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Dorothy (Quincy) Hancock Scott
and Louisa May Alcott

their cousinship with
Jean Margaret (Kennedy) Mitchelson
through the Quick family

Dorothy Quincy Hancock
Dorothy (Quincy) Hancock
Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott
Although Dorothy Quincy, wife of John Hancock, and Louisa May Alcott, the famous author, were primarily of New England ancestry, through the Wendell family they were descended from the Quick family of New York City, whence Dorothy Quincy was a 4th cousin of my ancestress Catharina (Lent) Harris, and Louisa May Alcott was a 7th cousin of my great-great-grandmother Mary (Comfort) Kennedy.
     Louisa May Alcott’s uncle, Samuel Joseph May (1797-1871), Unitarian minister, slavery abolitionist, and women’s suffrage advocate, was another important figure in this cluster of Quincy-Wendell descendants (he is treated in the new American National Biography). This distinguished clan were also ancestral to Barrett Wendell, the literary critic, and to Montgomery Clift, the actor. On the somewhat humbler Kranckheyt side of the table, interesting descendants include the brothers Mark and Carl Van Doren, literary critics, and Walter Cronkhite, the television journalist.
     The founder of the Quicks probably had not settled on this surname when he came from Naarden in the Netherlands to New York, as it never appears in the earliest records in which he is mentioned. He appears to have been of quite humble social status, and is often called simply called “Theunis the mason” (Theunis de metselaer) instead of by his patronymic (Thomasz.). This has caused confusion in the literature with at least one other Theunis who happened to be a mason.

  Theunis Thomasz. Quick = Belitje Jacobs van Vleckensteyn
       (living 1670)     |         (living 1673)
     of New York City    |
           |                              |
 Wyntje Theunisse                 Hillegond Theunisse
   (1628-1681+)                      (1640-1707)
= Harck Syboutszen               = Jacob Theuniszen
 (ancestor of the                  de Key (d. 1691)
 Kranckheyt family)                of New York City
        |                                 |
 Catryntje Hercks                 The Hon. (Captain)
 = Ryck Abrahamse                Teunis Jacobs De Key
    van Lent                        (1659-1702/05)
   of Newtown                      of New York City
        |                        = Helena van Brugh
        |                                 |
  Abraham Lent                     Catharina De Key
   (1674-1749)                       (1681-1722/36)
of Tarrytown, N.Y.                = Abraham Wendell
= Anna Catharina                     (1678-1734)
      Meyer                        of Boston, Mass.
        |                                 |
    Isaac Lent                     Elizabeth Wendell
   (1707-1771)                       (1704-1769)
   of Fishkill,                  = Edmund Quincy (IV)
 Dutchess Co., N.Y.                   (1703-1788)
  = Sara Luyster                 of Boston, merchant,
    (1714-1767)                   grad. Harvard 1722
         |                        _________|______________
         |                        |                      |
   Catharina Lent          Elizabeth Quincy       Dorothy Quincy
  (say 1743-1767+)           (1729-1770)            (1747-1830)
  = Francis Harris         = Samuel Sewall      = (1) John Hancock
     (1740-1816),          |  (d. 1771)      Governor of Massachusetts
   of Sandy Cove,          |  of Boston,     Signer of the Declaration
 Digby Tp., Annapolis      |   merchant           of Independence
 (now Digby) Co., N.S.     |                 = (2) Capt. James Scott
         |                 |________________    (no surviving issue)
         |                                 |
  Catherine Harris                   Dorothy Sewall  
    (1767-1846)                       (1758-1825)
  = John Comfort                  = (Capt.) Joseph May
  (ca. 1755-1830)                     (1760-1841)
  of Clinton Tp.,                      of Boston
    Lincoln Co.,                           |
   Upper Canada                            |
         |                                 | 
  Francis Comfort                     Abigail May
    (1800-1880)                        (1800-1877)
   of Beamsville,                 = Amos Bronson Alcott
Clinton Tp., Lincoln Co.              (1799-1888)
  = Jemima Wilcox                   of Harvard, Mass.,
     (1801-1876)                    transcendentalist
          |                            philosopher
          |                                |      
   Margaret Comfort                 Louisa May Alcott
     (1833-1916)                      (1832-1888)
 = John Kennedy (IV)                    novelist
    of St. Anns,              
   Gainsborough Tp.,           
     Lincoln Co.             
    John Kennedy (V)           
  of Melita, Manitoba,      
  = Susanna Samantha       
     Helena Young          
  Jean Margaret Kennedy    
   = Richard Harry        
    Mitchelson, Jr.       
 of Winnipeg, Manitoba    
     (my natural          

Sources: For general information on Louisa May Alcott, see AlcottWeb.com. Working from the top downward, published secondary sources bearing on the ancestral line presented for her here include:

  • Arthur Craig Quick, A Genealogy of the Quick Family in America, 1625-1942 (South Haven & Palisades Park, Michigan: the author, 1942).
  • Rosalie Fellows Bailey, “Dutch Systems in Family Naming: New York and New Jersey,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 41 (1953): 1-11, 109-18, in which the Quick family appears as an example at pp. 9-10, 110.
  • James Riker, Revised History of Harlem (City of New York) (New York, 1904), p. 692 n. (for De Key).
  • William J. Hoffman, “The origin in the Netherlands of the De Kay Family,” TAG 30 (1954): 89-96.
  • George E. McCracken, “The American DeKay Family,” TAG 33 (1957): 223-31, 34 (1958): 29-38.
  • Gary Boyd Roberts, “Nineteenth-Century Heroines, Part One: Literature and Feminism,” NEHGS NEXUS 7(5) (October-November 1990): 154-59, at p. 156, reprinted in Gary Boyd Roberts, Notable Kin, 2 vols. (Santa Clarita, California, 1998-99), 1:198-208, at p. 202; this gives the line from Theunis DeKey and Helena van Brugh down to Louisa May Alcott in its entirety.
  • William S. Pattee, M.D., A History of Old Braintree and Quincy… (Quincy, Mass., 1878), 586-91 (Quincy).
  • S.V. Talcott, Genealogical Notes of New York and New England Families (Albany, 1883), 376-453 (for Wendell), especially pp. 383, 393, available online at http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/moa/moa-cgi?notisid=ANW1476.
  • James Rindge Stanwood, The direct ancestry of the late Jacob Wendell, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire; with a prefatory sketch of the early Dutch settlement of the province of New Netherland, 1614-1664 (Boston: D. Clapp & Son, 1882), pp. 23-25, and chart between pp. 18 and 19.
  • Edward Eldridge Salisbury, Family-memorials: a series of genealogical and biographical monographs… (1885), 316-53 (for Quincy); we have not seen the portion of this work relating to the Wendell and Sewall families.
  • Margherita Arlina Hamm, Famous Families of New York…, 2 vols. (New York, [1902]) (for Wendell).
  • Cuyler Reynolds (ed.), Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley …, 3 vols. New York, 1914, 3:1355-61 (for Wendell).
  • Mary Caroline Crawford, Famous Families of Massachusetts, 2 vols. (Boston, 1930), 2:88-91 (for Wendell).
  • Charles Levi Woodbury, Genealogical Sketches of the Woodbury Family, its intermarriages and connections (Manchester, N.H., 1904), 179-96 (Quincy), 197-204 (Wendell).
  • Thomas Bridgman, The Pilgrims of Boston and their descendants (New York, 1856), 384-89 (for Hancock), 128-132 (for Sewall).
  • Sarah Elizabeth Titcomb, Early New England People (Boston, 1882), pp. 222-23 (mentioning the descent of Louisa May Alcott from Samuel Sewall and Elizabeth Quincy).
  • Edes, Richard Sullivan Edes, Samuel May, John Wilder May, & John Joseph May, A Genealogy of the Descendants of John May (Boston, 1878), 9, 12-13, 23 (for the line from Joseph May to Louisa May Alcott).
  • Annie M.L. Clark, “The Alcotts in Harvard,” The New England magazine, new series, vol. 22, issue 2 (April 1900), pp. 173-180, available online at http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/moa/moa-cgi?notisid=AFJ3026-1022-4.

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This document is from the Genealogy Page of John Blythe Dobson at johnblythedobson.org/genealogy/famous/Quincy.html
Written 29 December 2000
Last revised 11 October 2008