Hiram Mount and Margaret Allen

The-Story-of-New-Jerseys-Civil-Boundaries-1608-1968-Snyder-NJSL-B7651969_0034_cropDo you have a county boundary nemesis? I do, in the form of New Jersey. I have yet to come up with a one stop way to figure out where the Windsor townships are in any given year. Legally, I know that Windsor Township split into East and West Windsor on 9 February 1797 while these were in Middlesex County. The townships were incorporated in 1798 and their boundaries changed when Hightstown borough formed in 1853 and Washington Township formed in 1860.

Cartographically, the townships do not appear on Tanner’s 1836 state map of New Jersey, the one which shows Hunterdon, Middlesex, and Burlington Counties coming to a mash up right at Trenton.  The 1845 state map shows the formation of Mercer County and shows Hightstown but now the mash up is complicated by the borders of Monmouth and Middlesex county changing to accommodate Mercer. And a call out to other New Jersey genealogists produced the suggestion from fellow researchers of John F. Snyder’s The Story of New Jersey’s Civil Boundaries 1608-1968. What a wonderful resource. Here is a chronology for East Windsor township:

  • 1797 Formed from Windsor twp. in Middlesex Co.
  • 1798 Incorporated.
  • 1838 Most set off to Mercer Co.; part to South Amboy twp., Middlesex Co.
  • 1853 Part to Hightstown bor. within twp.
  • 1857 Boundary with Hightstown bor. changed.
  • 1860 Part to Washington twp.
  • 1894? Hightstown bor. set off from twp.
  • 1913 Part to Hightstown bor.
  • 1915 Part to Hightstown bor.
  • 1927 Part to Hightstown bor.

When researching the early 19th century generation of the Mount family it pays to search in Monmouth, Mercer and Middlesex counties. I have already tracked my mother’s line back to my great-great-grandmother Mary Jane Mount, and I have written about Thomas Hiram Mount and his wife Catherine Fisher Mount. I wanted to flesh out some of the details of his parents, Hiram Mount (1786-1847) and Margaret Allen Mount (1790-1865). There are numerous Mounts in the area and figuring out which is which is proving complicated.

Hiram Mount was born on 10 August 1786 but where is proving difficult. The early census in New Jersey are missing or incomplete. The 1830 Census (Upper Freehold, Monmouth, NJ) is the first in which Hiram Mount appears and the household has the appropriate 5 people in the right gender/age groups. At some point before 1808 he married Margaret Allen, daughter of Thomas Allen and Mary Forman Allen. I have not yet found a marriage record for them. But in the one tax list I can find online, Iram (Hiram) Mount is paying taxes on two horses and two cattle and the column for “Single male with horse” is blank.

Mount_Hiram_tax_Monmouth_UpperFreehold_1808_part3_p492_crop

Hiram and Margaret had four children that I know of:

  • William Mount (1808-1817)
  • Thomas Hiram Mount (1812-1876)
  • Rebecca Ely Mount (1814-1892)
  • William H. Mount (1818-1877)

Mount_Hiram_Will_1847_p01_cropThe three living children are mentioned in Hiram’s Monmouth County 1845 will and there is a clue there about how this Monmouth County family came to be in Mercer County. Hiram divides his land holdings between his two sons, mentioning that he leaves Thomas the “plantation or farm” in which he currently lives. I matched that with a house history I uncovered in doing Thomas H. Mount’s essay and Voila!

Thomas H. Mount moved onto this site soon after his father Hiram (d. 1847) bought it in 1834.

Upper Freehold is less than 10 miles from Hightstown, which was probably one of the closest towns of any size at this point in history. Once again #52ancestors challenges me to add up all the facts and write them down.

Daniel Vreeland

This week in #52ancestors I am simply trying to fill in a few blanks.  I know I don’t have the full story, but I may never have the full story on this family.  I have branches of my family tree that frustrate me, some challenge me, some just irritate me.   The Vreelands exhaust me.  There are so many of them and they all have the same first and last names and no one cares about the women, beyond whom they marry and whether there are male children.  Okay, I know, cry me a river already.

The Vreelands arrive in the area now known as Jersey City, Hoboken and Bayonne in the 17th century.  They bring their talent for farming and their strong business sense and their shear fecundity.  Each direct ancestor in my line has at least ten children, although the rate of infant mortality is astonishing.  I think this is one of the reasons that the same names are used over and over.

My great, great, grandfather Nicholas Vreeland (1789-1873) had nine such brothers and sisters.  It is the next youngest, Daniel Vreeland, that I write about today.

Daniel Vreeland was born on 27 February 1791 in Jersey City to Michael (1758-1825) and Geertje Sickles (d. 1815) Vreeland.  Of course, it wasn’t Jersey City then, but Bergen, which was part of Bergen County.  On 23 January 1813, Daniel married Cornelia Newkirk.  They had seven children, all of whom were born in Bergen: Jane (1813-1895), Michael D. Vreeland (1817-1893), Aaron N. (1819-1901), Gertrude Sickles (1822-1909), Cornelius V. R. (1825-1894), Nicholas D. (1828-?) and Daniel S. (1831-?).

1850AgNJCensus
1850 Agricultural Census analysis

I have found the family in each Census since 1830, simple farmers in a large farming community.  Unfortunately, because I have been unable to look at an agricultural census for New Jersey that lists individual farms, I have had to rely on statistical data like the 1850 and 1860 analyses of agricultural produce.

 

1860AgNJCensus
1860 Agricultural Census Analysis

This, and the value of the family farm in 1860, $25,000 in real estate, lead me to believe that the farm was productive.  If it was part of the Vreeland celery farms collective, I do not know, but these seem to have been well respected.

 

Daniel Vreeland died on 22 August 1867 and the funeral was held at the home of his grandson, William H. Speer, who was the son-in-law of Daniel’s oldest daughter Jane.   Daniel left a will, which was quite helpful in spelling out his children’s marital status and favor in his sight.  His wife Cornelia was to receive a money through a trust administered by their oldest son Michael.  The first five children receive equal shares outright.  Daniel S. Vreeland is to receive one share in trust to be distributed “from time to time.” One share was to be held in trust for the “use and benefit of the children of Nicholas D. Vreeland the net income thereof to be paid to them from time to time according to the discretion of my said executors.”

Vreeland_Daniel_ProbateWill_1867_1
Daniel Vreeland Will 1867

Nicholas D. and Daniel S. Vreeland have been hard to track through public records, but both seem to have had trouble maintaining themselves and their families.  This may be the reason they are excluded from a direct legacy in the will.  Nicholas appears to have fought in the Civil War in the 22nd Regiment, NJ Volunteers.  He is hard to track in the Census but when he is listed his occupation is carpenter and he is enumerated within another family household.  He appears in newspaper entries as running a public house which has a contentious relationship with law enforcement.  He  may appear in city directories as a garden farm laborer.  He and his wife Catherine are mentioned occasionally due to very public marital problems.  Daniel is also enumerated with family with an occupation of wheelwright but he also appears in newspapers on drunk and disorderly reports.  He also may appear in city directories as a gardener.  It is something to follow up on but I have seen enough Civil War veteran stories to think that these two might be suffering from what we now think of as PTSD.  At the very least, they do not seem to have come home and settled back happily on the farm.

Cornelia followed her husband in death on 30 March 1870, and again, the funeral is from the home of William H. Speer.  Both Cornelia and Daniel are buried in the Old Bergen churchyard in Jersey City.  It is possible that Nicholas and Daniel are buried nearby but more information is needed to make that certain.  Always more to do!