Sunday, February 26, 2012

Raising Her Children Alone – Martha Van Tuyl

B. 20 Jun 1767 in New Jersey
M. 7 Sep 1788 in New Jersey
Husband: John Ross
D. 27 May 1853 in Somerset County, New Jersey

Martha Van Tuyl was born in New Jersey on June 20, 1767, but it is unknown who her parents were. The Van Tuyl family were Dutch immigrants to 17th century New Amsterdam, mostly settling in Staten Island. A couple of the second generation of Van Tuyl brothers were pirates around 1700, who had adventures as far away as Madagascar.

There is no evidence how Martha connects to the family; one possible father was Michael Van Tuyl, born on Staten Island in 1741 and married in 1766 to Saertie Hoeper. They were known to have been living in Somerset County, New Jersey in 1775. One of the granddaughters of Michael Van Tuyl was buried in the same cemetery as Martha.

The first place Martha appeared in the records was with her marriage to John Ross on September 7, 1788. They settled first in Piscataway, then in Boundbrook. Martha had ten children between 1790 and 1806, of which two died as infants. With all of the children still underage, John died in 1808. She was left with one third of his estate to live on with the rest divided up amongst the children when the youngest reached the age of 21.

Martha owned at least two slaves. She freed one named Joseph in 1829, and one named Susan in 1843. Slavery in New Jersey was being phased out during that time.

Martha died on May 27, 1853 at the age of 85. She was buried in Boundbrook Presbyterian Cemetery.

Children:
1. John Van Tuyl Ross – B. 3 Mar 1789, New Jersey; D. 23 May 1790, New Jersey

2. Sarah Ross – B. 12 Dec 1790, Piscataway, New Jersey; D. 19 Jan 1872, Jerseyville, Illinois; M. Jeremiah Reading Parsell, 31 May 1815, Raritan, New Jersey

3. John Ross – B. 25 Dec 1792, Boundbrook, New Jersey; D. 16 Nov 1881, Somerset County, New Jersey; M. Joanna Sebring (1792-1874), 1 Apr 1816, Somerset County, New Jersey

4. Martha Anderson Ross – B. 7 Sep 1794, New Jersey; D. 6 Nov 1838, New Jersey; M. Isaac Staats (1791-1869)

5. Esther Ross – B. 26 Sep 1796, New Jersey; D. 29 May 1864; M. David R. Runyon (1795-?), 28 Jan 1818, Somerset County, New Jersey

6. Joseph Ross – B. 5 Dec 1798, Piscataway, New Jersey; D. 29 Jun 1875, Somerset County, New Jersey; M. Phebe Talmage (1805-1881), 30 Oct 1823, Somerset County, New Jersey

7. Peter B. Ross – B. 16 Jan 1801, Boundbrook, New Jersey; D. 14 Sep 1878, New Jersey; M. Sarah B. Smith (1802-1898), 13 Nov 1828, Somerset County, New Jersey

8. James S. Ross – B. 4 Mar 1803, Boundbrook, New Jersey; D. 14 Jul 1878, Jersey County, Illinois; M. Alletta Van Arsdalen (1803-1886), 29 Mar 1826, Boundbrook, New Jersey

9. William Ross – B. 5 Dec 1804, New Jersey; D. 15 Oct 1805, New Jersey

10. William Ross – B. 26 Jul 1806, New Jersey; D. 6 May 1882; M. Elizabeth Winsor (1810-?), 13 May 1835, Somerset County, New Jersey

Sources:
A Van Tuyl Chronicle, Rory L. Van Tuyl, 1996
Somerset County Historical Quarterly, 1912-1919
The Ross Family of New Jersey, Bob Ross, 1990
The will of John Ross, Middlebrook, New Jersey, 26 Feb 1808
Tombstone inscription of Martha Ross, Old Presbyterian Graveyard, Boundbrook, New Jersey
 New Jersey deaths and burials, 1720-1988
New Jersey births and christenings, 1660-1980
New Jersey county marriages, 1682-1956
Death certificate of James S. Ross, 27 Jul 1878, Jerseyville, Illinois
Death certificate of Alletta Ross, 13 May 1886, South Branch, New Jersey

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