When poking around various websites (Ancestry, Family Search, Rootsweb, etc.) for more information about Samuel B. Jaques, Isaac Jaques‘ father, I was bombarded with all sorts of conflicting, head-spinning information. You really have to be careful sifting through all the information that’s ‘out there’ because some trees have been very hastily assembled. I found one tree that had three wives attached to the one husband and date-wise, it was obvious that two of the wives belonged elsewhere: one would have been 6 at the time of her ‘marriage’ and the other one would have been dead! But, anyway, most of you have probably seen similar discrepancies. People make mistakes; I know I make mistakes, and sometimes I don’t spot them until much later. The moral of the story is, of course, don’t assume anything and look for folks who have done bona fide research and provide sources. Always check and double-check yourself, when you can. Not easy I know — few of us have time to travel to different states and countries to look at original documents, etc. I know I don’t, much as I would absolutely love being able to do just that. As an aside — and this is something that never crossed my mind before — I read that some people actually manipulate their trees so they connect themselves to famous historical figures — Presidents, the Pilgrims, you name it. I was shocked — so yes, you do have to be very careful.
At any rate, at times this Samuel B. Jaques search had me feeling I was up against the ropes with all jabs heading in one direction — toward me. “Kapow!” from the old Batman series came to mind quite a bit. When I finally got my bearings, I was left with quite a different scenario from the one I’d expected. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was.
Prior to this new search, I’d always thought that Samuel was the son of Henry Jaques IV (1700-9 Jan. 1751; ‘Henry the Mariner’) and Rebecca Rolph*, daughter of Benjamin Rolfe of Woodbridge, NJ. Other children of the Jaques-Rolph union were Ruth Jaques Hubbell, Henry Jaques V, Colonel Moses Jaques (brickmaker who worked with Samuel B. Jaques), and David Jaques (merchant). While I’d read in Angus family genealogy papers that Henry had had a first wife (name not supplied), I assumed the children were all products of the second marriage to Rebecca.
But, as is often the case when researching one’s ‘roots’, some surprises emerge. Henry the Mariner indeed had a first wife — Hannah Walker who died on 9 May 1733 (aged ’23 years and 2 months’) — and evidence suggests that Hannah was Samuel B. Jaques’ mother. The remaining children were all a product of the second marriage. The marriage between Henry and Hannah took place circa 1730 in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and Samuel presumably appeared shortly thereafter.
Helpful in figuring this out was a ‘Pedigree Resource File’ located at the Family Search site; the file’s owner quotes copious sources that include wills, cemetery and church records, and other documents, many of which he/she saw firsthand. According to his/her research, Henry and Hannah are both buried in the First Presbyterian Church’s (Woodbridge, NJ) graveyard. I also found corroborating information regarding Hannah and Samuel that came from Jaques Family Genealogy by Roger Jaques and Patricia Jaques (Decorah, Iowa: Anundsen Publishing Company, 1995).
Some Pedigree File info didn’t add up for me such as the date of the Rolph marriage being in 1743/4. I presume that may be a typo since that would have meant three of the other four children were born out of wedlock. 1733/34 would fit much better as Ruth Jaques appeared about 1735.
I am hoping to get my hands on the Jaques Family Genealogy book soon to see whether it contains information about Samuel B. Jaques’ and Mary Coddington’s descendants. At the moment, I am only aware of three children: Lewis, Isaac, and a female who was a year younger than Isaac and married to someone with the surname Quinn. By the way, Samuel’s middle initial “B.” according to Angus family records, stands for “Barron”. I am curious as to where that name came from.
One other extremely curious thing about Samuel is that — if the dates I have are correct–his firstborn arrived when he was 53, and Isaac (my ancestor) arrived when he was 62. You may recall that the ‘In Memoriam article’ about Isaac said that his father (Samuel) died when he (Isaac) was ‘about seven’, which would be around 1798/9. So other than brick-making, what had Samuel been doing during all those years of bachelorhood? Or had he been married before? The saga never ends!
Samuel Barron Jaques
Born: 1730, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ
Married: Mary Coddington
Died: 1798/9, Gravel Hill, near Rahway, NJ
Buried: Locust Grove Cemetery, Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ
Commanded a Rahway company during the Revolutionary War; employed in the brick-making business and built one of the first large brick houses on Whitehall Street, NYC.
*Middlesex Co., New Jersey Will #2485-2488: 2nd wife was ‘Rebecca Rolph Alston’ so she had been married previously.
6/27/13 UPDATE: I have since acquired a copy of Jaques Family Genealogy which sheds more light on Samuel’s family. I’ll try to do an updated post soon.