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John OKESON, Sr.

Male 1645 - Abt 1696  (~ 50 years)

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  • Name John OKESON 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Born Jul 1645 
    Gender Male 
    Died Abt 1696  Probably New York City, New York County, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 

    • (1) Dickinson, Thorn, "John Okeson of Hempstead, Long Island, Progenitor of the Okeson and Kissam Families, and Some of His Descendants," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 91, No. 2 (April 1960), pp. 65-69:

      John Okeson was born in July, 1645, and died about 1696, probably in New York City. Nothing has been ascertained with any certainty regarding his father, but his mother is of record as Nora Holdren, wife presumably by a second or later marriage of Denis Holdron, from whom she separated on Oct. 4, 1665. Dennis Holdron married by New York license dated July 28, 1669, Sara Wilkins, and both are included in the Flushing Census of 1698 (NYM:187;DHNY:1:664). In his will, executed Sept. 10, 1702, and proved Oct. 24, 1702, "Dennis Holdron of Jamaica" made no mention of a wife, but left ??20 to "granddaughter Elizabeth Bishop," and the balance of his estate to "friend Isaac Lenoir innholder of Jamaica," provided that "son William does not come personally into the Province" (WNYHS:1:344).

      The separation of Dennis and Nora Holdron was in consequence of "an ill correspondence between them," and resulted in their dividing their estate equally "under the eye of the magistrates of Flushing." On the date of the separation "Nora Holdron of Flushing and John Lockerson, her son," petitioned to have possession of an estate of ??30 Sterling then in the hands of Antony Waters of Jamaica and John Cockram of Newtown "as overseers of said John Lockerson, who will be of age in July next" (OndQu, p. 6). . . .

      John Okeson married as "John Ockeson," by New York License dated July 10, 1667, Susannah Thorne, who was born probably about 1645, a daughter of William and Susannah (Booth) Thorne of Jamaica, L. I. (NYM:285; Rec.:19:153). She died probably between 1695 and 1696, presumably in Hempstead. In the past there has been considerable conjecture as to the identity of Susannah Thorne's mother but her name has now been found in early Colonial records (Rec.:53:18; CHS:2:395; Delafield Fam., 1945, v.2, p.486).

      A list of the inhabitants of Hempstead in 1673, naming heads of families only, includes "John Quakerson" (DHNY:1:658). On Feb. 4, 1678/9, "John Okson of Madnans Neck witthin the bounds of Hempstead" contracted to pay to "John Smitth ffor distincnkshon Rock Smith of hempstead" the sum of ??90, in four annual installments, "in good marchantable blade tobacco and caske and to bee payd and delivred in New York att the way hows att price Currant with the marchantt the price of the Tobacco is to be Equevilentt to good marcantable pork wheat bavor Seawant," for the purchase of two lots on Madnans Neck containing 99 acres (HpTR:1:238). On Oct. 3, 1681, "John Okeson" and others requested a piece of commons "lying between John Locosens Lott and A Lot of Nathaniel Pearsall," and in the same document Jonathan Burdge resigned all title and interest "in the above written Gift to John Lokison" (Ibid. :479). On July 22, 1682, John Smeeds filed an appeal from a judgment obtained against him by "John Okeson of Madnans Neck" (CEM:100). The record of this curious case follows:

      "Att a General Court of Assizes holden in the Citty of New Yorke the 4th 5th & 6th Dayes of October . . . Anno Domini . . . 1682. . . .

      ["]John Smeedis, Appealt

      ["]John Okson, Defendt

      ["]An Appeale From A Verdict and Judgement Obteined by the Defendt against the Appeals in the Mayors Court of this Citty the 1 1 th Day of July Last Past for the Sume of thirty Pounds and Costs on an Accon by him Commenced Against the Appealt upon an Obligacon under his hand and Seale for Payment of the Said Sume which Obligacon the Appealt Alleadges was given in Consideracon of a negro which he Bought of the Defendt and the Deft warranted to be Sound and well Butt Proveing otherwise was Returned to the Deft and Dyed and therefore Prayes Releife. The Proceedings in the Mayors Court Being Read and Severall Witnesses being Sworne and Examined who Proved the Defts warranty of the Negro And that the Said Obligacon was Given in Consideracon thereof and the Redelivery; Partyes Fully heard and matter Debated, The Court Gave Judgment for the Appealt and Reversed the Said Judgmt Given in the Mayors Court The Deft to Pay all Costs" (Coll. NYHS:45:25 & 32).

      In the valuations of estates in Hempstead of Oct. 11, 1683, "John Oackissam" is recorded as having 25 acres of land, 2 oxen, 2 cows and 3 one year olds (DHNY:2:523). Presumably only land in cultivation or otherwise improved was taxed. In the will of Roger Pedley, executed Nov. 20, 1683, but apparently never proved, a lengthy enumeration of personal property contains "one Draught Yoake and Chaine more Left in ye hands of John Oackissam" (HpTR:1:460). On April 18, 1684, "John Okissam" was plaintiff in "An Action of Debt and Damages Against John Wallson," and on March 4, 1684/5, an assignment of a bill of sale was made by William Wiar to "John Okisson" (Ibid.: 427 & 481). On Oct. 4, 1685, "John Loakeson" made a "declaration of ejectment" for trespass against several persons, including William Thorne, no doubt his brother-in-law (CEM:118). "John Kissam and Susannah his wife," on March 26, 1694/5, conveyed land on Madnans Neck to "Daniel Kissam," who will appear below as their son (Queens Co. Deeds: A:283). On April 15, 1696, "John Kissam of Madnans Neck, yeoman," conveyed to John Treadwell for "a certain sum of money" house and lands on the said Neck. No wife's signature is recorded, and it seems probable that Susannah (Thorne) Okeson had died, and that John Okeson was disposing of his homestead. On the same date John Smith Rock quitclaimed to John Treadwell all rights and interest in the 99 acres which he had sold to "John Kissam by deed dated Feb. 4, 1678" (Queens Co. Deeds: A:277;B-1:276). The need for a quitclaim is evident when the above instrument is examined, for as previously indicated it is a purchase contract, not a conveyance.

      The assessment lists of the Dock Ward of New York include on Aug. 28, 1696, "Jan Lookessam Estate ??5.00.8??"; on Sept. 7, 1696, "John Lokerson att Kissam Estate ??5.00.9??" and on Jan. 4, 1696/7, "John Deforeest house ??10.01.05," immediately followed by "John Lookesen Estate in sd house ??5.00.08??" (Coll. NYHS:43:86, 115, 164). John deForest was a surgeon and a member of a prominent Huguenot family (deForest Fam., 1919, v.2, pp.285-289). The above house may have been merely a building in which the effects of a deceased patient were in storage. Apparently John Okeson removed to New York City, perhaps because of illness, where he died in 1696 or earlier. His wife may have died at about the same time.

      The Hempstead Census of August 31, 1698, lists the Okesons as follows:

      "John Locussum
      Mary Locussum
      Joseph Locussum
      Samuell Locussum"

      and in another group

      "Daniell Cassom
      Elizabeth Cassom
      Elizabeth cassom
      Martha cassom."
      (Rec. :45:54, 62, 66-67).

      As will appear below, the first group most probably comprises the elder son of John Okeson, together with wife and children, while the second is without a doubt composed of the younger son and his family.

      The eighteen variant spellings above of the name Okeson, four of which appear to be recordings of John Okeson's own signatures, indicate the futility of discussing such trifling differences in spelling in early records as the presence or absence of the final "e" in the name Susannah Thorne. John Okeson's son John used Okeson and Lokerson as his family name, his son Daniel used Kissam, and town clerks and registrars of deeds and wills wrote the name as they pleased.

      The nationality of the Okeson family is a matter of widely divergent opinion. [Edward] Kissam thought that the name originally was the English or Welsh Casson, and that residence in Ireland led to O'Casson and in Holland to Ockerson (Kissam Fam., 1892, p. 5). The late Mrs. Josephine C. Frost, an experienced genealogist of Long Island families, seems to have concurred in these conclusions (Strang Gen., 1915, p.140). Another supposition is that the name is Swedish (Edwin Salter, Hist. of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, 1890, p.xliii), while a Dutch origin has also been suggested (Jones Fam., 1907, p. 252).

      Little has been ascertained to support a Welsh or English origin, except, of course, that John Okeson settled in the very British community of Hempstead, and that his son John2 Okeson, as will appear below, removed to a predominantly Scotch region of Monmouth County, New Jersey, where he was a member of the Middletown Baptist Church, a rather unlikely spot for a Swede or Dutchman. On the other hand none of the early Okesons are known to have been connected with the Scotch Presbyterian Church in Tennant, some five miles northwest of Freehold (Frank R. Symmes, Hist. of Old Tennant Church, 1904, pp.8, 414).

      A Swedish origin is suggested by the presence of Swedes in Monmouth County, as noted by Salter in the reference above, as well as by the arrival in New Stockholm, Gloucester County, New Jersey, in 1643 of Israel Ockesson, who became a noted Indian trader and interpreter, and whose son Ocke Ockesson used his father's last name rather than the first (N. J. Hist. Soc. Proc., New Series, v.15, 1930, p.498). In 1648 a seaman, Andries Luycassen, made a declaration in New Amsterdam regarding Fort Bevasreede near New Stockholm, and in 1661 Theunis Lucassen, skipper, appears in the accounts of New Amstel, the Dutch colony planted on the Delaware River by the City of Amsterdam (CDM:335 & CDNY:2:189). These seafaring men, whether Swedish or as probably Dutch, provide something of a link between John Okeson, alias Lockerson and Locussum, and New Sweden. The given name Nora of John Okeson's mother also suggests a Swedish origin.

      The simplest explanation of the name is no doubt that it is Dutch, and that John Okeson was the son of a Hollander whose given name was Ouke, Aucke, or most probably Lucas. Such family names as Ouke, Aukes, and Lucasse or Lucassen were common on Long Island (KCo., pp. 351 & 374). Eldert Lucasen, a well known resident of Jamaica, was connected through the marriages of his children with Hempstead families of undoubted British ancestry (Rec. :77:132; WNYHS:2:245). On the Mohawk River John Luykasse, apparently of Dutch ancestry, was a famous scout and interpreter. (PS, p.107 & CSH:1:430). These names are cited not to imply relationship but to suggest the probability of a Dutch origin of the family name Okeson or Lokerson. Numerous possibilities have been investigated, but without positive result. However, it may well be assumed that John Okeson spoke English with an accent so strange to the people of Hempstead that few, if any, were able to make out his real name.

      The children of John and Susannah (Thorne) Okeson are named in this article as recorded, except for spelling, in the Hempstead Census of 1698. There may have been others, but, if so, they seem to have left no records. Kissam mistakenly added a third son Thomas, who will be identified below as belonging to a later generation (Kissam, op. cit., pp. 9,12).

      Children: 2 . . .

      i. John b. abt. 1668 . . .

      ii. Daniel b. abt. 1671
    Person ID I27870  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 29 May 2018 

    Father --- OKESON 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Nora (OKESON) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married Bef Jul 1645 
    Family ID F12148  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Susannah THORNE,   b. Abt 1645,   d. Between 1695 and 1696, Presumably Hempstead, Queens [now Nassau] County, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 50 years) 
    Married Abt 10 Jul 1667 
    Marriage License 10 Jul 1667  NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Daniel KISSAM,   b. Abt 1671,   d. 26 Dec 1752, Hempstead, Queens [now Nassau] County, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years)  [natural]
     2. John OKESON, Jr.,   b. Abt 1668,   d. Aft 1726, Presumably Freehold, Monmouth County, NJ Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 59 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 29 May 2018 13:23:14 
    Family ID F12150  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart