Long Island's Prominent Families:
Their Estates and Their Country Homes

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North Shore Volume I
Introduction and
Surnames A-M
560 pages
ISBN 1-58939-785-1

North Shore Volume II
Surnames N-Z and Appendices
637 pages
ISBN 1-58939-964-1-x

South Shore
Towns of Babylon and Islip
402 pages
ISBN 978-1-58939-964-8

Long Island's Prominent Families in the Town of Southampton
547 pages
ISBN 978-1-60264-680-3

Long Island's Prominent Families in the Town of Hempstead
611 pages
ISBN 978-1-60264-681-3

  Books are each 8.25 x 11 inches  

Reviews of Long Island's Prominent North Shore Families

. . . a goldmine of information . . . a magisterial reference work, that should be in the collections of every library. . . with its many twists and turns, [these books are] also fun and fascinating to read. The maiden name index was an unexpected delight, which will have great appeal to genealogists, historians, and authors tracing the webs of Gold Coast family connections and relations. These volumes, together with the book in preparation by the Spinzias on the South Shore Gold Coast, are sure to become long-needed standard reference books on the subject."

– Mark H. Rothenberg, Senior Reference Specialist and Historian,
Suffolk Cooperative Library System and Patchogue – Medford Library,
Patchogue, NY

Meticulously researched over the course of the last ten years, the recently released Long Island’s Prominent North Shore Families: Their Estates and Their Country Homes is a must-have resource for anyone interested in the era of the great estates. This two-volume set neatly fills a void which had existed in the available source material, namely the inter-relationships that existed among the families that owned these estates.

– Thomas A. Kuehhas, Director,
Oyster Bay Historical Society, Oyster Bay, NY

". . . No other source book provides such well researched and detailed information about the people and the estates that populated the North Shore of Long Island . . . "

– Myrna Sloam, Archivist, The Bryant Library,
Roslyn, NY

. . . an incredible amount of data . . . These books are an excellent reference work and the Spinzias are to be congratulated for their significant contribution to Long Island's historical record."

– Dr. Natalie A. Naylor,
professor emerita, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY;
director emerita, Long Island Studies Institute, Hofstra University;
president, Nassau County Historical;
president, Long Island Studies Council
editor, Nassau County Historical Society Journal
Hempstead, NY

Description of North Shore Volumes:
The Spinzias' two volume comprehensive analysis of the North Shore families documents 1,574 estate owners in a modified "Who's Who" biographical format. Included are 577 photographs of the estates, biographical data on the estate owners and their families, location of estates using current street references and village designations, estate names, acreage, architects, architectural styles, dates of construction, landscape architects, subsequent owners, location of archival photographs of the estates, and information as to whether mansions are still extant and, if not, the dates of demolition.

Cross-referenced in the second-section appendices are estate names, village locations of estates, as well as architectural and landscape commissions. The civic activity and occupation appendices document the contribution of Long Islanders, including statesmen, intelligence agents, financiers, writers, and inventors. Maiden names, rehabilitative secondary uses of estates including golf courses which were formerly private estates, motion pictures filmed at estate sites, a general bibliography of the "Gilded Age," and a bibliography specific to individual estate owners, with the location of personal papers, have also been included.

Review of Long Island's Prominent South Shore Families

"...thoroughly researched... this is much more than a picture book. It reflects hours of painstaking research and meticulous attention to detail... The authors have earned their reputations as authorities on the history of the Island. ...the present work is every bit as worthy as their well received story about the North Shore."

-Charles F. Howlett, Malloy College,
Rockville Centre, NY

Description of Babylon / Islip Volume:
Long Island's South Shore Gold Coast was a closely knit, but ethnically and religiously diverse, community that developed decades before the better known North Shore Gold Coast. This companion book to the Spinzias' two-volume work about Long Island's North Shore estates documents 456 of these Long Island South Shore estate owners in the same modified "Who's Who" biographical format as in the North Shore volumes. Included are the same extensive arrangement of appendices as found in the North Shore volume and 290 photographs of South Shore estates.

Description of Southampton Volume:
The Town of Southampton, with its influx of celebrity residents, bears little resemblance to the society estate area of the late 1800s and early 1900s.  The older homes that survived the ravages of the 1938 hurricane, now often screened from prying eyes by high, protective hedgerows, give a glimpse of what was a glamorous and very different summer playground.

This fourth volume in the Long Island’s Prominent Families series is the only comprehensive single source of information about the estates and the families who owned these estates in the Town of Southampton.  It documents 560 estate owners, includes 372 photographs of the estates, and has the same extensive appendices as previous volumes in the series.  Biographical information about the estate owners continues to be presented in a modified “Who’s Who” format.  A new feature is inclusion of the cross-referencing of family members to all other volumes in the series.

Description of Hempstead Volume:
The estate areas in the Town of Hempstead have, for the most part, faded into history.  In many instances, the mansions that have survived in the Five Towns area are situated on smaller pieces of property and have had their architectural integrity compromised by subsequent owners.  What remains virtually untouched is what Garden City residents refer to as the original estate area, located in the central section of their village.  Unfortunately, the estate areas in the villages of Hempstead, East Meadow, Uniondale, and Salisbury are forever gone.

This fifth volume in the Long Island’s Prominent Families series follows the same modified “Who’s Who” biographical format and incorporates extensive appendices as found in other volumes in this series.  Like its Southampton counterpart it includes cross-referencing to family members in all other volumes.  Documented are 758 Town of Hempstead families with 355 photographs of their homes.


About the Authors:
Judith and Raymond Spinzia are former Long Island residents, now residing in central Pennsylvania. Their first book, Long Island: A Guide to New York's Suffolk and Nassau Counties (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1988; 1991; 2009 (revised), is a standard reference book which has been used as a textbook for teaching Long Island history and can be found in almost all public libraries and schools on Long Island. The Spinzias write and speak, jointly and separately, on a variety of Long Island-related subjects including the North and South Shore estates, Tiffany stained-glass windows, and the Vanderbilts of Long Island. On several occasions their lectures have been chosen by the former radio station of The New York Times, WQXR, as the cultural event of the day in the New York Metropolitan area. Additionally, they have been featured on local television and radio programs and in articles published by The New York Times, Newsday, and other regional newspapers.

The Spinzias served as Long Island history consultants for a local cable television channel that, in an effort to encourage local interest, aired material from their guidebook twice daily.

They also were consultants for a Japanese television network for a documentary on Louis Comfort Tiffany and contributed material to the Arts and Entertainment Network's "Biography" series for its presentations on the Vanderbilt and Tiffany families.