The original purpose in researching Jenette Campbell Van Norden was to determine if her parents were one of the original Campbell families of ENJ. What I discovered was a mass of conflicting information written in early history books. Thankfully there are enough primary sources available today that we can determine who her parents were.
This sketch is broken into 3 sections. The first details the parents of Jenette and where to find supporting documentation/sources. The second section is additional research notes not pertinent to this sketch but nice to know if you are studying this family and the third breaks down the published histories.
Section One: Parents of Jenette Campbell Van Norden
Jenette Campbell was born in 1720 and d. 26 July 1796. There are many variations of her name so be aware of that in your personal research. Jenette married Tobias Van Norden who was born in 1715 and d. 28 Mar 1800. They were married 22 Sept 1740 and both are described as being from New Brunswick (Marriage record source: Marriage Records: 1665-1800, edited by William Nelson, pub 1900, pg 82).
The Van Nordens are buried in the Old Presbyterian Graveyard and their tombstones list their date of death and age which confirms the year they were born. Corresponding baptismal records found at the New York Reformed Dutch Church detail their parentage:
4 Sept 1715; Child: Tobias; Parents: Johannes Van Norden, Hendrika Ten Yk; Witnesses: William Walton & wife Maria Santfort
17 Apr 1720; Child: Jannett; Parents: Dugald Campbell, Rachel Lemountes; Witnesses: John Le Mountes, Maria Kuyler
While the baptismal record of Jenette is clear with regards to her parents, nearly all early history books of East New Jersey, tell a different story. I discuss the misconceptions in Section 3 but for now, I want to present the supporting documentation found in the records of NJ and NY which not only validate the baptismal records but expand our knowledge of the family of Jenette (Campbell) Van Norden.
Archibald Campbell of New York
The will of Archibald Campbell is dtd 18 March 1732 and was proved 16 Aug 1733. The following is taken from Collections of the New-York Historical Society, Volume 27, Page 70 – View original will of Archibald here:
In the name of God Amen. I, Archibald Campbell of New York, merchant, being sick, I leave to my wife Mary the use of all my estate during her life for her support and maintenance and of my daughter Mary Campbell. I leave to my daughter Mary, £400 when she is of age or married and in case of her death then to my two cousins John and Jennett Campbell children of my Uncle Captain Dugall Campbell each £100 when of age. And I being now seized of a tract of land lying in Orange or Ulster County called the Great Minisink Patent my executors are to sell 1/2 of the same if necessary. I make my wife and my two friends John Le Montes and William Jamison executors. Witnesses Simeon Soumain, Frieund Lucas, Joseph Haynes.
Note: The above transcription / abstract is incorrect as the spelling in the original will is Capt. Dugald Campbell (not Dugall) – Also, note the LeMontes connection.
Archibald (1733) was married to Mary Cooper, daughter of Caleb Cooper and his wife Helena Fell-LeMontez-Griggs-Cooper. Helena was first married 1686, NYC Dutch Church, to John LeMontez (view his will here). Their children were:
- Anneken LeMontez, baptized 20 June 1687 NYC Ref Church, not named in mother’s will.
- Johannes LeMontez, baptized 13 Feb 1689 NYC Ref Church (view his will here)
- Jean LeMontez, baptized 6 Mar 1692 NYC Ref Church
- Rachel LeMontez (“LaMontus” in baptismal. rec.), baptized 31 Dec 1693 NYC Ref Ch (wit: Mr. Philip French, Mary Berry); she married Capt. Dugald Campbell.
After the death of John LeMontez, Helena m. Robert (Robbert) Grege (Griecx; Griggs), Mariner on 16 Dec 1694 at NYC Ref Dutch Church
- Dau: Margareta Griecx, bp. 13 Oct 1695 NYC Ref Ch – Not mentioned in her mother’s 1726 will
After the death of Robert Griggs, Helena married Caleb Cooper and had a daughter:
- Mary Cooper who married Archibald Campbell, Merchant of NY
The above was taken from the Dutch Door Genealogy website and has been verified with wills to the extent of its importance here.
Caleb Cooper’s’s inventory, dtd 17 Aug 1706, can be viewed here.
Helena’s will is dated 24 May 1726 and probated 19 Dec 1728 (unrecorded – source below). She mentioned son John LeMontes, daughter Rachel wife of Dugall Campbell (My Note: Dugald); daughter Mary Cooper; grandchildren Jennett Campbell and John Campbell.
Using the information from the above records, the 1733 Campbell genealogy looks like this:
- Son: Archibald Campbell d. 1733 married Mary Cooper
- Dau: Mary Campbell (under age, probably about 2yo or younger)
2) Capt. Dugald Campbell m. Rachel Le Monte (half-sister of Mary Cooper)
- Dau: Jenette Campbell (under age, baptized 17 Apr 1720) m. Tobias Van Norden.
- Son: John Campbell (under age): See sketch on John Campbell, possible brother of Jenette for more information on John.
I have additional information concerning Capt. Dugald Campbell including the only original record I found concerning his death. For more information about his life and possible ancestry please read: Capt Dugald Campbell of NY
Given the documentation available it is clear that Capt. Dugald Campbell who married Rachel Le Monte was the father of Jennet Campbell who was baptized in NY in 1720. But….
Was she the Jennet who married Tobias Van Norden?
The date of birth from her tombstone matches the baptismal record and since both she and her husband Tobias were baptized in the same church (families knew each other), one can comfortably state that she was.
I will note it is unusual that neither she nor whom I PRESUME to be her brother named a son Dugald or at least one that survived. Both have sons named Archibald. They may have done this to honor their cousin who had married Mary Cooper. Archibald (1733) obviously cared for his cousins as he left them a legacy in his will and most likely was their caretaker after their father died.
Section 2: Additional Information
Will of Helena Fels-Lemonte-Griggs-Cooper
“The Collections of the New York Historical Society”, V 35, pub 1902, page 75: May 24 1726. In the name of God Amen. I HELENA COOPER of New York widow being in good health. All debts and funeral charges to be paid in some convenient time I leave to my son John Le Montes a negro girl Bella. To my daughter Rachel, wife of Dugall Campbell a negro girl Grace. To my daughter Mary Cooper, a negro boy Peter. To my dutifull and loving grandchild Jennett Campbell, daughter of my daughter Rachel Campbell, a negro boy Matthew. I leave to my son John Le Montes all my right to two certain houses and ground on the west side of a street known by the name of street Little Dock street and now in tenure of Robert Livingston jr. The other fronting the Dock or wharf and at part in tenure of Francis Vincent and both being between the ground of Jacobus Van Cortlandt and the ground of the widow Outman. The mortgage which I have given on said houses is to be paid out of my personal estate before any division. I leave to my daughter Mary Cooper half of a house and lot in New York on the west side of Broad street between the house and ground of Abraham Van Duersen and the house and ground of Mr Witt deceased or his heirs. The other half I leave to my daughter Rachel Campbell during her life and then to her two children, Jennett and John Campbell. The mortgage upon this house and lot is to be paid out of my personal estate. All the rest to my three children, John Le Montes, Rachel Campbell, and Mary Cooper and I make them executors. Witnesses Coenraet Ten Eyck, Simon Johnson, One name illegible. Proved December 19, 1728.
The daughter Rachel was the child of her first husband John Le Montes
NOTE The maiden name of Helena Cooper was Helena Fell She married John Le Montes September 26 1686 After his death she married Robert Griggs After he died she married Caleb Cooper The lot left to her son John is now No 78 Pearl Street and No 44 Water Street. This was a water lot granted to Francina Hermans who sold it to John Le Montes (Sr.) in 1687. It was afterwards owned by Governor Cadwallader Golden who gave it to his daughter who married Peter De Lancey. The lot on Broad Street is now No 80 about half way between Stone Street and Marketfield Street.
Mollison/Van Norden Family Monument:
Old Presbyterian Graveyard Bound Brook, Somerset Co, NJ Memorial #’s: 15711055 and 15718241 http://www.findagrave.com
Joseph Mollison, Born Aug(?) 16, 1780, died May ?? 1820
Jannet Van Norden Wife of Joseph Mollison Born Dec, 6 1784 Died June 25 (?) 1882
Mary Cooper Wife of Archibald Van Norden Died Aug ??, ???? Aged ?? Years
Archibald Van Norden Died April 18, 1827 Aged 77 Years
That’s all I could read from the picture – Click to enlarge or visit find a grave.
Other ties to NY and ENJ
Brief history of the prominent families of the Bound Brook/Kells Hall/New Brunswick area that were cited in the Le Montez-Griggs-Cooper records above – Including baptismal documents cited throughout this sketch:
- Ten Eyck: Prominent family of NY and NJ. Many Ten Eyck’s lived around the area Kell’s Hall area. Tobias Van Norden’s mother was Hendrika Ten Eyck per his baptism record and Tobias (Tobiah) served under Capt Jacob Ten Eyck in the Revolutionary war along with an Archibald Campbell (notation that he deserted) and a Thomas McMurtry.
- LeMontes (various spellings Le Monte): Rachel LeMontes was the wife of “Uncle” Capt Dugald Campbell and half sister to Archibald Campbell’s wife, Mary Cooper. A LeMontes family member, John LeMontes, witnessed the baptism of Jennet Campbell Van Norden in 1720. John was probably Rachel’s brother, Mary Copper’s half brother and Jennet’s Uncle.
- Phillip French: Phillip French witnessed the baptism of Rachel LeMontes (above) in NY. A Phillip French was also the second owner of Kells Hall which he named for his home Parish in England (he bought from Thomas Codrington). I have not verified that this was the same man although it probably was, or his son. Philip French’s daughter Elisabeth inherited Kells Hall. She married Cornelius Van Horne who sold part of the Kells Hall plantation to an Archibald Campbell sometime between 1722 and his death in 1771.
- Cooper: Mary Cooper, dau of Caleb Cooper, was the wife of Archibald Campbell (1733), Merchant of New York.
- Archibald Van Norden (son of Jennet Campbell and Tobias Van Norden) married a Margaret Cooper daughter of Thomas Cooper of Bound Brook, Somerset. Thomas Cooper left a will dtd 3 Dec 1785 and proved 28 Dec 1787. He gave 5 shillings to his son, and gave his son-in-law Archibald Van Norden his clothes, his house and lot. Witnesses were John Boudinot, Mary Smalley, and Peter Davis. 30 Jan 1788 Inventory of £21.11.8 by Benjamin Blackford and Jacob Bond. Not sure if these Coopers were related to Caleb Copper but thought I would point it out.
Widow Mary Cooper Campbell
The next is some conjecture and I insert it here for future reference. Remember Archibald Campbell (1733) had a daughter Mary with his wife, Mary Cooper. It appears Mary Cooper Campbell was living in nearby Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ in 1748. From NJ Colonial Records:
1748 July 18 Duratan (Duraton also Durston, Durstan) Mary of Woodbridge Middlesex Co. Whereas Mary Campbell daughter of Archibald Campbell late of New York mercht to whom the administration belongs is a minor. She hath chosen Joseph Royall to be her guardian while she remains under 17 years of age. 1748: Bond of Joseph Royall of New York gent as administrator. James Hude of New Brunswick fellow bondsman. Witness Elisha Parker Lib E p 200
I haven’t found any records of Duratan/ Duraton or other given spellings in Woodbridge which is not to say they don’t exist. I believe this record is referring to Mary Cooper Campbell, widow of Archibald (1733), who had remarried and moved to Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ and therefore her daughter Mary was choosing a guardian.
Achibald Campbell (1733)
An abstract of the will of Archibald Campbell, merchant of New York appears in the Colonial Documents of NJ (New Jersey Colonial Documents, Lib C P.59) as well as NY. Having a will proven in two different places would not be unusual if you owned property in 2 states. It is still a requirement in modern times.
If you look at the map of the Minisink patent mentioned in Archibald’s (1733) will, it covers 3 different states including New Jersey.
The property may have been inherited from Caleb Cooper through Archibald’s wife Mary Copper. Her father was one of the original Proprietors in 1704. Caleb owned 2050 acres, the same amount as Archibald when he died and Archibald was not an original owner. My guess is that Archibald either inherited or bought from Caleb or his estate. Unfortunately, there is no date listed or details of how the land was acquired. (Source: The Minisink Patent.; by Armand Shelby La Potin, Originally presented as the author’s thesis, University of Wisconsin 1974.)
Section Three: The History Books
As mentioned before, there is much published misinformation in early ENJ history books regarding the parents of Jenette Campbell who married Tobias Van Norden. It would be remiss not to mention it here. I have identified 2 prominent theories which I will discuss but I wont cite sources because I am speaking about most (all?) of the early books. It is more important to be aware of the mistaken traditions vs the particular source so you can identify as you come across them.
John Campbell Jr, son of John Campbell, Proprietor of ENJ
Some of the earliest printed claims state that Jenette was the daughter of John Campbell of Piscataway. This John is widely reported as the son* of John Campbell, Proprietor of East New Jersey (ENJ). By his will proven 18 Apr 1733, John Campbell of Piscataway, Mason, Middlesex County, had a wife Mary and children: John Jr, Duglas, James, Margaret, Janet, Ann, and Neil.
Most books state that the above Margaret married Tobias Van Norden. The marriage record is fairly clear (at least the transcription of it) – Jennet Campbell of New Brunswick (not Piscataway) m. Tobias Van Norden. It is possible they were mistaking Margaret for her sister Janet and indeed, a few books say that it was this Janet who married Van Norden (dau of John Campbell of Piscataway). Given the above documentation, I am confident in stating that neither claim is correct.
* I have never seen anything to prove or disprove that John Campbell of Piscataway was the son of John Campbell, the Proprietor and personally I’m very skeptical.
Archibald Campbell Mollison
Much of the later misinformation (early 1900’s publications) originates from the great grandson of Jenette and Tobias and a contributor to several local publications. I will refer to him as “Mollison” going forward.
Please understand, my intent is not to discredit Mollison by any means. I think he was misled or misinterpreted the information provided to him and expanded on his own family traditions. The fact that he was an early descendant carries some weight which is why I point out his errors here.
Mollison ties to Jenette in the following way:
- Jenette and Tobias Van Norden had a son Archibald who was b. 2 Apr 1749 and d. 18 Apr 1827.
- Archibald Van Norden married Margaret Cooper who was b. abt 1741. She was the daughter of Thomas Cooper of Bound Brook, Somerset. Archibald and Margaret had a daughter “Janet”.
- Janet Van Norden was b. 6 Dec 1784, d. 25 Jun 1882, she m. Joseph Mollison, who was b. 18 Aug 1780 and d. 14 May 1820. They had a son Archibald Campbell Mollison. NOTE: Janet is spelled various ways throughout the censuses on which she is listed including Jenette and Jennetta. She died when she was 98 and was living with her son Archibald Campbell Mollison.
- Archibald Campbell Mollison was b. abt 1812 and d.1900. He m. Elizabeth who was b. abt 1817. This Archibald had eventual ownership of the Kells Hall bell. NOTE: If you don’t know the history of the bell, you can read the linked sketch but it’s not particularly important you know the details right now.
The above lineage is undisputed and can be proven by census, wills, deeds, etc.
Mollison claimed to be a descendant of John Campbell, Proprietor through his son John Campbell Jr. He claimed Jr’s son was Archibald who had a dau Jenette who m. Van Norden. Whether this information came to him from his mother, grandfather, or other means I don’t know.
There is no Archibald mentioned in the will of John Campbell of Piscataway or printed histories of him so we are safe in assuming that Mollison didn’t think the John who wrote the above will was the Proprietor’s son (or at least know of him). It is certain however, Archibald Campbell Mollison claimed he descended from John Campbell, Proprietor or at least allowed it to be printed without correction when given the opportunity (second editions).
My theory with regards to Mollison
I believe Mollison is wrong in stating he descended from John Campbell the Proprietor. More than likely he or an earlier relative combined several histories and 150 years later, Mollison relayed the information as he knew it. In turn, it was published in local histories, probably with additions from the author (not Mollison).
In 1685, many Argyll Campbells were banished from Scotland and a few came to ENJ; most notably Lord Neil Campbell (LNC) and his son Archibald. This happened following a failed plot to coincide with the Monmouth Rebellion. LNC’s brother, Archibald Campbell, the 9th Duke of Argyll, was executed for the scheme.
Many history books state that John Campbell, Proprietor and LNC were related however, there is no evidence to support the claim, nor is any justification given. As far as I know, it is not certain from where John Campbell, Proprietor originated in either Scotland or England; nor was he banished to the Colonies. He came voluntarily a few years prior to LNC’s arrival.
There is tradition that Captain Dugald Campbell was born in Argyll, Scotland (or very near). Capt. Dugald was too young, perhaps not yet born, so he wasn’t part of the rebellion nor do I know if any of the banished ENJ immigrants were closely/directly related. That said, it would make sense if Mollison were repeating family traditions of Argyll which had combined with the history of the banished Campbells in ENJ. Adding to that, Mollison came from a long line of Archibald Campbells so it may have been a natural assumption that his lineage was that of John Campbell, Proprietor.