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Descendants of Unknown Lake

With the help of Genealogy.Com, I opened a copy of a book called English Origins of New England Families. This book has three volumes and the information therein is from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.  It was published in 1984.  In the 1st volume, I found a series of wills written by Lake family members who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries and I spent days trying to understand the relationships and the linage of those Lakes and how they pertain to our family. The "Lake" name is both famous and infamous and the people in the world who claim that last name are as numerous as leaves on an old, old tree. What I have written on this page is my best interpretation of those old records. 

 If you click on any of the photos on this page, you will find an enlarged image of that photo.

Generation No. 1

1. UNKNOWN LAKE was born 1511 in Irby, Lincolnshire, England, death date unknown . It would be a good guess that his name was John, Richard, Robert, Thomas or William because those were the prominent names for his male descendents down through the centuries.   I'm betting his name was "John."  John Lake (son of Unknown Lake) was apparently a wealthy landowner but still of minor gentry, a yeoman. He held the manors of Great Fanton Hall and Boneviles.  Great Fanton Hall, a large farmhouse of no architectural pretension, was still standing in 1925, although sadly threatened by growing suburbia.  Other land holdings were in neighboring parishes of Rayleigh, South Benfleet, Wickford, Laindon and South Hanningfield.   

Below, at the right is the Lake Family Coat of Arms which was probably not authorized for use by this particular Lake family by the English College of Arms.

Children of UNKNOWN LAKE AND HIS WIFE, (her name also  unknown).   The names of the male children are known because  they are mentioned in the wills of John Lake, his son, and in the   wills of other relatives of the period.

i. JOHN2 LAKE, b. 1533, Irby, Lincolnshire, England; d. 12 Mar  1595/96. He married  Elizabeth Lone on February 3, 1558.  Elizabeth,  died in March 1588 and he remarried Mary/Maria Castle  on April 28, 1589.  This John Lake is the oldest son of UNKNOWN  LAKE and apparently held control of most of the Lake property  inherited from his father or acquired by himself.  He mentions no  children of his own in his will (proven on April 7, 1597) and leaves  control of his major holdings to his brother Richard and to  Richard's son, John (named sole executor).  All the rest he gives to his wife, Mary, his brother Robert's children, various other relatives, the poor, the church at Benfleet, servants and friends.  Perhaps John and Elizabeth had no children or perhaps they had all died.

ii. ROBERT LAKE, b. 1537, North Benfleet, Essex, England; d. 1574.

iii. RICHARD LAKE, b. 1539, Rayleigh, Essex, England; d. 24 Dec 1599, North Benfleet, Essex, England.

iv. WILLIAM LAKE, b. 1545, North Benfleet, Essex, England; d. 17 Sep 1599.

v. "Daughter" LAKE, b. 1547, North Benfleet, Essex, England. Married "Unknown" Porter

vi. "Daughter" LAKE, b. 1550, North Benfleet, Essex, England. Married "Unknown" Brooman

vii. "Daughter" LAKE, b. 1552, North Benfleet, Essex, England. Married "Unknown" Cracknell

Generation No. 2

2. RICHARD2 LAKE (UNKNOWN1) was born 1539 in Rayleigh, Essex, England, and died September, 1599 in North Benfleet, Essex, England. He married ANNE WARDELL. She was born 1543 in North Benfleet, Essex, England, and died 22 Sep 1599 in Wickford, Essex, England.

Children of RICHARD LAKE and ANNE WARDELL are:

        3. i. JOHN3 LAKE, b. 1565, North Benfleet, Essex, England; d. 10 Dec 1612, North Benfleet, Essex, England.

        ii. RICHARD LAKE, b. 1565, North Benfleet, Essex, England; d. 17 Dec 1622.

        iii. SYBIL LAKE, b. 1570, North Benfleet, Essex, England; d. Bet. 1587 - 1664.

        iv. JOAN LAKE, b. 1572, North Benfleet, Essex, England; d. Bet. 1598 - 1666.

        v. THOMAS? LAKE, b. 1575; d. Bet. 1589 - 1669.

        vi. MARGARET LAKE, b. 1577; d. Bet. 1591 - 1671.

Generation No. 3

3. JOHN3 LAKE (RICHARD2, UNKNOWN1) was born 1565 in North Benfleet, Essex, England, and died 10 Dec 1612 in North Benfleet, Essex, England. He married ELIZABETH SANDELL 1590 in North Benfleet, Essex, England. She was born 1570 in Nevedon, Essex, England, and died 04 May 1616 in North Benfleet, Essex, England.


        i. SYBIL LAKE, b. Feb 1592/3; d. 28 May 1642, Epping, Essex, England.

        ii. ANNE LAKE, b. February 1604/5; d. Bet. 1616- 1694.

        iii. ELIZABETH LAKE, b. December 1591; d. July or August 1651, Leigh, Essex, England.

        iv. MARGARET LAKE, b. March 1597/8; died young, probably in 1598.

        v. RICHARD LAKE, b. Nov 1594; d. 18 Feb 1650/51.

        vi. THOMAS LAKE, b. Oct. 1600; d. between February 1651/2 and April 1652. Was Reverend Thomas Lake, A.B. (University of Cambridge 1621/22)  Ordained Episcopal Priest at Peterborough on December 22, 1623.

        vii. THOMASINE/Tamsen LAKE, b. Oct. 1596; d. Bet. 1592 - 1694.

        4. viii. JOHN LAKE, b. 26 Sep 1590, Normantown, York, England; d. Bet. 1627 - 1681, Ipswich, Essex, MA

Generation No. 4

4. JOHN4 LAKE (JOHN3, RICHARD2, UNKNOWN1) was born 26 Sep 1590 in Normantown, York, England, and died before January of 1661/2 in Essex, England. He married MARGARET READE about 1616. She was born 11 Jul 1598 in North Benfleet, Essex, England, and died 24 Sep 1672 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.  Margaret Reade Lake left her husband John between 1631 and 1635 and emigrated to New England with her two of her daughters, Ann and Martha, and her sisters and their families.  Perhaps the fact that two of her children died as babies had something to do with her leaving.  For many years she lived with the family of her brother-in-law , Governor John Winthrop, Jr., in New London, Conn.  In January 1661 she wrote to the Governor, who was in London at the time, to ask him to make inquiries into her husband's death and "...whether their was any thing left mee or no...".  No will of this John Lake has been found.

Children of JOHN LAKE and MARGARET READE are:

        i. JOHN LAKE, b. 06 Jul 1617, Wickford, Essex, England; d. before. 04 Aug 1696, Gravesend, Long Island, NY.

        ii. THOMAS LAKE, b. January 1618/19, Wickford, Essex, England.

        iii. RICHARD5 LAKE, b. May 1620, Wickford, Essex, England; d. 22 May 1620.

        iv. HANNAH/ ANNE LAKE, b. 03 Jul 1621, North Benfleet, Essex, England; d. 19 Dec 1675, Stonington, CT.

        v. ELIZABETH LAKE, b. June 1623; d. 31 Aug 1623.

        vi. MARTHA LAKE, b. 20 Jul 1624, North Benfleet, Essex, England; d. 05 Apr 1700, Ipswich, Essex, MA.

        vii. SAMUEL LAKE, b. March 1629; d. 19 Mar 1629.

Generation No. 5

It is at this generation, I have taken a "leap of faith" relying on information I have gotten from family trees available on the internet.  I have no proof positive that this particular John Lake is the son of John Lake and Margaret Reade Lake.  There were many young men from England emigrating to America at this time to seek their fortunes and/or to find a peaceful place to express their religious beliefs.   Perhaps further research in the future will reveal the final truth or proof.

Dear Readers,  On Sept 2, 2008, I received a Gmail from Annette Truesdell who found my website on the Internet and read what I had theoretically proposed about the ancestry of the Lakes in our family.  She has convinced me that her well-researched findings are a more probable theory than mine.  I will include what she wrote to me.  I will also keep all the Lake ancestry I have above ▲ just in case there are those who are not convinced and will continue to embrace that theory.  Annette told me that, unfortunately, she has not discovered any proven ancestors of our John Lake saying. "There has been speculation by a few others that his origin may lie in Devon (England) but until any source documents are found to be trustworthy, or LAKE descendents from that area match DNA testing in the future, who knows?"   Her words will be in green print.  I wish to thank her for sharing all her research with me                                                                                     


   Found your website and thought I'd get in touch.  I have some comments regarding what you have posted to your website regarding our Lake lineage and wanted to pass them along.  You can take them or leave them, I won't be offended.  I've spent many, many years searching thru source records trying to clarify what has been written about our lineage and have found that a lot of what you find in the published histories and databases cannot be supported by source records.

   My Grandmother also corresponded with Rev. McMillan and some of her elderly cousins provided him with information regarding our line through Thomas Lake and Michal Williamson.  I remember how thrilled she was to have the book.  Unfortunately, most of it was in error as I would sadly find out.  Since 1980, I've thrown myself into a one-name LAKE study in an effort to learn what is fact from fiction.  I've met several times with other Lake cousins, Karen Arave and Janet Jefferies and Kathryn Andreasson.  They published a history on their line from James Lake (son of James Lake and Margaret Hagerman) and his cousin/wife, Mary Lake, daughter of John Lake Jr. and Miss Voorheis.  We had a great time, comparing and contrasting what we had found thru the years that refutes and corrects what is in the various LAKE books.

   Anyway, here's my take on some of what is on your website.

   1.  Although I readily admit that it is only my interpretation of the records, I do not believe that our John of Gravesend was the son of John Lake and Margaret Reade of No. Benfleet.  Let me tell you why. 

   If we examine what we know from the probate records surrounding the Lake family of No. Benfleet, Margaret's father, Edmund Reade left bequests to his grandchildren in his will dated 20 Nov 1623.  The bequest was that if certain lands called "Sopers" came into his son, William Reade's possession, William "is to give bond to the executrix or overseers of this will to pay L50 apiece to my grandchildren John Lake, Anna Lake, Daniel Epps and Elizabeth Epps."  Also "To my son-in-law John Lake and my daughter Margaret Lake, 40s. apiece for rings.  To John Lake and Anna Lake, their children, 20s. apiece." 

   Margaret Reade Lake's children born prior to 1623 were John, Thomas, Richard, Anna and Elizabeth.  We know from church records that Richard and Elizabeth both died shortly after their births.  That leaves John, Thomas and Anna/Hannah.  John was born in 1617 and would have been 6 years old.  Thomas was born in 1619 and would have been 4 years old.  Hannah was born in 1621 and would have been 2 years old.  The Epps grandchildren (children of Edmund's daughter Martha Reade Epps) were only 1 and 2 years old.  It doesn't make sense that Edmund Reade would leave a L50 bequest to all his living grandchildren except for 4 year old Thomas.  The only thing that does makes sense is that Thomas had died before the writing of the will.

   Margaret then has 3 more children:  Martha, Samuel and a 2nd Elizabeth.  Samuel dies at birth and nothing further is found in the records regarding Elizabeth.  Sometime between 1631 - 1635 (after the birth and assumed death of the 2nd child named Elizabeth), Margaret leaves her husband, takes her daughters Hannah and Martha and joins her sisters and their families in New London, CT.   Margaret lives with her sister Elizabeth Reade Winthrop, wife of Gov. John Winthrop.  Margaret is named a legatee in the will of her sister-in-law Elizabeth Lake Breadcale in 1651 and receives a bequest from her brother-in-law, the Rev. Thomas Lake in 1652.  According to a letter she receives in 1654 from her step-father, her husband, John Lake is still living at that time.  Her son, John Lake would have been a maturing adult of 37 yrs of age.

   Three years later, in 1657, a letter was written from Edinburgh by Mrs. Lucy Downing to Fitz John Winthrop (son of Elizabeth Reade Winthrop) that reads, "Your uncle, Collonell Reade, was a month or two since with us, ... and said that God had takne a sonn of his sister Lackes that was with him, and was very hopefull for further preferment."    At this time, the only living son of Margaret Reade Lake's that could have died at this time would have been her son, John.

   In 1661 Margaret's husband, John Lake had apparently died.  She sends a letter to her brother-in-law, Gov. Winthrop who was in London at the time, asking the details regarding her husband's death and if he would see what, if any, bequests she would receive from his estate, as well as that of her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Lake Breadcale.  In 1672, Margaret writes her will in Ipswich, MA and leaves "all my land at New London" and the rest of her estate to her daughters Hannah Lake Gallop and Martha Lake Harris and their families.  No mention is made of any other children.

   There are some facts about this family that cannot be overlooked.  The North Benfleet Lake family, and their extended family of in-laws were extremely wealthy.  They owned oodles of land and estates.  They were educated and their friends were the upper circle of society.  They traveled a great deal and wrote letters often to each other.  Margaret's daughters both married well and we can suppose that any sons she had would have been groomed to inherit and manage the family estates.  If Margaret Reade Lake's son were to have come to the new world to make his way, he would have surely come with money, influential friends and relatives, and at least, letters of introduction.  There is no evidence whatsoever of any relationship between this educated, wealthy and much traveled Lake family and our John Lake of New Amsterdam and Gravesend.

   Our John Lake was a simple farmer who started out leasing and working someone else's property.  Although he later did buy and sell land, it wasn't of any significant measure, he signed his name with a mark, (This I found to be most compelling.  I  have imagined that even if John Lake decided to break away from the family in a rebellious way and join a religious movement, or even was disowned by his mother and family, he still would have been able to write his name instead of just signing with a mark.) was in trouble at times with the local magistrates, and did not generally comport himself the way an individual does who was to the "manor born", as the saying goes.  There is ample circumstantial evidence from the probate records and letters that Margaret Reade Lake only had two surviving children:  Hannah (Lake) Gallop and Martha (Lake)Harris.

   Contrary to what has been written by Wm. Stillwell, Adams/Risley and Claud McMillan, our John Lake appears to have been in New Amsterdam several months prior to the arrival of Thomas Spicer from Rhode Island.  On 8 Apr 1643,  Rem Jansen leases land for 3 years on Wallabout Cove (area that became Brooklyn) to  "Jan Lockh" and  "Jan Picces".  Sometime between 1645-49, John marries Ann Spicer and is living in Flushing.  The following year, his farming partner, John Peek also marries according to the marriage records at the New Amsterdam DRC 20 Feb 1650 for "Jan Peeck, j. m., en Marie Volkers, Wede" (Maria du Trieux, widow of Cornelis Volkertszen.)

   John resides in New Amsterdam until at least Oct 1654  per the court minutes, "Jan Leeck, notwithstanding arrest and summons... has departed from this city". (Records of New Amsterdam 1:261).  Between 1654-60 he was living in the Flatlands; from 1660-70 lived in Flatbush and after 1670, appears to have resided in Gravesend until his death sometime prior to March 1688.  In all the town rateables, he appears to only be of modest means.  Most of his neighbors have much more in land and livestock.  His sons to seem to be somewhat more successful in becoming "good neighbors" in that they become assessors, fence viewers, constables, whalers, etc. but the bottom line is that they are still small land farmers.  Our John Lake came from simpler stock   

You will find further corrections below in green print concerning the Lake ancestry provided by Annette Truesdell.    Many thanks, Annette 

Because of the different versions of the ancestry of this John Lake the narrative will continue below starting again with Generation 1 instead of Generation 6.

John Lake of Gravesend, Long Island, New York

JOHN LAKE was born 06 Jul 1617 (location unknown), and died before 04 Aug 1696 in Gravesend, Long Island, NY. He married ANNE SPICER In 1649 at Gravesend, Long Island, NY, the daughter of THOMAS SPICER and Anne Grant.  Anne was born c.1632 in England, and died Aft. 1709 in Gravesend, Long Island, NY.  John Lake probably arrived the American Colonies about 1636 and lived in the home of Thomas Spicer (his future father-in-law) at Newport, Rhode Island.  In 1643, both John and the Thomas Spicer family became part of a company of Englishmen who began to plan a religious freedom colony on Long Island, NY.  This company was under the leadership of Lady Deborah Moody, a widow, who came to Massachusetts about 1640.  She first settled at Salem, Mass. and became a follower of Roger Williams, the famous Quaker.  Because of persecution in Massachusetts, she and her band of followers removed to New Amsterdam, NY where they acquired a land patent on December 19, 1645 from Governor Kieft, for the establishment of a colony with freedom of religion to be called Gravesend.  Both John Lake (although not an "original patentee", probably because he could not afford to purchase one) and Thomas Spicer were considered to be among the founders of the community and at the time of his death in 1658, Thomas was a magistrate of Gravesend.  According to records of the Long Island Historical Society, "Gravesend Village was laid out in a village square of 16 acres with farm lots radiating from the square.  There were 39 patentees, each receiving a house lot in the village and a farm of probably 20 acres."  Most of these families were slaveholders. 


More notes on Thomas Spicer (Anne Spicer Lake's' Father) from Annette Truesdell:

3 Feb 1591/2: THOMAS SPICER, son of NICHOLAS SPICER and MARTHA GRANT baptized at Barfreston, Kent, England.

21 Oct 1605: ANNE GRANT, daughter of MARKE GRANT was baptized St. Mary's, Sandwich, Kent England.

3 Feb 1626: THOMAS SPICER m. ANNE GRANT of St. Mary's by license at Sandwich, Kent, England.

Children of Thomas Spicer and Anne Grant:

i.  circa 1628: SUSANNA BRAZIER (assume nee Thomas Spicer and sister to Anne) born, birthdate estimated, no baptismal records found to date.

ii. circa 1630/2 ANNE SPICER LAKE (assume nee Thomas Spicer) born, birthdate estimated, no baptismal records found to date. Relationship of Susanna and Anne as daughters of Thomas Spicer assumed from his bequest to them in his will.

5 Feb 1635: THOMAS SPICER m. MICHAL or MICAH (maiden name unknown) JENKINS of St. Clements, widow of JOHN JENKINS. St. Clements is a church in Romney Marsh, Kent, England.  Per Wikipedia, Romney Marsh is in the area of the Confederation of Cinque Ports, which  is a historic series of coastal towns in Kent and Sussex, at the eastern end of the English Channel where the crossing to the continent is narrowest. It was originally formed for military and trade purposes, but is now entirely ceremonial.   It is just south of Dover and Sandwich.

  Known Child of Thomas Spicer and Michal/Micah Jenkins:

iii. 30 Jul 1637: SAMUEL SPICER, son of THOMAS AND MICHAL SPICER baptized at St. Peter's, Sandwich, Kent, England.

1638: The first indication of Thomas Spicer in America isn't until 1638 where he is named in Rhode Island records as an inhabitant of "island now called Aqueedneck" in RI.  "1st of ye 8th month, in catalogue of persons admitted to be inhabitants of the Island now called Aquidneck, having submitted (1638) themselves to the government that is or shall be established, is the name of Thomas Spicer.

1643:  A Thomas Spicer appears at Gravesend, Long Island, in the Quaker Colony founded by Lady Moody (Bergen's II Early Settlers of Kings County");  On 25 Jun 1643 leased farm on Long Island from "Arent van Curler" for 5 years.  This farm was part of the property to which Jacob Van Corlaer had received a patent, located in the area of Flatlands and Flatbush.  From the inventory, it was already sown with grains, had a house, farm implements and animals.  Deborah Moody and associates received their patent to Gravesend during 1643 but it does not appear that Thomas Spicer was at that time associated with them.

circa 1649: JOHN LAKE m. ANNE SPICER per Wm. Stillwell's unpublished manuscript

1658: Thomas dies in which year he was one of the magistrates of Gravesend. His will is dated Sept. 30, 1658; proved Nov. 4, 1658; and recorded on the Gravesend records, in which he devises his real estate to his wife and sons, subject to legacies to his daughters.

As far as I know, no one else has yet re-researched the Spicer/Grant family after Susan Billings Meech.  Her work continues to be copied and relied on as "fact".  It may indeed be so, but I have not had an opportunity to spend time with this line yet either.


                      Annette Truesdell 


 Children of JOHN LAKE and ANNE SPICER are:                          

 Again, all the notes in green below are from Annette Truesdell.  Her efforts really are a wonderful addition to this web site. They really show what a careful and thorough genealogist she is.

   Click on photo ◄  at left to see enlarged photo of Lake homestead at Graves  End.





        Generation 2

i. JOHN LAKE, JR., b. 1654, Gravesend, Long Island, NY; d. 17 May 1729, Gravesend, Long Island, NY.
ii. DANIEL LAKE, first a farmer at Gravesend but later removed to Staten Island. m. Alice Stillwell

iii. MARGARET/METGE LAKE, b. date unknown, d. before June1689,  m. William Goulding in April 1676

iv.  Martha Lake  baptized 1652 At New Amsterdam.  McMillan and other authors cite "Metje"  (above) as being the same child as "Margaret" who later married William Goulding.  Researcher, Harriet Stryker-Rodda names "Metje" as a separate daughter, "Martha".  Dutch reference books cite "Metje" as a nickname for Margaret or Mathilda.  It is not clear at this time if Metje is the same person as Martha or Margaret but regardless, there appears to be two separate daughters. 

About Martha's Marriages:  Per Wm. H. Stillwell's handwritten history (which does contain errors), "Gravesend Residents, Their Ancestors and Descendants", "Martha Lake, daughter of John was born in Amersfort (Flatlands) baptized in New Amsterdam May 20, 1652, married Obadiah Wilkins of Gravesend, son of William and had issue Martha, who married John Griggs, and William".  This record assumes she is the same child as Metje.  Researcher, Harriet Stryker-Rodda agreed with this assumption. (NOTE:  a daughter "Martha" is not named in Obadiah Wilkins' will and Stillwell has probably confused her with Obadiah's wife, Martha who married (2nd) on 5 Dec 1684 to John Griggs after the death of Wilkins.)

Further Notes about Martha:  The Wilkins property was next to John Lakeís. In the Gravesend town records, John Griggs brings a suit against Obadiah Wilkins for damage to his corn by Wilkinís cattle that have been left in the cornfields.  Carson Johnson testifies as a witness that he saw 7 cows in the corn and John Lakeís daughter "fetcht" them off.  It appears that John Griggs was bringing a complaint for damages to his crop by Obadiah Wilkinís cows and it only makes sense that if it was John Lakeís daughter who retrieved the cows, she was probably Obadiahís wife, Martha.  Later, in the 1683 assessment rolls, Martha Wilkins (who would have been a widow at this time) is recorded in the residence next to John Lake, Jr. and 2 residences away from John Lake, Sr.

For further authoritative clarification and details about the Lakes of Gravesend and their relatives,

See this page with content provided by Genealogist Perry Streeter On May 19. 2009

Continuing on with the children of John an Anne Spicer Lake)

v.  ELIZABETH LAKE., m. Hendrick Johnson, a farmer at Gravesend

vi.  MICHAH/MARY LAKE, m. Nicholas Stillwell, a farmer at Gravesend


viii. Thomas LaKe, b. c 1659.   In a Court of Sessions record, cited in John E. Stillwell's "Stillwell Genealogy", v.IV, pg. 1.  It reads "1680 Gravesend Court of Sessions, Theopilus Phillips presented several persons of Gravesend, viz.: John Cason, Tho. Lake, Anthony Emans, Jon Griggs, Jr., Lubert Lubbertson, Jeremiah Stillwell and Daniel Lake for tying a cat to his mareís tail and turning her into the woods and which said mare he hath never heard of or seen since.  The defendants were allowed one month to find the mare, and if not found, to make her good and each was fined 2s6d for breaking the Sabbath".  About his death
he only mention of Thomas to date is the Court of Sessions record so it is unclear what happened to him.  He could have died prior to the 1683 assessment list.  Another possibility is that he could have left Long Island and removed to CT and is the same person as Thomas Lake of Stratford.  His age would certainly make this a possibility, although this theory needs other supporting evidence.  
ix. Abraham Lake, b. c1676:  Birth year of 1676 based on Staten Island census of 1706 found in John Stillwell's book where Abraham is named and listed as being 30 years old.  Tennis G. Bergen, in his "Early Settlers of Kings County, Long Island" said that Abraham is a son of Daniel Lake and Alice Stillwell and twin of Joseph.  No sources cited.  Bergen is incorrect based on Abraham's age and the fact that Daniel and Alice didn't marry until about 1684.  Abraham married
Classje Langestraat/Longstreet, daughter of Dirck Stoffel Langestraat and Katrina van Lieuwen according to the 26 Apr 1696 baptismal record of their son, John found in Brooklyn DRC records.


Generation No. 2


2. JOHN LAKE, JR. (JOHN1) was born 1654 in Gravesend, Long Island, NY, and died 17 May 1729 in Gravesend, Long Island, NY. He married NEELTJE CLASSEN.

For further authoritative information about Neeltje Classen via Perry Streeter, see


She was born 1655 in Gravesend, Long Island, NY.  John Lake, Jr. remained in Gravesend and became the head of the Gravesend family there.  He probably lived at Flatlands for a time because of records showing he bought a horse on November 21, 1670 from a James Hubbard of Gravesend.  He was named in the assessment roll of Gravesend in 1693.  In 1700 he was listed as a Captain of the Militia.  He is recorded as buying 40 acres of land for 164 pounds on Hoggs Neck in 1694.  In 1714 he was and elder in the Gravesend Dutch Reformed Church of Gravesend.  He may have married a second time as his will mentions a wife called "Mayke" or "Myke" (Mary) along with his daughter Mary.  As the years rolled by, the family dispersed to other places.  The land surrounding tiny Gravesend became valued and desirable to many others because of its proximity to the ocean.   John Jr.'s sons sought more fertile land elsewhere including "upland" in New Jersey, New York and Staten Island.

    Children of JOHN LAKE and NEELTJE CLASSEN are:

        i. JAN/JOHN LAKE, bap. 16 Apr 1688, d. Nov 1753 Middlesex Co., NJ

        ii. THOMAS LAKE, b. c. 1690, d. c. 1765, Hunterdon Co. NJ, m. Jannetje Stryker

        iii. NICHOLAS3 LAKE, SR., b. 1692, Gravesend, Long Island, NY; d. 08 Oct 1773, Somerset, NJ.

        iv. MARY LAKE, b. c, 1694, d after 1736 Hunterdon Co., NJ, m. (1) Cornelius van Sicklin

        v. DANIEL LAKE, b.10 Mar 1696, d. April 1774,Gravesend Long Island, NY, m. Elizabeth Sutphen



        Generation No. 3

The Revolutionary War brought dissention and divided loyalties among the Lake families. Because most of the Lake families had received their land holdings from the British through land grants, there were strong feelings that they should be loyal to the crown.  Most of the male member of these "loyalists" took up arms against the colonists and some gave up their lives.  Other Lakes sided with the colonist cause, bore arms some lost their lives, too.   I have attempted to designate those loyal to the crown in red and those in sympathy to the colonists in blue.  At the end of the war, those who had united with the British forces found themselves dispossessed and landless.  To start over again, some made their way to Canada during and after the war.  Among the names of other families who went to Canada are Amey and Stover.  These names frequently appear in our family tree.

3. NICHOLAS LAKE, SR. (JOHN LAKE, JR.2JOHN1 ) was born 1692 in Gravesend, Long Island, NY, and died 08 Oct 1771 in Somerset, NJ. He married MARY JOHNSON/Jansyn. She was born 1696 in Gravesend, Long Island, NY, d. 1773.



    ii. JANE LAKE.

    iii. SARAH LAKE.


    v. MARY LAKE, m. Aarent van Courlaer, of the New York Grants, Sept. 23, 1743,  He was born April 19, 1688 Therefore, he would be age 55 at the time of his marriage.  She died 11 Apr 1815

    vi. HENDRICK/HENRY LAKE, b. 1715, Long island or New Jersey.

    vii. JOHN LAKE, b.c. 1719, Somerset, NJ; d. between 1807-1818, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada. It had been previously thought that John was born c1728.  This birth year was estimated from his purported age at death of 107 years in 1835 per oral history found in Claud McMillans "History of My People and Yours".  However, the UEL (United Empire Loyalist, the guys who fought for the British and had to flee to Canada after the Revolutionary War.) petition of his daughter, Mary Lake Parrot, dated 19 October 1818 says "... that Maria Parrott personally appeared before the open General Quarter Session of the Peace of this day and was recognized by Magistrates to be the daughter of John Lake of the Township of Ernest Town Deceased a U.E. Loyalist who retained his Loyalty during his life without suspicion of aiding or assisting the Enemy and that her husband James Parrott Esquire did his duty in defense of the Province during the late War." "Public Archives of Canada, Upper Canada Land Petitions "P" Bundle 11, 1816-1819 (RG 1, L 3, Vol. 404) Page 89b, Reel C-2491 (AO)".  Therefore, the death date at age 107 in 1835 is in error if John was deceased in 1818.

    NOTES on John Lake John is named second in his father's will.  Traditionally, male children were typically named in order of their birth.  Given what we know of the birth dates of Henry (the oldest, c. 1715) and Jacobus (1721) and Thomas (1734), a birth year of c1719 would be a likely approximation.  John died between the 1807 date of his petition for land and 1818 when he is noted as being deceased in his daughter, Mary Lake Parrot's land petition.

    There is no evidence that this John Lake was ever in Ulster Co., NY, contrary to what has been published in some LAKE books.  He has apparently been confused with a different man,  John Leake.  In Ulster Co. land records, there is a deed dated 12 Oct 1752 for a John Leake for property in trust for H. Woodworth.  (This should actually read "H. Wentworth:".  Per LDS film 0930120, Item 3, Elijah "Wintworth", surviving heir of Hugh, releases the land to Myron Case on 2 Sep 1791. Martha Norton, acting executrix of the estate of John Leake, deceased, released the assignment of Hugh Wentworth on 24 Sep 1792.

    viii. JACOBUS/JAMES LAKE, b. 1721, Somerset, NJ.  His will was written on July 18, 1795 in the records of Somerset Co., NJ.  He probably died there as he describes himself as "sick and weak of body " when he wrote his will.  He was a "plantation" owner and a slave holder as he mentions them by name when he bequeaths them to his heirs.

    ix. NICHOLAS LAKE, JR., b. 1733, Somerset, NJ.  (He died in the battle of Bennington.)

    x. THOMAS LAKE, b. 1734, Somerset, NJ.  d. Cambridge, Washington Co. NY.  Thomas entered the British service as a private in July 6, 1777 under Burgoyne.  At the time that General Burgoyne capitulated, he was taken prisoner with some of his brothers and father, John Lake.  All were held as prisoners until the end of the war.

    xi. ABRAHAM LAKE,  b. New Jersey.  160 acres of land was conveyed to Abraham Lake on August 29, 1806 in Rennselaer Co., NY.  He probably died in this county.

    Generation No. 4

    4. JOHN LAKE (NICHOLAS SR.3, JOHN LAKE, JR.2JOHN1) was born c1719 in Somerset, NJ, and died c1807-1818 in Earnestown, Ontario, Canada. He married MARY MARGARET SNIDER 1753 in New Jersey. She was born 1734, and died 1835 in Earnestown, Ontario, Canada.  Margaret came from a somewhat wealthy family in New Jersey.  "She had been given a deed for ten acres of land in New York City where Trinity Church now stands, by one Colonel Black (or Balk) as it was written both ways.   When the family home was burned during the American Revolution, all their deeds and other papers were lost, so that when they made their way, or were taken to Canada, the went practically empty handed and impoverished.  Margaret had saved her mother's Dutch Bible, a white vessel with at handle, usually used under the bed (a bed pan).  These items were still in the family in Ontario, in 1950." This information is from the History of my People and Yours by Claud McMillan.  The Lakes that settled in Ontario, Canada petitioned the crown for land grants in return for their loyalty to the crown during the American Revolution and most land grants were in turn rewards for their service. These Lakes were then known as United Empire (UE) Loyalists. The picture at the right is of John and Margaret Snider Lake.                                                        Click picture

Children of JOHN LAKE and MARGARET SNIDER are:

i.  ELIZABETH (BASHABA) LAKE, b. 1747 Little White Creek, Washington Co. NY.  Elizabeth's husband, Captain John Hogle (married Nov. 14, 1764) was killed at the Battle of Bennington, Vermont.  The Battle at Bennington was partially fought on Lake land grant holdings , hence they were caught right in the midst of the conflict and fought for their lives and property.  When the war ended they were burned out and dispossessed of all their holdings.

ii.  MARIA (Mary) LAKE, b. Aug 1749, Ulster Co., NY; m. James Parrot in New York; d. 10 Nov 1819.  James Parrot served with the British forces from July, 6 1776 to October 24, 1777.  He joined as a Lieutenant.  Several of his brothers-in-law served under him.  He rose to the rank of Colonel and served under Lieut. General Burgoyne at Tyconderoga. He and Maria moved to Canada near the Bay of Quinty in Ontario.

iii.  NICHOLAS LAKE, b. 1750, Ulster Co, NY; m. Rhonda Broadwell at Little White Creek in Rennselaer Co., NY.; d. Schaghticoke, Rennselaer Co., NY.  Enlisted on July 6, 1777.  Taken Prisoner.

Children of Nicholas Lake and Rhonda Broadwell: 

i.  Sarah Lake, b. 1786, m. Solomon Reed/Reid; I received this information in a gmail (July 16, 2009) from Ellen Hackett, a descendent of  this Sarah Lake.

ii.  Mary Lake, m. Samuel Reed/reid

iv.  CHRISTOPHER LAKE.  b. 18 May 1755, Little White Creek, Washington Co., NY., m. Susan_____, Enlisted on July 6, 1777.  Taken Prisoner. Later became an attorney by profession.

v.    JOHN LAKE, JR. b. 1759, Ulster, New York; d. 1828, Earnest own, Ontario, Canada. (see more about John Lake Jr. below)

vi.  JAMES M. LAKE, , b. 06 Aug 1760, Ulster Co, NY; d. 06 Aug 1839, Odessa, Ontario, Canada.  Enlisted on July 6, 1777.  Taken Prisoner. m. Margaret Hagerman, b. 28 Mar 1756 Sommerset, NY;  d. 13 Mar 1833 in Earnestown , On., Canada

Generation No. 5

5. JOHN LAKE, JR. (JOHN LAKE4,NICHOLAS Sr.3,JOHN LAKE, JR.2,JOHN1) was born 1759 in Ulster, New York, and died 1828 in Earnestown, Ontario, Canada.   When a boy, John Lake, Jr. went with his father to a 5000 acre grant (called the Van Courlaer Grant located in Albany County, New York) soon after June 22, 1761 when the land patent was finalized.  The 5000 acres was divided evenly among 5 patentees who were:  Aarent Van Courlaer and his 4 brothers-in -law), John Lake, Sr., Nicholas Lake, Jr., James/Jacobus Lake, and Thomas Lake.  These land grants from the Crown were made with the understanding that the patentees would immediately enter and develop these waste lands, lay them out , people them, place the land under cultivation and create towns and communities.  James /Jacobus Lake remained in Sumerset Co. and sent his son, Garret, to settle his share of the property.

John, Jr. married MISS VOORHEISE, (Voorheis) daughter of Martin or Martinius Voorheise (another land patent holder in New York) in 1784 at White Creek, Washington Co. NY.  She died in Earnestown, Ontario, Canada.  John Jr. was known as an earnest farmer in Canada. m. 2nd) Leah Doran.

Children of JOHN LAKE, Jr. and MISS VOORHEISE are:

    i. BENJAMINE LAKE, b. 10 Feb 1785, White Creek Washington Co, NY; d. 22 Nov 1829, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada.

    ii. ANNA/ANNIE LAKE, b. 1786, Little White Creek, Washington Co. NY.

    6.  iii. JOHN JACOB LAKE, b. 04 Dec 1788, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada; d. 1850, Coburn, Ontario.

    iv. Mary Lake, b. c1790, d. 11 Apr 1816, m. c1809 JAMES lAKE, b. Oct. 1788, d. Oct. 1874, son of James Lake and Margaret Hagerman, her first cousin.

    v. JAMES LAKE, b. 05 Mar 1793, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada; d. 18 Oct 1868.

    vi.  WILLIAM LAKE, b. 25 Feb 1795, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada; d. 12 May 1859, Earnest own, Ontario, Canada.

    vii. NICHOLAS LAKE, b. 1799, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada.

    viii. MARGARET LAKE, b. 1800, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada.


    x. CATHERINE LAKE, b. 1807, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada.

    xi. AILSE/ELIZABETH LAKE, b. 1811, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada.

Following is a personal note from Annette Truesdell:

   "In 2000, I took my children on a cross country "history" trip for several months.  Much to their dismay as part of this adventure, I traveled through Somerset Co., NJ, found all the Dutch churches named in the baptismal records, stopped at all the bits of land I could find along the highway that hadn't been developed with strip malls and found the 1-Mile Run and 10-Mile Run Creeks mentioned in the probate records.  As we later traveled up and through New York, I made a point to drive through Cambridge, White Creek and Hoosick.  You can't believe how hilly and wild the country side is.  I don't know how they managed to cultivate anything and survive.   We went to the battle site of the Battle of Bennington that was on Henry and Abraham Lake's property.  Then, I went and found the location of the house a few miles away that was built in the 1700s by Arent Van Corlaer on his part of the patent, subsequently deeded to Henry Lake and Mary Gowey, and later to Henry's nephew Garret Lake.  The current property owners were kind enough to let me tromp through their fields to find it.  It was a tiny little thing, falling down and in complete decay which is so sad.  I was thrilled to see it.  In speaking with them, it didn't appear that anyone was going to do anything to try and preserve it so by now, it's probably completely fallen down, given the state it was in when we saw it.  Garret Lake and his wife, Charity are buried near to the house and at least their graves were surrounded by a small iron fence." 

   Well, I've prattled on enough. (Wonderful prattle!!  I asked Annette if she had any photos to share?  Her answer: "I did.  However, we have had some difficulty finding where the files are.  We've had several system crashes on different machines we own over the past few years and I cannot find the drive where we stored those trip photos.  My husband has PROMISED me he will try and figure out if they are still there somewhere or have been totally lost.  I have been VERY SAD at not being able to visit any of those photos again since so many of them included headstones, houses and such all over the country of many of our ancestors, not to mention all those pictures of my children on that trip.  (We now have a backup system attached to ALL the computers in the house that automatically backs up everything I have several times a day -- but it doesn't re-create lost photos, boo hoo!" This is a good reminder to us all to backup, backup, and then backup your precious files.)


                 Regards,  Annette Truesdell

Generation 6

6. JOHN JACOB LAKE (JOHN LAKE, JR5.,JOHN LAKE4,NICHOLAS Sr.3,JOHN LAKE, JR.2,JOHN1) was born 04 Dec 1788 in Earnestown, Ontario, Canada, and died 1850 in Coburn, Ontario at the home of his eldest daughter, Caroline Lake McMillan. He married SARAH STOVER 29 Jul 1810 in Earnestown, Ontario, Canada, daughter of VALENTINE STOVER. Their marriage united two United Empire Loyalist families She was born 11 Jul 1792 in Earnestown, Ontario, Canada, and died Sep 1872 in Frozen Hill, Iowa, at the home of her youngest daughter, Rachel Lake Peck.  Sarah is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Rockford, Ill. 

In 1836, the John Jacob Lake family all (except Caroline) emigrated from Earnestown, Ontario to southern Wisconsin. In 1842 they moved across the state line to Winnebago Co., Illinois.  In 1847 other families from Canada followed them there and they settled about a school house located on a corner of their son Hiram Lake's farm known as the Canada School House in Rockton, Illinois.  This school was still in use in 1952.

 Remember to click on photos of John Jacob or Sarah Stover Lake on the right to view enlargements 


    i. CYRUS LAKE, b. 01 Sep 1811, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada; d. 17 Apr 1813.              

    ii. HIRAM LAKE, b. 11 Jun 1814, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada; d. 16 Oct 1872, Owen Center, IL; m. ELIZABETH THOMPSON, 1838, Wisconsin.  Both are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Rockford, IL.

    iii. CAROLINE LAKE, b. 10 Mar 1818, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada; d.18 Jun 1876; m. CHARLES PATERSON MCMILLAN, 1835, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada.  He was a minister of the Winebrenarian Church of God and died in 1871 while on a mission trip for his church in Belgium

    iv. ADAM STOVER LAKE, b. 20 May 1822, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada; d. 17 May 1899, Rockton,  Illinois; m. ELIZABETH KING WOODS, 18 May 1844, Winnebago Co, Illinois.  Adam Stover Lake was a cabinet maker and carpenter.  He farmed in Winnebago Co., Ill., but lived most of his life in Rockford, where he was employed by a manufacturing company, a maker of farm machinery when most such machinery at that time was made of wood.  As age crept upon him, he was pensioned by his company.  He was not expected to go to work regularly, but he did go as he felt inclined.  His regular route to work was a shortcut along the tracks of the Illinois Central R.R. and crossing their bridge on his way to work.  On the morning of May 17, 1899, he neither heard or felt the oncoming passenger train as he crossed the bridge and was killed A photo of him is on the right. ► Please click picture for more information about Adam S. Lake and his son, Lewis F. Lake, a Civil War vet who served under Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.

  •  v. VALENTINE AMEY LAKE (Our ancestor), b. 09 Feb 1824, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; d. 06 Aug 1878, Rockton, Illinois. m. SOPHIA MATILDA TAFT, 25 OCT 1850 in Clinton, Wisconsin.  See more information about Valentine Amey Lake and the generations that follow him and his wife Sophia Matilda TAFT here:   LAKES  Page 2

    vi. AMY LAKE, b. 23 Nov 1827, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada; d. 10 Sep 1909, Rockton, Illinois; m. JABEZ HUNTLEY, 11 Sep 1847, Winnebago Co, Illinois.

    vii. RACHEL LAKE, b. 30 Jun 1830, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada; d. 16 Feb 1922, Wyoming, Iowa; m. WILLIAM HENRY PECK, 15 Oct 1851, Janesville, WI.

    viii. JOHN JACOB LAKE JR., b. 09 Feb 1832, Earnestown, Ontario, Canada; d. 1903, Trenton, Ontario, Canada; m. (1) RACHEL LOCKWOOD, Trenton, Ontario; d. Trenton, Ontario; m. (2) MARION JENKS, 23 Oct 1864, Rockford, Illinois.