This article comes in two parts. Part one describes the life and property of Gershom C. Sergeant, the brother and neighbor of John P. Sergeant who was featured in my last article. Part two describes the owners of the next property along the route of the railroad that was never built—at different times owned by Baptist ministers and a mining company.
I have written quite a bit about Daniel & Mary Robins. They arrived in Amwell Township as early as 1715, making the family among the earliest to physically settle in Hunterdon County. Despite the hardship of raising a family in the wilderness, the Robins succeeded very well. So well, that they got the attention of a newspaper writer.
The Hoaglands (Hooglandts) came to New Netherland in the early to mid 1600s, along with the rest of the settlers of this Dutch colony. As so often happened, their children or grandchildren preferred to settled in the wilderness rather than the established colony, which is how Jan & Jacobe Hoagland came to Hunterdon County.
The Opdycke family emigrated to America from Holland in the 17th century, settling at Gravesend in Kings County, New York. They certainly prospered in their new home and multiplied extensively. Consequently, there are many many Opdycke descendants, and also an extensive published genealogy. Because it is such a large family, I have not been able to research it as thoroughly as some others.
The Thatcher Family was prominent in both Amwell and Kingwood Townships in the 18th century. They were also very prolific! They keep showing up in other family trees, so published the Thatchers is really way overdue. And you will see that this tree just goes on and on!
As is my usual practice, children of daughters are listed but not grandchildren. Surnames of spouses whose family trees have been published here are highlighted in green. Any additions or corrections are welcome, either in the comments section below or by email.
(1) Francis Besson (c.1720 – bef. 1798) & Anna Elizabeth Case (c.1725 – 1798)
According to the will of Tunis Case in 1769, Francis Besson was married to Tunis’ daughter, Elizabeth. But according to the will of Adam Hummer written in 1781 Besson was married to his daughter Elizabeth Hummer. Besson was named executor of Hummer’s estate along with Hummer’s son Cort.
(1) Dea. Jacob Bearder (1768 – 1838) & Elizabeth Trimmer (1769 – 1832)
Actually, Jacob Bearder should be considered the second generation, as his father Andrew Bearder (1741-1829) and mother Margaret Shepherd (c.1720-1800) were the ones to emigrate to New Jersey from Germany. Margaret came as the wife of a Mr. Shafer, who died at sea. Her three sons were all under ten at the time. Shortly after arriving, Margaret married George Henry Wambaugh, who had also immigrated from Germany, perhaps on the same ship as Andrew and Margaret.
Senator John Lambert of Amwell is one of Hunterdon’s most interesting historical figures.1 He served in the state legislature during the Revolution and afterwards served as Acting Governor before being elected to Congress and then to the U.S. Senate.
The Somerset Quarterly published “Earliest American Ancestors of Somerset Families” in Vol. V p.188 et seq, which included this statement: “Elias, Emanuel (or John Emanuel) and David Coriell, perhaps with another brother Abraham, emigrated from the island of Corsica in 1663, and were French. Emanuel went to Lambertville and operated a ferry there in 1733.