Is wife of Nathaniel Bills (1677-1729) anywhere documented?

+1 vote
WikiTree has two wife profiles attached to Nathaniel Bills (b 1677 Barnstable, Massachusetts; d 1729 Shrewsbury, New Jersey). Both have the maiden name Gardiner, both profiles are unsourced. I have not found any primary source where the maiden name of Mary wife of Nathaniel Bills is given. Assembled information is primarily from Horner and Shotwell, neither of which gives a maiden name for Mary.
WikiTree profile: Nathaniel Bills
in Genealogy Help by T Stanton G2G6 Pilot (258k points)

1 Answer

+2 votes

Since his parents were of Shrewsbury Meeting, you would expect there to be some record there, but I've struggled with finding records from this Meeting for people I know were members.  Donna Hay's Quaker New Jersey Meetings website notes that Shrewsbury records are apparently missing/incomplete/unavailable online or in abstract. I haven't paged through all the minutes on Ancestry (yet, this is probably in my future), but I wouldn't rely on the Ancestry index--a ton of New Jersey meetings are incorrectly named and you can't trust the indexing to include every person in the minutes.  Maybe the microfilm itself needs to be looked at.

Ancestry does have a handwritten copy of an 1878 abstract of "Records of Marriages, 1674-1853, Births 1641-1869, Deaths, 1666-1876".  Hugh Vail, the transcriber, explained what he was working from -- about 50 pages of marriage records kept by Remembrance Lippincott in an unbound (!) volume.  I see some Bills in the index, but not Stephen and no one named Gardiner.

Land records show there was a Richard Gardiner in Middletown, Monmouth County the right generation to be her father (but I see you disconnected his daughter from Nathaniel).

They weren't married by bond (nor would we expect there would be; as Quakers they'd be married in the Meeting).

I don't think the absence of a record online necessarily disproves the marriage in this case.  I'm also wondering about her specific date of birth supposedly in Eastham; was that made up?  Conflated with someone who didn't leave Mass?  Could they have married there? 

by H Husted G2G6 Mach 6 (68.8k points)

Just looked at Nathaniel's will abstract and Joseph Gardiner (Gardiner-836 maybe?) was co-executor with his son Thomas Bills.  Sometimes the co-executor was to act in interests of the wife (who is not named, so was probably deceased, so in this case her underage son Daniel.) 

By the way, John West was a witness, and the Wests are the family I mentioned above that I know were Quakers but I've struggled to source in Meeting records.

The PM on the one Gardiner profile asked me to detach until there was documentation. Yes, indexing of so many minutes at Ancestry is wrong. I wondered if they did the photography or someone else. In a lot of cases I find that the end plates on the film have the contents of what follows wrong, sometimes by a decade, and so search for related rolls before and after what I am looking for. Particularly true with the early English minutes in northern counties.

I think I recall seeing that some of these records were at the TriCollege Library but had not been filmed or indexed. Some of the NY records that are not filmed at least someone has made a kind of index that is searchable. I don't recall seeing that for NJ meetings.

I don't recall finding Mary Gardiner in Eastham VR but would have to look again to be certain.

Thanks for the will insights.

Something is going on with two of the children profiles of Thomas Bills. Not sure what, just noticed.

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