Place:Jamaica, Queens, New York, United States

NameJamaica
Alt namesRustdorpsource: Wikipedia
Jamecosource: Ill. Hist. of the borough of Queens
Jemecosource: Ill. Hist. of the borough of Queens
Yemacahsource: Ill. Hist. of the borough of Queens
TypeNeighborhood, Former village, Town
Coordinates40.703546°N 73.802032°W
Located inQueens, New York, United States     (1683 - )
Also located inNew Netherland     (1656 - 1664)
Queens, Queens, New York, United States     (1898 - present)
Contained Places
Cemetery
Grace Episcopal Churchyard ( 1734 - 1908 )
Prospect Cemetery ( 1660 - )

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source: Family History Library Catalog


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

Jamaica is a middle-class neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 12, which also includes Hollis, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens, Baisley Pond Park, Rochdale Village, and South Jamaica. Jamaica is patrolled by the 103rd and 113th Precincts of the New York City Police Department.

Jamaica was settled under Dutch rule in 1656 in New Netherland as . Under British rule, Jamaica became the center of the "Town of Jamaica". Jamaica was the first county seat of Queens County, holding that title from 1683 to 1788, and was also the first incorporated village on Long Island. When Queens was incorporated into the City of Greater New York in 1898, both the Town of Jamaica and the Village of Jamaica were dissolved, but the neighborhood of Jamaica regained its role as county seat. Today, some locals group Jamaica's surrounding neighborhoods into an unofficial Greater Jamaica, roughly corresponding to the former Town of Jamaica.

Jamaica is the location of several government buildings including Queens Civil Court, the civil branch of the Queens County Supreme Court, the Queens County Family Court and the Joseph P. Addabbo Federal Building, home to the Social Security Administration's Northeastern Program Service Center. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Northeast Regional Laboratory as well as the New York District Office are also located in Jamaica. Jamaica Center, the area around Jamaica Avenue, is a major commercial center. The New York Racing Association, based at Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, lists its official address as Jamaica (Central Jamaica once housed NYRA's Jamaica Racetrack, now the massive Rochdale Village housing development). John F. Kennedy International Airport and the hotels nearby also use Jamaica as their address.

History

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

Etymology

Although many current residents of the Jamaica neighborhood are immigrants from the Caribbean country of the same name, the origins and meanings of the two names differ entirely. The neighborhood was named Yameco, a corruption of a word for "beaver" in the Lenape language spoken by the Native Americans who lived in the area at the time of first European contact. The liquid "y" sound of English is spelt with a "j" in Dutch, the language of the first people to write about the area; the English conquerors retained this Dutch spelling, but, after repeated reading and speaking of "Jamaica", slowly replaced the liquid sound with the hard "j" of the English pronunciation of the name today. (In the Caribbean, the aboriginal Arawaks named their island Xaymaca, "land of wood and water", and the "x" spelling in Spanish was in time transformed to the hard "j" of the modern English name, "Jamaica".)

Precolonial and colonial periods

Jamaica Avenue was an ancient trail for tribes from as far away as the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, coming to trade skins and furs for wampum. It was in 1655 that the first settlers paid the Native Americans with two guns, a coat, and some powder and lead, for the land lying between the old trail and "Beaver Pond" (now filled in; what is now Tuckerton Street north of Liberty Avenue runs through the site of the old pond, and Beaver Road was named for its western edge). Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant dubbed the area ("rest-town") in granting the 1656 land patent.

The English took over in 1664 and made it part of the county of Yorkshire. In 1683, when the British divided the Province of New York into counties, Jamaica became the county seat of Queens County, one of the original counties of New York.

Colonial Jamaica had a band of 56 minutemen who played an active part in the Battle of Long Island, the outcome of which led to the occupation of the New York City area by British troops during most of the American Revolutionary War. Rufus King, a signer of the United States Constitution, relocated here in 1805. He added to a modest 18th-century farmhouse, creating the manor which stands on the site today. King Manor was restored at the turn of the 21st century to its former glory, and houses King Manor Museum.

Late 18th and 19th centuries

By 1776, Jamaica had become a trading post for farmers and their produce. For more than a century, their horse-drawn carts plodded along Jamaica Avenue, then called King's Highway. The Jamaica Post Office opened September 25, 1794, and was the only post office in the present-day Boroughs of Queens or Brooklyn before 1803. Union Hall Academy for boys, and Union Hall Seminary for girls, were chartered in 1787. The Academy eventually attracted students from all over the United States and the West Indies. The public school system was started in 1813 with funds of $125. Jamaica Village, the first village on Long Island, was incorporated in 1814 with its boundaries being from the present-day Van Wyck Expressway (on the west) and Jamaica Avenue (on the north, later Hillside Avenue) to Farmers Boulevard (on the east) and Linden Boulevard (on the south) in what is now St. Albans. By 1834, the Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad company had completed a line to Jamaica.

In 1850, the former Kings Highway (now Jamaica Avenue) became the Brooklyn and Jamaica Plank Road, complete with toll gate. In 1866, tracks were laid for a horsecar line, and 20 years later it was electrified, the first in the state. On January 1, 1898, Queens became part of the City of New York, and Jamaica became the county seat.



20th and 21st centuries

The present Jamaica station of the Long Island Rail Road was completed in 1913, and the BMT Jamaica Line arrived in 1918, followed by the IND Queens Boulevard Line in 1936 and the IND/BMT Archer Avenue Lines in 1988, the latter of which replaced the eastern portion of the Jamaica Line that was torn down in 1977–85. The 1920s and 1930s saw the building of the Valencia Theatre (now restored by the Tabernacle of Prayer), the "futuristic" Kurtz furniture store and the Roxanne Building. In the 1970s, it became the headquarters for the Islamic Society of North America.

The many foreclosures and the high level of unemployment of the 2000s and early 2010s induced many black people to move from Jamaica to the South, as part of the New Great Migration.

A December 2012 junkyard fire required the help of 170 firemen to extinguish.

On October 23, 2014, the neighborhood was the site of a terrorist hatchet attack on two police officers of the New York City Police Department. The police later killed the attacker.

The First Reformed Church, Grace Episcopal Church Complex, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce Building, Jamaica Savings Bank, King Manor, J. Kurtz and Sons Store Building, La Casina, Office of the Register, Prospect Cemetery, St. Monica's Church, Sidewalk Clock at 161-11 Jamaica Avenue, New York, NY, Trans World Airlines Flight Center, and United States Post Office are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Jamaica, Queens. 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.

External Links

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