history-genealogy site

This is a site where I will discuss my family genealogy research and related history. When a blog deals with a particular family group, I will try to include it in the title so uninterested people can skip it without skimming it. It is my hope to get feedback on research methods, family members and historical context from other historians, genealogists, and researchers. (c) Barbara L. de Mare 2006, 2007

Location: Englewood, New Jersey, United States

Saturday, July 28, 2007

SAMUEL PRESTON admonishing his son-in-law SAMUEL CARPENTER II IN 1714

"From a letter addressed to SAMUEL CARPENTER 2D, in 1714 (3 years after he was married), by Samuel Preston, his father-in-law, he appears to have indulged too much at one time in irregular habits, although there is no doubt that he "mended his ways" and became an esteemed citizen. The original copy in the handwriting of the author is preserved, with an endorsement that he had delivered the original on the day upon which it was written. "Philadelphia, the 20th of 11th Mo. 1714 "I persuade myself that I need not use arguments to make thee sensible how thou stands interested in my affections. Thou must believe, when I gave thee my daughter, with the manner and circumstances of my doing it, that it was because I loved thee--and if thy reason may be permitted to guide thy judgment, thou will not unkindly resent what I herein say to thee, but understand and accept it, as a further confirmation of my good will towards thee. Believe me Samuel, I have with great sorrow seen in thee that which in affection duty and conscience, I am constrained to take notice of, and observe to thee for thy information, that is thy constant, frequent and pernicious practice of going to taverns. It is very surprising, and exercising to me, and I take it to be an infallible sign of thy degeneracy from the religious example and discipline which thou hast had, and I do say to thee that unless thou reform thou art in great danger of being utterly ruined and everlastingly unhappy in perpetual woe and misery. I pray thee give me leave to say to thee (I am sure it is in all abundance of love) some injurious effects that flow from that cause and I mention that, the expense, 'tis what I think the least of, but upon a modest computation that cannot be less than forty or fifty pounds per annum, which spent in thy family would make housekeeping more generous, and thy entertainments at home much more to thy liking, and abundantly more reputable; but if nothing of this sort be wanting, then it would certainly be an addition to thy estate, and an advantage to posterity. But the time thou spendest abroad in public houses is injurious to thy business reputation, relations friends and family. They that come upon any business are disappointed, and what might have offered for thy interest is turned away, and that is not all, thy reputation is sullied, which once sunk, the current of trade stops and is hardly ever regained. It is a scandalous imputation, "he is not at home but he certainly may be spoken with at Radleys." Thy absence from thy family makes thee too much a stranger to thy friends, and relations, whose visits and conversations might be instructive, edifying and conducive to thy advantage, not only in preserving affection, but helpful in advice, and experience, if needful; but the worst part is, it need be extremely disagreeable to thy wife who cannot but think herself slighted and ill used, that no endearment of hers, nor the very pledges of her affection, ever afford any agreeable entertainment, diversion or contentment at home but something must be sought for elsewhere--such once kindled are seldom if ever quenched, but all the bonds of conjugal affection, that brings you together are dissolved, and to speak plainly I fear something of the kind has got ground in her already--her disconsolate looks and frequent indispositions denote a depressed spirit (though I must say and it is a comfort to me) I never heard the least repining from her. To enumerate the many disorders that arise from this detestable practice, would carry me too great a length. I must confine myself to brevity, and only say that the too frequent use of strong drink is destructive to the whole fabric of life. It wets and destroys the animal spirit and clouds and affects the brain, breaks the constitution and contexture of the body. It makes man, the emblem of his creator, worse than inferior or irrational creatures. How contemptible is the drunkard. But thou mayst say is not the case. I confess I have not heard it, and am religiously thankful for it. But let me remind thee, there is 'a woe to them that go mightily to drink strong drink.' Upon the whole Son Carpenter, that which weighs most within me, is, the concern I have for thy future estate, inasmuch as we did not give ourselves being, but are and must be subject to a being much superior to us, ('though I must grant it ought to be our greatest concern in life to be conformable to the will of that power that made us). I beseech you think seriously, our soles are at stake. If we deceive ourselves on this great point, the loss is irreparable. Most certain it is (the text is plain) 'such as we sow such must we reap.' Let us therefore I pray thee, as is our indispensable duty and interest, examine what we are sowing. If it be fleshly and corrupt delights and carnal pleasures, we shall assuredly reap corruption. If our works are works of iniquity, it is not our saying Lord, Lord, nor professing what we have done in his name that will save us, our doom Christ himself has declared will be 'depart from me ye workers of iniquity I know ye not.' Seeing then that our doom is irreversible, that our rewards must be such as our works are, and that the workers of iniquity must depart unknown, that wilt confess it very much concerns us to take a view of ourselves--The tree is known by its fruits, men do not gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles. Give me leave therefore son Carpenter to query why art thou grown religiously cold? Thou appearest once or twice a week at the appointed place for visible worship; but so often so far out of time, that in charity I believe thou art ashamed and from a sense of guilt in thyself gets as much out of sight as thou well can. Art thou not becoming estranged in thy heart from those of the best reputation for sobriety and Christian worth? Is not the time thou spendest in the society of such persons from tavern conversation and company uneasy to thee? Art thou the primogeniture son, heir, and name of thy father, in the possession and inheritance of his virtues? Dost thou love honor and reverence his name? Come up in his place, tread in his footsteps, follow his example precepts and discipline. Art thou not unmindful of thy aged mother, a widow, to give her double honor, who acts the part of a double parent? As to customs, fashions and unprofitable conversation, art thou not therein taking a liberty for which in the end, in the tribunal of thy own conscience thou standest condemned? "Pray Samuel let these things take place with thee. I am well assured thou art gone from the innocency of thy good education, which I take to be the indication of a distempered mind brought on thee through a very ill habit. "Apply thyself to the great Physician of souls. He is able and no other to work thy cure. Take his medicine, follow his prescription; 'tis written in thy own heart, submit to the operation of it and thou wilt be made perfectly whole; but without such application thy disease will prevail. It must be a work of grace and a submission thereto, that will remove the cause, nothing else will do. Self resolutions are ineffectual and 'though they give some imaginary relief, it will be but a deception, the cause remaining, the effects will not cease. I therefore because I love thee, earnestly beseech thee to take my advice who am in great affection, "Thy affectionate father, SAMUEL PRESTON"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


When I first got serious about genealogy I read everything I could find about organization. No system seemed particularly good for my purposes, but I tried one. I think originally I just had hanging file folders for each family name. Well, I obviously outgrew that in a hurry. If I recall correctly my next step was to make folders for individual persons, divide them with number dividers, and keep a running list on the left side of what was in each number. I developed a numbering system, based on Ahnentafelso that new names wouldn't change it, and used those numbers on the file. I also color-coded by family. These are arranged by number and occupy many file drawers. I don't make a file until I have a need for it. I am not good at keeping the contents up on the computer, but generally do write them down on the left side of the folder. When I open a file I also make a page of labels with the persons name, number, and some other identifying information. Now, you guessed it--this was insufficient for families for whom I had a lot of stuff. It also worked poorly when I had general family information, not stuff on a specific person. One inch notebooks were my solution. I have dozens of them, organized alphabetically. I even hired a carpenter to build book shelves for them, so that the shelves are all the right height. One inch isn't a lot of space, especially if I have done a lot of research, or have a lot of family documents. For those families I go to 3 or 4 inch notebooks. These I try hard to keep quite well organized. Usually I start with geographic information about the family home in England, then move on to secitions for each place the family lived in this country. When the towns are small, I include a map and a brief sketch of the town history. Both can usually be found on the internet. I have seprate sections for census returns, records, cemetery information, etc. I also try to maintain research journals for each family, and periodically print them out and replace the prior one in the notebook. No two are exactly alike, as the information I have varies. I a keep a good Table of Contents to these books which is, in essence, a summary of what is included. My Chapel family is now on its 4th large notebook plus all the individual folders. I Have a Table of Contents which is many pages long. I recently completely re-organized and re-wrote one section as i had found a lot of new information. I use see-through dividers, sort of like page protectors, between sections. The part of the Contents applying to that section is printed separately and inserted in the dividers. At the beginning of each book I have the entire table of Contents for that book. This combination of systems works well, when I have time to keep it up. It is hard with my daughter and 4 grandchildren (5-11) living with me, a full time job, and many genealogical volunteer duties, such as President of one local Society and in charge of trips for another. I have many of the proverbial "stacks" or "piles." My desk is barely visible. I also have bins and milk crates to hold stuff waiting to be filed. These at least are divided by family or family group. My Chapel family with its four large notebooks has 4 more boxes of stuff sorted to be filed, and I am sure there is stuff in the "stacks." I also have boxes and boxes of pictures, mostly with trip notes so that I know what they are. The picture problem is still awaiting a solution. Next time I feel moved to write about organization, I will talk about original documents.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Yesterday I broke down and did it--joined Footnote. With Heritage Quest no longer available, it seemed worth it just for the Revolutionary War pension records. Unfortunately the records are not yet complete, but FOR the one ancestor I did find, RICHARD DIKENS, Footnote has 57 pages of his application, not just the 12 that were available on Heritage Quest. I played with Footnote a bit, and found it quite easy to navigate. There is lots of good information there, and when the site is "finished" should be well worth the nominal price.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

THOMAS CARPENTER, Revolutionary War ancestor & Quaker

Some notes concerning Thomas Carpenter, a great-grandson of Samuel Carpenter the Philadelphia immigrant, and one of my Revolutionary War ancestors. My sister and I found and photographed his residence at Carpenter's Landing, now Mantua, New Jersey on Veteran's Day, 2002. Carpenter's Landing was located at the furthest inland navigable point on the Mantua Creek from the Delaware River. From there supplies were unloanded and goods were loaded for sale from the Carpenter glass works in nearby Glassborough. The mansion house stood at the top of the slope going up from the landing spot. These pictures will be posted if I figure out how to do it! - - - - - - - - - - Married by Rev. Jonathan Odell. Before the ceremony, THOMAS CARPENTER was required, under the colonial law then in force, to execute a bond with security that no impediment existed, which bond is still on file in the office of the Secretary of State in Trenton according to Carpenter book, p. 58 (written in 1912). - - - - - - - Carpenter book (1912) contains the following article about Thomas, which may be a quote from an unnamed source: (pp 58-60) "Thomas Carpenter served an apprenticeship in an auction store at the corner of Front and South Streets, Philadelphia. Auctions, being prohibited within the jurisdiction of the City Councils, were conducted outside the southern boundary of the city. He formed an early attachment to MARY TONKIN and was but twenty one and five months old when they were married. He commenced life upon a farm belonging to his grandfather [Samuel 2d], called the Smith farm, near the Salem County almshouse, in Salem County. "In the early stages of the War of the Revolution he was commissioned pay master of the militia of the counties of Salem and Gloucester. His commission bears date March 19, 1777. He was also quartermaster of the first battalion of Salem troops, commanded by his friend Col. Samuel Dick, M.D., a prominent and patriotic citizen of Salem, where he had a large and lucrative practice as a physician. Being one of the staff of Col. Dick, THOMAS CARPENTER was present at the successful retreat of the American army from the banks of the Assanpink around the flank of the British army, on the night of January 3, 1777. This movement so successfully accomplished, whereby General Washington withdrew his undisciplined troops from the front of a powerful British army, to a position in the rear, where he threatened its communications and stores, and finally placed them in secure winter quarters near Morristown, without serious loss, has received commendation of the best historians and military critics. The chagrin of the enterprising British general, upon finding he had been outgeneraled by the enemy he professed to despise, may be imaged. "The personal recollections of these events by THOMAS CARPENTER, as he used to relate them, were substantially as follows: "The American army, commanded by General Washington, was encamped on the south side of the Assanpink Creek, a narrow stream fordable in many places within the limits of the City of Trenton. Lord Cornwallis, intent upon the destruction of his adversary, arrived and encamped on the opposite bank late in the afternoon prepared to give battle the next morning. All the available detachments in South Jersey had been hurried up to reinforce General Washington. The weather was warm and rainy, the roads almost impassable. Colonel Dick's battalion marched from Salem through Woodbury, Haddonfield, Mount Holly, and Recklestown to join the army; but, delayed by the bad roads and the breaking of an axle of a field gun, did not arrive in camp until late in the evening. About the time of their arrival, the wind changed and it soon became intensely cold. Having secured comfortable quarters with other officers in a neighboring house, CARPENTER loaned his overcoat to one of his less fortunate companions who had left his own with the baggage in the rear. At midnight an officer detailed to look up stragglers entered the apartments and informed them that the army was no longer there, had been gone an hour, and they must immediately mount and follow. Washington, afraid to risk a battle with his army, composed largely of raw, undisciplined troops, had taken advantage of the darkness and frozen roads to break up his encampment, leaving his camp fires burning to deceive the enemy, and marched, by a by-road called the "Old Quaker Road," around the flank of the British army, on Princeton. In this emergency THOMAS CARPENTER had nothing but a blanket which he tied around his neck and waist with handkerchiefs,--a poor defense against the piercing cold, from which he suffered greatly. His party overtook the army near Princeton, where a sharp engagement took place between the head of the column and two regiments of Hessians that were marching to reinforce the British army at Trenton. The noise of the firing was the first notice to Lord Cornwallis that the Revolutionary army had left its position on the Assanpink, and was then twelve miles in his rear directly on the line of his communications. After the action was over, MR. CARPENTER, in company with Colonel Dick, called upon General Mercer, who had received a mortal wound and was lying pale and suffering in his tent. It was the intention of General Washington to seize the stores of the British army at New Brunswick, but the accidental encounter at Princeton disconcerted his plans. Unable to cope with the British forces in hot pursuit, he continued his retreat and established himself in secure winter quarters in the vicinity of Morristown. "The detachment commanded by Colonel Dick was discharged on the completion of its term of service. Dr. Dick became a member of the New Jersey Assembly. THOMAS CARPENTER, detailed for the duty, was actively engaged in purchasing and forwarding supplies for the use of the army. The winter of 1777 was exceptionally severe. The snow fell at frequent intervals, enabling him to dispatch long trains of sleds laden with provisions and forage from time to time from the lower counties of the State to the encampment at Morristown. Whenever the roads would begin to wear out, a providential fall of snow would make them good. "Here is a copy of a letter from "Light-Horse Harry Lee" to THOMAS CARPENTER, purchasing commissioner. (The original is in the possession of Miss Susan M. Carpenter, 38 N. 2d Street, Camden, N.J.) Burlington, January 17, 1780 Sir:-- I have written to the Magistrates of Salem County begging them to aid you in the immediate conveyance of the flour to camp. Send on what is already manufactured with hurry, expedite the manufacture of the remainder and then convey it to Mr. Thomas at the "Black Horse." If the river should open send it to Trenton. You must procure drivers to go to camp with your cattle, or at any rate to the "Black Horse" where Mr. Thomas will take charge of them. For God's sake perform this business with all possible despatch. I am Sir, Your obedient (signed) HENRY LEE, JR. (Title indistinct) "THOMAS CARPENTER visited Red Bank on the next morning after the battle in which Count Donop and his Hessians were so signally defeated by Colonel Greene, and saw the wounded commander and the dead and wounded Hessians that encumbered the Whitall House, the lawn, and the ground about the fort. The house is still standing and plainly shows the mark of a cannonball which pierced its wall during the action. Many of the dead and wounded were shot in the back in their efforts to escape from the trap in which they had been caught. "In the year 1785 he removed to Cooper's Point and engaged in mercantile business. A curious set of bullet-moulds for casting musket-balls and buckshot has been preserved, which he made use of at the time to supply his customers with buckshot to shoot the deer which were then plenty in the forests of New Jersey. It is now in the possession of General L.H. Carpenter, is in excellent preservation, and bears upon the handles the initials T.C. 1786 E.C. 1834. He remained at Cooper's Point about two years. From thence, having formed a partnership with Colonel Thomas Heston, his wife's nephew by marriage, he removed to Carpenter's Landing (now called Mantua). Heston and Carpenter built and established a large glass manufactory at Glassborough, where they acquired a large landed property. A store and lumber business were also maintained and carried on at Carpenter's Landing. The business was successfully prosecuted until the death of Colonel Heston. The property was then divided, THOMAS CARPENTER retired, and was succeeded by his son Edward, by whom it was continued until his death in 1813. Glassborough is still distinguished for its glass factories, and has become a large and flourishing village under the auspices of the descendants of Colonel Heston. "THOMAS CARPENTER continued to reside at Carpenter's Landing the remainder of his life. [physical descriptions follow of Thomas and his wife Mary] "Both THOMAS and MARY CARPENTER lie buried in the cemetery adjoining the Friends meeting house in Woodbury, N.J. Their graves adjoin each other on the north side of the enclosure. about midway, and near the boundary fence, each designated by a small marble, with name on its top. Lately a stone retaining wall has been placed there for their protection. "THOMAS CARPENTER left no will. The farm at Carpenter's Landing was divided and sold in parcels after his death. The mansion, garden, orchard, and adjacent grounds, with the buildings, were purchased by Charles Martel, whose family still own and occupy them. "NOTE--Thomas Carpenter was adjutant of Colonel Dick's battalion in the Princeton and Trenton campaign from November, 1776, to the latter part of January 1777; afterwards quartermaster. He was for a time ensign of Captain Roanes' company of Dick's battalion. (See petition of THOMAS CARPENTER for a pension.)" - - - - - - - Pension File: New Jersey Carpenter, Thomas R17117 1/2 State of New Jersey ss: Mercer County On this first day of July one thousand and eight hundred and fifty one before me the subscriber one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, personally appeared Thomas P. Carpenter Esq., who being duly sworn according to law on his oath saith That he makes the foregoing declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7, 1832, granting pensions to those who served in the Revolutionary War S6. That he is the grandson of Thomas Carpenter who was a Paymaster to the militia and ? of the Counties of Salem and Gloucester in said state in the War of the revolution. That said declarant claims for himself, Mary C. Howell (wife of Richard W. Howell), James S. Carpenter, Samuel T. Carpenter, and Edward Carpenter such amount of pension as may be justly due on account of the services of his Grandfather as Paymaster from 1777 to 1781 in said Revolutionary War. Sworn and subscribed the day ) T.P. Carpenter and year above written ) (CERTIFICATE) State of New Jersey I Thomas S. Allison Register of the Perogative Court of the State of New Jersey holden at Trenton in and for said State do hereby certify that satisfactory evidence has been exhibited to said Court, that Thomas Carpenter, who was a PayMaster for the militia of the State of New Jersey in the War of the Revolution, died on the seventh day of July One thousand eight hundred and forty-seven at his residence in the County of Gloucester in said State, leaving no widow, and the following named grandchildren viz: Mary Howell, James S. Carpenter, Samuel T. Carpenter, Edward Carpenter and Thomas P. Carpenter, being the only heirs of the said Thomas Carpenter dec'd. In Testimony whereof I have here unto set my hand and affixed the seal of said Court at Trenton this twenty third day of June eight hundred and fifty-one. Thos. S. Allison, Register Abstracts of the Council of Safety Minutes, p.67: "1777 December 12 [Friday]. The Council met at Princeton. Present--Governor, Mr. Speaker, Camp, Manning, Mehelm, Elmer, Col. Fleming, Smith. Application to the Board for payment of money due to the Militia in Gloucester Countyunder the command of Col. Ellis. Agreed that Col. Ellis be informed by letter that the Legislature directed the Delegates to obtain from Congress $120,000 dollars for paying the debt due to the Militia of this State anf that the proportion og $16,000 dollars, when obtained, be given to Thos. Carpenter for the payment of the Militia of Gloucester & Salem."