(from a Paterson/Passaic area newspaper
dated Monday, November 17, 1930*)
Harry L. Mandeville
Owns Ancient Document
Showing Ancestors’ Claim to Most of
What Is Now Pompton Plains

A “Quitt claime” deed, presumably the oldest document of its kind in existence in the country today and one by which his forefathers came into possession of a large tract of land which embraced practically all of what is now known as Pompton Plains, is in the possession of Harry L. MANDEVILLE, of 184 Walnut Street.

In a truly wonderful state of preservation, despite the fact that it was executed on “the tenth day of Februarie, in the first year of the reigne of our souvereigne Lord, George, of Great Brittaine, and King, 1714,” the wording of the deed starts off with the salutation, “To all Xtian People.”

The tract involved in the deed was owned by four men, George RYERSON, John MEAD, and Hendrick MANDEVILL, all of Bergen county, and Paulus VANDERBEAK of “Hunterdone” county, as “joynt tennants.” The deed describes these men as “yeamen.”

MANDEVILL provided in his will that his share of the tract should go to his children, Hendrick, Johannes, Yeules, and William MANDEVILL, reserving a part of it for his widow, Elizabeth JACOBS MANDEVILLE.

Some time after his death, his heirs came into possession of the entire tract under the deed in the possession of Harry L. Mandeville in which Messrs. Ryerson and Vanderbeak “quit” their “claime” to their respective shares of the tract in favor of the Mandeville heirs. Mr. Mandeville had acquired Mr. Mead’s part of the tract prior to his death.

One of the outstanding points of interest in the deed is the old-time spelling employed in it, several instances of which already have been quoted in this article. What now is known as the Pequannock River is referred to in the document as the “Peghquanick River”– and lots are “lotts.”

Practically every word in the deed can be made out without much difficulty. The deed was drawn on parchment paper and written in ink. At the bottom of the document is a fold, through which two parchment ribbons are run through slits and sealed with sealing wax. On this fold appears the signatures of the parties involved in the transaction.

The deed was handed down from generation to generation until it came into the possession of Harry L. Mandeville from his grandmother Elizabeth MANDEVILLE, who was the widow of Lucas MANDEVILLE. The grandmother also was a Mandeville prior to her marriage to Lucas Mandeville. She, however, was a New York Mandeville, whereas her husband was a New Jersey Mandeville.

The Mandeville’s are from French origin. At the time of the great massacres in France, the Mandeville’s fled to Holland, from whence they came to America, remaining in New York for several years and then entering New Jersey. They were in New York at the time of Peter STUYVESANT, who, at the time, was fed by the ancestor from whom Mr. Mandeville received the deed.

What is now the Mandeville Inn, at Pompton Plains, was once the Mandeville Homestead. The Dutch Reformed Church of Pompton Plains also stands on part of what was the Mandeville tract. The Mandeville burial vault still stands there.

In addition to the historic deed which is the subject of this article, Mr. Mandeville, who is a machinist and widely known in fraternal circles through his affiliations with the Jr. O.U.A.M., has in his possession many old-time documents, not the least of which is a newspaper telling of the election of George Washington as President of the United States.

Mr. Mandeville is the son of the late John R. MANDEVILLE, of Singac, who was a cabinet maker and pipe organ builder of wide fame.

(*The above is taken from an article within PCHS’s “Winfield Scott Collection.” Scott, a Passaic Attorney, maintained a collection area newspaper articles from about the late 19th century which he organized into a series of five scrapbooks and later donated to PCHS.)

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