- JOHN SKINNER, ESQ.
- file updated Jan, 2003
- Cranbury, NJ
to Family Tree
- Son of William
SKINNER (b. 1700-1710? Essex, England, d. 7 Aug 1749, buried
Woodbridge, NJ) and Ann Archer, of England (unsourced JimSkinner-6a)
- RESIDENCE and LAND
OWNERSHIP - Teamed up with George Morris to purchase land from John
Drake in 1759 in New Brunswick, Middlesex Co. (record-7i). This is
probably the same land that a John Skinner advertised for sale in
1779 - a plantation that was in the general vicinity of South
Brunswick (news-7b). John was living at South Brunswick, Middlesex
Co. in 1776 (Thurston-7a). Relocated to Hopewell Township, Lancaster
(now Cumberland) Co., PA, about 1779 (Thurston-7a, JimSkinner-6a). In
1788, as a resident of Franklin Co., Pa., he gave Power of Attorney
to David Olden concerning land in Middlesex Co. that he sold to
Reuben Moore and John Dunbarr (Thurston-7a).
- OCCUPATION - Attorney (exhibit-7g)
- b. ca 1733
Woodbridge, NJ (Thurston-7a); 1733 (per family records, Monnette-7);
- m. 1754 at Horse
Valley, Franklin Co., Pa (JimSkinner-6a)
- w. MARY _____ (Thurston-7a);
MARY ELIZABETH MORRIS (JimSkinner-6a)
- daughter of George
Morris (b. 1702) and Rebecca Decou (Decoux or Decaw?; b. 23 Feb 1703)
who married 19 Oct 1731 at Burlington, NJ. (JimSkinner-6a)
- Rebecca Decou's
original French name was 'des Cou' (www.buckalew.net/jeanne/DescendentPages/Buckalew/descendents_of_leuren_des_cou.htm,
- Rebecca DeCow married
14 Oct 1731 Burlington Co., NJ (www.geocities.com/genewhiz/j0000012.html,
- Mary may not have
been John's first wife as Mary was born 1743 and John's first child -
1756. (speculation byThurston-7a)
- b. 1743 (Thurston-7a,
Monnette-7); 1733/1743 (JimSkinner-6a)
- d. Jun 21, 1799
Franklin Co., PA (Thurston-7a, JimSkinner-6a)
thought to have been all born in NJ (Thurston-7a, JimSkinner-6a)
Jim Skinner, a descendent
of John, has a very nice web site on this branch of the family at www.geocities.com/skinnerfamilytwo.
Jim's web site includes two pieces of information not seen elsewhere
- the name of John's wife and also John's ancestry. I communicated
with Jim but could not learn the sources of those pieces of
information. The name of John's wife - Mary Morris, certainly makes
sense. Mary matches the first name identified as being his wife in (Thurston-7a).
It also is cocnsistent with John's close links with the Morris
family throughout his life. As to John's ancestry, I am not clear as
to how solid the evidence is that John descends from William Skinner
of Exeter, England. Seeing the original source materials would
I also communicated with
Vonnie Skinner Pitman. Vonnie holds a yearly reunion of the
descendents of John Skinner, of which she is one. Vonnie is unsure as
to John's ancestry (Vonnie-6b).
The Morris Family Tree
appears in Allied Families - Vol. III.
Neither Mary Morris, nor her father, George Morris, appear in that
family tree. George (b. 1702) would be the same generation as the
well-known Hon. Robert Morris of that family.
George Skinner, son of
John Skinner and Mary Morris married Susannah Freeman. The Freeman
Family Tree appears in Allied Families - Vol. I.
Susannah Freeman was said to be a granddaughter of Robert Morris.
It is not clear how this is possible, unless there is some mistake
in the Freeman family tree. Note that Susannah Freeman did have a
cousin - Elizabeth Freeman, who married into the Morris family.
There is a remote
possibility that John Skinner could have descended from Richard
Skinner and Susannah Poulain of Elizabeth, NJ, but it is a stretch.
While in NJ, John resided at South Brunswick, some 20 miles to the
south of many of the descendents of Richard and Susannah who were
residing at Somerset and Morris Counties. Nathaniel Skinner, the head
of one of the Skinner branches there, relocated to Bedford and
Somerset Co., PA at about the same time as John moved to Franklin
Co., PA, just to the east. That common relocation, however, means
little, as many NJ residents began an exodus from NJ into PA in the
late 1700's. Note also that John was an attorney, as was Reuben
Skinner, one of the sons of Nathaniel Skinner.
The Morris family figures
prominently in the family of John Skinner. John first appears in the
records in 1759 when he teamed up with George Morris
to purchase land in New Brunswick from John Drake. In 1776, a bond
and power of attorney signed by John Skinner was witnessed by a
and Nathaniel Moore. George Skinner, a son of John, married Mary
Freeman, who was said to be a granddaughter of Robert Morris.
And per Mary K. Thurston in 1918 - "Morris
is a given name down to the present time in the family".
The Moore family appears
twice in relation to John Skinner. The bond and power of attorney
John signed in 1776 was witnessed by a Nathaniel Moore.
And in 1788, he signed a power of attorney to David Ogden to bring
suit in connection with land he sold in Middlesex Co. to Reuben Moore
and John Dunbarr.
The Freeman family
intersects both the South Brunswick family of John Skinner and the
descendents of Richard and Susannah Skinner. George Skinner, son of
John, married as his first wife, Susannah Freeman.
And Anna Skinner, daughter of Captain Richard Skinner and descendent
of Richard and Ann Skinner, married Isaac Payne, son of Captain John
Payne and Mary Freeman
(b. 12/21/1743 - d. 9/26/1819). Anna's step-sister, Sarah Baker, also
married a Freeman.
These common links with the Freeman family might suggest that John
Skinner, ancestry unknown, was related to the descendents of Richard
and Susannah.. However, it is much more likely that these links
resulted from the fact that the large Freeman family had branches
recorded in both Woodbridge and South Brunswick.
Note also that other
Skinners that descended from Richard and Susannah also had ties to
the Morris and Moore families discussed above. See KDS Commentary in
the Family Record of Captain Richard Skinner.
A John Skinner advertised
the sale of a plantation in 1779. According to the advertisement, the
plantation was located 2 miles from Cranburytown and about 7 miles
from Princeton College. Today, there is a Cranbury, NJ that sits
right next to the town of South Brunswick. This clearly connects the
sale of the plantation with John Skinner, Esq. of South Brunswick
Ward, Middlesex Co, NJ.
Land records of Franklin
Co., PA show that John and his sons had begun to purchase land there
by 1785. The family vanishes from NJ records by 1789.
- Exhibit 6a -
Geneaology of John Skinner, per web site of same name at
www.geocities.com/skinnerfamilytwo. Web site developed by James
Skinner, a descendent of John. Communicated to me via email April,
2002. The following are extracts from the web site:
- JOHN SKINNER was born
1733 in England. He died 21 Nov 1801 in Horse Valley, Franklin Co.,
PA and was buried in Skinner Cemetery, Back of Skinner Inn, Horse
Valley, East of Fannettsburg, Franklin Co. Pa.. JOHN married Mary
Elizabeth MORRIS in 1754 in Franklin Co., Horse Valley, PA.
- In 1779 JOHN moved to
Hopewell Twsp., Lancaster Co., PA. and in 1782 purchased land in the
Cumberland Valley. By 1790 he was well established in Horse Valley,
sometimes known as Skinner's Valley. They were a much publicized
family because of their Revolutionary War service, two Skinner's
Taverns, a grist mill and the Three Mountain Road. Skinner's Tavern
is on Howell's Map of 1792 and the Skinner's are on the 1890 Census
and Tax Lists. A warrant was taken out in 1786 in the name of JOHN
SKINNER bound the first grant of land for 355 acres, which lay on
both sides of the Condoquinet, near the present bridge. In 1787 a
warrant for 226 acres was laid out for him which lay along the
present Bear Valley Camp Road from the top of Strasburg Mountain.
- Mary Elizabeth MORRIS
was born 1733/1743 in Burlington Co. NJ. She died 21 Jun 1799 in
Horse Valley, Franklin Co., PA and was buried in Skinner Cemetery,
Back of Skinner Inn, Horse Valley, East of Fannettsburg, Franklin Co. PA.
- [Parents of John
Skinner] William SKINNER was born 1700-1710? in Essex, England. He
died 7 Aug 1749 and was buried in Woodbridge, NJ. William married Ann
ARCHER. Ann ARCHER was born in England. They had the following children:
M i JOHN SKINNER was born
1733 and died 21 Nov 1801.
- [Parents of Mary
Morris] GEORGE MORRIS was born 1702. He married Rebecca DECOU (AKA)
DECOUX? DECAW? on 19 Oct 1731 in Burlington, NJ. Rebecca DECOU (AKA)
DECOUX? DECAW? was born 23 Feb 1702/1703. They had the following children:
F i Mary Elizabeth MORRIS
was born 1743 and died 21 Jun 1799.
- They [John and Mary
Skinner] had the following children:
F i Anne/Anna SKINNER
[Parents] was born 16 Apr 1756 in Middlesex Co. NJ. She died 1838.
Anne/Anna married Henry LOTT before 1774.
M ii William SKINNER was
born 7 Nov 1757 and died 8 May 1808. William SKINNER was born 15 Nov
1757 in New Jersey. He died 8 May 1808 in Franklin, Penna.. William
married Martha DUNCAN on 1780. Martha DUNCAN was born 18 Dec 1759 in
Franklin Co., Ohio. She died 1 Dec 1845 in Path Valley, Franklin, PA.
William received a warrant for 150 acres of land in Horse Valley. He
later moved to Path Valley.
M iii Archibald SKINNER
was born 2 Oct 1759 and died 12 Dec 1813.Archer SKINNER was born 2
Oct 1759 in New Jersey. He died 12 Dec 1813 in Ebert Co, Georgia.
Archer married Deidame CARSON on 11 Aug 1780. The marriage ended in
divorce. Archer also married Clary MARTIN.
M iv GEORGE SKINNER was
born 7 May 1761 in near Woodbridge, New Jersey. He died 1816 in
Fannetsburg, Franklin Co., PA and was buried in Skinner burial
ground, Penna.. GEORGE married Susannah FREEMAN on 23 Sep 1789 in
Hopewell Twsp, Lancaster, PA. Susannah FREEMAN was born 5 Apr 1758.
She died 1808 in Penna. [Parents of Susannah Freeman] Capt Mathew
FREEMAN married Margaret COTHEAL. They had the following children: F
i Susan FREEMAN was born 5 Apr 1758 and died 1800.
F v Phoebe SKINNER was
born 1763 in New Jersey. She died 1798 (1790?). Phebe married Henry HUBBLE.
M vi JOHN SKINNER Jr. was
born 15 Feb 1765 in New Jersey. He died 23 Mar 1819 in Penna. and was
buried in Skinner Cemetery, Back of Skinner Inn, East of Fannetsburg,
Franklin Co. PA. JOHN married Sarah WILSON on 4 Jun 1792. Sarah
WILSON was born 15 Apr 1766. She died 9 Mar 1834 and was buried in
Skinner Cemetery, Back of Skinner Inn, Horse Valley, East of
Fannetsburg, Franklin Co. PA. 1781 John secured a warrant for 216
acres in Horse Valley. He operated the first, or Upper Tavern, and
also the mill. He and his wife were buried in the Skinner burial ground.
M vii Enoch SKINNER was
born 19 Aug 1770 in New Jersey. He died 14 Jan 1817 in Nr
Mercersburg, Franklin Co., Penna.. Enoch married Elizabeth WILSON on
12 Nov 1793 in Upper W. conococh, Presb Ch., Franklin Co., PA.
Elizabeth WILSON was born 12 Mar 1773 in Mercersburg, Franklin Co.,
Penna.. She died 2 Apr 1859 and was buried in near Bedford.
F viii Isabelle (aka)
Isabella SKINNER was born 1774 in New Jersey. She died 1812.
- Exhibit 6b - Email
from Vonnie Skinner Pittman to KDS dated 4/29/2002, regarding Exhibit
- "Jim got alot of
his information from Dave Skinner in Ca. I have not proven that John
Skinner was born either in England or in New Jersey. I have seen
different places that he came from England and different places he
was born in New Jersey, but no one can prove either one."
- Exhibit 7 -
"First Settlers of Ye Plantations of Piscataway and Woodbridge
of Olde East New Jersey", by Ora Eugene Monnette, 10/9/1995/KDS
- p1587, Genealogy - "John
Skinner of Pennsylvania",
(vide, ante, part four, p630)
- "This man had a
wife, Mary, and left NJ about 1776. (N.B. Waters considerably muddied
by a prof. gen.?), but the family records show definitely that he was
b. 1733, d. Nov 21, 1801, and that in March, 1775, he was living in
South Brunswick, as a P. of A. (orig.) shows, and he lived in
Cumberland (then Lancaster) Co., PA, and when he d., had sons,
William, John, Jr., Archer, George and Enoch, his wife, Mary, d. June
21, 1799, having been b. in 1743, in NJ. There were daughters Anna,
Phoebe, and a son, Archer. The son, John Skinner, Jr., was b. Feb.
15, 1765, d. Mar. 23, 1819. (for Rev. J. W. Skinner, of Berkeley, Calif.)"
- Exhibit 7a -
"Jersey Genealogy", Newark Evening News, by Mary K.
Thurston, Mar 30 and Apr 27, 1918, per files of DSW/VEM:
- "I have a large
amount of data relative to the descendants of my ancestor, John
Skinner, but have been unsuccessful in ascertaining his place of
birth, the names of his parents, brothers and sisters, or the maiden
name of his wife. I am obliged to you for writing to me and hope some
good results may be obtained, as I have no doubt my ancestor is of
the Skinner family, who came to New Jersey as early as 1696, and
probably much earlier.
- John Skinner was born
about 1733 and lived at or near Woodbridge, N.J. until about 1779,
when he removed to Hopewell Township, Lancaster County, Pa., and it
is thought all their children were born in New Jersey. It is not
known whether he and his wife were natives of New Jersey. There was a
family of Skinners in Woodbridge as early as 1708. He died in
Franklin County, Pa., November 21, 1801. Following are his
descendants: Children of John (1) and Mary (_____) Skinner:"
X 2. Anna, born April 19,
1756. Nothing further known - perhaps married Mr. Tate.
0 3. William, born
November 7, 1757, died May 8, 1856. (I have a large amount of data
regarding this William and his descendants.)
4. Archer, born October
2, 1759, probably the one who married Deidamia Carson, August 11,
1780, Middlesex County, N.J.
5. George, born May 7,
1761, near Woodbridge, N.J. Kept the hotel in Horse (or Skinner's)
Valley, Franklin County, Pa. Removed to Ohio 1811. Died on trip to
Pennsylvania in 1816. George Skinner married twice: (1) Susannah
Freeman, said to have been a grand-daughter of Robert Morris, and had
children: Mary; Josiah Freeman; Joseph Morris; and Azel; married (2)
Elizabeth _____ and had children: Jonathan, Archibald and George.
After George Skinner's death his widow married, about 1825, _____
Emmet, and had daughter Eliza.
6. Phoebe, born May 7,
1763. Nothing further known - perhaps married Henry Hubbell.
7. John, born February
15, 1765, died March 23, 1819 (I have a large amount of data in
regard to John Skinner and his descendants).
8. Enoch, born August 13,
1770, died January 14, 1817. (I have a large amount of data in regard
to Enoch Skinner and his descendants).
9. _____, born 1774.
- John Skinner may have
been married twice as his wife Mary was born 1743, and his first
daughter, in 1756.
- A bond and power of
attorney, signed John Skinner, dated Mach 25, 1776, which I have,
conveying a loan of 197 pounds from Provincial Loan Office, shows him
living at South Brunswick, Middlesex County, witnessed by Nathaniel
Moore and Reuben Morris (Morris is a given name down to the present
time in the family).
- In newspaper extracts
for 1779, a vendue advertisement, dataed September 9, 1779 covering
135 acres of land. (I think this is the land deeded By Dr. Robert
Wright to Richard Skinner in 1700.
- [KDS note - the title
of Doctor for Mr Wright comes from a mistaken interpretation of the
abbreviation Do, which stands for 'document', that appears somewhere
in the New Jersey Archives. The land conveyed in Mr. Wright's Will,
land which was located in the Rahway section of Woodbridge, has
nothing to do with the 1779 advertisement for land at Cranbury (South Brunswick).]
- Unable to locate
transfer of this land, but in 1788 John Skinner of Franklin Co., PA
issued power of attorney to David Olden with joyner to bring suit in
connection with land sold by him in Middlesex Co., NJ to Reuben Moore
and John Dunbarr.
- If this land could be
located the land record should show from whom John Skinner secured
it, and would probably develop his parentage. (Can F. W. G. offer any
assistance, or suggestions? M. K. T.)
- The Skinner family of
Middlesex County, N.J., who are probably related, but with whom I am
unable to connect:
- (1) John Skinner and
wife Ann. (2) Francis and (3) Richard Skinner, probably his brothers,
joined the Presbyterian Church, Woodbridge, 1708.
- (1) John Skinner died
1749----will probated August 19, 1749, named wife Ann and children
(4), John Jr., Daniel, Richard, Ann, Mary.
- (3) Richard Skinner
was constable, Woodbridge, 1696, and was perhaps the Richard Skinner,
who was son-in-law of Dr. Robert Wright and brother-in-0law of John
Moore. This relationship was evidenced by a deed from Dr. Wright to
his son-in-law, Richard Skinner in August, 1700, (60 acres) land
located on branch of Rahway Creek, Middlesex County.
- I have a list of the
descendants of (4) John Jr, among them Captain Richare Skinner, who
was killed by the Bristish near Woodbridge in 1776.
- I believe those are
all of my family. You will note they aare Presbyterians as are our
branch in the present day.
- Another Skinner,
Nathaniel,m was born Woodbridge, 1706, died Somerset County, Pa.,
1801 - a Baptist minister. Have met some of his descendants.
- C. S. M.
- Exhibt 7bb - Newark
Evening News, 'Jersey Genealogy', 4/27/1918, p25, per notes of VEM/6/7/1966:
- [KDS note - this
article refers now and then to the previous article in exhibit-7a, above].
- " .........
- ..........You state
that George Skinner married twice. Of this I know - Susannah Freeman,
first wife of George Skinner, was a daughter of Captain Matthew and
Margaret (Cotheal) Freeman of Woodbridge Township.
- Captain Matthew
Freeman entered the Revolution as a lieutenant, and in 1780 commanded
a troop in the First Regiment, I believe. He married, first, Margaret
Cotheal, daughter of William and Margaret (Dove )Cotheal; married
second, Meribah Manning (who outlived him), daughter of Lieutenant
James and Mary (Ford) Manning.
- Captain Matthew
Freeman was the son of Joseph and first wife, Desire (_______) Freeman.
- Joseph Freeman
married, second, Susannah ______, who outlived him.
- As to Susannah
Freeman (who married George Skinner as his first wife) having been a
grand-daughter of Robert Morris, it could not have been through her
mother, but may have been through her father, but I have not the
maily name of Desire, her mother, the first wife of Joseph Freeman.
What were the names of the children of Robert Morris?
- Joseph Freeman was a
son of Judge Henry and Elizabeth (Bonne) Freeman of Woodbridge, N.J.
- In the Will of
Captain Freeman, dated at Woodbridge, August 10, 1823: probated Mary
17, 1824, mention is made as follows: Item, I give and bequetath unto
my grandchildren, the children of my daughter Susannah, viz.: Josiah,
Joseph and George Skinner, thirty acres of land off the north side of
my place, etc. the same to be divided among the said children, share
and share alike.
- Among the notable
descendants of Matthew Freeman was the late Andrew D. Mellick, author
of "The Story of an Old Farm and Life in New Jersey in the
- Can you give me the
marriage date of George Skinner and Susannah Freeman with dates of
births, names of their children, and to whom married?
- Exhibit 7b -
"Newspaper Extracts, 1779", NJ Archives, Vol. III, First
Series, 1906, p575, 10/1995/KDS:
- "For Sale at
publick Vendue On Thursday the ninth day of September
- A Plantation
containing 135 acres of land, in the county of Middlesex, and state
of New-Jersey, and has on it a good two story house, four rooms on a
floor, a cellar under it, a good barn, and other buildings, a good
well of water near the door, and plenty of orchards and meadow, with
30 acres of excellent timber, all lying but two miles from Cranberry
town and mills, on the north side of the mill brook, which serves for
a good fence for near 50 chains, and is but 7 miles from Princeton
college, being near the great road that leads from thence to Monmonth
courthouse: The land is good for grass or grain, and may be seen by
applying to the subscriber on the premises, who will give a good
title to the purchaser. Also, will be sold the same day, cattle,
sheep, swine, bees, household furniture of various sorts, and farmers utensils.
- The vendue to begin
at ten o'clock of the above-said day, on the premises, when due
attendance will be given, and on the conditions made known by me.
Exhibit 7c -
"Abstracts of Wills, 1761-1770", NJ Archives, Vol XXXIII,
- "1767, Sept. 21.
Duncan, Mary, of Somerset Co. Int. Adm'r - John Carey, of said Co.
Fellowbondsman - John Skinner,
of Middlesex Co. The said John Carey is principal creditor. Lib. I,
- [KDS note - Somerset
Co. borders the Brunswick area of Middlesex Co., home of John
Exhibit 7d -
"Documents Relating to the Colonial History of New Jersey,
Marriage Records, 1665-1800", William Nelson, Vol XII, 1900,
Archer, Middlesex, and
Deidamia Carson - 1780, Aug. 11"
Exhibit 7e - New Jersey
Tax Lists, 1772 - 1822, Vol. 5, edited by Ronald Vern Jackson,
computer print-out, Trenton State Library, 10/27/1995/KDS:
City or Twp
New Brunswick S WD*
New Brunswick S WD
New Brunswick S WD
New Brunswick S WD
- [*= New Brunswick
South Ward, per KDS]
Exhibit 7f -
"Official Register of the Officers & Men of New Jersey in
the Revolutionary War", William S. Stryker, 1872, 9/24/1995/KDS:
Privates, State Troops
and Militia [KDS note - page 755]:
Skinner, John. Middlesex.
[John, possible son of Captain Richard]
Skinner, William. Captain
Morgan's company, Second Regiment, Woodbridge. [possible son of John
Esq. of New Brunswick.]
Exhibit 7g -
"Revolutionary Census of New Jersey", by Kenn
Stryker-Rodda, 1972, 10/2/1995/KDS:
Part II - 1778-1780; no
ratables extent before 1778
Amos - Rahway Ward,
Elizabeth, Essex Co. [Amos, brother of Captain Richard]
John - Rahway Ward,
Elizabeth, Essex Co. [brother to Captain Richard, who lived at and
was eventually Willed land at the plantation of his father, Richard,
- South Ward, New Brunswick, Middlesex Co. [ancestry unknown]
Exhibit 7h - "First
Settlers of Ye Plantations of Piscataway and Woodbridge of Olde East
New Jersey", by Ora Eugene Monnette, 10/9/1995/KDS
p1075, New Jersey Deed Records:
Joseph Drake to Geo. Morris
and John Skinner.
G 3: 523 (1759)
Exhibit 7i -
"Colonial Conveyances, Provinces of East & West New Jersey,
1664-1794", computer print-out, Rutgers University library, 1/11/1996/KDS:
et al from Drake, Joseph; book G-3, p523; 9/6/1759; New
7j - PA Archives, Third Series, Vol xxii, Returns of Taxables, p217, 6/95/KDS:
Township - 1783
Skinner, John - 200 acres .......
Skinner, Nathaniel - 80
Skinner, Samuel - 80
Skinner, Reuben, Esq'r
- 200 acres ......"