This post will continue the saga of the Fox family in Hunterdon. This time the subject is the first child and first daughter of George (iii) and Mary Fox. Her name was Anchor, and she was born about 1728, probably in Kingwood Township.
About 1751, she married a schoolteacher named Uriah Bonham, son of Hezekiah Bonham and (perhaps) Anna Hunt. Judging from her father’s will (dated 27 Apr 1754), Anchor did not have much to bring with her to the marriage. Her father George Fox mentioned his daughters, but not by name, and only left them a share of “the movables” (i.e., personal property). It is interesting that none of Anchor’s children were named George, but perhaps I am reading too much here.
Uriah Bonham was born about 1724 in Maidenhead (now Lawrenceville) NJ. According to John Lequear, Bonham came to the area of Rosemont about 1763. In fact, Uriah and Anchor had their first child in 1752, so Uriah Bonham was present in the neighborhood well before 1763. In fact, he was there as early as 1749 when he witnessed the will of John Ruckman of Kingwood. In 1760 he witnessed a Kingwood deed, and the will of Dennis Reiley. As a literate person, he was often asked to make inventories and witnessed many documents during his lifetime. In fact, he wrote the will of John Ruckman and was paid for it.
Based on the birth of their eldest child, I guess the wedding took place around 1751. But despite the fact that Uriah’s brother Malakiah was pastor of the Kingwood Baptist Church, Uriah’s wedding is not recorded in the Baptist minute book.
Thankfully, Bonham used his writing skills to keep track of some of the family births in a bible (later owned by John and Dinah Sutton), or at least some of them. The children were:
Amos, born May 11, 1752
Dinah, born Feb. 21, 1756
Mary, born about 1758
Hannah, born about 1760
Zedekiah, born Feb. 24, 1762
In 1774, Uriah Bonham made the Inventory of the estate of Joseph Howell dec’d with William Hoagland. Hoagland had mortgaged the Fox property northwest of Rosemont this year, the tract that the elder George Fox had purchased in 1719. Actually, Uriah Bonham and William Hoagland (usually spelled Hoogland) seem to have had a partnership in making inventories in Kingwood. I have found six instances when Bonham and Hoogland made inventories together: 1773 for Thomas Wilson of Kingwood, 1773 for John Woolverton of Amwell, 1774 for Joseph Howell of Amwell, 1774 for Dennis Woolverton of Kingwood, 1783 for Gideon Rowzer of Amwell, 1785 for Thomas Hankinson of Amwell. Uriah Bonham made many inventories with other partners over the years. I count 20 inventories made from 1772 to 1797.
There was only one time when Bonham and Hoogland witnessed a will together; that was in 1790 for Joel Woolverton of Amwell. When it came to witnessing wills, Uriah Bonham was the man to have on hand if you lived in Kingwood Township. Perhaps he was a witness so often because he was called on to write out the wills. I have found 27 instances of his witnessing wills, from 1749 to 1799.
In 1778, Uriah Bonham was taxed in Kingwood on 60 acres, 3 horses, 6 cows, 5 pigs and a single man (his son Amos). By this time, his wife Anchor Fox had died. She died sometime after 1773, the year that her daughter Dinah married John Sutton. The marriage record states that Anchor and Uriah were witnesses.
Daughter Mary was probably married the next year, to James Emmons (c.1740-1810). About 1780, son Amos married Rebecca Rittenhouse (1758-1830), and daughter Hannah married Job Emmons (c.1755-c.1813). (It seems likely that James and Job Emmons were brothers, but I have very little information on the origins of this family. They were not the same family as the Emans of Readington.) Celebrations continued that year with the marriage of Uriah Bonham to his second wife Magdalene, widow of Andrew Heath (c.1720-c.1777) on Aug. 30, 1780.
Despite these festivities, times were difficult. Thanks to the war, rampant inflation had taken hold and Continental currency had become worthless. In an attempt to retire useless paper and to raise taxes to support the Continental army, the state ordered two tax collections in 1780. The valuations of property went through the roof, and so did the amount of taxes. Uriah Bonham was again taxed in Kingwood, but this time as a householder with no horse, no pigs and 3 cows. It is quite possible that some of his livestock had been requisitioned by the army, although I did not find evidence of that in Quartermasters’ accounts.
Bonham was also taxed on a fishery, which was probably a good source of income during these times. But apparently not enough to prevent the loss of his farm of 60 acres. I haven’t checked the deeds, but I do wonder if his farm was sold at a sheriff’s sale to cover his debts. As to the fishery, I do not know the name of it or where it was located. Bonham’s name does not appear in Phyllis D’Autrechy’s book on Hunterdon County Fisheries.
Whatever the case, Bonham managed to reestablish himself after the war, as can be seen by examining his will, written on May 24, 1802. To his wife Magdalene he left the dwelling house, household furnishings and his whole plantation in Kingwood to use during her widowhood (the abstract does not state the acreage). Included with the furnishings were a ten-plate stove, a feather bed, three chairs and a blue chest. After her death, the plantation and his fishery were to be sold and the proceeds divided among his heirs.
A ten-plate stove was a six-plate stove (four sides, top and bottom) plus an extra 4 plates that formed an oven with hinged doors. These stoves came into use around 1760, and were the precursor to the cook stove. This one dates to around 1830 [Photo from AntiqueStoves.com].
To his sons Amos and Zedekiah he left his ‘wearing apparel’ (sounds much nicer than mere clothes). And Amos got an additional £10 from the estate. To each of the daughters of Andrew Heath, his wife’s late husband, he left £30, “it being the money I procured out of their father’s estate for their use when their mother had done with it.” Andrew Heath died intestate in 1777. Uriah Bonham made Heath’s inventory with Daniel Howell. Administration of the estate was granted to the widow Magdalene, and Uriah Bonham was her fellow bondsman (surety for her bond), with John Heath. The daughters of Andrew Heath were Mary Wilson, Elizabeth Hall, Prudence Bonham (wife of Uriah’s son Zedekiah) and Sarah Dilts.
Uriah Bonham left £5 each to his five grandsons: Uriah Sutton, Uriah Emans (Job’s son), Uriah Emans (James’ son), Uriah Bonham (Amos’ son), and Andrew Bonham (Zedikiah’s son). To his five granddaughters, Anchor Sutton, Anchor Emans (Job’s daughter), Anchor Emans (James’ daughter), Anchor Bonham (Amos’ daughter), and Anchor Bonham (Zedikiah’s daughter) he left 50 shillings each; shows where granddaughters stood in the pecking order. All of the Anchors were named long after the death (about 1775) of Anchor Fox Bonham.
You can’t have missed the recurring names of Uriah and Anchor among the grandchildren. Zedekiah also had a son Uriah, but he died at the age of 6 in 1795. The following generation, the great grandchildren, did not favor those names so much, but there was a Uriah Prall (c.1805-?), Uriah Emmons Bird (1816-1874), Anchor Bird (1815-?), and an Anchor Rittenhouse (c.1810-?).
(This is not the only case where the given names of grandparents were used for many grandchildren. In fact, there was one will written that stipulated that a bequest would be left to an unborn grandchild only if it were named after the person writing the will.)
Uriah Bonham named Thomas Lequear of Kingwood the sole Executor. This interests me. Thomas Lequear was forty years younger than Uriah Bonham. His own sons, Amos and Zedekiah were quite old enough to take on the responsibility. Perhaps he found Lequear to be an impartial sort of person.
Witnesses were Richard Heath, Edward “Rettenhouse,” and William Heath. Uriah Bonham died probably in early April 1809 at the age of 86, as the gravestone shows. The inventory was taken on April 13, 1809 by Edward Rettinghouse and Thomas Shearman (total of $241.07), and recorded on May 4th [NJA 2352J].
Uriah Bonham was buried in the Rosemont Cemetery. I am assuming his wife Anchor Fox was buried there too, but apparently her stone is gone. I do not know when Uriah’s second wife Magdalene died, but in 1802 she was about 77 years old. She probably lived out her life on the farm that was left to her during her lifetime.
In trying to determine where Uriah Bonham and Magdalene Heath lived, I noticed that Amos Bonham, his son, sold a small farm of 40 acres to George Fox, according to Fox’s will of 1815. Perhaps that was Uriah Bonham’s farm.
Next Post: the children of Uriah Bonham and Anchor Fox.