The Elliott family connection

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Helen Elliott (1902-1962)

I haven’t posted any photographs recently, so here goes! This weeks’ #52ancestors #52familyphotographs brings a breakthrough on the Wells family line. My great grandmother was a Wells from Burlington County, New Jersey.  However, her father’s sister Mary married a Lippincott and they settled in Cumberland County.

I had not ever been able to make the connection between the Mamie who wrote notes on the backs of these adorable postcards and my tree. Today I decided to conquer this line of the Wells family and low and behold, Henry and Mary Wells Lippincott had two daughters, Mamie and Abbie.

Mamie (or Margaret, she went as both) married Harry Bishop Elliott in 1901 and they had two children: Helen Elliott (1902-1962) and Walter Scott Elliott (1914-1999). I hope the Elliott family descendants find these images as interesting as I did. I love the look on Walter’s face, as I have similar pictures of my father with that “butter would not melt in his mouth” look.

 

Johannis Van Ryper becomes John Van Riper

I find it amusing that my genealogical Waterloo falls to a man who actually died near Waterloo (New York, that is). I have been working on building out my direct lines and making sure I had surnames for wives and other housekeeping. My Van Ripen/VanRiper line switches spelling mid 19th Century and I am not sure if this is universal to the Dutch or if something else was going on. I need to read more general history of the Dutch settlements in New Jersey. But I digress, let’s get back to John Van Riper.

The Van Riper clan landed in New Jersey very early (still working on that). John Van Riper is born into an established farming family. In the records of the Dutch Reformed Church, his name varies from Johannis Van Ryper to Jon Van Ripen with everything in between. And with a name like John…

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John Van Riper was born on 30 August 1766 and was baptized on 21 September 1766 in the church at Acquackanonk (now Passaic). On 11 March 1798 he married Geertje Doremus at Acquackanonk. Interesting side note: Geertje can Anglicize to Gertrude or Charity or Gitty and this Geertje did all at different times in her life.

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Johannis and Geertje had many children and I am still working on the definitive list. This is what I have so far:

  • Antje Van Riper (1799-?) Not sure if she survives infancy, but I have a birth/baptism record. Is this the Anne who married Garret A Van Riper who is mentioned in John Van Riper’s will?
  • Peter Van Riper (1801-1881) Moves to Seneca County, NY and is mentioned in John’s will
  • Peggy Van Riper (1802-) Is this the Margaret mentioned in John’s will as Margaret Vreeland, widow of Michael Vreeland?
  • Elizabeth Van Riper (1803-1889) married Nicholas Vreeland (1789-1873) This is my great grandmother, married Nicholas Vreeland.
    VanRiper_Elizabeth_birth_Persepeney_Book68_P287_crop
  • John G Van Riper (1805-?) No birth/baptism but John’s will is full of this man and his son Henry Doremus Van Riper and his wife Sarah
  • Mary Ann/Polly Van Riper (1810-1890) no birth/baptism record but mentioned in John’s will
  • Emeline Van Riper (1812-1890) no birth/baptism record but mentioned in John’s will
  • Simeon Van Riper (1816-1910) birth/baptism record, not mentioned in will, lived in Iowa and died in California
  • Garret Van Wiper (1819-?) birth/baptism record, mentioned in John’s will (NOT Garret A Van Riper), does this Garret go off to Michigan?
  • Henry Van Riper (? – ?) no birth or baptism but appears in John’s will as “son”

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This one is truly a work in progress. I have scrolled through the Dutch Reformed church records online in Ancestry and have pieced together some of the children.  Other online family trees give me lots of names but no records to back them up. Due to some of the naming conventions, I do not want to make any assumptions about exact parentage, and so I have checked records for Acquackanonk, Passaic, Persepeney (now Montville).

I did get parent’s names to pencil into the tree but way more research needs done before I declare that information. Thanks to #52ancestors I am adding names to the tree and records to my files!

Joseph N. Gibbs and the Quaker connection

The Gibbs surname appears several times on my family tree, which is not surprising given that various portions of the family tree stayed in Burlington County, New Jersey for most of the 18th and 19th centuries. In the case of Joseph Gibbs (1781-1865) the intriguing part was reading the Quaker meeting records to get a better understanding of his family’s life and times.

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The Quakers were great record keepers, in part because you either joined the meeting or you had a “birthright” to belong. As New Jersey and Philadelphia became more settled in the 18th century, there was considerable movement of individuals and families between meetings.  This all had to be tracked through the monthly minutes as well as the committees. The commentary can be sometimes perfunctory, sometimes fascinating.

I first find Joseph Gibbs requesting permission in February 1809 to join the Upper Springfield Meeting. The record explains very little but much later in the year, Joseph Gibbs and Elizabeth Ellis begin the cumbersome process of requesting permission to marry.  The final marriage certificate states that Joseph Gibbs, son of Benjamin and Deborah Gibbs of Dedford in Gloucester County, and Elizabeth Ellis, daughter of John and Elizabeth Ellis of Upperfreehold, have declared their intention to wed. It is signed by those present, but I don’t understand why Benjamin Gibbs’ name is not listed while John Ellis and family are.

Joseph and Elizabeth Gibbs may have remained at Upper Springfield until 1817 but the membership records are lost. On 8 May 1817, they transferred to the Mount Holly Monthly Meeting and stayed until 9 May 1844. At the time they joined they had three children. Shortly afterward their family increased with the addition of two more girls:

  • Martha Dorsey Gibbs (1811-1885) married John W. C Evans MD (1809-1860)
  • Susannah Ellis Gibbs (1814-1837) married Richard Jones (1812-1890)
  • Rebecca Howard Gibbs(1816-1877) M1 John Corneau M2 Nathan Ellis
  • Elizabeth E Gibbs (1818-bef. 1850) married Owen Shoemaker (1816-1898)
  • Josephine Abigail Gibbs (ca 1829-1886) married Martin M Cox (ca 1814-1875)

This seems to have been a turbulent time for most of the meetings in the area, which seems reasonable given the rapid growth of the area and the introduction of new technologies. Joseph’s name appears in several records in the 1820’s and 30’s as he and several other men in the Meeting are cautioned, censured and dismissed for joining groups (the local grange would be such a group). Late in the 1830’s, Joseph seems to have made some bad financial decisions and occurs debt, which is a real problem for the Quakers. I could pair the monthly and men’s meeting records with newspaper notices which asked creditors to present themselves to Samuel Ellis by a certain date.

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In 1844, the Gibbs family requested that their certificate be moved to Middletown, Pennsylvania, in Bucks County, Joseph and Elizabeth were accompanied by their minor daughter Josephine and seem to have settled in Bristol for several years. They are there long enough to marry off daughter Elizabeth (to Owen Shoemaker) and to bury wife Elizabeth (death 15 October 1845), returning to Burlington County by 1849 when Joseph begins proceedings to join the Meeting there.  Fascinating sideways genealogy tidbit! In Quaker tradition all the Quakers at the meeting sign the marriage certificate: Richard Jones, Alice W. Jones, Benjamin Jones and Joseph G. Jones are all listed as signatures!

I need to do more research to find out what Joseph Gibbs does between 1849 and his death in 1865. On the census he is a gentleman (isn’t that just loaded with nuance) but I need to get into newspapers and other types of records to go beyond his acting as an elder in the Mount Holly meeting. Once again, if you have information, please share it!

I went looking for her parents and found a slave

Well, this essay was supposed to be about something completely different, about someone completely different. And then a simple check of the 1860 Census brought me up short: nowhere in my growing knowledge bank of New Jersey history was there a mention that slavery was legal in 1860.  No that’s not a typo: slavery ended in New Jersey with the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865.

It began as a straight forward “fill in the missing ancestor” exercise. As I was verifying something in RootsMagic,  I noticed that I had never filled in the parents of my great grandmother.  In typical Squirrel fashion, I diverted for a moment to do a bit of research on the parents of Catherine Fisher (wife of Thomas Hiram Mount). I had a family notation that it was John Fisher but nothing further. Since this family was firmly settled in Mercer County, NJ by the middle of the 18th century, I started there and quickly found many references to John Fisher, born circa 1792, resident of West Windsor township. In bringing up the 1860 Census I was STUNNED to see the names and occupations of the people living in that household:

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Diana Updike, 76 year old female, black, Slave servant, born New Jersey.  Wait, what?!? Well, a deep dive into state history and I unearthed the fascinating fact (sarcasm much?) that although New Jersey had abolished slavery in 1804, that pertained to incoming or new slaves.  Resident slaves in 1804 remained slaves and their children served lengthy periods of indentured servitude and were freed at the will of their owners.  Slavery was abolished in 1865 in New Jersey the same way it was abolished in Kentucky, by the ratification of the 13th Amendment.

And that is where Diana/Dina fits in.  She is enslaved in 1804, she is enslaved and named in the 1860 Census and she is inherited by John Fisher’s wife Susan by deed of his will, probated after his death in 1863.

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I discovered that in 1865, upon the ratification of the 13th Amendment, New Jersey freed 16 slaves.  I have yet to find their names.  Diana/Dina, if you were one of those slaves, I would like to do you the honor of telling your story. I will continue to research this topic as I am able.

For now let me simply end the story with a bit of advice for anyone who thinks they have all the answers: you don’t know what you don’t know.

 

 

Joseph Van Syckel

The last of the siblings of Chester Van Syckel! This week #52ancestors lead me to Clinton, NJ. Joseph Van Syckel was the only one of Aaron‘s children to show a real interest in the store and farm established by his father.

 

 

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from the Library of Congress: Cornell and Van Derveer, 1851.

Joseph was born on 18 June 1818 on a farm near Norton, NJ in Hunterdon County. He was educated locally and began to work in the family store at Van Syckel’s corners. After buying out his father in 1853, he continued to operate the store for another five years. He also built up the farm where he was born, and appears to have branched out into bloodstock as I found a notation about him owning trotting horses: Lotta V. foaled 1885 by Bayonne Prince and the Mitchner Mare bred by Joseph B. Bird passed to Joseph Van Syckel, 1890.  He was also instrumental in the creation and management of the Clinton National bank (1856) and served as bank president from 1876 on.

VanSyckel_Catherine_graveOn 16 June 1842, Joseph Van Syckel married Catherine I. Smith (1823-1855), with whom he had three children: John Van Syckel (1843-1879), Helen Van Syckel (1849-1851) and Mary Van Syckel (1851-? died young?). After Catherine’s death, Joseph married Cyrena Martin (1830-1901) with whom he had two children: Frank Van Syckel (1859-1864) and Kate Van Syckel (1860-1943).

Joseph Van Syckel died on 19 February 1904 at home on the farm near Norton, NJ where he was born.  He is buried in Bethlehem Baptist Cemetery,  Pattenburg, NJ.

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I was lucky enough to be in Hunterdon County last month and got the chance to explore the town of Clinton (beautifully situated on the south ranch of the Raritan River). Driving around the countryside gave me some insight into where this branch of the family came from and how settling in Bethlehem, Clinton, and Flemington probably allowed these sibs to stay in touch without sitting on top of each other.

Mercy Van Syckel Dilley Carter

This post is a fishing expedition: I know next to nothing about Mercy Van Syckel and her two husbands but I would like to know more. Help! #52ancestors

FindAGrave_Dilley_SamuelCMercy Van Syckel was born 14 April 1820, the oldest daughter of Aaron Van Syckel and Mary Bird Van Syckel. She married Samuel C. Dilley (1827-1852) in 1846 in Hunterdon County. She had one son by Samuel, Chester Van Syckel Dilley. However, after Samuel’s death in 1852, she appears to have married Henry Carter on 12 February 1861.  I find the marriage record in Greenwich, Warren County, NJ.

My questions:

  • What killed Samuel C. Dilley at such a young age.  He was a farmer in Hunterdon County, so it could have been anything.
  • Who is Henry Carter? Life dates?

In 1870, Mercy is living with Chester on land he is farming in Hunterdon County.  However, Mercy’s worth has increased from $2500 in 1860 to $17,000 in 1870.  That’s a jump by any standard. Then, Mercy died on 24 December 1875.  Details?  Inquiring minds and all that. If you can shed any light on this at all, please let me know!

Alice Van Syckel Killgore

I think the thing that amazes me about Alice Van Syckel Killgore is that she had eleven children in fourteen years.  I realize that that is not a world record, or even the most children per union on my family tree, but can you even imagine? No multiples, fourteen pregnancies. I stand in awe. #52ancestors

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Found on Find a Grave

Alice Van Syckel was the third child of Aaron Van Syckel and Mary Bird Van Syckel.  She was born on 14 January 1822 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.  On 3 January 1843 she married Robert James Killgore (1820-1898).  Robert Killgore, a Kentucky transplant to NJ,  owned a farm in Raritan township and held various clerical and public service positions in Bethlehem and Raritan township until October 1875, when he became the Editor of the Hunterdon County Democrat.  He is listed as a Justice of the Peace in 1863 and a Surrogate from 1869 to 1874, all of which probably gave him great insights into the citizenry of Hunterdon County.

Alice and Robert Killgore had eleven children, five of whom died young:

  • Mary Van Syckel Killgore (1844-1928)
  • Lucy Ficklin Killgore (1845-1860)
  • Louisa Graves Killgore (1846-1855)
  • Alice Killgore (1847-1928)
  • Robert Killgore (1847-1922)
  • Charles Killgore (1849-1940)
  • Jonathan Killgore (1851-?)
  • Lora Killgore (1852-1922)
  • Sylvester Van Syckel Killgore (1854-1855)
  • Anthony Killgore (1856-1922)
  • John T. Killgore (1858-1875)

Two of her sons went on to have careers as chemists: Robert was a druggist in Dover, NJ.  You can find bottles with his name on them. And Charles went to Utica, NY where he invented a machine that would compress powder into tablets. Charles later moved to New York City and retired to Short Hills.

Kilgore, Rob't. Druggist, Dover, NJ med (2)

Alice Van Syckel Killgore died of consumption in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 26 January 1875.  She is buried in Bethlehem Baptist Cemetery in Pattenburg, NJ.

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