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From: "Judith J. French" <>
Subject: [FRENCH-L] John French of Woodbridge, NJ vs. Aaron
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2004 11:49:55 -0500

Hi French Family

I was asked on the list about the relation of Aaron Sr. & Jr. with my David
Sr. & Jr. I will try to answer as best I know so far. I want to put things
out there so more families can be searching. This is long and I hope it
prints out.

I have an original copy of the little red book sometimes referred to as the
Aaron Book of 1910 compiled by Charles Newton French, handed down to me from
my father and I assume came from Elston Marsh French (1868-1931) my great
grand uncle, his father being Phineas Mundy French of N. Plainfield, N.J..
Phineas had two wives and many children also. My family line is from the
first wife, Elston from the second wife. My father and his siblings
inherited Elston's estate. I have seen how corrupted the Aaron book has
become regarding John of Woodbridge and sons John & Richard have become.
The first five pages of the book clearly states that it is a compilation of
many New England French families not related to each other but he listed
them. He clearly states that it is unknown who the father of Aaron Sr. 1739
is. Here is the Preface of the first page of Charles Newton French's book
of 1910, I will type now:

"This small volume contains a portion of the genealogical data which the
writer has collected, at odd times, during several years past. The greater
portion of that which refers to the French families of New England, and a
few others, has been gleaned from books; it is published herein because the
compiler believes that some will be interested in such sketches of early
settlers from whom have descended so many persons of the name French who now
reside in the United States. The genealogy of descendants of Aaron French,
with a few exceptions, has been compiled from unpublished records, public
and private, from epitaphs and traditions. During the Revolutionary war,
Aaron lived in a part of New Jersey which suffered much at the hands of the
British. Many church, town and other records were then lost which, if
preserved, would have been useful in the preparation of this work. That
Mary Clark was the name of the first wife of Aaron French, is traditional,
but it is so generally believed that the compiler accepts it as true; she
probably died December sixteenth, 1795. Other Clarks who have intermarried
with Frenches, belong to several distinct families. The compiler takes this
opportunity to express his appreciation of the services rendered to Rev.
Alfred Connet, editor of Genealogy of the Connet Family, Mrs. Mary Ann
(French) Clark and Mrs. Sarah (French) Ripley, who furnished copies of Bible
records of the three sons of Aaron French, and other data; and all others
who have aided in this compilation. Charles Newton French. Chicago, August
8th, 1910."

He then lists the following families of various places in small paragraphs
with their family starting with William French (1603) of Ma., Edward French
(1590) of Ma., Thomas French who was at Ma. in 1638, who went to Conn., in
1643-50., John French of Dorchester, MA removed to Braintree, Ma (1612),
Philip French of New York City, speaker of General Assembly whose son Philip
bought land in New Brunswick, New Jersey, with one of his daughters Susannah
married Wm Livingston, Gov. of New Jersey 1776-90., JOHN FRENCH lived at
Woodbridge, NJ as early as 1670., Thomas French, who established the Quaker
colony in West New Jersey, b. 1639 in England and died 1699 in N.J., He
came to America in 1680, and last mentioned is Francis French, who lived at
New Gretna, New Jersey was born probably before 1740 in Monmouth Co. NJ, he
had on surviving son Thomas who married Hannah Johnson.

Next I will copy what his paragraph says about Aaron:

"Aaron French, (1) b. Sep. 8, 1739, lived at or near New Providence, N.J.,
as early as 1764, and in Essex Co. until shortly before 1790, when he moved
to Pa.; he d. Aug. 31, 1805. It is said that he had two or more brothers,
on of whom removed to N. Y., and another "went south". The compiler
believes that the latter was Francis of New Gretna, in the south of N. J.;
and that Joseph of Raritan Landing, Francis of New Gretna, and Aaron (1) of
New Providence, were sons of Joseph (Thomas, Jr., Thomas), of Shrewsbury;
however, Aaron (1) may have been s. or gr. s. of John (John) of Middlesex
Co., whose desc., unlike those of Richard, the other s. of John of
Woodbridge, have not been traced. The genealogy of descendents of Aaron
French (1) follows, in this volume."

What he is saying, is John Jr. is the one that work has not been done on
until recently. Richard is established and so is John Sr. So, if you read
all of the pages it is all "compiler believes" so it still open. John of
Woodbridge, bricklayer and his sons John and Richard are separate entities
and came from England when skilled men were hired and imported from England
on settlements. Woodbridge was settled by men from Massachusetts, not
Quakers, and listed documented landowners along with John. In another email
I will type each small paragraph in order. I have seen some paragraphs on
some websites but not complete. I will also copy more info from some of my
family books. I am hoping other French members might recognize something
and we can learn more.

Supposedly Charles Newton French would be my 4th cousin 3 times removed but
I am not sure about it yet. The DNA is only as good as a documented
contributor. My old handwritten family tree, had my John listed as the John
French of 1612 of Braintree, Mass. As far as I know, that John line lived
and died in MA. The dates do not match anyway. My original family is East
New Jersey. The current DNA result for John 1612 shows no relation either.
The possible closeness to my distant cousins on the 3 marker difference
might be through John Jr., Richard's brother, whose son William's children
and relatives had names of Noah, Aaron, Moses, Joseph, Nathanial, Lafford,
etc. It seems Richard went one direction and John Jr. went another. My side
of the family names seems to have remained the same like John, Richard,
Robert, David, Isaac, James, Charles, William, Edwin, Sarah, Mary, Susannah,
Margaret, Ann, Phoebe, Elizabeth, etc. Later first and middle names came
from the wives side of the families, like Badgley, Willis, Mundy, Wilcox and
Noe. These families were established along with mine of the Passaic Valley
with the David Sr. & Jr. I do hope this year to at least put the family on
line. There is still work being done by others and wish not to do that yet.
I have given info to some people on their websites when I found the need to
correct errors on intermediate family.

So far the DNA of my first cousin, son of my father's oldest brother has not
had an exact match yet with any of the Frenchs being tested so far. It
shows 4 markers off the current Thomas Quaker line of West Jersey which
means perhaps 1000 years ago somewhere in Europe and then 3 markers off from
the other Frenchs which still puts it back in Europe. There is only one
Aaron DNA 12 marker test listed showing and not 25 markers and shows as 3
markers off in just 12 from my family, yet it appears there are a lot of
marriages between all of the New Jersey families. I am still open about
possibilities but from what I know so far John of Woodbridge was in East
Jersey and owned land 10 years before Quaker settlement in N.J.

I had in the beginning the wrong info on a family tree that a member did
years ago out of misinformation in many corrupted books. The first part of
the tree is correct but the bottom part was wrong. I started adding up the
history and it did not jive. Then another member posted my family before I
knew them and tied it to the Thomas line. So as you venture around
websites, you will find my family adopted into three or more lines. I am
fortunate to have the family bible of 1861 and another relative has the one
from 1855. I have photos also of David Jr. and Margaret Noe and above them.
I believe my John corrupted into a few Thomas books that are in circulation
and is an assumption. There are Richard's, John's and David's in that line
but I think things have gotten mixed up including sticking my David line
into it with wrong siblings and wives.

My family connection, I believe, is through John of Woodbridge, his son
Richard, his son Robert Sr. which I mentioned in an earlier email who is the
father of my David Sr. listed on the DNA. There is current work being done
on this line. We need to find more DNA participants of the New Jersey
Frenchs. Robert Sr. had two wives and many children. My line is from the
first wife. My original family remained in New Jersey but is seems second
wives moved the families to New York. Three related Frenchs of these
families were found in New York but have refused to test with DNA even
though it would be paid for. It is a shame. So many lines are daughtered
out too.

Aaron: Military Service: American Revolution, Honor DAR Patriot
Index-Centennial Edition.
Reference in book by Charles Newton French: Aaron French lived at New
Providence, New Jersey as early as 1764 and moved to Washington Co.
Pennsylvania between 1787-88 where he acquired a large tract of land lying
four miles southwest of Amity and partly within the present county of

This is how the actual paragraph reads on John of Woodbridge:

"JOHN FRENCH (ffrench) lived at Woodbridge, N. J., as early as 1670; owned
lands there and on Staten Island; d. 1713, at Woodbridge. His will names his
w., Susannah, dau., ANN (w. of James Leith), and sons, JOHN and RICHARD.
John (John) lived in Middlesex Co. as late as 1721; Richard (John) settled
near Springfield, Essex (now Union) Co.; Elston Marsh French, Plainfield, N.
J., and others of that vicinity, are desc. of Richard. "

(The full original unpublished will states son John and son Richard)

The Aaron book states the other theory that Aaron descends from John Jr.
brother of Richard. John French of Woodbridge is AKA John the bricklayer.
Lived and owned land 10 years before the Quakers came to West Jersey. My
family is East Jersey. I would like to see the documentation that backs up
the connection between John, brick mason in Woodbridge in 1670's and Thomas
from Nether Heyford in Burlington in 1680.

Another theory is Noah known as the express rider descends from John Jr.
That is being worked on by another member, whom I believe is correct.

Taken from book entitled French Family History, American Genealogical
Research Institute, Heritage Press, Inc. Washington, D.C. 1977 listed in
Patriots and Veterans page 75, Noah French born 1754, died 14 November 1843:
private in a New Jersey Unit; married (1st) to Mary Rolph and (2nd) to
Joanna Ralph Campbell.

Posted on website, Sep 6, 2003 Entry 1629 by Jan-Marie McCabe:

"Noah French enlisted in the Fall of 1775 and served at various times
amounting to two years as a Private and Express Rider under Captains Peter
Layton, Stephen Day, David Bates, and Jeremiah Dunn. He enlisted again on
June 12, 1788 as an Ensign under Captain Dunn and Colonel Nathan Luse, and
again on October 13, 1789 as a Captain under Captain Dunn and Colonel Luse.
Noah's final enlistment was on June 5, 1793 as a Captain in the Sussex
County (New Jersey) Militia. During the Revolutionary War, Noah engaged in
the Battles of Middlebrook, Newark, and Springfield (New Jersey). [Source:
Noah French Military and Pension files, National Archives, Washington, D.C.]

Lived at Morristown, NJ during Revolution. Enlisted and served two years,
first as a private and express rider of Light Horse in Captain Dunn's
company, New Jersey Lin, under Colonel Ludlum. After the war he moved to
Mendham, NJ, and thence to Bridgeport [sic], VT. About 1802 he moved to
Essex Co, NY, and it was while there that he made application for and
received his pension. Filed with his application for pension is a leaf torn
from his family Bible, which records his two marriages and the children of
each marriage. [Source: Colonial & Revolutionary Lineage of America, Volume
3, page 211] "

ELSTON MARSH FRENCH, Plainfield, N. J. (9321). Son of Phineas Munday and
Sarah J. (Lees) (2nd wife) French; grandson of David and Margaret (Noe)
French, Jr.; great-grandson of David French, private New Jersey Militia;
great-grandson of Lewis Noe, private Second New Jersey Militia, pensioned.

(Taken from Alberta Lisk)

"Records of the New Providence Presbyterian Church on Turkey Creek, N.J.
show that Aaron and 3 of his children were baptized there between 1764 &
1775. Church's seating list include: Abraham Clark, David Clark, David
French and Aaron French. About 1787 or 88, moved to Washington Co. PA where
he acquired 400 Acres of land lying 4 mi. SW of Amity and partly within the
present Greene Co. PA. He named it "The New Republic".

Taken from book entitled French Family History, American Genealogical
Research Institute, Heritage Press, Inc. Washington, D.C. 1977 listed in
Patriots and Veterans page 70, David French born 6 February 1747, died 8
October 1838; private in a New Jersey Unit; married to Sarah Wilcox.
Head Stone, United Methodist Cemetery, 1441 W. Springfield Ave, New
Providence, NJ says:

David French, Pvt. Somerset Co., NJ, Militia, Rev. War, Feb 6, 1745, Oct 8,
1838 (Sr)

Head Stone, United Methodist Cemetery, 1441 W. Springfield Ave, New
Providence, NJ says:

David French, died July 24, 1879, aged 93 years, 5 months, 24 days. (Jr)

-----Original Message-----
From: Doris Smith [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2004 2:11 PM
Subject: Re: [FRENCH-L] David French NJ

Judith...what is the connection between this David
French and Aaron French 1739-1805 married to Mary
Clark? Aaron was a member of the New Providence
Presbyterian Church.

Is your David French buried in New Providence, NJ in
the cemetery across from the Methodist church?

Doris Smith

--- "Judith J. French" <>
> On the opposite corner from Moore and Genung was the
> property of David
> French. (SR)French, who was born in 1747 and served
> in the Somerset Brigade,
> came from Connecticut Farms and married Sara Wilcox,
> daughter of Peter
> Wilcox, on May 30, 1776. The Frenchs had ten
> children and their son David
> became a prominent member of the Union Village
> church.
> By 1844 Union Village had four classes led by David
> French, (JR) Martin
> Ruckman, William Clark, and Lines Tucker and
> seventy-four members. The
> church did not continue to grow, however, and in
> 1852 had only fifty-four
> members and three classes led by David French,
> Daniel Hand and Daniel W.
> Day.
> Judith J. French

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