IMPORTANT: THIS JEAN BODIN COULD HAVE HAD TWO WIVES, BUT THE FACTS ARE STILL UNCLEAR AS TO THAT WHOLE SITUATION. AT THIS POINT, IT SEEMS SAFEST TO ONLY LIST INFORMATION FOR THE ONE WIFE WHO IS CERTAIN. SEE THE NOTES PAGE FROM RONNY BODINE FOR THE JEAN BODIN FROM MEDIS, FRANCE AND HIS WIFE ESTHER BRIDON TO READ ALL THE INFORMATION ON THE TWO-WIVES ISSUE. AND SEE THE DOCUMENT RONNY BODINE WROTE UP THAT IS AT THE TOP OF THE HOME PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE. HIS PERSPECTIVE ABOUT THE TWO-WIVES ISSUE WILL EXPLAIN EVERYTHING IN THAT REGARD.
Another important thing to point out about research on this Bodine line,
and others, is that there is a fraudulent genealogy going around that links
the American Bodines to other famous Bodine-like names in France running back
into the 1300's or so. So far, there is no proof to back up that information.
That fraudulent genealogy was the work of a 20th Century genealogist named
Gustave Anjou (1863-1942). He was a Swede whose real name was Gustaf Ludvig
Ljungberg. It has been discovered that he fabricated pedigrees to please those
who paid for his expensive services. Trustworthy genealogical research on the
American Bodines can really only be traced back, so far, to the Jean Bodine(s)
who came to America in the late 1600s and early 1700s. Anything before that is
MIGRATION OF JOHN BODINE TO AMERICA
An email from Ann Messecar I recently received has revived some previous
research. One is the location in France this Bodine line came from. The other
is about how this line of Bodines may have left France and wound up in
America. Here is that email:
From: Ann Messecar [annmess28 at yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, October 09, 2017
Subject: A Mannheim Connection?
We corresponded years ago about the Bodin 1701 purchase of the Staten Island property of Neeltje and Johannes Michielsen (Messecar). As I was going through some notes yesterday, I saw a name I remembered seeing in some church records in Mannheim, Germany:
Jacques De Vaux and Anne Bodin, baptize son Isaac 10 January 1674
Godfather: PIERRE VERITE
Godmother: Catherine Meunière. (wife of Pierre Le Roy)
(Nicholas Devaux and Susanne Francois are the probable parents of Jacques
and the family may have come from Artois area of France to Mannheim. There
were three other children baptized by Jacque and Anne: 2 Marguerites (1668,
1677) and an Abraham (1671). Plus numerous other DeVaux families.
PIERRE VERITE also attended the wedding of John Bodin of Bethune and Maria
Anyway, I thought it was interesting that PIERRE VERITE appears to have
come from Mannheim to New Amsterdam between 1674 and 1679 and is in two Bodin
records. What do you think?
So Ann Messecar found a Pierre Verite, associated with an Anne Bodin,
mentioned in the records of the French Reformed Church of Mannheim, Germany. A
Pierre Verite is also mentioned as being at the wedding of Jean Bodin and
Maria Crocheron in New York. I do think it is quite possible that this Pierre
Verite is one and the same person; although, that will probably have to remain
a mystery unless some proof of that is found. Looking online at various pieces
of information (like research on the Nicholas Devaux that Ann Messecar
mentions in her email above), it seems a wave of French Huguenots/Walloons
left France/Flanders in the mid to late 1650s to move to safer areas in
Germany - like Mannheim. Then persecution of French Protestants by the
Catholic King Lewis XIV grew really harsh in Artois after he took over that
area for France in 1667.
The Mannheim church records show that Nicholas Devaux was born in
Festubert, France which is only about three miles east of Bethune. Our Jean
Bodin, in his marriage record, is called a "young man (or bachelor) from near
Bethune in Artois." In our research in France, we found a small grouping of
towns just east and southeast of Bethune where this Bodine line might have
originated. There is no direct evidence of this, but I would not doubt that
this line of Jean Bodin came from somewhere in between the towns of
Richebourg, Festubert, Beuvry, and Cambrin. Nicholas de Veaux's first wife was
Susanne Francois. She was also from Festubert. They married in 1641 in
Bethune. One of their children was the Jacques De Vaux that Ann Messecar
mentioned in her email above as having married Anne Bodin.
I looked at some scans of Bodin and Bodin-like names sent to me that the
librarian found from the Index of the records of the French Reformed Church of
Mannheim, Germany. This Index was made by someone at the Historic Huguenot
Street library in New Paltz, New York. On page 63 of those records (p. 63 in
the transcriptions), it says that "In The year one Thousand Six Hundred
Seventy Seven have received the nuptial benediction in the assembly of the
French Church of Manheim those whose names follow: hereunder January:
.....Fleurise Bailleul, y.man, native of Gorgue, province of la Leu, son of Anthoine Bailleul and Catherine Bodin, y.woman, native of Richebourg, daughter of Jean Bodin, have received the nuptial Benediction in our Church on Tuesday 10 Jan. 1677. Note that La Gorgue, France is only two miles north of Richebourg.
This is actually the first time I have ever seen a record for a realisitc
birthplace of a possible founder of this Bodin family! This Jean Bodin is
possibly the father of our Jean Bodin of "near Bethune, France." The town of
Richebourg is only about six miles east of Bethune and it is just north of
Festubert which I discussed above as being the area this Bodine line might be
from. If our Jean Bodin was born in 1645 (as I think he was), then this
Catherine who married in 1677 would have been about the same age as Jean of
Bethune. So her father might also be the father of our John Bodine of Bethune
and Catherine would be John of Bethune's sister. Note that Catherine is a
common name in this family. The Anne Bodin mentioned above seems to be of the
same generation as Catherine Bodine; so maybe they are sisters. And there is a
Marie Anne Boidin mentioned later in another record. I wonder if Anne Bodin's
full name is actually Marie Anne, but the record does not give enough
information for that to be known.
I then looked online for other Huguenots who might have come from
Richebourg. One is Claude Delameter
(https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Le_Maistre-5). That Wikitree page says this:
"Claude Le Maistre (Delamater), born 1620, was a native of Richebourg, in
Artois, France and the ancestor of the entire Delamater family in the United
States. An exile from his home at Richebourg, in Artois, it was while living
in the Loyerdwarsstraet, at Amsterdam, April 24, 1652, that Claude married as
his second wife Hester Du Bois, a daughter of Pierre Du Bois, (his first wife
was Jeanne De Lannoy). Claude and Hester made their home at Flatbush
(Midwout), from 1652 till 1662; where four of their children, Jan, Abraham,
Isaac and Susanna were born. While there Claude worked as a carpenter. With
Meyndert Coerten, Walraven Luten, Pierre Billion and others, he applied,
August 22, 1661, for land on Staten Island; but only Billion and Luten settled
there, while he and Coerten soon came to Harlem, where Delamater served four
terms as a magistrate, between 1666 and 1673. He bought two allotments of
land, from Daniel Tourneur, for which he took out a patent June 25, 1668." The
information for this Claude Delameter sounds a lot like Jean Bodin's situation
As mentioned, an Anne Bodin is mentioned in the Mannheim French Reformed
Church records. According to https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/De_Veaux-5, in
about 1658 Nicholas de Veaux and his family left Festubert and French-ruled
Artois and went to Palatinate Germany eventually ending up in Mannheim,
Germany. That area of Germany was ruled by a Protestant prince. From there, at
least two of Nicholas's children (Nicolas and Frederic) migrated to America.
One left around 1674 and the other in 1675. They both migrated via England to
Harlem, New York. Other French Protestant families migrated in a similar way.
The first record of this Jean Bodin was around the same time in 1677.
Information from wikitree goes on to say the following and takes it from:
Familes of the Colonial Town of Philipsburgh, by Grenville C. MacKinzie
in 1966 states:
Frederic Devaux "accompanied his parents and brothers Nicholas, Daniel and
Jacob to Manheim, Germany. In 1675 he [Frederic] went to England and came
thence to New York. He settled in Harlem where he married. He lived in Harlem
until about 1683 when he moved to Westchester (Fordham Manor) where he lived
on land which his wife had received from her father."
Therefore, based on the kind of migration described above from Festubert
and Richebourg, both towns near Bethune, and the possible link between Pierre
Verite and this line of Bodines, one possibility is that Jean Bodin might well
have followed a similar pattern of migration from near Bethune, France to
Germany, then on to New York by ship via England.
Regarding this connection to Germany mentioned above, here is something
interesting Ronny Bodine sent me:
Portrait and biographical record of Johnson, Poweshiek and Iowa Counties, Iowa (Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1893), p. 593-594.
.....FREEMAN E. BODINE is a prosperous and highly-esteemed citizen of Malcolm Township, Poweshiek County, residing on section 8. He was born near Ovid, Seneca County, N.Y., October 8, 1822, his parents being Gilbert and Harriet Swarthout Bodine. The father, who was a native of Pennsylvania, was a son of Cornelius Bodine, of German descent. His family belonged to the persecuted Huguenots, who were expelled from France, afterward locating in the German Empire. The mother of our subject was born in Seneca County, N.Y., and was a daughter of Barney Swarthout, who was of Dutch ancestry. Both families when they first settled in the Empire State were slaveholders.
Note from Dave: The Cornelius mentioned above was a great-grandson of John
and Mary Bodine of near Bethune, France.
Another possibility, and maybe an even better one than Germany, is that
this Jean Bodin escaped from France through Holland. That is also a very good
possibility since we often find more Dutch-like names in this family (the
Dutch "Jan" for the French "Jean," for example). There are records from the
French Reformed Church of Mannheim, Germany but many other records from
Palatinate Germany were lost/destroyed in various wars. Not many still exist
today. Records from various Dutch churches could yet provide us with something
on this line of John Bodine, but nothing definite has yet been found.
Huguenots or Protestant Walloons from Northern France who ended up in
America or England would very often pass through Holland. It was simpler to go
by land. It would be rare that they went straight to England. It was the
Huguenots from along the Atlantic coast who would have tended to head straight
to England since it was harder to escape overland. For this reason, it would
be a very good guess that this John Bodine and his family would have ended up
in Holland at some time. It also appears that this John Bodine might have had
family in Leiden and maybe other Dutch cities as well. This can be conjectured
from abstracts of the records from the Dutch churches. Many Bodins, lots of
them from Northern France, were living in Leiden at that time.
From the late 1500's through the 1600's and into the 1700's quite a few
Bodins showed up in the records of the churches in Leiden, Holland. The
following are some names and interesting information located in the microfiche
records of the Walloon churches of Holland. These are abstracts from the
original Dutch church records. The microfiche researched here were found at
the Center for Protestant Genealogy located in Paris, France. More regarding
each abstract might be found in the various Dutch church records now located
*Leiden seems to have been a hotbed for Bodins, many possibly related to
the Jean Bodins being discussed here. A few Bodins were received into the
Church in Leiden in the late 1500's. These had names which are common in Jean
Bodin's family. They came from Armentieres on the Belgian border. Armentieres
is only 10 miles or so west of Lille and fifteen miles north of Bethune. It
would be somewhat strange, I think anyway, that Jean Bodin was listed as from
"near Bethune" if he came from Armentieres, but it could be possible. It is
probably more possible that this Jean Bodin came from Richebourg or Festubert
/ Beuvry / Cambrin east of Bethune (as I mention above in these notes). In
1586, Isaac Baudain of Armentieres and his wife Margaret were received into
membership in Leiden. In 1591, Abraham Bodine of Armentieres married Maycehew
Laus, the widow of Pieter Lau. In 1594, Pieter Bodeyn of Armentieres was
registered (?) at a church in Leiden (along with a Couseyn Marij Sautrey).
These three, Isaac, Abraham, and Peter could have easily been brothers. Many
Bodins appear in the records of the churches in Leiden from then on. Some of
the most interesting records follow below:
*Baptized at the Hooglandsche Church in Leiden on February 13, 1661,
Jannitje Bodyn, father Jan Jansen, mother -------- (space for her name was
*Baptized in Leiden in the Hooglandsche Church on May 7, 1662, Sara Bodein, father Jan, mother Sara Stof.
* Married at Hanau on November 29, 1663, Jean Bodin, son of Elie a schoolteacher at Gerbotshausen, and Elisabeth Petit, widow of Martin Guillaume Eisemer.
*Buried/Deceased at Sedan on December 7, 1665, Anne Bodin, 90 years old, native of Chapelle, widow of Pierre Collet a woolcomber in Sedan. (Sedan was a refuge in Northern France for Protestants fleeing persecution further south. The Duke of Sedan protected Protestants until the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.)
*Baptized in the Pieters Church in Leiden on September 26, 1668, Lysbeth Bodyn, father Peter, mother Jannetie Williamsdr.
*Baptized in the Pieters Church in Leiden on October 8, 1670, Anna Bodyn, father - Peter, mother - Jannetgen Willems.
*Baptized in the Hooglandsche Church in Leiden on August 7, 1672, Sara Bodyn, father Pieter, mother Jannetgen Willems.
*Baptized at the Pieters Church in Leiden on June 8, 1674, Pieter Bodein, father Pieter, mother Johanna Willemsdr.
*Baptized in the Nieesse (sp?) Church in Amsterdam on April 9, 1675, Anna, father Johannes Bodyn, mother Anner Slaan.
*1676 The estate of Maria Cousijn, widow of Pieter Bodeijn is bequeathed to the Orphanage at Leiden.
Note 1: Jan Bodein and mother Sara Stof had a daughter Sara in 1662. This
family disappears from the records after this. Jean Bodin II named his first
daughter Sarah. This would follow Dutch naming customs to name the first
daughter after the paternal grandmother.
Note 2: Pieter Bodine and his wife Jannet Williamsdaughter had children
named Lysbeth, Anna, Sara, and Pieter. These were born from 1668 to 1674. Then
this family disappeared from the Microfiche records. These names are all very
common in this line of Bodins.
THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF FLANDERS
As mentioned before, this John Bodin came from near Bethune, France. Before
1667, when King Louis XIV of France conquered that area, Bethune was actually
a part of the Southern Netherlands, not France. (This was also called the
Spanish Netherlands since Spain controlled the area at that time.) The
Southern Netherlands overlapped an older political area that was known as
Flanders. Flanders was the name of a medieval kingdom that was more a
patchwork of fortified city-states than a real country. It was comprised of
part of the present-day French Department du Nord, the Belgian provinces of
East and West Flanders, and the southern part of the Dutch province of
Zeeland. This "kingdom" no longer exists today. The language the people of
Flanders spoke was a dialect of French in Southern Flanders. These were the
Walloons. The people in the Northern part of Flanders spoke a dialect of
Dutch. They were called Flemings. Jean Bodin would have been born in Bethune
when it was a part of the Southern Netherlands. It might be best to consider
him a Walloon and not a Huguenot as has been reported. However, this depends
on what one's definition of a Huguenot is. Some define Huguenots as French
Protestants. Others define Huguenots as any Christian from any country in
Europe who followed John Calvin's type of Protestantism. Therefore, the most
practical term to use for Jean might be to call him a "Huguenot"; however,
officially, he was really a Walloon.
There is no official term for a Protestant Walloon. Walloons could have
been Catholic or Protestant. The majority were Catholic. Protestant Walloons
faced the same persecutions in the Catholic Southern Netherlands as the
"Huguenots" faced in Catholic France. Many fugitives from Flanders fled to
England where they set up churches. The Dutch speaking churches in England
were comprised of Flemings. Many of the French speaking churches were made up
of Walloons. There were Walloon churches in Norwich, Canterbury, Southampton,
and London. The Walloon church in London is very famous. It was called the
Threadneedle Street Church, but it most often referred to as the "French
The best evidence does point to at least two men named Jean/John/Jan Bodin
who lived at around the same time on Staten Island, New York in the late 1600s
or so. Much of the earlier research into the Bodine family has made the claim
that there was ONLY ONE Jean Bodin who married both Maria Crocheron and Esther
Bridon. However, this would have been impossible. The marriage of John Bodin
and Maria Crocheron took place on January 11, 1680. They were betrothed
[engaged] in 1679 while both were residents of Staten Island. The other Jean,
the one from Medis who married Esther Bridon, was naturalized with her in
London, England on October 14, 1681 (Letters of Denization and Acts of
Naturalization for Aliens in England and Ireland, 1603-1700. Huguenot Society
of London, v. 19, London, 1911, pp. 128-129). That leaves less than two years
between these marriages. The main problem with this timeline is that Nicholas
Crocheron, the brother of Maria, made a bequest to "the children of John
Bodine of his first wife, my nieces and nephews." The phrase "nieces and
nephews" means at least four children. John and Maria surely did not have two
sets of twins in two years. This would have been the only way to have had four
children in that short of a time span. Neither does it take into account the
fact that John Bodin would have had to travel back to England to be married.
This makes even less time for all this to happen. In addition, records from
the Threadneedle Church in London, England appear to prove that the Jean Bodin
of Medis fled France no earlier than September 13, 1681.
As a point of interest, my wife and I visited Medis, France in early
September of 1995. We paid a quick visit to the regional archives and looked
through microfilm of the records of the Protestant churches of the area of
Medis. The regional archives are located in La Rochelle. The address is
Archives départementales, 17000 La Rochelle, 35 rue de vaux de Foletier. I
believe there was a Bridon listed in the Protestant records in La Rochelle (p.
112?) with a baptismal date of 1640. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to see
if this person was related to François Bridon. And we visited the Genealogical
Circle of Saintonge. The Circle's address is Cercle Géneálogique de Saintonge,
17100 Saintes, 8 rue Mauny. This circle is very organized, helpful, and has a
lot of information on computer. There are many Bodins in their databases.
Nothing was found on Jean Bodin of Medis, but there could be something there.
PROTESTANTS FLEE PERSECUTION
This genealogy makes the assumption that the direct ancestor for this line
was Jean Bodin from near the town of Bethune (probably Richebourg), today
located in northwest France. This information is based on his betrothal record
at the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in the town of Flatbush:
Betrothed December 26, 1679 Jean Boden, young man/bachelor
from near Bethune in Artois and Maria Crosseron, young dame from near Rysszl
in Vlaanderen, both residents of Staten Island. Married at Midwout Jan. 11,
1680 with testimony of the Bride's two brothers and Piere Verite all
The record above comes from Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch
Church of Flatbush, Kings County, New York 1677-1720. Holland Society,
1898 (v. 1, p. 223).
John was a Walloon who probably fled the Bethune area, possibly with his
father and family, due to religious persecution by the Catholic government.
Thousands of Protestants were put in prison or chained as galley slaves in the
holds of ships. Many more were killed in massacres by the French (and Spanish)
government and populace. The Protestants themselves were not innocent of
bloodletting, but by far they suffered the most. In Charles Baird's well-known
book about Huguenot immigrants to America, he has this to say of the French
Protestants killed during that time (Huguenot Immigrants to America, by
Charles Baird, v. 1, p. 148):
"...France was deluged in blood; and among the thousands who were
butchered in cold blood, or in the frenzy of fanatical zeal, many of the
noblest and purest of her sons perished".
To avoid this "Inquisition," many Protestants fled to places where there
was more religious freedom: Germany, Holland, England, and later, America. As
mentioned earlier, when Jean was born, Bethune was a part of the Spanish or
Southern Netherlands. It did not become a part of France until 1667 when
France invaded parts of the Southern Netherlands and took Cambrai, Bethune,
Lille, and various other cities. This was a very disputed area between the
United Provinces to the north (today this has become parts of Belgium and
Holland) and France to the south. It would have been a very troubled land to
live in. It was also a very economically depressed land that was financially
dominated by the United Provinces. Protestants especially would not have seen
much of a future in staying there. Spain ran its own Inquisition in the
Southern Netherlands and France was threatening with more religious
persecution from the South. It was also hard to make a living because of the
economic pressure from the North. For these reasons, thousands upon thousands
of people were leaving the Southern Netherlands to live in the religiously
safer and more economically privileged North.
Those who fled the South settled near large Dutch cities such as Amsterdam,
The Hague, Rotterdam and Leyden. It is very possible that Jean of Bethune's
father took him and any others in his family and left Bethune for one of these
Dutch cities. If this is what happened, then it probably happened when Jean
was very young. He and his family then would have lived outside of France for
a number of years. The Huguenots and Walloons set up their own communities in
these cities. However, Dutch society, and especially the temptations of the
big cities, did not please the Huguenots or other persecuted religious groups
like the English Puritans. (The Puritans, too, had fled their country to the
cities of Holland looking for religious freedom.) So they sought a new land
where they could raise their families as they thought fit.
The first ships to America loaded with the Puritans (also called Pilgrims)
were sailing in the early 1600's to America. In Holland, the Puritans mixed
with the French and Walloon Protestants both in business and in religious
affairs. The Puritans were the first to sail to America, but the idea also
caught the imagination of the Walloons and Huguenots. They were not far behind
them in setting out for the "New World." From the early 1600's until 1664, the
Dutch government was in the process of settling people in the New York area
(called New Netherlands then), including Staten Island. The Dutch government
had formed an organization called the West India Company for "the development
of traffic with America, the humbling of Spain, the conversion of the Indians
and colonization in general" (Corwin, p. 16). It was an armed commercial
organization with almost limitless powers. It brought many Dutch, Walloon and
Huguenot immigrants to the New World. In return for their services as
colonists, the West India Company paid for their passage to America. However,
the company eventually headed toward bankruptcy and ceased operations after
the British took control of New Netherlands in 1664 and renamed it New York.
It was then the British who continued bringing in new settlers, including
Huguenots and Walloons. Jean Bodin must have heard of this land of opportunity
called America and hoped to start a new life there with his family. He would
have been on one of these ships that went to America in the 1600's. He
probably arrived around 1677. This is based on the fact that the first record
of a Jean (written with the Dutch spelling "Jan" in the record) Bodin in
America comes from the Dutch Reformed Church of New York. He and Maria Creison
(probably Maria Crocheron, his future wife), witnessed to the baptism of Jan,
son of Andries Canon by his wife Janetje Pluck, on November 3, 1677
(NYGBR, vol. 8-1877, p. 169). See NYGBR, v. 92-1961, pp. 193-198
for more on Andries Canon and another possible identification of Maria
JOHN BODINE IN AMERICA
An official patent for land in the southern part of Staten Island was
granted to a John Bodine on August 9, 1694. I imagine these Bodines were
living on that land well before 1694 and John Bodine of Bethune or his son
only received the patent many years later. Whatever the case, the property
dated 1694 is heavily associated with the John Bodine who died on Staten
Island in late 1694 or early 1695 as shown by his estate administrations. John
owed money principally to a Paulus Richards. Richards was appointed
administrator of Bodine's estate on March 4, 1695 (NY Wills, 5, p. 101). An
inventory of his estate was taken on February 11, 1695 by Richard Michell,
Hans Laurens and Abraham Lacomen. Both Abraham Lakerman and Paulus Richards
were John Bodine's next-door neighbors at the 1694 property. There is no doubt
in my mind that this property in only associated with the John Bodine of
Bethune, France. It is NOT associated with the Jean Bodin of Medis, France.
So I believe this John Bodine of Bethune to be the original Bodine of this
line to come to America. From some of my communications with Ronny Bodine on
this whole subject, I want to mention this, too: "Jean Bodin's estate was
appraised by Richard Michell, Hans Laurens and Abraham Lacomen. This latter
individual, Abraham Lakerman, was the husband of Katherine Crocheron, sister
of Marie Crocheron, wife of Jean Bodin. Another sister, Adrianna, was married
to Jacques Poillon, and their son, Jacques, was married thirdly to Judith
Bodine, whose immediate relationship remains to be established, but the name
Judith was used only in this family. Also, Jean Bodin went on to sue Paul
Richards, the administrator of the estate of Jean Bodin."
See the map below for the location of the two main properties of these two
men named John Bodine who were on Staten Island around the same time.
And here below is a photo of part of the map from Frederick Skene's 1907
map of Staten Island showing Colonial land patents from 1668-1712. You can see
from this patent information the names of many of his neighbors discussed
John Bodine's inventory was then filed that May. His estate included
fourteen cows and steers valued at 35 pounds, three horses and a colt valued
at 13 pounds, one hundred sheep valued at 50 pounds, eighty scheppels of wheat
valued at 12 pounds (a scheppel was about one bushel), and two Negro men and
one Negro woman valued at 100 pounds. The total was 242.9.9 pounds (NY Wills,
5/6, p. 114). It was found that Bodin's debts of 385.14.3 pounds exceeded his
assets. On December 26, 1695, there were no further assets to be secured.
Richards was then cleared of any more responsibility in this matter (NY Wills,
5/6, p. 106). No family members were mentioned in any of these legalities, not
even a wife. So it is not known if she survived him. I personally think his
wife Mary Crocheron would have been deceased by the time he died, but that is
not certain. Paulus Richards seems to have been a rich merchant and had early
patents on Staten Island in several places. He was John's next-door neighbor
in southern Staten Island. I wonder if Jean had not borrowed some money from
Richards since he seemed to owe him quite a bit of money.
So I do NOT believe that this John Bodine of Bethune is the John Bodin, age
45, mentioned in the 1706-1708 Staten Island Census. Why not? The earliest
information we have on this line that we can use to clarify things like this
comes from John Bodine's American descendants mentioned further below from the
line of Cornelius Bodine, a soldier of the Revolutionary War. They said their
ancestor John Bodin was born in 1645 and died in 1695. Several important early
sources from or about this family say this John died in 1695 and that he is
the first of the line in America. John's descendants would have had
information in their possession that could have stated that (a family Bible,
genealogical notes, information passed down by word of mouth, etc.). If we
don't follow that direct information from his earliest descendants, then we
are only making guesses after that about many things. I prefer to go with the
secondary kind of information we do have rather than anything else we might
just be guessing about. Therefore, the main reason the John Bodine aged 45 in
about 1707 on Staten Island was not this John Bodine of Bethune is because
this John Bodine was already dead by 1695! If we assume that to be correct, it
will help us clarify some other things. If we don't assume that to be true, we
have to make many other guesses.
Note also that John Bodine and Maria Creison (this must be Maria Crocheron
his future wife), witnessed to the baptism of Jan, son of Andries Canon by his
wife Janetje Pluck, on November 3, 1677 (NYGBR, vol. 8-1877, p. 169).
If this John had really been born around 1662 based on him being the one in
the Staten Island Census, then he was only 15 when he witnessed this baptism.
I doubt a witness at a baptism could have been that young. And he would have
only been 18 when he got married in 1680. That was very young back then to get
married - too young to be really feasible I think.
So who was that John Bodin, age 45, in the Staten Island Census of
1706-1708? I believe it was the Jean Bodin from Medis and that, therefore, the
Jean Bodin from Medis was NOT born in 1645. He was younger than the John
Bodine of Bethune. When we look at the date given for the birth of Jean Bodin
of Medis being in 1645, that information comes from the ancestors of the John
Bodine of Bethune. They were talking about this line of Bodines and not the
line of Bodines from Medis. The information gets confused and all mixed
together between these two lines because of the false assumption earlier
genealogists have made about Jean Bodin from Medis, France. The assumption was
that JEAN OF MEDIS had married both Esther Bridon and Mary Crocheron. That
really was not possible. We also know that the Jean Bodin from the Medis line
died around 1707. We now have his will which was not available to earlier
researchers. So Jean of Medis was most probably still alive during that
1706-1708 Census of Staten Island.
Note: Ronny Bodine explained the date of the Staten Island Census in this
way: "The entire Staten Island census of 1706 was published in John E.
Stillwell's Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, 1903, vol. 1, p.
150-156. No date was given in the original census. The date has been estimated
by some known birthdays of people mentioned in the census. Stillwell points
out that the date of the Census may actually be 1708, as evidenced by other
known birth dates of some of those counted and their recorded ages thereon."
Because of all the confusion about the two John Bodines on Staten Island,
it is my opinion that someone doing early genealogical work on the two men
named Jean Bodin mixed things up and said the one from Medis was born in 1645.
This seems to have first come out in E. P. Bodine's work on the family in 1897
and has spread from there. Another good example of getting these two families
all mixed together is Mary Elizabeth Sinnott in her work on the Bodines (pp.
153ff). The John Bodine she was writing about was actually the one from
Bethune when she said he was born in 1645; although, from what she says the
Jean Bodin from Medis could also be the one born in 1645. Her information gets
all mixed together.
.....The Bodine family enumerated in Staten Island in the 1706-1708 Census of Staten Island is mostly the Bodine line of Medis - not the Bodine line from Bethune. That seems obvious from the names given like Hester and Francis. The John Bedyne age 26, however, would be John Bodine, believed to be born in 1680 or 1681, and the son of John Bodine of Bethune.
.....Then Esther is listed separately with children Francis, Jacob and Jane, no ages are given. I assume she is the wife of the Jean Bodin of Medis. Note that the families are not always listed together on that Census. The husbands can be separate from the wives.
.....So then Jean, aged 45, is the Jean Bodin of Medis. If he was 45 years old in about 1707, then he would have been born about 1661-1662. That Jean of Medis fled France in 1681 with his young wife. Maybe they were both about 20 years old. We can assume they were young since NO children are with them when they fled France. That is VERY important! Their first child, another Jean, appears to have been born around 1681 or 1682. He was a sailor and was probably not an official resident of Staten Island at the time of the Census or was off on a ship somewhere during that time. Anyway, see more in the notes further below from the family of Cornelius Bodine.
THE ESTATE AND ADMINISTRATIONS OF JOHN BODINE OF NEAR BETHUNE,
The following is found in NY County Wills, Book 5-6, page 101. The date is
March 1695. Since Paulus Richards is John Bodine's principal creditor,
Richards is appointed the administrator of Bodin's estate. [I don't know, but
I wonder if this John Bodine had borrowed money from Paulus Richards. Paulus
is his neighbor.] This transcription comes from a handwritten copy made of the
original. Some of the spellings may have changed in the transcription:
Registered for Paulus Richard
Richardo Benjamin Fletcher Capt General and Governor in Chief of the
Province of New York Province of Pensilvania County of NewCastle and the
Territorys and tract of Land depending thereon in America and vice Admirall of
the same .... & Commander in Cheife of ye Militia and of all ye force by sea
and Land within their Majesty's(?) Colloney of Conecticut and of all ye forts
and Places of strength within the same i/o(?) Paulus Richards principall
creditor of John Bodein Late of ye County of Richmond planter Dec'd _____.
Whereas the said John Bodein so as aforesaid Dec'd having while he lived and
att the time of his death goods rights and credits in Divers places within the
Province Lately dyed Intestate [without a will] by means whereof the full
Disposition of all and singular ye goods rights & credits of ye said Dec'd ye
granting of ye Administration of them as also ye hearing of acct or Reckoning
& ye finall Discharge and Dismision from the same unto me alone solele & wholy
and not unto another Inferiour Judge are manifestly Known to belong. I
desiring that the goods rights and Credits of ye said Dec'd may be well and
faithfully Administered and conserted and Disposed of to ____ and ... in whole
fidelity in this behalfe I are confide full power by the terms of these ... to
administer all & singular ye goods rights and Credits of ye said Dec'd and
faithfully to ... as also to ask collect levy and require ye credits
whatsoever of the said Dec'd ... said Dec'd while he lived & att the time of
his Death did belong and to Pay ye Debts In which the said Dec'd stood obliged
so far forth as ye Goods Rights and Credits of ye said Dec'd can thereunto
extend according to their rate cheifly of well and truly Administering the
same & making a full and Perfect Inventory of all and singular the goods
rights & Credits of ye said Dec'd and Exhibiting the same Into ye registry of
ye Prerogative Court att or before the fourth day of August next Ensuing & of
Rendting a full & perfect acc't or Reckoning thereof att or before the fourth
day of March which shall be in the years of our Lord one thousand six hundred
ninety five & six being duely and Lawfully sworn upon the holy Evanelist of
God and I are by these presents ordain depute & constitute you Administrator
of all and singular ye goods rights and credits of ye said Dec'd In Testimony
whereof I have caused ye seals of ye Prerogative Court to be hereunto affixed
dated att Fort William Henry the fourth day of March in the year of our Lord
David Jamison D. Sectry
And this is an Inventory of John Bodine, 1695 (New York County Wills, Book
5-6, page 114). I have a copy of the original inventory (a little hard to read
in places) and a copy of a later official handwritten copy done by the State
of NY. The spellings do not always agree. For instance, John Bodine's name was
changed in the transcription to John Bodein. Click here to see an image of the original document. Click
"Back" on your browser to return here.
Richmond 11th day of february anno. 1695
This is a true Inventory taken of the Estate of John Bodin Lately deceased.
14 Cows and Steers.............................................................£ 35:00:00
4 two years old.......................................................................£ 06:08:00
3 horses & a colt....................................................................£ 13:00:00
7 c a l f . . . . . . . . . . . . . .............................................................................£ 03:10:00
1 0 0 S h e e p s .............................................................................£ 50:00:00
2 plates & 2 'besen' & a salt 'seller'................................£ 01:00:00
3 I r o n p o t s . . . .............................................................................£ 00:16:00
a Brasse Kettle & 2 'Stoves' panes.................................£ 01:10:00
2 'Tobes' Killer and ankir....................................................£ 01:10:00
a L o u m e s . . . . .............................................................................£ 03:00:00
9 homes spun blanketts and a 'bolt' Sack.....................£ 03:00:00
3 pelles & a 'frion' pan..........................................................£ 00:16:00
a bed a sheet a 'bolter' a 'piller' a bed sted......................£ 03:10:00
5 axes 4 'bittles' ring..............................................................£ 00:19:06
a p l o w s h e are..........................................................................£ 01:00:00
a Inglesh Plow Sheare & 3 wegges.................................£ 01:00:00
2 Chest and a Cobber...........................................................£ 05:00:00
80 Shepple wheat at 3 shillings (3/S) a Shepple..........£ 12:00:00
a gryd iron 2 hesmar a spead a Saw & Hand
saw ager and the tongs.........................................................£ 01:00:00
a W a g g o n . . . . . .............................................................................£ 02:10:00
2 negro men and a negro woman......................................£ 100:00:00
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ................................................................£242:09:06
The mark of Richard "his mark: a large R" Michell
The mark of Abraham Lacomen (signed)
Hanz (or hanus) "his mark: a nazi-like symbol" Laurens
Note from Dave: Ann Messecur believes that the Hans Lawrence mentioned
above is actually a Hans Dey. He also figures in some deed papers for Jean
Bodin of Bethune.
Ixtum fuit himmci Inventor & vero & perfecto Inventor oñium & singulatum
bonoc jurx John Bodein Debts to Paulum Richards Admin primo die May Ao Dom.
1695 jurat at sameta Dei Evangel ium potestate camen de addendo & six.*
'Cor' David Jamison "his mark" 'Florry or Secty' (the clerk?)
*I'm not sure what the "&" marks were or of some of the Latin.
Item 3: This is from New York County Wills, Book 5/6, page 142. It appears
to be the final administration of John Bodin's debts and possessions.
Richards (This may be a note in the margin made by the copiest.)
Know all men by these presents that his Exce.. Benjamin Fletcher Captain
Generall and Governor of New Yorke &c(?) Because Paul Richards Administrator
of the goods chattells & credits of John Bodein Dec'd which has well and
faithfully administered the goods, chattells & credits of John Bodein Dec'd
which have come to his hands & possession and also hath well and faithfully
rendered an account calculation & rendering by him had & made annexed to these
presents whereby it appears that the Dec'd is considerably still indebted to
him and no assetts to pay the same therefore absolved the said Administrator
from rendering any further account on his behalfe so farr as concerned his
duty provided he cannot be convinced of guile or fraud and saving to every one
his right to do finally dismiss him. In testimony whereof his Excellency the
Governor hath caused the prerogative seal to be affixed at New Yorke the 26th
day of December Anno Domini 1695 David Jamison D. Secty.
John Bodein Ded(?), 1694. 13 June to a former account £309-6s-9d. 19 July
to severalls £0-9-3. 7 Augt to cash £1-10-0. 19 Sept to cash £16-0-0. 22 ditto
to cash £12-6-0. 14 Novem to cash £0-9-0. 1694/5 4 Febry to severalls £0-6-0.
9 ditto to cash £2-15-0. 5 March to charge letters to Administration
&c(?)£3-2-0. 19 ditto to charge in Staten Island £0-180. 2 Aprill to cash
£2-10-0. ditto to severall persons £6-8-6. ditto to rent of land & interest
according to bond 25-0-0. 15 May to attest the Inventory & record the same
£0-6-0. 20 Novm to cash p'd for rates(?) and texts(?)£4-7-9. £385-14-3. Ct
1694. 19 Novem to ifirkin(?) butcer(?) 2 hoggs £4-18-9. ditto _____ to cash
£0-9-0. 1694/5 22 Janry to firewood £1-5-0. To the Inventory according to
appraisment £242-9-9. To ballance due me £136-11-9 £385-14-3. New Yorke the
29th Novem 1695 Paul Richards New Yorke the 26th of Decem - 1695. Extum fuit
humor computes Administrations Pauli Richards Executor bonoz cred & fur Johis
Bodin Defti penudems Amlum furat ad seta(?)'dei Evangelia puero prfecto
computo 9d attestor David Jamison D. Secty.
As I have read through the several old histories of Staten Island, it is
important to note that they often say the original inhabitants of Staten
Island did not live long lives. They had a very difficult life back then. The
1706-1708 Census of Staten Island does not list many men of older age. So the
John Bodine of Bethune died at aruond 50 years of age. That was not uncommon
at all for the pioneers of Staten Island.
THE FRENCH HUGUENOT CHURCH OF FRESH KILLS, STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK
There existed a Fresh Kills French Huguenot Church and Cemetery. The
congregation dated from at least 1683 and continued for almost fifty years.
The congregation I emphasize, not necessarily a building, probably even
existed from 1663 (Leng and Davis, v. I, p. 489). They also probably had the
first actual church building on Staten Island. It was in what today is
Greenridge (sometimes Green Ridge and formerly Marshlands) at the intersection
of Arthur Kill Road and Richmond Avenue. From what I can see on Google Maps,
the former location of this church and cemetery seems to be some kind of bus
station now on the southwest corner of Arthur Kill Road and Richmond
.....The French shared the church with Dutch Reformed and English Anglican believers. This church was active until 1734. The Rev. Petrus Taschenmaker owned land right next to John Bodine (see the map further above by Skene where he is listed as Petrus Thesschmaker). He was on Staten Island from 1683 to 1685 and must have at least served the Dutch-speaking members of this church. Information online says, "By the late 1690s the only resident clergyman on the island was the French preacher Reverend David de Bonrepos who had come from the town of New Rochelle (now part of Westchester County). He began services in 1693 with a congregation whose members came from France, England, and Holland. In 1698 the congregation received a deed of land at Green Ridge on which Staten Island's first church, known as the French Church, was built (now destroyed). This church, which for many years was the only one on the island, lost some of its members when the English and Dutch established separate churches. Due to changing immigration patterns the French Church was ultimately absorbed into the Church of St. Michael in 1734 (except for a few elderly members who spoke only French), a church established by many of the English members of the French Church. Many of the Dutch members of the congregation left to join the Dutch Reformed Church on the north shore. This effectively marked the end of a separate French congregation on Staten Island." J. J. Clute says Rev. Dr. David Bonrepos served the French Huguenot Church at Fresh Kill from 1697 until 1717 (p. 256). He also says that there doesn't appear to have been a minister on the island from 1694-1697, but the churches were supplied from New York, Long Island, and New Jersey.
.....From Early History of Staten Island, the author Ira K. Morris says the place now known as Green Ridge was originally called Marshlands. A meeting house is mentioned in the county records as being at that location in 1695 but some claim an edifice was there as early as 1680.
.....Ira K. Morris (p. 193) says there is a tradition that the old church was burned by the Indians in the early part of the eighteenth century, and that it was rebuilt a few years later." J. J. Clute in his Annals of Staten Island (1877), p. 255 says, "About the same year, 1665, there was another church built on the island. This was a Huguenot Church, and stood near the Fresh Kills, or what is now known as the Seaman Farm. The services in this church were conducted in French for many years after the date mentioned above."
Ira K. Morris in the history he wrote about Staten Island (v. I, pp.
50-52), transcribes the original deed. The deed is located in Book B of Deeds,
p. 275. I will quote some of that to give my evidence for the location of this
church back in 1698 (old spellings updated). The property was donated by John
Belvealle (Belville), Sr. and his wife Hester to the French Congregation. From
the description in the deed, it is obviously the former property of Francis
Lee who patented that on January 3, 1680. It matches Lee's patent exactly, and
in relation to his neighbors it is also the same. It falls between the lots of
Francis Ulston and Abraham Lakerman (Morris, v. 1, p. 50). They also had
patented their land in 1680. Belvealle donated one acre of his sixty acres to
the church. It was described as being "Laid out on the south & by East side
of the bridge half an acre of the fore Recited Acre Lying on the south side of
the highway and the other half of the fore Recited acre of Land now Given by
the said John belvealle and hester his wife Lying and being on the north side
of the highway opposite against the other half acre To have and to hold the
fore Recited tract and parcel of upland containing one acre..."
Based on information above, here is a map of where I think this old
Huguenot church and graveyard was actually located. It is about a mile and a
half north of John Bodine's property that was in the south of Staten Island.
What I have found does NOT match what I have found in the various old history
books about Staten Island. Those who have tried to pinpoint the exact location
of this church and graveyard have been incorrect since they have said it was
on land that clearly did not belong to the person who donated it. Here is the
map with some accompanying comments. A more detailed discussion follows
Let me now explain my solution in more detail. There is a bridge mentioned
in the 1698 deed by John Belvealle and his wife Hester giving one acre of land
to the French Huguenot Church. If we could figure out where that bridge was,
then we'd know where the French Church was located. Using the 1907 Skene maps
of the original land patents on Staten Island and comparing those to the
ArcGIS map Staten Island Land Patents which plots those original patents onto
the modern geography of Staten Island, we can come up with a good starting
point for figuring out where this bridge might have been. And by the way, I do
not think this could be talking about the Fresh Kills Bridge or any other
bridge further north into the wetlands since the church and graveyard property
was one-half north and one-half south of the highway. The highway was not up
in the wetlands running east and west back in those days. It was in fact
actually further south than where it is today.
.....So I have had to come up with a hypothetical bridge location since I can find no documents or maps about bridges on Belvealle's property running in an east to west fashion. And we probably never will since this was 1698 and right at the beginning of roads and maps and such of Staten Island. So the location I have come up with is hypothetical but it makes sense!
.....The northwest corner of Belvealle's land is also a good place to start. It has water on it from some wetland. That wetland is on the Skene maps. I think it was called the Mill Pond, but it does not seem to exist today in that exact form. That is dry land now. I could see the old highway needing a bridge to cross that part of that wetland area. And the bridge did not have to be very big; it wasn't some engineering marvel. If you look at the map above, you can see how the water used to jut into the northwest corner of Belvealle's property. That would make it less useful for farming maybe or grazing and thus make it the most likely piece of his land he would be willing to donate. It would serve fine for a church and graveyard, but maybe not so much for a farmer.
.....The historical sources say Arthur Kill Road ran further south in this area in times past than it is nowadays. That fits my solution; although, I am only guessing by the lay of the land where that highway would have been. The direction of the highway and/or bridge might have been somewhat more in a southeast or east-southeast direction, too. That could make a lot of sense.
.....The deed describes one acre of land "Laid out on the south & by East of the brige." That strange wording is very important. And my solution solves that puzzle! In the deed, the one acre is divided into two sections of half an acre each and are said to be opposite one other. My solution is in line with that.
.....In my solution, one half acre is east of the bridge AND north of the highway. That fits the deed.
.....In my solution, the other half acre is south of the bridge AND south of the highway. That fits the deed. And I'm only guessing at the exacty boundaries of the southern half acre. It very likely might include more of the wetland than I indicated since what might have been wet back then was still usable in some way to the church. Or the wetland was not included at all and only the upland was included as I have it now.
...As I have it now, all this land would have been considered "up land" as the deed puts it, i.e., dry and usable land. Google also says each part is about 1/2 acre! At this point, I really see no other solution to this deed than what I have proposed.
.....Dave Bodine, October 27, 2017.
So we know that the church property was on the former property of Francis
Lee. Every history of Staten Island that I have seen that discusses the
location of the French Church puts it near or in front of the dairy barn of
George W. White. That, however, is on the property of the original patent of
Francis Ulston. So that cannot be correct. That solution should be considered
Morris also says this (v. I, p. 52): "The location of this site was
described, years ago, as 'being in the third field of the Seaman residence.'
This cannot describe it today, as there have been many changes; one of these
is the main road, the direction of which was changed in 1831, so that it no
longer serves to mark the upland referred to in Belville's deed. The bridge,
too, there mentioned, was removed by Mr. Seaman in 1849; but he placed another
on the same site, 'which was in the northwest corner of the same field, and
from which the old road, after crossing the bridge, ran southeast diagonally
partly across the field, and then returned joining the present road again near
the northeast corner of the field. The church stood on the half acre which lay
on the south side of the highway.' The dimensions of the church were about 32
by 45 feet, and it stood due north and south. A small stone Dutch dwelling
house, probably occupied as a parsonage, stood to the east of it. South of the
church was the graveyard."
This description above is very difficult to follow without having a map of
that area back then. But it does not necessarily go against the solution I
have come up with.
The best history of this French Church I have found is in Staten Island
and its people : a history, 1609-1929, by Charles W. Leng and William T.
Davis. New York : Lewis Historical Pub. Co., v. 1 (1930), p. 429-436. On page
434 is a description again of the original deed of 1698 of land from John
Belvealle, Sr. and Hester Belvealle of land at Green Ridge. The book says
this: "It conveyed one acre 'laid out on south & by east side of the brige'
one-half on the south side of the highway, the other half on the north side.
The highway is now the Arthur Kill Road, which, however, runs more to the
north now than it did at the time of the French Church in 1698. This site
seems certainly to have been near the long barn on Mr. White's property,
described on Bromley's Atlas, 1917, as Blocks 1519 and 1520, plate 38, v. 2."
The interesting information from Leng and Davis is confirmation that Arthur
Kill Road did run further south than it does today. My solution matches that.
Their solution of it being near the long barn on Mr. White's property,
however, is incorrect.
With the solution above in mind, I paste below this 1924 aerial photo of
the area where the church would have been located. Notice right off the bat
how the area I have chosen seems to be undeveloped and covered with large
trees. That would indicate an area like an abandoned cemetery that nobody had
touched in decades or more. All the other surrounding areas are developed and
do not have such a number of large trees. And all the old maps I have checked,
but which only go back to the 1870s or so have this small acre of land
surrounded by a road and undeveloped. It matches what this 1924 aerial photo
In Morris's Memorial History of Staten Island, New York (1900), v. 2, p.
174, the author says that the Seaman Homestead at Green Ridge was on the Fresh
Kill Road, just east of the road leading to Eltingville. Many generations of
the Seaman family lived there until George W. White bought it in 1880. It
stood on "historic ground, and adjoined the church and grave-yard of the
Notice that it says the Seaman Homestead "adjoined" the French
Church and Cemetery. IF TRUE, THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STATEMENT. The French
Church would not have actually been on his property but the Seaman estate
adjoined it. So my solution would match up with the description above
Here is a part of Section 19 of Beers' 1874 map of the area. I have
included some comments as to the importance of this map. It does clearly show
an area where the cemetery could have been located with a possible access
road. See my comments on the map itself.
Here below I have mapped out the findings of all my research about the
location of the Old French Huguenot Church and its Burial Ground. I have
plotted on the Google map below where I think these are located today.
.....The large red road I have inserted running north and south is a road that is found on most old maps of Greenridge. I believe it is an access road to the church and cemetery - as I mention concerning the map just above. As I mentioned, it is even on a map from March 20, 1797 found online at the New York State Archives Digital collections (Map #186). It used to run about 385 to 400 feet in length and was about 110 feet parallel west of where Richmond Avenue is now. This road I'm sure had to do with access to the Old French Huguenot Church and Cemetery. The fact that this somewhat minor road was even marked on the 1797 map is pretty impressive. Note that if you multiply 400 feet by 110 feet, you come up with about one acre. So each half acre (as mentioned in the original 1698 deed) would have been around 110 feet by 200 feet.
.....The two half acres I have marked #1 and #2. The area marked with a large "1" is the half acre east of an old bridge that used to run somewhere between these two half acres. Area #1 was also north of where the highway used to run as the original 1698 deed states.
.....The area marked with a large "2" is where all the old sources say the church and graveyard were located. It is also half an acre and is south of the old highway and south of the bridge as the original 1698 deed states.
.....If one had access to some ground penetrating radar, one might be able to still find some bodies and maybe even some old brown fieldstones buried under the grassy area between the large parking lot for buses and Wainwright Avenue. I hope someone could investigate this one day. Of course, some bodies could even lie under the bus parking lot or even under Wainwright Avenue itself - or they might have been hauled off during construction or some previous development of the area (some mention is made of this in Pat Salmon's book I discuss further below). One should also check areas 3-5 I have marked just to be sure nothing is buried there. For me, the Burial Ground marked in area #2 is most likely, but there is a slight possibility some graves could also be in areas 3-5. Whatever the case, there is the real possibility that something yet remains hidden under the earth from this ancient burial ground of our Staten Island ancestors.
I found the following information at:
George W. White bought the 240 acre J. S. Underhill farm. This farm once
belonged to Judge Benjamin Seaman (1719-1785). Underhill was probably a
descendant of Benjamin's sister Elizabeth and her husband Amos Underhill.
.....From the map at this website, the buildings are on the south side of Arthur Kill Road. So the photo below, from the same website, would be on the south side of Arthur Kill Road. The website said the George W. White farm was at 814 Arthur Kill Road which would put it about where the LA Fitness Center is today (2017). The same website says the photo is from 1924 but it seems either earlier or later to me since it does not quite match the 1924 aerial photo above. The caption under the photo says there were "reportedly still a few dilapidated gravestones on the spot." So according to Ira K. Morris's information, if that is correct which I don't think it is, then the church used to stand right in front of the large dairy building. I will put in this photo just for reference, but I do not think this location is correct for the reasons mentioned earlier.
The book "Discovering Staten Island: A 350th Anniversary Commemorative
History" says that "As many as two hundred headstones once stood at the burial
ground, but only a few were recognizable by 1850" (same in Morris, v. I, p.
52). It also says the site has been "built over." And History of Richmond
County (Staten Island), New York, From its Discovery to the Present Time,
by Richard M. Bayles (1887), p. 351 says that "In the year 1680 it is known
that there were two churches, with houses of worship on the island. One, and
perhaps the first built, was a church of the Huguenots at the Fresh kill, on
what is known as the Seaman Farm. The services in this church for nearly forty
years later were conducted in French, and although all vestiges of the church
building have disappeared, there is still the little grave-yard with a few
dilapidated gravestones to mark the spot where it stood."
From Leng's book mentioned earlier (p. 434), the 1850 reference above must
be Bayles' book (p. 94) who got his information from the then unpublished
notes of Charles E. Anthon, written about 1850. It says there was a single
broken gravestone. That was a Van Pelt gravestone from the 1760s. There were
two other stones dated 1784 without names. That Van Pelt stone was later
hauled off by a family member to keep at his house. So no stones with
inscriptions of names remained after that.
In 1919, when Ira K. Morris wrote his history, he says the location of the
church could be described as being "directly in front of the large dairy
building of Mr. George W. White, the premises being familiarly known as the
Seaman estate" (p. 193). J. J. Clute in his Annals of Staten Island
(1877), p. 255 says, "About the same year, 1665, there was another church
built on the island. This was a Huguenot Church, and stood near the Fresh
Kills, or what is now known as the Seaman Farm. The services in this church
were conducted in French for many years after the date mentioned above."
The church and graveyard might, at some time in the past, have been on or
adjoing some field of the Seaman estate, but they were not in front of the
large dairy building of Mr. George White since that location did not belong to
the person who originally granted the land in 1698 to the French Congregation.
J. J. Clute (1877) also says on page 255: "There are no vestiges of this
church building to be found at this day, but the little grave-yard marks the
spot where it stood." I think this has been the main problem in determining
where exactly the church was. Even in 1877, no vestige of the church remained.
The graveyard somehow remained, but other historical sources say that all the
stones had disappeared. So really there was no way to know, by the naked eye
anyway, where this church and graveyard was located. Clute just says it was on
the Seaman Farm in Westfield, but that does not specify a location. The
location I propose might well have been part of the Seaman Farm. He had pretty
large landholdings. Or the church and graveyard just adjoined his property as
mentioned earlier by Morris. All this seems to show that, except for Clute
from 1877, nobody really had clear evidence of the exact location of this
church and cemetery. And Clute probably saw the graveyard with a couple of
dilapidated stones, but he did not say where exactly it was located. Nothing
was left at all of the church. And even Anthon, in 1850, said there was only
one broken stone left. That was probably the Van Pelt gravestone which was
later hauled off by a relative. Any notes on the exact location of this
cemetery seem to be guesses made by the historians. The historians were
looking at empty fields and making guesses as to the location of the old
French Church and its cemetery.
For some more information on various statements made by individuals in the
past as to the location of the "French Church Burial Ground" and its condition
back in the 1800s and early 1900s, see Patricia Salmon's book "Realms of
History: The Cemeteries of Staten Island" (Staten Island Institute of Arts and
Sciences, Staten Island, NY: 2006), pp. 86-87. None of these past statements
would clearly pin down the cemetery location other than what some historians
have guessed before that I have already mentioned further above. I do want to
highlight one statement Salmon found in a 1927 letter. The writer said, "the
old graveyard was part of a common field on the Seaman Estate up to 1881..."
(p. 87). I'm not sure what is meant by "a common field." It might just mean an
ordinary field. Or maybe it meant a field shared by the neighbors as not
really belonging to anybody. It is too late to clarify what the writer of that
1927 letter meant now I suppose.
Since writing all of the above, I have found a smoking gun as to the
location of this cemetery. In Richmond County Deeds, Book 69, pp. 153ff, there
is an Indenture from April 21, 1867 which has a long description of all the
Seaman Properties that Katherine S. Seaman, widow of Henry I. Seaman sells to
Jermemus S. Underhill (of Brooklyn) for 23,000 dollars. There are seven
parcels of land near present day Green Ridge that are all contiguous to each
other and are on both sides of the French Kill Road. Six of those parcels were
previously described in a deed dated October 1, 1838 by Billop B. Seaman and
his wife Eliza to Henry I. Seaman, Jr. It was recorded April 6, 1839 in Liber
5, pp. 423-431. In Liber 5, it says the land was bought by Edmund Seaman from
Alexander and Margaret Cairnes on December 3, 1814. That 1814 deed was
actually recorded on May 22, 1830 for Billop Seaman (Book S, pp.160-162). None
of these mention a French church, but it is the deed from Book 69, looking at
page 159 (slide 407 of FHL online holdings), that has the smoking gun. In
speaking of Plank Road, the deed makes an exception for about one acre on the
west side of Plank Road [this is now Richmond Avenue] that adjoins the
property of Edward Banker. This describes the area I have said is the location
of the French Church and graveyard. The church and graveyard is what I say is
that small area of one acre surrounded by some kind of access road and located
north of Edward Banker's property and south of Fresh Kill Road (Arthur Kill
Road). After the description of the seven parcels and in discussing rights to
Plank Road, this is the exact wording "excepting from the above described
premise/promise a small piece of about one acre on the West side of old said
Plank Road adjoining the property of said E. Banker." It does not say why that
one acre was held out of the discussion on Plank Road, but it was probably
because it was still a recognizable cemetery. I would imagine it was in bad
shape, but it was still known to be a cemetery. This was in 1867 and I think
some few dilapidated stones were still visible on the ground.
Another deed I have recently found is in Richmond County Deeds Book B, pp.
373-375 (slide 222 in FHL holdings online). It is a deed of sale between John
and Hester Belleville (the people who donated the land in 1698 to the French
Congregation) and David De Bon Repos (the pastor of the French Congregation
for many years). This deed was recorded for De Bon Repos on April 9, 1700.
They sold him a "certain tract or parcel of land lying and being situated on
Staten Island in the County of Richmond on the South side of ye Fresh Kill,
now in ye present occupation of the said John Belleville beginning at a great
Rock/Loch near a gum tree that is marked on ye south side of ye King's Road
and beginning from thence South upon a direct Line to an old White Oak Stump
and Chestnut Sapling leaning together with a stone planted by ye stump and
from thence running east to ye line of Francis Ulston and from thence running
upon a direct line North to the Reed meadow and from thence west to a marked
stump with a stone planted by the stump and from thence to the tree where it
began, Excepting the Kings Road with all and Singular the privilege,
appertance, thereunto belonging or Within Contained ye said Tract of parcel of
land. Excepting the acre of ground which the said John Belleville and hester
his wife hath by deed of Gift from Under their hand and seal granted unto the
French Congregation, to have and to hold the above said Tract or parcel of
land to the only sole proper use, behoof, and benefit of him ye said david de
bon Repos, his heirs, Executors, administrators and offspring forever."
.....It is not possible to know from the above how much land was sold, but it surely looks to be the entire northern section of Belleville's property with the church property unoffcially included but officially excluded in the wording of the deed. The church property would be in the western part of the deed.
Here is a challenge for someone. See the text below from Historical and
Genealogical Miscellany, by John E. Stillwell, v. I (1903), p. 38 for a
Road Act that probably describes where this cemetery is if one can plot the
locations correctly. I think that road discussed there and that mentions a
churchyard and cemetery does refer to this French Huguenot Church. It would
need more investigation. It is from April 19, 1754. IF ANYBODY COULD TAKE UP
THIS CHALLENGE AND FIGURE OUT THE DETAILS OF THIS ROAD ACT, THAT WOULD BE
IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO HAVE. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU DO.
In the meantime, I will put a possible explanation of this road act. I have
not done much research on this text and am only making some educated guesses.
This road act could actually be talking about some place totally different on
Staten Island - but I doubt it. The image I made up below is how I guess this
road act maps out. My guess is that Stephen Wood had married into or was a
descendant of the Abraham Lakerman family and now had at least part of the old
Abraham Lakerman patent. (Or he might just have been unrelated and bought the
land from the Lakerman family.) I can't find it now, but I did see one map
from the 1800s I think, that did list an "A. Wood" right here as the land
owner of this former patent of Abraham Lakerman. See the key on the image
below for my proposed explanation of this road act. I can even imagine where
the wild cherry tree must have been! Again this is just a proposal. I have not
investigated this road act enough yet to say any of this with 100% certainty.
It is just something a researcher with more time than I have might find useful
in his or her investigation of this road act.
From what I see so far, the area described above must be the place where
John Bodine of Bethune and probably his wife would have been buried. The
Bodine family would have been members of this early settlement of French
Huguenots on Staten Island in and near Greenridge (as it is known today). One
source says people in this settlement had fled from France to Holland where,
as friends, they then moved to New Netherlands (New York now). See Tobias
Wright's Staten Island Church Records, p. ii for this statement. As a
memorial to John and Mary Bodine as having probably been buried in this now
forever disappeared cemetery, I put the following. I'm not sure who wrote
this, but it comes from Morris, v. I, p. 53:
"Should pilgrims be attracted to the sacred place by this
notice of it - Staten Islanders perchance, who can trace their families to
this illustrious source - let them, as their footsteps press the hallowed
soil, recall a Huguenot Sabbath... Let imagination picture that humble house
of God, rustic in its appearance, but sublime in all its associations. Mark
those groups of devout and honest men, of high souled women, the dark-eyed
sons and daughters of France! ...let not the Huguenots of France, the
Huguenots of Staten Island, be forgotten! By their own children, if by no
others, should the great and good be remembered and revered."
THE FIRST GENERATIONS OF THIS JOHN BODINE IN AMERICA
James P. Snell wrote the earliest known genealogy of this Bodine family and
that is included in his "History of Hunterdon and Somerst Counties New
Jersey," Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1881, p. 490. He wrote about the
children of the Staten Island Bodine family that "John Bodine had a
plantation, early in the last century, on the west side of the North Branch.
Immediately north of that was the Ammerman tract, and immediately north of
that the Du Mont tract. This John Bodine had a son Abraham, who married Mary
Low, and had John, baptized April 15, 1748; Judick baptized March 31, 1745,
married Samuel Willemsen; Mary, probably the Mary that married Thomas Cooper;
Cathelyntje, baptized Sept. 3, 1749; Sarah baptized Aug. 10, 1755 ; Cornelius,
baptized November, 1755, married Margaret Sutphen, of Six-Mile Run, born 1754,
and had Abraham, Peter, John, Cornelius, Gilbert, Issac, Charles, and George,
Note from Dave Bodine: The above appears to say that the John Bodin from
France had a son named John Bodine who moved up the Raritan River from Staten
Island into New Jersey. His land was in Somerset County, just east of
Hunterdon County. This also appears to say that Jean Bodin of Bethune was the
first of his line in America.
Ronny Bodine sent me the following information in late 2014. This may be
the best primary kind of source information I have seen on the early history
of the Bodines in America. This comes from the obituary of Peter Van Nest
Bodine and could be quite accurate [except for the links mentioned to Jean
Bodin of the 16th century]. Peter Van Nest Bodine (1832-1902) was the son of
George Bodine (1798-1868). George Bodine was the son of Cornelius Bodine
(1757-1820). Cornelius Bodine was the son of Abraham Bodine (early 1700's -
1769). Abraham's father was John Bodine or, less likely, Isaac Bodine, both
being sons of the Jean Bodin who came from near Bethune, France and settled in
America. So Peter Van Nest Bodine would have gotten direct information from
his father George. And George would have gotten his information directly from
his own father Cornelius Bodine who was a great-grandson of the founder of
this branch of the Bodines in America. So Cornelius practically had first-hand
information from the earliest of generations of this line of Bodines in
America. As the obituary below mentions, Cornelius was the third generation of
Bodines from the original Bodine in America - and that is accurate! The
obituary says that Jean Bodin settled on Staten Island "around 1682." That is
also correct. Not only the place is accurate, but the date is too since we
have Jean and Maria's marriage record from 1680 in New York. They appear to
have moved from New York to Staten Island in 1682 after they married in New
York in 1680. That would make good sense. The later generations of this Bodine
line must have had some written records to know that date of "1682." One other
important thing this obituary tells us is that, if accurate, Jean Bodin was
the one who founded the Bodines in America and no previous ancestor of his.
The obituary tells us that because Cornelius is named as "a descendant of his
in the third generation." So Cornelius was a third generation descendant of
the founder of the Bodines in America. That founder would then be his
great-grandfather Jean Bodine of Bethune, and not Jean's father since
Cornelius would have then been a fourth generation descendant of the founder.
Here is the relevant part of this obituary:
Obituary, The Farmer (N.Y.) Review of Friday, 3 Oct 1902.
The sudden death at Lodi, on the morning of Tuesday, September 23, 1902, of Peter Van Nest Bodine, whose portrait we publish this week, removes one of tbe best known business men of south Seneca county. The loss to the community is accentuated by its suddenness, as Mr. Bodine continued to take his usual active part in affairs up to the morning on which he died. He attended a political convention the previous Saturday; he was present and took part in the last prayer meeting preceding his death, and attended church twice on the last Sunday; and he was in his store until a late hour the evening before death called him. For some time past Mr. Bodine had not looked forward to many more years of life, but it was his earnest desire that he might keep his active interest in affairs as long as he should live. This desire was fully granted. His death ends a life of varied interests and usefulness. The Bodine name is of French derivation, and may be traced back to that Jean Bodin of the 16th century, who was a prominent French statesman and author of his day, and who visited the court of Queen Elizabeth. He died in 1596. The American branch of the family was founded by a namesake of his who settled on Staten lsland about 1682. A descendant of his in the third generation, Cornelius Bodine, came to Seneca county in 1802, and settled on a military claim on lot No. 29 in the town of Ovid, then marked by the ruins of the "Old Fort" of the Mound Builders, on the farm now owned by the Ditmars brothers. This farm passed to Cornelius' son George, who died there in 1868. Peter Van Nest Bodine was the second son of George, and was born at the homestead January 12, 1832.
[Note from Dave: I wonder if the 1682 mentioned above might be date Jean
and Maria Bodine actually first patented or least settled on their land on
Staten Island. Early family members might have had some land transaction
papers or something else.] Land near them was being patented as early as
To go along with the information above is some other early information. It
may or may not be totally accurate in all its details, but it does come from
the same line of Bodines that the information above came from. I think that
they may have had some good written records, maybe even an old family Bible to
get this information. This comes from the Genealogical and Personal History
of Lycoming County, John W. Jordan, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1906.
Here is that write-up:
.....DeWitt Bodine, a leading citizen of Hughesville, and for many years
prominently identified with the commercial and financial interests of Lycoming
county, is the representative of an old and honored ancestry dating back to
colonial times, only a few years after the Dutch authority was superseded by
.....The emigrant ancestor of the Bodine family in America was Jean Bodin, a Huguenot, born in France in 1645, and died on Staten Island, New York, in 1695. His son John had a son Abraham, whose son Cornelius, born in New Jersey in 1756, served with honor in the Revolutionary war. Cornelius Bodine married Margaret Van Sutphen, of Dutch descent, and they settled in the vicinity of Hughesville, Lycoming county, in 1802, and subsequently removed to Seneca county, New York, where they died, respectively, June 12, 1820, and November 15, 1824. Their children were : Abraham, Peter, John, Cornelius, Gilbert, Isaac, Charles and George.
Note from Dave Bodine: It says above that the immigrant John Bodin (of Bethune) was born in 1645 and died in 1695. That does not match much of the current thinking, but I believe it to be correct. It needs continued investigation, but it should not be ignored. It is extremely interesting that a John Bodin did die on Staten Island in 1695 as we have seen in the notes above.
For more information on the Jean Bodins who lived at the same time
in New York in the late 1600s, see the Notes for Jean Bodin of Medis, France.
He married Esther Bridon.
John Bodine of Bethune would first have arrived at the small
fortress-city of New Amsterdam or Fort Amsterdam on the island of Manhattan.
(This is where the city of New York is today. The site of the fort would be
just south of the former World Trade Center.) This was where most ships coming
to the New World docked. The church where he served as witness to a baptism in
1677 was then called the Church of St. Nicholas. It was also referred to as
the "Church in the Fort." It is now the Collegiate Church.
Shortly afterwards, he moved across the narrow channel to Brooklyn
(Breuckelen as it was called back then). He attended the Dutch Reformed Church
of Flatbush in the Midwout area of Brooklyn. He is first mentioned in the
records of the Flatbush church on April 27, 1679. He (Jan Bodin) and Maria
Corilon (Crocheron) witnessed the baptism of Maria Boillon (Poillon). Maria
Poillon was the child of Jacques Boillon (Poillon) and Adrianna Corilon.
Adriana Corilon was Adriana Crocheron, Maria Crocheron's sister. See the
Flatbush Church Records, page 390, for this record.
Maria Crocheron was a young woman from near Ryssel in Flanders (called
"Vlaanderen" in the betrothal record). Ryssel is Flemish for the city of
Lille, now a French city. At that time it was the capital of French Flanders.
John and Maria's families had probably only lived about twenty miles from each
other in France. On December 26, 1679, he and Maria were engaged / betrothed.
Here is the betrothal record in Dutch:
Den 26 dec. 1679, Ondertrouwd; Jean Bodin; J.M. van bil Bethune, in
Artois Maria Crosseron; J.D. van bij Rijssel in Vlaanderen; beijde woonachtig
op't Staten Eijland; met getuijgenis van Bruijds 2 broeders & Piere Verite,
alle tegenwoondig; & getrouwd den 11 th Januarii, 1680, op Midwoud.
The English translation is something like:
Betrothed December 26, 1679 Jean Bodin, young man / bachelor from near Bethune in Artois and Maria Crosseron, young dame from near Rysszl in Vlaanderen, both residents of Staten Island. Married at Midwout Jan. 11, 1680 with testimony of the Bride's two brothers and Piere Verite all present.
The record above comes from Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Flatbush, Kings County, New York 1677-1720. Holland Society, 1998 (v. 1, p. 223). The editor and translator was David William Voorhees. He reproduced these records from original manuscripts in the possession of the Reformed Dutch Church, Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York. I think the originals were once considered lost, but were later discovered in the church. Also see NYGBR, v. 111-1980, n. 1, p. 35 for a reference to this the Year Book of the Holland Society of New York, 1898, p. 88. I believe the spellings of some of the names in the 1898 transcriptions may not be original. The author changed some of them. I'm not sure of this, though. The more accurate record is that of David Voorhees.
They were married in Midwout. In Dutch, Midwout could mean something like "Middle Wood." It was the name of an area in Brooklyn. (See NYGBR, v. 8, p. 183 for discussion on Midwout.) Rev. Johannes Theodorus Polhemius was the first minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in Midwout (see page 18 of "Sebring Collections"). He was the grandfather of Jacob Bodine's wife, Elizabeth Sebring. Jan Pietersz van Deventer, a layman, started the Church at Midwout (see p. 14 of "The Van Deventer Family") Jean and Maria were married on January 11, 1680. (Jacob Bodine was Jean Bodin's son.)
then apparently moved to, or was already living in, Staten Island, New York,
in one of the Huguenot colonies that sprang up. On May 16, 1680, on Staten
Island, he and his wife (written: Jan Baudaiy and Maria Croisson) were
witnesses to the baptism of Abraham Merlet, son of Abraham Merlet and
Christina Pieters (Flatbush Church Records 1677-1720 (v. 1), by David
Voorhees: 1998, p. 397). The first permanent settlement on Staten Island did
not exist until 1661 when peace was established with hostile Indians. Walloons
and Huguenots made up a good percentage of the early settlers. It appears that
Jean and Maria had six children before Maria died. Several researchers mention
the children of John Bodin by his "first wife," but there doesn't seem to be
any original document giving the names of these children. Sinnott (p. 156) is
probably the earliest to give the names of these, but where she got this is
unknown. It would seem that the names of their children are someone's best
guess given the facts at hand. For that reason, they should be taken as a
guess and not as a fact. There could very well be mistakes regarding the names
of his children. Or these names might have come from some family Bible that
was still in existence at that time - maybe a Dutch Bible beloning originally
to John Bodin of Bethune. That is just a guess, though.
It is almost certain that all their children would have been born on Staten Island and baptized at the old French Huguenot Church of Fresh Kills (now Greenridge). However, the church records are now lost. Registers from this church did exist at least until 1758 when they were last in the hands of Henry Latourrette, the son of Jean Latourrette and Maria Mercereau. It is thought that these were probably destroyed during the American Revolution by the English and their hired Hessian mercenaries. They probably also destroyed the old church and graveyard. The British did this to those they thought supported the American Rebels (adapted from http://www.latourrette.net/jean_america.html). If by some miracle those records ever were discovered, I'm sure they would reveal a lot about the family of John and Mary Bodine. Without those, we will not know the details of the births and baptisms of John and Mary's children.
There are various dates given for the death of Maria Crocheron. One, from the Internet, is 1697. No source was given. Another date given is March 4, 1696 (info from MBP). It is unknown where this very important date comes from. Many of the Hunterdon and Somerset County, New Jersey records were burnt during the Revolutionary War; so it is difficult to get proof from that end. Some have said she was evidently deceased before her father (c. 1696); although, this is not totally evident from his will (Wills of NY Co., Book 5, p. 126.). There is a little more evidence concerning her death date in "Land Records of Richmond County," Book B, page 313. This involves money paid to a Jaque Poillon by the account of John Bodine's children, from the estate of John Crocheron, deceased 1697. Taking money from "Jean Bodin's children" instead of from Maria herself would seem to point to the fact that Maria had already died. In 1703, her brother, Nicholas Crocheron, mentioned "the children of John Bodine by his first wife, my nephews and nieces" in his will. [Will of Nicholas Crocheron, February 10, 1703. The will was proven on July 24, 1707 (NY Archives: Wills: 7, p. 410).] Nicholas' instructions reveal that John Bodine of Bethune did probably marry again after Maria died, but it does not say who that second wife was. Another viewpoint, is that Nicholas was just limiting his inheritance to only the children of John Bodine in case John were to marry again (not that he actually had married again). That is less likely since it makes no sense if this John Bodine died in 1695, as I believe he did, and Nicolas made his will in 1703. Notice that by the wording of this will, John Bodine did not have to be alive in 1703. [An article in the "Bodine Branches" newsletter of October 1959 also said that John had been married before and had children. It gave the reference: NY Wills, 7, p. 312. Also in Baird, p. 39.]
Here is an abstract of Nicholas Crocheran's will: NICHOLAS CROCHERON. In the name of God, Amen. I, Nicholas Crocheron, of Richmond County, planter, being in good health. I give to the poor of the French Congregation on Staten Island, £5, to be paid to the Elders. I leave to the children of John Bodine by his first wife, my nephews and nieces, as objects worthy of my charity, one half of all my paternal estate, goods, and chattels, in case I leave no children. I leave all the rest of my estate to my loving wife, Anne Crocheron, and to her heirs and assigns. I leave to all my other heirs, each 6 shillings.
Dated February 10, 170 2/3. Witnesses, John Bellville, Moses Bernd,
William Tilyer. Proved before Thomas Wenham, Esq., July 24, 1707.
Note from Dave Bodine: Notice that Nicholas calls the children of John Bodine his "nephews and nieces" and not his cousins since they were his blood relatives.
The abstract above can be found in the Collections of the New York Historical Society, 1892 (v. 25), p. 445.
T. A. Bodine says that all of John Bodine's sons removed from Staten Island to the region of the Raritan River in New Jersey. They are found there in 1705. All the sons, except Jacob, remained in Middlesex and Somerset Counties. Donna Tunison wrote me that the lower tip of Staten Island is across the Arthur Kill from the upper part of Middlesex County.
In a speech at the second annual reunion of the Aten and Albertson families in Delaware, New Jersey on August 27, 1898, Rev. John Bodine Thompson said the following about the Dutch who migrated to America:
"...the same liberty and the same customs and usages which existed in the Netherland existed in like manner in New Netherland. The free schools in which Holland led the van of the world were established also on the shores of the New World. And when these were suppressed and their other excellent customs derided, after the English conquest in 1674, they began to "go west" into the wilderness. From Manhattan Island and Long Island and Staten Island, they followed up the Raritan to its sources."
The following is quoted from a message posted by Doris Lane on the Rootsweb Dutch-Colonies list:
"...in the late 17th century, Staten Island was populated by Dutch and French descendants of immigrant ancestors living in an English jurisdiction.
"The Dutch held New Netherland until 1664 and then regained it in 1673, losing it again in 1675. In 1689, Leisler's Rebellion (not a big blip on the world screen) was a reaction to the ascension of James II to the throne in England and to the annexation of New York to the Dominion of New England, which resulted in a drastic reduction of trade to the port of New York. Nobody who used to be making money was making money. James II was an avowed Catholic and was looking to reinstate the Catholic Church as the official religion of England. New York was largely Protestant. A new Lieutenant Governor of New York, Francis Nicholson was pro-Catholic, and his appointment fanned the flames among Dutch and French Protestants; on Staten Island the overwhelming majority. James II was exiled to France, and William and Mary of Orange took the throne. This is known as the Great Protestant Revolution in England. William and Mary had the support of Protestant New York, but Francis Nicholson and Governor Andros did not. When rumors of an invasion of New York and Staten Island by France (remember all those French Huguenots who came here to get away from religious oppression) caused a panic, Jacob Leisler, as Captain of Militia, was recruited by the locals to take charge of the government, which he did. He was quite popular in New York and on Staten Island and on Long Island, especially among the farmer and burgher classes, but did not have any support upstate or among the wealthy anywhere. Meanwhile, a new Governor had been appointed, Henry Slaughter, who arrived more than a year later to take possession of the fort and control of the government. Leisler at first refused, but eventually gave in. He was executed for high treason on May 16 1691, along with his son-in-law, Jacob Milborne.
"Where the Staten Island Dutch and French families who moved away come into this, is that many of them, including Staats, Corson, Nevius, Kroesen (Cruser), Holmes, Van Pelt, Veghte and others, were in one way or other supporters of Jacob Leisler. Some of them believed they had acted in protection of the legitimacy of William and Mary, others had been appointed to civil positions, and probably not a few thought they were regaining the glory of New Netherland. There was a fundamental division between English culture and its focus on individual rights, and Dutch culture, which is traditionally concerned with communal good. The New York Dutch had also been supplanted as the city's elite and its culture by the English culture. These must have been some pretty jolly Dutchmen under Leisler's Law. In the years following Leisler's execution, the rabble rousers had to defend themselves in court to keep out of prison. Some, like Dirck Kroesen (Cruser), John Peterson Staats, Jacques Poillion and John Bodine [Ira K. Morris, v. 2, p. 117] were arrested on Staten Island.
"Meanwhile, there was all this land opening up in, not only Bucks County PA, but in Middlesex and Somerset Counties in NJ. Many Dutch and French families from Long Island and Staten Island, in particular, who, with the English now firmly in control, weren't comfortable with the new reign, migrated to those places. It was also attractive to migrate because of the vast tracts of land that were available, for some in the thousands of acres, which they could then sell off in parcels to new settlers. Again using Dirck Kroesen (Cruser) as an example, on Staten Island he had 160 acres he was fighting over with his brother Hendrick. Dirck's daughter Neeltje and her husband Carl Van Hasten bought 580 acres of the William Penn tract in 1708 with a partner. In 1710, Dirck and his wife Elizabeth Cregier bought 1,080 acres - 500 acres in Northampton and 580 acres in Southampton, which they eventully deeded by gift to their children. With the migration, these families were able to prosper in a way they would not have had they stayed put in New York where English settlers were now finding opportunity.
"For these two reasons, at least, these particular people
from Staten Island left."
End of information from Doris Lane.
Jan Bodine sent me the following reference for the information below. It
comes from The Annals of Staten Island; from its discovery to the present
time, by Clute, J. J. New York: Press of C. Vogt, 1877, 478 pgs. The
following comes from pages 67-68:
After the arrival of Governor Sloughter, Leisler and Milbourne, his
son-in-law, together with several members of his Council, were arrested for
treason and condemned to death, but all were reprieved except the two first
named, who were executed by hanging on Saturday, May 16, 1691. On the 28th of
April, preceding, a letter was presented to the Council in New York from the
Sheriff of Richmond County, "Giving an Account of severall Riotts and Tumults
on Staten Island, and that they are subscribing of papers"; the sheriff was
ordered to secure the ring-leaders that they might be prosecuted. The papers
which were "subscribed" were petitions in favor of the two condemned men; the
people of Westchester also sent a petition for the same purpose, but the
Council did not recognize the right of petition in such cases; therefore some
were cited to appear before the body, while others were imprisoned as
promoters of "riots and disturbances."
During Dongan's administration, Leisler, having imported a cargo of wine,
refused to pay the duties thereon to Matthew Plowman, the collector of the
port, because he was a Papist; he was, however, compelled to do so, and ever,
thereafter, was a bitter enemy of Plowman. During his brief arbitrary
administration, to gratify his spite, he charged Plowman with being a
defaulter to the government; and, learning that he was the owner of a quantity
of a beef and pork, stored at Elizabethtown, he ordered Johannes Burger, a
sergeant at the fort, to proceed to Staten Island, and compel such individuals
as he might require to go with him, and assist in the removal of the
provisions. Burger obeyed the order, and the property was brought to Leisler
in New York, who sent it to Albany for the use of the soldiers he had sent to
that place. After Leisler's execution, Plowman prosecuted all who were
concerned in the removal of his property, to recover its value. Amongst the
number were the following residents of Staten Island, viz., John Jeronison,
Thomas Morgan, Lawrence (p. 68) Johnson, John Peterson, Dereck Crews (Cruser),
Chauck (Jacques) Pollion, and John Bedine." These individuals, soon after the
arrival of Major Richard Ingoldsby, as president of the province addressed and
"humble Peticon" to him and the Council, in which they admit having assisted
in the removal of Plowman's property, but that they did so under compulsion,
believing that they were doing a service to their majesties; that they
considered it unjust to compel them to pay for the provisions when the whole
country had the benefit of them; they therefore pray that they may be relieved
from the whole responsibility, or if that may not be done, that every person
engaged in the removal be compelled "to pay their equall proporceons of the
same." This petition was presented by Plowman himself, who thereby recognized
the justice of their cause, but what the result of the application was does
The following is from the Somerset County Historical Quarterly," v. 4 (1915), p. 22. It is titled A Dutch Migration from the Raritan Valley to New York State in 1785 and Later," by Rev. Minor Swick, Flushing, NY:
"...in the latter part of the 17th Century, there was an extensive migration of the Low Dutch settlers on Long Island and their descendants to the valley of the Raritan in New Jersey, occupying a large part of the region on both sides of the river, from where New Brunswick now is, upward to Bound Brook and Somerville, and along the Millstone and South and North Branches of the Raritan. Then, about 100 years later, 1785 and after, there was a like extensive migration of the descendants of these people from all this region, and especially from Somerset County, to the then far-away wilderness of the "Lake Country" of Central New York. Among these were families bearing the names ...Bodine. ...some went to Cayuga county others to Genesee county."
NOTES ON BODINE LAND TRANSACTIONS ON STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK
The following information is about some land transactions which involve people named John Bodin/Bodine on Staten Island, New York. It is quite difficult to figure it all out and some guesswork is needed. I'm not sure all of what follows is correct, but this is what seems to make sense at the moment.
John Bodin [VERY probably of Medis] and his wife Esther purchased 80 acres of land at Charles Neck on Staten Island (while he himself was living in Middlesex County, NJ) on June 19, 1701 (Richmond Co. Deeds, Book B, p. 402). I assume this is the first piece of land they purchased in America after arriving from England in the very late 1600s or even very early 1700s.
Ann Messecar has been working on finding some property that once belonged to Johannes and Nellie Mesecar on Staten Island. She says that a John Bodin had purchased an 80 acre tract of land in 1701 from Johannes and Neeltje Messereau (Book B, p. 402). The words go something like, "Johannes Mesecar and Neeltje, his wife [Neeltje Harmense Coerten] sell to John Bodine 80 acres 'for and in consideration of a competent sum of good and lawful money to them in hand paid' for a certain tract of land in Staten Island on the West side being the point of Karles Neck on the North side of the Fresh Kill bounded on the Northeast by lands of Edward Marshall..... containing 80 acres excepting a certain tract conveyed to Barent Symessen by sale 15 February 1700 which is 10 acres with a whole [not whale] mill and a stream belonging." [Ann: It is interesting because Johannes has a brother named Adam who lived in Gravesend and was a dealer in whale oil. Barent Sysmessen married Appollonia Messeker, Johannes and Neeltje's daughter.] Ann discovered that the mill was a "turn mill," and that it was first built by Johannes Messecur. It was gone when Francis Brindon bought part of the property in 1712.
Ann later found the deed mentioned above. It is from
June 19, 1701 and shows that John Bodine bought property on the west side of
Staten Island "being the point of Charles Neck on the north side of the Fresh
Kill." This property was sold to him by "Johannes Messeuir and Neeltje, his
wife." Johannes had petitioned for these eighty acres in the 1670s. He then
sold these eighty acres to John Bodine, minus property he had sold off to
Barent Simonse in 1700. [Ann: Barent Simonse's wife was Appollonia Messeker, a
daughter of Johannes.]
Here is a map of that property Ann Messecar sent to me. It was originally
patented by Richard Harvey on August 3, 1694 and later passed into Johannes
Mesecar's hands before being purchased by John Bodine. This comes from Skene's
Map of Staten Island, Colonial Land Patents, 1668-1712:
seventy acres plus the ten acres not included in the 1701 purchase seems to
have been purchased later on by Francis Bridon (Ann Messecar says that at
least part of that happened in 1712). We can assume that this Francis Bridon
was John Bodine's brother-in-law, his sister Esther Bridon being John Bodine's
Ann looked at the 1706-8 Census for Staten Island, and noticed that John
Bodine, age 45, is right next to Barent Simonse. This makes a lot of sense if
this John Bodine is the John Bodine from Medis, France since this piece of
land is assocated with the Bridons and John's wife Esther is mentioned in the
1701 record mentioned above.
Francis Bridon died in Boston in 1723, as is evident from letters of
administration issued to his widow, Susanna Bridon on 1 August 1723 (NY Wills,
ix, 398). His will of 16 December 1702 was proved in Boston on 22 October
1723 and named his widow as sole heiress (NY Wills, ix, 412).
Thus, Susanna Bridon was now in possession of the ten acres. By her own
will of 10 November 1724, proved 5 December 1724 (NY Wills, Book 10, 5), she
devised the ten acres "on the north side of Fresh Kill in Charles Neck" to
this John Bodine for life and upon his death to go to "my well beloved cousin
Esther Bodine, wife of John Bodine, for life, then to their children." John
Casson was appointed executor of the will. Casson (or Cosson) might be the
son-in-law of Esther Bodine and her husband John of Medis, but that is not
certain. I find no evidence to back up that relationship.
Here follows the will of Susannah Bridon, wife of Francis Bridon, Jr.
(Abstracts of NY Wills, 1708-1728, v. II, pp. 304 & 305):
Page 5.--In the name of God, Amen, November 10, 1724, I, SUSANAH BRIDON, of
Staten Island, widow, being in good health, I leave to my well-beloved cousin
John Bodin, all that certain messuage, or Point of land on Staten Island on
the north side of the Fresh Kill in Charles Neck, between the land of said
John Bodin and the land of Teunis [a fuller copy said Thomas] Griggs,
containing 10 acres or thereabouts, with all the salt meadow, house, barn, and
other buildings, Also 175 pounds which he oweth me. All this to him for life,
and then it shall come into the hands and possession of my well-beloved cousin
Esther Bodin, wife of him the said John Bodin, for life, and after her decease
the above mentioned land and the 175 pounds shall fall and come to be equally
divided amongst all the children born or that hereafter shall be born of the
said Hester Bodin in a lawful marriage as each of them come to age to have and
to hold the same their heirs and assigns for ever. I leave to my niece Judith
T_____, now wife of John Chadine 50 pounds, and a feather bed and bedstead,
and a rug and blanket. I give to Judith Chadine, Elizabeth Tillon and Ann
Tillon all my linen, brass and pewter vessels, and other household goods. I
leave all the rest to John Tillon, Peter Tillon, Elizabeth Tillon, and Anne
Tillon. I make my friend John Casson [maybe Cosson], executor.
Comment from Dave Bodine: I have amplified the above abstract from a full
copy sent to me by Ronny Bodine. There is more in the fuller version. One
thing to note from this is that Susannah Bridon seems more related by direct
family ties to Esther Bodin than to John Bodin since she specifies that her
inheritance would end up in hands of Esther's children - not John's (in case
he were to remarry I guess).
Witnesses, Daniel Low, Engelbart Van Sane, Abraham Cole. Proved, December
Note #1 from Dave Bodine: There are problems in assuming that John Bodine
of Bethune is the "said John Bodin" mentioned above in Susanah Bridon's
.....1a) First of all, Susanah Bridon calls John Bodin her "well-beloved cousin." The word "cousin" was normally used of a nephew or niece who was an in-law. In Susanah's will, it seems to be used of a non blood-related niece or nephew. If this is first or second husband of Susanah's husband's sister, then "said John Bodin" would be her brother-in-law. So if John Bodine of Bethune were a second husband to Susanah's sister-in-law Esther Bridon, then John of Bethune would have been her brother-in-law and not her "well-beloved cousin." If one checks the records of the Abstracts of New York Wills, 1708-1728 where Susanah's abstract is found, one will find plenty of times where a "brother-in-law" is mentioned in those wills. Now Susanah does call Judith Chadine her "niece." I think that means Judith was actually her niece by some blood relationship rather than just by marriage.
.....1b This is backed up by information from Ann Messecar who says that Francis Bridon, brother of Esther (wife of John Bodin of Medis) married Susannah TILLON, daughter of Peter and Anne Tillon. Ann says the Tillons went with the Bodins and Bridons to London, England. When Susannah writes her will, she names her nephews and nieces. One of her Tillon brothers must have had these children:
Judith Tillon, married John Chadine
John Tillon, born 1686 (Staten Island Census)
And possibly Abraham Tillon? (Listed in 1715 as an adult)
.....2) Another big problem is that the earliest information we have from the descendants of John Bodine of Bethune is that he died in 1695. One has to ignore that very important information in order to assume that "said John Bodin" here is John Bodine of Bethune.
Note #2 from Dave Bodine: My present conclusion about Susanah Bridon's will
is that she could be talking about her nephew-in-law John Bodine, son of John
and Mary (Crocheron) Bodine (the Bodines of Bethune). The "well-beloved
cousin" Esther that Susanah Bridon then goes on to mention in her will as the
wife of "said John Bodin" would be the unknown wife for John Bodine (son of
John Bodine of Bethune). As of yet, we do not have a wife for that John
Bodine. So his wife Esther would/could be the daughter of John Bodine of
Medis. My assumption is that the son of John Bodine of Bethune, John Bodine,
would have been married since he would have been over forty years old in 1724.
The children mentioned for John and Esther are real children.
..... Note that Susanah only calls the executor John Casson/Cosson "my friend." If John Casson were the husband of Esther Bodine, daughter of John Bodine of Medis, then Susanah should have called him "my cousin." Esther Bodine, daughter of John of Medis, is often listed as married to a John Casson, but I see no real proof of that. In fact, she is not called Esther Casson in her brother's will of 1724.
.....Anyway, mine is only a theory among other theories, of which, all have some holes in them. We should not try to make too much out of Susanah Bridon's will since the connections there are very difficult. There are various solutions. We can only make guesses as to who everyone is.
Note #3 from Dave Bodine: I have learned that Abraham Cole lived, or at
least had land, closer down south across the Fresh Kill to the old French
Huguenot Church and thus could have been a friend or associate of the Bethune
Bodines more than the Medis Bodines. He was related to the Bedell family by
marriage from what I remember.
On March 13, 1727/1728, John Bodine had a deed recorded in Richmond County
Deeds (Richmond Co. Deeds, C: 298-302). It says that on May 8, 1722 Francis
Bridon sold 70 acres of this land to John Bodine also of Richmond County, but
retained 10 acres for himself. This is the land bordered on the northeast by
the land formerly owned by Edward Marshall and now owned by Thomas Griggs.
This land John Bodine was buying is said to have originally been granted to
Richard Harvey on August 2, 1694. This is the land associated with John Bodine
In 1737, it must be the John Bodine mentioned in Susanah Bridon's will who
wanted to sell the full 80 acres to Joseph Bedell, but was precluded from
doing so under the terms of Susannah Bridon's will which stipulated he had
possession of the land only during his lifetime after which it went to his
wife Esther, then to her children. To clear the way for the sale, the children
had to give up their right, which they did.
Note from Dave Bodine: So the wording above seems to give preference to
Esther Bodine and her children over Esther's husband John. That would make
sense since Esther was the one directly related to her former husband Francis
Bridon. Esther was Francis's niece by a blood relationship.
At the request of Joseph Bedell on November 3, 1743, a deed was recorded in
Richmond County Deeds (Richmond Co., NY Deeds, Book D, pp. 104-105). On
February 2, 1736/1737, John and Esther Casson of the County of Richmond,
heirs-at-law to Francis Bridon (deceased), had conveyed a certain house and
ten acres of land formerly in the possession of Francis Bridon and now in the
occupation of John Bodine also of Richmond County and his heirs and assigns
forever (none mentioned). A judge then declared this deed a legal transaction
on Sept. 28, 1743. This is the property associated with John Bodine of Medis
and not the property in the south of Staten Island associated with John Bodine
of Bethune or his family.
Written February 2, 1736/7
Signed: John Casson / Esther Casson
Witnessed by Joseph Bedell and Paul Merchaux
Note: I think others have read "Casson" as "Cosson."
Memorandum that the consideration of the within deed was that the said John
Bodine should pay or cause to be paid unto Mary Ann Ablin of the City of New
York widow the sum of Seven pounds current money of New York this I certify to
as witness this 28 Sept. 1743.
Ronny Bodine sent me much of the above regarding this transaction. He says
this may have to do with clearing the way for the sale of all 80 acres of the
land to Joseph Bedell.
Note #1 from Dave Bodine: We actually have no credible proof of who this
Esther is that John Casson married. It does not have to be the daughter of
John and Esther Bodine of Medis, France. In fact, Susanah Bridon, the widow of
Francis Bridon (brother of John Bodine of Medis's wife Esther) calls John
Casson her "friend" in her will. To me that sounds like Susanah Bridon and
John Casson might be around the same age. So maybe John Casson married Esther,
the widow of John Bodine of Medis. Maybe John Casson married Esther, the
daughter of Francis Bridon's sister Suzanne Bridon who married Dennis Richer.
All these might have been heirs to this property mentioned above. We should
really be very careful in trying to make any sure conclusions about which
relative John Casson married. I think too much guesswork is involved in that.
Note #2 from Dave Bodine: I also found the will of John Casson in
Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogate's Office of New York, v.
26, p. 237. There seem to be no obvious connections mentioned to the Bodine or
Bridon family. That makes me wonder even more if he didn't marry the widow
Esther Bodine. Whatever the case, the Esther John Casson married just isn't
clear. Here is his will:
.....In the name of God, Amen, January 4, 1737. I, John Casson, of Richmond County, being weak in body. I leave to my wife Esther, for her dowry, 100 pounds. To my niece Catherine Renaud, wife of Vincent Renaud, of the Island of Gurnesey, in Europe, 50 pounds. To my other niece, Mary Ozans, wife of Henry Ozans, Jr., of said Island, 50 pounds. To my nephew, Paul Michaux, of Richmond County, I leave all the rest of my estate of lands and houses. And I make John Le Counte and Paul Micheaux, executors.
.....Witnesses, Jacques Legin, Peter Kavart, Lewis Gans, Jacques Jequien. Proved February 6, 1738.
Note #3 from Dave Bodine: Paul Michaux (Micheau?, Micheaux?) was married to
Anne Stillwell. Paul died in 1751, probably on Staten Island.
The last record regarding this property seems to be on May 7, 1744 where a
deed is recorded in Richmond County Deeds for a Joseph Bedell (Richmond Co.,
NY Deeds, Book D: pp. 131-134). It refers to a transaction done on March 7,
1736/1737 between John Bodine and his wife Hester Bodine selling their 80
acres at Karle's Neck to Joseph Bedell. This is definitely the property
associated with the Bridon and Medis Bodine families since it is mentioned as
bordering on the northeast the property of Edward Marshall. It is not the
property patented in 1694 by John of Bethune or his family. A Francis Bodine
(signed Fransois bodin or boden) served as witness along with a John Lisk. No
mention is made of the relationship of Francis Bodine to John and Hester. This
seems to be the last known record of Jean and Esther Bodine. The legality of
this deed seems to have been confirmed by a judge on March 3, 1743/1744 who
also brought John Lisk back to confirm it. Francis Bodin did not present
himself on this date, just John Lisk. John Lisk did confirm that Francis
Bodine was a witness back on March 7, 1736/1737 when this deed was made. In
the copy we have of this original, John Bodine signs his name as Jean Bodin
and Hester gives her mark.
.....This transaction is the one Mary Elizabeth Sinnott mentions as being land that maybe John Bodine had had surveyed on Staten Island on April 1, 1686. However, it does not say who had that original survey done. I doubt it was John Bodine since he does not seem to be the orginal patent holder on that land. So we cannot assume anything from this date April 1, 1686.
The image below is of Jean Bodin's signature or else it is a copy of his
original signature. What we have seems to be a copy of the orginal. So the
signature must not be his actual signature. Whatever the case, it is
interesting that he wrote his name as "Jean Bodin" in a more French way.
Francis Bodine also wrote his name in a French way. That does not tell us
anything directly, but it is interesting.
From: Ann Messecar
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Subject: John Bodine on Staten Island
I spent a morning on Staten Island last week. Would you like to have a map showing the location of the Bodine properties? I misplaced your address; if you send it to me, I'll get the package off this week.
From: Ann Messecar
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Subject: Re: John Bodine on Staten Island
Johannes Mekelsonne (Mesecar) to John Bodine
The property is on the beautiful Fresh Kill, a large stream on the western
side of Staten Island. There is a fence by the stream with large signs every
10 feet or so, saying KEEP OUT - HAZARDOUS WASTE MATERIAL. I believe this is
where they put some of the World Trade towers. On the other side of the
stream, a short way up, sprawls the Staten Island mall. However, if you
carefully aim the camera - you might just get this lovely picture of a
beautiful property squeezed in between the two other uglies! I tried. We'll
The other property is near Jacque Poillon. He was on Petrus Tessenmaker's
property. I'll send you that article, too.
This next set of
transactions has to do with John Bodine of Bethune's line. It is a different
plot of land than the one from 1701 mentioned above. Here again I include an
image of part of the map from Frederick Skene's 1907 map of Staten Island
showing Colonial land patents from 1668-1712. You can see from this patent
information the names of many of his neighbors discussed below.
From dates mentioned in the transactions below, it seems the original
patent for this land was made on August 9, 1694 to a John Bodine. I don't
think we should assume that John Bodine was John Bodine himself of Bethune.
One reason is that John of Bethune probably died in late 1694 or early 1695.
It could have been him. Or it might have been his son. Or it might have been
both of them wanting to get this patent as John of Bethune was in poor health
or even already dead. John of Bethune's son would have been 14 years old at
the time and I put some comments later about that. Nobody has lately found
that original patent. It has been lost now or just not discovered yet.
However, it was still available in 1708 when some officials looked for it and
found it and confirmed that date. Maybe it was even in John Bodine's
possession - or at least some kind of copy of it that he could refer to it
particularly in 1708.
So in 1708 a John Bodein asked for confirmation of property rights to land
bordered by Paulus Richards, Task Masker (Rev. Petrus/Peter Thesschenmaker),
and William Barker. If you remember correctly, Paulus Richards is the executor
of Jean Bodin of Bethune's will and he is a neighbor to that John Bodine. Here
is a message Ann Messecar sent me:
Subject: Re: [D-Col] Bodines of Staten Island and Messereau? (2)BR> Date: 9 Jul 2000
I've done a little bit of work on the property location. I think the 1706+ Census was done by area (i.e., someone walking around and writing down names). I think there was a problem with the third sheet of this census that was written with "a different hand" and is clearly missing a number of people. However, that having been said, the John Bodyne age 26, is listed with these significant people: Abraham Lackerman (age 45), Richard Mitchill (age 68) and Hans Lawrence (age 63). These people figured in Bodine wills and administrations. He is also near James Poillion. "Jaques Poillon" made a will in 1718 and lists property "purchased of Abraham Du Peyster commonly called Barker's land" and part of a meadow of the land called Barker's land beginning at the foot of the ditch nighest to the sea...Also a lot I purchased of Mr. Antoine, commonly called Fastmakers land (Task Masker's land??????)." The will of Abraham Lakerman, dated 1734, mentions woodland between the Fresh Kills lots and the land formerly of William Barker. The will info I got off the Dutch-Colonies list, and it is filed in the bins if you want full copies. The petition for John Bodein talks about Paulus Richards, Task Masker and William Barker. This was in 1708. One undocumented piece of info grouped Abraham Lakerman, Abraham Marlett (rear of Barker's farm), Daniel Lake, Isaac Billjeau and Paulus Richards in the Long Neck area. It might be interesting to look at deed information on any of those people and see if it mentions adjoining land owners.
The Mesecars, Rikers and Morgans all
appear to be on lots on the Fresh Kill, also Lambert Gerritzen (wife, Susannah
Morgan). I have been able to pinpoint their properties fairly well, but this
Task Masker has eluded me...
[Note from Dave Bodine: Ann has now figured out this person. "Task Masker" is actually the Dutch Reformed minister Petrus Taschenmaker who lived on Staten Island from 1683 to 1685. He was John Bodine's immediate neighbor to the west.]
Anyway, I will keep your name on my Staten Island list. Your work on Bodine is really great!
Note from Dave: Ann now believes
that the Hans Lawrence mentioned above is actually a Hans Dey. He also figures
in the inventory of the John Bodin who died in the late 1600's.
Ann also wrote me this:
I am most interested in reading the petition by John Bodine in 1708. This
property later (1722) was "vested" to Jacque Poillon. It also seems connected
to the John Bodine that died in 1696...... I have sent away for a copy of the
petition and also a map of the Karles Neck area properties. I keep checking my
mailbox...alas, nothing yet! I think this property is in a different area of
Staten Island; not on Karles Neck. But I don't know how close it is.
Note from Dave Bodine: Ann later did figure out these two properties are
separate pieces of land.
*****End of email from Ann Messecar.
It is difficult to know who that John Bodyne in the 1706-1708 Census of
Staten Island was since both the son Jean Bodin of Bethune and the son of Jean
Bodin of Medis were around 26 at the time of that Census. And both were named
John. We really cannot know without guessing, but from what Ann says above I
would assume it must have been John Bodine of Bethune's son due to who is near
him in the Census on Sheet #3. His parents had both died by 1706-1708 and his
siblings might have mostly all been in New Jersey. Or all family members might
not have been listed for that group on Sheet #3 of the Census. One can easily
see that many of the men on Sheet #3 actually, from other records, had
families but those family members are not listed on that sheet. So maybe from
the John Bedyne listed on the Census, only he is listed from his household.
That is a distinct possibility. Notice also the spelling of his name "John
Bedyne" which is different from the "John Bodin" listed further above being 45
years old. These families maybe pronounced and/or spelled their names
differently. For me, there is very high likelihood that this "John Bedyne,"
age 26, is the son of John Bodine of Bethune, France.
Let's now look at the papers from 1708. They are difficult to read in
places. I will try to transcribe what I can make out.
From September 23, 1708 we have this:
The Humble Petition of John Bodein.
Sheweth Whereas their Late Majesties King William and Queen Mary by their Letters Patents under His Seale of this Province bearing date the Ninth day of August in the sixth years of their Reigns [Note: William of Orange and his wife Mary began their reign over England in 1689; so the sixth year of their reign would be about 1694.] did Grant unto your Petitioner a Certain parcel? of Vacant Land lying upon the rear of two Lotts and an halfe? of Land in Richmond County as is found in his said Letters Pattents particularly described which your Petitioner hath confidently professed and enjoyed.
Your Petitioner therefore humbly prays your Excellency would be pleased to
grant to your Petitioner his Majesties most gracious letter Pattents of
.....The rest is hard to make out but it may say a map is attached.
As Ronny Bodine has said in his research into these transactions, a warrent
of confirmation was issued on September 27, 1708 (New York Calendar of Land
Papers, volume iv, p. 87) which asked for some official I think to prepare
Letters Pattents of Confirmation for "John Bodin" for this piece of land that
was then in his possession. So this seems to be a response to the petition
described above from September 23, 1708.
Ann Messecar has transcribed what is below from that September 27, 1708
transaction. This, as I mentioned, seems to be the fulfilling of the demand by
some official to prepare the Letters Pattents of Confirmation for John Bodine.
It definitely describes the plot of land in the south of Staten Island
associated with John Bodin of Bethune. Neighboring properties were those of
Paulus Richards, Taskmasker (sp?), Abraham Marlatt, Abraham Lakerman, William
Barker, etc. Here is what Ann sent me. The original document is in the Office
of the Secretary of State in Albany, NY. It can be found in Calendar of
N.Y. Colonial Manuscripts; Indorsed Land Papers, vol. 4, p. 141 (Weed,
Parsons and Company, Albany, 1864):
In obedience to your (Excellency's?) order in (?) of this day referring to
us the Petition of John Bodin we have inquired into the obligations thereof
and thereupon and upon Inspection of the Pattent granted to the Petitioner in
1694 we are humbly of opinion your Excellency may safely grant his Majesty's
Letters Pattents of Confirmation for the Land Granted by the aforesaid grant
according to the description and Boundries following that is to say. On the
South east by the Rear of the Lott that was granted to Paulus Richards on the
South west by the line of Tasksmaker [Note: This is Petrus Tessenmaker, a
minister who served briefly on the island, then went to Albany] or Edward
Antill on the North west by a line of marked trees and on the North east by
the line of William Barker extended at and (under?) the yearly rent of four
shillings which is the rent (reserved?) By the aforesaid Grant as which is
(?) humbly submitted
............ My Lord
(? By your) most obedient servants
Rip Van Dam
R. Mompesson. (?)
New York. September
One should not think that the original petitioner of this land had to be
John Bodine of Bethune. It could have been his son. In 1694, John Bodine the
son of John Bodin of Bethune would have just turned 14. Back in Colonial days,
a boy of 14 could be involved in land transactions - especially if the father
were involved. I wonder if John Bodine of Bethune was very sick at the time
(since he died in late 1694 or early1695), and he wanted to make sure his son
had documentation of the land they lived on on. I think they must have already
been living on it before 1694 since John Bodin of Bethune had a pretty large
farm based on his inventory at death on Staten Island in late 1694 or early
1695. John of Bethune would have been wanting to get his affairs in order and
provide for his family.
I found the following at http://www.genfiles.com/articles/legal-age/:
.....Minors and Land
The particular case of land transactions deserves special attention. Minors could be landowners, since they could acquire land by gift or inheritance. Land was never without title, so a father’s will devising land to a minor resulted in the minor’s immediate ownership regardless of age. Likewise, the land of an intestate person fell immediately to a specific heir, even if a minor, under the law of succession.
Likewise, nothing in the common law prevented an infant [anyone under 21]
from buying land or other property. But, again, such an action could be later
be repudiated by the minor. Therefore, for the same reasons, we generally
find such purchases made on the infant’s behalf by an adult guardian or next
friend. Blackstone points out that an infant could renege on any contract
upon reaching majority: An infant may also purchase lands, but his purchase is
incomplete: for, when he comes to age, he may either agree or disagree to it,
as he thinks prudent or proper, without alleging any reason.
Ronny Bodine also said this:
He [Jean Bodin from the 1708 petitions] apparently sold this land as on 22 May 1722, Jacques Pouillon petitioned for a warrant of survey of the land described as "being on the southside of Staten Island confirmed by a patent to one John Bodine and now vested in the petitioner" (New York Calendar of Land Papers, volume viii, p. 160). Jacques Pouillon was the son of Jacques Poillon (died 1720) and his wife Adrianna Crocheron, sister of John Bodine's late wife Marie.
Note from Dave Bodine: I guess Jacques Poillon's third wife was Judith
Bodine. Ann Messecar and I are both thinking that this Judith Bodine was one
of the last children of Jean Bodin of Bethune, It is not clear, however, who
exactly this Judith Bodine was. We can only make guesses at this point.
Ann found two deeds in Richmond County, NY Deed Book B that have John Bodin
signing as a witness. These deeds can be found on familysearch.org, starting
with image 22 out of 392 images.
The first deed is from May 3, 1683/1684 on pages 5-6 of Book B. It is a
deed of Paulus Richards to Richard Mitchell, Carpenter and is property first
conveyed to a Henry Conley. The witnesses were Samuel Winder (Wonder, Winter?)
and Jan Boiden.
The second deed is on pages 7-8 of Book B. It is a deed of Paulus Marlett,
Yeoman, and wife Elizabeth to Paulus Richards, merchant of N.Y. It is land
from a 1675 patent of Paulus Marlett and Gideon Marlett the father and Josiah
Marlett the brother - also Abraham Marlett. Witnesses were Samuel Winder and
In addition to these two deeds above, there is also a 1688 deed of William
Johnson Losenght and wife Bely Thyssen (Sweem). It concerns property on the
south side of Staten Island granted to William and Peter Johnson for a patent
on September 29, 1677. It is listed as west of the creek to the highway of
Christopher Billop, north by the highway to the west side of the creek
containing 230 acres. (Peter Johnson's property is about half of this.)
Witnesses were Stephen Mahault and Yay Bodin.
These three transactions listed above in the vicinity of John Bodine of
Bethune's land in the south of Staten Island and, most likely, witnessed by
him seem clearly to show he was in the area before 1694.
FINAL NOTES ON JOHN BODINE OF NEAR BETHUNE, FRANCE
There is a letter of administration on the estate of a John Bodyn which is
dated January 21, 1745. This might apply to the family of Jean Bodin of
Bethune, but it is uncertain. (It is probably more likely that it applies to
John Bodine, the son of Vincent and Hyla Bodine. That John was from New York
City as is the John mentioned in these administration papers. Whereas, Jean of
Bethune's family members probably did not live out the end of their lives in
New York City; they were in New Jersey.)
Ann Messecar says this about Vincent Bodine, son of John of Medis: He may have been apprenticed to his Uncle Riche which is why he lived in NYC. The John who dies before 10 May 1744 in NYC is a son of Vincent. John was born 29 June 1718 in NYC. He married Tryntie Bensen and had four daughters - not certain how many survived. Vincent's sister, Mary Ann, also lives in NYC.
Jane Pears (sp?) is appointed the administratrix of John's estate. Jane was his principal creditor. From the handwritten part of this document, it says that Jane and Jean were both from the City of New York. For the original letter, see New York Letters of Administration, 1743-1755, p. 73 (or 167?). To see this document, click here. Click "Back" on your browser to return to this page. Here is a transcription of this letter:
George Clinton, Esq; Captain General and Governor in Chief of the Province of New-York, and Territories thereon depending in America, Vice-Admiral of the same, and Vice-Admiral of _____ _____ in his Majestys fleet: To Jane Pears of the City of New York Widow principal Creditor of ______ John Bodyn late of the same place Cooper* deceased.
WHEREAS the said John Bodyn lately died intestate (without a will), having whilst he lived, and at the Time of his Death, Goods, Right and Credits in diverse Places within this Province, by Means whereof the full Disposition of all and singular the Goods, Rights and Credits of the said Deceased, and the Granting Administration of them, as also the Hearing of Account, Calculation or Reckoning, and the final discharge and Dismission from the same, unto me solely, and not unto any inferior judge, are manifestly known to belong; I desiring that the Goods, Rights and Credits of the said Deceased may be well and faithfully administered, converted and disposed of into pious uses, do grant unto you the said Jane Pears (in whose Fidelity in this Behalf I very much confide) full Power by the Tenor of these Presents, to administer the Goods, Rights and Credits of the said Deceased, and faithfully to dispose of them; as also to ask, collect, levy, recover and receive the Debts whatsoever of the said Deceased, which unto him whilst he lived, and at the Time of his Death did belong, and to pay the Debts which the said Deceased stood obliged for, so far forth as his Goods, Rights and Credits can thereunto extend, according to their Rate, chiefly of well and truly administering the same, and of making a true and perfect Inventory thereof, and exhibiting it into the Registry of the Prerogative Court, in the Secretary's Office of the Province, at or before the twenty first Day of June, next ensuing, and of rendering a just and true Account, Calculation or Reckoning of the said Administration, and that on or before the twenty first Day of January then next following, and I do ordain, depute and constitute you the said Jane Pears Administratrix of all and singular the Goods, Rights and Credits which were of the said John Bodine so as aforesaid deceased. In Testimony whereof I have caused the Prerogative Seal of the Province of New-York to be hereunto affixed, this twenty first Day of January One Thousand seven hundred and forty five.
- A cooper repaired wooden casks and tubs. The signature is of a Jno. (Jonathan?) Catherwood, followed by what may be his title, but which cannot be deciphered.
Here is something to note below concerning research:
From: miss missy [funmissy2003 at yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010
Subject: genealology Bodin
I was looking for some huguenots in england and found your site. To help you, I did a quick search for Bodin or bodine in the Rotterdam (archives), the place where a lot of english huguenots went to for some reason. The name did not come up with any hits, so Rotterdam is out :-). Have you tried 'family search', a mormon site, and very good if you are stuck?
Good luck with finding answers.
Friendly greetings from Mariska Dumas, Zwolle, Netherlands
From Ronny Bodine:
John Bodine, a native of near Bethune, Artois, France, is first evident on
Staten Island on 3 Nov 1677 when he and his future wife, as Jean Boudin and
Maria Creison, were baptismal witnesses at the Dutch Reformed Church. On 26
Dec 1679, he and Maria were formally betrothed and married at Midwout on 11
Jan 1680 (records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, Town of Flatbush).
Maria Crocheron, identified in the betrothal record as a "young dame from near
Ryssel in Vlaanderen (Flanders)" appears to have died prior to 10 Feb 1703,
when her brother Nicholas, in his will of that date, made a bequest stating "I
leave to the children of John Bodine by his first wife, my nephews and
nieces..." but makes no mention of their names.
Whereas his contemporary, Jean Bodin of Medis, France (1645-1707), died
leaving a will and therein naming all of his children, Jean Bodin of Artois
died intestate and it falls upon surviving records to reveal the names of his
children. As these two men were the only men named Bodin/Bodine living on
Staten Island and the nearby New Jersey counties at this time period and as
Jean of Medis named his children, one may conclude that all others were the
issue of Jean Bodin and Maria Crocheron. The primary source for this is the
baptismal registers of several Dutch Reformed Churches of which the Bodines
were members. It is likely this primary source was what James P. Snell drew
upon to compile the earliest known genealogy of this Bodine family for
inclusion in his "History of Hunterdon and Somerst Counties New Jersey,"
Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1881, p. 490. The information in Snell's book
does seem to have several errors. Relevant portions from his book read:
John Bodine had a plantation, early in the last century, on the west side
of the North Branch. Immediately north of that was the Ammerman tract, and
immediately north of that the Du Mont tract. This John Bodine had a son
Abraham, who married Mary Low, and had John, baptized April 15, 1748; Judick
baptized March 31, 1745, married Samuel Willemsen; Mary, probably the Mary
that married Thomas Cooper; Cathelyntje, baptized Sept. 3, 1749; Sarah
baptized Aug. 10, 1755 ; Cornelius, baptized November, 1755, married Margaret
Sutphen, of Six-Mile Run, born 1754, and had Abraham, Peter, John, Cornelius,
Gilbert, Issac, Charles, and George, all deceased.
Isaac Bodine had eleven children,- eight by his first wife, Cataleyn, and
three by his second wife, Jannetje. These children, with dates of baptism,
were Jan, Nov. 19,1703 [error: 19 Oct 1703]; Jantien, April 30, 1707;
Frederick April 26, 1709; Mareyken, April 25, 1711 [error: she is the dau. of
Jacob Bodine]; Kataleyn, Aug. 8, 1713 [error: 2 Nov 1711]; Isaac, April 5,
1715 [error: bapt. 18 May 1715]; Abraham, July 31, 1717; Elizabeth, Oct. 31,
1719 [error: bapt. 14 Oct 1719]; Hester, Dec. 25, 1723; Isaac, Aug. 16, 1730;
and Jannetje, Aug. 16, 1730 [error: the baptismal entry reads: Eysack, parents
Eysack Bolyu and Jannetje. Thus, both Issac and Jannetje were not their
Peter Bodine had two children by his first wife and one by his second,
Margrita. Their names and dates of baptism were Jan, April 30, 1712; David,
April 3,1717; Mareytje, Oct 15, 1738 [error: Mareytje was born to Piter Belyu
and wife, Margrita.]
Jacob Bodine's wife was named Elizabeth. They had six children,-Viz,, Jan,
St. Jantien, Jacob, Catherine, Cornelius, and Antje.
Abraham Bodine married Adriantje Janse, and had nine children, among whom
were Catrina, baptized April 14, 1725, and married Lodewyk Haydenbrook; Peter
baptized December, 1726 and twice married (first, Mareytje; second, Widow
Williamson}; John, baptized Dec. 5, 1730, married Femmetje Vorhees; Abraham
and Judick. The last named was born March 17, 1735, and ultimately married
Based upon the foregoing then, the surviving children of Jean Bodin and
Maria Crocheron would be those who follow:
i. John Bodine, born Abt. 1680. He married Mary _____.
Note: No one else names this John as a son of John and Maria except in Snell and his copyists.
ii. Isaac Bodine, born Abt. 1681 in Richmond County, New York; died July
1752 in Somerset County, New Jersey.
iii. Jacob Bodine, born Abt. 1683; died Abt. 1765.
iv. Sarah Bodine, born Abt. 1687.
v. Catherine Bodine, born Abt. 1688.
vi. Abraham Bodine, born Bet. 1690 - 1699; died Aft. March 1749/50.
Besides Jean Bodin of Medis, France there are also some Bodines who first
settled in Ulster County, New York. They may have come from Holland or
Germany. The earliest documentation on these is from the 1750's. A direct
connection to the Bodines from France has not been proven or disproven. There
are also some Bodines that moved from Sweden to Minnesota and other states in
the mid and late 1800's. These may also have a French origin, but they would
not be related to the John Bodin mentioned here. And there are some Bodines of
Italian origin. One of the ancestors of the Italian Bodines originally spelled
his name differently, but eventually changed it to Bodine. There may be other
Bodines of different origins as well.