The Jacob J. Blauvelt house and its four remaining acres of land had been in the Blauvelt family since the time it was built, in 1832, up until when it was acquired by the Historical Society of Rockland County in 1970. The Blauvelt family first arrived in America in 1638, and first arrived in Rockland County in 1683. Their genealogy today contains more than 26,000 names.
The first member of the Blauvelt family to arrive in America was a young man named Gerritt Hendrickson. He is thought to have arrived from Holland in 1683. Working on a farm near Albany, he raised enough money to buy his own house and move. By 1646, he was married to Marretje Lambertse and living in New Amsterdam. Gerritt Hendrickson had twelve children with his first wife, and two with his second wife. Only seven of his children survived, and all his surviving children settled in Tappan, with the exception his two daughters from his second marriage. Two of his sons, Johannes and Huybert, were among the original Tappan patentees. All of his children that survived and moved to Rockland used the name Blauvelt. There are many guesses as to why the name Blauvelt was chosen. Some suggest that it is because in English, Blauvelt means blue field, this stemmed from the blue flowers which abounded in Gerritt Hendrickson's grain fields. Another possibility is that Blauvelt originally was Gerritt's family name when he arrived from Holland, but he just did not use it when he arrived in America. The blue field refers to the predominant color in his family's coat of arms. It was Gerritt Hendrickson who started the long tradition of family farming.
Gerritt Hendrickson's son Abraham Gerretse Blauvelt lived in the Tappan Patent. He married Grietje Minelay Tallman. Their eldest son, Jacob Abramse Blauvelt, married Pieterje Haring. He, too, resided in Tappan. Jacob Abramse Blauvelt purchased 300 acres of land in New City on which the Blauvelt House now stands. His son, Jacob Ja. Blauvel,t purchased this plot of land from his father.
Jacob Ja. Blauvelt was the first person to farm this land. He married Mary Haring. He built a house closer to the road. His son, John J. Blauvelt inherited the house from him.
John J. Blauvelt was baptized at the Tappan Reformed Church. At some point, he donated two acres of land for a school. The school was known as the Street School. The original site of the school was the southwest corner of the Blauvelt property. Its site was changed in the late 1800s. The school was open until June 1983, when it was closed due to declining enrollment.
Jacob J. Blauvelt married Margaret Remsen and they had five children. He built the Blauvelt House which now stands. His wife, Margaret spoke only Dutch, and her husband translated for the children. Jacob J. Blauvelt, as well as being a farmer, served as Justice of the Peace, Inspector of Common schools, Overseer of the Poor, and served in the 83rd Regiment of Infantry, New York State Militia. He was ranked as lieutenant in 1828, captain in 1830 and captain of light infantry in 1834.
The eldest son of Jacob J. Blauvelt, John Blauvelt, married Ellen Conklin of Pomona. John died from typhoid or diphtheria. The epidemic also claimed the lives of all his children except for Stanley Vincent Blauvelt.
Tunis Blauvelt, the brother of John Blauvelt, married Ellen Conklin after John's death. Besides being a farmer, Tunis was also a lawyer, justice of the peace, and several times he was supervisor of Clarkstown, as well as the loan commissioner of Rockland. He was greatly admired by others and was often called "Squire".
Stanley Vincent Blauvelt was the only surviving son of John Blauvelt. His uncle Tunis took him to the New City courthouse to study law, and he became a clerk. He married Antoinette Hoffman of Nyack. He became a wanderer after the first of two daughters. He left his family on the farm and traveled to Samoa, New Zealand, South America and Australia. Late in his life, he returned to the farm and lived here for the last ten years of his life.
Annie Blauvelt Francis was the older daughter of Stanley. After Tunis died, the Blauvelt women left the farm and rented it to a school teacher by the name of Will Blauvelt. Annie married Alfred E. Francis and moved to Brooklyn and Hoboken before moving back to the farm to start a chicken business. Alfred died of pneumonia leaving one daughter, Margaret Antoinette. After Alfred died, Annie worked as a welfare investigator, served on the ration board during W.W.II, and was a trustee of the Street School.
The last Blauvelt to live here was Anne's daughter, Margaret Antoinette Francis Gibbons, and her husband, John Lyon Gibbons. The Blauvelt House was purchased on December 11, 1970. A major contributor to the purchase was Mr. and Mrs. Gibbons who also donated many of the items in the house.