Hempstead is a village located in the town of Hempstead, Nassau County, NY. In the spring of 1644, thirty to forty families left Stamford, Connecticut, crossed Long Island Sound, landed in Hempstead Harbor and eventually made their way to the present site of the village of Hempstead where they began their English settlement within Dutch-controlled New Netherland. During the American Revolution, Hempstead was a center of British sympathizers. In the 19th century Hempstead became increasingly important as a trading center for Long Island. Early Long Islanders made their living in agriculture or from the sea. Hempstead, with its central location, became the marketplace for the outlying rural farming communities.