Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rachel French, Step mother of Isaac Conrow, and link between the Conrow, Allen and Sharp Families

The following material is from pages 39 to 91 of the Book Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French who came to America from Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire, England … compiled, written and published by Howard Barclay French, and printed privately in 1909. This book is available as a free full download From Google Books.

Rachel French was born March 24, 1664. We suppose that she was born in the village, town or parish in which she was baptized, i.e. in Nether Heyford, Northampton, England. She was baptized April 3, 1664 at the church of Saints Peter and Paul, in Heyford, Northampton, England. She came to America with her parents and family in 1680, They sailed from London, in the ship Kent, with Gregory Marlowe, master; this was the same vessel that brought the first company of Quaker Settlers to Burlington County in 1677. Her Father’s family at the time they came to America, consisted of Mother, Father, and nine children, four sons and five daughters. As two older sisters had died in England Rachel was the oldest living child, she being sixteen years of age, and the youngest child, Jane, was not yet four years of age. Her father Thomas French settled in Willing Boro township in Burlington county on a tract of about 600 acres that bordered on the Rancocus creek which drains into the Delaware river about 5 miles downstream and his land was about four miles south west from Burlington Village.

In the year 1687, Seven years after arriving New Jersey, at the age of 23 or 24, Rachel French married Matthew Allen, a widower, who had two stepsons, Isaac Conrow and Jacob Conrow. It seems that he also had a charge, one Anthony Frier; whose relationship to the Conrow and Allen families is unknown.
Rachel French and Mathew Allen had 4 children, Mathew, Mercy, Mary, and Thomas. Matthew Allen died in September or October of 1701.
Rachel married Second, on the second day of the 12th month 1702, Hugh Sharp, son of William and Hannah Sharp. Rebecca and Hugh had two daughters, Hannah Sharp and Rebecca Sharp. Rachel and Hugh were married for 40 years as Hugh died in 1742.

Geanalogical Data for Rachel French, her husbands and their Children:

p83-84, — RACHEL FRENCH (Thomas, 1) born. March 24th, 1664. Baptized April 3rd, 1664, at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford, England.
Rachel French married. First, 1687, Mathew Allen. Mathew Allen had married first, in England a Widow Conrow, who came with him to America with her two sons, Isaac and Jaacob Conrow, and perhapa a third boy or young man Anthony Frier. Matthew Allen died. October, 1701.
Rachel French married. Second, 12th mo. 9th, 1702, Hugh Sharp, son of William and Hannah Sharp. Hugh Sharp was born. 4th mo. 3rd, 1668. Hugh Sharp 1742, when Rachel was in her 78th year.

Children in this Extended Family
— Isaac Conrow, born about 1676 -1680
— Jacob Conrow, born about 1678 - 1682
— Anthony Frier, born about 1675 - 1680

16— MATHEW ALLEN, JR. born. 8th mo. 23rd, 1688. married, 1711, Grace Jones.
17— MERCY ALLEN born. 1st mo. 13th, 1692. married. First, 1710, Thomas Middleton. married. Second, 10th mo. 2nd, 1730, John Hugg. married. Third, 2nd mo. 19th, 1732, Thomas Lippincott.
18— MARY ALLEN born: 8th mo. 23rd, 1695. married. First, Jarves Stockdell. married Second. 5th mo. 15th, 1741, John Mickle.
19— THOMAS ALLEN; b. 2nd mo. 7th. 1699.

20— HANNAH SHARP; born 1703-05, married, 8th mo. 29th, 1724, John Brientnall.
21— REBECCA SHARP; born 1705-07, married, First, 2nd mo. 26th, 1727, William Coate. married, Second, 1754, Joseph Lippincott.

Robert Allen, grandson of Mathew Allen, m. Mary . Their daughter, Margery Allen, m. Job Rogers, and their daughter, Rhoda Rogers, m. Daniel Estell. Mary Estell. daughter of Daniel and Rhoda Estell, m. Morton McMichael, Mayor of Philadelphia, 1866, 1867,

MATHEW ALLEN A signer of the " Concessions and Agreements,"
Mathew Allen became one of the early English settlers of Burlington County, New Jersey. Apparently he was possessed of considerable means and had great faith in the future of the new country. In 1680, he bought of John Smith of " Christeene Creek" [Delaware] 3200 acres of land located along the Delaware near (p 84) Rancocas creek and extending eastward. Some 500 acres of the tract he conveyed to Isaac Conoroe in 1683, " out of good will and kindness which he hath and beareth unto the said Isaac Conoroe," also a further 500 acres to Isaac’s brother, Jacob Conoroe, under same conditions; and the descendants of these men have ever since lived in the same vicinity. Isaac and Jacob Conoroe were evidently the step-sons of Mathew Allen, as from contemporary records he appears to have been married to their widowed mother previous to his marriage to Rachel French in 1687. He is frequently referred to in old deeds as the " father-in-law " of Isaac and Jacob Conoroe ; a term synonymous in colonial days with step-father. Mathew Allen became a farmer resident of Chester township ; he was also a carpenter, and took an active interest in the affairs of the community. He was elected constable of Chester township in 1699 and served as tax assessor during part of 1701, the year of his death. In the month of May of that year, he was one of the signers of the address of the inhabitants of West Jersey to King William, asking his " Sacred Majesty " to assume the civil government of the Colony, many things having been suffered under proprietary control. This curious paper, so expressive of the characteristic loyalty of British subjects, concluded as follows
"That the great and glorious God who of his wonderfull Goodness & mercy hath sett you over his Great People will preserve your sacred Majesty from the wicked contrivances, of all those who shall endeavour to oppose your Majesty in the great workes which lyes before You is and shall be the fervent & Constant Prayers of Us who crave leave to subscribe Our Selves your Majestys most humble Suppliants."
p 84, 85
DEED, JOHN SMITH TO MATHEW ALLEN The following is an abstract of deed bearing date August 14th, 1680, of John Smith "of Christeene Creek in America (yeoman) to Mathew Allen of Burlington in West Jersey, in America (carpenter)." CONSIDERATION Three score & Tenne pounds in good Country pay — grants bargains, sells &c — unto said Mathew Allen his heirs & Assigns forever (in his Actual possession now being by vertue of a bargaine & sale to him made for one whole yeare by Indenture bearing date the day before the date hereof & by vertue of the statue for transferring uses into possession) All that his Lott or parcell of Land allready laid forth lyeing & being neare Rancokus Creek upon Dellaware River in America being comonly called the great Lott & was first laid forth conteyning by Estimacon Three Thousand Two hundred & odde Acres or thereabouts. And allsoe all ye his Lott or Lotts of Lands lyeing or being in the Islands of Burlington aforesaid Togeather alsoe with all such parte & parts share & shares as shall belong or appertayne to the said Lott or Lotts in Burlington Towne bounds when the said Town bounds shall be devided & laid forth with sll privileges &c to them apperteyning (except & reserved out of this present deed or grant, onto the said John Smith his heirs & assigns one Acre & an halfe of Land in Burlington Island aforesaid lyeing to the High Street there & adjoyning to a Lott of Land belonging to the said Mathew Allen and except alsoe one Lott or parcell of Land in Burlington aforesaid conteyning by estimacon Eight Acres, or thereabouts be the same more lesse in the tenure or occupacon of William Brightwell or of his affignes) — all deeds, writings coppies &c to be made at the charge of said Mathew Allen his heirs & Assignes, (The Some of one shillinge & Six pence comonly called three Guilders yearely to be paid by said Mathew Allen his heires & afsignes onto the said John Smith his heires & afsignes at the Feast dayes of St. John the Baptist, if lawfully demanded as a Cheife Rent or Qnitt Rent onlly excepted or (foreprised) &c John Smith Sealed & deliverded in presence of John White Tho: Revell Alsoe Sealed & Deliverded in the presence of William Emley Thomas Lambert, Tho: Fairman & Tho: Revelpages 85, & 86

In the Name of God Amen This being my last will and testament: by which I make void any other wills whatsoever: this sevententh of the seventh month and in the thirteenth year of his majesties Reign : and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and one: I Matthew Allin of the Province of New West jersy and township of Chester being wake of body yet of a perfect memory and mind : I doe Constitute and ordeign my beloved wife Rachel Alin and my son Mathew Alin to be sole Executors: to performe my will as foloweth: I give to my son Mathew my plantation & all the land belonging to it except two hundred Ackers where Isaac Conorow now liveth (it fhall begin at the Run and so to John Adamses path so along the path half a mile so to the Run again) I give it to him when at age: to him and his heirs for ever also thirty pounds in Catle: I give to my son thomas Allin: the before mentioned two hundred Ackers and goshon lieing on Northhampton River: with thirty pounds in Catle: when at Age to him his heirs and assigns forever : I doe order that my wife or her Assigns pay to my two dafters Marsy [Mercy] and Mary Allin thre hundred pounds and my son Mathew or his heirs or Assigns shall pay one hundred pounds when they shall arive at the Age of twenty years to them and their heirs or Assigns for ever and if either Child, dye, its portion shall be devided equally between the Rest: the interest of the four hundred shall be for the bringing up of the Children — Also I give my wife the lot of land in burlington to her or her Assigns for ever and the remaining part of the stock I doe order my wife to pay Alinor Conorow, the daughter of Isaac Conorow five pounds when at Age : Also that Negro dick be sold for the use of the plantation allso I give Isaac Conorow three shilings. Also to Jacob Conorow three shilings Also to Anthony frier three shillings Sealed and delivered in the presents of Abraham heulings Isaac Conarroe
Octob' 17, 1701 Abraham Heulings and Isaac Conarroe appearing before us, two of the Justices in the County of Burlington upon their Solemn attestacon did declare that they were present and saw and heard the above Testator Matthew Allen signe Seal deliver Publish and declare tje above Instrument as his last will & Testamment & sett their hands thereto as Witnesses & further deposeth that to the best of their Understanding, the Testator was of sound and disposeing mind & memory at the Executeing thereof Tho: Gardiner Sam" Furnis

BOND, RACHEL ALLEN, RICHARD AND CHARLES FFRENCH, 1701. Know all men by these presents That We, Rachel Allen of the County of Burlington, in the Province of West New Jersey, Widdow, Matthew Allen; Richard French, and Charles French all of the same County yeomen, are holden and stand firmly bound unto the Honorbl* Coll. Andrew Hamilton, Governor of the said Province in the Sum of Fifteen hundred pounds of current silver money of the said Province To be paid to the said Governor or to his lawfull Successors for the time being To the w** Paymt well and truely to be made We bind ourselves and every of us our and every of our heires Executors and Adminintrators for the whole and in the whole joyntly and severally firmly by these Presents Sealed with our Seals dated in Burlington the 17" day of October Anno Dom 1701 Annoqe R. R* Gulielmi tertij Anglis & c decimo tertio The Condicon of the above Obligacon is such That if the above bonnden Rachel Allen, and Matthew Allen, (one the Wife, the other the son and also) Executors of the last will and Testament of Matthew Allen late of Chester in the said County of Burlington yeoman decd, do and shall truelv and justly fullfill and performe the last Will and Testament of the said Testator being the day of the date hereof proved and given into ye Registers Office at Burlington aforesaid just and true Accounts of and concerning the same Estate late of and belonging to the said Testator w" nowhich is or hereafter shall come into their or either of their custody possession or knowledge when thereunto lawfully required, and thereof and of every part thereof discharge themselves according to Law That then the above Obligacon to be void & of none Effect or else to be and remains in full force and virtue Rachel Allen her mark Sealed and delivered In the presence of Tho: Gardiner Samuell Furnis Tho: Eves Edward Honloke

p 89 Hugh Sharp
Hugh Sharp was a native of Northampton, England, whence he came to Pennsylvania, a lad of fourteen years of age, with his father the year of Penn's arrival. His family settled in Pennsbury, where he remained until he married Rachel, daughter of Thomas ffrench, widow of Mathew Allen, of Burlington County, New Jersey. Evidently having had educational advantages he became a prominent, useful and influential citizen, of high standing in religious as well as business circles. He was a leading Friend, being a member of Burlington Monthly Meeting, and for some years an elder. He located in Chester township, becoming owner of several large plantations in that vicinity. In 1715 he received a grant of 3700 acres of unsurveyed lands from the Council of Proprietors, 230 acres of which were located in Hunterdon county and 400 acres in Morris county. Hugh Sharp's special gifts as a writer and man of affairs were milked in various ways. His signature, as a witness, is found on wills and other documents and he prepared many inventories. He drew petitions to the legislature, notably for a bridge over the Rancocas, in 1709. The same year he served in that body as a member for the western division of Burlington county, the first Assembly of Governor Lord Lovelace. He signed a memorial to Governor Burnet, "in obedience to the order of Council, appointing a time for the Proprietors for exhibiting their reasons why the bill for repealing an act for running and ascertaining the line of partition between the eastern and western divisions of New Jersey, should not pass." This was in 1721. February 18, 1708-9, Hugh Sharp was appointed guardian of Thomas Allen, " a minor of the age of eleven years or thereabouts, son of Mathew Allen, late of the county of Burlington, deceased, and Rachel the now wife of the said Hugh Sharp." He entered bond in the sum of 500 pounds, April 11, 1709p 90

I Hugh Sharp of the Township of Wellingborrow and County of Burlington & province of West New Jersey Esquire thanks be to God being of perfect Sound disposing mind and memory do make & ordain this my last will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say Principally I give & Recomend my Spiritts into the hands of God that gave It and my Body to the Earth to be decently Buried att the discretion of my Executors hereafter named And as Touching such worldly Estate wherewith ¡it hath pleased God to bless me in this Life I give and Bequeath the Same in maner and form as followeth — Item I give and Bequeath unto my dear and Loveing wife Rachel Sharp all that my Lott of Land in Burlington, fronting Pearl Street and Rnning half way Back to Water Street to her and to her heirs and Assigns forever I also Give unto my Said wife the Sum of thirty pounds proclamation money to be paid to her annually out of my Estate dureing her Natural Life by my Executors in Lew of her thirds of my Estate which She is Therewith Contented. Item I Give onto my daughter-in-Law Mary Micle the wife of John Micle all maner of Debts doe or Owing unto me from her. Item I give unto the Monthly Meeting of Friends in Burlington the sum of five pounds to be paid into the hands of Caleb Raper Esq' in twelve months after my Decease for the use. of the afloresaid Meeting. And wheras I have Sold to my Son in Law William Coate my plantation, whereon I now dwell for Eight Hundred pounds Item I Give unto my Said Son Wm. Coate the Sum of. four Hundred pounds thereof he paying the Interest thereof for which he hath given me bonds and to my Son in Law John Brintnale the other four hundred pounds. And it is my will that after my Decease and my wife's that my Estate Shall be Equally Divided Between my two Sons in Law as aforesaid, And I do nominate and appoint my Said two Sons in Law John Brientnall and William Coate Executors of this my Last will and Testament And I doe Hereby Revoake and Dissanul all former and other Wills and Testaments by me Heretofore made making and ordaining this my Last will & Testament In wittness whereof I have hereunto Sett my hand and Seale This fifth day of the Eighth Month Comonly Called October and in the year of our Lord 1741 Signed Sealed published pronounced and Declared by the Said Hugh Sharp as his Last will and Testament in the presence of Peter Fearon Abrm Farrington Joshua Raperp 91Abraham Farrington and Joshua Raper Two of the witnesses to the within written will being of the People called Quakers on their Solemn affirmation which they took according to law did declare & affirm that they Saw Hugh Sharp the Testator therein named Sign & Seal the same & heard him publish pronounce & declare the within written Instrument to be his last will and Testament and that at the doing thereof the said Testator was of sound disposing mind memory and understanding so far as they know and as they Verily believe & that Peter Fearon the other witness was present and Signed his name as an evidence thereto together with these affirmants in presence of the saod Testator Abr" Farrington 1 Joshua Raper Affirmed at Burlington the Thirteenth Day of January A. D. 1742 before me Joseph Rose, Surrogate - Be it Remember'd that the last will and Testament of Hugh Sharp deceased having Been duly proved as abovesaid probate & letters Testamentary were granted by his Excellency Lewis Morris Esq' Governonr &c. unto Wm Coates &Jo* Brientnall the Executors therein named who being duly affirmed well & Truly to perform the Said will to Exhibit a True and perfect Inventory and render a Just accoount when thereunto lawfully required Given under y* prerogative Seal of Said province at Burlington the Second Day of March A. D. 1742 p Arch’ Home Regr. &c

Thomas French, Early Settler of Burlington County, Progenitor

The following material is from pages 39 to 42 of the Book Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French who came to America from Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire, England … compiled, written and published by Howard Barclay French, and printed privately in 1909. This book is available as a free full download From Google Books

As will be observed, Thomas French, the progenitor, was the son of Thomas and Sara French. His baptism, in childhood, in 1639, in the Protestant Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Nether Heyford, England, is recorded, but when the religious Society of Friends arose he with other members of the family became actively identified therewith, suffering for his faith at different times. Upon one occasion he was sentenced to imprisonment for forty-two months for refusal to pay tithes to the amount of eleven shillings, he being at the time a resident of Upper Norton, Oxfordshire. Five other names of this family appear in Beese's remarkable book, namely, George, Robert, John, William and Moses. Penalty was inflicted upon the latter five times. " He served altogether several years in prison. ' That Thomas ffrench was a man of great force of character, intense religious conviction and earnest, consistent life, is abundantly evident. He shared with his associates trials and hardships and always resented everything bearing the slightest resemblance to injustice or oppression. A glance at the situation in England during the period of persecution will be timely. The most vigorous efforts were made to suppress the Society of Friends. Their meetings were outlawed, their property unjustly taken, through fines and the imposition of tithes, and great numbers were thrown into prison, where they were cruelly treated, hundreds suffering unto death. The sad and shameful story of this era of martyrdom would be quite incredible if the unquestioned record had not been preserved, in a book the like of which the world will never again see.
Joseph Besse, the famous English Quaker controversialist, was born about 1683 and died 1757. He was educated for the Episcopalian ministry, but becoming a convert to the teachings of Fox, refused a church living of four hundred pounds a year and became a vigorous defender of Quakerism. He wrote many religious tracts and books and edited various important works. He completed, in 17 53, his great work, " The Sufferings of the People Called Quakers," from which quotations herewith given are taken. This comprises one of the most remarkable records ever compiled, being faithful transcripts, from original sources, found in the minutes of meetings, court records, petitions, personal letters, memoirs, etc. Its accuracy cannot be questioned and a testimonial to its fidelity to the truth is found in the fact that a century and a half ago the records were destroyed by the British government.

Following is a literal copy of references to Thomas ffrench in " Sufferings of the People Called Quakers " : "Thomas French, of Upper Norton, was imprisoned, in 1657, at suit of William Thomas, a lawyer and renter of Tithes, and for a demand of but eleven shillings for Tithes suffered two and forty months imprisonment." Vol. I, p. 564. "Thomas French was taken from meeting at Banbury, in 1662, and committed to prison." Vol. I, p. 568. "Thomas French, 1666, taken at meeting at honse of Elizabeth White, at Coggs, near Whitney, committed to House of Correction for one month." Vol. I. p. 571.
Two pages of this extraordinary book are reproduced, one reciting instances of persecution, including imprisonment of Thomas French, and the other a most impressive petition to King Charles II, 1680. Some four score prisoners for conscience sake in Northampton jail, " who patiently suffer for worshipping the Living God in Spirit and Truth," in mid-summer, 1666, issued a warning and appeal, referring to the ravages of the plague and their view of the cause thereof. From this curious paper, headed " Truth the strongest habitation for all the People of God," we quote :
"There is some of thy Rulers so desperately wicked in this County of Northampton, that commit sin even with greediness at this time, as tho there were no other way to stay God's Judgments, but by provoking him more and more with their sins in persecuting, sentencing and imprisoning of the Lord's People, having lately imprisoned fifty-eight persons called Quakers, both men and women, some of the latter with little infants and shutting them all up together in the common Goal in close roomes, in the very heat of the last month, and still they continue, the number of 82 altogether. We who at« sufferers in this Goal of Northampton, for the truth of the Lord, do spread these lines before the Nation, that so, if it be not too late, the Nation may see what is the cause of God's Judgments, lying so heavy upon this land and people, and may see who hath been the Troublers of England."
From a lecture on " The Baptists and Quakers in Northamptonshire, 1650- 1700," by the Rev. J. Jackson Goadby, delivered in College Street Chapel, Northampton, Oct. 24, 1882, we quote the following remarkable statement P 45 SIXTY THOUSAND VICTIMS OF PERSECUTION
“Quakers were put in the stocks for the crime of preaching ; seized by soldiers as they were quietly going to their meetings; committed for blasphemy; or when in the open fields where they had met for worship; or as vagrants; as Sabbath breakers; as men who refused to take an oath; and as seditions men. They were pounced upon suddenly when assembled for worship, and carried off to prison ; crammed into crowded and reeking holes, the doors being fastened down for twelve hours every night, and refused all intercourse with their friends; and in some cases they were brutally treated both by jailors, by the jailors' wives, and by the prisoners. Men and women were seized at their meetings, carried off in carts to some ale-house, locked up in a room all night, whilst their captors indulged in ribald songs and tippling, and then hurried off the next morning to prison. " “Numbers of the imprisoned Friends, like their leaders in this county, Whitehead and Dewsbury, sent oat epistles from the Northampton jail, detailing their own suffering*. Whitehead was the Quaker minister who always took his night cap with him when he went to meeting, because it was almost certain he would have to spend that night in prison. Some of the Quakers, it must be confessed, carried plain-speaking to the verge of rudeness. But this free speech is, after all, no justification of the brutal treatment received by the Friends at the hands of magistrates, and is, least of all, any palliation of the horrible fact that many hundreds of Quakers died of their harsh usage in the jails of England, and some scores in the common jail of Northampton. The Friends preserved their hold on the nation until the beginning of the eighteenth century, when they numbered 70,000.” "
If the record of other religious bodies is not so full of faithful martyrs to the truth and conscience as that of the Quakers, it is not because they were any the less brutally treated, or any the less numerous. Jeremy White made a careful collection of the names of persons who suffered for their nonconformity during the reign of Charles II. Sixty thousand persons were included in this terrible list, and five thousand died of their sufferings. When James II. wished to gain possession of this dark calendar, that he might use it in his quarrel with the English State Church, and even offered 5,000 guineas for it, Jeremy White chose rather to burn the list than see it turned to such a purpose. Many of these sixty thousand brave men and women are unknown to fame, like the poor Hollanders of the days of Henry VIII.; but their deeds and their heroism have not perished. We see it to-day in the larger and more settled liberty which every Englishman possesses. They also paid part of that great sum by which our forefathers bought our freedom."
Page 48

Thomas French was among the first to take a practical interest in the colonization of Friends in America. With William Penn, Gauen Laurie, Thomas Ollive, Daniel Wills, Edward Byllynge and about one hundred and fifty others, he signed the famous " Concessions and Agreements," at London, in 1676, which provided for the settlement of New Jersey. It is evident from records that he made a preliminary prospecting visit to this country, to locate his land and select a home site. He has left an account of the coming of himself and family, three years after the arrival of the pioneer colonists. He sailed from London, in the ship Rent, Gregory Marlowe, master — the same vessel which brought the first company of settlers in 1677 to Burlington — about the 1st of August, 1680, with his wife and nine children, four sons and five daughters, the oldest child being sixteen, while the youngest was not yet four years of age. -He settled upon a tract of 600 acres of desirable land, located along the banks of the Rancocas, about four miles from Burlington. Throughout the remainder of his life he held an influential place in the colony and prospered in business. He was commissioner of highways 1684-5. At his death, in 1699, he was possessed of some 1,200 acres of improved land and also his proprietary share of unsurveyed lands, approximately, 2,000 acres. During nearly twenty years residence as a leading citizen of Burlington County, Thomas French trained all his children in ways of sobriety, industry, and religion, they in turn founding families in whom traits of strong character were noted. Each performed his and her share in the prosperous and happy development of colonial life.

The section of New Jersey in which Thomas French located was a notable place in pioneer days. An old map, reproduced, shows the names of early settlers, two of the most conspicuous being Thomas Ollive, who served as proprietary Governor and member of the Council and who was eminent also as a Quaker preacher, and Dr. Daniel Wills, whose land joined that upon which the Friends' meeting house was built. Many fine old mansions marked the neighborhood, and some of these, over one hundred years old, remain. It is an interesting fact that part of the original plantation of Thomas French is to-day owned and occupied by his descendants. Large tracts were [P 49] sold early in the eighteenth century by Charles French, his son, to whom the homestead lands were willed by his father. In 1714, Charles French conveyed 250 acres to his brother-in-law, Nicholas Buzby, part of this descending to the latter's son, John Buzby, who devised the same, in 1754, to his son John, who, in 1763, sold it to John Smith, of Burlington. .The deed stated that the estate was thereafter to be known as " Strawberry Hill." It is supposed the great mansion, still standing, in an excellent state of preservation, was built by John Smith, about 1765 (see illustration). The place was leased soon after to Gov. William Franklin, as a summer home and purchased by him in 1770 for two thousand pounds. It then became known as " Franklin Park," containing a fine collection of deer and other high-class game. A great moat was constructed, the remains of which are still visible, to keep off poachers.

The Governor was removed from office, on account of his loyalty to the King, in 1776, and taken prisoner to Connecticut. Later he returned to New York, where his wife had died meanwhile, being buried under the chancel of St. Paul's historic church, Broadway. A beautiful tablet was erected by her husband, some years later. Gov. Franklin retained ownership of the Rancocas estate, without confiscation, until 1785, when he sold it to his son, William Temple Franklin, then living in Paris and who later became noted as the literary legatee of his grandfather, Benjamin Franklin. He sold the property, in 1790, to Robert Morris, the patriot financier of the Revolution, who held it until 1794, when William Bell, a rich Philadelphia merchant, became the purchaser, with a great amount of other land in West Jersey owned by Morris. Soon after Bell's death, in 1816, the property was sold to Joseph Churchman, who in 1822, conveyed "Franklin Park" to Mayberry McVaugh. A two-story brick dormitory was built adjoining the mansion, and a boarding school for boys set up, which became quite a famous institution of its kind. In March, 1843, Hudson Buzby [410] bought this historic property; and in 1862, his son Richard Buzby [894] became the owner through purchase. In 1889, Richard Buzby's son, Thomas T. Buzby [1689] bought the farm, about 100 acres of choice land, and the mansion, being the present occupant. Thus an important part of the original tract, cut out of the wilderness two hundred and twenty-eight years ago, and having a most interesting history, is again in possession of worthy descendants of the pioneer, Thomas French.

Page 52 The family Bible of Thomas French, printed in 1630, and brought by him to this country in 1680, is still in existence and in a fair state of preservation, although showing the effects of time. It has always remained within the family. Accompanying illustrations are almost full size.
The record presented and transcribed is in the handwriting of the progenitor, evidently having been set down at different times, under varying circumstances and influences, throughout a period covering over thirty years, the last entry being made a little while after the death of the long-time companion who had borne him thirteen children. Some of the lines have faded and a few words are quite illegible. The most striking characteristic to be noted is the ever present spirit of humility, gratitude for manifold mercies and earnest desire for continued Divine guidance and protection.
Thomas ffrench and Jane his wife, and Jane and Rachel his children. Jane was born about a fortnight before Saint James [in the Church Calendar July 25th] in the year 1662.
Rachel was born March the 24, 1663.
Rachel was born March the 24, 1664. She alone was ris.

In the year 1673 was a very stormy year for the waters did sore break out of their bounds and was a very wet season, such wet May day, after which floods that flooded the meadows when they were ready to mow and drove away in many stacks and bindings of hay, and we had a summer like onto winter for cold and wet for the general year.

I and my wife and nine children through the great mercy of God came into this country and landed at Burlington, the 23 of the 7 month 1680. Thomas ffrench.

The Lord in heaven have mercy upon me.
Thomas ffrench his book. God give him grace in — — —

Then was I in great sorrow and tribulation. The Lord deliver me out of them all.
I Thomas ffrench was married to my wife Jane, Jane 12, 1660. December the first about ten at night my son Richard was born, 1665. The Lord give him grace that he may continually walk before Him.
I Thomas ffrench was baptized November the 3, 1639.
My son Thomas was born in 1667 between 8 and nine o'clock at night.
1671 my son Charles was born, the 20 day of March between 11 and 12 at night.

The Lord be gracious and merciful unto me which way to ever I go whether it be out of the land or in the land or on the sea, the Lord be merciful unto me. This was wrote in the year 1664.

My wife Jane deceased this life the fifth day of the 8 month 1692.
My youngest child died the 12 of the same [month and year].
end of Bible Record.

P 64 The children of Thomas French

1— THOMAS FRENCH b. October, 1639. Baptized November 3rd, 1639, at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford, England, d. 1699, at Rancocas, N. J.
Married, First, June 12th, 1660, at "Parish Church of Whilton," England, Jane Atkins. She d. 8th mo. 5th, 1692, at Rancocas, N. J.
Married. Second, 7th mo. 25th, 1696, Elizabeth Stanton of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting.

2— SARA FRENCH — Baptized March 17th, 1661, at Church S. S. Peter and Paul. Nether Heyford. Buried April 10th. 1661

3— JANE FRENCH — b. about July llth, 1662. Baptized August 8th, 1662, at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford. Buried April 30th, 1671.

4— RACHEL FRENCH —. b. March 24th, 1664. Baptized April 3rd. 1664. at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford. married First, 1687, Mathew Allen, [whose first wife, the Widow Conrow is the mother of Isaac Conrow]
Rachel married Second, 12th mo. 9th, 1702, Hugh Sharp

5— RICHARD FFRENCH. — b. December Ut. 1665. Baptized December 15th, 1666, at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford. married, First. 7th mo. llth, 1693, Sarah Scattergood.
Married, Second, llth mo. 13th, 1701, Mary King.

6— THOMAS FRENCH, JR. — . b. 1667 . Baptized October 31st. 1667, at Church S. S. Peter and Paul. Nether Heyford. m. First, 10th mo. 3rd. 1696, Mary Allen. m. Second, 8th mo. 9th, 1732, Mary (Pearce) CattelL

7— HANNAH FRENCH — Baptized September 5th, 1669, at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford. m. 8th mo. 30th, 1695. Richard Buzby.

8—CHARLES FRENCH — Born March 20th 1671; Baptized april 2nd, 1671, at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford; Married First (sup.) 1708, Elinor ____; Married second, ___ ___.

9— JOHN FRENCH — Baptized Januray 2nd, 1673, at , at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford; Married first 1701, Ann ___; Married second, 6th month 10th, 1724, Sarah (Mason) Wickward.

10— SARAH FRENCH — Baptized February 23rd, 1674, at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford; Married 2nd mo. 1st, 1695. Isaac Wood.

11—MARY FRENCH — Baptized February 23rd, 1674, at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford; Married 2nd mo. 1st, 1695. Isaac Wood.

12—JANE FRENCH — Baptized November 19th, 1676, at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford; married 1st mo. 1st, 1697, Daniel Hall.

13— LYDIA FRENCH —born (sp) 1682, Married (sup) .1708, David Arold.

14— An Infant —died 8th month 12th, 1692

Jane Atkins wife of Thomas French died 8th month 5th , 1692. [So the infant who died young, died 7 days after the Mother died.]

Thomas French Married second 7th mo. 25th, 1696, Elizabeth Stanton.

15—Rebecca French — born 6th mo. 8th, 1697, Married 2nd mo. 3rd, 1729, Robert Murfin.

Thomas French, in accordance with the custom of his family for generations, and that of nearly all Protestant Englishmen of his time, had his children baptized in the Church of England, notwithstanding his early sympathy and unity with the Society of Friends. The obligation thus assumed, as to religious care and training of his children, was faithfully kept, the family Bible being an impressive witness in this respect. The following is taken from the parish records of the Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford, England, concerning the marriage of Thomas French and Jane Atkins. " Note. March 8 1663 The said Jane ffrench p'senting unto me John Bedford parson of Heiford A Consigned Certificate of the said Thomas ffrench jun & Jane Atkins both of Heiford parish Testifying that they the said Thomas & Jane were married in the p’ish Church of Whilton June 12 1660 by M' Richard Morris then Minister there : Returning her Certificate of marriage backe again into her own custody, I thus entered the Record of the said marriage at her request, into this my Heiford parish Register." ... Thomas French and Jane his wife were buried in a private burial lot, sixteen and one half feet square, on the homestead plantation, Rancocas, N. J., and this reservation was mentioned in deeds and observed for many years. Its exact location is now unknown.

I Being intended if the Lord will to goe for Old England not knowing whether I shell ever returne sgaine to my ffamily doe make. & ordaine this my last will & Testamt Revokeing all other Wills and promises whatsoever In manner & forme following. I give onto my wife Elizabeth after my decease if shee be the longer liver the House & Plantation where now I live with four Hundred Acres of Land belonging to it with Twenty Acres of Meadow as it is surveyed and Recorded In the place next below the Land of John Test Together with the пи of all my Stock & Household goods with the Corne growing upon the ground To have & to hold the same dnreing her natural! life without Impeachment of Wast. I give unto my Sonne Charles ffrench Two hundred Acres of land lyeing next John Hudsons with the ffour or ffive Acres of Clear land at Creek with ye Little Meadow lyeing by it to him and his Heirs forever allowing my wife Elizabeth Egresse & Regresse to Trancport any goods or Hay : I live onto my Sonne Châties ffrench after the Decease of me & my wife to him & his Heires forever Provided that hee pay that which I shall appoint him to pay all the Plantation where now I live together with the dwelling house Barnes & other Outhouses Gardens Orchards Arrable Land & Clear land Together with four Hundred Acres of Land belonging to the Plantation aforesaid also Twenty Acres of Meadow Together with two hundred Acres of land belonging to the Meadow Also Six Hundred Acres of Land more which shall or may fall to me In my Third takeing up my Will is that my sonne Charles ffrench shall pay out of the Lands and Plantation aforesaid unto the rest of his Brothers & Sisters as followeth, I give unto my Daughter Rachell Allen to her & her Heires Twenty pounds. I give unto my Daughter Hannah Busby to her & her Heires Twenty pounds. I give unto my Daughter Sarah Wood to her & herselfe alone as she shall have need of it her Husband shall not have noe part or share in it to her & her Heires Twenty Pounds. I give unto my Daughter Mary Busby to her & her Heirs twenty pounds. I give unto my Daughter Jane Hall to her & her Heires Twenty pounds. I give unto my Daughter Lydia French Twenty pounds. I give unto my sonne Thomas ffrench Six Shillings. I give unto my sonne John French Six Shillings. I give unto ' my Sonne Richard French Six Shillings. I give unto my sonne Richard French all the Reversion of my Eighth part of a Propriety and that Lott at Burlington upon which Richard Bassnett hath built Houses upon to him & his Heires forever. I give unto my Sonne Charles ffrench all my Yard Land in the ppish of neather Heyford to him & his Heires forever In old England. My Will is that my Sonne Charles ffrench shall pay all my Debts and Thirty pounds to my youngest Daughter Rebecca ffrench out of (p 77) the Yard Land aforesaid if Rebecca shall live to the Age of Eighteen yeares and if Rebecca shall happen to die before shee come to the Age of Eighteen yeares then the Thirty pounds shall be paid onto & amongst my Five younger Daughters to Hannah Busby & Sarah Wood Mary Busby Jane Hall & Lydia ffrench my Will is that after the decease of me & my Wife that my Goods shall be divided amongst all my Daughters mentioned in my Will. And also my Will is that if I & my Wife Elizabeth shall happen to die before my youngest Daughter Rebecca is brought up that then my Sonne Charles ffrench shall bring her up or else to allow her Five pounds a year untill shee come to the Age of Ten yeares for & towards the bringing of her up.
In Witness hereof I have hereunto sett my hand & Seale the Third day of the fourth month called June [1698] Seal Sealed & delivered in ye p'sence of John Paine, Tho : Eves, John Hollinshead junr The above written is a true Coppy of the Originall will or Codecill of Thomas ffrench abovenamed, being with the same Originall Examined this Third Day of May Anno Dom 1699 As witnefse hereunto my hand & seale of Office Tho: Revell, Secry & Reg'red August 8th ,1675, , at Church S. S. Peter and Paul, Nether Heyford; Married 8th mo. 30th , 1695, Nicholas Busby.

the French Family in England

The following material is from pages 39 to 42 of the Book Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French who came to America from Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire, England … compiled, written and published by Howard Barclay French, and printed privately in 1909. This book is available as a free full download From Google Books.

UNDER variously spelled surnames the French family appeared in England soon after the Norman conquest. The first of the line recorded was with William the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings, October 14, 1066, when Harold, King of the Anglo-Saxons, was defeated after an all-day struggle. Of 60,000 valiant soldiers, William lost more than 15,000. Yorkshire records of 1100 frequently show the name French. Others located in the beginning chiefly in the southeastern counties, but later appeared in the west and north as far as Scotland. They were very early in Ireland, and one branch of the family trace their descent directly from Rollo, Duke of Normandy. In England, before the close of the thirteenth century, the French family had become extensive, prosperous and influential.

Old records present curious facts. The will of Adam Frensch, of Gloucester, provided for his burial in church, beside his first wife, Maud. His clothing was to be sold for the benefit of his soul. To his widow, Alice, he left lands, but in case of her remarriage they were to be sold, one half the proceeds for her benefit, the other half for the good of the soul of Maud. In York the name was spelled Francais ; in Berks, Ffrensh ; in Middlesex, Frenssh; in Somerset, Frensce; in Surrey, Frensche; in Northampton, Fran- ceis and Fraunceys; in Wiltshire, French. Two centuries later it. is generally found, in Northampton, ffrench, after the manner adopted by the direct ancestors of that branch of the family whose descendants are recorded in this genealogy.

[A note on chirography: reading and interpreting the handwriting of the seventeenth and early eighteenth Centuries is rendered more difficult by now disused forms of several of the letters, and by the many signs, abbreviations and contractions that were then is common use. The most common contraction was the use of “y” for “th”, at the beginning of a word, with the remainder of the word raised, [as exponents are in Mathematics]. Ye for “the”, yt for that, yn for then. Not all word processing programs allow for raised letters, the foregoing examples do not have the raised letters following the “y”. Capitalization is also interesting, Capital V for U, Capital I and J were often alike; and the nearest printable approximation of the ancient form of Capital F is ff. So when the early handwritten texts were put into print, many words such as ye, yt, yn were left as contractions to show the “flavor” of the original text. Writers have commented on the “Quaint way Thomas French wrote his surname, “ffrench”, but he was just writing his name ffrench or French with the accepted Capital F of the time. For a more extensive discussion of Chirography, see pages viii and ix, of the Introduction, in “Oyster Bay Town Records, Vol. I—1653-1690” 1916, available for free download from Google Books.]

Thomas French, founder of the New Jersey branch of the French family, resided, in 1680. the year of his migration to America, in Nether Heyford, a parish in the hundred of Newbottle Grove, county of Northampton, seven miles south by west from the city of Northampton, England This parish is very 'ancient, the church of S. S. Peter and Paul having been erected in the early part, of the thirteenth century. The first patron was Roger de Heyford, in 1216. The register that has been preserved begins in 1558, showing the French family parishioners as far back as 1560. [P 40] The church is a splendidly preserved specimen of Norman architecture. There is a chime of four bells; round the tenor is the inscription: "THOMAS MORGAN GAVE ME, TO THE CHURCH OF HEYFORD FRANK AND FREE." The donor was a descendant of Francis Morgan, who, about the middle of the sixteenth century, for a time filled an honorable place upon the local bench. The Morgan family for more than two centuries were active and influential in the affairs of Nether Heyford parish. In the church a marble tablet perpetuates the memory of Judge Morgan. There are other notable memorials, one to a baronet who died in 1467 ; another beautifully illustrates Faith and Hope. In this parish was born Dr. John Preston, the patriarch of the Puritans, whom the Duke of Buckingham vainly sought to use in the service of the king, James I. Many members of the French family also attended services in the ancient church of St. Michael; at Bugbrook, about a mile and a half from Nether Heyford, and which was built early in the thirteenth century. Its register likewise begins in 1558. Accompanying illustrations, from photographs taken in 1895, show exterior view of the church at Nether Heyford, interior view, the Village Green and the church at Bugbrook. The church at Heyford has been under the care of one noted family of ministers for the past one hundred years, grandfather, father and son. The latter, Rev. H. H. Crawley, examined the parish register for the purposes of this book and in a recent letter says :
"The Heyford Register, the earliest begins in 1558, is a very interesting one. I begsn to search from that date to 1774 and find that there are about 70 entries of baptisms, marriages and burials of the name and they are evidently members of one family. Then are at least 60 entries of the name between 1558 and 1680; the other entries of the name are evidently • members of the family who did not leave the old country and I should say there are collateral branches of your family still living in or near Heyford. Your family in old days evidently • held a responsible position in the parish, for members of the name appear as guardians in the seventeenth century. The earliest record I can find is 1560. A part of Heyford formerly had a right of baptism, burial, etc.. in Bugbrook. There is an aisle in Bugbrook church which is still called Heyford aisle, just as there is a Heyford aisle in the church at Stowe IX Churches."

P 41 In the earliest days of the Society of Friends a little meeting house was set up at Bugbrook. There as at Heyford and elsewhere the members continued to outwardly conform, registering births and baptisms at the church, but it seems they often drew the line at burials and thus incurred at times severe criticism. From the Bugbrook parish register of 1668 the following curious note is taken: " About this time that untoward generation of Quakers began to bury theirs distinctly by themselves in their gardens and orchards in several places of the towne, all which bnrialls, there being no notice given of them to the minister or parish clerks, are here omitted, nor have their names inserted in this church register, tho there was a considerable mortality among them, as also those of several other sort of phanaticks, who having forsaken the church, would not be buried in the church yard, but in their orchards or backside of their houses."
Thomas ffrench, father of Thomas ffrench, the progenitor of the New Jersey branch of the French family, like his ancestors of many generations, lived at Nether Heyford, where he was known as an influential and useful citizen. He married, first, Sara , by whom he had the following children : Patience, b. 1637. Thomas, b. 1639. Sara, b. 1643. Elizabeth, b. 1645. Mary, b. 1648. John, b. io~51. By his second wife, Martha , he had: Robert, b. 1657. Martha, b. 1660. Thomas ffrench, senior, was buried May 5th' 1673. Sara ffrench, his wife, was buried Feb. 9th" 1653. The will of Thomas ffrench, as may be noted, is a quaint and characteristic document of the times. It shows the thoughtful regard of a loving parent in distributing his estate carefully and making special provision for those of tender years. WILL OF THOMAS FRENCH, 1673 In the Name of God Amen the Nine and twentyth day of Aprill in the five and twentyth yeare of the raigne of our Soveraigne Lord darles the second of England Scotland. F f rance and and Ireland King Defender of the faith Anno Dom 1673 I Thomas ffrench the Elder of Nether Heyford in the County of Northton being weak in body but of good and perfect Memory thanks be to Almightie God. And Knowing the uncertaintie of this life on earth, do make this my last Will and testarm in manner and forme following And first being penitent and sorry for my sins past most humbly desireing forgivnesse for the same I give tnd Comitt my sonle to Almightie God my Saviour and Redeemer in whom and by the meritts of Jesus Christ I trnst and believe assuredly to be saved and to have full remission and forgivenesse of all my sins And my body to the earth from whence it was taken to be buryed in such decent and Christian manner as to my Executor hereafter named shal be thought meet and convenient revoking and annulling by these p'sents all and every Will and Wills testam and testaments heretofore by me made and declared and this to be taken for my last Will and testament and none other I will that all those debts and duties w" in right or conscience I owe to any manner of person or persons whatsoever shal be well and truely contented and paid or ordained to be paid within convenient time after my decease by my Executors hereafter named Item I give and bequeath to Thomas ffrench my eldest sone the sume of twelve pence I give and bequeath to John ffrench my second sone two shillings- and six pence I give and bequeath to Patience ffrench my eldest daughter two shillings and six pence I give and bequeath to Elisabeth ffrench my second daughter two shillings and . six pence I give and bequeath to Mary ffrench my third daughter two shillings and six pence all wich said legacies I will shal be payd by my Executors within six months after my decease All the rest of my goods cattell and chattels whatsoever I give and bequeath to Martha my loveing wife and to my sone Robert ffrench and my daughter Martha ffrench whom I make joint Executors of this, my last Will and Testam I do nominate and appoint my welbeloved ffreinds Thomas Kirton and William Steffe both of Hayford aforesaid overseers of this my last Will and Testam and do give them twelvepence apeece In wittnes whereof I the said Thomas ffrench have hereunto sett my hand and seale the day and yeare first above written Thomas ffrench [SEAL] Published signed and sealed in the presence of William Stif Thomas Kirton X His MarkAlice Kirton, X, Her Mark John Darby Proved 16" August 1673