-
curred February 7, 188(), and was huricd in St. Paul's chui-ch-
vard. He married Jane We1)h Shaw, dnuiihtcr of Oliver Sliaw,




of P]-ovidence. Ehode Island, hut left no children. He was the
only descendant of Colonel "Roger ^Morris, who lived in this conn-
try. Professo)' Morris was the author of a Tjatin Grammar of
Attic Greek. In these works he expounded his own iieculiar
views in regard to the study of these languases.

The city residence of Colonel Koger Morris and his wife
was the south corner of ^Vhitehall and Stone streets. This was
given to ^Frs. Morris hv her father. Frederick Philipse. About
the time when he niirried Mar\ Philii)se, Colonel Morris pur-



GENEALOGICAL AND FAMILY HISTORY 171

chased a tract of land at Harlem and on it he erected the man-
sion which now remains, the last relic of the elegant homestead
of Colonial days. This tract was bounded east by Harlem river,
and west by the Kingsbridge road, or Albany Post road, and it
extended from what is now One Hundred and Fifty-ninth street
to One linndred and Seventy-fifth street. The mansion stood at
the south end of the tract. The whole was sold by the connnis-
sioners of forfeitures to John Berrian and Isaac Ledyard, July
9. 1784. The price was £2,L'50 or $5,625. It was sim])ly described
as containing- one hundi-ed and fifteen acres.

William Kenyon purchased a large tract of land adjoining,
which extended to the Hudson river, and sold the whole to Leon-
ard Parkinson in ]79f) for £3.0(j(), and he sold it to Stephen Ju-
mel, April 28. 1810, for $10,000. Since then this famous place
has been kno^\Ti as the "Juniel Mansion," and the "Jumel
Farm." Stephen Jumel was a wealthy merchant from France,
and married Filiza Brt)wn, April 9, 1804. By this marriage he
was joined to a Avomnn whose ]ti-ide, ambition and determination
have seldom found their e(|nal. It is with her name rather than
her husband's that it has l)een famed in modern times. Under
her directions the house was furnished most magnificently, and
it became one of the centers of social life.

During his lifetime Stephen Jumel by various deeds settled
the pro]jei-ty u|)on his wife, and she l)ecame the sole owner. The
death of Air, Jumel wa< under peculiar circumstances. One day
he went cait riding in an ojien wagon, sitting upon a stool made
from a "Windsor cliair with the back sawed off. The di-iver was
inex]ierienced. and b\ accident Air. Jumel was thrown out. strik-
ing heavi!\ upon his breast. He wa^ conveyed to his liDuie, and
several physicians were called, who, according to the custom in
those days, {u-oceeded to bleed him. He lingered for ten or
twelve davs, and died Mav 22. 18;j2. His heirs-at-law were a



172



(iEXEALOaiCAL AXI) FAMILY HISTORY



brotluM- and sistei' residing in France. Stei)lien Jumel had been
dead scarcely a >ear when a new actor a])j)eared upon the scene
in the form of Aaron Bun-, Es(|.. "Attorney and C'onnseUor at
Law." who e^'i(h-ntly with an eye to tlie fortnne of ]\Iadame Ju-
mel, conmie'jced a matrimonial suit for heart and hand. With
that jtersnasive ]iower which had made him victor in so many




r{i)g>M' .Morris [Mansion (.Jumel Mansion).

love affairs, he gained a half-hearted consent, and with an assur-
ance so chai'acteristic of the man, he informed her of his inten-
tion to 1)e married on a certain day. On that day he appeared,
l)ringing with him Rev. David Schuyler Bogart, and the widow
was mai'ried in spite of herself. Burr soon found tliat he liad
met his match in more senses than one. and that there was a
temper and will oiiposed to him that were more than eipuil to liis
own. This ill stai'red union was not of long continuance. A



GEXEALOGICAL AXD FAMILY HISTORY l.'i

si'-ee'ly sei)ai atii)ii was followcil by a suit fi>i' divorce, ciun-
iiu-nced hy the wife, but never i)r()se('uted. ^ladanie Juuiel lived
iii the iirv.ision in state and grandenr for nearly foi-ty years, and
died at an advanced age. July 1(1, ISfi."). Slie left two nephews
and two nieces who were her heirs-at-law, who sold all their
rii.',hl and tit'e in the estate to Nelson ('ha<e. July 2i», l<S(i5. Then
turned a seiie-; ef lawsuits that lasted for twenty years, and
"The Juiiie! case'' i ■- famous in the law courts.

.Mary Juniel C hase. tlie wife of Xelson (drise, liad hy a for-
mer husband, a chihh Eliza Jumel Pei'y, and by her second hns-
l)and. a child, ^Villiam Tuiili- ("hn-e. Tliese childreii were lirought
up in t'le family of }ila(hnne dumel, as her intt'nded heirs by
adoption, and they were with Nelson Chase, the defendants in the
various law snits. It was first alleged that ^Madame Jumel left a
will, by which she becjueathed almost all her estate to various lie-
nevolent societies. This was set aside by the courts. The most
important suit was commenced by one (ieoi-ge ^V. Bowen, who
claimed to lie an illegitimate son of ?^!adame Jumel. This suit
v.-ent to the snin-enie cnui't of the I'nited States, and his claim
wa.r; di-nii-scd. It is <;\\.\ that "it is a wise child that knows iis
own father." but here wis one that evidently did not know his
own mother. After long years the c'aims of Nelson Chase vrere
fuly confirmed, and the entire jirojierty was sold in a partition
suit to various parties. Fortunately the i)roi)erty had been con-
stantly increasing in value, and v\liat Stephen Jumel had pur-
chased for $10,000, Avas sold for neai'ly half a million. Scnne tinr^
aftt r the mansion with a little land surrounding, was sold to the
A\ife of (reneral Ferdinand P. Earl, and during her ownei-shi])
it retained nnich of the glory of the i)ast. It has been lately pur-
chased by the city cf New York, and is undei' the direi-tion of
]tatriot!c societies. The portrait of ('o'onel Roger Morris is
from a jiainting by Copley. The ]ioitrait of his wife, Mr<. Mary



I7i



GENEALOGICAL AXD FAMILY HISTORY



(Philipse) ^Morris, was |)ainte(l by Benjamin West, and both
are in the possession of lier descendants in England. The por-
trait of Mrs. ^forris was made at a time when age and care and




UnEl^



Fa /^ai



(J:



trouble had destroyed the beauty for which she was once so
famous. The portrait of her in youthful beauty is now in pos-
session of the Gouverneur family, an engraving of which ap-
])e;irs in tlic sketch of the Philipse family.




DuBois Coat of Arms



GENEALOGICAL AXD FAMILY UlSTORY 175

A little north of the Juuiel iiiausion was a large rock, upon
which Fitz Greene Halleck wrote liis famous poem, "Marco
Bozzaris."

DL: 13U1S FAALILY.

Ill tlie middle ages the plainest lines of distinction were
marked between the iiohilit}' and the common people. There
were, in fact, but three classes — the clergy, the nobility and the
peasantry. In France the Roturiers, or counuon people, were
not allowed the use of surnames, which in after times they re-
ceived from their occupation, or peculiar circumstances charac-
terizing the person, or causes existing other than those which
designate the possession of office or the holding of land. It was
in the eleventh century that surnames were first assumed as a
distinctive mark of nobility, and if a French surname can be
traced back to that period it is indisputable evidence that the
family entitled to it was at that time a noble one. Such was the
name Du Bois, which a[)pears as early as 106(J. It was ancient
both in Artois and Normandy before William the Conqueror left
France for the conquest of Fngland. In the heraldic records
preserved in the royal library of Paris, P'rance, it is ex[)ressly
stated that the family is one of the oldest of the noble families
of Cotentin, in Xormandy.


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Online LibraryWilliam S. (William Smith) PelletreauHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) → online text (page 10 of 26)