DeWolf family groups
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DeWolf direct line family groups

This page is one of my qualifying stories for
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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. 

 Charles D'Wolf 

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. The 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 site.) 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 From Synopsis: "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 hidden enterprise. "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.

Abigail Potter

Mark Antony

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 of France. 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. Children: 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 Haven Co. 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 in Guilford,Ct 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. 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." (Perry) Children: 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 Edward 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 Children: Charles b 1695 Matthew of Bolton,CT John b 1704 Stephen Simon Prudence Mary m Dr. John Arnold of Middletown,CT Elizbeth m Ebenezer Brewster Rebekah 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 smuggling. Children: Simon b 3/8/1719 He was sent back to Connecticut to his grandfather. 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 Their children: 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. Walbridge. 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