Starting with George Fox (i) the Quaker (1624-1691), and his nephew George (ii) born 1662 England, then his great-nephew George (iii) born c.1700 England, we have George (iv) born c.1729 Amwell, and George (v) born c.1753 Kingwood.

George Fox (v) was a yeoman farmer, the second son of George Fox (iv). He is the first of this family that I have found some record of in the Revolutionary War. He was on a list, dated November 25, 1778, of men who refused to march under Gen. Daniel Bray. The other names were John Hotpence [Hartpence], Isaac Kitchen, Jonathan More, Josiah More, James Powel, John Price, William Reder, Benjamin Rittenhouse, Abner Stout, Amos Thatcher, Ambrass [Ambrose] Waterhouse, and Charles White. All of these men resided in Kingwood.

This incident is described in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey [46:12]. Bray had already become notable for organizing the project of hiding all boats on the Delaware River after Washington and his army had crossed in 1776. The plan was to prevent the British from following Washington into Pennsylvania, and it worked. But apparently Bray was not a congenial commander.

In 1778 George Fox was taxed on 120 acres in Kingwood Township, along with a horse, 5 cattle, and 5 hogs; in 1780 he had 2 horses. About 1778, in the middle of the Revolution, he married Elizabeth Sherman (Shearman), born about 1753 to Edward Shearman and Elizabeth Tomlinson of Kingwood. They had six children, from about 1780 to abt 1790. The children were 1) another George (vi), 2) Charles, 3) Edward, 4) Mary, 5) Rachel and 6) Absalom or Abraham.

In the 1792, when he was about 40 years old, George Fox was listed as exempt in the militia list for Kingwood Township.

Gravestone of George Fox in the Rosemont Cemetery
Gravestone of George Fox in the Rosemont Cemetery

George Fox wrote his will on April 17, 1815, calling himself George Fox Sr. of Kingwood. He left the use of his 120-acre farm in Kingwood (near “Laogalon” Creek and Mud Run) to his wife Elizabeth, and provided for his six children (described below). He named his son Edward and son-in-law John Burket executors. George Fox died between April 17th and April 30th, 1815 in Kingwood Township. His wife Elizabeth survived him by 12 years, dying on June 21, 1827 age 74. She and George were buried in the Rosemont Cemetery in Delaware Township.


Children of George Fox and Elizabeth Shearman:

1) George Fox (vi), born abt 1780, Kingwood, Hunterdon Co., NJ, married on Nov. 21, 1803, Mary Dickinson, the daughter of Sen. Philemon Dickinson and Mary Cadwalader. Their daughter Ivey Fox was born about 1805. In 1807, Sen. Dickinson wrote his will, naming daughter Mary Fox, to whom he left £1000, and a negro boy. He also named son-in-law George Fox as executor if his son Samuel Dickinson should die without heirs. In 1815, George Fox’s father’s will left him the use of a small farm (40 acres) on which his brother Edward was living, which the father had bought from Amos Bonham. He was ordered to pay $200 to his niece Elizabeth Fox (daughter of Charles), who was living with her grandfather, when she turned 18. George Fox’s own daughter Ivey Fox was also to receive $200 when she turned 18. George (v) ordered that his two grandchildren, Elizabeth and Ivey, be given “as much schooling as may be thought necessary.” For girls in the late 18th century, that wasn’t much. One of the oddest items in the will stated that after the death of son George (vi), his farm was to be sold and the proceeds divided equally between the surviving children. I don’t know whose children he was referring to. It seems as if George (vi) wasn’t expected to live long, or perhaps it was parental control from beyond the grave. As it happens, I do not know when George Fox (vi) died. There is no estate for a George Fox in Hunterdon County after his father’s will of 1815. Perhaps he moved to Trenton or Philadelphia to enjoy his step-father’s largess.

2) Charles Fox, born abt 1780 – died after 1860), married Nov. 4, 1800, in Kingwood, Mary Fox. They had children Peter, Elizabeth and Charles. Mary Fox is a mystery. But there is little doubt she was part of the Kingwood Fox family. Charles was given no land in his father’s will. Instead, his brother Edward was ordered to pay him $2000.

3) Edward Fox, born abt 1780-1785, died on May 25, 1846 in Kingwood. His father’s will divided the “old farm” between Edward and brother Absalom, following the death of his mother Elizabeth (in 1827). A legal notice of June 9, 1830, Edward Fox was living on his father’s 120-acre farm bordering George Opdycke and Peter Fox, when the rights of his brother Charles were to be sold at a sheriff’s sale. Edward Fox appeared on a list of Kingwood residents named to attend the Whig State Convention to be held in Trenton on Sep. 14, 1842. In 1846, when the Gazette took notice of his death, he was identified as Edward Fox, Esq. of Kingwood. [See the next post for more information on Edward Fox.]

This Edward Fox is not to be confused with the Edward (or Edmard) Fox buried in the Rosemont Cemetery, who stone reads: Edmard Fox 1816, age 64, next to Dinah Fox 1818 age 60. I have not identified the parents of this Edward Fox.

4) Mary Fox born Nov. 1, 1783, died May 21, 1838, age 54, married March 18, 1809, John Burket (1773 – 1859). They had ten children. In her father’s will, Mary and her husband were given the home farm, subject to the widow’s privileges. They were to pay the estate $2700.

5) Rachel Fox, born abt 1785, died Sept. 1859, age 74; married Charles Housel, Weaver of Kingwood, who died 1811, age 22. Had a son George Housel. Her father’s will provided that she be paid $2000 by her brother Absalom. Their son George Housel died about 1847 without spouse or children. He did have an estate, and it was passed to his two uncles and his one aunt on his father’s side (Joseph Housel, Casper Housel and Permelia Housel) and to his two uncles on his mother’s side (Abraham [sic] and Charles Fox). This partition was made in 1860, and since Charles Fox had died, his share went to his heirs, Peter, Elizabeth and Charles Fox, all over the age of 21 [Partitions I: 451-59].

6) Absalom Fox, born c. 1785-1790, was to split the old farm with his brother Edward, and to pay sister Rachel $2000. He was also given two horses, a wagon, harness, plow, harrow and sled. But if he were to die childless before the widow died, his legacy was to be equally divided between Edward and Rachel. I do not know what Absalom, who was sometimes called Abraham (in the Housel Partition), did with the rest of his life. By 1829, he had left New Jersey to live in New York State, according to a legal notice published in the Hunterdon Gazette.

Corrections: Information on Edward Fox was corrected on July 22, 2009, to distinguish between the Edward buried in the Rosemont Cemetery, and the Edward who was the son of George Fox (v). I also added a little information to the entry for Absalom Fox. Photos of George and Elizabeth Fox from the Rosemont Cemetery were also added.