29 – John Campbell of Monmouth

This John Campbell is likely to be one of the original indentured servant Campbells in ENJ – hard to know for sure. He lived on (or near) the site of the 1778 Revolutionary War battle. The Google Map will help to better understand the area we are discussing.

Monmouth Area Map

Monmouth Area Map
Source: Google Maps
Click to Enlarge

Manalapan, Monmouth Co, NJ, is the home to a different John Campbell (“B” on Google Map – Left Side).  I use this as a starting point just to point out that there were two John Campbells living relatively close to each other but still separated by 2-4 miles.

Manalapan (“B” on map) is:

1)  2 miles from the Monmouth Battlefield. Large green area below Manalapan.

2)  4.8 Miles from Wickatunk, NJ

3)  2 miles from Tennant church AKA Scotch Meeting House (located very near the battlefield)*

A)  15 Miles from Middleton, NJ. “A” on Map – upper right hand corner

4)  5 miles from Freehold

* Tennant church (AKA Scotch Meeting House) was not in existence until about 1705.  It is an important landmark and source of documentation for people of the Freehold area.

Land Docs

I have already discussed Archibald Campbell who left a will in 1702 naming John Campbell his executor and perhaps heir (conflicting transcriptions).  It is hard to know if this is the same Archibald but I tend to believe it is.  This Archibald Campbell was of “Wickatunk” and purchased the headlands of Peter Bury.  Two years later, he sold it to Alexander Hutton who in turn sold it to John Campbell the following month.

  1. 1688 Oct.  20.  Deed. Peter BURY of Middletoun, single man, to Archibald CAMPBELL of Wickatunck, for the head land of 30 acres, coming to him.  Memo on transcription says that said Bury came as a servant to Gawen DRUMMOND in the ship “Shield” of Stockden, Yorkshire, England, Daniel TOWERS master.  132
  2. 1690-1 Feb.  15.  Deed.  Archibald CAMPBELL of Monmouth Co., workman, to Alexander HUTTON, for the foregoing 30 acres.  132
  3. 1690-1 March 17.  Deed. Alexander HUTTON of Monmouth Co. to John CAMPBELL for the foregoing.  133

John Campbell was making several purchases in the area.  Headlands were small plots of land (typically 25-30 acres) so it is not unheard of to have one person buying up several headlands in order to build a more substantial farm.

  1. 1688 Jun 4: Archibald CAMPBELL to John CAMPBELL, both of Monmouth Co., for the headland, coming to him. 322 (This sale was 4 months prior to Archibald’s purchase from Peter Bury – #1)
  2. 1689 Mar 12 Alexander MEICKLE, carpenter, of Toponemus (NOTE: near Tennant and Manalapan), to John CAMPBELL of Monmouth Co., for the headland coming to him. 132
  3. 1693 Jun 7 Deed. Archibald SILVER of Matacopine, West Jersey, and wife Christian, late servant to George KEITH, to John CAMPBEL of Monmouth Co., for 30 acres near Topinemus, adjoining James JOHNSTON, laid out as headland for said Christian. 391

And here we see John Campbell confirming all the property he had acquired.  Confirm Title refers to the need to verify title in property when others may claim an interest in the same. Note the Peter “Berry” name.  This verifies this is the same John Campbell who purchased the land from Alex Hutton – #3 (who had purchased from Archibald, who had purchased from Bury).

  1. 1695 May 1.  Do. (Confirmation) to John CAMPBELL of Freehold, in right of the headland, due to Archibald CAMPBELL (#4 Deed above), Christian CHEENE alias SILVER (#6 Deed above), Alexr MICKLE  (#5 Deed above) and Peter BERRY (#’s 1-3 Deeds above), for 90 acres in Monmouth Co., S.  W.  James JOHNSTON’s middle brook, N.  W.  James JOHNSTON, N.  E. a brook, S.  E. unsurveyed barrens; 30 a.  in the same Co., N.  E.  SPOTSWOOD’s brook, N.  W. Allan CALDWALL, S.  E. and S.  W. grantee.  378

Total is 120 acres

The term “and S. W. grantee” was likely referring to land he already owned or lived on. But were did he get that land?  It may refer to his own headlands that he had as early as 1687, or land he purchased land from Robert Rhea in 1691 and 1693.

I believe this to be the same John Campbell since #8 references the sale of land to Rhea as being near James Johnston’s brook (see above #’s 6 and 7) and “NE John Campbell”.

8.   Deed:  Geo KEITH to Rob. RHEA:   8 Mar 1687/8:  SURVEY [East Jersey]. For G. Keith (“in Right of James Murrey, his wife and Richard Hodgkins being their head land”) Bordering lands of J. Johnston; J. Campbell; and R. Rea [Ray]. [“Entd 7 Oct 1691”. Survey undated. Years approx.] [Warrant Date: 8 Mar 1687/8]. LOCATION: 90 Acres. Monmouth (North side of James Johnston’s South Brook)

NOTE:  J Campbell was possibly in the area as early as 1687

1691 May 26 Do. George KEITH of Philadelphia to Robert REA of Monmouth Co., carpenter, for 90 a. in said Co., S. W. James JoHNSTON’s South Brook, N. his land, N. E. John CAMPBELL, E. barrens, S. E. grantee; the tract being originally headland, granted to James MURREY, of Amboy Perth, mason, and Richard HOGSKINS, grantor’s servant, and by them conveyed to grantor. 298

  1. RHEA confirms property.  I divided into 2 sections for clarity

a)  1693 Jul 26: Confirmation to Robert REA of Monmouth co., carpenter, in right of George KEITH, who bought the headlands of James Murray and wife and Richard HOGSKINS,– of 60 acres in said Co., S. James JOHNSTON’s South Brook, E. grantee, N. barrens, W. James JOHNSTON;

b) 30 a., W. James JOHNSTON, N. John CAMPBELL, E. and S. the Middle Brook. 68 (Conf. properties in #8 above)

  1. RHEA sells to Campbell

1691 Dec 26 Do. (Deed) Robert REA of Monmouth Co., carpenter, to John CAMPBELL of the same Co., farmer, for a lot there, S. W. James JOHNSTON’s Middle Brook, N. W. his land, N. E. grantee, E. barrens. 345 (NOTE: Looks like he divided part of the 60 acres into at least 1 lot and sold to John Campbell

The survey of this land gives us additional information:

LOCATION: 90 Acres. Monmouth (James Johnston’s South Brook; where “James Johnston’s Line crosses his Middle brook”)

  1. RHEA sells more land to Campbell

1693 Jan 22 Do. Robert RAY to John CAMPBEL, both of Monmouth Co., for 30 acres there, W. James JOHNSTON, N. grantee, E. and S. the Middle Brook. 397 (Purchase of the 30 acres bought of KEITH #9b)

Father of John Campbell Jr of Freehold

I believe this John is the father of the “John Campbell of Freehold” (see sketch) and it’s possible he had more children.  I haven’t located a Will. He could have moved out of the area but I believe he was still there in 1745 as his John Campbell Jr. was still calling himself JR at the time of his marriage.  If I am correct, John Campbell SR would have been quite old in 1745 (in 80’s?) and probably would not have left the place where he built a farm and raised a family.

Could this John Campbell be the son of John Campbell the Proprietor?  I don’t think it’s likely since that John Campbell seemed to have stayed around the Perth Amboy area and held the office of High Sheriff of Middlesex County in 1711.

I have seen references to a John Campbell JR, late of Scotland, now of Freehold in a few instances on the internet dating to around 1700 but have not found the document.  It may or may not be in reference to the Caledonia Company but again, the source on the internet is unclear.  There was a source given as the Monmouth Courthouse (Mn Ct 1:153/4).  The Caledonia reference is interesting as that company may be tied to the Darien Scheme which led to the settlement of Jamaica.

Late of Scotland, now of Freehold” could be consistent with either a recent immigrant or an imported servant.

Husband of Bridget Cook

John Campbell Sr’s wife is said to be Bridget.  I believe he married Bridget Cook who was the widow of Benjamin Cook.  Benjamin was born “possibly” 1675 and died in 1710.  See an internet transcription of his will here. I assume his wife Bridget was probably about the same age (give or take).  From his will, the children of Benjamin and Bridget Cook were: Thomas, Nicholas, Anna, and David.  John Campbell was an executor along with Bridget and a Nicholas Stephens.

Nicholas Cook was born about 1703 and died in Sept-Nov 1785.  He married an Elizabeth (possibly a Campbell but unknown family to me). Elizabeth was born about 1715 and died in 1792.  Nicholas and Elizabeth are buried in the Cook Family Graveyard located in Millstone Township in Monmouth County.  In his will, Nicholas named his sons Thomas, George, and David, and a granddaughter, Elizabeth Cook.  Executors were his sons, Thomas and David, and “my brother John Campbell”.  This brother, John Campbell, would be the son of John and Bridget Cook Campbell; Bridget being Nicholas’ mother.


This is all I know of John Campbell Sr however his son is detailed in the sketch John Campbell of Freehold.  I have included a map of the Monmouth Battleground area which shows some of the farms that were in existence at the time of that infamous battle.

Monmouth Battleground Map
Source: http://mappery.com/map-of/Monmouth-Battlefield-State-Park-Map
Click to enlarge


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