Wednesday, June 10, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 #24 Handed Down-- A Letter and a Genealogy

Hand Me Down Some Genealogy!

I have a great great grandfather who did this. It is a gift! He was a Long Island Quaker. Since Friends (Quakers) intermarried, it helps me untangle their genealogy. 
Wm Ephraim Hauxhurst, Surveyor of Long Island abt 1865
Background on William E. Hawxhurst (which he spelled Hauxhurst)
"William E. Hawxhurst, of Westbury, was born here in 1838, and is a son of Ephraim C. and Charity (Titus) Hawxhurst. He traces his ancestry back to Christopher Hawxhurst, a native of England, who crossed the ocean in 1665 and settled in what is now Locust Valley, Queens County, L.I., becoming one of the first settlers of the town of Oyster Bay, and in time one of its largest land owners.
His children were William, Mary and Sampson.
The maternal grandparents of our subject were Timothy and Margaret (Titus) Titus, both descendants of Edmund Titus, the first of that name who settled in Queens County. The family homestead, where our subject was born, became in 1832 the property of his father, who continued to reside there until his death, in 1859.
    The boyhood days of the subject of this notice were passed on the home farm, in the cultivation of which he assisted. For a time he attended a private school in his neighborhood.
When but a boy he took up the study of civil engineering and in it he was especially interested. Under his father, who was a civil engineer, he continued his studies until he had acquired a thorough knowledge of the work.
At the death of his father the home place came into his possession, and afterward he engaged in its cultivation for a number of years, but finally abandoned agriculture in order that he might give his entire attention to surveying.
However, he continued to reside on the farm, which was cultivated under his supervision.
    For the past twenty-five years Mr. Hawxhurst has devoted almost his entire time to surveying. For ten years past he has also dealt quite extensively in real estate, conducting the sale of land purchased by wealthy residents who have recently located here.
He was completed a fine map of Westbury, showing the original purchases and subsequent owners.
His surveying has been principally in the towns of Oyster Bay, Hempstead and North Hempstead.
He has laid out over one thousand acres in town lots and has opened roads and fixed boundary lines.
In politics he is a Republican, and cast his first ballot for Abraham Lincoln.
In 1885 he was appointed notary public and served five successive terms. He is a member of the Society of Friends.
In September, 1869, Mr. Hawxhurst married Miss Marianna Hicks.
To them have been given six children, namely: Mary W., wife of Edwin C. Tyson;
Caroline, wife of Prof. Frederick Sharpless;
Wallace, who is engaged in business with his father;
Florence,
Harold E. and
Bertha. [who married Chester Tyson, brother of Edwin Tyson]
Mr. Hawxhurst has given his children good educational advantages.
In 1895 he sold a portion of the home farm, on which was situated the old family dwelling, but this he moved to its present location and had it completely remodeled, putting in steam heating apparatus and other modern improvements that have made of it a commodious and comfortable residence.

 Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Queens County (Long Island) New York" Copyright 1896 by Chapman Publishing Company
 
I have a letter written by WE Hauxhurst in 1907 to his daughter, Mary Hauxhurst Tyson (sister to my great grandmother Bertha).
She had written to him after reading an article on the old family homestead in a newspaper "The Herald." Apparently she had many questions, which he tries to answer. Here is his response:

Westbury Station New York
February 19th 1907
Dear Mary:
Thy letter was received this morning in regard to “The Herald" article and on Westbury. The reporter interviewed me and I gave him a lot of stuff orally. He took notes but, of course, did not get everything as I told him. I did not give him the history of the Pump at the Turnpike. That he embellished from his own imagination. The article, nevertheless, was pretty fair. That was Buster at the half-door. The picture was all right but the process of copying in the paper destroyed the beauty of it. The reporter had lots of reverence for old things. He could hardly give up looking at the samplers that hang in our wall. Thee will remember that we have Mary Fry’s sampler made when she was a school-girl, dated 1724, which is in perfect preservation.
As to the title of the land in Westbury. The Dutch, thee knows, settled the west end of Long Island and owned and claimed the land. A company of men, viz., Robert Fordham, John Strickland, John Ogden, John Carman, John Laurance and Jonas Wood, obtained a patent on March 6th , 1666 from the Dutch governor Kieft for the Town of Hempstead which, of course, included Westbury. Previous to that there is no record of owners of the land here except the Indians.  From that time “The Proprietors,” as the company of men called themselves, owned the land in common. They had meetings which they adjourned from time to time and called them Town Meetings. I neglected to state that the said "Proprietors" purchased the land besides from the Indians. The Town Meetings made the laws and regulations for the Town and for small consideration, would give individuals land grants or deeds for land, every landholder becoming one of the “Proprietors,” so that their numbers increased pretty fast.
 [About their house:]
A man by the name of Seaman obtained a grant of the “Proprietors" for all Westbury, i.e., for quite a large tract just here.
Henry Willis, thy ancestor, purchased the Rachel Hicks place from Seaman and built a home and lived thereon near Buttonball Pond in the Barrack Lot on the Mary Seaman place. Henry Willis's daughter married Nathaniel Seaman who subsequently purchased the place.
 Henry Willis's son, William Willis, married Edmund Titus's daughter and built a house in our old garden and owned my place, together with a hundred acres of land besides.
William Willis's son, Samuel, married Mary Fry, thy namesake or rather ancestor.
William Willis, in his will, gave this place to his two sons, Samuel and Jacob, besides much of the land in Westbury.
Jacob bought out the interest of his brother Samuel. Jacob never married. He was not rugged and died young. In his will, he ordered his executors to sell all his land which they did, and this place was purchased by Richard Willis, son of John and nephew of Jacob who lived here a generation and then sold the place to John Loines. John Loines lived here a generation then sold the place to Benjamin Hicks, Uncle Joseph Hick’s father.
He owned it a short time, never living here, when he sold the farm to Richard Willits, Edward Willits' father, and grandfather of Mary Seaman.
Richard Willits built our house somewhere about 1820. He lived here a number of years, then sold the place to William Willis of Jericho, a grandson of Samuel Willis and Mary Fry.
William Willis owned the farm for about one year when my father [Ephraim Cock Hauxhurst] purchased it for about $2500. William Willis moved back to Jericho. The rest of the title thee knows.
I can give dates for all the above changes and transfers but if I went into all the particulars, I would have to write a volume.
[Questions about Long Island's history]
As to the bulrushes thee spoke of, that episode did not happen here. The Town of Flushing obtained a grant of land also from the Dutch Governor later confirmed by the Duke of York, brother of Charles II. The Town of Flushing also bought out the Indians and it was in the Indian deed that the reservation was made for them to obtain bulrushes anywhere and at any time forever for them and their descendants.
Speaking of Indians thee may not know that the road down by Isaac Cock’s in the olden Colonial times was called Matinecock Hollow. 
Matinecock was the name of an Indian tribe who lived on the north side of the Island [Long Island] Matinecock Hollow was the old Indian trail used by the Indians in traveling from the north to the south side to obtain clams and fish and dry them and when they had a supply they would go back again home. There are hundreds of loads of shells, always in heaps, on the south side where the Indians had their camps and left the clam shells. The Indians, thee may not know, called Long island Sewanhaka, meaning Island of Shells. 
The Town of Hempstead, I'm proud to say, was not stolen from the Indians but was purchased from them after “The Proprietors" had obtained their patent from the Dutch Governor Keift. The name of the Indian Chief from whom the purchase was made was Tacaposia. The deed, or copy thereof, is in the records of the Town of Hempstead. 
 [Regarding slaves on Long Island]
It may interest you to know that thy Willis ancestors living in Westbury where landholders and were well-to-do people, and they, part of them, I know by their wills, and probably all of them, owned slaves. Henry Willis, the elder, had slaves, and his son Henry, who owned Uncle Stephen R. Hicks’s farm, and William Willis, who owned our farm, kept slaves, so that in all probability all the land in Westbury was cleared of timber and swamps by slaves. In fact, there is no doubt about it.
[Families in Long Island]
It is a curious fact that the names of residents, landowners, of Westbury has changed about every 100 years. I have memoranda to show that. Around 1860 to 1880 the old residents died off, their property being sold and strangers came in and bought up their farms. The exceptions are, old John Titus's place, the Rachel Hicks place and in a measure the William Hicks or Hitchcock place. Since 1860-70, Westbury has steadily been denuded of its old residents and their descendants. Their places have been sold and people of other names and character will soon own all of lovely Old Westbury. It is sort of sad. In our Firstday Meetings [Quaker worship service] there is not a single man of my age and that I care particularly about who comes to meeting, except occasionally William Townsend. I will not burden thee with anymore of this long rambling letter.  If it reminds thee of any more that thee would like to know, ask, and if I can, I will answer thee. 
[Original Owners of Westbury]
I can place the original owners on about all the land in Westbury. The Colonial owners were, commencing at Cock’s road: first, George Baldwin, then John Loines, one Davis, Thomas Carman, Seaman, Henry and William Willis, Richard Stiles, Joseph Clement, Joseph Dingee, Edmund Titus. Those persons own all of Westbury. Dingee being the owner of Oliver Titus's and Powell's places.
[Mayo's Purchase]
            Thee is mixed up about Roger Williams. He had nothing to do with the land on Long Island, except acting as arbitrator to settle a disputed line in the Town of Oyster Bay. Tradition says that Robert Williams, cousin of Roger, sent for him to come to Long Island as follows:  Robert Williams had a grant from the King of England for a large tract of land, i.e., all the Plain land in the Town of Oyster Bay and a large part of the Plains in the Town of Hempstead.  Robert Williams’ grant formed the eastern boundary of the Town of Hempstead over which there was no dispute, but there was a dispute about the east line of the Robert Williams purchase, between it and the adjoining grant or purchase of some people, or brothers by the name of Mayo, called Mayo's Purchase. To settle this dispute, Robert Williams had his cousin Roger come over from Rhode Island to settle the difficulty by fixing the line, which he did and ended the dispute. Mayo's line is now in existence, but here I am spinning out another yarn. 
I must stop or thy English had will fail to comprehend it, at least for a while.
Papa
[William Ephraim Hauxhurst]
----------------
Confused yet? If not, here's another gift from my gr-gr grandfather, WE Hauxhurst. He wrote down the Titus family genealogy:


Titus Family According to William E Hauxhurst
[Marriage 1]
Timothy Titus (my grandfather) married Magdelina Hogland and had two children.
  1. Andrew [Titus] 
  2. Edmund [Titus] 
Magdelina died.
[Marriage 2]
Timothy Titus married Margaret Titus (who was his first cousin)
 [WE Hawxhurst’s maternal grandparents]

 and had children, 8 in number as follows:
  1. Martha [Titus] married Charles Frost of Wheatly [Long Island, NY] (now living) [1884] 
  2. *Charity [Titus] (my mother) married Ephraim C. Hauxhurst [his father] 
  3. Mary [Titus]  never married. Deceased about 20 years [c. 1864] 
  4. Ruth Titus Ruth never married. She was also unhealthy and died previous to Mary. Deceased about 20 years. [c. 1864] 
  5. Sarah Titus married Horace B. Hinman from one of the River Counties. Green, I think. [Hudson River, Greene County, possibly] They lived in Brooklyn. They are now both dead. 
  6. Timothy Titus married Martha Williams of Herricks [Long Island]. Timothy married Col. Williams, daughter’s  Martha. They now live in Auburn, Shawnee Co., Kansas. Have several children.
  7.  Benjamin Titus  married Nancy Adams, daughter of Jacob Adams of Westchester Co. N Y. She was descendant of Jesse Dickinson. They lived on the old Homestead at Wheatly. And had several children. He died several years ago. 
  8. Margaret Titus has not married. She is living at Wheatly [Long Island] with Benjamin's family [#7].
 *Charity Titus [above], my mother and daughter of Timothy [and Margaret Titus], married Ephraim C. Hauxhurst
[They] Had four children as follows:
  1. Elizabeth Hauxhurst married Oliver Van Cott of Dutchess Co, NY. (Oliver is a descendant of Jemima Titus, my grandfather Timothy's sister who married John Van Cott) They have two children:1 William E. [Van Cott] and 2 George T. [Van Cott]
  2. Caroline Hauxhurst never married. She had spinal disease and could not walk. She died with diphtheria in 1860. 
  3. *William E. Hauxhurst married Marianna Hicks, daughter of Isaac and Mary [Fry] Hicks. [him] [He did not list his children, as this genealogy was for them.] 
  4. Margaret Hauxhurst is unmarried. Lives with me.

William E. Hauxhurst
Westbury, NY
1884

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