AfriGeneas States Research Forum
[NJ] Family timeline in Bergen, Union, Essex Co.
Timeline for Doremus & related families in NJ, CT, NY
(Surnames: Aaron, Doremus, Edgar, Freeman, Holden, Houseman, Jackson, Jones, Jordan, Manson, Porter, Roberts, Scott, Skidmore)
1667-1670 Ancestors of African-American Doremus & related families were slaves, indentured workers, servants, and hired laborers of colonial English and Dutch families Bergen County, NJ. “As with other colonies, New Jersey attracted land speculators, and from 1667 to 1670 a group of Barbadians purchased large tracts in Bergen County. The New Barbados tract of more than 15,000 acres was purchased by William Sandford and Nathaniel Kingsland, kinsmen. Sandford took up residence, but Kingsland was represented by his nephew and heir, Isaac. John Berry, who brought his family, two servants, and thirty-two Negro slaves, purchased a huge holding above New Barbados. Other Barbadians were John Palmer, later prominent in New York, Lewis Morris, Sr., Samuel Moore, and Michael Smith. These men, all of whom brought some slaves, both cultivated their holdings and engaged in selling lands, particularly to Dutch immigrants from New York.” Pomfret, Colonial New Jersey: A History, p. 29.
1700-1753 The following anecdote suggests that slaves at New Barbados labored in copper mines owned by John Schuyler as well as on his plantation. “[A] steam engine…was imported from England in the year 1753, by Col John Schuyler, for use in his copper mines at New Barbadoes. These mines were the property of the Schuyler family, and were discovered by a curious chance. About the year 1700 Arent Schuyler, son of the celebrated Philip Pieterson Van Schuyler, who came from Holland half a century earlier, purchased from William Kingsland, who is said to have been a kinsman of Oliver Cromwell, part of a large tract of land opposite Belleville [then known as Second River]. Some ten years later, as the tradition goes, while ploughing in a field, a negro slave found a large stone, the heaviness of which excited his curiosity so that he carried it to his master. The later perceived that it contained copper, and finding that it was from a bed of the same ore, he sent it to England for examination. It was found to contain about eighty per cent of a superior quality of copper…For many years the mine yielded large quantities of rich ore, until it was worked as deep as hand and horse-power could clear it of water. Then it was, in 1753, that Col. John Schuyler, one of Arent’s sons by his second wife, sent to England for one of the steam-engines he had heard about…It worked admirably in the copper mines, which continued for many years to yield large quantities of highly prized ore.” Atkinson, History of Newark, NJ, pp. 300-301.
1765--Thomas Doremus born. In 1850 he was a laborer in New Barbados, Bergen, NJ. He could be father of Joseph (b. 1801) in Acquackanonk, Passaic, NJ; Thomas (b. 1803) in New Haven, CT; Anthony b. (1786-1804) in New Barbadoes, Bergen, NJ; and/or Yan (John) in Saddle River, Bergen, NJ.
1782--Hager Doremus born in NJ. In 1850 she lived in Wayne, Passaic, NJ with John Doremus (b. 1838), possibly her grandchild. Hager & John could be related to Joseph in Acquackanonk (b. 1801), who lived in Passaic, NJ in 1860 & Paterson, Passaic, NJ in 1880.
1785-- Jane Doremus born in NJ. In 1850, she lived in Pequannock, Morris, NJ on the farm of Anthony & Jane Mandeville.
1786-1804--Anthony Doremus born. In 1840 he headed a free black family in New Barbados, Bergen, NJ. Anthony could be a son of Thomas (b. 1765) of New Barbadoes in 1850. Anthony’s siblings could include Joseph (b. 1801) in Passaic County, NJ, Yan (b. 1805-1816) in Saddle River, & Thomas (b. 1803) in New Haven, CT.
1801--Joseph Doremus born in NJ. In 1860 he lived in Acquackanonk, Passaic, NJ; in 1880 he lived in Paterson, Passaic, NJ. He may be related to Hager & John in Wayne, Passaic, NJ.
1803--Thomas Doremus born in NJ. He could be a son of Thomas (b. 1765) in New Barbados, Bergen, NJ. He & wife Mary are parents of Julia E. Doremus. This family shared a household in New Haven, CT with William & Hannah Scott, 1850-1870.
1804—African Americans born in NJ after July 4, 1804 were free. However, under a policy of “gradual abolition,” they could be held as indentured workers until they were adults.
1805-1816—Yan (John) Doremus born. He could be a son of Thomas Doremus (b. in 1765), a brother of Thomas Doremus (b. 1803) in CT & Joseph & Anthony Doremus in NJ. In 1840, Yan headed a free black family in Saddle River, NJ.
1809—Jane Doremus or Sarah J. Doremus (Sarah Jane? Maiden name possibly Freeman or Houseman?) born in NJ. Her mother or other relative could be Mecker Freeman, who shared her home in 1860. Listed as Sarah J. or Jane Doremus, she lived in Newark (1850-1870/1880) as wife & widow of Henry Doremus; mother of Titus H. & Julia Doremus; mother-in-law of Francis J. King. She or Jane A. Doremus (b. 1833) could have been a servant in the Newark, NJ home of attorney A.S. Hubbell in 1880.
1810--Nancy Doremus, Nancy Duryea, & Mary Doremus born. Nancy Doremus & Nancy Duryea could be the same woman. They and their daughters share same ages, given names, residence with black Jackson families in Bergen County, NJ. In 1850 Nancy Duryea & Yaun (Jane) Duryea, probably mother & daughter, lived together with Lemion & Yaun Jackson in Harrington, Bergen, NJ. Nancy Doremus lived with Jane Jackson, wife of Henry Jackson, in Lodi, Bergen, NJ in 1860. NJ-born Mary and Thomas Doremus shared their home with William H. and Hannah A. Scott in New Haven, CT, where their daughter Julia E. Doremus was born. William Scott, seaman, apparently was a Civil War sailor in U.S. Navy.
1812--Henry Doremus born in NJ. In 1850 he lived with wife Sarah J. (Sarah Jane?) & children Titus H. & Julia in Newark, NJ. His widow, Jane Doremus, & children, Julia Houseman and Thomas Doremus, lived in Newark with Mecker Freeman in 1860.
1827--Francis/Frank Doremus born in NJ. He lived in Bloomfield, Essex, NJ in 1850, 1870.
1833—Jane A. Dreamers/Dreamus/Doremus born in NJ. She is the wife, sister, or other relative who lived with Sylvester Dreamers/Dreamus/Doremus in Westfield, Union, NJ in 1860. She or Sarah Jane Doremus (b. 1809) could be the servant of Newark lawyer A.S. Hubbell in 1880. Julia Doremus, daughter of Henry & Sarah J. Doremus, born in NJ. She lived in Newark & married Francis J. Houseman.
1837--Sylvester Doremus &Titus H. Doremus born in NJ. Titus is son of Henry & Sarah Jane Doremus of Newark, Essex, NJ.
1840—Two free black Doremus households in Bergen County, NJ headed by Anthony Doremus in New Barbadoes & Yan Doremus in Saddle River. Two young black males (possibly Francis/Frank Doremus & Sylvester Doremus) counted in Saddle River household of Dutch descendant Albert G. Doremus.
1844—Abson Doremus born in NJ. In 1860 he was a servant in household of farmer Peter Petty in Walpack, Sussex, NJ.
1860—Sylvester Doremus, farm laborer, & Jane A. Doremus, servant, lived in Westfield, Union, NJ in household of Simon Aaron, farm laborer, & wife Sarah Aaron, servant. Simon was literate, but Sylvester and Jane A. Doremus were unable to read or write. Jane (Sarah Jane) Doremus, widow, lived in Newark, Essex, NJ with Julia Houseman, dressmaker, Titus Doremus, waiter, and Mecker Freeman, possible relative. Nancy Doremus (Nancy Duryea?) lived in Lodi, Bergen, NJ with Henry and Jane Jackson (Yaun/Jane Duryea?) and child John Jackson. Abson Doremus, 16, was a servant in household of farmer Peter Petty in Walpack, Sussex, NJ. Julia E. Doremus, 10, lived with William Scott, seaman, & wife Hannah Scott. Julia’s parents apparently died between 1850 & 1860.
1864-65 Sylvester Doremus enlisted in U.S. Navy, serving 1864-1865 on the Minnesota and Albemarle. His name also appears on a roster of the Agawam. Black Civil War soldiers with documented connection to Sylvester Doremus include Simon Aaron and John H. Edgar of 41st Infantry Regiment, Company K, Pennsylvania USCT. African-American Civil War sailors with documented connections to Sylvester Doremus include Hannibal Roberts, James Roberts, and James M. Freeman on the Albemarle; Joseph King and George Vreeland on the Minnesota, and Robert A. Aaron of Rahway, NJ, who served on the Crusader.
1870—Sylvester Doremus, no occupation listed, lived with MD-born Elizabeth Doremus, washwoman, in Rahway, Union, NJ. Simon Aaron and Elizabeth Doremus, who were literate, might have helped Sylvester to learn to read between 1860 & 1870. Elizabeth might be related to Methodist minister John A. Roberts (b. 1834- 41 in MD) who lived in Bridgewater, Somerset, NJ in 1870 & in New Barbadoes, Bergen, NJ in 1880. Household of Francis J. King, steward, in Newark, NJ included wife Julia H. King & mother-in-law Jane Doremus (Sarah Jane, widow of Henry Doremus). Francis J. King, husband of Julia H. Doremus, could be same man or relative of Joseph King who served with Sylvester Doremus on the Minnesota. Frank/Francis Doremus, laborer, lived with wife Betsey & children Ida, Frank, & Halsted in Bloomfield, Essex, NJ. Julia E. Doremus lived in New Haven, CT with William & Hannah Scott. Julia’s NJ-born parents, Thomas & Mary Doremus, apparently died 1850-1860.
1880—Sylvester Doremus, married gardener, lived in household of Civil War veteran John H. Edgar on Thorn Street in Rahway, Union, NJ. Sylvester’s wife Elizabeth, married hotel cook, and their son Edward Doremus, lived in Elizabeth Street household of Jonathan Moore and locomotive engineer George Suphen/Sutphen in Rahway, Union, NJ. Joseph Doremus, widowed laborer, lived in Paterson, Passaic, NJ in household of William Mills. In Brooklyn, NY, Jessie Porter (Jessie Doremus, dressmaker) attended school and lived with her parents James and Clara Porter and siblings Herbert, Annie, and Maggie. Jessie’s father James M. Porter served in the U.S. Navy as a first class ship’s boy on the USS Onondaga.
1900—Sylvester H. Roberts, felt mill laborer, lived with wife Katie (Katherine Doremus), no occupation listed, son Harry, printer, daughter Florence, at school, and son Frederick, no occupation, at 19 Newton Street in Rahway, Union, NJ. Felt mills, such as the one that employed Sylvester, were associated with historic hat making industries in Rahway and Newark that unfortunately relied on the use of toxic chemicals. Harry’s employer was probably Mershon Brothers Publishing Company. Jessie Porter Doremus, divorced dressmaker, lived with daughters Cecelia and Pauline and parents James and Clara Porter in Brooklyn, NY. Jessie’s father James Porter was a navy yard mechanic and former Civil War sailor.
1910—Katherine Doremus, widow of Sylvester Roberts, lived at 19 Newton Street in Rahway, Union, NJ headd a household including her daughter Florence Doremus, and nephew Frederick Doremus. Katherine was a washer woman. Florence and Frederick worked as servants. Harry Roberts headed a household at 35 Newton Street in Rahway where he lived with his wife Hattie and brother-in-law James H. Jones. Harry Roberts and James H. Jones, who both worked for a publisher, probably were employed at Mershon Brothers (1880-1904) or its successor in Rahway, Quinn & Boden (1906-196_). Florence, Frederick & Harry were all listed as children of Sylvester Roberts in 1900. In 1870, John H. Edgar’s daughter Christiana worked for Joseph Randolph, Mershon family’s neighbor in Rahway. Cecelia Doremus Manson, daughter of Jessie Porter Doremus, lived with her son William Manson in the home of her grandparents James & Clara Porter at 2106 Dean Street in Brooklyn, NY. James Porter still worked at the Brooklyn navy yard. AR-born Marie Doremus and TX-born Joseph Doremus, a married couple, lived with an AL-born uncle, George Thomas, at 2910 Hanna Street in Houston, Harris, TX.
1920—Katherine Doremus, widow of Sylvester Roberts, lived at 19 Newton Street in Rahway, Union, NJ. Her household included her married daughter Florence Holden, nephew Fred Doremus, and grandchildren Harry and Katherine Roberts. Katherine worked as a laundress. Florence had no occupation. Fred was a factory worker. Harry Roberts and his wife Hattie Jones Roberts (parents of Katherine and Harry Roberts) had moved from Rahway to Newark where their household included Hattie’s brother Albert Jones and a cousin Arthur Jordan at 70 Waverly Avenue. The adults in the Newark household were all employed as factory workers. Harry Roberts Sr. was a factory chauffeur. Hattie Roberts was a leather worker in a factory, probably making patent leather using a process developed by Newark resident Seth Boyden (1788-1870). Albert Jones and Arthur Jordan were factory laborers. Jessie Porter Doremus, Jessie Porter Doremus, widowed hotel pantry maid, lived with daughter Pauline Doremus, no occupation, at 1686 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, NY.
1930—Jessie Porter Doremus, widowed dressmaker, lived in Brooklyn with single daughters Pauline, telephone operator, and Ethel, checker at club.