Plot 4 of the Twelve Acre Lots which were allotted to the freeĀ­holders of Gravesend on 9 February 1688-89 was situated on the south side of Gravesend Neck Road west of the Strom Kill. It was given to Obediah WILKINS whose heirs conveyed it to Thomas STILLWELL. On 15 November 1711, STILLWELL transferred it to Elias HUBBARD who sold it to Isaac DENYSE on 14 May 1754. In February 1800, it became the property of DENYSE'S son John who sold the land with dwelling and outbuildings to Richard STILLWELL in June 1815. In his will dated 17 May 1826, STILLWELL left the property to his son Daniel whose heirs sold it to Dr. William SHEPARD, a veterinary, in 1888. Which of the early owners built the house on it is anyone's guess. There is no doubt but that it is an ancient one. It must have been erected in the late seventeenth or early eighteen century for it is built close to the ground and has the long, low lines of the Dutch houses of that period. Also, it probably had two front entrances, which was common in those days. One of its tenants was Stephen S. VORIS (b. 29 March 1809 - d. 25 June 1879) who married Ann, daughter of William VAN NUYSEN 3 December 1834. He and his family lived in the house until after the birth of their second child which occurred 29 November 1837. Stephen S. VORIS was the son of Stephen S. VORIS (b. 25 July 1787 - d. 12 February 1872) and Catharine VAN BRUNT who were married 15 May 1808 and lived on the VORIS ancestral acres on the north side of Neck Road. The father of Stephen S. VORIS, the elder, was Steven J. VOORHIES (b. 3 June 1739 - d. 3 April 1816) who married Phebe RYDER 31 May 1767. He was a member of the Kings County Militia. Previous to the battle of Long Island, he was with the American army, then busily fortifying the western end of Long Island. When the Americans ordered all cattle to be driven into Queens County to prevent its being seized by the enemy, Phebe was allowed to retain one cow provided she kept it hidden in the house. After the landing of the British and Hessians, a Hessian discovered the cow and was about to lead her off when Stephen appeared on the scene. He had come home to learn how Phebe and the children were faring. In the argument which followed, the Hessian was killed. Quickly Stephen buried his body under a back room and hurried back to the militia. Steven J. VOORHIES was the son of Jan Stevensen VOORHEES and his wife Seytie. Jan STEVENSEN'S father was Steven COERTEN (b. 1667 - d. 16 February 1723) who married Agatha JANSE in 1694, and who bought the farm on the north side of Neck Road and went there to live. Steven COERTEN's father was Coert Stevensen VAN VOOR HEES (in front of Hees), who was born in Holland in 1637. He arrived at New Amsterdam on the De Bonte Kou (or Tbe Spotted Cow) in 1660 with his father Steven COERTEN, his father's second wife and his six brothers and sisters. He settled in Amersfoort where he married Marritje Gerretse VAN COUWENHOVEN prior to 1666. He was magistrate of that town in 1664 and in 1673, on its assessment rolls of 1675 and 1683, a member of its church and a deacon in 1677. He took the oath of allegiance there in 1687 and was captain of the local militia in 1689. He died in 1702. There are two letters in the state archives in Albany; one of which was written to him on 13 April 1684, by his uncle Hilbert COERTEN of Drenthe and the other addressed to him and his wife by Domine VAN ZUEREN in 1699. They have been translated from their original Dutch and are a source of interest on everyday life in seventeenth century Netherlands. Next Chapter..JOOST - STILLWELL HOUSE DUTCH Houses..Index Main Return to TOWN Index Main Return to BROOKLYN Index Main