Genealogical history of Hudson and Bergen counties, New Jersey

Biography of David D. Blawvelt of Bergen County

After the Demarests and Harings, the Blawvelts are the most numerous of the families that settled the northern part of Bergen County. On the east bank of the River Yssel, in the Province of Overyssel, in Holland, nestles the by no means sleepy town of Deventer-the birthplace of the great Gronovios and the still greater Groote, a town of iron foundries and carpet manufactories, famous for its “honey cakes,” a species of gingerbread, tons of which are annually shipped to different parts of the kingdom. The Valley of the Yssel, traversed as it is by numerous tributaries to the river, is exceedingly fertile, and the lands about Deventer are among the most productive of any in Holland. Near Deventer, in 1623, was born of well-to-do Dutch parents one Garret Hendricksen, who, as a youth, is said to have been possessed of a restless spirit. In 1644 he tired of agricultural pursuits, left the paternal fold, and found his way to America, landing, as all emigrants in those days did, at New Amsterdam. Two years later he married Mary, the eldest daughter of Lambert Moll, a native of Berne, who had emigrated to America a few years earlier and was then domiciled at Bushwick, L. I. Garret Hendricksen and his wife, Mary Moll, lived and died in New Amsterdam, having had thirteen children, most of whom adopted the surname of Blawvelt (Blue-Field), in memory, it is said, of the blue hills about Deventer. Of Garrett Hendricksen’s sons, Hybert, John, Abraham, and Isaac Blawvelt were destined to transplant the name in Bergen County, principally in Harrington and Washington Townships. Hybert and John (2) joined in the purchase of the Tappan patent, in 1686, and in 1689, with others of the family, became members of the Tappan settlement. Hybert married, April 15, 1679, Wellempie Ariense, a sister of one of his co-patentees, and located in Harrington Township on the Tappan road, just north of what was once known as the “Old Jug” tavern. His brother Abraham (2) settled on the west side of the road leading along the run north of the mill, late of Peter A. Demarest. Isaac and another brother settled on a large tract on which are now the residences of John R. Herring and others. Like the Demarests and Harings, though not to such an extent, the Blawvelts had much to do with the administration of civil, military, and religious affairs of Bergen County.

David D. Blawvelt is of the sixth generation in direct line from Garret Hendricksen, the emigrant. He was born at Tappan, Bergen County, November 17, 1819, and is a son of David C. Blawvelt (who was born February 10, 1773, died January 30, 1835, married Maria Demarest, born April 12, 1770, died May 13, 1843), a grandson of Cornelius Blawvelt (born January 9, 1744, died January 11, 1832), who also married a Demarest. His father had six children-four sons and two daughters: one daughter died in 1824, aged nineteen; the other July 5, 1887, aged eighty-eight; James D. Blawvelt died in 1891, at the age of ninety; Cornelius D. died aged eighty-two; and John D. is still living at the age of eighty-four. Educated in the public schools of his native county and reared amid scenes of ancestral associations and agricultural activity, Mr. Blawvelt started, at the early age of sixteen, to learn the trade of cabinet marking, which he followed successfully for fourteen years, gaining in the business a wide an honorably reputation. But this was not to be his life work. The influences and surroundings of his youth drew him back to rural pursuits, and since 1853 he has been actively engaged in farming in Schraalenburgh. When the War of the Rebellion broke out Mr. Blawvelt enlisted in the Union cause, becoming first sergeant of Company C, Twenty-second Regiment New Jersey Volunteers. He served nine months, returned with an honorable discharge, and resumed his labors on the farm.

In public life Mr. Blawvelt has rendered valuable service to his town and fellow citizens. He was surveyor of township roads for a number of years, one of the Township Committee for three years, a member of the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders for four years, Town Assessor for six years, and a member of the Town Council for three years. In each of these capacities he displayed eminent ability, sound judgment, and great sagacity. He has been a consistent member of the Dutch Reformed Church since April, 1860.

Mr. Blawvelt has been married fifty-eight years, his wife’s maiden name being Elizabeth Quackenbush. They have had eight children, seven of whom-four sons and four daughters are living. They also have thirty-four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Mr. Blawvelt inherited his ancestors’ worthy lives, has instilled into the minds of his descendants those qualities of head and heart which have served him so well, and which have won for him the confidence and respect of the entire community.

Source: Harvey, Cornelius Burnham, Editor; Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, New York: The New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900.

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