Here is the first installment of the documents from the NJ State Archives.
First are a series of excerpts that I believe are not from the same family that we are looking at in Middlesex County. Nonetheless, I send them first because I think we will very carefully need to untangle the two. Both families appear to be headed by an older Samuel Bonnell and include a
younger Samuel Bonnell. In both cases, the older Samuel Bonnell is a blacksmith, and these cases occur within fifty miles on one another. I would like to think they merge, but it is difficult to see how this could be the case, as this would require two people to be in three different places at once in 1770 (one in the grave in Gloucester, one in debtor's prison in Middlesex County, one in Loudoun County, VA).
My guess is that the Francis Bonnell who died in Bermuda in 1783 is the same one that had land adjacent to the Samuel Bonnell who died in Gloucester County, 1767. The administrator of Francis' estate is a Samuel Bonnell. Is this the son of Francis? Or, is it the brother of Francis, son of Samuel,
looking after his brother's affairs after he went to Bermuda? Knowing the locality of this will (not listed in the volume) would help confirm that this is from the Gloucester Bonnells.
The other action in 1783 was the payment out of the Charles Philpot Hughes estate to Samuel and Kitty Bonnell. Looking at the entire context of the will, it seems apparent that "Kitty" was Hughes' daughter Catherine. I assume that this Samuel was the younger of the Gloucester County/Philadelphia Bonnells due to the proximity of Northampton Township in Burlington County.
Second, now moving back on target to Middlesex County, I've scanned the court case that resulted in the confiscation of Jacob Wright's possessions. This appears to be the trigger event for the Wright/Bonnell exodus to from New Jersey to Loudoun County, VA. Richard Brown is the same plaintiff (one of several) the Bonnells are defending against in preceding cases. Like I
said before, there may be a simultaneous and parallel confiscation case against the Bonnells, but it will take a manual search through the files to sort this out. The indexing for these cases runs out after 1764.
My stack of documents is generally stacked up from newest to oldest, so we'll walk backwards in time as we go through this. As always, I'm happy to take feedback if I made any errors on the ranscriptions.
Mr. Bunnell also sent copies of relevant book pages, from which the following excerpts are taken:
New Jersey Colonial Documents, Calendar of Wills 1781-1785 page 51
1783, Nov. 18. Bonnel, Francis, of the Island of Bermuda. Int. Adm'r–Samuel Bonnel. Fellowbondsman Franklin Davenport. Witnesses-Elizabeth Est. Mickle.
Lib. 27, p. 42
New Jersey Colonial Documents, Calendar of Wills 1771-1780 page 261
1770, April 20. Hughes, Charles Philpot, of Northampton Township, Burlington Co.; will of. Wife, Mary Magdalen Hughes, £300. My 6 children, Maria, Philippa, Elizabeth, Catherine, Martha, Charles John and Samuel, the remaining £700 of £1,000 left to me by my uncle, John Hughes, Esq., of Brecon, South Wales. Witnesses–Samuel Stockton, William Howard, Annis Stockton. Proved May 31, 1779.
1778, May 17, Adm'x–Mary Magdalen Hughes, the widow. Fellowbondsman–John Hugg, of Gloucester Co. Charles Philpot Hughes made his will, but did not appoint any Executors. The will was made abroad, and one of the witnesses is in France, another being dead, and the other unknown.
1779, June 4. Inventory £4,950.11.10, made by Peter Shiras, Moses Kempton and William Atkinson.
1783, May 9. Account by Mary Magdalen Hughes. Adm'x of Charles Philpot Hughes, of Burlington, Co. Paid Samuel and Kitty Bonnell, their portion; also to Patty Hughes, Maria P. Hughes, and to John and Elizabeth Hugg.
Lib. 21, p. 90; Lib. 22, p. 66.
New Jersey Colonial Documents Newspaper Extracts 1767 page 353
To Be Sold
In pursuant of the last Will and Testament of SAMUEL BONNELL, late of the City of Philadelphia, Blacksmith, deceased, a certain Tract of Land, situate in the Township of Waterford, in the County of Gloucester, in the Western Division of the Province of New-Jersey, containing 300 Acres, now in the Tenure of Benjamin Archer, with a good Frame Dwelling-house and Barn erected thereon, pleasantly situated on Cooper's Creek, and within 4 Miles of the City of Philadelphia, where Garden Truck may be raised in great Plenty, and brought to Philadelphia Market by Water; there are about 20 Acres of choice Tide Meadow, under good Bank, ad a Quantity of other Low-land Meadow on the Premises, the Upland is good and fertile, and it abounds with choice Ship Building Timber, and is otherwise well timbered and watered. Any Person inclining to purchase, may know the Title and Terms by applying to us the Subscribers in Philadelphia, SARAH BONNELL, THOMAS BONNELL, PETER THOMSON, Executors.
All Persons that have any Demands against the Estate of the said Samuel Bonnell deceased, are desired to bring in their Accounts, properly proved, to us the Subscribers; and those that stand indebted to the said Estate by Bond, Bill, Note or Book Debt, are desired to make speedy payment to Sarah Bonnell, Thomas Bonnell and Peter Thomson, Executors.
As the Subscribers intend to continue and carry on Blacksmith's Business for Shipping and House-Building, those that will be pleased to favor them with their Custom, may depend on the greatest Care and Dispatch, by their Friends, SARAH BONNELL, THOMAS BONNELL.
The Pennsylvania Gazette, No. 2000, April 23, 1767
New Jersey Colonial Documents Newspaper Extracts 1769 page 369
And on the 13th of March next, at the London Coffee House, at 6 o'clock in the evening, will be sold, by public vendue, a convenient brick messuage or tenement and lot of ground, situate on the bank of the river Delaware, between Sassafras and Vine streets, in the city of Philadelphia, now in the tenure of the widow White (being the late dwelling-house of the late Samuel Bonnell, deceased) containing in breadth on Front-street and Water-street 15 feet, and in length or depth from Front-street to Water-street, under the quitrent, or proprietary thirds of One Shilling sterling per foot per annum; and also under the ground-rent of Forty-five Shillings sterling per annum. For further particulars inquire of us the subscribers in Philadelphia, SARAH BONNELL, Executrix, THOMAS BONNELL, PETER THOMSON, Executors–The Pennsylvania Chronicle, No. 110, February 13-20, 1769.