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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 8: Books and Scrapbooks, 1659-1917. 8 Linear Feet in 2 record cartons, 2 document boxes, and 4 oversized boxes.


The books are arranged alphabetically by title and description.

Scope and Contents

The Books and Scrapbooks series contains a variety of books which were either created by or maintained by the Lefferts family or acquired by the attendants of the Lefferts Historical House Museum. Books were kept within the collection if they had a strong connection to the Lefferts family or the Lefferts Historical House, if they had a strong connection to the life of the Lefferts particular to colonial American history, or if they included important inscriptions, marginalia, or notations and correspondence.

There are a variety of religious books and bibles within the series including four very large bibles. Three of these bibles are in Dutch and date from the mid-17th Century to the mid-18th Century. The oversized Dutch Bibles are published by Hendrick and Jacob Keur and the oversized English Bible is published by Benjamin Kennicott. These family bibles were likely important pieces of the Lefferts household and many included handwritten accounts of family births, deaths, and marriages. Many of these documents have been moved to the Genealogical Material series but the Dutch Keur Bible from 1741 still includes some inscriptions of Cowenhoven family and Lefferts family births and deaths. In addition to the large family bibles, there are also several editions of the small Het Nieuwe Testament. The Reformed Dutch Church of Flatbush pointed out in its "Quarter Milllennial Anniversary" booklet (1904) that "it is probable that all the Dutch families own one or more of these books still" indicating the importance of this New Testament in Dutch to the religious families of Flatbush with Dutch heritage even into the 20th Century.

There are some cookbooks and housekeeping guides included in this series. Most notable of these is the handwritten cookbook that was likely compiled by Maria Lott Lefferts and Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt. This cookbook also contains a loose page of recipes and some sewing threads that were left inside the book. Some of the printed cookbooks also contain handwritten recipes in the margins. The Receipts donated by the members of Saint Anna's Chapter of Saint Paul's Church in the Village of Flatbush includes a handwritten recipe for "Mother's Muffins" (page 42) and  Housekeeping in old Virginia: Containing contributions from two hundred and fifty ladies in Virginia includes a handwritten recipe for "Sweet Pickled Fruit." Some more recipes, these used by Cornelia Stuyvesant, can be found in the  Lefferts House and Ephemera series.

Other notable books in the series include the arithmetic workbook of Maria Lott Lefferts, a scrapbook belonging to the Alexander family containing an assortment of collected and hand-drawn book and advertisement designs, the rare Batavische Arcadia by Johan van Heemskerk (1662), and several old-Dutch religious books from the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 6 Item : 1 Alle de werken van Mr. Wilhelm Perkins, Zeer vermaarde, en voortreffelijke Ghod-Gheleerde (inscribed with: "Cornelius Van Der Veer")
1659, 1796
Box: 6 Item : 2 Arithmetic Work Book of Maria Lott Lefferts
circa 1800s
Box: 6 Item : 3 Batavische Arcadia by Johan van Heemskerk
1662, 1781
Box: 6 Item : 4 Bybelsche History Liedekens by Joannes Kannewet (inscribed with "Peter Lefferts")
Box: 6 Item : 5 Catechizatie Ober den Heidelberghischen Catechismus der Gereformeerde Christelicke Religie by Petrum DeWitte
Box: 6 Item : 6 Cookbook (probably of Maria Lott Lefferts)
Box: 6 Item : 7 Genealogy of the Lefferts family, 1650-1718 by Teunis G. Bergen


Includes a write up on and letter to James Edward Jenkins from Commodore Grinnell and portrait photos of Cornelia Lefferts (Mrs. James Edward Jenkins), James Edward Jenkins, Lewis Lefferts Jenkins, and Georgette Pell (Mrs. Lewis Lefferts Jenkins)

1862, 1878
Box: 6 Item : 8 Het Nieuwe Testament (inscribed with "Pieter De Marest")


Includes birth and death lists for Demarest family.

1717, 1728-1748
Box: 6 Item : 9 Het Nieuwe Testament (inscribed with "AV")
Box: 6 Item : 10 Het Nieuwe Testament (inscribed with "Femmetie Hegemann")
1770, 1775
Box: 6 Item : 11 "History of the Town of Flatbush" by Rev. Robert G. Strong reprinted from The Illustrated History of Kings County, editor Dr. H. R. Stiles


Moved to Mold Box 1: Two extra copies.

Box: 6 Item : 12 Housekeeping in old Virginia: Containing contributions from two hundred and fifty ladies in Virginia, Ed. Marion Cabell Tyree (pages missing)
Box: Mold 1 Item : 2 The Hymnal, music book
Box: 7 Item : 1 A Large Dictionary English and Dutch, in Two Parts, 4th Edition (inscribed with: Mrs. G.L. Martense)
Box: 7 Item : 2 Laws of the State of New York passed at the Third Meeting of the Ninth Session of the Legislature of the said State (inscribed with "Philip Nagel")


Includes letter from letter from New York State Supreme Court Justice Russell Benedict to Lefferts Historical House explaining Philip Nagel's connection to Flatbush history.

1786, 1917
Box: 8 Item : 1 Lefferts Bible: Dutch Bible
Box: 8 Item : 2 Lefferts Bible: Dutch Bible (of Cowenhoven family and Lefferts family)
Box: 9 Item : 1 Lefferts Bible: Dutch Bible (of Femmetie Lefferts and Lefferts Cooke family)
Box: 9 Item : 2 Lefferts Bible: Universal Family Bible by Rev. Benjamin Kennicott
Box: 10 Item : 1 The London Art of Cookery and Domestic Housekeepers' Complete Assistant by John Farley
Box: 10 Item : 2 Lust-Hof der Christelijker Gebeden by Willem Teellinck
1672, 1743
Box: Mold 1 Item : 3 On the Chafing-Dish, cookbook
Box: 10 Item : 3 Receipts donated by the members of Saint Anna's Chapter of Saint Paul's Church in the Village of Flatbush
Box: 10 Item : 4 Redelijke Godsdienst by Wilhelmus a Brakel (inscribed with "Cornelius Van Der Veer")
1739, 1788
Box: Mold 1 Item : 4 Scrapbook of Carrie Alexander
circa 1884
Box: 11 Item : 1 Scrapbook of George William Alexander
circa 1860s-1890s
Box: Mold 1 Item : 5 The Waverly Gallery by Charles Heath (inscribed with "Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt")
Box: 12 Item : 1 De Weegschale der genade Gods by Bernardus Freeman (pages missing)
circa 1721
Box: 12 Item : 2 The Works of that late learned minister of God's Holy word, Mr. William Pemble (4th Edition)
Box: 12 Item : 3 Lefferts Bible: Holy Bible (of Carrie Ann Lefferts)

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