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.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Secondary Source to Follow Up On Regarding When John Pell, Nephew of Thomas Pell, Died

There long has been confusion regarding the date of the death of John Pell, the nephew of Thomas Pell of Fairfield, who inherited the Manor of Pelham following the death of his uncle in late September, 1669. Numerous secondary sources indicate that John Pell drowned in a boating accident during a fierce wind on Long Island Sound in 1702 or 1703. See, e.g., Pell, Robert T., Pelliana: Pell of Pelham, p. 25 (Privately Printed, 1934); Weigold, Marilyn E., The Long Island Sound: A History of Its People, Places, and Environment, p. 10 (NY, NY: New York University Press, 2004).

Periodically I have seen references to deeds that post-date the 1702-03 time period where John Pell was indicated as a witness. Although I made mental notes of such references, I have done a poor job of documenting them. Thus, when I recently ran across a secondary source that seems to contain such a reference with citations, I decided to document it here for further follow-up. The secondary source material is quoted below, followed by a citation to its source.

"JOHN NELSON, the ancestor of the Nelsons of Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties, New York, was plaintiff in a suit against Thomas Sprey, of New Amsterdam, 17 January, 1670. (Court Minutes of New Amsterdam, vi. 278.) For a time, at least, he resided at Flatbush, but had removed to Mamaroneck, Westchester County, before 27 July, 1683, on which date he purchased lands from John Richbell and Ann his wife (Westchester Deeds, A. 20), and he was an administrator, with James Mott and Ann Richbell, of the estate of John Richbell, the first patentee of what later became the manor of Scarsdale. John Nelson's home-lot adjoined the land of Robert Penoyer, and is so described in a deed from himself and wife Hendrica to William Pierce, 2 April, 1694. (Ibid., B, 177, 178.) On 28 January, 1707, he conveyed to his 'eldest son,' Polycarpus, a house, lot of land, and orchard, in Mamaroneck, in consideration of which the son was to pay his 'nephew,' Richard Rogers, £10. (Ibid., D, 179, 180.) He served on the grand jury of Westchester County, 1 August 1688; as overseer of Mamaroneck in 1697, and as constable in 1699, and his name frequently appears in the records as a member of various town committees, and always with the prefix of 'Mr.,' a designation of some distinction at that period. He died after 28 March 1713, at which time he was a witness to a deed of John Pell, Sr., brother [sic] of Thomas Pell, second lord [sic] of the manor of Pelham. (Ibid., E, 50.) A low hill in the town of his adoption perpetuates his name. It was made historically memorable during the Revolution for the surprise and defeat, by Colonel Smallwood, of a large body of the British stationed thereon under Major Rogers."

Source: Roebling, Emily Warren, The Journal of the Reverend Silas Constant Pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Yorktown, New York With Some of the Records of the Church and a List of His Marriages, 1784-1825, Together with Notes on the Nelson, Van Cortlandt, Warren, and Some Other Families Mentioned in the Journal, p. 410 (Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1903).

Based on the foregoing, it would seem productive in this regard to review the deed reflected in Westchester Deeds, Vol. E, p. 50.

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At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Jean M. Colson said...

thanks for including the citation. I discovered the same passage on another site, sans citation. You may want to privately suggest a citation to the site owners [Putnam County Historical Society & Foundry School Museum ]

They ought include the citation for the benefit of all readers. It is after all 'best practice'... thank you, Jean Colson


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