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The Pells of Westchester

The first lord of Pelham Manor was Thomas Pell Sr. He was born in Sussex, England, into a family of French ancestry. He was a Gentleman of the Bedchamber under King Charles I, then immigrated to Connecticut and married Lucy Brewster of New Haven. The couple settled in Fairfield, Connecticut, then bought from the Indians in 1654 the 9,000 acres in Westchester that would become Pelham Manor.

Before he died without issue in 1669, Thomas Pell persuaded his nephew John Pell, born in London in 1643 and a member of the king’s court, to come to Westchester and to take over his property as the second lord of Pelham Manor. John Pell married Rachel Pinkney, a daughter of Philip Pinkney of Fairfield, who had been an early grantee of Westchester land from Thomas Pell. John and Rachel's son Thomas, born in 1675, became the third lord of Pelham Manor. He married Ann, possibly a daughter of Wampage, the chief of the Westchester Indians. They had ten children.

Thomas and Ann Pell’s daughter Bethseba married Theodosia’s uncle Theophilus Bartow. Bethseba's sister Mary married Samuel Sands, the brother of Theodosia's grandmother Mercy Sands, and her sister Ann married Samuel Bradhurst. The Bradhursts helped their son Samuel establish the Pinehurst estate in Harlem Heights. They were also the grandparents of Samuel Bradhurst III, who became a doctor and a Revolutionary War officer and who married Theodosia’s cousin Mary Smith at the Hermitage in 1778.

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