I would like to propose a THEORY (requiring more research to prove or disprove), that the John Hickson (also Hixon or Hixson) who was born circa 1679 to 1689 to William and Mary (Patterson) Hickson, early Quakers of Crosswick Creek, Burlington County, New Jersey, did NOT marry an Elizabeth Stillwell as so many internet postings seem to suggest (or accept without question, and seemingly without proof). My rationale is set forth below.
1. No one who lists Elizabeth Stillwell as the wife has offered any citation to a will, a marriage record, a land record, an old Bible, or any other form of primary evidence. I do not know if the source of these reports is one of the various published Hickson genealogies, but does anyone know if such a secondary source cites proof or merely relies on potentially faulty oral tradition?
2. While there was an extensive Stillwell family in the area of Newtown, Long Island, New York, which also spread into Monmouth County in eastern New Jersey, no scions of this family seem to have come to the Hunterdon County area until well after the time that John Hickson/Hixson/Hixon supposedly married an Elizabeth Stillwell. So how would they have met and courted?
3. There are some indications that an Elizabeth Stillwell, born many decades after this John Hickson, did indeed marry a different John Hickson (i.e., one from a later generation of this family) and that they moved to the area of Bedford or Fulton Counties, in Pennsylvania by the 1780s. I believe someone has confused the generations and assigned this later Elizabeth to the earlier John, resulting in a ridiculous mismatch of ages and identities.
4. Many researchers, perhaps without proof, list among the children of the John Hickson/Hixson/Hixon born in the 1680s a son whose name has typically been spelled "Tylor". As we develop familiarity with the changing cycles of name popularity, we realize that the name "Tyler" or "Tylor" was not a "popular" name in the early 1700s. There was, however, a relatively common practice of using a woman's maiden surname as the given name of a son. Thus, a woman whose maiden name was Tyler might have given one of her sons the first name of Tyler.
4. There do not seem to have been any families surnamed "Tyler" or "Tylor" in the Hunterdon or Burlington County area that early. There was, however, a Samuel Taylor, an early Quaker, who immigrated about 1677 and reportedly married a Susannah Horsman (or Horseman), daughter of Marmaduke, in 1686. There children were born thereafter.
5. I would like to propose, as a THEORY, that John Hickson/Hixson/Hixon, the son of Quakers, might have married a Quaker woman, a daughter of Samuel and Susannah (Horsman) Taylor, who lived nearby. John and his wife (maiden name Taylor) then named a son Taylor (but who has come down to us, through distorted oral history and less-than-perfect spelling from poorly educated colonial record keepers, as "Tylor").
6. The Latter Day Saints Ancestral Files (on line) include several children for this Samuel and Susannah Taylor. Specifically, there are three daughters, Frances, Mary and Susannah. Frances Taylor reportedly married a John Schooley, and John Hickson's sister Priscilla reportedly married a William Schooley. Mary Taylor reportedly married a John Snowden. Susannah Taylor is not listed with any spouse. Of course, the LDS submission does not make any claim that this is an exhaustive listing of Samuel's daughters.
Does anyone have any information that would shed light on the identity of John Hickson/Hixson/Hixon's wife? Supposedly John died about 1736 in Hunterdon, but I have not had any success finding an abstract of any will that might have existed (I have looked in the New Jersey Calendar of Wills). Was his wife really named Elizabeth and is it only the Stillwell part that is wrong?
Of course, if Mrs. John Hickson/Hixson/Hixon was the daughter of Samuel and Susannah Taylor, one might expect her to have named children after her parents, and I am not aware of any children of John Hickson/Hixson/Hixon with these names, which could be evidence against the THEORY here.
If anyone has any information on this issue, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.