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From my book "Line of Descent of George Roger Gilbert"

My Dunham ancestors listed below from Robert Dunham to Ruth Dunham who married James Martin. and Robert Dunham back to Rolph the Norsman are listed here without my personal search for or verification of the records. The listing of the so-called "Royal Ancestry" comes entirely from the published genealogy of the "Martin Family History" written by William J. Coulter in the early part of this century. Even Mr. Coulter, in his book, does not endorse as absolutely correct the information he gives concerning the royal ancestry. Since the time of publication of Mr. Coulter's book there has been much research concerning the Dunham family and the controversial conclusions made by Mr. Coulter and others.

In a recent e-mail from Harmon Clark of Dunellen, NJ. Some of the history given by Mr. Coulter is contradicted by research of others. ÊThat research is as follows:

"The Fraudulent Ancestry of Deacon John Dunham of Plymouth", by Paul C. Reed, TAG 73:101 (April 1998); also "The English Origin and First Marriage of Deacon John Dunham of Plymouth, Massachusetts", by Robert Leigh Ward, TAG 71:130 (July 1996).

See also The Great Migration Begins, Vol. I, by Robert Charles Anderson, [NEHGS 1995], pages 599-603. Anderson comments that "the definitive treatment of John Dunham, his children and grandchildren, was carried out by Florence Barclay ("Notes on the Dunham Family of Plymouth, Mass.," TAG 30:143-55). She followed this six years later with a detailed study of Jonathan Dunham, son of the immigrant [TAG 36:243-49]. As usual, she has studied all the available records and judiciously analyzed them; we follow her arrangement here, except where noted otherwise."

As to the parents of the children, Anderson writes: "John Dunham and three children (John, Humility and Thomas) were listed as living in the Zevenhuysen section of Leiden on 15 October 1622 [NS] [Dexter 612], in a survey which was conveniently taken between the dates of John Dunham's betrothal and marriage to his second wife."

With regard to erroneous data on John Dunham, the "Dunham Genealogy, Deacon John Dunham of Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1589-1669 and His Descendants", compiled by Isaac Watson Dunham (Hartford, Conn. 1907), is the old "standard" Dunham Genealogy. That book has also spurned a number of "family group sheets" and "histories" which have been interchanged. It sets forth that Deacon John Dunham was descended from a long line of Dunhams or Donhams reaching back to a Rychert Donham, b. 1294, who established himself in Devon. A descendant of this Rychert was said to be a Robert Dunham, b. 1430, who married a Margaret Stafford, b. 1435, a daughter of Humphrey Stafford, the first Duke of Buckingham, and his wife, Anne Neville, herself a great granddaughter of King Edward III. As forcefully stated in Paul Reed's article in TAG 73:101, that account is fraudulent. Prior to the Reed and Ward articles, and the comments by Anderson, there was an article by A. D. Gates "Some Saint John Loyalist Dunhams" [New Brunswick <Canada> Genealogical Society publication, "Generations", Issue 37, Sept. 1988, pages 14-18], which commented, as to the old published ancestry, "this offers interesting possibilities, for the forbears of King Edward III can easily be traced back to the Saxon kings and also to French royalty, and even to Viking invaders who established themselves in such places as Normandy and Kiev."

But, Gates continues "Unfortunately, it is probably not true. Among other things it would require proof that Deacon John Dunham of Plymouth was indeed descended from Robert Dunham and Margaret Stafford through a Sir John Dunham in the 16th century. The 'Dunham Genealogy' says that Sir John had a son, Ralph Dunham, b. 1526, but printed records from England indicate that the John Dunham in question 'died young' and give no evidence of marriage or issue." Isaac Dunham, in his "Dunham Genealogy" also claims that John Dunham sailed with other "Pilgrims" on the Mayflower in 1620 under the pseudonym of John Goodman. That is clearly not the case, as there was a separate individual John Goodman. John Dunham probably came with his family to Plymouth about 1630, on the "Hope". His name first appears in colony records in 1633, and was later elected Deacon as assistant to Elder William Brewster.

Isaac Dunham's account of John being born in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, near Dunham-on-Trent, is also without any basis, as is his assertion that he married an Abigail Wood in 1619. Mrs. John E. Barclay, in The American Genealogist [30:143-155,173 31:215], has a different account. She concludes that John was married twice; the first marriage, of which no record has been found, was to Susanna Kenny, of which marriage three children were born, presumably at or near Leyden. By late 1622, Susanna had died and John, with the three children, was living near Zevenhuysen. In October of that year he married Abigail Barlow or Ballou, daughter of Thomas. She produced at least eight more children of whom probably the last four were born in Plymouth Colony. Mrs. Barclay's conclusion are essentially followed by Sophie Dunham Moore, in her "Jacob Dunham Genealogy" (Kalamazoo, Mich. 1963). (The last mentioned must also be approached with caution, as must virtually all published work on the Dunham family).

The Gates' article, above, is also flawed in attempting to make Thomas Dunham and Martha Knott (who probably never got married, and with no record of any children, the parents of Jonathan Dunham who married Mary Bloomfield. Gates admits that he does this because he couldn't find any other parents for Jonathan. Actually he looked in the wrong place, for Jonathan was the son of Richard and Susanna (Cooke) Singletary, who took the name Dunham in Woodbridge, N.J., possibly to cover up some of his wild activities in Massachusetts, including killing John Irish's dog and setting his house on fire, and having an affair with the prostitute, Mary Ross(e).

Here ends Mr.Clark's e-mail corrections and begins the excerpts of Mr. Coulter's book MARTIN FAMILY HISTORY.Ê


by William J. Coulter


When we found a copy of the royal descent of the Dunham ancestry in the New Jersey Historical Society, we were rather doubtful as to how such information might be viewed by our Martin relatives. As we delved into the subject and after reading and owning a copy of the book entitled, "Your Family Tree" by David Starr Jordan and Sarah L. Kimball, we concluded that it might be possible for us to include such information in our book without the danger of being laughed at.

We will give first, the line of descent and then the sketch of what these ancestors did.

We are indebted to several sources for this information. One is the book entitled "The Randolph Traditions, " the other is the Encyclopedia Brittanica and other books of like nature.

In reading about your royal ancestry you are in reality reading English and European history,


No. 1. We will begin our royal descent with Rolf the Norsman, sometimes called "Rolo the Dane," born about 860, died about 932. The Randoph Traditions state that he married Gesila, daughter of King Charles of France. David Starr Jordan States that Rolf married poppa De Valois, daughter of Count Berengarius of Bretagne, son of pepin, count of Vermandois, son of Charlemagne Emperor of the West and his third wife Hildegarde. We will leave it to our readers as to which authority they want to accept.

No. 2. His son, William Longsword, 2nd duke of Normandy, died December 17, 942

No. 3. Richard I, The Fearless, 3rd Duke of Normandy is supposed to have reigned more than half a century, dying about 996, is believed to have married a daughter of "Hugh the Great."

No. 4. Richard II, the Good, 4th Duke of Normandy, died 1026.

No. 5. Aricia, his daughter, married Goffrey, called otherwise Golfieuden, Duke of Brittany.

No. 6. Eudo, Duke of Brittany, died 1079 married Agnes daughter of Alice.

No. 7. Ribald, Lord of Middleham, cousin of William the Conqueror, married Beatriz.

No. 8. Randolph married Agatha, daughter of the first Robert of Bruce, the renowned head of the Bruce family.

No. 9. Robert Fitz Randolph, Lord of Middleham, who built the Castle of Middleham, married Helmise De Glauville, the daughter of Ralph De Glauville, the famous justiciary of Henry II.

No. 10. Randolph Fitz Randolph, Lord of Middleham, who died about 1251, married Mary or Margery, daughter of Roger Bigot (or Bigod) Duke of Norfolk, leader amoung the Great Barons who forced the Magna Charta from King John.

No. 11. Randolph Fitz Randolph, Lord of Middleham, died 1269 or 1270, married Anastasia, daughter of William, Lord Percy.

No. 12. Mary Fitz Randolph, a rich, religious and benevolent woman, died about 1320, married about 1260, Robert De Neville, Lord of Raby (or Roby) and lineally descended from Uchtred, the great Saxon Earl of Northumberland and his wife Elfgiva, daughter of King Ethelred II.

No. 13. Their son, Randolph De Neville, Lord of Middleham, died about 1332, married 2nd , Margaret, daughter of Marmaduke Thweng.

No. 14. Randolph De Neville, Lord of Middleham, died about 1368, married Alicia, daughter of Hugo De Audley.

No. 15. John De Neville, Lord of Middleham, died about 1398, married Matilda (sometimes called Maude) Percy.

No. 16. Randolph De Neville, Lord of Middleham and First Earl of Westmoreland, married 1st, Margaret, daughter of Sir Hugh Stafford, K. G. Margaret was a great, great, great, grand-daughter of Edward I, King of England.

No. 17. Ann De Neville married Sir Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham.

No. 18. It was their daughter, Margaret, who married Robert Dunham, of Devonshire. See Dunham Ancestry.

. . . . . . . . . .

Of course, the reader will understand that in those days, as now, the royal line was maintained by intermarriage among the nobles or nobility, consequently, were it worth the effort, I could trace your ancestry back to William the Conqueror, Edward I, II and III, Henry III, John of Gaunt, Henry I and II, Edward the exile, Edmund II, known as Ironsides, Ethelred II, Edgar the Great, Ethelwulf, Eghbert the Great, the Scottish Kings back of Malcolm III and starting with Prince Muireadach thru the Irish kings, the French Kings back of Henry I, the German Kings back of Henry the Fowler, from some of the Kings of Norway and from Jaroslaus, the Halt, who was Lord over all Russia in 1015.


To the Dunham line or ancestry we are indebted for many things, first, The Mayflower ancestry; second, the Huguenot descent from Reynier Piatt and Margaret Sheffield; third, the royal ancestry; fourth, the Magna Charta descent. We have already discussed the royal ancestry, the others will be discussed one at a time.

1. Robert Dunham married Margaret Stafford, born 1435.

2. Sir John Dunham born 1460, married Elizabeth Bowett, a descendant of Sir John Zouche, also of the Bergh's and Bellaqua's.

3. Ralph Dunham born 1526, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Wentworth, styled the Knight of the Reformation.

4. Thomas Dunham born 1556, married Janet Bromley.

5. John Dunham born 1589 in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England, and the first to come to America, married 2nd Abigail Barlow, daughter of Thomas Barlow, October 22, 1622.

6. Benejah Dunham born 1640 at Plymouth, Mass. married Elizabeth Tilson, daughter of Edmund Tilson, of Scituate, October 25, 1660. About 1672 he emigrated to Piscataway N. J. Elizabeth Tilson was born about 1630-34. Her father , Edmund Tilson died October 25, 1660, after which her mother Joane, married 2nd Giles Rickard Sr.

7. Rev. Edmund Dunham born July 25, 1661, died March 17, 1724, in Piscataway, N. J. married July 15, 1681, Mary Bonham, daughter of Nicholas Bonham, of Massachusetts. She was born October 4, 1661, died 1742, in New Jersey. See Mayflower ancestry of Mary Bonham.

8. Rev. Jonathan Dunham born August 16, 1694, died March 10, 1777, married August 5, 1714, Jean Piatt, born 1695, died September 15, 1779, of French Huguenot descent from Renynier Piatt and Elizabeth Sheffield.

9. Ruth Dunham born January 3, 1727, married February 25, 1746 or 1747, to James Martin of Piscataway, N. J. The ceremony was performed by her father. James Martin died between October 25, 1766, and January 13, 1767.

10. Azariah Martin born about 1748, married 1769 to Sarah Dunn. Azariah died Decmeber 6, 1822. Sarah Dunn Martin died June 26, 1817. the marriage and death dates are taken from our Martin Family Bible.

The first Dunham mentioned in this sketch, namely; Robert No. 1, married Margaret, daughter of Sir Humphrey Stafford and granddaughter of Edmund Stafford, who was in turn a nephew of Humphrey Stafford, famous as the Silver Hand Sheriff of Dorset and Somersetshire. Her father Sir Humphrey Stafford was the first Duke of Buckingham while her mother was Ann De Neville ( of royal descent.) Through her mother, Margaret Stafford was a first cousin of King Edward III and Richard III of England.

Sir John Dunham (No. 2) married Elizabeth Bowett, who was a descendant of Sir John Zouche and of the Bergh's and the Bellaqua's being of royal descent through these lines.

Ralph Dunham (No.3) married Elizabeth Wentworth, whose grandfather was Richard, knighted at the Battle of the Spurs, and his father Sir Henry was the first Baron of Nesttlestead. They lived in Scrooby.

Thomas Dunham (No. 4) who married Janet Bromley, lived in Scrooby, Notinghamshire and, we are told, later moved to London.

Deacon John Dunham, who is the ancestor of the large and numerous Dunham family of New England and New Jersey, from which point they have spread over the entire country, joined the Separatist Church in England, removed to Leyden, Holland, and married for his first wife, Susanna Kenney, by whom he had three children, John, Thomas and Humility. On October 22nd, 1622, he married Abigail Barlow, the witnesses to the marriage being her father, Thomas Barlow, and her sister, Anna Barlow. On October 15, 1622, John Dunham was living in Zevenhuysen, Holland, with the three children of his first wife. On May 28, 1621, Abigail Barlow Dunham was a witness to the marriage of her sister, Anna, To Nathaniel Walker. There seems to be some dispute about the exact time that John Dunham and his family came to Massachusetts, but it is quite generally conceded that it was about 1630-32 in the sloop James. In 1633 he was chosen Deacon in the Plymouth Church under Elder Brewster. A deacon named John Cook had caused some dissensions, he was dismissed and John Dunham elected his successor. He continued as deacon the rest of his life.

In 1638 he was chosen a deputy of the Colony and continues so for seventeen years, representing Plymouth in the General Court in 1639 -40-47-52-54-55-56-57-58-59-60-61-62-64.

The Plymouth Colony says of him in this connection, "he was a man of strict honesty and sterling character, prominent in the growth and prosperity of the Colony."

In 1642 he represented Plymouth at a Court to consider the war against the Indians. He served on many important committees with the Governor and was a member of the committee that revised the general laws of the Colony in 1650. He was one of the thirty-six original proprietors of Dartmouth in 1652, with William Bradford, Captain Standish, John Alden, Mr. Collyer, George Morton, Manesseh Kempton and others.

In 1654 he represented Plymouth at a convention of the colonies in Connecticut relative to a confederation of said colonies. He served on various juries and is frequently mentioned in grants of land and transfers of property.

Deacon John Dunham's residence was southwest of Plymouth village. A swamp called Slaughter House Pond, to the west of his land, had an outlet to town brook. This outlet is still called Dunham Brook and a strip of land separating Billington Sea from Little Pond to the west is called Dunham Neck. This strip was a part of his land.

It should be remembered that Deacon John Dunham owned large numbers of cattle, for those times, which may have some connection with some of the names mentioned above.

He died at Plymouth, March 2, 1668-9, and it is said of him "He was an approved servant of God and useful man in his place, being a deacon in the Church at Plymouth." His will was dated January 28, 1668, and is listed among the earliest wills of the colony. It was witnessed by Thomas Southworth, John Cotten and Thomas Cashman. On June 1, 1669, letters of administration were granted to his widow Abigail.

To those desiring further information relative to the early Dunham family, we would suggest your reading " History of Dunham on Trent" by the Rev. Howard Chadwick, M. A., published 1924, or the "The Dunham Genealogy" by Isaac Watson Dunham, A. M., of Hartford, Conn., published 1907.

Benejah Dunham (No. 6) who is our Dunham ancestor in New Jersey, was born in Plymouth, Mass. 1640, married October 25, 1660, Elizabeth Tilson, of Scituate, daughter of Edmund of Plymouth. Benejah was a freeman in 1664, a court officer at Eastham, Mass., in 1669, in 1672 purchased 100 acres of land at Piscataway, N. J., and became a planter and in 1673 a captain of the Piscataway Militia Squad in New Jersey under the Dutch.

The following is a copy of his will:

Will of Benejah Dunham

In the name of God Amen, the 10th day of May, One Thousand Six Hundred Seventy-nine, I , Benejah Dunham, of Piscataway, In East Jersey, Linen Weaver, being of sound mind and remembrance, praised be God, do give and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and forme following:

First I bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God my maker and my body to be buried at the discretion of my executor hereafter nominated.

Item - I give unto my son, Demund, the seventy acres of land belonging to me which lyeth by Raritan River and I give to him my Musquet (Musket) and my razier (Razor).

Item - I give unto my daughter, Mary, my dwelling home and my home lott and all appertinances therunto belonging and my lott of meadow in the great meadow which lyeth by the creek which is called Bonhame Creek and all my bookes and one third of my cattel and movable good.

Item - I give to Elizabeth, my wife, for the tearme of her widdowhood, one third of my cattel and moveable goods, and do make her executrix of this my last will and testament, also I ordaine Mr. Samuel Dennis, of Woodbridge, and Mr. John Ffichrandolphe (Fitz Randolph) of Pisattaway, to be overseers for my children.

Item - I ordaine that my daughter shall not dispossess her mother during her widowhood.

Item - I ordaine that the legacies of thirds which are given to Elizabeth, my wife, shall at the marriage or death of her the aforesaid, the one halfe, returne to my daughter, Mary, and the other half to my daughter, Elizabeth, and all my lands in New England to be equally divided betwixt my daughters.

In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale the day and yeare first above writte

Benajah Dunham (L. S.)

Sealed, signed and delivered in ye presents of

Benin Hull (Benjamin Hull)

Geo. Hull.

Benejah died December 24, 1680, at Piscataway, N. J.

Edmund Dunham (No. 8) born July 25, 1661, at Plymouth, Mass., was the only surviving son of Benejah and was almost of age when his father died in 1680.

Edmund reached manhood at an important time in civil affairs in East Jersey. It was a formative period in the history of the colony and no less a critical period in the history of the mother country.

On July 15, 1681, he married Mary Bonham, daughter of Nicholas Bonham from New England ( and a granddaughter of George Bonham whose wife, Hannah Fuller, was a daughter of Samuel Fuller and Jane Lothrop and a granddaughter of Edward Fuller and Ann who with their son, Samuel, came over on the Mayflower.) Jane Lothrop was a daughter of the Rev. John Lothrop and his wife, who it is believed was Ann Hutchinson. Rev. John Lothrop was a son of Thomas and his second wife, Mary, a grandson of Robert, of Cherry Burton, England and a great grandson of John. The Rev. John Lothrop was baptised in Etton, Yorkshire, England, December 20, 1584, educated at Queen's College, Cambridge, graduated B. A. in 1605, and M. A. in 1609 and preached in Egerton, forty-eight miles southeast of London.

Edmund Dunham was active in the organization of the First Baptist Church of Piscataway 1686 to 1689.

It is a matter of accepted tradition that in the spring of 1689, Edmund Dunham with his brother-in-law, John Fitz Randolph and Hezekiah Bonham, and the latter's father-in-law, Hugh Dunn, together with John Smalley and John Drake, and by the help of the Rev. Thomas Killingsworth, of South Jersey, an ordained baptist clergyman from Norwich, England, finally completed the organization.

Edmund Dunham was chosen Deacon of the Church at its formal constitution. He was a lay preacher and took his part in sustaining devotional services among pioneer families in their own homes.

He changed from a first day Baptist to a seventh day Baptist by reason of an argument with his brother-in-law, Hezekiah Bonham, who demanded scriptural proof of the day on which we should worship, which set Edmund Dunham to examining the point.

A short time after, or about 1700-1701, seventeen persons separated with him from the mother church ( The First Baptist) and formed a separate congregation, observing the seventh day as the Sabbath.

Besides the leader they included:

(x) Edmund Dunham and wife (x)

Benejah, his son and wife, Dorothy Martin.

(x) Benjamin Martin (1st Deacon) and his wife, Margarte Alston.

(x) Jonathan Martin (son of 1st Deacon) and his wife Elizbeth Dunham, daughter of the pastor

John Fitz Randolph and wife, Sarah Bonham, sister of the pastor's wife.

Thomas Fitz Randolph ( brother of John and his wife Elizabeth Manning (Mother of Mrs. Edmund Dunham, Jr.)

(x) Hugh Dunn 2nd, and his wife, Elizabeth Martin, the daughter of John Martin Jr. and Dorothy Smilth.

Samuel Dunn (2nd Deacon, 1724) and wife Esther Martin, whose children subsequently united with the church.

Joseph Dunn, unmarried, brother of Samuel and Hugh.

Gershom Hull, a young man not married until the following year. He was a cousin of Mrs. Edmund Dunham, Jr.

It might be interesting to note at this point that those in the above list marked (x) are your ancestors.

They chose a minister and deacon October 11, 1765, and in the fourth month, 1707, organized the seventh day Baptist Church. Edmund Dunham having been ordained at Westerly Rhode Island, in 1705, was the first pastor. He continued pastor of the new Church until his death, March 7, 1734, in his seventy-second year.

The record of the ordination of Edmund Dunham is as follows: "The Church of God keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ, living in Piscataway and Hopewell, in the Province of New Jersey, being assembled with one accord at the house of Benjamin Martin (your ancestor) in Piscataway the 19th day of August, 1705, we did then and there and with one mind choose our dearly beloved Edmund Dunham, who is faithful in the Lord, to be our elder and assistant according to the will of God, whom we did send to New England to be ordained, who was ordained at the Church meeting in Westerly, R. I. , by prayer and laying of hands by their elder, William Gibson, the 8th day of September, 1705."

Prior to 1736 when the first seventh day Church was built, the meeting were held in private houses.

The new Church was about a mile from the village of New Market. It was later given to Elder McLafferty to use as a barn.

The present Church near New Market, N. J., is about a mile and a half from the old one, or at least it was in 1880.

Rev. Jonathan Dunham (No. 7) born August 16, 1694, (Some authorities say March 4, 1693) married August 15, 1714, Jane Pyatt (daughter of Reynier Piatt or Pyatt and Elizabeth Sheffield, married 1677 on Long Island, a family of French Protestants from France). They were married by the Rev. John Drake, who was the first pastor of the First Baptist Church. It was the first recorded marriage in Piscataway and the first marriage other than by a magistrate.

In 1715 Jonathan Dunham was a member of Col. Thomas Farmer's Regiment, Fourth Company, Capt. Wetherbee.

Jonathan preached in Pennsylvania, Westerly, R. I., and Newport. He was deacon of the church in 1734 when his father died. He was formally ordained to the sacred duties at the house of Elder Jonathan Davis near Trenton. For ten years he preached in his father's place as a licensed preacher, objections existed to his being ordained pastor of the Church on account of doctrinal beliefs. In 1745 he was ordained as pastor. His public ordination is said to have taken place at French Creek district, about thirty-five mile west of the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, while others state that it was at Conogochega, a small settlement several miles soutwest, and about fifty miles from Philadelphia.

For ten years Church dissensions and family relationship and business alliance threatened the congregation but finally blew over.

Finally the differences were reconciled between the seventh and first day Baptist Churches in 1754-57 by a letter signed by Jonathan Dunham ( your ancestor) Zedekiah Bonham, Azariah Dunham, Hezekiah Dunn, Jonathan Martin (your ancestor) and Ephraim Dunham.

The Revolutionary War scattered the flock, some never to return. The English plundered Pastor Jonathan Dunham's place to the extent of one horse, twenty-five sheep, one hog, oats and hay, ten sides of leather and sundry household goods.

The Rev. Jonathan Dunham died March 10, 1777, in the eighty-third year of his age and is buried in a plot appropriated by himself on his farm two mile east of New Brunswick,N. J.

Here also, is buried his wife and many of his descendants.

The inscription on his tombstone reads:

In memory of the Rev. Jonathan Dunham, died
Mar. 10,1777, in the 83rd year of his age.
Angels may speak him, ah, not we, whose worth
the congregation wee, but for our loss, were it
in our power, We'd weep an everlasting shower.

. . . . . . . . .

Ruth Dunham (No. 9) was the daughter of Pastor Jonathan Dunham and we have very little information about her, other than the date of her birth and marriage to James Martin. We do know that according to the will of her husband in 1766, she had eight children, namely:

1. Azariah ( married Sarah Dunn.)

2. James

3. Phineas

4. Gideon

5. Sarah ( probably married a Drake)

6. Ruth.

7. Jane married James Todd, 1784

8. Esther married probably Alexander Eaton in 1783 in Goshen, N.Y., and they settled near South Centerville, Orange County, N. Y.

It was the first child mentioned, Azariah, who married Sarah Dunn in 1769 and finally settled in Sussex County.