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doned it. So successful was I, that after I had got some way into it, I began to hope I could trace the New Jersey families also, but I found a reluctance to answer my letters, and my infirmity was such that I could not stand on my feet to search the various county and other records in that State, and was compelled to abandon that hope. Afterwards I heard ofand corresponded with the Rev.Wm. J. Skillman, of that State, and my hope revived, only to be cast down again. I trust that, as he is yet young, he may be able, not only to unravel the genealogy of the New Jersey Skillmans, and connect them with their ancestors who left Long Island, but to ascertain the source of the family in England. I am satisfied that a search of the State records in England would repay one, as from a few extracts from the Parliamentary rolls in London, in my possession, the family is an ancient one, going back to 1316, 1485, 1510-20-22 and 23, at which dates John and in others Henry Skilman (in one instance the name being spelled Skylman) are spoken of, the one as Lord of the Township of Wymondham, in County of Norfolk, the other as keeper of the King's Park at Eltham, Kent, &c. I am greatly indebted to the Honorable Francis Martin Skillman, and also to the Honorable Joseph Hudson Skillman, for information and assistance.
FRANCIS SKILLMAN. ROSLYN, Nov., 1875.
The traditions of the family as collected by me are as follows:
John Skillman said: “The first Skillman, a Thomas, was very fond of music (or a great musician ;) that he came to this country with Gov. Richard Nicoll in 1664, from England, and was a favorite of the Governor, who gave him a patent for land at Albany, and also for land at Bushwick ; that the farm Lambert Wyckoff once lived oll was the tract. He left an only son Thomas, but his wife soon married again. In some way his estate was so managed or left that the son Thomas had none of it while she had all."
Thomas Skillman 3d.", said: “Thomas Skillman canie here with Gov. Nicoll. He was from Glasgow, Scotland, and was a land surveyor.
He died soon and leit a son under age. Maiden name of his wife was Pettit, and she managed in some way to get the estate in her hands, and the son got none. He had a patent for land at Albany and also on Staten Island.”
Francis Martin Skillman said : “He exchanged his land at Albany for land on Staten Island.”
Martin Schenck, cousin of the above, said: “The first Skillman had a patent for half of Staten Island, like the Van Rensselaers.”
Joseph Hazzard Skillman said: “The first Skillman, a Thomas, was a musician in the British army on service in this country That he had a patent for land at Albany, and that his widow, by some means, got possession of his property, and the son had none."
William Paynter, aged 80, at about 1844 said : 6. Thomas Skillman and wife came from England and worked a farm on shares, and in 1688 bought a farm of -200 acres at Dutch Kills, the deed for which he has in his house." (This man's mother was Hester, daughter
of Abraham Skillman.) His sister, Elizabeth Bragaw, said: “Thomas Skillman came from Barbadoes."
The earliest mention of the name of any Skillman that I find is in Thompson's History of Long Island, p. 138. 2d ed., vol. 2, giving a list of the inhabitants and probable freeholders of the town of Newtown in 1655-6. I have had no time as yet to verify the date but as dates in Thompson's book are noted for unreliability, I attach but little importance to this extract, unless in the future I should meet with something to corroborate it. Riker, in his Annals of Newtown, p. 74 and appendix G, gives a list of freeholders, in which the name of Thomas or any other Skillman does not appear at that date.
EXTRACTS FROM PUBLIC DOCUMENTS. In the Department of Historical Records, Secretary of State's Office, New York :
Vol. 2, p. 250 and 254, 1668.-Orders, Warrants, Letters.—The name of Thomas Skillman appears in a list of names to whom Col. Nicolls had promised lands at Esopus.
Vol. 2, p. 254, 1668.—The name of Thomas Skillman with others is signed to an agreement to accept “ Dividends of lots" in Esopus, whenever the Governor shall give order for laying them out.
Vol. 2, p. 390.—Court of Assizes.—Thomas Skillman included in a list of soldiers discharged. April 6, 1668.
The next in order of date respecting Thomas Skillmain is an item in an account book of John and Samuel Bowne, of Flushing, in which they give him Feb’y, 1672, “Cr. by 3 days' work in April, 7s. 6d., published in L. I. Times, Aug. 26, 1875* :
[From the L. I. Times, August 26, 1875.]
BY HENRY ONDERDONK, JR., OF JAMAICA. In 1789 the records of Flushing were burnt. This loss, so far as: agriculture is concerned, is mitigated by the preservation of an old account book of John Bowne and his son Samuel, extending from 1656 to 1702. He was an enlightened, enterprising and thrifty planter, was County Treasurer, (1683) and once (1691) elected to the Assembly. He was systematic in his business, and noted down in his book many little items that others would have omitted. He seems also to have kept a country store, or else obligingly bought and sold for his neighbors. He kept up a kindly intercourse with the merchants at Manhattans, as New York was then called.
He kept horses, oxen, cows, sheep, bees, and swine. He raised wheat, buckwheat, rye, oats, barley, flax, peas, turnips, and tobacco. Farm hands and servants were as precious as gold,” and almost as scarce. Hence men were imported from Holland and Great Britain, whose passage was paid for by their being sold for a brief term of years to the planters. This class of servants were called Redemptioners, and many of them afterwards became respected citizens. Bowne, as his occasions required, bought negroes, and even Indians became servants and slaves. Bowne had orchards and made cider, which he sent to Manhattans.
1672, Feb. Reckoned with Wm. Smith, miller. Due me a quarter of veal, 3s; the use of a horse and plow 2 days; Thos. Skillman, cr, by 3 days work in April, 7s. 6d.
Doc'y History of N. Y., Vol. 2, p. 299, 1683.—Thomas Skillman's name appears on a rate list (with others) of
Newtown, for 'lo a. of land, 1 horse, 6 cows (kine), 3 being -3 years old and 2 of 1 year, and 2 sheep. As but i poll
is set opposite his name, the presumption is fairly inferaible that at that time his son was a minor.
By Gov. Dougan's patent for the town of Newtown, the :name of Thomas Skillman appears as one of the patentees, 1686, Nov. 25th. The 5th May previous he bought lands of Wm. Alburtus, as noted hereinafter.
Doc'y History of N. Y., Vol. 112 and 113. (See also Vol. 3, p. 411, Col. Hist of N. Y.) To the 14th query ans'd by Gov. Dougan in his Report on the Province of N. Y., dated Febʼy 22nd, 1687, he says, concerning "the "pasture at Albany”: “It having been patented by Gov. Nicolls to several people and by them built upon, whose buildings have been carried away by the overflow of the river. It does not contain above fifteen or sixteen acres.' It appears further by this paragraph that "the Ranslaers had the right to it." “ Inhabitants live wholly upon trade with the Indians.” “A barren and sandy spot.” “I got the Ranslaers to release their pastures to the town and sixteen acres into the country for commons to the King,” &c. “After this I passed the patent for Albany, wherein was included the aforementioned pasture," &c.
Coll. His. of N. Y., Vol. 3, p. 143. Col. Nicolls to com. at Albany, says: “I could wish that all the land between the Fort and Town lay in common, so that the people who lost their houses may be recompensed up on the Hill with accommodation."
Capt. Thomas Skillman rec'd 14 oz. plate for services at Albany under Capt. Lewis, 1689-90. Copied from proceedings of Legislature, by H. Onderdonk, Jr.
The following items I have gleaned from the different volumes of the Coll. Hist. of New York, and insert them here, as they may be thought curious, especially by those uvho have no means of access to those books. The records