Will the Real John Larrison Please Stand Up?

Before proceeding further with the family tree/s of John and James Larrison, a closer look needs to be taken at the three John Larrisons.

Who is who in the court records?

We have three candidates:

John Larrison Sr., born c1620s and who died in 1671. He married Mary and left two children, a son John and possibly a daughter Abigail, although some believe she was the wife of John Jr.

John Larrison, son of John, born no earlier than 1649, based on a court record in 1669 naming the “two young John Larrisons.” I am assuming that each was under 21 years of age. Otherwise, they would have been charged in court for their family brawl.

John Larrison, son of James, probably unmarried in 1649 and somewhat close in age to his cousin of the same name. This John was indentured to his uncle, John, until he died and was released from the agreement.

That much is for certain. Therefore, from 1671 onward, there were but two John Larrisons.

A new question has arisen from three documents recorded in the Town Minutes of Newtown, 1653-1734, found on pages 134 and 173.

Page 134

Page 173

These documents raise more questions than they answer. On 10 March 1669, Lawrence Peterson sold a piece of land to John Larrison, no price stated, and called him his son-in-law. Therefore, this John Larrison was born no later than 1648 (over 21 to own property) and possibly much earlier.

To complicate matters, or perhaps to clear them, Mary Ponten, wife of Captain Richard Ponten, deposed aged about 72 years that her son John Larrison was born in June of 1652 in Newtown.

If Mary Ponten was correct about the year and her son John was, indeed, born in 1652, then the Johannis Larrison who deposed in 1679 that he was aged about 29 years is most likely the son of John who died in 1671 and Mary (MNU) Larrison. Her son therefore could not be the Johannis Larrison, son-in-law of Lawrence Peterson  in the 1669 deed.

That leaves the other two John Larrisons as the potential son-in-law. Notice that the second document on page 134 also mentioned John Larrison, but the item is dated 2 February 1677/78.

The document recorded on page 173 by Lawrence Peterson says that he had received the full 2,500 guilder wampum value from John Larrison. The acknowledgement is dated 19 November 1680. He doesn’t call John his son-in-law here, but if this is a younger John, he would be Lawrence Peterson’s grandson. The record is silent on the family relationship.

Newtown (Today’s Elmhurst, Queens) to Southampton, New York
Google Maps

To answer the above questions, I have no proof, just hypotheses of my own.

1. I believe that John Sr.’s and Mary’s son, John, born in June 1652, according to his mother’s deposition, was likely the same man who appears in Newtown records until 1684/85 and then turns up in Southampton, New York records in the fall of 1686.

Therefore, this John has no male Larrison descendants, as he left only one child, a daughter, Mary, named in his 1693 will.

2. I have no idea which John married the daughter of Laurens/Lawrence Peterson. Given the earliest document’s date of 1669, either John Sr. could be his son-in-law or possibly John the son of James could be the son-in-law. The only man precluded from this relationship would be John, the son of John, as he would have been too young to own land in 1669 even if he was born as early as 1649.

3. I also believe that the 1671 family brawl may have well fractured the cousins’ family relationship. John Sr. died not long afterwards and I think the younger men went their separate ways, one John east 85 miles to Southampton and the other John westward 65 miles to Hopewell, New Jersey.

By default, that means that the Larrisons in New Jersey before the Revolutionary War are descendants of James Larrison through his son John.

These are just HYPOTHESES at this point in time, as there are some definite data gaps. First, we know that James Larrison survived his brother, but no death record or probate has been found for him.

Second, we have no firm birth date for his son, John, although it appears that he was a little older than his cousin John. We also have no death date or probate for John Larrison and/or his unknown wife.

Third, we do have one William Larrison who was reportedly born in Newtown, New York who migrated to today’s area of Hunterdon County, New Jersey. This William did leave a will and he will be the subject of the next Larrison post.




3 thoughts on “Will the Real John Larrison Please Stand Up?”

  1. This is amazing work! I really enjoyed reading it, it was extremely helpful for me. Please forgive the length of my comment, but I wanted to be as complete as possible to help your amazing research.

    I was researching this exact subject (and was about to give up until I found your post) because I suspected my ancestors were the Lorrisons of Newtown.

    As it turns out, I think there is another completely unrelated family also sometimes called “Lorrison” (or similar) who happened to be Newtown for a few years, and who are confused for being the same “Lorrison” family that you’ve discussed here. Particularly, there is confusion because of a 1683 will of James Sartell of Newtown who mentions his “Lauresson” grandchildren. But these are not the Lorrison’s you have written about, I think.

    The confusion arises in that the *other* Lorrison family of Newtown are also close neighbors and associates with the Sartell / Sawtell family of Newtown, and are regularly mentioned in records with them. But my research thus far has only shown them to be friends and neighbors.

    To confuse us all even further, I think there was a FOURTH “John Lorrison” in addition to the individuals you discussed here present in Newtown in the 1660s and 1670s. Or, specifically, he is called “Hans Lorrison” in the Newtown Town Minutes. He can be distinguished because he used the name “Hans” instead of John or Johannes.

    I think the “Hans Lorasson” mentioned in the Newtown Town Minutes in 1667, 1669, and 1672 is in fact Hans Laurenszen Duytz (often just called Hans Laurenszen), son of Laurens Duytz and Ytie Jans baptized September 28, 1644 in New Amsterdam who later settled in Staten Island. This family later used the name “Dey”. He married the daughter of James Sartell / Sawtell of Newtown.

    The following timeline explains the story of Hans Laurenszen Duytz and how he appears in Newtown:

    **1644, Sept 28: Hans, son of Laurens DuĂżtsen, baptized in New Amsterdam. One of the godparents was Borger Joriszen.

    Han’s name later in life is thus “Hans Laurenszen” which means “Hans, son of Laurens”.

    **1658, Nov. 25: Ytie Jans, wife of Laurens DuĂżtsen, was sentenced to a whipping and banishment for living in adultery with Jan (John) Parcell of Newtown. Laurens DuĂżtsen was banished to Bergen, present day New Jersey and Ellen presumably went to Newtown.

    Her son Hans Laurentszen presumably went to live with his mother in Newtown.

    (Note: this is a strange scenario for the time; but, it is indeed documented in court records that Laurens Duyts somehow divorced his wife and that she married John Parsell (Jan Parcell) of Newtown).

    **1667, February: “Hance Loras” is defendent in case brought by plaintiff George Stevenson in Town Minutes of Newtown. This is the first time a “Hans” (not John or Johannes) Lorrison (or Loras) is mentioned in the Town Minutes of Newtown.

    **1668, January 14: Laurens Duytz, father of Hans Laurentszen Duytz, is buried in Bergen, New Jersey

    **1669, December 2: “Hans Lorasson” testifies in Town Minutes of Newtown about George Stevens, who was apparently a neighbor of John Purcell.

    **1670, October 7: “Hans Lorrison” marries Mary Sartell in New York. Presumably they met when Hans moved to Newtown sometime either immediately before or after his father’s death.

    **1671, December 31: “Jeams” (James), son of Hans Laurenszen and “Marretje Satÿrs” is baptized in New York. I presume Satÿrs is a Dutch rendition of Sawtell, also spelled Sartell, Saitly, Satley, Sattle, etc. in the Newtown records.

    **1672, October 9th: Town Minutes of Newtown: “I Hanc Loroson have should & maide over unto John parsell of Mashpott Kills all my right & titell that I bought of BURGER YOURESS of the same place & John parsell doe promise to cleare hanc loroson of all debts dues & demands for sd. BURGER YOURESS wife concerning the land….”

    Hans Loroson signed by marks instead of signature. So, this Hans is not the “Johannes Lorason” who signed the Newtown deed witnessed by James Sartell dated 29th Nov. 1680.

    Notice also how this Burger Youress is probably the same Borger Joriszen as Han’s godfather.

    **1674, June 13th: “Catalÿntie” or Catherine, daughter of Hans Laurenszen baptized in New York. Grandmother Ytie Jans is the godmother.

    **1677: Hans Laurensen was deeded land on Staten Island.

    **1677, May 7th: Jan Persell of Newtown leaves will, mentions wife Judith (English form of Ytjie), and apparently mentioning his wife’s children though not by name. Original has not been examined.

    **1683, June 9th: the Will of James Sartell of Newtown names his Grandchildren Katherine, Elizabeth, and William “Lauresson”. William Lauresson is to receive money owed to James Sartell on Staten Island.

    **1684: Rate Lists of Newtown Long Island show “Widow Parsell” (who is Ytjie Jans, Hans Laurentzen Duytz’s mother).

    **1690s: Hans Laurenszen or Hans Lawrence appears in various records on Staten Island.

    **1706: The 1706 Census of Staten Island shows the following:

    Hans Lawrence (age 63, birth abt. 1644)
    Sarah Lawrence (no age; this is the second wife of Hans Laurenszen Duytz)
    James Hance (age 45; birth abt. 1671). See above baptism.

    John, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Catherine, Anna, and Lydia Hance.
    (children, no ages or relations given).

    Note how Catherine and Elizabeth correlate with the will of James Sartell. However, it is curious because for them to be considered “girls” in 1706 and also mentioned in a will of 1683 doesn’t make a lot of sense, unless one was considered a “girl” if unmarried.

    **1702, Feb. 21: Staten Island Deed. “William Hanse” sells land to John Androvat. The naming suggest this is “William son of Hans” and is probably the “William Lauresson” mentioned in James Sartell’s will.

    **1702, May 18: Staten Island deed between “Hans Laurence” (Hans Laurentzen Duytz) with his second wife Sarah selling land to “William Dye”, no relationship given. This is probably Hans’s son William Dye. William disappears after this and is not on the 1706 Staten Island Census.

    It might be tempting to hypothesize that this William, son of Hans Laurenszen Duytz, and called “William Lauresson” in the 1683 will of James Sartell is the “William Lorrison” who settled in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. However, this theory is complicated by the fact that all of the other children of Hans Laurenszen Duytz usually used traditional Dutch patronymic surnames; and so, if son William followed this tradition, he would be called “William Hance”. This doesn’t mean that William didn’t decide to suddenly follow a more English tradition of using the surname of his father. James Sartell was of English descent, and this is probably why he used the surname of his son-in-law “Lauresson” to refer to his grandchildren, even though the names they would have preferred themselves, as reported on the 1706 Staten Island Census, would be “Hance”.

    It’s certainly plausible that someone in this family to have suddenly switched naming traditions and permanently kept the name “Lorrison”. The progenitor, Laurens Duytz or Duÿtsen was “Danish” (specifically, Frisian from Nordstrand in Schleswig-Holstein). He married in Amsterdam a Dutch woman Itje Jans in 1638, moved to New Amsterdam in 1639 and thus his children used the Dutch patronym “Laurenzen” in records, and thus their names were recorded often as Lorrison, Lauresson, Lawrence, etc. But they must have remained knowledgeable of their surname Duytz, for by the mid-1700s, the entire family presumably used the Anglicized name Dey or Dye.

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