Wednesday, September 3, 2014



        Colonel, Sheriff, Judge, land developer, farmer and carpenter John “Jack” Jackson lived an amazing life. He survived against incalculable odds, triumphed over extraordinary challenges, and left an incredible legacy.  After three centuries, it is often difficult to find more than a partial skeleton of events from which to reconstruct the life and character of a man.  Col. Jackson is an exception.  Records allow us to infer a great deal. 
John Jackson[i] was:

 1.   Trustworthy, reliable, responsible, honest.  He was repeatedly appointed and elected to the most difficult and essential positions of leadership.  Four governments, who hated each other, all trusted the integrity of John Jackson.  For 39 years, his neighbors relied on his fairness, wisdom, and judgment in the management of civil and criminal legal matters.

 2.   Wise, tolerant, fair-minded.  As High Sheriff, Justice of the Peace, Commissioner, military commander, and Judge, he was more tolerant of diversity than his contemporaries.  Indians and Quakers, the most despised groups in the Colony, often benefited from his decisions.  No scandal marred his administrations, and at his death, he was widely mourned.

 3.   Smart, brave, tough.  His entire life was spent in a state of war.  There was no time of peace; one conflict simply transitioned into another.  Universal military service was required.  As military commander and as High Sheriff, he had to deal with the most lawless elements of the Colony.  His success and longevity in these offices testifies to his intelligence, courage, and guts. 

 4.   Foresighted, and ambitious (but not greedy).  He acquired extensive property and farmed, developed, and sold acreage, while dedicating other land to the benefit of his neighbors and community. He had a good sense of the future value of land, and acquired properties that would become some of the most valuable in the world.  Portions of lands he once owned are currently held in public trust.  These include Jones Beach, portions of the South Shore of Long Island, and several city and county parks.

 5.   Resilient, adaptable, hardworking, with a sense of humor.  He survived and prospered under 6 different governments, with three violent changes of power.  He concurrently held military and civil offices while managing his own extensive enterprises.  Indeed, I am suspicious of the records of his offices, because I can’t comprehend how one man could accomplish all the required work. However, if even half of his recorded service is accurate he was a remarkable public servant.  I know he had a sense of humor, because no one could survive 39 years in public office if he couldn’t laugh at the foibles of others, and at himself.

The remainder of this document presents and discusses the evidence that forms the basis for these conclusions.

A Time of Political Change, Revolution, and War –
In the 21st Century, we are accustomed to change, and chauvinistically believe that past generations enjoyed continuity and stability.  But consider this, Robert Jackson (John’s Father) traveled halfway around the world before he shaved, and he lived his entire life in outposts of civilization.  John was born in a community in which the first homes were being built, and land was being cleared for the first crops.  English by ethnicity, he was born in a Dutch Colony in the midst of a three-year war between the Dutch and the Indians.  He was only four when his Father’s political/religious contemporaries in England, seized the government and beheaded their King. 

Cavalier and Roundhead
Before he turned 20, everything was reversed, the Puritans were turned out, and the monarchy restored.  The new king, Charles II sent invading forces to size the Dutch Colonies. Peter Stuyvesant was caught by surprise, and forced to surrender New Netherlands. The Colony of New York was established under the proprietorship of James, Duke of York (later King James II).  
King James II
For the first time, John was an English citizen.  That year, 1664, John served as a Member of the first Assembly of New York Colony.  Although defeated, the Dutch were not reconciled to the loss of their North American holdings, and two more “wars” would be fought before the English claim was fully confirmed.

John was 40 when he was elected as a Commissioner to King
King William III
James II’s
New Royal Governor.  Before he turned 45, the “Glorious Revolution” turned James out, and placed William III on the throne.  King William’s War with the French and their Indian allies heated up almost immediately, and John was named Captain in the militia.  He led his Long Island troops across the state to the Albany area.

At the age of 57, he saw yet another major change in
Queen Anne
government.  Queen Anne came to power as ruler of a united England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, creating Great Britain.  He was named one of two Commissioners to administer the controversial Oath of Allegiance to public office holders on Long Island.  Queen Anne’s War against the French commenced almost immediately, and as newly commissioned Colonel and commander of the Long Island Militia, John was again engaged in military preparations and maneuvers.

As he neared 70, John participated in the transition from Ann to her successor, George I.  Over his lifetime, six monarchs (and
King George I
one Lord Protector) ruled.  He was a colonial citizen of three nations, Netherlands, England, and Great Britain.  He survived at least six wars, serving in the militia in four, and receiving promotions and honors for his service.  Though he lived in turbulent times, in the midst of tumultuous change, consider this -- John Jackson passed his entire life in a single location, in the house of his birth.
Jackson House in Jerusalem (Wangagh

Marriage, Births, and Early Years

            The exact dates of the Robert Jackson’s marriage, John’s birth, and the birth of his sister Mary are unclear, and mixed with the controversy over the exact date of the arrival of the first settlers in Hempstead.  All four events (marriage, births, and settlement) occurred between 1643 and 1646, but the sequence and exact dates are in question.  Robert Jackson, his new wife, and his in-laws (William & Jane Washburn) were settling in Hempstead in 1643-45.  The Jacksons built their home eight miles from the center of Hempstead in what was called Jerusalem and is now Wantagh in 1644 (according to town records).  Their closest associates, the Seaman family built their home only 800 yards away on a 300-acre estate called Cherrywood.  William and Jane Washburn’s holdings were not too far  distant.  The date of the marriage and the first name of the bride are subjects of controversy. 

It is not known if the Robert Jackson marriage took place before or after the settlers left Stamford.  Most family histories give the daughter Mary as the first child, but the exact date of her birth is not certain, 1643 and 1644 are both given.  Most references list John’s birth as 1645.  Family tradition says he was born in the newly built Jackson family home in Hempstead/Jerusalem.  The best we can say is that the young couple was certainly busy and fully occupied in the years between 1643 and 1646.  Things were only slightly less hectic in 1646, when their third child, a son named Samuel was born.  Samuel may have had some physical or mental disability.  He never married and died at the age of 27.  No records found to date indicate his participation in business, civic, or church enterprises. 

A second daughter, Martha was born less than 3 years later, in 1649.  Martha, who was especially close to her big brother John, married young, bore two children, and died when she was only 20.  Her premature death (when he was 24) apparently affected John greatly.

Altogether, Robert Jackson’s wife bore four children in a little over 5 years, not a record, but certainly an arduous undertaking.  The fifth and last child, a third daughter named Sarah was born three years later in 1652.

One family historian believes that Robert’s first three children (Mary, John, and Samuel) were born to an unknown first wife, while Martha and Sarah were the children of his second wife (the daughter of William Washburn).  I find his evidence flimsy, and cannot see a convincing time line for death and remarriage during this interval.  However, it is possible that the Mother of Mary, John, Samuel, Martha, and Sarah died sometime after 1652, and John remarried Agnes (probable widow of Robert Puddington). In any event, all of Robert Jackson’s children were born between 1644 and 1652.  When no children were born to a married couple of childbearing age, the reason was often illness, or physical/mental disability.  John’s mother may have been unable to have more children, and/or she may have died leaving him an orphan sometime after his 7th birthday.

In either event, John seems to have matured early.  When he was only 19, he was elected a member of the first New York Assembly.   As a member of the Assembly, he attended the Conference Adopting the Duke’s Laws in 1665.  That same year, he was a founder of East Chester Township on Long Island.

When he wed Elizabeth Seaman, John literally and figuratively married “the girl next door.”  Elizabeth’s father, Capt. John Seaman, was ten years older than John’s father, Robert, but the bond between these men was strong.  As stated earlier, their homes were built close together, and the frontier families were mutually dependent.  Capt. Seaman was Godfather to John Jackson, and possibly his namesake. 

Shortly before immigrating to Hempstead, L.I., John Seaman, Sr. (aged 31) married Elizabeth Strickland[ii]. Their first child, John Seaman, Jr. was the same age as his near neighbor and playmate, John Jackson.  The two John Seaman’s (Sr. and Jr.) may well have been the reason John Jackson was called “Jack.” There were four other Seaman children (two girls and two boys), all born between 1646 and 1651. 

John “Jack” Jackson married Elizabeth Seaman in 1670 when she was 17 and he was 25.  The dates and birth order for their first two children are confusing.  The birthdate of their first daughter, Elizabeth (Jr) is variously given as 1668 or 1671.  The birthdate for their first son, Samuel (named for John’s younger brother, who died in 1672), is consistently given as 1670. 

John and Elizabeth had seven more children for a total of nine.  Martha was born in 1673, and the twins Mary and Richard were born in 1678.  Richard was sickly and died before his 4th birthday (in 1682).  John, Jr., was born in 1680, and Hannah in 1685.  A third son, James (from whom we are descended) was born in 1686.  The last child, a daughter named Sarah was born in 1687.

To parallel the births, there were deaths in John’s family.  As noted above, his sister Martha died in 1668 at the age of 20; his brother Samuel 4 years later in 1672 at the age of 27; and his young son, Richard at age 4 in 1682.  Three years later (1685) his father Robert died, leaving John (his only surviving son), his primary beneficiary and executor (see Robert Jackson’ Will).  His close friend and brother-in-law, John Seaman, Jr., died nine years later in 1694.  (For Robert’s will, see:

Business Enterprises – From his late teens, John engaged in a variety of business enterprises.  As previously mentioned, at age
Mill Pond Park, Wantagh
20, he was among the founders of the Township of East Chester. In 1678, in his early 30’s, he secured a large land grant near what is now Jamaica, L.I.  That same year, he sought and was granted the right to establish a Mill in Jerusalem.  John never operated the mill he licensed. His son James opened the Mill on the Jerusalem River in 1708, and operated it throughout his lifetime.  The Mill and Mill Pond remain, and today constitute central features of Mill Park in Wantagh. 

It is believed that John was a skilled carpenter, and worked in this trade in his youth.  His carpentry tools were a noted item in his Will.

On the death of his father in 1685, John’s wealth increased dramatically (see Will published in Part II of this series, link above).  With expanded resources, John applied for and received a large land patent in 1687.  In 1708 he made another major land acquisition, which included most of the beaches and marshes of the southeastern coast of Long Island.  This grant, acquired when he was 63, included the area known today as Jones Beach.  John used the wild coastal lands for grazing, fishing, and gathering the fruits of the sea.  Portions of the grant passed to a granddaughter who married into the Jones family.  John made numerous property gifts to his children during his lifetime, and passed title to the remainder in his Will.  Reading the will (printed below) brings an appreciation of his holdings, which extended from Great Neck on the North Shore to Jones Beach on the South.
Jones Beach at Sunset

Military Career --  When John was born, the 30 Years War was winding down in Europe, and the Peace of Westphalia was signed when he was three.  The greatest threat in his youth was conflict with Native tribes.  During the mid-17th Century, the bloody conflict between the Dutch and English-supported Iroquois Nation and the French-backed Algonquians was known as the
Beaver Wars.” The brutality of these proxy battles realigned the tribal geography of North America and destroyed several large tribal confederations, including the Huron, Neutral (Attawandaron), Erie, Susquehannock, and Shawnee.

It is little wonder, given these circumstances, that Dutch and later English governments imposed universal requirements for military training and service.  This meant that young John Jackson was assigned to a local militia and drilled weekly.  It is not clear exactly when he was commissioned an officer, but we know he was promoted or Commissioned to the rank of Captain in 1689.  This date marks the onset of the series of Anglo-French conflicts historians have dubbed “The Second Hundred Years War.” Commencing with the accession of William III to the throne of England, in 1688, an almost continuous state of War existed between Protestant England and Catholic France until the surrender of Napoleon after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.  During John Jackson’s lifetime, the conflict extended to the French and English Colonies in North America and included the Nine Years’ War (1688-1697), King William’s War (1689-1697), and Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713). 

King William’s War was the North American name for the conflict known in Europe as the “Nine Years’ War.”  In Canada, New England and New York it was also called the “Second Indian
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
.”  In August of 1689, the Governor of New France, organized an expedition from Montreal to attack Fort Orange (present day Albany).  The military leader of the expedition was Jacque Le Moyne de Sainte-Helene.  His second in command was his younger brother, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. When the French force approached the Dutch/English village of Schenectady, they found it unguarded, entered, burned, pillaged, and massacred 60 of the inhabitants, and took 27 prisoners. 

On Long Island, Capt. John Jackson was ordered to leave for
General Fitz-John Winthrop
Albany to meet the French offensive and launch a counter attack.  Among the Long Island militiamen called to service was 43-year-old Theodore Polhemus. Other militia troops from Connecticut, under the leadership of General Fitz-John Winthrop, also rushed to Albany.  The Connecticut troops left almost immediately to attack Montreal.  Lacking watercraft for navigating Lake Champlain, and demoralized by disease, they were forced to return to Albany.

Serendipity in Genealogy? -- The convergence of Jackson, Winthrop, Polhemus and Le Moyne men in various roles related to the “Schenectady Massacre” is a genealogist delight.  John Jackson’s son James was married to Rebecca Hallett, great granddaughter of Anne Winthrop Fones, sister of Gov. John Winthrop, Sr. (Fitz-John's grandfather).  Thus, James Jackson's wife Rebecca Hallett and Fitz-John Winthrop were cousins.  
Theodore Polhemus was married to Aertje Bogart, the daughter of Teunis Bogert and Sara Joris Rapelje.  Sara's parents Joris and Catalyntje (both Walloons) were on the first ship of Dutch settlers, and Sara was the first European child born in New York (New Netherlands).  
There were eleven Le Moyne brothers, including Jacques and Pierre, and a third well-known brother, Jean-Baptiste de Bienville.  Pierre and Jean-Baptiste were later the principle organizers of the French settlement of Louisiana.  Two of their nephews Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, and Francois Le Moyne were soldiers stationed at the French Fort in the village of Natchitoches, LA (founded, 1714).  
Fast-forward two centuries to 1942, when Howard Henry Lemoine, Sr. (Francois’s 8th great grandson) married Ida Ola “Iola” Jackson (John Jackson’s 6th great grand daughter) in Natchitoches Parish Louisiana. To compound the convergence, Iola Jackson was also the 6th great grand daughter of Theodore Polhemus and Aertje Bogart. 
Thus, the children of Iola Jackson and Howard Henry Lemoine, Sr. -- Linda Gayle Lemoine Price and Howard Henry Lemoine, Jr. -- are descended from the French Le Moyne Family; the Walloon Rapelje Family; the Dutch Bogert Family, the German Polhemus Family, and the English Jackson, Hallett, and Winthrop Families.  Their ancestors were among the first settlers of Canada, Louisiana, New York (New Netherlands), New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. 

The constant raids and periodic battles between French and English partisans in Canada, New England, and New York continued for 8 years, ending in 1697 with the Treaty of Ryswick.  During the hectic final year of the war, John Jackson was promoted to the rank of Major
The peace lasted less than five years, before hostilities recommenced in 1702. Queen Anne’s War had a second North American front in the Spanish Colony of Florida, but intense fighting focused on Acadia, Quebec City, Port Royal, Newfoundland, Maine, and Massachusetts.  John Jackson was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in Feb. 1701, as rumblings of war echoed across North America.  By December, Governor Bellomont promoted him to full Colonel.  John continued as commander of Militia through the end of hostilities in 1713. Col. Jackson was long dead when the next installment -- King George’s War  -- began in 1744.

Public Offices --  While he held several elected and appointed offices as a young man, John Jackson’s public career escalated after the death of his father Robert.  In 1991, at the age of 46, he served his first term as High Sheriff of Queens County.  The High Sheriff (or Shire Reeve, the original title) was traditionally appointed by the King to keep the peace, enforce the Kings’ laws, and ensure justice for all.  It was generally the highest administrative governmental office in a jurisdiction.  Apparently, John did not serve as High Sheriff in 1692, but from 1693-1718, he served 23 years in this critical post.  From 1691 through 1694, he concurrently served a four-year term as Juryman, and in 1699, he served a term as Justice of the Peace, while continuing as High Sheriff.  Similarly, beginning in 1703, he served a term as Commissioner of Highways.  Finally, for 13 years (from 1710-1723, ages 65-78), John served as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Queens County.

Education and Religion – John was a literate man.  We know this because he held public offices that required education.  He was a man who read and valued books.  We know this because he had a library (an expensive hobby in his time and place), and left his books to his children.  There is at least a suggestion that he “read” law and may have met contemporary requirements for being an attorney. This would be appropriate since he held public offices charged with keeping, interpreting, and enforcing the law for almost 40 years.  The Duke’s Laws, which governed the New York Colony, contain very specific educational requirements for a license to preach, but no license requirements for being an attorney.  There were however, a list of “conflicts of interest” and circumstances under which a lawyer could not represent specific clients.  There was also a section guaranteeing privileges to those admitted to the “Bar Councell.” (See also – discussion in the blog -- and complete text available at[iii] 

Insight into John’s skill and understanding of the law can be drawn from a study of his will[iv] (which he prepared himself).  The document is simple and straightforward, lacking the flowery verbiage common to many wills of that era.  It is meticulously organized, with the most valuable Real Property treated in detail, followed by valued property including equipment and slaves, and leading finally to personal property and items of sentimental value.  Most obvious is his dedication to fairness and equity.  The division is meticulously designed to be certain that each of the three sons were given equal portions; and the same was done for the four living daughters and the children of his deceased daughter. However, as was the custom, he did not treat his sons and daughters equally. 

For all of his life, John regularly attended the Presbyterian
Presbyterian Church of Hempstead
Church of Hempstead.  He was active in the affairs of the church, and supported it with his tithes and offerings.  There were those who accused him of being too lenient on supporters of the outlawed Quaker sect, but he clearly did not worship with the Friends. His military activities and his ownership of slaves mitigated against his acceptance of Quaker doctrine.  However, many of his close associates, including the Seamens and the Halletts, did attend secret Quaker services, and some were converts.

Last Years, Heirs, and Will

 John Jackson lived to age 79 and saw the size of his family and the numbers of his descendants grow exponentially.  His eight children, who lived to be adults, and their respective spouses, are listed below.  I gave up trying to calculate the number of his grandchildren.  By his son James (and wife Rebecca Hallett), John had 20 grandchildren. His son John, Jr. and his wife Elizabeth Hallett (first cousin of Rebecca) had almost as many.  The third and eldest son, Samuel married Ruth Smith[vi], and also added young Jacksons to the tribe.  Samuel, John Jr., and James all survived their father, and inherited most of his real property.  They were joint executors of his Will.

 Of John’s nine children, at least six outlived their father.  As mentioned earlier, his son Richard died in childhood.  His daughter Mary (who married Jeckomiah Scott) died only months before her father in early1724, and this loss is documented in his Will.  The fate of his daughter Hannah is a mystery.  Many current records place her death in 1706, but I have come to believe this is an error.  John included Hannah in the will for several specific bequests, referring to her as Hannah Seaman (indicating her marriage to a Seaman).  I don’t believe John who was so accurate and meticulous regarding his children and their inheritance would have erred.  Hannah must have died after 1724.

John names his sons-in-law, Charles Doughty (Elizabeth’s spouse), Peter Titus (Martha’s spouse), Joushua Barnes (Sarah’s spouse), and Jeckomiah Scott (surviving spouse of deceased Mary) in his will.  He does not name the spouse of his daughter Hannah, but refers to her as Hannah Seaman.

Elizabeth (1671-1758) – Charles Doughty
Martha (1673-1753) – Peter Titus
Mary (1678-1724) -- Jeckomiah Scott[vii]
Hannah (1685-1724) -- (Richard?) Seaman
Sarah (1687-1763)– Joushua Barnes[viii]

Samuel (1671-1728)– Ruth Smith
John, Jr. (1680-1743) -- Elizabeth Hallett
James (1686-1730)– Rebecca Hallett

A Bad Year, 1724 --  Until 1824, John was apparently in good mental and physical health, and continued in his duties as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.  But, in early 1824, Elizabeth and John lost their daughter Mary.  Elizabeth did not recover from this loss, and died on Aug. 26.  John survived Elizabeth, his childhood sweetheart and wife of over 50 years, by only 3 months, joining her in death on Dec. 6.

Will and TestamentThis transcription of John Jackson’s will was done by Oscar Burton Robbins, for his book, History of the Jackson Family of Hempstead, Long Island, NY.  The author was a citizen of Loveland, Colorado, and privately published this history in1951. The will is found on pages 6 - 9. 

The Will is presented first, followed by a few comments on its contents.

In the name of God,
The twenty-sixth day of August in the year of our Lord,
one thousand seven hundred and twenty four

I, JOHN JACKSON, of Hempstead, in Queens County, on Nassau Island in the Colony of New York Esq., being well in body, but of perfect mind and memory, and my understanding sound and good, thanks be given to God, therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body, and that it is appointed unto all men to die, do make and appoint this my last Will and Testament, that is to say; principally and first of all, I give and Recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it, hoping through the merits, death and suffering and passion of my blessed God and Savior, Jesus Christ, to have full and free pardon of all my sins, and to inherit eternal life; and my body I commend to the Earth from whence it was taken, to be buried in a Christian and decent manner at the discretion of my Executors hereinafter named, nothing doubting but at the general resurrection, I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God.  And as touching such worldly estates wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life withal.

I give, devise, bequeath and dispose of the same, in the following manner and form, that is to say, First, I will that all those debts, dues and duties that I do in right or conscience owe to any manner of person or persons whatsoever, shall be well and truly satisfied, contented and paid in some convenient time after my decease by my Executors hereinafter named.

I will and bequeath unto my son, Samuel Jackson, and to his heirs and assigns forever, the house and land that I now dwell upon at Jerusalem, beginning at the northwest corner of the land by the south side of the road that parts my land and the Deamanses  (Seaman's?) tract of land, and so to run on the east side of the road that leads to the South till it cometh to the fence on the south side of my young orchard, and so to run easterly as the fence stands till it cometh to the fence that parts my son John Jackson's land and my land that I now dwell on, and thence to run east easterly as the fence stands, to the east end of it; and from thence to run a due east line to the eastermost end of my land; and then to run northward as the line of my land runs to the north side of it, and thence as the path goeth to the bounds first mentioned.  

I also will and bequeath unto my son Samuel Jackson, and to his heirs and assigns forever, the land where his house standeth, bounded on the west by the road that leads to South, and south by land of Joshua Barnes, North by the fence as they now stand that parts my son John Jackson's land and my land that I now dwell on and ten bequeathed to my son Samuel Jackson which piece of land shall extend so far eastward as far as to make both these pieces of land to contain the equal moiety, and helf part in quantity of my tract of land that lyeth in a body at Jerusalem.  And my will is that my son John Jackson and his heirs and assigns shall maintain the fence that runneth north and south between them, from time to time at all times forever hereafter at his and their own and only costs and charges.

I will and bequeath unto my son John Jackson, to his heirs and assigns forever the tract of land where he dwelleth at Jerusalem, the bounds beginning at the southwest corner thereof, by the lands east bequeathed to my son Samuel Jackson and running Northward on the east side of the land that leads to South, till it cometh to the fence on the north side of my young orchard and so to run Easterly as the fence runneth till it cometh to the house that parts the lands joineth on   ?  and this land bequeathed to him, and then to run as that fence runs till it comes to the East end of it, and thence to run Southardly by the line on my land on the Eastward till the south side of it and then to run Westerdly by Joshua Barnes land so far as to run up to him, the equal half of my body or tract of land lying together in Jerusalem, leaving to Samuel's piece where his house now stands the breadth at east and as the range of fence will allow him to give up his half of my tract of land, and my son John Jackson and his heirs and assigns shall from time to time forever hereafter maintain the fence that runneth North and South from my young orchard at his own proper cost and charges. I also will and bequeath unto my son John Jackson, and to his heirs and assigns forever all my three lots of meadow, and all the upland within the fence belonging to the right of upland in the half neck so called that belongeth to me, be it in quantity of acres more or less. I also will and bequeath to my son John Jackson and to his heirs and assigns forever, one piece of land on the Great Neck above the Indian path or road across the Neck adjoining the Half Neck brook, containing twenty and four acres, that he hath already in his possession. I also will and bequeath to my son John Jackson and to his heirs and assigns forever all my three lots and half lots of meadow that I have lying on the Great Neck to the Westward of the Parsonage lot of meadow, and bounded on the Westerly by the ditch and all the upland that lyeth above the said meadow to the Neck fence Westward of Ireland's path, my son John and his heirs and assigns, maintaining the fence next to the Lake of Ireland's path, but my will is that so long as my daughter Martha Titus doth live she shall have liberty to cut and carry off from year to year all the grass that doth grow below the creek westward of Ireland's path.  And if it do or shall happen that I or my son Samuel, shall happen to have any corn or flax growing upon any of the lands willed to my son John at the time of my decease, my son Samuel shall have time and liberty to cut the corn and flax and carry all off before my son John shall have possession thereof, or any hay cut upon the meadow willed to my son John upon Great Neck, at the time of my decease, my son Samuel shall have liberty to carry it off. I also will and bequeath unto my son John Jackson, and to his heirs and assigns forever, the equal half of that piece of land lying on the west side of the Great Neck above or Northward of the eight acre lot including my eight acre lot I bought of Peter Titus, and Southward of Joshua Barnes land, my son John to have the North end of the piece of land adjoining to Joshua's land. I will and bequeath unto my son Samuel Jackson and to his heirs and assigns forever, all my meadow and upland that I have on the east of Great Neck, bounded on the west by the lot of meadow of the Parsonage and the upland bounded by Ireland's path, and Northward by the Neck, and Eastward by the Half Neck brook or creek, be the quantity of acres of upland meadow more or less. I also will and bequeath to my son Samuel Jackson and to his heirs and assigns forever, all the parcel of land and meadow lying on the Great Neck Eastward of the eight acre lot and Westward of the path to the South, and also the equal half lying the south half of the piece of land above the eight acre lot that I bought of Peter Titus, also to be divided between John Jackson and my son Samuel Jackson.

I also will and bequeath unto my son Samuel Jackson and to his heirs and assigns forever, another piece of land lying on the East side of John Barnes homestead and Westward of the fifty acre lot, containing as by the card or draft thereof thirty and four acres and one hundred and forty eight rods, and also fifty acres of land lying between Jerusalem swamp and Bundgals swamp bounded East by Jerusalem brook and West by the brook in Burdsall's swamp and bcunded on the North by Thomas Seaman's fence to run as Westward as his fence now stands and from the southwest corner of Thomas Seaman's fence to run a west line to Burdsall'e swamp or little meadow brook, and extending down Southward till it makes up fifty acres of land.

I will and bequeath to my son Samuel Jackson, and to his heirs and assigns forever, my house and barn and four acres lot in the Town plat of Hemstead and one lot of meadow he hath held in his possession already.

I also will and bequeath unto my son James Jackson and to his heirs and assigns forever, John Jews property right and blanck (sic) in the undivided lands of Hempstead.
I will and bequeath unto my son John Jackson and to his heirs and assigns forever, seventy and nine acres of land to be taken up on my rights in the Town of Hempstead, and also one hundred acres of land more to be taken up in the Township of Hempstead, upon my rights over what I Will to my other sons.

I will and bequeath unto my son James Jackson and to his heirs and assigns forever, one hundred and fifty six acres of land, to be taken up on my rights of land in the Township of Hempstead.

I will and bequeath unto my three sons, John Jackson, James Jackson and Samuel Jackson and to their heirs and assigns forever, all the remainder of my lands in the Township of Hempstead, both divided and undivided, and hollows on the planes, and ox pastures, goats in both ox pastures, to be equally divided between them and their heirs and assigns.

I will and bequeath unto my three sons, namely, John, James and Samuel Jackson be associated in the Patent of Hempstead, and do will and bequeath unto them and their heirs and assigns forever, all my right and title unto the Patent of Hempstead Aforesaid.
I will and bequeath unto my son Samuel Jackson my ox cart and wheels, and another cart and plow and tackeling and utensils of husbandry of what sort or kind soever and all my carpenter tools.

I will and bequeath unto my son John Jackson my horse cart and wheels and tackling and my log chains, and one plow. I will and bequeath unto my three sons, John, James and Samuel Jackson, all my books and bonds to be equally divided amongst them.  And my clothes all of them, I also will unto my three sons to be equally divided between them. I will and bequeath unto my son John Jackson my Negro man named Peter. I will and bequeath unto my son James Jackson, my Negro boy called Billy, that he has in his possession. I will and bequeath unto my son Samuel Jackson, my old Negro man called Sambo, and my negro woman Betty, and my negro boy called Sampson. I will and bequeath unto my son James Jackson, one pair of my best oxen. I will and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Doughty, my Negro girl names Tenney.

I will and bequeath unto my daughter Martha Titus, my Negro girl named Nanney.   I will that the first girl that Nanney hath after the date of these presents, shall be my daughter Hannah Seaman's, and she shall have it when it is fit to wean.  And when my daughter dyeth then Nanney shall be given to my granddaughter Elizabeth Titus.
 I will unto my son-in-law Jeremiah Scott my negro woman called Hanney that he hath in his possession until his youngest children come of age, and then she or value of her shall be divided equally amongst her four daughters or the survivor of them.

I will and bequeath unto my daughter Sarah Barnes my negro girl named Pegg.
I will and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Doughty, my best bed and furniture.
I will and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Scott's four daughters or the survivor of them, my next choice of my beds and furniture. I will and bequeath unto my three daughters, namely, Martha Titus, Sarah Barnes, and Hannah Seaman, my other three beds and the remainder of my furniture belonging to them to be equally divided among them. I will that my funeral charges and proving my will and taking out letters of Administration, shall be paid out of my money, and my stock of cattle and sheep to be divided as follows; viz. to be divided in five equal parts, and my daughter Elizabeth Doughty to have on fifth part, and my daughter Sarah Barnes to have one fifth part, and my daughter Hannah Seaman to have one fifth part, and the four daughters of my deceased daughter Mary Scott to have one fifth part to be equally divided between them or the survivor of them. I do now hereby revoke, disallow, and dis-annull all former Wills and Testaments by me either by word or writing by me before this time made, ratifying, allowing and confirming this and no others to be my last Will and Testament. Lastly, I do hereby appoint, constitute and ordain my trustworthy friend, Capt. John Treadwell, and my three sons, John Jackson, James Jackson and Samuel Jackson, to be my true and lawful Executors of this my last Will and Testament.

In witness whereof I have set my hand and fixed my seal, this day and year first above written. August 26th, 1724.                                                                                           
John Jackson, L. S.[ix]

The Will of John Jackson was witnessed by Daniel Jones[x], Thomas Bayley, and William Willis.  It was proved in the Court of Common Pleas, Queens County, on Dec. 6, 1725

Slavery -- The materials related to the disposition of his
A Dutch Poster Depicting Idealized Slavery
Negro Slaves warrant comment.  As demonstrated by his will, John Jackson was a slave owner.  While slavery is most often associated with the American South, many believe that the Dutch were the first to bring African slaves to North America, and many New York Colonists owned Africans. (for additional information see --

At his death in 1724, John Jackson “owned” nine Africans.  The men were Peter, Billy, Sambo, and Samson; the women were Nanney, Hanney, Tenney, Betty, and Pegg.  Sambo was described as old, while Billy and Samson were considered boys.  Betty was described a woman while the others were called girls.

Slave Woman & Child
One of the most poignant and revealing passages concerns the fates of Nanney and Hanney.  John left Nanney to his daughter Martha, and having no equivalent gift for his daughter Hannah, he left Hannah all of Nanney’s children born after the will.  He stipulated that Hannah should have a child of Nanney’s when, “it is fit to be weaned.”  Such unfeeling dehumanization of the mother/child bond is surprising in a tender father.

Hanney was to be the property of John’s son-in-law Jeckomiah Scott (widower of Mary Jackson Scott) until their four daughters were grown.  At that time Hanney’s value was to be divided equally among the girls.  It is hard to imagine anything more callous than using a woman to raise four motherless girls, and then selling her to provide a cash legacy to be divided among the very children she fostered. In reading this portion of the will, you can sense old John struggling to make as absolute equal division of his property, but this clause seems heartless.

Burial – Colonel John “Jack” Jackson and his wife Elizabeth Seaman Jackson are buried in the Jackson Cemetery located on Wantagh Ave., in Wantagh, NY.  The Cemetery is located immediately north of the Catholic Church (at 1309 Wantagh Ave.)  Buried with them are many of their relatives from the Jackson, Seaman, Althause, and Downing families.

[i] While we don’t know John’s physical attributes, I confess I began to see him as my Uncle Clint Jackson (his 6th great grandson).  The more I learned of John’s character, the more he seemed like Clint.
[ii] Secondary records indicate that Elizabeth was born in Hempstead (impossible since the town was not established until 1644) in the year 1631 (also impossible, since she would have been only 11or 12 at the date of her marriage, and only 14 at the birth of her first child (1645).  Other records say she was born in Boynton, Yorkshire, England, in 1612, and this would make her 31 at the time of her marriage to Capt. Seaman, 32 at the birth of her son John, Jr., (in 1645) and 41 at the birth of her youngest daughter, Elizabeth (in 1653).
[iii] John’s 6th and 7th great grandsons, Howard Henry Lemoine, Jr. and Sean Lemoine, are attorneys who might be able to offer further insights into their ancestor’s legal approach.
[iv] Presumably, John prepared a number of wills for friends and neighbors.  In most cases he served as a witness or executor for the testaments he drew.
[v] Double first cousins are genetically as close as siblings, sharing both YDNA and mitochondrial DNA.
[vi] Some family trees erroneously give Samuel a Hallett wife, either Rebecca or Elizabeth, confusing Samuel with his brothers James or John, Jr. 
[vii] Jeckomiah was the son of the famous Capt. John Scott, whose escapades are an important chapter in Long Island History.
[viii] Joshua was a grandson of Robert Williams who once owned Jericho in Queens County.
[ix] L.S. “Locus sigilli” is a Latin phrase meaning “the place of the seal.” These traditional letters appear on the notarial certificates to show where the notary public’s embossed seal should be placed or fixed. In case of a rubber-stamp seal; the seal should be placed near the abbreviation “L.S.” but, not over it. This may also be used to indicate to the signer, the place for fixing his signature.
[x] Daniel was a member of the Jones Family who later acquired John Jackson’s coastal acreage on which Jones Beach is located.


  1. Play the laughter, Pause the memories, Stop the pain, Rewind the happiness.
    Your article is very interesting please visit my site too God Bless :)

  2. The Colonel is my 7th Great-grandfather. Great info!

    1. Colonel is my great grandfather too, so appears we are related! Nice to meet you!!!

  3. Your article has a full of learnings,please take time to view my site Thank you and God bless :)

  4. Colonel John Jackson is my 8th Great Grandfather. This is excellent information. Thank you!