Gov. Andrew Hamilton

Exciting day at the Rodgers home! I’ve been trying to trace Tim’s grandmother’s Hamilton ancestors back to Scotland for as long as we’ve been married, almost 44 years. Taking notes from her father’s autobiography and her mother’s research, the line went back only 4 generations.

Allegra Estelle Hamilton 1900-1992
Charles Amos Hamilton 1866-1943
Charles Munson Hamilton 1815-1891
Benjamin Hamilton 1792-1880
William Hamilton 1756-1824

All we knew of Benjamin was that he came from New Jersey and settled in New York, and that his father, William, fought in the Revolutionary War. Charles Amos became a member of the Sons of the American Revolution as a great-grandson of William, on 4 January 1924.

William participated in the battles of the Narrows on the Susquehanna River and at Tioga Point. He was a member of Capt. Morrison’s Co. 1 Battalion.

No one seemed to know the name of William’s father but it was thought that he was born in Scotland. However, it seems he was actually born in New Jersey. As I was browsing Ancestry.com this morning I stumbled across a picture of a page entitled The Hamilton Family, pg. 291. It’s from the book by J. Percy Crayon, Rockaway Records of Morris County, N. J. Families, (Rockaway, N.J., Rockaway Publishing Co., 1902).

But, much to my delight, one of the Benjamins on the page matched up with Tim’s Benjamin Hamilton. And at long last the mystery is solved! William’s second wife, Phebe Hurt, is the name of Benjamin’s previously unidentified mother. And the line now goes back 3 more generations to the Scottish ancestor.

William Hamilton 1756-1824 (Revolutionary War)
Stephen Hamilton ?-1759 (died in the Battle of Ticonderoga, French & Indian War)
John Hamilton c.1681-1747
Gov. Andrew Hamilton ?-1703 (Governor of colonial New Jersey, Tim’s 7th-great-grandfather)

This afternoon I found the following account of Andrew’s life in Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography (1900) edited by James Grant Wilson & John Fiske. It was all one paragraph but I’m breaking it up to make it easier to read. Enjoy!

HAMILTON, Andrew, governor of New Jersey, b. in Scotland; d. probably in Burlington, N. J., 20 April, 1703. He was engaged in business as a merchant in Edinburgh, and was sent to East Jersey as a special agent for the proprietaries. Having discharged that mission satisfactorily, he was recommended as a man of intelligence and judgment to Lord Neil Campbell, who was sent to that province in 1686 as deputy-governor for two years. He was made a member of the council in consequence, and in March, 1687, became acting governor on the departure of Lord Neil for England, who was called there on business and did not return.

In 1688, East and West Jersey having surrendered their patents, those provinces came under the control of Gov. Edmund Andros, and were annexed to New York and New England. Andros, then residing in Boston, visited New York and the Jerseys, continuing all officers in their places, and making but slight changes in the government. In consequence of the revolution of 1688 in England, Gov. Hamilton visited the mayor of New York as the representative of Andros, that official having been seized by the New-Englanders in April, 1689. He finally sailed for England, in order to consult with the proprietaries, but was captured by the French, and did not reach London until May, 1690. He was still residing there in March, 1692, when he was appointed governor of East Jersey, and also given charge of West Jersey.

Although he administered the affairs of the province to the satisfaction of both the colonists and the proprietaries, he was deposed in 1697, “much against the inclination” of the latter, in obedience to an act of parliament which provided that “no other than a natural-born subject of England could serve in any public post of trust or profit.” Hamilton returned to England in 1698, but so great was the disorder and maladministration under his successor, Jeremiah Basse, that he was reappointed, 19 Aug., 1699. He could not, however, right the wrong that had been already done, or repair the abuses that had crept in. Officers were insulted in the discharge of their duties, and the growth of the province was seriously interfered with.

In 1701 he was appointed by William Penn deputy-governor of Pennsylvania, the latter having been called to England to oppose the machinations of those who were plotting to deprive him of his American possessions. On Penn’s arrival in London everything was done to harass him, factious opposition being made to the confirmation of Gov. Hamilton, who was wrongfully charged with having been engaged in illicit trade. The appointment finally received the royal sanction. In the session of the provincial assembly in Oct., 1702, the representatives of the territories refused to meet those of the province, claiming the privilege of separation under a new charter, and expressing their firm determination to remain apart.

Hamilton strongly urged the advantages of union, and used all his influence to secure this result, but without effect. He also made preparations for the defence of the colony by organizing a military force. He died while on a visit to his family in New Jersey the year following. It was to Andrew Hamilton that the colonies were indebted for the first organization of a postal service, he having obtained a patent from the crown for the purpose in 1694. —

His son, John, acting governor of New Jersey, d. in Perth Amboy, N. J.. in 1746. It is not known whether he was born in East Jersey or in Scotland. He is first heard of in public life as a member of Gov. Hunter’s council in 1713. He retained his seat under Gov. Burnet, Gov. Montgomerie, and Gov. Cosby. In 1735 he was appointed associate judge of the provincial supreme court, but probably did not serve, as he became acting governor on the death of Gov. Cosby, only three weeks after the latter’s accession to office, 31 March, 1736. He continued at the head of affairs until the summer of 1738, when Lewis Morris was appointed governor of New Jersey, “apart from New York.”

Hamilton again became acting governor on the death of the latter in 1746, but he was then quite infirm and died a few months afterward. He is usually credited with having established the first colonial postal service, but the weight of authority seems to favor the belief that it was his father who obtained the patent.

Last Revised: 19 April 2019

Prisoner of War

Tim’s 6th-great-grandfather, Capt. Ezekiel Huntley, son of David and Mary (Munsell) Huntley, was born before 4 April 1731 in Lyme (New London) Connecticut, and died there 25 July 1783. He married (as his second wife) 8 November 1759 in Lyme, Naomi Tiffany, who was born 28 December 1737 in Lyme, and died 25 July 1821, daughter of Consider and Naomi (Comstock) Tiffany.

Ezekiel married (as his first wife) about 1756 in Lyme, Mary Avery, who was born before 4 May 1729 in Groton (New London) Connecticut, and died in September 1757 in Lyme, daughter of Nathaniel and Rachel (Yeomans) Avery. Ezekiel and his family lived in Lyme on property given to him by his grandfather, Aaron Huntley.

Ezekiel served in the American Revolutionary War. Between 11 May and 10 December 1775, he was enlisted in Capt. David F. Sill’s Company in Col. Samuel H. Parson’s 6th Connecticut Regiment, and marched to Boston and remained in Roxbury until he was discharged.

Ezekiel was fifty-one years old when he was joined by his son Asher on the ill-fated April-May 1782 first trip of the brigantine General Green, under Capt. Gideon Olmsted. The ship made its way down the flooded Connecticut River, out into Long Island Sound, and the open Atlantic, and when east of the Nantucket Shoals met the British privateer ship Virginia, which soon overpowered them. All 83 men were taken prisoner and sent to prison ships in New York harbor, where some died. Some came home, including Ezekiel, who died in Lyme a few days after his return. Naomi remained a widow for 38 years until her own death.

Ezekiel & Mary (his first wife) were the parents of two daughters:

1. Abigail Huntley, (twin) born before 20 July 1757 in Lyme, died 19 September 1810 in Franklin (New London) Connecticut. She married 10 December 1779 in Franklin, Martin Abel, who was born 14 April 1754 in Norwich (New London) Connecticut and died 13 April 1817 in Franklin. Abigail & Martin were the parents of three children.

2. Hannah Huntley, (twin) born before 20 July 1757 in Lyme, died after 1803. She married 28 May 1775 in Lyme, Dan Chadwick, who was born 21 October 1753 in Lyme and died 1 September 1798 in Old Lyme (New London) Connecticut. Hannah & Dan were the parents of eight children.

Ezekiel & Naomi (his second wife, Tim’s 6th-great-grandmother) were the parents of eight children:

1. Lois Huntley, (twin) born before 18 September 1764 in Lyme, died 2 February 1844. She married 11 May 1780 in East Haddam (Middlesex) Connecticut, Zachariah “Uriah” Sanford, who died before 1790, son of Samuel and Deborah (Matson) Sanford. Lois & Zachariah were the parents of two children.

2. Rufus Huntley, (twin) born before 18 September 1764 in Lyme, died before 2 September 1778, age 13.

3. Elias Huntley, born before 28 July 1765 in Lyme, died there 10 January 1783, age 17.

4. Asher Huntley (Tim’s 5th-great-grandfather), born 1 March 1767 in Lyme, died 3 March 1849 in Granger (Medina) Ohio. He married 14 November 1792 in Colebrook (Litchfield) Connecticut, his first cousin, Betsey Wilder Tiffany, who was born 25 February 1772 in Hartland (Hartford) Connecticut and died 16 February 1837 in Bath (Summit) Ohio, daughter of Consider and Sarah (Wilder) Tiffany. Asher & Betsey were the parents of five children.

5. Naomi Huntley, born about 1768 in Lyme, died 2 December 1840 in Sharon (Medina) Ohio. She married Matthew Look.

6. Ezra Huntley, born before 2 June 1771 in Lyme, died 13 April 1817 in North Stonington (New London) Connecticut. He married (as her first husband) 29 December 1796 in Stonington (New London) Connecticut, Eunice Holmes, who was born there about 1779, and died 21 April 1832 in Salem (New London) Connecticut, daughter of John and Martha (Stanton) Holmes. Ezra & Eunice were the parents of eight children.

7. Rufus Huntley, born before 13 September 1777 in Lyme, died 24 April 1860 in Sharon Center (Medina) Ohio. He married 22 December 1799 in Lyme, Mary “Polly” Lay, who was born there 11 August 1781, and died 13 February 1870 in (Medina), daughter of Peter and Hepzibah (Peck) Lay.

8. Ezekiel Huntley, born before 21 May 1780 in Lyme, died 6 March 1853 in Granger. He married 8 September 1803 in Lyme, Ruth Minor, who was born there 4 December 1787 and died 12 December 1851 in Granger, daughter of Elisha and Amy (Way) Minor.

Independence Day

A special Thank You to our ancestors who served in the War for Independence:

Capt. Nathaniel Shaw (1717-1800)

Capt. Ezekiel Huntley (1731-1783)

Lt. Francis Shurtleff (1738-1794)

William Shurtleff (1743-1790)

Isaac Weekes (1747-1792)

Ichabod Tillson (1750-1822)

Seth Allen (1755-1838)

William Hamilton (1756-1824)

Samuel Cash (1758-1847)

…and to any and all who remain unknown for now…

 

Last Revised: 17 April 2019