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22.01.2015
Traditionally, most genealogies of our early New Jersey Cliffords treat George Clifford whose will was written and recorded in 1757 as the progenitor of our New Jersey Cliffords, and the James Clifford whose will was written in 1780 and recorded in 1782 as his son James. Do not confuse the Clifford's "Pattenburg house" with another early house, probably also still standing, known locally as the "Clifford Mansion," located near Pennington, Hopewell Township, Mercer County, New Jersey.30 This house today (2001) is apparently part of the property of Bristol Myers Squibb. The old Armitage house known locally as the Clifford Mansion, Hopewell Township, Mercer Couny, New Jersey. Make and publish this my Last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say Imprimis - - I commend my Soul into the Hands of Almighty God who gave it me and my Body to the Earth from whence it came - - In Hope of a Joyfull Resurrection through the meritts of my Saviour Jesus Christ, and as for that worldly Estate wherewith it has pleased God Bless me I Dispose there of as follows that is to say first I Leave to my Son John Clifford the sum of Sixtey pound Besides his Equal Share with the rest. These things I leave and Declare to Be my Last will and testament as also the Before mentioned Half Sheet of peeper Witness my Hand and Seal this ninth Day of November in the year of our Lord 1757. There is no mention of the farm and George's house, unless these are implied by "equal share." I could find no estate settlement for George Clifford. When Alexander White's will was written in 1776 and in which he referred to his wife "Mary," the Mary would then be Mary, widow of George Clifford, not Mary (McMurtrie) White.35 See Appendix 2.
On 23 May 1701 sea captain William Kidd was found guilty of piracy and murder and hanged in London. Martin Van Buren, who would become the 8th President of the United States, was born 5 December.
For my direct ancestors: James (#NN), James (#3), Charles (#11), Charles (#53), James (#251), Hugh (#718), and Ralph (#1346) Clifford, I present events (timelines) for the time in question.
Most of the Clifford information of that time, at least in 1700-1782 Hunterdon County, has to do with James's brother George.
I can find no records of James Clifford in New Jersey prior to 1755, when he and apparently his sons George, Charles, James, and Edward were on the Subscribers list, Connecticut land claims in western New Jersey.41 Our James could have been the James Clifford whose ear mark was recorded in Bethlehem Township (Town meeting Records) in 1771 (this record sent to me by Elaine Johnston, see #284, in a July 2004 email). There follows another paragraph in which the Executor, Edward Clifford, being duly sworn, agrees to perform the duties of the Executor, 11 January 1782. George3 Clifford; married and known to have had both sons and daughters, but names not known. A Rebecca Clifford married 29 September 1768 in Bethlehem Township, Hunterdon County, Robert Gordon.49 James did not mention females in his will, but we know that he had daughters Ann and Elizabeth.
There are two early Clifford wills recorded in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, from which Clifford workers derive much of the root-source information on early Cliffords of New Jersey: (1) the will of George Clifford, who died in 1757, and (2) the will of James Clifford, who died 1782.
The birth dates of Charles Clifford (#11), son of 1782 James (#3), and the reported birth date of John Clifford (#5), oldest son of 1757 George (#2), are incompatible with 1757 George Clifford being the father of 1782 James Clifford.
I know of only one document that specifically states that 1782 James Clifford was the son of 1757 George Clifford.
Although James and George died 25 years apart, this is not the same as being born 25 years apart. To my knowledge no one has primary sources to support either the traditional or this alternate genealogy of the New Jersey Cliffords.
As in any hypothesis, if and when primary source information is forthcoming that 1782 James Clifford was a son of 1757 George Clifford, then the alternate genealogy for Generation Two can be rejected and dispensed with. Since the alternate genealogy is a hypothetical model, we can take liberties with it as long as we do not go against primary sources or strong circumstantial evidence to the contrary. The approach here is an "alternate genealogy," in that I treat George and James Clifford as brothers, not father and son. The Library of Congress has several photographs of the house's exterior and interior, some taken as early as the 1880s. Clifford's Pattenburg, New Jersey, house, 1941, when it was called Faber House because of the 1941 owners. Photograph taken by Donald and Josephine Louise (Clifford) Frase (#2046) of Pittsford, New York.


Williamson came into possession of the house in 1876.27 An old photograph of the house, circa 1880s, shows Joseph and his wife Bertha (Race) Williamson and their daughters Anna Belle (to the left) and Agnes Williamson (see Photo 1).
According to Bill O’Neal, with special thanks to David Blackwell, the house (known locally as The Clifford Mansion ), which has a ‘newer’ colonial revival addition in front, stands close to Pennington-Rocky Hill Road. Traditionally, workers have treated these two Cliffords as father and son, undoubtedly in part because James died about 25 years after George died, and George named a son James in his 1757 will. There is valid evidence that 1782 James's son Charles Clifford was born in 1730.51 Therefore his father, James, could not have been born much later than 1710.
This pertains to the Pattenburg house passing from George to his son James: "This house was built by George Clifford who died in New Jersey in 1757.
If George's son John was born in 1743, he would have only been about 14 when his father died.
The evidence for 1757 George and 1782 James being brothers seems as strong if not stronger than the evidence that George was the father of 1782 James. And, as evident from Generation Two, I have done this by tentatively adding James Clifford (#7) to the children of 1782 James, and designating 1757 George Clifford's son James Clifford (#12) as the James Clifford who married Prudence White and lived in Hardy County, Virginia, present-day West Virginia. George lived in Hopewell Township, then part of Hunterdon County (now part of Mercer County, see Map 3),17 New Jersey, from at least 1738 to circa 1751; then in Bethlehem Township (present-day Union Township), Hunterdon County, New Jersey. And this is where we find the Clifford's Pattenburg, New Jersey, house (see Cover and Map 4). The Clifford's Pattenburg house, apparently part of the Clifford farm, was built "probably" by George Clifford before 1757.23 See Photos 1 and 2.
The house was part of the farm of Enoch Armitage (1677-1739)31 and was sold in 1847 to Charles Clifford (#56), a son of John and Martha (Armitage) Clifford (#15). A wife was not mentioned in James's will, written 6 June 1780; but no females were mentioned in his will, and we know he had living daughters at that time. In October, The Collegiate School of Kilingworth in Connecticut was founded—this Congregational school would become Yale University. The following year, 1783, Britain declared cessation of hostilities with the United States. Assuming James's son Charles was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, in 1730, one would expect some early records of James in that county, as we have for George. However in 1774, a James Clifford, presumably either James Clifford (#3) or James Clifford (#7, son of George Clifford) was in the 1774 census for Greenwich, Sussex County43 (a part that was to become Warren County in 1824, see Map 5), New Jersey, even though the 1780 will of James Clifford (#3) states he was of Bethlehem Township, Hunterdon County-the will was recorded in Alexandria, which is a few miles south of Pattenburg. Clifford,44 James's will was made in 1780, at which time Charles had been in captivity for over a year. The premise here, which I will call an alternate genealogy, is that George, whose will was written and recorded in 1757, and James Clifford, whose will was written in 1780 and recorded in 1782, were brothers, not father and son. The alternate genealogy also helps explain problems Clifford workers have encountered with the New Jersey Cliffords. His will was written 8 November 1757 and recorded 12 December 1757; he probably died in the Pattenburg area of present-day Union Township. The house most likely passed from George (if indeed the house was built by George instead of his brother James) to his brother James.
Faber of Pattenburg, New Jersey (and owner of the house in 1931), the house passed from John Clifford (#15), who died intestate in 1842, to his heirs Charles Clifford (son), Enoch Clifford (son) and Kitchen Hartpence (also spelled Harpence) (husband of John's daughter Elizabeth). Williamson died intestate in 1900, and the Pattenburg house and property descended to his heirs (daughters): Anna B.
Presumably Charles and Leah (Hoagland) Clifford lived in the house, although by 1847 all their children were grown. Also in October, William Penn presented what would become the first constitution for the then Province of Pennsylvania.


In December 1783, George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the Army and returned to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia. If so, this would suggest that our Jane Gordon was not a daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Oliphant) Gordon, since Thomas and Margaret apparently did not have a son Robert. In other words, James the "loving brother," mentioned in 1757 George's will, and the James who died 1782 were the same person. In short, as younger brother of John (born 1743), this James could not have fathered Charles Clifford, born 1730.
But I know of no primary source to support the statement that the house passed from George to his son James. One report has George dying 1757 in Warren County, New Jersey.18 In 1757, Warren County would have been part of Sussex County, bordering Hunterdon County on the north. From the Hunterdon Historical Newsletter, published by Hunterdon County Historical Society, volume 13, number 3, Fall 1977, page 7. James's son John Clifford (#15) came into possession of the house in 1795.24 However John's father died much earlier, in 1782. There are five rooms on the first floor, two rooms and a hall on the second floor, a basement, and three fireplaces.
Enoch Clifford (#57), another child of John and Martha Clifford, sold the house in his role of executor of the will of Enoch Armitage's grandson, also named Enoch Armitage (born 1752, died 7 July 1827).32 This Enoch Armitage was a bachelor and had come into possession of the house and farm. This does not mean that James's father was not a George Clifford, but he was not the George Clifford who died in 1757. Therefore 1782 James could not be the son James who was mentioned in the 1757 will of George Clifford. The statement would appear to be simply the traditional interpretation of George and James's relationship, based on when the two Clifford wills were written (again we have only the wills' 1757 and 1782 dates, no other information, such as birth dates). In other word, Charles Clifford (#11), born 1730, would have been older that his aunts and uncles-indeed, perhaps as much as 20 years older than his aunt Sarah (Clifford) Sellers (#9)-if 1782 James was a son of George.
The map originally appeared in Beers, Comstock and Cline: Atlas of Hunterdon County, 1873, plate 42. Joseph B., Williamson, born 2 January 1849, was a great grandson of John Clifford (#15) and Martha (Armitage) Clifford.
This John Maxwell, Jr., would be the John Maxwell who married Mary Clifford (#6), a daughter of George and Mary Clifford. In another place in the Photoduplication Service document it is stated that George Clifford "probably" built the house. Note also that Mary Beavers (#19), daughter of Joseph and Ann (Clifford) Beavers (Ann Clifford also being a daughter of George and Mary Clifford), married Alexander White (Jr.). Although Edward died intestate in 1790, apparently his estate was not settled until 1791 because of a court case between the State of New Jersey and the administrators of the Edward Clifford estate (see under Edward Clifford, #13). In 1858, the executors of the will of Charles Clifford sold the house and at least part of the land to Isaac Welling (no known relationship to the Cliffords), see under Charles Clifford (#56). For more information on possible Clifford-White-Beavers relationships, see under Ann (Clifford) Beavers (#4).
Possibly John Clifford did not occupy the house until 1795, but I suspect John came into possession of the house shortly after the court case was settled, probably by 1792.



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