early as 1747. Daniel lived on Main Street, where
Benjamin Giles afterwards owned property.
A. C. Mollison, a great-grandson of Tobias Van
Norden, is now a merchant in Hound I'.rook , ha\ in".
been in business about forty years. William II.
Mollison, now of Budd's Lake, a grandson of Joseph
Mollison and Tobias Van Norden, has written several
articles on the early settlement of Bound Brook,
from which much information has been obtained.
< lilliert and ( leorge Mollison, grandsons, are living at
Capt. John Powers, a native of North Carolina,
commanded ; ipain in a regiment of troops from
that State during the Revolution. lie was at the
storming of Stony Point, July 15 and 16, 1779, and
received thanks from ( ten. Wayne for valuable service
rendered. After the dishandment of the army lie
came to Round I'.rook, and soon afterwards was mar-
ried to Mrs. Kli/abeth I'.onney, widow of Benjamin
Bonney; she died Sept H>, 1795, aged forty-live,
lie afterwards married Mary, daughter of the Rev.
Capt. Oreighton McCrea, son of the Rev. .lames
McCrea, and brother of .lane McCrea, whose tragic
fate is so well known, came to Bound Rrook in 17%
and purchased of Jeremiah Fisher the lions,. â€žow
owned by Isaac Brokaw. This property passed to
his niece, Maria McCrea, afterward- the wife of Wil-
liam Van Dttyn, who sold to Vbraham llrokaw, father
of the present owner. Creighton McCrea was buried
in the old burying-ground. This house is one of the
historical edifices of the county, and will be lie
in another place. It is situated in the \illage of
Bloomington. At that time Bound Brook was the
centre of business.
Michael Field settled in Middlesex County about
17^l' or 17.-. Mention is made of him in connection
witb schools. Jeremiah and Benjamin Field were
residents of Bound Brook till their death ; they were
officers in the Presbyterian Church, and also held
official positions in the township. The old Field
house is -till standing; it was occupied hy Richard
D. Field, and now by Richard R. Field, his son. The
following names are taken from the book- of Tobias
Van Norden, ami show the occupations of some of the
P'.'pl. of that time: Dr. Garret Van Wagoner, 1742;
John Brade, " sculemaster," December, 1744; Isaac
Brown, "taylor," Mayo, 174") ; William Moore, hat-
ter, Feb. 10, 1745 ; John Wacker, school-master,
February, 1745; John Ford, carpenter, February,
171".; John Campbell, " taylor," 1745 ; John Castner,
There are many other families wdio settled in thi-
section early, but it is impossible to trace them all.
The most of them, or their representatives, will be
found mentioned in connection with the churches.
The lots in the limits of the tirst Indian deed, back
of what were called the "Raritan lotts." were two in
number. The west lot, containing loiiil acres, was
surveyed April 20, 1688, to Thomas Codrington. It
lay directly in the rear of his front lot. This tract
extended back to the mountains, the famous Chim-
ing Rock being situated on the west side of it, on the
Middlebrook stream. An account of the scenes which
occurred at and near this place in the time of the
Revolution will he found in chapter vi. (pages 60-80)
of this work.
The tract east of the U a. re lot of Codrington
was surveyed to David Cussart, May 23, 1729. This
lot also extended to the mountain on the north, east
to Green Rrook, and south p, the "proprietors' lot t,"
afterwards Rudyard's. The changes of the title to
these tracts are too numerous to mention.
TIIK SECOND INDIAN TBAOI ANI> TIIK EARLY SKTTLERS
The following is from page 58 in the Elizabeth bill
of chancery, and refers to the Indian deed recorded
Liber 1, fol. 147, at Perth Amboy :
"Thai ttachoote, tdtoa Kononkome, Auhijts, Negacopo, and Panias-
como, Indians, in consideration of Â«no hundred and twenty pounds, to
them paid hy Jaraos Graham, Cornelius Corsen, and Samuel Winder, dJd
s.-tl t<. tli. in and their lulls a tract on hoth sid.* of tho K. int. in Riror,
.Hug up tho Itaritan River from the hrook called Itaweigh-
woros aforesaid ; as hy the sold Indian deed bearing date the 12 Day of
It embraces lots :i, 6, 7, 50, US, 98, 102, and 128, as
by the map accnnpain ing Elizabeth bill of chancery,
an explanation oi which u inscheduj ['his d 1
covered o large trad of land extending from Raweigh-
Middlebrook] along the Raritan River to
RackawackahaCCa, which was a low meadow-land
along the north bank of the river, and reached Up tO
near the Raritan Bridge at Raritan village, and
thence running along what is now called the North
SOMERSET COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.
Branch road leading out of Earitan village north
nearly to Pluckamin ; thence down along the foot of
the mountains to Middlebrook, and down the brook
to Earitan Eiver.
In' February, 1682, the territory of East New Jer-
sey passed to the proprietors, and the land was di-
vided into plots and sold. A tier of what were known
as Earitan Eiver lots were laid out, fronting on the
river, and were first sold. The plots known as Nos.
3-6 first west of Middlebrook contained 877 acres,
and were surveyed by Philip Wells, Sept. 25, 1683,
for John Palmer and associates. These associates, as
near as can be ascertained, were John White, Eichard
Hall, Michael Van Veghten, and perhaps others. These
plots are mentioned separately as Nos. 3 and 6, but a
deed reciting the boundaries of the James Graham &
Co. tract, whose east line is definitely ascertained to
be Peter's Brook, says the quarter assigned to Cor-
nelius Corson " is to lie upon the easterly side of the
tract next adjoining the purchase of John Palmer
and associates." These two plots will be mentioned
as one in the accounts of settlement.
The easterly tract contained 877 acres. Eichard
Hall was assigned the land that lay adjoining Middle-
brook, and embraced that neck of land commonly
known as the Island Farm. He was the owner of a
large tract in New York City, near the present Beek-
man Street. It is not known that he lived here,
though the name is common in the county. He kept
tavern where the County Hotel now is, in Somerville,
about 1810. Archibald, a son of Lord Neill Camp-
bell, came into possession soon after ; he died in
1702. The property belonged to Cornelius Van Horn
in 1759, and was probably purchased long before Van
Horn owned it, about 1800, when it was sold to George
Smock. It is now owned by John Herbert. It was
called Kells Hall by Alexander Campbell, and long
retained the name. A bell now in possession of Arch-
ibald MolHson, of Bound Brook, has engraved upon
it " Amsterdam, 1734. Kells Hall."
North, on the same tract on Middle Brook, Philip
Van Horn, a New York merchant, lived during the
Eevolution. The place was known as Phil's Hill.
The Marquis de Chastelleux on his travels, of which
he gives an account in his journal, passed through
West Point, Hackensack, Totowa, Pompton Plains,
Morristown, Basking Eidge, over the mountains, and
dined at Philip Van Horn's, at Middlebrook. The
property passed into other hands soon after the Eev-
olution. The place is now the site of Herbert's
Mills. Henry Van Derveer, an officer in the Eevo-
lution, lived east of the Van Veghten tract.
The western portion of this tract was assigned to
Michael Van Veghten. The precise time of his loea-
linn is not known, but his son Derrick was born on
the Raritan in 1699. He built a one-and-a-half story
house that was torn down and replaced with a brick
house by Derrick, a part of which is still standing on
the old homestead. Michael had two children, â€” Der-
rick and Jane. He purchased, besides the west half
of this tract, a large parcel in 1712 across the river,
south and north of his homestead tract, to and on
the mountain. He presented to the First Church of
Earitan the ground on which the old church was
built in 1721. The homestead was near the bridge
known as the Van Veghten Bridge from 1750. Upon
the death of Michael the tract on the north side of
the river, consisting of one thousand acres, was left
to Derrick, and the land on the south side to Jane,
who married a Mr. Hageman, some of whose descend-
ants now live at North Branch.
Derrick married three times, as follows : Judith
Brockholst, Deborah Ann Antonideus, and Sarah
Middagh, the latter a sister of George and Cornelius
Middagh. By the last he had three children, â€”
Michael, who married Elizabeth La Grange, of Eliz-
abethtown, and lived on the old homestead; Mar-
garet, who married Joseph Crane and lived on part
of the estate ; and Elizabeth, who married Dr. John
Davis, of New Brunswick. Derrick Van Veghten
was warmly attached to the cause of the colonies, and
his hospitality was heartily extended to all who were
interested in the same cause. Gen. Greene was quar-
tered in his house during the winter and spring of
1779. An encampment of the army was upon his
farm, on the slope to the northeast from Mount
Pleasant,* now occupied by Mr. Shaw. A building
known for many years after as the Court-Martial
building was erected here. After the destruction of
the church, in October, 1779, this building was used
for worship, and tradition says that it was moved
to Somerville, enlarged, and remodeled into the
court-house that stood where Dr. Wilson's house
now stands, first east of the present court-house.
The church edifice of the First Church of Earitan
remained fifty-eight years, and was burned down by
Col. Simcoe at the time of his raid. The cemetery
was the burial-place of many of the early settlers in
this region. Derrick Van Veghten, who died Nov.
29, 1781, Eev. John Frelinghuysen, and Eev. Theo-
dore F. Eomeyn were buried there. Many were
afterwards removed to the Earitan cemetery.
Michael Van Veghten, whom many of the older
citizens remember, the only son of Derrick, married
Elizabeth Lagrange, by whom he had nine children.
Elizabeth, the eldest, married John Frelinghuysen,t
and later John I. Gaston ; Maria married Peter El-
mendorf, of North Branch ; Margaret married David
Magee, of Elizabethtown ; Sophia married Maj.
Thomas Talmage, and they resided north of Som-
erville, on the farm now occupied by G. H. Potts;
Â» An elaborately-carved circular mahogany table that onco belonged to
Gen. Groeno is now in the possession of the Rev. Dr. T. W. Chambers, of
New York City, whose wife was a descendant of Derrick Van Veghten,
to whom tho table came from Gon. Greene.
f They had six childrenâ€” Theodore, Frederick J., Louisa, who married
the ltev. Dr. T. W. Chambers, of Now York City; Elizabeth married
Henry R. Kennedy ; Catharine, and Sarah M., now living on the old
Jane married William Wilson, of New York City,
awl lived on the Van Veghten estate till his death.
Mrs. Wilson afterwards married James Taylor, who
lived and died at Bomerville. He was the father of
John W.Taylor, of Bomerville. Richard, the young-
est child and only sou, inherited the old homestead,
which finally went into possession of strangers, and
is now owned by C. T. Ames.
The plot adjoining, to the west of No. 8, know n as
No. 6, containing 877 acres, was purchased by John
White, Sept. 25, 1683. This tract ran bark to a line
With the other, and west to Peter's I'.rook. John
White built near the river, and lived there for sev-
eral years. Here it was that the difficulty occurred in
li;si; that led to the lay inir out of 1 lie I Ireal Rai iiau
Road.* This.Iohn White was at Lynn, Mass.. in L630.
In UI44 he was chosen a freeman of Southampton,
L. I., and remained there as late as 1660. The records
of the ( rovernor and Council of East New Jersey show
that John White, John Royce, and four others had
each, in 1688, a large traet of land ordered by the
Governor and Council to be laid out and patents
Issued, which tracts they had purchased of the pro-
prietors on the Raritan River adjoining Piscataway.
This traet of John While is evidently the one spokeu
of as lying east of Peter's Brook and west of the Van
Veghten traet. It cannot be the James Graham <V
Co. tract, for John Royce had no connection with
that and there were but four proprietors, while in this
Company there were six. John White was a resident
of this county as late as 1693. In 1688 and 1693 he
was (deeted deputy to the Assembly of East New-
Jersey from the out-plantations on the river. In
the latter year he was also collector of Somerset
County. No descendants are known to be living
here, nor does his name occur after the dates given.
The first mention of the Ten Eyck family, who
Occupied these lands later, is of Albert Ten Kvck
(son of Coenradt Ten Eyck, an influential man in
New Amstcrdamf in L653). Albert came to the
Raritan before 1708. He married Maria Van Vegh-
ten (probably B Bister of Michael |, and had tWO chil-
dren, Jenniken, a daughter, who was baptized in
the Raritan church in October, 1708, and :i -on.
Allied, in 1711. Albert the lather was not living at
Part of the 'fen Eyck family went to what is now
Branchburg and settled. The name of Matthew Ten
Eyck occurs in the township records ill 17-"'H as I'
the overseers of the poor, and Andrew Ten Kvck, Jr.,
OS Overseer Of highways. Jacob'- name abo appear-,
but he settled ill the Western pari of the town-hip.
Col. Matthew Ten Eyck who lived On this White
tract before 17">0 was the lather of Sarah, Neeltje,
and Jane. Sarah married Dr. Garret Tunison.
They lived on the old homestead till their death.
* Soo |ing<< 674, "General History of Somerset County.'
t Now York.
and had three sous â€” Cornelius, Matthew Ten Eyck,
and Garretâ€” and three daughters,â€” Jane, Nellie, and
Maria Magdalen. ( lornelius married Judith Ten Eyck,
and their -on Peter married Eliza Tun Eyck; Nellie
married Matthew C. Williamson, who lived on part
of the estate; Jane married Peter Davis, and also
lived on the tract.
About L800, Judge Andrew Howell purchased the
western portion of the tract, where he lived many
year-. This large tract of land, so occupied for over
a hundred years, has, like the Van Veghten tract,
passed into the hands of strangers.
lilt) GRAHAM TRACT.
Feb. :?, Pis::, letters patent were granted to James
Graham, Samuel Winder, Cornelius Corsen, and
John White for a traet of land said to contain "the
just and full quantity of one thousand nine hun-
dred and four acres of land, strict measure, but,
allowance being made for swamp and highways, the
same to remain for one thousand eight hundred
English acres and no more."! It was surveyed
' Sept. 28, 1683. Its east line was Peter's Brook
from the river until it bends to the west ; south
by Raritan River ; west by the old patent line ;
north by the line of the other river lots. This tract
was divided into four equal parts, each fronting on
the river. It was agreed by the parties that the quar-
ter of Cornelius Corsen was to lie on the easterly side
of the tract; the second quarter was to John White,
lying between Cornelius Corsen on the ea-t and .lames
( Iraham on the west; the third quarter was set ofT to
James Graham, and was between John White on the
cast and Samuel Winder on the west : the fourth and
last quarter was to Samuel Winder, and was west
of .lames (iraham. and to the we-t line of the old
Cornelius Corsen was one of the proprietors of the
tract spoken of as Indian Title No. 2. He was also
interested in a company who took up land on Staten
Island, known as Cornelius Corsen & Co. On page
103 of the record of the Governor and Council of
Easl New Jersey, b'' s - 1708, reference is made to "the
petition of .lame- Graham, Samuel Winder, John
While, and Cornelius Corsen to have a patent of the
lands lately surveyed to them, lying on the Rari-
tan River. Agreed that they have their said lands
patented, they paying twopence an acre. â€” vi/.. pur-
chasing at three halfpence an acre at twelve years
purchase, and [laying by pattent \d. p. acre." It is
not probable that Cornelius Cor-eii ever lived here.
lie died iii L698. In Staten Island the surname Cor-
sen was retained; OD the Karitan it seems to have
t A dood in possession of Judgo J. C. Garretaon recite* the dates given,
il Hi,' different divisions, and to whom nldof tlila tract. A -or-
naslon of t. J. â– Vallnghuyaan, mada April 11, IT8S, by John
Beading i dapnty aurrajora, U of the James Graham at
EUdo in l-rt. *'i :i part "f Ho- Bama proparty, wlu.li oonflrmi tho loca-
Uon of th* Â«â€¢â– -! and oaal linos.
SOMEESET COUNTY, NEW JEESEY.
been changed in some way to Vroom. Bergen, in
the " History of the Bergen family," page 128, says
"Hendrick Corsen (Vroom), baptized Nov. 20, 1658,
marries Josina Pietersz, daughter of Pieter Van Nest,
of Brooklyn, and Judith Kapalje, a granddaughter of
Joris Janse Bapalie, and settled on the Baritan, near
Somerville, about 1680, where his descendants are nu-
merous, among whom is Governor Vroom, of New
Jersey." Hendrick Corsen, as will Be shown, pur-
chased of Cornelius Corsen, in 1687, the half of the
quarter of the section assigned to him. He also pur-
chased a tract of 500 acres, which was surveyed to him
June 10, 1688, " where South and North Branches
meet," â€” No. 37 on old map, now in Branchhurg, north
of Holland's Brook. June 6, 1687, Cornelius Corsen
conveyed by deed the land he possessed on the Bari-
tan to Peter Van Nostrand and Hendrick Corsen.
The latter conveyed, Oct. 10, 1687, "the equal one-
half of one equal fourth part of the tract of land"
(meaning the large tract) to Peter Van Nest, who, on
June 22, 1724, conveyed a part of it to his son, Je-
ronimus Van Nest. June 16, 1771, Jeronimus con-
veyed a portion of this, in two tracts, to Jacob E. Har-
denburgh. These two tracts were conveyed, Nov. 7,
1781, by Hardenburgh to William Paterson, Elias
Boudinot, and Col. F. Frelinghuysen, in trust (350
acres), for the benefit of the children of John Harden-
burgh and wife, to whom it was to descend after their
death. The property was so conveyed, and, by act of
Legislature, Jacob E. Hardenburgh and Andrew How-
ell were authorized to sell the land for their benefit.
Joseph Annin sold it to Jacob E. Hardenburgh.
March 2, 1807, John Davenport purchased 109
acres of the north tract. This became the " Lottery
Field," and in 1809 the land was divided into lots.
It was also on this tract that the Somerset House
Company purchased their land.
Peter Van Nest, who purchased of Hendrick Cor-
sen, Oct. 10, 1687, was a son of Peter Van Nest, of
Brooklyn, who came from the Netherlands in 1647.
Peter, Jr., also lived in Brooklyn before he purchased
this land. He married Margaretje Chrocheron, of
Staten Island, April 13, 1684. His brother Jeroni-
mus came soon after his settlement on the Baritan.
Peter was a deputy for Somerset in the Assembly of
East New Jersey in 1698, and was elected a deacon of
the church of Earitan March 9, 1699, upon the or-
ganization of that church. The house of Peter Van
Nest is said to have occupied the spot where now
stands the residence of Mr. Dumont Frelinghuysen.
Jerome is said to have lived where the old house now
stands, formerly owned by Joseph Doty.
Van Nest's mill was well known among the early
settlers. It is said to have been located near where
the railroad bridge now crosses the river. The dam
was about 150 yards above. A race from the mill led
down the flat to near where the covered bridge now
is. The bed of the river was different somewhat from
its present course.
Peter's Brook was named after Peter Van Nest,
who was living in 1720. His son Jerome, or Jeroni-
mus, was in 1771 possessed of lands west of the " mill-
lot," which he sold to Mr. Hardenburgh. Some of
the family are still living in Somerville.
Abraham Van Nest, of New York, George Van
Nest (known as "Prince George"), Eynear, and the
Eev. Dr. Abraham E. Van Nest were descendants of
the Peter Van Nest who lived at Somerville. The
Van Nests who lived in what is now Branchburg
were descendants also. Peter Van Nest purchased
large tracts of land west of the North and South
Branches, in Eeadington, and also in Piscataway
township ; the land was divided among his children.
He had five sons â€” Peter, Jeronimus, John, George,
and Bernardus â€” and four daughters, â€” Judith, Catha-
rine, Gacamiacia or Jacquemin, and Hannah.
It will be remembered that on June 6, 1687, Peter
Van Nostrand purchased the east half of Cornelius
Corsen's land. How long he owned this tract is not
known. His descendants lived in this township for
many years, but not upon that place. In 1764, Jacob
Van Ostrand, blacksmith, lived west of S. Staats
Coejeman. His land and shop are both mentioned as
stations in the relaying of the Great Eoad in that
year. He was town clerk from 1758 to 1788.
Cornelius Tunison (of whom and his progeny we
have most to write) was a descendant of Teunis Nys-
sen, or Denyse, who emigrated to this country from
a village near Arnheim, in the province of Gilder-
land, in the Netherlands, as early as 1638, and died
prior to 1663. He married Phebe, or Femmetje, the
daughter of John Seals,* an Englishman, who came
to New Amsterdam in 1658. He had eight chil-
dren, of whom Jan Teunissen and Cornelius Teunis-
sen were the two youngest. Jan Teunissen was bap-
tized April 12, 1654. He married Catolina Tunis,
daughter of Tunis Gysbertse Bogaert. His name ap-
pears at the organization of the First Church of Ear-
itan, March 9, 1699, but does not occur in any deeds
or grants. He undoubtedly came to the valley of
the Earitan as early as his brother. In 1704 he
was elected a member of the House of Bepresenta-
tives of New Jersey. His children were all baptized
on Long Island, except Abraham, who was baptized
at this First Church of Earitan, Sept. 19, 1699.
The surname Denyse seems to have been dropped
by the younger sons. In other parts of New Jersey
it was retained by the oldest son of Tunis Nyssen,
Cornelius Teunissen, whose name appears for the first
time, as far as can be ascertained, in a deed dated
Oct. 14, 1689, from John White and Elizabeth, his
wife, conveying the second quarter of the tract of
James Graham & Co. The property is now in the
centre of the village of Somerville ; it embraced from
the river north, including the Doughty farm, " Lot-
tery Field," and about the south half of the fair-
* Written Jan CcIkb in the colonial records.
grounds. This property Cornelius Tunison retained
until March 1, 1700, when he conveyed it to Peter
Van Nest. It is probable that upon the sale he pur-
chased thr property of Peter Van Nostrand, because,
as far back as the knowledge of the oldest citizens
extends, this property has been in the hands of the
Tunisons from father to son. Cornelius Tunison
married, Aug. 28, 1687, Neeltje, the daughter of Tu-
nis Gysbert Uogaerl, sister of his brother Jan's
wife. Their children were Tunis, Abraham (bap-
tized Sept. 19, 1090, died young), Abraham (baptized
Sept. 26, 1700 1, Jan (baptized April 20, 1704), Sara
(baptized April ."., 170n'i, and Denyse (baptized April
28, 1706). These baptisms were all at Raritan, ex-
cept that of Tunis, the first child. In 1703 he was
elected a member of the limine of Representatives
from t he Eastern District. His name appears as a
member of Raritan Church as late as 1723. From
the children of Cornelius Tunison have doubtless de-
scended all of that family in this section. Denice
Tunison's appears on the county records as overseer
of highway, in 1750, and, in 1798, Garret Tunison was
a member of the first town committee, â€” a position
he held till 1803. These two (Denice and ( iarret) are
the only ones of the came that appear to have been
in office before 1800. Evidently the family were not
seekers after place. In the relaying of the " Great
Road," in 1704, the line is described as running to
" Philip Tunison's line, and on to Peter's Brook."
Upon the organization of the town, in 1749, town-
meetings were held at the house of George Middagh
till 1750, at Cornelius Bogert's till 1765, at John Ar-
rison's (same place) till 1769, and in 1770 they were
ordered to be "held at. the house of Cornelius Tuni-
son, innkeeper," on the "Great Road." This tavern
was undoubtedly first opened at this time, as in 17o'l
no mention is made of it. From this time a tavern
was kept by a Cornelius Tunison till 1798. A I orne-
lius Tunison donated the property on which thi i
church now stands, and also owned land north to the
line of "lotts." The old homestead of the family is