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Traditionally, most genealogies of our early New Jersey Cliffords treat George Clifford whose will was written and recorded in 1757 as the progenitor of our New Jersey Cliffords, and the James Clifford whose will was written in 1780 and recorded in 1782 as his son James. The approach here is an "alternate genealogy," in that I treat George and James Clifford as brothers, not father and son. My justification for this is given at the end of Generation Two. [SEE YORKSHIRE UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2005, AT BEGINING OF GENERATION ONE.] [Indeed, James and George were brothers, James being the oldest of the two. For now, am retaining the same web generations sequence (George before James), so that I do not have to number all individuals of the web site.]
2. GEORGE2 CLIFFORD (unknown Clifford1); born probably no later than 1715;16 died November or December 1757; married MARY [-?-]. George lived in Hopewell Township, then part of Hunterdon County (now part of Mercer County, see Map 3),17 New Jersey, from at least 1738 to circa 1751; then in Bethlehem Township (present-day Union Township), Hunterdon County, New Jersey. His will was written 8 November 1757 and recorded 12 December 1757; he probably died in the Pattenburg area of present-day Union Township. One report has George dying 1757 in Warren County, New Jersey.18 In 1757, Warren County would have been part of Sussex County, bordering Hunterdon County on the north. Warren County was set off from Sussex County in 1824,
One of the earliest records of George Clifford was in 1738 when he was in Hopewell; the record relates to a bond.19 One of several other early Hopewell records between 1741-1751 pertaining to George relates to a Benjamin McColloch being apprenticed to George Clifford, a cordwainer.20 Note that a cordwainer was more skilled than a shoemaker. "If the shoemaker was especially skilled and therefore considered a cordwainer, he would be able to create dress slippers for the ladies and more refined, dress boots for the gentlemen."21 In 1750, a George Clifford, probably our George Clifford, was a juror at the criminal trial of William Tutle and Abraham Gibbons.22 Sometime after 1751 George apparently moved to Bethlehem Township (probably the Pattenburg area), Hunterdon County. And this is where we find the Clifford's Pattenburg, New Jersey, house (see Cover and Map 4).
Map 4. Map showing the location of the Clifford's Pattenburg home, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. At the time of the map's publication in 1873, the house was owned by Peter R. (1808-1878) and Charity (Clifford) Williamson (#276) (1808-1901). From the Hunterdon Historical Newsletter, published by Hunterdon County Historical Society, volume 13, number 3, Fall 1977, page 7. The map originally appeared in Beers, Comstock and Cline: Atlas of Hunterdon County, 1873, plate 42. Printed with permission of the Hunterdon County Historical Society.
Pattenburg is near the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border-near Phillipsburg, New Jersey. In the 1750's, the Pattenburg area was mainly farm land. The Clifford's Pattenburg house, apparently part of the Clifford farm, was built "probably" by George Clifford before 1757.23 See Photos 1 and 2. The house most likely passed from George (if indeed the house was built by George instead of his brother James) to his brother James. James's son John Clifford (#15) came into possession of the house in 1795.24 However John's father died much earlier, in 1782. I believe the house was owned by James's son Edward after James died. James's will might indicate that Edward received the bulk of the estate. Although Edward died intestate in 1790, apparently his estate was not settled until 1791 because of a court case between the State of New Jersey and the administrators of the Edward Clifford estate (see under Edward Clifford, #13). Possibly John Clifford did not occupy the house until 1795, but I suspect John came into possession of the house shortly after the court case was settled, probably by 1792.
The house is on the Historic American Buildings Survey list for New Jersey. The Library of Congress has several photographs of the house's exterior and interior, some taken as early as the 1880s. The two story structure appeared to lack porches. The exterior was originally stucco but was changed to clapboard in 1860. There are five rooms on the first floor, two rooms and a hall on the second floor, a basement, and three fireplaces.
Photo 1. Clifford's Pattenburg, New Jersey house, circa 1878-1881. The two adults in the foreground were Bertha (Race) Williamson and husband Joseph B. Williamson (#834). Daughters in the photo were from left Anna Belle (Cowell) and Agnes Williamson. Joseph B., Williamson, born 2 January 1849, was a great grandson of John Clifford (#15) and Martha (Armitage) Clifford. From Historic American Building Survey, George Neuschafer, photographer. The Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D. C. 20540.
According to a 27 June 1941 letter from Lewis D. Cook, Supervising Historian of the Historic American Buildings Survey, to Mrs. Arthur L. Faber of Pattenburg, New Jersey (and owner of the house in 1931), the house passed from John Clifford (#15), who died intestate in 1842, to his heirs Charles Clifford (son), Enoch Clifford (son) and Kitchen Hartpence (also spelled Harpence) (husband of John's daughter Elizabeth). These heirs in 1845 then sold, for $2908.81, "a certain farm or plantation of 130.44 acres" to Charles Clifford's son-in-law Peter R. Williamson.25 Charity Clifford (#276), daughter of Charles, had married Peter R. Williamson. The following year, Enoch Clifford sold an additional 3.65 acres at the west end of the tract to Peter Williamson for $81.10.26
Peter and Charity's son Joseph B. Williamson came into possession of the house in 1876.27 An old photograph of the house, circa 1880s, shows Joseph and his wife Bertha (Race) Williamson and their daughters Anna Belle (to the left) and Agnes Williamson (see Photo 1). Joseph B. Williamson died intestate in 1900, and the Pattenburg house and property descended to his heirs (daughters): Anna B. Cowell, wife of Harry A. Cowell, and Bertha Williamson. In 1929, Anna and Bertha conveyed the homestead to Edward P. Hummer.28 Edward Hummer was apparently not of our Clifford line. Subsequent owners were Charles W. Geist, Frank Sedlack, and then in 1937 Mr. and Mrs. Arthur L Faber.29 The last owners I am aware of were the Fabers. For more information on the Pattenburg house, see under Joseph B. Williamson (#834).
Do not confuse the Clifford's "Pattenburg house" with another early house, probably also still standing, known locally as the "Clifford Mansion," located near Pennington, Hopewell Township, Mercer County, New Jersey.30 This house today (2001) is apparently part of the property of Bristol Myers Squibb. It is located near the Pennington-Rocky Hill Road on the outskirts of Pennington. The house was part of the farm of Enoch Armitage (1677-1739)31 and was sold in 1847 to Charles Clifford (#56), a son of John and Martha (Armitage) Clifford (#15). Presumably Charles and Leah (Hoagland) Clifford lived in the house, although by 1847 all their children were grown. Enoch Clifford (#57), another child of John and Martha Clifford, sold the house in his role of executor of the will of Enoch Armitage's grandson, also named Enoch Armitage (born 1752, died 7 July 1827).32 This Enoch Armitage was a bachelor and had come into possession of the house and farm. Martha (Armitage) Clifford was a sister of the bachelor Enoch Armitage. For more information on the Armitages, see under John Clifford (#15). In 1858, the executors of the will of Charles Clifford sold the house and at least part of the land to Isaac Welling (no known relationship to the Cliffords), see under Charles Clifford (#56).
Will of George Clifford, written 8 November 1757, recorded 12 December 175733
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN - - - I George Clifford of Bethlehem and County of Hunterdon and province of West New Jersey, being weak in Body, But of sound mind and memory, Blessed Be God for the same, go this Eighth Day of November in the thirtieth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second, and in the year of our Lord 1757 - - -
Make and publish this my Last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say Imprimis - - I commend my Soul into the Hands of Almighty God who gave it me and my Body to the Earth from whence it came - - In Hope of a Joyfull Resurrection through the meritts of my Saviour Jesus Christ, and as for that worldly Estate wherewith it has pleased God Bless me I Dispose there of as follows that is to say first I Leave to my Son John Clifford the sum of Sixtey pound Besides his Equal Share with the rest. I Leave to my Son James Clifford the sum of thirty pound Besides his Equal Share Likewise I Leave my loving wife Mary the sum of twenty five pound Besides her Share of what Remains Likewise or a third part I Leave to my youngest Daughter Sarah Clifford the sum of twenty five pound with her Share of what remains I leave to Each of my Daughters Margaret and Mary Clifford twenty pound Each Besides their third part of what Remains I leave to my daughter Anne ten pound to Be Delivered to her son George when He arrives to the age of twenty one years and what Remains of my Estate to Be Divided in manner and form as aforesaid Excepting the Bedd and furniture Belonging thereto I leave to my wife So Long as she remains my widow, and I make and ordain her my Said wife Mary Clifford Sole Execut'x of this my will and my Loving Brother James Clifford overseer thereof to take Care and see the Same performed according to my true Interest and meaning In witness whereof I the s'd George Clifford have hereunto Set my hand and Seal the Day and above written _______in presence of - - -
George Clifford (mark)
I George Clifford Having forgot Some things in this my Last will and testament as in the first Half Sheet of this peapre, that is to say namely, my gunn I Leave to my Eldest Son John Clifford also the Bedd and furniture Spoke of Before to Be Sold and Equally Divided amongst my Children when the S'd Mary Clifford my Loving wife Shall cease to Be my widdow - - Likewise in particular the horse cows and any other goods now in possession of my Daughter Anne I Leave unto Her as her own proper right, also five Sheep to Be Delivered to her when Demanded, I also order my Exect'x as soon as my money comes to hand to be put to Interest or the Best advantage She Shall think proper for the Benefitt of my Children - - -
These things I leave and Declare to Be my Last will and testament as also the Before mentioned Half Sheet of peeper Witness my Hand and Seal this ninth Day of November in the year of our Lord 1757.
In presence of --
George Clifford (mark)
There is no mention of the farm and George's house, unless these are implied by "equal share." I could find no estate settlement for George Clifford.
Did George's widow, Mary, remarry and therefore lose her part of the inheritance? One version has her marrying an Alexander White 25 January 1769: Mary Clifford married by license dated 25 January 1769, as a "widdow spinster" Alexander White.34 witnesses were John and Rachel Rockhill. Although I know of no proof that George's widow married Alexander White of Greenwich, Sussex County, a possible scenario, with conjecture on my part, would be as follows: Alexander White's first wife, Mary McMurtrie (born 1711, year of death not known), possibly died before 1769; in 1769, Alexander would have married again, namely the Mary Clifford, widow "spinster" of our George.
When Alexander White's will was written in 1776 and in which he referred to his wife "Mary," the Mary would then be Mary, widow of George Clifford, not Mary (McMurtrie) White.35 See Appendix 2. "Last will and testament of Alexander White" for the entire will. There is a strong implied George and Mary Clifford "flavor" to this will. James Clifford was a witness; he was probably James Clifford (#7), son of George and Mary Clifford; and was probably the James Clifford who married Alexander's daughter Prudence White. The will was also witnessed by John Maxwell and John Maxwell, Jr. This John Maxwell, Jr., would be the John Maxwell who married Mary Clifford (#6), a daughter of George and Mary Clifford. Note also that Mary Beavers (#19), daughter of Joseph and Ann (Clifford) Beavers (Ann Clifford also being a daughter of George and Mary Clifford), married Alexander White (Jr.). For more information on possible Clifford-White-Beavers relationships, see under Ann (Clifford) Beavers (#4).
Map 5. Warren County, New Jersey, Townships 2002
3. JAMES2 CLIFFORD (unknown Clifford1); born no later than circa 1715;38 born probably no later than circa 1710 [now known to be baptized 9 April 1701 in Aynderby, North Yorkshire, England—since James was older than George, their identification numbers should be reverserd]; died circa January 1782,39 probably in the Pattenburg, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, area; married but name of wife or wives not known. A wife was not mentioned in James's will, written 6 June 1780; but no females were mentioned in his will, and we know he had living daughters at that time. There is this puzzling statement in the Hunterdon Historical Newsletter (New Jersey), Fall 1977, page 6:40 "John Clifford [son of James Clifford] was a twenty-seven year old bachelor managing his widowed mother's farm in Bethlehem Township, Hunterdon County, at the start of the Revolutionary War ." But we know that James was still living in 1780, when he wrote his will.
Timeline perspective for the year 1701, the year James Clifford was baptized and probably born:Most of the Clifford information of that time, at least in 1700-1782 Hunterdon County, has to do with James's brother George. There are few documents pertaining to James Clifford. Assuming James's son Charles was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, in 1730, one would expect some early records of James in that county, as we have for George. Did James not live in Hunterdon County for most of this time? I know of no documents mentioning his occupation; presumably he was a farmer.
I can find no records of James Clifford in New Jersey prior to 1755, when he and apparently his sons George, Charles, James, and Edward were on the Subscribers list, Connecticut land claims in western New Jersey.41 Our James could have been the James Clifford whose ear mark was recorded in Bethlehem Township (Town meeting Records) in 1771 (this record sent to me by Elaine Johnston, see #284, in a July 2004 email). He was probably the James Clifford mentioned in the accounting and order books of the Grandin Fulling Mill (present-day Clinton Township, Hunterdon County), 7 April 1776 and 9 May 1777; also mentioned were George Clifford (probably #10), 16 November 1781; and Edward Clifford (#13), 8 May 1779 and 14 March 1782.42 In 1778, James's sons George, Edward, and John were taxed in Bethlehem Township, Hunterdon County, but not their father, James. However in 1774, a James Clifford, presumably either James Clifford (#3) or James Clifford (#7, son of George Clifford) was in the 1774 census for Greenwich, Sussex County43 (a part that was to become Warren County in 1824, see Map 5), New Jersey, even though the 1780 will of James Clifford (#3) states he was of Bethlehem Township, Hunterdon County-the will was recorded in Alexandria, which is a few miles south of Pattenburg.
James, in his will, did not leave anything to his son Charles. This at first seems odd, but, as pointed out by Charles D. Clifford,44 James's will was made in 1780, at which time Charles had been in captivity for over a year. Probably no one knew whether Charles was even alive. James did remember son Charles, indirectly, in his will.
Will of James Clifford, written 6 June 1780, recorded 11 January 1782.45
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN
I James Clifford of the County of Hunterdon and Township of Bethlehem being very sick and weak in Body but of perfect sound mind and memory thanks be given unto God Calling unto mind the Mortality of my Body and knowing that it is appointed once for all men to die do make and ordain this my last will and Testament so that is to say Principally and first of all I give and recommend my Soul unto the hand of Almighty God that gave it and my Body to be Buried in a decent Cristian Burial at the Direction of my Executors nothing doubting but at the General Resurection I Shall Receive the same again by the Almighty Power of God -----
and as touching such wordly affairs wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this Life I give demise and dispose of in the manner following viz first I order my lawfull debts and burying charges to be paid.
2-ly I give and bequeath to my son George Clifford the two mares he has had sometime past in use viz ye white and bay mares and there two colts and the cow he has had a year past and six sheep viz four ewes & two weathers
3-ly I give and bequeath to my Grandson James Clifford son of Charles Clifford one pound hard mony
4-ly I give and bequeath to my Son John Clifford a milch cow [a comma should be here?] and all ye rest residue and remainder of My Estate viz mony negroes horses cows sheep hogs & all _____ this which belong to me I give & bequeath to my son Edward Cliford to him his heirs and assigns for ever and I constitute and appoint My dutyfull son Edward Sole Executor of this my last will and Testament disalowing and making void all wills or Executors made or appointed by me ratifying and confirming this and no other too be my last will and testament and pronounce publish and declare this to be my last will & testament in presence of
June 6, 1780
James X Cliford
Elias Wickoff and John Hanna Witnesses to ye wtin Will being duely sworn on ye Evangelist of Almighty God did depose and say yt they saw James Clifford the Testator therein named sigh & seal ye same & heard him publish pronounce & declare ye wtin writing to be his last Will & Testament and yt at ye doing thereof ye sd Testator was of sound & disposing mind and Memory as fare as these deponents know & as they verily believe
Sworn at Alexandria january 11 1782
before me Jno Hanna Sg
There follows another paragraph in which the Executor, Edward Clifford, being duly sworn, agrees to perform the duties of the Executor, 11 January 1782.
A Rebecca Clifford married 29 September 1768 in Bethlehem Township, Hunterdon County, Robert Gordon.49 James did not mention females in his will, but we know that he had daughters Ann and Elizabeth. Perhaps the Rebecca Clifford who married Robert Gordon was a daughter of James as well. Probably this Robert Gordon was the Robert Gordon mentioned in the 1764 will of Robert Shields, who also mentioned Robert Clifford (presumably Robert, #49, son of Charles and Jane Gordon Clifford) in his will.50 One would suspect this Robert Gordon was related to the Jane Gordon who married Charles Clifford; possibly he was a brother of Jane Gordon. If so, this would suggest that our Jane Gordon was not a daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Oliphant) Gordon, since Thomas and Margaret apparently did not have a son Robert.
Justification for the alternate genealogy of Generation Two.
[SEE YORKSHIRE UPDATE, AUGUST 2005, AT BEGINING OF GENERATION ONE FOR CONFIRMATION THAT GEORGE AND JAMES INDEED WERE BROTHERS, JAMES BEING 11 YEARS OLDER THAN GEORGE.]
There are two early Clifford wills recorded in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, from which Clifford workers derive much of the root-source information on early Cliffords of New Jersey: (1) the will of George Clifford, who died in 1757, and (2) the will of James Clifford, who died 1782. Traditionally, workers have treated these two Cliffords as father and son, undoubtedly in part because James died about 25 years after George died, and George named a son James in his 1757 will. The premise here, which I will call an alternate genealogy, is that George, whose will was written and recorded in 1757, and James Clifford, whose will was written in 1780 and recorded in 1782, were brothers, not father and son. In other words, James the "loving brother," mentioned in 1757 George's will, and the James who died 1782 were the same person. This does not mean that James's father was not a George Clifford, but he was not the George Clifford who died in 1757.
The birth dates of Charles Clifford (#11), son of 1782 James (#3), and the reported birth date of John Clifford (#5), oldest son of 1757 George (#2), are incompatible with 1757 George Clifford being the father of 1782 James Clifford. There is valid evidence that 1782 James's son Charles Clifford was born in 1730.51 Therefore his father, James, could not have been born much later than 1710. There is circumstantial evidence (but not proof) that John, son of 1757 George, was born in 1743.52 In a codicil to George's 1757 will,53 there is this statement: "my Eldest Son John Clifford." If John was the eldest son of George, he would have been older than his brother James, also mentioned in George's will. In short, as younger brother of John (born 1743), this James could not have fathered Charles Clifford, born 1730. Therefore 1782 James could not be the son James who was mentioned in the 1757 will of George Clifford.
I know of only one document that specifically states that 1782 James Clifford was the son of 1757 George Clifford. This pertains to the Pattenburg house passing from George to his son James: "This house was built by George Clifford who died in New Jersey in 1757. It was added to by son James who died in 1782 ." This appeared in the legend accompanying photographs of the house, and supplied by the Photoduplication Service of The Library of Congress. But I know of no primary source to support the statement that the house passed from George to his son James. The statement would appear to be simply the traditional interpretation of George and James's relationship, based on when the two Clifford wills were written (again we have only the wills' 1757 and 1782 dates, no other information, such as birth dates). In another place in the Photoduplication Service document it is stated that George Clifford "probably" built the house.
Although James and George died 25 years apart, this is not the same as being born 25 years apart. If George's son John was born in 1743, he would have only been about 14 when his father died. That George indeed did have a young family when he died, and perhaps died before his time, is suggested by his will, where, instead of appointing a son, he appointed: "my Said wife Mary Clifford Sole Execut'x of this my will and my Loving Brother James Clifford overseer thereof to take Care and see the Same performed according to my true Interest and meaning." More indications of a young family is in George's codicil, written 9 November 1757: " also order my Exect'x as soon as my money comes to hand to be put to Interest or the Best advantage She Shall think proper for the Benefitt of my Children "
To my knowledge no one has primary sources to support either the traditional or this alternate genealogy of the New Jersey Cliffords. The evidence for 1757 George and 1782 James being brothers seems as strong if not stronger than the evidence that George was the father of 1782 James. The alternate genealogy also helps explain problems Clifford workers have encountered with the New Jersey Cliffords. (1) We know from the dates of some of George Clifford's children that they were born in the mid 1730s and 1740s, and one, Sarah, possibly as late as the early 1750s. In other word, Charles Clifford (#11), born 1730, would have been older that his aunts and uncles-indeed, perhaps as much as 20 years older than his aunt Sarah (Clifford) Sellers (#9)-if 1782 James was a son of George. (2) Even assuming 1782 James was the son of 1757 George and George had two wives, where were George's children born between James (probably no later than 1715) and Ann (Clifford) Beavers, born circa 1735.
As in any hypothesis, if and when primary source information is forthcoming that 1782 James Clifford was a son of 1757 George Clifford, then the alternate genealogy for Generation Two can be rejected and dispensed with. But I offer no apologies for presenting it. The descent from Generation Two and on will still be valid, regardless.
Since the alternate genealogy is a hypothetical model, we can take liberties with it as long as we do not go against primary sources or strong circumstantial evidence to the contrary. And, as evident from Generation Two, I have done this by tentatively adding James Clifford (#7) to the children of 1782 James, and designating 1757 George Clifford's son James Clifford (#12) as the James Clifford who married Prudence White and lived in Hardy County, Virginia, present-day West Virginia. West Virginia was set off from Virginia in 1863. The evidence for doing this is presented under their names.
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