In my last post, I discussed the founder of the Quaker religion, George Fox of England (1624-1691) and his nephew George Fox of New Jersey (1662-aft. 1721) and his wife Jane Palmer.
This second George Fox and his family emigrated to Hunterdon County where he bought land in 1719, a fairly early date for Hunterdon. George and wife Jane had a son George Fox, born January 1700 in Hornungold, Leicestershire, England. They also had a daughter Mary, born about 1702, who is thought to have married Roger Wolverton, son of the emigrant Charles Wolverton and Mary Chapman.
Marriage of Roger Wolverton and Mary Fox
If there is a record of this marriage, I haven’t found it online. Perhaps it can be found in a recent book, The Wolverton Family 1693-1850 by David MacDonald and Nancy N. McAdams. There is some circumstantial evidence, but not much to go on.
1) Roger’s father Charles Wolverton sold land in Amwell/Kingwood to Mary’s father George Fox in 1719.
2) Roger’s will dated 24 Feb 1747, Hopewell, was witnessed by Mary Fox.
3) Many family trees state that Roger married Mary Fox, but they never give proof.
There is another school of thought regarding this marriage, claiming that the maiden name of Roger’s wife was Milburn or Milbourn, not Fox. But once again, I found no record of this marriage. Instead, more circumstantial evidence:
1) On Feb 19, 1741, Administration of the estate of Andrew Milbourn of Hopewell was granted to his widow Sarah. Her surety was Roger Wolverton of Hopewell, tailor; witnessed by Archibald Horne and John Clark. On May 15th, Rogert Wolverton and Andrew Smith made the inventory of Andrew Milbourn dec’d. Andrew Milbourn did have a daughter named Mary.
2) On Feb 24, 1747, Roger Wolverton of Hopewell wrote his will, which was witnessed by Mary Fox, Mary Fowler, Timothy Milburn, and Andrew Smith. Timothy Milburn seems not to have been a son of Andrew, but I really don’t know who he was.
Let’s complicate things a little more. Going back to the family of Charles Wolverton and Mary Chadwick (Roger’s parents), they had a daughter Mary, born March 11, 1702 in Burlington County [from the Wolverton Bible], about whom no one seems to have any information. She could have died as a child—that was certainly common enough. But all the other children of Charles and Mary lived well into adulthood, so I think she probably did too.
And it just so happens that she is exactly the right age to be the Mary who married George Fox, the brother of the Mary Fox who might have married Roger Wolverton. And this Mary Wolverton Fox could well have been the Mary Fox who witnessed the will of Roger Wolverton in 1747. Marriages of siblings were not uncommon in the 18th century. So, this seems logical, but with genealogy, as with lawsuits, it’s not much use unless it can be proved.
This is where us poor frazzled genealogists start wailing and gnashing our teeth, hoping that these people spent a little time in purgatory for the sin of not recording their marriages or writing their wills.
George Fox of Hunterdon County
All of this is leading up to the man who settled in Delaware Township north of Rosemont. I am fairly convinced that he was the nephew of George Fox the Quaker founder, who settled here with his son George and daughter Mary. I also suspect that he himself was not a Quaker. He does not appear in the Hindshaw book (see Sources) nor in the records of the Kingwood Friends.
There is no record of the death of George Fox Sr. or his wife Jane Palmer. It was probably not long after moving to Amwell (later Delaware) Township. His son George Fox Jr. (as I will call him in this post) must have taken over the estate. According to John Lequear, in 1727 George Fox sold 284 acres in Amwell to Thomas Canby of Bucks County [Traditions of Hunterdon, pg 52]. But it must have been later than that. In 1729, a petition was made to the county freeholders for a new road to run from the northern border of Amwell township to Daniel Howell’s in Stockton. The petition showed that Fox bordered this proposed road [Special Deeds 1-028]. There is reason to think the sale might have taken place after 1733, since Fox shows up in mortgages of that year bordering Dennis Wolverton on the northwest corner of Rosemont. (I have not been to Trenton to look for a deed from Fox to Canby.)
We know that George Fox was living in Amwell in 1730, because that year he was chosen to be a Surveyor of Roads for that township [Snell pg 346]. For a look at the whereabouts of the Fox plantation near Rosemont, see the map in the previous post.
More information on where George Fox Jr. lived comes from an advertisement dated Dec. 28, 1733, published in the American Weekly Mercury (Jan. 15-22, 1734), by George Mason of Philadelphia for land he wished to sell, including a tract of 500 acres of “very good Land lying near to Thomas Wollverton’s [sic] and George Fox’s above the Falls [Trenton], Whitekelock [sic] Creek running through it” [NJ Archives, News Extracts, Vol. 1 pg 332]. The spelling of Wickecheoke Creek is one of the most unusual of many odd spellings for this creek in the 18th century. There is very little known of Thomas Wolverton, so that does not help us locate this property.
Next post: George Fox and Rosemont Cemetery