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?
The Hammond Maps of Hunterdon County proprietary tracts are a wonderful resource for county historians. Many of the property owners shown on these maps drawn by D. Stanton Hammond in 1963 were the first Europeans to claim title to this part of the state of New Jersey. What happened to those properties in succeeding years has always fascinated me and provided wonderful material for my articles.
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.
William Kidd and Samuel Jennings
In the previous post, concerning the life and death of Capt. William Kidd, I speculated on who the person was who drew these pictures
Unfortunately, I was basing my conclusions on a faulty citation, which is an egregious error for an historian, amateur or not. I had concluded that the most likely person was John Tatham, who was not only an ardent opponent of Samuel Jennings, but also a strong supporter of Gov. Jeremiah Basse and of the claims of Daniel Coxe, and later the West Jersey Society, to vast tracts of land in West New Jersey. The circumstance I relied on to identify Tatham was my mistaken notion that the drawings were made on a blank page of the minute book of the West Jersey Board of Proprietors. And I made that mistake by relying on my memory rather than verifying the source.
Halloween is almost here. The days are getting much shorter, the nights much longer, and soon we will wind our clocks back to make the night seem even longer.
There are two ways to think about this time of year. The cheerful way is to glory in the fall colors and delight in children running from house to house on Halloween, many of the boys dressed as pirates (though not as much as in years past).
The darker way (which can exist in our minds simultaneously), is to be haunted by the unknown on dark windy nights. One of the most frightening things to encounter on a dark 17th century night was the sight (and smell) of a gibbeted body swinging from a post.
Put Halloween, pirates and gibbeting together, add some interesting early New Jersey history, and what do we get? Captain Kidd!
Being part three in a four-part post about an article written by Egbert T. Bush titled “Sergeant’s Mills Once a Prosperous Place” and published in the Hunterdon County Democrat on January 16, 1930.
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.
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.
For those of us who look for genealogical information in deeds, there is a very special word we hope to find: “Whereas.” This wonderful word introduces a clause that should appear in every deed, but often does not—the recital clause, which states who the seller of the property bought it from. Most of the time, that’s all it does—name the preceding property owner. But every once in a while, mostly in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, you will get a recital that goes all the way back to the beginning, to the original proprietary owner.
A new history of the New Jersey proprietors and their jurisdictions
Today the mail brought me the latest issue of the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, published by the Genealogical Society of New Jersey. This issue, vol. 89, #4, departed from the usual format by devoting the entire magazine to one article, in celebration of the 350th anniversary of the creation of New Jersey.