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Guide to the Lefferts family papers ARC.145

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Craig P. Savino

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on January 19, 2021
eng using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Revised by Amy Lau, Archivist, to remediate oppressive language from subject terms and scope and contents note.  , December 2020

Container List

Series 1: Lefferts Family, 1661-1925. 1.25 Linear Feet in 3 document boxes.


Files are divided by family and family figure and arranged roughly chronologically by figure. Families related to the Lefferts in some way (the Smiths, the Lotts, the Remsens) come towards the end of the series. At the end of the series is a general folder of Lefferts land bills, deeds, indentures, and bills of sale for slaves.

Scope and Contents

The Lefferts Family series contains personal and business documents created by or in regards to members of the Lefferts family and families closely related to the Lefferts through marriage or business. These related families include the Cortelyou, Vanderbilt, Lott, Smith, Nostrand, Ditmars, Vecht and Remsen families of Brooklyn. Many of the prominent Lefferts family members are included in this series. Date spans of the lives of each figure have been provided where possible so as not to confuse the figures with other family members with the same name.

These documents include some of the early land grants and indentures maintained by the Lefferts family. Among these are the original land grant from Peter Stuyvesant to Pieter Janse Hagewout in 1661 and the records of his great-grandson, Peter Lefferts. Among Peter's files is an account of items and expenses for his funeral. Among the papers of his wife, Femmetie Hegeman, is the deed and land grant from Peter Stuyvesant to Adriaen Hegeman. Part of this land eventually passed to Femmetie and would become part of the Lefferts farm after her marriage to Peter. The papers of Peter's father, John Lefferts (1719-1776), includes an inventory of his estate taken in 1778 and provides an account of items the Lefferts had closest to the burning down of the Lefferts home in 1776. The files on Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt include accounts of her experiences on the family farm during the 1863 Draft Riots including aiding and sheltering black Americans who had fled from Manhattan. These files also include a manuscript titled "Incidents in the home life during the War of the Revolution" containing recollections of the family's oral history in regards to the Battle of Long Island. A folder on John Cortelyou (1772-1855) includes many documents on his care after he was declared "A Lunatic". John Lefferts was appointed to oversee Cortelyou's estate.

The series also includes some business and legal records related to the Lefferts family and other historic Brooklyn families. This includes some slave bills and indentures, land transfers, estate claims by members of the Ditmars and Vechte families, and the title for the Remsen family farm. An account book of Jacobus Lefferts is also within this series. Jacobus Lefferts was a wealthy farmer in the town of New Utrecht and the account book includes the names of over 60 persons with whom he dealt, mostly also in New Utrecht. For additional documents regarding businesses owned and operated by the Lefferts or documents on the operation of the Lefferts farm, see Series 2: Lefferts Businesses.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: OS 1 Item : 7 Pieter Janse Hagewout (1621-1661)
Box: 1 Folder : 1 John Lefferts (1719-1776)


Moved to Oversize Box 1:

- Inventory of the Estate of John Lefferts, 1778

- Indenture and contract between John Lefferts and James Stryker, 1774

Box: 1 Folder : 2 Peter Lefferts (1753-1791)
circa 1780-1791
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Femmetie Hegeman Lefferts (1760-1847) and Hegeman Family


Moved to Oversize Box 1:

- Indenture and agreement between Femmetie Lefferts and John Cortelyou and Catherine Cortelyou (nee Lefferts), 1797

- Peter Stuyvesant deed conveying land to Adriaen Hegeman a plot of land in Flatbush, 1661. Text is in Dutch.

1661, 1728-1847
Box: OS 7 Leffert Lefferts: Bill of Sale Regarding Land in East Hampton
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Garret Lefferts (1750-1773?)
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Sarah Lefferts Schenck (1766-1848)
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Jacobus L. Lefferts (1757-1799): Account Book
Box: 1 Folder : 7 John Cortelyou (1772-1855)


Moved to Oversize Box 1:

- Two inventories of estate of John Cortelyou in account with John Lefferts, 1809-1810 and 1814-1815

- Two land indentures between Bateman Lloyd and John Lefferts (acting as commissioner of estate of "John Cortelyou a Lunatic"), 1809 and 1813

Box: 1 Folder : 8 John Lefferts (1785-1829) [1 of 2]


- Moved to Oversize Box 1: letter from __icah? Hawkins, 1822

Box: 1 Folder : 9 John Lefferts (1785-1829) [2 of 2]
Box: OS 1
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Leffert Lefferts (1774-1847)
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Maria Lott Lefferts (1786-1865)
Box: OS 3 Item : 1 Leffert Lefferts (circa 1788-?): Columbia College diploma
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Colonel James Lefferts (1800-1862) and Ann Eliza Jones
1808, circa 1907
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Judge John Lefferts (1814-1877)
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt (1824-1902) [1 of 2]
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt (1824-1902) [2 of 2]
circa 1890
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt (1824-1902): Clippings
circa 1880s
Box: 2 Folder : 7 John Lefferts (1826-1893)


Some materials separated due to mold to Mold Box 1.

Box: 2 Folder : 8 John Lefferts (1826-1893): Account Book for Farm and Tenants
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Eliza J. Lefferts (1831-1865), m. John Lefferts of Flatbush, 1851
circa 1850s
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Mary Jenks Lefferts (1840-?), Omar E. Fanning and Bucks County Lefferts
circa 1860s-1920s
Box: 3 Folder : 2 James Lefferts (1855-1915)
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Mary Gray Lefferts (1856-?)
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Carrie Alexander Lefferts and Alexander family


Moved to Mold Box 1:

- Invitation to Ball at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Undated

- Brochure for Parade to welcome home-coming troops, includes picture of Robert Alexander, 1919

Box: 3 Folder : 5 Louise Alexander Lefferts Downs (1882-?), Eliza Lefferts Cooke, and families


- Moved to Mold Box 1: Invitation to wedding of Louise Alexander Lefferts to Ira Bertine Downs

- Moved to Oversize Box 1: certificate of membership to National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution for Louise Lefferts Downs, 1925

circa 1880s-1925
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Smith Family
1817, 1820
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Lott Family
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Remsen Family: Deduction of Title for "The Homestead Farm"
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Miscellaneous Business: Slave Bills, Land Bills, Deeds and Indentures


Moved to Oversize Box 2:

- Deed of Garret Vechte conveying to Henry Vechte in regards to estate of Nicholas Vechte, 1704

- Indenture between Hendrick Lefferts of Jamaica and Isaac Lefferts, 1794

- Indenture between Hendrick and Phebe Suydam and Isaac and Jane Heyer of the first part and Nehemiah Denton, conveying property with mill in Gowanus.

circa 1700-1852

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