|We are happy to offer our first items of genealogy and local history from Kings County, NY, one of New York State's original counties -- people today know the county as Brooklyn -- and we plan to offer additional items of historical interest soon.|
|Now Available for Download|
The Kings County chapterin Mather & Brockett's Geographical History of the State of New York (1848). We have grouped the counties and provided several in a download according to their sequence in this historic volume. Included in this grouping are Albany County, New York County, Kings County, Queens County, Richmond County, and Suffolk County. 50+ pages, PDF format, download now for $3.75
The Kings County chapterfrom French's Gazetteer of the State of New York (1860). Here is a look at Kings County a few years after Mather & Brockett's chapter. Today, of course, Brooklyn is more or less synonymous with Kings County, but at the time of this volume, Kings County consisted of six towns (italicized in this list) and numerous localities: Brooklyn, Williamsburgh, Green Point, Wallabout, Bedford, New Brooklyn, Bushwick Cross Roads, Bushwick Green, Gowanus, South Brooklyn, Flatbush, Greenfield, Flatlands, Canarsie, Gravesend, Unionville, The Cove, New Lots, East New York, Cypress Hills, New Utrecht, Fort Hamilton, Bath, and Bay Ridge. 9+ pages, PDF format, download now for $2.50.
Charity in Kings County, NY in 1906.We are in the process of republishing sections of volume II of the Annual Report of the State Board of Charities for the year 1906. The material will be of interest to local historians who wish a better picture of charitable institutions in their locale a century ago, to genealogists and family historians interested in the people who administered charity back then as well as how any unfortunates housed in these facilities may have lived, and to those who have questions about the now-politicized "safety net" for the unfortunates in our society back in those years. This section addresses the public and private charities in Kings County, as well as public charities in Queens County (public charity in those counties was at the time under the direction of the Department of Public Charities for the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens) in 1906 that were registered with the State Board of Charities. 90++ pages, in PDF format, download now for $4.00.
Antiquities of Long Island by Gabriel Furman (1874). This item is a classic compendium of the colonial history of Long Island (including today's Brooklyn) -- its Dutch Reformed, Puritan, Anglican religious traditions; its time as a part of Connecticut; dealings with Native Americans; a little genealogy -- it's all here. While Long Island is a melting pot today, this volume reveals how long the history of cultures meeting and mixing on Long Island has been a way of life. 274 pages, in PDF format, download now for $4.25.
Sixty Years with Plymouth Church by Stephen M. Griswold (1907). This Brooklyn Heights church, always highly independent in its attitudes, grew from the Puritan movement in New England, and its early members were transplanted New Englanders. Its first preacher was Litchfield, CT-born Henry Ward Beecher, who was noted as a great orator and was certainly a charismatic personality. One is tempted to consider Plymouth Church as an early example of what today we would call a megachurch, so large was its membership and so widespread its influence, especially in areas outside those normally relegated to churches.
The book is largely biography of Beecher. It will be of interest not just to those who are interested in Brooklyn, or New York City generally, or Litchfield, CT, but also those whose focus is on the abolitionist movement, and the relationship of organized religion in the years leading up to and during the Civil War. It was not for nothing that the Sharps rifles donated to abolitionists in Kansas before the Civil War were referred to as Beecher’s Bibles. It was a reference to his statement that they would do 100 times the good that sending Bibles would do. There’s no question that the author is an apologist for Henry Ward Beecher. His treatment of Beecher’s trials for adultery will make that much evident. His treatment of Beecher’s role in fomenting the Civil War, on the other hand, is probably fairly accurate. Not as well covered are Beecher’s prohibitionist activities, nor his strong support for rights for women. Interestingly, the Plymouth Church still exists today, and is a member of a branch of Congregationalism that did not participate in the reorganization of that faith into the dominant Congregationalist organization of individual Congregationalist churches in the United States today, the United Church of Christ (U.C.C.). (A subsequent pastor of this church, Newell Dwight Hillis, mentioned in this book, was also a propagandist for a subsequent war, World War I. We have republished one of his pamphlets on our World War I page.)
216+ pages, in PDF format. Download Sixty Years with Plymouth Church now for $3.25.
CLICK HERE to return to our New York State page