William Broadwell

A American Family Original, 1664-1962


Transcribed by Dean Richmond
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Broadwell Pedigree
William(1) Broadwell married Mary Morse
William(2) Broadwell married Jean (Jane) Mitchell
Josiah Broadwell married Sarah Briant
Simeon Broadwell married Rachel Lindsley
Ephraim Broadwell married Jane Ross Gardner
John Broadwell married Margaretta Jacobs Embree
Mary Jeannette Broadwell married Authur Melvilles Kittredge

Broadwell is a family name of English origin. Bowditch in his "Suffolk Surnames" declares Brad-Broadwell is a place name; S.Y. Gates' 1818 "Surname Book and Racial History" (315) definitely asserts this surname is local in Derbyshire, Essex and Suffolk Counties, England, originating as a dweller at the Bradwilla or Broadwell.

An attempt to know the ante-American pedigree of the Broadwell Family of East New Jersey came to naught because this name is not mentioned in the Marshall's "Genealogist Guide"; this "guide" is received as a complete index to almost all Dugdales', Brydges', Collins', Edmonsons' works, Heralds Visitations, English, Scotch and Irish printed pedigrees etc. - all of which means this name has not yet appeared in print in genealogical works and harks back to the fact that little or no effort has been made by any member of the English Family to place the ancient name on record. Someone must make an original search in the English records to bring this name out of its present oblivion.

The British Record Society has published a monumental work of sixty-one volumes, called the Index Library; this "index" is made up of indices of Mills' Administration and Probate papers of many of the shires of England, reference to which reveals innumerable names, such as, Broadway, Broadwater, -stock, -bank, -gate, -ridge, -mead, -wood, -brook, but, strange to say no Broadwells; this great work however does give two small places in England named Broadwell; this discovery was encouraging and at least it was actually a place name.

There is a Broadwell in Gloucester County, and in Oxford County, England. Broadwell, Co. Gloucester, a post town in Stow in the Wold; 86 miles from London; 1½ miles northeast by east of Stow in the Wold; population 286. A parish in the upper division of the Hundred of Slaughter; a living, rectory with the Chapel of Aldestrop, in the Archdeaconry of the Diocese of Gloucester; values in the King's Book, 23 lbs. 11 s. 10½ d.; church dedicated to St. Paul; patron 1829, J.H. Leigh Esqr.

Broadwell, Co. Oxford a post town in Buford; 72 miles from London; 5 miles south of Buford; population of parish, 820; population of hamlet (Broadwell) 226; a parish or hamlet in the Hundred of Brampton, with a living, a discharged vicarage, with the Chapels of Holwell and Kemscott, in the Archdeaconry and Diocese of Oxford; value in the King's Book, 8 lbs. 14 s. 4½ d.; church dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul; patron, 1829, E.F. Golston Esqr. (J. Gorton's. 1833 "Typographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland.")

It may be well for future workers to know that the parish registers in Slaughter Hundred, Co. Gloucester are in the Chapel of Aldestrop or Addlestrop and include records of baptisms, burial and marriages from 1538-1812. The parish registers in Brampton Hundred, Co. Oxford are in the Chapel of Buford and include records of baptisms and burials from 1616-1812; marriages from 1612-1753. (Parish Register Abstracts, Vol. III: 115, 253.)

A.M. Burke's 1808, "Key to Ancient parish Registers" (p. 55) directs attention to only one "Broadwell", which is a parish in Co. Gloucester. In "Gloucestershire Wills, 1660-1800" one of the "Index Library" publications, the name Broadwell is given 42 times as a place name and only once as a personal name in 1730.

There is something mysterious and peculiar concerning this scarcity of the name Broadwell in English printed works. Perhaps the word, Broadwell, is a misspelling for Bradwell, if the latter is pronounced, sounding a flat 'a' thus Brawdwell; if this surmise is correct then we leap directly into several very old places of this spelling, for instance one finds the parish of Bradwell in Huckingshire with data as early as 1517; another parish of Bradwell in Oxfordshire, with data as early as 1601; another in Suffolk, 1556; there was "Bradwell by the Sea" in Essex, 1558.

A. Ballard's 1806, "Domesday Inquest" (p. 62) directs attention to "Broadwell, a vill adjoining broughton Poggs (Oxfordshire), assessed at 24 hides, 1 v."; this broughton is near Banbury - taken from the Domesday Book, a work compiled in 1086 for fiscal purposes to show William the Conqueror the proportion of geld payable from each estate and the person liable for payment; all information in Domesday Book is the result of inquiry upon oath; the 'geld' was a charge of so many shillings per hide; the 'hide' was a family holding or an assessable unit imposed on any given property; 'vill' is the oldest term denoting a tract of land - its English equivalent is 'tun' or 'town' - a tract greater or smaller, bearing a name of its own and defined by well known boundaries, was the home of an organized community also a fiscal and administrative unit.

The Anglo-Saxon names for civil divisions of land in England - called tythings, hundreds and shires, are still retained, but first recognized by the King of West Saxony at the end of the 7th Century; a 'tything' was originally a community of 10 freeman householders, comprising a township or vill, in which court was held by the tythingmen; 'hundred' was the incorporation of 10 tythings, differing in territorial size, and equivalent to 'wards or wapentakes' confederated for defense. 'Shire' equivalent to 'county' was composed of an indefinite number of hundreds; parish was a parochial district first recognized in the 10th century by law of King Edgar, and tythes of land were paid to the Church of any said parish; 'Churches' were built by landed proprietors for the use of tenantry, and always near the manor house.

In the United States, a similar condition of scanty reference to the Broadwell name is also found; it is surprising and somewhat baffling to find almost no general printed references to the Broadwell Family, outside John Littell's Passaic Valley (N. J.) Genealogies, and a very few local reference works.

However, the name, Broadwell, is found on the USA map - Broadwell, a village of Logan Co., Illinois 21 miles northeast of Springfield, Illinois (J.C. Powers'1876, History Sangamon Co. Illinois, p. 142). Broadwell, a station of Herkimer Co., Ohio, 13 miles east by north of Cincinnati, Ohio. Broadwell, a hamlet of Harrison Co., Kentucky. Five miles from Cynthiana, Kentucky is a Presbyterian Church "at Broadwell Cross Roads"; Church services were held in 1848 in "Broadwell's Meeting House" on the Ruddle Mills Pike, Harrison Co. Kentucky(R. Peter's 1882, "History of Bourbon, Scott and Harrison Co. Kentucky", p. 234, 244, 297) (Lippencott's 1806, "New Gazette of the World").

The only reference found in northeastern publications referring to the name Broadwell, is in S. Orcutt's 1886, "History of Stratford, Connecticut (Vol. I:1164) where it affirms the marriage of "Hezekiah Broadwell of Hanover, N. J. to widow Sarah Lewis in 1783, at Ripton, probably". N. J. Bowditch's, 1861, "Suffolk (England) Surnames" (p. 243) gives a meager reference to this ancient name "from the face of nature", to wit: "Mr. Broadwell is a lawyer at Springfield and a Mr. Broadwell was a British author in 1625". This negative report may be helpful to future searchers on this ubiquitous family name. Nevertheless Broadwell is the name of a large American family of repute and standing originating n and coeval with the founding of Elizabeth Town, Essex Co. New Jersey.

WILLIAM BROADWELL is the American original of the well and widely known New Jersey family of dignity and rank; he appears in Elizabeth Town soon after it was founded, 1665-1666; his parents have not been identified yet, but it is quite certain he was born in England (born 1656 or before if 21 in 1677 when married).

Died, 1688; between April 1, 1689, the date of his will and April 16, 1689, the date of filing of his Inventory. The introductory sentence of hi will declares, " I William Broadwell of Elizabeth in the Countye of Essex and Province of East New Jersey, Gentleman,"; this will was probated, January 27, 1690 (1689/90) (Trenton, N. J., Unrecorded Wills Vol. 5: 143 also "Deeds and patents, Vol. or Lib., D:142).

Married August 21, 1677, Mary Morse, daughter of Robert and Ann (Lewis) Morse. The record reads: "William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town, Cordwainer, and Mary Moss, daughter of Robert Moss of same, Tayler, were licensed August 21, 1677 and married same day by James Bollen, Justice" (East Jersey Deeds, Lib., 3:136).

MARY MORSE was born February., 25, 1657, Newbury, Essex Co., Massachusetts (Newbury Vital Records).

Died, 1724/25, "In the County of Essex and Province of New Jersey" - so asserts her will made March 2, 1724/25 under her then married name Mary Mitchell; this will was probated May 14, 1726 (New Jersey Archives, 23:322).

Children of William and Mary (Morse) Broadwell, all of whom are names in their Father's will: the last two named in their Mother's will:
1) John, born say June 1678 - the earliest date he could have been born, Elizabeth Town, Essex Co., N. J.; died prior to 1705; this is inferred to be about the right date of his death inasmuch as his brother William, a practical sawmill owner, probably inherited his father's sawmill when he came of age in 1705, and inasmuch as no record of John has come to light yet, as he is not mentioned in his mother's will of 1725, it is inferred he died before 1705.

2) William(2) born 1684 Elizabeth Town, N. J.; died March 11, 1746/7, Turkey, (now New Providence, Union Co.) New Jersey, in his 64th year (New Providence, N. J., tombstone).

3) Richard born say 1687/8 Elizabeth Town, N. J. - a "sucking bottle" is appraised in his father's inventory of April 1688 (Unrecorded Wills, Trenton, Vol. 5:328); died 1732; his will is dated September 2, 1732 in which named his brother William and his father in law, Nathaniel Bonnell and his children John, David, Rachel and Margaret Broadwell.

Richard married (1) - say 1712 (if his wife was 18 of age at marriage) Hannah Bonnell, born 1684, Elizabeth Town, N. J., daughter of Nathaniel3, --------2, William1 Bonnell; the will of Nathaniel Bonnell probated 1736, mentions Hannah Bonnell's three children and land in Elizabeth Town next to William Broadwell (Valentine's Syron-Searing Wills, Deeds etc., p. 78-80, 104).

Married (2) - October 10, 1730, Miss -------- Mitchell, sister to the wife of his brother William Broadwell; no issue probably by second marriage.

Mary Morse, mother of three foregoing children, thereby became the historic American original of the Broadwell family in America; in her own right belonged to one of New England's substantial families; was a native of Newbury, Essex Co., Massachusetts and of the third generation of the American Morse family.

Her grandfather hailed from Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, arriving in Boston, 1653 but soon settled in Newbury Massachusetts, where he held as important military command and eventually rated high in civic administration as the treasurer of the colony of Mass Bay. Her father was one of twelve children and landed in New England as the age of six years; became a tailor by trade; raised a family of eleven children, eight of whom, including Mary, were born and baptized in Newbury - the remaining four were born in New Jersey; her father was one of sixty-five stalwarts, who on February 18, 1665 took the oath of Allegiance and Fidelity tot he Jurisdiction of the Lords Proprietors of N. J. at Elizabeth Town (Hatfield's History of Elizabeth, N. J., p. 57).

Mary was only eight years old when she journeyed through the wilderness of Connecticut to New Jersey - almost before the name Nova Cessaerea was fixed to this colony; her father was one of the first tailors of Elizabeth Town and later became one of those strong, invincible Elizabeth Town Associates, who personally struck one of the first blows in favor of land titles in New Jersey - a fight which was not settled until the Revolutionary settled it.

At the age of twenty, Mary Morse gave her hand in betrothal; hastened with the bridegroom for license to wedlock; there was no march to the Church Chancel, no publications of banns, no nuptial benedictions; she had given her hand 'for better, for worse'; so she, the bride, on the same day the license was granted, became wife; married by a High Court official, James Bollen, and happily cherished the matrimonial event.

Forthwith became the faithful wife of William Broadwell for twelve eventful years; meanwhile became the mother of three Broadwell sons, through whom she is acclaimed American Ancestress of the large Broadwell family in America. Her home must have been a happy one - already her husband was an accomplished craftsman, an energetic tradesman, a successful industrialist, large business was just within his grasp when at the age of thirty three, suddenly, by accident of illness, he was taken from the land of the living and the bosom of his young family.

Mary rose grandly through the sorrows in which fate had shrouded her life. She proved more than a bereaved mother; as a prompt, precise business woman, she entered into the settlement of her deceased husband's estates though she intended to salvage every cent of her inheritance. Many a woman at her age of thirty two would have fallen into a swoon, powerless, paralyzed by incapacity to cope with life at such a juncture; at this point of test, Mary Morse revealed real power of character; her endowments of mind and spirit, her faculty to discern, the virtue of courage came into play when really challenged; her husband was confident of her all around ability when he appointed her executor of his will.

Nor had she forgotten that bright spot of marriage, nor the solemn "for better or worse"; nor did she mean that marriage and its vows should lapse because of any failure on her part; only once or twice before had she participated in legal matters; on May 6, 1684, five years before her husband's decease, had "Mary Broadwell" joined with her husband, "William Broadwell" in a conveyance to Mr. Trazee (Trenton N. J., Deeds Book A:116); on this same date "William Broadwell and Mary Broadwell" signed a conveyance of 35 acres to Thomas Rudyard, Secretary of the Province; it is also quite possible that legal matters were forced upon her by an inheritance of the land from her father, and which by her own will became a legacy to her sons, William and Richard Broadwell; moreover her father, according to Hatfield's History of Elizabeth (p. 58) owned a tract on Elizabeth Town creek, which he conveyed September 26, 1681 to his "son in law, William Broadwell"; incidentally these conveyances confirm her marriage and her offspring, but chiefly show her business acumen is now prepared for the skillful management of her husband's estate.

Her commission and scope of duty as Executor are best stated in the terms of her husband's will, to wit: "As for the rest of my goods and chattels moveable and unmoveable, I doe give and bequeath unto Mary, my wife, whom I doe make sole Executrix of the my last Will and Testament, provided and upon condition that she shall duly pay all my just debts and legacyes, and that she doe, after a decent and Christian burial manner, to bury me" (Trenton, N. J., Unrecorded Wills, Vol. 5:143).

She forthwith proceeds in the immediate performance of loving service to the memory of her departed husband, and her procedure in having an inventory taken is commendably prompt; only fifteen days after the signing of his will "A true and perfect Inventory and appraisement of all singular, the goods and chattels of William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town in the county of Essex, lately deceased" was made by Hur Thompson and Benjamin Griffith (Trenton, N. J., Unrecorded Wills, Vol. 5:329).

Mary then traveled to court with this inventory and the will, which had been entered May 4, 1690, was probated January 27, 1690/1; whereupon Mary Broadwell, wife of the said William Broadwell, was granted letters of administration and charged to return "A true Inventory to the Registers Office of the Province of East New Jersey on or before July next (there is no record on any other Inventory being presented than the one dated April 16, 1688) and render a Final Account on or before January 28, 1891"

On January 27, 1689/90 "Mary Broadwell, Relict and sole Executrix of William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town in the County of Essex, Gentleman deceased", and John Johnston of the same place, signed an Administrator's Bond to render a Final Account on or before 28th January, 1691; witness, Ja' Emmott and Bic: Towley (two important men of the Colony)
Signed,

This rare signature from an original document which Mary actually handled, is sufficient evidence that she commanded a strong, positive and impressive pen; that she preferred to use the initial capital of her given name is no proof that she could not write her full name and in other writings when necessary. Mary made this emphatic "M" when she was thirty-three years of age and reveals a cardinal point in her character - praiseworthy sense of duty; a single glance at that "M" bespeaks the impression, , she could throw her whole weight of influence into any performance duty might require. True to her "bond" the "Final Account" which is itemized on a later page within was presented on or before January 28, 1691 (Trenton, N. J., Unrecorded Wills, Vol. 5:331).

In due season one particular act dated November 22, 1690 emphasizes her self respecting character in her prideful determination to close her husband's estate without a single tarnish to his name, to wit: "Received of Mary Broadwell, widow of ye within bonded William Broadwell two cattle to the value of 8 lbs. 14 s. - in part of satisfaction of within bond" signed by Thomas Carhartt (Trenton, N. J., Unrecorded Wills, Vol. 5:335). The reference here is to a bond filed with her husband's will. A bond of William Broadwell to Governor Dongan, dated April 21, 1685 for delivery of lumber at Dongan's Mills on Staten Island; it was receipted by Thomas Carhartt in part November 22, 1690 to Mary Broadwell and in part, February 21, 1693/4 to Mary Johnson.

On July 31, 1694 the estate of William Broadwell was closed by the administratrix to wit: "Thomas Gordon, Commiissioner for taking probate of last wills etc. - examined the account of Mary Johnson, widow, Administratrix of ye estate of William Broadwell deceased - find (estate) duly administered and give aqquittance to Administratrix."

Mary is thus released and thus leaves her first husband's name honourably established. Meanwhile a surprise enters the history of her career - Lo! Mary Morse Broadwell has allowed another romance to enter her life; Mary has changed her name and at the age of thirty-eight, after a widowhood of nearly five years, is now, 1694, in the record as "Mary Johnson".

It must be remembered that John Johnson of Elizabeth Town befriended her by signing her bond of January 27, 1689/90 as administratrix; moreover a "John Johnson of Monmouth Co., N. J., (only a few miles from Elizabeth Town) on October 7, 1695, purchased from George Willocks of Perth Amboy, purchased several pieces of property including "One half of the plantation in Elizabeth Town formerly belonging to William Broadwell deceased" (N. J. Archives, 21:250). This item declares that John Johnson continued his interest in the estate of William Broadwell and points strongly to the conclusion that Mary Morse Broadwell married secondly this John Johnson. How long her second husband lived is not known; soon after his decease another matrimonial achievement is in the offing for Mary; trustworthy history affirms Mary was eventually led a third time to the wedding altar by Mr. Jacob Mitchell of Elizabeth Town.

The introductory words of her last will, made March 2, 1724/5, probated in Newark, May 14, 1726 before Surrogate, Michael Kearney of Elizabeth Town, clearly announces: "Mary Mitchell (to be) the wife of Jacob Mitchell of Elizabeth Town in Co. of Essex and Province of Jew Jersey." Furthermore this will lay stress on the testator "being sick and weake of body" and although laboring under the weight of years, generously bequeathed "my whole right and title of land and meadow in Elizabeth Town and elsewhere given me by my father, Robert Morse, by a certain (torn film - unreadable). . .the third day of February in the year of our Lord 1701 (torn film - unreadable) . . divided between my two loving sons, William and Richard (torn film - unreadable). . .heirs equally in quantity and quality"; witness (torn film - unreadable). . . A. Pabsolom Ladner, William Richardson and signed thus,

Mary still clings to her ancient signature but it is obvious her force had departed; although "sick and weake" of body her hand still attests a remarkable control of the pen (Trenton N. J. Wills Book A:355).

This item confirms and proves her distinguished parentage, in fact firmly fixes her blood right connection with an innumerable posterity; this item also gives that ominous warning, which 'sickness and weakness of body', enunciated in a Last Will, always gives; the end of the her days had come; the days of her years were numbered; this beloved mother whose sturdy physique withstood all attacks of epidemics and carried her years into the Biblical age of three score and almost ten, slipped through doors of death in her sixty ninth year, honoured by primacy in the establishment of an important American family. Mary Morse-Broadwell-Johnson-Mitchell, pronouncedly strong in both body and character, stands today in assured position of the first American ancestress of the widely known Broadwell family.

A stately mathematical progression of consequences resulted from her humble marriage to William Broadwell. In 1677, when this marital event happened, it was just another marriage, but Lo! the oncoming decades and centuries lifted that not unusual act to an historic happening of mast and ever increasing import.

William Broadwell was then the only and merely an industrious cordwainer, but now - history performed the magic change - he is one of the outstanding men of character in the early annals of Colonial New Jersey. Now, modern research proclaims him the American Original of the new family name, transplanted by him in his own being from England, of English origin, to the virgin soil of 'The Garden State' during the first decade of its distinctive history.

His first appearance here was when in 1677 he was admitted by Elizabeth Town as an associate, which implied his oath of allegiance and fidelity, and his name enrolled as one of "The First Settlers" of the town (O.E., Monnette's 'First Settlers', p. 104).

Whence William Broadwell came, and the circumstances connected with his crossing the Atlantic Ocean are still unknown: there are traces of his family name recorded in England during the early part of the 16th Century, so it is inferred he came directly from England to Elizabeth Town, N. J. as many another did. This surname is not mentioned in the outstanding 'Genealogical Dictionary' compiled by James Savage, which covers almost every family coming to New England; consequently the inference is, Broadwell did not come through New England or if so did not remain in New England long enough to establish the name in Church or State records. Nor is this surname found in Hinman's famous list of "Emigrants" - it is therefore conjectured he came directly to the port of N. Y. or Elizabeth Town, N. J. as a young man alone with ample credentials.

The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy sponsors the fact that William Broadwell "came from England, 1677". Inasmuch as no ship list nor custom's record has been discovered yet containing his name a finger cannot be placed upon the definite recorded date of his arrival. He was in Elizabeth Town already before August 21, 1677, when he was licensed and married by Mr. James Bollen (East Jersey Deeds, Lib. 3:136). This means that he was in Elizabeth Town long enough before this date to prepare for his nuptial tie up, and long enough before 1677 to be scrutinized and accepted by the Town Fathers as an Elizabeth Town 'First Settler'. William Broadwell was not one of the eighty original Founders of Elizabeth Town 1665, but became an associate in 1677; obviously he was here before 1677.

The record of his marriage emphasizes his occupation - cordwainer a craftsman usually called 'cobbler'; more ever one of the necessary vocations of that period or any period; he applied himself with such skill and determination as to become well and widely known - business came to him in such abundance that he had competence sufficient for all demands as bread winner and his surplus earnings forced him to seek investments bearing the best dividends; there is much recorded evidence that he invested in real estate; he bought and sold enough land to acquire the title of 'realtor' - term not known in his day but which could be applied to him appropriately.

There are ample original documents extant, in his own hand writing which enables one to judge of his degree of education, his adroitness in business, his successful endeavors. He was of pious mind and heart, which tied up well with his industrious life and made for all round happiness; his attitude toward life was tempered with a touch of gentleness, born only of a character schooled in the higher and better things taught in the Holy Word; his spiritual temperament is clearly observed in his 'Last Will', in which he exclaims for his "good and perfect remembrance" - "praised be God for the same." Again in the same document are showings of his deep religious experience and of his orthodox faith; this document expresses William Broadwell's hope "that by the merits of His Son Jesus Christ, my Saviour, my soul shall be eternally saved and that at my death I shall rest with him in eternal happiness." These are more than the formal words of a 'Last Will'; they are the sincere expressions of a religious character, and this sort of character expressed itself in earnest living and industry and established William Broadwell among his Elizabeth Town Associates as one to be trusted, respected and honoured.

He seems never to have entered public life in an official capacity. Although he was fast heading in that direction when death took him at the age of thirty-three. In various deeds he is of record as "Corwainer, Labourer, Planter and Gentleman"; declared "Gentleman" by a leading citizen of Elizabeth Town and stressed in his own Last Will. These occupations declare he was versatile and energetic, and all these community doings were winning him good returns at the time of his decease. His sudden death stopped everything - bills of credit, promissory notes, contracts and various obligations were in process of liquidation - his estate was in a state of flux at his death; this was so because of the way business was conducted in those days; almost every transaction was in writing; extension of credit was customary in those days of scarce money; several of such papers are extent, all of which were canceled, but a few of which were still alive at the time of his death; these were all liquidated by his faithful and true executor, and so far as known, every contract or promise to pay was completely fulfilled by his executor - leaving his name clear and honourable.

Return now to the beginnings of his life in Elizabeth Town; William Broadwell married in the middle year 1677, when he was at least 21 years of age and therefore born in 1656 - the date tallies well with the birth date of his wife, 1657, and is probably as true a date of his birth as will ever be assured. This young adventurer must have arrived in Elizabeth Town some months before his marriage to allow time for the a regular setting up of his business; allow time to show he could make good and be worthy of admission as "associate"; allow time for a decent courtship, and the conclusion is William Broadwell landed on Elizabeth Town soil not later than 1676.

In a list for the sole purpose of exhibiting the names of the "First Settlers" of Elizabeth town, author O.E. Monnette, in his "First Settlers" (p. 1151), includes the names of William Broadwell and his wife Mary. Jeremiah Osborn, an old man living in Morristown N. J., March 23, 1741 but who, in his early days, was a line man in the survey of Elizabeth Town, made an affidavit - preserved in Chancery Proceedings - which has become one of the rare N. J. land papers includes William Broadwell in his fundamental list of First Settlers ( Monnette, p. 384).

The terms "First Settlers" and "Associates" meant much more than mere association for defensive and offensive action; these terms meant actual proportionate so called "Rights" in any division of land based upon the first purchase of property; now it happened on October 30, 1678 one year after William Broadwell's marriage that he was able to purchase of Luke Watson 130 acres on the Pahway River, 12 acres of meadow on the same river, and another 6 acres nearby this river - a total of 148 acres (Monnette, p. 214; Hatfield's History of Elizabeth, p. 62).

On February 26, 1679, two years after William Broadwell's marriage, he obtained a "warrant" from the governor and council of New Jersey to lay out 60 acres of land in "right" of his wife; not until four years later did he present his warrant and obtain an order to survey (N. J. Archives 13:96).

On September 26, 1681, four years after his marriage "William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town; Corwainer" purchased of "Robert Mors of Elizabeth Town" (William Broadwell's father in law), 35 acres, being part of 14 acres laid out to Robert Mors of the Elizabeth River bound south by William Pardon, and Peter Moss (the purchaser's brother in law), and William Trotter. This land was specified out a patent of Robert Morse dated May 4, 1676 (Monnette, 216; Trenton N. J., Deeds Lib. 1:189).

His business of cordwainer was active and lucrative, and included the art of tanning leather, which in turn required land for tanning vats, and tan vats were usually in low or swamp land along flowing streams; this may be one reason why William Broadwell purchased, at first along the Pahway and Elizabeth Rivera. The patent issued to Robert Morse May 4, 1676 probably fixes the date of his removal from Newbury, Massachusetts to Elizabeth Town, N. J. and probably marks the year William Broadwell's first acquaintance with Mary, the fair daughter of Robert Morse.

Plying his trade of cordwainer had brought him earnings which he immediately turned into land; he evidently believed land was his best investment; in this he was right for land in his day contained the real wealth; he was soon one of the most active land dealers in that part of the world. Whether his cobbler’s bench was too confining is not known; it is known his interests were rapidly enlarging; on July 4, 1682 “William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town in the Province of East New Jersey, Coardwainer”, sold his 130 acres on the “Rawack River” to Joseph Freazy of the same place; witnesses of the deed were Jonathan Wood, John Brook, and Robert Vicary (Trenton, N. J., Deed Lib. 4:19).

The following year on May 31 1683 with a warrant in hand, in right of his wife, and cash in his pocket he petitions the powers that be for 60 acres, and it was agreed that if he made his rights appear satisfactory to the deputy governor, the deputy governor would order the surveyor to lay out the same (N. J. Archives, 13:86).

On the eighth of November 1681, when twenty-five years of age, he was appointed with his father in law, Robert Morse, to appraise the estate of Nicholas Carter of Elizabeth Town deceased. This means that public confidence was turning his way and that his knowledge of property values was pretty well established (East Jersey Deed Lib. No. 3:172).

On February 22, 1683 he was hailed before the council of Elizabeth Town by a petition of Jonas Wood - stating that Dr. William Taylor at his decease owed the petitioner money; that he and William Broadwell had entered into bond after Dr. Taylor’s death to administer his estate, but since no administration was granted, and William Broadwell notwithstanding receives the effects of Dr. Taylor’s estate and gives no account thereof to the petitioner, the petitioner prays administration; William Broadwell “denyes hee has rec’d anything since Taylor’s death, but by notes and orders from Taylor in his life time, he rec’d about 20 s. and no more”. The Council finally granted the petitioner administration, obviously because the petitioner was the larger creditor of Dr. Taylor’s estate (N. J. Archives, 1st Ser. 13:123).

The records show that William Broadwell’s name is constantly associated with the leading men of Elizabeth Town. When he was 28 years old he was literally plunging in the real estate market as the following references attest. May 1, 1684 William Broadwell in company with Richard Beech - both of Elizabeth Town convey to James Mott for ten shillings, 12 acres in Elizabeth Town bounde by Street, Nathaniel Tuttle, Mr. Craner’s Brook and Mary Mitchell (widow); payment was secured by mortgage payable in installments (Trenton, N. J., Deed Lib. A:104).

May 6 1684 he as cordwainer bought of Mr. Frazie six pounds worth of land and secured the same by mortgage; signed “William Broadwell and Mary his wife” (Trenton, N. J., Deed Lib. A:1167).

May 29, 1684, William Broadwell petitioned the Council of Elizabeth Town “For a parcel of Sunken Meadow on the south side of Elizabeth Creek, next to the house and lott late of Benjamin Wade” this petition was referred to the Deputy Governor to dispose of “as he sees fit” (N. J. Archives, 1st Ser. 13:86).

May 6, 1684, “William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town, Planter and wife Mary” sold his 35 acres in Elizabeth Town next to the creek, William Pardon, William Trotter, and Nathaniel Tuttle to Thomas Rudyard, secretary of the Province (East Jersey Deeds Lib. A:117, Trenton, N. J.). This 35 acres once belonged to his father in law, Robert Morse, in the disposal of which wife, Mary Morse, daughter of said Robert Morse, had special interest. It must also be observed that William Broadwell has now committed himself to agricultural interests even though he has not forsaken his handicraft.

On October 22, 1684 “William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town, Planter”, for 12 pounds purchased of Joseph Hart, 27 acres on Mill Creek, next to Leonard Leadley, Joseph Cearer (probably meant for, Searing), Isaac Whitehead, Joseph Meeker (Trenton, N. J. Deeds, Lib. A:152).

Two days later on October 24, 1684, “William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town Province of East New Jersey, Planter” sells ten shillings north of this property on Mill Creek to Andrew Bowne (Ibid, Lib, A:153). Andrew Bowne was deputy governor, 1699.

Jun 16, 1685, his eagerness to possess land increased and he applied to the proprietors of East New Jersey for 500 acres in Elizabeth Town and obtained 250 at 2 d. per acre; this was the qiut rent price to be paid annually.

November 6, 1685 William Broadwell has surveyed 267 acres on the east side of Ash Swamp, next to William Pardon, William Trotter and George Pack; also 16 acres on the east side of the foregoing; also 38 acres of the meadow on the south side of Bound Creek - this creek was the boundary line between Newark and Elizabeth Town (Hatfield’s History of Elizabeth, p. 252). This survey totaled 320 acres and was purchased from the proprietors of East New Jersey the conveyance was signed by Gawen Lawrea, William Sandford, Isaac Kingsland and John Berry (Trenton, N. J. Deeds Lib. A:355).

In the following year, May 26, 1686 William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town, cordwainer, received from the Propietors of East New Jersey, a bill for the Quit Rent at ½ pence per acres for 267 acres beginning at the east end of Ash Swamp (long dsecription omitted); 16 acres adjoining and 320 acres of meadow by Bound Creek. Signed Gawen Lawrea, William Sandford, Isaac Kingsland, John Berry (Trenton, N. J. Deeds, Lib. A:153). This item means that a patent for the above property has been granted surveys made, and possession acquired. This bill is referred to in the New Jersey Archives, 21:165; this item also show his real estate holding in 1686 amounted to 603 acres.

He constantly added to total of acres until his decease and probably his rights, which continued after his death, increased his property acreage for six years after his death, in an account of the qiut rents of the provenance of East New Jersey to the 25th of March 1686 the following entry is “William Broadwell’s heirs (Bradwill) 804 acres” Essex county. This item means that his heirs were paying qiut rent on 804 acres six years after his death.

His accumulation of realty during 1684-5 gave him sufficient basis backing, standing to enter into almost any contract. About 1684 he appears to have operated in the vicinity of Piscataway and Woodbridge (O.E. Monnette’s First Settler’s, p. 1155).

In 1683 he is found entering into contract with men in Newark; he had grown financially by industriously plying his waxed ends, his awls, his shoe lasts and leathers and was now, having accumulated good land, rated as “Planter”; at the start of his larger business career we find him borrowing money to oil the wheels of some project; his promise to pay is a documentary curiosity found among hi papers and reads: “Be it known unto all men by this present that I, William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town in the Province of New Jersey , Planter, do know and acknowledge myself - and stand firmly in depted unto Jasper Crane (another of the Watson American Originals) of New Yorke in the Province aforesaid, Planter, the sum of 31d., 10 in curant silver money to be payd at or upon the 2nd day of May next inauing the date hereon. I, William Broadwell doe bind myself to pay Jasper Crane aforesaid, hereunto set my hand this 31 March 1683.” Witnessed by Nathaniel Wheeler, John Couc-r-h (?); signed William Broadwell (Trenton, N. J. Unrecorded Wills 5:349). This item is a statement in his own language; most of the signature has been torn off the original document in certain proof that his promise had been fulfilled.

The year 1684 was the most active of his career and the foregoing note to Jasper Crane was the beginning of a series of notes extant, which tends show the growth of his outdoor interests.

We are informed that William Broadwell’s saw mill was “one of the land marks of his day” (Hatfield’s History of Elizabeth, N. J., p. 252). This saw mill was purchased April 23, 1684; the original contract is found in Trenton, N. J., Unrecorded Wills (5:343) and is as follows: “Wee William Broadwell and John Lyon, inhabitants of Elizabeth Town in the Province of East N. J. bind ourselves to pay Joseph Meeker, Benjamin Meeker, and Hur Tomson of do 6500 foot if inch thick merchantable boards if white-wood chestnut and oak - 1/3 of each sort - on or before 25 December, next, in consideration of and for a saw mill received of the said Joseph Meeker, Benjamin Meeker and Hut Tomson and if the aforesaid mill doe not prosper and succeed to the advantage of the aforesaid William Broadwell and John Lyon, they have their liberty to return the said mill and the appurtenances again to the said Joseph and Benjamin Meeker and Hur Tomson and in doeing this obligation is to be void and of now effect, otherwise to stand in full force.” Witnessed by Isaac Whitehead and Samuel Hindes.
Signed,

This item tells the story of one of the earliest saw mills located near the boundary line between Newark and Elizabeth Town and which served both towns in the first twenty-five years of their history; it gives the previous owners, who obviously were not making a success of it; it hints the cautious character of the successors; it involves Tur Tomson who will appear in another part of the Watson American Originals; it has preserved to posterity the hand writing of William Broadwell, in part, the latter part of his name having been torn out signifying the contract had been fulfilled. This project was a success from the start; the keen business sense of William Broadwell is apparent for he already had a contract in his pocket, which would give the saw mill considerable business when he and John Lyon purchased it.

This saw mill had been operating nearly a year when a sizable - or for those days - large contract was made with Col. Thomas Dongan of the Province of York; the contract is in the form of a bond to wit: “William Broadwell of Elizabethtown in the Province of New Jersey, labourer, am holden” to “ Col. Thomas Dongan of the Province of New Yorke” the consideration was 64 lbs. and was signed in New York, April 21 1685; this bond conditioned William Broadwell to pay Col. Dongan in kind, that is 32 lbs. in 2000 of chestnut planks 4 inches thick and not less than 16 inches broad at 8 shillings a hundred foot; 4000 feet of cake (?) boards one inch thick at 5shillings a hundred amounting to 32 lbs. to be delivered at Col. Dongan’s mill on his plantation at Staten Island on or before September 30, 1685” (Trenton, N. J., Unrecorded Wills, 5:333). This contract was witnesses by Philip Welles, Isaac Swinton and Corn. Corsson; it bears the signature of to wit:

This rare autograph is believed to have been made when William Broadwell was twenty-nine years of age; the earliest example of his autograph extant is found on the foregoing page and was penned when he was 28 years of age. This autograph has remained intact signifying that the contract with Dongan was not completed until after his decease by his executor, Mary his wife. For the final fulfillment of this contract see within.

Another contract or business deal with Aaron Tomson leads to the pretty sure inference that William Broadwell operated a village store in addition to his shoe shop and saw mill; the history of this business deal is preserved in the records from the signing of the deal to the full payment of the same as follows:
“William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town in the Province of East New Jersey, cordwinder, agreed on March 1, 1685, in the presence of Samuel Carter and John Wilkins to pay Aaron Thomson of the same place, planter 12 lbs. “to be paid viz.:
1st one barrel of molasses on or before May 1, 1685.
2nd 3 lbs. of merchantable honne on or before December 25, 1686.
3rd a barrel of molasses on or before May 1, 1687.
4th 3 lbs. of merchantable corne on or before December 25, 1687.
The following partly understandable endorsement is found on this document and reads: “Before the sealing of this instrument this bill is for consideration of Barnabas Carter - 12 lbs. in part of his years wages” it is probable that this agreement was carried out on time, insomuch as the signature is torn off the agreement; however a receipt was obtained by his executor the original of which may bee seen within next in photostatic form; this receipt was dated “16 day March one thousand six hundred ninety three com fower 1693/4” and signed Aaron Tomson.

Among the papers concerning William Broadwell was found a bill and bond dated 25th of November 1688, written entirely in his own language and by his own pen; it is interesting because it shows the close business relation with people of Staten Island; it shows the indian money was still a medium of exchange; best of all, it presents one of the best autographs - penned at the peak of health and enterprise; made when he was full of confidence in himself and when every prospect was pleasing; a glance at this autograph shows a sting straight signature - each capital letter made with a character flourish, which reveals his tendency toward generosity; this autograph brings out in strong relief his honesty, integrity, trust in himself and others, courage in his ability to command circumstances arising; this signature gives no slightest hint of any thing but a most rosy and successful future. It was written when he was thirty two years of age and five months prior to his departing this life; this document is presented and preserved intact on the following page in photographic form, a transcript of which is found on the next after the photo ( not transferable to the web page).

“This may sertyfi whome it may doth concern that wheare as there was a bill that did bind William Broadwell to pay Aron Tomson twelfe pounds in coren and mealasas now know ye that I Aron Tomson doth acknowlidg myself contented and fully paid witnes my hand this 16 day of March one thousand six hundred ninty three com forever 1693/4” (Trenton N. J. Unrecorded wills, 5:341).

Specimen of William Broadwell’s hand writing, composition and autograph “This bill bindeth me William Broadwell of Elizabeth towne to pay of caused to be payed to Darecke Houegolant (Derrick Hoagland) one staten island the full and just sume of three pounds and sevan shillings and six pence in corant money of new yorke to be payed to be payed at or before ye fiftene day of Aprell next in sewang (sewant) ye dat her of to wich performance I bind me my yers and axcakators furmly by thes presanse as witnass my hand this 25th of November 1683 and upon failer of payment of ye above sayed ye then ye sayd William Broadwell shall pay or forfiet ye just sume of twente shillings in like corant money afor sayed is witness my hand ye day and yer above sayed.


Testes Corns. Corsson Tun Pyeterson (Pijetersen)

It will be shown later within that this obligation to D. Hoagland was settled by William Broadwell’s administrator who paid 3 lbs., 7 shillings in full settlement thereof. The above mentioned deeds, contracts, bills amply affirm that William Broadwell was stepping on an up at the early age of thirty two; that he had moved from cordwainer to planter, to mill owner, to labourer to store keeper and to real estate operator; that he had acquire the title of gentleman and was called “Mr.”; that the name of one piece of his property held the name of “Barridge”, and that his inventory reveals and itemizes the clothing of a distangue personality, and that a most tantalizing seal, almost decipherable, is attached to his will - that he was probably of an armigerous family.

The end of his career was at hand; he was overtaken during the winter of 1688/9 by some illness which suddenly took his life; his business slackened; creditors were pressing some of his promises to pay; on the 13th of March 1688/9 he signs a bond for payment of 3lbs., 1 s., 6 d., to Joseph Wilson Sheriff - to be paid on or before May next; witnessed by Richard Townley and Patrick Falooner; this bond is extant and carries the signature of an unwell man; a copy of William Broadwell’s autograph was not taken from the original paper but his autograph was taken from another promise to pay dated the same day, March 13 1688/9 given to James Smott for the payment of 4 lbs. 3s. 6d. to be paid on or before June 12 1688, but this autograph is not one of a well man; it reveals an unsteady hand, weakness and nervousness as follows:

His estate was perfectly good for all his obligations and he was perfectly confident that they would soon be liquidated - at least within three months - all he needed was good care, a reasonable period of convalescence, and business would be resumed with former vigor. He had not reckoned with Fate; these last two notes were made just 18 days before he signed his Last Will in which he acknowledges “beinge sicke in body”; within five days after signing these last two “bonds” his inventory was filed in court (Trenton, N. J. Unrecorded Wills, 5:339).

This autograph should be cherished not only because it is one of the last recorded acts of William Broadwell, gentleman; not only because of its rarity, but because it is almost the last memoritor mark of the Founder of one of America’s large and respected families.

The nature of the illness which caused his intelligent and energetic life to cease is not recorded; we know his last act was the signing of his will only a few days before his name is taken off the roll of the living; it is penned under stress of ill health; it is abbreviated and shows a slight nervousness, but in the main is identical with his other signatures; shows considerable force and determination - retaining all the flourishes noted in former autographs; this last touch of his personality and character has been preserved in the New Jersey Archives for the past two and half centuries and is brought to light of day by photography so that it may be examined and cherished by his appreciative posterity. It appears on the following page.

A hint - only a hint - as to the nature of his final sickness is given in the “Final Account” rendered by his widow, the administrator, who paid 1 lbs. 15 s. to “Edward Gay for phissik”; obviously Edward Gay was the attending physician and knew the gravity of this sickness; urged the immediate writing of William Broadwell’s will.

It is almost certain that Edward Gay, who witnessed the will aided in its composition. It was written with the old-fashioned quill pen and the ink dried in the old fashion use of sand, which wet with ink generously dotted the original document as will be observed by closely viewing the next page.

A first glance at this interesting document leads one to exclaim, “Is this English?”; a second glance reveals the lettering to be uniform and decipherable. The will was made April 1, 1689; the inventory is dated 15 days later, April 16 1689 - proving that William Broadwell slipped though the door of death between April 1, and 16, 1689. On the following 27th of January this will must have been probated inasmuch as the administratrix was appointed on that date; the will was filed May 4, 1690. William Broadwell died (if he married at the age of 21 in 1677) in his 33rd year - having enjoyed married life 12 years. His will provides for his wife and name his three sons John, William and Richard in this order. It is quite certain his son John was born a natural time after his father’s marriage, say May or June 1678 and was a minor aged 8 years when his father made his will; hence he could not inherit until say 1699 - eleven years after his father’s decease; it is believed John died just before his coming to age. The following photostat of this well-preserved document speaks for itself and presents the untarnished facts most graphically.

The Last Will and Testament of William Broadwell was discovered among the Unrecorded Wills (Vol. 5:143) in the State House at Trenton, N. J. and in the volume entitled “Deeds and Patents” (Lib. D:142) a near but not exact deciphering of the difficult to read document. A more nearly perfect transcription follows:
In the name of God Amen: I William Broadwell of Elizabeth in the Countye of Essex and Province of East New Jersey Gentleman. This the first day of April in the year of our Lord 1689 beinge sicke in bodye but of good and perfect remembrance praised be God for the same do hereby ordain and make this last will and testament in the manner and form following. First, I give and bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God hopeinge that by the merits of his Son Jesus Christ my Saviour my soul shall be eternally saved and that at my death I shall rest with Him in eternal happiness. And as for my wordlye estate and goods I give and bequeath as followth. ----I give and bequeath unto my son John all that my sawinge mill with the appurtenances thereunto belonginge as allsoe fiftye acres of upland which thereunto adjoin mee and is two parcells 27 acres thereof lyeing to the mill and the rest was of late in possession of one Bragget and the same sawinge mill and land he shall enjoy when he comes to the full age of twentye one years and if in case he should dye before he comes to that age then sawemill and land I doe give unto my son William and if he should dye before he comes to the ages of 21 yeares then I give the sawemill and land to my son Richard and to his heires forever. Item I give and bequeath unto my sons William and Richard all that my tract and parcell of land called by the name of Barbarridge is also 36 acres of meadow the which is bounded by the bound creek on the east side and by a stake of Henry Norris of the east southernely, the upland is in computation two hundred and seaventye acres more or less and as for the rest of my good and chattells moveable and imoveable I doe give and bequeath unto Mary my wife whom I doe make sole executrix of this my last will and testament provided and upon condition that she duely pay all my just debts and legacyes and that she doe after a Christian and decent manner to bury. And I doe hereby revoke and make void all other wills and testaments formerlye by me made. In witness wherefore I have hereunto sette my hand and seal the day year first above written.

Sealed and signed in the presence of us Robert Traverse (his "T" mark) Edward Gray.

The original of the foregoing document was endorsed:” 1689 William Broadwell’s will Essex, 1689.” “William Broadwell his last Will and Testament, fourth May 1690 entered upon the Public Records of East New Jersey in Lib. D n folio 143. Ja. Emott”

Wife Mary granted administration: On the 27th January 1690. “The annexed will and testament of William Broadwell late of Elizabeth Town in the County of Essex and in Providence of East New Jersey. Gentlemen decreased was tendered before us and he William Broadwell having whilst he (lived, owned) diverse goods and chattells to be administered of in this Province, and right of granting administration thereof belonging unto us - doe admit unto Mary Broadwell, wife of the said William Broadwell, sole executrix in the last will and testament annexed, administration of the same.” The court charges Mary to Return a true inventory to the Register’s Office of the Province of East New Jersey on or before the 27th day of July next” and return or complete a true administration on or before 28th of January A.D. 1691. Signed Ja. Emott Regr. (Deed and Patents Lib. D:262).

“Mary Broadwell, relict and sole executrix of William Broadwell, late of Elizabeth Town in the County of Essex, Gentlemen., deceased, and John Johnstone of the same town” are bonded in the sum of 160 pounds sterling, to return a “true and perfect inventory” and give “a true and just account of the said administration” on or before the twentyeighth day of January which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and ninety.”


Witnessed by Ja. Emott, Ric: Townley. Signed January 27, 1690. (Trenton, Unrecorded Wills Vol. 6:251).

Fifteen days after William Broadwell made his will, “A true and prefect inventory and appraisement of all singular the goods and chattells of William Broadwell of Elizabeth Town in the County of Essex, lately deceased” was made on April 16, 1689 by Hur Tompson and Benjamin Griffith.

His wearing apparel - 2 coates, 1paire of breeches, a waiskot and stockings.
In the lower room - 2 shirts, 2 pocket hankerchiefs and a neck cloth.
In the lower room - (various articles) including 4 pewter platters, 3 plates, one sucking bottle, 2 porringers, brass kettle, 2 iron potts, a pare of hooks and trammels (iron hooks of various sizes and forms used in hanging kettles and other vessels over the fire), tongs, grid iron, 2 falling axes and wedge, 2 paire of sheep shears, 20 swivels for horse halters, a flesh hook and roaster, 9 accamy spoons, a gun, 1 tin milk pan, 2 porringers, 1 tin sauce pan, a tinder box, dusting brushes, earthen platter, and a cupp, a looking glass, 7 glass bottles, 2 wooden ----, 4 platters, and strainer, 6 wooden plates, 2 chairs, a truck and spinning wheel, coverlets, chests, truckle bed, cradle.
In the upper room - ruggs, coverlets, chests, spinning wheel, bridle, saddle, stirrups, lumber, 2 sives.
In the cow yard - 3 pair oxen, 2 heifers, a cow.
In the pasture - 2 horses, a mare, 2 sheep and a lamb, 12 swine, cart and chain, a drafft, 2 chains, pin and clevis, a studd.
At the mill - 3 pair if iron doggs, one iron sledd, broadax, 2 hand hammers, 11/2 inch auger, one sett for a saw, fowre files, one iron crowe, par of old nippers, pare of drafft wheels, 900 foot of inch boards, 70 foot of 11/2 inch boards, 2327 foot of plank, 75 foot refuse board. Total 67 pounds of sterling, 9 shillings, one pence.
Signed Hur Tompson, Benjamin Griffith.

The original inventory is in Trenton State House, Unrecorded Wills, (Vol. 5:329) and is endorsed “Inventory and Aprraisement of the Estate of William Broadwell, Essex 1689”. True to her “bond” there was found among the Unrecorded Wills (Vol. 5:331) the original account of Mary Broadwell’s administration of her husband’s estate: “The sume of the Inventory is 67 pounds, 9 shillings, one pence.
Payed to Joseph and Benjamin Meeker and Hur Tompson by bill 18 pounds, 18 shillings.
Payed to Edward Hall by bill 6 pounds.
Payed to Col. Dunton by land and Thomas Carhart by bill 32 pounds.
Payed to John Baldwine by bill 161 shillings.
Payed to Ja. Emott for himself and as Administrator of T. Swinton 1 pound, 7 shillings, 10 pence.
Payed to Seph Wilson by bill 3 pounds, 1 shillings, 6 pence.
Payed to Ja. Emott by bill 9 pounds, 3 shillings,6 pence.
Payed to John Warren by account 1 pound.
Payed to Edward Gay for phisick 1 pound, 15 shillings.
Payed to Derrick Houglant (Hoagland) to Thomas Carhart 3pounds, 7 shillings.
Payed to Aron Thomson by bill 12 pounds.
Payed to Jasper Crane by bill 3 pounds 10 shillings.
Payed to Abraham Pearson 3 pounds, 19 shillings.
Payed for funeral charges 3 pounds, 2 shillings.
Payed for providing the will and letters of administration 1 pound 18 shillings.
Sume is 102 pounds, 12 shillings and 5 pence.

The original foregoing final account is endorsed: Mary Broadwell, Account of Administration, Essex, September 16, 1689. This final account was presented with each bill receipted by those early settlers, thus furnished the autograph of these ancient worthies named above. These latter document, the Will, Inventory and Final Account present the pleasing picture of Elizabeth Town, N. J. gentleman’s home when that town was hardly twenty five years old. William Broadwell named his property “Barbarridge” - a name certainly not common to New Jersey; probably imported from some English property or scene familiar to William Broadwell in his childhood days; a name which evidently wished to perpetuate. Hur Thomson, a neighbor whose name will appear later in the Thomson pedigree of the Watson American Originals, assisted in making an inventory of William Broadwell’s entire estate, introduces us to a satisfactory picture of comfort just short of luxury. “Barbarridge” cannot be pictures an a Manorial County seat; even though Mr. Broadwell’s increased land holding verged closely on the necessary acreage of a pretentious manor; perhaps this country gentleman visioned Barbarridge would some day be a real manor; at the time of his decease Mr. Broadwell was certainly aiming toward exactly such an ideal. “Barbarridge” was a strong two storied dwelling, in which a loving wife carried on in patience and affection for three lively youngsters were on the way; in this dwelling were all the accessories of happiness, “Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home.” The inventory assures that here was a “lower room” and there was an “upper room” as well as the appointments of a satisfactory dining room and kitchen etc.

There was a generous, cheergiving fireplace, fed by slabs from his own saw mill, and well equipped with trammels, tongs, hooks, kettles, pots, flesh hooks, roaster, grid iron, even a tinder box and dusting brushes; over the fireplace hung the ever ready “gun” for fowling or defense, but more for fowling as Indian threats has already passed.

“Barbarridge” has simple furniture appropriate for all the room - beds coverlets, looking glass, chests, chairs, tables; eight platter porringers, cups plates, accomy spoons (?). The cow yard and pasture were alive with cattle; he owned 27 heads of livestock, including oxen, cows, horses, sheep and swine.

Yonder at the lower end of the pond stood the only sign of industry for mile around, the saw mill with it immense singing, bussing saw; there is found the axes, wedges, iron doggs, iron sledd, carpenter tools, files, saw sett, iron crow, old nippers, draft wheels, cart chains, even a pin and clevis and stacks of marketable boards and planks; the mill was at the height of productiveness.

There is one noticeable omission in this much-itemized inventory; throughout the whole document one seeks in vain a statement or sign of the cordwainer’s craft, such as shoes, leather, awls, waxed ends, hammers - absence of which must mean he had either sold out his good will in the shoemaking business or it had been completely absorbed by family, farming or milling interests.

His “Final Account” leads one into the sordidness of the business world, but even there, if this “account” is read alright, William Broadwell is found to be a busy young man, pushing forward making progress, in the very thickest of competitive action, giving well behaved, civilized combat with the older and more practiced Elizabethtown Associates; nothing insolent, lazy or slothful about him; he was succeeding; his business compeers were; according to the his “Final Account”, among the leading men of Elizabeth, Newark, Staten Island and New York, such as Joseph and Benjamin Meeker, Hur Thomson, Edward Bald, Col. Dunton, Thomas Carhart, John Baldwin, Ja. Emott, Joseph Wilson, John Warren, Derek Hoagland, Aaron Tomson, Jasper Crane, Abraham Pearson, it is true death caught him indebted to many of these men; but all told this indebtedness was not much, and paid in full by the estate; his future seemed most promising and secure, when suddenly he was forced to lay down in perpetual sleep and be numbered with the departed.

There can be no doubt where is body reposes; he must have been buried in the only burying ground of that time and locality - Elizabeth, N. J.; no monument, so far as known, marks the exact spot of interment. Wherever this spot may be it is a blest retirement; goldsmith in his “Deserted Village” has worded the thought, which seems appropriate to William Broadwell’s passing away. “How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these, a youth of labor with an age of ease; And all his prospects brightening to the last, His heaven commences ere the world be past.” William Broadwell’s body may be a thing of the past and we may picture him as “Gentleman, Planter, or Mr.” as the records aver; a county gentleman in full dress - arrayed in the finery of velvet breeches, silk stockings, colored waistcoat, white shirt with ruffled cuffs, black silk neck cloth and lace handkerchief, as his Inventory intimates; William Broadwell was much more than this true picture of passing things; history has done him the honor of founding the American Family Broadwell - a family now two and half centuries old and growing and going strong; having endured that long, it may continue as long as the human race. William Broadwell is a man of mark, not because of any particular heroic service, or glorious personal achievement, but simply because he was a worthy progenitor, the American Original of a good family; the Starter of successive American generations bearing durable blood and reputable service.

References:
Monnette’s, 1930, First Settlers Piscataway, pp. 49, 58, 90, 102, 104, 115, 214, 216, 348, 731, 1151.
Morristown, New Jersey, Ch. Register.
C.C. Gardner’s Collection, Vol. “Bra.” in New Jersey Historical Society.
John Littell’s, 1852, Passaic Valley, N. J. Genealogies, with notes p. 52-61.
Lindly, Lindsley Vol. 1.
Crayon’s Rockaway Valley, N. J. p. 274
Bower’s History of Sangamon County, Ill. 142-144.
Abridged Compendium of America Genealogy V:438.
Hatfield’s, 1858, History of Elizabeth, New Jersey, p. 57, 62, 75, 86, 252.
New Jersey Archives 1st Ser. 13:96, 123; 21:61, 173, 165, 183; 23: 322, 61; 30:556; 21:215,250.
Trenton, New Jersey Deeds, Lib. H:144, 142; B:68; A:117, 152, 152, 335.
Trenton, New Jersey Deeds and Patents Lib. D:262; A: 103, 104, 116, 117, 152, 153, Lib 3:136, 172; Lib 4:19.
Trenton, New Jersey Records, Lib D:143, p. 114.
Trenton, New Jersey Unrecorded Wills, 5:329,333,335,343,349,331,339,337,341,343; 6:251.


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