Thank you very much for your e-mail of March 24, 2003 with information
on the families of John Nivison, Sr., (c. 1720-1804) and of his son John, Jr., who
married Sara Tyse.I would very much like to know where you found the birth
dates of John, Jr.’s three children (Ann, William, and John), and, in particular,
what evidence there is connecting the Ann Nivison who married William Van
Cleaf with John Nivison, Jr., and Sara Tyse.
I have a few bits of information which may be helpful to you:
1) In deed book A-4, p. 110, (at the Monmouth Court House in Free-
hold), there is, under the date June 19, 1840, the record of a deed from Jacob
Johnson, administrator of John Niverson, Decd., to a John Johnson, which is
dated May 19, 1806 and which mentions land in the Township of Middletown
granted to John Niveson by William Leland and his wife Jane on May 8, 1744.
If this date is correct (hopefully I copied it correctly!) it proves that John, Sr.
was in Monmouth County well before 1749.
2) I think it indeed probable that John, Sr. was the father of the Mary
who married Jacob Janse at the Dutch Reformed church in 1778, because Janse
is the Dutch form of Johnson and it was Jacob “Johnson” who was the administ-
rator of John, Sr.’s estate.
3) Ann Nivison who married William Van Cleaf did not die young.In
1850, fourteen years after the death of her husband, “Anna Van cleaf, widow of
Capt. William Vancleaf”, joined with her seven living children and theirspouses
to sell various peces of real estate which at that time had still not been distributed
from her husband’s estate.(See Book N-5 of deeds.)
The first three of these children were baptised at the Reformed Dutch
Church (Freehold-Middletown) with the curious notation that Ann was “not in
the baptismal engagement”, which I suppose means that she, personally, refused
to undertake the obligation of a parent to bring up the children in the Reformed
faith.This may perhaps indicate that she (and others in her birth family?) were
Baptists with strong opinions against infant baptism, or it may suggest that she
was a determined free thinker.It would be interesting to know.If she was a
Presbyterian, it is hard to see why she would have had objection to Dutch Reformed
doctrine and practices, since the Presbyterians and Reformed were very close in
4) Regarding John, born December 1793, son of John, Jr., I have nothing
definite, but it occurs to me that he could be identical with a John Nivison who
married Eleanor Sutphen.An old note of mine (the original of which I can’t
locate at the moment) says this John Nivison was born in 1792, so th dates don’t
fit exactly.I assume that the John who married Eleanor Sutphen is identical to a
John Nivison of the Township of Freehold who, with Elenor, his wife, received a
deed for land in Freehold Township from an Elenor Nivison on March 1, 1819.
John (called “John, Jr.” in the deed index) sold this land to William Hays on May 3,
1826 (Book L-2, p. 384).Perhaps he moved out of the area at that time.I can’t
think of any other John, Jr., who would have been selling land at this time.
Again, thank you very much for your information.As I said, I would be
most interested in the origin of the birth dates you have for John Jr.’s children and
in any information connecting Ann who married William Van Cleaf with John Jr.