This week in #52Ancestors Gettianna Vreeland Tompkins is the subject, but her essay would be very brief without a mention of the family surrounding her. Gettianna, or Gitty Ann as she was sometimes called, was the youngest child and only daughter of Nicholas (1789-1873) and Elizabeth Van Ripen (1803-1889) Vreeland.
Nicholas Vreeland was married twice: first to Annatje Winner (1794-1832), with whom he had one child, a son named Nicholas who lived a year (1816-1817) and then to Elizabet Van Ripen (1803-1889), with whom he had three children. Of Annatje Winner Vreeland very little detail is known beyond her marriage date of 15 March 1814 and her life dates.
Nicholas and Elizabeth Vreeland had three children: Nicholas Vreeland (1836-1837), John Van Ripen Vreeland (1837-1912) and Gettianna Vreeland (1841-1918). John V R, as he was known, was educated at Rutgers and appears to have made a living as a florist/gardener. He moved his family out to Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1887 and is listed in Jersey City directories as a florist and in Cheyenne as a gardener. He died at the home of his daughter in Los Angeles, CA in 1912 and is buried in Angelus Rosedale Cemetery as is his wife Anna Maria who died in 1915.
Gettianna Vreeland was born 14 March 1841, most likely in Bergen, Hudson County, New Jersey. She married Samuel Dusenbury Tompkins at her parent’s home on 2 January 1868. The couple lived with Nicholas and Elizabeth for the next few years, as they are together in the 1870 Census. As Samuel became more established in business, they moved to the house on Communipaw Avenue. They had seven children:
- Grace Elizabeth Tompkins (1869-1964)
- Vreeland Tompkins (1870-1956)
- Abraham Van Wagnen Tompkins (1870-1870)
- Samuel Edward Tompkins (1875-1876)
- James Haviland Tompkins (1877-1942)
- Emma Louise Tompkins (1881-1971)
- Harold Doremus Tompkins (1888-1951)
The Tompkins family was socially very active in Jersey City. The Jersey Journal rarely went more than a month or two without a mention of a social gathering that included one or more of them. I also know that Samuel and Gettianna traveled within the United States and than Gettianna accompanied her daughters Grace and Louise to the British Isles.
Samuel and Gettianna attended Lafayette Church around the 1884-5 period. This church apparently started off as a Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in 1863 but may have merged with other churches towards the end of the century.
Gettianna and Samuel Tompkins celebrated their golden wedding anniversary about a month before she died on 9 February 1918 of pneumonia. The article in the paper states that this happened in the same house they were married in but this bears further research as even as Jersey City consumed the village of Bergen, the addresses do not match city directories and census records. It should also be noted that her youngest child, my grandfather Harold Doremus Tompkins was absent from the festivities due to his involvement in World War I. His military training prior to shipping overseas took him to Camp McClellan, where his great grandson Barclay G. Jones IV also completed some of his extensive military training in 2017-18, about one hundred years later.
Gettianna and Samuel were initially buried in the Old Bergen burying ground but were moved to Arlington Cemetery when the old grounds were demolished.