Source:Ostrander and Black, 1894 Ostrander, Stephen M., and Alexander Black. 1894. A history of the city of Brooklyn and Kings county. Brooklyn: Pub. by subscription.
Among those who were driven from Connecticut by Puritan intolerance was Lady Deborah Moody. Lady Moody was a daughter of Walter Dunch, a member of the English Parliament in the time of Elizabeth, and widow of Sir Henry Moody of Garsden, in Wiltshire, who had been knighted by King James in 1622. She emigrated to America in 1640, and settled at Swampscott, near Lynn. In her expectation of religious liberty she was disappointed, for the authorities were not long in discovering that she did not regard infant baptism as an ordinance of Divine origin. In those days children a few days old were baptized at church fonts in which the ice had sometimes to be broken before the function could proceed, and the ceremony was regarded as absolutely essential to salvation. Lady Moody was first " admonished," and afterward " presented" to the Quarterly Court for sinfully doubting the wisdom of infant baptism. Excommunicated from the church, and thereby placed in an ostracized position, the distressed English gentlewoman, accompanied by her son, Sir Henry, John Tilton and his wife, and by a few other friends, came to New Amsterdam. Here she was agreeably surprised to find a few English people who had been living some distance above the Fort, opposite the lower end of Blackwell's Island, but who were at the time of her coming huddled under the walls of the Fort under the terror of the prevailing Indian wars. A consultation between the Moody party and the Manhattan Island wanderers from New England resulted in the appointment of a committee to select a new site for a settlement. The choice fell upon the Gravesend region, for which Kieft gave a patent in the summer of 1643. The circumstances under which Gravesend was settled were thus of a promising character, for the party was made up of people who, like Lady Moody, were seeking permanent homes, and were likely to make temperate and energetic citizens. The leader in this band of pioneers was a woman of exceptional force and refinement.
For sixteen years," says Stiles, " she went in and out among the people, prominent in their councils, and often intrusted with important public responsibilities, which prove the respect and confidence of her associates. She seems also to have enjoyed the friendship of Governor Stuyvesant, who several times sought her advice in matters of great public importance. Even the nomination of the three town magistrates was, on one or two occasions, intrusted by the Director-General to her good judgment. He also availed himself of her kind offices, on another occasion, in quelling an incipient rebellion, raised by some of her English associates against the Dutch authority." Whether the name Gravesend was derived from the town of the same name on the Thames, or from the Dutch town Graven- sande, is not known, but the stronger reasons are offered for the latter supposition.