Tag Archives: Philadelphia

Hammitt Family

Our research does not tell us the origin of the Hammitt family, but the journal entries of Joachim Hammitt have guided us in the search for our ancestors. Sometime around 1941 Joachim wrote:

In the early 1700 hundreds the Hammitts settled in New Jersey built a white cedar log house for a home. My ancestors name was “Isaac”. . .

The Hammitt family represents the roots of our project and while we are still searching for records confirming the family of the original Isaac, we have documented many of the descendants of Samuel Hammitt and Jane Simmons. Samuel and Jane had 8 children, 4 sons and 4 daughters. Their sons, Isaac and John Kille, were shipbuilders. John K’s shipyard was in Philadelphia, along the Delaware River in the Kensington area. Isaac Hammitt was one of the Kensington shipbuilders called upon to build Commodore Perry’s flagship, the USS Brig Niagara. Isaac is reported to have joined the squadron in the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie. Samuel’s daughter, Jane Hammitt married Peter Deal, Jr and settled in Salem County, New Jersey. Daughters Mary and Bathsheba remain somewhat of a mystery, as does Josiah. Son, Thomas, died fairly young, leaving behind a wife, Elizabeth Gominger Hammitt and 5 children. Daughter, Elizabeth, married John G Stevenson and also settled in Salem County.

Hammitt families are found living throughout Southern New Jersey. The loss of early New Jersey records has made it difficult to confirm how the families are related. Changes to county boundaries and long forgotten town names make it even more difficult. But we keep finding clues that confirm their existence, from marriage records, newspaper accounts and petitions we have pieced together several families. Branching out to the families they married into and tracing their histories may be the only way of finding answers.

We still have a lot to discover, but we have also covered a great deal of territory. You’ll find the Hammitt line represented on both trees in the Genealogy section. Since our research methods and interests tend to lead us to different discoveries you may also find differences in our interpretation of the records. Uncovering and reviewing those differences is what has lead us to some pretty interesting discoveries.

About that Impressment Story

Each family has its’ stories passed down through the generations. For us, one of the most intriguing tales is the story of how our 3rd Great Grandfather, Isaac Hammitt, got his name. If you read the previous post, Isaac Hammitt, John Kille and Isaac’s Ark, you know there was a pact between two impressed seamen resulting in a long held family tradition. The book Life in Apollo in the 1890’s, by Marion Dewees Gropen, tells a similar story. Discovering the story had been passed down through another Hammitt family gave it credibility and piqued our curiosity.

The Isaac featured on our home page was born in New Jersey in 1790, the son of Samuel Hammitt and Jane Simmons. His grandson, Joachim (pronounced Joe-ah-cheem) wrote a series of notes in 1941. His words best describe the story:
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