Susan, my name is Lawrence De Graw. I'm now living in Ocala, FL with my wife, but I hail from Westchester, NY and the Bronx. For years and years as a kid (I'm now 62), my Grandma told me stories of a "Cornelius", a "Benjamin", and a "Sarah" from the areas across the Tappanzee around Nanuet, Havestraw and especially Clarksville. Could your Cornelius and my Grandma's Cornelius be one and the same individual??
In way of information, my Grandma's name was Grace Mary De Graw. She in turn had two children Catherine Teresa and Edward Augustus -- Catherine was my Mom.
I can truly trace all the way back to 1574 with Arent DeGrauw from Noord, Holland, and all the way forward to 1848, then all of my research seemingly just dead-ends. If I could just make this "last leap" and find that final piece of the puzzle with either Cornelius, Benjamin or Sarah, I can fill in the rest up to the present day.
Also, my Mom always told me that we had a "Captain" DeGraw in our family as well, apparently serving on a masted schooner somewhere near what woud later be the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Oddly enough, De Graw Street in Brooklyn, ends in just this area. Any info on that DeGraw Street -- mine is just more hearsay third-party info from my Mom.
Anyway, please let us know if you have any additional info on this Cornelius; we would all much appreciate a "connection". Thanks, Susan.
Lawrence A. De Graw Senior Project Technical Writer/DCA Ocala, FL