Genealogical history of Hudson and Bergen counties, New Jersey

The Edsall Family of Bergen County

The Edsall Family are still numerous in both Bergen and Hudson Counties. The founder of the family in America was Samuel Edsall, a native of Reading in Berkshire, England, where he was born about 1630. He was a hatter by trade, and came to America early in the spring of 1655 (as is said), settling first at New Amsterdam. There, on May 29, 1655, he married (1) Jannetie Wessels, then a belle of the city, whose mother kept a tavern in Pearl Street, celebrated for burgomasters’ dinners. In April, 1657, Edsall was made a small burgher. From New Amsterdam he went to Newtown, L. I. In 1663 he volunteered his services in the Esopus Indian War, and was made a Sergeant. On October 6, 1664, he, with Richard Nichols, bought of Governor Phillip Carteret a tract called Nipnichsen on the Kill Von Kull in Hudson County, containing about 400 acres. He sent over four men to Bergen that year to help fortify the “towne.” In 1668, with Nicholas Varlet, he bought from the Indians 1,872 acres of land fronting on the Hudson River, bounded west by Overpeck Creek, and extending northward from the town bounds of Bergen to what is now Leonia in Bergen County. After the surrender of the Dutch to the English he took the oath of allegiance to the British king and removed from Newtown to Bergen. There was a member of Carteret’s Council from 1668 to 1672. In 1668 he was appointed a commissioner to assess and collect a tax to resist invasion, and was made treasurer of the fund. He joined James Bollen and John Berry in petitioning the Dutch government that the books and papers of New Jersey be delivered to Secretary Bayard, September 12, 1673, and was one of the commissioners sent by Bergen to the same government. In 1689 he removed to New Amsterdam and became a partisan of Governor Leisler, a member of the Committee of Safety, and of the Court of Exchequer. He was caught in the net with Leisler, and put on trial for high treason, of which he was honorably acquitted. In 1699 he removed to Queens County, L. I., where he was Justice of the Peace in 1699, and where he died. He married (2) August 27, 1689, at Flatbush, L. I., Janneite Stevens, widow of Cornelius Jansen Beory, of Newton.

His issue were Ann, 1656; Judith, 1658; John, 1660; Ann; Julia; and Richard. Of these Ann married William Laurence, of New York, and Julia married Benjamin Blagge, of Plymouth, England. John settled north of his father’s farm on the Hudson. Blagge and Laurence by the deed of Edsall became the owners of part of his Hudson River farm, and the remainder passed to the ownership of the De Groots, Days, Smiths, and other settlers of Bergen County. Some of Edsall’s descendants are still living on portions of the farm bought from the natives by their first common ancestor.

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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