Do you have any ancestors that may have owned a valuable item or land at one time and through the course of happenstance either sold or lost it?
Well, I have several instances of this...........
Take my 10th Great-Grandfather on my father's side, for instance. Lambert Van Valkenburg came to New Amsterdam about 1644. On May 15, 1649, twenty-four morgens (48 acres) of land was granted by Director General Peter Stuyvesant to Lambert van Valckenburch. This land was south of the Fort on Manhattan Island. -- It embraced what are now nine city blocks on the west side of Lexington Avenue from 29th to 35th Streets, and extended, westward, across what are now Park and Madison Avenues beyond Fifth Avenue from 31st to 33rd, and included the corner of the present 33rd Street and 5th Avenue, on which stands the iconic Empire State Building, once the highest building in the world. Hmmm, how much would that land be worth today??? A couple billion, I bet.
Unfortunately, Lambert sold that land to Claes Martensen van Rosenvelt, the direct ancestor of Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt. He then moved to Beverwyck (Albany) and was an early settler there as well.
Then, I have my 9th Great Grandfather on my mother's side, Jan Snedeker. He came to New Amsterdam in about 1640. Jan Snedeker's patent, dated July, 1645, was for a double lot south of the fort on Manhattan Island, this is where the US Customshouse now stands. A shoemaker by trade, he owned a tavern in New Amsterdam, for which in December, 1642, he was complained of for selling beer of short measure. I wonder how close Jan's lot was to Lambert's? Jan finally settled in Midwout as one of the original patentees (renamed Flatbush by the British, and today part of Brooklyn, New York City), where he resided in 1654, and owned and cultivated a farm. Based on the typical lots in Midwout, he would have had at least 100 acreas and perhaps more. In 1851 this land was turned into Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY. Several famous people are buried there such as "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, Jackie Robinson and Mae West.
Another relative, my Great-Grand Uncle on my father's side, Daniel Norman Williams (See Canadian Blacksheep Blog), besides being a convicted murderer, apparently had amassed a fortune in gold. He went to the gallows without disclosing the whereabouts of this fortune. The "TreasureQuest" message board, "A bucket of gold coins is located in a ruined log cabin a few hours horseback ride from Dee. The cabin was discovered in 1932, then could not be relocated."
A Great-Great-Grand Uncle on my mother's side, John Laurence Jensen, came over from Denmark and established a hotel and pineapple plantation on the Atlantic Coast in Florida in 1881, naming the town Jensen. He went through several boom and bust periods with the pineapple business. The town eventually became known as Jensen's Beach, Florida. He sold his businesses in Florida and moved to North Carolina. After several years, he wanted back into the pineapple business. He sold his brick business in NC and invested in lands in Cuba which were subsequently lost during the Revolution of 1903.
Respectfully Submitted by
Derek A. Green