31 – John Campbell of Manalapan

UPDATE: This sketch was originally published in December 2012 from notes I wrote 2-3 years prior. In March 2013, it underwent major changes. I received information from a Davidson researcher which enabled me to eliminate one of my theories and (most importantly) straighten out an error I had made regarding the error of George Davidson who m. Rosanna Runyun.


John of Manalapan owned a lot described as “W. Manalapan Brook” in Monmouth County and might be a different John than the one we find in the Freehold area (See sketch John Campbell of Monmouth). I can’t be sure.

I received an email from a long time Davidson researcher (with excellent credentials). In addition to straightening out a Davidson marriage for me, she pointed me to the Battleground Country Club in Monmouth Co, NJ as being the approximate location of John’s land on Manalapan Brook and in the area where the famous Revolutionary War battle took place.

Matawan to Manalapan Map

Google Map

Another John Campbell owned property in “New Aberdeen” (modern day Aberdeen / Matawan NJ areas) about 13 miles away and located near the shoreline.

The same names appear around John in both Matawan and Manalapan.  I mention this here as (1) the two John’s may be related (i.e. father and son), (2) they may be the same person or (3) completely unrelated.

More research needs to be done by me regarding original land deeds. Many times they include the name the spouse.

Matawan Property

Starting with the Matawan/New Aberdeen Property, it appears that John had a town lot and rights to use a nearby dock.

Source:“New Aberdeen, or, The Scotch settlement of Monmouth County, New Jersey”; by James Steen, published 1899

NOTE: I refer to the above source as Steen throughout this sketch.

  • “…Return for the 100 acres upon which the town of New Aberdeen stood ….. In the office of the Secretary of State in Trenton, in Book 14, page 438, we find this Return Surveyed and laid out for: ………l John Campbell, John Baird, Robert Ray (Rhea) ……….. William Laing (Layng)  all that one hundred acres of land adjoining upon the south side land late of Andrew Burnet formerly Thomas Warne’s and bounded east by land lots of Thomas Hart granted to these parsons by patent dated June 7, 1701 adjoining lands of Lewis Nesbit” (Steen, Page 4)
  • “……..Some time after the settlement of Matawan but before the date of the survey just mentioned the settlers had a desire to have a dock or landing on Matawan Creek and purchased the same from Stephen and Thomas Warne who were two of the East Jersey proprietors. There had joined to the twenty-four enumerated in the town deed above cited six others so that there were thirty who took title to the landing.  The deed was dated March 22nd 1700 and is recorded in Book G in the Secretary of State’s office at page 257. The names of the grantees are as follows: ……… John Campbell, ………John Baird,  ……. William Laing……” (Steen, Page 4) NOTE: Robert Rhea is missing from this list

I  point out that Robert Ray (Rhea) above is known to have had some dealings with the John Campbell of Monmouth. I wrote about him in the linked sketch. In my mind (theory/guessing) it may mean that these 2 John Campbells are the same person (meaning John Campbell of Monmouth and John Campbell of Matawan/New Aberdeen Township).

Manalapan Property

Back in Manalapan near the Monmouth Battleground (current day Battleground Country Club), William Davidson purchased land next to John Campbell in May 1690. John Campbell was deeded (?) a Manalapan Brook property the following July. It may have been mortgaged or left unrecorded as we can see John Campbell was there in at least in May when the Davidson purchase was recorded.

  • 1690 May 7 James JOHNSTONE to William DAVIDSON, both of Monmouth co., for a lot, N. the North Brook, E. John CAMPBELL, W. grantor; also another lot, S. and S. E. said Brook, W. and N. grantor. 193
  • 1690 Jul 5 John REID to John CAMPBELL, both of Monmouth Co., for a lot there, W. Manalapan Brook, S. Thomas EDWARDS, N. and E. unsurveyed land; half of the meadow at the S. end of the fly [1] across the Indian path from Wemcuck to New Manalapan, both together 100 acres. 345

In 1695, John Campbell sells his purchase to his neighbor William Davidson.

  • 1695 Apr 22 John CAMPBELL to William DAVIDSON, carpenter, both of Monmouth Co., for a lot on the Eastside of Manelapan Brook, S. Thomas EDWARDS, N. and E. unappropriated land; half the meadow at the S. end of the fly across the Indian path from Wencock to New Manelapan; in all 100 acres. 308

“The witnesses to this deed were three Scotchmen William Layn (Laing) John (IH) Oliphan, Allan (A) Caldwell.” (Steen, pg 35)

Per Steen, William Laing was a tax collector in Freehold and was granted 250 acres there.  John Campbell was the executor his will, was referred to as “of Freehold” and received a legacy. This is important since the will was executed in 1710, or 15 years after the Manalapan Brook sale in which Laing was also involved.

Oliphan was probably William Davidson’s father in law, John Oliphant.

After 1695, John could have moved to other nearby land, or moved (completely) away.  We know that there was a John who lived in the Monmouth Battlefield area which was the Freehold area (See sketch John Campbell of Monmouth).  A study of the land deeds/grants is needed to know for sure. Again, they sometimes/usually mention the name of the wife. John Campbell of Monmouth (linked sketch) was not married in 1695 (to my knowledge). From my research, his first marriage was to Bridget Cook (Widow of Ben’j) after 1710.

If a wife was mentioned in the 1695 sale of land to Davidson, I think it’s odd it wasn’t noted by Steen as he gives the impression he viewed the deeds. I don’t know. I’ve read enough error/omission prone transcriptions/descriptions/abstracts that nothing surprises me so I can’t say for sure.

Another thing I will mention that if you are interested in more information (via Steen), read page 35 and surrounding. He indicates that this John Campbell may have lived in Middletown, NJ about 8 miles east of Aberdeen (see map above). Since I was more concerned with John Campbell in Monmouth Co, I did not follow up on this, or Steen’s thought process on determining if this John was an indentured servant imported in 1685.

William Davidson

William Davidson is said to have been born about 1668.  He was granted headlands in Bound Brook, Middlesex Co, NJ which he sold (Source: NJ Col Records):

  • 1690 July 15 (Deed) William DAVIDSON, John MACKENZIE, Arthur SAMSON and John BROWNE, all of East Jersey, to John LAING of the same place, for their headland on Bound Brook, adjoining John BARCLAY

Davidson married Margaret Oliphant, probably in Scotland.  Margaret was the daughter of John and Janet (Gilcrest) Oliphant.  Her known siblings were William and Jane. William Davidson left a will (proved 1723) mentioning the land he bought from John in 1695 (Source: Internet transcription of will here):

  • DAVISON, WILLIAM of ffreehold, Mon.  Co., yeoman, “being very fick of Body.” Dated Apr.  6, 1723.  Proved by oath of Thomas Laten, “one of the Evidences,” who saw the other two sign; before Michl Kearny, D.  Surr., Perth Amboy, Dec.  21, 1723.
  • Gives: “to my fon William Davifon his heirs ….  all that Tract of Land & one halfe of the Meadow which “I purchased of John Campbell Lying upon the Eaft fide of Manalapon & ….  ajoining to Thomas Eadwards “Land …”; “to my fon John Davifon his heirs ….  all that tract of Land which I purchased of “John Reid ajoining to the Tract of Land which I purchased of John Campbell and alfo to the tract which “I Live upon Beginning at the Lower Corner of that Land I bought of John Campbell and Runing as by the Deed which “I had of John Reid will appear ….”; “to My fones George Davifon & Andrew Davifon their heirs ….  Constitutes “My fon William Davifon and William Clark My fole Executors ….”
  • Wits.:  WILLIAM davifon Thomas Laten Robert Campbel [his mark] Janet Laten [her mark] Oath of Executors, William Davison and William Clarke, before Michl Kearny, D.  Sur., Perth Amboy, Dec.  21, 1723.

I am not sure how a Robert Campbell fits in here. I discuss some of the Robert Campbells of Monmouth Co, NJ here but I can’t specifically identify this Robert.


I am sure that there was a John Campbell who was the same generation as William Davidson (d. 1723) and William Laing (d. 1710).  The big question for me is:

Was this John Campbell the SAME John who m. Bridget Cook?

 (I call him John Campbell of Monmouth)

He certainly could be and I say, probably is (opinion). Both were about the same age from my guestimates and both were accumulating land from abt 1690-1695.  In fact, when this John Campbell sold to Davidson in 1695, the other John was combining a group of properties into one larger plantation (same year) and lived there – probably until he died.

That property is only a few miles from Davidson/John Campbell (subject of this sketch).

The only marriage of John Campbell of Monmouth that I know of was to Bridget Cook, widow of Benjamin Cook. Benjamin was said to be born abt 1675 and died in 1710. John was an executor of Benjamin’s will. Benjamin and Bridget Cook had small children at the time of his death.

While I keep repeating that viewing the recorded land deed is important in solving this mystery, it’s also important to remember recorded deeds are usually in the Court Clerks handwriting – including the signatures. Not always the case, but compare a few surrounding deeds and form an opinion as to whether it’s an original signature of the grantor/grantee. The other point of interest of course would be naming a spouse.


Keep in mind the following are my opinions and those of others. Not necessarily fact.

A few (Longley) family researchers state that John Campbell (subject of this sketch) moved to PA by 1716.  A John Campbell of Manhatawny, Philadelphia Co, PA sold land to Gershon Mott of Middlesex, NJ. The land was on the Schuylkill River. A deed, lists the heirs of John Campbell, yeoman:

  • George DAVIDSON, cordwainer, and CHARITY his wife, widow of John Campbell late of Manhatawny, Philadelphia Co., PA, signed 19 Apr 1732 Philadelphia
  • WALTER CAMPBELL (son) signed 22 Apr 1732 Philadelphia
  • DUNCAN CAMPBELL of Monmouth Co., NJ, signed and recorded 2 May 1732 Monmouth Co., NJ
  • MARGARET PARKER, widow, of Manhatawny, signed 22 Apr 1732 Philadelphia
  • Mary and husband JOSEPH LONGLEY, signed 1 May 1732 Hunterdon Co., NJ and recorded as their deed
  • EFFA and husband JOHN DIMIT, signed 24 May 1732 Province of New York
  • JANE and husband WALTER WEALSON/WILSON, signed 2 May 1732 Monmouth Co., NJ and recorded as their deed
  • ELIZABETH and husband JAMES OLD, signed 22 Apr 1732 Philadelphia
  • PRISCILLA CAMPBELL, spinster, signed 22 Apr 1732 Philadelphia
  • DORCAS CAMPBELL, spinster, was signed by her jurat: Penington Brockden

The Longley researchers may be correct about this being the same John that was in Manalapan AND one of the original imported servants – I don’t know and I don’t mean to question anyone’s work here. However, my goal is separate out the various John Campbell’s… And there are many.

Two maybe three John’s were imported as servants and of course there is John Campbell Sr who imported himself and his son John JR a year PRIOR to the mass importations due the banishments in 1685. Read a sketch here or several versions in history books.

I see little evidence tying the above land transaction to John Campbell of Manalapan (subject of this sketch) so I am not sure how they reached this conclusion. If anything I see more evidence that he would be of Middlesex Co, NJ vrs Monmouth Co, NJ – Again, my opinion and I could be wrong.

In reading through the Longley documentation, they appear to believe that John Campbell of Monmouth, who lived in the Battlefield area and m. Bridget Cook is the same John Campbell who is the subject of this sketch.  My personal feeling is that:

  • The Longley’s maybe correct. John Campbell of Manalapan moved to Philadelphia Co, PA. However, if true, he COULD NOT have been the same John Campbell of Monmouth who married Bridget Cook as the work implies. Their work does not name Bridget so they may not be aware of her. It does however reference several of the transactions that belong to John of Monmouth.


  • The John Campbell (subject of this sketch) IS the same John Campbell who m. Bridget Cook. If so, see above; he could not be the John Campbell who married Charity and moved to PA.

Both theories can not be correct as both men are the same age but married to different women. Then of course there is:

  • None of us are correct – This is a separate John Campbell and after 1695 he moved on to some unknown place.

Clearing Up MY Errors

In a prior version of this sketch, I assumed in reading the Longley research, that part of the evidence of Manalapan John being the same John that moved to PA was that the Widow Charity Campbell had married George DAVIDSON.

I want to point out this was my error. The Longley research does not state this.

George Davidson, son of William Davison and close neighbor of the John Campbell (subject of this sketch) married Rosanna Runyon and was a generation younger than the John who sold the land in PA and left a widow Charity, Campbell.

Charity would have been old enough to be George Davidson’s mother.

More Notes on Duncan, son of John and Charity Campbell

One of the family members of John and Charity Campbell (for sure) either moved to Monmouth Co, NJ or stayed behind when the family moved. Duncan Campbell was listed as being from Monmouth when he signed the above Indenture with his siblings. I believe he eventually was near Fresh Ponds in Middlesex Co – near the county line. I am fairly confident this Duncan was the son of John and Charity. I don’t know of any unaccounted for Duncan in either Middlesex or Monmouth so it makes sense.

I haven’t seen a record that confirms a wife or children of Duncan. One researcher says he m. Ann Utterbey. The only record I have found is from NJ is: “History of the Old Tennent Church”Compiled by Rev Frank R Symmes – Fifteenth Pastor,, 1904:

  • 1731-2 Duncan & Eleanor Campbell joined in Wedlock Feb 24

I should add, Duncan and Eleanor could belong to another family – I just put it here to point out the existence of the record. Another unconfirmed reference at ancestry.com says Ann Utterbey was b. 1750. This Duncan was probably b. circa 1700 so something seems amiss – Also, Duncan could have married in PA if he lived there at some point.

There are other transactions. I am not sure if all belong to this Duncan. There was another Dugal/Dugald (various spellings) in Woodbridge but I don’t think these refer to Woodbridge – I encourage you to form your own opinion.

  1. 2 Jun 1739 – Deed, to Dunkin Campbell from John Hutton, New Brunswick, Middlesex county NJ. (My Note: Maybe this was the move to Middlesex Co?)
  2. 25 Aug 1747 – Will of Robert Evilman, debt owed to “Dunkin Cammel”.
  3. 5 Jan 1749 – Will of Richard Hankins, payment made to Duncan Campbell.
  4. 6 Jun 1749 – Will of John Davidson, Witness Duncan Campbell
  5. 22 Apr 1751 – Will of John Ireland, inventory by Duncan Campbell (neighbor to Duncan in Fresh Ponds, Middlesex, NJ)
  6. 4 June 1753 – From NY Gazette. Land for sale belonging to Andrew Johnston, “one bounded by Duncan Campbell” – Several miles from N. Brunswick – Also refers to John Ireland (see above).
  7. 21 Feb 1754 – Will of Jane Wilson, Executors, Uncles: Duncan Campbell & John Tomson. NOTE:  Jane Wilson was the daughter of Duncan’s sister, also named Jane, who m. Walter Wilson (see land deed).  
  • WALTER, WILSON, son of James, d. abt 1746. His wife’s given name is thought to have been Janet. His children were: ….. Jane, bp. 25 Mar 1733, d. 1754 at New Brunswick, unm (other children named but not included here).
  • Walter Wilson had a sister named Rachel. She m. John Tomson – The other uncle mentioned in Jane Wilson’s will.

Source of Walter Wilson info:“This Old Monmouth of Ours History, Tradition, Biography, Genealogy, and other Anecdotes Related to Monmouth County, New Jersey”, by Wilson S. Horner, Org pub 1932, page 111.

Other Campbells on the Schuylkill River

Probably unrelated but as I was doing some research on the Campbell’s of PA (not this family), I ran across a land record for an unnamed Campbell and a Benjamin Chambers purchasing 1100 acres on the Schuylkill. You can find the purchase record here. It’s undated but from the other purchases it appears to be circa 1688 – 1700. They may have purchased this land from someone else vrs directly from the Penns. If you need a quick primer on PA land records, I wrote one here: Searching PA Land Records

Schylkill Land Warrant

Click to enlarge

1 comment
  1. Susan Davison said:

    While working on some research for the Battleground Historical Society,
    Englishtown, New Jersey, I came across the following with regard to a
    Campbell Tavern in Tennent. Your research is wonderfully thorough, but I
    am forwarding the following on to you just in case you don’t have this bit
    of info.

    *Historic American Buildings Survey of New Jersey*, William B. Bassett,
    Published by the New Jersey Historical Society, Newark, New Jersey, 1977

    Page 148:

    Monmouth County
    Campbell’s Tavern (Pease Tavern, Walter Roberts Tavern, Matt’s Tavern) NW.
    corner Tennent Road and County Route 520. Frame with clapboards, two
    stories. Built c. 1775, additions and alterations. HABSI form (1966)

    I am wondering how this tavern relates to the tavern mentioned in the
    newspaper abstracts. The date of the newspaper abstracts is earlier than
    the built c 1775 date stated above. Then again, the built c. 1775 date may
    be off. I haven’t researched it further and there is always the change in
    the names of the areas, townships, etc., to deal with.

    I have been consumed with some family medical issues which has prevented me
    from trying to get a copy of that early Campbell/Davison deed. I have not
    forgotten. I hope to try to get a copy soon.

    Susan Davison

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: