In my last post, I described a genealogical journey following my ancestors from my home in New Jersey through New York State into Michigan where I was born. That was the route taken by my grandfather’s ancestors. On the return trip home, I followed part of the journey taken by my grandmother’s ancestors.
Amwell Township was created in 1708, in an area north of Burlington County. It did not belong to a county until 1714 when Hunterdon County was created. It contained Raritan, Delaware and East & West Amwell Townships until 1838 when Delaware and Raritan were created. In 1844, what was left of Amwell was divided into East and West. The Flemington, Lambertville and the Borough of Stockton also originated in Amwell Township.
A Genealogical Journey
Many descendants of the early settlers of old Amwell Township in Hunterdon County remained in Amwell. But many others chose to move on, always looking for new land to start afresh. Such is the case with my ancestors, who made the journey from Amwell to northwest New Jersey, then on into New York State, ending up in Michigan. Both grandparents on my father’s side came from families who made that journey, the Goodspeeds through New York State, and the Rankins through Ohio.
Because there has been some confusion about exactly where Sen. John Lambert lived, I have spent the past two articles determining that his farm was located on Seabrook Road and not on Lambertville-Headquarters Road, as some have thought. The confusion was caused by the fact that both farms were owned at one time by men named John Lambert and Gershom Lambert.
There are two farms in southern Delaware Township that are particularly interesting. They were part of the old Dimsdale proprietary tract north of Lambertville until 1750, when John Lambert, a recent immigrant from Connecticut, purchased it.
There is a small church in Delaware Township with a very long history. It is known as the Amwell Church of the Brethren, sometimes called the Dunkard Church for its practice of adult baptism. It seems to be a sort of outlier, quite different from the major religious groups who first appeared in Hunterdon County. Those were Quaker, Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican (Episcopalian), Lutheran, Methodist, German Calvinist, and Dutch Reformed. They all had congregations throughout the county and hundreds of worshippers. But the Brethren church didn’t even have a church building until 1811, and never grew to any great size, despite two spin-off churches. And yet, it has endured for 283 years. Although that is a long time, there are eight church in Hunterdon County that were founded before 1733. They are:
Camp Ground of the Glorious Old Continental Army in 1777
by Jonathan M. Hoppock
originally published in the Democrat-Advertiser, Oct. 10, 1901
From the photograph and from Hoppock’s description, it appears that this “campground” was located along Route 523 near Sand Brook.
Here are two versions of the history of the Amwell Church of the Brethren in Hunterdon County. The first was written by Jonathan M. Hoppock and published in the Democrat-Advertiser on October 17, 1901. Short and sweet. The second one, a little bit longer, was written by Egbert T. Bush and published in the Hunterdon County Democrat on March 26, 1931. Mr. Bush’s ‘history’ is truncated, and as he put it— “it is not the intent to give here anything more than the merest sketch of church history, an indispensable part in any sketch of the community.” He was always more interested in the members of a community than institutional histories, and so he spends more time on those who were buried in the three cemeteries associated with the church members.
I have written a few articles recently concerning the neighborhood of Bowne Station (“The Daybooks of Dr. Bowne,” “The Bowne Homestead,” “Bowne Station” and “The Bosenbury and Taylor Graveyards”), and have frequently come across references to the first settlers in that area, one Jacob Moore and his wife, Apolonia Amy Moret. Just when I thought I had published all articles by Egbert T. Bush and Jonathan M. Hoppock pertaining to the early history of the Moore family in Amwell, another one turned up. Actually, two articles, “Old Farms in Old Hunterdon” and “Farewell Relic of Another Age.”
This article by Egbert T. Bush answers some questions about the Bowne farm that were raised in the previous post, “Dr. Bowne’s Homestead.“1 Lora Olsen had pointed out that there were two houses on the property, one quite old, and one built in the mid 19th century. But it turns out there was a third house—one built for the slaves that lived on the farm.
This article is meant as a companion to the article by Egbert T. Bush, “The Daybooks of Dr. Bowne.” In this article, Mr. Hoppock goes on at some length about the first owner of the Bowne farm being Jacob Moore. Unfortunately, he was mistaken. As Mr. Bush wrote, Jacob Moore settled on what later became known as the Wagner farm (at Haines and Wagner Roads). The Bowne farm was first settled by Peter Moore, but Mr. Bush does not say when he settled there. It was certainly early, because Peter Moore’s executors (his three sons) sold the farm to Dr. Bowne in 1795.