Recollections of Baptistown

Pages 21 - 29

~~  21  ~~

        John Leonard in 1835 purchased a farm of Jacob R. Fox containing 130 acres located on the south side of the road leading from Baptistown to Frenchtown about one mile from the former place.  His wife was Catharine Bulois.  He died about the year 1840.  After his death, the farm was purchased by son Wilson, except 50 acres on the east side of the farm which was purchased by widow Catharine.  This was sold in 1849 or 50 to Thomas Slater, who a few years ago sold it to Edward Warne, who now resides on it.  The homestead Wilson Leonard sold to Henry Hoffman who sold it to Horace A. Wombaugh, who sold it to Joseph Opdyke, and Joseph Opdyke sold to George Haynes who now resides on it.

        John Leonard and Catharine Bulois had 13 children, viz:  Wilson, Charles, John, Mary, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Henry, Catharine Ann, Cornelius, Matilda, William, Robert N., and Martha.

        Wilson married first Kate Warford.  They had two children, Sarah and Mary.  Sarah became the wife of Isaac Taylor.  They had 4 children:  Chester, a tinsmith in Frenchtown; Lizzie who married Edward Lott, a barber of Flemington; Jennie who married Charles Frank Keller, who engaged in dairy business in Phila. and Kate who has been for several years engaged in teaching in the public schools in Frenchtown and is one of the most successful teachers in our county and a member of the Hunterdon Historical Society.

        Mary, daughter of Wilson Leonard, married Nelson Geary on Mar. 8, 1860--4 children live near Phillipsburg, N.J.

        Wilson Leonard married for his second wife Mrs. Catharine Smith nee Hummer on Mar 16, 1861, both deceased.  He died Mar 9, 1879.

        Charles Leonard married Mary Duckworth and had 8 children; removed to the west in 1850 and located in Iowa, where his children still reside.  His son John is a prominent lawyer and engaged as a counsel for several railroad corporations.

~~  21a  ~~

        John Leonard married Lydia, daughter of Zebulon Stout of Kingwood Township for his first wife, and Rachel Myers for his second wife.  They had 8 children.  He located near Quakertown, N.J. where he resided until his death.

        Mary Leonard married Thomas Brewer, they had 4 children.  On e of the sons met his death a few years ago in the woods of John Hoff in Kingwood township, by a tree falling on him when he engaged in falling timber.

        Henry Leonard married Mary Kugler Oct 2, 1841.  They had 2 children.  Parents and children are deceased.

        Catharine Ann Leonard married Jolin Wesley, son of George Wanamaker of Kingwood Township.  They had no children, the husband is deceased, the widow resides in Baptistown.

        ~~  22  ~~

        Martha Leonard married William, son of James Conners, had 5 children.  They reside in Baptistown.

        In the summer of 1849, the brain fever, as it was called, broke out in the Leonard family and in a space of 40 days a mother and 5 children were stricken down by the shaft of death.  The 3 daughters who were at home at the time had the fever but recovered.  Cornelius Leonard died Jun 16, 1849, aged 26 yrs; Matilda the 24th aged 26; Catharine, the mother, on the 27th, aged 60; Robert N. July 2nd aged 21; William the 3rd aged 23; Rebecca the 26th aged 32.  The mother and 5 children are buried in Everittstown.  The most of the Leonard family were members of the M.E. Church.

        So many deaths in one family in so short a time cast a gloom over the community; the neighbors became alarmed and avoided the place as much as possible.

        Cyrenus Wagner, then residing in Baptistown, nursed them during part of their sickness.

        The Leonard family of Alexandria township where their ancestors resided were honest, frugal farmers and that day public schools were few and far between, and their education simply consisted of reading, writing and arithmetic.

        At the time of the death of the mother and 5 children, Samuel Dean and wife residing on an adjoining farm both died with the same fever, and at the funeral of Mrs. Dean, the horse attached to the hearse ran away when near Baptistown, and the coffin was thrown from the hearse.  Ralph VanEyck was the undertaker.

~~ 23 ~~

        Peter Fox was born Oct 18, 176 [sic] and was about 80 years old at the time of his death.  He owned about 500 acres of land lying on both sides of the road leading from Baptistown to Frenchtown about one mile from the former place.  The homestead is now in possession of Mrs. Elliot's heir.

        His first wife was second daughter of Godfrey Boss and Elizabeth Horner, a sister to William Horner, the grandfather of Daniel Horner, recently deceased at Baptistown.  Her christened name not known.  They had children, viz:  Sarah, born Jul 31, 1781; William born Jul 11, 1783; Debora born Jun 20, 1785; Mahlon born Jul 30, 1787.

        Debora married Richard Opdyke who lived for a number of years at Barbertown and died there.  They had 3 children; Peter F., Selina and Amy.

        Godfrey Boss' oldest daughter Elizabeth married William Lair of Locktown, had children, viz:  Mary, John, William, Garrett, Joseph, Nancy and Rebecca.

        Mary married Edmond Forman, John married Sarah Bird, William married first Charlotte Heath, second Elizabeth Rittenhouse, Garret married Hester Rittenhouse, Joseph married Elizabeth Werts, Nancy married Ambrose Bonham and Rebecca married Pierson Roberson.   Joseph, Garret and Rebecca were residents of Frenchtown at the time of their decease.

    Ann, youngest daughter of Godfrey Boss, became the second wife of William Lair.  They had two children, Sarah who married Richard Rittenhouse in 1820 and died 1821 and David, born Aug 28, 1809.  He married Sarah, daughter of Philip Gordon, who lived on a farm near Locktown, now in the possession of Lucinda Dalrymple.

        In 1839 Philip Gordon and David Lair with their families removed to Ohio and settled in Darke County and built up the town of Gordon.  David Lair and wife are still living and reside in West Milton, Miami County, Ohio.

        Godfrey Boss had a son John who was killed in battle during the Revolutionary War and a daughter who died unmarried in 1831, aged 80 years.

~~ 24 ~~

        William Lair was a Revolutionary War soldier.

        Godfrey Boss lived on a farm near Locktown now in the possession of Mahlon Smith.

        Peter Fox's second wife was the widow of Jacob Rouser, son of Gideon Rouser.  Her maiden name was Heath, the only daughter of John Heath.  She was born Mar 13, 1752, and was about 80 years old at the time of her death.  She had 10 brothers: Joseph, William, Peter, Samuel, Andrew, John, Noah, David, Richard, and Elijah.  The last named was the grandfather of Edward M. Heath of Locktown on his mother's side.  John Heath and wife are buried a short distance south of Locktown near the residence of Jacob B. Smith--he died in 1818 aged 93 years, his wife died in 1806.

        Jacob Renner and Mary Heath had 3 sons and 1 daughter, viz:  Gideon born Nov 23, 1783; John born May 30, 1785; Elijah born Jul 25, 1787; Elizabeth born Sep 24, 1789.

        At the time of the marriage of Peter Fox and widow Rouser, they each had 4 children, all born between 1780 and 1790.  In one case, there is only 4 days difference in the birth of one of the Fox children and one of the Rouser children.

        Gideon Rouser owned two tracts of land said to contain 350 acres located southeast of Locktown.  Some of this land is now owned by Anderson Bray, John and Cyrus Risler, Adam Rupel and Uriah Sutton.  Gideon Rouser, by his will dated Feb 14, 1783, bequeathed this land to his son Jacob, who on the 15th day of August 1786 and his wife Mary conveyed 10 acres of this land to Richard Ryley of Kingwood, being where Cyrus Risler now resides.  About the same time he sold some of it to Thomas Shearman.

~~ 25 ~~

        Jacob Rouser is supposed to have lived where Anderson Bray now lives--that he lost his life while attending a moving to Pa.  Clearing the river at Stockton in a flat when the water was high, the flat upset and Mr. Rouser could not swim and he was drowned.

        Jacob Rouser's daughter Elizabeth married Benjamin Metler and removed to the west many years ago.  They were the parents of Levi Metler who died at Barbertown where Charles Wilson now resides.

        Peter Fox and Mary Rouser (Heath) had 1 son, Jacob R., who was born Aug 1, 1794 and died in Frenchtown Jan 20, 1849.  He married Ruth Thatcher, a sister to Jonas Thatcher.  She was born in 1802 and died Mar 24, 1856 in Frenchtown.  They had 1 son, John Wesley and 2 daughters, Mahala and Sarah.

        John Wesley was married Sep 16, 1847, to Mary Ann Leidy, a half sister to Dr. Leidy of Baptistown and a daughter of Enos Leidy of Pa.  She died Sep 12, 1890.  He resides in Frenchtown.  They had 6 children.  Mahala became the wife of Martin Luther Brown of Stroudsburg, Pa.  He lived on his father-in-law's farm the first year after they were married, then moved to Berwick, Pa., where his wife died.  They had 4 children, Sarah became the wife of Joseph, son of William Reading and Elizabeth Sergeant.  They located in Chicago where he died a few years ago.

        After the death of Peter Fox, his son Jacob R. bought out the other heirs, then in 1835 sold 130 acres to John Leonard and a farm to Samuel Eichlin of Pa., these 2 tracts were on south side of the road.  He sold 56 acres on the east side to William Souders, who put up buildings and resided on it for several years, then sold it to Joseph Weller of Warren Co., N.J., who sold it to Nathan R. Dalrymple.  It is now in the possession of his son James M. Dalrymple of Hoboken, N.J.  He sold 44 acres on the west side to Jesse Sinclair, who erected buildings on it.  About the year 1844 Jacob R. Fox purchased of Lewis T. Laroche the middle tavern, as it was called in Frenchtown, that was

~~ 26 ~~

destroyed by fire June 29, 1878.  He resided here until his death.  He was Moderator in Kingwood township for several years--was an auctioneer and creid [sic] many public sales.

        Peter Fox was Moderator in Kingwood in 1816-1824, a member of the town committee in 1824 and commissioner of appears as late as 1828.

        A Peter Fox owned 50 acres of land a short distance below Kingwood store--it is now owned by Thomas Jardine.  In 1735 this tract was conveyed by Christopher Cornelius to Peter Fox, who in 1749 conveyed it to Matthew Wood, who in 1757 willed to his son Aaron Wood; he in 1763 conveyed it to Martin Rouse; he in 1770 conveyed it to Gideon Rouser, who in 1778 sold it to Isaac Rittenhouse and he in 1793 conveyed it to his son Elijah Rittenhouse.

~~ 27 ~~

        The place in Baptistown now the home of Peter Vanderbilt was formerly called the John Roat place.  It then was included land now owned by James P. Gary, also a part of A. B. Chamberlin's farm.  After the death of Mr. Roat the place was purchased by William Heath.  It contained 100 acres of land, after the death of Mr. Heath the place was sold in 2 parts, his son William bought where James P. Gary now resides and William Lair bought the part on which stood the Roat house.  He moved the old meeting house on the place for a barn; set out first peach orchard in that vicinity; purchased 20 acres of the John Slater farm lying on the east side of the road leading to Lockwood; sold a lot for the blacksmith shop and then sold out to David Stryker, who sold 10 acres and the buildings, I think to Abel Webster, erected the buildings where A. B. Chamberlin now resides, sold this and purchased a part of John Taylor's farm and put up farm buildings on it.  This is where James Ashcroft now resides.

        He sold this and located near Milford where he still resides.  He was the only child of Abraham Stryker and Nancy Slater.  He married first Mary, daughter of Rev. Thomas Barrass of Baptistown.  His second wife is a daughter of Jacob R. Henry.  David Stryker was town clerk in Kingwood in 1863-64.  Abraham Stryker was constable in Kingwood from 1825 to 1877 and died soon after this.

        John Roat, referred to above, came to America on board a German ship and was sold to pay his passage to William Thatcher.  William Thatcher, with his 2 brothers, James and Jeremiah, came to America from England.  William purchased of one of the old proprietors a tract of land located on the road leading from Frenchtown to Baptistown about one mile from the former place.  It has been cut up into 4 or 5 farms and lots.  Martin L. Force now resides on the homestead.

~~ 28 ~~

        William Thatcher married Margaret Taylor, a sister to John, the father of Edward Taylor.  They were the grandparents of John V., Mahlon N., and Garner Thatcher.

        Jeremiah Thatcher erected the 3 story brick mansion now in possession of Samuel M. Rittenhouse about midway on the road from Frenchtown to the stone church.  It has been in the Rittenhouse family for more than 100 years.  The house was built in 1767.  It has withstood the elements for the space of 127 years and from present indications it will be standing 100 years hence if no accident befalls it.

        The only information I have in regard t Jeremiah Thatcher's family is that his youngest daughter, Rachel, became the wife of Dr. George Campbell, a successful practitioner who owned and resided on a farm located near his father-in-law's on the south side of the road.  He finally lost his home by neglecting to have his papers recorded; they were mislaid or lost.

        They had 2 children:  Ann, born Oct 7, 1797 and James B., born Jan 7, 1790, who died in his 16th year.

        Ann married John Fine of Warren Glen, N.J.

        Dr. Campbell was stricken with paralysis which laid him up for some time.  This was in the year 1812.  In the month of August 1818 he went to Milltown, now Idell, on business, and while there at the residence of Dr. McGee, had a second attack which proved fatal in a few hours.  He was in the 60th year.  His widow died Feb 14, 1837.

~~ 29 ~~

        John Roat, referred to in a former article, by industry and frugality accumulated some property and purchased a home in Baptistown, where he spent his closing years of his life.  His children were John, William, Rachel, and Susan.

        Rachel married Charles, son of Francis Tomlinson, Sr.  They had one son, Francis, who married Maria, daughter of George Larson.  Had children:  Charles, Catharine, Amy, George John, Gershom, Lavina, Rachel, and Frank J.

        In 1854 Charles was elected County clerk by a combination of Whigs and Know Nothings.  He soon after changed his politics and became an ardent adherent of the Democratic party.  He was formerly a Whig.

        Frank J. is a minister in the M.E. church.

        Francis Tomlinson, Sr., came to N.J. from Pa. and purchased a tract of land at Kingwood.  It has been cut up into 8 or 9 farms and lots.  The twice married and had children:  Francis, William, Charles, Mary, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Sarah, the last one named was by his second wife.

        Francis and William returned to Pa. and married there.

        Mary became the second wife of Thomas Sherman.  They had children Francis, Mary, William, Elizabeth 1st, Dinah, Elizabeth 2nd; Thomas 1st, Thomas 2nd; Jonathan, Diadama, Rebecca, John and Sarah.  (It will be noted there were 2 Elizabeths and 2 Thomas' in this family.  In my research into family history, I have found when they lost a son or daughter to give a future child the same name as the deceased child bore.

        Francis Sherman married Mary Maxwell, had 2 children, Joseph married Susan Howell and Mary married Isaac K. Dalrymple.

        Mary Sherman married John Dalrymple and had 2 children, Mary who died young and Thomas who died when a young man.

        William Sherman married Sarah Maxwell, Elizabeth Sherman married Isaac Hoagland, she was his first wife.

Continued ----->>

Back to Index, "Recollections of Baptistown"
Back to My RAUB (and more) Ancestry           Back to Baptisms, Burials and More