New Germantown Historical Maps

Croagh Hill

In June 2006 we undertook the task of uncovering the history of our old farmhouse just West of New Germantown, today's Oldwick, New Jersey. The location of this old farm is shown in dark green near the bottom of the Farms and Woodlands map and a picture of the backside of the house is provided through the link below.

In 1817 Henry Miller Sr. bought 10 acres of land on the road from New Germantown to Potterstown from Thomas Harris, a local resident and Freeholder of the County of Hunterdon. Miller subsequently sold or gave the farm to his son Henry Miller Jr. who in turn sold it to William G Melick. In 1840 the farmhouse with 7.5 acres of land was purchased by Thomas Fagan, an Irish immigrant, for the sum of $510.

Thomas Fagan and his wife Bridget expanded the farm to 31 acres purchasing another 13 acres in 1844 for $323 and 9 more acres in 1846 for $176. The farm remained as Thomas Fagan had developed it for over a century falling to development in the 1980's with the old farmhouse resting on 5 of the original acres purchased by Henry Miller in 1817. All of the deeds for properties purchased and sold by Thomas are shown in the Excel worksheet that can be accessed through the following link.

In 1840 the farmhouse was probably not much more than a hovel, consisting of a kitchen and upstairs bedroom in the section on the far left of the picture(seen as a 1.5 story roofline). Excavation in 2004 revealed the foundation for an old stone hearth that Bridget would have used for cooking just to the left but outside the picture. Thomas and Bridget probably added a two-story addition which is the left half of the current two-story structure). The right most part of the two-story structure as well as the 1-story den extending across the entire back of the building were added in the 20th century.

According to the 1850 censusThomas and Bridget lived on their homestead near New Germantown with a daughter Ann E. born around 1837 and a son James K. born around 1844. James was probably born in this house as was the custom of the day. We have not yet determined the birthplace of Ann though records state she was born in New Jersey. In 1872 Thomas sold the 31 acre farm for $2,200 but held a mortgage for $1,800 that was not paid off until April 5, 1894

The Irish history of this property is somewhat remarkable. The 1860 NJ census states that Thomas was born in Dublin, Ireland and his wife Bridget was born in West Meath, Ireland which is just south of Cavan. Emigration records for Ireland show that a Thomas Fagan left Cavan in 1834 and there is a good chance this was the same Thomas Fagan who settled near New Germantown with his wife Bridget. In 2004 a barn on the Fagan homestead was converted to a rental cottage that is currently occupied by an elderly Irishman by the name of Robert. Robert was born and raised just outside of Cavan Town, Ireland and one of the stories he tells is how his father after World War II sold off the family car and purchased a horse and carriage instead. The horse and carriage were purchased from the Fagan's of Cavan Town.

According to an 1883 deed Thomas Fagan resided in Springfield, Illinois when he sold off the final 5 acres of his holdings(a wood lot - not part of the homestead). Through FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com many of Thomas' and Bridget's descendants can be traced to Illinois and Indiana. But the Fagan's were not the only ones who apparently left New Germantown for the Midwest.

In 1894 a granddaughter of Thomas and Bridget married in Illinois a man by the name of Mathias Dilley. If you look at the map of the Farms and Woodlands just south of the Fagan farm you will see the name Aaron Dilley, and if you look further to the left you will see a property identified as the Homestead of Mathias Dilley. Perhaps it was the Dilley's of New Germantown that encouraged the Fagan's to emigrate from Ireland to the New Germantown area and later to move west to Illinois.

  (This page will be updated as more information becomes available.)

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