Facts and Events
According to Colonial Families of America, Vol. 7, National Americana Society (New York, 1930), Robert's father was Richard Jackson, born in 1582. He (Richard) came from England to America as early as 1640 and held a grant of land and deed in Southhold, Massachusetts, but sold it. It is not known where he finally settled. He died in 1672. His first wife hasn't been identified, but his second wife was the widow of Robert Brown.
Robert's birth location is taken from a book which tells of Richard Jackson's participation in the Separatist movement in England. During that time it was an offense punishable by jail for not attending or paying tithes to the Church of England. There was a growing number of people in the Scrooby area that became so unhappy with the oppressive church rules and laws that they were willing to give up their middle class homes and lands in order to form a more suitable community together elsewhere. But it was also against the law to leave England and they had many struggles to get first to Holland where there was more religious freedom. Shortly after that, the group then gathered themselves together and with their minister Rev Denton, came to 'New Plymouth'. No record has been found of Robert's passage to America but he certainly came with his father with this group. The name of the book is "Collections Concerning the Church or Congregation of Protestant Separatists Formed at Scrooby" by Rev. Joseph Hunter, pub John Russell Smith, London, 1854, pgs 128, 131. It is available for downloading here http://books.google.com/books?id=IR9MAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Quote from an 1887 Jackson Ledger found at the Library of Hackers Creek Pioneer Descendants and transcribed here: "Robert left England with John Winthrop 1630-31 but which Winthrop is not known. He was said to be of Scotch-Irish ancestry. He was our immigrant ancestor." (This reference to being Scotish crops up in occasional references, but it appears unsubstantiated.)
Quote fr Rockaway Records of Morris County, N.J., p. 101: "Tradition has it that Robert Jackson came from Watertown, Mass. to Whethersfield, CT., from thence to Hartford, CT., and from thence to Hempstead in 1643 which perhaps was the first English settlement in the western part of Long Island." But note there are known errors in that record the most glaring that Robert's son, Col. John was married twice.
Quote fr Rockaway Library document: "Robert Jackson...a founder of Hempstead, Long Island in 1643". That quote is not technically correct. A Jackson genealogist, Frank Jackson, has said that Robert "was one of 50-55 proprietors who created the settlement. John Carman and Robert Fordham negotiated a purchase of land for the Hempstead settlement with the local Indians and if any may be said to have 'founded' Hempstead, it would be those two. Robert Jackson and Capt. John Seaman were two of the largest landholders. Richard Denton was the Presbyterian religious leader of the group."
Quote from O. B. Robbins' book "History of the Jackson Family of Hempstead..." pg 24. He is quoting a pamphlet written in 1883: "The settlers of Hempstead are supposed to have come from England with the New Haven Colony under the leadership of Gov. John Winthrop and Sir Richard Saltenstall, and before coming to Long Island in 1644, had previously settled at Watertown, Mass., and Weathersfield and Stamford, Conn. They were accompanied by their minister, Rev. Richard Denton, a graduate of Cambridge, who came with them from England. The name of the settlement is said to be from Hemel Hempstead, in Hertfordshire, whence they originally came."
Quote fr "History of the Jackson Family of Hempstead..." by O. B. Robbins: "Following is a copy of a record written by Chalon Lemuel Jackson: 'Robert Jackson born in Scotland in 1621, came to Boston, drifted south through Connecticut and Rhode Island into Long Island, laid out the City of Hempstead..." (Thus a second reference to being Scotish.)
Robert's father Richard owned a tract of land at Southold as early as 1640. (Mary P. Bunker, "Long Island Genealogies" (Albany, 1895), P. 220)
"In 1656, Robert Jackson and others wished to improve their labors, (Jacqueline Overton, Long Island Story, New York, 1929, p. 46) and applied to the Dutch Council for permission to begin plantations toward Carnarsie and Jamaica. They also applied to Governor Stuyvesant for more liberty and for representative government."
From Don Norman's file: "After the Dutch surrender to the English on August 27, 1664, the colony was renamed New York. Governor Nichol called a convention of two delegates from each Long Island town to frame a code of laws to govern the colony. This convention was held at Hempstead February 28, 1665, with Robert Jackson and John Hicks representing Hempstead. The code of laws [Duke's laws] written at this convention remained in force until after the Revolution. Robert's will, dated May 25, 1683 and proved October 13, 1685, is found in Will book A in Queens County, NY."
Page 437 of "The Annals of Newtown in Queens County, New York, Containing Its History from its First Settlement" we find that Robert Jackson and John Jackson were recorded as freeholders of Newtown on Dec. 4, 1666.
Quote from Long Island Genealogies, Bunker, pg 338, "Robert Jackson's Will dated 1683 says wife Agnes, was a dau of William and Jane Washburn." (But this is not correct! See transcription of Robert's Will here. Robert in his will leaves property to his wife Agnes who is still living, but her maiden name is not given and the 1659 Washburn court case says William Washburn's daughter was deceased.)
It is highly recommended that the viewer read the article concerning Robert's wives by Harry Macy Jr., which was published by The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 131 Number 1, "Robert Jackson's Wives and Children", The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, January 2000, page 6 and 7. An excerpt follows:
"The idea that Robert Jackson's wife was Agnes Washburn derives from two documents. Court testimony in 1659 regarding William Washburn's will establishes that Jackson was married to Washburn's daughter (without giving her name), and Jackson's own 1683 will names a wife Agnes. What the creators of "Agnes Washburn" failed to notice was that the court testimony clearly states that Jackson's wife was deceased. . . "
Mr. Macy goes on to make the argument that it is very likely that Robert was married in England prior to coming to the Colonies, and that this first wife's name is unknown. He probably married William Washburn(e)'s daughter but her given name is not known. Later he married the widow Agnes Puddington, maiden name unknown. Mr. Macy is a distinguished genealogist and his conclusions are worthy of study.
For an excellent study on Robert Jackson of Hempstead see Marty Grundy's website: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~paxson/jackson/Jackson.index.html
For a historical perspective on New Netherland and of the Dutch influence during this early time, see Wikipedia article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Netherland#English_incursions.