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An American Family History

Amariah Bonham Family

Maidenhead,  Old Hunterdon County (now Lawrence, Mercer County), New Jersey
Parish of Cameron, Loudoun County, Virginia
Fort Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland
Middle Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania
Lawrenceville, Mercer County, New Jersey was founded as Maidenhead in 1697, as part of Burlington County in the colony of West Jersey. In 1714, the village became a part of Hunterdon County.
The Crawford or Sandusky expedition of 1782 was on the western front of the Revolution. The goal was to destroy Indian towns along the Sandusky River to end attacks on settlers. Colonel Crawford led about 500 militiamen, from Pennsylvania. About 70 of them were killed with minimal Indian and British losses. During their retreat, Crawford and an unknown number of his men were captured and executed.
The Bonhams are Mayflower descendants: Samuel Fuller, Hannah Fuller Bonham, Hezekiah Bonham, Amariah Bonham.

Amariah Bonham married about 1737 in New Jersey. The name of his wife is not known for sure. It could have been Mary Drake the daughter of Francis Drake and Patience Walker. Monnette in First Settlers said he probably married Drake. Other researchers believe his wife was Eunice King or Elizabeth Addy. Still other researchers believe he married Mary or Martje Bebout. This comes from a deed in which John Bebout called Amariah Bonham "friend, co-partner and bro-in-law." However, H. E. Bonham has concluded that John Bebout and Amariah Bonham were married, to sisters, Mary and Eunice King, and were therefore brothers-in-law

The children were listed in his will. They were born in New Jersey. Christian Bonham Fox was born about 1737, Rebecca Bonham Johnson was born about 1738, Jeriah Bonham was born about 1739, Peter Bonham was born about 1741, Sarah Bonham Batey was born about 1742, and Jacob Bonham was born about 1744. 

On June 29, 1743, Amariah Bonham of Piscataway conveyed real  property in Hunterdon County to Richard Taylor. The day before this same property had been conveyed to Amariah Bonham of Amwell Township by the estate of Peter Sutton of Piscataway.  Amariah and his family probably moved from Hunterdon to Middlesex County at about this time.

In 1747 Amariah (Amoriah Bonaham) was one of the original members of the Baptist Church at Scotch Plains in Essex/Union County, New Jersey. The church was formed on September 8, 1747 by fifteen members from the Piscataway Baptist Church who wanted a spiritual center in their own community. Scotch Plains is about ten miles north of Piscataway in Union County, New Jersey but before 1857 it would have been in Essex County. 

Amariah and Mary Drake Bonham were marked dismissed from the roll of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church in 1749.

In 1757 an Amariah Bonham was in Sussex County, New Jersey when his name appeared on a petition to the governor complaining that they were the most exposed to the enemy of any county.

The family moved to Loudoun County, Virginia before 1765 when he was assessed tax there.

An indenture was made on June 22, 1774 between Francis Lightfoot Lee, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Amariah Bonham. Lee leased 200 acres in the Parish of Cameron, Loudoun County. The tract began at the road leading to Lane's Mill. The lease was to Amariah Bonham and his heirs for the natural lives of Peter Bonham, John Bonham and Charles Fox (whoever lived the longest). They paid Lee and his children twelve pounds sterling annually beginning the first of December, 1775. 

Amariah Bonham enslaved a man named Sampson in Loudoun County, Virginia between 1758 and 1786.

Amariah appeared on the tax rolls of Loudoun County in in 1782.

Peter and John were commissioned as Ensigns in the Loudoun County militia. Jacob died on June 9, 1782 while fighting the British and indigenous people in the Sandusky Massacre.

Amariah Bonham was assessed tax in Loudoun County in 1787. Scharf reported in his history that in 1788 Peter, Josiah, and Amariah Bonham took "settlers lots" in Maryland west of Fort Cumberland. Amariah gave them up in 1796.

In the 1800 census he (Ameriah Boneham) was living alone in West Bethlehem Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

Ameriah must have married after the 1800 census and before he made his will.

Amariah's will was dated January 27, 1802 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. In it he bequeathed to his wife, Elizabeth, the house, garden and all the profits of the plantation and premises. The real estate was to be sold and divided among his children at her death. He named his sons Jacob, Jeriah, Peter and his daughters Christian Fox, Rebecca Johnston, and Sarah Batey. The executors were Peter Bonham of Allegheny County and Philip Llewellyn of Washington County. The witnesses were Jonathan, Isaac and Rebecca Leet. Phillip refused to act as the adminstrator.

He died in 1803 in Middle Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. His will was proved on April 22, 1803. Peter Bonham settled the estate in 1805. The total value was $317.26 with debts of $253.51 leaving a balance of $63.75.

Hunterdon County was originally part of Burlington County, West Jersey. It was set off from Burlington County on March 11, 1714. It included Amwell, Hopewell, and Maidenhead Townships.

An indenture is a legal contract for labor or land. Two copies on the same sheet were separated with a jagged edge so that the two parts could be refitted to confirm authenticity. An indentured servant worked without wages for a specified time to pay a debt and was bound to the employer. In the 17th century, nearly two-thirds of settlers came as indentured servants to pay for their passage.
Loudoun County is part of Northern Neck of Virginia. Settling of the Loudoun area began between 1725 and 1730 while it was owned by Lord Fairfax. Settlers came from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. For more than two centuries, agriculture, especially growing tobacco, was the dominant way of life in Loudoun County.
American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

The Dutch were the first Europeans claim land in New Jersey. The region became a territory of England in 1664 when an English fleet sailed into New York Harbor and took control of Fort Amsterdam.

 

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Will of Amariah Bonham of Middle Township, Washington County
dated January 27, 1802 proved April 22, 1803;
wife Elizabeth;
children, Christine Fore (sic) Fox, Rebeca Johnson, Jacob, Jeriah, Peter, Sarah Batey;
executors, Peter Bonham of Allegheny County and Philip Luallen [Llewellyn] of Washington County;
witnesses, Jonathan, Isaac and Rebecca Leet.  (p. 493)

 

 

Bauman & Dreisbach
 
 
 

©Roberta Tuller 2017
tuller.roberta@gmail.com