Category Archives: Samuel Hammitt (1754-1807)

Samuel Hammitt (1754-1807)

Rhoda Packer Borton and Her Affirmation

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We began our search with limited information.  A journal entry by Joachim Hammitt, tells us our history begins in New Jersey.  In 1791 Samuel and Jane Hammitt witnessed the will of Andrew Corson, a Maurice River resident. The 1793 will of John Kille refers to his Maurice River plantation as being in “possession of Samuel Hammitt”. For us, those two documents confirmed we had New Jersey roots. Concentrating our search in New Jersey, we next discovered the Burlington County family of George Hammitt and Rhoda Packer. A second Hammitt family in New Jersey deserved a closer look.

George Hammitt and Rhoda Packer

The genealogy of George Hammitt and Rhoda Packer is repeated many times on Ancestry.com. For the most part, the trees are consistent, well researched and well documented. George Hammitt and Sarah Ruckman are most often identified as the parents of George Hammitt (Rhoda Packer’s husband). In a previous post we questioned whether this was accurate and still consider his origin a mystery. (See: George Hammitt or George Hamack.) George Hammitt is listed as an immigrant from Nova Scotia1 and the marriage of George and Rhoda is recorded in the U.S. and International Marriage Records2. This record identifies Rhoda’s birthplace as Pennsylvania, but provides no information regarding George. The records don’t prove Rhoda Packer’s husband was the immigrant from Nova Scotia. But they do deserve consideration when trying to identify George Hammitt. We have not been able to directly connect our family to the family of George and Rhoda. But we have continued to research the family, relying heavily on the Packer family records for support.

Rhoda Packer Borton and Mathias Aspden, Jr.

The search for Rhoda Packer lead us to the History of the Borton and Mason Families in Europe and America, by Freeman Clark Mason. Published in 1908, the book includes the 1823 Affirmation of Rhoda (Packer) Borton from the case of Packer vs. Nixon. The case sought to identify the heirs of Mathias Aspden, Jr., who was also a Packer family descendant. Rhoda Packer Borton and Mathias Aspden, Jr., were first cousins. Litigation in the matter began in 1828 and continued until 1850, following a second hearing ordered by the Supreme Court. One of the issues addressed was the 1786 transfer of property originally purchased by Aspden’s great grandfather from William Penn. At the conclusion of the matter, the property in question had grown in value to approximately $600,000. Determining the heirs was, without question, of great interest to many people.

Rhoda Borton’s statement identifies multiple generations of the Packer family, including the family of her aunt, Rhoda Packer Hammitt, wife of George Hammitt. The document is an important part of any genealogical research related to early New Jersey families. We have posted a transcript of Rhoda Borton’s Affirmation in the features section on the Genealogy homepage. A digital copy of The History of the Borton and Mason Families in Europe and America, by Freeman Clark Mason, 1908, is available online at: Archive.org.  The Affirmation is found on page 257/image 382.

Descendants of the Packer Family

Surnames referenced in the statement include: Hartley, Aspden, Brick, Hinchman, Zanes, Ellis, Kay, Lopen, Bailey, Caldwell, Sims, Duffield, Reynolds, Cox, Bee, Hunt, Leeds, Wiley, Sickler, VanSciver, Wheaton, Haines, Manning, Wothon, and Coates

1 “U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s – Ancestry.Com.” Accessed November 24, 2019. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=7486&h=2663983&ssrc=pt&tid=50220280&pid=27779849451&usePUB=true.

2 “U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 – Ancestry.Com.” Accessed May 1, 2017. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=7836&h=520494&ssrc=pt&tid=50220280&pid=27779849451&usePUB=true.

George Hammitt or George Hamack

Much like the story from a few weeks ago, about how often Asahel Barnes is confused with his cousin, Asahel Barnes, it appears there are times when George Hamack is mistaken for George Hammitt of Burlington County, New Jersey.  As a result, the records of their sons, each named Samuel and each with a wife whose maiden name was Sharp, are also merged together in some histories.  The story of two Georges, two Samuels and two Sharp women is as difficult to understand as it is to tell.  Many of the facts we uncovered were discovered while trying to confirm whether Samuel Hammitt, the son of George Hammitt and Rhoda Packer, was married to Elizabeth Sharp or Esther Sharp.

The Haddonfield Monthly Minutes of the Friends Society recorded the marriage of Esther Sharp and Samuel Hamack, son of George Hamack, deceased, in 1749.  Wondering if this was an alternate spelling of the Hammitt name, we dug a little deeper.  Continue reading

Searching for Samuel Hammitt and Jane Simmons

Samuel Hammitt (1754-1807) and Jane Simmons (1750-1825)

Our biggest roadblock throughout this search has been determining the ancestors of Samuel Hammitt and Jane Simmons.  Following the family’s roots back to Philadelphia was easily documented.  Documenting a jump across the river has proven a bit more challenging.  It was Joachim’s journal that told us to make the leap when he identified his ancestor as Isaac, who first made a home in South Jersey.  Almost all the 1800, 1810 and 1820 New Jersey Federal Census records were lost, the exception being the 1800 records for Cumberland County and the 1820 records for Roxbury and Morris Counties.  While the Cumberland County records survived, they are not available online.[1]  For the time being we rely on tax records, Wills or the abstracts of Wills, Church records and the Monthly Meeting records of the Friends Society.  Through these records we identify extended family members and begin to understand the relationships between families.


Samuel is first found in the records of Christ Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where, on 10 January 1763, Samuel, his sister, Mary, and their father, Isaac, were Baptized by Rev. Richard Peters, D.O.  Continue reading

The Family of Elizabeth Gominger Hammitt Fow

A Blended Family in 1850

Listed in the 1850 Census for the 5th Ward of Kensington are John K Hammett, born 1833, and Thomas J Hammett, born 1835. They are living with the family of David and Elizabeth Gominger Hammitt Fow in the Northern Liberties section. The household of Elizabeth and David introduces us to a blended family of Hammitt, Gominger, Sutton and Carr family members. The 1850 Census didn’t identify relationships, making it easy to assume most of the residents are boarders. But a closer look uncovers family ties and clears up a few mysteries.

Elizabeth Gominger Hammitt Fow

A search for David Fow tells us he and Elizabeth Hammitt were married on May 23, 1841 in the Kensington Methodist Episcopal Church. Living with David and Elizabeth Fow in 1850 are Continue reading