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Jacob Leendertsen Vandergrift 1622-1697

Frances Matilda Van der Grift - Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson

The Artillery Officer: George Whitecar - by Kathleen M. Smith

Lucinda Vandergriffe Holt

Christopher Vandergriff

Paulus Leendertszen Van Der Grist(Van DerGrift)

Augustine Herman

Joseph Vandergrift/Vandegrift

William J. Vandegrift

Leonard Vandegrift (b. 1805)


Paulus Leendertsz Van Der Grist(Van Der Grift)

In Service of the Dutch West India Company

28 July 1646

Peter Stuyvesant was commissioned as Director General of New Netherland, and served in this capacity until 6 September 1664 when New Netherland was taken over by the English. It is under his direction that Paulus served in the following positions, which are just a fraction of the responsibilities Paulus assumed while in the service of the Dutch West India Company.

Roy Master, or City Surveyor

27 July 1647 Paulus Leendertsz Van Der Grist


5 Mar 1649 To investigate the charges against Adriaen van der Donck: Paulus Leendertsz Van Der Grist Adriaen d'Keyser*


2 Feb 1853 Paulus served as a Shepen along with Allard Anthony**, who was sent to Holland at the last of June to obtain aid against the English who were threatening to invade New Netherland.

Orphan Masters

          25 Feb 1656 Paulus Leendertsen van der Grist


Augustine Herman

Augustine Herman came to New Amsterdam in the employ of the Dutch West India Company.In 1633 he was on the Council of Nine. In 1659, governor Peter Stuyvesant sent the Commissioners Resolved (Roosevelt) Waldron and Augustine Herman to Maryland to confer with officers of Lord Baltimore. The two Commissioners found a flaw in Lord Baltimore's grand, and Herman settled a tract of land north of the Bohemia River, and this land was called Bohemia Manor, from the name of his native country.

By making an excellent map of the region, Herman gained favor with the Proprietor of Maryland, and received grants of land totalling more than 15,000 acres, some of his land extending to the Delaware River Bay. Augustine built a manor house on the estate in Bohemia Manor, near what was to become the residence of the Bayard family who later purchased Bohemia Manor. He settled his sons Ephraim and Casparus at Reedy Island Neck, on the bay, and in 1682 Ephraim was a magistrate at New Castle.

Augustine married 10 Dec 1651, as his first wife, Jannetje Varlett, who was born in Ultrecht, the daughter of Casper and Judith Varleth of New Amsterdam. She died before 1666. His 2nd wife was Christian/Catherine Ward, who led him an unhappy life. She had several husbands after his death. Jannetje's brother, Nicholas Varlett, married Ann Stuyvesant Bayard, a widow. Jannetje's sister Ann, married George Hock.

In 1671, those of New Castle and Augustine Herman each agreed to clear 1/2 of a cart road between New Castle and Bohemia Manor. In 1661, Herman of Bohemia Manor predicted the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in a letter to Vice Director Beekman of the Dutch Settlements on the Delaware. Among Herman's grants of land from the Calvert's was one which he called St. Augustine Manor. Augustine Beach Delaware, locally called "The Piers", was named for him. Herman was the most important man of his day in Eastern Shore Maryland.

His great grandson, Richard Bassett (1745-1815) owned Bohemia Manor in his time, and was governor of Delaware, as well as US Circuit Justice. His daughter Ann Bassett married James A. Bayard (1767-1815). Samuel Bayard III, married 1778, Mrs. Ann Laurencesen, daughter of Nicholas Vandergrift. (See notes) Augustine Herman and his 1st wife had five known children:

(1) Ephraim Georgius (bap. 1 Sep 1652-d.1689). He married 10 Aug 1679, Elizabeth Van Rodenburg, daughter of the Governor of Curacao. Ephraim and Elizabeth had a son, Augustinus (bap. 7 Jul 1680), who died young.

(2) Casparus (bap 2 Jan 1655-d. 1705). He took possession of Bohemia Manor about 1690. Casparus married (1) Susannah Huyberts, (2)Anna Reyniers (23 Aug 1682), (3) Katherine Williams (31 Aug 1696). Casparus had children: Susanna, who married James Creager of Delaware; Augustinea, who married Roger Larramore; Catherine, who married Abel van Burkelow; Ephraim Augustine, who married (1) Isobella Trent, (2) Araminta Veazey. Ephraim had a son, Ephraim Augustus, who died a minor, the last male of the Herman line.

(3) Anna Margaretta (bap. 10 Mar 1658), who married about 1680, Matthia van der Heyden of Albany, New York. They had children: ariana, who married ca. 1713 James Frisby; Anna Francina, married (1) Edward Shippen, (2)_____Hyson; Augustina, who married James Harris.

(4) Judith (bap. 9 May 1660), married Col. John Thompson, a judge. They had children: Richard, married Magdalene Bonchelle; Judith, married Arnold Bassett, and had children Francina, Michael, and Richard (Governor of Delaware), who married twice, and whose daughter Ann, married Hon. Thomas A. Bayard.

(5) Francina (bap. 12 Mar 1662), married Col. Joseph Wood of New Castle Co., De. They had children: Joseph; Jean who married _____Clark; Susannah who married _______ Emperson; Setita, who married _______Lourian; and Rebecca.

Nicholas Vandergrift was probably the son of John Vandergrift and his wife Hannah Backer, and grandson of Nicholas Jacobse Vandergrift and Barentje Van Kirk (Verkerk). My records indicate that this Nicholas married Edith Ward.

Augustine Herman to Jannetje Varlett -records of Dutch Reformed Church, NY. See E.B. O'Callaghan's "Calendar of History New York State", Vol. 5, pg. 67: order of petition of P.L. Vandergrift and Allert Anthony assignees of Augustine Herman, 30 Sep 1652; also court proceedings actions for P.L. Vandergrift and Allert Anthony, assignees for Augustine Herman, 7 Oct 1652.

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The Irish Immigrant


What follows is a story written by Kathleen M. Smith. I have included it because I find it interesting that prior to the time of Paulus and Jacob's arrival in America, the surname VAN DER GRIFT was apparently not used. Prior to that time individuals were commonly known by their given names and the middle name reflecting the father's first name, such as, Paulus Leendertzsen, meaning Paulus, son of Leendert. The added surname of VAN DER GRIFT, in Dutch, means "of the canal", and additionally, from the area of a specific canal in Holland, which would indicate a good possibility that this Irish VAN DER GRIFT was, indeed, a relative of Paulus and his brother.

As we know, Paulus returned to Holland in 1671, taking his family with him. It is also known that his daughters returned to America after their marriages, documented by the fact that Jacob was witness to several of their children's baptisms. This would, perhaps, lead one to believe either a sibling, or child of Paulus' may have migrated to Ireland at some point. What became of the brother, Jan/Johannis, who was listed as Measure of Grain in 1658, according the "Register of New Netherland? Johannis has only that one, brief entry in the Register, and I have not found listings of any baptisms for his children in the records of the Dutch Reformed Church of NewYork between the years 1639-1690.

The Irish Immigrant

Joseph Vandergrift/Vandegrift

PVT. 10th Louisana Inf. Co. C.

Joseph enlisted .in the 10th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry on July 22, 1861. The 10th Louisiana was a part of Nicholls Brigade, and was very active throughout the Civil War. Joseph received his military training at Camp Moore,LA. At the time of his enlistment he was 28 years old, and a described as being 5' & 7 1/2" tall, with brown hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion. He was married, had children, and listed his occupation as a painter, he had been born in Ireland.

According to his roster, his first battle was at Williamsburg, VA., on May 4, 1862. From Williamsburg he went on to fight at: Savage Station, Manassas (2nd Bull Run ), Shantilly, Nalvern Hill, Cedar Run, Harper's Ferry, on September 15, 1862, all in VA.,Antietam, Md. , on September 17, 1862, Chancellorsville, VA.,in May of 1863, Winchester ( Open Creek ). on June 15, 1863, and Gettysburg, on July 2nd & 3rd , 1863.

Joseph fought at Culp's Hill at Gettysburg on July 2nd & 3rd. He was wounded during the early morning hours of July 3rd, and taken prisoner by federal troops. He was imprisoned at David's Island, New York, were he died from his gun shot wounds on July 31, 1863, he was 30 years old.

Although Joseph was born in Ireland, the prefixes Van & Der are Dutch, and indicate that Joseph was of Dutch ancestry. Both the spellings above are used throughout his records.
Research: KMS
Louisana State Achives.

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The New Jersey Farmer

Vandegrift, William J. PVT.

150th Penna. Vol. Inf. Co. E


William J. Vandegrift, was born at General Wayne, Pa., on September 3, 1838. He was 24 years old when he enlisted in the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry on August 20, 1862. He was described as being 5' 9" tall,143 pounds, with brown hair and gray eyes. He listed his occupation as a farmer. The 150th Penna. was a very active regiment throughout the Civil War and took part in numerous Battles. William's first battle was at Antietam { Sharpsburg } MD., On September 17, 1862. He also took part in the Battles of Manassas, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and the Wilderness. William's name can be found on the monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield. The regiment was part of Stone's Brigade, I Corps. Army of the Potomac.

The first battle of Gettysburg began July 1 1863, about 8 AM, on Mc Pherson's Ridge, just North and West of the town,when two brigades of Confederate Major General Heth's Division engaged in battle with the dismounted cavalry of Union General John Buford. About 10 a.m. Major General John Reynolds' I Corps, including the 150th Penna., arrived at the battlefield after a long march from Virginia, to relieve Buford's Cavalry. The battle line was spread out for 5 miles from McPherson's Ridge, to Oak Ridge, and along the Hagerstown Road. The fighting was fierce, and historians credit the 150th Penna., as having fought tooth and nail. However, by late afternoon the Union troops were forced to withdraw across the valley to Cemetery Ridge. The I Corps. had lost 66 % of its men including Maj. General Reynolds who had been killed earlier. The 150th alone had lost 75 % of its men, either dead or wounded. They almost lost their regimental flag that day, which was later located in the luggage of the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis.

William was one of the fortunate survivors of this battle, and on July 2nd , he would take part in the Battle of the Wheatfield and though the night of the 2nd, into the 3rd, the battle of the Culp's hill. On July 3rd rifle fire from the 150th and other regiments on Cemetery Hill would take a deadly toll on the Confederate soldiers of Pickett's Charge.

On May 5, 1864, William fought at the Battle of the Wilderness, in Virginia, where he was shot in the left hand. the injury caused severe damage to the bones of the hand and the ring finger was amputated. He was returned to active duty with his regiment in July 1864. In May 1865 he was promoted to corporal and he was mustered out of the service June 23,1865, from Elmira, New York. After the war William moved around quite a bit. He resided at various times in the Germantown & Manayunk sections of Philadelphia, West Chester and other locations in Chester & Montgomery counties. Finally, he purchased a farm in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey, where he spent the rest of his life. In 1871, he applied for a military pension which was granted in May of that year in the amount of $2.00, per month. affidavits in his file attest to the fact that he had severe rheumatism in his hand, which interfered with his ability to farm. In 1905, his Pension was $10.00 per month and in 1907 it was raised to $12.00 . William never married and there is no mention of heirs to his estate, nor where he is buried. He died at his farm on August 27, 1908, at the age of 70 years.
Contributed by Kathleen Smith of Philadelphia
Research; KMS
National Archives, Wash. D. C.

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Leonard Vandegrift (b. 1805)

"This letter was written by Leonard Vandegrift to his mother Rebecca Vandegrift November 19th 1848. His father Christopher Vandegrift at the writing of this letter has died January 11th 1844. Leonard had left home prior to the California gold rush to make his fortune but as you will note he has not reached California as the letter shows it was written from Arkansas. As the letter indicates he is concerned about his inheritance since his fathers passing. He claims he does not want anything, just the same he reminds his mother that she gave his sister Margret a negro slave and is not pleased. Well read it for yourself. Leonard has not been heard from since 1850." (This note was written by Erskine Vandegrift Sr.)

State of Arkansas Saline County November 19th 1848

Dear mother I take my pen in hand to inform you that we are all well at this time hoping thes lines may find you all well and doing well i have nothing of importance to write at present we have made tolerable good crops generating corn is only worth 20cts per bushel, wheat 15cts per bushel, horses and cattle are low, cotten is only worth 4cts per lb. in little Rock times are extremely hard in this Country at this time, the health of this Country is generally good at this time, yet there has been a good many deaths in this country this fall, and the most marriages you ever heard of, but none of your acquaintance; now concerning religion there appears to be none of it in this Country it appears to have left the world, I never saw time before, but what i could see some differance between the sinner as he is called and the Christian as he calls himself but if there is any difference now the christians are by far the worst people, they can tell more lies to make a dime than any one else, and back bite and slander their neighbours and in fact do any thing that is mean and contemptable a bad recomendation, but it is true i never have seen religion so far gone, Aaron Williams who used to preach at Edmund meeting house in south carolina is in this country and is silenced ____ preaching for his bad conduct and there are a great many others, that aught to be silenced, I have concluded to follow the golden rule viz. do unto all men as you would wish them to do unto you.

I understand that you have given sister Margaret a Negro that is doing very well but it apears to me that you have begun at the wrong end of the list but i supose it is right the word of God tells us the last shall be first and the first shall be last, many are called but few are chosen, i do not want you to think that i am in the least displeased, for i do not care how you do with the property. acording to fathers will you have the right to do as you please with it.

all i want is for you to manage your ________ if possible so that you and your children that you have around you may live in peace if that can be done i shall be satisfyed. when i left Alabama i had no idea that i should ever get one cent from my fathers estate neither do i want it. but i would advise you to keep enough in your own hands to do you plentifully while you live and do as you please at your death, a few words to Peter Hardin Dear Brother it appears from what James tells me that your people has ruined you at law, i would say to you come to Arkansas for I believe you can do better in this Country than you can there, There is good land to sell here very low. a small part of the price being paid down and the balance on a credit of from 1 to 4 years owing to the quantity of land purchased, the cause of land being so low is the hardness of the times and indebtedness of the people, but they say Tailor is elected president and he will make a fifty dollar horse worth 150 dollars in less than no time almost. but i forgot this is all the paper i have and i tore it out of my __chet but i will have more in a few days so I say i have not forgotten James H. Hardin ________ of the road, and his prety wife, this letter is for all and to all my friends and i you all to write to me, so no more but remains your loving son and brother til death /to Rebecca Vandegrift/ L. Vandegrift Esq.
The Children of Leonard Vandegrift:

1. Green B. born Aug 1827 in St. Clair County, Alabama Listed as Miner in Mariposa County, California 1860/1870 census records.

2. Rebecca Elizabeth born 1829 in St. Clair County, Alabama; married 30 Sep 1847, Saline County, Arkansas to Moses Bland born ca. 1822 in Arkansas.

3. Frances L. born 19 May 1830 in St. Clair County, Alabama; married 16 Nov 1849 to James W. Brown born ca. 1829 in Missouri.

4. Ellen C. born ca. 1832 in St. Clair County, Alabama; married Apr/May 1850, Saline County, Arkansas to John F. Brown born ca 1826 in Missouri.

5. Nancy M. born ca 1836 in St. Clair County, Alabama; married 17 Sep 1854, Saline County, Arkansas, Francis M. Sanford.

6. Susan L. born ca 1838 in Saline County, Arkansas; married 14 Sep 1856 Saline County, Arkansas, William W. Fuller.

7. Martha H. born Aug 1841 in Saline County, Arkansas; married 16 Aug 1859 Saline County, Arkansas, Giles R. Graves.

*Information taken from the USGenWeb Archives for Arkansas, and "A Vandegrift Family Tree", compiled by Rowland R. Holcomb, privately published in 1995.

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