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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Samuel Bonnell in the New Jersey Court of the Oyer and Terminer for Middlesex County from October 1760

This information from John Bunnell got lost in my inbox. He sent it out last October and I apologize for the delay in posting it.

This is a transcription from the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey of one of the minute books for the New Jersey Court of the Oyer and Terminer for Middlesex County from October 1760.  As the preamble describes, the records regarding this court are dispersed, with loose papers and some rough minutes (only two for Middlesex County) being available at the New Jersey State Archives. This transcription, however, is for the full minute book held at Princeton University.  It is unclear how many other full minute books Princeton may hold for Middlesex County.  

The import of this particular document is that it lists Samuel Bonnel in relation to his constabular duties for the township of Windsor.  In this case, his duties are not specific to Windsor, but in general service to the county court session.  For this session, Samuel Bonnel is fined for default, which appears to mean that he did not appear when called for court duty.  Although Samuel Bonnell was a reliable constable for many years, we will see that there were an increasing number of instances from 1760 through 1762 when he failed to appear, perhaps because of poor health or debt.  We may conjecture that this is why he was replaced one of the Windsor constables with the 1763 election.

The desire for additional records for the Middlesex Court of the Oyer and Terminer is to supplement the missing years for the minute books for the Middlesex Court of Common Pleas (1736-1755).  The hope is that the call for constables from the different townships at the beginning of every court session would help determine more precisely when Samuel Bonnell first arrived in Middlesex County, enabling us to focus our research for non-government records both in Middlesex and Somerset Counties.

The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Volume 88 page 87-89

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