Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Serendipity

"The good fortune of making discoveries by accident."

In the previous post of just six days ago regarding the will of Maria R. Lefferts, I mentioned that I had not yet bothered to research the identity of Maria's mother-in-law, Phebe, mother of Rem Lefferts. As good fortune would have it, I didn't have to wait long or do much work to find out just who she was. Over the past few days I've been engaged with some problems regarding the Bennet family of Kings County, Long Island and Monmouth and Middlesex Counties, New Jersey. I've had the pleasure of corresponding with a couple of skilled and careful researchers who frequently contribute to the Dutch-Colonies List at Roots-Web.

In an effort to sort out a tangle of Bennet women named Angenitje/Agnietje, Mike Morrisey sent an e-mail citing a couple of old published sources (Riker's Annals of Newtown, and Bergen's Genealogy of the Lefferts Family). Right there on the very pages that were being brought to my attention for the purpose of solving a completely unrelated issue, was the same Phebe who married Barent Lefferts and was the mother of Rem Lefferts. Phebe is, Phebe (or Femmetie) Remsen, born 30 August 1739, a daughter of Rem Remsen (Vander Beeck) and his second wife, Angenietje Bennet.

And with the discovery of Rem Lefferts' mother, we can now see that Rem, and his wife Maria Brower, were fourth cousins, both descendants of Maria Badie (mother-in-law of Adam Brouwer).

So, the lesson in this is keep plugging  away at your brick walls and keep other open issues near by. And keep corresponding with others researching related families. You never know when something is going to fall in your lap. And thanks to Mike for finding Phebe.

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