This post returns to an article by Egbert T. Bush titled “Old Farms in Old Hunterdon,” published in 1931. I published large parts of this article before, in “The Moore Family,” in 2016. As the introduction to that article mentioned, two families were discussed in Bush’s article, the Moores and the Haines. Having discussed the Moore family at length, it is time to focus on the Haines family and their farm on the east side of Haines Road in East Amwell. This will conclude my study of some (but not all) of the farms located in the original proprietary tract of John Dennis.
Old Farms In Old Hunterdon
Haines and Moore Places in the Families For Generations
The Last of the Indians
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, N.J.
Published April 9, 1931 in the Hunterdon County Democrat
Less than a mile and a half eastward from Headquarters lies the fine old property long known as the Haines Farm. And well it may be so called, for the property has been in the family name, spelled in various ways, for almost a century and a half. The deed to the first Joseph Hainds, bearing date of April 25, 1786, gives this interesting preamble: “Whereas Thomas Wetherell by deed dated April 18, 1729, conveyed 223 acres and allowance for highways, to Nathan Allen, who by Indenture dated February 28, 1732, did convey the said premises to Henrick Weaver and his son Christian Weaver, and the said Henrick Weaver some time thereafter died intestate, whereon the said premises became vested in the said Christian Weaver, as surviving oldest son and heir at Law, . . .
What Mr. Bush calls a preamble is actually a recital, in which the deed explains how the grantor acquired legitimate title to the property he or she is selling. And what a recital this was! I am a little disappointed it did not identify how Thomas Wetherell acquired the property, but given the early date, it is quite likely he purchased it from John Dennis’ estate.
As a reminder from my earlier articles on the Hart-Taylor Cemetery, here is the John Dennis tract as it was drawn by D. Stanton Hammond:
As you can see, Hendrick Weaver’s property was at the southeast corner of the Dennis tract, north of the bend in the road (today’s Route 604 or Headquarters-Ringoes Road). That is where the Haines farm was located. The Cornell Map of 1851 puts that bend somewhat to the east of Albertus K. Wagner’s farm, and south of “J. Hanes.” The northern boundary of the Haines farm was the creek you see running from east to west, which is the Neshanic Creek.
Continuing with the recital from Mr. Bush:
. . . and the said Christian Weaver and Barbara his wife, by deed bearing date of October 10, 1741, conveyed said premises unto Jacob Probasco, son and devisee, and Sarah his wife, by Indenture dated April 13, 1779, conveyed the said 223 acres of land, except nineteen acres and a few poles sold to one Daniel Moore, and excepting the grave yard, to Peter De Witt and Elizabeth his wife, by Indenture bearing date June 28, 1782, did grant the said premises unto Samuel Ramsey and Ann his wife; . . .
Here is where it gets a little confusing. How could Jacob Probasco be a son and devisee of Christian and Barbara Weaver? And who was Jacob Probasco, anyway? There were many Probasco’s living in 18th century Hunterdon County, but I have no information on a Jacob and wife Sarah.
. . . “Now his Indenture Witnesseth : That the said Samuel Ramsey and Ann his wife, for and in consideration of four hundred pounds, to them paid by Joseph Hainds, have . . . conveyed unto the Joseph Hainds, a part of said premises bounded . . . and containing ninety-one and one fourth acres.”
Samuel Ramsey/Ramsay is, like Jacob Probasco, pretty scarce in the records. Without this recital we would know nothing of him and wife Ann.
Here is the chain of title as Mr. Bush has given it:
1729 Apr 18, Thomas Wetherell to Nathan Allen, 223 acres
1732 Feb 28, Nathan Allen to Henrick Weaver and son Christian Weaver, 223 acres
1741 Oct 10, Christian Weaver and wife Barbara to Jacob Probasco, 223 acres
1779 Jacob Probasco & wife Sarah to Daniel Moore, 19+ acres and the graveyard;
1779 Apr 13, Jacob Probasco & wife Sarah to Peter DeWitt, 223 acres, minus the 19 acres sold to Daniel Moore (204 acres)
1782 Jun 28, Peter De Witt and wife Elizabeth to Samuel Ramsey, unknown acreage
1786 Apr 25, Samuel Ramsey and wife Ann to Joseph Hainds, 91.25 acres
This gives a history of the old farm down to 1782, in a way that is interesting for several reasons, the following among them: It calls attention to the law long obsolete, by which the oldest son became sole heir to his father’s real estate; it definitely states that the grave yard—evidently the old Moore Burying Ground—was recognized as a place of burial at the date given; and it revives memories of the old custom which made “allowance for highways,” when calculating the area of a tract of land.
The deed from Ramsey to Haines dated April 25, 1786 was never recorded. Mr. Bush was probably viewing an original copy of the deed, so I am grateful he took the trouble to transcribe it.
Locating the Haines Farm
So what was it that Joseph Haines purchased in 1786? Regrettably, Mr. Bush only shared the recital of the deed and did not give us the metes and bounds that are usually the heart of a deed. It is not possible to be specific about the exact dimensions of this property in 1786. And because the property stayed in the family for four generations, we do not get an exact description of the original 91 acres (later identified as 90.25 acres) until 1881!
In a case like this, it can help to look at bordering properties. The two most likely belonged to Anna Acker and John Schenck.
The property of Anna Acker, who shows up frequently as a bordering owner, was originally owned by her husband William Acker, Sr., who wrote his will in 1760 leaving his property to his wife Anne, who was either Anna Dierdorff or Anna Runyon. She was the second wife of William Acker, Sr. William Acker’s first wife may have been Elizabeth Moore, daughter of Jacob & Apolonia, who died in 1800.The Acker farm came into possession of their son William who died intestate in 1793, at the age of 39. William Acker, Jr.’s widow Anna remained on the property for the rest of her life. She died in 1833, age 80. Thus there were two Anna Ackers owning this property.
Anna Acker, wife of William Acker, Jr., wrote her will on December 21, 1821. Being childless, she left her real estate to Elijah Wilson and Jacob Hice, to be shared equally. In 1834, Wilson and wife Elizabeth released their share to Jacob Hice for $3600.1 Unfortunately, that deed said nothing about land belonging to Joseph Haines. So we do not get much information from the Acker property about the Haines farm.
I will have more to say about Anne Acker when discussing the family of Joseph Haines.
The other bordering owner was John Schenck (1772-1806), son of Ruoelif (Ralph) Schenck and Ann Hoagland, and husband of Mary Young. On December 31, 1800, Ruloff Schenck and second wife Rebeckah Hoagland sold to son John two lots in Amwell, the important one being 133 acres, bordering George Dilts, “Neshannock” Creek, heirs of Joseph Hainds, Peter Johnson, a road and land of Daniel Moore.2
This deed, when plotted, shows us the southern boundary of the Haines farm, suggesting that the northern boundary was Neshanic Creek.
John Schenck also died young, in 1806, age 33, leaving widow Mary with six children to raise. When their eldest son Ralph came of age in 1820, the farm was conveyed to him.3 It was that deed that contained metes & bounds, giving us the shape of the Schenck property and its border with the Haines farm.
The Haines House
Mr. Bush wrote:
This is not at all “a neglected old farm,” as must now be written so often of what was formerly a flourishing homestead. On the contrary, through all the agricultural depressions of almost sixty years, it has been noted as one of the most productive and most carefully managed farms in the vicinity. The buildings are pleasantly located on a fine knoll, and are all in excellent condition. The basement barn, 40 feet by 80, was built by Isaac Haines in 1903. The spacious dwelling was built in 1868, but scarcely shows its more than three score years. Everything about the old farm shows careful management and commendable pride of ownership. A branch of the Neshanic Creek flows beautifully through the pasture lands, helping to make this an idol [ideal?] place for dairying, which has long been an important branch of industry here.
Here is the property as it appears today.
The county’s historic sites survey did not include the Haines house. The fact that it was built in 1868 tells us that the original house of the original Joseph Haines was taken down, probably shortly after the end of the Civil War.
Since I cannot give an exact description of the Haines property until 1881, let’s turn our attention to the history of the Haines family.
A Haines/Hainds Genealogy
Joseph Haines came from a South Jersey family, a very well-known one that is still present today in Burlington County. The first of the family to settle in West New Jersey were the surviving family of Richard Haines, who died at sea in 1682. They were Quakers who intended to settle with other first arrivals in Burlington County. There was the widow Margaret and five of her six children (Richard, William, Thomas, Mary and Joseph). The eldest son, John, had arrived two years earlier and settled on the Rancocas Creek. The youngest, Joseph, was born at sea.4
Before departing from England, Richard Haines, “husbandman of Oxon [Oxfordshire], bought 100 acres in the Province of West Jersey from Edward Byllinge, the prime mover (along with William Penn) for settlement in the new colony.5
Right away, there are questions. The deed said Haines was of “Oxon Co.” while the genealogies put his home at Aynhoe, Northhamptonshire.
By the 1690s, his son Richard Haines, Jr. was purchasing properties in Burlington County.6 What I cannot say with any certainty is who the Richard Haines was who invested in land in Hunterdon County, which was created in 1714. In 1715, a Richard Haines served as fellowbondsman with Samuel Green to John Reading, Jr., administrator of the estate of John Reading, Sr. Being acquainted with these early settlers of Amwell Township no doubt had an influence on his decision about where to live.
I cannot say whether that Richard Haines was the same person as the one who acted as administrator of the estate of James Brathwite of Burlington County in 1719. If it was, then Richard Haines was between counties at this time.
In 1718, Richard Haines had 500 acres along the Musconetcong River surveyed for him by Jeremiah Basse.7 In 1739, Richard Haines sold at least some of this land to Abraham Hains.8 This was just a year after Richard Haines leased 150 acres in Amwell Township from Henry Vandolah along the Alexauken Creek, not far north of today’s Lambertville (Coryell’s Ferry, back then).9 The lease spelled the creek’s name as “Alias Hocking.” I’ve also seen it written as “Elias Hocking.” Those English settlers certainly had trouble with Lenape nomenclature.
The property leased from Henry Vandolah consisted of a tract of 100 acres bordering the creek and land of John Holcombe plus another tract of 50 acres, also bordering the creek, that Henry Vandolah had bought from Benjamin Howell.
The map is a challenge to read. Haines’ name appears just below that of Benjamin Howell, just south of the creek.
The Richard Haines who settled in Amwell wrote his will on May 2, 1789, and died shortly afterwards. Assuming that he was not 100 years old, I can only conclude that he must have been a grandson of the Richard who died in 1682. But Haines Family genealogies do not identify him. They seem uninterested in any Haines living north of Burlington.
In his will of 1789, Richard “Hinds” of Amwell left the bulk of his estate to eldest son James who was named executor. To his youngest son Joseph he left only £5. The same amount was left to his daughter Mary, wife of Joshua Stout, and heirs of deceased daughter Rebeckah (whose married name was not given).
Mary and Joshua Stout were apparently dissatisfied with Mary’s £5 and only five days after the will was written they protested it in court. This strongly suggests that Richard Haines died almost immediately after writing his will. The court ordered a “Citation” to “Margaret Hinds, widow of Richard Hinds, dec’d, and Joseph Hinds, son of sd Richard, and Elizabeth Hinds, daughter of sd Richard, to appear in Court, as the proving of the will is opposed by Joshua Stout and wife Mary, daughter of sd Richard.” The spelling gives us a good idea of how the name was pronounced.
The court apparently discounted the Stouts’ objections and ordered probate to proceed. The Inventory of the estate was taken by Thomas Holcombe and Joshua Laing on July 4th and the will proved on August 6, 1789.10
Joseph Haines/Hainds of Amwell Township
Richard’s youngest son Joseph was born about 1755, and in 1780, married Anna Moore (1756-1814), daughter of Peter & Efrosina Moore, and granddaughter of the first Jacob Moore and wife Apolonia. Joseph and Anna had eight children, several of them marrying into other prominent early families (the Lakes, Taylors, Dilts, and Trimmers).
As the chain of title recited by Mr. Bush states, Joseph Haines bought his farm from Samuel & Ann Ramsey in 1786. This was three years before his father Richard wrote his will, and probably explains why the father did not make provisions for son Joseph, who was doing well on his own.
Joseph Haines died intestate in 1797; the exact day of his death is not known. He was only 42 years old and left his wife Anna Moore Haines with at least six orphan children. (Two of them, Margaret and Richard, probably died as infants.)
Who was Anna Moore?
Anna Moore’s brother Isaac Moore wrote his will on June 24, 1797. Because of provisions in the will, we know that he died not long after Joseph Haines died. Perhaps Isaac Moore and Joseph Hainds died of the same disease or accident.
Isaac Moore left sums of money to his various siblings, including £25 to sister Anna Hainds. He also left £15 each to Peter Hainds and Isaac Hainds, to Lydia Hainds a bed and £5, to Uphemy Hainds, a chest and £5, “the aforesaid children of brother-in-law Joseph Hainds, all under age.”
Isaac Moore was probably the son of Peter Moore and his second wife Christiana, while Anna was the daughter of Peter and his first wife Efrosina. However, I am not absolutely certain of that. It is possible Anna and Isaac were children of Jacob Moore and wife Christine. Peter Moore wrote a will naming his children, but Jacob Moore died intestate, and I have not found a way to identify his children with certainty. Searching through deeds and other records has not turned up definitive evidence either way. A close examination of the original estate files might have the answer, but I have not gotten access to them.
Part of the confusion is due to the fact that there was a second Anna Moore, about the same age as the wife of Joseph Haines, who was married to William Acker, a neighbor of both Peter and Jacob Moore and Joseph Haines. This Anna Moore Acker is the one whose property I examined above.
It is an echo of the dilemma I had recently with first cousins named Gideon Moore who at one point owned adjacent farms. (See “The Two Farms of Gideon Moore”.) Like the two Gideon Moores, the two Anna Moores lived adjacent to each other—Anna Moore Acker on the north side of Dunkard Church Road near the intersection with Haines Road, and Anna Moore Haines at the southeast corner of that intersection.
Incredibly, the two Anna Moores married their husbands in the same year, and were married by the same minister. According to Rev. William Frazer, Anna Moore married William Acker, Jr. on April 13, 1780, and Anna Moore married Joseph Haines on June 29, 1780.11 From other records, I can state that the Anna Moore who married William Acker, Jr. was born 1752 and died 1833. And the Anna who married Joseph Haines was born 1756 and died 1814. They were buried in the same cemetery—the Moore Cemetery, of course. William Acker was buried there too, but Joseph Haines’ gravestone has not been found. Both Annas died as widows.
Back to Joseph Haines
There is not much to say about Joseph’s life. The one highlight was his participation in the Revolutionary War. In 1776 he was a member of Capt. Joshua Corshon’s company.12
Because Joseph Haines died young, his children were still minors, and the widow Anna petitioned for guardianship of the children younger than 14, and for son Peter who was between 14 and 21. In 1800, Anna Haines submitted an inventory of her husband’s property on behalf of the children, with assets consisting of a farm of 97 acres and $2,000 in other property. In 1807, Anna Haines was taxed on a 90-acre farm plus a 7-acre woodlot, 3 horses, and 6 cattle. Hugh Dunn, a single man, was working on the farm. Mr Bush described how the Haines acquired that woodlot:
By deed dated May 26, 1796, Henry Moore and Jacob Moore, executors of Peter Moore, conveyed seven acres and three perches of woodland to Joseph Hainds. This is still a wood lot, and is owned by the present proprietor, together with other additions made long ago, and giving the farm a present area of 117 acres.
Isaac Haines & Mary Trimmer
Anna Moore Haines died intestate on November 14, 1814, at the age of 59. By that time, her children had reached adulthood, although just barely. Her son Isaac Hainds administered her estate along with Anna’s son-in-law Peter Taylor.13 Neighbors James Jones and Israel Poulson made the Inventory of her estate.
Because she died intestate, all of Anna’s children had rights to her real estate. One of them had to acquire the interest of all the others if he wanted to enjoy ownership all his own. That one was son Isaac, who was only 24 when his mother died, but may have been farming the homestead since he was old enough to do so.14
Returning to Mr. Bush’s article:
In 1815, the other heirs of Joseph Hainds conveyed to his son Isaac their interests in the home farm. Among those so conveying, we find the following: Peter Dilts and his wife Mary; Richard Hainds, Peter Taylor and Euphemia his wife; Lydia Hainds; and Sarah Hatfield, “late Sarah Hainds.” [The other children of Anna Moore and Joseph Haines can be found on The Haines Family Tree.]
The first of the siblings to convey their rights to Isaac Haines was his brother Richard, a resident of Amwell Township. On February 14, 1815, Isaac paid him $1,450 for his rights in a lot of 90.25 acres bordering “land formerly John Lowe (now Anna Acker and Peter Fisher, land late Peter Dentt (now heirs of John R. Schenck dec’d) and a branch of the Neshanic brook (or land of sd Anna Acker); and also a woodlot of 7 acres 3 perches bordering David Johnes, land of Derrick Sutphin and Anne Acker.”15 That Peter “Dentt” was Peter DeWitt.
One week after this deed was made, on Feb. 21, 1815, Isaac “Hainds” married Mary Trimmer (1790-1845), daughter of John G. Trimmer and Catharine Risler of Raritan Township. The marriage was performed by Rev. Kirkpatrick, probably at the Presbyterian Church in Ringoes.16
On May 19, 1815, Isaac Haines bought his sister Lydia’s share for $725. (Two months later, on July 8th, Lydia married Cornelius Lake of Sergeantsville.) On July 28th, Isaac purchased the rights of his sister Euphemia Taylor for $724. And on May 1, 1816, Isaac Haines’ sister Nancy Dilts sold her interest to him for $700.17 This last deed contained the following recital:
Whereas Samuel Ramsey and wife Ann by deed of 25 April 1786 conveyed to Joseph Hainds a tract of land (formerly bounded by land of John Lowes [sometimes written Loux], now Anna Acker) and Peter Fisher, late land of Peter DeWitt (now heirs of John R. Schenck dec’d) and a branch of the Neshannac brook (or land of sd Anna Acker) of 90.25 acres;
and also Executors of Peter Moore dec’d (Henry, Jacob and Peter Moore) by deed of 6 May 1796 granted a woodlot bounded by David Johnes, land of Derrick Sutphin and land of Anne Acker of 7 acres 3 perches, and on the map called Lot No. 4; and sd Nancy is one of the daughters of sd Joseph Hainds dec’d, who hereby quit claims her rights in the above real estate to sd Isaac Hainds.
Lastly, on September 14, 1827, Isaac’s sister Sarah Hatfield of New Orleans sold her share for only $360.18 So, from 1814 to 1827, Isaac Haines farmed the property as a partial owner.
Of all these five deeds, not a single one gave the metes & bounds of the 90.25 acres. The property was only identified by who bordered it—and the description was a very old one, almost certainly taken from the conveyance to Joseph Haines by Samuel and Ann Ramsey in 1786.
In 1837, Isaac Haines acted as executor of his uncle Peter Moore’s estate, and in 1844 as one of the executors of his father-in-law John G. Trimmer. The only interesting item for Isaac Haines in the local papers was the announcement in the Hunterdon Gazette on April 1, 1840 of delegates chosen to represent Delaware Township at the Young Men’s State Convention to be held in Trenton in support of William Henry Harrison. Isaac Haines was one of 49 named.
Isaac Hainds and Mary Trimmer had seven children. This family was beset with tragedy, since only two of those children lived past the age of 25. Daughter Euphemia died in 1830, age 11; daughter Rebecca died in 1842, age 18; daughter Mary Ann died in 1844, age 25; son John T. and daughter Amy T. died in 1845, John age 19 and Amy age 14. And to add to Isaac Haines’ woes, his wife Mary also died in 1845. All of these children and their mother were buried in the Amwell Ridge Cemetery at Larison’s Corner, East Amwell Township.
One of the surviving children was probably Catherine (c.1817-after 1880) who married William Aller, a Hunterdon Freeholder. I need proof of that, but the fact that her son was named John Trimmer Aller is suggestive.
In 1850, Isaac Hainds was 61 years old, a farmer with property worth $4700. Living with him were his son Joseph 21, the other surviving child, and daughter-in-law Margaret, age 24. Also in the household was Eliza Johnson 34 and (probably her daughter) Rebecca Johnson age 7. Ten years later in 1860, when Isaac Haines was 71, he was still farming with real estate worth $8,000 and personal property of $2,500. His son Joseph 32 was still living with him, but Joseph’s wife Margaret Hoppock was not. She had died on May 19, 1859. Her children were Isaac 6, Mary E. 3, and 1-year-old Amos. Also in the household was David C. Shepherd 22 (1838) farmer, Margaret’s sister Mary Hoppock 30 (1830), and Mary H. Bodine 21 (1839), who married Lemuel Warrick in 1863.
Isaac Haines died the next year, on February 7, 1861, and was buried next to his wife and his children in Larison’s Corner cemetery. I was surprised to see that not one of the several Hunterdon papers ran an obituary for him.
This concludes Part One of a history of the Haines farm, with Joseph Haines, Sr. and son Isaac Haines. Part Two will discuss the second Joseph, the second Isaac, and the third Joseph Haines, along with a look at the dramatic change in township boundaries that took place in 1896.
- H.C. Deed Book 56 p. 328. ↩
- H.C. Deed Book 12 p. 52. ↩
- H.C. Deed Book 31 p. 192. ↩
- From “Early History of the Haines Family,” share with me by Phillip Schloss. See also John Wesley Haines, Richard Haines and his descendants, A Quaker Family of Burlington County, NJ, Since 1682, Boyce, VA: Carr Publishing Co., Inc., 1966. Also, https://Archive.org has published Ancestry of the Haines, Sharp, Collins, Wills, Gardiner, Prickitt, Eves, Evans, Moore, Troth, Borton and Engle Families, from notes by George Haines, M.D., compiled by Richard Haines of Medford, NJ, 1902. ↩
- For background on Edward Byllinge and the settlement of West New Jersey, go to Index of Articles. ↩
- Patents and Deed and Other Early Records of New Jersey, 1664-1703, ed. by William Nelson, 1982. ↩
- Hammond Map A (D-4). ↩
- West Jersey Proprietors, Book E p. 410. ↩
- West Jersey Proprietors, Book GH p. 296. ↩
- N. J. Archives, Abstracts of Wills, vol. 7 (1786-1790), p.113. ↩
- Henry Race, M.D., “Rev. William Frazer’s Three Parishes; St. Thomas, St. Andrews, Musconetcong,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. XII (1888). ↩
- Haines researchers may have found his widow’s pension application which would certainly shed more light on his life. I was unable to find Joseph Haines/Hainds/Hinds in the indexes, so perhaps the widow did not apply for a pension. ↩
- This was not the Peter Taylor married to Jerusha Lambert. This Peter Taylor (c.1780-bef. 1830) was the son of John Wm Taylor and Sarah Abbott, and was married to Euphemia Haines (c.1783-1865) about a year after the death of Euphemia’s father. ↩
- Anna’s son Peter, who was between 14 and 20 when his father died in 1797, must have died before his mother did, as he was not among the heirs conveying rights in the farm to brother Isaac. ↩
- H.C. Deed Book 23 p. 499. ↩
- H.C. Marriages, Book 2 p. 65. ↩
- H.C. Deeds Book 24 pp. 367, 358, Book 36 p. 380. ↩
- H.C. Deed Book 43 p.171. ↩