[This section is a work
in progress. There may be genealogical errors. It is not meant to be a
complete Smith Family Tree, rather portions relevant to the History of
Rockleigh Borough. Corrections or clarifications are welcome:
If you arrived here by web search, you likely have a keen interest in the Besly/Beselie/Beasley Family.
This section has yet to be appended to the Beasley Family page on
There are serious problems finding appropriate primary sources and there may be genealogical errors. Some of the conclusions presented are based on circumstantial or deductive evidence. While perhaps likely, they need to be considered at this time as hypothetical.
This is not meant to be a complete Beasley Family Tree, rather those portions relevant to the History of Rockleigh Borough, NJ.
Corrections or clarifications are welcome: email@example.com]
Much of the
Beasley Family presented here has been provided
courtesy of Beasley descendents and researchers:
EW April, 3/2005
Possible Origins of the Beasley Family
Persecution of the Huguenots in France during the seventeenth century.
1i. Etienne Besly/Beselie (c.1645, St. Etienne d'Ars, Isle de Re, France -?), "merchant of LaRochelle", possible son of Jean Besly & Louise Sauton, married Elizabeth de Cruzeau, and had sons Jean, Etienne, and daughters Marianne and Elizabeth, twins, (only Elizabeth surviving), and another daughter Marianne the next year.* He emigrated in 1681 with presumed brother, Jean, to New York. However, no solid evidence has been found to place Etienne in NewYork or New Rochelle, NY.**
Personal communications of Sharilyn Whitaker from communications and
1ii. Jean/John Besly/Beselie (c.1645, Rochelle, France <1689, Croton Point, NY), a fugitive Huguenot from the Isle de Re, two miles off the coast of Rochelle, France, possible, but unproven, son of Jean Besly & Louise Sauton, [Alternatively, it has been postulated that Jean was brother of Oliver Besly of Isle de Re.] With presumed brother or cousin, Etienne (c.1650), he emigrated to New York in 1681.
Jean married c.1670 Grace (Grees) Cerant of/or Heering, presumably of French birth. Because no record of this marriage can be found in the early New York church records, it is likely that they were married before they embarked for America. Upon arrival, they moved north along the Hudson and settled "among the aborigines" near Croton Point, just north of the Croton river.*
* John Williams,
Jean/John and Grace had two sons and a daughter before John died in 1689:
Widow Grace (Grees) married on 19 Feb 1689, at Croton Point by permission, bachelor Robert Willemszen/Williams of "Old England", the first inhabitant of Croton Point. William, accepting Jan and Francis, moved the family moved across the Croton River to a leasehold of Philipsburgh Manor.
Robert & Grace had four children which were:
* Grenville C MacKenzie: Families of the Colonial Town of Philipsburgh,
Westchester County, NY. Vol I.
Out of convenience, Huguenots gravitated to the Reformed Dutch branch of Protestantism which shared the same Calvinist ideology as the Reformed French Church. Francis Beselie was baptized at the closest RDC which happened to be the newly established RDC at Tappan - a springtime boat ride across the Hudson.
* Baptism Record of
the Tappan Reformed Dutch Church,
2 i.Jan "John" Beselie/Beesly (c.1684-?), son of Jean/John Beselie & Grace Cerant, m. c.1707* Annetji "Antie" Hercksen/Syboutsen (bp.19 Mar 1684 -?), dau of Hercx/Herckse Sybouts (b.1644) & Marytje Rycken Van Lent Ecker (b.1649) of the "Poor Bowery", Newtown, NY.
The membership roles of the Philipsburgh Manor (Sleepy Hollow) RDC (1697-1778) show Antje Sybout, wife of Jan Beesly, a member from Cortland Manor.
*Jan and Jannetji
Beesly were listed on 16 Jun 1707
Children Jan Beselie & Annetji Syboutsen included:
* Baptism Record of
the Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown DRC
2 ii. Francis "Frank" Beselie/Beesly (c.1686, bpt. 1 Jun 1695 at RDC Tappan, NY*, - >1750), son of Jean/John Beselie & Grace Cerant, m. c.1709 Hilletje Sybout/Syboutsen/ Hercksen-Cranckheit (30 Apr 1693 - >1750), likely daughter of Hwecx/Herckse Sybouts & Maritje Ryken/Lent., of "Poor Bowery", Newtown, NY. Some time between 1711 and 1714 Francis Beselie settled his family on a leasehold in Ossining, just north of that of his mother, Grace, and step-father, Robert Williams.**
*Reformed Dutch Church, Tappan, NY, established in 1694
Both Francis and Hilletje were living at Ossining in 1750 and had children:
* Baptism Record of
the Tarrytown Reformed Dutch Church,
3 iv. John/Jan Beselie (Beeslie) (bp. 24 Jun 1718, Ossining -<1790), son of Francis Beselie & Hilletje Sybouts-Cranckheit, wed Helena "Lena" Conklin (1716-?), daughter of John Conklin (son of John Conklin "of Flushing and Rye") & 2nd wife Lydia -?-.
John and Lena resided in Ossining where they had children:
* Baptism Record of
the Tarrytown Reformed Dutch Church,
John, a Loyalist, was arrested in 1775 and his property in Ossining was confiscated. In 1785 he was living in Brooklyn., but seems to have died before the 1790 Federal census.
Grenville C MacKenzie: Families of the Colonial Town of Philipsburgh,
3 vii. Abram/Abraham Beselie (bp.24 Oct 1724, Tarrytown -1777), son of Francis Beselie & Hilletje Sybouts-Cranckheit, wed on 18 Jan 1747 at the Tarrytown RDC Catherine Luer (c.1748, Hooghduytsland -<1810) and settled in Philipsburgh.
Children of Abraham & Hilletje Syboutsen include:
In the second half of the 16th century, most of the Philipsburgh Beselies were Loyalists. Abraham was a scout for Gen. Burgoyne's troops in the Hudson Valley. At the time that the British troops were escaping or surrendering in the vicinity of Saratoga, Abraham contracted small pox and died. Several Philipsburgh Beselies moved to Brooklyn.*
On 15 July 1783 Catherine fled to New York City and on 24 September 1783 embarked for Annapolis, NS, with two of her sons, Francis and William, on a ship mastered by Abraham's brother, James.
Her claim for assistance was rejected by the Crown. The hardships in Annapolis were more than she could endure. She returned to New York, accompanied by Francis and William, on the vessel "Peggy", again mastered by James Beselie. They settled in Brooklyn to rebuild their lives, living, it appears from the 1790 census, in the household of her son, William and his wife, no children. The 1800 census shows William (under 45), and suggests his wife and mother (both over 46), a daughter and a son both under ten. The 1810 census indicates the absence of William and his mother, but his widow and two daughters are listed.
4 iv. Francis Beselie/Baisley/Baseley (c.1754->1820), son of Abraham Beselie & Catherine Luer. Francis is listed 20 Jan 1783 on the Muster Roll of Capt. Caleb Fowler's Company of the Loyal American Regiment. In 1784, he was living in Annapolis, NS. By 1787, Francis had returned to Brooklyn. He appears to have married by 1790, his wife's name unknown [Sarah Ann Leonard of Annapolis, NS, is a possibility]. He appears in the 1790-1820 Brooklyn census enumerations (see below).
The approximate ages of Francis (b.<1755), his wife (bet.1755/8) and children can be determined reasonably by the jumps in the age brackets in each ten-year census.
Analysis of consecutive census enumerations reveals four probable sons of Francis Baseley. Three of the four male children are identifiable as:
5 i. Abraham Baseley (b.<1795, d.<1830), identified as a probable son of Frances Beselie/Baisley (b. c1754). In the census 1800 and 1810, Abraham seems to be counted in the household of his father, Francis. In 1820, he is listed in his own household with a family. He seems to have died by the 1830 census. His widow seems to have died before the 1840 census. Is is plausible that one of his orphaned daughters, Elizabeth Beasley, (1818-1900) would be taken into the household of her uncle, Leonard Baysley, and later marry Abner Conklin of Palisades, NY.
5 iii. Leonard (Baisley, Beasley, Beselie) Baysley (c.1792 - 3 Jun 1843, Brooklyn, re-interred on 14 Aug 1868 in Green-Wood Cem, Brooklyn, NY*), identified as probable youngest son of Frances Beselie/Baisley (b. c.1754), was a marketman from "Long Island." Leonard married on 18 Dec 1816 at Tappan RDC Elizabeth Snidon [sic] (10 Oct 1798, Rockland, NJ -?) daughter of 2nd Samuel Sneden & Elizabeth Gesner-Conklin. [see Sneden Family]
* Record of Marriages, RDC, Tappan, NY
In the post-Revolutionary period, ? Basiley and Samuel Sneaden had built houses on portions of adjacent estates close by the East River in Green Point section of Bushwick.
Leonard and Elizabeth raised the following children:
* Headstone, The Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
Summer View of
Winter Scene in Brooklyn
PRO: 17 Nov 1843, pp 389-395.
In the fall of 1843, a few months after the death of Leonard, Elizabeth and her younger unmarried children (Leonard, Jacob, and Samuel) moved to Closter road, Palisades, NY, to reside in a dwelling on the John Willsey farm (her second cousin) which would subsequently become the Bolting House (no longer standing, but just north of her g-uncle, Nicholas Gesner). This was just across the state line from her daughter Elizabeth Conklin and her husband, Abner, who were living with or next to her parents, Samuel Sneden, Jr, & Elizabeth Conklin, in Harrington Twp, NJ.
In the 1850 census [NY, Rockland Co, Orangetown, page 202] lists Elizabeth Beasley (52) as head of household with Samuel Beasley (19).
Elizabeth married secondly in Dec 1853 at Tappan RDC to Daniel Duryea (5 Nov 1804 - bef.1858) of Orangetown. In 1858 Elizabeth was described as a widow residing in Brooklyn. Most of the Beasley family were interred in the Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.
6iv. Elizabeth Beasley (17 July 1818, Brooklyn - 15 Feb 1900, int. Rockland Cem, Sparkill, NY), likely orphaned daughter of Abraham Beasley & Mary -?- and "adopted" by Leonard Baysley & Elizabeth Sneden. Elizabeth wed c.1839 Abner Conklin (8 Aug 1815 - 25 Dec 1897, int. Rockland Cem, Sparkill, NY), a builder of "British-style" houses and son of Mathias Conklin & poss. Marytje Wagel of Tappan, NY. Abner served in the Civil War.
Abner Conklin and Elizabeth Beasley had two children:
The 1840 Federal census lists Abner Conklin and his wife (likely Elizabeth Beasley, with no children) living adjacent to Samuel Sneden - Elizabeth's step grandfather.
About 1850, Abner bought a parcel of land in Palisades (78 Closer Road) from Maria Lawrence and built a hip-roofed, timber-framed, clapboard-sided house in the Greek Revival style. Conklin family heirs lived in the Conklin House in Palisades, NY, well into the 20th century.
Baptized 16 Sep 1844 by Rev F. Lummis
at Palisades M.E. Methodist Church
The 1850 Federal Census, Harrington Township, Bergen Co, NJ, lists Abner Conklin (28, carpenter), Elizabeth (wife, 28), Emeline (9), Elizabeth (7). They are living between Joseph DuBous and Jacob Sneden on Snedens Landing Road.
In the 1860 Federal Census, Rockland County, Orangetown (Nyack P.O.) Abner Conklin is listed as age 48, house carpenter, with wife Elizabeth, 40; and daughter Elizabeth, 17.
In the 1880 Federal Census for Rockland County, N.Y., Orangetown (House 19, Family 20), Abner Conklin is listed as age 60, carpenter, with his wife Elizabeth (60); daughter Elizabeth, age (36, dressmaker); son-in-law David Powles (37, carpenter); and Elizabeth's & David's son, Edwin Powles, age (9). Abner Conklin was the Census enumerator for Orangetown in 1880.***
1850 Federal Census, Harrington Township, Bergen Co, N page 285 [Image
7ii. Elizabeth Sneden Conklin (8 Aug 1843, NJ*-?), dau of Abner Conklin & Elizabeth Beasley wed 24 Nov 1864 David Powles (1842/43, NJ - ?) of Harrington Twp, NJ, who served as a Private "With Distinction" between 1862-1863 in the 22nd NJ Infantry. The family lived with Abner & Elizabeth Conklin on Closter Road in Palisades, NY.
Edwin Powles (c.1871, NJ-?), Storage Manager, m. Martha -?-
(1881, NJ-?) and resided on Berkley Place, Brooklyn.
2ii. Sarah Ann Beasley (28 Nov 1820, Brooklyn - 7 Sep 1902 [int.10 Sep 1902, Lot 17867, Green-Wood Cem., Brooklyn]), dau. of Leonard Baysley & Elizabeth Sneden, m. in 1843 Cornelius G. Stoothoff (bp. 8 May 1821, Flatlands, NY - 20 Jun 1896, int. 23 Jun 1896, Lot 17867 Green-Wood Cem., Brooklyn), Ferry fare collector, son of Garret C. Stoothoff (1797, Flatlands -1845) & Jane Duryea (1796-?), resided 1880* and 1896 at 234 Clermont Ave, Brooklyn.
Daughter: Eliza Jane (1850-1928).
3i. Eliza Jane "Lydia" Stoothoff (c.1850* - int. 8 Nov 1928, Lot 17867 Green-Wood Cem., Brooklyn), daughter of Sarah Ann Beasley & Cornelius G. Stoothoff, m. 29 Nov 1870 Edward W. Loder (1849-?), dry goods man, and resided with her parents in 1800 and 1896 at 234 Clermont Ave, Brooklyn.*
* 1880 US Census, New
York, Kings, Brooklyn, Dist 199 , Page 22 (Image 22)
2iii. Leonard Beasley, Jr (25 Jun 1823, Brooklyn - 22 Feb 1887), son of Leonard Baysley & Elizabeth Sneden, NYC Policeman, m. on 24 May 1849 Ann Eliza Roe (20 Jul 1827 - 21 Aug 1909) dau. of Samuel Rider Roe & Sarah Messinger/Messenger and lived in Brooklyn, NY.
The 1870 Federal Census for NY, Kings Co, Brooklyn lists Leonard Beasley (47, late police), Ann E (43), Leonard (20, store clerk), Anne E (18), Cyrus (12), Sarah (8), Frank (6), John (3).*
The 1880 Federal Census lists on Van Buren Street: Leonard Beasley (57, Carpenter), Ann E. (53 , wife, keeping home), Cyrus (21, Clerk in ?? Fac.), Sarah R. (18), Frank (13, Help in Brokers Office), John (13, At school).**
* 1870 US Census, New
York, Kings, Brooklyn...
2v. Samuel Beasley (13 Aug 1830* - 7 Jul 1911, int. Rockland Cem., Sparkill, NY), son of Leonard Baysley & Elizabeth Sneden, moved from Palisades to Brooklyn with his mother and remained there at least until 1862 when his uncle, Jacob Sneden, died.
On 23 September 1862, his mother, Elizabeth Beasley, sold to Samuel for $800 her share of the Conklin-Sneden house and farm of 23 acres. On 28 October 1862, his uncle Samuel S. Sneden sold the remaining half of the house and his 24 acres to Samuel. By 1867 Samuel had returned to the family home (Conklin-Sneden House) with his wife, Sarah A. Matthews (Feb 1839, Brooklyn, NY- 28 Apr 1923, of cerebral hemorrhage, int. Rockland Cem, Sparkill, NY) and three children.
Samuel and Sarah had five children*:
*1880 Census, Harrington Township, NJ, p30.
His presence in Rockland, NJ, is indicated by the census of 1870 and the Walker map of 1876. While listed as Farmer, Samuel appears to have established Beasley's General Store in Norwood on the south side of Central Avenue, just west of the Erie RR Line. Samuel established a cider mill (Samuel Beasley's Cider Mill) on the property.
* From the
Handwritten notes of Newt Sneden, 1973.
Samuel Beasley also sold portions of the 47-acre farm, primarily north of Willow Road, so that by 1878 it had been reduced to 16 acres.*
*Reginald McMahon: "A History of the Jacob Conklin House, Rockleigh,
The 1880 census lists Samuel Beasley (House 265; Family 272, Harrington Township; his occupation- Farmer)*. The Beers map of 1891 indicates his continued residence. On 7 July 1902, Samuel and Sarah sold the Conklin-Sneden house and moved to Hackensack.** Samuel was the last of the Conklin descendents to live in the old Conklin-Sneden homestead.
*1880 Census, Harrington Township, NJ, p30.
3iii. George W. Beasley (1867*, Rockleigh, NJ - 15 Jan 1932 of gall bladder & liver disease, int. Rockland Cem, Sparkill, NY), lived in 1911 at Bayonne, NJ, wed Amy J. -?- (25 Nov 1874 - 17 Dec 1941 of cerebral embolus, Rockland Cem., Sparkill, NY).
He was listed in the 1920 census*** (age 53) as living at 210 High Ave, Nyack, NY, with wife, Amy J., and proprietor of a bus line.*
* [While Samuel W. is often listed as operator of a bus line in Nyack,
the 1920 census lists George W. as proprietor].
4 v. William Beselie (c.1758 - <1810), son of Abraham Beselie & Catherine Luer, returned from Annapolis, NS, by 1787 with his mother, Catherine, and brother, Francis. By 1790 he had married either Mary --?-- and established a household in Brooklyn with his mother, Catherine, apparently in residence. By 1800 he had young children and appears to have either died before the 1810 census wherein his household appears to be listed under Mary Baisley, Widow. [Alternatively, he may have m. 2nd in NYC Sarah Pelton (28 Oct 1768, NYC - 14 Dec 1857, East Fishkill, NY) of Brooklyn, wid. of Charles Adams and daughter of Phillip Pelton & Jame Van Nostrand of Queens and, after 1810, moved back up the Hudson to East Fishkill, NY.]
4 vi. John Beselie/Basily (bp.1760- <1820), son of Abraham Beselie & Catherine Luer, did not flee to Nova Scotia; instead, he settled in Brooklyn. He is listed on the 16 January 1783 Muster Roll of the Colonel Beverly Robinson's Company of the Loyal American Regiment as taken prisoner 16 July 1779. He was likely repatriated and, subsequently, he appears in the census enumerations of 1790 - 1810.
Two of the three male children are identifiable as: