Old Church Farm, Cranberry, Middlesex County, New Jersey

John Laurens Dey was born about 1680 in Staten Island, New York. He was the son of Hans Laurentszen Duyts and Sara Hance Vincent Fontaine. John Dey Sr. died before 8 March 1750/1751 in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey (Machaponix?). He married Anne **** (Brown?).

[From a manuscript written by a J. Warren Dey in 1902 - sent to me by Tom Robertshaw]

"On 21st day of Dec. 1725, he purchased from Mindert Johnson of the township of perth amboy 200 acres of land, bounded on the south by Millstone river, and on this tract he settled. This land is located near Prospect Plains and Cranbury, Middlesex county, new jersey, and is now owned and occupied by John Dey a descendant of Wm. Dey of 1718."

By his will dated Oct. 1, 1750, proved March 8, 1750 or 51, he names wife Anne, sons John, David, William, James, Vinson and Joseph, and daughters Anne and Katherine.

Executors, my son John, my son William and my son-in-law, Lawrence Dye.

Witnesses were Peter Perrine (a neighbor), Sten (Steven) Warne (a neighbor) , and Sarah Davisson."

The farm was known as the Old Church Farm and was occupied for at least 125 years by John Dey and his kin.

A letter from A. Zaile Thorla, granddaughter of Silas Thorla (date unknown at the present time), gives a family history of the Old Church Farm. The sketch at the top of her letter and reproduced to the right is characteristic of Silas' work. The relationship between the Old Church Farm and the sketch is unknown at this time.

"Old Church Farm - bought by John Dye, Sr. 1725

Old Church Farm - so named - first small church in the neighborhood was built on one corner of it. Building recently burned down -- and the gravestones behind it have all been stolen, but that is where our ancestors are buried. John Dye, Sr. bought it in Dec. 1725 and gave part of it to John Dye, Jr., our Ezekiel's father.

During the Rev. War - Ezekiel, his father & brothers heard shots and ran across the road to find Ezekiel's Uncle Anthony had been shot in his own doorway by the Tories.

The farm is 3-4 miles east of Cranbury & Heightstown.

In Dye Data, volume 3, maps of the area around Old Church Farm were presented. The veracity of these interesting pieces of history is being investigated at this time.

North is to the top of the image. Typed captions on the map state:

  1. Middlesex County, New Jersey, 1761. Earliest land owners & farms. 2" = 1 mile [which is approximately preserved in the images that follow]

  2. John Dye bought the property December 25, 1725 from Mindert Johnson. It's stayed in the family for many years and was called Old Church Farm.

The original purchase is marked -- John Dye, 1725. Note that Peter Perrine (second husband of Hannah Disbrow Dye (wife of David Dye)?) had a farm to the west and west of that was the farm of Rich. Mount.

The John Applegate's farm was to the east. North of the Rich. Mount farm are farms occupied by Geo. Mount and Rich. Mount. Recall that John Laurens Dey's son John married a _____ Mount as did his sister Patience

The farms of John Laurens' sons John, James, and Joseph are clearly marked as is the trace of Millstone Creek. To the east of John's farm is the farm of Anthony Applegate. Recall that family legend has it that John Dye and Anthony Applegate married sisters.

The farm of William Dye (John Lincoln to William Dye, 1748, 300 acres) lies to the north, across Cranbury Brook, of the George Mount and Rich. Mount, Jr. property shown in the first plot.

South of the William Dye plot and north of the Rich. Mount plot is a plot marked "To Rich. Mount, Jr. , 1710 and To Steve Warne, 1725. Recall that John's will was witnessed by a Steve Warne. To the west is the plot marked Geo. Mount. The Old Church is clearly marked.

Note that, with the exceptions of David and Joseph Dye, all of John's sons had farms within a few miles of the original purchase.

John Dey (son) -- Generation 4

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