New Jersey Historical Society
Manuscript Group 202, George Smock (1754-1836), Farmer
Records, 1786-1836 (Bulk dates: 1802-1830), 0.2 linear feet / 3 volumes
Call Number: MG 202 + Item number
Daybooks and an account book kept by a farmer and lumber mill owner from "Island Farms" at the junction of the Raritan and Millstone Rivers in Somerset County, and later from Pleasant Valley near Holmdel, Monmouth County. Included are popular medicinal recipes.
Gift of John C. Smock, 1923.
George Smock, the son of John Smock (b. 1727) and Elizabeth Conover (fl. 1740–1754) was born November 24, 1754. He grew up in Middletown Township, Monmouth County, and in 1776 enlisted in the Continental Army. Following his involvement with the military, Smock spent most of his adult life as a farmer and owner of a lumber mill. In 1779, he married Sarah Conover and sired six children: John, Aaron, Hendrick, Peter, George, and Mary. In 1794, he married his second wife, Margaret Van Deventer, and the family settled into a new home called "Island Farms" near Bound Brook, Somerset County, New Jersey. Located near the junction of the Millstone and Raritan rivers, George Smock built the house on the site of an earlier structure called "Kells Hall."
From 1795-1818 (when George Smock sold the house and lands to John Hebert for $22,000) Smock lived at "Island Farms" where he had eight more children with Margaret: Jacob, Garret, Sarah, Elizabeth, Jane, Letty, Ann, Isaac G., and Eleanor. After selling the estate in 1818, Smock moved his family to Pleasant Valley in Marlboro Township (near Holmdel), Monmouth County, New Jersey. He died in 1836 and left his farm and residence to his son Isaac G. Smock (1809-after 1885).
Adelberg, Michael S. Roster of the People of Revolutionary Monmouth County, New Jersey. Clearfield Company, Inc: Baltimore, Maryland, 1997.
Brecknell, Ursala C. "Commemorative Issue: 1882-1982," Somerset County Historical Quarterly. Somerville, New Jersey, 1983: pages 6-7.
Ellis, Franklin. History of Monmouth County, New Jersey. Philadelphia: R.T. Peck & Co., 1885: Pages 676-677.
The three volumes in the collection were a 1923 gift of John C. Smock, Isaac G. Smock’s son. Upon acquisition, the volumes were assigned the accession numbers M1833, M1835, M1836. M1834, an account book beginning in 1810, was part of the original donation but appears to have been lost.
The records consist of three account books dating from 1786-1836 that document the business transactions of George Smock. The three books illuminate different periods of Smock’s career and are easily identified as each volume has a different accession number and is covered with a different material. The earliest account book (M1833) dates from 1786-1800 and has a canvas covering. The second volume (M1835) has a heavy paper exterior and dates from 1823-1830. The third volume (M1836) is bound in leather and dates from 1802-1836. Each volume lists customer name, date, goods or services provided, price, and method of payment. The majority of the entries detail the sale of meat products, livestock, grains, and services such as tanning, leatherwork, and labor. Smock’s customers include Jeremiah Harrison, John and Isaac Detter, Elisha Shepherd, and his sons Aaron and George, Jr. Another customer bearing the family name is listed as "James Smock – Colored Man." The last few pages of each volume contain folk remedies for curing ailments such as "Rumatic pains," "the dropsy," "the cancer," "the gravil," and "outward mortification."
See other farmers' records.
Processed by Jeff McMillan, August 2000 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
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