Hubbard Database - Page 1
(1) An article found at PBS (Public Broadcast System) website discussing the background of
Anthony Van Salee and his descendants. The article was published in conjunction with a
television series on race relations in America and focused on multi-racial family lines.
Anthony Van Salee had a dutch father (Jan Janszen Van Harlaam) and an Arab-Muslim mother.
Anthony and Abraham van Salee were the ancestors of the Vanderbilts, the Whitneys,
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Humphrey Bogart.
They were among the earliest arrivals to 17th century New Amsterdam. In a number of
documents dating back to this period, they are both described as "mulatto". From what
scholars have been able to piece together about their background, they appear to have
been the sons of a Dutch seafarer by the name of Jan Jansen who had "turned Turk" and
become an admiral in the Moroccan navy. With the Port of Salee as the base from
which it harried European shipping, references to the fleet he commanded are salted
away in the old English sea shanties that are still sung about the Salee Rovers. The
mother of his two sons was probably a concubine he had while trading in this part of the
world before his conversion to Islam.
As a result of the anti-social behaviour of his white wife, Anthony van Salee was induced
to leave the city precincts of lower Manhattan and move across the river, thus becoming
the first settler of Brooklyn. Since Coney Island abutted his property, it was, until
sometime in the last century, also referred to as "Turk's Island"; the word, "Turk", being
a designation of his which the records used interchangeably with, "mulatto". According to
the documentation that people like Professor Leo Hershkowitz of Queens University
have sifted through, it would seem that Anthony van Salee never converted to
Christianity. His Koran, in fact, was in a descendant's possession until about fifty years
ago when, ignorant of its relevance to his family's history, he offered it for sale at auction.
The Van Salee history also includes a more contemporary black collateral branch in the
U.S. Anthony's brother Abraham fathered an illegitimate son with an unknown black
woman. The son became the progenitor of this side of the family. Although having to
face constraints that their "white" cousins could at best only imagine, two of these van
Salees nevertheless left their mark in the annals of African American history.
Dr. John van Salee De Grasse, born in 1825, was the first of his race to be formally
educated as a doctor. A member of the Medical Society of Massachusetts, he also served
as surgeon to the celebrated 54th Regiment during the Civil War. His sister, Serena,
married George Downing who was not only an enormously successful black
restauranteur both in New York City and in Newport, RI, but a man who used his wealth
and connections with the East Coast's most powerful white families to effect social
change for his people. Because of his organization and his own contribution to the
purchase of Truro Park in Newport, one of the streets bordering it still bears his name.
Interestingly enough, this genealogy was done as part of an ongoing study of the Ramopo
in Tappan, NY, one of those red, white and black groups sociologists and ethnographers
are now working on and which in academese are referred to as "tri racial isolates". It is
because of what advantages their Indian heritage (no matter how discernably negroid they
were) legally and officially provided them that the opportunity for "passing" in these
groups was not only a more ambiguous political or moral decision but, comparatively, a
more easily documentable one as well.
Considering how important a role John Hammond of Columbia Records played in the
establishment of the black music industry, it would certainly be worth exploring the
possible influence his van Salee ancestry might have had on his career. Back then, there
would have been no option possible for publicly declaring himself black according to the
"one drop" racial code that was the law in most states until the Johnson administration.
With a Vanderbilt for a mother, his iconographical value to the white majority was so
important that had he dared to tamper with it, the KKK or some such group would most
probably have made him pay the ultimate price for having desecrated his and the prestige
of his relatives who had, after all, fairly well succeeded in making themselves the
equivalent of this country's royal family. Hammond died a few years ago but since his
son, following in his father's footsteps, has become a recognized exponent of R&B his
could prove to be a very important interview for us.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Either Professor Hershkowitz, or Tim Beard, former head of the Genealogical
Department of the New York Public Library related this incident regarding van Salee
genealogy. At the time the Kennedy administration began implementing its civil rights
agenda, the New York Genealogical and Historical Society approached Mrs. Kennedy
hoping to discuss the opportunity her African ancestry, through the Van Salees, could
have in possibly assisting her husband to realize his social goals regarding race relations.
Mrs. Kennedy insisted on referring to the van Salees as 'Jewish,' and the New York
Genealogical Society did not push the subject further.
Humphry Bogart and Ruth Gordon in a scene from the 1927 film "Saturday's Children."
He is a Van Salee descendent and she is a Pendarvis descendent. A few years later,
another descendant attempted to pass off the racial description of the van Salles in the
official records as nothing more than malicious humor.
Researched and Written by Mario de Valdes y Cocom, an historian of the African
(2) An article found on the Internet mentioning a direct ancestor, Abraham Hubbard. The
article concerns the oldest remaining houses in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. One
of the ten oldest homes in Brooklyn was originally built by the Hubbard family. Four of the
ten oldest houses are listed as having been built by our ancestors.
Hubbard House,2138 McDonald Avenue, Brooklyn
Plantation 15 of the northwest square of s'Gravensande was bounded on
the east by the Indian footpath that was later to be called Gravesend Avenue
and now is McDonald Avenue.
It was allotted to Thomas Morrell who conveyed it
to Bartholomew APPLEGATE in 1653.
It belonged to Thomas DELAVALL in 1667,
to Samuel HOLMES in 1679,
to Nicholas STILLWELL 1692 and
to Joachim GUYLYCK (GULICK) in 1693. .
By 1769, six acres of it had come into. the possession of Coert JOHNSON
who was probably a descendant of the Hendrick JANSEN and Elizabeth LAKE who
lived in Gravesend when their son Court was baptized 25 December 1696. .
Coert JOHNSON had a son Hendrick who inherited the property and whose
heirs divided it into five parts in 1830. One of the parts went to Ellen
JOHNSON (died 31 August 1865), widow of Abraham HUBBARD.
Who built the older part of the house that stands on her property? No
one seems to know. She transferred it to her son Samuel (baptized 13 December 1812)
shortly after she received it, and it was probably Samuel who added the south
wing to the original dwelling. He was living in the house as late as 1890.
His father Abraham HUBBARD was the son of Samuel HUBBARD and Ann EMANS,
Samuel's second wife. Samuel (born 25 April 1742) was the son of James HUBBARD
(b.18 June 1706 - d.23 October 1798) and Aeltje RYDER who were married in
James was the son of Samuel (b.3 May 1676) who was the son of "Serjeant"
James HUBBARD, one of the founders of s'Gravensande.
In 1655, Serjeant James had a wife named Martha. On 31 December 1664 he
married Elizabeth BAILIES or BAYLIS. He was named on the town's patent, was
its magitrate a number of times and its schout-fiscal in 1650. With two
other Englishmen he rebelled against the Dutch in 1655 and was imprisoned. He
represented Gravesend in the Hempstead Convention of 1665.
Before his death, which occurred prior to 1693, he put the following entry
in the Gravesend Town Book:
The record of mee James HUBBARD: To certifie mine or any other of
his brethern William: John: Henry & Margaret wth him selve ye
youngest of leaven Sonns & dafters: yet butt five known of here,
or our father Henry HUBBARD & our mother Margrett: of ye Towne of
Langham: in ye Countye of Ruttland yeaman: stands upon ye record
of ye regester To be ye 123: Generation: As I have received by
letters in ye yeare 1669: & my Children with ye Rest of my Bretherens
children are ye 124: Generation: wch I James HUBBARD of Gravesend on
ye wester end of Long Ile land desired To have Recorded on ye Townes .
Regester of Gravesend: for his children To add & to have Respect unto:
for there better knowledge of There Relations in ye parts of Urope ye
land of England in Cass of There Travells To those parts.