Season’s Greetings from Gravesend!

Thank you for reading this blog throughout the year! I could make a public resolution about how I’m going to try to write more frequently in 2016 and beyond, but we all know what an unrepentant slug I am. Well, not really. It’s just that there aren’t enough days in the week for me to get to everything I think of doing. And then there’s that little thing called work that always manages to get in the way. But I promise I’ll keep posting about Gravesend, Brooklyn, if you promise to keep reading. And let me hear from you! I truly enjoy the comments and stories some of you have sent my way. Keep them coming.

Happy Holidays to all,


Copyright © 2015 by Joseph Ditta (



Filed under holidays

2 responses to “Season’s Greetings from Gravesend!

  1. janice dougherty

    I have long been a supporter of Wyckoff House and more recently the friends of New Utrecht who have sponsored some historical programs & lectures. Are there any books you could recommend about this end of Brooklyn and its early history? A couple of years ago I discovered (through 23&Me) that the rumors about my Irish grandma “fooling around” were true, and that influence is reflected in my previously unknown Scandinavian/German/French/Dutch fragments. Betting that mystery grandpa lived close enough to Coney Island to see her regularly.

    • Hi Janice. Well, you’ve certainly got your genealogical detective work cut out for you! I had a similar surprise with my DNA test through My family has always considered itself to be 100% Italian, but the test (two tests, actually) shows that 11% of my heritage (on my mom’s side) comes from the Caucasus. Who knew?

      You should definitely read Eric Ierardi’s Gravesend: The Home of Coney Island, for the history of southern Brooklyn. Also, look through Henry R. Stiles’s The civil, political, professional and ecclesiastical history, and commercial and industrial record of the county of Kings and the city of Brooklyn, N. Y., from 1683 to 1884; it includes histories of each of the Kings County towns (including New Utrecht and Gravesend, to the south) written by a resident expert. In Gravesend’s case, it was the Rev. Austin P. Stockwell, pastor of the Gravesend Reformed Dutch Church.

      My advice is to read everything about Brooklyn you can find. You won’t find everything you’re looking for in a single book. I’ve certainly never found “the” source for all things Gravesend. I’ve had to mine for gold in many veins!

      All the best,


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