The New York City Marble Cemetery

Vaults 115 & 116 - Kneeland and Bogert





  Vault Map





Henry Kneeland [Sr.] purchased the vault in 1831. He had been born in Hartford, Conn. on May 9, 1779. His father was Ebenezer Kneeland Jr. and his mother Elizabeth Sedgwick. Ebenezer died in 1786, in Hartford. He had had a fulling and dyeing business. Ebenezer Jr. was the great-grandson of the original immigrant: Edward Ne(a)land who, in 1654, had been brought on the "Goodfellow" from Ireland as a 10-12 year old boy to Ipswich, Mass. where he probably was sold into indenture.

Henry moved to New York before 1795, when he is shown there in the business directory at the address of No. 7 Burling Slip. He subsequently established himself in Savannah, Georgia, where he then formed a partnership with Peter Bogert (who purchased vault #116; see below). They were evidently more than partners: in 1801, Peter Bogert named a son Henry Kneeland Bogert, and in 1803, Henry Kneeland married Peter Bogert's niece, Ann Taylor (daughter of Willett Taylor and Mary Bogert - Peter's sister). Also in 1803, Peter Bogert and Henry Kneeland formed a new firm in New York, Bogert & Kneeland (cotton merchants), which stayed in business until 1870 (under the founders' sons: Henry Kneeland Bogert, and Charles Kneeland).

Henry died "of apoplexy" on July 7, 1837. It appears that he was a "guest" at Rosina Townsend's brothel the night of the murder of Helen Jewett in 1836. James Gordon Bennett, editor/publisher of the Herald, threatened to publish the names of the brothel's clients that night and, it appears, blackmailed Henry Kneeland to the tune of between $10,000 and $30,000. Bennett was later accused of having hounded his quarry (Henry Kneeland) to his death.

Henry was then living in Hyde Park, NY. His wife (Ann Taylor) had died in 1823. He had five children. Perhaps "C." whose child died in 1845 was Henry's son Charles, in which case the child must have been at least seven years old since Charles' wife (Joanna Hone) died in 1838. However, I have found no record of such a child. Nor do I have a record of the next four people on the list.

H. Kneeland who was interred on 8/3/1861 was Henry Kneeland Jr., the above Henry's son. He was born in October 1806. He committed suicide on August 2, 1861; here is the news item:

"Suicide of a Merchant in William Street. Coroner Gamble was called upon yesterday to hold an inquest upon the body of Henry Kneeland, a brother of Mr. Kneeland, of the firm of Bogart & Kneeland, cotton merchants, No. 49 William Street, who committed suicide on Friday afternoon, by shooting himself in the head with a pistol. Henry K. Bogart, the partner of the deceased's brother, testified that Mr. Kneeland came into the office as above about three o'clock on Friday afternoon, and closed the door. Mr. Bogart asked him why he closed the door, but deceased took a seat and made no reply; deceased then made use of some incoherent language in which the word "dishonorable" occurred, and drawing a pistol out of his coat pocket, shot himself through the head. Witness ran for a physician immediately, but all medical skill was of little avail, and the unfortunate man lived but a few moments; deceased never threatened to commit suicide, nor had the witness any idea that he contemplated such a thing; deceased had been pecuniarly embarrassed for some time past, and it is supposed that the derangement of his financial affairs led to the commission of the rash act. The jury rendered a verdict in accordance with the above facts, and the body was handed over to the friends for interment. Deceased resided at Fairfield, Connecticut, where he leaves a large family to lament his untimely end. Mr. Kneeland was a native of New York; and was fifty-four years of age."

Henry Jr. was married to Margaret Sterrett Barr, daughter of John Thompson Barr, a respected dry goods merchant in Baltimore. Henry Jr. and Margaret had a total of nine children - eight daughters and one son. In his will, Henry Sr. put Henry Jr.'s part of the inheritance in trust of his two other sons and his brother-in-law. It thus appears that Henry Jr. was considered to be not fully competent. In fact, he was not involved in his father's business but seems to have lived off the income of his real estate trust.

I don't know who the Henry was who died in 1853. He could have been a grandson of Charles or a descendant of Seth Kneeland, brother of Ebenezer Jr.  Seth had moved after the Revolutionary War from Hartford to New York, where he was a house carpenter and an inspector of lumber.

Charles who was interred on May 21, 1866, was born in 1830, son of Henry Jr.'s brother Charles. He was married to Louise Taintor.

The next Charles, interred 12/22/1881, was Henry Jr.'s brother, and Henry Sr.'s son. He was the one who succeeded his father at Bogert & Kneeland. He was married to Joanna Hone.

Francis Gram - I don't know the name. Nor do I know Anna Kneeland, died in 1915.

Margaret Kneeland, interred on 9/26/1905 may well have been Henry Jr.'s widow, Margaret Sterrett Barr. I know that she was still alive in 1895 and in good health then. She was born July 13, 1813.

As for the Bogert vault #116, the purchaser was Peter Bogert, in 1831. He died on June 11 (or 16), 1838. Most likely, he is the Peter without a date, first on the list. He was born April 29, 1757, in New York, son of Johannes (John) Bogert, baker, bolter, merchant and alderman, and Abigail Quick. It was Johannes' great-grandfather, Jan Louwe Bogert, who arrived in New York from Holland in 1663, on the Bonte Coe. Peter Bogert's wife was Mary Lawrence.

Edward Lawrence was no doubt Peter Bogert's son. He was born January 27, 1797, and died October 14, 1841

Mary Lawrence Bogert, interred 10/29/1849 was probably Peter Bogert's wife, although one of their daughters, born April 2, 1792, was named Mary Lawrence (Bogert). If she didn't marry, it might have been she.

I know neither Anna Tailer, nor Josiah Breese.

Cornelis Bogert, born January 7, 1791, son of Peter Bogert, died December 14, 1874. Undoubtedly, this is the Cornelius on your list.

I have one question: why were most of them moved to Lenox? Is there a Kneeland family grave there? And would there be other Kneelands there as well? Are the ones who were not moved still inside the vault?

Submitted by Rose-Marie Ullman (Henry Kneeland Jr.'s great-great-granddaughter)

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