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.

Friday, April 08, 2016

More About Samuel Rodman of the Manor of Pelham After Whom Rodman's Neck Is Named

Samuel Rodman was an illustrious eighteenth century settler in the Town of Pelham who owned much of the mainland adjacent to City Island as well as City Island, and Hart Island.  The neck on which he lived is known today as Rodman's Neck.  It has been known by many names including Ann Hoeck's Neck (many spellings), Pell's Point, Pelham Neck, Rodman's Neck, and various other names. The area was part of the Manor of Pelham from 1654 until 1788.  In 1788, New York State established the Town of Pelham and included Rodman's Neck within the Town's boundaries.  Rodman's Neck remained part of the Town of Pelham until the area was annexed by New York City in the mid-1890's. 

I have written about Samuel Rodman, members of the Rodman Family, and Rodman's Neck on numerous occasions.  At the end of today's Historic Pelham Blog posting I have included a list of links to many such articles. (I have excluded from the list many, many other articles that simply reference Rodman's Neck -- i.e., Pell's Point -- as the landing point of the British and German troops before the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.)

Samuel Rodman was a son of Joseph Rodman (born April 11, 1685; died September, 1759) and Sarah Lawrence.  Sarah Lawrence Rodman was Joseph's first wife.  The couple married on March 11, 1709.  Joseph and Sarah Rodman and their family lived in New Rochelle and had ten children before Sarah's death.  Joseph Rodman married again, to Helena Willett, on November 9, 1758.  

Joseph and Sarah Rodman had ten children:

Joseph Rodman, born October 6, 1708 (before the couple married)
Anna Rodman, born April 17, 1711; died September 13, 1713
William Rodman, born March 17, 1712; died October 22, 1713
Samuel Rodman, born February 6, 1715; died before May 8, 1780
Mary Rodman, born February 1, 1717; died before the American Revolution
Sarah Rodman, born September 24, 1719; died July 6, 1780
William Rodman, born October 31, 1721
Deborah Rodman, born December 26, 1725
Anna Rodman, born April 10, 1728
Elizabeth Rodman

Source:  Jones, Charles Henry, Genealogy of the Rodman Family, 1620 to 1686, pp. 22-23 (Philadelphia, NY:  Allen, Lane and Scott, 1886). 

Samuel Rodman (born February 6, 1715; died 1780, before May 8, 1780) was the fourth child and third son of Joseph and Sarah Rodman of New Rochelle.  He married Mary Hicks (a daughter of William Hicks) on October 13, 1737 in Flushing (in today's Queens County, New York).  Samuel and Mary Hicks Rodman lived on a large farm on Pelham Neck, known today as Rodman's Neck.  The couple had seven children:

Sarah Rodman, born February 20, 1739
Joseph Rodman, born April 29, 1740
William Rodman, born September 15, 1742
Samuel Rodman, born November 28, 1744
Mary Rodman, born October 28, 1746
Charles Rodman, born November 4, 1748; died September 18, 1751
Elizabeth Rodman

Source: Jones, Charles Henry, Genealogy of the Rodman Family, 1620 to 1686, p. 32 (Philadelphia, NY: Allen, Lane and Scott, 1886).

After the death of his first wife, Mary Hicks Rodman, on December 20, 1751, Samuel Rodman remarried to Mary Pell, a daughter of Caleb Pell.  Samuel Rodman and his family lived on a large farm on Rodman's Neck.  The farm was described in a sales advertisement published in 1774 as follows:

"[A] valuable peninsula, or neck of land at New-Rochelle, commonly called, and known by the name of RODMAN'S NECK, distant 23 miles from the city of New-York; containing about 200 acres, including 8 or 10 acres of salt meadow.  On the premises is a commodious new dwelling-house, a large new barn, with stables and other convenient out-buildings; a good bearing orchard, and a variety of peach and other fruit trees.  The Farm is in excellent order, divided in proper lots from five, ten, to fifteen acres, mostly inclosed with lasting stone fences; is well water'd, and has a sufficiency of timber for fire-wood.  The soil is naturally rich and luxuriant, and may easily be made more so if required as large quantities of sedge and rock weed (those best of manures) are continually drifting on shore from all quarters of the Sound, and can be conveyed to any part of the farm with very little trouble and expence. The situation is healthy and most delightful -- a full prospect up the Sound, unbounded as the ocean; -- an extensive view of New-England and Long-Island shores, with the innumerable islands interspersed, most of which are covered with cedars, pines, and other ever-greens; -- the continual passing and repassing of topsail vessels, sloops, boats, &c. -- and the pleasant and fruitful adjacent country around; renders it all together, inviting and agreeable beyond description."

Source:  To Be Sold, at Public Vendue on the Premises, The New-York Gazette; and The Weekly Mercury, Feb. 21, 1774, p. 2, col. 4.

In addition to owning the large farm on the mainland, Rodman also owned much of today's City Island located just off the shore of Rodman's Neck.  Thus, in 1754 Samuel Rodman advertised for sale about 236 acres of "upland and meadow" with "well water and timber" known by the name of "Minyford's Island" where, according to the advertisement, there was a good dwelling house, a barn, and other outhouses as well as "a good orchard with upwards of 200 apple trees, besides other fruit trees."  See [Advertisement], The New-York Mercury, Apr. 8, 1754, Issue 87, p. 4.  

Shortly before the onset of the Revolutionary War, Samuel Rodman and Benjamin Palmer successfully lobbied the New York Lieutenant Governor, the Council and the General Assembly to enact a statute authorizing them to build a free draw bridge between Rodman's Neck on the mainland and Minneford's Island (known today as City Island).  The plans were part of a grand scheme to develop Minneford's Island into a major city seaport to be named "City Island." 

The onset of the Revolutionary War dashed these plans.  The statute required that the bridge be built within seven years of its date of passage on April 3, 1775.  The War raged for the next eight years.  Thus, the bridge was never built and the grand plans to develop City Island as a seaport to rival New York City were relegated to the trash bin of history.

Samuel Rodman also owned Hart Island, a large island in Long Island Sound located adjacent to City Island.  He bequeathed a portion of that island to his son, Joseph, in his will.  That will provided:

"'I, SAMUEL RODMAN, of the manor of Pelham, in Westchester County.  I leave to my son Joseph one half of my island called Hart Island, lying in the Sound before the manor of Pelham; also £300, and my wearing apparell and one English mare.  I leave to my sons, William and Samuel, all my Neck of land and meadow where I now live, with all buildings, which I bought of Thomas Pell; also my stock of horses and cattle.  I leave to my daughter, Sarah Bleecker, £300.  To Miriam Hicks, daughter of Deborah Hicks, £50; to her sister, Elizabeth Hicks, £25.  To my granddaughter, Sarah Bertine, £100, and the money due me on a bond from Peter Bertine and his sons, Peter and John.  To my grandson, Samuel Bertine, £200.  To Joshua Hunt, Sr., £5.  To Miriam Hicks the bed I lye on, with all bedding.  To my son William a pair of silk stockings and a bosom Gold Buckell.  To my son Samuel a pair of Gold sleeve buttons.  To my granddaughter, Sarah Bertine, one good feather bed, with furniture.  I leave to Richard Hicks my square of land on Miniford's Island where Deborah Baxter now lives.  All the rest of my movable estate I leave to my three sons, Joseph, William, and Samuel, and my daughter, Sarah Bleecker.  I appoint [Page 108 / Page 109] my sons, William and Samuel, and John Bartow, Sr., executors.'

Dated September 10, 1779.  Witnesses, James Pell, Sr., Thomas Pell, Elizabeth Pell.  Proved, May 8, 1780.

[NOTE. -- Minifords Island is now City Island.]"

Source:  "Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogates Office, City of New York Volume IX January 7, 1777 -- February 7, 1783 with Letters of Administration, January 17, 1779 -- February 18, 1783" in Collections of The New-York For the Year 1900, pp. 108-09 (NY, NY:  Printed for The New-York Historical Society, 1901) (citing Liber 32, p. 240).

Detail of Map Prepared in 1853 Showing Rodman's Neck
(Pelham Neck) Once Owned by Samuel Rodman.Source:
Dripps, Matthew & Conner, R.F.O., Southern Part of
West-Chester County N. Y. (1853) (Museum of the City of
New York, No. 29.100.2628). NOTE: Click on Image to Enlarge.

*          *          *          *           *

For a list of prior postings about Samuel Rodman, members of the Rodman Family, and Rodman's Neck, see:

Thu., Oct. 16, 2014:  Genealogical Information Regarding Samuel Rodman of Rodman's Neck in the Town of Pelham.

Tue., Oct. 07, 2014:  Legislative History of the 1775 Statute Authorizing Construction of City Island Bridge.

Fri., Oct. 03, 2014:  1775 Statute Authorizing Construction of City Island Bridge.

Fri., Sep. 19, 2014:  Abel Deveau, An American Skirmisher on Rodman's Neck as British and Germans Landed Before the Battle of Pelham.

Wed., Sep. 17, 2014:  References to the Battle of Pelham in 18th Century Diary of Ezra Stiles, President of Yale College.

Tue., Feb. 09, 2010:  1755 Census of Slaves Older than Fourteen in the "Mannour of Pelham"

Thu., Dec. 13, 2007:  Abstract of Will of William Rodman Dated Oct. 28, 1782.

Mon., Sep. 10, 2007:  Abstract of 1799 Will of Samuel Rodman, Jr. of Pelham.

Tue., Apr. 17, 2007:  Executor's Notice Regarding the Estate of Samuel Rodman, Published in 1784.

Fri., Mar. 23, 2007:  Abstract of Will of Samuel Rodman of the Manor of Pelham Prepared in 1779 and Proved May 8, 1780

Tue., Mar. 13, 2007:  Abstract of 1752 Will of Joseph Pell of the Manor of Pelham, Proved September 28, 1752.

Tue., Dec. 26, 2006: 1775 Statute Authorizing Samuel Rodman and Benjamin Palmer to Build City Island Drawbridge.  

Wed., Sep. 27, 2006:  Abstract of 1779 Will of Samuel Rodman of the Manor of Pelham in Westchester County.

Mon., Aug. 21, 2006:  Efforts to Sell Rodman's Neck in 1774 and 1775, Apparently Due to Financial Difficulties of Joseph Rodman, Jr.

Tue., Mar. 22, 2005:  The 1790 U.S. Census Information for the Township of Pelham.

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