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Genealogical and family history of southern New York and the Hudson River Valley : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the building of a nation (Volume 2) online

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was appointed to the additional office of
postmaster under the Crown. He was
known as the "Post" of Scrooby, and was



master of the court mails, which were ac-
cessible only to those connected with the
court. He died in the summer of 1590. His

wife was Prudence . Child: William,

mentioned below.

(H) Elder William Brewster, who cama
in the "Mayflower," was born during the
last half of the year 1566 or the first half of
1567, the date being fixed by an affidavit
made by him at Levden, June 25, 1609, when
he declared his age to be forty-two years.
The place of his birth is not known, but it
is supposed to have been Scrooby. The
parish registers of Scrooby do not begin
until 1695, and no record of Brewster's
birth, baptism or marriage, has ever been
discovered. He matriculated at Peterhouse,
which was then the "oldest of the fourteen
colleges grouped into the University of
Cambridge," IDecember 3, 1580, but does not
appear to have stayed long enough to take
his degree. He is next found as a "discreete
and faithful!" assistant of William Davison,
secretary of state to Queen Elizabeth, and
accompanied that gentleman on his embassy
to the Netherlands in August, 1585. and
served him at court after his return until
his downfall in 1587. He then returned to
Scrooby, where he was held in high esteem
among the people of that place, and did
much good "in promoting and furthering
religion." In 1590 he was appointed ad-
ministrator of the estate of hi.s father, who
died in the summer of that year, and suc-
ceeded him as postmaster, which position
he held until September 30, 1607. While in
Scrooby he lived in the old manor-house,
where the members of the Pilgrim church
were accustomed to meet on Sunday. When
the Pilgrims attempted to remove to" Holland
in the latter ])art of 1607, ^^^ey were im-
prisf>ncd at Boston. Brewster was among
those imprisoned and suffered the greatest
loss. After he reached Holland he endured
many unaccustomed hardships, not being
as well fitted as the other Pilgrims for the
hard labnr which was their common lot.
and spent most of his means in providing
for his children. During the latter part of
the twelve years spent in Holland he in-
creased his income by teaching, and by the
profits from a printing press which he set
up in Lcydon. When after the twelve years
i' was decided that the church at Levden

should emigrate to Virginia, Brewster, who
had already been chosen elder, was desired
to go with the first company. He was,
therefore, with his wife Mary and two
young sons, among the jnissengers of the
"Mayflower," which landed in Plymouth
harbor, December 16, 1620. Here he bore
an important part in establishing the Pil-
grim repul)lic, was one of the signers of the
famous compact, and believed to have draft-
ed the same. He was the moral, religious
and spiritual leader of the colonj' during its
first years, and its chief civil adviser and
trusted guide until his death. His wife
Mary died .\pril 17, 1627, somewhat- less
than .sixty years old. Elder Brewster died
April 10. 1644, in Plj'mouth, and a final
di\ision of his estate was made by Bradford,
Winslow, Prence and Standish, between
Jonathan and I^ove, his only remaining chil-
dren. Children: Jonathan, born August
12, 1593, at Scrooby; Patience; Fear; child,
died at Leyden, buried June 20, 1609; Love;
Wrestling, came in the "Mayflow-er" w'ith
his parents and brother Love, was living at
the time of the division of cattle. Mav 22,

(HI) Jonathan, son of Elder \\ illiam
Brewster, was born August 12, 1593, in
Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England, and
came over in the ship "Fortune," 1621. He
married Lucretia Oldham, of Darby. April
10. 1624. doubtless a sister of John Oldham,
whri came to Plymouth about 1623. She
died March 4, 1678-79. He had married be-
fore at an early age, and buried his wife and
a child by this marriage in Leyden, May 10,
1619; one child surviving^ Nathaniel, men-
tioned below. He moved from Plymouth to
Duxbury about 1630, and from there was dep-
uty to the general court. Plymouth colony,
in 1639-41-43-44. From there he removed
to New London about 1649, and settled in
that part later established as Norwich, his
farm lying in both towns. He was admit-
ted an inhabitant there February 25, 1649-
50, and was deputy to the general court of
the colony in 1650-55-56-57-58. He engaged
in the coasting trade, and was master of a
small vessel plying from Plymouth along
the coast of Virginia. In this way he be-
came acquainted with Pequot harbor, and
entered the river to trade with the Invlians.
He was clerk of the town of Pequot, Sep-



tember, 1649, and received his first grant of
land in that town in the same month from
Uncas, Sachem of the Mohegans, with
whom he had estabhshed a trading house.
At this latter place, still called by his name,
Brewster's Neck, he laid out for himself a
large farm. The deed of this land was con-
firmed by the town November 30. 1652, and
its bounds determined. In 1637 he was a
military commissioner in the Pequot war,
in 1642 a member of the Du.xbury commit-
tee to raise forces in the Narragansett alarm
of that year, and a member of Captain
Myles Standish's Duxbury company in the
military enrollment of 1643. He was promi-
nent in the formation of the settlement of
Duxbury and in the establishment of its
church ; sometimes practiced as an attorney,
and was also styled gentleman. He died
August 7, 1659, and was buried in the Brew-
ster cemetery at Brewster's Neck, Preston.
A plain granite shaft, about eight feet high,
was erected in 1855 to his memory and that
of his wife. The original footstone is still
in existence, and leans against the modern
monument. No probate papers relating to
his estate have been found, but bills of sale
are recorded, dated in 1658, which conveyed
all his property in the town plot, and his
house and lands at Poquetannuck, with his
movable property, to his son Benjamin and
son-in-law John Picket. His widow was
evidently a woman of note and respectabil-
ity among her fellow citizens. She had al-
ways the prefix of Mrs. or Mistress, and
was usually recorded in some useful ca-
pacity as nurse or doctor, as a witness to
wills, etc. Children, the first three born in
Plymouth, the fourth in Jones River, the
others in Duxbury: William. March 9, 1625:
Mary, April 16, 1627; Jonathan. July 17,
1629: Ruth, October 3, 163 1 ; Benjamin, No-
vember T7, 1633: Elizabeth. May i, 1637;
Grace, November i, 1639, married Captain
Daniel \\^etherell, had child, Mary, married
George Denison ; Hannah, November 3,

(lY) Nathaniel Brewster, supposed to
have been a son of Jonathan Brewster by
his first marriage, was born about 1619. He
died at Setauket, Long Island, December
18, 1690. "aged seventy years." The ages
of people as stated in those early days are
notoriously inaccurate, and he was prob-

ably more nearly seventy-two than seventy
years of age at death. He graduated in the ,
first class of Harvard College in 1642, and
settled soon after at Abby, county Norfolk,
England, where he pursued studies in the-
ology. Going from England to Ireland, he
presented a letter from Oliver Cromwell to
Fleetwood, the Lord Deputy of Ireland,
dated June 22, 1655. In this letter Crom-
well said : "Use this bearer, Mr. Brewster
kindly. Let him be near you; indeed he is
a very able and holy man. Trust me and
you will find him so." He received the de-
gree of Bachelor of Divinity from Dublin
University, returned to America and was
minister of the First Church at Boston in
1663. In 1665 he became the first minister
at Brookhaven, Long Island, and thus con-
tinued thirty-five years, until his death in
1690, as above noted. He married Sarah,
daughter of Roger Ludlow, and had sons :
John, Timothy and Daniel.

(V) John, eldest son of Nathaniel and
Sarah (Ludlow) Brewster, lived in Brook-
haven, and but little is known concerning

(VI) Samuel, son of John Brewster, was
born July 18, 1718, in Brookhaven, and died
in New W'indsor, Orange county. New
York. He was among the original pat-
entees of the town of New W'indsor in 175 1-
52, and was a member of the committee of
safety during the revolution. He was
buried in the old graveyard at New \Vind-
sor, overlooking Newburgh Bay. He built
a saw mill, forge and anchor shop, and as-
sisted in forging the chain which was
stretched across the Hudson river in the
hope of checking the movement of British
vessels up that stream. In 1775 he built a
residence which tradition says sheltered
Lafayette as a headquarters during the rev-
olution. His first wife bore the name of
Mary. He married (second) Mary Wood,
who survived him and died at New Wind-
sor, February 3, 1807. Children : Samuel,
Timothy ; Hannah, married Joseph Dubois ;
Abigail, married Jonas ^\'illiams; Susannah,
married Moores.

(VII) General Timothy Brewster, second
son of Samuel Brewster, was born Novem-
ber 3, 1746, in New Windsor, and during
the revolution removed to Basking Ridge,
New Jersey, and later to W'oodbridge, same


state, where he occupied large tracts of land
bordering on Staten Island Sound, now
called Kill-von-Kull. About 1812 he re-
moved from Woodbridge, and in 1823 he
settled near Coldenham, Orange county.
New York, where he died in 1831. He was
elected elder of the Good Will church, and
was active in local affairs. He married
(first) October 17, 1774, Phebe Wood, of
Woodhaven, born February 17, 1754. He
married (second) Phebe Youngs, of Long
Island. Children: Samuel, born July 12,
1775; John, August 15, 1777; Mary, April
7, 1782, married Clark Noe, two children,
Catherine and Albert Noe, a well-known resi-
dent of Xcwburg; Betty, born P^ebruary 27,
1785, died in infancy; Nathaniel, born Octo-
ber 27, 1786; Timothy, mentioned below.

(VHI) Timothy (2), son of Timothy (i)
and Phebe (Wood) Brewster, was born
April 22, 1789, in Woodbridge, and died
May 2, 1836. He settled in Newburgh in
1831, and carried on a lumber business at
the foot of Fourth street. After his death
his family removed to West Troy, New
York, and remained two years, returning
again to Newburgh, where they have since
resided. He married, November 9, 1813,
Juliet Wright. Children : Caroline, died
young; Mary, married Silas Martine, and
resided in Newburgh ; Richard W. ; Harriet ;
Eugene A., mentioned below ; Caroline, all
are now deceased.

(IX) Eugene Augustus, second son of
Timothy (2) and Juliet (Wright) Brew-
ster, was born April 13, 1827, in New York
City, and died December 14, 1898, in New-
burgh. His education was obtained in the
public schools, of Newburgh, including the
high school, where he was an assistant in-
structor in 1843. In the same year he en-
tered the law office of Hon. John W. Brown
and was admitted to practice as an attorney
and counsellor in 1848. In 1830 he formed
a partnership with Nathan Reeve, which
continued until 1855, and thereafter prac-
ticed independently until his death. He
served several terms as a member of the
board of almshouse commissioners, was
fourteen years a member of the board of
educatinn. and was a trustee of Washing-
ton's Headquarters. He drew up the orig-
inal charter of the city of Newburgh ; as-
sisted in the incorporation of the National

Bank of Newburgh and was its vice-presi-
dent. For more than thirty years he was
a vestryman of St. George's (Protestant
Episcopal) Church, and was four years a
warden. For many years he was a leading
lawyer of Orange county, and was promi-
nently connected with St. Luke's Hospital.
He was among the most liberal contributors
toward the establishment and support of
that institution. He married, June i, 1859,
Anna W., daughter of Rev. Dr. John Brown.
Of their children, two now survive, George
R., mentioned below, and Anna W., wife of
Eugene W. Harter, of New York City.

(X) George Richard, only surviving son
of Eugene A. and Anna W. (Brown) Brew-
ster, was born November 17, 1873, in New-
burgh, where he grew up and prepared for
college at Siglar's Preparatory College of
Newburgh, after which he entered Yale
University, graduating in 1894 with the de-
gree of Ph. B. Pursuing the study of law
in his father's ofifice, he was admitted to the
bar in 1896, and since that time has been
successfully engaged in the practice of his
profession in his native city, and in New
York and Westchester counties. He is a
member of the Democratic, Yale and Trans-
portation clubs of New York, and a director
of the City Club of Newburgh. He is a
warden of St. George's Church, and is a
director in numerous local corporations, in-
cluding the National Bank of Newburgh,
for which he is attorney. He is also largely
interested in the breeding of hacking horses,
and maintains for that purpose one of the
finest farms in this state.

He married, January 18, 1899, Margaret
Copley Orr. daughter of the late James Orr,
of Newburgh.

Like a large proportion
VAN CLEFT of the Dutch names in

New York, this is de-
rived from a place. The /Vmerican ancestor
came from the village of Cleef in the Neth-
erlands, hence the name Van (from) Cleef.
The name has many other forms in the
early Dutch records of New York, such as
Van Clyf, Van ClyfT, Van Clvft. Vander
Clyft— Cleef— Cleeft—Cleyft. The name has
been prominently identified with the busi-
ness interests and general development of


the state of New York down to the present

(I) Jan Van Cleef, born 1628, came to
New Amsterdam (New York) in 1653, and
was a farmer at Gravesend on Long Island,
in 1656. In 1659 he resided at New Utrecht
in the same vicinity, and was in BushwicTi
in 1664. He received a deed December 23,
1662, from Albert Albertse Terhune of
twenty-four morgens of land in New
Utrecht, which he sold in 1669. He pur-
chased a pasture lot in New Utrecht, De-
cember 2'j, 1677, and owned lots Nos. 6, 7,
13 and 14 at Yellow Hoek (Bay Ridge). In
1677 he was a member of the New Utrecht
church; was constable of that town in 1678,
and took the oath of allegiance to the Eng-
lish government in 1687. He signed docu-
ments now in existence with a mark. He
was probably married before coming to New
York, as the records of the Dutch church
show that his son, Dirck, had a child bap-
tized in 1668. He married (second) before
March 10, 1681, Engelte, daughter of
Louwerens Pieterse. Children : Catherine,
baptized October 23, 1681 ; Benjamin, No-
vember 25, 1683; settled in New Jersey;
Joseph, settled in New Jersey; Angelica;
Ceytie, baptized May 13, 1688; Isebrant, of
whom further ; Nelke ; Cornelius, resided
in New Utrecht, Dirck, Rebecca. Probably
several of these were of the first marriage.

(II) Isebrant (also spelled in the records
Ysebrant and Eyzebrand), son of Jan Van
Cleef, resided in early life in New Utrecht,
where he was grand juror in 1699. He was
undoubtedly a child of the first marriage
since he must have been of age in 1699.
For some time he resided upon, or in the vi-
cinity of Staten Island, where he was wit-
ness to the baptism of a child, July 26, 1711,
and ultimately settled in Monmouth coun-
ty, New Jersey. The record of all his chil-
dren has not been found. He married in
Gravesend, Jannetie Aertse Vander Bilt,
baptized September 17, 1682, in New
Utrecht, granddaughter of Jan Aertsen
Vander Bilt, immigrant ancestor of all bear-
ing that name in New York. Jan Aertsen
Vander Bilt (from the Bilt) came from the
village of Bilt (Bilt meaning hill) in the
province of Utrecht, Holland, as early as
1650, to New Amsterdam. He married
(first) in New Amsterdam, February 6,

1650, Anneken Hendricks, from Bergen,
Norway, (second) Derber Cornelis, and
(third) December 16, 1681, Magdalena
Hanse, widow of Hendrick Jansen Spier of
Bergen, New Jersey. He resided at New
Amsterdam, Flatbush, and lastly at Ber-
gen, where he owned lands in 1694, and died
February 2, 1705.

Aris, son of Jan Aertsen Vander Bilt,
born about 165 1, died after 171 1. He mar-
ried, October 6, 1677, Hillagonde Remsen,
daughter of Rem Janse Vanderbeek. Their
children found of record are: Marretje,
baptized January 25, 1716, in New Y'ork ;
Benjamin, April 19, 1715, at Port Richmond,
Staten Island; Janneke, March 8, 1720, in
Freehold, and another of the name Benja-
min, January 7, 1724, in Freehold. It is
probable that the first Benjamin died in in-

(HI) Cornelius Van Cleft, undoubtedly a
son of Isebrant Van Cleef, was born about
1710, and resided on Staten Island, where
he married Sara Marschall. No record of
the marriage or her birth or parentage can
be found.

(IV) Jan, or John, son of Cornelius and
Sara (Marschall) Van Cleft, was baptized
April 26, 1736, in the Dutch church of Port
Richmond, Staten Island, and settled about
the time of his majority in the Minnisink
district, which included parts of the present
Orange county. New York, and of New
Jersey. He had five sons and one daugh-
ter. The sons were : John, Cornelius,
Jesse, Joseph, of whom further, and Benja-
min (twins). The daughter, whose name
has not been preserved, married an Ives.

(V) Joseph, son of John Van Cleft, was
born at Minnisink, where he lived. He was
by trade a millwright; died in 1814. He
married Elizabeth Dunning, who died Jan-
uary 27, 1848, and had two sons and four
daughters : Hector, Lewis, of whom further ;
Ann Eliza, Sarah, Jane, Katura.

(VI) Lewis, son of Joseph and Elizabeth
(Dunning) Van Cleft, was born March 4,
1805, at Minnisink, and died in July, 1870,
at New Windsor, Orange county, New
Y'ork. In early life he was employed in a
woolen mill at Phillipsburg, New York, and
after his marriage settled on a farm of one
hundred acres, which he purchased in the
town of New Windsor, Orange county,


there ending his days. He married in
Blooming Grove, same county, Henrietta
Woodruff Cooper, February 19, 1834. Chil-
dren: Henry, Joseph, of whom further;
Sarah E., Lewis A.

(V'H) Joseph (2), second son of Lewis
and Henrietta W. (Cooper) Van Cleft, was
born June 17, 1836, in New Windsor, and
attended the district schools of the neigh-
borhood until 1852. At the age of sixteen
years he was employed as a clerk in a hard-
ware store at Middlctown, New York, and
was subsequently engaged in the same ca-
pacity in New York City, and still later in
Kansas City, Missouri, where he remained
two years. In 1863 he settled at New-
burgh. New York, and established a hard-
ware and agricultural implement business,
having a partner. Three years later he pur-
chased the interest of his partner and con-
ducted the business alone until 1887. when
he was joined by his brother, Lewis A. Van
Cl'^t't, under the style of Joseph Van Cleft
& Company. In 1909 he purchased the in-
terest of his brother and soon after closed
out the business. Upon the organization
ot the Columbus Trust Company of New-
burgh in 1893, Mr. Van Cleft was chosen
vice- president, and since 1897 has been pres-
ident of the institution. This is one of the
institutions for jjromoting the business ad-
vancement of Newburgh in whose organiza-
tion Mr. Van Cleft was active. He has been
ar. extensive dealer in real estate in the city
and is now the owner of the Van Cleft
block, one of the most prominent structures
in the city. He was interested in the build-
ing of the Palatine Hotel in 1892-93 and a
director of the company when it was organ-
ized. Many of the financial interests of the
place owe something to Mr. Van Cleft's aid
and good business judgment. He is a mem-
ber of the American Reformed church and
of the Newburgh Bay and Highlands His-
torical Society, in whose work he takes a
deep interest. A man of genial nature, can-
did mind and most courteous demeanor, Mr.
\'an Cleft wins and holds friendship \vith
many of his contemporaries.

He married. May 5. i86(), Edwina Storey
Smith, youngest daughter of O. M. Smith,
a school teacher of pnmiinence in the Hud-
son River Valley, and a granddaughter of
Jonas Storey, a well known lawyer of early

days, in Newburgh. She died April 24,
1S91, leaving five children: Josephine, Ed-
win L., Augusta ^L, Alberta, Barclay.

This name is said to have been
REEVE of Welsh origin. It appears on
Long Island as early as 1660,
w hen Thomas and James Reeves settled at
Mattituck in the present town of Southold,
New York. Many descendants from a very
early date have used the name without the
final "s" and some in Orange county, New-
York, use the form Reeve. Certain it is
that those bearing the name have been peo-
ple of high respectability, much endeavor
and general worth in the communities
where they have resided. The family seems
to have been very patriotic in the war for
independence. In 1776 a company drafted
out of Colonel Perry's regiment was under
the command of Captain Paul Reeves and
had among its privates: Ishmael, James,
Luther, Jonathan and William Reeves.
Captain Paul Reeves held that rank in the
minutemen of Mattituck. He died in 1822
at the age of ninety years.

(I) Thomas Reeve arrived in Snuihuld.
New- York, about 1660, and in 1667 removed
to Southampton on the south side of the
i.->land, where he died, August 28, 1685. He
married Rebecca Davis of Southampton,
probably a daughter of Faulk Davis (a pio-
neer of that town) by his first marriage.
Children: John; Rebecca, born March i,
1676; Thomas, October 3, 1679; Hannah,
February 9, 1681 ; Abigail, September 22,

(II) James Reeve was undoubtedly a son
of Thomas Reeve by a former marriage,
which is not recorded in this country. He
resided in Mattituck in the town of South-
old, where he died in 1692-3, leaving sons:
James (2). mentioned below; Isaac, Thom-
as and Daniel; and daughters: Hannah and

(III) James (2), eldest son of Jatnes (i)
Reeve, resided in Mattituck, where he died
at the age of sixty years. Sons : James,
Selah, mentioned below ; Nathaniel and Ebe-

(IV) Selah, second son of James (2)
Reeve, was born March 21. 1741, and died
at Newburg, New York, February 21, 1796.



^'rfyr///,r- 9/, ,/r/: , r ■ // . '//,rrr


He was commissioned second lieutenant of
the Third Long Island Regiment, June 27,
1776, and after the occupation of the island
by the British forces he was obliged to flee
with his family and such of his property as
could be readily removed. These were
transported on a scow across Long Island
Sound, and he remained in Connecticut un-
til 1784, when he settled in the town of New-
burg, New York, about three miles north
of the then village of that name. A plain,
brown stone slab marks his resting place in
the old town cemetery. Another slab re-
cords that his wife, Katurah, born January
23, 1745, died January 21, 1829, surviving
him almost thirty-three years. His sons
were: James, Selah (2), mentioned below,
and Joseph.

(V) Selah (2), second son of Selah (i)
and Katurah Reeve, was born October 21,
1767, in Southold. and died at Newburg,
April II, 1837. He resided in early life in
Newburg and served as trustee of the vil-
lage. In 1797 he was a member of the fire
company and resigned the next year on his
removal to Hunting Grove on the Otterkill,
where he engaged in the milling business.
In 1802 he returned to Newburg and es-
tablished a new industry, that of manufac-
turing brown earthenware. At this time he
had a partner in the person of Nathan Burl-
ing, and soon after added crockery and glass
to the wares in which they dealt. Follow-
ing this Mr. Reeve was for many years en-
gaged in the freighting business. In 1814 in
association with Hiram Falls, he purchased
a store, dock and freight business at the
corner of Third and Water streets, New-
burg, and operated the sloops "Patriot" and
"Washington". In 1825 his sons, Christo-
pher and George, purchased the interest of
Mr. Falls and thereafter the business was
conducted under the name of Reeve & Sons.
In 1830 Selah Reeve retired from the busi-
ness and in 1832 it passed into the hands of
his son George. Selah Reeve was a mem-
ber of the board of trustees of the village of
Newburg in 1802, 1810, 1818-19-20-21 and
1828-29. From 1818 to 1821 inclusive, he
was president of the board. He married in
1795, at Newburg, Elizabeth Tusten Van
Duser, born 1776-7, died May 4, 1854. There
were eleven children; Millicent, Christo-
pher, Chas. F. v., Julia Ann, George, men-

tioned below ; Eliza, Jane, Nathan, Harriet
M., Mary E., and Selah.

(VI) George, son of Selah (2) and Eliza-
beth T. (Van Duser) Reeve, was born in

Online LibraryCuyler ReynoldsGenealogical and family history of southern New York and the Hudson River Valley : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the building of a nation (Volume 2) → online text (page 21 of 95)