An American Family History

Uriah Bonham

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.

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.

Uriah Bonham was born about 1724 at Maidenhead, Hunterdon County, (now Lawrence, Mercer County), New Jersey. He was the son of Hezekiah Bonham and his second wife. He was a school teacher in Kingwood, Hunterdon County.

He married Anchor (Anclie) Fox, the daughter of George and Mary Fox. His brother Amariah’s daughter Christian (Christine) Bonham married Anchor’s brother Abasalom Fox.

In 1763, and how much earlier I know not, a Uriah Bonham of Piscataqua, was in this neighborhood as a school teacher. He married Ancher, daughter of George Fox, the elder. They had 5 children, 2 sons and 3 daughters. (From Traditions of Hunterdon)

Their children included:
Amos Bonham (1752, married Rebecca Rittenhouse),
Mary Bonham Emmans (1753, married James Emmons),
Dinah Bonham (1756, married John Sutton-son of Jonas, Richard, William, George),
Zedekiah Bonham (1760, married Prudence Heath) and
Hannah Bonham Emmons (1762, married Job Emmons).

His second wife was named Magdalena and may have been the widow, Magdalena Heath.

In 1799, he witnessed William Rittenhouse's will.

He died in 1809 in Amwell.
Children of Hezekiah Bonham:
  • Mary Bonham
  • Samuel Bonham
  • Hannah Bonham Stout
  • Sarah Bonham Runyan
  • Hezekiah Bonham
  • Nehemiah Bonham
  • Zachariah Bonham
  • Zedekiah Bonham
  • Amariah Bonham
  • Temperance Bonham Ayres
  • Amaziah Bonham
  • Malachiah Bonham
  • Jeremiah Bonham
  • Ephriam Bonham
  • Josiah Bonham
  • Zephaniah Bonham
  • Uriah Bonham
  • Obadiah Bonham
  • almanack
    Kingwood Township is on the western border of Hunterdon County, New Jersey. It was founded in 1798.

    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.

    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.

    New Jersey's first permanent European settlement was in 1660.




    Traditions of Hunterdon, Hunterdon County Historical Society by John W. Lequear with D. H. Moreau (ed).

    In 1763, and how much earlier I know not, a Uriah Bonham of Piscataqua [Piscataway], was in the neighborhood as a school teacher. He married Anchor, daugter of George Fox, the elder. They had 5 children, 2 sons and 3 daughters. 

    The Bonhams are Mayflower descendants: Samuel Fuller, Hannah Fuller Bonham, Hezekiah Bonham, Amariah Bonham.

    Calendar of New Jersey Wills, New Jersey Historical Society

    Mar. 24, 1802. Uriah Bonham of Kingwood Twsp., Hunterdon Co., will of. 
    Wife, Magdalene, use of dwelling house and tenplate stove, whole plantation, household furnishings, during her widowhood; also 1 cow, feather bed, 3 chairs and the blue chest. 
    Two sons, Amos and Zedekiah, all my wearing apparel.
    Moveable estate to be sold, and overplus (after bills are paid), to be divided between five children. 
    After death, or marriage of my wife, all lands, and my fishery to be sold. 
    To each of the daughters of Andrew Heath (late of Amwell, deceased), 30 pounds, i. e., Mary Wilson, Elizabeth Hall, Sarah Dills, Prudence Bonham (it being the money I procured out of their father's estate for their use when their mother had done with it). 
    Five grandsons, Uriah Sutton, Uriah Emans (Job's son), Uriah Emans (James's son), Uriah Bonham (Amo's son), and Andrew Bonham (Zedekiah's son), each 5 pounds. 
    Five granddaughters, Anchor Sutton, Anchor Emans (Job's daughter), Anchor Emans (James's daughter), Anchor Bonham (Amo's daughter), and Anchor Bonham (Zedekiah's daughter), each 50 shillings. 
    Son, Amos, to have 10 pounds above his dividend. 
    Five children are, Amos, Mary Emans, Dinah Sutton, Hannah Emans, Zedekiah. 
    Executor: Thomas Lequear of Kingwood Twsp., Hunterdon Co. 
    Witnesses: Richard Heath, Edward Rettinghouse and William Heath. 
    Proved May 4, 1809. 
    Inventory of £241.07 made by Edward Rettinghouse and Thomas Shearman 13 Apr 1809.


    Planter is an archaic term for a settler. Plantation was a method of colonization where settlers were "planted" abroad. A plantation is also the kind of large farm that was the economical basis of many American Colonies and owners of these farms were also called planters.

    Genealogical Notes of the Sutton and Rittenhouse Families of Hunterdon County by Olive Barrick Rowland

    The date of birth of this, probably the youngest, son of Hezekiah Bonham is unknown. Uriah left a will probated in 1809 which serves to establish the approximate date of his death. 

    His first wife and mother of his children was a daughter of George Fox, the elder, and bore the curious name of Anchor.

    His second wife was named Magdalene.

    Inasmuch as Uriah's name appears in witness to the will of John Ruckman of Hunterdon County in the year 1749 his presence is the same general neighborhood is indicated at least as early as that date. 

    There are numerous other traces of the passage through life of this school teacher who later turned planter. In 1799 he was witness to the will of William Rittenhouse, father of his son Amos' wife. In 1795 he served in making inventory of the estate of his son-in-law John Sutton, of Kingwood Township.  A specimen of his firm, clear handwriting may be seen in the Bible of John and Dinah Sutton, for whom he wrote the family records, inscribing sideways along the margin: Written by Uriah Bonham. In the Sutton family a large walnut cupboard, now owned by Miss Ida Sutton Leigh of Sergeantsville, was once the property of Uriah Bonham.

    There is a family legend that the first wife of Uriah Bonham was born upon the water. The vessel was anchored during the time of birth of the child; whence the origin of her name. ... It is interesting to note that five granddaughters were named Anchor after her.

    The Will of Uriah Bonham ... is of lengthy and considerable genealogic value. It was drawn May 24, 1803; probated May 4, 1809. His residence is given as Township of Kingwood, County of Hunterdon and State of New Jersey. 

    To Magdalene, his beloved wife, he leaves the whole and sole privilege and use of his dwelling house and ten-plate stove, together with his whole plantation for her maintenance; and the use of as much household furniture as she shall think necessary for convenient, decent housekeeping, during the term she remains a widow. Outright he leaves to her and her heirs, one milch cow, one feather bead, three good chairs and one blue chest. 

    After devisement to his two sons, Amos and Zedekiah Bonham, of his wearing apparel, to be equally divided between them,

    the will proceeds with money bequests as follows: To the daughters of Andrew Heath, late of Amwell, deceased, £30, in specie money [coin]; that is to say: To Mary Wilson--20 dollars. To Elizabeth Hall--20 dollars. To Sarah Dilts--20 dollars. To Prudence Bonham--20 dollars, it being the money which, I procured from their father's estate for their use when their mother had done with it. 

    To his five grandsons: Uriah Sutton, Uriah Emans, Job's son, Uriah Emans, James's son. Uriah Bonham, Amo's son, and Andrew Bonham, Zedekiahs son--£500 (sic - this should read £5), in specie money, each.

    To his five granddaughters: Anchor Sutton. Anchor Emans, Jobs daughter. Anchor Emans, Jamess daughter. Anchor Bonham, Amos daughter and Anchor Bonham, Zedekiahs daughter--50 shillings, each, in specie money. 

    To his beloved son, Amos Bonham, £10 specie above his dividend, hereafter mentioned. 

    Finally: to his five well beloved children, viz: Amos Bonham, Mary Emans, Dinah Sutton, Hannah Emans, Zedekiah Bonham he leaves the residue of his estate to be equally divided among them. 

    Sole executor: Thomas Laquear of Kingwood Township.  The date stated here for when the will was drawn conflicts with that given in the New Jersey Archives, which are presumably correct.

    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.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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