March 8, 2019

Meet the Tredwells: The Ancestry of Eliza Tredwell, Part 1

by Ann Haddad

Eliza Tredwell's Ancestry (click to enlarge)

Eliza Tredwell’s Ancestry (click to enlarge)

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

Home of Edward Earle, Jr., Secaucus, New Jersey. from The Earles of Secaucus.

Home of Edward Earle, Jr., Secaucus, New Jersey. from The Earles of Secaucus.

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’s Birth and Baptism Record. U.S. Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1639-1989.

Marmaduke Earle’s Birth and Baptism Record. U.S. Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1639-1989.

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.

T. Smit’s Valley in Early Times. Valentine’s Manuel, 1861. Collection of the Boston Athenaeum.

T. Smit’s Valley in Early Times. Valentine’s Manuel, 1861. Collection of the Boston Athenaeum.

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.

Nieuw Amsterdam, 1673.

Nieuw Amsterdam, 1673, when the Dutch briefly recaptured the island.

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.

Marriage Record of Edward Earle and Eleanor Elsworth (marked in red), 1745, Dutch Reformed Church.

Marriage Record of Edward Earle and Eleanor Elsworth (marked in red), 1745, Dutch Reformed Church.

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.


  • 1790 and 1800 United States Federal Census. [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Accessed 3/11/16.
  • History of Secaucus, New Jersey in Commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of its independence emphasizing its earlier development, 1900-1950. Secausus, N.J.: Secausus Home News, c1950. [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Operations, Inc., 2005.
  • Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930 [database-on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.
  • New York County, New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1658-1880 (NYSA) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA; Operations, Inc., 2015. Accessed 2/11/19.
  • New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Accessed 2/11/19.
  • United States Dutch Reformed Church Records from Selected States, 1660-1926. [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc. 2014. Accessed 3/11/16.
  • Burrows, Edwin G. and Mike Wallace. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New York: oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Earle, Rev. Isaac Newton.  History and Genealogy of the Earles of Secaucus. Marquette, Mich., Guelff Printing Company, [1924]. Accessed 6/6/16.
  • Longworth’s American Almanac, New York Register, and City Directory. New York: Thomas Longworth, [1798-1840].
  • Roberts, Norma. Theophilus Ellsworth and Descendents.  Accessed 2/11/19.
  • St. George’s Episcopal Church Archives. New York, NY. Record of St. George’s Church/Baptisms 1809-1830/Marriages 1816-1837.
  • Trinity Church. Trinity Church Records of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials. Accessed 3/16/16.
  • Wilson, James Grant, ed. The Memorial History of the City of New York: From Its First Settlement to the Year 1892 Volume II. New York: New-York History Company, 1892. Accessed 2/11/19.
  • Mary Knapp says:

    Fantastic, Annie! It is so impressive and important that we have this information available. It really enhances the Merchant’s House as a historic document. While genealogical research such as this sometimes makes one’s eyes glaze over–it is so important. This required major digging and you are to be congratulated. Now we know why Gertrude’s middle name was Ellsworth!
    I can’t wait to learn about the mysterious father of Eliza.

    • Ann Haddad says:

      Thank you, Mary. My eyes did glaze over as I was researching and writing! Hard to keep it all straight. But you’re absolutely correct – it is for the historical record that we confirm the information and make it available.

  • John Phillips says:

    You have the daughter of Theophilus and Johanna Hardenbroek who married Edward Earle as Eleanor. Her baptised name was Neeltje which actually becomes Penelope, and it is Penelope who is mentioned in Theophilus’s will. She may have been known as Eleanor in the family but please save confusion and make it clear who she actually was. Also, Theophilus senior actually died in late 1712 not 1706. Thank you.

    WILL [WNYHS VI:23.] LIBER 22 page 301.
    In the name of God Amen. I Theophilus Ellsworth, of New York, Shipwright. I leave to my son William £5 as a bar to all claims as eldest son. I leave all the rest of my real and personal estate to my wife Johana for life, for her support and maintenance. My executors are to sell all my real estate, also the moveable estate. From the money I give to my daughter Penelope, wife of Edward Earle, £50, to be put at interest during the life of her husband, and the interest to be paid to her, if she survives her husband, then she is to have the £50. Of the remainder, I leave to my sons, William, John and Theophilus, and my daughter Ann, each 1/5, and 1/5 to my grandchildren, Jeremiah, Theophilus and Jane, the children of my late daughter Jane, wife of Jeremiah Brower. I make my wife and my sons and daughter Ann executors. Witnesses, Christopher Fell, Abraham Alner, Simon Johnson. Dated 18 February 1759. Proved Dec 24 1760.

    • Ann Haddad says:

      Thank you for your comment. I used the name Eleanor when referring to Edward Earle’s wife as that appears to be the name she was known as. I will certainly add Penelope and Neeltje to her given name.

      With regard to the year of death of Theophilus Ellsworth, Sr, my source states 1706. Please provide your source for 1712 and I will investigate.

      It is wonderful to find another connection to Eliza Earle Parker, the wife of Seabury Tredwell. I would love to learn more about your ancestry and how you are related! Thank you!

  • G. Earle says:

    To Ann Haddad or anyone else:

    I am a direct descendant of Michael (or possibly “Magiel Eerl”) Earle. He was a Loyalist who left New York in 1783 on the ship “Montague” for Saint John, New Brunswick. My 3rd cousin once removed in New Brunswick, Verna Earle Urquhart, wrote a book called “Descendants of Michael Earle 1760 – 2014”. But we cannot trace anything back to before Michael left on the “Montague”.

    The MyHeritage site keeps offering to link me to trees maintained by other people that claim that Michael/Magiel is a descendant of Edward Earle & Eleanor Elsworth, as mentioned in this article.

    But the only information I can find about Michael/Magiel is that he was the son of Lawrence Earle (a.k.a. Louwerens Eerl) and Annie Moore (a.k.a. Annaetje Moor). He is supposedly descended from Edward Earle Sr. -> Edward Earle Jr. -> Enoch Earle -> Lawrence/Louwerens. (Boy, all these Dutch spellings are confusing.) He and Annie supposedly had 3 children, Magiel (Michael), Seeretje (Sarah?) and Annaetjen (Annie) in the 1760’s.

    Does this family tie in with the Edward & Eleanor family at all?

    You mention that Edward & Eleanor had 6 children – but only 5 of them are mentioned here. Who is the 6th child?


    G. Earle

    • Ann Haddad says:


      Thank you for your comment. I believe Enoch was the brother of Marmaduke, son of Edward Earle, Jr. and Eliza Tredwell’s great-grandfather. So yes this branch of the Earle family was distantly related to the Tredwell’s of Fourth Street.

  • John Phillips says:

    Hi Ann

    Apologies. This reply got lost in the melee!

    Theophilus’s will was proved by his son Clement his administrator on 13 January 1712/3 [New York Inventories and Accounts 1666-1772 for Theophilus Elsworth. Box 03,1700-1768 (A-E).] Inventory dated 12 December 1712 so death before that date inferred. Information ex Ancestry

    Best wishes


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