William Henry Roll

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They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. --Laurence Binyon,"Ode of Remembrance"

I have gathered a posie of other men's flowers, and nothing but the string that binds them is mine own. --Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Documenting your family history is a lifelong pursuit, a task of pleasure and research that is never completely finished.

Not to know one's ancestors, is to be a tree without roots, a stream without a source. --Kung-fut-se

The wind whispers through the trees, recalling words and dreams and memories of those who left us long ago. --Unknown

St. Basil of Caesarea, born about 330 A.D., said, "A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love."


This website was created the old-fashioned way; it has been hand coded.

keep calm

Abraham Roll
his farm became the Baltusrol Golf Club

Spouse(s): Mary Brooks, Caty Vreeland
Family tree: Abraham Roll 1739-1813

3000 - Abraham Roll-4, -16-, (John-3, Peter-2, Jan Mangelse-1)

The third child of John Roll and Elizabeth _____, B- 29th August 1739, D-20th October 1813; M- twice; 1st Mary, B- 5th February 1742, daughter of Jacob Brooks who lived on the Coriell Place, which is two farms toward the town of Westfield, from the present farm of John B. Roll, in Westfield, Union County, N. J. ([His] 2nd wife [was] Caty Vreeland, sister of Daniel.)

He became blind before his death. His homestead was the original home of the Baltusrol Golf Club clubhouse and was destroyed by fire a few years ago. A few concrete steps now noticed at the entrance to the club grounds, show its location which was very near the present club house.

Source: Wilson, Richard Timbrook. Genealogy of the Roll Family, p. 302.

Abraham Roll's Will Discovered
See transcription below

Charles Roll finds 1863 Mohawk Valley Indian deed; text of Abraham Roll's will, 1812

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A Transcription of Abraham Roll's Will

[The original spelling and punctuation has been preserved.]

In the Name or god, Amen. I, Abraham Roll of Westfield in the County of Essex and State of New Jersey Being of Sound Mind and mommory Do Make and Publish this my last will and testament. First it is My will & I Do order that all my Just Debts and funeral Charges be Duly paid ad Soon as Conveniently Can be after my Deceas. First I Give and Bequeath unto my Eldest Son Jacob Roll Five thousand pounds, also I give to my Son Broox Roll five thousand Pound, also I give to my Son Balthus Roll two hundred pounds, also I give to my Son Peter Roll - five hundred Pound also I give to my son Jeptha Roll five hundred Pound, also I give to my Son abraham Roll five hundred Pound, also I Give to My Daughter Elizabeth Sayrs five hundred Pound also I give to my Daughter Hannah parmley two hundred Pound also I give to My Daughter Mary Smalley two hundred pound also I give to My Son George P. Roll five pound, also I give to My Son Isaac Roll one hundred pounds, also I give to David A. Roll one hundred pounds, also I give to My Daughter Electy Roll one hundred pounds, also I give to My Daughter Jane Roll two hundred pounds. Item In Case any of My Children Should Die under the age of twenty one year of age and without Lawful issue then I order and it is my will that the Portion herein Bequeathed to such Child or Children Shall be Equally Divided Between my Children. Peter Roll, Jeptha Roll abbigail Trembly Share and Shair alike. Item all the Ressedue of My Estate both Personal and personal I give to my Children Equally to Be devided amongst them - Share and Share alike Except My Son Baltus Roll and Elizabeth Sayre who are to take Nothing of the Ressedue I appoint My Sons Baltus Jacob Roll and Broox Roll Executors of this My last will and testament and that My Said Executors May pay the several legacies herein Bequeathed I order and I empower them to Sell and Convey as soon as may be after my Deceas the whole of My Real Estate.

In witness whereof I hereto Set my hand and Seal Sixth Day of March, in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and twelve.

Signed, Sealled, Published and Declaired by the said abraham roll to be his testament and Last will.
Abram Roll.
in presents of--
M. H. Webster,
Abraham Clark
Mary X Baldwin

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), Newspapers.com, Saturday, 18 Dec 1889, p. 1.

Louis Keller

Louis Keller

Louis Keller
Abraham Roll’s Farmhouse Enlarged to Serve as the Baltusrol Clubhouse

Charles M. Keller (1810-1874), an attorney in New York City, drafted the Patent Law of 1836, and became the first United States Commissioner of Patents. He owned a dairy farm in Springfield, New Jersey, to which he retired. When Charles died, his 17-year-old son Louis Keller (1857-1922) inherited the farm, which had not been profitable.

Attempting to improve income from the farm, Louis inaugurated an annual picnic to which he invited members of high society in New York City. The event received broad coverage in the social pages of the New York newspapers, noting the beauty of the countryside around the Keller farm and including the guest list. In 1884 Louis chartered a train to transport the guests from the City. A number of the guests had an interest in golf, and wanted a golf club closer than those on the far end of Long Island. Keller took the hint and turned his farm into a golf club. The Abraham Roll’s farmhouse was enlarged to serve as the clubhouse. He named the club Batlusrol after another nearby farm. The club opened on October 17, 1895.

Wikipedia: Louis Keller
Brown, Dick. Louis Keller: Baltusrol’s Founding Father.
Keller's Baltusrol & Pacific [railroad]

Abraham Roll's House, Part of the Baltusrol Golf Club, Burns

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Home of the Baltusrol Golf Club Near Short Hills Burned To-day

[Caption:] Members of the Famous Golf Club and Servants Had Narrow Escape in Blaze Which Caused a Property Loss of More Than $l00,000.

Newark, N.J., March 27 - The Baltusrol Golf Club house, three miles from Summit, was burned to the ground early to-day, half a dozen club members and the servants escaping scantily clad. The fire, which started in the kitchen, spread with such remarkable rapidity through the richly furnished structure that the occupants had barely time to save themselves.

A butler who had been roused by a maid, ran to the sleeping quarters of the members, routing them out. Several had to pass through the flames to escape, but none sustained serious injuries.

The Summit fire department responded to the alarm, but it did not have a hose line long enough to reach the blaze. The barn, sheltering many fine horses, was also burned, but the animals were saved.

The Baltusrol golf links have been the scene of many famous matches and was one of the best known in the country. The clubhouse was a two and a half story building costing about $100,000 to build, and the club had one of the largest playing memberships of any similar organization in America.

Last year both the open and amateur championships for the Metropolitan Gold Association were decided over the Baltusrol links, and already a big season was being planned. Among the outstanding events scheduled for this summer are time Woman's Eastern Golf association championship on June 8 and 9 and the fri-city contests for the Griscom cup on the two following days.

Baltusrol has always been a favored meeting place of the golfer and in its time has housed many national and sectional championships.

George Low is the professional and has just arrived back from his winter vacation for the season to get the links into shape.

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), Newspapers.com, Saturday, 27 Mar, 1909, p. 1.