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.

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Charlotte Rebecca Woglom
The Van Woggelum Family Genealogist

Spouse(s): Bleecker Bangs
Family tree: Charlotte Rebecca Woglom 1868-1920

A Family Reunion

Forty relatives were present at a reception and reunion of the Woglum family at the home of Mrs. Bleecker Bangs (neé Charlotte Rebecca Woglom) on Thursday, 22 Feb 1900 at 400 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. The following clipping from the New York Herald, 23 Feb 1900, relates the story of the meeting.

Charlotte Rebecca Woglom was born in Jul 1868 in New York City, the child of Capt. Abraham Wesley Woglom and Sarah Jane Woglum. Rebecca married 21 Oct 1891 Bleecker Bangs of Brooklyn, who was born Mar 1863, son of Anson Bangs and Margaret Bleecker.

the Herald

the Herald

New York Herald, February 23, 1900

First Reunion of Kinsfolk of Old American House Has Many Interesting Features.

Young Women Had Lived on Opposite Sides of East River for Twenty Years, but Had not Met.

Descendants of Dutch Baron And American Patriots to Adopt One Name for All Branches.

Woglums, Wogloms and Waglums, all of whom are descendants from Baron Von [sic] Woggelum, decided yesterday, at the first family reunion they are known to have ever had, that they shall hereafter be known by the name of Woglum. Many of them desired to restore the prefix Van, but all would not consent to this. And some of them may hereafter be known as Van Woglum, while others will be plain Woglum.

This reception and reunion were held yesterday afternoon at the residence of Mrs. Bleecker Bangs (neé Woglom), No. 400 Lafayette avenue, Brooklyn. She is a member of the Daughters of the Revolution, and for that organization she has been engaged for some time in collecting data for her family's history. She says historic research has become her hobby. She wrote to many Wogloms, Woglums, and Waglums for data, and found much that was deeply interesting. She also learned that the family was not united, and that children were strangers to cousins because grandparents had become estranged. And that various ways of spelling the family name had been adopted.


She then decided to have a reunion at her home. One result of the reunion is that all descendants of the Baron are now friends. Forty Wogloms and Woglums were present, and twenty wrote letters of regret from five different States. But one Waglum was heard from. He lives in Michigan, and wrote that he regretted his inability to attend the reception.

Two charming young women met yesterday for the first time. They are first cousins. One is Miss Lucy Woglum, and the other Miss Florence Woglom. One has lived in Manhattan and the other in Brooklyn ever since they were born, twenty years ago. They presided at the refreshment table yesterday...


...Brooklyn for forty years, met another William Woglom, of Brooklyn, yesterday, and said to him: "I have often seen your name in the directory and have wondered who you were."

Then they compared records, and the older man said to the younger, "Why, you are my stepbrother's son." There were several such scenes, and two sections of the family who were estranged because their fathers quarreled over a will met and greeted each other for the first time since they parted thirty years ago.


Family history, prepared by Mrs. Bangs and read yesterday, shows that Jan Van Woggelum, a descendent from Baron Ban Woggelum, came to America in the ship Spotted Cow, of the city of Alkmaar, Holland, in 1645. Woggelum, the village from which the emigrant came, was near Alkmaar. Jan had two sons, Jan and Pieter. Their land grant was where Hoboken, N. J., now is. The place was then called Hobeck. They vacated this land and went to Staten Island, taking a grant on the shore of Kill von [sic] Kull, near the present village of Rossville. They did not sell the New Jersey land, but the State seized it. The historian says Hoboken land titles do not go beyond State titles, and that this fact accounts for the slow development of that remarkable city.

Jan, Jr., and Pieter, and their descendants, became identified with Staten Island history, and a John Van Woglem, as the name is recorded, was a member of the Colonial Assembly in 1696-1698. Five Woglums were patriots in the Revolutionary war. John A. was a captain; John a lieutenant, and Abraham, and still another John were privates.

In the century now ending lived Cornelius Woglum, citizen, soldier and public man, whom Congress honored for services rendered by exempting his land grants from taxes and him from jury duty for the term of his life. He was identified with the building of Forts Hamilton, Wadsworth and Schuyler.

Captain Woglom was one of the guard of honor to escort General Lafayette from New York to Bunker Hill on the occasion of that French patriot's visit to America. This Woglom built the first hotel to be erected at Coney Island. His second cousin, Police Captain Cornelius Woglom was in command of the Bedford avenue police station for more than thirty years, until he died, a few years ago. He was called the "Mayor of Williamsburg." The Abraham Woglom branch of the family was identified with the founding of the Petersbury packet line, later known as the Old Dominion Steamship Company.


Gilbert Totten Woglom was the first scientific kite flyer in New York. He is now associated with Mr. Eddy, of New Jersey, in experimenting with kites. He was at yesterday's reception.

Old wills of the family, some made as early as 1712, were read and heirlooms, such as guns and swords carried in wars, were exhibited yesterday.

Woglums, as members of the family are to be known hereafter, agreed to have annual reunions in the future.

Source: The image of the article from the New York Herald, 23 Feb 1900, was kindly provided by Tom van Baar t.vanbaar@quicknet.nl. Tom is a Van Woggelum researcher in the Netherlands.

An article from Richmond Dispatch,
Richmond, Virginia, February 24, 1900

Descendants of Jan Van Woggelum Decide How to Spell Their Name.
(New York Times - 23d.)

A family reunion was held yesterday at the home of Mrs. Bleeker Bangs, No. 403 Lafayette avenue, Brooklyn. To it gathered the descendants of Jan Van Woggelum. There were Waggelums, with an occasional Wiglam thrown in. Besides many others of less euphonious names.

The original Jan came from Alkmaar, Holland, in 1645. He determined on Hoboken as the garden spot of the new Continent and settled there. And even now, though 250 years have sufficed to scatter his family to the four quarters of the globe, the Woggelum kin still looks upon that city as a kind of Mecca.

At the reunion were many cousins who had never known of their relationship until Mrs. Bangs delved into genealogy. Two William Woglums, of Brooklyn, were there, but they had never looked upon each other as kinsmen until recently. The Woglum who poured chocolate was found to be a near cousin of Miss. Lucie Woglum, who handled the tea-pot. Both of them have lived in Brooklyn for twenty-five years without recognizing their mutual relationship.

After a couple of hours of greetings and eating - interspersed with many explanations why one spelling of the family patronymic was better than another - the meeting proceeded to business. Frank Wesley Woglum read the wills of Jan Van Woggelum and his son, curious old documents that are preserved as priceless treasures. Then there was much talking, in the course of which it developed that the Woggelum descent rejoices in the fact of their common ancestor's journey to this country aboard the Spotted Cow rather than the Mayflower. This boat contained only inhabitants of the town of Alkmaar, which was famed for its dairy products.

For many years Jan lived in Hoboken, but he was at last despoiled of his lands by the State, and moved to Staten Island. His descendants allege that this act of injustice is the cause of Hoboken's slowness and lack of progress. In Staten Island many of the family live to-day. Cornelius Van Woggelum, an officer of the Revolutionary war, is said to have built the first hotel at Gravesend, and to have assisted in the construction of Forts Hamilton, Wadsworth, and Schuyler.

After much discussion the family yesterday decided to adopt a uniform way of spelling the name. Woglum received the majority of votes, and was agreed to by representatives from New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and other more remote regions.

Source: Richmond Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia), Volume 1900, Number 15224, 24 February 1900. p. 8. Library of Virginia (image)

Charlotte Published Her Genealogy in 1896

In 1896, Charlotte R. Woglom Bangs published Our Ancestors, a genealogy of the Des Nyse (Denyse, Denys), Cole, Woglom (Woglum), Cropsey and Winant families of Long Island and Staten Island, New York, ancestors of the author.

In her "Author’s Explanation," she writes:

"In 1890 I began the work, merely with the object of becoming a Daughter of the Revolution, a society about being organized, and one possessing my hearty, admiring sympathy. But the work broadened, growing so deeply interesting that it was impossible to resist tracing heyond the Revolutionary period. It was uphill work, but because of historic writings for the Associated Press and the World, New York, many valuable old documents were made accessible, which otherwise would ever have remained unobtainable. This paved the way to success. In 1895 several descendants became interested in my nearly completed work. They asked that I write out the histories for them — an almost impossible task. Then typewriting was considered; then, so heartily was the proposition taken up, that type was guaranteed. A subscription publication is the result. These detailed compilations were gladly undertaken by me, not for remuneration (there being none), but rather as a pleasant duty — my simple journalistic notes would thus be safely and properly preserved for future descendants. And so the book, Our Ancestors, appears, a tribute to those subscribing descendants who have made it a reality in type."

The main lines covered in the book are

  • De Nyse (Teunis Nyssen, d. 1685?)
  • Cole (Cornelis Lambertse Cool, fl. 1639)
  • Woglom (Jan Van Woggelum, fl. 1643-1699)
  • Cropsey (Joost Casparse, fl. 1652-1687; Johannes Casparse, fl. 1652-1687)
  • Winant (Wynant Pieterse, b. 1632).

Reminiscences of Old New Utrecht and Gowanus

In her book Reminiscences of old New Utrecht and Gowanus, published in 1912, Mr. Bangs writes in her "Author's Preface:"

"In presenting <em>Reminiscences of Old New Utrecht<em>, which has naturally streched into Gowanus sidtricts, the wiriter has combined history, genealogy, biography - whatever relates to the old Township.

"Starting whe work some twenty years ago, as a postscript to the genealogical book <em>Our Ancestors</em>, as well as to consideerable newspaper work for various editors, data for this book was sought from many scattered points. Considerable was secured from the State Library at Albany, fortunately before the great conflagration there (1911). Much was obtained from local family treasure stores, in the shape of old documents of value (as relics go), while files and records have supplied date along other linew. There is doubtless much yet to be told of so historic a spot as New Utrecht. Many of the elderly narrators, whose facts and papers were carefully gathered by me years ago, have since passed from this world, but their histories are saved within these pages."

William Adriance Bennet house 

The book contains beautiful sketches of old homes and churches. Some drawn by Miss Catherine Bleecker Bangs, Charlotte's daughter. Numbered among the drawings on page 95 is the home of my 10th great grandfather, William Adriance Bennet, erected in 1645, where later Caroline Webster Schermerhorn (Mrs. William Backhouse Astor, Jr.) was born. William and Caroline Astor were parents of John Jacob Astor IV, who married my 7th cousin 2x removed Madeleine Talmage Force.

Reminiscences of old New Utrecht and Gowanus