The 1753 - 1845 Boundary Line Records of Sussex & Warren Counties

Tucked away in the Sussex County Divisions of Land, Vol. B, is a complete set of extracts, dated 1753 through 1845, pertaining to the county divisions and precinct (township) partition records. Headings in elegant calligraphy set these pages apart from the preceding mid-19th century court business written in the every day hand of William L. Smith, then the elected County Clerk.  This compilation of material appears to be the last official act of Smith, who served five years in that position, for subsequent entries in Vol. B are in the handwriting of  his successor, Thomas I. Ludlum, elected in 1851.

"Records Relating to the Division of the County of Morris into two Counties, the Division of The County of Sussex into Precincts or Townships & also the Division of The County of Sussex into two Counties, Sussex & Warren, and Subsequently Division of the Townships in the County of Sussex" - Sussex Divisions of Land, Vol. B, p 418.

Sussex Centennary, 1853

While no context is given for this insertion into the record, Smith's intention may have been to gather together, for his successor's ease of reference, the history and particulars of boundary lines as they might relate to the future divisions of estate lands in Sussex County.  The footnoted extracts appear to be accurate facsimiles* of earlier publications, attesting to the meticulous efforts required of a county clerk.  

Another possible motivation for William Smith's work at the time may have been the first preparations underway for the Sussex County 1853 centennial celebration, for both Edsall's and Tuttle's addresses would be heavily footnoted, echoing the Smith compilation as well as earlier histories. Benjamin Edsell's foreword states he is "especially indebted to Thomas I. Ludlum, Esq., clerk of Sussex County, for giving me free access to the books and papers of his office."

Most interesting to this researcher in the Smith boundary line extracts are the various precinct signatories' full names, the place names within the landscape, and the occasionally noted location of freeholders' homes, including those of Warren County, set off from Sussex in 1824.  Though scattered throughout the 19th century histories, finding such material in one place is a delightful convenience. 

Mansfield Woodhouse Precinct, now Warren County, in 1754.

Partition line Between Sandiston and Montague August term 1801.
 In pursuance of a commission from the judges of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas of May term last we the subscribers met at the house of Daniel Ennis on the 11th day of August 1801, agreeable to notice given and proceeded to run the following line Beginning at the Delaware River at the mouth of Abraham Westfalls Mill Brook near the lower end of Minisink Island ....  (Note the place name Abraham Westfalls Mill Brook is labeled White Kill in the earlier NJ - NY boundary map of 1769.)

White Kill (1769) later known as Abraham Westfall's Mill Brook (1801).

Householders and place names
1753 -1759: Great Pond (Lake Hopatcong), Japhet Byram, Henry Hughe, Ephraim Darby, Ash or Ask Swamp, Ebenezer Byram, David Luse or Leese, Thomas C Cove____,  Henry____, Benjamin Smith, William Schooley, Johannes [John] Depue, Johannis Cornelius Westbrook, Joseph Hull, Richard Gardiner, Richard Lundy, Gap of Packhoquarry Mountain commonly called the Water Gap, Minisink Mountain, Elijah Cole, Joseph Dennis, Hunter's Ferry, Redmund's land, Thomas Scott, Joseph Hixon, Thomas Thatcher, John Richey, mine hill, Col. Stout, young Samuel Green,  Bev___ Pond, Polly P__ Meadow, E___ Harris, Mott's Saw Mill, Edward ___'s Meadow, Ayers, Daniel Westfall, Jerimiah Kittle, Station Point, Col. John Leward, Francis Bernard, Esq. (Governor).

1782-1801:  Spruce Bank (a turn in the Pequest river), Jesse Force, Pepocottin bridge, White Pond,  red Meeting house on the Wallkill, Nathan White, Herman Millhaus, Daniel Ennis, Abraham Westfall's Mill Brook, White Rocks, ___ Decker, George Backster, Joseph Sharp, Jacob Ayres, White's Tavern, Aaron Prall, George Armstrong, Robert C Thompsen, ___ J. Reading.

1824 - 1829: Hardwick church (situated on the South side of the main road leading from Johnsonburg to Newton), John Lawrence, East & West Jersey line, Blue mountain, Nathaniel __axton, Thomas Gorden, Benjamin McCurry,  John Clay, Obadiah Pellet, Beemers Meeting house, Deckertown Church or Meeting house.

1840 - 1845: Joseph Linn (surveyor), Richard R Morris, Thomas A. Dildine, Robert Van Kirk, Benjamin Chamberlain, Robert Mills, Holloway Bates,  heirs of John Ruttenford, Jonah Howell's Mill, Thomas house, Merritt Pinckney, Joseph Northrup, Solomon Roe, Peter G Demerest, Moses Woodruff, A. Boyles, John Snyder, James L. Hunt, William Martin, Seely Pow___, Lewis Sherman. 

Note:  Some people and place names carry through across the years and are repeated in bordering township lines.  Initialed stone boundary markers and variants of the main branches of the watershed have not been included.   

Warren County Addendum
In 1839, under an act of the New Jersey Legislature, Warren County commissioners would set off Hope, Franklin and Harmony Townships.  The recorded survey points of reference include numerous householder locations and place names within the landscape.

Warren County Townships, 1839.
1839:  William Tinsman, William Hawke, Joseph Coate, Z___Everitt, Anthony Kirkhoff, Taylor's Tavern, Anthony B Robeson,  County Poor House, Bloomsbury bridge, George Taylor, Merril's Brook, Brass Castle stream, William Runkle (Runkle's bridge), DeWitt's school house, John Stryker, Robinson's Rift (in the Delaware River), Doc'r Jabez Guiness, C__H. Valentine, Edward  Swayze, John VanKirk.


* Footnotes within the extracts:

'Allison' refers to the Samuel Allison edition of  Acts of the General Assembly of the Province of New-Jersey : from the surrender of the government to Queen Anne, on the 17th day of April, in the year of our Lord 1702, to the 14th day of January 1776

'Paterson' refers to  Laws of the State of New Jersey, revised and published under the authority of the Legislature, by William Paterson,1800,