My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Jan Martense Schenck House - More Genealogy

I haven't shared a lot of genealogy information lately because I've been bogged down about a millennium ago (not joking) and the anecdotal information from that far ago is 1) rare as hen's teeth and  2) not that interesting (to me and therefore, I assume, to you). 

However... I decided to fill in some blanks of more recent and relevant (to me) branches of the family tree and found another old ancestral home in, of all places, the Brooklyn Museum. Or, as my 9th great-grandfather called it, "Breuckelen".  And nothing cracks me up more than the irony of a Southern Belle being more Yankee than Reb, so I thought I'd share this little tidbit of family history. 

According to the Brooklyn Museum website

The Jan Martense Schenck House represents the oldest architecture in the Museum's period room collection. It is also the most complex of the period rooms in terms of reconstruction and interpretation.The house is a simple two-room structure with a central chimney. Its framework is composed of a dozen heavy so-called H-bents, visible on the interior of the house, that resemble goal posts with diagonal braces. This is an ancient northern European method of construction that contrasts with the boxlike house frames that evolved in England. The house had a high-pitched roof that created a large loft for storage. The roof was covered with shingles, and the exterior walls were clad with horizontal wood clapboard siding. A section of the clapboard has been removed at one corner to expose a reconstruction of the brick nogging used as insulation. The interior walls were stuccoed between the upright supports of the H-bents.
A kitchen was added at a right angle to the house probably in the late 1790s. In the early nineteenth century a porch with four columns was also added. Finally, sometime about 1900, dormer windows were installed above the porch. The interior of the house was also changed. The large central chimney was removed, probably about the same time as the kitchen wing was added and new chimneys and fireplaces were built on the outer walls. Old photographs of the interior of the house on site in Flatlands show it with early twentieth-century wallpapers and an assortment of nineteenth-century furniture, all of which was discarded when the house came to the Museum.
Now, old Jan Martense is the brother of my 9x great-grandfather. Family tradition holds that Jan and Grandpa Roelof shared interest in a gristmill that was near the location of the home, which was described in a guide to NYC from 1939 as being on Avenue U between East 63rd and 64th streets. The home was in the family for about three generations. 

During the American Revolution the home was occupied by British Major Thomas Moncrief. An American raiding party that included Capt. John Schenck kidnapped Major Moncrief and carried him back to New Jersey. Capt. Schenck was familiar with the area because it was formerly owned by a "close relative". His father's name was Garret Roelofse Schenck, same as my 8x great-grandfather but the two Garret Roelofse were born about 40 years apart. I believe Captain John was a distant cousin. 

Even this particular twig of the family tree is more Jersey than Brooklyn, having relocated there prior to 1700, but all of that is still way farther north of the Mason-Dixon Line than I had perceived. Anyways... here's how we got from Brooklyn to Atlanta:

Roelof Martense Schenck (1619 - 1704)
is your 9th great grandfather
Son of Roelof Martense
Daughter of Garret Roelofse
Daughter of Rachel
Son of Elizabeth
Daughter of Jonathan
Son of Hannah
Daughter of John
Son of Mary Hannah
Son of Theodore Stogden
Son of Bruce Bronson
Daughter of James Edward