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My appreciation to Ronny Bodine for the following article. It is a well-researched paper regarding the two Jean/John Bodines from France who were in New York at the same time toward the end of the 1600's and/or the beginning of the 1700's.

GENERATION ONE

JEAN BODIN - JOHN BODINE
1645 -1707

HUGUENOT IMMIGRANT TO AMERICA
France - England - New Jersey - New York

 

 

Huguenot, any of the Protestants in France in the 16th and 17th centuries, many of whom suffered severe persecution for their faith.  (Encyclopedia Britannica Micropedia, vi, 127)

 

JEAN BODIN, known later in life as JOHN BODINE, was a Huguenot.  For more than 100 years sorting out the details of his life has been the focus of a number of family historians.  Some, in part, have been successful, others have simply perpetuated earlier misconceptions, and at least one has purposely falsified the facts to fit given circumstances.  This account will endeavor to distinguish fact from fiction.

 

The Truth About Jean Bodin

 

JEAN BODIN was born, it is said, in Medis, a village in the Canton of Saujon, District of Saintes, then located in the former French province of Saintonge, on 9 May 1645, based upon "a tradition universal in the family."  This "traditional" statement is set forth by Mary Elisabeth Sinnott in her genealogical work, Annals of the Sinnott, Rogers, Coffin, Corlies, Reeves, Bodine and Allied Families (Philadelphia:  J. B. Lippincott Co., 1905), p. 154.  She does not state how this tradition came about.  The year 1645 was noted earlier in E. P. Bodine's History of the Branch of the Bodine Family Founded by Cornelius Bodine, (Buffalo, 1897), p. 6 and in Biographical, Genealogical and descriptive History of the First Congressional District of New Jersey  (New York:  Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), ii, 283.  The date 9 May 1645 was repeated, subsequent to Sinnott's publication, in Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey (Lee, Francis Bazely, New York:  Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1910), iv, 1368, all of whom cited no references.  No original source for this claim has yet been found.  The location of his birth, Medis, appears to have some basis in fact.  Upon having fled France, the French authorities noted his escape as "Boudin, fugitif de Medit, Election de Saintes" (Archives Nationales, Paris, TT No. 259). Despite an extensive search for this document at the Archives Nationales in Paris, it could not be located and, according to the French researcher employed by me in this search, writing on 7 June 1999, "the document to which Baird refers may have been pilfered from the Archives Nationales, a recurring problem there for many years."

 

Beginning in the 1880s, Mary Elisabeth Sinnott began the research that resulted in the publication of her book in 1904.  In the process she established communication with Samuel Taylor Bodine (1854-1932), of Philadelphia, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist, who had earlier commissioned one Dr. Gustave Anjou (1863-1942) to trace the origins of his family.  At the turn of the century, Dr. Anjou had a reputation for producing family genealogies for those who could afford his steep price.  In 1902, Dr. Anjou completed his research for Mr. Bodine and provided him with a handwritten manuscript entitled The History of a Huguenot Family-Le Baudain (Bodine).  Samuel Bodine provided Mrs. Sinnott with this manuscript or a copy of it and she incorporated many details of Dr. Anjou's research in her book.  The copy of the manuscript may be found in the three volumes of her correspondence and notes held by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.  There was absolutely no reason to doubt the authenticity of Dr. Anjou's well documented research.  One quickly notes many archival citations both in France and the United States.  Dr. Anjou was able to link the Huguenot Jean Bodin with the famous French political economist Jean Bodin (1530-1596) and include both as descendants of a long line of Seigneurs de Villers of the family of le Baudain of Cambray.  This ancient lineage was later published in John Jordan's Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania (Lewis Historical Publishing Company), iii [1911], 1326 and iv [1932], 284 and again in Colonial and Revolutionary Lineages of America (The American Historical Company, Inc., New York, 1942), ix, 547.  Dr. Anjou went on to publish two volumes of Ulster County, N.Y Probate Records in 1906 (reprinted by Palatine Transcripts, 1980) and more than one hundred family genealogies.  His professional career in genealogy was unraveled long after his death and his ability to weave evidence with no basis in fact among research of the highest order has been noted by such eminent genealogists as Donald Lines Jacobus, George E. McCracken, and Milton Rubincam.  For a full account of his life and work see "We Wuz Robbed!  The modus operandi of Gustave Anjou," by Robert C. Anderson, CG, FASG, and "Gustave, We Hardly Knew Ye:  A Portrait of Herr Anjou as a Jungberg," by Gordon L. Remington, in Genealogical Journal, xix, nos. 1 & 2, 1991, p. 47-71.

 

The Huguenot Jean Bodin in 1681

 

The year 1681 was one that will long be remembered in the annals of Huguenot history.  Henry Savile (1642-1687), the British Envoy in Paris from 1679-1682, whose sympathies were on the side of the persecuted Huguenots, in a letter to Sir Leoline Jenkins, Secretary of State, of 25 June 1681 writes:

 

            "The Huguenots are in daily expectation of a very severe edict against them, by which any of their children shall be capable of choosing their religion at seven years old; how this will correct the chastisement of their parents, and how it will expose them to the temptations of the seducers is not apparent.  In Poictou the quartering soldiers upon them has made so many proselytes that the same trick is to be tried in Languedoc, and five hundred dragoons are ordered to march thither for that purpose."

 

Again on July 2d, Savile writes,

 

            "The edict I mentioned in one of my last concerning the Huguenots and their children does so alarm them that they are making extraordinary deputations to the king to prevent it."

(Agnew, Rev. David C. A.  Protestant Exiles from France in the Reign of Louis XIV.  2nd Edition, London: Reeves & Turner, i, 24-25)

 

Indeed, the edict was enacted on 12 July 1681.  It stated that all children aged seven or older could renounce the heretic religion of their parents and join the Established Church.  Interference by their parents would be harshly dealt with.  Children were enticed from their homes with cakes and candies and once in the clutches of the priests would be dragged away kicking and screaming.  In this fashion thousands of Huguenot children were taken from their parents.

 

Dragoons, the King's troops, would enter Huguenot homes and force the occupants to kiss crucifixes tied to their musket barrels.  The homes were then ransacked.  All over, Protestant churches were torn down.  King Louis XIV ordered his dragoons to put an end to the Huguenots once and for all throughout France.

 

In 1681 Jean Bodin was a newly married man.  His wife, Esther, the daughter of François Bridon, belonged to a well-to-do family from Port des Barques, not too far distant, being situated opposite the island of Oléron.  Thoughts surely turned to children and the likelihood of their living in an intolerant environment where they would be taken from them and raised as detested Papists.  The future looked bleak and offered no hope to the young couple.  The situation would only become worse.  It was time to leave. 

 

Dr. Charles W. Baird writing in his landmark Huguenot Emigration to America (New York: Dodd, Meade & Co.,, 1885, reissued Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1973), ii, 13-14:

 

            "The facilities for their escape were exceptionally great.  The harbors and the landing places, along the Atlantic coast on the west, and up the broad gulf of the Gironde, on the south, were just so many open doors, inviting the persecuted to seek their freedom.  Nor could mounted guards, stationed at intervals along the coast, however they might hurry from port to port, and scan the sands and shallows to detect some fugitive, prevent many from succeeding in the attempt."

 

 

 

Jean and Esther Bodin first removed to Soubize, a small village in the Canton of St. Agnant, District of Rochefort-sur-Mer.  Whereas Medis was located a slight distance inland, Soubise was situated on the Charente River, which fed directly into the Bay of Biscay, an avenue of escape leading across the English Channel to England.  Baird writes of Soubize that it was ---

 

            "Near the mouth of the Charente, on the neck of land formed by that tortuous stream as it approaches the sea" and described as an "obscure and decaying " place of about 600 inhabitants.  He continues, "Soubise, anciently a fortified town, and the capital of a small principality, gave its name to the noble house of Soubise, which was one of the last to abandon the Protestant cause."   (Baird, ii, 14-15, 18)

 

Soubise is so obscure it does not appear on any current atlas available to the author.  However, it can readily be found on Cesar Francois Cassini de Thury's (1714-1784) Carte de France, Maps 101-102, a series of 175 exquisitely detailed maps published between 1757 and 1789.  Conditions in Soubise were dreadful.  Dr. Baird relates:

 

            "The curate of Soubise was wont to boast that he waged perpetual war upon the Huguenots, who dared not say one word.  ' They are taken like pheasants by the beak, ' said he; ' and at the slightest sound, off we pack them to the prisons at Rochefort.' "  (Baird, ii, 21)

 

The Escape

 

Jean Bodin, accompanied by his wife, Esther, fled his native country on Saturday, 13 September 1681, a date noted in the financial aid records of the Threadneedle Street Church in London.  Not being a seaman it would have been a very dangerous undertaking to escape under the watchful eyes of those guarding the ports and successfully navigate the Charente and make their way to England.  To overcome this handicap, the couple joined a group of other refugees who did possess the know how to safely make this journey.  Again, the records of the Threadneedle Street Church show the following refugees first receiving aid 14-16 September 1681 and all having arrived from Soubize the previous Saturday.  Clearly, Jean and Esther Bodin had chosen their companions well:

 

            Jean Bodin, farrier, with his wife; Etienne Bourru, seaman; Vincent Bourru, ship's carpenter, with his wife and 4 daughters; Antoine Le Roy, seaman, and his bethrothed Isabelle Du Pas; Elie Du Pus, seaman and ship's carpenter, with his wife and 3 children; and Francois Gaultier, seaman, with his wife, 3 daughters, and a niece.  (Hands, A. P. and Irene Scouloudi, French Protestant Refugees Relieved Through the Threadneedle Street Church, London, 1681-1687, Huguenot Society of London Quarto Series, xlix, London, 1971)

 

French exiles were arriving in England on a continuous basis.  The following appeared in a English newspaper:

 

            "Plymouth, 6th Sept., 1681.  An open boat arrived here yesterday, in which were forty or fifty French Protestants who resided outside La Rochelle.  Four others left with this boat, one of which is said to have put into Dartmouth, but it is not yet known what became of the other three."  (Agnew, i, 29)

 

Within a very short time, days perhaps, the Bodins were safely joined by the Bridons, the family of his wife Esther.  The financial aid records of the Threadneedle Street Church note the assistance first given to Francis Bridon, husbandman, with wife, 2 children and 2 servants, on 23 September 1681, and that 'He left £6,000 in france.'  (Hands, 46)  The escape of the Bridons, like that of the Bodins, did not go unnoticed by the French authorities, who duly noted 'Francois Bridon, sa femme, deux enfans, fugitif de Port des Barques'  (Archives Nationales, Paris, TT No. 259)

 

The Bodins and Bridons in England

 

According to the questionable research of Dr. Anjou, their port of arrival in England was Rye, in Sussex, where Huguenots had already found refuge as early as 1580.  Sinnott (p. 153), drawing further upon the research of Dr. Anjou, reports the births of two children there, Marianna Bodin on 5 March 1680 and Jean Bodin on 23 January 1681, and their baptism at the Rye Church.  An examination of the Parish Registers of Rye, by the author, failed to reveal either of these births or baptisms.  In fact, the dates of birth were not recorded in the registers when a child was presented for baptism.  These dates cannot be confirmed and one wonders at their accuracy and source, yet another strand of fiction woven by Dr. Anjou.  Clearly, since Jean and Esther Bodin did not leave France until 13 September 1681, they could hardly have had children baptised in England before that date.  Further, had the couple had any children, then this fact would have been noted in the financial aid records of the Threadneedle Street Church.  Although the Rye registers shed no light on the baptisms of Marianne and Jean, they do record the following baptism at a much later date:

 

         12 June 1696     Mary Ann, daughter of John Bodin & Hester, his wife, French Protestants

 

(Rye Parish Register of Baptisms, Burials and Marriages, 1682-1727, p. 15)

 

From this entry it would appear that Jean Bodin and his family were still residents of Rye in 1696.  It would be difficult to accept that this baptism refers to another John, Hester and Mary Ann Bodin.  Was Mary Ann a newborn child or was she baptized while a teenager, some 15 years after the marriage of her parents?  Whatever the case, the refugees in Rye had found sanctuary and were accepted by the local population and afforded the use of their church:

 

"At Rye, the refugees were granted the use of the parish church from eight to ten in the morning, and from twelve to two in the afternoon--the appropriation being duly confirmed by the Council of State.  Reports having been spread abroad that the fugitives were persons of bad character, disaffected, and Papists in disguise, the vicar and principal citizens of Rye drew up and published the following testimonial in their behalf:

 

            'These are to certifie to all whom it may concern, that the French Protestants who are settled inhabitants of this town of Rye are a sober, harmless, innocent people, such as serve God constantly and uniformly, according to the usage and custom of the Church of England.  And further, that we believe them to be falsely aspersed for Papists and disaffected persons, no such thing appearing unto us by the conversions of any of them.  This we do freely and truly certifie for and of them.  In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands, the 18th day of April, 1682.  Wm. Williams, Vicar; Thos. Tournay,' etc., etc."--State Papers, Domestic Calendar, 1682, No. 65.

 

(Smiles, Samuel.  The Huguenots:  Their Settlements, Churches, and Industries in England and Ireland.  New York, 1868, p. 182).

 

Between September and December 1681, the Bodins and Bridons obtained financial relief, as previously noted, through the Threadneedle Street Church in London.  This church, first used by French-speaking refugees in 1550, when the Chapel and Sacristy of the Hospital of St. Anthony had been granted to them by the Dean and Canons of Windsor, was the mother church of the Waloon and French congregations in England.  Financial relief to the refugees was instituted on 5 August 1681 and continued until 31 December 1687.  The details of individual payments were consolidated from four manuscripts and published by The Huguenot Society of London in 1971.  This register reveals that Jean Bodin, by occupation a farrier, anchor smith or smith (mareschal d'ancres), with his wife Esther [and no stated children] received 13 grants totalling £3.19.6. between 14/16 September and 10 December 1681.  On 5 November 1681, Andrew Lortie, a French Protestant minister, vouched for his character, as he did for so many of the refugees.

 

Similiar payments were recorded for François Bridon from 20/23 September to 14 December 1681.  His family consisted of his wife, 7-year old daughter and 16-year old son, as well as two servants, Joanna Bouquet and Peter Mounier.

 

The baptismal, marriage, and burial records from 1599 for the Threadneedle Street Church have been assembled and published in four volumes (ix, xiii, xvi, xxiii) by The Huguenot Society of London.  It is regrettable that there is not one mention of Jean or Esther Bodin as a parent, godparent, or witness.  One singular reference may be found of Francois Bridon, appearing as a witness, with Jeanne Bouquet (his servant, as noted in the financial records) and the wife of  François Gotie on 4 December 1681 on the occasion of the baptism of Isabele, daughter of Mathurin Alart and his wife Elizabeth Gindeau (Publications of The Huguenot Society of London, ix, 246).

 

The Bodins and Bridons as English Subjects

 

By order of Council 28 July 1681, King Charles II of England authorized the granting of free denizations to the "distressed Protestants" fleeing for safety to his realm.  Denization was the process of granting a foreign resident a subject's rights--except the rights to inherit property or hold public office, and was generally granted only to adult males.  The only requirement placed upon them as new subjects of the crown was in these terms:--"Provided they live and continue with their families (such as have any) in this our kingdom of England, or elsewhere within our dominions."  Among the first free grants of Letters of Denization entered in S. P. Dom., Car. II [Special Patents, King Charles II], Entry Book 67, on 14 October 1681, were those to John Boudin and Ester, his wife, as well as Francis Bridon, junior, Suzanna, his wife, Francis Bridon, his son, and Elias Vallet, his servant, (Letters of Denization and Acts of Naturalization for Aliens in England and Ireland, 1603-1700, Huguenot Society of London, xix: London, 1911, p. 128-129).  The date of their naturalization given by Sinnott in her Annals (p. 154) as being 21 March 1682, citing Agnew, ii, 45, comes from the subsequent entry in the British Patent Rolls bearing that date.  Agnew was apparently unaware of the existence of the Entry Books.

 

It has not been determined how much longer the Bodins and Bridons remained in England.  If the identity of Mary Ann, baptized in Rye in 1696 is correct, then the family remained in England for quite some time.  The author has been unable to locate any records during the period 1681 to 1700 that makes mention of either family.  Surely some exist, but their whereabouts and availability remain, for the moment, out of reach.

 

Coming to America

 

The arrival in America of Jean Bodin can be ascertained only by 19 June 1701, when Jean Bodin, as a resident of Middlesex County, in the Province of East Jersey, purchased an 80 acre tract of land on Staten Island, New York from Johannes and Neeltje Messereau.  Middlesex County was situated just across Hudson Bay from Staten Island.  The text of this deed reads:

 

            To all Christian people to them this present writing shall come Johannes Messereau of Staten Island in the county of Richmond and Neeltje his wife sendeth greeting in the name Lord God Everlasting.  Now know ye that the said Johannes Messeuer and Neeltje his wife for divers good causes and valuable considerations & _________ unto _________ but more and especially for and in consideration of a competant sum of good and lawful money of the province of New York to them in hand paid att or before the signing and ensealing and delivery of these presents by John Bodine of Middlesex county in New East Jersey the receipt whereof the sd Johannes Messereau and Neeltje his wife doth hereby acknowledge and themselves therwith fully satisfied contented and paid bond from every part and parcel thereof and doth hereby exonerate and discharge the sd John Bodine his heirs Execrs Adminstrs forever by these presents have given and granted bargained sold assigned transported and sett over and by these presents doth give grant bargain sell assign transfer and make over unto the sd John Bodine his heirs Execrs Adminstr or assign a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being situate on Staten Island in the county of Richmond on ye West side of Staten Island being the point of Charles Neck on the North side of the Fresh Kill one irregular piece bounded on the Northeast side by the land of Edward Marshall the dividing line running Southeast and Northwest the other sides are bounded by the Meadow Containing eighty acres being left ________ highway ________ the meadow and likewise his proportionable quantity of meadow ground as by  the Record pattent of Col. Benjamin Fletcher bearing date the second day of August in the year of our Lord One thousand Six hundred and Ninety four may more fully and att large appear together with all houses barns stables _______ fencing and feeding and pastures gardens and meadows ground with their and every of their appurtenances as well the recorded patent and papers whatsoever the _______ belonging in as full and ample manner the same hath been given and granted unto the sd Johannes Messeuer his heirs and asisgns forever Excepting that certaine tract or parcel of land which by mean _______ hath been conveyed and made by Deed of Sale bearing date the 15th day of February anno Dom 1700 unto Barent Simons his heirs or assigns forever bounded on ye Northeast side by the land of Edward Marshall on the East side of the brook fronting to the meadow all the quantity of land lying within the East side of the brook to the line of Edward Marshall with the Choke Mill and the streame thereunto as also the sd Barant Simons his heirs and assigns forever shall have _______ through the sd land for a way to pass and ___ pass from and toward the sd mill without any hinderance from him his heirs or assigns To have and to Hold the above mentioned tract of land and meadow ground to the only sole proper use behoofs and benefits of him the sd John Bodine his heirs Execrs Administrs or assigns forever and the sd Johannes Messeur for himself and his heirs Execrs Administrs doth covenant promise and agree to and with the sd John Bodine his heirs Execrs Administrs or assigns that the sd Johannes Messiur att the time of ensealing and delivery of ye presents hat good right full power and absolute authority to grant bargain sell and convey ye within mentioned tract of land and meadow ground with their and every of their appurtenances and that the sd John Bodine his heirs or assigns shall and may lawfully peacably quietly have hold use occupy possess and enjoy the sd land and meadow free and clear of and from all _______ of former and other gifts bargains sales leases dowers or any incumbrances whatsoever and that the sd Johannes Messeuer his heirs Execrs Administrs or either of them shall and will warrant and forever defend against any person or persons whatsoever laying claim any estate rights title or interest of in to the same.

 

            In Witness whereof the sd Johannes Messeuer and Neeltje his wife hat hereunto sett their hand and seal this 12th day of May and in ye Thirteen year of his Majesties Reighn anno Dom 1701.

 

                                                                                    Johannes (M) Messeuer

                                                                                    Neeltje (O) Messeuer

 

Sealed and delivered in the presence of

Tho Coone

Jan de Puy

Samuel grasset

 

(Richmond County, New York Deed Book B: 402)

 

On 1 December 1702, Jean Bodin, now 57 years old, if the date of his birth can be trusted, found reason to compose his last will and testament.  This will was not available to early family historians as is evident by the following preface to an article in the October 1949 (p. 216) issue of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record entitled "Three Early New York Wills":

 

            "The Society has completed compiling a list of the early probate papers in the Surrogate's Office of New York County for the period 1662-1739, to which attention was drawn in the Editor's Corner of the January 1949 issue of The Record.  As this check brought to light three wills which do not appear in the printed abstracts of the New York Historical Society, they are here published for the first time for the benefit of our readers.--Ed."

 

As the published version differs slightly in the interpretation of the text, the following is the author's rendering from the original will:

 

THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF JOHN BODINE, 1702

 

In the name of god amen the first day of December in the year of our Lord god 1702 I John Bodine of Staten Island in the County of Richmond yeoman being very sick and weak of body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be to god hereof calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men to die do make and ordain this my Last will and testament that is to say prinsapally and first of all I give and Recommend my soul into the hand of god that gave it and for my body I Command it to the Earth to be buried in a Christianlike and desent manner at the discretion of my Executors nothing douting but at the generall resurrection I shall reseve the samee againe by the mighty power of god and as touching such worldly Estate as hath pleased god to bless me in this life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.

 

Impris - I make my well beloved wife Ester mistress and dame of all my hole Effects moveable and unmoveable whatsoever freely to be possessed and enjoyed during her widowhood without any cost or bond whatsoever and if she shall come to marry againe the Estate to fall to my Children and then to be divided amongst all my Children Excepting seven pounds which I give to my son John Bodine and one mare with the proviso that my son John doe Live with his mother to help bring up the rest of the Children, Also not to have no more than his Equall share with the rest of his brothers and sisters.

 

Furthermore my will and desire is that if my wife shall marry again that I appoint Denis Rishe and fransis Bridon my administrators of my Estate so long that my Children Come of age and then to be Equally divided amongst my Children Excepting the seven pounds and a mare which have giving unto my son John with the proviso herein spesefied Restating and Confirming this and no other to be my Last will and Testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this day and year above written.

 

                                                                                    Jean Bodin  (SEAL)

 

Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and Delivered by the said John Bodine as his Last will and testament in the presence of us the subscribers viz:

 

Desonrepos

Jacob Cariot

William Tillyer

                                                                                    New York March 24th 1707/8

 

Then appeared before me Edward Viscount Cornbury, Cap Gen & Gov in Chief & David Bourepos & made oath upon holy Evangelists of Almighty God & he did see the testator John Bodin sign seal publish & declare the within writing to be his Last will & Testament & at the time of his doing thereof he was of Sound & perfect mind & Memory to the Best of this Deposes & Knowlege and he ______ ______ ______ that he did see Jacob Cariot & William Tillyer the other two witnesses to the said Will Sign as witnesses in the presence of the Testator.

 

                                                                                    Cornbury

(New York County Wills, File No. 234)

 

It would appear from the above probate that Jean Bodin, now better known as John Bodine, died shortly before 24 March 1708.  His death likely occurred shortly before 3 January 1708 when his will was noted in New York Calendar of Land Papers, iv [1704-1709], p. 81.  A census taken of the inhabitants of Staten Island and usually assigned the date of 1706 seems, on the surface, to have overlooked Jean Bodine, yet recording his wife and three children:

 

WOMEN

BOYES

GIRLS

hester bodine        

Francies bodine        
Jacob bodine

Jane bodine        

 

(Stillwell, John E.  Historical and Genealogical Miscellany:  Data Relating to the Settlement and Settlers of New York and New Jersey, New York, 1903, i, 150-156)

 

However, Mr. Stillwell points out "the date of 1706 is not always sustained" and "it may become necessary to revise this date" as is evident from several entries and supplemental information that points to 1708, thus coinciding with the death of Jean Bodin.

 

 

The Widow Bodine

 

François Bridon composed his own last will and testament on 7 November 1703, dying within six months.  His daughter, Esther Bodine was appointed executrix and proved the will on 12 May 1704.  Under the terms of the will she was to receive the sum of £80.  On 22 May 1704, as Hester Bodine, she submitted an inventory of his estate valued at £19.15.00.   (New York Wills, v-vi, 385; vii, 168).  Four years later her husband passed away, leaving her to care for their three youngest children, the boys Francis and Jacob, and the girl Jane, who were living with their mother when recorded as such in the Staten Island census.  What became of Esther Bodine in her widowhood is a matter that requires some explanation.  To do so, it will be necessary to first deal with another Bodine family, living contemporarily with John and Esther Bodine on Staten Island.

 

Another John Bodine

 

Jean Bodin of near Bethune, in Artois, France preceded Jean Bodin of Medis to America, by at least two decades or more.  At the time of his birth, Bethune was a part of the Southern Netherlands and was not annexed to France until 1667 when King Louis XIV conquered that area.  He died on Staten Island late in 1694 where his estate was administered upon, 4 March 1695, by his principal creditor, Paulus Richards.  Richards submitted an inventory of the estate on 11 February 1695, reporting its value at £242, including three slaves (New York Wills, v-vi, 75, 87, 106).  Beyond a certain point it is difficult to distinguish earlier events between Jean Bodin and his namesake son.  The earliest date which may be attributed to the elder Jean Bodin occured on 3 November 1677 when he, as Jean Boudin, was witness with Maria Creison at the Reformed Dutch Church for the baptism of Jan, son of Andires Canon and his wife Janetje Pluck (NYGBR, xc, 193).  Maria Creison was the former Maria Reynard, now wife of Jacques Cresson.  One of the two Jean Bodins had land surveyed on Staten Island on 1 April 1686 (Richmond County Deeds, D, 131).

 

His son and only known offspring was Jean Bodin.  The younger Bodin was born about 1663, he being recorded on the Staten Island census of 1708 as John Bodin, aged 45.  The relationship is actually presumed, since he is nowhere stated to be the son of the elder Jean Bodin, though that relationship is virtually certain.  Abraham Lakerman was one of the three witnesses who swore to the estate inventory of Jean Bodin in 1695.  Lakerman was married to Katherine Crocheron whose sister Marie was the wife of the younger Jean Bodin.  Jean Bodin was bethrothed on 26 December 1679 as "Jean Boden, young man from near Bethune in Artois and Maria Crosseron, young dame from near Ryssel in Vlaandern, both residing on Staten Island."  The couple was married on 11 January 1680 at Midwout, likely Dutch for "Middle Wood," an area in Brooklyn, with testimony of the bride's two brothers and Piere Verite all present (Records of the Dutch Reformed Church of Flatbush, abstracted in Year Book of the Holland Society of New York, 1898, 88).

 

About 1681, as John Puden, he had his cattle mark recorded as "A swalloe forke on the Right ear and the left ear Cropt and two slitts Riht down the seam."  In April 1702, this cattle mark was recorded for John Bedine as "A Crop and an under ceall on the left ear and a Swalo forke on the right ear" (The Earliest Volume of Staten Island Records, 1678-1813, pp. 122, 132)On 9 August 1694, a land patent was issued to John Bodine for land adjoining Paulus Richards, Abraham Lakerman, and others (New York Patents, vi, 467), this patent being confirmed on 30 Aug 1708 (New York Patents, vii, 343).

 

On 23 September 1708 'John Bodein' petitioned for a patent of confirmation for a tract of land on Staten Island.  A warrant for a patent of confirmation was issued 27 September 1708 (New York Calendar of Land Papers, iv, 87).  He apparently sold this land as on 22 May 1722, Jacques Pouillon petitioned for a warrant of survey of the land described as "being on the southside of Staten Island confirmed by a patent to one John Bodine and now vested in the petitioner" (ibid, viii, 160).  Jacques Pouillon was the son of Jacques Poillon (died 1720) and his wife Adrianna Crocheron, sister of John Bodine's late wife Marie.

 

Maria Crocheron Bodine died prior to 10 February 1703, when her brother Nicholas, in his will of that date, made a bequest stating "I leave to the children of John Bodine by his first wife, my nephews and nieces..."  (New York Wills, vii, 410).  Family historians have interpreted this statement to mean that John Bodine had already remarried, but this was not the case.  Nicholas Crocheron simply wished to ensure his bequest benefitted his blood relations, the children of his sister Maria, and not any offspring of a subsequent marriage made by his former brother-in-law.  For a detailed account of the Crocheron family see "The Crocheron Family of Staten Island," by Charlotte Megill Hix, NYGBR, cxi [1980], 31-39.

 

John Bodine and Esther Bodine Marry

 

In 1708, there lived on Staten Island, John Bodine, widower, and Esther Bodine, widow.  And then the two married each other.  There is no record of this marriage and the result has caused endless confusion among the descendants of John and Maria (Crocheron) Bodine and John and Esther (Bridon) Bodine.  On the surface it appeared that one John Bodine married both ladies.  This conclusion, first presented by Dr. Baird in his Huguenot Emigration to America (ii, 39) was first questioned as being chronologically impossible by Frank L. Van Wagnen in his The Ancestry of Conrad Van Wagnen (Buffalo, 1946, 111), but nevertheless has continued on for nearly a century.

 

This otherwise unrecorded match becomes evident from a series of transfers in ownership of the 80 acres of land first purchased by Jean Bodin from Johannes and Neeltje Messereau in 1701.  This land came into the possession of Francis Bridon, brother of Esther (Bridon) Bodine, at some unrecorded date.  Then, on 8 May 1722, Francis Bridon sold 70 acres of this land to John Bodine, describing the property in the identical fashion as in the original deed of sale, but retaining 10 acres for himself to reside upon (Richmond Co. Deeds, C, 299-302).  Francis Bridon died in Boston in 1723, as is evident from letters of administration being issued to his widow, Susanna Bridon on 1 August 1723 (New York Wills, ix, 398).  His will, bearing the date of 16 December 1702, was proved in Boston on 22 October 1723 and named his wife as sole heiress and executrix of all his real and personal estate (New York Wills, ix, 412).  Susanna Bridon was apparently already in poor health and soon after, on 10 November 1724, prepared her own will, dying shortly after, as her will was proved on 5 December 1724 (New York Wills, x, 5).  The 10 acres that Francis Bridon had retained for himself, and which passed to his widow upon his death, was devised by Susannah Bridon, in her will, to John Bodine for his life, and upon his death the land was to go to "my well beloved cousin Esther Bodine, wife of John Bodine, for life, then to their children."  John Casson was appointed executor of the will, he being the son-in-law of Esther Bodine and her first husband, having married their daughter, Esther (New York County Wills, File No. 756).

 

In 1737, John Bodine wanted to sell the 80 acres to Joseph Bedell, but was precluded from doing so under the terms of Susannah Bridon's will which stipulated that he had possession of the land only during his lifetime, when it would revert to his widow, Esther, and following her death, to her children by John Bodine, undoubtedly implying her first husband as there was no issue by her second marriage.  Thus, John and Esther Bodine could sell the land only if her children gave up their interest in the 10 acres.  On 2 February 1736/7, John and Esther Casson, as heirs in law of Francis Bridon, sold their right and interest in the 10 acres to John Bodine (Richmond Co. Deeds, D, 104-105).  Finally, on 7 March 1736/7, John and Hester Bodine, sold the land to Joseph Bedell, with Esther's son, Francis Bodine, serving as witness.  The full deed is presented below and constitutes the final known record of Esther Bodine and her second husband.  Similiar releases from the other surviving children are not a matter of record, with the exception of Mary Ann Abelin (daughter of Jean and Esther Bodine, and widow of Jean Abelin), who on 8 September 1743, per memorandum in relation to the above deed, claimed that John Bodine was to pay her the sum of seven pounds.  George K. Schweitzer, Ph.D., noted in his New York Genealogical Research (1988, p. 121) that recording transfers of land from private owner to another was not required before 1810, thus not finding releases from the other children is not unusual.

 

 

DEED FROM JOHN AND HESTER BODINE TO JOSEPH BEDELL

 

The following Deed of Sale was also recorded of Joseph Bedell Esq. the 7th Day of May 1744.

 

                                                                                    Joseph Egbert  Clerk

 

This Indenture made the Seventh Day of March in the tenth year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord King George the Second over great Britaine, &c. and in the year of Our Lord Christ One thousand Seven hundred & thirty six seven Between John Bodine of the County of Richmond & in the Province of New York Yeoman & hester his wife of the One part signefyed by her being a party to & sealing & Delivery of these presents And Joseph Bedle of the same place Esq. of the other part.  Witnesseth that the sd. John bodine & Hester his wife for & in Consideration of the Sum of three hundred & fifty Pounds Currt. Money of New York them in hand paid by the sd. Joseph Bedle at & before the ensealing & delivery of these presents the Receipt whereof they the sd. John Bodine & hester his wife doth hereby acknowledge & themselves therewith fully satisfyed & Contented have Bargained sold alienated Remissed Released And by these presents doth grant Bargain Sell Alienate Remisse & Release unto him the sd. Joseph Bedle to his Heirs & Assigns forever all that Certain tract of Land Situate lying & being one ye North side of the Fresh Kills on Staten Island within the County of Richmond Aforesd. Being the poynt of Karles Neck being irregular pees of land Bounded on the Northeast side by the Land of Edward Marshall the dividing line Running Southeast & Northwest the other sides bounded by the Meadow there being left Sufficient highways to the Meadow Containing Eighty Acres as likewise his propor sharable Quantity of Meadow Ground as by the Return of the Survey bearing Date the first Day of April in the Year of Our Lord one thousand Six hundred & Eighty five.  Relation being thereunto had May more fully appear Together with all & Singular the improvements trees timberwoods underwoods fields feedings pastures Marshes Swamps Ponds Meadows Pooles Rivers Riverlets houses barns Stables Orchards Gardens & all other priviledges profits benefits Commodities advantages hereditaments & appurtenances to the sd. Lot of Land & premises belonging or in any wise appertaining To have and to hold with in the limits & bounds Aforesd. & preporshanable quantity of Meadow ground together withall and singular the Improvements above mentioned with all the priviledges hereditaments & appurtenances and every part thereof unto him the sd. Joseph Bedle and his heirs to the sole use & behoof of him the sd. Joseph Bedle & his heirs & Assigns foeever & the sd. John Bodine for simself & his heirs Execrs. & Admers. doth by these Covenant promise grant & agree to & with the sd. Joseph Bedle in Manner & form following that is to say that he the sd. John Bodine & his heirs Exers. & Admers. the sd. above recited hereby granted & intended to be granted lands and premises with every there Appurtenances  unto him ye sd. Joseph Bedle & his heirs & Assigns against him ye sd. John Bodine & his heirs & Assigns and against all & every other person or persons whatsoever Lawfully Claiming ye Same shall & will warrant & forever by these presents defend furthermore that the sd. hereby granted & intended to be granted Lands Meadows & premises with there Appurtenances and every part thereof are free and Clear of & from all former & other bargains Sales leases Mortgages Grants joyntures Dowers wills entail Recognizances Executions Rents Services Charges Titles troubles & Incumbrances whatsoever had made preferred or procured by him the sd. John bodine or his heirs or Assigns or any of them or by any other person or persons whatsoever by through his or there act or acts Means Consent or procurement And lastly that the sd. John Bodine & hester his wife or Either of them or other of there heirs or Assigns & every other person whatsoever lawfully claiming any Right Interest title or estate in the sd. hereby granted & intended to be granted Lands & premises or any part parcel or member thereof with the Appurtenances by from or under him her or any of them or of any other person or persons whatsoever shall & will att all times hereafter at the proper Cost & Charges in sd. Law of him ye sd. Joseph Bedle or his heirs or Assigns make doe acknowledge & execute unto the sd. Joseph Bedle or his heirs or Assigns all & every such other & further lawfull & reasonable act & acts & wish & wisses Conveyances & apureances unto him ye sd. Joseph Bedle & his heirs & Assigns & by the sd. Joseph Bedle his heirs or Assigns or his or their Consent learned in ye Law shall reasonably advise or acquired.  In Witness whereof the party's first above named to this present Indenture have enterchangeably set there hands & fix there Seals the Day & Year first above written.

 

 

Sealed & delivered in                                                      Jean Bodin (LS)

presents of us                                                                         her

Fransois boden                                                              Hester + Boden  (LS)

John Lisk                                                                              mark

 

 

Richmd. County } The 3.d Day of March Anno 1743-4.

 

Then appeared before me Christian Corsen Esq. one of His Maj. Judges of the Infer. Court of Com. Pleas for the above sd. County, John Lisk one of the witnesses of this within Deed of Conveyance & made oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God that he was present & did see ye withinnamed John Bodin & Hester Boden his wife seal & deliver this Deed as their voluntary Act & Deed for ye. use thereinmentioned and that Francis Bodin the other Witness was then there present & Subscribed his Name as Witness to this within deed & further this Deponent Saith not.

Sworn before me the Day                                                John Lisk

& Year first above written  }

Christian Corsen

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