I am a direct descendent of the Dobbs Ferry line and recently have read a number of wrong historical information about the founding of Dobbs Ferry that needs correcting. The following may help set the record straight.
The name Dobbs dates back to 11th century in England. As for America I can date it back as early as the mid seventeenth century specifically with that of Walter Dobbs in New Amsterdam, New York. Walter was a mariner involved with trade at a time when all colonies along the Atlantic Ocean were interested in this activity from Bristol, England to West Caucases. Walter Dobbs and Mary Merritt married and lived on Barren Island, settled on leasehold of 282 acres on Frederick Philipseâ€™s Manor at present Dobbs Ferry, Westchester County New York about 1698. His Brother-in-Law William Merritt and the husband of his wifeâ€™s sister, Edward Meeks, were also Mariners. Walter and Edward Meeks both died in 1689. William Merritt gave up the sea to become a wealthy merchant in New York, was elected Mayor of New York for three terms, 1695-1698 and Vestryman of Trinity Church in 1697. He died in 1708.
Mary Merritt, widow of Walter Dobbs was born in England in 1632 and died on Barren Island in March 1737 at the astonishing age of 104 years 9 month.
The children of record of Walter and Mary Dobbs are:
The Village of Dobbs Ferry derives its name from William Dobbs, who in 1730 established a ferry from Willow Point to Sneden's Landing directly across the river. The family business was taken over by his sixth child, Jeremiah Dobbs, and the area formerly known as Wysquaqua became, through general acceptance, "Dobbs Ferry."
There seems to be a lot of confusion as to the founders of Dobbs Ferry. The above appears to be the most accurate and is part of the historical record. Later this same family had several men who served in the Revolutionary War. One noted is that of Captain William Dobbs who spied for General George Washington and was noted by the General as one of his most capable pilots. Another was Jarvis Dobbs (twin brother of Jeremiah) who served and fort in the battles of Long Island and resided in Flushing, New York.