After this article was published, some careful readers alerted me to a few errors which merit attention.
SERGEANT. This family is important to the history of Delaware Township. But researching the earliest members of this family has been very difficult. They may have been from Germany, but they might also have come from the English family that settled in Massachusetts.
In a recent post on the life of John P. Rittenhouse, I mentioned that his parents, Samuel & Hannah Rittenhouse, lived near the covered bridge in Delaware Township. This reminded me of the interesting article written by Egbert T. Bush about the history of the area around Sergeant’s Mill, The mill once stood just east of the bridge, on a tributary of the Wickecheoke. It was taken down in the 1930s, but before that happened, it was well-photographed, and the pictures were frequently used in postcards. Shown above is just one of the many views of the old mill.
Pine Hill Cemetery is one of the most interesting of the old family burial grounds in Hunterdon County. I have written about it before, in an article that listed the known graves with some biographical information. But I had just scratched the surface; there is so much more to be said.
The Pauch farm, continued. The previous article was Joseph Sergeant and Jane Quick.
One item in Charles Sergeant’s will of 1833 is of particular interest to us. It concerned a farm of 130 acres which he had bought from Joseph Sergeant, and which was occupied at that time by Jonathan Rittenhouse. Sergeant ordered that it be sold and the profits divided among his heirs. This was the old Richard Green farm which Charles Sergeant had kept after buying it back from his brother Joseph in 1818. After Joseph Sergeant left the premises, Charles Sergeant rented the farm to a tenant—Jonathan Rittenhouse. Continue reading »
This is the next article in my series on the history of the Pauch farm in Delaware Township. In the previous post,1 Charles Sergeant had sold the old Richard Green farm to John R. Opdycke in 1805, and moved to the farm owned by Opdycke’s father, Samuel Opdycke. John Opdycke had no need for the Green farm. He had married in 1803 and was living in Kingwood on land that came from his wife’s family. Why did Opdycke make this swap? I suspect he wanted to close out his father’s estate, and this was one way to do it. Or, perhaps Sergeant knew how eager Opdycke was to settle matters and proposed a swap instead of an outright purchase.
Turns out even the family could not agree.
I’ve been baffled by the genealogy of this family, finding it impossible to be certain about their origins. In the process of researching the next chapter in the history of the Pauch farm, I came upon two conflicting sources for this question.
This article is a continuation of the history of the Pauch Farm in Delaware Township, first owned by Richard Bull in 1702, then by Samuel Green, then by Green’s son Richard, and now Richard’s granddaughter Sarah and her husband Charles Sergeant in 1794. Ninety-two years in the same family, and counting.
Charles Sergeant was born in 1760 to Joseph Sergeant and (probably) Mary/Marie Loman. According to local historian Jonathan M. Hoppock, Sergeant went to war in 1776 when he was only 15.1 Hoppock wrote that Sergeant “responded to his country’s call” and signed up with the Amwell militia.
He “was with the army of Washington during the entire struggle, suffering the hardships of the bare-footed march through his native State during the Winter of ’76; the starving and misery incident to the encampment at Valley Forge; participating in the numerous engagements, but living to see the close of the war at Yorktown in ’81 . . . Many incidents relative to this grand old war were remembered and told by the old hero on his return, the recital of which would fill too much space in this sketch. Notably among them were conversations held at different times with General Daniel Morgan.”
by Jonathan M. Hoppock
published in the Democrat-Advertiser, July 20, 1905
This article is a follow up to the one published in 1901 titled “Sergeant Mansion and Mill, 1745.” Some of the information in this article was taken directly from the earlier one. Perhaps Mr. Hoppock figured no one would remember what he had written before. I am publishing these articles on the website because there are errors and this is a good way to make note of them.
by Jonathan M. Hoppock
published in the Democrat Advertiser, December 5, 1901
This interesting old property deserves a much longer treatment than Mr. Hoppock was able to give. He did return to this subject when he published “The Old Sergeant Mill” on July 20, 1905. However, that article was focused on the mill, rather than the house—the mill was located just north of the house, but has since been torn down. The most remarkable thing about the house is that it has been in the same family since Charles Sergeant and wife Sarah Green took possession in 1805, over 200 years.1
In 2009, I published an article about this interesting cemetery on the website The Delaware Township Post. This coming June, this cemetery will be the focus of a celebration; most of the original Williamson farm has been purchased from Bryce Thompson by the N. J. Conservation Foundation in partnership with the State of New Jersey, Hunterdon County and Delaware Township. The cemetery is part of this new addition to preserved lands in our town. I am delighted! Here is the article: Continue reading »