One man's story
Fleeing the United States during the American Revolution, Conradt Henricks wound up in Saint John, where he remains to this day...in the Loyalist Burial Ground
Ruby M. Cusack
As you drive past or walk through the Loyalist Burial Ground, have you ever found yourself wondering about the people buried there? Who were they? What were they like? What did they go through those many years ago?
I can't tell you about everyone buried at the scenic cemetery, but thanks to Dr. Andrew A. Hendricks of Lumberton, NC, I can tell you a bit about the first person buried there of whom there is still a reminder.
An article written by the late Dr. C. McN. Steeves in number 16 of the Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society states: "The first burial of which there is a reminder today was that of Conradt Hendricks, who died July 13th, 1784, a little over a year after his arrival here ... His tombstone was probably erected when two other members of the family were placed beside him."
Based on Dr. Hendricks' research, we know that Conradt Hendricks was born in Middletown, N.J., and baptized at the Reformed Dutch Church (Old Brick Church) in Marlboro, N.J., on Aug. 27, 1738. His parents were Johannes Hendricks and Sarah Mesier who owned large tracts of land and mills in Monmouth County, N.J. Johannes was the son of William Hendricks and Wilhelmptje Laen van Pelt who settled in Monmouth County, N.J., as early as 1693 after moving from Albany, New York to Flatbush, Long Island, N.Y., and then to Middletown, N.J. His great-grandparents were Hendrick Willemsz and Gisseltje Bradt of Rensselaerwyck, now Albany, N.Y.
Conradt Hendricks was a captain of the New Jersey Volunteers for the Loyalist cause and was forced to flee to Canada in 1783. He died on July 13, 1784.
His first wife was Mary English, who he married at Tennent Church, Tennent, N.J., on June 18, 1759. They had one child, Elizabeth Hendricks, baptized Nov. 22, 1761, at Tennent Church. She died the following year and is buried at old Tennent Church. His second marriage was to Mary Knott on June 17, 1763, also at Tennent Church. He married a third time probably after 1770 to Ann (Nancy?). His third wife later married John Sinnott, a gentleman of Saint John. She recovered damages as Ann (Nancy) Sinnott from the U.S. government for Conradt Hendricks' confiscated property near Whale Creek, Matawan, N.J.
Conradt Hendricks had three sons, John, James and David, probably by his second wife. His son David stayed in New Jersey but his other two boys moved to Saint John where James Hendricks was a prominent merchant (his papers are in the New Brunswick Museum). He also had another daughter, Sarah Hendricks, probably by his second wife. Sarah died on July 29, 1795, at age 19. She is buried at the Old Burial Ground in Saint John.
Conradt's son James is thought to have married Lana or Lenah Stillwell in 1807. He was a merchant in Saint John. They had at least one son, Conradt John Hendricks, who married Charlotte M. (?). He was a farmer in Parish Norton, Kings County. Their possible children were George N. Hendricks, Charles J. Hendricks and Conrad J. Hendricks.
Johannes Hendricks and Sarah Meiser, the parents of Conradt Hendricks, inherited the Messier farm and mill in 1784. This is the present site of the World Trade Center in New York City.
Another interesesting fact is that the 1750s Dutch farm house of Conradt Hendricks' first cousin, Hendrick Hendricks, in Holmdel, N.J., is open to the public for tours. It is run by the Monmouth County Historical Association.
This family is an example of how the American Revolution divided families. At least one of his brothers, Abraham, and many of his cousins fought on the American side in the American Revolution.
Dr. Andrew A. Hendricks is descended from Conradt's brother, William Hendricks. He would appreciate any information that is available on Conradt Hendricks and his family.
If you have any additional information on Conradt Hendricks, you can write him at 102 West 27th St., Lumberton, NC, USA, 28358. Or E-mail to DrH@carolina.net.
I would like to express my appreciation to Dr. Hendricks for sharing this story with us.
By the way, plan a stroll through the Loyalist Burial Ground. Stop and take time to read the inscriptions on the tombstones.
We are fortunate to have such a place of beauty in the centre of our city.
Queries have been grouped together to cover the year 1998 and can be viewed at Queries-1998
Ruby Cusack is a genealogy buff living in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to Ruby at firstname.lastname@example.org. When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Please include in the query, your name and postal address as someone reading the newspaper, may have information to share with you but not have access to E-mail. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.
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