The first Riker (of Rikers Island fame, of course) arrived in New Amsterdam from Holland in 1638.
His descendent, John Lafayette Riker, was a Civil War colonel in a Union Army volunteer regiment called the Anderson Zouaves.
Riker was killed at the Battle of Fair Oaks in 1862 and buried in Green-Wood Cemetery.
The Blackwells originally owned their namesake island in the East River, which eventually became Roosevelt Island in 1973.
This Blackwell, a slovenly “rich eccentric” according to a Brooklyn genealogy website, now lies in The New York City Marble Cemetery, at Second Street between Second and and First Avenues.
St. Marks in the Bouwerie Church, on Second Avenue and Tenth Street in the East Village, also contains the tombs of prominent 18th and 19th century families.
The Samuel C. Ellis, MD buried here is probably the same Samuel Ellis who lived at One Greenwich Street and sold Little Oyster Island—eventually Ellis Island—to the federal government around 1800.
Tags: Anderson Zouaves, Blackwell's Island, Ellis Island, Ellis Island history, Green-Wood Cemtery, John Lafayette Riker, Prominent old New York families, Rikers Island history, Roosevelt Island history, Samuel C. Ellis, St. Mark's in the Bouwerie Church, The New York City Marble Cemetery, William Drayton Blackwell