Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mystery #9: How many Johns?

It has been assumed by Hinchman family researchers that John Hincksman of Oyster Bay was the John Hinchman who received a land patent in Flushing, Long Island in 1664 and settled there. Let's look at what we know.

According to printed materials, Flushing (Vlissingen) was settled by English who came there from Holland and received land patents from the Dutch governor in the mid-17th century.

A History of Long Island" by William S. Pelletreau states that the first real settlement in Oyster Bay was begun in 1653 on land purchased by Peter Wright, Samuel Mayo and William Leverich. (p. 129) A vessel owned by Samuel Mayo of Barnstable (Massachusetts), under the command of John Dickinson, was employed in conveying the adventurers and goods to Oyster Bay. An early map of Oyster Bay shows a J. Hincksman owning property next to John Dickinson on land along Oyster Bay Harbor.

From old Oyster Bay records we find this transaction:
"...I John hincksman Late of oyster Baye on Longisland have and by these presants doe Alynate Bargine and sell and have sould unto John dickinson of ye Aforesayd oyster Baye all and singular all yt parsell of land which I Exchanged and had of petter wright..." (Oyster Bay Town Records. Volume 1-1653-1690, p. 162 from page 145 Old A) That transaction was probably the earliest record found on Long Island of a contract for the sale of land, It was reported in "The Wright Family of Oyster Bay, Long Island...1423-1923". The brokerage fee was was "broad-cloath" and liquor to Dickenson, and "a quart of sack" and liquor to Peter Wright for making the bargain. The actual deed was signed the next day of February 1659, and was the second deed in Oyster Bay records.

John Hinchman of Flushing was magistrate and large landowner. His wife was named Sarah. He received land patents in 1664 and 1684 (along with Francis Doughty and John Marston). According to the 1675 Valuation of Estates for Flushing, Hinchman was one of the elite residents of the town. His land was near Flushing Bay.

A Jan Hinchman received a patent on Staten Island in 1676.

One of John Hinchman's daughters married a son of Rev. Francis Doughty, minister at Flushing.

John Hincksman of Boston, was a widely traveled mariner. He is found in records of Massachusetts, Long Island, and Virginia. He, along with a Kenneline Winslow of Boston, Massachusetts, owned a ship, the Barque "Return."

The name John Hincksman (aka Jan Hingsman) appears several times in Long Island legal records in reference to goods being shipped and the payment for same between himself and Francis "Douty." (1663) It appeared that John (Jan) was having trouble coming up with payment for his crew.

In Virginia, several Hincksman land transactions took place between 1662 and 1664. The name Francis Doughty is found in some of those records. (He had moved from Flushing to Maryland and then Virginia by 1664.)

A John Hincksman of Boston married Elizabeth Emmons in 1660. No issue was found for that couple in Boston records. Elizabeth remarried in 1675 (as related in my first posting on this blog). Was her husband John the mariner? The codicil attached to the will of Elizabeth's mother indicates that John Hincksman had borrowed money from her. Apparently, he was not forthcoming in settling the debt. Additionally, his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Mrs. Emmons, was left out of the will. Some have assumed that happened because Elizabeth had died. However, Elizabeth remarried in 1675 and had issue.

Are these different individuals with similar names? Or are they the same, very busy, man? Since there were so few people living in the colonies in the mid-1600s, it would be quite surprising to find many sharing name similarities. What do you think?

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