New Germantown Historical Maps

vanGenee

From Stephanie Steven's work we know that one of the properties the Aray's owned in Readington Township was James Aray's 244 acre farm on Hillcrest Road. I visitied that farm on August 2, 2014 along with the descendants of Asher Aray and saw the house that James once owned(now very much expanded). On August 4th and 5th I researched the deeds for that 244 acre farm and was astounded to find that about two-thirds of the borders of that property can still be seen today, hundreds of years after James Aray cleared the land leaving only a narrow windbreak of trees on the perimeter. The link below takes you to a composite showing a simple plot of the boundaries from the 1819 deed on the left, and a Google Map view of the property with Kirkbride Road going down the middle of the lot, and trees still marking those ancient boundaries.

(For Readington history buffs, it was the northern 120 acre section that passed in 1853 to Herman Hageman.)

Two new maps are provided here detailing the location of three lots owned or leased by Aree van Genee (shown in red). The location of the Glebe or church farm on Potterstown Road has been known for some time but the location of his plantation at Potterstown is not established. It is new to all of us studying van Genee that he leased land just outside of New Germantown in 1745.

A map from the Zion Church archives shows that Baltus Pickle owned all of the land that today is the South East quadrant of Oldwick between Church and Joliet Streets and East of the Old Turnpike Road. A mortgage deed from 1769 shows that Tunis Melick owned the land comprising the North East quadrant of Oldwick, excepting out the Zion Church lot. Henry Miller owned the land East of Tunis Melick and by the late 1790's most of the Melick and Miller lands became the homestead of Oliver and Betsy Barnet. Using information from various sources we are able to position the 61 acre van Genee property relative to New Germantown and the Zion Lutheran Church.

The link below will lead you to a map of Potterstown which shows the probable location of the Lutheran Church Meeting house built around 1731, and the 1 acre property which William McKinney purchased from Aree van Genee in 1740. That 1740 deed has been scanned and digitized but the file is 20 Mb, too large to post here. However, a transcription in MS Word format is available thru another link below. The location of the Lutheran Church Meeting house is the lot on which the blue furniture store(formerly) sits.

The link below will lead you to a copy of Aree van Genee's signature from a deed dated 1740. Note the spelling used by this educated and learned man "van Ge Nee" who according to earlier historians was from "Guinea". My thanks to Fred Sisser who discovered the remarkable document from which this signature is taken, and to my friend Tony Palmer who scanned van Genee's signature into computer format.

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