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-- Manuscript Group 1207, Little Family Papers, 1723-1911 (Bulk dates: 1760 - 1820, 1903 - 1906)

Archives Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 1207, Little Family

Papers, 1723-1911 (Bulk dates: 1760-1820, 1903-1906), 1 linear foot / 3 boxes

Call Number: MG 1207 + Box number


Summary:

Surveys; indentures; legal documents; correspondence; and other papers of the Little family of Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey.  The earliest documents in the collection pertain to Colonel John Little (ca. 1680-1751) who left Scotland and settled in New Jersey about 1715.  The collection includes materials relative to the dispute between John Little and Robert Hunter Morris; a copy of John Merryman's will; a license to Thomas Little for distilling, 1794; as well as items signed by James Alexander, Andrew Bell, Richard Howell, William L. Marcy, John Y. Mason, Robert Hunter Morris, James Parker, and Isaac Southard.  Genealogical information on the Little family and Williamson family of New Brunswick is also included.

Gift of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1984.

 

Biographical Note:

The Little Family of Monmouth County, New Jersey is descended from John and Isabel Little of Scotland.  After his wife’s death, John Little (ca. 1680-1751) immigrated to America with his two sons Thomas Little (d. 1731) and John Little, Jr. (ca. 1712-1785) and settled in Shrewsbury Township, Monmouth County around 1715.  Around 1724, he acquired a plantation near Tinton Falls, New Jersey and in 1746 several thousand acres of land on New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay peninsula.  In his later life, he also owned a grist and saw mill, both of which were passed down to his son, John Little, Jr. during his lifetime.

From 1725-1751, John Little, Sr. served as the ruling elder of the Presbyterian Congregation of Shrewsbury and Shark River, and in 1724, he was appointed a judge of Monmouth County’s Court of Common Pleas.  He was appointed the presiding judge of that court in 1738 and served until his death in 1751.  He also participated in the colonial wars against Spain and France during the 1730s and 40s.

In 1732, he married a second time to Hannah Woolley Allen.  He died on the Little plantation near Tinton Falls on March 2, 1751.

John Little, Jr., born around 1712, oversaw and eventually owned the family plantation, his own plantation, the grist and saw mills, livestock, at least twelve slaves, and the Barnegat Bay lands.  He was appointed a judge of the County Court in 1755, was an elder of the Presbyterian Congregation of Shrewsbury and Shark River, and was appointed by King George II as a trustee in the Royal Charter of the Presbyterian Churches of Monmouth County.  He served in both King George’s War and the French and Indian War, and later, was an active member of the Shrewsbury Revolutionary Committee.

In 1736, John Little, Jr. married Moica Longstreet (b. 1716), with whom he had seven children.  John Little died at the Little plantation in January of 1785.

Thomas Little (1741-1810), John and Moica Little’s eldest son, was born on the Little plantation on July 7, 1741.  He helped run the family plantation until the outbreak of the Revolution when he became an officer in the Third Regiment of the Monmouth Militia.  He was captured by the British on January 27, 1777 and held prisoner in New York until he was exchanged in 1781.  In 1783, he was appointed a judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Monmouth County where he served until 1789.  He was also a member of the New Jersey State Assembly from 1792-1807, of the State Council, and in 1802-1803, the acting vice president of the Council of New Jersey where he voted to abolish slavery in New Jersey.  Like his forefathers, he was an elder of the Presbyterian Congregation of Shrewsbury and Shark River.

On January 23, 1791, Thomas Little married Lydia Drummond, with whom he had five children.  He died on the Little plantation on December 10, 1810.

Thomas and Lydia Little’s sons, Thomas Little (b. 1797) and John T. Little (1791-1825), inherited the plantation and the Barnegat Bay property upon their father’s death.  Being unable to agree upon the division of the plantation land, the matter was taken before a judge and the property containing the homestead granted to Thomas Little.  Thomas and his wife, Susan Doty, died with no heirs and the land passed out of the Little family.  The property inherited by John T. Little, which also contained a house, passed down to his children, who had sold it by the 1850s.  In 1816, the brothers Thomas and John T. Little also began to sell off portions of the Barnegat Bay land, part of which went to Michael Ortley who founded Ortley Beach.

John T. and Eleanor (Williamson) Little’s grandson, Thomas Little was born on December 4, 1849.  He was one of the five children of Arthur Williamson Little (1819-1898) and Martha Jane Agnew.  He married Charlotte Wolcott Dennis on January 7, 1891, with whom he had at least two sons.  He lived in New York City where he was a professor at Columbia University, and later moved to Hartford, Connecticut.  During the early 1900s, he traced the descendants of the brothers Thomas and Theophilus Little in order to discern the rights of their descendants to some of the old Barnegat Bay property purchased by John Little, Sr. in 1746.

See Little Family Tree.

Sources:

Little, Donald C. Descendants of Col. John Little, Esq. of Shrewsbury Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey (Forest Lake: Edwardsville, KS, 1951).

 

Provenance Note:

These papers were donated by the Connecticut Historical Society in October of 1984.

 

Scope and Content Note:

The papers consist of the correspondence, land deeds, and legal papers of the Little Family, particularly Thomas Little (b. 1849).  The documents date from 1723-1911 with bulk dates of 1760-1820 and 1903-1906.

The papers are largely made up of the 1903-1906 correspondence of Thomas Little (b. 1849) in which he researches the descendants of Thomas Little (1741-1810) and Theophilus Little (1744-1825) and their rights to land in Monmouth County, New Jersey.  The correspondents are mostly Little family members.

The papers also contain a large number of Little family deeds pertaining to land in Howell, Shrewsbury, and Tinton Falls in Monmouth County, and Dover in Ocean County, New Jersey. These documents have bulk dates of 1760-1820 and include land surveys and survey maps.  Littles involved in the land deals are John Little, Jr. (ca. 1712-1785), Thomas Little (1741-1810), John Little (1750-1779), John T. Little, Thomas Little, Jr. (b. 1797), Arthur W. Little, Jane Amanda Little, Thomas Little (d. bef. 1853), and Theodosia D. Little.

There are also a smaller number of legal and financial documents in the collection.  These items include mortgages, bonds, promissory notes, accounts, receipts, certificates, court decisions, legal complaints, probate records, wills, newspaper clippings, and genealogy/land research notes.

 

Related Collections:

Manuscript Group 1244, William Little & Company Records

 

Folder List:

Box

Folder

Title

Dates

Correspondence

1

1

Correspondence to Thomas Little (b.1849) from A-De:

 
   

- Ermengarde Amozurrutia

1903

   

- C. F. Applegate

1905

   

- Mary E. Armes

1904

   

- Lois E. Baldwin

1903

   

- S. J. Bancroft

1903

   

- M. M. Barber

1903

   

- Emma Barnes

1911

   

- Annie E. Bennett (Vroman)

1905

   

- E. H. Blackburn

1904

   

- Hubert A. Blackburn

1904

   

- Edw. S. Bogle

1903

   

- Francis Little Bogle

1903

   

- Minerva M. Bogle

1904

   

- Laura R. Brand

1904

   

- Orrin B. Brown

1905-1906

   

- Charlotte M. Chilson

1904

   

- Lydia H. S. Conover

1899

   

- Ralph W. Cutler

1904

   

- Caroline L. Devenney

1903-1905

1

2

Correspondence to Thomas Little (b.1849) from Do-K:

 
   

- Sarah A. Dodsworth

1904

   

- L. H. Donaldson

1904

   

- S. F. Donaldson

1904

   

- Phebe English

1903

   

- Mary E. Ferrell

1903

   

- J. A. Fitch

1911

   

- Chas. H. Follett

1904

   

- C. B. Forward

1904

   

- W. F. Garver

1910-1911

   

- Charles E. Gormley

1903

   

- H. Griswold

1910-1911

   

- Anna M. Hall

1904

   

- Edw. F. Hall

1904

   

- G. W. Hall

1903-1904

   

-William H. Hall

1903

   

- Finley D. Hammond

1906

   

- W. S. Hanna

1906

   

- Richter J. Hill

1904

   

- Elizabeth Jennings

1904

   

- John J. Kellogg

1905

   

- Thomas E. Kennedy

1904

   

- W. E. Kerr

1905

1

3

Correspondence to Thomas Little (b.1849) from L:

 
   

- Julia Pitkin Lane

1903

   

- A. C. Little

1903

   

- Allen Little

1903

   

- Archie Little

1904

   

- Chas. L. Little

1904

   

- Edward C. Little

1903-1905

   

- Geo. E. Little

1903

   

- H. J. Little

1904

   

- J. B. Little

1903-1904

   

- J. H. W. Little

1903-1904

   

- J. Wesley Little

1903

   

- Jacob R. Little

1904

   

- Jos. D. Little

1903

   

- M. A. Little

1904

   

- T. J. Little (from Auburn, AL)

1904

   

- T. J. Little (from Ashville, OH)

1904

   

- Thomas A. Little

1904

   

- Tobias P. Little

1904

   

- William H. Little

1904

1

4

Correspondence to Thomas Little (b. 1849) from M-S:

 
   

- Jno. H. Martin

1911

   

- C. E. Mead

1903

   

- Rosa A. Melhuish

1903

   

- Mrs. Gilford Minor

1903-1906

   

- Etta Little Moody

1903

   

- M. O'Loughlin

1905

   

- Mary Pardoe

1903

   

- A. J. Pitkin

1903-1904

   

- Stephen H. Pitkin

1903

   

- R. V. Rose

1905

   

- M. T. Rosenberg

1903

   

- Celestra Rothrock

1903

   

- W. P. Sharp

1904

   

- Mary Taylor Bancroft Sherwood (Mrs. Alex C.)

1904-1905

   

- Arthur A. Sinnet

1904

   

- Charles Sinnet

1903-1906

   

- J. H. C and Arline L. Smith

1904-1906

   

- Mrs. J. F. Stewart

1904

1

5

Correspondence to Thomas Little (b. 1849) from T-W & Unknown:

 
   

- C. N. Taylor

1904

   

- Mary E. Tolle

1904-1905

   

- D. C. Waggom

1905

   

- Geo. F. Walker

1905

   

- Emma Finney Welch

1900

   

- Cliff B. West

1905

   

- Williams & Burdick

1904

   

- Hester A. Wisner

1904

   

- Horace L. Wisner

1904

   

- John Wisner

1904

   

- O. F. Wisner

1903-1904

   

- A. Witkin

1903

   

- Lambert Woodhull

1904

   

- Mrs. Jacob Wortman

1904

   

- ( ) - from Fulton Co, IL

1904

1

6

Correspondence to A-D:

1903-1906

1

7

Correspondence to E-La:

1903-1911

1

8

Correspondence to A. Little - H. Little:

1861-1907

1

9

Correspondence to I. Little - from W. Little:

1807-1905

1

10

Correspondence to Ly-P:

1903-1906

1

11

Correspondence to R-T:

1903-1911

1

12

Correspondence to W and Unknown:

1854-1906

Land and Financial Documents

2

1

Land Deeds: A-La

 
   

- Lewis and Elizabeth Ashfield to John Little

1759

   

- John C. Ely, Sheriff (selling confiscated lands of John Bowde) to John T. Little and Thomas Little, Jr.

1820

   

- Robert Evelman, Guardian of John Little, to John Little

1815

   

- Samuel Foreman, Sheriff (selling confiscated lands of John Knott) to Thomas Little

1803

   

- John Hamilton to John Little (copy)

1728

   

- Thomas and Elizabeth Harvey to Peter Drummond

1796

   

- Michael Kearny to John Little

1775

   

- John Knott to John T. Little

1820

   

- Peter Knott, administrator of the estate of David Knott, to Dr. William Little (agreement he can live on land)

1790

   

- Peter Knott to ( )

1791

   

- Peter Knott to Thomas Little

1791

   

- Richard R. and Hannah Lawrence to John T. Little

1816

2

2

Land Deeds: Little

 
   

- Arthur W. and Martha Little and Amanda J. Little to Thomas Little

1847

   

- John T. Little to Michael Ortley

1816

   

- John T. and Eleanor Little to Asher West

1821

   

- John T. Little to John Maxson

1823

   

- Thomas Little to Thomas Harvey

1796

   

- Thomas and Theodosia D. Little to Arthur W. Little and Amanda J. Little

1847

2

3

Land Deeds: M-W

 
   

- Amaniah Morris, his heirs, to Thomas Little

1809

   

- Robert Hunter Morris to John Little

1749

   

- William Parker to Thomas Little

1796

   

- Joseph and Abigail Potter to John Little

1768

   

- John and Margaret Ralph to John T. Little and Thomas Little

1817

   

- Daniel Seabrook to John Little

1767

   

- James Tallman and Thomas Seabrook, administrators of the estate of Stephen Tallman to Thomas Little

1793

   

- Joseph Throckmorton to Thomas Little

1792

   

- Joseph Voorhees to Thomas Little

1799

   

- Joseph and Hannah Voorhees to John Little and Thomas Little

1812

   

- Mary West and Webly West to John Little

1723

   

- George Williams to Thomas Little

1792

2

4

Land Deeds and Forms to Thomas Little regarding land claims he researched

1903-1909

2

5

Land Survey Maps and Certificates

1728-1752

2

6

Land Survey Maps and Certificates

1787-1796

2

7

Land Survey Maps and Certificates

1800-1871, n.d.

2

8

Mortgages:

 
   

- David Amache to Thomas Little

1804

   

- John Knott to Solomon Wardell

1800

   

- John T. and Elenor Little to Richard R. Lawrence

1816

   

- Joseph and Abigail Potter to William Walton and Jacob Walton

1768

   

Bonds:

 
   

- John Bowde to Robert Evelman and John Little, executors of Thomas Little

1811

   

- Ezekiel Linsey and Francis French to Elizabeth Merryman, Joseph Merryman, and Thomas Little, executors of John Merryman

1787

   

- Arthur Little and Jane Amanda Little to William W. Forman

1844

   

License: for Thomas Little to use a still

1794

3

1

Promissory Notes

1796-1865

3

2

Accounts and Receipts

1742-1896

3

3

Stamp Accounts

1853-1891, n.d.

Passports/ Certificates
 3

- Passport: Arthur W. Little

1847

   

- Passport: Arthur W. Little

1854

   

- Passport: Arthur W. Little

1854

   

- Passport: Arthur A. Little

1855

   

- Military Pass: Dr. James D. Strawbridge

1861

   

- Notice for military duty: Arthur W. Little

1862

   

- Passport: Arthur W. Little

1867

   

- Passport: Arthur W. Little

1879

   

- Notice of promotion in the military: William A. Little

1884

   

- Notice of membership in the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution: Arthur W. Little

1892

   

- Certificate of membership in the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution: Arthur W. Little

1892

   

- Notice of Membership number for the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution: Arthur W. Little

1892

   

- Certificate of membership in the Veteran Corps of the 1st Regiment Infantry N.G.P.: Arthur W. Little

1893

   

- Application for membership in the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution: Arthur H. Little

1893

Court Documents

 
 3

- Caveat regarding the altering of a road

1745

   

- Decision regarding land dispute between Robert Hunter Morris and John Little and Webly West

1749

   

- Order for altering the highway

1751

   

- Power of Attorney to Thomas Little from Daniel Hendrickson, executor of Richard McNight, Theophilus Little, Stephen Fleming, James Green, and Hannah Lambert, executor of Benjamin Dennis

1786

   

- Subpoena of John Little and Thomas Little

1812

   

- Appointment of Thomas Little as legal guardian of Samuel Tallman

1815

   

- Decision on land dispute regarding the settlement of Thomas Little's estate, signed by Mahlon Dickerson

1816

   

- Certificate of Debt: Michael Ortley to John T. Little and Thomas Little, Jr.

1820

   

- Complaint filed for Chancery Court case regarding Thomas Morford(?) land deals

1842

   

- Settlement between John L. Doty and Arthur W. Little

1843-1844

   

- Settlement between Arthur Little and Lydia Doty, his guardian

1845

   

- Settlement between Jane Amanda Little and Lydia Doty, her guardian

1845

Wills and Probate/Estate Records

 
 3

- George Hunt: Will

1796

   

- Samuel Knott: Will

1794

   

- Thomas Little (1741-1810): Certificate of probate

1812

   

- Thomas Little (1741-1810): Inventory of bonds, bills, etc. belonging to his estate

1817

   

- Thomas Little (1741-1810): Record of ownership of land up for sale

n.d.

   

- Thomas Little (1741-1810): Public Sale notice of lands by Doty & Southard

1821

   

- Thomas Little (1741-1810): Account of lands sold by Doty & Southard

n.d.

   

- Thomas Little (1741-1810): Caveat against proving the will

1823

   

- Moreta Longstreet: Certificate approving her will

1753

   

- John Merryman: Will

1783

   

- John Merryman: Certificate approving his will

1784

   

- John Riticar: Will

1786

   

- John Riticar: Will

1791

Notes, Clippings, and Miscellaneous

3

7

Genealogy/Land Research and Notes

n.d.

3

8

Newspapers Clippings / Miscellaneous

 

3

9

Index

n.d.

 

Little Family Tree:

John Little, Sr. (ca. 1680-1751) = 1) Isabel ( )

          |                                            2) Hannah Woolley Allen

          |

Thomas Little (d. 1731) = Mary Brown

John Little, Jr. (ca. 1712-1785) = 1) Moica Longstreet (1716-1750)

          |                                           2) Elizabeth Wales

          |

Isabel Little (b. 1737) = David Knott

Mary Little (b. 1739) = Daniel Seabrook

*Thomas Little (1741-1810) = Lydia Drummond

Theophilus Little (1744-1825) = Mary Polhemus

Hannah Little (b. 1746) = 1) Benjamin Dennis (d.1778)

Anne Little (b. 1748)          2) John Lambert

John Little (1750-1779) = Mary Leeds

 

 

*Thomas Little (1741-1810) = Lydia Drummond

          |

**John T. Little (1791-1825) = Eleanor Williamson (d. 1826)

Abigail Drummond Little (b. 1794) = William Estelle

Thomas Little (b. 1797) = Susan Doty (d. 1888)

Anna C. Little (b. 1799) = Charles G. Price

Lydia Little (b. 1801) = Joseph Doty

 

 

**John T. Little (1791-1825) = Eleanor Williamson (d. 1826)

          |

Jane Amanda Little

***Arthur Williamson Little (1819-1898) = Martha Jane Agnew

John Little (d. 1844), unmarried

Robert Little (died age 10 months)

Thomas Little (d. bef. 1853) = Theodosia Dennis

 

***Arthur W. Little (1819-1898) = Martha Jane Agnew

          |

Arthur Hutchinson Little

Thomas Little (b. 1849) = Charlotte Wolcott Dennis

          |

Thomas Wolcott Little (b. 1892)

Drummond Williamson Little (b. 1895)

 

Processed by Kim Charlton, January 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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