DeWolf direct line family groups
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The DeWolf story is told because the social and moral tensions in our
society it reflected are still alive and well in our society.
"There came to the once old Plymouth Colony town of Bristol,
R.I., some years prior to the middle of the eighteenth century
a lad, by name of Mark Anthony De Wolf, through whose alliance
with Abigail Potter, of one of the first families of that
settlement, there came a family of fifteen children, eight sons,
who as a family through that and the succeeding generations,
was perhaps, the most powerful and influential in the town,
and as well the wealthiest and most lavish entertainers. The
De Wolfs , too, figured more or less prominently in the Revolution,
...The name is also prominently identified with the public affairs
of the State, there being hardly a year form the close of the
eighteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century when it did
not appear in the roll of the Genreal Assembly of Rhode Island
and for years the Speaker of the HOuse was a DeWolf. Professional
men, scholars and eminent business men have given added lustre
to the family name." (from genealogical encycolpedia of Rhode
It should be added to that that Mark Anthony's children and
grandchildren half ran the triangular trade all by themselves -
especially after the slave trade was outlawed.
See a description of a DeWolf trading voyage
See more book excerpts of the DeWolfs' slave running activities.
of Guadaloupe by Rev. Calbraith B. Perry, D.D. -
Well known DeWolf family history and genealogy. Entire book online. The
family included branches
that went to Pennsylvania, and west, and to
northern Canada, too. SOme lines took the name Dolph, a corruption of the
French pronunciation of the name, and Senator Dolph is a member of this family.
Unrighteous Traffic (from Rhode Island's Slave History): Slave Traders in the
Family: Probing a Dark Past (Alot on Rhode Island and slavery on this web
Traces of the Trade: A Story from
the Deep North Web site of film project on DeWolf family and their place
in the Northern economy
"In Traces of the Trade, Producer/Director Katrina Browne tells the story
of her forefathers, the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. Given
the myth that the South is solely responsible for slavery, viewers will be
surprised to learn that Browne's ancestors were Northerners. The film
follows Browne and nine fellow family members on a remarkable journey
which brings them face-to-face with the history and legacy of New England's
"From 1769 to 1820, DeWolf fathers, sons and grandsons trafficked in human
beings. They sailed their ships from Bristol, Rhode Island to West Africa
with rum to trade for African men, women and children. Captives were taken
to plantations that the DeWolfs owned in Cuba or were sold at auction in
such ports as Havana and Charleston. Sugar and molasses were then brought
from Cuba to the family-owned rum distilleries in Bristol. Over the
generations, the family owned 47 ships that transported thousands of
Africans across the Middle Passage into slavery. They amassed an enormous
fortune. By the end of his life, James DeWolf had been a U.S. Senator and
was the second richest man in the United States.
"The enslavement of Africans was business for more than just the DeWolf
family. It was a cornerstone of Northern commercial life. The Triangle
Trade drove the economy of many port cities (Rhode Island had the largest
share in the trade of any state), and slavery itself existed in the North
for over 200 years. Northern textile mills used slave-picked cotton from
the South to fuel the Industrial Revolution, while banks and insurance
companies played a key role throughout the period. The DeWolf family story
is a quintessential representation of this multi-faceted New England story.
While they were one of only a few "slaving" families, the network of
commercial activities that they were tied into involved an enormous
portion of the Northern population. Many citizens, for example, would buy
shares in slave ships in order to make a profit.
"The film follows ten DeWolf descendants (ages 32-71, ranging from sisters
to seventh cousins) on a journey that is both literal and existential.
Over several weeks during the summer of 2001 the family members retraced
the steps of the Triangle Trade, visiting the DeWolf hometown of Bristol,
Rhode Island, the slave forts on the coast of Ghana, and the ruins of
family plantations in Cuba. The family met with scholars and held
inter-racial dialogues in each country. "
The film is in post production. Plans on how to release the film are a
bit vague. Preliminary versions of the film have already been shown at
several Episcopal Church conferences. They hope to have it shown on PBS,
make it available for pubic viewings, and eventually make it available to
the public in Dvd format.
Union of Black Episcopalians strengthens relationships
Reporting by news service of Episcopal Church on the film
Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities: Traces of the Trade from the web site of a sponsor of the film project
Pictures of Mark Antony (other son of Charles of Guadeloupe),
his wife, and four of his sons
Remember, his wife was probably closely related to his mother,
who was also mother of Simeon.
Balthasar DeWolf lst recorded in Hartford, CT 3/5/1656. He
is mentioned in Wethersfield,CT in 1664, and in Lyme,CT
records in 1668, was living in 1695. His origins are uncertain,
many have been suspected. He is thought to possibly be of
an ancient and quite widespread European aristocratic family.
Specific theories include Livonia, England, France,
and Germany. He wrote with an English style and hand and gave
all of his children English names, though that wasn't unusual
in emigrants to New England of non-English stock. His name is
Dutch or possibly German. During the Protestant Reformation,
many people from HOlland ended up in both Germany and England,
and people from France scattered in every direction, often
through Belgium and Holland to Germany. People from England were
likely to end up in HOlland and eventually Germany, until the
emigration to New England was well underway; only people with
real resources could get to New England.
Perry argues that Balthasar is the reputed son of a Litvonian
aristocrat who went to America; I've not found said son's name
cited anywhere. Odd detail to leave out.
There is a view forming that I'm just beginning to learn the
details that Balthazar was born in Germany to Joseph DeWolf,
b est 1557-1604, d est 1598-1681 or 14, son of Joseph Henry
DeWolf. This is theory of Esther clark McDermott at GenForum,
she cites Carol McGinnis, Dolphs and DeWolph (1990's), Family
Tree Maker, and a researcher named Sallyann Joiner who doesn't
answer mail! A Baron DeWolf was chosen 1517 tcommissioner of
the House of Saxe to settle boundaries of various principalities
of the Imperial Diet, an ability Balthasar and two of his sons
including Edward apparently inherited. Joseph DeWolf became
Admiral in the Dutch Service and then Governer of the
Dutch East Indies. (Supporting this claim would be evidence
he had a son named Balthasar b abt 1620, who cannot be otherwise
accounted for.) The way Esther has it worded, it sounds as if
he went to England and served in Parliament? and had a son
Sir Drmmond DeWolf member of Parliament, and Envoy Extraordinary
and Minister Pleipotenentiary to Turkey, and High Commissioner
to Egypt (seems like this had to have happened several generations
later?) Joseph Henry DeWolf was son of Maximilian DeWolf. b
est 1557-1600 d est 1598- (dates from FTM) married est
1581-1638. He son of Frederick DeWolf. Maximilian Baron of the
Holy Roman Empire, had lands conferred upon him by Emperor Charles
the fifth and took up residence in Belgium in 1535. His oldest
son was Baron Charles de Wolf. Frederick DeWolf was the son
of Emile DeLoup. b est 1409-1486 d est 1445-1561. He was the
son of Louis De Saint Etienne. Grandson of Louis de Saint
Etienne had the title of Baron conferred upon him in 1427 by
the Duke of Saxony, changed his name from French to German
"DeWolf". His chldren were Frederick and Francis.
World Family Tree,
Louis de Saint Etienne saved the life of Charles V of France
while hunting from an attacking she-wolf, and he was knighted
Sir Louis de Loup (Wolf) WFT CD #6 has this pedigree. Etienne
is French for Stephen, and an old city in south-central part
Perry has the first part of this, not the part about the sonof
the governor of the Dutch East Indies.
Wherever they came from, The DeWolfs kept a love of adventure
and of the sea, and were inveterately independent and stubborn.
"The first mention of [Balthasar's] name is found in the Hartford court
records in 1656. He was in Wethersfield, CT (Esther thinks
visiting) and was arrested for smoking on the street. The court
fined him...and as tradition has it...he paid his fine, lit his
pipe, and went out!"
He owned a good deal of land in Lyme and Saybrook, and an
entire island. He served in the militia. Researchers point
out that whoever he was, he was in a position to marry his
children to the wealthiest and most prominent of his
neighbors. Owned Calves Island in Conn R at Old Lyme (Esther)
Lived in Wethersfield CT in 1664, moved to Lyme 1668, member of
town train band 1678 withe sons Edward, Simon, and Stephen
Elected town committeeman.
Balthasar married Alice ___. Possibly Peck, dau Wm.
Edward Nathan b 1646 Guilford CT d 1709/10 New London,CT
(Perry, not on Esther's list)
Simon b ca 1648 Weatherfield, Hartford Co, d 1695 m 11/12/1682
Sarah Lay, dau of John Lay, "a great landowner".
Stephen b ca 1650 Weatherfield, d 10/17/1702 Lyme, New London
Co, CT m (1) Sarah Terry abt 1689 (Esther, Perry didn't
know) (2) Hannah Jones aft 1701 (Esther, Perry didn't know)
Mary b 1/10/1655/1656 Middletown,CT d 10/27/1724 Lyme, New
m as 2nd wife Thomas Lee of Saybrook, said
to have been very attractive. She m 2 Matthew Griswold,
her dau Hannah Lee m Judge John Griswald, she had Gov.
Matthew Griswold, and Phoebe Griswold who m Rev. Jonathan
Parsons, ancestor of Blackhal line of Griswold family.
Susanna b 12/22/1664 East Saybrook, CT d aft 1735 New Haven
m (1) 1684 Henry Champion m (2) John Huntley 1709
Joseph (Perry has ?) It apears from Middletown,CT records that
he is the Joseph De Wolf who drowned in a voyage to Antigo,
10/4/1719. In 12/1742 his widow maried Daniel Merwin of
Wallingford, CT He m 3/11/1713-4 Elizabeth Hubbard dau
of Richard Hubbard. He moved from Lyme to Middletown, bought
land in Middletown, 1714. A son died as aninfant, two girls.
Hannah (Esther, not in Perry) b 1652 Middletown,Middlesex,CT
d 3/28/1712 East Guilford,CT m William Stone 2/20/1673/4
Daughter De Wolf b 9/5/1661 Middletown, d aft 9/5/1661
Daughter De Wolf b 1658 Middletown, d 1661.
One of these infants was bewitched to death. I think someone
hung for the crime!
Edward DeWolf b 1646 Guilford,CT d 1709/10 or 1712,New London,CT m
Rebecca (Esther McDermott thinks prob Rebecca Tinker dau John
Tinker and Alice)
Connecticut volunteer in King Philipp's war.
Edward "was a man of property, like his father living in Lyme,
and highly respected. He was not only a carpenter, but a
millwright, the builder and operator of two saw-mills, and a
grist-mill. ' That his high standing, integrity and good
judgment,' says Mr. Dolph, were well known is proven by the fact that
in 1682, after long delays and difficulties between the people
of New London and their contractors for building their new church,
Edward de Wolf, of Lyme...were called upon to go to New London
and arbitrate between the builders and the people. ...in May, 1686,
the town of Lyme laid out to Edward DeWolf twenty-two acres of land
on account of his work for the town in the matter of the new
meeting house. In 1688, Edward settled upon the Eight Mile
River, and in the same year...built a grist mill. He subsqu
blt a second saw-mill near his hiome on the Eight Mile River."
Simon b 11/28/1671 d 1704 a son, Nathan, of Saybrook, one
of the three emigrants to Nova Scotia.
Charles b 9/18/1673 d 12/5/1731
Benjamin b 12/3/1675
Stephen d 1711
"In Lyme, vessels were built which went out to many markets,
chiefly to the West Indies,and brought back cargoes to its
wharves. Probably by these means Charles De Wolf made his
'venture' to the island of Guadaloupe." (Perry)
Charles De Wolf b 9/18/1673 d 12/5/1731 m 1694? Prudence White
A merchant, kept a general store, amassed considerable property
Lived in Glastonbury, CT
Esther thinks he married Prudence Beckwith, dau Matthew Jr and
Elizabeth, in Glastonbury, CT
Charles b 1695
Matthew of Bolton,CT
John b 1704
Mary m Dr. John Arnold of Middletown,CT
Elizbeth m Ebenezer Brewster
Joseph b 1717 of Glastonbury, a son Abda m Mary Coleman
Charles De Wolf b 1695 Lyme, CT m 3/31/1717 Guadeloupe Island,
margaret Potter, prob died there. Margaret Potter was said
to be English, may never have been to America, but believed
to be clsoely related to the brother of Abigail Potter who
already ran a shipping empire out of Bristol, Rhode Island,
and brought Charles' son to Bristol as his clerk and married
him to his sister. Charles was a millwright and made a
small fortune before or after movingto Guadeloupe, where
he became wealthy as an international merchant and shipper
off of the triangular trade. In the French Indies, this did
not take a large amount of resources to start with; people
started with relatively small, light, fast vessels and small,
flexible operations, usually it included privateering and
Simon b 3/8/1719 He was sent back to Connecticut to his
Prudence b 4/16/1721
Sarah b 9/27/1724
Mark Anthony b 11/8/1726 d 11/9/1793m 8/25/1744 Bristol, RI, Abigail
Potter, b 2/2/1726, dau of Hopestil and Lydia Potter, of
Bristol, RI. He d 11/9/1793, she d 2/7/1809.
Mark Anthony was educated at a French school on Guadeloupe
and then brought to Rhode Island by Simeon Potter. He did
well as a clerk, interpreter, captain, for them and in busi-
ness for himself, his children particularly James did
well indeed, as privateers, smugglers, international shippers,
two of his sons ran the city of Bristol. They had belligerent,
quite obstinate, fiercely independent and adventure loving
personalities, and when importing slaves was outlawed they
continued to smuggle slaves into the colonies and to hold
off the Law.
Simon DeWolf m 8/27/1741 Esther Strickland d 5/21/1761
Margaret b 8/17/1742 m 1/26/1764 Ezekiel Cogswell
Lucretia b 5/12/1745
Charles b 4/19/1747 d 1814 Perry says he was only child of
Simon he could trace his descendants; he a hatter, Brooklyn,
CT, moved to Mehoopany, Wyoming Co, PA, d 1814, most of his
sons married there, many of his descendants live in that and
neighboring towns. his wife said to be of fmaily of Gen.
Amasa b 12/26/1748
mark Anthony b 3/9/1752
Esther Prudence b 8/31/1754 prob d unm
Sarah b 6/29/1757
Mary b 1/6/1760 Middletown, CT m (1) Daniel Sizer
he m (2)
8/18/1761 Mrs. Tabitha Booth (????? This is completely
different than what I have in my family records) d 3/14/1801
age 84. (from Perry)
Sizer genealogy has Daniel Sizer, b 3/31/17454, Middletown
CT, m 2/22/1781, Mary DeWolf (middletown ch record) Mary
the dau of Simon and Esther Strickland DeWolf she d 5/19/1834
her will probated may 1834, Danile Sizer d of small pox,
3/24/1826, in Middletown.
MAry DeWolf and Daniel Sizer are parents of wife of Amzi Allen.
Contact Dora Smith at email@example.com