Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Will of Alexander Jackson

Alexander Jackson lived in Orange County, New York, and was the husband of Martha Drake who was a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. (Line of descent from Adam Brouwer to Martha Drake). Descendants of Alexander Jackson are therefore descendants of Adam Brouwer as well.

Alexander Jackson's will dated 25 January 1815, proved 31 March 1818, can be found in Orange County Surrogate's Office, Will Book F, page 209. A photo copy was found in the William B. Bogardus Collection (Box 5, WIL WW-57) and has now been placed online. Will of Alexander Jackson.

At the time he wrote his will, Alexander Jackson, was of Goshen, Orange County, New York. He also had property at Minisink, New York. The 1800 census places him at Minisink, the 1810 census at Newburgh, New York, and he is said to have died 14 March 1818 at Florida, New York. These towns are all situated in Orange County. In his will Alexander mentions his wife, Martha, his sons Abel Jackson and James Jackson, his daughter Esther Jackson, his daughter Julia Davis and her son (his grandson) Alexander Jackson Davis (under the age of twenty-one), and his daughter Mary Higbee, the widow of James Higbee, deceased. Not mentioned in the will are his daughters Anna, Elizabeth, Jane and Martha, all of who were living at the time, and daughter Eleanor (whose date of death has not yet been determined). He appointed as executors, "trusty friends" John Springsted, Daniel Poppino, Esq., and William Smith, all of Goshen.

Alexander Jackson, Martha Drake, and their children can be found on the Brouwer Genealogy Database website (use one of the indexes to locate his link). Much of the information there comes from secondary sources and further verification is suggested. Details on Alexander's Will, will be included on the BGD with the next update of the website. As of this writing I have made no attempt to research the origins of Alexander Jackson. Two undocumented secondary sources give conflicting info for his date of birth. Imogene H. Lane in her manuscript, "Drakes of Orange County, New York and Related Families," (1971) states that Alexander was born 18 May 1728, probably calculating from his age at death which was 89yrs., 9 mos., 14 dys. from 14 March 1818 (which would actually place his birth date as 28 May 1728). Ronald L. Stewart in his manuscript, "Westward Movement of John Stewart and His Descendants," (1993) places Alexander's date of birth as 12 June 1728 in Ireland, and in Appendix C includes "A record of heirs of Alexander Jackson taken from the Family Bible." However, the important details of the claimed Bible (title, publisher, date published, exact provenance) are not given, although it was apparently in the possession of Stewart descendants of Alexander Jackson's daughter Anna Jackson, and was used as evidence during one of the lawsuits regarding the inheritance of Anneke Jans. In his will, Alexander Jackson, does leave to his wife, "my books comprising my library," and it would not be surprising if a Bible was among these books.

Descendants of Alexander Jackson would be best served by spending the time to search out more reliable, primary sources if they wish to gain more insight into an accurate account of Alexander Jackson, his origins, and his family.

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