Samuel2 Terrill to Brookhaven, 1680-1685

By Nancy Tyrrel Theodore, October 2009

Samuel2, the fourth child and second son of Roger1 and Abigail (Ufford) Terrill, was on the move again.

Samuel was baptized 31 October 1647 in Milford, Connecticut and grew to early manhood there. He removed to Easthampton, Long Island, NY by 1675, and left a record there as a blacksmith and whaling venturist. By late 1680, 33-year-old Samuel was preparing for another move, to Brookhaven, also on Long Island. We pick up his trail as he was planning this move.

Click here to see accompanying map

Although the records in Easthampton show the spelling of Samuel's last name as "Terrill," references to Samuel (or his signature) on early Brookhaven documents appear as "Turell" or "Terell." These variations in spelling may be the reason some deduced there were two different Samuels on early Long Island. However, as the records here will show, the Samuel in Brookhaven is the same Samuel who first resided in Easthampton.

The documents referenced in this article (with bold blue dates) are from Book B of the records of the Town of Brookhaven, transcribed and printed under the auspices of the Town of Brookhaven in 1932.a

Click here to see transcriptions of the sixteen Samuel2 Terrill records.

Brookhaven wanted a blacksmith, and Samuel was their man. On 28 October 1680, Samuel accepted the offer, made by "the constable and overseears" of Brookhaven, to leave Easthampton by the middle of April 1681 to "come and liue in this towne amongst us and doe the townes worke at his traede being a blacksmith." And, to do it "to the best of his scill for the towne... and to worke as cheape as others." Their enticement to Samuel was twenty acres of land in Brookhaven.... seven for a home lot "next beyound the greate hollow;" five acres in the "little neck;" and the rest "aboute the south west devission." Samuel would be given that land, plus "halue a comeneg fore feede that is to say haue allottment"* for feed in the upland and meadow, if he stayed in Brookhaven for three years. If he left before three years, then all the land reverted to the town, as well as his half share of "comeneg." *A "comeneg" is a commonage, or land used in common by the town. Half accommodation was 20 acres, full was 40 acres.

Let's put Brookhaven, it's history and geography in context. Brookhaven, is the largest township on Long Island and in early records is the "town" that encompassed many settlements. Brookhaven extends from the Sound to the ocean, is about sixteen miles in length and lies to the west of Easthampton. The surface along the north side is hilly and elevated. The south half is level and comparatively low. Large tracts of salt meadows border the bay on the south side.b

The first purchase of land for Brookhaven was made in 1655 from the Setalcott Indians by a party of six pioneers. Soon a New England-style community, Setauket, with about 55 original planters, was established on the north side of Brookhaven. Each of the original settlers had a home lot and a further allotment of meadow and was free to purchase more land, although the purchase had to be confirmed by town meeting.c

Near Setauket is "Little Neck" (now called Strong's Neck),d and Old Field which is northwest of Setauket on Conscience Bay. The early southwest division, according to a note in the town records index, adjoined Nesaquake and the Smithtown linee. The "greate hollow" is also in the Smithtown area in northwestern Brookhaven. These are the lands around Setauket that were initially laid out for Samuel in Brookhaven.

As part of his plans for the move to Brookhaven, on 28 October 1680, "Joseph daves haue sould unto Samull Turell now of est hampton two parsells of land," in the Old Field, in all about five acres. Samuel's payment for this land was "feestene pounds." The payment was to be made with forty shilling "in mony", forty pounds of sheep's wool "at the spring where he cometh"; and thirteen pounds in "marchentabale" oil and whale bone", "that is to say two barells of oyle" to Mr. Pierson of Southampton and "niene pounds in marchentable oyle and whaelebone to be paide" to Mr. John Thrope.

What is especially noteworthy about these two documents besides telling us that Samuel agreed to move to Brookhaven and where he was to initially set up shop, is that besides blacksmithing, he raised or traded in sheep, and traded in whalebone and whale oil. Quite an industrious fellow.

Samuel next turned that industry toward his move to Brookhaven. On 28 March 1681, Andrew Miller of Brookhaven conveyed to Samuel his dwelling house, and five acres of land adjoining the house, bordering the Smithtown area . This is undoubtedly the house and land the town allotted to Samuel in exchange for his blacksmithing "for ye towne." For this land, Samuel was to pay "towne Raetes for acomadations" while Miller agreed to pay "mr brusters Raets and contry Raets," that he had already agreed upon.f A document of the same date gave Samuel Miller's full commonage for this land.

On 2 April 1681, at a Brookhaven town meeting, the constable and overseers voted that Samuel shall have his twenty acres of land, "that is to say 5 acres in the little neck and the Rest maad up where it can be found convenient," as indeed he was settling in Brookhaven before their mid-April deadline. They also gave Samuel much more latitude insofar as his choice of land by designating 15 acres as "where it can be found convenient." Robert Goulsbery sold Samuel a three-acre lot of land in the "ould feeld," at the side of Thomas Thorps, on 24 May 1681.

On 25 May 1681, John Roe sold his fifteen-acre lott at Mount Misery [Belle Terre] to Samuel, but a note written in the margin of this record says: "this Record of John Roe is made voyed and of noe efeckt." Since the town had final say on land transactions, perhaps they didn't approve Roe's proposed sale to Samuel. Or, more likely, Samuel didn't want to extend his lands to the northeast which is where Mount Misery was located. The cancellation of the agreement with Roe probably signals a change of heart for Samuel on where he wants to live. And, evidently there were no hard feelings between Samuel and Roe," as on 28 June 1681, John Roe of Brookhaven sold a considerable amount of land to Nathaniel Baker of Easthampton, and it was signed and sealed "in the pressence of Samull Turell."

It's apparent that Samuel was looking elsewhere than the northern Setauket area of Brookhaven. By a deed of 29 April 1682, Thomas Biggs, Jr. "sould and exchanged" to "samuell Turell" his 15 acre lot and meadow at the south side of the Island, "nomber 17." Samuel in turn sold and exchanged his three acre lot in the Old Field, plus "five pounds starling in work at his trade" for Biggs as Biggs stood in need of it. Bit by bit Samuel was to shed his northern holdings.... "Go south, young man," seemed to be his motto.

The year 1682 was undoubtedly sad and momentous for Samuel in another way. His father, Roger, died in Milford, Connecticut and an inventory of his estate was made 22 February 1682. Samuel came into full possession of land in Milford. A good financial backstop for Samuel, and one he would later need.

On 17 June 1683 "Samuell Terell" witnessed in Brookhaven a deed of Thomas Thorp of Woodbridge, New Jersey to Thomas Jeners of Brookhaven for Thorp's parcel of land in the west meadow beach.

On 1 December 1683 "Samuell Turell" made an article of agreement with "Robart Goulsbery" for the exchange of lands. Goulsbery exchanged his upland and meadow at "ackembameck" [Acombamack] g on the south side of the Island within the bounds of Brookhaven. It consisted of land that was Thomas Thorp's, number 42; that which was Thomas Smith's number 43; and, that which was "Sakery Hawkens" number 44. Samuel exchanged his dwelling house and shop with five acres of land plus five acres in the Old Field to the north "as I had it from Joseph daves" with the "halue acomedaytions" the town gave me "as exprest in Records in the towns gift," being five acres already laid out in Little Neck. In other words, Samuel was selling his dwelling house from Andrew Miller, the rest of the land from Joseph Daves, along with his half "comeneg".... thus divesting himself of most of his holdings in the Setauket area of Brookhaven.

On 3 December 1683 John Jeners sold to Samuel his 15 acres of upland at the "south at ackambameck nomber 45."

Samuel and Robert Goulsbery finalized their article of agreement on 12 December 1683. Samuel's deed to Goulsbery was signed by both "samull Turell with a seale," and his wife "Abegell Turell with a seale." This is the first mention of a wife for Samuel. Are we assume then that they were just married, although Goulsbery's deed to Samuel of the same date was also signed by "his wife hanah goulsbery." New York didn't require that a married man have his wife's signature on any deed to property when it was sold or transferred until 1771h, so it may have been inheritance or estate matters for Goulsbery that necessitated Hanah's signature, or even a future claim for her widow's third. Goulsbery had extensive Brookhaven holdings and executor responsibilities for Hanah's family, so her signature is understandable. But why Abigail's signature? It doesn't seem she had a proprietary interest in any of the land that Samuel sold. Perhaps prudence dictated that both wives sign.

Goulsbery's deed also offered to give Samuel a "fermer" deed if needed by "any counsell att law." Evidently, there was a need for that firmer deed, as on 1 January 1683/84, "Robart goulsbery" and "hanah goulsbery" drew up a satisfaction of Indenture document again stating clearly that "samuell Turell" blacksmith did own all Goulsbery's "massauge and dwelling house together with all my lands and meadowes lying and situatted upon ackembameck neck at the south siede of long Island,".... bounded on the east by Jonathan Rose's land, on the south by the sound or bay, on the west by land formerly belonging to John Jeners now owned by Samuel [number 45], and to the north by the commons, in all the three lots numbered 42, 43, and 44, the three lots being more or less fifty five acres.

On 8 February 1683/84 Robert and Hanah Goulsbery sold to Samuel a half commonage that Goulsbery had of Samuel Fancy from his father William Fancy. Hannah Goulsbery's maiden name was Fancy. The widow Katherine "Goody" Fancy, an original grantee of Brookhaveni named Hanah Goulsbery as her daughterj. Further, Samuel Fanshaw (Fancy), Hannah's brother, left his "whoele astaete in lands within the presincks of brookehaven," by his will of 29 June 1682,k, to Robert and Hannah Goulsbery who had cared for himl and he made Robert the sole executor, as well. Goulsbery died sometime after 8 February 1684 and before 5 June 1684, when David Jenens declared that he "haue maried the widow hanah goulsbery being formerly the wife of robart goulsber deseaser."

In a deed of 23 December 1684, we find that "peter whietheatre John Tooker Junior and hanah was formerly the wiefe of Robart goulsbery and now the wiefe of daved genens," were named as the trustees and administrators of Goulsbery's estate, and that they deeded to Hanah's new husband the dwelling house with the home lot that was Andrew Miller's, and after that was "samuell turells with the shop that samuell turell bult."

So, matters were finally settled for Samuel's land transactions. Just exactly where were Samuel's lot numbers 17, 42, 43, 44, and 45? They were a part of the "Old Purchase at the South" and are today called Bellport, Brookhaven Hamlet (or Village), and the western part of South Haven. Soon after Setauket purchased this land from the Unkechogue Indians in 1664, the land was divided into 49 meadow shares, valuable for salt hay and offshore whaling. The lot numbers ran from east to west.m In 1676, Setauket voted to add 15 acres of upland to each of the 49 shares, and a trickle of settlers started taking up residence.

Deeds on record in the County Clerks Office in Riverhead show that lot 17 was in Brookhaven Hamlet a little north of the bay. Meadow lots 42, 43, 44 and 45 were in Bellport which is situated on the northeast side of Fire Place Bay, now Bellport Bay, on the Great South Bay.n This move south to the bay area afforded Samuel opportunities other than blacksmithing.... whaling, which he involved himself in when living in Easthampton. Although no whaling record was made for Samuel in Brookhaven, it's possible he again participated in whaling, as his property was located directly on the bay. And, John Jeners, from whom Samuel purchased lot number 45 in December of 1683 (and who widow Hanah Goulsbery married less than three months after Robert died) was involved in whaling. On 8 September 1683, Jeners engaged Indians to "goe to sea the next whale season."o

On "1 Jenury 1684," that is to say 1684/85, Brookhaven town records show that "Samuell the Sonne of Samuell Turell was born... which was born upon his wiefe abegell."p This is the only known recorded birth of a child to Samuel and Abigail although Samuel's petition of 1698 refers to six small children.

We hear of Abigail again on 29 April 1685, when "Abegel Turrell" of Brookhaven entered into an agreement with "benJemen gould" also of Brookhaven, to keep and look after his 7 month old daughter with sufficient meat, drink, washing and lodging for 28 weeks for five shillings a week "with the consent of her husband." And, Samuel, not Abigail, signed this agreement. Abigail was given a cow and a yearling calf "now in her husbands possessian" evidently as a down payment. But, Gould made it plain that he could "fetch" away the remaining part of the seven pounds due if he found a nurse for the child.

It can be assumed that Gould's wife was either very ill or had died. Since little Mary was 7 months old at the time of this agreement, her mother might not have died of childbirth, an all too common occurrence of the times. Sadly, it was recorded in the Brookhaven town records that "mary the daughter of benJemen gould died the 18 day of Maij [May] 1685 being in the possession of samuel Turell an she was buer[ied] the 19 day of maij." q

Brookhaven town records show that Gould had established his residence in the "south" in 1679. Gould, a weaver, purchased two fifteen acre lots in the Old Purchase at the South, number 14 from Henry Rogers,r and number 15 from Thomas Ward.s So, Gould was a neighbor to Samuel and Abigail who had lot 17, although they may have resided at Goulsbery's former dwelling located somewhere on lots 42, 43 and 45 on ackembameck neck," or Bellport. As Abigail was engaged by Gould in 1685, until he found a "nurse," did this mean wet nurse? Was Abigail helping Gould because she was already nursing little Samuel, or was a health-care nurse meant? At this distance we can only wonder.

Next.... Samuel's move to Yamphank.


a Records of the Town of Brookhaven, Book B, 1679-1756. Published by order of The Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town by John E. Glover, Town Clerk and Ira G. Rogers, Trustee Committee. Transcription copy by Harry D. Sleight and Osborn Shaw. Compared with the original and revised by Osborn Shaw. New York, The Derrydale Press,1932. (Online:

b Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, and its Towns, Villages, Hamlets, Scenery, Institutions and Important Enterprises with a Historical Outline of Long Island, from its First Settlement by Europeans, by Richard M. Bayles, Port Jefferson, L. I., Published by the Author 1874, page 223.

c A History of Long Island From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, by William S. Pelletreau,Vol. II, The Lewis Publishing Co., New York and Chicago, 1905, pages 252-253.

d "Near Setauket is Strong's Neck—Little Neck as it was formerly called. It was once a favorite seat of the Indians. The principal part of the neck was bought from the red men by Daniel Lane, whose title was transferred to the town proprietors in 1663." The Indian Place-Names on Long Island and Islands Adjacent With Their Probable Significations, by William Wallace Tooker, page 273.

e Ibid. page 158 Nesaquake ".... a locality mentioned in an order issued by Gov. Nicolls, concerning the Smithtown boundary in 1670, viz.: 'Declaring and offering to prove that ye Nasaquake lands lay on both sydes of ye Ryver, and that parts lyeing in ye west syde comonly called Nesaquaque Accompsett did extend as farre as ye fresh pond westward.' "

f Rev. Nathaniel Brewster, the nephew of the Mayflower Elder Brewster, graduated Harvard College in 1642. He came to Brookhaven in 1665 and remained as pastor for about 20 years. Early Long Island: a colonial study, by Martha Bockee Flint, page 257.

g "Acombamack: the neck of land on which is situated the [current] village of Bellport in Brookhaven town.... Lyinge upon the south side of Long Island.... being bounded on the east with a river called Yamphanke." The Indian Place-Names on Long Island and Islands Adjacent With Their Probable Significations, by William Wallace Tooker, pages 4 and 5.

h In colonial times, law generally followed that of the mother country, England (or in some parts of what later became the United States, France or Spain). In the early years of the United States, following British law, women's property was under control of their husbands, with states gradually giving women limited property rights. By 1900 every state had given married women substantial control over their property. New York, 1771: Act to Confirm Certain Conveyances and Directing the Manner of Proving Deeds to Be Recorded: required a married man to have his wife's signature on any deed to her property before he sold or transferred it, and required that a judge meet privately with the wife to confirm her approval." Property Rights of Women by Jone Johnson Lewis.

i Records of the Town of Brookhaven, Book B, 1679-1756, pages. 1-4.

j Ibid. page 68.

k Ibid. page 127.

l Ibid. page 129.

m Images of America, Bellport Village and Brookhaven Hamlet, by Victor Principe, Arcadia Publishing, 2003, page 7.

n Records of the Town of Brookhaven, Book A, 1657-1679 and 1790-1798 Including the Dongan Patent, 1686, Published by order of The Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonality of the Town by Walter I. Jones, Town Clerk and Ira G. Rogers, Trustee Committee. Transcription copy by William J. Weeks, Archibald C. Weeks, Reginald C. Weeks and Osborn Shaw. Compared with the original and revised by Osborn Shaw. New York, The Derrydale Press,1930, pages 15 and 16. (Online:

o Records of the Town of Brookhaven, Book B, 1679-1756, pages 169-170.

p Ibid. page 3.

q. Ibid. page 3.

r Ibid. pages 94 and 95.

s Ibid. page 93.

t. The accompanying map is from the 1857 J.H. Colton & Co. Travellers map of Long Island, which can be found in the Library of Congress's digital map collection.

Note: The device at the top of the article is the Original Seal of the Town of Brookhaven, authorized by the Dongan Patent and used by the Town from 1687 until 1872. The letter "D" was the letter assigned to Brookhaven by the Duke's Laws of 1665.