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The Marriages of Mary Fitz Randolph Examined

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Woodbridge Township, Middlesex, New Jerseymap
Surnames/tags: Fitz_Randolph Jackson Thorne
Profile manager: Janie Kimble private message [send private message]
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There are two or more source accounts of Mary Fitz Randolph's marriage to James Jackson differing enough to need examining. The 1943 record by Louise Aymar Christian> was published by the New England Historical and Genealogy Society (NEHGS) in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 97, page 334, October 1943. A later record is found in the book "The Descendants of Edward Fitz Randolph and Elizabeth Blossom 1630 – 1950" by Louise Aymar Christian and Howard Stelle Fitz Randolph, published in 1950.

Why the Jackson - Fitz Randolph marriage record was amended in the 1950 version is unknown but from a close examination, it appears that the authors were trying to arrange the puzzle pieces to accommodate other puzzling information. But since a lot of folks are using the 1950 book as a source, this amended information needs to be laid out for further examination. This article examines the differences between the 1943 record and the 1950 record of the marriages of Mary Fitz Randolph and looks at the validity of those changes. The marriages are numbered with my comments in italics. For the purposes of this study, the info originally given in the 1943 version is listed first and quoted in the following paragraph.

NEHGS, October 1943, pg 334:
"Mary, b. 24 May 1710; m. (1) in 1729 William Thorne, b. in Flushing, Long Island, N.Y., 7 Sept. 1684, d. in Woodbridge in 1735, son of Joseph and Mary (Bowne) Thorne of Flushing;
m. (2) in 1736-7 James Jackson, b. in Rocky Hill, Flushing, Long Island, N.Y., 4 June 1704, d. in Woodbridge 5 Nov. 1750, son of James and Rebecca (Hallett) Jackson;
m. (3) Jacob Fitz Randolph."
(The only problem I have with this record is that other old sources show that Mary's first husband, William Thorne, was the son of Joseph and Martha (Bowne) Thorne of Flushing. The author corrects William Thorne's parents in the 1950 record.)

The book "The Descendants of Edward Fitz Randolph and Elizabeth Blossom 1630 – 1950" by Louise Aymar Christian and Howard Stelle Fitz Randolph, published in 1950, adds a lot to our knowledge of the Fitz Randolph family but introduces a problem in the Jackson family which was not in Ms. Christian's earlier 1943 article.

First are five quotes from pages 20 and 21 of the 1950 book:
"Mary Fitz Randolph, born May 24, 1710 at Woodbridge, N.J.; >br> (1) married first in 1728/9, William Thorne, born 5 mo. 15, 1706 at Flushing, N.Y., son of Joseph and Martha Johanna (Bowne) Thorne. The first intentions were published in the Rahway and Plainfield Meeting in 12 mo. 1728/9; and the second intentions 1 mo. 20, 1728/9. William Thorne died in 1735, and administration on his estate was granted to Mary and her eldest brother, Richard Fitz Randolph on May 20, 1735."
The book names 5 children of this marriage. No question here.

(2) I have capitalized text that appears to be doubtful comments by the author: "Soon after she SEEMS TO HAVE married second, a cousin whose surname was Fitz Randolph but it has not been determined whom she married. This MIGHT HAVE BEEN Joseph Fitz Randolph."
No proof offered for this marriage. Nothing is said about his will or estate; not even a date of death.

(3) "On March 16, 1744, Mary, listed as "Mary Fitzpatrick, Spinster," married for her third husband, Marmaduke Horseman, who must have been in his eighties. His will, dated Feb. 25, 1748/9, mentions his wife Mary."
The actual marriage record of Marmaduke Horseman shows that both he and the SPINSTER Mary FITZPATRICK are from Monmouth County, not Middlesex County. If this was Mary's third (or even second) marriage, she wouldn't have been called a spinster!! And this lady's name was Fitz Patrick! There are no indications that this is widow Mary Fitz Randolph-Thorne-Fitz Randolph.

(4) "As Mary Horseman, Mary married for her fourth husband, license dated May 26, 1749, James Jackson, b June 4, 1704. Administration on his estate was granted to his widow Mary on Nov. 6, 1750."
Now in this later record, the author leaves out the information on James' birth and parents. Note that this marriage takes place in Monmouth County as per New Jersey marriage records quoted below. And James, son of James and Rebecca, is on record as being a yoeman, NOT a cooper.

  1. 088; James JACKSON, cooper, & Michael Sweettain, yeoman, both of the County of Monmouth... [bound to]... Jonathan Belcher, Governour... 500 pounds... 26 May 1749. ... James JACKSON... obtained license of marriage for himself and for Mary HORSMAN of the said county, widow... [w] Mary Lane, Wm Madock.

(5) "It SEEMS MOST PROBABLE Mary married for a fifth time, and again to a cousin, Jacob Fitz Randolph as on 7 mo. 18, 1764, "Mary Fitz Randolph is disowned for marriage to her first cousin". In his will, dated May 12, 1779, Jacob mentions his wife Mary."
One has to wonder why she was chastised for this marriage and not for the supposed 2nd marriage to a cousin.

I've capitalized a lot of conjecture above. Doubt about this record was first noticed when a Rahway/Woodbridge Quaker record was found for a James 'Jacson' and wife Mary and children were found. The children were born between 1740 and 1745 and at that time, I had not seen the above 1943 record and there was no way to prove this James was the son of James Jackson and Rebecca Hallett. There was only one other Jacson family in the whole of the Woodbridge Monthly Meeting and that was another family headed by William Jacson with his wife Prudence and their young children. This suggested to me that these were brothers who had moved to the area and had not been long established families there. The fact that James did have a brother William only strengthened my belief that these Jacson men were sons of James Jackson and Rebecca Hallett.

Dr. Anthony L. Troha raised the question also saying in his research he had found that the book "The Heroes of the American Revolution and Their Descendants - Battle of Long Island" by Henry Whittmore, The Heroes of the American Revolution Publishing Company (1997). An article on pg 94 on James Jackson Sr. lists his children and includes the information: "James, born June 4, 1704, married first, Sarah Thorne, second, Mary Thorne. (Note: NOT her maiden name Fitz Randolph nor her widow name Horseman; but instead her widow name Thorne which would agree with the 1943 NEGHS article.)

Mary Powell Bunker's 1895 book "Long Island Genealogies" page 105 says that James Jackson married Sarah Thorn, d/o Joseph Thorne and Mary Bowne. The same book, page 221 says that James married 1st Sarah Thorne and 2nd Mary Thorne without giving Mary's parents. But it appears that the wives were cousins, not sisters.

Now this 1736/7 marriage date and parental information recorded in the NEHGS is just what we needed to confirm the young Jacson family in Woodbridge with children born between 1740 and 1750 were the grandchildren of James Jackson and Rebecca Hallett. The James Jackson who married 1749 in Monmouth County was NOT the son of James and Rebecca (Hallett) Jackson. Currently, it is not known that any of the many Jackson families in Monmouth County are related to Robert Jackson of Hempstead, Long Island.

"Mary is mentioned several times in wills. Her brother Hugh Fitz Randolph mentioned her in his will of 4 mo, 23 1748, her portion to go to her children. In the will of her brother Edward is mentioned his 'nephew, Edward Thorne, son of my sister Mary Jackson'. And the will of her father, Edward Fitz Randolph, dated Sept. 4, 1759, mentions his daughter Mary Jackson and her eight children."

Final Conclusion

The original article published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Society October 1943, pg 334 is correct but the 1950 book should not be used as a source for Mary's marriages.

Mary Fitz Randolph, b 24 May 1710 at Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., New Jersey married 1st William Thorne on the 2d, 7m, 1729 at Woodbridge. William died in 1735 and Mary married 2nd James Jackson, Jr. in 1736. James died in 1750 leaving 5 known children. Lastly, Mary married her cousin, Jacob Fitz Randolph in 1764.

This page by Janie Jackson Kimble. If you find errors in info or logic, please contact me via WikiTree messaging system.


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