||Jonathan (Singletary) Dunham is an ancestor of a US President/Vice President|
Join: US Presidents Project
Jonathan Singletary was the first child of Richard Singletary which is documented in many places and in vital records. What remains in question is whether this first child (Jonathan) was a full sibling to Richard's other children, who were the children of Richard Singletary and Susannah Cooke and whose descendants carry the Singletary surname, or whether Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary was the child of Richard Singletary and perhaps a first wife named Lydia Downham or Lydia Dunham, whose death in 1638/1639 is recorded as "Goodwife Singletary". [Newbury, Massachusetts Vital Records]. It is unlikely, although not impossible, that Susannah Cooke was Jonathan's mother. It is more likely that Jonathan was the son of Richard's companion (first wife?), Lydia Downham / Lydia Dunhan / Goodwife Singletary, who accompanied Richard from England to America. [Note: Richard and wife, Susannah, named a daughter, Lydia Singletary.]
England 1630s - One might take into account the religious background of England in this time period of 1630s. English marriages by sects or religions that were not authorized by those in power at the time were likely not recognized and thus not recorded. Thus children born to these unrecognized marriages or perhaps a covenant marriage were not considered legitimate. If Richard Singletary married a Miss Dunham in an unauthrized manner, children of the unauthorized marriage were registered with the mother's maiden name as being illegitimate. Jonathan may have been listed as carrying the Dunham surname, even if Richard Singletary claimed the child as his, if he was born under the English religious attitudes of the day. (Marriage laws in that time period are not to be confused with laws governing marriages today.) Perhaps in keeping with his birth name, Jonathan chose to reclaim his birth name of Jonathan Dunham. [DUNHAM-SINGLETARY NEWLETTERS: Deborah Byrd at http://www.dunham-singletary.org/dunhamgenealogy/Archive-B&P-2.html] [Also, Clandestine Marriage in England 1500-1850 at https://books.google.com/books?id=dmZ14qiH-T0C&pg=PR21&dq=Marriages-1630s+in+England&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizzfrHp-_ZAhUs04MKHWOFAqYQ6AEIQTAE#v=onepage&q=Marriages-1630s%20in%20England&f=false]
1637 - Richard Singletary received a land grant in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts. Much of the city's historical identity is synonymous with the infamous Salem witch trials. Later that same year, Richard removed to Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts.
There is no record yet found of a marriage between Richard Singletary and Lydia Downham, nor of Lydia Dunham (aka Goodwife Singletary) giving birth to Jonathan. Lydia may have died in childbirth and Susannah Cooke immediately took on the role of his mother and thus official records reflected Susannah as Jonathan's mother. Perhaps his birth was even earlier, as some records in early history give a baptismal date as a birth date.
about 1638/1639 - Jonathan's birth was recorded in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts with Susannah Cooke being recorded as SINGLETARY, Jonathan. s/ Ric[hard] and Susannah, 17:11m:1639. [Julian Calendar month of 17 February 1639] Jonathan's actual birth date is unknown, but the Salisbury, Massachusetts record is the only clue to a possible date for his birth. Jonathan could have even been born during the transatlantic voyage to America.
1639 - Richard Singletary married circa 1639 in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts to Susannah Cooke.
1643 - During Jonathan's childhood, he lived in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts where his father, Richard Singletary, was listed as having the 50th lot distributed in Salisbury.
1652 - The Singletary family then resided by 1652 in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. This is likely where Jonathan learned something of construction and milling as there was considerable mill construction and mill operation along the rivers there.
1655 - Richard Singletary listed as a Selectman in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts along with Theophylus Satchwell. [Source: The City Charter]
1657 - Jonathan married about 1657 at Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts to Mary Bloomfield, daughter of Colonel Thomas Bloomfield and his wife, Mary.
1657 - Richard Singletary (later Richard Dunham), s/o Jonathan Singletary (later Dunham) and Mary (née Bloomfield) Singletary, was born 29 December 1661 in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. [Note: Jonathan Singletary did not change the family surname to Dunham until after the move to New Jersey.]
1661 - Mary Singletary (later identified as Mary Dunham), daughter of Jonathan Singletary (later Dunham) and Mary (née Bloomfield) Singletary, was born in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts on 29 December 1661. She died 3 February 1662/3 likely in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. She was likely buried as Mary Singletary. [Note: Jonathan Singletary did not change the family surname to Dunham until after the move to New Jersey.]
1662 - Esther Singletary (later Esther Dunham), daughter of Jonathan Singletary (later Dunham) and Mary (née Bloomfield) Singletary, was born about 1662 in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. [Note: Jonathan Singletary did not change the family surname to Dunham until after the move to New Jersey.]
1662 - At about age 23 in 1662, Jonathan was imprisoned as he became involved in a series of questionable behaviors. He got into court trouble with John Godfrey, accusing John of witchcraft. In return, John Godfrey sued Jonathan for defamation and slander. Other civil citations showed Jonathan facing a series of litigations with John Godfrey involving corn, money, & land along with the charges involving others. Numerous depositions were given involving several other people including his parents (Richard & Susannah) and father-in-law, Thomas Bloomfield, who were working as Jonathan's agents. This was followed by Jonathan being found guilty and having to pay a fine or having to make a public apology. [Ipswich Quarterly Court Records, pp. 27, 40, 213-214]
Richard Singletary "being about 70 years old" and Susanah née Cooke, his wife, deposed 20:1:1662-3, that " John Godfre being occasionally at their house said, concerning the corn in controversy, that he thought he should never get it of Goodman Clarke for he would pay him in papers as he did the last year. Godfry said several time, 'I would rather it were in a heape in ye street & all ye towne hogges should eate it then he should keepe it in his hands.' Sworn 27:1:1663 before Simon Bradstreete. [Ipswich Quarterly Court Records, pp. 40, 213-214]
At another time, Jonathan appeared to have been placed in prison for his erring ways. He evidently had disputes with the Plymouth government for some sort of rebellion. In government records he was described as being a "ranter" and "disseminating corrupt religious principles among his neighbors."
Jonathan appears to have had a dual personality having led a stormy life in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He is labeled as a scoundrel, a notorious vagabond, and an antagonizer of the Puritan leaders, etc.. Perhaps he was the victim of religious and political unrest among the Quakers, Puritans, and other religious groups of that time period. Nevertheless, Jonathan was a troubled man whether because of religious convictions, mental problems, or family discord.
1662 April 8 - Richard and Susanna (née Cooke) Singletary conveyed to 150 acres of land in Haverhill to Mary, wife of Jonathan Singletary (later Dunham), but not to Jonathan. Perhaps this reflected the fact that Jonathan was not yet settled due to his erring ways, and his parents felt it best to place the land in the hands of his wife, Mary (née Bloomfield) Singletary (later Dunham). This land bordered the land of Theophylus Satchwell.
1663 - Jonathan Singletary and Edward Clarke witness the will of Theophylus Satchwell.
1664 July 1664 - An execution against Jonathan "to satisfy judgement granted to John Godfrey at Salem Court of June 28, 1664, signed by Hillyard Veren, clerk, & served by Robert Lord, Marshall of Ipswich, deputy of Samuel Archard, marshall of Salem, by attachment of 36 acres of land appraised at 10S per acre." [Ipswich Quarterly Court Records, p. 222]
1664 - Sarah Mary Singletary (later Mary Dunham), daughter of Jonathan Singletary (later Dunham) and Mary (née Bloomfield) Singletary, was born in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts. [Note: Jonathan Singletary did not change the family surname to Dunham until after the move to New Jersey.]
1664 - Jonathan Singletary (later Dunham) and wife, Mary (née Bloomfield) Singletary) moved briefly to Killingworth, Middlesex, Connecticut where they have two more daughters. Jonathan may have built a house and mill in Killingworth. [Seek source for this information.]
1666 - Ruth Singletary (later Ruth Dunham), daughter of Jonathan Singletary (later Dunham) and Mary (née Bloomfield) Singletary) , was born 20 June 1666 perhaps in Killingsworth, Middlesex, Connecticut, as indicated in statement above.
1668 - Eunice Singletary (later Eunice Dunham), daughter of Jonathan Singletary (later Dunham) and Mary (née Bloomfield) Singletary) , was born 20 June 1666 perhaps in Killingsworth, Middlesex, Connecticut, as indicated in statement above.
circa 1668' - Jonathan Singletary changed his surname and his family's surname to Dunham, alias Singletary when he and Mary moved with their family and her Bloomfield parents to inhabit the area in East New Jersey which became Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey. The reason for this name change is unknown. There are an abundance of theories, but there is yet no evidence for any of them. With this move to New Jersey, Jonathan seemed to have left much of his troubled life behind.
1670 June 8 - Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary signed a contract with the town of Woodbridge, for which he received 213 acres of land for building a grist mill. Here in Woodbridge he built his home and reared his family. Here he served as town clerk and set his name in history. Other controversial exploits may have plagued him, but overall he seems to have become a progressive, responsible, and a respectable figure in the community.
"Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary, and Mary his wife, formerly of Hauesall in ye Massachusetts colony" are given a 213 acre grant of land in consideration of Jonathan building the first grist mill in Woodbridge Township. He later acquired a number of other tracts of land also. The old mill that he built was apparently used for many generations and was reportedly still standing in 1870. The millstone itself is still in existence, and can be seen on display at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Woodbridge, New Jersey.
1670 - Son, Jonathan Dunham, son of Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary and Mary (née Bloomfield) now Dunham was born in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey.
1671 - Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary was listed as acting as the foreman of a jury and also as the overseer of the highways.
1671 December 28 - Return of Survey by Robert Vauquellin, Surveyor General of land was issued for Jonathan Donham of Woodbridge. (NJ Archives 21:19)
1672 August 10 - Jonathan as Jonathan Donham was listed as a carpenter and was issued land and house permits The Lords Proprietors to Jonathan Donham of Woodbridge carpenter for: 1) a houselot of 9 acres E. of the Meeting House Green; 2) 8 acres W. of the parsonage lands, N. of Thomas Lenard; 3) 120 acres of upland N. of Wilyam Cotter; 4) 36 acres of meadows not yet laid out. (NJ Archives 21:19)
1673 June 7 - Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary was elected one of the "Representatives to the General Assembly for Woodbridge. (NJ Archives, 21:34; NYGBR, 68:58) "
1673 July 20 - Deed. Stephen Kent Jr. of Woodbridge for part of his homelot on Papyack Creek, adjoining the mill. (NJ Archives, 21:277).
1674 - Son, David, was born in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey to Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary and Mary (née Bloomfield) now Dunham.
1675 - Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary served as the Clerk of the Township Court.
1677 July 16 - Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary was called a "mad man" by the Council of War for the Achter Colony and fined five pounds. He claimed the religion of New Quaker, but was often described as a ranter. [Ranters embraced the concept of the 'indwelling spirit', a form of religious perfection. Whatever was done in the Spirit was justifiable to a Ranter.]
1677 September 7 - Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary was arrested with Robert Lapriere and fined for removing goods from Governor Phillip Careret's house, and he was condemned for the act.
1679 - Nathaniel, son of Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary and Mary (née Bloomfield) now Dunham, was born in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey.
1681 - Benjamin, son of Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary and Mary (née Bloomfield) now Dunham, was born in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey.
1681 November - Jonathan and apparently several Quakers were active in what might now be termed a religious frenzy on Southhold, Long Island, New York which were recorded secondhand by Cotton Mathers about 20 years later.
1682 April 11 - Susannah (nee Cooke) Singletary, Jonathan Dunham's, alias Singletary mother or likely step-mother died.
1683 July - There is a Court record from Little Compton Plymouth Colony where he (accompanied by a couple of Quaker women, including Mary Ross) was condemned by the Court for engaging in bizarre behavior, including the killing of a dog. and ordered to be publicly whipped and to leave town.
1687 - Jonathan's father, Richard Singletary, died in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts.
1689 - In a document, Jonathan writes, "being frequently abroad in parts remote." It seems clear that whether it was for business, religious, or personal reasons, Jonathan seems to have traveled between New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts.
1689 December 2 - Deed to Mary Ross of 6 acres of his house lot. There is unsubstantiated speculation that Jonathan and Mary Ross were romantically involved, and perhaps were the parents of an illegitimate child.
1689 December 22 - Deed to James Seaton in trust for Jonathan's 3 sons for all his real property on Canoe Hill, Middlesex County, New Jersey.
1693 - Deed back from Mary Ross of 6 acres of land and house. (NJ Archives, 21:277)
1701 - Deputy to the General Assembly.
1702 April 16 - Jonathan Dunham (alias Singletary) was given the power of attorney to dispose of the 80 acres of land given to his wife, Mary, by his parents in Massachusetts. Mary signed over the right to her husband. Mentioned in the deed were their living children: sons, Jonathan, David, Nathaniel, & Benjamin Dunham and daughter, Mary (nee Dunham) Ellison. (See: Record of Deeds, Essex Co., NJ, B15, L203 (photo on the right)
1705 - Mary (née Bloomfield) Dunham, alias Singletary, died at the age 63.
1705 - Oldest son, Jonathan Dunham, died.
1715 - Jonathan's home and grist mill in Woodbridge was likely built about this time period. (Source: Dally)
1724 - Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary, died before 24 April 1724 in Woodbridge Middlesex County, New Jersey at age 84.
1724 April 24 - Jonathan Dunham's, alias Singletary, will was proven. Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary, was buried alongside his house on Trinity Lane, Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey. A memorial stone and grist mill stone in front of his home honor this historical figure of Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey.
He is an 8th great grandparent of President Barack Obama.
1. Some thoughts about a possible reason for Jonathan Dunham/alias Singletary assuming the Dunham surname, by Deborah Byrd at http://www.dunham-singletary.org/dunhamgenealogy/Archive-B&P-2.html
2. Jonathan Singletary [Jonathan Dunham/alias Singletary] : Time Line gathered by Pat Junkin, a Dunham family researcher at http://www.dunham-singletary.org/dunhamgenealogy/Archive-B&P-3.html
Please note: Many of these online sources were found within books with no page number.
DUNHAM / SINGLETARY RESEARCH involves yDNA testing with FTDNA Company and research with Family Finder; the DUNHAM/SINGLETARY FAMILY CONNECTIONS and their research and newsletters of descendants of Deacon John Dunham of MA; of Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary of NJ; and other Dunham families; Facebook: DunhamSingletary; and Rootsweb and Ancestry's Rootsweb & Ancestry's Freepages. Information on these various sites might be helpful in making connections for your WikiTree and finding your Dunham family connections.
There is a wealth of information about Jonathan's birth and the origin of Richard Singletary of which none are proven. However, research is taking place via membership subscribers to the Dunham/Singletary Family Connections Newletter. See many newsletters published on-line at http://www.dunham-singletary.org/mw/index.php/Newsletters which traces the descendants of Deacon John Dunham, Jonathan Dunham (alias Singletary), and other Dunham/Donham/etc. lines.
It has been proven by yDNA evidence that the descendants of Richard Singletary bearing the DUNHAM surname from Jonathan Dunham, alias Singletary and descendants of Richard Singletary from his other sons bearing the SINGLETARY surname are exact or near matches to each other, remembering that through the years some mutations can take place in one's alleles. (An allele is one of the possible forms of a gene with most genes having a dominant allele and a recessive allele.)
Savage, James, A genealogical dictionary of the first settlers of New England, showing three generations of those who came before May, 1692, Boston, 1861. (4v.)v.4:102 Gen. Column of the " Boston Transcript". 1906-1941. (The greatest single source of material for genealogical data for the N.E. area and for the period 1600-1800. Completely indexed in the Index.): 19 Nov 1906, 8947
Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts was once territory of the Pentucket tribe of Pennacook Indians. The English settled the area in 1638. Originally it was called Colchester, but after being incorporated in 1640 village/area became Salisbury, being named after Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.
Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts is located on the Merrimack River. The Puritans originally had developed a farming community in land owned by the Pentuckets. It was purchased in 1642 and thus it became an early industrial area with water-powered sawmills and gristmills.
DALLY, Joseph. Woodbridge and Vicinity, "The Story of a New Jersey Township," Hunterdon House, Lambertville, NJ reprint 1989 (originally pub. 1873), p. 327.
Refer to online source for interpretation of dates. Automatic transcribers create problems for the reader. Refer to the book for validation of dates.
Jonathan Dunham the Son of Jonathan Dunham alias Singletary and Mary his wife and formerly of Haverill in the Massachusetts Collony was Born ye 24th of September Anno 1673.
David Dunham the Son of the aforesaid Jonathan Dunham and Mary his wife was Born March ye 10th Anno 1674.
Nathaniel Dunham the Son of the Said Jonathan and Mary his wife was Born February ye 8th Anno 1677. Deceased May ye 14th Anno 1678.
Nathaniel Dunham ye 2nd, the Son of the aforesaid Jonathan and Mary his wife Born April ye 10th Anno 1679.
Benjamin Dunham the Son of ye aforesaid Jonathan and Mary his wife Born August ye 23rd Anno 1681.
Unis Dunham the Daughter of ye aforesaid Jonathan and Mary his wife Deceased ye 5th of December Anno 1684, in the 17th year of her age. [born 1667/1668]
Joseph Dunham Son of David Dunham and Mary his wife was Born October ye 7th 1700.
Jonathan Dunham was Married to Easter Rolph the ??th day of February 1601. By me Samuel Hale Justice.
Samuel Dunham Son of Jonathan Dunham and Easter his wife Born October ye 4th 1607.
Eunice Dunham Daughter of Jonathan Dunham and Easter his wife was Born October ye ?? 1699.
Eunice Dunham Daughter of Jonathan Dunham and Easter his wife Born May ye 12th 1702.
Mary Dunham Daughter of Jonathan Dunham and Easter his wife Born March ye ?? 1704.
The above said Jonathan Dunham Departed this Life September ye 6th September 1708.
Richard Dunham Son of Benjamin Dunham and Mary his wife was Born ye 28th day of ???? 1707, about 11 of the Clock in ye Morning [Richard Dunham said born 16 October 1657 in Haverhill, Essex County, MA.]
By me Natiianiel Wade— Clerk.
Eleven children are given by others for Jonathan Dunham (alias Singletary) & Mary Bloomfield, which include those listed above (Unis, Jonathan, David, Nathaniel #1, Nathaniel #2, Benjamin, & Richard) and these other four children:
Mary Dunham said born 29 December 1661 in Haverhill, Essex County, MA.
Esther Dunham said born about 1662 in Haverhill, Essex County, MA.
Sarah Mary Dunham said born 3 February 1664 in Haverhill, Essex County, MA.
Ruth Dunham said born 20 June 1666 Haverhill, Essex County, MA.
BOOKS of INTEREST:
1. Dunham, Kenneth R., Dunham-Singletary Genealogy
2. Brunton, Yvonne Miller, The Singletary Family History
3. ???, ???, Singletary: Genealogy of the Singletary-Curtis Family
Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.