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Brent, Margaret (1601–1670?), landowner and colonial leader, was born in England, the daughter of Richard Brent, lord of Admington and Lark Stoke in the county of Gloucester, England, and Elizabeth Reed.

When Margaret Brent was about thirty-seven years old, she traveled to the New World with her sister Mary, brothers Giles and Fulke, and their servants. They landed at St. Mary’s (later St. Marys) Maryland, in November 1638. Although the two sisters traveled with their brothers, they did not depend on them for their economic survival. They arrived with servants as well as the means to procure large land grants from the proprietor, Lord Baltimore (...


Van Rensselaer, Maria Van Cortlandt (20 July 1645–24 January 1689), director of the patroonship of Rensselaerswyck, was born in New Amsterdam (now New York City), the daughter of Oloff Stevensz van Cortlant (Van Cortlandt), a merchant and official, and Anneken Loockermans. Her father, who was one of the wealthiest men in New Amsterdam, served as a city official under both the Dutch and English regimes. Little is known about Maria’s early life. In 1662 she married ...