Richard Corwin’s “homestead” north of Beaver Dam Rd, near Locust Ave

From: Richard Thomas
Sent: Monday, September 05, 2011 3:34 PM
To: ‘Martin VanLith’
Cc: Deitz, John
Subject: Richard Corwin’s “homestead” north of Beaver Dam Rd, near Locust Ave.

Richard Corwin moved from his large farm north of the Miller farm to a farm he purchased in June 1862 from John Warren Swezey and Phebe Swezey, his wife.

I think I did look at that deed, but it is a book of deeds kept in the “vault,” and I may not have copied it.

The farm was between the George Burnett farm and the William Brewster Rose farm. John Warren Swezey was the older brother of William Egbert — William Egbert being the father of William, Wallace, Chauncey, Laura, and Emma.

William Egbert often appears as “Egbert Swezey.” (He’s the one over whom there was a big brouhaha in July 1895 when Addison Bumstead and Forest Reeve lead a mob of “one hundred Brookhavenites,” that included Egbert’s son, William, and also Sid Hawkins and John Seaman, which tried to prevent his daughter, Laura Booth, from having him committed. See:

Richard Corwin was living there earlier though, since the 1860 Census shows his neighbors to be the George Burnett family, the Egbert Swezey family, the John W. Swezey family, and the Wm. B. [Brewster] Rose family.

June 1862 may be when the deed was recorded rather than when Richard Corwin purchased the property.

John W. Swezey was sometimes known as J. Warren Swezey. (That was how he is listed when he was made an Overseer of Highways of the Town of Brookhaven for a region of the Town near Fire Place Neck in 1863, a post held by Sylvester N. Corwin in 1856 and 1857, by Andrew Gildersleeve in 1858, by William Snow in 1859, and Augustus Hawkins in 1860 and 1861. John W. Swezey is shown as J. Warren Swezey in the 1870 Census.)

John W. Swezey was a member of the Fire Place Congregational Church in November 1842, which met in the Lecture Room that had been erected by Richard Corwin Jr.

By December 1870, Richard Corwin’s son, Sylvester N. Corwin had been elected a trustee of the more distant South Haven Presbyterian Church. (Trustee terms are for three years, and through at least December 1893, Sylvester Corwin was re-elected a trustee every time his term expired.)

Richard Corwin Jr. calls this property (the one north of, but not on, Beaver Dam Road) his “homestead” when he deeds the property to his son William Hampton Corwin, in May 1881.

He also purchased some meadow land for $250 (located between the Connecticut River and “a road leading to Philips Dock”) from the John W. and Phebe Swezey in 1863.

I do have a copy of the following deed: Richard Corwin (Jr.) to William Hampton Corwin, 19 May 1881, Liber 279, pg 64.

In this 1881 deed, Richard Corwin conveys to his youngest living son, William Hampton Corwin, his “homestead, where I now live.” This land was reached by a right-of-way on the north side of Beaver Dam Road. (The “homestead” was bounded on the west and north by the lands of George Burnett, on the east by the land of William Brewster Rose — later, the Ford estate — and on the south by the lands of William Egbert Swezey.

Richard Corwin executed other deeds for his other sons, Sylvester N. and Nathaniel H., on the same date, which was five days after the death of his second wife, Eliza.

He died the following year on 28 Feb 1882.

The deed also conveys the approximately four acres of meadow land Richard Corwin had purchased in 1863 and Lot No. 23 in the Great Division of lots. That lot would have been between Old Town Road and Oak Lawn Cemetery.

(The Great Division is those long, narrow, north-south lots between the Yaphank Line on the East and Winthrop’s Patent on the West. These lots lay north of the South Country Road in South Haven. At the west end, near Station road, the south end of the lots was “the swamp path.” The north end of the lots of the Great Division was the Five Mile Hollow Line, I think. Near the head of Beaver Dam Creek, near Old Town Road, where Lot No. 15 terminated, and running at least as far as Lot 26, there was an east-west line called the “Rose and Mott Line.” The “Rose and Mott Line” didn’t mark the south end of the lots in this region, so I think it may just have divided the long lots into smaller pieces. The line was far enough north of the south end of the lots to leave ~32-35 acres below the Rose and Mott Line in each lot. The Suffolk Club owned part of Lot 2, the Barteaus and Jean Smith owned part of Lot 6, Sylvester Corwin owned parts of Lots 7, 8, and 9 (in the vicinity of where Yaphank Ave crosses Horse Block Rd), Nathaniel Miller owned parts of Lots 14 and 15 near Beaver Dam Creek and Old Town Road, James Howell Post owned Lot 27 at Oak Lawn Cemetery. Richard Corwin had deeded the half of Lot No. 8 that he owned (between Horse Block and Gerard Rd) in 1881. Also in that deed was Lot No. 20, which ran from the “Rose and Mott Line” to the “Five Mile Hollow Line.”)

Finally the deed to William Hampton Corwin conveys:

Also the privilege of interment in the family burying ground and the right of way to and from the same.

So William Hampton Corwin, his heirs and assigns, were conveyed an interest in a right of way to and from the Corwin family burying ground, and the privilege of being interred in it. The deed does not state where the right-of-way is located.

I should look up what William Hampton Corwin did with the Richard Corwin “homestead” after he inherited it.


P.S. From “A History of Long Island, From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time,” by William S. Pelletreau, A.M., Vol. II, 1905, beginning about p. 268, (paraphrased and summarized):

On February 6, 1773, the New York Assembly passed an act that placed Winthrop’s Patent under the jurisdiction of the Town of Brookhaven. The eastern boundary of Winthrop’s Patent was at a “fresh pond.” The pond was on “Stars Neck” west of the creek that separated “Stars Neck” from Accombomack Neck (Bellport). The western boundary of Winthrop’s Patent was the Islip Town line (“the river Namke”). It ran from the bay to the “middle of the island.” Major John Winthrop, former governor of Connecticut, purchased the land from Tobacus in June 1664 and had his purchase approved by the governor, Edmund Andros, in the form of a royal patent, on 29 Mar 1680.

On the bay side, Winthrop’s Patent consisted of nine necks: Blue Point, Tucker’s Neck, Smith’s Neck, Short Neck, Pochaug, Swan Creek Neck, Pine Neck, Moger’s Neck, and Francis Neck.

John Still Winthrop, son of the governor, inherited Winthrop’s Patent and sold Moger’s Neck and Francis Neck to Thomas Strong and John Brewster, 14 Oct 1719. The remainder wasn’t sold until 27 Mar 1752, when John Still Winthrop sold it to Humphrey Avery of Boston.

Humphrey Avery fell into debt and got permission from the Governor and the Council of the Colony of New York to sell his property by lottery on 27 Nov 1756. It was divided into 36 lots and 8,000 tickets were issued for 30 shillings each. (If you didn’t get one of the 36 lots, you could have won one of the 1,580 cash prizes of three pounds each.)

Lot 1 was Pine Neck and was made up of 300 acres of upland plus 100 acres of meadow. Lot 2 was Swan Creek neck. The land north of South Country Road wasn’t considered to be worth much, since it was all woodland, and was sold off separately.

Humphrey Avery made so much money from the lottery that, after paying all his debts, he had enough left over to purchase back Lot No. 4, and Lots 1, 2, and 5. He gave Pine Neck, Swan Creek Neck, and Short Neck to his son, Humphrey Avery, Jr.