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Jonathan Singletary/Dunham (b. January 17, 1639, d. September 06, 1724)Jonathan Singletary/Dunham (son of Richard Singletary and Susannah M. Cook) was born January 17, 1639 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusettes, and died September 06, 1724 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey.He married Mary Bloomfield on Abt. 1657 in Haverhill, Essex, Massachusettes, daughter of Thomas Bloomfield and Mary Withers.
Notes for Jonathan Singletary/Dunham:
From Descendants fo Richard Singletary 1599-1687 and his son Jonathan Singletary Dunham 1639-1724. By David Lee Dunham.
He was born in Newbury, Ma., on 17 January 1639/40.He married Mary Bloomfield, daughter of the Cromwellian Thomas Bloomfield of Woodbridge, Suffolk, England.Her family migrated to tNewbury, Ma. during the upheavals of the English Civil War.Thomas Bloomfield was reputedly an officer in he Puritan Army, a position which would have led to his departure from England before the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.There were, however, Bloomfield's living in Ma. before that time.
After the marriage of Jonathan Singletary and Mary Bloomfield in about 1657, he recieved land in the Third Division of Salisbury on the 12th of January, 1663.During this time, he was beset by many adversities; he was plagued by a series of encounters with John Godfrey, whom he subsequently accused of being a witch.Godfrey was a most litigious man and wa probably suing or being sued more than any man in Essex County at the time.He was constantly at odds with other inhabitants, and Jonathan Singletary was not the only person to accuse him of being a witch.Suits for slander were very common in those days and very often preceded charges of witchcraft.John Putnam Demos' book, "Entertaining Satan", gives a most interesting account of this period which was thirty years earlier than the famous Salem witch trials.
About 1666, Jonathan and Mary Singletary together with her parents and other relatives, joined other families from Newbury, Salisbury, and Haverhaill and emigrated to a newly opened area of East New Jersey.In 1664, this land had vbeen franted to Lord John Berkley and George Carteret as Proprietors by the Duke of York.The Proprietor's newly appointed Governor, Captain Phillip Carteret, had immediately sent agents to New England to seek settlers for the new colony and found many willing to come, especially in the town of Newbury, Ma.
For reasons which we can only surmise, Jonathan Singletary assumed the surname of DUNHAM upon his arrial in New Jersey.No attempt was made to disguise his identity; as he was granted land, and, in a contract of June 8, 1670, Jonathan Singletary/alias Dunham, from the town of Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey and he recieved 213 acres of land fro building it.
He built a large stone house facing the church-green which was beside the Meeting House.In 1698, the original Woodbridge Puritan church congregation divided, and the Trinity Episcopal Church was formed.This church was built in front of Jonathan Singletary Dunham;s house, and the house became the church rectory, which it remains today, although somewhat altered.
Jonathan's house faces the Episcopal Chuch cemetery which separates it from the origianl church and burying ground.The old Puritan chuch, begun before 1675, is now the First Presbyterian Church of Woodbridge.
The two church properties adjoin with the burying grounds separated by a lane.There are several hundred early examples of Puritan funerary art in this beautiful and historic spot, the earliest being 1690.Many of the family lie here in thses two church yards.
Jonathan Dunham;s house was ssaidbe built of brick used as ballast on ships from Holland.The brick are laid in Flemish bond on the oldest parts and English bond where the roof was raised and rooms added - perhaps when itbecame the Episcopal Church rectory.One of the original mill stones from Jonathan's mill has been preserved and rests on a concrete base on the front lawn.Beside it is a monument to the memory of Jonathan Dunham as one of Woodbridg's outstanding citizens, dedicated October 5, 1969, by the town.
Jonathan Dunham/alias Singletary, and his family were First Settlers of Woodbridge and as such, have been widely covered by Dally and Monette in their histories.In May of 1670, Jonathan did jury duty of Elizabethtown and that same year he was chosen Overseer of the Highways.On February 17, 1671, Jonathan was giben permission to cut the Church meadow for four years, page 5, "History fo First Presbyterian Church, Woodbridge, N.J."Hoffman Printing, Car-teret, N.J. 1975.On August 10, 1672, Jonathan Singletary Donham was granted 213 acres of land, including several parcels:One House lot, on East side of Meeting House Green; Nine Acres near the grist mill; 48 acres joining the Parsonage land; One hundred and twenty Acres of uland and swamp, and thirty-six Acres not laid out.He drew other tracts in 1717, 1720 and 1721 although some of these may be to his son.In 1672 and 1675, he was Township Clerk; 1674 and 1684, he was a "Ratemaker," or Tax Assessor.In July of 1674, he was appointed as one of five prominant citizens given power to protect the rights of Woodbridge Corporation.During 1686, he was appointed attorney to prevent the encroachment of Piscataway onto disputed land.Jonathan Dunham was a member of the Assembly under the Propriety Government in 1673, and in 1701 represented Woodbridge in East New Jersey under Governor Carteret.
On April 16, 1702, Jonathan Dunham/alias Singletary, was given power of attorney by his wife and their surviving children to sell lands in Haverhill given them by Richard and Susannah Singletary.Al signed the conveyance, "Dunham alias Singletary."
Discrepancy of death:He gave Power of Attorney to family in 1702; they asked for confirmation of grants in 1724 saying he was "lately deceased."April 16, Vol. 15, p. 202-3, Essex Co. Deeds, Rec. Salem, Wit. John Pike.
In various accounts of the life of Jonathan Singletary Dunham there have been many errors, also some defamatory and untruthful stories written about why he changed his name.
His many trials and tribulations with John Godfrey, undoubtedly entered into it, but a study of the early church in New England sheds further light.
Not only did Godfrey sue him for slander and had him put in jail, he subsequently was able to take lands of Jonathan Singletary, the sale of which may be found in the Essex County Court Records.
Some undocumented works say that Jonathan Singletary changed his name and kept his identity hidden.This is untrue; from the timethat he arrived in New Jersey with his wife, Mary Bloomfield and her family, his land grants and other legal rocords were for Jonathan Dunham/alias Singletary, (or vice versa) in all caes.
At least some of the slander and innuendo comes from the resentment expressed in the Dunham Genealogy, another Massachusettes family who moved to Piscataway, New Jersey, and which paints a dark picture of Jonathan Singletary.They were descendants of "Deacon" John Dunham of Plymouth, Ma.
His record as an outstanding citizen of Woodbridge is attested to by his life and works and the prominent families to which he allied.Jonathan Singletary was in Haverhill on July 1, 1680, when he proved the will of Theophilus Satchwell in court, having written and witnessed the will in Haverhill in 1663.He must have returned to Woodbridge soon after, for his son Benjamin was born in August of 1681.
The only record which has come to light, and the one which accounts for the speculation, is a court case in Plymouth Colony in July 1683.In this case, Jonathan Dunham alias Singletary is accused of being away from his home and family.The court accused him of wandering about from place to place (he ahd many relatives in Essex County) disseminating in his "corrupt principles" and having followers who "followed him up and down."These included a young woman named Mary Rosse who led him with "Enthusiastical powers" to do as she bade him.He was accused of killing the dog of John Irish, of setting fire to the house, shooting his gun, and generally disturbing the peace.
He was sentenced to be whipped and sent from the colony quickly so as not to further, "disseminate his corrupt principles."
Mary Rosse for her vile and outrageous railings at the Governor and the court was sentenced to be whipped and sent to her mother in Boston.
There is no mention of fornication or any lewd practices; these questions were routinely asked or brought forth before any church of General Court trials."Corrupt Principles" usually meant any religious non-conformity.
Considering the extreme intolerance of the church at this time to any variation of their proscibed way of life, this episode could be the result of the usual reaction to contrary views, especially if it attracted followers.It might also result from an arguement or disagreement with John Irish, or, possibly a grudge held since Jonathan's troubles with John Godfrey twenty years before.
The early church records show that their punishments were not extra-ordinary.Severe punishments were often allotted for seemingly minor infractions.Any other church or its views were considered corrupt, as has been heretofore stated.The Quakers were much persecuted, for were actually tried and executed for their beliefs.
From Laws and courts of New Netherlands; Page 492: "on 7 Sept. 1674 they had reported...that one Jonathan Singletary refuses to obey their orders."
In the Plymouth Colony Records, Court Orders July 1683, vol 6 page 113-114: "...sentenced to be 'publickly whipt' and banished from the colony, in these words, 'whereas Jonathan Dunham, Alias Singletary..."
More About Jonathan Singletary/Dunham and Mary Bloomfield:
Marriage: Abt. 1657, Haverhill, Essex, Massachusettes.
Children of Jonathan Singletary/Dunham and Mary Bloomfield are:
- +Benjamin Dunham, b. August 22, 1681, Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, d. December 31, 1715, Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey.