Saturday, June 2, 2012
Brinckerhoff kin in favor of landmarking
From the Queens Chronicle:
While historic preservationists, Fresh Meadows community groups and neighbors all want the Colonial-era Brinckerhoff Cemetery landmarked, it’s descendants of the family buried there who feel the most special connection to the site.
In separate interviews with the Queens Chronicle, two of those relatives, William Manger Jr. and Matthew Brinckerhoff, last week voiced their support for landmarking and detailed what they want to see done at the location.
Manger, 47, is a banker who lives in Manhattan. He testified in favor of the proposal at a hearing of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. “I was impressed at so many people who turned out for the hearing,” Manger said. “It was heartwarming.”
Manger said he is proud that his family “has contributed to making Queens as great as it is today.” The Brinckerhoffs were prosperous Dutch farmers, who had large land holdings in the borough.
Manger has not visited the site yet but hopes to soon, along with his parents and three siblings, whom he is getting involved in saving it.
“Ultimately, I would like it landmarked and restored, the area cleaned up and fenced,” Manger said. “There should be a sign.”
After getting into the landmarking battle, he learned of his distant cousin, Matthew Brinckerhoff, a Manhattan lawyer who lives in Brooklyn. The two have since spoken and plan to meet soon.
Brinckerhoff, who visited the cemetery recently, said his 12-year-old daughter, Anik, is very interested in genealogy and got him involved. “She found a book about all the Brinckerhoffs and we figured out the relationships,” he said. “I assumed the odds were I was directly related.”
As it turns out, Brinckerhoff’s grandmother, six times removed, named Aeltie, was the first to be buried at the site. Hers was the only gravestone written in Dutch.