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The Seaman family
of Long Island
The Ancestors and Descendants
of Captain John Seaman
SEAMAN, was born in Essex, England, between 1603 and 1610, came to
in 1630 with the Winthrop fleet of ten vessels, nine hundred
and died early in 1695 in Hempstead, Long Island. His will is
August 5, 1694 and was proved March 20, 1695.
and 1632, John Seaman, Thomas Moore, William Cooper, John Underhill and
others were co-operating with Captain John Mason, John Winthrop and Sir
in the efforts to effect settlements in New Hampshire and these
efforts not being successful, we next find all of these, a little later
in Connecticut and Long Island. They were not Pilgrims, but were a
section still adhering to the Church of England.
Seaman and others went from their first landing to Watertown,
Massachusetts, which they left to escape the imposition of a tax, which
the Massachusetts Bay Colony proposed to levy on all the settlers for
the purpose of fortifying Newtown (now Cambridge). From Watertown
they went to Weathersfield, Connecticut, where they stayed but a short
time, having some dissensions concerning
church matters. In 1636 John Seaman owned two acres of land at
Island in Weathersfield.
the Catalogue of Puritanic settlers of Connecticut we find it
recorded: "John Seaman, one of the original purchasers of the town of
Stamford, where he settled in 1641. It is supposed he moved from
Weathersfield to Stamford." The settlers at New Haven who had no
charter has purchased property in various places, among them being what
is now called Stamford, Connecticut, and an arrangement was then made
with these discontented settlers of Weathersfield and the settlement at
New Haven, by which the Colony from Weathersfield obtained right to
settle Stamford, then called Rippowam. The list of these settlers
included the name of John Seaman, the purchase price being on hundred
bushels of corn, and John Seaman obtained six acres.
Roxbury, Massachusetts, he (John Carman) went to Weathersfield,
Connecticut, and thence in company with John Seaman whose ancestors
the stake in England."
Seaman owned land in Salem, Mass., in 1643.
John Seaman and his brother Caleb are recorded in New Haven,
At this period came the Pequod Indian War, and Captain John Mason was
chief command (as Major) of the Connecticut Troops. To John
he gave command of one of the Companies and John Strickland (who later
his father-in-law) was lieutenant of John Seaman's company. Hence John
Seaman's title of Captain. The histories of the day record "John
Seaman, later of Hempstead, Long Island, bore arms with demi-seahorse
for crest." Another record states that on October 6, 1646, Caleb
Seaman was fined 10 shillings
for not carrying arms, and on November 3, 1646, "Caleb Seaman
his fine might be remitted for defect of arms, he going shortly for
Upon his request it was remitted provided he goe for England."
Seaman was one of the sixty-two original signers (in Connecticut)
the Hempstead compact of land, and in 1647 we find him settled in
Long Island, where he became on of the most prominent men for half a
"and had left such a host of descendants as to be remarkable,
Town Records of Hempstead, Long Island, state:
seems probable that in the previous year Captain John Seaman coming
from the eastern end of the island, had settled land adjoining what was
subsequently the eastern boundary of the Hempstead Purchase, and had
secured title to a tract comprising more than twelve thousand acres,
which, in 1685, under the Dongan patent, became part of the town of
that time on we find his name in many pages of history, recording
a life of ceaseless activity in the establishment of his section of
he signed an agreement or pledged his faith he never disclaimed
his share of it."
a Provincial Convention called in New Amsterdam, by writ of Governor
Stuyvesant, December 11, 1653, John Seaman and William Washburne were
Representatives. December 21, 1656, John Seaman and Richard
Gildersleeve were nominated by Governor Stuyvesant.
the 17th, 1657, Stylo Novo. Chosen by the towne of Hempstead for
townsmen for the abovsaid yeare ffrancis Weeckes, richard brutnall,
richard vallingtyne, robert bedille, Addam Mott.
the magistrates of the towne of hempsteed doe hereby ingage our
selves to stand by and bare out with full power in all such actes and
orders as shall conduce for ye good and benefit of this towne of
hempsteed this present yeare giving oute of Land and receiving in the
inhabitants onely excepted given under our
hands this 16th of April 1657 Stylo Novo. R. Guildersleeve,
Seaman. teste John James."
17, 1657, Governor Stuyvesant visited Hempstead, and a few days
later, July 25th, John Seaman was again sent to the Governor by the
town on errands of peace. March, 1658, John Seaman, and others
were sent by the town in concert with Chekanow, an Indian
representative of the Montauk Sachem and other Indians, to lay out
bounds of the town to be known by marked trees, and to "continue
forever." "Mr. Seaman was allowed 8 s. for two days travel in
laying out the boundaries." In 1658 he had 20 gates (lengths) of
common fence to make, 30 cattle, 15 cows, 43 acres of meadow.
1659 "Mr. John Seaman was allowed a bounty of 2 pounds for
killing two wolves. For many years a bounty of 20 s to 25 s each
was paid by the town of Hempstead for killing wolves." "This may
sartyfi that the constable hath satisfied for the woulfs two to two
indians and one to Captain John Seaman twenty shilens for ech
woulfe." In 1664 John Seaman was again appointed by the town on a
Commission about the bounds, and was often subsequently employed in
he became Captain of Queens County Troop of Province of New York,
October 2. 1665, Captain John Seaman served on a Grand Jury at
Hempstead in a charge of witchcraft, "but-let it be recorded to the
credit of John Seaman-the accused was not convicted." In
1666 the Village of Jerusalem in the Town of Hempstead, was settled by
Captain John Seaman and his six sons, to whom a special patent was
granted by Governor Nichols, for a considerable tract of land which had
previously been purchased by them from the Meroke tribe of
Indians. It is recorded that its location was pleasant and its
population about 150. May 1669, Thomas Rushmore was ordered to
give up to Captain John Seaman the colors he received from the
Govenor. In 1668 and 1669 assessment upon land holders shows
Captain John Seaman was one of the largest landowners, his payment
being 4 pounds, 3 s., 4 p.
6, 1668 Confirmation on L.I. from Gov. Nicholls to John
Hicks, John Seaman, Richard Guildersleeve and others, freeholders of ye
of his sons also held land under the new patent. July 3,
1671, he was sent by the town to New York to treat with the Govenor
about the east bounds.
Schepen for Hempstead. May 14, 1674 appointed to hold Court
with the Scout at Jamaica.
a Jeneral townd Meting Held in Hempstead the 14 day of May in the
yeare 1674 Captain John Seamans was elected as chosen by the Ma Jer Vot
to be a committee to keepe Cort with the Scout at Jericho.
Nathaniel Pearsall Clark."
of boundaries for a dozen years, 1674 to 1686.
August 5, 1694 and proved March 20, 1695: Benjamin
Fletcher, Governor, etc. To all to whom these may come. Know ye that at
New York the 20 of March, 1694/5, the last will of JOHN SEAMAN
was proved and his sons Benjamin and Thomas were confirmed as
the name of God, Amen. I, John Seaman the elder, of Hempstead, in
Queens County, upon Long Island, alias Nassau, being weake and infirm
in body, and knowing that it appertaineth
to every man to set in order all worldly concerns, so yt after decease
suite, trouble, or calamity may ensue. And being well advised with the
and weighty work I am now about, do make and declare this my last will
testament. I leave to my oldest son John a certain lot of 22 acres, of
he is now in possession, and where he now lives; also another lot of 20
of meadow upon the neck called the Great Neck, being eastward and
the bounds of said town of Hempstead. I leave to my 5 sons Jonathan,
Solomon, Thomas and Samuel, 400 acres of land according to a Patent,
by Governor Richard Nicolls, lying at a place commonly known and called
the name of Jerusalem, within the bounds of Hempstead, to be equally
between them. Also a certain neck of meadow lying eastward from said
of Hempstead called in ye Indian tongue Ruskatux Neck. Bounded east by
Oyster Bay line, and upon Hempstead west, and to be equally divided. I
to my 3 sons, John, Nathaniel, and Richard, the remainder of my meadow,
one half is already confirmed to my son in law, Nathaniel Pearsall,
four or five acres of upland for his convenience of yardidge, for
his cattle. Which said meadow is situate upon a neck called by the name
the Half Neck, or in the Indian tongue Muskachim. I leave to my eight
John, Jonathan, Benjamin, Solomon, Thomas, Samuel, Nathaniel and
all the upland lying and situate upon Ruskatux Neck, as also upon the
called Half Neck, except the four or five acres confirmed to my son in
Nathaniel Pearsall. I leave to my sons Nathaniel, and Richard, my lot
meadow at a neck called Sticklands Neck, as also a parcel of meadow
upon New Bridge Neck. I also give them 150 acres of upland situated and
at a place commonly called Success, by virtue of an order from the
Also a certain parcel of land, being 316 acres, lying at or near the
head, so called, being already confirmed to my said two sons by deed of
I give all my rights in the undivided lands in Hempstead to my 8 sons.
leave to my wife Martha a certain house lot adjoining to the land of
Pine, being three acres, during her life, and then to my two sons,
and Richard. I also leave them the remainder of my house lots, and the
pasture and the field at the eastward of the town called the Holly. I
leave to my wife Martha one half of the dwelling house for life and
then to my son Richard, and the other half to my son Nathaniel. I leave
to my wife one third of the movables, and to my two sons Nathaniel and
Richard the other two thirds.
I leave to my daughter Mary Pearsall two cows. I leave to my wife six
acres of meadow at the Hay Bridge during her life and then to my sons
and Nathaniel. I leave two thirds of my remaining live stocks to my
daughters, Mary Pearsall, Hannah Carman, Martha Pearsall, Sarah Mott,
Deborah Kirk, and to my daughter Elizabeth Jackson 20 shillings. I
to my sons Richard and
my armes except my
large gun, which shall be for the use of all my sons. Makes wife Martha
sons Benjamin and Thomas executors, and "my friends Thomas Powell and
Townsend, Sr., overseers."
5, 1694. Witnesses,
John Smith, John Carle, George Fowler.
describing the history of Jones Beach State Park [on the south shore of
Long Island, NY] there is an interesting note:
the land conveyed by the Town of Oyster Bay and a portion of
the lands conveyed by Hempstead were in an area where title was in
dispute. This brought on what became known as the SEAMAN-GORE
case which lasted for ten years and ended in the United States Supreme
Court. The case involved the claim of title by the heirs of John
Seaman who received a royal grant in 1666. The private interests
in the case were opposed by the Towns of Oyster Bay and Hempstead and
before the State got into the suit the towns allowed judgements to be
entered against them. Commissioner [Robert] Moses had the case
reopened. Subsequent investigations disclosed instruments of
title theretofore unknown and the action was tried all over
again. This resulted in a decision holding that the State had
good title and that John Seaman relinquished all claim to the beach
land when he applied for and received confirming patents in 1686 from
the Governor General of New York which did not include the area in
dispute." [from: Blakelock, Chester R. "Long Island Forum" Feb.
the same paragraph was published in another article by the same author
"Long Island Forum" on October 1957." Much of this
information was donated by Jim
Rubins of Napa, CA. He has
his own Web Page Descendants
Capt. John Seaman, Hempstead, Long Island, NY which is well