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Hubbards in Delaware
Posted by: Floyd Rayburn Date: July 19, 2001 at 14:21:12
  of 365

This is from Hubbartt History & genealogy
(c) Wm. S. Hubbartt, U.E., Guam: 1998

Good hunting!


Chapter V


“This is a very good land to fall in with and a pleasant land to see”
Sir Henry Hudson in his “Half Moon” log book - September 2nd, 1609

Monmouth, New Jersey: The previous chapter speaks much about the Gravesend founders. To them much of Monmouth County and New Jersey’s early history can be credited. On April 8th, 1665 the Gravesend men secured the Monmouth patent, a tract of land 12 miles wide running from Sandy Hook westward to the south side of Raritan Bay. One of the conditions of this patent was ”that the Patentees and their associates, their heirs and assigns, shall within the space of three years . . . manure and plant the aforesaid land and premises and settle there one hundred families at the least.” (Mandeville p. 41) This fine land was covered with virgin forest. The Dutch were gone and by that time the area was nearly free of Indians, most having moved inland. Many of these Gravesend men relocated over to this new territory and began settling it.

The Navesinck Plantation (as the original settlement was known) was highly successful with two villages, Middletown and Shrewsbury, being initially established. Each purchaser paid £3 or £4, which entitled him to 120 acres with additional increments for his wife and children, as well as 60 acres for each servant. Perhaps as many as eighty families came in the first years from Long Island, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. As early as 1665 a children’s school was established in Middletown with John Smith, a friend of Roger Williams of Rhode Island, as the teacher. In 1667 Richard Gibbins was listed as the constable at Middletown, and in February 1668, James Grover with twenty-five other men, took the “oath of allegiance.” In 1670 the Middletown court consisted of James Grover and John Bowne, the assistants to overseers were Richard Stout and Richard Gibbins.
James Grover, that early apprentice and lifelong friend of James, became one of the first and more prominent settlers. In 1667 Grover was also allowed to open an Inn or “Ordinary”; “for Entertaynment and acommodation of all strangers and passengers With lodging and Provision..”
In 1668 he was one of the founders of the Baptist church at Middletown. In a town meeting on December 25th, 1669 it was agreed to allow Grover to operate a mill under these conditions;
       1. To maintain it in good repair; to grind the corn for the inhabitants of Middletown
       2. To grind the towns’ before any other towns’ if demanded
       3. To grind the towns’ corn for the twelfth bushel toll
4. To make as good meal for the townspeople as is usually made within the province
or within the Government of New York; provided the corn be in good condition to
make good meal and having water sufficient.       (Stillwell pp. 247 - 250)
In 1673, Lord Lovelace, Governor of New York, hired him to erect a mill on Staten Island. also, on August 8th of that year, he was chosen, with John Bowne, as a Commissioner, to consult at Fort Orange with the Dutch who had recently re-entered the province.

Other prominent settlers to the Monmouth area were; (Horner p. 180)

Sergeant Richard Gibbons: An original patentee who came from Oyster Bay. He held the office of constable, and Justice of the Peace, among others. He lived on a farm of 500 acres near Nut Swamp, Middletown. He died in 1684. His wife’s name was Elizabeth, and they had four children; Mordecai, ___? Johanna, and Ruth. Gibbons sometimes wrote his name as ‘Gibbine’

James Grover; Also an original patentee. His children were; Joseph of Freehold, William and Samuel of Cape May County, Ann, and probably others

Obadiah Holmes: An original patentee although he never actually went to Monmouth. Born 1607 and died 1682, buried at Middletown Rhode Island. Three of his children are important to Monmouth; Lydia, (who married Captain John Bowne); Obadiah, and Jonathan.

William Reape: Patentee from Newport Rhode Island where he died in 1670. He did not come to Monmouth but after his death, his wife Sarah, lived in Shrewsbury where she died in 1715.

Samuel Spicer: Son of Thomas and Micael of Gravesend. He married Esther (Hester), daughter of John and Mary Tilton. He didn’t live long in Monmouth but moved on to the banks of the Delaware River. He died there in 1699. Both he and his mother suffered from religious persecution. The family became one of the prominent in West Jersey.
So rapid was the migration from Rhode Island and Long Island that 1669 did not encourage further settlement of Middletown. “. . Considering the town to be now wholly completed being full according to their number” In 1670, Middletown’s estimated population was reported to be 1,000. By then few Indians remained in the Middletown area but they continued to travel through the area by way of the Minisink Trail to the seashore which crossed the Blue Hills (Watchung Mountains) passing just north of the village of Middletown.
Monmouth Hubbards: After acquiring the Monmouth patent, Sergeant James Hubbard continued to reside in Gravesend where he remained active in town affairs and raised a family. His first child, a son, was born 10 December 1665 in Gravesend and was also named James James, son of Sgt. James Hubbard eventually moved to Monmouth becoming an important landowner. He married Elizabeth Bergen and raised a large family near Middletown living along “Swimming River.” James’ will was dated January 1719 on which he appointed his brothers Elias and Samuel the executors. In April 1724, Samuel renounced/declined his role as executor. James is often referred to as “Major James Hubbard.” (Nelson p. 243)
John Hubbard: Regarding New Jersey migration most of the attention is focused on James, first son of Sgt. James, to whom the Monmouth land was probably passed on to. While James was an important man in his own right and left an indelible mark on the history of Monmouth little is known of his little brother John’s life. Regarding John, the fourth of seven children, the entry is often simply; “John (s. of James the emigrant), b. Mar 20, 1670. Resided in G’d in 1695. No trace of his descendants.” Little else is mentioned about him.
John was born March 20th, 1670 in Gravesend and as a farmer, resided there at least until 1695. He married Rachel Goelet in 1700, the daughter of John Goelet, of Milford, Kent County, Delaware. Her brothers were John, Isaac, and Joseph. Additionally, she had two uncles named George and Abraham. John and Rachel themselves had a large family, seven sons and one daughter: Benjamin, Obediah, Henry, William, James, Joseph, John, and Rachel. His wife’s family was from Delaware, and John and Rachel, after living for some time in Monmouth County, at some point went to Cape May County, New Jersey and eventually moved on to Delaware.
Cape May, New Jersey and on to Milford Delaware. Cape May County began with an act of the Assembly, 21 Jan 1710. However settlements and colonization in the area had began much earlier. Early on the Dutch had even attempted to settle there but eventually pulled out. Located at the very tip of southern New Jersey on a finger of land that extends south into Delaware Bay, the area eventually had an important ferry service running across to Delaware. In November 1692, Cape May County, with Cape May courthouse as its county seat was created. It was named for Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, a director-General of the Dutch West India Company’s colony in New Netherlands.
On 13 May 1732, John (born 1707, the fourth son of James Hubbard and Rachel Goelet) married Elizabeth Maddox of Burlington New Jersey. (Nelson p. 187) They eventually moved to Kent County, Delaware and took up land in Mispillion Hundreds, not far from his maternal Grandfather, John Goelet’s (Gullett or Bullett) place.
Delaware was originally settled and colonized by the Swedish who established a colony on the Delaware River in parts of present-day Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. In 1631, the first European settlement was attempted in Delaware when the Dutch West India Company established a tobacco-growing and whaling industry at Zwaanendael (present-day Lewes). The New Sweden Company, led by Peter Minuit, with the capital at Tinicum Island founded a permanent colony in 1638. (Columbia Electronic Encycl.) It lasted only a year because of Indian attacks. In 1638, Swedish settlers established the first permanent settlement, Fort Christina (present-day Wilmington), as part of the colony of New Sweden.
In 1655, the colony was lost to the Dutch, who, in turn, surrendered it to the British nine years later. In 1682, Delaware came under the proprietorship of William Penn, which led to many immigrants flocking to new land opening up there. At the time, Delaware was a part of William Penn’s Pennsylvania but it was administered separately from Pennsylvania as a distinct entity called the "three counties of Delaware." (Scarf p. 1171)
The county of Milford Hundreds, (originally a part of Mispillion Hundreds) in central Delaware, located on Delaware Bay, adjoins Mispillion Hundreds to the west, bordering Maryland. Sussex County, birthplace of James Hubbartt, the centenarian, borders the township on the south.
Consisting of a low, gently undulating plain that slopes down to the Atlantic Ocean the area was, at the time, covered by vast oak and pine stands of forests. Salt and freshwater marshlands are prevalent in the central portion of the state along Delaware Bay. The soil is of sandy loam and, if properly drained well for farming. The early grants refer to the “Forest of Mispillion Hundred.” The first settlements were in the northeastern part along bayshore and river.
Before 1741 (and probably much earlier), James and Elizabeth Maddox moved on to Delaware where they settled. Many of the family eventually migrated there including several of the Goelet family members. Their children were; James, William, John were born in Kent County, Delaware) Between 1750 and 1754 James went to North Carolina (eventually settling in Orange county), where Ralph, Richard, Joseph, Samuel and several daughters (and possible another son) were born.
While on a return visit to Kent County, Delaware John Hubbard, son of James, met and married his cousin Elizabeth Smith. After moving to North Carolina it seems James may have retained the family’s land in Delaware until finally loading the family into a wagon shortly before 1785 and moving everyone from Delaware to Orange County, NC, leaving his son John to care for the Delaware farm until later.
John and Elizabeth (Smith) stayed in Delaware until 1776, when they joined his family in North Carolina. (Several of the Smiths and Gullets went with them) After the Revolutionary War, they returned to Delaware to visit relatives where, in 1785, their son James was born.
The Hubbards, Smiths, and Goelets congregated together in Delaware. Many can be found migrating west with the Hubbards to North Carolina, Ohio and later Indiana.
By 1785 the Hubbards had left Delaware altogether as evidenced by these family members shown on a list of persons assessed in Mispillion Hundreds (including Milford):
       John Gullitt Sr.               
John Smith        
Issac Gullitt
       George Gullet              
Thomas Smith        
Daniel Smith
       Abram Guilett              
Joseph Gullitt
Elvin Smith
       John Gullitt Jr              
Thomas Smith               
Samuel Smith

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