Home‎ > ‎Biographies‎ > ‎

Romeyn, James A.

The Romeyns, Romaines, and Romains, of Bergen County, claim to be of Italian lineage, which they trace to one Giacomo de Ferentino, an Italian gentleman who settled at Rongham Manor, Norfolkshire, England, in the early part of the thirteenth century, and married an English lady, Isabella de Rucham, by whom he had issue two sons, one of whom was Peter. This Peter was sent to Rome to be educated, and on his return took the surname of Romaeyn (Peter the Roman). He married a daughter of Thomas De Leicester. Many of Peter's descendants became noted men in England. One of them, Jan Romeyn, went from England to the low countries (Holland) and settled in Amsterdam. He had several children, among whom were Claes Jansen, Simeon Jansen, and Christofer Jansen. Claes and Christofer sailed from Rotterdam, Holland, to Brazil, as members of an expedition to that country commanded by Prince Maurice of Nassau. Soon after arriving in Brazil that country was ceded to Portugal, and thereupon the two Romeyns sailed for America. There is a disagreement as to the date when they arrived, but it was probably about 1661. They settled first at New Amersfoort, L. I. Christofer married, in 1678, Grietie Pieters Wyckoff, and settled in Monmouth County, N. J. Claes married (it is said), May 2, 1680, Styntie Alberts Terhune, and in 1690 went to Hackensack, where he bought four Indian fields between the Saddle River and the Hackensack River, called in his deed Wierimus, Paskack, Gemagkie, and Marroasonek. These four tracts were north of Paramus, on the east side of the Saddle River. He did not locate on these lands, but returned to New York and located in the Greenwich district of the city, where he died. His children, to whom he devised all his lands on his death, divided them into farms and mutually released or sold to actual settlers. Claes Jansen's children of the second generation were Gerrebrecht, Elizabeth, Lydia, Albert C., John C., Rachel, Sarah, and Daniel.

Jan Class Romeyn (2) married, in May, 1690, Jannetie Bogert, at Hackensack, and resided on part of his father's lands. He was a member and church master of the "Church on the Green" in 1715. His issue of the third generation were Nicholas, John, Christina, Roelof, Rachel, Isaac, Angenetie, Christina, and Ursula.

Nicholas Romeyn (3), baptized at Hackensack in February, 1699, married, in 1726, Elizabeth Outwater, who died in 1732. He died in 1763. He married (2) Rachel Vreeland, who died in 1761. The issue of Nicholas Romeyn (3) and his two wives of the fourth generation were Rev. Thomas Romeyn and John Romeyn.

Rev. Thomas Romeyn (4), born at Pompton, N. J., March 2, 1729, died October 22, 1794. He was graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1750, studied theology, and after preaching a few times on Long Island went to Holland, in 1752, for ordination, and was settled at Jamaica, L. I., until 1790. He married (1) June 29, 1756, Margaretta Frelinghuysen, who died at Jamaica, December 13, 1757. He married (2) Susanna Van Camppen. He died at Fonda, N. Y., October 22, 1794, and was buried there under the pulpit of his church. His issue of the fifth generation were seven: Rev. Theodore F., Rev. Thomas, Nicholas, Abraham, Rev. Broadhead, Benjamin, and Rev. James Van Campen.

Rev. James Van Campen Romeyn (5) was born at Minsink, Sussex County, N. J., November 15, 1765, and died at Hackensack, June 27, 1840. He attended Schenectady Academy in 1784, studied theology under Rev. Theodore Romeyn, his uncle, was a Trustee of Rutgers College, and preached at several places, the last in the Reformed Church of Hackensack and Schraalenburgh from 1799 to 1833. He married (1) Susanna Maud Van Vranken, of Schenectday, and (2) Elizabeth Pell, who survived him. His issue of the sixth generation were Susan, Harriet, Anna, Maria, Rev. James, D.D., Anna, Eliza, Caroline, Theodore, and Sarah.

Rev. James Romeyn (6) was born at Blooming Grove, N. J., September 30, 1797, and was graduated from Columbia College in 1816 and from the Theological Seminary at New Brunswick, N. J., in 1819. He declined the Doctor of Divinity degree bestowed on him by Columbia College. He preached at several places, was pastor of the old "Church on the Green" at Hackensack from 1833 to 1836, and was a Trustee of Rutgers College in 1842. He married Joanna Bayard Rodgers, daughter of John R. B. Rodgers, M.D., of Columbia College, New York. His children of the seventh generation were James R. and Theodore B.

Rev. Theodore Bayard Romeyn (7) was born at Nassau, N. Y., October 22, 1827. He attended school at Hackensack and other places, was graduated from Rutgers College in 1846 and from the Theological Seminary in New Brunswick in 1849, and received the degree of D.D. from Rutgers College. He preached at Blawenburgh, N. J., and at Hackensack, and was the author of the History of the Reformed Church of the latter village. He married Amelia A. Letson, who died October 22, 1897. He died at Hackensack, August 29, 1885. His issue of the eighth generation were Mary L. (deceased) and James A., the latter being the subject of this sketch.

James A. Romeyn (8) was born in Blawenburgh, N. J., May 15, 1853, and received his education at Rutgers College. He studied law with Bedle, Muirhead & McGee, of Jersey City, and successfully practiced his profession until 1890. Since then he has been the editor of the Evening Record of Hackensack, where he resides.

Mr. Romeyn is a man of acknowledged ability and untiring energy, and has always taken an active part in public affairs. He was for eight years a member of the Hackensack Board of Health, and for seven years (1888-95) served as Treasurer of the Hackensack Hospital. At the bar and in the editorial chair he has won distinctions and honor, and as a citizen he is highly respected.

In 1884 Mr. Romeyn married Flora May Cochran, of Lancester, Pa., who died in 1801. By her there were two children: Theodore B. and Katharine. He was married, second, in 1894, to Susie Burgess Conover, of Newark, N. J.


Source: Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, Editor, Cornelius Burnham Harvey, The New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900, page 139-144.

See also, the following from, James Van Valen, History of Bergen County, New Jersey, 1900:


        The subject of this sketch was born at Blawenburgh, Somerset County, New Jersey, 1853. He is the only son of Rev. Theodore Bayard Romeyn, D. D. and Amelia (Letson) Romeyn. His mother was the daughter of Johnson Letson and Eliza Shaddle, of New Brunswick, N. J. Mr. Letson was a trustee of Rutgers College and a liberal contributor to its support and endowment. He was President of the Norfolk and New Brunswick Hosiery Company and the

New Brunswick Rubber Company. Dr. and Mrs. Romeyn settled at Blawenburgh in 1850, where James A. attended the public school, until 1865, when his father was settled as Pastor of the First Reformed Church at Hackensack, N. J., the "Old Church on the Green." He was prepared for college at the academy at Lawrenceville, N. J., and at the Rutgers Grammar School at New Brunswick. In 1872 he entered Rutgers College and was graduated in 1S76. He entered the law office of Bedle, Muirheid & McGee in Jersey City, in 187<«, took a course of study of Columbia Law School and was admitted to practice law at the New Jersey State Bar in 1879. He practiced law in Jersey City until 1890, part of which time was a partner in the firm of Romeyn & Griffin. The practice of law becoming distasteful to him, he abandoned it 1890.

    In 1894 he became editor of The Evening Record, an independent daily newspaper, published in Hackensack, the only daily in Bergen County. He entered upon the work of journalism, as he would upon the high professions with a firm conviction that it was equal, if not of more importance than the profession of theology, law or medicine. He has continued this work with great energy and success until his paper has become an important vehicle of news and thought, and a necessary institution of the city.

    His whole thought and discussions have been on the side of good morals and the public welfare. No questionable paragraphs have ever found place in the columns of his paper. His, has been a successful effort to make the Evening Record one of the most influential papers in this locality, an with a very flattering circulation, he has made an enviable reputation throughout the whole State.

    Mr. Romevn has never taken any active part in politics, though his political principles are positive and fixed. He has been called to fill places in local boards and was treasurer of the Hackensack Hospital for seven years.

    He married Miss Flora M. Cochran of Lancaster, Pa., in 1884, who died in 1891. From this marriage he has two children, Theodore Bayard and Katharine Cochran. He again married, Miss Susie B. Conover of Newark, N. J., in 1894.