Monthly Archives: October 2014

History of JAY family in Manhattan

Part of our early JAY New York City history is the small area we lived in and how inter dependent we were of each other. It tracks the changes that happened on Manhattan Island as it grew from a small DUTCH colony to the huge American city of today. It also shows the relationships between the Jay, Styuvesant, Bayard, Clarkson, Van Courtlandt, Livingston, and de Peyster families and how marriages resulted in property changes.

AUGUSTUS JAY was the first Jay to come to this country, escaping Religious persecution in France. He first arrived in Charleston South Carolina and moved North settling in the DUTCH colony of what was then New Amsterdam. He was able to work under the wealthy Philipse family as a trader. In 1697 he married ANNA Maricka BAYARD. Her grandmother was Anna Styuvesant BAYARD, the sister of the then Governor Peter STYUVESANT. This was a very good marriage for Augustus!

In 1720 Auguste Jay obtained property in lower Manhatten on Broad St and Stone St. I believe from the BAYARD family. This was East of Broadway, below Wall St and South of Trinity Church. He lived there with his wife and children and I believe died there. His wife died a few years before him. I believe they both were buried in the Styuvesant Orchard near St Mark’s in the Bowery.

The name of Augustus occurs frequently in the city records, and some lots bought by him in 1712, on the northwest corner of Broad and Stone streets, are still held in the family. Here he erected a large two-story dwelling-house, with a front of Holland brick, with a courtyard paved with Bristol stones, and there he resided until his death, in 1780.

Peter Styuvesant who arrived as Dutch Governor in 1645 lived in the Governors Mansion near the tip of Manhattan. In 1651 he purchased the large tract of land above the Dutch colony for a farm that has become the Bowery of today. He built a house on what is now 11th Street between 2nd and 3rd Ave and built a chapel there. Under this he was buried and it was the start of the Styuvesant Vault. This became St Mark’s Church in the Bowerie, the oldest Episcopal Church in the City and still very active as part of the East Village.

Our connection to the Bowerie was through Peter Styuvesant’s sister ANNA who had come with her three children from Holland in 1647 to be near her brother after her first husband SAMUEL BAYARD had died in Holland. Her son Balthazar married Marietje Lookermans, also of a distinguished merchant family, and their daughter ANNA Maria married Augustus Jay.

This Bayard Styuvesant connection explains why the JAY Family vault was in the cemetery part of the Styuvesant Orchard, not at Trinity Church. ANNA Styuvesant BAYARD was buried with her brother and probably Baltahzar and Marietje BAYARD in the Styuvesant vault. ANNA Maria and AUGUSTUS Jay were probably the first to be buried in the Jay Vault.

AUGUSTUS and Ann Marie son PETER lived and worked in New York and was brought up in the house on Broad and Stone Street. He became a successful trader and married Mary Van COURTLANDT in 1728. This was also a very fortunate marriage. Mary Van COURTLANDT ‘s father was Mayor of the City, Jacobus Van CORTLANDT who was a descendant of Oloaf Van Courtland and the start of Van COURTLANDT Manor. His wife was Edie Philps DeVries, whose mother, Margaret Hardeboeck was the RICHEST woman in the colonies and a very active trader and purchaser of land.

From this marriage Van COURTLANDT land would add to the Jay property. Peter Jay was given the Dock Ward by the Van Courtlandt which is now 64 Pearl Street. Land in Bedford would later come to John Jay. (26 Pearl st would be owned by Gen Matthew Clarkson.)

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