Jan (John) Vroom married Jannetje (Jane) Vroom 31 July 1781.

John Vroom was born about 1751 in Somerville, New Jersey, the son of Hendrick Vroom and Garretje (Charity) Staats.  His family was descended from Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam. 

Jane Vroom was born 1 Oct 1755 in Raritan NJ, the daughter of George (Joris) Vroom and Sara Remsen.  Jannetje’s father died when she was just over a year old. She moved with her mother and two half-brothers to Jamaica, NY, where some of her mother’s family lived. Sara married Douwe Ditmars of that town when Jannetje was about 6. She became known by the English form of her name: Jane Vroom.  Jane married Isaac Ditmars, her step brother, on 26 September 1771 in Jamaica, New York.  They had two children, and Isaac died in 1780 in New York.   

Jane and John married 31 July 1781. They were first cousins. The Vroom and Ditmars families were Loyalists.  In 1783, Capt. Douwe Ditmars of Long Island set sail for Annapolis with 79 men, 47 women, 103 children, and 9 servants – including John Vroom.  Although many Loyalists moved away, not one of the Long Islanders who settled on the Shore moved away, maintaining Dutch character of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia. They settled in Clements Township, probably in or near present day Cornwallis or Deep Brook. They attended church in Moose River (now Clementsport). 

John was counted in the muster roll of disbanded officers, discharged and disbanded soldiers and Loyalists taken in Annapolis County in June of 1784.  He was also counted on the 1891 poll tax lists. 

Jane had eight children, 78 grandchildren, and about 286 great grandchildren.  Her bible was preserved and now is in the collections of the Old St. Edward’s museum in Clementsport.  It contains the only known record of births, marriages and deaths of various members of her family. Jane died 28 January 1830 and John on 18 June 1833 in Clementsport.  The cemetery at St Edwards has numerous headstones for Ditmars and Vroom.   

Headstone:  In memory of John Vroom who departed this life June 18 1833, aged 76 years.  “In life esteemed, in death deplored.  Has gone to meet his great reward.”

Headstone:  In memory of Jane Vroom who departed this life Jan 28, 1830 in the 75th year of her age.

Old St. Edward’s Church, at Clementsport, was consecrated 17 September, 1797, and is one of the oldest surviving churches in Nova Scotia. Its proportions and method of construction are examples of a New England meetinghouse style melded with overtones of classical detail. Prior to the completion of St Edward’s Church in 1795, religious services in the Clements area would have been held in the homes and barns of local settlers. This began to change in 1790 when fifty families of the Clements area petitioned Bishop Charles Inglis, the first Bishop of Nova Scotia, for the construction of a church at Clementsport. Local tradition holds that the land that the church was built on was purchased from Douwe Ditmars for the cost of one peppercorn. The deed dated February 27, 1797, shows that the price was later amended to five shillings. Timber used in the construction was apparently taken from the land cleared to build the church.

In 1894, a new church was built closer to the water in Clementsport to replace St. Edward’s. By this time the original church had fallen into a state of disrepair. Since this new church was also given the name St Edward’s, the original building took on the honourary title of Old St. Edward’s. While consent was given to demolish the old church, this never took place. The community of Clementsport began to restore the old church in 1916. The church is still consecrated and a service is held annually on the third Sunday of August. Old St. Edward’s currently operates as a museum during the summer months.  The pews have brass nameplates showing the names of the original owners.  It was an honor to sit in the very pews once used by my 5th great grandparents.


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