home documents images maps surveys articles books meetingplace
Early Settlements in Springfield Township, Burlington County, N.J. by Barclay White


Read before the Association of Practical Surveyors of West New Jersey, Jan. 4th, 1870




The township of Springfield, in Burlington County, N. J., retains its original boundaries as incorporated in 1798. The name by some is supposed to be derived from copious springs, which are variously located in different parts of the township. Others, with more probability, believe it was given as a reminiscence of some recent home. One authority states, it was so called by a company of settlers who removed from Springfield in Connecticut; however this may be we find the name in location deeds, as early as the year 1683.

In shape the township is triangular, the northerly boundary, in length about ten miles, is marked by the Assiscunck Creek; the remaining sides are respectively seven and nine miles long; it contains eighteen thousand acres of alluvial soil, which for agricultural purposes may be classed as of first quality, comparing favorably for such use; with any other equal area in the State.

Assiscunck, Annaricken and Barkers creeks with their tributaries, radiate over its territory; along the valleys of these are broad natural meadows, of exceeding fertility, which, by supporting large herds of cattle, have enabled their owners to keep the slightly undulating upland between them, in the highest state of fertility, growing thereon the cereals in great perfection.

It is in fact "a goodlie country," inhabited by an honest and intelligent people, many of whom now cultivate with increasing fertility and profit, the same acres their ancestors purchased from the Council of Proprietors, nearly two hundred years ago.

Within the township, and near its southerly boundary is a range of hills, having an elevation of about two hundred feet above the level of the sea, which, in consequence of the level surface of the surrounding country are dignified with the title of Mounts. These hills contain large quantities of sandstone, and furnish the only supply of stone, for building or other purposes, to an extensive region around them. This range is a portion of a series of detached hills extending across the State, which have been much used for telegraph communication between the cities of Philadelphia and New York; first by means of colored rockets, and more recently, up to the time of a magnetic telegraph between those cities, by movable signal arms, placed on the top of high wooden towers.

In 12th month 1687, Symon Charles, Deputy Surveyor, made return for Robert Stacy, of three hundred acres, lying and being at Onanickon, in the County of Burlington, adjoining lands of Matthew Champion, John Schooley and Thomas Shinn; this tract was conveyed by John Stacy, son and heir at law of Robert Stacy, May 19th, 1697, to John Schooley, Jr., who had previously by location, and purchase from Ralph Trenoworth, Katharine, widow of William Bard, and William Bustill, of portions of all of their several adjacent locations, became possessed of 476 acres. Upon a re-survey sixty years afterwards, there were found within the ancient boundaries of this tract, a surplus of 139 acres, making in all 615 acres; upon the northerly portion of which he built a large house with adobes or unburnt brick walls. This house [p. 63] stood near the present farm buildings of Howard White; it was known by the title of "the mud house," and was destroyed by fire many years ago.

The northerly portion of this tract, although frequently conveyed by deed, has since remained in the descendants of John Schooley, and for nearly one hundred years has been rented, it having been owned by women, who have resided with their husbands off the premises.

John Stacy, after selling the above mentioned tract probably removed to Maryland, as we find by the records of Thirdhaven Monthly Meeting in said State, that in 1698, "This meeting desires that John Stacy may be agreed to cover this Meeting-house, and John Pemberton has promised 300 30d nails and 1,000 received, and 4,000 10d, and Thomas Edmundson has promised to give timber to cover it."

And by another minute "John Stacy having covered and ceiled our great meeting-house, there due unto him 2,500 pounds of tobacco," &c.

John Schooley, Jr., son of John Schooley, of Hawsworth Woodhouse, Parish of Handsworth County of York, England, was an Elder among Friends, he married 2 mo. 25, 1711, Frances Taylor Nicholson, daughter of Samuel and Susannah Taylor, of Door, County of Derby, England, and widow of Joseph Nicholson, and died in the early part of 1735, leaving sons, John Nicholson, Samuel Nicholson, Jonathan Nicholson and Thomas Nicholson, and six daughters. Samuel Nicholson inherited the southerly part and Jonathan Nicholson the remainder of the homestead farm. The partition line terminating on the south side of "the old weaver's hill," the same point mentioned in the location deed 1685, as near the house of "the old weaver under the hill." This old weaver appears to have been John Ewan, and the very ancient brick house in Juliustown, now belonging to the heirs of Jonathan R. Cliver, was on his farm, and was probably erected by himself or son Julius.

Children of John and Francis Schooley:

Susannah Schooley married Michael Newbold, 2 mo. 15, 1730.

John Schooley married 1743, Rachel Wright, daughter of Samuel Wright, the son of Joshua Wright; he inherited from his father the farm near Plattsburg, late the property of John Pancoast, deceased. His daughter Fanny Schooley, married John Leonard, who joining the Royalists during the Revolutionary War, the farm was confiscated.

Samuel Wright sold his portion of the homestead farm, and removed to Schooley's mountain, in the upper part of the State; from thence the family removed to near Harper's Ferry, Virginia, and finally to Ohio.

Jonathan Schooley, in 1750, married Mary Wright, daughter of John Wright, of Wrightstown. Thomas Schooley died young. Rebecca Schooley married Joseph Wright, son of John Wright. Sarah Schooley married Joseph Horner, of Princeton.

Isabel Schooley married ____ Ridgway.

Mary Schooley married, 1st, Jonathan Barton; 2nd, Thomas Black. By these husbands she had Jonathan Barton and John Black, both posthumous children; and afterwards married, 3rd, Samuel Wright, son of John Wright, of Wrightstown, by whom there was no issue, but who had by a previous marriage, John Wright, Caleb Wright and Mary Wright. Caleb Wright was the father of the late Samuel G. Wright. Mary Wright was a minister among Friends, and married Henry Ridgway.

Ann Schooley, born in 1699, and daughter of the first wife, Rebecca Schooley, married ____ Scattergood.

Thomas Black and Samuel Black were sons of John Black, whose father, William Black, emigrated from England. [p. 64]

1. Anna Newbold married Anthony Taylor: Children‹Michael Taylor, Anthony Taylor, Robert Taylor, Sarah Taylor, Mary Taylor and Ann Taylor; the two latter married Thomas Newbold.

2. John Newbold married Mary Cole: Children‹Samuel Newbold; Ann Newbold married Daniel Offley; Rachel Newbold married Daniel Newbold; Mary Newbold married _____ Reeve.

2. Rebecca Newbold married Thomas Earl: Children‹Michael Earl, Thomas Earl, John Earl and Clayton Earl. Clayton married Mary Foster: Children‹William, Clayton, George, John; Rebecca married Richardson; Charlotte married Wister; Susan and Elizabeth.

5. Joseph Newbold.

6. Mary Newbold married Robert Emley: Children‹John Emley; married Olden; married Horner.

7. Susan Newbold married Samuel Hough: Children‹Susan Hough married Nathan Trotter, Ann Hough married Joseph Trotter, Mary Hough married Samuel Newbold, Jonathan Hough married Jane C. Lacey, Joseph, Elizabeth, and Charlotte.

In 1693, John Renshaw located two hundred and forty-four acres of land, adjoining southwestwardly, the last described tract of John Schooley, he conveyed the same, June 25, 1695, to John Ewan, who was by trade a weaver, and settled upon this purchase, on the 25th day of June, 1731. He conveyed the same to his son, Julius Ewan, from whom Juliustown, the most flourishing village in the township, derives its name; this tract includes the site of the village of Juliustown, or Houghton, and "the old weaver's hill," and joins Thomas Budd's survey of 1693 on "Mount Pisgah," which is the most easterly hill in this Springfield range, and the northerly point of Budd's survey.

From various deeds of property here, drawn by William Dillwyn in 1768, we learn that the village "is now called, and hereafter is to be known by the name of Houghton," but the new title, although more appropriate, does not appear to have been generally adopted, and probably few of the present residents of Juliustown have ever heard of the name as applied to their village.

Among the past notables of Juliustown, may be mentioned Susey Toole, a reputed witch, whose residence was to be avoided by the timid after nightfall, and John Williams, an Englishman, generally known as "Preceptor," who has left a curious diary of noticeable events of his day, among which is found this entry: "April 24, 1819, evacuated the school house near Juliustown, having presided in it more than thirty-two years."

The pretty country seat in Houghton, late of Jacob T. Bunting, deceased, was in 1768 the property and former dwelling house, burned many years ago, the residence of William Dillwyn, brother of George Dillwyn, an eminent minister among Friends, and the birth place of his only child Susan Dillwyn, who afterwards married Samuel Emlen. William Dillwyn's sister, Ann Dillwyn married John Cox of Burlington; their daughter Susan Cox, married Dr. Joseph Parish, of Philadelphia.

Westward along the township line, we find that John Tatham, Jr., gent, by deed, dated January 1st, 1711, conveyed to Thomas Hough 650 acres, being at a place called or known as Oneanickon, the said John Tatham, Jr., inherited the same as son and heir at law of John Tatham of Burlington; this tract appears to have been located as follows: 25 acres by George Hutchinson, 300 acres by Benjamin Antrobus (last name partially obscured in the original), 100 acres by Edward Boulton, and the balance by the said John Tatham. By a re-survey made by Thomas Scattergood, Deputy Surveyor, September 1st, 1726, said survey fell short of the original quantity thirty-nine acres.

On ye fourthe day of ye eleventh month commonly called January, 1721, Samuel Shinn, cordwainer, conveyed to Thomas Hough, 120 acres adjoining the aforesaid lands of said Hough, it being a portion of 200 acres that Thomas Shinn, father of said Samuel Shinn, purchased of Benjamin Wheat, the 14th of December, 1687. Mary, [p. 65] the widow of Thomas Shinn, afterward married Silas Crispin. Most of the above mentioned tracts of land Thomas Hough gave to his grandson, Daniel Hough, by will dated November 19, 1736.

On the thirtieth day of July, 1743, Jonathan Hough, son of the aforesaid Daniel Hough, leased for a term of fifty years to Caleb Shreve, John West, Michael Atkinson, Joseph Lamb, Julius Ewan, Jacob Shinn, Abraham Merritt, James Langstaff, yeomen, and Benjamin Carter, and Isaac Cowgill, planters, one acre of land for the use of a school house near the improvements of Nathan Wilson, at the crossing of the great road from Bridgeton to new dwelling house of the said Jonathan Hough, with the road that leads from John West's gate to Hanover road, they paying therefore a yearly rent of one penny if demanded; this acre lay at the N. E. end of Caleb Shreve's Mount.

On the 3d of 8th mo., 1743, sundry Friends belonging to the upper part of Mount Holly Meeting, made application in writing to Burlington Monthly Meeting, for liberty to hold a meeting for worship on the first day of each week, during the winter season, at a school house standing near Caleb Shreve's Mount, which the meeting took under consideration, and at the next meeting took under consideration, and at the next meeting did consent that they hold a meeting according to their request, commencing from the beginning of 10th month. The meeting continued to be reputably attended and in 1776 a preparative meeting was established. At this time it numbered in members, adults, 53; minors, 51; total, 104.

This meeting and school-house was constructed of logs. Ephraim Tomlinson, in his journal, says: "On the 20th day of 6th mo., 1771, I was at the marriage of my son-in-law, John Gardiner, at the log meeting-house, hard by Julytown."

2d mo. 13, 1775, Jonathan Hough, Jr., conveyed to "Daniel D. Smith, Samuel Shinn, Samuel Allinson, John Comfort, Peter Ellis, Edward Black and John Hilliard, the survivor or survivors of them, in trust, 1 A. 2 R. 25 P. of land to and for the purpose of building a meeting-house thereon, for the people called Quakers, and for a place to bury their dead." During 1776 a stone meeting-house was erected thereon. 2d mo. 17, 1800, the wooden portion of this building was mostly consumed by fire. It occurred in the daytime, and when there was much snow on the ground. The lower floor was saved from burning by throwing snow upon it.

In 1809, during the night following the funeral of Mary Hough, wife of Jonathan Hough, the building was again burned. This time the walls were unconsumed, and remained of sufficient strength to support the present structure, which was soon erected.

In the 5th mo., 1689, John Day, yeoman, of the County of Burlington, did lay forth and survey in the township of Springfield, 353 acres of land, lying northward of and adjoining the above-mentioned 300 A., surveyed to Benjamin Antrobus, and, after reserving therefrom six acres of meadow, in 1698 conveyed the remainder for 300 A. to Joseph English. Upon a resurvey, the boundaries described in the deed of location were 431 acres, a portion of which was conveyed by Samuel Black, son of John Black, to William Fox. This is now the property of Stacy B. Lippincott, and is still known as the Fox place. The remainder was conveyed in 1747 by John Robert Arthur, of Wales, in Great Britain, to Charles Read, then Secretary of the province, who gave to it the title of "Sharon," and conveyed it by that name in 1750 to Daniel Doughty, in whose descendant it still remains.

A red cedar post, set in by said Read in 1749, to mark one of the corners of Sharon, and having upon it his initials and the date, is still standing in a good state of preservation.

Daniel was the son of Jacob Doughty, a minister among Friends, whose residence was in Hunterdon County, N. J. He was one of fourteen children, of whom two [p. 66] only were sons. In 1729 he married Ann Stevenson, daughter of John and Mercy Stevenson, and grand-daughter of Samuel Jennings, the first governor of the province.

Ann Doughty and three children died between the 9th and 24th of 7th mo., 1742. The surviving child, Mary Doughty, married William Lovet Smith, in or about the year 1749. At their wedding, held at the house (now demolished) lately occupied by Caleb Newbold, decd., among other guests, appeared Governor Belcher in a carriage. Tradition informs us that this was the first carriage ever seen in the township.

Samuel Jennings left three daughters. Sarah Jennings the eldest, in 1699, married Edward Pennington, youngest son of Isaac Pennington the younger, and half brother of Gulielma Springett Penn, wife of William Penn. Edward Pennington was Surveyor General of the province of Penna.; he died in Philadelphia two years after his marriage, leaving one son Isaac Pennington. Anne Jennings married William Stevenson. These sisters appear to have married at the same time. Mercy Jennings, in 1706, married John Stevenson, and in ____(left blank in the original) Thomas Stevenson married Sarah Pennington, widow of Edward Pennington. The three Stevensons were brothers, and emigrated in the same vessel that brought over Samuel Jennings and family.

In 1684 Godfrey Hancock located 200 acres, adjoining John Day, westwardly, beginning at a stake set up in a meadow, at the head of one of the branches of Birch creek, and running thence N. W. by W. 42ch. to a white oak for a corner, at the foot of a mount. 1st mo. 1st, 1685, he conveyed the same, he conveyed the same to Wm. Salloway, merchant, of Philadelphia. This tract was afterwards known as "Salloway's Neck" and passed through various hands, up to Nov. 2, 1753, when William West conveyed it, with 50 A., added by resurvey, to William Lovet Smith, merchant, of Burlington, who then gave it the name of "Bramham," from Bramham, in Yorkshire, England, whence his ancestors emigrated. Several members of this family having long held positions of trust in the province, it may be interesting to give here a short account of them.

Richard Smith was baptized 18th of May, 1593, at Bramham, Yorkshire, England, and was buried 19th of Nov., 1647. His son Richard Smith, was baptized Oct. 15, 1626, was a physician and became a preacher among Friends. He was married to Ann Yates at York, England, Feb. 25th, 1653. Their residence was near Bramham. Of their twelve children, five sons, viz: John Smith, Daniel Smith, Joseph Smith, Emanuel Smith and Richard Smith, and one daughter, Deborah Smith, emigrated in or about the year 1677. John Smith died at sea; the others settled at Burlington, N. J. One other son, Samuel Smith, left England in 1690 and located at Bucks County, Pa; but afterwards removed to Burlington.

Samuel Smith died in 1718, being at the time one of the members of Assembly for Burlington.

Daniel Smith served many years faithfully in the Assembly and died in 1742. His wife was Mary Murtin, daughter of Robert and Ann Murtin. "She was found drowned, with her horse, in the year 1739, near the long bridge in the Northern Liberties, Philadelphia, supposed to have occurred in attempting to give her horse water, where it was very deep. This was then the only direct road to Philadelphia."

Her sister, Johanna Murtin, married John Sykes, who while a boy, emigrated with his father, Samuel Sykes, and grandfather John Sykes. The latter died soon after landing, being very aged.

John Sykes, the younger, died 10 mo. 1771, aged 90. He was the father of Anthony Sykes whose son Thomas Sykes, was the father of the late George Sykes.

Richard was twelve years one of the Council, and died in 1750. [p. 67]

Richard Smith, son of Samuel Smith, was elected a member of the Assembly for Burlington, in 1730, and died while that body was in session at Amboy, Nov. 9, 1751, having represented Burlington in Assembly twenty years.

Dr. Franklin's paper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, of Nov. 21, 1751, says:
"Last week died Richard Smith, Esq., of Burlington, N. J., and was buried in Friends' burial ground in that city, in whom the character of a generous, good natured, hospitable man, true patriot, and good Christian, were so truly blended, that he lived beloved, and esteemed by all who knew him, and his death is lamented as a public loss by the people of that province."

One of his descendants in a letter to a friend (since published) says:
"Richard Smith carried on an extensive commerce from the old city of Burlington, in vessels built by himself, some of his sons acted for him as supercargoes, &c., to the West Indies. In front of the residence of the late Bishop Doane, on Green Bank, are the remains of an old wharf, from which probably went all the produce then shipped from Burlington to distant parts. This wharf was Richard Smith's, there his ships were built, and from it in one of his vessels his son John sailed as supercargo in 1741, at the early age of 19, having a mind, as he says, to see the island of Barbadoes, and to know the manner of living at sea, and to survey the wonders of the Lord in the deep, and having my father's consent so to do."

Richard Smith married Abigail Raper, 8 mo. 20th, 1719. Samuel Smith, their eldest son, was author of that valuable and standard work, Smith's History of New Jersey.

John, the second son, married Hannah Logan, daughter of James Logan, the well known friend and most trusted counsellor and representative of William Penn, and was made a member of Assembly for Philadelphia in 1750, when twenty-eight years old, contrary to his expressed wishes, which led him towards the quiet of private life.

Having accumulated a competency by commerce from Philadelphia, he retired to his paternal property at Burlington, and purchased of Governor Franklin, for a country seat, Franklin Park, with its tenants of deer situated near the now village of Rancocas.

Eliza Smith married William Dillwyn, a merchant of Burlington.

William Lovet Smith, the third son of Richard Smith, married Mary Doughty, surviving child of Daniel Doughty; was a merchant at Burlington, afterwards settled at Bramham, in Springfield, as before mentioned. Other children of Richard Smith died in minority, and Richard Smith married and settled in Burlington. William Lovet Smith during the latter part of his life, built on the southerly portion of Bramham, that building long known as the "Redhouse," which was destroyed by fire some twenty years since, there he died in 1794, leaving children. Daniel Doughty Smith married Elizabeth Schooley; Samuel Smith married Abigail Schooley; Annie Smith married John Gill, of Haddonfield; Abigail Smith married John Earl; Mary Smith married Barzilla Burr; William Lovet Smith married Eliza Lacey, daughter of Gen. John Lacey.

Bramham is still owned by a descendant of William I. Smith. John Osborne located 300 A., adjoining Godfrey Hancock and John Day's surveys, about 1694, and January 13, 1699, sold the same to Eleazar Fenton, whose widow Elizabeth _____ afterwards married Samuel Goldy, and conveyed said tract to Thomas Branson, by deed dated January 29, 1707.

By record in Revel's book of surveys, remaining in the Secretary of State's office, in Trenton, we find there was surveyed for William Biddle, at Oneanickon, 8 mo., 1686, 270 A. of land, and in 4 mo., 1689, one tract of 230 A., and two other tracts containing together 323 A., making altogether 823 acres, adjoining lands of Hannaniah Gauntt, John Days, Peter Harvey, Charles Read, Samuel Barker, Daniel Leeds, Michael Buffin, John Browne and John Shinn.

William Biddle is included in Smith's list of settlers from England, who arrived at [p. 68] Burlington about the year 1678. He made several locations of land in different parts of the County of Burlington; including Biddle's Island, in the Delaware river. His selection of land was marked with much judgment, generally proving to be among the best.

Burlington Quarterly Meeting when first set up, in 1682, was held at the house of William Biddle, and so continued until 1711, when it was held alternatively at the meeting houses in Burlington and Chesterfield.

"Oneaniken," referred to in several of the above locations, was evidently an Indian village, but I have been unable to ascertain with certainty its position. Other locations besides these, extending some five miles, mention the name, which is variously spelled, but, no doubt, all refer to the same place.

There has been an Indian village on the sandy ridge of land now owned by John Chambers, about half a mile southeast of Juliustown. Its name has passed into oblivion, but its position could be distinctly traced a few years ago, when not covered by timber.


Extracted from:
Proceedings, Constitution, By-Laws, List of Members, &c. of the Suveyors' Association of West New Jersey. With Historical and Biographical Sketches Relating to New Jersey. Published by Order of the Society. Camden, N.J.: S. Chew, 1880, pp. 62-68.


Copyright 2002-2013 West Jersey History Project