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.
Amwell Township was created in 1708, in an area north of Burlington County. It did not belong to a county until 1714 when Hunterdon County was created. It contained Raritan, Delaware and East & West Amwell Townships until 1838 when Delaware and Raritan were created. In 1844, what was left of Amwell was divided into East and West. The Flemington, Lambertville and the Borough of Stockton also originated in Amwell Township.
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.
In my last post, I described a genealogical journey following my ancestors from my home in New Jersey through New York State into Michigan where I was born. That was the route taken by my grandfather’s ancestors. On the return trip home, I followed part of the journey taken by my grandmother’s ancestors.
A Genealogical Journey
Many descendants of the early settlers of old Amwell Township in Hunterdon County remained in Amwell. But many others chose to move on, always looking for new land to start afresh. Such is the case with my ancestors, who made the journey from Amwell to northwest New Jersey, then on into New York State, ending up in Michigan. Both grandparents on my father’s side came from families who made that journey, the Goodspeeds through New York State, and the Rankins through Ohio.
Because there has been some confusion about exactly where Sen. John Lambert lived, I have spent the past two articles determining that his farm was located on Seabrook Road and not on Lambertville-Headquarters Road, as some have thought. The confusion was caused by the fact that both farms were owned at one time by men named John Lambert and Gershom Lambert.
There are two farms in southern Delaware Township that are particularly interesting. They were part of the old Dimsdale proprietary tract north of Lambertville until 1750, when John Lambert, a recent immigrant from Connecticut, purchased it.
There is a small church in Delaware Township with a very long history. It is known as the Amwell Church of the Brethren, sometimes called the Dunkard Church for its practice of adult baptism. It seems to be a sort of outlier, quite different from the major religious groups who first appeared in Hunterdon County. Those were Quaker, Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican (Episcopalian), Lutheran, Methodist, German Calvinist, and Dutch Reformed. They all had congregations throughout the county and hundreds of worshippers. But the Brethren church didn’t even have a church building until 1811, and never grew to any great size, despite two spin-off churches. And yet, it has endured for 283 years. Although that is a long time, there are eight church in Hunterdon County that were founded before 1733. They are:
Camp Ground of the Glorious Old Continental Army in 1777
by Jonathan M. Hoppock
originally published in the Democrat-Advertiser, Oct. 10, 1901
From the photograph and from Hoppock’s description, it appears that this “campground” was located along Route 523 near Sand Brook.
Here are two versions of the history of the Amwell Church of the Brethren in Hunterdon County. The first was written by Jonathan M. Hoppock and published in the Democrat-Advertiser on October 17, 1901. Short and sweet. The second one, a little bit longer, was written by Egbert T. Bush and published in the Hunterdon County Democrat on March 26, 1931. Mr. Bush’s ‘history’ is truncated, and as he put it— “it is not the intent to give here anything more than the merest sketch of church history, an indispensable part in any sketch of the community.” He was always more interested in the members of a community than institutional histories, and so he spends more time on those who were buried in the three cemeteries associated with the church members.