by Ann Haddad
In this post, the second in our “Meet the Tredwell” series, we will examine the ancestry of Eliza Earle Parker Tredwell. Part One will cover her maternal ancestry; Part Two will cover her father, William Parker.
Despite the importance of Eliza Tredwell (1797-1882), matriarch of the Tredwell family who occupied the house on East Fourth Street for nearly 100 years, little was known about her ancestry. Tracing Eliza’s maternal line was rather straightforward.
On her mother’s side, Eliza Tredwell was descended from both Dutch and English settlers.
Edward Earle, Emigrant and Landowner
Edward Earle (1628-1711), Eliza’s great-great-great grandfather, was most likely born in Great Tilse, Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. He was descended from the prominent Earle family, with branches all over England and ancestry that can be traced back to the 12th century and the reign of King Henry II. Edward probably arrived first in Barbados in or around 1635, when he was seven years old. The next record of Edward Earle, dated 1664, places him in Maryland, when he was 37 years old. Three years later, in 1667, he married Hannah Baylis (1640-c.1729); they had one son, Edward Earle, Jr., in 1667 or 1668.
After spending several years in New York City, Edward and his family settled in Secaucus, New Jersey (an inland island that was a former Dutch settlement), no later than 1673. By 1676, Edward was the owner of over 2,000 acres of land, purchased from Nicholas Bayard for “2000 Dutch Dollars,” considered to be a very large sum of money for the time. His deed of ownership refers to him as “Edward Earle of New Yorke, Planter.” Upon this land he built an estate overlooking the Hackensack River; the homestead remained in the family for more than 130 years, until 1792. According to the History of Secausus, New Jersey (1950), an assessment done in 1676, which enumerates the contents of the estate, includes among its property: “four neggro[sic] men, five christian servants.” (New Jersey abolished slavery in 1804, through a process of gradual emancipation, but some slaves were kept as late as 1865).
Edward Earle was a socially prominent and influential member of his community, and served in the House of Delegates, the English governing body of New Jersey at the time.
Edward Earle, Jr., Sheriff and Gentleman
Eliza’s great-great-grandfather, Edward Earle Jr. (1667 or 1668-1713), the son and only child of Edward and Hannah, was born in Maryland, and was approximately eight years old when he moved with his parents to Secaucus. Little is known of his early life. He married Elsje Vreelandt (1671-1748), who was born in what is now Jersey City, on February 13, 1688 at Reformed Dutch Church in Bergen, New Jersey. Elsje was of full Dutch descent; her parents, Enoch Vreelandt and Dircksje Meyers, were from Amsterdam. Edward and Elsje had 12 children, and lived in a stone house situated on one half of his father’s estate. Edward Earle, Jr., held many important public offices during his lifetime, including High Sheriff of Bergen County (1692), County Clerk (1693), and Coroner (1694). Like his father, he served in the House of Delegates, and was a large landowner in New Jersey. Edward, Jr., died in 1713, 18 months after his father. He was about 45 years old.
Marmaduke Earle, Freeman of New York City
Eliza’s great-grandfather, Marmaduke (an Anglo-Saxon name meaning “a mighty noble”) Earle (1696-1765), the third son of Edward, Jr., and Elsje, was born in Secaucus. He married his brother Enoch’s wife’s sister, Rebecca William Morris (1696-c.1772), daughter of William Morris and Rebecca Anderson, circa 1721. Some time around 1730, Marmaduke moved his family to New York City. By 1738, he was thoroughly established in New York. In the Memorial History of the City of New York,Volume II (1892), he is listed as being admitted in that year as a “freemen” (a person entitled to political and civil rights, including the right to vote). Marmaduke and Rebecca had six children. Nothing else is know about Marmaduke’s life or death, except that he left his entire estate to one son, Morris Earle, who was a hat maker, and with whom Marmaduke eventually lived.
Edward Earle Marries an Elsworth
Very little is known about Edward Earle (1723-1780), Marmaduke and Rebecca’s son and Eliza’s grandfather, aside from the fact that he was born in Secaucus. Let us direct our attention to the ancestry of his wife, Eleanor Elsworth (1727-1760), Eliza Tredwell’s grandmother, whom he married on December 5, 1745, at the Dutch Reformed Church in New York City, and with whom he had six children.
Theophilus Elsworth, Mariner
Theophilus Elsworth (c.1625-1706), Eliza Tredwell’s great-great-great grandfather, was a mariner and boat builder who was originally from Bristol, England, and who in 1652 emigrated to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam via Amsterdam. Theophilus arrived six years after Petrus Stuyvesant (1610-1672) became Director-General of the colony, which was governed by the West India Company. Stuyvesant had spent those years whipping New Amsterdam into shape by enacting many ordinances that imposed order and sanitation; he also created a municipal market to boost the town’s economy. New Amsterdam was taken by the British in 1664 and renamed New York.
While in Amsterdam, Theophilus had married Annette Janse (1623-c.1695). In New Amsterdam, they lived in what was then known as “Smits Valley” (or Vly), located on the East River between Wall Street and Maiden Lane. Theophilus and Annette had eight children.
William and Theophilus Elsworth, Shipwrights
Eliza’s great-great grandfather, Willem “William” Elsworth (1670-1723), son of Theophilus and Annette, married Pietrenella Romme (1670-1735) in New York in 1694. Their eldest son, also named Theophilus Elsworth (1694-1760), Eliza’s great-grandfather, was a shipwright like his father (according to their wills). He married Johanna Hardenbroeck (1695-after 1751) in 1716, and had six children; his third child, Eleanor Elsworth, who became the wife of Edward Earle, inherited 50 pounds sterling upon her father’s death.
Children of Edward Earle and Eleanor Elsworth
Despite Reverend Isaac Newton Earle’s assertion in “History and Genealogy of the Earles of Secausus” (1924) that “We are not able to trace the descendants of Edward any further,” we did find that Edward Earle and Eleanor Elsworth had six children. Their oldest child, Johanna, died in infancy in 1746. Hannah (1748-1829), married George Fisher, and lived in New York City near her sisters before moving to Montezuma, New York. Eleanor (1753-1837), was married to Thomas Laurence on September 19, 1779. Little is known about their next two children, Rebecca (born 1750), and Joseph (born 1756).
Mary Earle, Eliza Tredwell’s Mother
Mary Earle (1763-1839), Edward and Eleanor’s last child and the mother of Eliza Tredwell, was born in New York City. Little is known of her early life; of paramount importance to us is that on September 19, 1779, in a double wedding with her sister Eleanor at St. Paul’s Chapel, she married William Parker, Eliza’s father. She was 17 years old.
No doubt Eliza Tredwell was proud of her Dutch ancestors, for her youngest child, Gertrude Tredwell, was given the middle name Ellsworth (spelled with two Ls, the name having changed over the years).
Part Two of this post will focus on the story of Mary and William Parker, including recent discoveries about the life of Eliza’s father.
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