Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sheriff of Somerset County – Peter Abraham Dumont

B. 11 Jul 1734 in Hillsborough, New Jersey
M. (1) 6 Dec 1757 in New Jersey
Wife: Abigail Tunnison
M. (2) 23 Feb 1763 in Somerset County, New Jersey
Wife: Sarah Hegeman
D. 7 Jul 1818 in Hillsborough, New Jersey

Peter Abraham Dumont lived his entire life on the same farm. He was born in Hillsborough, New Jersey on July 11, 1734 to Abraham Dumont and Mattie Bergen, the oldest of their four children. On December 6, 1757, Peter married Abigail Tunnison; they had two daughters, but Abigail died two weeks after the birth of her second child in December 1761. Peter then married Sarah Hegeman on February 23, 1763. They had eight children born between 1764 and 1782.

Peter was a town committee member of Hillsborough, New Jersey from 1776 to 1777. Congress appointed him to act when necessary to organize militia and volunteer companies for service during the Revolutionary War. It was said that he was at the battle of Monmouth, and for many years an officer's uniform and sword hung in the garret of the old homestead which belonged to him.

Peter was sheriff of Somerset County, New Jersey starting in 1774, and was in this position at least until June of 1779. He was also Justice of the Peace from 1781 to 1782 and again in 1786, and Judge of the County from 1782 to 1784.

Peter owned at least two slaves who were involved in escapes. The first was in his jail after killing his master, and Peter put this notice in the New Jersey Gazette on June 23, 1779:

"SIXTY DOLLARS Reward. Made his escape a few days ago from the Provost Guard near Raritan bridge, a Negro Man named CUFF, well set, speaks very slow but good English, about 40 years old, very black; he was confined for killing his master, Joseph Moss, of Stony hill. Whoever secures the said Negro, so that he may be brought to justice, shall have the above reward, and all reasonable charges paid by PETER DUMONT, Sheriff of Somerset County."

On February 14, 1780, Peter put a notice in a New Jersey newspaper reporting his own runaway slave. “Ran away on Saturday night…, a negro man named Toney…. It is supposed he is endeavoring to go to the enemy. Any person taking up and securing said negro, or returns him to me, shall have [$200] and all reasonable charges, paid by me.”

Both slaves appear to have been captured, because they were mentioned in Peter’s will in 1817. The slave named Cuff must have come into Peter's possession after his capture and would have been nearly 80 years old when the will was written. Peter owned 9 slaves at the time of his death on July 7, 1818. His total estate, aside from his land, was valued at $5,730.

1. Sarah Dumont – B. 9 Mar 1764, Somerset County, New Jersey; D. 28 Feb 1846, Somerset County, New Jersey; M. Christopher B. Van Arsdalen (1760-1840), 30 Apr 1789, Somerset County, New Jersey

2. Abraham Dumont – B. 24 Mar 1767; D. 28 Aug 1775

3. John Dumont – B. 5 Sep 1769, Somerset County, New Jersey; D. 7 Jul 1822; M. Mary Perlee

4. Adrian Dumont – B. 7 Aug 1773; D. 13 Sep 1774

5. Abigail Dumont – B. 1 Mar 1777; D. 8 Aug 1777

6. Abraham Dumont – B. 16 Jun 1778, Somerset County, New Jersey; D. 9 Nov 1858; M. Judith Davis, 6 Jun 1799

7. Peter Dumont – B. 7 Nov 1782, Hillsborough, New Jersey; D. 12 Aug 1860, Hillsborough, New Jersey; M. Magdalen Davis (1781-1870), 6 Nov 1805

"Wallerand Dumont and his Somerset County Descendants," John B. Dumont, Somerset County Historical Quarterly, Vol. 1, 1912
Pretends to be free: runaway slave advertisements from colonial and revolutionary New York and New Jersey, Graham Russell Hodges and Alan Edward Brown, 1994
Will of Peter A. Dumont, Somerset County, New Jersey, 23 Oct 1817
Family bible of Christopher Van Arsdalen


  1. Good evening. My name is Rob DuMont and I'm looking for some information for my family tree. The furthest I have gotten was to my possible great-great-great-great-grandmother named Abigail DuMont born 1794 in New Jersey. According to the records I found she was also a resident of North Brunswick. She was mother to William Solomon DuMont (1/17/1837 in Rochester NY).
    I'm trying to any information that I can.
    Do you have any information that could help me?

    1. I don't have your Dumonts in my genealogy. I did some quick searching online and was able to find the 1850 census listing for Abigail Dumont and her children including William. By searching her name on Family Search, I found a death record for her son Philip and that record says Philip's father was named Horace Dumont. I couldn't find any other online information on Horace. Most likely Abigail's maiden name wasn't Dumont and Horace died between 1837 and 1850. I hope that helps.