William Henry Roll

Welcome to the new and improved Roll Family Windmill website! We have upgraded our authoring tools to design and create content and present it to you with style. We will be better able to maintain content and share information about the genealogy of the Roll and allied families.

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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Johannes Mangelse Roll
The House at Willow Brook, Staten Island

Spouse(s): Margrietje Van Barkelo
Family tree: Johannes Mangelse Roll 1686-Aft. 1754

Johannes Mangelse's home at Willow Brook

Johannes Mangelse's home at Willow Brook

Johannes Mangelse Roll, Sr., built a stone house* at the corner of Willow Brook and Watchogue roads, Graniteville, Richmond County, New York, about 1740. The structure, located on Soldiers Lot No. 1,** is shown in this photograph taken about 1936. See the chart below about the provenance of the Tree Soldiers Lots. The building has since been demolished. It may have been the oldest surviving Roll family residence in North America.

The Roll, Van Barkelo, Van Buskirk and Mersereau Families

family tree

Jan Harmenson's House at Willow Brook

Jan Harmenson Van Barkelo was born about 1664 in New Utrecht on Long Island in Kings County, New York. His parents were Harman Jansen Van Borkelo and Willemtje Warnaers Elderinick, immigrants from the Province of Gelderland in the Netherlands.† Harman Jansen and Willemtje had six children. Harman died in 1671 at New Utrecht, Kings County, New York.

The widowed Willemtje married Hans Harmansz 12 May 1672 in Gravesend, Kings County, New York. Hans was born about 1630, and died 26 Oct 1700 at Constable's Hook, Bergen County, New Jersey. His place of origin, parents and surname are unknown. Willemtje and Hans had two girls.† Willemtje died 28 Oct 1697 at Constable's Hook, Bergen County, New Jersey.

In his youth Jan Harmenson moved to New Jersey with his stepfather Hans Harmansz. But he must have returned to Long Island looking for a bride. Jan married, about 1686, Margrietje in New Utrecht, Kings Country, New York. Her place of origin, parents and surname are unknown. Jan was a farmer.

Jan and Grietje acquired the westernmost of the Three Soldiers Lots at the southwest corner of Willow Brook and Watchogue roads in Graniteville, Staten Island, New York on December 6, 1697. He built a wooden house on the 80-acre lot and moved in with his wife and baby girl, Willempje, born 1689. They had three more girls, Maria born about 1698, Anna about 1700, and Jannetje about 1707.

The 1708 census of Staten Island lists five Harman females Anna, Jane and Mary, girls; Great (Grietje) and Willa, women. Jan is not listed because he had died before 25 Feb 1707/08, when letters of administration were issued for his estate.

Grietje had a teenage daughter to help her until Willemtje married.‡ But it was probably almost impossible to operate a large farm without a husband.

The former Roll home on Willow Brook Road, 1860

The Mersereau (formerly owned by Johannes M. Roll) and Vreeland properties
from the 1860 map New York City and Environs by H.F. Walling

North is in the upper right hand corner of the map.
Willow Brook Road runs down the center and Watchogue Road across the top of the map.

1872 map Dripps, Matthew. Staten Island North

Willow Brook properties, 1872

Willow Brook properties, 1872

The former Roll home on Willow Brook Road, 1887

The Mersereau (formerly owned by Johannes M. Roll) and Vreeland properties
from the 1887 Atlas of Staten Island by J.B. Beers, Section A.
North is at the top and Willow Brook Road is in the center of the map.

John Roll's House at Willow Brook

About 1713, Grietje married Johannes Roll, son of Jan Mangels and Tryntje Pieters Van Woggelum. There is no marriage record on Staten Island for the marriage. They were likely married somewhere else. She must have been about fifteen years older than her new husband.

Willow Brook houses

The location of Johannes (John) Mangelse Roll's house.

A son, Johannes Roll, Jr. was born to Jan and Grietje about 1715. John died after 1754 on his farm at Willow Brook. The date for Grietje's death is unknown. Johannes, Jr. married Fytje Van Buskirk 3 Nov 1738 in Hackensack, New Jersey. The house passed to him, and when he died 2 Feb 1761, to their daughter Fytje, who married Col. Jacob Mersereau. The house remained in the possession of the Mersereau family until 13 May 1896.

*The picture above and some of the information here was extracted from the book Pre-Revolutionary Dutch Houses and Families in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York by Rosalie Fellows Bailey, published in New York by Dover Publications, Inc. in 1968. The book contains a goodly amount of genealogy in addition to the history and photographs of the houses. Bailey describes (pages 145-147; and plate 36, page 167) the distinct characteristics that make Roll's house Dutch Colonial. The stone house built on Soldiers Lot #2 in the provenance chart below is also pictured (plate 32, page 163) and described (pages 134-137) in the book.

**Called the Three Soldiers Lots because they were granted to three soldiers in 1680. Apparently they never took possession of the land.

†Harman Jansen Van Borkelo was born about 1626 in Geesteren, Borculo Manor, Zutphen Earldom, Province of Gelderland, the Netherlands, and Willemtje Warnaers Elderinick was born about 1630 in Hengelo, Gelderland, the Netherlands.

††Trintje Hermanse Hanse, born 1672, and Annetje Hermanse Hanse, born 1674. Trintje married Pieter Louwersen Van Buskirk in 1690 at Bergen, Bergen County, New Jersey, and Annetje married Claes Hertmanse Vreeland 25 May 1697 atGemonepa, Bergen County, New Jersey.

‡Willempje married Joris Neefies 23 Sep 1709, son of Cornelius Neefies and Aagte Bouman; Maria married Abraham Dirckse Zutphen about 1718, son of Dirck Janse Van Zutphen and Lysbett Janse Van Nuys, and Anna married Pieter Matthyse Luyster 23 May 1719, son of Matthias Pieterse Luyster and Cornelia Kip.

The Hagawout, Krusen, Vreeland house

The house of Pieter Pieterse Hagawout, later Krusen's, and Vreeland's
This photograph, taken about 1900, shows the end and south wall. The house was torn down about 1912. It stood on the southeast corner of Watchogue and Willow Brook roads in the extreme northwestern part of the Town of Castleton.

The Provenance of the Three Soldiers Lots
Watchogue Road is at the top of the diagram, and Willow Brook Road ran between Lot #1 and #2.
North is in the upper right hand corner of the diagram, which is not to scale. The three columns do not align chronologically. The large lots were eventually subdivided.

Soldiers Lot

southwest corner
Willow Brook Road
80 acres

Soldiers Lot

southeast corner
Willow Brook Road
80 acres

Soldiers Lot

south side
Watchogue Road,
east of lot #2

80 acres

1st owner
John Taylor

[not occupied]

2nd owner
9 Dec 1697
Jan Harmensen
Van Barkelo +Margrietje

[build a wooden house]

3rd owner
before 1740
Johannes Roll

widow of Jan Harmonsen
Van Barkelo
[built a stone house]

4th owner
Jacob Mersereau
+Fytje Ral

grand daughter of
Johannes Roll
+Charity De Groot

5th owner
Peter Mersereau
+Eliza Thatcher

6th owner
10 Sep 1874
Theodore Mersereau
+Ann Messier

7th owner
Leon Ettlinger
+Emma Mersereau

8th owner
13 May 1896
Peter Clarius
+Barbara Feulner

1st owner
David Thomas
[not occupied]

2nd owner
9 Dec 1697
Pieter Peterse Hagawout
+Dirickje Egberts

[built a stone house and mill]

3rd owner
Frederick Jacobse Bergen
+Gerretye Vechte

4th owner
2 May 1726
Garret Kroosen
+Closha Brinckerhof
+Gertrude Van Tuyl

5th owner
Abraham Kruse

son of Garret Kroosen
+Lena Stoutenburgh

6th owner
19 Sep 1771
Isaac Cubberly
+Ann Hooper

7th owner
Joseph Cubberly

son of Isaac Cubberly
+Addra Journeay

8th owner
19 Feb 1784
Peter Prall
+Elizabeth Mersereau

9th owner
Harmanus Garretsen
+Alida Simonson

10th owner
Master in Chancery Sale

11th owner
David J. Tysen

12th owner
Jeremiah Rowland

13th owner
Eder Vreeland
+Sarah Livingston Vanderbilt

1st owner
John Fitzgaret

[not occupied]

2nd owner
Tunis Eckberson
+Hannah Tilje

[built a house]

3rd owner
Dec 1697
Yellis Inyard
+Elsje Jans Van Woggelum