Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal
Volume 5, no. 2 Spring 2023
© Scudder Association Foundation, All rights reserved
If a curious person meets a brick wall in her family history research, there is no telling at the beginning where that might lead. Not immediately finding the historical record that would answer this question: “Who was Dr. John1 Stewart?” resulted in one question leading to another, until I found myself immersed in the fascinating world of seventeenth century Long Island culture, full of interesting characters including the Scudder family and with unexpected plot twists to enrich appreciation for my roots and this segment of the history of America’s foundation.
Nobody knew Dr. John1 Stewart better than his wife Elizabeth3 Alburtus (John2, Pietro1) did. Because we know more about her life prior to their marriage than we do about his, we begin their family’s history with what the records tell us about her and her birth family and Newtown environment.
This timeline of events in the birth family of John2 Alburtus (Pietro1), that includes data for Elizabeth3 A. Stewart’s Scudder and Alburtus aunts and uncles, and her own birth family’s events, illustrates what was going on in town and in her family. It provides historical, social and geographical context and the neighborhood atmosphere of her early childhood.
As Ms. Overton says, “No history of Long Island, religious or secular, would be complete that failed to record the part played by the steadfast, sturdy group of men and women whom Peter Stuvesant and others of his day dubbed ‘the heretical and abominable sect called Quakers;’” neither would the history of Dr. John1 and Elizabeth3 (Alburtus) Stewart be complete without mentioning the Quaker influence in the family of her mother’s parents, John2 Scudder I and Mary2 (King) Scudder
While records imply that religious affiliations of Dr. John1 and Elizabeth3 A. Stewart may have evolved over time, research to learn more exposed religious and social undercurrents in early Newtown, L.I. that are relevant to the history of Elizabeth3 (Alburtus) Stewart’s mother’s Scudder family. These give context to religious issues and other records later in Dr. John1 and Elizabeth A. Stewart’s history.
It may not be coincidence that the first record that documents Dr. John1 Stewart at Newtown was in company with members of the John2 and Mary2 (King) Scudder family. Stewart witnessed on 1 February 1688/90 a quick claim deed between John3 Scudder II and his sister-in-law Phebe3 (Titus) Scudder, widow of Samuel3 Scudder.