Place:Hempstead, Nassau, New York, United States

NameHempstead
TypeVillage
Coordinates40.705°N 73.617°W
Located inNassau, New York, United States
Also located inQueens, New York, United States     (1683 - 1899)
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The Incorporated Village of Hempstead is located in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County, New York, United States. The population was 53,891 at the 2010 census,, but by 2017 had reached 55,806 according to the U.S. Census Bureau estimate. It is the most densely populated village in New York.

    Hempstead Village is the site of the seventeenth-century "town spot" from which English and Dutch settlers developed the Town of Hempstead, the Town of North Hempstead, and ultimately Nassau County. 

Several of Nassau County's most historically valuable buildings are in the Village of Hempstead, including Town of Hempstead Town Hall (built in 1918), Carman-Irish Hall at 160 Marvin Avenue (built about 1700), St. George's Episcopal Church (319 Front Street, erected 1822), St. George's Rectory (217 Peninsula Boulevard, built 1793), and the United Methodist Church at 40 Washington Street (erected 1855). The Carman-Irish Hall is occupied by American Legion Post 390. The church structures have been in continuous use by their congregations since they were built.

Christ's First Presbyterian Church at 353 Fulton Avenue is Nassau County's oldest Presbyterian congregation, and one of the earliest in the United States, having been founded in 1644 by Richard Denton.

Jackson Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, housed at 60 Peninsula Boulevard since the mid-1950s, was established between 1825 and 1840. It is one of the county's oldest African American congregations.

Diversity has long been a characteristic of Hempstead. While it was majority white until the mid-twentieth century, Hempstead had a significant black population from about 1651 onward, in addition to the native peoples still living on Long Island. Starting in the nineteenth century, Hempstead's diversity increased. Irish, Polish, and German immigrants arrived during the second half of the nineteenth century to join the descendants of the original English and Dutch settlers. Military personnel were trained at Camp Mills during 1918 and at Mitchel Field during World War II, and some stayed to raise families, adding other European-descent groups and African Americans. During the first half of the twentieth century, African Americans from the South who sought opportunities in the North established homes and businesses in Hempstead. Nassau County's first chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was established in Hempstead in 1932. A major case against de facto segregation in Hempstead was taken to the New York State Supreme Court in 1949 by Thurgood Marshall. From the 1950s forward, the village's African American population has increased, and so have Mexican, Central American, and South American groups, as well as Caribbean immigrants, Middle Easterners, and Asians.

Hofstra University (founded 1934) is located in Hempstead.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Foundation

The land on which the Village of Hempstead stands was under Dutch control from the early 1620s. The Dutch West India Company established New Amsterdam at the southern tip of Manhattan. Dutch colonies were founded in what is now New Jersey as well as the western half of Long Island. Attracting a sufficient quantity of Dutch settlers to colonize the land, however, proved difficult.

    Meanwhile, starting with the Pilgrims in 1620, English citizens had been emigrating to the colonies of Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut. A Presbyterian minister named Richard Denton came from Yorkshire, England, to join the Massachusetts Bay colony. He then went to Connecticut and helped establish both Wethersfield and Stamford. These colonies were threatened by wars among the Pequots, Narragansetts, and Mohegans. 
    The Dutch needed to populate Long Island or lose control of the territory. They invited New England colonists to found new settlements on Long Island, as long as the English settlers agreed to Dutch sovereignty.   
    In the fall of 1643, two of Rev. Denton's followers, Robert Fordham and John Carman, crossed Long Island Sound by rowboat to negotiate with the local inhabitants (Indians) for a tract of land upon which to establish a new community or "town spot". Representatives of the Marsapeague (Massapequa), Mericock (Merrick), Matinecock and Rekowake (Rockaway) tribes met with the two men at a site slightly west of the current Denton Green in Hempstead Village. Tackapousha who was the sachem (chief) of the Marsapeague was the spokesman for the other tribes. The Indians sold approximately 64,000 acres (260 km²), the present day towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead, for items worth less than $100 in today's market,[1] although they were very valuable to the Native Americans in terms of the contemporary markets for European "trinkets," which held symbolic and spiritual importance to Native America peoples in the Northeast.

This transaction is depicted in a mural in Hempstead Village Hall, reproduced from a poster commemorating the 300th anniversary of Hempstead.

In the spring of 1644, thirty to forty families left Stamford, Connecticut, crossed Long Island Sound, landed in Hempstead Harbor and eventually made their way to the present site of the village of Hempstead where they began their English settlement within Dutch-controlled New Netherland. The settling of Hempstead marked the beginnings of the oldest English settlement in what is now Nassau County. Subsequent trips across the Sound brought more settlers who prepared a fort here for their mutual protection. These original Hempstead settlers were Puritans in search of a place where they could more freely express their particular brand of Protestantism. They established a Presbyterian church that is the oldest continually active Presbyterian congregation in the nation.[2] In 1843, Benjamin F. Thompson wrote and published a history of the village, and an account of contemporary Hempstead Village. Thompson reported that there were 200 dwellings, and 1,400 residents; that the village was connected to New York City by a Turnpike and a railroad; that it had dry soil, excellent water, and pure air; and that it was the principal place of mercantile, and mechanical business, in the county. The village of Hempstead was incorporated on May 6, 1853, becoming the first community in Queens County (Nassau County did not exist as a separate county until 1899) to do so.[1]

Regarding the origin of the name "Hempstead", Hempstead founder John Carman was born in 1606 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England, on ancestral land recorded in the 2nd historic census of England (under Edward the First), the Rotuli Hundredorum (Hundred Rolls) AD 1273 as being owned by his direct ancestor Henry Carman. These same properties were on record continuously as being owned by Henry's descendants, through John Carman of 1606. John's wife Florence and her father, Rev. Robert Fordham, were from the county of Surrey, England.[2] Another theory regarding the origin of the name 'Hempstead' is that it is derived from the Dutch town of 'Heemstede' in the Netherlands, as this was an area from which many Dutch settlers of New Netherland originated. Several of Hempstead's original fifty patentees had Dutch surnames. In 1664, the new settlement adopted the Duke's Laws, an austere set of laws that became the basis upon which the laws of many colonies were to be founded. For a time, Hempstead became known as "Old Blue," as a result of the "Blue Laws".[1]

Rise

As the years passed, the population of Hempstead increased, as did its importance and prestige. In 1703, St. George's Church received a silver communion service from England's Queen Anne.[1] George Washington and other prominent leaders of the Revolution often stayed in Hempstead.[1] Right after he became President, George Washington made a tour of Long Island, stopping overnight at Sammis Tavern here (Nehemiah Sammis's 1683 Inn). Hempstead can boast of its share of celebrities. Eleanor Roosevelt lived here for a time as did Lionel Barrymore. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, spent her summers here during her teen years. Her family had a summer estate in Hempstead. Peter Cooper, inventor and politician, was a Hempstead resident. He married a local girl and settled here during the mid-19th century. Cooper ran for President on the "Greenback" ticket.

During the American Revolution, Hempstead was a center of British sympathizers or Tories, as they were known. The British attempted to occupy Hempstead after the Battle of Long Island,[3] and used St. George's as a headquarters as well as a place to worship. Judge Thomas Jones faulted a lax peace treaty for forcing the evacuation of the loyalists.

In the 19th century Hempstead became increasingly important as a trading center for Long Island. In 1853 it became the first self-governing incorporated village. Many prominent families such as the Vanderbilts and the Belmonts built homes here, making Hempstead a center of Long Island society. Hempstead merchants established routes out to outlying farms, and served as a distribution point for many firms. Wagons would leave Hempstead loaded with tobacco, candy and cigarettes and return in a week to restock. Bakeries covered routes from Baldwin to Far Rockaway daily. Butchers ran routes to Seaford, Elmont, Valley Stream, Wantagh, East Meadow, Creedmoor, East Rockaway and Christian Hook. Drugs, medicines, perfumes, extracts, aprons, children's coats and dresses and men's clothes were peddled about the country by Hempstead merchants. People came from all sections of Queens to purchase stoves, and there were few places outside Hempstead where stoves could be purchased. Hempstead was the shopping center for Nassau County and the eastern portion of Queens, those settlements east of Jamaica before 1900 when Nassau County was established, following the creation of the City of Greater New York in 1898. Hempstead has historically been the center of commercial activity for the eastern counties of Long Island. In Nassau County, all major county roads emanate from this village. It is indeed the "Hub" of Nassau County. During the 18th and 19th centuries, all stage coaches en route to eastern Long Island from Brooklyn passed through Hempstead. Today, seventeen bus routes and three interstate buses leave from the village every day. In addition, the Hempstead Branch of the Long Island Rail Road has its terminal here. At one time, there were three railroad companies with terminals within the village.

In March 1898, Camp Black was formed on the Hempstead Plains (roughly the shared location of Hempstead and Garden City), in support of the impending Spanish–American War. Camp Black was bounded on the north by Old Country Road, on the west by Clinton Road, and on the south by the Central Line rail. Camp Black was opened on April 29, 1898 as a training facility and a point of embarkation for troops.

Charles A. Lindbergh, arguably the world's most famous aviator, spent quite a bit of time in Hempstead both before and after his epic solo flight from nearby Roosevelt Field to Le Bourget Field in Paris, France on May 20, 1927.[2] While living here, Christopher Morley was so enamored with the place that on the three hundredth anniversary of its founding he wrote a beautiful essay in tribute. His first novel, Parnassus on Wheels, was written on a kitchen table at his Oak Street, Hempstead home in 1917. In 1704 the first stage coach on Long Island stopped to water its horses here.


Early Long Islanders made their living in agriculture or from the sea. Hempstead, with its central location, became the marketplace for the outlying rural farming communities. It was a natural progression, as the surrounding areas developed from small farms into today's suburbia, that Hempstead Village would remain as the marketplace. Chain department stores such as Arnold Constable and Abraham & Straus called Hempstead home for many years. Hempstead's Abraham & Straus was the largest grossing suburban department store in the country during the late 1960s. Hempstead was Nassau's retail center during the 1940s through the 1960s. The advent of regional shopping malls such as the one at nearby Roosevelt Field, the demise of nearby Mitchel Air Force Base in 1961 as well as the changing demographics put the retail trade in the village into a downward spiral that it was unable to recover from during the recessions of the 1970s and 1980s. A plethora of businesses left the village in the 1980s and early 1990s, notably retail giant, Abraham & Straus.

Recent years

In the course of the 1990s the village saw redevelopment as a government center as well as business center. There are more government employees from all levels of government in the village than there are in the county seat in Mineola. According to James York, the municipal historian, writing in 1998, the population during the day might rise to nearly 200,000, from a normal census of 50,000.[2] Retailers' interest in the village was rekindled, due to the aggressive revitalization efforts of former Mayor James Garner, who served from 1989 to 2005, and former Community Development Agency Commissioner, Glen Spiritis, who served under Garner's administration. Specifically, two large tracts of retail property have recently undergone redevelopment. The former Times Squares Stores (or TSS) property on Peninsula Boulevard and Franklin Street has been redeveloped as Hempstead Village Commons, a retail center including Pep Boys and Staples. The former Abraham & Straus department store on has recently undergone demolition and been replaced by a large retail development consisting of Home Depot, Old Navy, Stop & Shop and many other smaller establishments. A considerable infusion of state and federal funding as well as private investment have enabled the replacement of blighted storefronts, complete commercial building rehabilitations and the development of affordable housing for the local population. The replacement of the 1913 Long Island Rail Road Hempstead Terminal with a modern facility was completed in 2002 and a four-story, 112 unit building for senior housing, with retail on the ground level was completed at Main and West Columbia Streets in January 1998. Thirty two units of affordable townhouses known as Patterson Mews at Henry Street and Baldwin Road was completed and fully occupied in 1997.

In 1989, Hempstead residents elected James A. Garner (R) as their mayor. He was the first Black or African-American mayor ever elected to office in New York state and he served for four consecutive terms. Subsequently, Wayne Hall, a former Village of Hempstead trustee who is also African American, served as mayor for three terms, from 2005 to 2017.

The first African-American male judge, Lance Clarke, was elected in 2001. Cynthia Diaz-Wilson was the first female justice in the Village of Hempstead and first African American village justice in the state of New York.

In recent years, there has been concern regarding ongoing gang activity in certain neighborhoods, notably the "Heights". Hempstead was also one of the first Long Island communities that had to deal with the Salvadoran gang, MS-13 or "La Mara Salvatrucha". The continual intra-violence this gang has exhibited has led to the formation of their arch-rivals, "SWP" or "Salvadorans with Pride". These issues have contributed to Hempstead's high crime rate as compared to other communities in the area.

Research Tips

History of Hempstead Village by James B. York (his email address is Bruhah@aol.com)
Municipal Historian Inc., Village of Hempstead
http://longislandgenealogy.com/hempstead.html

History of St. George's Episcopal Church, Hempstead, Nassau, New York: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._George%27s_Episcopal_Church_%28Hempstead,_New_York%29

External Links

  • Outstanding guide to Hempstead family history and genealogy resources (FamilySearch Research Wiki). Birth, marriage, and death records, town histories, cemeteries, churches, newspapers, libraries, and genealogical societies.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Hempstead (village), New York. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.