Here's an update. All additions and corrections welcome!Genealassie
DNA: There is a 36/37 genetic match between this Joseph French line and the line of John French of Woodbridge, NJ.
BIRTH: no data
PARENTS: There is no record linking Joseph French to his supposed parents. We do not have a birth or baptismal record. There is no Will or estate administration naming the children. There is no extent Bible record.
If the naming patterns hold true, Joseph's father should be named either "Leffert" or "William" since he named one of his four sons after himself (Joseph) and one after his wife's father (Simon). HOWEVER three of the four French brothers (Lafford, Simon, and William) named a son "John" French.
There is evidence that this Joseph, Shopkeeper of NJ, was NOT the child of Joseph French, the Quaker. William (of Raritan Landing) was born before the Joseph French of Shrewsbury (MA) married [proven by the Quaker MM records and William's legal documents] so the William and Joseph French named in William's Will could NOT be the children of Joseph French of Shrewsbury.
SIBLINGS: Joseph French "Shopkeeper" and "of the Landing" and "of NJ" (who married Hannah Horn) is (at this point) tentatively identified as the same man named as brother in the Will of William French of Rariton Landing, NJ.
In his Will William French ("of Piscataway") says, "To William French, son of my brother, Joseph, 10 pounds." The Will also names "William Horne of Piscataway Landing" as executor. Since Joseph French was married to Hannah Horn and she had a brother named William Horn, the strong presumption is that William French named his brother's wife's brother as one of his executors.
1) Joseph French of NJ married Hannah Horn of Raritan Landing, NJ. [marriage bond]
2) William French of Piscataway mentions his brother, Joseph, in his Will [will]
3) Joseph, brother of William of Raritan Landing has a son named William. [will]
4) William French named Wm Horn as Executor. [will]
5) Hannah Horn had a brother named Wm [Will of Simon Horn]
6) William French's wife had a grandfather named "Leffert." [baptism]
7) William French had a son named "Leffert." [baptism]
8) Lafford French was born in NJ. [Rev War]
9) Lafford French, alleged son of Joseph French, appears on a SC jury list as "Leffert." [court records]
MARRIAGE: After 3 Jan 1749. "Know all men by these presents, that we, Joseph French and John Butler, both of New Jersey are holden and do stand justly indebted unto His Excellency Jonathan Belcher, Esq., Gov. of New Jersey, in the sum of Five Hundred Pounds current of Lawful Money of New Jersey, to be paid to the said Jonathan Belcher, Esq., his Successors or Assigns, for the which Payment well and truly made and done, we do bind ourselves, our Heirs, Executors and Administrators, and every of them jointly and severally firmly by these presents, Sealed with our Seals, Dated this third Day of January Anno Domini One thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Nine."
"The Condition of this Obligation is such, That whereas the above bounden Joseph French hath obtained License of Marriage for himself of the one Party, and for Hannah Horn of Raritan Landing, Spinster of the other Party. Now if it shall not hereafter appear, that they the said Joseph French and Hannah Horn have any Lawful Let or Impediment, of Precontract, Affinity or Consanguinity to hinder their being joined in the Holy Bands of Matrimony, and afterwards their living together as Man and Wife, then this Obligation to be void or else to stand and remain in full Force and Virtue. Sealed and Delivered in the Presence of Tho. Barstow. Signed Joseph French [signature] and John Bulter [his mark]." Liber F, pg 28; Archives of the State of New Jersey.
Also posted online -
CHILDREN: Except for William, for whom a baptismal record has been found, all children are from "James Lewis French" by Wilna Powell Sawyer, the authors of which cited the Lafford French Bible. Mable Berry Clark manuscript notes state that the list of Joseph and Hannah French's children is in Vol 22, NJ Historical Society Archives, but a search of the NJ Archives holdings in June 2007 did not discover it.
RELIGION: There is a baptismal record for "Willem" son of "Joseph and Henna Frens" in the First Reformed Dutch Church [Protestant], New Brunswick, NJ (1752). This is the same church where "Leffert French" son of William and Annetje French was baptized in 1745. The distance from this church to Raritan Landing is approximately two miles.
Raritan Landing no longer exists. It was located in Piscataway, Middlesex Co., NJ, across the Raritan River from where Rutgers College is currently located. The site is prone to flooding and is now under Johnson Park, a perfectly lovely county park with trails, a tiny zoo, cricket fields and much more. It also has a historical marker and has been the focus of numerous archeological excavations. We were told that more than 5000 artifacts have been recovered but they are not on display anywhere due to lack of funding. Johnson Park is also home to East Jersey Olde Towne, a collection of colonial structures and reconstructions done by the historical society to show life in colonial New Jersey.
Query - I came across the term "piscatorial" today and suddenly wondered if "Piscataqua" and "Piscataway" have their origins in the Latin "Pisces."
I visited NJ in 2008. In the Archives, I was allowed to digitaly photograph the documents that had Joseph or William French's name on it, so I have seen their signatures.
1729 - There is a deed in which a Joseph French sells ten acres of "Red Bank" to John Bond. The signature [of Joseph French] on this document is clearly in the same hand as the rest of the document, indicating that it is a copy and the scribe was simply copying the signature along with the other content (so we cannot compare it to our known sample). The date, 1729, and the identifying information "Joseph French of the Town of Shrewsbury in the County of Monmouth and eastern division of the Province of New Jersey" both strongly suggest that this man is NOT the same Joseph French who married Hannah Horn. The Joseph French who married Hannah Horn was born around 1719 or perhaps 1715. In either case, he is a minor when this deed is drawn up.
1749 - 3 Jan 1749 - Joseph French is "of NJ" at the time of his marriage.
1752 - 14 Dec 1752 - List of Freeholders of Middlesex County, N.J., William Deare, Sheriff, December 14, 1752; Piscataway - Joseph French, William French. William Olden, William Horn (and others). From - Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, third Series, Vol I., 1896, p. 107.
1760 - 24 June 1760 - Joseph French "of Raritan Landing," with Cornelius Low, Jr., buys land in South Amboy, NJ from Samuel and John Nevill. "Begining at the Southeast corner of John Bisett’s land thence runs South one chain and twenty-seven links, thence East twenty-eight chains & thirty links, thence South nineteen Degrees West twenty-three chains and sixty links to Iselton’s South West corner, thence South seventy-one Degrees thirty minutes east two chains and ninety-five links to an Oak tree marked on two sides, thence South sixty-five Degrees west sixty-eight chains to Leonards land, thence North sixteen Degrees east thirty-three chains to Leonard’s North East Corner, thence East eighteen chains to Lott’s land the South East corner thereof, thence North twenty-two chains seventy links to Bisset’s land, thence East eleven chains & forty-five links to the place of Begining, butted & bounded northerly by land belonging to Bisset and Rose, east by land of Isleton, south by land belonging to Mr. Nevill, and westerly by land the property of Leonard and Lotts, containing one hundred and sixty three acres and a quarter of an acre." This deed was signed by John Nevill, for the sellers and Cornelius Low, Junior, for the purchasers.
1762 - 11 Jan 1762 - Joseph French, Daniel Bray and Jacob Boyce are members of an arbitration board (referees) to settle a claim between Ebenezer Muchmore and William Clawson, on a charge of slander. The signature of the Joseph French who was a referee in this case matches that of the Joseph French who married Hannah Horn.
1764 - 17 Feb 1764 - Joseph French appoints Cortland Skinner to act as his attorney. The signature of the Joseph French who appointed Skinner as his attorney in this case matches that of the Joseph French who married Hannah Horn.
1764 - 25 Oct 1764 - I, James Brooks, Esqr, Sheriff ... Middlesex ... NJ ... Whereas James McEvers ... [obtained a Judgment against] ... Joseph French, by the name of Joseph French Shopkeeper otherwise called Joseph French of the Landing ... Middlesex ... New Jersey Shopkeeper ... [the Sheriff seized and sold half of the land in South Amboy] ... [adjoining land owners or names - John Bisset's land, Leonard's land, lands of Iselstone, lands of [?] Nevill] ... [163.25 acres] ... [which was sold at auction to James McEvers of ... City of New York, Merchant, for 51 pounds] ...; [Signed - Ja[s] Brooks, Shff; witnesses - Rich[d] Crane, Jr., Minnie V. Voorhies; recorded - 2 February 1790.]
1765 - "To be Let, The Mills and Houses at the Landing on Rariton River, which formerly belonged to Joseph French. Inquire of Joseph Reade in New York - The New York Gazette or Weekly Post Boy, April 11, 1765." From - Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey, Edited by William Nelson, Vol. XXIV; Extracts from American newspapers, relating to New Jersey, Vol V., 1762-1765, Patterson, NJ, 1902, p.516.
- ? Presumably moving down the Great Wagon Road
1769 (Oct) - A Joseph French signs a petition in the southwestern part of North Carolina (Anson Co. ?), Oct 1769.
1770 (Nov) - In Nov 1770 it is noted on the Field Return of the Regiment of Militia for Anson County [NC] that Lieut. Joseph French removed out of the county. (Joseph French of the Landing would have been 55 that year, but his son, Joseph, would have been only around age ten so it cannot be him.)
1773 - Joseph French's name appears in the York Co., SC land records.
1773/05/10 - Plat - HEWIE, John, PLAT FOR 150 ACRES IN CRAVEN COUNTY. Names Indexed - BREMAR, John/ HEWIE, John/ FRENCH, Joseph/ BULLOCK, Zachariah/ WOOD, James. Locations - CRAVEN COUNTY/ NORTH PACOLET RIVER (SC Archives Index)
1774/10/01 - Plat - VOLK, Jacob, plat for 400 acres on Pacolate River. Names Indexed - VOLK, Jacob/ THOMAS, Daniel/ FRENCH, Joseph/ BREMAR, John. (SC Archives Index)
1774/11/05 - Plat - BREMAR, Francis, plat for 300 acres in Ninety Six District. Names Indexed - BREMAR, Francis/ FRENCH, William/ FRENCH, Joseph/ BREMAR, John/ THOMAS, Daniel/ Locations - Ninety Six District/ North Pacolet River (SC Archives Index)
1775/04/07 - Memorial - HEWIE, John, memorial for 150 acres on pacolet River, Craven Co. Names Indexed - Hewie, John/ Frenche, Joseph/ Bullockes, Zacharia. Location - Craven County/ Pacolet River.
1775/05/02 - Description BREMAR, Francis, memorial for two tracts, one for 300 acres on Pacolet River, Ninety Six District, and one for 400 acres on Broad River, Ninety Six District. Names Indexed - BREMAR, Francis/ FRENCH, Joseph/ FRENCH, William/ CLARK, Ephraim/ YOUNG, Thomas/ McCOWN, William/ McKESSICK, Neel/Locations - Ninety Six District/ Pacolet River/ Broad River/ Thicketty Creek (SC Archives Index)
1775/05/07 - Letter - CRAY, William, et al. of Onlsow NC, transmittal note to Cornelius Harnett, John Ashe, or any one of the committee for Wilmington, NC, conveying news of the battle of Lexington (2 pgs, printed, Gibbs, Diocumentary History, 1764-1776, p. 89) Names Indexed - CRAY, William/ FRENCH, Joseph/ WARD, Seth/ WARD, Edward/ SNEAD, Robert. Locations - Onslow, NC/Wilmington, NC.
1775/05/18 - Description VALK, Jacob, memorial for three tracts in Ninety Six District, one for 300 acres, one for 500 acres, and one for 400 acres. Names Indexed - VALK, Jacob/ SIMS, William/ BULLOCK, Zacharia/ THOMPSON, William/ HENDERSON, Richard/ FRENCH, Joseph/ Locations - Ninety Six District/ Gilkey Creek/ Broad River/ Pacolet River (SC Archives Index)
1776 - Wm. French of Rariton Landing, NJ has died and his Will is probated. It mentions his brother, Joseph.
1787/01/03 - Plat - MERRICK, Augustus, plat for 381 acres on Pacolet River, Ninety Six District, surveyed by James SEABORN for Joseph FRENCH on August 6, 1784. Names Indexed - MERRICK, Augustus/ FRENCH, Joseph/ SEABORN, James/ McNITE, John/ McMILLIN, William/ McNITE, Charles/ GILMORE, James/ (SC Archives Index)
1788 - Deed - Union Co. [SC] Deed Book B, p. 230-231; 28 July 1788 - James Campbell purchased land from Abraham Smith of York Co., SC; 100 ac in Union Co., both sides of Gilkey's Creek, on south side of Broad River. wit. Joseph FRENCH, Jno Harrington, Phillip Shafer. Harrington attested to signature in Union Co. before William McCullough, J.P. Reg. 23 Sept 1788 v2, p39.
1788 - Deed - Union Co. [SC] Deed Book B, p. 230-231; 28 July 1788 - James Campbell of Abbyville Co., SC to Abraham Smith of York Co., SC; 199 acres in Union Co., SC, both sides of Gilkey Creek, on S. Side of Broad River. Wit. Joseph FRENCH, John Harrington, Phillip(s) Shaver. John Harrington attested to the signature in Union Co. before William McCullough, J.P. Rec. 23 Sept 1780 v2, p40.
1790/02/09 - Plat - FRENCH, Joseph, Sr. Plat for 200 acres on branch of Twelve Mile River, Ninety-Six District, surveyed by Robert Price. Names Indexed - FRENCH, Joseph, Sr./ Prince, Robert/ Earle, Baylis. [The Joseph French, Sr. referred to in this document may be the Jospeh French who was the Rev War vet, since he had a son named Joseph.]
BURIAL: none found in Spartanburg Co., SC
PROBATE: none found in SC records