Shortly after publishing last week’s article, the Heaths of Locktown, David Sherman sent me four very interesting documents from his collection of Heath & Sherman memorabilia. They shed new light on the lives of Edward M. Heath and his son Robert, as well as their friend Lester B. Sherman, and his wife Fayetta Reep’s family.
In my article, The Heaths of Locktown, I have described family of the original Heath immigrant to settle in West New Jersey, here designated as First Generation. That should serve as an introduction to this tree. Shortly after first publishing this tree, I heard from a Fox descendant who had some suggestions and corrections. As a result, the tree has already been updated.
Recently there has been much discussion on the Facebook page “Historical Kingwood Township” about the history of Baptistown. So, it seems appropriate now to publish this article by Egbert T. Bush with his memories of the ancient village.
Concerning the history of one of Hunterdon’s Earliest Families
This article is a continuation of the history of the Cook Proprietary Tract,1 The previous articles dealt with the northern half of the tract. It is time to turn our attention to the southern portion, half of which came into the possession of the Rounsavell family at a very early date, and remained in the family for many years thereafter. The other half was acquired by John Young, and after his death was conveyed to John Hice in 1789. The Young and Hice families will have to wait for another time.
Not long ago I published some articles about properties located in what was once known as The Haddon Tract (The Haddon Tract, part one). Today’s article by Egbert T. Bush concerns a very large farm located in that tract that I have not yet written about. It was sold by Jacob Sniter and Nicholas Sayn to John Peter Foxe of Amwell, who subsequently sold it to Jost Hoppock in 1749.
When writing about Pine Hill Cemetery recently, the name of John Lewis came up. This reminded me of a wonderful article written by Jonathan M. Hoppock back in 1905 about a mysterious character named Ticnor Lewis who lived not far from Pine Hill. It is one of Mr. Hoppock’s most colorful yarns, and one of his many stories of the early settlers in Amwell Township. This one is based entirely on folklore or family tradition. A bowl-full of salt is highly recommended.
During the Civil War, Republicans called Democrats who opposed the war “Copperheads,” likening them to poisonous snakes. Many of these “Copperheads” could be found in Northern States like New Jersey, and in Hunterdon County.
Back in February, I published an article on the cemetery connected with the Locktown Baptist church. Previously I have written about the Baptist congregation here as well as the Locktown Christian Church and its Cemetery. It seems appropriate now to include Mr. Bush’s own history of this neighborhood, which was published in the Hunterdon Democrat, on May 22, 1930. Along with the churches, Mr. Bush discusses the school house, the distillery and the Locktown Hotel, which began its life as a humble tavern, and also some of the old families, like the Chamberlins, Heaths, Lairs, Rittenhouses, Smiths and Suttons. Photographs in this article were provided by Paul Kurzenberger.
There has been a Baptist Church in Locktown since the early 19th century, and a cemetery associated with it. The church and the cemetery were located on land belonging to Daniel Rittenhouse, whose home was a short distance west of Locktown on the Kingwood-Locktown Road. Most of the names in this cemetery are of families that lived nearby in Kingwood and Delaware Townships, many of them descendants of original German immigrants. Many of the original stones are now missing, even ones that were inventoried in the 1940s. Old cemeteries are hard to preserve.