Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 282, Holmes Family (Middletown, NJ)
Papers, 1680-1905 (Bulk dates: 1770-1850), 3.0 linear feet / 7 manuscript boxes
Call Number: MG 282 + Box and folder number
Correspondence, legal documents, financial records, land records, military records, and other manuscripts of various members of the Holmes family and related families of Monmouth County, New Jersey. The collection includes: diary of Jonathan Holmes, 1836/37-1738; manuscript copy of a declaration of "the Deputies of the Shrewsbury Association" as submitted to "the County Committee for Monmouth," May 15, 1775; muster rolls, court martial records, and other military documents from the Revolution and Early National period; Monmouth County sheriff's records, 1787-1831, retained by Daniel Hendrickson and Daniel Holmes; documents from the Monmouth County Court of Common Pleas and the New Jersey Supreme Court, 1787-1831, retained by Hendrickson and Holmes; voting statistics for 1802 Congressional election in Monmouth County; undated return for a county election in Monmouth; letters and documents relating to horse breeding and racing in New Jersey, 1770-1843; documents relating to Middletown Academy, 1793-1808. Included are letters of:
Parts of the Jonathan Holmes diary were printed in: John E. Stillwell, Historical and Genealogical Miscellany: Early Settlers of New Jersey and Their Descendants, 5 vols. (New York, 1903-1932), 3: 362-375.
The Holmes family of Middletown, Monmouth County, New Jersey is descended from two brothers, Jonathan (1633-1713) and Obadiah Holmes (b. 1644). The Holmes brothers along with their brother-in-law, John Bowne (ca. 1630-1684), settled on land given to them by their father, Reverend Obadiah Holmes (1606-1682). This land was part of the 1666 Nicoll’s patent and was named Middletown. The Holmes tract was later known as Freehold and then Baptistown and is now called Holmdel after the family that first settled there.
Jonathan Holmes’ son, also named Jonathan Holmes (1682-1766), settled on his father’s Monmouth County land and married first Deliverance Ashton and later Rebecca Throckmorton (d. 1761), who together gave him seven children.
John Holmes (1730-1804), the third son of Jonathan Holmes (1682-1766) was born on July 27, 1730 to Rebecca Throckmorton Holmes, and was sometimes referred to as John Holmes minor or John Holmes Jr. As an adult, he was a yeoman; an overseer of the poor for Monmouth County (1773); a Monmouth County delegate to the 1775 Provincial Congress; a member of the Congress’ second session; and a deputy for Monmouth County (1776). During the Revolutionary War he joined the Continental Army eventually earning the rank of captain of the First Regiment – for which he was forever after referred to as Captain John Holmes. Captain Holmes never married and died in Monmouth County on March 26, 1804. His nephews, Jonathan Holmes (d. 1814), John S. Holmes (1762-1821), and Joseph Holmes, acted as the executors of his estate.
Samuel Holmes (1726-1769), the youngest son of Rebecca Throckmorton and Jonathan Holmes (1682-1766) was born on October 4, 1726. He was also a yeoman, and in 1745 married Mary Stout, with whom he had nine children. He died on August 26, 1769.
Samuel and Mary Holmes’ youngest son, John S. Holmes (1762-1821), was a merchant in Middletown, New Jersey. He seems to have been involved with two firms, Holmes & Schenk from around 1795-1798, and John S. Holmes & Son with his son Daniel from around 1818-1820. John S. Holmes was also a trustee of nearby Middletown Academy and possibly partners with his father-in-law Daniel Hendrickson (1736-ca. 1797) in grist, saw, and fulling mills located in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. He was also one of the executors of his father-in-law’s estate. John S. Holmes married Sarah Hendrickson (1767-1824) and with her had at five children. He died on August 15, 1821
Daniel Holmes (1792-1851), the eldest son of Sarah Hendrickson and John S. Holmes, was, like his father, a merchant in Middletown, New Jersey. He entered into partnership with his father in the firm John S. Holmes & Son and later was partners with Holmes Van Mater (b. 1789) in the firm Van Mater & Holmes. Daniel Holmes was postmaster at Tinton Falls, and sheriff of Monmouth County from 1828-1831. He married Rhoda Van Mater and with her had seven children. Daniel Holmes died in 1851.
Daniel Hendrickson (1736-ca. 1797), Daniel Holmes’ maternal grandfather, was the son of Mary Longstreet (b. 1702) and William Hendrickson (1709-1783), and the grandson of Catharine Van Dyke and Daniel Hendrickson (1673-1728). This elder Daniel Hendrickson settled in Monmouth County in 1700 and was the first Dutch sheriff of the county. Daniel Hendrickson (1736-ca. 1797), owned the grist, saw, and fulling mills at Tinton Falls, which previously belonged to Lewis Morris. In 1775, he was one of Monmouth County’s delegates to the Provincial Congress and was a member of its second session that same year. In July of 1776, he was appointed colonel of the Third Battalion of Foot of the Monmouth County Militia and in 1777 participated in the Battle of Monmouth. He was possibly captured by "Skinner’s Greens" in Tinton Falls around 1779.
Daniel Hendrickson also acted as the New Jersey Gazette’s distribution agent in Shrewsbury from 1777-1778, as a member of New Jersey’s General Assembly from 1782-1785, and as sheriff of Monmouth County from 1788-1790. He married Catherine Van Brunt and with her had six children: William, Elizabeth, William, Daniel (b. 1786), Mary, and Sarah (1767-1824). Hendrickson’s daughter Sarah married the merchant John S. Holmes.
Ellis, Franklin. History of Monmouth County, New Jersey (R. T. Peck & Co., Philadelphia, 1885).
Holmes Family File, The New Jersey Historical Society
Thornall, Jay W. The Holmes-Thornall Connection (Minute Press, Inc., Princeton, NJ: 1983).
Some of the documents in this collection were purchased in 1956 and accessioned under the number M3086. The source of the remainder of the items is unknown.
The Holmes Family Papers consist of correspondence, indentures, Monmouth County sheriff papers, and receipts of primarily Captain John Holmes (1730-1804), John S. Holmes (1762-1821), Daniel Holmes (1792-1851), and Daniel Hendrickson (1736-ca. 1797). In addition the collection contains Revolutionary War and Monmouth County documents. The papers date from 1680-1905 with bulk dates of 1770-1850, measure 3.0 linear feet, and have been organized into the following series: Series I. Captain John Holmes (1730-1804); Series II. John S. Holmes (1762-1821); Series III. Daniel Holmes (1792-1851); Series IV. Colonel Daniel Hendrickson (1736-ca. 1797); Series V. Other Holmes Family Members; Series VI. Allied Families and Other Individuals; Series VII. Revolutionary War Documents; and Series VIII. Monmouth County Documents. Within each series the documents are arranged by type and then by date. The exception to this is the correspondence and property inventories which are arranged alphabetically.
Series I. Captain John Holmes (1730-1804), 1750-1821
This series consists largely of the receipts, accounts, and bills of Captain John Holmes, but also includes correspondence, bonds, articles of agreement, estate papers, and a map of one of Holmes’ meadows. This series dates from 1750-1821 though largely from the eighteenth century.
Series II. John S. Holmes (1762-1821), 1787-1838
This series consists of the correspondence; legal documents and contracts; and receipts, accounts, and bills of John S. Holmes dating from 1787-1838 with bulk dates of 1795-1810. The correspondence mostly deals with Holmes’ general stores and largely pertains to supply orders and billing concerns with the New York City merchant firms of O. & A. Bowne & Company, Snydam & Wyckoff, Duryee & Heyer, C.L. Henderson, and James Hart & Company. The receipts also document Holmes’ two mercantile businesses Holmes & Schenk and John S. Holmes & Son; his support of the Middletown Academy; and the settlement of his estate. There are also receipts signed by Samuel L. Southard (July 23, 1822), Garret D. Wall (September 24, 1821 and January 30, 1823), and Richard Stockton (June 28, 1801 and April 20, 1813). Lastly, this series also contains a slave bill of sale from 1806.
Series III. Daniel Holmes (1792-1851), 1818-1851
This series consists of the correspondence, personal court papers, sheriff’s papers, land indentures, and financial documents of Daniel Holmes dating from 1818-1851. Of particular interest are papers from Holmes’ time as sheriff (1828-1831), which include two dockets, property inventories, and court orders. Holmes’s receipts document his mercantile business in the firm Van Mater & Holmes and his involvement in New Jersey horse breeding and racing, the latter of which is also discussed in a letter from William Hurley.
Series IV. Colonel Daniel Hendrickson (1736-ca. 1797), 1753-1863
This series consists of the correspondence, indentures, sheriff’s papers, and financial documents of Daniel Hendrickson. These materials date from 1753-1863, but largely come from the time period when Hendrickson served as high sheriff of Monmouth County (1788-1791). The six folders of property inventories and vendue (auction/sale) papers of various Monmouth County residents, as well as the five folders of court orders, bills, and notices particularly detail Hendrickson’s duties as sheriff, as does the majority of the correspondence. The property inventories also document the personal belongings of Monmouth County residents, which often at that time included slaves. The sheriff’s orders are mostly written and signed by Jonathan Rhea (1758-1815), who acted as attorney and clerk of the Monmouth County Court of Common Pleas. The orders from the Supreme Court of New Jersey were largely under the jurisdiction of Joseph Bloomfield (1753-1823), the attorney general at the time, and written by Elisha Boudinot (1749-1819), the clerk of the circuit court. This series also contains receipts and bills from Daniel Hendrickson’s estate; receipts which document Hendrickson’s involvement in horse breeding and racing; indentures for the grist, saw, and fulling mills in Tinton Falls, New Jersey; an indenture (1797) and promissory note (1822) of Hendrick Hendrickson; and a true copy of General William Livingston’s orders on August 13, 1776 concerning Colonels Taylor, Brearly, and Hendrickson of the Monmouth County Militia.
Series V. Other Holmes Family Members, 1736-1899
This series dates from 1736-1899 and contains documents from Asher and Sarah Holmes, John H. Holmes (fl. 1827-1854), John S. Holmes (b. 1851), John W. Holmes (fl. 1827), Jonathan Holmes (1682-1766), Jonathan Holmes (d. 1738), Jonathan Holmes (d. 1814), Joseph Holmes (fl. 1772-1790), Joseph H. Holmes (d. 1892), Mary Holmes (fl. 1789), Obadiah Holmes (fl. 1797), Samuel Holmes (1726-1769), and Samuel Holmes (fl. 1770-1803). The majority of the series consists of individual letters, deeds, and receipts – of which a 1738 indenture of Jonathan Holmes (1682-1766) for land in Middletown is the earliest.
Of particular interest in this series, however, is the diary of Jonathan Holmes (d. 1738), Captain John Holmes’ brother and John S. Holmes’ uncle. The diary dates from the year 1736/37-1738 and records the events of Holmes’ life in Middletown, New Jersey. Holmes writes conversationally and often with a sense of humor. A typical entry reads, "February 9th 1736/7 – I was at home a doing I know not what except reading and continued so untill (sic) the twelfth." While Holmes passes many days reading history, he also notes such things as the freeholders’ and justices’ meetings (for which he provides notes of the actions passed), visits with family, and religious meetings. Throughout the year he also follows the trial, conviction, and execution of a man charged with rape (January 3, February 1, and May 26, 1736/37) and on January 28, 1836/7 notes that he "heard of a fashion that was in these parts to whip the women." On a lighter note, Holmes twice mentions his attendance at a wedding and both times describes pranks played on the bridal couple on their wedding night ending in the tradition of throwing the bride’s stocking (which eventually led to today’s throwing of the garter) (April 25 and July 12, 1737).
The diary ends with a few entries from Jonathan Holmes trip to Ireland and, on the return, his stop in Barbados. The last entry, dated April 7, 1838, documents his landing in Barbados, where he soon died.
Series VI. Allied Families and Other Individuals, 1680-ca. 1905
This series consists of documents from the allied Bowne, Crawford, Schenck, and Stillwell families, in addition to miscellaneous letters, wills, legal documents, and financial documents from individuals not immediately related to the Holmes family. The documents date from 1680-1905. Of note in this series are the Bowne family papers. These largely consist of John Bowne (1700-1774) documents, including a letter from Jno. Lawrence, a court summons, a petition also signed by Garret Schenck (1671-1745) to Governor William Burnet (1687-1729), two true copies of indentures, and a bond. There is also a 1680 letter to Captain Andrew Bowne (1638-ca.1708) with sailing instructions, and a 1716 letter to Obadiah Bowne (1666-1726) from John Saltar. The Crawford family papers in this series largely consist of land deeds and bonds of William Crawford (fl. 1771-1795), John Crawford (fl. 1794-1818), John B. Crawford (fl. 1808), and William I. Crawford (fl. 1827-1830).
The documents of the people not directly related to the Holmes family include correspondence, wills, slave deeds of sale, indentures, and receipts. The correspondence includes a series of letters to Catherine Beers from James Lake (1847-1850); a letter from Josiah Hornblower (1729-1809) to Mess. Blackwell and McFarlan (1805); and a letter from Hermann Romünder to William H. Martin, the director of the Trenton, Lakewood, and Atlantic Railway containing a printed advertisement for a convertible cable car (ca. 1905). The sub-series also includes the wills of James Paul (1730), Thomas Rudyard (1701), and Joseph Vanmater (1788 and 1790); and indentures of Samuel Wardell, Jr., William Little, William Parker, John Willett, James Morris, and William Gardon Forman. Of particular note are five slave bills of sale (1755-1810) and the apprentice indenture of thirteen-year-old Margaret Robert (1808).
Series VII. Revolutionary War Documents, 1776-1780
This series contains military documents from the Revolutionary War period of 1776-1780. The items include muster rolls and enlistment documents; lists of delinquent warrants; court martials; and a list of provisions received by Colonel Isaac Smith’s battalion of foot, Hunterdon County Militia.
Series VIII. Monmouth County Documents, 1725-1827
This series contains government and court documents from Monmouth County dating from 1725-1827, including election results from the years 1800 and 1802, a Middletown Town Committee report, a declaration from the deputies of Shrewsbury, and land surveys.
Rev. Obadiah Holmes (ca. 1606-1682) = Katherine Hyde
| (10 children)
Lydia Holmes = Capt. John Bowne (ca. 1630-1684)
Obadiah Holmes (b. 1644)
Jonathan Holmes (1633-1713) = Sarah Borden (b. 1644)
| (9 children)
Obadiah Holmes (1666/67-1745) = Alice Ashton (1671-1716)
Jonathan Holmes (1682-1766) = Deliverance Ashton, Rebecca Throckmorton (d. 1761)
Jonathan Holmes (d. 1738)
Deliverance Holmes = Peter Bowne
Sarah Holmes = John Throckmorton
Joseph Holmes (1722-1738)
Captain John Holmes (1730-1804), unmarried
Rebeckah Holmes (1734-1757) = Gilbert Tice
Samuel Holmes (1726-1769) = Mary Stout
Jonathan Holmes (d. 1814) = Anna Schenck, no children
Lydia Holmes = Garret Stillwell
Parmelia Holmes = John Stillwell
Stout Holmes = Elizabeth Pintard, 2) Mary (Osborne) Bray
Catharine Holmes = Nathan Stout
Joseph Holmes = Nellie Schenck
John S. Holmes (1762-1821) = Sarah Hendrickson (1767-1824)
Mary Holmes = Albert Van Brunt
Catharine Holmes = Daniel H. Ellis
Emma Holmes = George Taylor
Eleanor Holmes = Charles Hasbrouck
Daniel Holmes (1792-1851) = Rhoda Van Mater
Huldah Holmes (b. 1815) = Joseph Holmes Longstreet
Catharine Holmes (b. 1817) = John W. Ely
John S. Holmes (1819-1820)
Sarah Holmes (1821-1822)
Maria Louisa Holmes (b. 1826) = Ely Conover
Sarah Holmes (b. 1829) = Ruloff P. Smock
Joseph H. Holmes (d. 1892) = Ann Crawford (d. 1894)
Carrie C. Holmes
John S. Holmes (b. 1851)
Hendrick Hendrickson = Gisseltie Albertse Bradt Van Echelen
Daniel Hendrickson (1673-1728) = Catharine Van Dyke
| (11 children)
Teuntje (Catharine) Hendrickson = Jonathan Holmes
William Hendrickson (1709-1783) = Mary Longstreet (b. 1702)
Col. Daniel Hendrickson (1736-ca. 1797) = Catharine Van Brunt
Daniel D. Hendrickson (b. 1786)
Sarah Hendrickson (1767-1824) = John S. Holmes (1762-1821)
Processed by Kim Charlton, November 2000 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The New Jersey Historical Society