27 – John Campbell of Woodbridge

From time to time, I have seen a John Campbell of Woodbridge considered a contemporary of John Campbell of Piscataway.  After hours of fruitless research, I have come to the conclusion that he was probably a descendant of JC-Piscataway although I am not sure to which family he belongs.

The only clue to John Campbell of Woodbridge known to me is the following transactions.

Middlesex County, New Jersey, Deed Abstracts, Book 1 by Richard S. Hutchinson

(p. 7) Henry Campbell to John Campbell:

16 Apr 1734 – Whereas John Campbell deceased late of Township Woodbridge … Middlesex County … New Jersey did by his last Will … of which Neil Campbell and Samuel Campbell were appointed executors, Bequeathed unto Elizabeth his wife one third part of a certain forth acres of land in … Middlesex … of which John Campbell died seized and did further ordain that at the death Elizabeth his wife said property … (or remainder) … should be equally divided between Neil Campbell, Samuel Campbell, Henry Campbell, John Campbell and Elizabeth Campbell

Therefore be it known to all…  That I Henry Campbell of the Town of Fleming… County of Cayuga… New York … (for $300) … convey to John Campbell one of the legatees in the … Will… of John Campbell deceased all my right … to the property of which the aforesaid Elizabeth Campbell is possessed … and all my right and title & may acquire to said property by the death of said Elizabeth Campbell …; (Dated – 16 Apr 1734.)

Mary S. Tait … sworn … said that the lands described … in the within deed are situated in Middlesex … and that to the best of her knowledge … there has been quiet, continuous … undisputed possession of said lands … by virtue of said deed to the period of forth years and upwards …; (Dated – 10 July 1885; Signed Mary Stephen Tait; Recorded – 16 July 1885)

(p. 8) John Campbell to Issac Campbell

8 Feb 1838 – Know all men by these presents that I John Campbell of the Township of Piscataway … Middlesex County … New Jersey for a valuable consideration … by Issac Campbell of the Town of Woodbridge … Middlesex … (sell) … all my right … to the estate of John Campbell late of the Township of Woodbridge … deceased and also my interest of in and to the share thirds or right of dower of Elizabeth Campbell deceased – and also the principal amount of money advanced by me to Neil Campbell surviving executors of the said John Campbell deceased …; (Dated – 2 Aug 1838; Witness – Samuel C. Stelle.)

Mary S. Tait … sworn … said that the lands described … in the within deed are situated in Middlesex … and that to the best of her knowledge … there has been quiet, continuous … undisputed possession of said lands … by virtue of said deed to the period of forth years and upwards …; (Dated – 10 July 1885; Signed Mary Stephen Tait; Recorded – 16 July 1885)

If you look at the dates, the first paragraph states 1734, the next conveyance of interest in the estate is 1734. The declaration of “quiet, continuous … undisputed possession of said lands” is 1875. Henry Campbell states that he was “of the Town of Fleming… County of Cayuga… New York”.

The problem is that Cayuga Co. was formed from Onondaga County, March 8, 1799.  If we change the assumed date from 1734 to 1834, more things start to make sense.

Note the word “forth” in 2 separate instances. I think “forth” = forty and also helps Mary Tait’s comment make a more sense. “there has been quiet, continuous … undisputed possession of said lands … by virtue of said deed to the period of forth years

Also, while not unheard of it would be unusual for an administration to continue for 150 years.

Although there was a few Henry Campbell of Cayuga Co around this time frame, I haven’t found anything definitive.  Find A Grave reports that there is and Issac Campbell in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Metuchen, Middlesex County who d. Apr. 8, 1885. Issac was Married to Mary Ann Lane Campbell who d. in 1882. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=95750776

While not conclusive without original documents to compare, I think the above points to a possible error in transcriptions. Other observations for John Campbell of Woodbridge:

  • Neil Campbell, Blacksmith, whose will is dtd 1777 Nov 20 and was proven in 1779 in Woodbridge, Middlesex had a son named Henry.  There may have been two Neil’s in that time frame that have been combined into one (see John Campbell of Piscataway sketch) but this is hard to prove.
  • Regarding the 40 Acres, the following may be a possible reference (also see John Campbell of Piscataway). This deed may have been made in 1734 so it’s a stretch. Wm Macdaniel of Woodbridge, carpenter to John Campbell, farmer “To find John Campbell’s land we must begin at a maple which is Wm Frosts SE Corner.” Then it shows a drawn map..starting at that SE corner, going 21 chains to the corner of Wm Macdaniels land, down another 7- 3/4 chains, then over 49 chains to Dismal Brook…this lower 7-3/4 chain line from the edge of Wm Macdaniels 21 chains..gave John Campbell 38 acres.  Below that is the land of Ginnet Campbell (with notation to see F2 48)

That is all of the information I have on John Campbell of Woodbridge. I will leave it to the descendants of John Campbell of Piscataway to decide whether this John was a contemporary or descendant who lived 100 years after him.

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