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grims, being the great-grandson of the former and grandson of the latter. According to the inscription upon his tombstone at Miller's Place, Samuel Hopkins was born on Shelter Island about 1710. His father moved to Shelter Island about 1680, and in time became a man of considerable property. In an account book of William Hopkins, the following names appear between the dates of 1680 and 1710: Gideon Youngs 1681, Samuel King 1682, John Conklin 1682, Thomas Young 1685, John Tuthill 1685, Caleb Curtis 1688, John Marlin, Feb. 19, 1689, Thomas Torrey 1691, John Carter 1695, Samuel Glover 1696, James Rogers 1700, Edward Bonnet 1701, Jonathan Hains 1703, Cornelius Pain 1705, Indian Able, Indian Squaw, John Hobson, Jonathan Brown, Jacob Conklin, Jonathan Hudson, Lion Gardner, Henry Tuthill, Richard Brown, Rebecca Crook, William King, Walter Brown, Martha Collins, John Knowling, Thomas Russell, Mr. Emmons, Mary Young (widow). Samuel Hopkins was a carpenter and mason. From 1743 until 1756 he lived at Wading River. In 1757 he bought property at Millers Place and moved there, and made it his home until his death, in 1790. In 1733 he served this Town as Constable and Collector.
17. ABRAHAM PARKER. We cannot tell definitely who were the parents of Abraham Parker. He is said to have been born in Yorkshire, England. Several Parkers lived on this island prior to the organization of the Town. As early as 1698 a Nathaniel Parker appears as a witness on the deed of Giles Sylvester to Cornelius Payne. In 1701 a Daniel Parke appeared in the same capacity on the deed of George Havens to Jonathan his son. Abraham Parker married probably twice. His first wife was Sarah Hudson, daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Hudson. His second wife was Mary Hudson, the widow of Jonathan Hudson, who was brother to his first wife. He served as Collector and Constable in 1731, as Assessor in 1736, and as Overseer of the Poor in 1738 and 1742. He died in March, 1768.
18. DANIEL BROWN was the son of Daniel and Frances (Watson) Brown, born Nov. 15, 1710. His great-grandparents, Chad and Elizabeth Brown, came from England in the ship “Martin,” which arrived at Boston in July, 1638. The same year they moved to Providence, R. I., where Chad Browne was one of the original proprietors of the Providence purchase. In 1642 he was ordained the first settled pastor of the Baptist church. The children of Chad and Elizabeth Brown were sons John, James, Jeremiah,
Judah or Chad, and Daniel. Their daughters were Mary, Deborah and Phebe. Jeremiah, the third son, was twice married, his second wife being Mary (Havens) Cook, widow of Thomas Cook and daughter of the first William Havens. His son Daniel, who married Frances Watson, was the father of the subject of this sketch. Like his grandfather, Jeremiah Browne, our Daniel Brown married twice, his second wife likewise being named Mary Havens, whom he married Dec. 21, 1735, and by whom he had a large family. He was Supervisor of this Town for twenty years. In 1747 he enlisted in the First Battalion (foot) under Capt. James Fanning, to go against Canada. In 1775 and '76, at the outbreak of the American Revolution, he was a member of the First, Second and Third Provincial Congresses. These and other items show him to have been a man of great importance in the community; one highly esteemed and greatly trusted by his fellow men.
19. SAMUEL VAIL was the son of John and Grace Vail, according to Moore's Index. His grandfather was also named John Vail, and was the first person by the name in this country, coming from Wales. In 1723 Samuel Vail married Hannah Petty. He was also in time a Town officer, serving as Constable and Collector in 1735 and as Overseer of the Poor in 1741. About this date he moved with his family to Orange County and settled in what is called the West Division of Goshen. Many of his descendants are living in that region at the present time. No genealogical record of the descendants of Samuel Vail has been attempted by the writer of this book, as a genealogy of the “Vail” family is in existence, gathered together by the late Mr. Alfred Vail. It is deposited in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Library, and can there be consulted by those interested.
20. BRINLEY SYLVESTER was the son of the second Nathaniel Sylvester and Margaret Hobert, of Easthampton, L. I., where he was born Nov. 28th, 1694. He married Mary Burroughs, daughter of Thomas Burroughs, of New York, at Southold, Dec. 2d, 1718, the Rev. Geo. Phillips officiating. He lived for awhile at Newport, R. I., whither his father had moved, upon disposing of 1,000 acres to George Havens, and engaged in business as a merchant. This left the father with comparatively little land on this island. His possessions, however, were vastly increased upon the death of his brother Giles, in 1704, who bequeathed to him of his estate an amount of land equal in extent to two-fifths of the island. This, together with what he had retained, made him owner of about one-half of Shelter Island. Upon the death of his father, Brinley Sylvester, having inherited the large family estate on this island, moved from Rhode Island to this place, where he resided till his death in 1752. Upon coming to this island Brinley Sylvester set about improving the property. The original manor house he displaced by a more imposing mansion, built in 1733. It is said that when he was building this new house, which was the largest structure of its kind in the three counties of Long Island, it occasioned much talk among his puritan friends, and the raising of it was made a great affair for those days, Mrs. Brinley Sylvester coming from the west end of Long Island to see it. Much of the interior work, such as the cornices, panels, wainscoting, and the like, was executed in England, while that which was serviceable of the prior homestead, such as the doors, sashes, tiles, etc., were worked into the new building. That house is, as you know, still standing and well preserved, thougli now over a hundred and sixty years old, and in some of its parts spans the whole period of the settlement of this island, that is, two hundred and forty-five years. In it Brinley Sylvester lived like a lord, far exceeding all his predecessors in the grandeur of his living. He presided over his rich and extensive estate with great dignity, being a gentleman of polished manners, scholarly in his tastes and generous to a fault. For more than twenty years he held public office in this town, sometimes discharging the duties of several offices together. During this time he was also one of the Associate Justices of the Court of General Sessions. He likewise acted as Surrogate of the County, the will of John Gardiner, the third proprietor of Gardiner's Island, being admitted to probate before him on the ist of August, 1738. As yet there being no church on the island, he with his family attended divine service at Southold, going all the way by water in a handsome barge rowed by four well matched negroes. Mrs. Sylvester, his wife, used to wear on such occasions a silk velvet mantle inwrought with gold, and sometimes the venerable clergyman, Mr. Youngs, would say, “I am afraid you are proud of your fine barge and rich dress, Mrs. Sylvester.” “Oh, no, sir,” she answered. "If there is anything I am proud of it is the fine linen I make.” Mr. Brinley Sylvester kept a chaplain in his family in the person of the Rev. William Adams. His family consisted of himself, his wife and two daughters, named Mary and Margaret. Mr. Sylvester was a man of ardent piety, a communicant of the church at Southold. He did much for religion on this island, as will be seen later on, and at his death left £100 sterling for the maintenance of religion on this island, the interest of which was to be expended in the support of a regular orthodox Presbyterian minister. His funeral was conducted by the Rev. William Throop, pastor of the Southold church, the sermon then delivered being afterwards printed in Boston. His body was at first buried in the Sylvester burying ground, and afterwards moved to the private cemetery in the rear of this church, where an appropriate monument is erected to his memory. In the death of this distinguished Christian gentleman the name of Sylvester became extinct on this island.
To recapitulate what I have now written of the founders of the Town. It will be seen that six of the twenty men bore the name of Havens. These, as one would suppose, were related to each other. Two of them were sons and the rest grandsons of George and Eleanor Havens. They were all born in America, and two of them on this island. To these six men several of the remainder of our Town fathers were also related through marriage, namely, Noah Tuthill, Elisha Payne, William Nicoll and Daniel Brown. Of the rest Abraham Parker, Samuel Hudson, Sylvester L'Hommedieu and Brinley Sylvester were related to each other, the last three being grandsons of our first settler, Nathaniel Sylvester. Then too it is thought that Joel and John Bowditch were father and son, while of the remainder Samuel Hopkins bore the proud distinction of being a direct and close descendant of the Mayflower Pilgrims. The ancestors of these men who were our Town fathers were English, Welsh, and in one instance French. All, except in one instance, as far as is known were born in this country, and a number of them on this island. They were sturdy men, men of intelligence, and not a few of them, men of renown. They were lovers of liberty, of virtue, of piety, ready to respond to their country's call, full of enterprise, industry and zeal; men who in every respect were worthy to be the founders of our Town. We do well to cherish their memory and imitate their virtues.
Thus far our history has been solely occupied with the settlement of this place and its development into a Town, a period covering eighty years or more. Now we come to the time when there first appeared something like a religious society on this island, and then only in the outward or material form of a meeting house or church