Ancestry of Maria Van Vliet
Wife of John Kennedy

This was transcribed from a hand written letter regarding John Kennedy, the first of the line in America, from John H. Abbott to Amelia Carter Kennedy. It was sent after all the published material written by Amelia Carter Kennedy, shown on these web pages, had been written. The letter is transcribed as it was written, including the basic format. Comments inserted in [ ] brackets are mine, but those in parenthesis ( ) are the author's. For surnames some have Bradt instead of Bratt, and some have Gardinier for Gardenier. Machackemeck (also spelled Maghaghkemeck) is a Dutch settlement, now Port Jervis, Orange County, New York. See the bottom of the page for more information. The spelling of Van Vliet is consistently with an IE, and not with the two E’s as used in the published genealogies.

40 No. Main St.
Wilkes Barre, Pa.
March 26, 1921
Mrs. Wm D. Kennedy
1717 No. Wash. Ave.
Scranton, Pa.

Dear Mrs. Kennedy—

After searching for two years, I finally have cleared up the ancestry of Maria Van Vliet, wife of John Kennedy, and should you desire it, will be pleased to send it. Your account of John Kennedy is in the main correct, no doubt, but I find in addition that on April 6, 1762, he enlisted as a soldier of the New York Provincial troops under Capt. James Clinton, & the following year was on the muster roll of troops raised to guard the western frontiers of Ulster & Orange Counties, enlisting Nov. 24, 1763, stating his age as 24, a "taylor" by trade & five ft, five inches in height. He also served in the Revolution a private in the Orange County militia, a resident there at that time. He m. about 1765, Maria Van Vliet (who was not the widow of Armstrong, as you have it). They had—

  • Catharine, born Orange Co., July 22, 1766, m. Cornelius Courtright, Oct. 1, 1786.
  • Jacobus (James) Bap. Machackemeck, Sept. 29, 1768, m. Sarah (Sally) Abbott
  • Elizabeth, born April 12, 1773, d. Dec. 24, 1851, m. Henry Stark
  • John (no record) m. Nancy Armstrong
  • Thomas, bap. Machackemeck, June 22, 1783, m. Elizabeth Schofield, 1801
  • The Abbott Gen. Register (p. 57) say Sarah A. m. James (not John) Kennedy & in the Recorder of deeds office here she is often recorded as the wife of James. This is also true of Nancy, wife of John Kennedy. In the Dutch Church records, the name James was written Jacobus, the Latinized form.

    Skeleton sketch, ancestry of Maria Van Vliet, bap. At Machackemeck, April 14, 1743, & again, June 21, 1747.


    G. Parents G. G. Parents G. G. G. Parents
    Hoping this may be of interest to you, I am, Very truly yours John H. Abbott

    On page 159 of Pioneer Families of Orange County, New York, compiled by Martha & Bill Reamy, 2000, is the following:  Swartwout Family of Deerpark:

    RULOFF SWARTOUT1, s/o Thomas of Groningen, later of New Amsterdam & wife Adrientje Symons, who m. 4 Feb. 1630. Ruloff bapt. in Amsterdam 1 June 1634, m. (1) 13 Aug. 1657, Eva Alberts[on], d/o Albert Andriessen Bradd de Noorman. She was the widow of Antoine de Googes [Hooges]... From Holland to America in 1660... RULOFF m. (2) at NY 8 Oct. 1691 [22 Nov. 1691], Mrs. Francyntije Andries, widow of Abraham Lubbertisen. Ruloff apptd. 1st sheriff at Esopus. 'Probably' some of his children (all settled Peenjack Flats in 1690):

    c. 1660, THOMAS. [Others names are available in the book]

    ROELOFF SWARTWOURT's will, 30 March 1714, in Ulster Co. He left bequests to the children of his son Anthony & dau. Cornelia who he says is dec'd. at the time. [No names given.]

    THOMAS SWARTWOUT2, s/o Roeloff1, of Kingston, b. Ulster Co., NY [Beverswyck, New Netherlands]; m. before 4 Feb. 1683, Lysbeth [Elizabeth] Gardenier [Gordiner] (Lysbeth Jacobse Hovenier), d/o Jacob Janse & Josyna Gardiner. He was one of the 7 grantees of Minisink Valley in 1697. THOMAS2 d. in Maghaghkemeck, Orange Co. c. 1723. Their children [more are listed in book]:
    Bapt. 1699, Aug. 13, Jesinjntje, b. Maghaghkemeck

    Source: Collections of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, Vol. V: Minisink Valley Reformed Dutch Church Records, [1716-1830] 1913. Facsimile Reprint 1992 by Heritage Books. [Spelling is copied as printed. Spellings tended to be consistent within a few dates and probably changed when the record keeper changed. Capitalization were totally inconsistent even on the same line of information.]

    It is not within the limits of this introduction to recite in detail the story of the earliest visits of the Dutch, in the region generally termed as the Minisink valley. The first occupation was for the purpose of conducting mining operations. It is probably that these operations were commenced during the time of the Dutch occupation of New York; and they may have been continued secretly for a time, after the colony was transferred to the English. It seems quite clear that the first occupation has no connection with the settlement of the valley, by the way of Kingston, which commenced about the year 1690....

    The "Minisink country" consists of the valley of the Neversink, west of the Shawangunk Mountains, and the Delaware valley, as far as the Delaware Water Gap. The first settlements of which authentic knowledge can be ascertained were made about 1690, at what was later called the Upper Neighborhood, near Cuddebackville. A few years later more families came, and the settlements stretched further down the Neversink valley, to the junction with the Delaware; in later years the valley between Huguenot and Port Jervis was known as the Lower Neighborhood. The Neversink river was then called the Machackemeck, and the valley between Cuddebackville and Port Jervis was often spoken of as Peenpack. The earliest Patents in this neighborhood were the Waghaghkemeck (or Maghaghkemeck) Patent, Oct. 14, 1697; the Minisink Patent, Aug. 28, 1704, which confirmed the Indian deed of 1702, and several other patents of less importance, which need not be enumerated here. The Waghaghkemeck (Maghaghkemeck) Patent was granted to Jacob Cuddeback, Thomas Swartwout, Anthony Swartwout, Bernardus Swartwout, Jan Tys, Peter Guimar and David Jamison. The settlers in the Minisink valley were Dutch, French Huguenots and English....


    The Machackemeck Church stood on the Old Mine Road, about one quarter of a mile above the point where it crossed the Neversink. This site is at the junction of East Main Street and New Jersey Avenue, in the City of Port Jervis; it is on the opposite side of east Main Street from the old Machackemeck burying ground, and is at present [1913] occupied by a public school. The first church was probably built in the year 1743. We quote the documentary evidence, from the minutes of the Consistory, in the Minisink-Machackemeck record, which concerns the building of this church as well as the first Minisink church.

    "The Reverend Consistories of the two churches met together March 7th, 1742, and executed the following:

        VIII. Having approved of the object by collection to aid and build up the Low Dutch churches in the States of New York and New Jersey, and that for this object suitable persons should be chosen by Consistories and Justices in these churches.
        IX. The Reverend Consistory chose Jan Van Vliet, William Cool, Hannes Westbroeck, Hendrick Kortrecht. Besides, his Majesty's Justice chose Salomon Davids, Peter Keuikendal, William Kortrecht. The following persons were appointed Collectors, viz. Jacobus Swartwood, Jan van Vliet, Hendrick Kortrecht and Derrick Westbroeck."

    The first church remained standing until it was burned to the ground, with a good part of the surrounding settlements, by the Indians under Brandt, on the night of July 20, 1779. The second church was probably erected about the year 1786, as various sums of money and some building material were donated in the spring and summer of that year, as it appears in the church record. It occupied the same site as that of the first church. The third church was built in 1833, on the main street of the Village of Port Jervis, about a mile north of the first site. The fourth church was built in 1868, upon the site of the third church. The church of 1833 ws then moved to the new cemetery at Carpenter's Point, about one quarter of a mile below the site of the first church, where it now serves as a chapel for conducting funeral services, and for a Sunday school.

    Records of Baptisms of the Reformed Church at Machackemeck (Deerpark):

    Page 107: 1743. April 14. Parents: Jan Van vliet, Jesyntje Swartwood. Child: Maria. Witnesses: Jacob Westbroek, Maria Westbroek. [Probably died before 1747]

    Page 108: 1744. April 23. Parents: Jan van vliet, Jesyntje Swartwood. Child: Catharina. Witnesses: Philip Swartwood, Elizabeth Swartwood.

    Page 113: 1747. June 21. Parents: Jan van Vliet, Jesyntje Swartwout. Child: Marya. Witnesses: Jacob Westbroeck, Marya Westbroeck. [Marya is probably an alternate spelling for Maria with the same pronunciation - possibly Ma-ri'-ya with a long 'i'. This is probably not the same child as listed in 1743, as John H. Abbott implied.]

    Page 116: 1748. Oct. 9. Witnesses: Jan Van Vliet, Jesyntje Swartwout, his wife

    Page 118: 1749. Oct. 29. Witnesses: Jan van Vliet, Jesyntje Swartwout, his wife

    Page 127: 1748. Aug. 5. Witnesses: Jan van vliet, Jesyntje Swartwout, his wife

    Page 155: 1768. Sept. 29. Parents: John Kanneda, Maritje Van Vliet. Child: Jacobus, b. Sept. 5. Witnesses: Jacobus Van Vliet, Antje Swartwout.

    Page 178: 1783. June 22. Parents: John Kenedy, Marya Van Vliet. Child: Thomas. Witnesses: Wm. Cuddeback, Esyntje Cuddeback.

    [Beginning page 281: excerpts as written.]
    CHURCH MEMBERS - 1745-67
    [Copied from a pamphlet by Rev. J. B. Ten Eyck, printed in 1877.]

     The following is the record of members of the Churches of Machackemeck and Mennisinck under the ministrations of Revs. J. C. Fryenmuth and Thomas Romien:

    Register of Church members who from time to time by confession and by the exhibition of sufficient credentials were received as brothers and sisters in the Church.

    1745 - April 11. These upon representation of satisfactory certificates in presence of Jan Van Vliet and Johnannes Westbroeck, elders were received:
        Madlena Decker, Antjen Rosa, wife of Johannes Westbroeck....

    [page 282] 1748 - October 16. These in presence of the respected elders of Machackemech upon satisfactory confession of faith and life, as members of our Low Dutch Reformed Church were received:
        Gerardus van Nimwegen and his wife Jannetje de Witt, Antje Westbroeck wife of Jacobus Swartwood, Jesyntje Swartwood wife of Jan van Vliet.

    Susan Carter White Pieroth 2001

    The Minisink Valley Historical Society

    Return to the Carter and Kennedy Main Page