Some time ago, I made reference to the map of the Delaware River prepared by Reading Howell. Some people pointed out to me that Howell had made such a map in 1792, but were surprised by the date 1785. I had seen a copy of that map but had been unable to find it in my papers—that is, until today, when I found a very nice copy among the news clippings and other items saved by Edna Laszlo of Raven Rock. I am sorry to say, there was no notation explaining where the original map is kept.Continue reading »
Nathaniel Saxton, Esq.
Nathaniel Saxton Esq. is one of the more intriguing characters to appear in Hunterdon County history. I have been looking forward to writing about him for a long time.Continue reading »
The Burlington Waterlots
The latest issue of the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey is out (vol. 86, no. 1), and the first article, “Burlington Waterlots Surveyed,” is just amazing. C. Miller Biddle, a descendant of the original Biddle family, has written a detailed description of the ownership of the water lots in the town of Burlington when they were first laid out.
He has also given us succeeding owners, sometimes into the early 19th century. He begins with the London side of town, west of High Street, and I gather he will eventually treat the Yorkshire side as well. Dr. Biddle’s research is truly impressive, and I expect these articles will be the last word on the subject, so be sure to look out for future installments.
John Reading’s Diary
This past Saturday, a group of Reading descendants, who have joined together as “The Mount Amwell Project,” gathered in Sergeantsville for one of their regular meetings. I was honored to be asked to speak to the group, and took the opportunity to try out on them a first chapter to a history of Delaware Township that focused on John Reading and his discovery of “Mount Amwell.”Continue reading »
West New Jersey, 1689, Part Two
The Council of Proprietors’ Other Business
During their meetings held in 1688 and 1689, the Council of Proprietors was setting up rules for how surveys would be obtained, and naming registrars for Burlington and Gloucester counties, who were Samuel Jennings and John Reading, respectively. They did not act for Salem County because it was still under John Fenwick’s control. But there were other matters to attend to.Continue reading »
West NJ 1688 & Daniel Coxe
When Daniel Coxe began investing in land in the English colonies, he hired explorers and corresponded with them eagerly. He also corresponded with colonial governors and with the principle Indian traders. This activity became more focused in the years after he sold his proprietorship of West New Jersey. It would be fascinating to read these letters; I assume they are tucked away somewhere in England.Continue reading »
East New Jersey, West New Jersey
or North New Jersey, South New Jersey
Grace wondered about the distinction between East-West v. North-South New Jersey. This all goes back to the state’s geography and the way it was settled.Continue reading »
West New Jersey in 1687, Part Two
West New Jersey In Debt
The West Jersey Assembly met in May of 1687. The minutes of their meeting are not included in Leaming and Spicer’s Grants and Concessions, so for many years, people thought they had not met at all. We know of two matters undertaken by the Assembly in 1687. The first was the problem of the Province’s debt. Despite the fact that taxes had been levied, they could not be collected. Much of this was due to the scarcity of coin, which had to come from abroad. By May of 1687 the debt had risen to £1,250.Continue reading »
West New Jersey in 1687, Part One
The year 1687 was intense for West New Jersey and for England in matters concerning politics and management of land, but not very much for the families of Gloucester who might have been connected with Samuel Green. If your interests are limited to genealogy, then you must wait for part two of 1687. If the politics of days long gone are your fancy, then this year and the next will be of particular interest.Continue reading »
West New Jersey in 1681
Well, it looks as if I can’t get more than one year’s worth of information in a single post. Can’t help it—the times were just too interesting.
In January 1680/81, Gov. Andros, who had been carrying out the wishes of his patron, James Duke of York, was recalled to England to answer charges of financial corruption. His heavy-handed tactics, especially in East New Jersey, had made him a liability to James, who was having problems of his own. Andros returned home in May 1681, but instead of imprisonment, he was knighted, after the charges were dropped in December 1681.Continue reading »