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An American Family History

Sarah Bonham Fitz Randolph

Children of Nicholas Bonham
and Hannah Fuller
  • Hannah Bonham Lippington
  • Mary Bonham Dunham
  • Elizabeth Bonham Slater
  • Sarah Bonham Fitz Randolph
  • Nicholas Bonham
  • Elijah Bonham
  • Hezekiah Bonham
  • Samuel Bonham
  • Jane Bonham
  • Priscilla Bonham Langstaff
  • Sarah Bonham Fitz Randolph was born on February 16, 1664/65 in Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. Her parents were Nicholas Bonham and Hannah Fuller.

    She married John Fitz Randolph on October 1, 1681 in Piscataway. John was born on October 7, 1653 in West Barnstable. He was the son of Edward Fitz Randolph and Elizabeth Blossom. The Bonham and Fitz Randolph families were close neighbors in Barnstable and John was an early member of the First Baptist Church of Piscataway.

    John was a large landowner and in 1707 was one of the original members of the Seventh Day Baptist Church.

    Their children were
    Sarah Fitz Randolph (1682),
    Francis Fitz Randolph (1682),
    Elizabeth Fitz Randolph (1683),
    Temperance Fitz Randolph (1685),
    Temperance Fitz Randolph (1687).
    John Fitz Randolph (1693), and
    Edward Fitz Randolph (1698).

    John died in 1685. Mayflower Families says that on June 26, 1685 the widow, Elizabeth Fitz Randolph, of Piscataway deeded land to her son John Fitz Randolph.

    Sarah died in 1737 in Belvedere, New Jersey. On January 16, 1738 administation of the estate of widow Sarah Fitz Randolph was granted to John Fitz Randolph.
    Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

    Barnstable, Massachusetts was settled in 1639 when Parson Joseph Hull came to Cape Cod with and his congregation from Weymouth. A little later in the year, the Reverend John Lothrop brought his Congregationalists. They incorporated as the Town of Barnstable.
    The First Baptist Church of Piscataway is in Edison, New Jersey and was formed in 1689.

    Baptist churches were found in early colonial settlements and grew out of the English Separatist movement and the doctrine of John Smyth who rejected infant baptism.

    from History of the First Baptist Church of Piscataway
    Stelton, New Jersey, 1889, by Oliver B. Leonard, Esq.

    The Fitz Randolphs
    By far the most numerous representatives of any one family in the township were the Fitz Randolphs, who descended from a distinguished Norman line settling in England with William the Conqueror, A. D. 1066. They became owners of vast estates in Yorkshire and the adjacent county of Nottingham. From the last named shire came Edward Fitz Randolph, the ancestor of the American famity, who settled with his parents in Massachusetts about 1630, at the town of Scituate. In early manhood he married Elizabeth Blossom, of Puritan stock, and their children, born at Barnstable in the Plymouth colony, that lived to grow up and become heads of families, were Nathaniel, Hannah, Mary, John Joseph, Elizabeth, Thomas, Hope and Benjamin.

    Nathaniel Fitz Randolph, the oldest, born in 1642, became a Quaker, and one of the most influential of the sect. He migrated to Woodbridge township in 1678-9, locating near the Blazing Star ferry. He was the father of eight children, and a man of remarkable usefulness and importance in the commonwealth, filling all the local and county offices and prominent in the colonial government.

    His brothers, John, Joseph, Thomas and Benjamin, just mentioned, had moved to Piscataway ten years earlier- in 1668-9 and were all of the Baptist persuasion except Benjamin. The emigration of this family to New Jersey was prompted by the severe enactments of the court of the old colonies, prohibiting the free exercise of individual consciences, compelling every person to sustain by tax the established Church worship, and imposing banishment upon any who opposed infant baptism.

    John Fitz Randolph , the oldest of the Piscataway branch, was born in 1653, and married Sarah Bonham in 1675. He is known as a constituent member of this Church and one of the largest landholders in the township.

    Joseph Fitz Randolph, the next oldest, born in 1656, was father of twelve children by his wife, Hannah Conger, a member of one of the Woodbridge families. None of this familiar name attained to greater usefulness in the Church and colony than their immediate descendants. To verify the statement would only require the mention of the heirs of his son, Joseph, who married Rebecca Drake; and his daughter, Hannah, who married Andrew Drake; and his son, Jonathan, whose wife was Margaret Manning; and his daughter, Prudence, who married Nathaniel Manning.

    Thomas Fitz Randolph, the third son of the old patriarch, was born in 1659, and married Eliza Manning, having only six children. He was Clerk of the township and one of the first group of Selectmen to manage the affairs of the town, and served as deputy in the General Assembly.

    Benjamin Fitz Randolph, the youngest, born 1663 married Sarah Dennis, and was taken in as a townsman of Piscataway in 1684. but moved to Princeton in 1696-9 with a colony of Friends whom William Penn induced to settle on a fertile plantation watered by Stony Brook, a tributary of the Millstone River.

    These five Fitz Randolph brothers were progenitors of a numerous and prominent family-lineage who have produced some of the best citizens' of colonial days and give to the State and country illustrious soldiers and statesmen, eminent legislators and jurists, leamed-professors, distinguished divines, successful merchants and valuable members of society in the more quiet walks of life.

    The Bonhams are Mayflower descendants: Samuel Fuller, Hannah Fuller Bonham, Hezekiah Bonham, Amariah Bonham.
    Early Quakers were persecuted. In the Massachusetts Bay colony, Friends were banished on pain of death.

     

    ©Roberta Tuller 2013
    tuller.roberta@gmail.com