Turns out even the family could not agree.

I’ve been baffled by the genealogy of this family, finding it impossible to be certain about their origins. In the process of researching the next chapter in the history of the Pauch farm, I came upon two conflicting sources for this question.

Were They Germans?

One claim is that Joseph Sergeant Sr. and wife Mary Loman came to America from Germany, bringing their children with them. The source for this opinion can be found in the chapter “The Bench and Bar of Hunterdon County,” in Snell’s History (p. 215). In writing about Lambert H. Sergeant, great-grandson of Joseph and Mary Sergeant, the author claimed that “the family is of German lineage.” This information must have come from Lambert Sergeant, suggesting it was a family tradition.

Or Were They English?

Another Sergeant descendant claimed the family came from England. On the occasion of the 60th wedding anniversary of John Phillip Sergeant and his wife Mary Young, an article was published in the Democrat-Advertiser (probably written by Jonathan M. Hoppock) dated April 18, 1902. John Phillip Sergeant was the son of Joseph Sergeant and Jane Quick. The article stated that John P. Sergeant was born on “the Joshua Primmer place in Sergeantsville” {now the Pauch farm}, and that he was named for his grandfather who came from England with his two brothers who were not named. Since there were four known brothers we are left to wonder who had been forgotten.1 The three younger children of John P. and Mary Sergeant were all living on the homestead farm with them. It was located in Copper Hill, and was not the Pauch farm.

So we have John P. Sergeant (1813-1903), son of Joseph and Jane Sergeant, claiming English descent, and Lambert H. Sergeant (c.1841-?) grandson of Joseph and Jane Sergeant, appearing to claim German descent. Take your pick.

By the way, the article celebrating the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary included a remarkable photograph of the Sergeants, when John Sergeant would have been about 88 and his wife Mary about 83. They died less than a week apart, John on March 9, 1903 and Mary on March 16, 1903.

John P. Sergeant and wife Mary Young in 1902, from the Democrat-Advertiser
John P. Sergeant and wife Mary Young in 1902,
from the Democrat-Advertiser
  1. The article noted that John P. Sergeant had two brothers and two sisters, all dead by 1902. I have found three brothers and one sister, the third brother probably being Tunis Sergeant who died in 1887. The second sister might have been Mary Young Sergeant; I’m not sure about that.