George Woolsey (1652-1740), son of George and Rebecca (Cornell) Woolsey, lived in Jamaica, Queens County, Long Island (a/k/a Nassau Island), New York for much of his life.In a deed from 1695, by which he sold land to George Phillipes, the name of George Woolsey's wife (as of 1695) is obtained:Hannah.To date, no one has published any finding of her maiden name.I believe some late 19th century "genealogists" might have suggested that her name was Hannah Van Zandt, but this might very well have been a product of the faddishly popular Dutch ancestry ("knickerbockers") that was fairly strong at that time, especially among New Yorkers.
I would like to propose a THEORY (requiring more research to obtain evidence to support or refute the Theory) that Hannah might have been born a Whitehead.Below is some circumstantial evidence and some "reasoning".
1.A Daniel Woolsey witnessed the 1712 Last Will of Hope Carpenter in Jamaica.ASSUMING this Daniel was at least 21 at the time, then this Daniel was born in/before 1691.
2.Daniel Woolsey might have been the son of: (1) George Woolsey (1652-1740); (2) Thomas Woolsey (1655-1742); or (3) John Woolsey (1660-1721).
3.IF Daniel Woolsey was the son of Thomas, then this Daniel died before 1730, because that year Thomas Woolsey, with wife Ruth and "consent" of sons William, Jonathan, Richard and John (NO Daniel), sold certain land in Bedford, Westchester County, NY.
4.IF Daniel Woolsey was the son of John, then this Daniel died before 1721, because that year John Woolsey (1660-1721), in writing his Last Will, referred to his "oldest child and only son John" who was not yet of legal age.ASSUMING legal age was 21, then this John was born after 1700, and had no older brother living.
5.Woolsey researcher Wilford W. Whitaker has tentatively assigned this Daniel Woolsey as the son of George (1652-1740) and has suggested that he might have been born about 1685 (and was thus one of the three baptisms reported (in summary form only) for George for the years 1682-1688 inclusive).As further circumstantial evidence, Mr. Whitaker cites the fact that George Woolsey (b. 1682 to George (1652-1740)) named a son Daniel (in the Hunterdon County, New Jersey branch of the family).I accept this hypothesis until any evidence is found which might disprove it.
6.This Daniel Woolsey MIGHT have been the second-born son of George Woolsey, the first son being George of 1682.IF George and his wife were traditionalists, then the first son might have been named for the baby's paternal grandfather (i.e., George Woolsey, husband of Rebecca Cornell) and, coincidentally, for George himself.Then, the second-born son MIGHT have been named for the baby's maternal grandfather.Thus, as a clue, the father-in-law of George Woolsey (1652-1740) MIGHT have been named Daniel.
7.In a 1683 tax record for Jamaica, there were two men named Daniel:Daniel Denton and Daniel Whitehead.
8.Daniel Denton, although born circa 1626, and the author of a pamphlet promoting settlement on Long Island, has a "sketchy" family.Some researchers give him four wives but nobody gives him a daughter born as early as 1652-1661, the likely dates for Mrs. George Woolsey.
9.The Daniel Whitehead of Jamaica was reportedly born about 1641 to Daniel Whitehead and wife Miss Skidmore (there are name disputes whether she was Jane, Jean, Jeanne, Joan, Joanne, etc.).This Daniel and Jane/Jean/Joan (Skidmore) Whitehead had other children, including daughters, but apparently the compostion of their family is the matter of conjecture, because most posted family trees only estimate dates of birth for their children (i.e., no baptismal records) and disagree with one another.
10.In 1691, George Woolsey (1616-1698, husband of Rebecca Cornell) wrote his will and used as two of the three witnesses Thomas Willets and Daniel Whitehead.
11.I believe the witness Thomas Willets was the one born in 1645 to Thomas and Sarah (Cornell) Willets.Because Sarah (Cornell) Willets was the sister of Rebecca (Cornell) Woolsey, this witness Thomas Willets was the nephew of testator George Woolsey.
12.Sarah (Cornell) Willets, as a widow, married for her second husband, Charles Bridges (Carl Van Brugge when he and/or wife Sarah/Sara served as a baptismal sponsor in the records of the Dutch Reformed Church for Woolsey children in 1650, 1652, 1659 and 1664).Sarah (Cornell) (Willets) Bridges, as a widow, married her third husband, John Lawrence in 1682.When John Lawrence became mentally incompetent (about 1692), Sarah apparently left him to the care of his adult children or other Lawrence relatives and came to live with her sister, Rebecca (Cornell) Woolsey.Certain Lawrence assets were the subject of litigation in 1701 by William Lawrence (on behalf of incompetent John) against widow Rebecca (Cornell) Woolsey.
13.I believe that George Woolsey might have picked Daniel Whitehead as a witness to his Last Will in 1691 because of "family" ties.I would propose that this Daniel Whitehead was the brother of George's daughter-in-law, Hannah (Whitehead) Woolsey, b. ca. 1652-1661, and who had married George Woolsey (1652-1740) circa 1777.George and Hannah (Whitehead) Woolsey named their second son Daniel, after her father, Daniel Whitehead ("sr").
14.From my limited research, the early Whitehead and Skidmore family trees are NOT all "proven" and are in some cases confused (just like parts of the Woolsey tree are still conjectural).Research to support or refute this THEORY would have to sort out some Whitehead trees.
Can anyone add to or subtract from the THEORY presented here?Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.