Note: Our Early History
On May 11, 1647, Michiel Miscaer and his family arrived in New Amsterdam (now New York City) aboard the Princess Amelia. Ship documents list him as Michiel Mesger from Frankenthal, Germany. The following year, Machiel baptized his son, Johannes, in the Reformed Dutch Church located within the walls of the fort at the tip of Manhattan. The sponsors for his son were listed as Casper Steynmits and Roelof Cornelisen (Van Houten), both military men, and �Christyntie and Lysbeth� (no last names). Johannes and his older brother, Adam, survived the hardships of the new land and can be found in many of the records of Long Island. Both were residents of Gravesend in the late 1600s. Adam Machielse Messcher, as his name was spelled in 1687 when he took the Oath of Allegiance , emigrated to New Amsterdam in 1647 with his father. In 1670, Stoothoff listed him as a dealer in whale oil, and in 1675 he was on the assessment rolls as living in Flatlands, Long Island. He was living at Gravesend with his brother in 1687 . He was still there in 1690 when he witnessed the land deed of Peter and Marguerite Sympson and also bought his own lot (#30) the same year. He may have married and had children but there are no records of that. Johannes Mesecar, as his name was spelled on a 1701 land deed, was baptized in the Dutch Reform Church in New Amsterdam on the 8 June, 1648. On 23 June, 1670, he married Neeltje Harmense Coerten, daughter of Harmen Coerten and Aertje. Her father had arrived in the country on 12 February, 1659. Harmen Coerten, his wife and their 5 children lived for a time in New Utrecht, Long Island, but by 1664 had moved to Bergen, New Jersey. It was in Bergen that Johannes and Nellie married, but there is every indication that Johannes continued to live at Gravesend where he raised his family. In 1672, Johannes was alloted a plot of land at Gravesend, and the following year he paid 8 guilders to the Flatlands church for the use of the pall. Johannes and Nellie also paid for part of the funeral of her mother in Bergen in 1684. On 23 November, 1684, Johannes and Nellie baptized a son, Michiel, in the Flatbush Dutch Reform Church. The sponsors for the child were Jacob Hendrickz and Catherine Beauvois. Less than a month later, Johannes was a sponsor for Cornelis and Adam, twin sons of Cornelis Buys (son of Jan Cornelis Buys) and his wife, Machteld Gerritz of New Utrecht. ( It appears as if the family of Machteld Gerritz and the Mesecars have some sort of connection, but it has not been determined at this time.) While living at Gravesend, Johannes started to acquire property elsewhere. In 1675, he was one of 34 men to partition for lots of 80 acres on Staten Island. Included on this petition were also the names of Thomas Morgan and Barent Tysen (Sweem) who would later become neighbors and friends At some point toward the end of the 1600, Johannes moved his family over to Staten Island. They appear to have settled on property near the Fresh Kill, on the western side of the island. Using Staten Island as a stepping stone to the west, Johannes purchased and sold lands on the Raritan River in Piscataway, New Jersey, and may have travelled north up the Passaic River and bought additional property there. He signed his name to documents with the letter �M.� When the 1706 census for Staten Island was taken, Johannes and Neeltje were not listed. They may have died between 1701 when they witnessed the baptism of their grandson, Johannes Ryker, and the 1706 census. What is certain is that many of their children lived, married and started to raise families on Staten Island, and many then moved westward into New Jersey. Known children of Johannes Magielse Mesecar and Neeltje Harmense Coerten:
Harmon Mesker (born 1682) was a resident of Staten Island in 1706. He was living on property near Thomas Morgan�s family and the family of Hendrick and Femmetje Ryker. He had married Marytje Ryker (and his sister, also Marytje, had married Peter Ryker.) Harmon settled on property in Essex County, New Jersey, in about 1715. Later, his children and the Rykers would own property in nearby Gansegat (Horseneck). Soon they would find themselves involved in an ugly dispute over the ownership of their property. Known as the Horseneck Riots, several of Harmon�s sons and daughters would find themselves ejected off their properties. The Horseneck Riots in some ways were precursers of the American Revolutionary War. Harmon and Marytje had the following children: Neeltje (@@1705), Johannes (1707) Hendrick (@@1710), Femmetje (@@1710), Lena, Abraham (1714) and possibly Antje, Marytje, and others? Records of the marriages of these children can be found in the Acquacknonk Dutch Reform church records, and probably in the records of the church at Gansegat which, for the most part, no longer exist. Other records for Harmon include a 1715 military list for Staten Island, mention in a land deed concerning property on the Passaic River which he sold to John Johnson in 1718, witness at the baptism of granddaughter Marytje Van Zyle in 1728, and church membership at Acquacknonk DRC.
Machiel Mesecar, son of Johanes Michielz and Neltie Harmans of Gravesend, baptised 23 November, 1684. This event took place in the Flatbush Dutch Reform Church. No other info.
Evert Masacor/Mesker/Messakor was a resident of Piscataway, NJ in 1703, but he baptized several of his children at Port Richmond on Staten Island. Evert inherited 100 acres of land on Amrose Brook in Piscataway from his father. In 1716, Evert enlisted in Thomas Farmer�s regiment in the neighboring town of Woodbridge. I believe his wife was named Antje. Evert and his sister Appollonia later went south down the Raritan River to settle in Somerset County. His children�s names can be found in the Readington Dutch Church records and the Jacob Janeway account books. Children of Evert and Antje: Hendrickje (@@1705), Neeltje (1707) Evert (@@1710, Johannes? (or was this his son-in-law?) and Mattheus (1715). Possibly others. Mattheus died fighting pirates in the Caribbean.
Aefie or Eve Messeker, resident of Staten Island in 1706, married Matthew Decker. They continue to live on the Decker homestead near the Fresh Kill. Matthew Decker and Eve had the following children: Catherine, Nealthe, Peter, John (1696 baptism at Port Richmond), Charles, Matthew, Segar and Abram (1707), Elizabeth (1711) and Mattheus (1715).
Marytje Messeker, resident of Staten Island in 1706, married Peter Ryker. They went north up the Passaic River and settled in Gansegat, or Horseneck. The Rykers and the Mesecors continued to weave their families together over the next 100 years. Marytje and Peter Ryker had the following children: Nealthe, Elizabeth, Althe, Magdalena, Johannes (1701), Hendrick (1703), Peter (1706), Abraham (1710), Isaac (1714) and Jacob (1717).
Appollonia Messeker, resident of Staten Island in 1706, married Barent Symessen. Barent was the son of Simon Barents, also known as Simon Blanck, and wife Wyntie Arents. Appollonia and her family went down into Somerset County to live. Children of Appollonia and Barent Simonsen were: Wyntie (1701), Debora, Neeltje (@@1715?). Maria (1718), and Simeon, Johannes (1707) and Aron (1710). Their names can be found in Jacob Janeway account books and church records at the Readington DRC.
Abraham Masicar was a resident in 1704 in New York City. At that time he had a wife and 5 children under the age of 16; 3 boys and 2 girls. Abraham may have been a son of Johannes and Neeltje, but it is also possible that he might be a child of Adam Messecher of Gravesend.
Abram Messeker, of Hackinsack tried to marry the widow Amelyntie Herte in 1709. He was �not confirmed in the marriage state� as he �had already a wife living.� Abram may have been a son of Johannes and Neeltje, but it is also possible that he might be a child of Adam Messecher. Abram was listed as having been born at Gravesend.
Task Masker, a resident of Staten Island in 1708. Task might be a misspelling of Tewes/Teves or Dutch for Matthew or might be Tamsk or Thomas. Anyway, this gentleman was living on Staten Island and was mentioned in a land deed dated 23 September, 1708. He probably belongs to the family of Johannes and Neeltje.
Over the next 100 years, these Mesecar families traveled throughout New Jersey. Some who went north settled in areas such as Essex, Bergen, Morris and Sussex Counties in New Jersey and into New York and areas in the west. Some went to Canada. Some Mesecars went into Somerset Co., NJ, and later into Virginia (near the Greenbrier River). They also were in Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas. Research is still continuing to discover the ancestors of the Mesecars who ended up in Sussex County during the end of the 1700s. It is fairly certain that some of them belonged to Abraham Mesecar, a man listed in the tax rate lists for 1780 in Sussex. Abraham Mesecar and his neighbor, Peter Riker, lived on the Hardiston/Vernon county line. There is some reason to believe that part of this family also extended into Pequacknonk, Morris County. January, 2000 Ann Messecar/ [email protected]@AOL.com (Always looking for additions and corrections, please!) Sussex Co NJ Families in the 1790s
Sussex County in the 1790s was home to at least seven families of Massekers. The oldest of these was an Abraham Masseker (born about 1735-40?) who was listed in the 1780s tax rate lists along with his neighbor and friend, Peter Riker. Abraham Masseker lived in a area which is now the NE part of Sparta Twp. in Sussex. His friend, Peter Riker, had property bordering Abraham�s lot and it was part of � the Hopewell Tract.� In 1780, Abraham owned 59 acres, 20 of which he was using to farm. He also had 3 horses and 2 cows on the tax lists. In 1797, Abraham joined the Wantage Baptist Church and by 1804, when he sold the Sparta property, he had moved to Wantage. Also in Sussex County during that 1790 timeframe were:
Elizabeth Massiker was probably born about 1760. She married Gasper Rorick, and they also joined the Wantage Baptist Church in 1797. Gasper had fought in the Revolutionary War and his pension papers give a lot of information about him. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1751 and at the death of his father, his mother took him and his older brother Michael to Sussex County, NJ. They were quite young at the time. In the 1780 tax lists, Gasper had 150 acres of land, 24 of which he was farming. In 1794, he bought additional property in Sussex, probably near the head of Lubbers Run. By 1830, he was a resident of Wantage, according to the census. He applied for the military pension on 31 August, 1832. His will, made out on 11 April, 1840 mentions eight children, but names only two - Nancy and Sarah. Probable children of Elizabeth Massiker and Gasper Rorick: *Elizabeth Rorick (born 1781) She married Martin Search on 15 November, 1804. They went to Franklin Ohio. 11 children. *Catherine Rorick (baptized 5 March, 1785 - daughter of Gasper Rorick and �Betsey Massaker) She married Henry Clay on 23 Jan, 1803. 10 children. *Sarah Rorick (born between 1780-90) She married Robert Carr. 11 children including Susan (1806) and Gasper (1820). The Carrs appear to have lived in Wantage. Sarah was mentioned in her father�s will. *Nancy Rorick (mentioned in her father�s will) Married Benjamin Allen/Alling. *Lucy Rorick Married Gabriel Walling in 1808. *Hannah Rorick (born between 1790-1800) Married John Meddaugh in 1814? Other children????? : ?Permelia/Millie Rorick? and ?Susan?
John Messeker was listed in the 1793 Military Census in Vernon Twp. and his name was with Jacob and Jeremiah Riker, sons of Peter Riker. I suspect this John is the father of: *John Messeker of Vernon in 1830. The 1830 census shows John (the son) born 1787/89, with three children listed; Jacob Masker ((1809), John (1817) and Elizabeth (1824). His wife�s name was Margaret. *? Peter Masseker who enlisted from Sussex during the War of 1812. *? Catherine A. Masseker who married Benjamin McCurday/McCordy
Abraham Massecar was born in 1767 in NJ. He married Sarah Slaght, daughter of Job Slaght, when she was about 15. When Job Slaght went to Canada in 1795, he took his large extended family with him, including Abraham and Sarah and their two children. . It is possible this Abraham is one of the witnesses on the deed for Gasper Rorick. The other witness is Nicholas Masseker. Abraham names one of his sons Nicholas, so it is reasonable to assume that he may of had a brother of that name. Children of Abraham and Sarah: Abraham (1792), Job (1795), Elizabeth (1797), Henry (@@1800), John (1801), Mary (1803), Caleb (@@1804), Nicholas (1805), and William (1813). The family lived in Townsend, Norfolk, Ontario. Nicholas Messicar/Messacher was the other witness named on the 1794 deed of Gasper Rorick. Nicholas married Mary Slaght, daughter of Philip Slaght and Rosanna. Mary Slaght was born on 29 October, 1772 in Roxbury, Morris County, NJ. Philip Slaght also left New Jersey about 1795, taking his extended family with him, and he settled in Pennsylvania. Nicholas continued on a short way and settled just over the border in West Virginia. First listed in the tax lists for Ohio West Virginia in 1798, Nicholas continued to live in that area until his death in about 1825. His properties were on Steel�s/Stull�s Run (100 acres) and Wheeling Creek (147 acres). Children of Nicholas Messicar/Messacher and Mary Slaght: *Elizabeth Messicor born 27 November, 1794. Married Samuel Dunlap *Daughter Messicor born between 1795-1800. Listed on 1810 census. Married _____Bright. son: Nicholas M. Bright who was �heir-at-law to 1/8 property of his grandfather. *Son Messicor born between 1795-1800. Listed on the 1810 census. *Philip Messacher born 1801. Married three times/8 known children; Mary (1820), Jane (1824), Delilah (1826), Zedekiah (1827), Lavina (1829?), William A. (1832), John J. (1837) and Thomas Nicholas (1846) . Philip died in 1872 at Lick Creek, Van Buren Co. Iowa. *Job Messacher born 1803 Married Elizabeth. Children: Nicholas (1831), Margaret (@@1839) James (1840) and John (1844). Job died sometime in the mid 1840s and his children were farmed out to different families living in Hancock, Illinois. His name on the 1840 census is listed as �Misikee.� *John Massacher born 1805 Married Sarah Kittle. In 1830 they were in Ohio Co., WV. They moved twice - Athens Co., Ohio in 1843, Illinois in 1856. Their children included: A daughter (listed on 1830 census), William D. (1834), Elizabeth, Mary (1837?), 2 daughters (born between 1835-40), Silas (1841), Nicholas B. (1844) and Jacob (1847). *James Mesker born 1809 Married Panthea Huston. Lived in Hancock, Illinois. Also were in Athens Co., Ohio; Morgan Co., Illinois. Enlisted in the Civil War and died from pneumonia in 1863. An extensive book has been written on this family by (I think) Robert A. and Charleen K. Huston. They were researching Stephen Bradford Huston, brother of Panthea. Children of James and Panthea; Elkanah (1843), Paralee (1846), William Rufas (1848) and Algernon (1856). Also a daughter who died young. *William Masaker born 1812 Married Mary ----. Children; Mary C. (1841), Minerva (1843), Philip (1848) and Sarah Percilla (1850). In 1850, this family was living in Henderson Co. in Illinois. *Abraham Messacre born ? He appears to have needed a court appointed �committee� to oversee his affairs in 1843. *? Jacob Mesecher? This man married Elizabeth Allender on 10 October, 1833 in Belmont Co., Ohio. Belmont is also where Nicholas M. Bright, son of daughter Masseker and ________ Bright lived for a time. This information was taken off of the Internet and not confirmed. John Messecar was listed in the 1793 Military Census for Hardiston. He is listed near Philip Slaght, son of Richard Slaght. John married Elizabeth Slaght, daughter of Richard. John was born about 1765 and married Elizabeth about 1788. They appear to have lived on or near Richard Slaght�s property in Hardiston. By the turn of the century, John and Elizabeth have moved south into an area now known as Byram Twp. The area was where Job, Philip, Richard and James Slaght had owned a vast amount of property inherited from their father, Henry Slaght. When James Slaght fled to Canada after being imprisoned for his Loyalist views, his section of that property was transferred to John Messecar. John is mentioned in 1801 as a witness for the will of Abijah Chambers of Byram and in 1803, he is listed as a voter in the township of Byram. In 1806, John and Elizabeth followed many members of her family to Norfolk and Brant Co. Ontario. With them went their children; Henry (1789), Mary (1790), Matthew (1792), John (1797), Sarah (1804) and William (1805?). A final child, Abram, was born just before John�s death in 1807. Matthew/Matthias Messecar also Teves, Seves, Irves, Javious, Taivess (all mistakes for the Dutch Teuwis or Matthew) was listed in the 1793 Military census for Hardiston, along with Daniel Massiker. They had enlisted in the Light Infantry. In 1794, he enlists for duty for the Pennsylvania Insurrection. He is also a witness on one of the deeds for Richard Slaght before that family goes to Canada in 1801. Matthew married Mary Slaght on 6 December, 1795. She was another daughter of Richard Slaght and sister of Elizabeth and Philip Slaght. According to her family Bible, she was born 30 January, 1772 and Matthew was born 22 March, 1768. Matthew went to Canada at the end of 1802, and purchased Lot 12 in the first concession of Brant Co. In 1804 he purchased additional property in Norfolk (Lot 8, Con 7) and served on the jury in 1807,1808, 1813, 1816 and 1817. It appears as if he lived in Waterford and most of his family are buried in the old section of Greenwood Cemetery. Known children of Matthew and Mary: Richard (1798), Elizabeth (1799), Sarah (1804), Mar(1807), Hannah (1809) and Levina (1812).
Daniel Massiker was listed in the 1793 Military Census for Hardiston along with Matthew who was listed as Irves Mussiker. There appears to be no other information about him.
Jesse Masker/Massacar died 27 March, 1818 in Green Twp. Sussex Co.NJ. Date of birth was 16 March, 1749/50. Information on tombstone in Tranquillity Cem. in Green Twp. Mary Masker/Massacar (his wife?) died 7 October, 1819 in Green Twp. Date of birth was 4 February, 1758. Information on tombstone in Tranquillity Cem. in Green Twp. There is no information to know if they were living in Sussex during the 1790s or if they came there later. Green Twp is in the southern section of Sussex Co., near Byram Twp.
PETER RIKER: (Have been researching him due to fact he was friend/neighbor of Abraham Masseker of Sussex County in 1780. Information has recently been surfacing about this Peter Riker. It appears as if his home on the Hopewell Tract was near Ryker Lake, the source of the Rockaway River. Peter appears to have holding in Sussex, near the lake and also land just over the border of Sussex, in Pequacknonk, Morris County. Probable children for Peter Riker include: *Martha Riker (1758) who married Joseph Headley. They settled in Ohio about 1809. *Peter Riker �of Pequacknonk� who married Alche Doremus in 1783. Children inc. Peter, Jacob and Jeremiah. *Abraham Riker (wife was Mary) who lived in Hardwick, Warren Co. in 1799 *Jacob Riker who owned a forge near Milton on the Rockaway River and who was listed near John Messeker in the 1793 Military Census. *Jeremiah Riker who was also listed in the 1793 census next to his brother, Jacob, and who raised a family on the Hopewell Tract. Jeremiah�s date of birth is between 1760-70. *Cornelis Riker who is listed on a Morris County land deed (mortgage) with his brother, Jeremiah, in 1796. He marries Susannah Riker at Newfoundland, NJ in 180l. *John Riker - listed next to Matthew Massiker, in the 1793 �census� for Pequacknonk, MORRIS COUNTY. ALSO IN PEQUACKNONK, MORRIS COUNTY: Matthew Massiker born about 1760. Listed in the tax rates for Pequacknonk in 1783 with an Evert Massiker who owned 18 acres. Matthew is also listed in 1784, 1787, and 1792. Also listed in Pequacknonk are John and Richard , both householders in 1778 Evert is mentioned as owning property there in 1783, 1784, 1786, 1787 and 1789. And there is a Peter mentioned once in 1787 as a householder. The 1793 Military census for this area appears to be written in some sort of order which is not alphabetical. Near Matthew Massiker are listed the names of Cornelis Davenport who owned the forge with Jacob Riker, and Daniel Strait who got the mortgage from Jeremiah and Cornelis Riker. The name right after Matthew�s is John Riker. By 1801, Matthew Massiker had left New Jersey and had purchased land near the Finger Lakes of New York in Ulysses. It is here that he wrote his will, naming seven children. Further research shows these children to be: *Elizabeth Massiker born 1783 Married William Martin. Son - Archer 1803-1858 *Abraham Massiker born 1784 Married Sarah. Children: John (@@1810) and daughter , probably Gertrude (born 1814)? *John Massiker *Isaac Massiker born 1795 Married Hannah Green, then Lena --- Children: Ward (1822), George, and Esther (born between 1820-25). *Jacob Massiker born 1799 Married Hannah Loncor, then Clarissa. Children: Asa (1824) Willis (1828?), Matilda (1829), Elizabeth (1832), Avery (1834), Moses (1836), James H (1839), George K (1841), Jane (1844) and Adelaide (1849). Moses Massiker born 1800 Married -----. He and his wife appear to have died young. Had one daughter, Elizabeth born 1836-40 and who was cared for by her Aunt Elizabeth and inherited Moses� share of his father�s estate. Catherine Massiker born after 1800. No other information except she was alive in 1805 at the time her father made out his will. January 2000 At the time of this writing, more research is being done in Pequacknonk, Morris County to see if connection can be made between that people in that location and the Sussex County folk. There is some evidence that appears to indicate that the Rikers there descend from Johannes Riker, baptized 25 March 1701, eldest son of Peter Riker and Marytje Messecar of Staten Island, but more work needs to be done to confirm this. Ann Messecar [email protected]@AOL.com additions and corrections are welcomed!!!
Other Masseker and Riker names in the Pequannock, Morris County area:
Evert, Richard and Peter Massiker (adults) in the tax lists for Pequannock between 1783 and 1789. John and Richard Massacre are listed in an earlier tax list in 1778 as married men. It can not be determined if this Richard is the same person as the later one. Martha Riker was born 1758 at Hopewell, Sussex Co. She married Joseph Headley. The Headleys lived near Milton, in Pequannock. Joseph and his family moved to Licking Co., Ohio. Peter Riker "of Pequannock" who married Alidia Doremus in 1783. They had many children including Peter, Jacob, John and Jeremiah. Abraham Riker with his first wife Mary, may have lived in Warren County (1799). He inherited land from his father, Peter, on the Hopewell Tract. He may be the Abraham "of Jefferson" who married Mrs. Mary Tharp in 1804. Jefferson was once part of Pequannock. Jacob Riker co-owned a forge at Milton, on the Rockaway River. The source of the Rockway River was about 5 miles from his forge and was Ryker Lake. He was married to Catherine. Jeremiah Riker was living in this area in 1796 as stated on a mortage to Daniel Strait. The 1830 census finds him in Sussex. He inherited land from his father, Peter, on the Hopewell Tract. His family may have included Henry A. (@@1795), Moses (1800) and Jeremiah C. (1818). Jeremiah C. was the son of Jeremiah Sr. and his second wife, Sarah Ann Miller. She had two sons from a previous marriage. John Riker of Pequannock was in the 1793 military census for that area. He was listed next to Matthew Massiker. He is probably the John Riker, born 1770, living in Sussex County in 1850. He was a miner. Cornelis Riker (born 1770-80) was living in this area in 1796 as stated on a mortage to Daniel Strait. Cornelis married Susannah Riker, daughter of Henry, in 1801 at Newfoundland Church. The 1830 census finds him in Sussex. His family may have included Peter (1803), Henry (1804), John I. (1807), David A? (1810) and Cornelis Jr. (1816).
Copies of Messecar, Messacar, Mesecar, Massacar, Massecar, Masecar Family History can be found at the Waterford, Brantford, Scotland, Wallaceburg, Chatham, St. Thomas, ON & Sussex, NJ Public Libraries, State Library Lansing, MI and Norfolk Hist. Soc. Simcoe, ON
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