Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thomas Pearsall, Owner in 1723 of Harts Island, Also Known as Spectacle Island, Bequeaths it To His Son, Henry Pearsall

Early wills of Westchester County shed interesting light on the history of Pelham and surrounding areas. In 1898, F. P. Harper published by book by William S. Pelletreau that provided abstracts of nearly 800 such wills recorded in the New York Surrogate's Office and at White Plains, New York between 1664 and 1784.

Today's Historic Pelham blog posting transcribes one such abstract relating to the island near City Island known today as "Hart Island". The island, once known as "Harts Island" and also as "Spectacle Island" is among those islands that once were included within the "Manor of Pelham".

"91. Thomas Pearsall.

'Of Spectacle Island, otherwise called Harts Island.' Leaves Legacy to son Nicholas. Leaves to son Henry, 'a certain Island called Spectacle Island or Harts Island, situate in the Sound, in the Manor of Pelham.'

Legacies to son John, and daughters Eda wife of Walter Dobbs, and Hannah wife of John Lanyon. Makes Thomas Pell and Hermanus Rutsen, and son John executors.

Dated April 20, 1723.
Proved April 6, 1732.
Liber II. P. 229."

Source: Pelletreau, William S., Early wills of Westchester County, New York : From 1664 to 1784 : A Careful Abstract of All Wills (Nearly 800) Recorded in New York Surrogate's Office and at White Plains, N.Y. From 1664 to 1784 : Also the Genealogy of "the Havilands" of Westchester County and Descendants of Hon. James Graham (Watkinson and Ackerley families) : With Genealogical and Historical Notes, pp. 55-56 (NY, NY: F. P. Harper 1898).

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