Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Freeholders of Westchester (East Town)

« Back to Projects Dashboard

Top Surnames

view all

Profiles

  • Capt. Thomas “the Privateer” Baxter, Sr. (1626 - aft.1662)
    Thomas Baxter born about 1626 Death Date & location unknown Not the same as Thomas Baxter, of Marshfield was he the son of Ens. George Baxter & Mary Baxter ? Divorced: 15 MAY 1662 in reco...
  • John Ferris (aft.1635 - 1716)
    From WeRelate: John Ferris b.abt 1640 d.bef 25 Feb 1715 Westchester (now Bronx) Co., New York, United States Family tree Parents and Siblings F. Jeffery Ferris abt 1606 - 1666 M. ...
  • Robert Huestis (1626 - 1704)

Freeholders of the commonality of the town of Westchester:

  • William Richardson
  • John Hunt
  • Edward Waters
  • Robert Huestis
  • Richard Ponton
  • William Barnes
  • John Bugbie
  • John Bailey
  • John Tudor
  • John Ferris
  • Joseph Palmer
  • Thomas Baxter

History

From “Colonial Bronx to the 19th Century” link

... Most of the eastern half of the modern Bronx was bought in 1654 by Thomas Pell of Connecticut, who invited 16 families to form the village of Westchester near what is now Westchester Square. Between 1683 and 1714, Westchester was the seat of Westchester County (which included the area of the future Bronx until the second half of the nineteenth century) and as a chartered borough was the only town in the colony with an elected mayor and an electorate that had the right to vote without property qualifications.

Settlers also chose a representative to the provincial assembly and had their own municipal court. Horses, cattle, sheep, and wheat were the main agricultural products, and a cottage industry in cloth making thrived. A semiannual fair was held to promote manufacturing and commerce. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Westchester Avenue was organized as the first parish in 1693. That same year, Frederick Philipse, a wealthy merchant of New York City, obtained the hereditary right from Governor Benjamin Fletcher to build and to operate a toll bridge (the King’s Bridge) that spanned Spuyten Duyvil Creek to Manhattan.

During English rule, most inhabitants were English, of English descent, or Dutch. Anglicanism was the religion sanctioned by colonial law, but Presbyterians, Quakers, and members of the Dutch Reformed Church were in the majority. The first blacks, slaves from the West Indies, soon made up 10 to 15 percent of the population; in most households there were one or two who worked as farmhands or housemaids. In 1698, the first free black was recorded. Indians left the area soon after 1700. At this time, The Bronx was composed of two small towns and all or part composed of four huge manors (feudal grants allowing the proprietor exclusive rights to build grain mills and establish courts to try tenants). Lying entirely within the present Bronx was the town of Westchester; to the north and encompassing part of the present Westchester County was the town of Eastchester; to the northeast and another part of the present Westchester County was the manor of Pelham, owned by the Pell family; to the southwest was the manor of the Morris family, Morrisania; in most of the western section was the manor of Fordham, settled in 1671 by John Archer. Later owned by the Dutch Reformed Church of New York City, and then absorbed by the town of Westchester in 1755. Encompassing much of the present Westchester County was the manor of Philipsburgh, owned by the Philpse family. The first Catholic moved to the area in 1744, the first Jewish settler about ten years later.

Notes

From “How The Bronx's Uneven Border With Westchester Came to Be” link Curbed.com 2016

New York City annexes land east of the Bronx River

The idea of consolidating the towns and cities around Manhattan into a unified New York City had been around since at least the 1870s. Although they had previously fought the concept, the Towns of Eastchester and Pelham (which used to contain Pelham Bay Park) supported the idea of shedding their southernmost portions. Conversely, the Town of Westchester, which was a more natural fit due to its proximity to Manhattan, defeated the proposal by a margin of one vote. This result was ignored; New York City assumed control on July 1, 1895. Some sources claim that City Island remained in Westchester County until 1896, when it voted to join New York City. This seems dubious, at best; the community was a part of the original Town of Pelham, established in 1788, and is far south of the cut off established by the 1895 legislative act

Resources

  • The History of the Several Towns, Manors, and Patents of the County of Westchester: From Its First Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 2 Robert Bolton C. F. Roper, 1881 - Botany. Page 289 GoogleBooks
  • "A History of the Town of Greenwich," Daniel Mead (1857), p. 21 et seq. Archive.Org
  • The Borough Town of Westchester: An Address Delivered by Fordham Morris, on ... By Fordham Morris. Page 4. GoogleBooks