Genealogy of Cornelius Burnham Harvey of Bergen County

Cornelius Burnham Harvey
Cornelius Burnham Harvey

The surname Harvey is corrupted from Hervey, and is from an ancient Norman name, Herve or Hervie. M. de Greville in his Mem. Soc. Ant. Norm.. 1644, observes: ” We sometimes call it Hervot le Hervurie. As a family designation it appears in the twelfth century.” Didot, however, in his Nouvelle Biog. Universale, shows the name to have been adopted much earlier, when he speaks of Hervie, Archbishop of Rheims, who, he says, died A.D. 922, and Polydore Virgil, in his Chronicle, says ” Harvey and Hervey ” was Hervicus. ” One of the family,” he adds, ” came over to England from the Flemish coast in the time of King Hardicanute and participated in subduing the British.”

Lower (English Surnames) maintains that in the time of the Conquest Harvey was Hervie, and that in Brittany and France Hervieu retains its primitive termination Herve. The same writer in his Patronimica Britannica remarks: ” Osbert de Hervev is styled in the Register of St. Edmundsbury the son of Hervey. From Hervie spring the Herveys ennobled in England and Ireland and also (in all probability, from the resemblance of the arms) the Herves and Hervies of Aberdeenshire and other parts of Scotland.”

Both Stubbs ( Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum) and the author of Le News Paste Ecclesia Anglicana make mention of Herve le Breton, Bishop of Bangor, in 1092, and Ely in 1109, who died A. D. 1131. Didot, in his Biographie Universale , mentions a Hervie who was a noted monk in the eleventh century, and also of a Hervie who was abbot of St. Ghildas de Rhins in Brittany in 1125, and of Hervie, a monk famous as a religious teacher, who died A. D. 1145. This writer also praises the skill of a celebrated French writer named Hervie Freerabras, who flourished A. D. 1550; of one Francois Cucq de Hervie, a poet and Knight of St. John of Jerusalem in the sixteenth century; of William Harvey, the discoverer of the circulation of the blood; of Daniel Hervie, a great French Theologian, who died in 1094; and of Gideon Harvey, a great English physician, born A. D. 1625, and died A. D. 1700. Michaud in his Biographie Universale mentions a monk named Hervie as having acquired great oratorical fame, and he tells something of Noel Hervey, or Hervie, who was general of the Order of Preachers and Philosophers and died A. D. 1323. The Rotuli Hundredorum (of Edward I.) names Herves as having become the holders of lands in England A. D. 1272, and by Domes Dap Boole Hervies are domiciled in Helts, Suffolk, and Bucks. Oridge, in his Citizens and Rulers of London , makes honorable mention of Sir Walter Harvey, High Sheriff of London A. D. 1268 and Lord Mayor of that city A. D. 1272; of Sir James Harvey, High Sheriff of London A. D. 1573 and Lord Mayor of the same city A. D. 1581; and of Sir Sebastian Harvey, Sheriff of London A. D. 1661 and Lord Mayor A. D. 1616. Cooper in his Atlienae Cant air igiensis makes note of William Harvey, a famous divine in London in 1525, and of one Robert Harvey, another equally noted preacher there in 1570.

Camden comments on several prominent Herveys and Hervies, to wit: ” The great gate of the church yard of St. Edmonds was constructed by Hervey the Socrist in the time of Anselm 7tli, Abbott of St. Edmonds in the eleventh century.” Again he says: ” William de Hervie was king’s attorney in June, 1179, and pleaded a celebrated land case in London in that year.” He extols the bravery of Sir Nicholas Harvey and other nobles in the battle of Tewkesberry in 1471. He briefly alludes to John Harvey, the boatman at Calais, France, in 1347 ; and further says: ” Some of the Harveys were merchant adventurers at Lyme, England, in Queen Elizabeth’s time. Richard Harvey gave the pulpit at Lyme Church in 1613 with an inscription on it ‘ Faith is by hearing.”’ Rose in his Biographical Dictionary states that Richard Harvey was famous as a writer, astrologer, and antiquarian in the sixteenth century, and that another almost equally noted astrologer in London was John Harvey in the seventeenth century. Watts in his Bibliothea Britannica mentions one Henry Harvey as an eminent preacher and master in chancery and John Harvey as a great writer, who died A. D. 1592. Chalmers in his General Biographical Dictionary notes Gabriel Harvey, a great English lawyer and poet, born A. D. 1546, died A. D. 1630, and Lord John Harvey, of Icksworth, a political writer and versifier A. D. 1696; while Foss in his Judges of England highly commends the wisdom and justice of Sir Francis Harvey. From Collection Top. Gen. it appears that a Hervie was abbot of Hingham County, Salop, A. D. 1236-37 ; that one Thomas de Harvye was clerk of St. Nicholas Priory at Exeter in the third year of Edward II T. ; that Goldstan Harvey was a truant at Beauchamps A. D. 1222; that Walter Harvey and his son were tenants at Drayton in 1222; and there were one Godeman Hervie and one Ulrica Hervie at Thorp at the same time. At St. Leonard’s Parish, Aston Clinton, Bucks County, England, is the will of one Sylvester Baldwin wherein the testator leaves all his property to Henry and Sylvester Harvye and to the six children of Freamor Harvye A. D. 1564. Freamor Harvye married Baldwin’s daughter Avelyne. This marriage license was made at the registry of the Bishop of London. She died in 1585 and Harvey married (2) and died June 15, 1621. Walker in his Independency says Adam Harvey, a silk merchant, was made a Colonel by Cromwell, and got the Bishop of London’s house and Manor of ” Fulham.” Clarendon in his Rebellion says this man was ” a decayed silk man,” and Buckle in his History of Civilization refers to the same person.

The Harveys, two centuries after the Norman Conquest, had become numerous in Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, Kent, Suffolk, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, and Norfolkshire; at Beacliamwell in Norfolkshire were John Harvey, his son Robert, and his grandson Robert; at Northwald Thomas Harvey; and at Norwich John Harvey, twice Lord Mayor of that city.

Robert Harvey, a descendant of one of these Norfolkshire Harveys, had a son Robert, who was a man of note, possessing a considerable fortune, which his eldest son, under the laws of primogeniture, inherited to the exclusion of his brothers and sisters. This eldest son had two brothers, Samuel and Robert Harvey, who emigrated to America about 1750, and located in New York City, whence, after a brief stay, they went to Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, N. J. In May, 1763, they purchased a tract of 170 acres in what was then Shrewsbury Township in Monmouth County. This tract lay south of what is now Ocean Grove. Robert’s first wife, who came over from England with him, died in 1762 and in January, 1764. he married Hannah White, who survived him. He was a farmer and iron smelter. His children of the second generation were Jacob, Stephen, Thomas, Peter, and Samuel, besides daughters.

Of these, Thomas Harvey (2), born in Monmouth County, N. J., November 17, 1.755, married there, January 10. 1775, Elizabeth Sutton, born there December 10, 1758. Thomas was a farmer and resided there on a farm of 115 acres, near what is now Belmar. He died December 11, 1811, and his wife survived until April 6, 1836. Their children of the third generation were Lydia, Abigail. Nathan, Asher, Reuben, John, Elizabeth, Charity, Jesse, and Sarah.

Of these eleven children Reuben Harvey (3) was born at Shrewsbury, N. J., May 12, 1782, died at Enfield, N. Y., June 23, 1866. married, in 1806, Lydia Bennett, born in Monmouth County, N. J., January 9, 1784, died at Enfield, N. Y., May 23, 1S62.

In 1806 the “Genesee Country” began to open up and emigrants, particularly from New Jersey, began to pour into the “Empire State.” All of Thomas Harvey’s sons caught the emigration fever, and loading their families and their household effects upon canvas-covered wagons or carts, drawn by ox teams, they made a journey of more than 300 miles, occupying several weeks. Their route lay much of the way through an unbroken wilderness, through which roads had to be cut as they went. They subsisted on what they could find en-route, and slept in their wagons. In time they reached a point half way between the Cayuga and Seneca Lakes in Tompkins County, where they located on various tracts of wildland. These tracts, which they purchased from the original grantees of the State, were densely wooded, but exceedingly fertile. Reuben Harvey, with his wife Lydia, was in this ” caravan.” He settled on a ” half section ” of rich and heavily timbered land near what is now Enfield Center, about eight miles west of Ithaca, and with the aid of his sons cleared and fenced a large farm. His nearest neighbor was then about five miles, and the surrounding forests rang with the howls of wild beasts. Bears and wolves played havoc with the pigs, poultry, and lambs. In the course of time his farm was cleared and became one of the finest in the county. After his boys grew up he, for several years, followed droving, buying up sheep and cattle, principally in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and driving them to New York City to a ready market. He accumulated wealth and was greatly respected by his neighbors, who always gave him the prefix of ” Uncle.” His children of the fourth generation were Seneca, Charlotte, Charles, Joel B., Eleazer B., Asher, Cornelia, Mary A., Elizabeth, and Reuben.

Of these Joel B. (4) was born at Enfield Center, N. Y., November 21, 1813, died at Howell, N. J., August 11, 1880, married (1) Lydia A. Wood; (2) Susan Arzilla Buck; and (3) Elizabeth B. Hagerman. Joel B. engaged in farming at Enfield, N. Y., until the winter of 1856, when he removed to Howell, Monmouth County, N. J., where he continued agricultural pursuits until his death. He was a respected citizen and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Jersey City, N. J., which he helped to organize. His children of the fifth generation were Cornelius Burnham, Lucretia M., Huldah B., Samuel H., Mary E., Charles W., Winfield S., Euphemia U., Joseph H. and Joel B. (twins), and Ida S.

Cornelius Burnham Harvey (5), the subject of this sketch, is the eldest of these. He was born in Enfield Center, Tompkins County, N. Y., October 20, 1839, and married, March 4, 1873, Mary F., daughter of Peter J. and Sarah (Zabriskie) White, of Closter, Bergen County. He received the characteristic discipline of hard work on the farm throughout the summer, with attendance at the district schools in the winter. He was ambitious, and between 1855 and 1859 every moment of leisure was devoted to study and reading. Having passed the requisite examination, in 1859 he received a license to teach school from the School Board of Monmouth County. After teaching for two terms in that county he attended school for some time in New York City.

Moved by a war sermon preached by Henry Ward Beecher in Brooklyn, early in the summer of 1862 he enlisted as a private in Company D, Fourteenth New Jersey Volunteers, and was in camp on the Monmouth battleground at Freehold, N. J. Having been mustered into service in August, 1862, the regiment was sent to Monocacy, Md., and did its first campaigning in West Virginia and Maryland. After the battle of Gettysburg it was attached to the Third Corps of the Army of the Potomac, under the command of General Sickles, and subsequently was attached to the Sixth Corps, under the command of General Sedgwick and later of General II. G. Wright. Mr. Harvey served for three years, until the close of the war. He became one of the non-commissioned officers on the regimental staff, becoming Chief Musician of the regiment.

At the close of the war he resumed teaching, in Bergen County, following this profession for three years. In the fall of 1868 he began the study of law in the office in Jersey City of the late Hon. Robert Gilchrist, then Attorney-General of New Jersey, and was admitted to practice in 1873, and as counselor in 1876, and for a time was associated with Mr. Gilchrist in professional practice.

He thus became employed in the arduous historical legal work of preparing the case for New Jersey in the famous jurisdiction and boundary suit between the State of Delaware and the State of New Jersey, begun in 1872, and not yet settled. It was essential in this case to locate and identify the original land-grants in certain sections of New Jersey, and in this work Mr. Harvey and others were engaged. The results of this research can be seen by anyone fortunate enough to examine the large octavo volume privately printed at Trenton in 1873 for the lawyers in the case, and entitled “The State of the Question of Jurisdiction and Boundary between New Jersey and Delaware, A. D. 1873.” To achieve accuracy in this, every conceivable source of information was drawn upon, including the State records at Trenton, the records of the early Proprietors at Perth Amboy, those at Albany, together with local records and original deeds, and whatever of use could be found in the State libraries of New Jersey, Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania.

While engaged in researches in this case Mr. Harvey began to take notes with reference to the original land-grants of Bergen County, N. J. This labor of love — for such it necessarily is — has been prosecuted to the present time. He has had the record offices of New Jersey and other States ransacked for every scrap of information ascertainable respecting the early land-grants and transfers in Bergen County, has unearthed numerous deeds that were never recorded, and has engaged in the arduous labor of identifying boundaries and preparing maps. The use, in the original surveys, of the old mariner’s compass, which was not perfectly accurate, renders this work of identification one of the most delicate tasks imaginable. Mr. Harvey has also collected and arranged in alphabetical arrangement all the marriage records for Bergen County known to be in record offices. In another series of manuscript volumes he has, in alphabetical order, the inscriptions from the tombstones in all the graveyards in Bergen County, N. J., and Rockland County, N. Y., with the single exception of that at Nyack. The labor and expense involved in acquiring these collections would be quite incredible to one unfamiliar with the requirements of such work. He also has a set of large manuscript volumes containing miscellaneous historical and genealogical collections, never before used in historical works, and which would fill many printed volumes. From these collections, together with all the more ordinary sources of historical information, he is preparing a work upon the original families and land-grants in Bergen County, which will be more exhaustive and accurate, probably, than any thing of the kind ever attempted for a similar section of territory by historical workers in this country. He has also compiled, and in 1889 published, a genealogical volume on the Origin, History, and Genealogy of the Buck Family, and has compiled the Origin and Genealogy of the Harvey Family, not yet published. [1]It would appear that the manuscript on the Harvey family was never published.

On his mother’s side Mr. Harvey is descended from Emanuel Buck, who came from England in 1634, and settled at Wethersfield, Conn. His great-grandmother was Elizabeth Sherman, wife of James Buck, a Revolutionary soldier, and a sister of Roger Sherman, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence. His paternal grandmother was a descendant of Wilhelmus Burnett, who emigrated to New York from Holland in 1660. Mi s. Harvey was a student at Swarthmore College, Pa. On the paternal side she is descended from Jonas White, who emigrated to America from Avon, Somersetshire, England, in 1814, and became a farmer at ” The Flatts ” in Bergen County. On her maternal side she is descended from Albert Zabriskie, the Polander, whose family has been traced in these pages.

Mr. Harvey’s children are Augustus Hardenburgh Harvey, born in 1880, now an accountant with the Mutual Life Insurance Company in New York, and Arzilla B., born in 1886, now at school.

Mr. Harvey is a member of the New Jersey Historical Society, of the Englewood Council, Royal Arcanum, of Guilliam Van Houten Post, No. 3, Grand Army of the Republic, of Jersey City, and of several other organizations.

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


1It would appear that the manuscript on the Harvey family was never published.

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