The South Jersey Skinners,
Descendants of John Skinner [1760-1824] and Patience Hanisey [1764-1840] -

Biographies, Stories and Images
relating to my branch of the family

 

LINKS:

Complete Family Tree of the South Jersey Skinners

The Skinners of North and Central Jersey, 1665-1800 (Unrelated to the South Jersey Skinners)

Email Kevin Skinner (Me)

 

SUMMARY:

John Skinner and Patience Hanisey are the progenitors of hundreds of Skinners who currently reside in South Jersey - the 'South Jersey Skinners'. John and Patience lived in and around Richwood, Gloucester County, NJ. This page contains links to a wealth of personal anecdotes, etc. dealing with my line of the family - a line that begins with John and Patience and passes through their son, Richard Skinner Sr. and grandson Richard Skinner Jr.  This collection includes images from three of the four children of William Harrison Skinner – Warren Skinner, Ursula Thoman and Elizabeth Ungerbuehler.

 

BIOGRAPHIES, STORIES & IMAGES:

So many stories; So many images. All are preserved here.
Click on the families below to download PDF files
containing Biograpies, Stories and Images that document their lives.

* John Skinner (1760-1824) - Patience Hanisey (1764-1840)
* *
Richard Skinner Sr. (1797-1882) - Mary Swope (1799-1844)
* * *
Richard Skinner Jr. (1823-1908) - Elizabeth Corson (1828-1896)
* * * *
Anna Skinner (1849-1937) - Arthur Henry (1846-1899)
* * * *
Florinda Skinner (1862-1938) - Louis Shreve (1861-19__)
* * * *
Harry Skinner (1846-1937) - Lizzie Sparks (1851-1926)
* * * * *
Ursula Skinner (1873-1965) - Horace Thoman (1871-1925)
* * * * *
Warren Skinner (1877-1970) - Viola May Leap (1875-1963)
* * * * * *
Earl Skinner (1901-1990) - Lillian Showalter (1903-1998)
* * * * * * *
David Skinner (b. 1929) - Annette Frederick (b. 1930)
* * * * * * * * Kevin Skinner (b. 1954) - ME

ALLIED FAMILIES:

Leap Family - the parents of Viola May Leap (1875-1963)
Batten Family - friends of Viola May Leap (1875-1963)
Showalter / Dodd Families - the parents of Lillian Showalter (1903-1998)  Also download Showalter / Dodd Appendix
Frederick / Ackerman Families – the parents of Annette Frederick (b. 1930)  Also download Frederick / Ackerman Appendix

 

LIST OF SURNAMES

The following families, most with photographs, are included in this work:

 

NEW JERSEY:

Batten – Camden and Gloucester County, NJ

Corson – Gloucester County, NJ

Dare – Cumberland County, NJ

Garton – Cumberland County, NJ

Henry – Camden and Gloucester County, NJ and Philadelphia, PA

Leap - Camden and Gloucester County, NJ

Lloyd – Camden and Gloucester County, NJ

Locke – Gloucester County, NJ

Mills – Cumberland County, NJ

Shreve - Gloucester County, NJ

Shull – Cumberland County, NJ and Philadelphia, PA

Sparks - Camden and Gloucester County, NJ

Thoman - Gloucester County, NJ

Turner – Gloucester County, NJ

Zimmerman – Gloucester County, NJ

OTHER STATES:

Ackerman – Philadelphia, PA

Bossert – Philadelphia, PA

Brenner – Philadelphia, PA

Brautigam – Philadelphia, PA

Burkle – Philadelphia, PA

Dodd – Marion County, WV

Dodd – Marion County, WV

Frederick – Telford and Philadelphia, PA

Gossman – Philadelphia, PA

Hughlett – Delaware County, PA

Kuhnle – Philadelphia, PA

Lee – Philadelphia, PA

Liebert– Philadelphia, PA

Pirman – Philadelphia, PA

Shepherd – New Castle County, DE

Showalter – Huntingdon County, PA

Smitth – Philadelphia, PA

Ungerbuehler – Philadelphia, PA and New Castle County, DE

Weppler – Philadelphia, PA

Williman – Philadelphia, PA

Yaecht – Philadelphia, PA

 

 

CEMETERY BURIAL SUMMARY

Old Methodist Cemetery, Glassboro [next to old high school on Delsea Drive] –

            Richard Skinner Jr. and Elizabeth (Corson) Skinner
            Granddaughters Mary and Mizeal Skinner

Manahath Cemetery, Glassboro –

Harry Skinner and Elizabeth (Sparks) Skinner
Omar Skinner, son of Harry
Charles Locke and Ida (Skinner) Locke, sister to Harry
Louis Shreve and Rennie (Skinner) Shreve, sister to Harry
Blande Shreve, son of Louis
Bessie (Shreve), daughter of Louis
Horace Thoman and Ursula (Skinner) Thoman, daughter of Harry
Warren Skinner, son of Harry, and wife Viola May (Leap) Skinner
Mary Leap, foster mother of May Skinner

Eglington Cemetery, Clarksboro –

Earl Skinner and Lillian (Showalter) Skinner
Frank Frederick and Elizabeth (Ackerman) Frederick

 
 
FORWARD

 “Had a nice time as I always do when I go to Annie's [Annie Wood]. We all got our share of presents and I got more. Every one useful and what I needed. We have a red lily in the front window that is just full of bloom and Emma has the most beautiful xmas reath I ever did see. We have had turkey, goose, chicken, and a barrel of oysters the day before. Plus we had two pairs of ducks for supper.”

Christmas, 1913 per Mary Leap

 

I don’t want to work the coal mines – I’ll spend enough time under the ground as it is.

Joseph Showalter as retold by daughter Lillian

 

“Best time of life”

Nursing Training per Lillian Showalter

 

“They were so religious – the Skinners, that they bought the Sunday paper on Saturday and read it on Monday”

Lillian Skinner commenting on her in-laws – Warren & May Skinner

 

“So many family stories;  So many photographs. 
I could not discard them so they are all here.”

Kevin Skinner

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Most of the Skinners of South Jersey can trace their ancestry back to one couple of the Revolutionary War era - John Skinner and wife Patience Hanisey.  They are great-grandparents to Harry Skinner of my line.

This work is a collection of Biographies, Photos and Artifacts documenting my branch of the large Skinner family that descend from John and Patience.  My branch extends through one of their sons – Richard Skinner Senior, and in turn, through one of his sons – Richard Skinner Junior.

 

John Skinner and Patience Hanisey

John and Patience represent the earliest known starting point of the South Jersey Skinners.  Cousins Bill Skinner and Laurel Steffes have researched this couple’s genealogy, landholdings and other life details.  Their work is available at the Gloucester County Historical Society.

John Skinner was part of a cluster of Skinners that began to appear in Gloucester County in the 1760’s.  These Skinners eventually included John, John Jr., Joseph, Richard and Susannah Skinner.  John, the husband of Patience Hanisey, is believed to correspond in the records to John Jr. and also as John T. [Tabor] Skinner. 

John and Patience lived in Greenwich Township, Gloucester County, NJ, the site of present-day Richwood.  Their landholdings, most of which John inherited from a relative, were passed down to two successive generations of Skinners.

 

John Sknner, Loyalist

Cousins Bill Skinner and Laurel Steffes believe that John Skinner, husband of Patience, served as a Loyalist at a young age during the Revolutionary War.  His father-in-law, James Hennessey (Hanisey), did as well. They were part of a hundred or so volunteers in Gloucester County who answered the call to serve in the 1777/1778 time frame from local influential Loyalists such as Daniel Cozens and Jonathan Chew.  In 1779, Mr. Hennessey and other Glou. Co. Loyalists saw their lands seized as a result of their British allegiance.

 

Virginia Elva Minotty

The descendants of John and Patience Skinner have been researched by cousin Virginia Elva (Skinner) Minotty.

Virginia Minotty began her research on the South Jersey Skinners in the early 1960's.  She initially collaborated with another cousin - Norman Skinner of Philadelphia, who began his work in the 1950's.  Virginia is someone I communicated with and who accelerated my interest in the family history.

The results of Virginia's efforts are several hundred pages of information detailing the descendants of John and Patience, including births, deaths and marriages, all carefully sourced.  Her husband, Paul Minotty, donated her work to the Gloucester County, NJ Historical Society following her death in the early 1980’s. 

Virginia’s work provided me with a detailed Skinner family tree to which I could add Biographies, Photographs and Artifacts of my closest relatives.

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSES

Photographs included in this collection are of the following types:

 

Tintypes

Tintype photographs were common from the Civil War into the 1900's.  Tintypes involved images on a thin sheet of iron.  They were inexpensive, durable and popular, bringing the ownership of photographs to the working class.

The key to the success of the tintypes was the speed and ease of processing them.  The negatives could easily be manufactured at any location by painting chemicals onto iron sheets.  Once the negatives were utilized to take pictures and removed from the camera, little additional processing was required.  The normal process of utilizing negatives in an elaborate lab process to transfer the images to photographic paper was unnecessary.  In the tintype process, the negatives and the final photographs are one and the same.  The exposed negatives were simply coated with a protective varnish finish, dried and given to the customer.  In this regards, they represented the first nearly "instant" photography process.

The light and dark areas of a tintype image are reversed, like any negative, but look like a normal photograph because of the peculiar color of the chemical coating.  In those portions of a tintype that have been exposed to light, the silver metallic coating takes on a solid color and would normally appear to be dark, as is normal for the exposed areas of a negative.  However, when viewed under light, the metallic coating acts as a mirror becoming a brilliant white color, as is necessary for the lighter areas of a photograph.  Similarly, in those portions of the negative that have not seen light, the chemical coating remains in its original form – light and translucent, which is normal for a negative.  However, this translucent coating allows the black iron sheet behind the chemicals to be visible.  As a result, the translucent coating looks dark, as is necessary for the darker areas of a photograph.

Despite their low quality, tintypes seem very “alive” and appealing to the eye.  The metallic, mirror-like surface of the lighter areas of a tintype are simply brighter under light (reflect more light) than the white paper of a traditional photograph.

Like any negative, tintype images are reversed left-to-right.  Everyone parts his or her hair on the opposite side in a tintype image!

It was common to be able to obtain tintype images from street photographers at fairs, carnivals and beaches.  They were a lower cost and lower quality alternative to the photographs obtained in studios.

Often, a "multiplying" camera lens was used to provide multiple, identical images for sale to customers on a single metal negative.  After the photos were taken, the plate was removed from the camera and dipped into a chemical bath to stop further exposure.  A coat of varnish provided protection

"Tinning" shears were used to cut the iron sheets into the individual images, giving tintypes their name.  The crude cutting process often resulted in odd-shaped photographs.  In a few minutes, the photographs were available to the waiting customers.

Studios would sometimes offer small, one-inch square, high-quality tintypes called gem tintypes.  They were glued onto decorative card stock.  The fancy cards, about the size of a normal photograph and each containing a tiny tintype, were designed to fit in Victorian photograph albums as were studio photographs.

 

B) Studio Prints (per www.edinphoto.org.uk/)

In the latter half of the 1800's, high-quality photographs that people sat for in studios were normally made on tissue-thin sheets of paper.  The thin photos were then glued to heavier card stock backing.  The backing was typically pre-printed with the name and address of the studio, either below the photo or on the back.

The studio photographs were made in two sizes.  Cabinet Prints, the larger size, consisted of 4 by 5.5 inch photographs mounted on 4.5 by 6.5 inch heavy, decorative card stock.  Cartes de visite, the smaller size, were 2.25 by 3.5 inch photographs mounted on 2.5 by 4 inch card stock.

The majority of photos from this era have a distinctive brown color tone due to the type of photographic process that was employed.

 

C) Post Cards

At the turn of the century, it became common practice to make photographs on thick photographic paper, eliminating the need to glue tissue-thin photographs onto card stock backgrounds as had been done in the past.  This type of presentation has continued to the present day.  The earliest versions of this presentation were in the form of postcards, in which the photographic paper was thick and in the shape of a postcard.  The photographs contained an address area on the reverse side for easy mailing.

Several of the photos in my collection from the estate of Elizabeth Ungerbuehler are of this type of postcard presentation.

As time went on, changing photographic processes replaced the brown tones of earlier photographs with the grey-scale tones of today.  Photographs went from being brown-and-white to black-and-white.

 

 

THE YEAR 1905 (from an unknown internet source)

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.

With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour.

The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.

Ninety percent of all U.S. doctors had no college education. Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then a pharmacist said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.

 

 

UNKNOWN PERSONS:

The persons in the following photographs in my collection could not be identified:

UnknownPerson1

UnknownPerson2

UnknownPerson4

[All tintypes]

 

 

UnknownPerson5

 

 

UnknownPerson5Back

 

 

UnknownPerson6

UnknownPerson6Back

Born circa 1912;  Daughter of J. Alfred and Belinda Zimmerman

 

 

FAMILY LORE, FICTION AND ALL

 

Communication With Virginia Minotty

In 1966, Virginia sent a letter to my grandfather, Earl Skinner.  She had enclosed some information on our branch of the Skinner family, dated 1966, and requested that Earl provide additional details as available.  Her letter went unanswered.

In 1975, I pulled out Earl’s files and answered Virginia’s letter.  She responded by sending me updated information, dated 1975, on our branch of the family.

Eventually, I spoke with her via telephone.  I am not sure I was able to assist her, as she always had more information on my immediate relatives that I did.

In 1995, I again attempted to contact Virginia.  Her husband informed me she had died several years previous.  The Glou. Co. Historical Society mailed me her work – several hundred pages.

Virginia’s work provided me with a detailed Skinner family tree to which I could add Biographies, Photographs and Artifacts of my closest relatives.

 

Virginia Minotty

Virginia Minotty had originally researched the South Jersey Skinners in order to gain admittance into the D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution).  Virginia was not successful in developing many details about the life of John Skinner, including proof of military service, and never achieved D.A.R. membership.

 

Franklin Skinner

Franklin Skinner, a prominent Philadelphia area real estate professional at the turn of the century, wrote a series of articles about the history of the Skinner family in a newspaper called the Glassboro Enterprise in the 1920's. Franklin’s work was mistaken, but was republished by others over the years, including his in-laws, confusing the work of later family historians.

Franklin said that John Skinner, the husband of Patience Hanisey, had been born in North Jersey, part of a well-known Skinner family there.  Franklin said that John, as a young man, had served in North Jersey as a patriot in the Revolutionary War, later relocating to South Jersey, marrying Patience Hanisey and beginning the South Jersey Skinner clan of today. 

This confusion or linkage between the North and South Jersey Skinners is not correct.  John’s military service is also not accurate – it applies to the wrong John Skinner.  No doubt, the fact that the Skinners of North Jersey were well-documented, even in Franklin’s time, made the family the only logical place to connect John Skinner to.  Even today, the Skinners of South Jersey are not nearly as well understood.

 

Who Is Franklin Skinner?

Franklin is a grandson of John and Patience Skinner, though he was born many years after his grandfather died.  Franklin is a brother of Richard Skinner Jr. of my line:

 * John Skinner (1760-1824) - Patience Hanisey (1764-1840)
* * Richard Skinner Sr. (1797-1882) - Mary Swope (1799-1844)
* * * Franklin Skinner (1842-1923) - Sarah Amanda Patten (1850-1933)
* * * Richard Skinner Jr. (1823-1908) - Elizabeth Ann Corson (1828-1896)

Franklin Skinner, as well as his brother Richard Skinner Jr., served in the Civil War.  Both saw action in the final days of the war a few miles from Appomattox, Virginia.  Franklin previously fought at Gettysburg.

 

Franklin The Poet

Franklin was also an amateur poet.  He wrote several poems commemorating the birthdays of his brother Richard Skinner Jr.  The poems survive to this day and are included in this work.  Franklin noted that his grandmother of the Revolutionary War time period, Patience Skinner – the progenitor of the South Jersey Skinners, had also been a poetess.

 

Franklin’s Fiction

Franklin’s version of the Skinner history is full of mistakes and was questioned at the time by genealogists.  Today, it is clear that very little of what he wrote was correct.  But his version of the family history, having been published in a newspaper, was the version of the family history that I grew up with.  And Franklin’s work caused both Virginia Minotty and myself to make the mistake of researching the Skinners of North Jersey in the belief that we would learn more about John Skinner and ourselves.

 

The Skinners of North and Central Jersey

Frankklin Skinner connected his grandfather, John Skinner, to a long line of well-documented Skinners that had existed in northern New Jersey since the 1600’s.  These Skinners of North Jersey have a very interesting history.

The North Jersey Skinners began with the arrival of Richard Skinner, an indentured servant, from England in 1665 on a boat with the first Governor of NJ.  The group arrived shortly after the Dutch surrendered their claim to the region without firing a shot.  The arrival of the ship with Richard Skinner on it began the rapid and large British/Scottish/French Huguenot influx into the mid-Atlantic region that would ultimately result in the creation of this country.

The Skinner family in New Jersey eventually included Captain Richard Skinner.  Captain Skinner served in the Middlesex County (Woodbridge/Rahway) militia during the Revolutionary War and was killed by British snipers.

Captain Richard Skinner, in turn, was probably the father of a Private John Skinner, who also served in the Middlesex County militia during the War.

Family Lore, as published by Franklin Skinner,  indicated that Private John Skinner migrated to South Jersey after the War, beginning the well-documented South Jersey Skinner clan of today.

 

Dissemination of the Family Lore – George Stevens

The mistaken migration of Private John Skinner to South Jersey, published by Franklin Skinner in the 1920’s, was conveyed to our family by a 1957 letter from unknown cousin George Stevens.  This letter was copied to various members of the family including my grandfather, Earl Skinner.

George Steven's letter summarizes the entire family history - from the indentured servant of 1665 to Private John Skinner of the Rev. War, including the mistaken migration of Private John Skinner to South Jersey after the War.  Much of George's letter was taken verbatim from Franklin Skinner's newspaper articles of the 1920’s.

I was not successful in locating Stevens.  My cousin, Marion Smith, recalls him from childhood.  He would be of the same generation as my father, Dave Skinner:

* John Skinner (1760-1824) - Patience Hanisey (1764-1840)
* * Richard Skinner Sr. (1797-1882) - Mary Swope (1799-1844)
* * * Richard Skinner Jr. (1823-1908) Elizabeth Ann Corson (1828-1896)
* * * * Anna Frances Skinner (1849-1937) - Arthur Henry (1846-1899)
* * * * * Elizabeth Skinner Henry (1881-1964) - Howard Walton (1881-1969)
* * * * * * Irma Elizabeth Walton (1905 - ) - h1 Walter Wilson Stevens ( )
* * * * * * * George Richard Stevens ( ) -
* * * *
Harry Skinner (1846-1937)- Lizzie Sparks (1851-1926)
* * * * * Warren Skinner (1877-1970) - Viola May Leap (1875-1963)
* * * * * * Earl Skinner (1901-1990) - Lillian Showalter (1903-1998)
* * * * * * * David Skinner (b. 1929) – Annette Frederick (b. 1930)

 

End Of A Myth

In 1995, I began researching the North Jersey Skinners, believing them to be the ancestors of John Skinner of the South Jersey Skinners.  I could find no connection.

In 2001, I began email communications with cousin Laurel Steffes.  Laurel had assisted cousin Bill Skinner in researching John Skinner and had developed many details about his life.  Their work is available at the Gloucester County Historical Society.  Only a few highlights are presented here.

 

John T. Skinner

Laurel Steffes and Bill Skinner found that John Skinner, the husband of Patience Hanisey and progenitor of the South Jersey Skinners, was part of a small cluster of Skinners who began appearing in Camden and Gloucester County records in the latter half of the 1760's.  These Skinners of South Jersey lived simultaneous with the North Jersey Skinners and did not descend from them. 

 

John Skinner, Loyalist

John Skinner joined a Loyalist militia during the war with many others from Gloucester County.  His father-in-law, James Hanisey, had joined the same militia.  James eventually had his Gloucester County lands seized because of his Loyalist service. 

It turns out that John Skinner did serve in the Revolutionary War, but not in the ‘patriotic’ manner idealized by his grandson Franklin.

 

Finale

Cousin Laurel Steffes and I attempted to locate the notes of Franklin Skinner for some closure on all of this.  Laurel contacted some libraries and historical societies near the Bucks Co., Pa locale where Franklin had lived.

Ultimately, I found a letter buried in the files of Virginia Minotty that explained where Franklin's genealogical notes had gone.  Norman Skinner, who had been researching the Skinner family in the 1950's, had sent a letter to a granddaughter of Franklin Skinner asking for her assistance.  The granddaughter responded by saying that she had disposed of her grandfather's trunk of notes, not knowing what to do with them.

 

 

SOURCE PERSONS

Credit is given to those persons who developed information presented in my work. Their names are abbreviated within brackets [ ], following the presentation of the facts or information that they developed.

The names of contributing persons are abbreviated as follows:

[VEM] - denotes information from the files of Virginia Minotty.
(Virginia6 descends from Dwight5, Jacob4, Nathan3, Richard Sr.2, John1)

[NES] - denotes information from the files of Virginia Minotty, which she attributed to Norman Skinner, with whom she collaborated.
(Norman6 descends from George5, George4, Sedgwick3, William2, John1)

[HES] - denotes information provided to me by my grandfather, H. Earl Skinner.
(Earl6 descends from Warren5, Harry4, Richard Jr.3, Richard Sr.2, John1)

[AES] -denotes information from the files of my mother, Annette Skinner.
(Annette, wife of David7, Earl6, Warren5, Harry4, Richard Jr.3, Richard Sr.2, John1)

[KDS] - me.
(Kevin8 descends from David7, Earl6, Warren5, Harry4, Richard Jr.3, Richard Sr.2, John1)

In addition, information provided by the following persons is discussed:

Franklin Skinner - (Franklin3 descends from Richard Sr.2, John1)

Richard Stevens - (Richard7 descends from Irma6, Elizabeth5, Anna4, Richard Jr. 3, Richard Sr.2, John1)

Marion Smith - (Marion6 descends from Ursula5, Harry4, Richard Jr.3, Richard Sr.2, John1)

Lillian Skinner - (Lillian, wife of Earl6, Warren5, Harry4, Richard Jr.3, Richard Sr.2, John1)

 

end