Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Monday, October 8, 2012

Elias Daws of Gravesend, Long Island

Elias Daws was at Gravesend, Long Island in 1672. His daughter Hannah was the wife of Derck Brouwer, son of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans of Flatlands, and therefore it is essential for researchers of the descendants of Jan Brouwer to have some familiarity with Elias Daws.

Unfortunately, very few records for Elias Daws have been located. In 1672 he is recorded at West Meadows at Gravesend, Long Island, recorded as Elyas Daws and found listed between Nicles Stillwell and Wiliam Willkings. He is not found on the 1670 Gravesend Plow Land Division List. He is also not found on the 1677 Gravesend Land Allotments on an Island List, or on the 1695 Gravesend West Meadows Fence Shares List.*

On January 23, 1681, Elias Daas and Barbara Karsten were recorded as sponsors at New Utrecht for the baptism of Andries, child of Jan Karsten and Marie Elias Daas. This baptism was recorded in the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church records.

On September 18, 1681, Rebecca (age 8 or 9), Patientia (age 6 or 7) and Annatje (age 4 or 5), the father of the three being Elias Daws at Gravesend, were baptized by the Reformed Dutch Church at Amersfoort (Flatlands), Long Island (Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church records).

The above three records constitute all that Elias Daws left in the form of records. The identity of his wife is not certain, but as three of his daughters each gave their own first daughters the name Hannah or Antje, the best bet would be that she was named Anna (or some variation thereof). There is no record of the settlement of his estate, and to my knowledge no record of his name appearing in land records (deeds). He was likely an Englishman, and as the first settlers at Gravesend were Baptists and Quakers displaced from New England (primarily Rhode Island), he may have at one time been there. However, I know of no record that has been found for Elias in New England.

Elias Daws left four daughters. The eldest, Maria, married Jan Carsten/Corson and had five children. The second oldest daughter, Rebecca, married Thomas Gandy, and appears to have had at least three (and probably more) children. These two daughters, Maria and Rebecca, relocated with their families to Cape May County, New Jersey around 1688 (and by 1694). The third daughter, Patience, married Pieter Couwenhoven, a son of Willem Gerritse Van Kouwenhoven and Jannetje Montfoort. The fourth daughter, Hannah (recorded as Annatje in her baptism record) married Derck Brouwer, the son of Jan Brouwer and Jannetje Jans of Flatlands. The families and descendants of Patience and Hannah are primarily found in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Elias' lasting significance to researchers today is his given name, Elias. The name is rather uncommon among Dutch families found in colonial America during the 1600s and 1700s. There are a few, but the appearance of the name is rare. The exception, however, is with the families descended from Elias' daughters Patience and Hannah. Here the Dutch tradition of naming children for their grandparents is evident, and the result is that today's researchers have a strong clue as to where persons named Elias, found in Dutch families in Monmouth County, New Jersey, can trace their origins.

Reconstructing the descendants of Elias Daws is difficult. He is not known to have had any sons and therefore the surname, Daws, disappears after the first generation. Incomplete records in Monmouth County, and even less complete records in Cape May County, make researching the descendants who lived during the 1700s difficult. Any attempt to reconstruct Elias' descendants will result in an incomplete account. So, with that in mind, here is a chart of some known Descendants of Elias Daws.

*The transcriptions of Gravesend records, along with a number of other transcriptions, primarily from Kings County locations, completed and generously placed online by Rene Dauven, can be found at her webpage, "Not My Family."


  1. Found your family site quite interesting. Ran across while researching my 9th Great Grandfather, Thomas Gandy, who was married to Rebecca Daws, daughter of Elias Daws.

    Chuck Real

  2. Elias Dawes is my 9th Great grandfather. I show he was married to Patience Elizabeth Amersfort my great grandmother. Daughters were Rebecca, Anneke Annatje, and Maria being the youngest. Rebecca married Thomas Gandy, Anneke married Joseph Golden Sr, and Maria married John Jan Carsten. I show a lot of discrepancies in what I have, and that you have. I can not find any information on Derck Brouwer marrying Anneke (Hannah). Can you please provide information so I can update my records.

    Debbie Gandy

    1. The baptism record of Derck Brouwer and Hannah Daws' son Jan (9 Jun 1695, Flatbush) states that his mother was Hanna Daas.
      To my knowledge the identity of Elias Daws' wife is unknown. It is speculated that her name was Anna based upon the names that Elias' daughters gave to their own daughters. But that is simply speculation. What evidence is there that the wife of Elias Daws was named "Patience Elizabeth Amersfort"?? Can you point to that exact name in an actual record from Elias' time??


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