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Guide to the Martin Schoonmaker family papers ARC.090

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Nicholas Pavlik

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on October 22, 2013
English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Schoonmaker family
Creator: Schoonmaker, Martin
Title: Martin Schoonmaker family papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1793-1889
Abstract: Martin Schoonmaker was a resident of the town of Gravesend in Kings County, N.Y. In the 1840s he served as Gravesend's first postmaster. He later served as the Gravesend Assessor, as Kings County Deputy Commissioner of Juries, and as secretary of the Ocean Parkway Owners Association. This collection spans the period 1793 to 1889 and contains materials relating to Schoonmaker and his family. Materials mainly include accounts, receipts, indentures, deeds, bonds, agreements, and other property and legal documents.
Quantity: 0.25 linear feet in 28 folders, housed in 1 manuscript box.
Mixed materials [Box]: ARC.090 1 of 1
Call Phrase: ARC.090
Sponsor: This collection was processed and described as part of the project, "Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn's 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation," funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, with additional support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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Biographical Note

Martin Schoonmaker, the son of Michael and Elizabeth H. Schoonmaker, was a resident of the town of Gravesend in Kings County, N.Y. In the 1840s he served as Gravesend's first postmaster, a position he held for 10 years. He later served as the Gravesend Assessor, as Kings County Deputy Commissioner of Juries, and as secretary of the Ocean Parkway Owners Association. Schoonmaker was married to Eliza (Emmens) Schoonmaker, sister of John Emmens (1832-1880), a claimant of a part of Coney Island. Martin's brother, Richard L. Schoonmaker (d. 1876), was postmaster of the Kings County town of Flatbush.


  1. Lerardi, Eric J. Gravesend, the Home of Coney Island. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 2001.

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Scope and Contents

The Martin Schoonmaker family papers span the period 1793 to 1889 and contain materials chiefly relating to Martin Schoonmaker, though other members of the Schoonmaker family are represented as well, including Martin's brother, Richard L. Schoonmaker; Martin and Richard's mother, Elizabeth H. Schoonmaker; Martin's wife, Eliza (Emmens) Schoonmaker; and Eliza's brother, John Emmens. Materials include accounts; receipts; indentures; bonds; documents relating to Martin and Eliza's property in Gravesend, including mortgage payments, agreements, and carpenter specifications; tax documents; account books and diaries; documents concerning court cases; papers regarding Martin's appointment to the honor of Notary Public by Kings County; wills, including those of Elizabeth H. and Richard L. Schoonmaker; legal documents, assessments, and correspondence regarding Ocean Parkway; legal documents regarding Coney Island and the town of Gravesend; a small amount of genealogical materials on the Schoonmaker family; and one bound volume, serving as an account book, that was likely owned and/or authored by Martin Schoonmaker while serving as Gravesend Assessor. The volume contains numerous references to the personal and business expenditures of Schoonmaker and his wife, and also renders family, farm, and rental accounts of other individuals, with information on various landowners of Gravesend, Ocean Parkway, Parkville, and Coney Island properties. The volume also contains six loose documents relating to accounts and property assessments.

This collection also includes a substantial amount of legal, business, and property documents pertaining to Kings County residents outside the Schoonmaker family, including Jacobus Van Nuys, Adrian Martense, Edward Ridley, Richard Denys, John F. Phillips, Thomas Gerald, and Adam Balzer. Many of these documents pertain to the occupations and families of the aforementioned individuals.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Emmens, John, 1832-1880
  • Schoonmaker, Elizabeth H.
  • Schoonmaker, Eliza
  • Schoonmaker, Martin
  • Schoonmaker, Richard L., d. 1876

Document Type

  • Account books
  • Accounts
  • Awards
  • Bonds (legal records)
  • Correspondence
  • Deeds
  • Family papers
  • Financial records
  • Indentures
  • Judicial records
  • Legal documents
  • Mortgages
  • Receipts (financial records)
  • Subpoenas
  • Tax records
  • Wills

Subject Topics

  • Families -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Farms -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Genealogy
  • Law reports, digests, etc. -- New York (State)
  • Real property tax -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Taxation -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Trials -- New York (State)

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Commerce
  • Coney Island (New York, N.Y.)
  • Gravesend (New York, N.Y.)
  • Ocean Parkway (New York, N.Y.)
  • Parkville (New York, N.Y.)

Family Name(s)

  • Schoonmaker family

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Martin Schoonmaker family papers, ARC.090, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Other Finding Aids note

A complete folder listing of the collection is available in paper form at the Othmer Library. Please consult library staff for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Henry Bergen, 1919, and Mrs. Wheeler N. Voorhees, date unknown.

Processing Information note

Minimally processed to the collection level.

The collection combines the accessions 1973.187, 1977.265, and 1977.410.

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