My previous article discussed the evolution of political parties in the early 1850s, both nationally and in Hunterdon County. The Democratic party was still going strong, while the Whig party was fading away and two new parties had come on the scene: the Republican party and the American party, better known as the Know Nothings.
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Hunterdon County Politics in the 1850s
I am going to step away briefly from the life of John C. Hopewell to shed some light on a political movement that Hopewell and many other Flemington notables got caught up in.
The second generation of this Lair Family tree came to New Jersey came from Germany in the mid-18th century, after the death of the patriarch in Lyons, France. The widow and her sons came to Hunterdon County in 1757, but settled in different places, one in the northern county and the other in the southern. The name is usually spelled Lair, but sometimes as Lare.
The Myers family from Germany was prominent in old Amwell Township, Hunterdon County for several generations. But people were not careful about how they spelled the name. It could be Myers, Myres, Mires, Meyers or anything else they could think of.
One never knows when an article by Egbert T. Bush might come in handy. In this case, it turns out to be very handy for the research I am doing on Flemington in the 19th century.
The Barber Cemetery, located on Lambertville-Headquarters Road in Delaware Township, Hunterdon County, NJ, is one of the oldest cemeteries in the county. It is located on a two-acre plot and contains upwards of 516 burials, beginning as early as the 1740s.
Thanks to the efforts of Gen. Daniel Bray of Kingwood Township to collect the boats that Washington needed to get his army across the Delaware River before the British caught up with them, the surname Bray has a certain caché in Hunterdon County. But the family traces back much further, to a Rev. Jonathan Bray of Middletown, Monmouth County, who arrived from England in 1686.
The Hoaglands (Hooglandts) came to New Netherland in the early to mid 1600s, along with the rest of the settlers of this Dutch colony. As so often happened, their children or grandchildren preferred to settled in the wilderness rather than the established colony, which is how Jan & Jacobe Hoagland came to Hunterdon County.
The Opdycke family emigrated to America from Holland in the 17th century, settling at Gravesend in Kings County, New York. They certainly prospered in their new home and multiplied extensively. Consequently, there are many many Opdycke descendants, and also an extensive published genealogy. Because it is such a large family, I have not been able to research it as thoroughly as some others.
The Thatcher Family was prominent in both Amwell and Kingwood Townships in the 18th century. They were also very prolific! They keep showing up in other family trees, so published the Thatchers is really way overdue. And you will see that this tree just goes on and on!
As is my usual practice, children of daughters are listed but not grandchildren. Surnames of spouses whose family trees have been published here are highlighted in green. Any additions or corrections are welcome, either in the comments section below or by email.