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Early Families of Gravesend, Long Island

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  • Sarah or Frances Cooke (b. - 1680)
    Reference: MyHeritage Family Trees - SmartCopy : Jul 4 2016, 23:52:06 UTC
  • John Cooke, of Gravesend (1618 - 1679)
    John Cooke born 1618 , England died 1679 Staten Island, New York father: born about 1582 Collopmore, Surrey, England mother: born 1586 Surrey, England christened 31 July 1586 St. Martin's Chu...
  • Elias Stillwell, I (1663 - 1715)
  • Alice Abigail Stillwell (1645 - 1709)
    Alice married first Samuel Holmes. After his death she married William Osborne who had recently come to Gravesend from Newcastle in Delaware and who had lost his first wife Elizabeth Moore. After his d...

Gravesend was founded in 1645 by Lady Deborah Moody who led a group of religious dissenters fleeing persecution, in the Dutch colony of New Netherland. The people from Gravesend were granted religious freedom, which was unusual for that period. Lady Moody was the only woman to found a colonial settlement in early North America. She was the first female landowner in the New World. Lady Deborah had unusual influence in a society dominated by men, and was described by contemporaries as "a dangerous woman."

Wilhelm Kieft, governor of New Netherland (present day state of New York, US) set aside a substantial area in western Long Island for Lady Moody and her colony, as he had done for Hutchinson, Doughty, and Throckmorton.

We do not know much more about the first settlement of Gravesend. We would like to know who, besides Lady Moody, was numbered among her fellow settlers. Profiles to be added to this project should be those of Lady Moody’s followers, or settlers of Gravesend. Important information about these individuals would include European place of origin, year of emigration to America, place of emigration or initial settlement, and work or position in Gravesend.

Good places to start finding Gravesend settlers are:

Known settlers include:

  1. Lady Deborah Moody
  2. Sir Henry Moody (Lady Deborah's son)
  3. James Hubbard
  4. George Baxter
  5. John Morrell
  6. Richard Ussell
  7. Nicholas Stillwell
  8. George Holmes
  9. Thomas Hall
  10. John Tilton
  11. James Ellis
  12. Cornelius Stellinant
  13. Edward Browse
  14. Richard Stout
  15. Thomas Cornish
  16. Thomas Greedy
  17. Thomas Spicer
  18. Walter Wall
  19. John Cooke
  20. James Grover
  21. John Rinkman/Ruckman
  22. William Musgram
  23. Thomas Whitlock
  24. Richard Gibbons
  25. Randall Huett
  26. Ralph Cardell
  27. Robert Pennoyer
  28. William Wilkins