Bayonne was first sighted by Henry Hudson in
1609. He explored the area, anchoring at Sandy and Constable Hooks. He
passed through Kill van Kull and continued to the river which is known
today as the Hudson River.
Bayonne is a peninsula located south of Jersey
City, between New York and Newark bays with the Kill van Kull on the south.
Staten Island lies just across the Kill, Elizabeth and Newark across Newark
Bay and New York City and Brooklyn across New York Bay. The area of Bayonne
is quite small, being only three miles long and the widest part of the
peninsula is one mile.
Early in 1614, the States General of Holland
passed an act giving to certain merchants of Amsterdam the exclusive right
to trade and establish settlements within the limits of the country explored
by Hudson. Not long after, a fleet of five small trading vessels arrived
at Manhattan Island, New York, carrying men and supplies to build a fort.
There were a few small crude huts already built
there by former Indian traders (possibly French) but now a fort for defense
was erected and the settlement named New Amsterdam.
In 1629, the States General granted a bill
of "Freedom and Exemptions" to all such private persons as would plant
any colonies in any part of New Netherland, except Manhattan Island. The
members of the West India Company were also granted special privileges
and whoever of its members would plant a colony of 50 persons should be
a feudal lord or "Patroon" of a tract "sixteen miles in length fronting
on a navigable river, and reaching eight miles back."
On December 4th
and 5th, 1654, patents were issued for land in the southerly part of Jersey City
and Bayonne. September, 1655, an Indian attack killed many settlers. The
families fled back to New Amsterdam. In 1658, a treaty was drawn up and the
Indians sold the
Dutch settlers the
property. Among the early settlers of Bayonne were the families of Vreeland, Buskirk, Van Riper, Garrabrant, Brinkerhoff, Sip,
Van Winkle, Cadmus, Braecke, Salter, Van Horn and others.
Today we search the records for traces of our
ancestors. It has become more than a hobby - to some of us, an obsession!
We all want to know where we came from and what our people were like. Hopefully,
we can help. Together, past and present Bayonnites can trade information,
gather more and share in our knowledge about our ancestors who lived in