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Notes for Richard French and Mary King

1665 Richard French was born in England, the oldest son of Thomas French and Mary [1]. Thomas wrote a prayer for Richard in his bible: ""December the first about ten at night, my son Richard was born, 1665. The Lord give him grace that hee may continually walk before him."

1679 On 8 September, Marritie was baptized to parents Hermanus Coning and Marie Greyn, with sponsors Albertus Ringo and Magdaleentie Van Vleck, at the Reformed Dutch Church of New York. [2][3]

1680 Richard French was 15 years old when he came to America with his father in 1680. So far as is known, his early manhood was spent on the Rancocas homestead plantation. [4]

1684 "By this time a new wilderness-raised generation was coming on to plague the old zealots in their endeavors to maintain the traditional Quaker discipline. It is on record that several of the young bloods - Richard French, Thomas Curtis, and David Curtis - were forced to apologize publicly for "rowdy conduct." The Society thenceforth found its attempt to regulate the private lives of its members a most difficult task, and it is a tribute to the unbending fortitude of the leaders that they did not cease their attempts to disown those whom they considered to be unworthy until they thereby had reduced the Society's place among the religious bodies of the era from a dominant position to a quite minor one." [5]

1692 On 18 November, William Biddle of Mount Hope, Burlington County, merchant, sole executor for William Ellis of Burlington County, sold to Richard French, yoeman of said county, for 48 pounds, 160 acres surveyed in 1689 [Book A-68] next to land of John Curtis at Mount Pleasant, Mansfield Twp, Burlington County, New Jersey. [6][7][8]

1693 On 7th day of 6th mo, At our men's Monthly Meeting held at the house of Thomas Gardiners Richard ffrench [French] and Sarah Scattergood came before this Meeting and Declared their Intention of Marriage it being the First Time.

1693 On 11th day of 7th mo, At our men's Monthly Meeting held at the house of Thomas Gardeners Adjorned to this 11 July 1693: "Richard ffrench and Sarah Scattergood came this second time and declared their intentions of Marriage and the Meeting upon Enquire finding them clear they are permitted to Solemnize the same as in ye fear of God they see meete." [9][10]

1694 Richard French appeared on the census for Burlington County, New Jersey; for Mansfield Twp in 1701; for Chesterfield Twp in 1705; for Nottingham in 1720; and again in 1723 and several times at these three townships until 1745 when he died.

1694 On 21 of month 9, Thomas Curtis and Elizabeth Ellis were married at the house of John Brown. Witnessed by Richard and Sarah French and others. [11]

1695 On 30 August, Hannah French and Mary French married Richard Buzby and Nicholas Buzby in a double wedding. Witnessed by Richard French and others. [12][13]

1697 On 1st day 1st mo, At our men's Monthly Meeting held at Burlington: "Whereas some difference appeared between Christopher Wetherill and Richard French concerning a piece of meadow in despence between them, John Brown ordered to speak to Richard to be here at the next monthly meeting."

1697 On 5th day 2nd mo, At our men's Monthly Meeting held at Burlington: Richard French in pursuance to ye order of ye last meeting appearred at this meeting and the men chosen by them to end ye difference between them are these Joshua Humphries ffreedom Lippincott John Wills & Thomas Raper.

1697 On 7th day 4th mo, At our men's Monthly Meeting held at Burlington: The men before chosen by Christopher Wetherill and Richard French gives account to this meeting ye difference between them is ended.

1699 April 22. Deed. Richard ffrench of Mansfield Township, Burlington County, yeoman, arid wife Sarah to Caleb Shreeve, now of Freehold, East Jersey, yeoman, for 325 acres at Mount Pleasant, said township, between John Butcher, Michael Newbold and Joseph Pancoast, being part of the 460 a. lot of Wm. Ellis, bought by grantor of Win. Biddle, executor of said Ellis November 18, 1693. (see deed 18 Nov, 1693) [14]

1699-1700 On 20 February, Richard French was an overseer in Mansfield Twp, Burlington County. [15][16]

1700 In May, Richard French was appointed [tax] collector for Mansfield Twp, Burlington County, New Jersey. [17]

c 1700 A deed of release of all claim to the home farm, after his father's death, to his younger brother, Charles. [18]

1701 On 4 10th mo, Richard French and Mary King signified their intentions of taking each other in marriage and according to the good order used amongst us, William Wood and Thomas Scholey are appointed to enquire concerning the clearness on their account and make report to our next Monthly Meeting.

1701 On 4 10th mo, Our womens monthly meeting was held at the meeting house in Chesterfield where Richard French of this meeting and Mary King the daughter of Harmanus & Mary also of this meeting laid before this meeting their intentions of joining each other in marriage. Hannah Overton and Rebecca Davenport are to enquire of the young woman's clearness & give report to our next Monthly Meeting.

1701/02 On 1 of 11th month [January 1702], Richard French and Mary King made their second declaration of intention to marry, as recorded in the Chesterfield, Burlington County, monthly meeting minutes. [19] "Richard French and Mary King signified their intentions of marriage with each other the 2nd time, and enquiry having been made on both parts concerning their clearness from others on their account and nothing appearing but that they are cleare, they are left to proceed according to that good order used amongst us." [20]

1701/02 On 13th day of 11th month, "Whereas Richard French of the township of Mansfield and county of Burlington into the province of West Jersey yeoman, and Mary King daughter of Harmanus King of the township of Nottingham and county and province aforemesaid having intentions of taking each other in marriage did publish the same before several Monthly Meetings of the people called Quakers and had the consent of the said Meetings and of parents and Relations concerned. And for the full determination of their said Intentions They the said Richard French and Mary King aforesaid appeared in a Solemn Assembly of the aforesaid people met together for that end and purpose at the House of Hamranus King in the township of Nottingham and county and province aforesaid upon the thirteenth day and of the Eleventh month One thousand Seven hundred and one Where he the said Richard French, taking the said Mary King by the hand did openly declare Friends in the fear of the Lord and presence of this Assembly I take this my friend Mary King to be my wife promissing to be a loving and faithful husband til death Separate us and the said Mary King in like manner did take the said Richard French to be her husband promissing to be a faithful and loving Wife till death Separate us. And as a further confirmation thereof the said Richd French and the said Mary Assuming her husband's name upon her did then and there Set their hands to these presents and we whose names are hereunto Subscribed were Witnesses to the said Solemnization and Subscription." Witnesses: Charles, John and Lydia French, Harmenus King, Mary, John and Joseph King, John Bunting, Thomas Folkes, Thomas Scattergood, Thomas Brian and William Quicksall and many others. [21][22][23]

1701 Richard French served as Tax Collector for Mansfield Twp.

1706 On 13 November, brother John King and Elizabeth Woodward were married at Chesterfield. Witnessed by Richard and Mary French and others. [24]

1707 Richard French witnessed the marriage of Hugh Hutchin and Rebeccah Underhill at Chesterfield Twp, Burlington County. [25]

1713 Richard French sold his interest in the family estate to brother Charles.

1714 Richard French, yeoman of Mansfield, Burlington County, New Jersey, sold land to Hugh Huddy. [26]

1715 Richard French was a faithful and zealous Friend as shown in meeting records of the period, where his name appears many times. His nearest meeting was the one established at Crosswicks. In 1715 Richard was an overseer.

1723 Richard French was an Elder and minister of the Quaker church. [27]

1728 Richard French and sons Richard Jr and Thomas witnessed the 1724 marriage of daughter Mary French to Preserve Brown at Chesterfield monthly meeting on the 15th day of the 8th month.

1729 On 23 April, Benjamin Shreeve and Rebecca French were married in Upper Springfield, Burlington County. Witnessed by Richard and Mary French and others. [28]

Richard French was a frequent representative at Quarterly and Yearly Quaker Meetings.

Richard French was now past middle age, but for a quarter of a century continued active in the work of preaching and visitation, journeying through the wilderness to New England and the South. In the promotion of religious life in the colonies Richard French was conspicuous and influential. In business affairs he was active and prosperous, as his many deeds and other papers show, particularly his will and the inventory of personal property.

1733 Richard French went on a missionary tour of Virginia and North Carolina and was issued the following certificate: "To friends in Maryland or vergenea or Elsewhere - where these may come. Deare Friends and Brethren In the unchangable truth, this may Let you know that our antiant friend Richard French (the baror hereof) Acquainted this meeting that he had for sometime drawings in his mind to visit friends in your parts; and having the Company of our Estemed Friend John Salkell In that Religiouse visit. These may therefore Certify you, that we have good unity with him, his plaine and Innocent Conversation being agreeable to his Testemoney. So we desire the Lord may be with, and preserve him In his journey, and when his Sarvise is over among you he may return to his family againe with a reward of peace in his bosome."

1734 Richard French returned from Virginia and North Carolina, bringing certificates from them giving a good and satisfactory account of his labors.

1737 Richard French had 140 acres in Mansfield Twp.

1739 On 17-18 of month 7 (September), the yearly Quaker meeting at Philadelphia named representatives called by quarterly meetings including Richard French, of Burlington. [29]

1739 On 3 of 11th month, at a meeting in Chesterfield "Friends appointed to attend the Quarterly Meeting are Richard French, John Sykes, William Murfin, James Clark, John Black, Benjamin Shreve." [30]

1739 Richard French acquainted the meeting that "he had a concern on his mind to visit Friends in New England". On 5 of month 2, he was given a certificate by the Chesterfield meeting: "To Friends in Newengland and Else Whare. Dear Friends. The barear hereof our well esteemed Frd Richard French haveing aquainted this meeting that he had it upon his mind for some time past to visitt you, and requesting our certificate. These therefore are to informe you that heis in good unity with us, both of to his life and ministry and we hope may be preserved in a lliving testimony, in which he may be servicable to? edification of those amongst whome his lott may be cast, ..." [31]. On 5 of month 5 (July), Richard French returned with certificates from Dover, New England and from Newport, Rhode Island, giving a satisfactory account of his service and orderly conversation [32]. On 6 of month 7 (September) Richard brought a certificate from Long Island, New York. [33]

1745 On 15 April, Richard French, perhaps this one, was a freeholder in Mansfield Township, Burlington County, New Jersey. [34]

1745 The will of Richard French date: 24 Jul 1745; 24 Sep 1745 at Mansfield, Burlington County, named Wife, Mary. Children--Richard, Thomas, Benjamin, Jonathan, William, Elizabeth (wife of William Schooley), Mary (wife of Preserved Brown), Rebeckah (wife of Benjamin Shreve), Sarah (wife of William Marling), and Abigail (wife of Jacob Taylor). Real and personal estate. Executor--son William. Witnesses--William Sunderland, Benjamin Shreve, Sam'l Harris. Proved Nov. 9, 1745. [35]

1745, 25th day, 8th mo. (Oct.). Inventory of the personal estate, £542.14.8; made by Samuel Wright, Michael Newbold and Barzillai Newbold. [36]

1747 William Sunderland, of Mansfield, Burlington County (relationship unknown), named several of Richard French's descendants in his will: Mary, eldest daughter of Preserved Brown, merch't, at Philada.; William, son of Benjamin Shreeve; Richard, son of Benjamin French; Jason, son of William Marlen; Lewis, son of Jacob Taylor, and Thomas French, each as they come of age, £30. Remainder of real and personal to friends William and Jonathan French. Executors: William French and Benjamin Shreeve. Witnesses: William Chapman, Ju'r, Gideon Pettit, Ju'r, Sam'l Harris. Proved July 11, 1748. Lib. 5, p. 465. 1748, 13th day. 4th mo. (June). Inventory. £302.14.3; made by Dan Doughty and Thos. Black. [37]

"He raised a large family, all of his ten children reaching marriageable age. The peculiar phraseology of his recorded papers shows a mind exceedingly careful in details. His monthly meeting fittingly testified, after his death, that in the exercise of his gift in the ministry, he labored faithfully in his declining age, and travelled much in North America". [38]

Research Notes:

We have found no mention of wife Mary in deeds after 1730, and Richard arranged certificates for extensive travel after that time, with no mention of a wife. However, wife Mary was named very explicitely in the 1745 will of Richard French. Thus, Mary King French was alive in 1745, unless Richard had remarried.

Footnotes:

[1] The Friend, A Religious and Literary Journal 30 (1857), 229, [Internet Archive].

[2] Thomas Grier Evans, "Baptisms from 1639 to 1730 in the Reformed Dutch Church, New York" Collections of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, Vol. 2 (1901), 138.

[3] "Records of the Reformed Dutch Church in New York," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 9 (1878), 16-27, at 21, [Internet Archive].

[4] Howard Barclay French, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French, Volume 1 (1909), 93, [Internet Archive].

[5] Edwin Robert Walker, Clayton L. Traver, A History of Trenton, 1679-1929, two hundred and fifty years of a notable town with links in four centuries, Vol. 1 (Princeton, 1929), 389, [Google Book], [Google Book].

[6] William Nelson, Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Archives Vol. 21. (Patents and Deeds, 1664-1703) (1899), 443, [Google Book], [Internet Archive].

[7] Howard Barclay French, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French, Volume 1 (1909), 93, [Internet Archive].

[8] John David Davis, West Jersey New Jersey Deed records 1676-1721 (2005), 56, [FHL_Book].

[9] Burlington meeting records, image 123, [Ancestry_Image].

[10] The Friend, A Religious and Literary Journal 30 (1857), 229, [Internet Archive].

[11] Chesterfield meeting records, page 45, image 28, [Ancestry_Image].

[12] Burlington monthly meeting, image 243, [Ancestry_Image].

[13] Burlington meeting, image 244, [Ancestry_Image].

[14] William Nelson, Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Archives Vol. 21. (Patents and Deeds, 1664-1703) (1899), 513, citing West Jersey Records, Liber B Part 2, p 643, [Google Book], [Internet Archive].

[15] H. Clay Reed and George J. Miller, The Burlington Court Book. A Record of Quaker Jurisprudence in West New Jersey 1680-1709, Vol. 5 (1944), 228.

[16] The Friend, A Religious and Literary Journal 30 (1857), 229, [Internet Archive].

[17] Aaron Leaming and Jacob Spicer, The Grants, Concessions, and original constitutions of the province of New Jersey (1881), 583, [Internet Archive].

[18] Howard Barclay French, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French, Volume 1 (1909), 93, [Internet Archive].

[19] Lewis D. Cook, "Marriage Intentions, 1685-1730, Burlington County, New Jersey," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 53 (1965), 129-32, at 129.

[20] Howard Barclay French, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French, Volume 1 (1909), 95, [Internet Archive].

[21] Chesterfield meeting records, image 67, [Ancestry_Image].

[22] Howard Barclay French, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French, Volume 1 (1909), 95, [Internet Archive].

[23] William Nelson, Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Archives Vol. 22. (Marriage Records, 1665-1800) (1900), 658, [Google Book], [Internet Archive].

[24] Chesterfield meeting records, page 66, image 41, [Ancestry_Image].

[25] William Nelson, Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Archives Vol. 22. (Marriage Records, 1665-1800) (1900), 660, [Google Book], [Internet Archive].

[26] John David Davis, West Jersey New Jersey Deed records 1676-1721 (2005), 218, [FHL_Book].

[27] The Friend, A Religious and Literary Journal 30 (1857), 229, [Internet Archive].

[28] Burlington monthly meeting, image 182, [Ancestry_Image].

[29] Philadelphia yearly meeting records, image 56, [Ancestry_Image].

[30] Chesterfield records, image 8, [Ancestry_Image].

[31] Chesterfield meeting records, image 23, [Ancestry_Image].

[32] Chesterfield meeting records, image 6, [Ancestry_Image].

[33] Chesterfield meeting records, image 7, [Ancestry_Image].

[34] Carlos E. Godfrey, "A List of the Freeholders for the City and County of Burlington," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 29 (1905), 421-26, at 423, [Internet Archive].

[35] A. Van Doren Honeyman, Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Archives Vol. 30. (Wills and Administrations 2, 1730-1750) (1918), 188, citing Lib. 5, p. 196, [Google Book].

[36] A. Van Doren Honeyman, Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Archives Vol. 30. (Wills and Administrations 2, 1730-1750) (1918), 188, [Google Book].

[37] A. Van Doren Honeyman, Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Archives Vol. 30. (Wills and Administrations 2, 1730-1750) (1918), 466, [Google Book].

[38] Howard Barclay French, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French, Volume 1 (1909), 92, [Internet Archive].


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