Madison [N.J.] : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, c2007.
261 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 240-250) and index.
"A Huguenot on the Hackensack" explores the life and legacy of David Demarest, a seventeenth-century French Protestant who, in middle age, emigrated to New Amsterdam and became one of the earliest settlers of the Hackensack Valley. There he founded a prosperous family that for nearly three centuries retained local influence and high status before being eclipsed by post-World War II economic and demographic changes. Transcending the narrow genealogical antiquarianism and filial pietism of traditional family history, the authors carefully set Demarest and his descendants in the context of their times.The astute patriarch is seen as a man who balanced risk and opportunity to achieve a prosperity that would have been impossible in his native Europe. Some early descendants moved to booming areas in Pennsylvania, upstate New York, Kentucky, and beyond, while others stayed close to home and dealt with the rigors of the American Revolution and the dilemmas of religious controversy in New Jersey. Members of later generations adapted to new conditions as rural Bergen County slowly was transformed by railroads and suburban housing.This book illuminates the role of kinship and culture in the Jersey Dutch heartland from colonial times to the modern era. David C. Major is Senior Research Scientist at the Columbia University Earth Institute's Center for Research on Climate Systems. John S. Major is an independent scholar. (source: Nielsen Book Data)