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LINE OF JONATHAN DUNHAM/alias SINGLETARY, of WOODBRIDGE, NEW JERSEY

SECOND GENERATION IN AMERICA

2. JONATHAN 2 DUNHAM/alias SINGLETARY (Richard 1 Singletary) was born in Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts 17 January 1639/40; [1] died probably about 1724 in Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., New Jersey. [2] He married ca. 1657 MARY BLOOMFIELD. [3] She was born 15 January 1642, in Newbury, Massachusetts, daughter of Colonel Thomas Bloomfield; d. 1705.

The story of Jonathan Dunham alias Singletary is a complicated one with many important facts unknown. What is known has been the subject of a range of speculation and different interpretations. There is no question that he was a prominent man who was held in high esteem by many for much of his life. He was deeply involved in the political and religious dynamics of his time. There is evidence that he was involved with the Quakers, who at the time were seen as bizarre by the Puritans and were persecuted by them. Possibly this was the root cause of much of the controversy surrounding him.


Jonathan was born as Jonathan Singletary at Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts on January 17, 1639/40. His father was Richard Singletary and apparently his mother was Susanna Cooke. However, there is speculation that he might have been the child of an earlier wife of Richard who was the “good wife Singletary” who died in 1638-9. [1] The speculation about his mother is that perhaps her name was Dunham, and Jonathan began to use the Dunham surname in deference to her. What is known is that after he moved with his wife's family to Woodbridge, New Jersey, he called himself Jonathan Dunham alias Singletary. All of Jonathan’s children used the surname Dunham or Donham. It is important to note that all of the other sons of Richard Singletary continued to use the Singletary surname.


Jonathan grew up in Essex County, Massachusetts, where he met and married Mary Bloomfield, daughter of Thomas and Mary Bloomfield. The exact date of their marriage is not known, but it must have been before 1662. There is a record in that year of Jonathan's parents conveying a piece of land to Mary, and she is identified as the wife of Jonathan.


Sometime between 1665 and 1670, Jonathan and Mary left Essex County, Massachusetts and relocated to Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey. Mary’s father, Thomas Bloomfield, was one of a number of prominent men invited to emigrate to Woodbridge by the newly appointed Governor of New Jersey. From the time of this move Jonathan began to call himself Jonathan Dunham alias Singletary.


Jonathan became a prominent citizen in Woodbridge. In 1670 "Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary, and Mary his wife, formerly of Hauesall [Haverhill] in ye Massachusetts colony" are granted a total of 213 acres in parcels of land in consideration of Jonathan building the first grist mill in Woodbridge Township. The mill that he built was used for many generations and was reportedly still standing in 1870. The millstone itself is still in existence, and can be seen on display at the Trinity Episcopal Church Rectory in Woodbridge, New Jersey. The house that Jonathan built in 1671 near the mill site, was built of brick from Holland which had been used as ballast in ships. This house, significantly refurbished, is still standing. It currently [2009] serves as the Rectory of the Trinity Episcopal Church.


In 1671 Jonathan was listed as acting as foreman of a jury, and also as overseer of the highways. In 1673 he was elected a member in the New Jersey Assembly. In 1675 he served as Clerk of the Township Court. He was involved in several land transactions in 1717, 1720, and 1721. In a document dated April 24, 1724, his son Jonathan noted that his father, Jonathan Dunham, had lately deceased.


The Woodridge historian Rev. Joseph W. Dally, [Woodbridge and Vicinity, pub. 1989, p. 44], wrote of Jonathan, "This Dunham was a man of great energy. When he determined upon an enterprise he pushed it forward to success with indomitable perseverance. So many of his relatives settled in the north of the Kirk Green that the neighborhood was known as Dunhamtown for many years."


A memorial plaque in front of the Trinity Church Rectory reads:


This millstone from the mill of

Jonathan Dunham
builder of Trinity Church Rectory 1670
was placed here by
Trinity Young Peoples Fellowship
on the 250th Anniversary
of Trinity Church

May 16, 1948
A second Memorial Plaque places at the site reads:
In Memory of

Jonathan Dunham
who in 1670 established the
First Grist Mill in New Jersey
at Woodbridge, New Jersey
and built the Brick House
now Trinity Church Rector
dedicated October 5, 1969
by
the 300th Anniversary Comm.

of Woodbridge Township N. J.
Reference:
1. Hoyt, David W., The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, NE History Press, Somersworth, 1981, p. 317-18. In reference to Richard Singletary who was earlier of Newbury is the quote “Goodwife Singletary d. about 1638 or ‘9. She may have been wife of Richard1.”


NOTE: Please see the section in the Archives under Book & Periodical Extracts for additional information about Jonathan 2 Dunham alias Singletary. This information includes some thoughts about a possible reason for Jonathan Dunham/alias Singletary assuming the Dunham surname; a time line of events in the life of Jonathan 2 Dunham; and a chronology of land transactions in Woodbridge for Jonathan 2 Dunham. From this point on in this text he will be called Jonathan 2 Dunham.
Jonathan 2 Dunham received grants of land “in consideration of his building the first grist mill in Woodbridge, NJ during 1670-71.” His toll was to be 1/16 of the grist. This grist mill was located on Papiack Creek, which at that time must have been a larger stream of water than it is now. (Currently, in 2009, it is nearly impossible to find Papiack Creek.) In 1670, and for a long period thereafter, Papiack Creek ran from the upland down through what is still “Kirk Green” behind the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches and into Raritan Bay. The First Presbyterian Church and Trinity Episcopal Church are located side by side on what is now Rahway Avenue in Woodbridge, New Jersey. The cemetery behind the First Presbyterian Church contains the graves of many of the early residents of Woodbridge.



Children of Jonathan and Mary (Bloomfield) Dunham/alias Singletary: [4]
i. possibly RICHARD 3 DUNHAM, b. say 1657-8; If he was a son of Jonathan and Mary Bloomfield Dunham he may have died young.
There is no further record of a Richard 3 Dunham.
9. ii. ESTHER 3 DUNHAM, b. 1659; d. 14 August 1690
iii. MARY 3 DUNHAM, b. 29 December 1661; d.y.
10. iv. MARY 3 DUNHAM, b. 3 February 1663
v. SARAH 3 DUNHAM, b. 3 February 1663 (It is not certain she was a twin.)
vi. RUTH 3 DUNHAM, b. 1666 [5]
vii. EUNICE 3 DUNHAM, b. 1668; d. 5 December 1684 [6]
11. viii. JONATHAN 3 DUNHAM, Jr., b. 24 September 1672
12. ix. DAVID 3 DUNHAM, b. 10 March 1673/4
x. JOANNA 3 DUNHAM, b. say 1675; prob. m. Sanuel Parker [7]
xi. NATHANIEL 3 DUNHAM, b. 8 February 1677; d. 14 May 1678 [8]
13. xii. NATHANIEL 3 DUNHAM, b. 10 April 1679
14. xiii. BENJAMIN 3 DUNHAM, b. 22 August 1681



References:
l. Myers, Patty Barthell, Ancestors and Descendants of Lewis Ross Freeman with related families, p. 529-535, (Penobscot Press, 1995). [Pages cover both the Bloomfield family and Jonathan Dunham.]
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Op. Cit. Myers
5, Ruth is not given by Myers.
6. Dally, Woodbridge and Vicinity, p. 327.
7. Joanna is not given by Myers.
8. Op. Cit. Dally.



NOTE TO READERS: It is not my intention to carry out the lines of all the children of Richard 1 Singletary, but to follow only his son Jonathan 2 Dunham on this website. However, a close relationship develops between some of the descendants of Jonathan2 Dunham and some of the descendants of the other children of Richard 1 Singletary. Therefore, I want to show the lines of the Singletary children through the third generation.
For further information about the Singletary descendants, please see The Singletary Family History 1599 to 1989 by Yvonne Miller Brunton, pub. 1989.

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