My previous three articles concerned the history of the old Howell House on Worman Road, on the periphery of the Rosemont neighborhood. Today I move over to the southwest quadrant of the village, back to the part of Mount Amwell that John Reading kept for himself.
The Howell House, part one included a marvelous survey map made for Joseph and Richard Reading, the grandsons of the original John Reading. The map, dated 1744, shows 450 acres “Designed for Rich’d Reading.” This is the property I shall deal with here. It ran from the Wichecheoke Creek to a stream along the Delaware River, then north to the Lotting Purchase line, then east to what became Route 519, down the same to the Wickecheoke.1
Richard Reading was born December 8, 1732, the 7th child of Gov. John Reading and Martje Ryerson. It appears that Gov. & Mrs. Reading had become fairly close to the family of Col. John Reid and wife Mary Sands of Monmouth County. Of the eleven Reading children, three married children of John and Mary Reid. The Reid’s son Augustine (1731-1807) married Sarah Reading (1738-1809). Their daughter Euphemia Reid (1735-1768) married Capt. Daniel Reading (1727-1768), and their daughter Catherine Reid (c.1733-after 1786) married Richard Reading, about 1757. (See The Reading Family Tree.)
In 1760, Richard Reading went into a business partnership with Edward Prall. Their store was located 21 miles north of Trenton, in the neighborhood of Prallsville, probably on Reading’s farm.2 In 1761, Reading was elected Town Clerk of Amwell Township.
With all his land, his family connections, his public office, and a mercantile operation, one would expect Richard Reading to prosper. But like many others, he made bad financial decisions, and by 1766, had run into debt. To raise funds to pay off his creditors, he set off a farm of 120 acres and another lot of 38 acres from his plantation of 480 acres and advertised them for sale in the Pennsylvania Gazette of May 1, 1766.3 Note that both properties had ‘dwelling houses’ on them.
On Tuesday, the 10th of this instant May, will be sold by the Subscriber, at public Vendue, A FARM, containing 120 Acres of extraordinary Wheat Land, two Thirds of it cleared, on which is a good Dwelling-house, pleasantly situated in the Township of Amwell, and County of Hunterdon West New-Jersey, about 20 Miles distant from Trenton, and 3 Miles from the River Delaware. Also a Lot adjoining the above, containing about 38 Acres of Land, mostly of the best Meadow, well watered, whereon is a large commodious Stone Dwelling-house, four Rooms on a Floor, two Stories high, a good Barn, Stable and Cow-house. Any Person desirous of purchasing before the Day of Sale, may be informed of the terms by applying to RICHARD READING
Apparently there were no takers. Not long after this, Reading was forced to assign his property to John Coxe, Jr. and Thomas Smith, who advertised on September 25, 1766, that all persons indebted to Richard Reading or the partnership of Reading & Prall should pay their debts by October 20th or expect to be sued. The Reading-Prall partnership had dissolved by this time.
Subsequently, the list of assignees was changed to James Jauncey, Thomas Pryor and John Coxe, Jr. Reading formally assigned his property to them on July 14, 1767, and his father John Reading confirmed the assignment on August 7, 1767.4 On July 20, 1767, the assignees advertised for sale everything that Reading owned, not just the Amwell farm, but shares in many other properties, including some in Sussex County.5 Also for sale were “horses, cows, a variety of shop-goods and farming utensils.” The description of Reading’s home farm was interesting:
THE PLANTATION whereon he now lives, being pleasantly situated on the River Delaware, on which it has a front of near a mile, about 21 miles from Trenton, and 32 from Philadelphia, and within a mile of Howel’s ferry; it contains 456 acres of as good wheat land as any in county, of which about one third part is cleared and in fence, and has on it a good stone dwelling-house, four rooms on a floor, with a kitchen under the whole; a convenient stone store, a frame barn, a well of excellent water, and a fine thriving young orchard of the best fruit. The situation of the house is high and healthy, and affords a most agreeable prospect of the River Delaware and Pennsylvania.
The sale took place on January 4, 1768. The purchaser was Asher Mott who bought the full 482 acres.6 I confess I have not figured out how Reading’s 450 acres turned into 482.
Richard Reading and his family moved to Trenton for a time, but when the Revolution began they moved to New York, where Reading joined the British Army. His experiences during the war are related in an article by David K. Reading, titled “For Love or Loyalty: Richard Reading Sides With the British.”7 The article tackles the question of why Reading would have been a Loyalist when the rest of his family were passionate supporters of the Revolution. The most likely explanation is the influence of his wife’s family. The Reids were members of the Church of England, which generally supported the British cause.
As one might expect, things did not go well. In 1777 Reading was captured while visiting family at Middletown, Monmouth County. There was an escape, a recapture, another escape, another recapture. Reading was imprisoned in Philadelphia for six months. After he was released in 1781, he took his family to Long Island, where he died soon afterward. Josiah Leach claims that he was murdered there.8 An altogether sad end for a once prosperous scion of the Reading family.
To continue the story of the Reading plantation, I can do no better than to give the stage to Egbert T. Bush (with annotations by yours truly).
Woolverton Farm Near Stockton in Family Since 1799
Mr. Bush Traces History of Place From Richard Reading Deed
Now a Leading Fruit Farm
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, N.J.
Hunterdon Co. Democrat, November 5, 1936
This fine old farm, lying between Stockton and Rosemont, is now owned by Mrs. Dorothy W. Allen, daughter of Rev. William H. Woolverton.[#. The Allens owned the part of the Reading tract located closest to Prallsville, and is where the original John Reading home and barn can still be found, Block 51 Lot 5).] She has kindly brought to me for perusal two parchment deeds which are of much historical interest, and which are naturally highly prized by the Woolverton family. Such parchments are always interesting; the material itself is evidence of great age, and we are almost sure to find something well worth noticing. In greatly abbreviated form, both will probably be welcomed by many readers.
The older of the two says:
“This Indenture Made the fourth Day of January . . . in the year 1768, Between James Jauncey Thomas Pryor and John Coxe, Jr., Assignees of Richard Reading of the County of Hunterdon in the Province of New Jersey . . . and Asher Mott of the Township of Trenton in the Province aforesaid, Witnesseth that the said James Jauncey Thomas Pryor and John Coxe, Jr., . . . in consideration of 1,566 Pounds and ten Shillings Proclamation money of New Jersey, have . . . and sold unto the said Asher Mott, . . .
“All that certain Tract or Parcel of Land situate. . . in the Township of Amwell . . ., being a part of a certain Tract . . . heretofore surveyed to John Reading, Grandfather to the said Richard Reading, and afterward resurveyed and confirmed to John Reading Father to the said Richard Reading, . . . which said tract of Land was conveyed by the said John Reading last mentioned and Mary his wife to the . . ., Assignees as aforesaid by Deed recorded in the Secretary’s Office at Burlington in Liber W, Fol. 526, which said Tract of Land is Butted and Bounded as follows, to Witt.
“Beginning at a small brook over against a small Island in the Delaware, Commonly called & known by the name of Eagle Island, and up the several courses thereof to a heap of stones near a Gum Tree, thence North 14 Degrees East, 34 chains and 42 links to the Rear line, being the Line of Adlord Bonds [Boude’s] Purchase, thence along said Line according to its General Course being 72 Degrees and 15 minutes East, 36 chains to William Ruttenhouses corner, thence South 27 Degrees and 55 minutes East, 54 chains to a White Oak Standing near to the Wacheaoak brook, thence according to the Courses of the same to the mouth thereof on the River Delaware, thence up the River along the several Courses thereof to the place of Beginning, Containing 482 Acres be the same more or less, together with the Houses, Outhouses, Buildings, Gardens Orchards Woods Underwoods Fencings Feedings Mines Minerals Liberties Privileges Hereditaments & Appurtenances.
“Sealed and Delivered by James Jauncey In the presence of . . ., Mary Layre.” The name of the first signer is illegible.
“Signed and Delivered by Thomas Pryor In the presence of Rebecca White, Thomas Sickels.
“Signed and Delivered by J. Cox In the presence of Jos. Reed, Junr., Isaac Allen.”
Whether then necessary or not, the witnesses have signed under three headings along the bottom of the parchment, and all are different witnesses. However, there was plenty of room—a stretch of almost a yard.
Peculiarities of Deed
Some things in this fine old deed set one to wondering. The land was conveyed to Asher Mott by the assignees of Richard Reading; and yet the recital shows that their power to sell came from “the said John Reading last mentioned and Mary his wife.” Perhaps some error or omission.
In any case, we need not worry. The title has held for 170 years and is still as good as ever. But the description cannot reasonably plead any such probability. With three of its seven courses lacking both distance and direction, how the surveyors could come anywhere near to finding the true area, is something of a mystery to us of more exacting days.
And here is about the briefest practicable abstract of the second parchment deed:
“This Indenture made the second Day of November, 1776, Between Asher Mott, formerly of Trenton Township . . . and later of Amwell Township . . . but now of Biles Island in the River Delaware, Yeoman, and David Cummings, Junr., of the City of Philadelphia . . ., Coppersmith, Witnesseth, that the said Asher Mott and Ann his wife, for and in consideration of 1,500 Pounds Proclamation Money of New Jersey, . . .”
Then follows a full description of the 482-acre tract, as given in the other deed, but “Excepting out of the present Grant the Quantity of 200 acres which the said Asher Mott Granted and conveyed to Isaiah Quinby . . . lying at the Rear part of the above described Tract.”
This sale by Asher Mott to Isaiah Quinby took place in 1775.9 It was for the northern half of the Richard Reading tract.
It does not describe the part excepted or give the place of record. But in addition to the items found in the “together with” of the older deed, it does give the following: “Landings, Landing Places, meadows, Flats, Marshes, Fishings, Fowling, Hawkings and Huntings.”
With all these additions, it seems to cover about everything imaginable. The deed is signed by the Motts and witnessed by George Herrick and Richard Hopkins. The acknowledgement is rather puzzling. It appears to have been taken May 2, 1789 by Judge Isaac Smith. The wonder is—why so late?10
This parchment is one of the finest and clearest that have ever come to my notice. It is so well written and so easy to read that it seems entitled to special mention.11
Asher Mott and the Chapmans
I do not have a history of Mott’s family. It appears that he came to Trenton from Monmouth County, where the early Motts had settled.
Asher Mott married Ann Biles, daughter of William Biles and Ann Stevenson, about 1755. The Biles family lived in Bucks County. On August 7, 1769, the Falls Monthly Meeting of the Friends disowned Ann Mott (“formerly Biles”) for marrying “out of unity.”12 Ann’s father wrote his will on April 11, 1770, in which he left “to daughter Ann Mott £300 and Negro girl Dorothy.” He died the same year that Asher Mott bought the Reading farm.
When Mott bought the farm, he mortgaged it to Richard Reading’s assignees for £1044.6.8.13 But he must have changed his mind about living there, because only four years later, he advertised the farm for sale. It was described as a plantation of 479 acres on the Delaware River in Amwell Township, with 260 acres cleared and good fence. “There is on said plantation a good dwelling-house, barn and a good young orchard.” This is odd, as it neglects to mention the 200 acres sold to Isaiah Quinby. The ad concluded: “For further particulars apply to the subscriber, living on Biles’s-Island, two miles below Trenton. Asher Mott.”14 So, by 1773 Mott was not even living on the Reading farm.
As for the Motts’ standing with the local Quakers, it seems a reconciliation might have taken place. The Motts’ daughter Mary was married at the Falls Monthly Meeting to Isaac Chapman, son of Joseph and Ann Chapman of Bucks County, on December 15, 1814 at the Makefield M.M. in Bucks County.15 Falls was a community at the falls of the Delaware River, in southeastern Bucks County. The Monthly Meeting was organized in 1683.
Isaac Chapman was the son of Joseph Chapman (1733-1790) and Ann Fell (1739-1828).16 Isaac’s first wife was Martha Quinby (1763-1813), daughter of the same Isaiah Quinby who bought the 200 acres from Asher Mott. They married on March 10, 1809 at the Solebury Monthly Meeting.17 Mary Mott was his second wife. Isaac’s brother Joseph (1774-1864) married as his second wife, Martha’s sister Tabitha Quinby (1761-1855) on Jan. 12, 1800.18
Like the Reids and Readings, the Quinby and Chapman families must have been very close. If you look at the Quinby Family Tree, in the third generation, Tabitha Quinby married Joseph Chapman. Her sister Martha Quinby married as her second husband, Joseph’s brother Isaac Chapman. In the fourth generation, you will see that Moses Quinby, brother of Tabitha and Martha, and his wife Hannah Good had a daughter Miriam who married her first cousin, James Chapman, the son of Tabitha Quinby and Joseph Chapman.
Mr. Bush relates what he found about the Chapman family:
The records show other interesting things concerning the original 482-acre tract and parts thereof. For example: Nov. 23, 1804, Joseph Chapman and Tabitha his wife conveyed to Isaiah Quinby 50 acres of land. A long preamble shows that the same land had been conveyed by Isaiah Quinby and Tabitha his wife to Tabitha Chapman, “for and during her natural life,” and then to her heirs. But some real or fancied weakness or uncertainty in Quinby’s deed to “the said Tabitha Chapman, daughter of the said Isaiah Quinby,” resulted in the following:
“Now therefore the said Joseph Chapman and Tabitha his wife, in consideration of 618 pounds to them paid by said Isaiah Quinby, do sell and convey to Isaiah Quinby All that Certain Tract of Land . . . situate in Amwell aforesaid, Being part of the 200 acres Granted by Asher Mott & Ann his wife to the said Isaiah Quinby, Beginning at a Stone for a corner, It being also a corner to Darius Everitts Land in Asa Reeds Line by a Black Oak Sapling. Running thence along Reed North 73 ½ Degrees East 14.90 chains to a Stone in the Road leading to Pralls Mill, thence down the Road South 29 Degrees and 18 minutes East, 35.35 chains to a Stone in Lott Rittenhouses line and corner to John Woolverton, thence by his line South 73 ½ Degrees West, 14.90 chains to a stone corner to Darius Everitts Land, thence by his line North 29 Degrees West 35.35 chains to the place of Beginning, Containing 50 acres strict measure.”
Mr. Bush neglected to add that after this deed, Isaiah Quinby conveyed the 50-acre lot to trustees who were directed to Oliver Paxson and Zachariah Betts in trust for his daughter Tabitha and her heirs.19
A Pretty Parallelogram
Here is a pretty parallelogram of land, containing, as evidently intended, fifty acres strict measure. The like is rarely found in old-time surveys of Eastern land, particularly with lines not running at right angles. The manifest intent was to cut off exactly one-fourth of the 200-acre farm, which doubtless took some careful old-time measurements and calculations. It looks as if Isaiah Quinby wished his daughter Tabitha and her husband to control some land for their own protection. If so, the 618 pounds may have enabled them to secure other land, to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.
As the map shows, the 50 acres given to Isaiah Quinby’s daughter Tabitha fills the southwest corner of the village of Rosemont.
By deed dated May 17, 1799, William Thompson and wife conveyed to John Woolverton—the first by that name to own the old farm—two tracts of land. “Lot No. 1 Begins at a small brook over against a small Island in the Delaware . . . called Eagle Island.” From this it continues the description of the 482-acre farm, as first above described, but excepts the 200 acres which had been conveyed to Isaiah Quinby, whose daughter Rachel married John Woolverton.
This John Wolverton is the same person whose son James owned the Rittenhouse Tavern for a time.20 Wolverton, who was was born in 1755, married Rachel Quinby, on March 3, 1779.21
A pleasing tradition says that, when John Woolverton asked Quinby for his daughter, Friend Quinby expressed fear that John might not be able to support a wife. “Never mind that,” said John, “Before I die I will own more land than you do.“
Mr. Bush probably learned this story from Emma Ten Broek Runk. This is what she wrote this about the marriage of John and Rachel:
“Closely following his [John Wolverton’s] service as Soldier he appears in the character of Lover. He sought the hand of Rachel Quinby, the daughter Isaiah Quinby and Rachel Warford. The latter was the daughter of John Warford of Hunterdon Co. The Quinby family was descended from William Quinby of West Chester Co., N.Y.
“It is related that when John Woolverton asked Isaiah Quinby for his daughter he was refused on the ground that he was not able to support a wife. John answered ‘Never mind I will own more land than you before I die.’ He was a good farmer, a provident manager, and accumulated farms so that at his death each child was provided with one, and it is said he had twenty horses, thus making good his promise, at least.
“Although Isaiah Quinby was a Friend, his daughter Rachel was married to John Woolverton by the Rev. William Frazier, a Clergyman of the Church of England who had charge of St. Andrew’s Parish, Amwell, then situated at Ringoes, (but since then the Parish has been removed to Lambertville, N. J.). The Marriage Record of the Ancient Parish gives their marriage under the date of January 3, 1779.”
Returning to Mr. Bush’s article:
Whether tradition has the matter just right or not, makes no difference. It is a pleasant story. John made his promise good. His will disposes of something like a thousand acres of land.
In the matter of the 50-acre transaction, Quinby seems to have shown the same solicitude for the welfare of his daughter Tabitha as he is said to have felt for his daughter Rachel; and nobody can afford to sneer at that solicitude.
Quinby’s will, probated April 17, 1807, shows him to have been seized of several hundred acres of land, but the aggregate was far from equaling the later holdings of his neighbor and son-in-law—John Woolverton.
Quinby Signed by “His Mark”
It was a surprise to find Isaiah Quinby’s will signed by “his mark.” At first this was supposed to be due to age and infirmities. His earlier conveyances, however, are found to be signed in the same way. Does this mean that Quinby was an ignorant man? I think not. It simply shows that, for some reason unknown to us, he had never mastered that one particular art so important in business. But his successful career, his manifest skill in directing others to say what he wanted said in important documents and his thoughtfulness for his family, show that he had a good mind, well trained in many of the most important things of life. And it is well for us to remember that we are all very ignorant about many things.
About Isaiah Quinby
Isaiah Quinby died on June 6, 1807 at the remarkable age of 90. He was born in 1716, the son of Josiah Quinby (1663-1728) and Mary Mullineaux (1663-1728) of Westchester, Long Island, NJ.22 They had eleven children, Isaiah being the youngest of them. (I have added the Quinby Family Tree to the website.)
He would have been only twelve years old when both his parents died; no doubt one of his older siblings took care of him until he was old enough to strike out on his own. That could have been his brother Ephraim Quinby (1700-1767) who married Elizabeth Hall (c.1726-1810) and moved to Amwell Township. He was present there as early as 1738 when he voted in the election of that year. Ephraim Quinby of Amwell wrote his will on August 12, 1767. Along with his wife Elizabeth, he named his brother Isaiah an executor.23
Isaiah Quinby’s first wife was Rachel Warford (1725-1777), daughter of John Warford and Elizabeth Stout, whom he married on August 21, 1743.24 The couple outdid Isaiah’s parents—they had 13 children, from 1743 to 1768.
Shortly after his marriage, Isaiah Quinby purchased 300 acres from the daughter of proprietor John Ladd. This property was located just north of Raven Rock, on the west side of Federal Twist Road. This was his homestead farm,25 so we can assume that his son-in-law John Wolverton planned to acquire many more than 300 acres.
Following Rachel Quinby’s death in 1777, Isaiah married second Hannah Kinsey (1720-1786) on August 24, 1778, at Buckingham Friends Meeting. She died in 1786, age 66. After her death, Isaiah married his third wife, Miriam Betts (1739-1811), on June 24, 1786 at Wrightstown, in Bucks County. She was 47 at the time. Neither Miriam nor Hannah had any children with Isaiah Quinby. Thirteen was more than enough.
Much more can be said about the Quinby family, but I must save it for another time.
Returning to Mr. Bush:
The second lot described in the deed to John Woolverton, inadvertently omitted above—was small, containing only 5 acres, 2 quarters and 28 perches. It touched lands of Gabriel Woolverton, George Duckworth and John Stockton.
John Wolverton had become interested in fisheries which may have explained his interest in Eagles Island. In 1782, Wolverton, along with brother-in-law Moses Quinby got a lease to Isaiah Quinby’s fishery on Bull’s Island.
The descent of the property from Asher Mott to John Woolverton is as follows: Asher Mott and wife to David Cummings, Nov. 2, 1776; David Cummings and wife to Hugh Rumsey [sic, Ramsey], Feb. 12, 1791; Hugh Rumsey and wife to William Thompson, Jan. 30, 1794; William Thompson and wife to John Woolverton, May 17, 1799.
The conveyance by William and Elizabeth Thompson to John Wolverton was not recorded with the Hunterdon County Clerk until 1805, in Book 12 page 33. It included a recital for the chain of title from John Reading, Sr. to William Thompson, which is here slightly paraphrased:
. . . surveyed to John Reading and afterward was resurveyed and confirmed unto John Reading son of said John Reading as by the return thereof recorded in the surveyor General office in Lib. E fol. 43, which sd tract of land was conveyed by sd John Reading last mention and Mary his wife to James Jauncey, Thomas Prior and John Cox Jr. assignees of Richard Reading as by a deed recorded in the Secretary’s office in Lib. W fol. 526; and the said Jauncey, Prior and Cox by bargain and sale on 4 Jan 1768 conveyed the above described tract of land to Asher Mott of Trenton and the sd Asher Mott and Ann his wife by Indenture of Bargain & Sale dated 2 Nov 1776 conveyed the same to David Cumming Jr. of Philadelphia, except the 200 acres above excepted, and the said David Coming and wife Rachel on 12 Feb 1791 conveyed the same to Hugh Ramsey of Warwocks [Warwick], Bucks, PA, and the sd Ramsey and wife Jane on 20 Jun 1794 conveyed the same to William Thompson.
From the recital we learn that David Cumming was living in Philadelphia when he bought this property, but settled in Amwell Township. What he purchased was the remainder of 482 acres after 200 of it was sold to Isaiah Quinby, leaving 282 acres. (Cumming and wife Rachel moved to Morristown, Montgomery, PA where he died in 1801. Rachel died two years later.)
There is another source for this property. In my previous article on the Howell House, I mentioned the papers collected by Austin Davison now kept by the Hunterdon County Historical Society. Among them is the Ms. deed in which Hugh Ramsey of East Nottingham, Chester County, PA, merchant, and wife Jane, conveyed to William Thompson of Amwell this very property. The deed was dated June 30, 1794. (In 1791, when he bought the property, Hugh Ramsey was from Warwick, Pennsylvania.)
One of the most interesting items in the deed from William & Elizabeth Thompson to John Wolverton was the statement that Wolverton was already in possession of the property. That observation turns up in other deeds, and always makes me wonder how that came about, what sort of understanding was there between the grantor and the grantee, and how long was the grantee in actual possession before finally purchasing the property.
On May 20, 1799 (just two days after purchasing the Thompson property), John and Rachel Wolverton sold a lot of 18.5 acres next to the Wickecheoke Creek to John Prall, Jr.26 On the same day they sold a lot of 8.25 acres to Joseph Howell, ferryman of Amwell.27 This deed also had a recital, stating that the lot was part of the tract of land sold by David “Commins” to Hugh Ramsey, etc.
Mr. Bush continues:
The will of John Woolverton, dated Sept. 5, 1830, was probated Jan. 6, 1838. The witnesses were William Johnson, John Reading and John Waterhouse. After providing well for his wife Rachel, he distributes property in the following manner:
“To my son Samuel . . . the farm whereon I now reside, containing 250 acres, and half of the tract purchased of Joseph and John Sergeant, containing 145 acres,” &c. There seems to have been a mistake—not any contest—about the area conveyed. I have found Samuel’s share quoted as 145 acres; but investigation shows that the entire area of the Sergeant tract was about 145 acres, Samuel getting a half interest therein.
It is this “farm whereon I now reside” that is the property that was conveyed to Wolverton by William and Elizabeth Thompson. But as the will shows, and Mr. Bush describes, John Wolverton owned much more than that. The 145 acres was located over on Route 523, formerly owned by Charles Sergeant.
To his son James he gives “the farm whereon he now resides in Amwell, containing about 180 acres. Also one-half of the Kipple farm. Also a lot of meadow land . . . &c”
He says: “In order to do justly by the children of my deceased daughter Mary, wife of Joshua Opdyke . . .,” and then provides for securing $300 for the benefit of each of her four daughters.
“My old homestead farm, formerly the property of my father, containing 250 acres or perhaps 270 acres, also the farm bought of John Wilson, a part of the Rodman Tract . . . about 100 acres, also the Tract bought of the Directors of the Brunswick Bank . . . about 200 acres; these three Tracts I give and bequeath to my three daughters, Sarah Stockton, Margaret Reading and Anna Barcroft, to be equally divided in value.”
John Woolverton died seven years after writing his will, on December 10, 1837, at the age of 82. He was buried in the Rosemont Cemetery. His widow Rachel Quinby Wolverton survived him and three of her children. She died on March 17, 1842 and was buried next to her husband.
Mr. Bush next gives us a glimpse of John Wolverton’s ancestors and descendants.
Woolverton a Revolutionary Soldier
This John Woolverton was a soldier in the Revolution. He enlisted as a private in Capt. George Ely’s Company, Second Regiment Hunterdon County Militia, and was later commissioned Ensign.28 He was the great-grandfather of Rev. William H. Woolverton. John’s father was Morris Woolverton, who was a grandson of Charles Woolverton; and the said Charles Woolverton was the first of this particular line to own land in this vicinity—a tract containing 1,665 acres, one course of which twice crossed the Wickecheoche Creek.
John Woolverton, the Revolutionary soldier, had a son Samuel, whose son Maurice was the father of Rev. William H. Woolverton, who married Minnie Primrose Dickinson of Pocomoke City, Md. They have two daughters—Miss Primrose Woolverton, now Secretary of the Y. W. C. A. of Hartford, Conn., and Dorothy W. Allen, widow of the well-known James D. Allen, whose sad fate shocked the whole community. He died of injuries received in a crashing plane, while engaged in his regular army aviation practice, May 8, 1932.
Fine Old Property
This fine old property is now one of the leading fruit farms in this vicinity. The orchards, both peach and apple, are well kept and scientifically handled. If great-great-grandfather John Woolverton could visit the old home now, and see the orchards in either the blooming or the ripening season, how great would be his astonishment!
The old colonial mansion house, said to have been built by John Reading about 200 years ago, is still the farm house and still in good condition. Of course it has modern improvements and modern conveniences, but its fireplaces and all of its dominating features still speak the eloquent language that proves its antiquity.
It is unlikely that the house now standing on the Wolverton farm was built by John Reading, Sr., as it would have to date to the early 18th century. Most likely it was built by his grandson Richard, who built himself a lovely house without regard to the expense. It is still standing and is one of the finest examples of 18th-century architecture in Delaware Township. My next article will discuss the owners who came after John & Rachel Woolverton.
- None of the old maps give a name to that small stream that runs north from the River, between the Lockatong and the Wickecheoke and neither do old deeds. ↩
- Edward Prall was the first cousin of John Prall, Esq., who became the principal merchant at Prallsville. ↩
- Documents Relating to the Colonia History of New Jersey, ed. William Nelson, vol. 25, Extracts from American Newspapers Relating to New Jersey, (hereafter NJA Newspaper Extracts) vol. 6, 1766-1767, p. 106. ↩
- West Jersey Proprietors, Book W fol. 526, 532, NJ State Archives. ↩
- NJ Archives, Newspaper Extracts, vol. 6, pp. 436-38. ↩
- WJP Deed Book Y fol. 65; also see recital, Deed 9-159 ; see also WJP Deed Book W fol. 526. ↩
- The Mount Amwell News, vol. 4, no. 2, published by The Mount Amwell Project, 908-549-2738. ↩
- Josiah Granville Leach, Genealogical and Biographical Memorials of the Reading, Howell, Yerkes, Watts, Latham and Elkins Families. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1898, p. 51. ↩
- Recital in H.C. Deeds Book 9 p. 365 and Book 11 p. 326. ↩
- I would like to see who actually made the acknowledgement, because it appears that Asher Mott died in Bucks County in 1783. Presumably it was one of his heirs trying to clear up his estate. See Bucks County Estates, vol. 4, p. 272. ↩
- This makes me wonder what happened to that original deed. I asked archivist Don Cornelius to see if he could find it in the archives of the Hunterdon Co. Historical Society. Sadly it is not there. Presumably a member of the Allen or Wolverton families has it. ↩
- William Wade Hydnshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, vol. 2, p. 1017. ↩
- H.C. Mortgage Book 1 p. 67a. ↩
- NJA Newspaper Extracts, vol. 9, p. 260; also advertised in 1773, vol. 9, p. 436 ↩
- Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, vol. II, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994, p. 1017. ↩
- I have written about a branch of the Fell family in The Howell House, part three. As it happens, Ann Fell was the great aunt of William Henry Fell, husband of Hannah Scarborough. ↩
- Oddly enough, this marriage record is not included in Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia. The date probably comes from the Quinby Genealogy. ↩
- Hunterdon Co. Marriage Records, Book 1 p. 38; married by Richard Opdycke, JP. ↩
- See H. C. Deeds Book 10 pp. 437, 440. ↩
- He is also supposedly the ancestor of the “degenerate” Kallikak family described in Woolverton aka Kallikak. See Wolvertons aka Kallikaks; also The Wolverton Family Tree. ↩
- Marriage performed by Rev. William Frazer, the Episcopalian ministers. See “Rev. William Frazer’s Three Parishes” by Henry Race, M.D., The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (1888), vol. 12. ↩
- It is odd that John and Mary were born and died in the same years, but it must happen once in a while. ↩
- The Quinby Genealogy, depending on an essay by Charles T. Jenkins, claims that Quinby did not come to Amwell until he was 26 years old, basing that assumption on the date of his first land purchase, in 1742. But Mr. Jenkins failed to take into account that Isaiah was an orphan at the age of 12, and would most likely have been taken care of by his older brother. Also, the Genealogy claims that Ephraim was Isaiah’s uncle rather than his brother, but the ages of Ephraim (1700-1767) and his father Josiah (1663-1728) make that very unlikely. ↩
- Wedding date from Genealogical History of the Quinby Family in America by Henry Cole Quinby, 1915. The author did not provide a source for the date, but it must have come from Quaker records. ↩
- Recital, H. C. Deed Book 4, p. 6. ↩
- H. C. Deed Book 9 p. 159. ↩
- H. C. Deed Book 24 p. 377. See Howell House, part two. ↩
- According to Emma Ten Broeck Runk in her book The Woolvertons, Wolverton enlisted in April, 1776 as private in Captain George Ely’s Company, Second Regiment of Hunterdon County Militia. He also served fifteen other monthly tours. He was accidentally wounded in the right arm on June 27th, which prevented him from taking part in the Battle of Monmouth. ↩
Goodspeed Histories: The Wolverton Farm
November 5, 2018 @ 3:20 pm
[…] Wolverton Farm Near Stockton in Family Since 1799.” Please enjoy The Reading-Wolverton Farm (https://goodspeedhistories.com/the-reading-wolverton-farm/) There is much more to say about this property and its owners, as you might imagine, so there will […]
November 12, 2018 @ 8:30 am
According to my research, Asher Mott, b 2/17/1739, married Ann Biles in 1769. He was my 6th great-uncle. He was the son of William Mott (1699-1760) and Catherine Hartshorne (1704-1745). William’s father was Gershom (1653-1733) who was the son of Adam Mott (1619-1633) and Jane Hulet (1625-1665). Gershom’s mother was Catherine Bowne (1671-1714), daughter of Capt. John Bowne, originally from Salem, Mass, who settled in Monmouth County. Adam and Gershom lived in Rhode Island, and William migrated to Monmouth County. Asher’s brother was Capt John Mott of the 1st Regiment of the Hunterdon Militia, and guided Washington to Trenton on Dec 26, 1776. Capt Mott was my 5th Great-grandfather. He married Eleanor Johnson, widow of an English Naval officer. Their son was Judge Gershom Mott, who married Phoebe Rose Scudder, granddaughter of Amos Scudder. Amos was also in the Militia, and served under Capt Mott as a guide to Trenton. The Scudder family originated in Salem as well. Amos was my 6th great-grandfather.
November 12, 2018 @ 11:10 am
Thank you, Peter.