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Family of Long Island
Hand was a merchant and on a return trip to England was murdered
at sea abt 1640. The first of the family of this name in
Southampton was John Hand, on the whaling list of 1644. At the time of
the settlement of East
Hampton, in 1648, he was one of the company from Southampton to found a
plantation. He was , according to the East Hampton records, originally
Stanstede in the county Kent, England . (History of Southampton).
to "Mayflower Descendants in Cape May County" by Reverend
Paul Sturevant Howe, page 338, John Hand, b. Lynn, Massachusetts Bay
Colony as early as 1636 and moved to the whaling settlement at
Southampton, Long Island, before March 7, 1644. He married Alice
Gransden. John Hand and Alice Gransden came to America aboard the ship
"The Peter Bonaventurer" from Maidstone, Kent
, England. in 1635.
was one of a small company, who took up land adjoining
Southampton on the east, and planted there a new setlement -
first called by the settlers Maidstone. Maidstone is present day East
Hampton. Residence: 1648 / 1649 East Hampton, Long Island, New York
first residents/patentees or grantees of East-Hampton were : John
Hand, John Stratten, Sen'r. Thomas Talmage, Jr., Robert Bond, Daniel
Howe, Robert Rose, Thomas Thomson, Joshua Barnes and John Mulford.
Notes concerning Samuel
Hand Abt. 1728-Abt. 1817 and Phebe Lum May 25, 1737-1788
Samuel Hand raised
his family in northern New Jersey, settling on Stanton Island, where he
was in the shipping business. Because of his profession, Samuel
remained firm in his allegiance to the English king during the Rev.
War. As a result, after the war it was necessary for him to flee to
Canada for his personal safety. He left his family on
Stanton Island and they did not hear from him for a number of years.
Hand is mentioned in his father's will, but only relative to his
father leaving something to the children of Samuel. It has been said
that Nehemiah Hand would not leave anything to Samuel because Samuel
was a Loyalist.
New Brunswick, Canada, there are records of one Samuel Hand, a
Loyalist, who appears to have made a new life there. In the later
years, there is even mention of a wife, though, it is not clear if this
wife is Phebe Lum of
his Stanton Island life. NOTE: There is proof it is!
From the book
Commodore Vanderbilt and His Family
by Dorothy Kelly
Two of the seven
children of Jacob and Mary Sprague van der Bilt are ancestors to the
Commodore's children. Eleanor, their oldest child, married Nathaniel
Johnson and had a son Nathaniel II
who married Elizabeth Hand. Their daughter Sophia Johnson married
another child of Jacob and Mary Sprague van der Bilt, married
Elizabeth Hand's cousin, Phebe Hand, and became the father of
Corneel. Thus Corneel's first wife, Sophia Johnson, and he were first
cousins on the Hand side,
and first cousins once removed on the
father, the first to spell the name van Derbilt, was born
twelve years before the start of the Revolutionary War and was reared
in the home of an uncle where he worked for his room and board. He was
still a young man at the end of the War, a war which destroyed
records which meant his inheritance had vanished. He had no
land of his own and little to support himself. This Cornelius, who has
described as thriftless, dull and a laggard, nevertheless became a
farmer and a sailor who owned his own land and operated his own boat.
became known as the founder of the Staten Island Ferry.
Hand, his wife, was born in Rahway, New Jersey, was the daughter
of a prosperous sea captain. Captain Samuel Hand, and a Miss Lum. Phebe
was moderately well educated for the time and was of "good blood". When
she and Cornelius first met, she was living as
mother's helper in the home of a clergyman at Port Richmond, Staten
Island. They were married on February 5, 1787.
has been given much credit for her husband's, as well as her
son's, success. Strong of character and body, she was energetic,
reliant, efficient, pious, and greatly loved by her family, especially
by her son, Corneel.
Hand and Vanderbilt
A Sketch of Grandmother Vanderbilt's Early Life
Written by her
granddaughter, Anna, H.V. Root - written some time between 1885 and 1893
my early life it was my great pleasure to coax my Grandmother
Vanderbilt for stories of her childhood, I can recall the picture of
the venerable lady in her old-fashioned rush bottomed chair, looking
out at the broad bay which then lapped the shore in front of the
cottage where I spent so many happy years. I can see it all still
as it was the, the sloping lawn with its trim flowerbeds and trees, and
the walnut shading the wide piazza wreathed in woodbine and honeysuckle.
the long summer days, when the air seemed steeped in drowsy
sweetness, while all was under its magic spell, we sat there, my
grandmother with her knitting and her Bible and I on the step at her
feet. Then we went
into the past, and she would tell me about her grandparents, "good men
true"; elders and wardens in their respective churches, and of her
grandmother's (or great-grandmother's) lovers, one the choice of her
parents, the other her own true love. Between them she had a
sorry time, for the one
who was approved of by t he parents was doubtless the better match in a
worldly point for even in that far off time there was an eye for the
and the richer suitor had friends at court always urging his cause,
the maiden was nigh distraught between her love for the one and the
importuning of the other. In an evil hour she had said that she
would take the first one who came. The parents, taking advantage
of this, sent for their favorite, and their daughter, tired of
resisting, accepted her fate, thereby meriting the scorn of her
descendents who would never have given
in to any amount of bullying.
was of her grandfather Hand that the dear old lady loved to talk,
for she had lived with him, and her eyes took on a tender half asleep
look as if she saw the pleasant country home and was living in those
happy days when the little child took her supper beside toe good old
man whose caress stilled seemed to linger with her like a
benediction. This was her home near Rahway, and the place and
beauty of those days of childhood like a vision of paradise stood out
in memory, the brighter for the shadows which so soon followed.
good old man was taken and went to his rest, believing that his
little grandchild was amply provided for, and that he had secured her
future. But ere long the Revolution changed everything.
Families were broken up and scattered, homes and fortunes lost.
My great-grandmother Hand put the money left her little daughter into
Continental notes. Depreciation soon commenced, in a short time
the notes were worthless and by this want of judgment the child was
left penniless. She, however, was kindly cared for by her dear
friend and pastor, Rev. Elmer to whom she gave the loving service of a
daughter. The horrors of the retreat and of the army through
Morristown were vividly stamped on her memory. A Hessian soldier
to slip and carry her away.
leaving New Jersey and living with a married sister on Staten
Island, she met my grandfather. He was a very handsome man, and I
think that with all of her strong good sense and sound judgment,
she must have had some sentiment to fall in love at first sight, for
she said to herself, “he will be my husband. She spoke the truth
and Cornelius Vanderbilt never could have done a wisher thing than when
he placed his happiness in her keeping; he was naturally extravagant,
but to her he owned whatever of success attended him. Her
shrewdness and caution made side suggestions, and her prudent thrift
helped him to own a fine farm on the shores of the bay and a ferry to
the city. His experience was similar to hers, his parents dying
when he was a child, those who had the guardianship of his property
either lost it, or he was cheated out of his own. On the road to
Richmond I remember a beautiful old-fashioned cottage called “the Rose
and Crown” which had belonged to the family.
I have said, my grandfather was considered very handsome, and I can
just remember a very stern, dignified-looking person, of whom I stood
in awe. He had severe notions of propriety, especially at the
table, where if any undue levity occurred, the unlucky trifler was sent
away in disgrace. Indeed I have heard my aunt say that they did
not wait for that but that
she and her friend, Miss Judith Aymar, from the city, finding a fit of
nervous laughter imminent rose hastily and left the room by opposite
doors, trying to control themselves. Each would open the door,
glance back at the other and retire in a new burst. The caution
and business ability
came from the Hand and not the Vanderbilt side, for although my
property was lost in the war, he had not the ability to regain
He was fond of his farm, loved horses and was a superb rider. A
of the stock occurred after his death, and the high-spirited gray he
to ride was in the inventory. The day of the sale he was found
in his stall; it seemed as if the poor fellow had some dim idea of the
and he died rather than being sold.
love of horses descended not only to the Commodore and Captain
Jacob Vanderbilt, but also to the present generation.
the dark days of the Revolution, Grandma saw little of her
family. Her brother, a mere boy was at Bunker Hill, I have heard;
I do not know it for a fact. Captain Hand, of the Long Island
Hands, was in the battle of Long Island, and the family was in the
cause of liberty. It was, therefore, a great grief to his
daughter that Obadiah Hand continued loyal to the King, and it was
supposed that he entered the British Army. News of his death was
brought to his wife, our great-great-grandmother by some one who
declared that he had seen him buried, and after some years, she married
a clergyman who died some four years later. She then stayed with
her children---by turns.
this time, my grandmother was living on Staten Island and had
married, the country had adjusted itself to its new conditions and
peaceful occupations took the place of arms. Communication with
distant localities however, were slow and seldom; it was, therefore, a
matter of much surprise when a stranger made his appearance and
inquired for my great-grandmother. He was directed to Mrs.
Vanderbilt. He told her that he had come from Nova Scotia and had
brought a message from her father, who was, he declared still alive and
anxious to find his wife and daughters and begged them to come to him
in care of the messenger, who would return at a certain period.
My grandmother replied with indignation that she would listen to
nor allow her mother to do so either. So the stranger left,
he would call on his return.
so happened that her mother soon after this came to pay her a visit
but nothing was said to her about the stranger. Upon leaving, as
was the custom of those days mounted on a pillion for the jaunt, as she
neighboring house a woman came out and stopped her, asking if she had
been told any news. Finding she had not, and concluding it was
to do so, she related the whole story, whereupon the old lady returned
her daughter, and Grandma said she never forgot the look she gave her
she stood in the door and said, “Oh Phoebe, and you knew it and could
me go away without telling me a word.” Expostulations were in
in spite of years and absence, and notwithstanding the later
episode, the first love was there and she declared she would go through
and water to meet him, and go she did, when the messenger
It was no light matter in those days when a long perilous journey was a
undertaking. She was met on the shore by her first husband, and
she was married to him a second time before entering his home.
hope that such late constancy was rewarded. I believe some of the
are living still, and have large possessions there.
an instance of the disruption of families in those days, Grandma
used to tell of the time when, as a young girl, she was walking on
Broadway and saw a young stranger whose face attracted her.
Turning to look again she found him glancing back, and presently he
wheeled about and coming to her asked if her name was not Phoebe
Hand. It was her only brother---and that accidental meeting was
the first since infancy. Then he went south.
afterward when she was sitting with her daughters (some of them
married) in the family room of the Old Homestead, a traveler entered,
and after some commonplace remark, asked if he could have
lodging. My aunts did not dream of his being allowed to stay, but
seeing their mother’s strong look of interest and fearing that she
might be persuaded, they signaled to her to refuse. Paying no
attention to them, she, to their surprise, gave him permission, then he
told his name and it turned out to be her own brother from
Alabama. There must have been a vein of romance in this rotund
relative, for he had purposely disguised himself in poor clothes to see
if he would be recognized. Blood will tell, however
notwithstanding the change in appearance. He had a prosperous
plantation in Alabama where he had a large family, one of whom was Mrs.
Robert L. Crawford, a
granddaughter who was the mother of the late Commodore Vanderbilt’s
wife. This visit of their uncle Hand was lengthened by his being
out of a wagon and a broken leg kept him here a long time. He
in Mobile where there are still a number of his descendants.
Conkling and Mrs. Hasbrouck, Grandmother’s sisters, lived in
Kingston, New York. Only one sister was in Nova Scotia. One
of her sisters, a Mrs. Swaim, a handsome woman entertained George
Washington when he was crossing the Island. Another sister, who
had been sent to Bethlehem, finally became a sister there. The
ruler must have been severe at that time and the head of the Moravian
order had despotic ways. Some one proposed marriage for her but,
without being told the name of her suitor she was asked for her
decision and declined, only to find out afterwards that
it was for whom she did care.
last sister, Mrs. Johnson, was a favorite everywhere. I fancy
she had made an unfortunate marriage and was quite poor in her old age,
but she was always bright, and my aunts used to say that even when she
was very aged her visits were hailed with delight. She would come
for a week and stay six months. Dear old Aunt Nellie. My
mother was named for her---Eleanor being in the family record for seven
generations. She lived by the water side while a British warship
was in the bay and the sailor Duke, afterwards William IV, a lively
middy onboard came often on shore
to see her. He said she looked like his mother and he used to
her Mammy. She had a little boy to whom he took a fancy and
mother to let him take the child to England and adopt him. It was
boyish notion and she could only gratify it by naming the child after
her royal friend. From what I have heard, he was very different
his mother, It is a pity he did not go, for the Duke would have
looked after his world’s prospects and he might as well have been a
good for nothing Lord, as he was good for nothing else. It is
said that he was all
Johnson though his mother was a Vanderbilt.
down to our own times, of the children of Cornelius and Phoebe
Hand Vanderbilt, two died in infancy and the only one now living is
Capt. Jacob, who sitting behind his spirited horses, is still a well
known figure on Staten Island. He has wonderful vitality and is
as genial and jolly as ever, always cordial, generous and frank with a
certain old-time courtesy. May he long continue the head of the
Commodore is too well remembered to need more than mention.
His life will probably be written later by someone capable of
describing him as his great genius deserves.
his mother, her derived his most salient points, self reliance,
caution, keen perception, wonderful executive ability and
determination. His great personal beauty, commanding presence and
high bearing were his father’s. I have heard that there was a
portrait of Grandfather painted by his friend Jarvis, the old-time
artist but he must have kept it for himself.
Simonson (Aunt Polly) the eldest sister, was much beloved for her
gracious manners and ready hospitality. Aunt Charlotte DeForest
Egbert, the next in age, was also noted for the same hospitality as
well as for her strong character and thrift. Eleanor, my mother,
who died in youth, was called the beautiful Mrs. Van Duzer, and was
long remembered for her piety and charitableness. Her life was a
benediction and she lives in my memory, a vision of all that was lovely
and pure. The essays and verses she wrote for me I have always
prized. Mrs. Barton, my dear Aunt Jane and Aunt Phoebe had
the characteristic integrity, geniality and native nobility of their
the same fearless courage for the right, the same sympathy and courtesy
to rich and poor alike. These two stood to me in my mother’s
as I always lived with Grandma except during my school life in
at Miss Ward’s School. You will remember the old cottage where I
married by the Rev. Dr. Moore, who also married my mother; and one of
precious memories is that of the dear old lady rising after the
and lifting her hand in blessing on my head.
thus nearer to her than her other grandchildren, belonging more
nearly to her, I had opportunity to hear these old-time tales, for
which no one else seemed to care and which I have tried to
perpetuate. I can only regret that I did not do more to stimulate
her recollection on other points, but I was then too young to think of
dates or side issues, except as they appealed to my fancy on the
romantic side, There is enough, however, to show the sterling traits
(forgotten in these days of living for gain), the constancy,
independence, and deep piety which made “her word as good as her hand”
she has handed down from her ancestry and it is an inheritance no money
purchase and no title surpass. May our children be worthy of the
have written this little family history solely for my sons, as I wish
them to know something of their mother’s people; its only merit is its
perfect truth, as well as possible from my grandmother’s life.
there are, are, I believe correct. I only wish there were
Her grandfathers (or tow of them were of course Hand and Lum) of this
latter I know nothing. The name of the Nova Scotia relatives is,
or was, Nordstrom.
NEW INFORMATION From "Irish Rose"
information about John "the emigrant" Hand which is different
from what you have on your website. I am aware that the
your website is based on the Hedges account but records have shown us
have traced John "the emigrant" Hand's parentage and find that his
father was Steven Hand, born ABT 1580 in England. Steven was married to
Ann Buckland 24 JUN 1600 in Sundridge, County Kent, England.
Register reads "Steven Hand married Ann Buckland, widow...".
died ABT 9 MAY 1622 in England according to the Sundridge Parish
Register. He was buried in the Sundridge churchyard. His occupation was
Ann Buckland had 4 children:
b: BEF 14 DEC 1600 in Sundridge, County Kent, England
HAND b: BEF 20 MAR 1603 in Sundridge, County Kent, England
b: BEF 5 AUG 1605 in Sundridge, County Kent, England
emmigrant" HAND b: BEF 4 JUN 1609 in Sundridge, County Kent,
the generations that followed can be found at:
have been working together on the genealogy of this family for
several years now and each entry in the rootsweb genealogy lists sources
records...John2Baptism is John "the emigrant's" son, John
is from Tonbridge parish records.
The other two jpg
files are from the parish records at Sundridge. They show
John's parents's names and the name of John's bride. It is
thought that her name was Alice Elizabeth but we are not sure. We
just know that she used the name Alice in the Colonies.