Correction to “The Fifth George Fox” (1753-1815)
While my computer was in the shop (I do not recommend spilling a glass of water on your keyboard), Kay Larson pointed out an egregious error in this article (she was the one who thought Edward was precocious). Now that I have my computer back, I can finally make the correction.
I stated that Edward Fox was born in 1782, and – get this – married in 1778 his wife Dinah who was born in 1758. Where did I get this curious information from? For starters, George Fox (v) named a son Edward in his will of 1815. Secondly, Edward and Dinah Fox were buried in the Rosemont Cemetery. This is what I had in my notes from Rosemont Cemetery:
Edward Fox, 1816 age 34
Dinah Fox, 1818 age 60
My mistake was Edward’s age. When I double-checked I found that the stone said he was 64 when he died, not 34. If he was 64 in 1816, then he was born about 1752, not 1782. Therefore, he cannot be the son of George Fox (v) and Elizabeth Shearman. He was nearly the same age as George Fox (v). George Fox (v) did have a son Edward, who must have been born around 1780-1785. He was executor of his father’s estate, along with John Burket, and his name appeared in a suit against the estate in 1815. But he is not the Edward Fox that is buried in the Rosemont Cemetery.
I made a visit to the cemetery to make sure I had it right this time. As you can see, the stone appears to say: “In Memory of Edmard Fox who departed this life May 26, A.D. 1816 Aged 64 years 2 months and 24 days.” Next to him is Dinah’s stone. So—what was his name? It looks as if the stonecutter was confused, replacing a W with an M.
Who was ‘Edmard’ Fox? I do not know. He could not have been the son of George Fox (iv) who died in 1760 because that George named in his will only Charles and George as his sons. Perhaps Edward Fox was the son of one of George’s brothers, Absalom, Gabriel or Ambrose. Since I don’t have wills for these men, or bible records, I cannot say who ‘Edmard’ belongs to. Perhaps the answer lies hidden in one of their deeds.
In 1829, Edward and his brother Absalom were sued by John and Rachel Bailey (who are buried in the Rosemont Cemetery, near the mysterious Edmard Fox). I do not know what the issue was, but it was probably a debt of some kind that was not paid. The notice in the Hunterdon Gazette of April 29, 1829 stated that Absalom Fox had moved away to the State of New York. Things got worse in 1830, when the court ordered a sheriff’s sale to be held at the house of George Opdycke, innkeeper of Kingwood, of the rights of Charles Fox in a 120-acre farm that bordered George Opdycke and Peter Fox. The farm was identified as the home of Edward Fox, and was the farm bequeathed by his father, George Fox (v) to sons Edward and Absalom. The lawsuit against Charles Fox had been brought by Daniel La Tourette. A search of court papers and deeds would give us more information.
Finally, the Gazette reported the death of “Edward Fox, Esq.” of Kingwood on May 25, 1846. It is always the case that whenever a new piece of information comes along, it raises new questions. How did Edward Fox become an Esquire? If he was so esteemed, might he not have an estate in the Surrogate’s Court? Unfortunately, I can’t pursue these questions now; I’ve got too many other subjects to write about.
Note: In cases like this, my practice will be to write a post recognizing the Sharp Reader (thank you, Kay) who caught one of my goofs; then amend the original post with correct information; and (following the practice of the New York Times) make a note at the bottom that the original was amended.