After this article was published, some careful readers alerted me to a few errors which merit attention.
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, The mill once stood just east of the bridge, on a tributary of the Wickecheoke. It was taken down in the 1930s, but before that happened, it was well-photographed, and the pictures were frequently used in postcards. Shown above is just one of the many views of the old mill.
The Martin Family History, vol. 1, Hugh Martin (1698-1761), Hunterdon County, NJ
by Francie Lane, 2014, in four volumes
This genealogy covers the family of Alexander Martin of Scotland or Northern Ireland, born about 1670, who emigrated to America with his second wife and his eight children. Each of these children gets a chapter describing their families based on Ms. Lane’s extensive research. There is one extra chapter on Rev. Thomas Martin, son of Hugh, grandson of Alexander. Since so many members of this family lived in Hunterdon County, the index includes a list all the towns in Hunterdon that were mentioned, a feature I appreciate.
Like many others, Ms. Lane was frustrated by the lack of a good genealogy about her ancestors, so she remedied the omission by writing her own. Considering how important the Martin family is to Hunterdon’s history, it’s a good thing she did. The second volume will also be of interest to Hunterdon researchers. It covers descendants of Col. James Martin (1742-1834) and Martha Martin Rogers (1744-1825), children of Hugh Martin.
Copies of all four volumes may be obtained at the website www.lulu.com. Type “Francie Lane” in the search box. A fifth volume is in the works.
For three years John P. Rittenhouse owned my small farm in Delaware Township, although he never lived there. As I started to research his life I discovered that, among other things, he was a Hunterdon Co. Sheriff, managed a restaurant at the Union Hotel, and then ran the hotel in Ringoes. He had an interesting life.
In 1859 he sold my farm to Edmund Perry, a successful politician, but a failure as an investor. I published the beginning of Rittenhouse’s story in the previous post, ending with a situation in which Rittenhouse, acting as deputy sheriff, had to take possession of the very farm he had previously sold to his political ally, Edmund Perry, and sell it to the highest bidder. Awkward.
Recently I gave a talk at the Hunterdon Co. Historical Society on how to research the history of one’s house. While preparing for the talk, I decided to look over the history I did for my own house back in 1981. It was the first one I had ever done, and I hadn’t a clue about how to go about it. I found most of the owners of my home, but some of them were absentee owners, so I didn’t pay much attention to them. On reviewing my chain of title, I got curious about one of those absentee owners, and began to do some more serious research. It paid off with a pretty interesting story.
Following the election of 1836, things got really interesting—so much so that I have devoted this post to only one year—1837.
The following is a report, written for the Hunterdon Republican newspaper, on the record-breaking blizzard of 1888. I have taken it from transcriptions of the Republican published by William Hartman (available from the Hunterdon Co. Historical Society). A timely article for the blizzard of March 13-14, 2017, winter’s parting shot.
Thanks to the controversial election of 2016 and recent developments in Washington, people are paying a lot more attention to the news, and coming to appreciate the importance of a free press. This got me thinking about newspapers in Hunterdon County.