The family of Pearsall did not concentrate their homes on Long Island in one
locality, and thus make a town called by the family name, as so many other Long
Island Colonial families did, but we find the Pearsalls located in many localities.
It is interesting therefore to study how the family name came to represent a
locality. To the mind of the Long Island reader there will immediately occour the
village of Pearsalls, now Lynbrook, located adjacent to the Old Sand Hole M.P. Church.
It will be a matter of surprise to learn that this place name was so recent as not to have
been mentioned in the Town Records. In the early days travel was by boat, hence we
have three Rockaway landing places, the one farthest inland being called Near Rockaway;
a main road was built to this landing; but it was a couple of miles to the westward before
this road branched. Here in course of time several roads, all at one place joined with
the main road to the landing. Here Wright Pearsall, about 1830, started a store, hence
we find the old deeds referring to the branch roads as leading to Wright Pearsall's
store. Later Wright Pearsall took his son into partnership with him, and for a while
the deeds recite the roads as leading to Wright Pearsall and Son's store. This was
too lengthy, sto neighbors, and the conveyancers in their deeds, began to describe
the place as Pearsalls Corners, which was an apt designation of the peculiar
cornering of roads at this point. A village grew up around the Corners, and there
was every prospect that the name would indefinitely continue, when upon the advent
of the railroad the station was named Lynbrook, and Pearsalls Corners again became
a designation of the place where all the old roads join into a peculiar circle surrounded
by many corners to roads leading in all directions from Lynbrook.
There was also a place on the north side called Pearsalls Landing, on Hempstead Harbor.
As early as 1760, Thomas Pearsall had a mill there and ran a fleet of packets to
New York City, hence this became quite a busy trading point. There was a road leading there
from Hempstead Village which was closed by gates, at the boundary of eac man's holdings.
In 1814, this was made an open highway three rods wide. The name continued until about 1850
when it ceased because locally everything was included in the designation Roslyn,
the name of the village at the old landing place.
When the writer learned these facts, he was greatly disappointed as his grandfather,
John Pearsall, on the old farm in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, had tod him that there
was a town on Long Island called Pearsall, and that the family all came from there, yet it
was evident that our branch of the family had gone from Long Island before either of the
places above named was know as a town. In fact grandfather could not have know that they
ever existed. (*One can therefore well appreciate my delight when the records disclosed
that when the sons of Thomas Pearsall came to Long Island from Virginia they settled out
on Hellgate Neck and started the town Pearsall, a name which continued geographically
for a number of years and which continued in our family traditions as a place name
for many generations.)
COLONIAL HEMPSTEAD by Bernice Shultz pg. 22
The Pearsall family acquired a great tract of land at the southwestern part of the town, the village of Pearsalls (Lynbrook) being named for them. They claimed much of the Rockaway Peninsula which was lost to Judge Palmer, but the family
steadily grew in wealth and prestige, and in the late Colonial Period was prominent in New York in mercantile and later insurance enterprises, living in one of the finest homes of the city, and sending its sons on a tour of Europe to complete their education..."
"MILLS OF LONG ISLAND" by C. Jaray;
pg 37 "Roslyn's grist mill stands across the road from its duck teeming pond.
Its records are an historian's dream. In early days whenever the mill changed hands
the entire chain of title was repeated, all the way back to John Robeson, who was
give a grant for a grist and fulling mill in 1698. In 1701 he had not built the mill,
and the grant was "made voide by his Defalt." But he was given a second chance, and
finally got the mill into operation. It was sold to Charles Mott, who in 1713 sold it
to Jeremiah Williams for ? But when Williams sold it in 1741 to THOMAS PEARSALL the
price was ? because Williams had added land and erected "A Large and Specials Mill
and other buildings. So the present mill must have been built between 1713 and '41
Richard Mott and John Pine followed, and in 1758 the property was acquired by Henry
*This mill is still standing.