Imagine what this peaceful area today was like in the 19th century with a tannery just south of a blacksmith shop—certainly noisy, and probably very smelly. Add a rail line passing through and you would have had a very different environment from today.
In 1922, Hunterdon historian Hiram Deats visited the Rake Cemetery. He found 44 unlettered stones and 25 lettered ones. Those 25 stones were listed in the Hunterdon Historical Newsletter (vol. 3 no. 3, p. 2) and are give here.
The first of the Lake family to arrive in America was John Lake and wife Ann Spicer, who came from Hertfordshire to Gravesend, New York. John Lake died there in 1696, wife Ann died about 1709. I have very little information about this first family. The had 8 children, as seen below, stayed mostly in New York. Son John Lake, Jr. and wife Neeltje came to New Jersey.
In 2009, I wrote several articles concerning the Rake Cemetery in Sandbrook. They were published in the Delaware Township newsletter known as the Post, which is no longer being published. There is a website for the Post where its articles are archived, but it is very hard to use, and some links just don’t work. So, I’ve decided to revise and republish those articles here.
The Sergeant family came to Delaware Township well before the Revolution. Outsiders can easily be identified by the way they pronounce the name—Sar-gent. It’s Sir-gent to those in the know. This is my second published version of the Sergeant tree, thanks to recent research into Raritan Township properties.
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.
The original version of this post, published on March 14, 2015, has been significantly revised because of new information I have received. Most of these revisions concern Jonas Thatcher, Jr. Consider this Chapter One of the History of the Sergeantsville Inn.
As a follow-up to my recent article on the history of the Locktown Christian Church, here is a list of the people known to be buried in the cemetery adjacent to the church.
A visit to this interesting cemetery will quickly reveal that there are many graves here that are unmarked. So it is impossible to know who might be the earliest person buried here. The earliest gravestone is for Charity Alley who died in 1843, although Cornelius Williamson Carrell might have died a couple years before that. Oddly enough, Ms. Alley comes first on the list. The last known grave to be added was for Arthur E. Jungblut in 1999.
Near the center of the village of Locktown stands a 19th-century church and its parsonage, waiting for a new owner. The congregation that has been worshipping in this church for the past 30 years or so is joining with the Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church on Route 202 in Flemington, so the Locktown property must be sold.
This article is a continuation of the history of the Pauch Farm in Delaware Township, first owned by Richard Bull in 1702, then by Samuel Green, then by Green’s son Richard, and now Richard’s granddaughter Sarah and her husband Charles Sergeant in 1794. Ninety-two years in the same family, and counting.