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 Lair family came to America from the palatine region of France and Germany. They may have been French Huguenots. They settled in Hunterdon County in the mid-18th century.
The Lair, Lehr, Lare family of Hunterdon County originated with the immigrants Johannes and Maria Lehr, who originated in Germany or eastern France. They may have been French Huguenot. There is a town of Lehr in Germany in the palatinate between France and Germany. And Lair is a family name from Lyon. The two children of Johannes and Maria that we know of were born there. After the death of Johannes Lair, the family migrated to America, probably encouraged to do so by other German immigrants.
Most of you, my dear readers, know that the famous Rockafellar family had its roots in Amwell Township, Hunterdon County. And we’re all familiar with one particular descendant of this German immigrant family, a man who prospered hugely from the opportunities afforded him in America—the famous John D. Rockafellar. Another descendant, although not a direct ancestor of John D., became the tavernkeeper at Skunktown (now known as Sergeantsville), and I am much more interested in him.
Being part three in a four-part post about an article written by Egbert T. Bush titled “Sergeant’s Mills Once a Prosperous Place” and published in the Hunterdon County Democrat on January 16, 1930.
In a recent post on the life of John P. Rittenhouse, I mentioned that his parents, Samuel & Hannah Rittenhouse, lived near the covered bridge in Delaware Township. This reminded me of the interesting article written by Egbert T. Bush about the history of the area around Sergeant’s Mill.
There are three ways to write about the graves in a cemetery. First, a straight alphabetical list; second, chronologically by when people died, perhaps linked to who owned the cemetery at the time; and third, by the layout of the graves.
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.
Of all the one-room schools in Delaware Township, none seems to have inspired more devoted attachment than the Van Dolah School. The number of graduates was large, and many of them were highly accomplished in later life. It was probably one of the best photographed schools in the county. I have included many of them here.
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.