Not long ago, Dennis Bertland inquired about an old house that might have been located on the William Rittenhouse tract that I recently wrote about (“The Rittenhouse Tavern.” Dennis’ inquiry can be found in the comments section.) It is located in a blank space on the Hammond Map between the Wickecheoke Creek and Shoppons Run. Who did that space belong to?
Except for articles relating to early West New Jersey, nearly all my posts concern the people who lived in Hunterdon County, which was created in March 1714.
In a previous article, I told the story of Martin Kaffitz and his wife Hattie W. Fritts. Kaffitz was employed for many years by William Crater who ran the blacksmith shop in Glen Gardner, Hunterdon County. I learned about the life of Martin Kaffitz from the many entries about him in the Hunterdon Republican newspaper. That paper was equally informative about William Crater, although Crater led a very different sort of life.
or The Misuse of Genealogy
On May 29th, my son, Carl Zimmer, published a book titled She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions and Potential of Heredity. This is a book that all genealogists and geneticists will love. (I’m not biased at all!) And there is a special reason for New Jersey genealogists to love it.
In his chapter concerning Mendelian eugenics, Carl wrote about Henry Goddard of the Vineland Training School in south Jersey, and his study of one particular family that proved to him that feeble-mindedness and “moral degeneracy” were inherited. A member of that family was institutionalized at the school, which was established to care for “mentally-defective” children.
We are getting some warmer days this weekend, and they are welcome after the very cold weather we’ve had lately. But cold as it was, it was nothing compared to the Blizzard of 1888, apparently the most intense weather ever experienced in Hunterdon County history. There are many stories and photographs depicting it, including this letter by Egbert T. Bush describing how he tried to defy it.
For anyone traveling north on Route 579 from the village of Ringoes in East Amwell, Hunterdon County, there is a landmark that will surely catch your eye, standing opposite the old Bel-Del railroad station. It is a three-story house that was once a showplace but has been deteriorating for at least 25 years. People like me who have been watching it all this time marvel that it is still standing.
Sometimes in my researches on Hunterdon people of the past, odd things turn up. Something very odd turned up when I came across Cornelius H. Barber, who lived from 1804 to 1884. I had been asked about the Prall tanyard, which was located a short distance south of Sergeantsville in the early 1800s, and discovered that Barber had briefly been an owner.
So let me tell you a little about Cornelius Hoppock Barber before describing the odd thing I found.
My previous article discussed the Bearder family and the home of Andrew Bearder, Sr. on the Locktown Flemington Road. Just east of this farm was another tract that Bearder shared with his son Jacob, but whose ownership goes back much further.
Andrew Bearder, Sr.’s homestead farm was part of Jacob Snyder’s plantation. But the farm next to it on the east was part of the 700 acres first sold by the Haddons to Daniel Robins. (For background on the Haddons, see The Haddon Tract, part one.)
This is part two of a series on some of the properties created in the Haddon Tract of Amwell Township, Hunterdon County.
Jacob Peter Sniter and Nicholas Sayn jointly purchased 1300 acres in Amwell Township from Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh in 1748. The two men sold off several lots and then divided the land remaining between them. Part One dealt with Nicholas Sayn/Sine, who acquired the southern half. This article deals with Jacob Peter Sniter who got the northern half.
I have recently finished reading a book titled Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh, 1680-1762, Building the Quaker Community of Haddonfield, New Jersey, 1701-1762, by Jeffery M. Dorwart and Elizabeth A. Lyons.
It is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the life of one of West New Jersey’s early settlers—a young woman who came to the Province on her own in 1701.