Samuel Carter

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ChartsAncestors of Adele La Force
Samuel Carter, son of Nicholas Carter and (…) Watson, was born at Connecticut, before 1656.1 He died at Essex Co., New Jersey, after 1712.1

Samuel married Tabitha Smith, daughter of Roger Smith and Rebecca (…), say 1670.1,2

That Samuel actually married Tabitha Smith is open to further debate. It seems that one Richard Paynter appeared in Elizabethtown, coming there from New York to open a tailor shop for his business. In 1669 Samuel's brother Nicholas was taken by their father to Paynter's shop as an apprentice for eight years to learn the trade. Apparently dissatisfied with the business Paynter moved back to New York in 1670, and later to Southampton, where he was as late as 1679. There is no record to tell whether Nicholas accompanied the tailor in these moves. The supposition is that he did, and Samuel may have visited Nicholas in the latter place, and there met his wife.

Samuel witnessed by mark a mortgage of Jonas Wood of Elizabethtown on 20 Apr 1683.

As bondsmen, James Hinde and Samuel Marsh, on 12 Dec 1684, conveyed to him and his younger brother Nicholas, planters, all rights to parcel of upland, containing 193 acres, "lying upon the mill creek," and 22 acres in the great meadow, if he and Nicholas give 90 acres of upland to the other heirs of their father.

Samuel and Nicholas conveyed to David Smith (a brother in law) of New Haven, 28 1/4 acres out of the 190 acres parcel, and 3 1/4 acres out of the 22 acre parcel on 15 May 1686. On 10 Dec 1687, they also mortgaged "a pieced of seven acres of meadow, to Thomas Osborne of Elizabethtown, tanner.

David returned to Elizabeth town and reconveyed the acreage back to Samuel alone on 28 Jan 1689. David was in East Hampton L. I. on 14 Nov 1688 where he receipted to John Hopping for "thirty-five pounds," apparently as his share in David's father's estate. John Hopping had been forced to marry Rebecca Smith, a widow, in 1673. Samuel's wife also had a share in this estate, and "in respect of my wife's portion," Samuel forgave any debts that John Hopping might owe him in an agreement made 17 Oct 1689. The presumption is that David and Tabitha were brother and sister. On 3 Oct 1690, Samuel again sold the land to Roger Smith, mentioning that it was the same land he had previously sold to David Smith and then bought back. This Roger Smith was probably a brother of David and Tabitha, having been only in his teens when his father is thought to have passed away in 1671-2.

On 20 Jul 1696, he and William Looker reported the inventory of the estate of Samuel Willis.

About 1698, the people of Elizabethtown petitioned the king, "for Greater protection from the East Jersey Proprietors," and contained the name of Samuel Carter, among others. Samuel was admitted in 1699 as an "Associate" of Elizabethtown, with given addition to his "first lot right."

On 26 Dec 1699, a committee he was on began work to "Lay out, Divide, and Equally assign all the Lands and meadows within the whole Bounds and purchase of Elizabeth Town..." This was for the division of the back country lands for distribution to the children of the new generation and the new comers. They finished 5 Mar 1700. The area extended from Newark to Woodbridge (north and south), and West to the foot of "the Mountain." It included a considerable part of the present towns of Union, Wesfield, and Plainfield, and a small part of Rahway, encompassing 17,000 acres and was divided into 171 tracts of 100 acres each, mostly 40 X 26 chains. Samuel drew lot 20.

Five days later, 12 Mar, the court of sessions met and heard Samuel give a violent speech, "and in an Insolent and comptuous manner, rail and disown the authority and form of the court and president and justices there setting, calling the president Rascall, and challenging him and the rest of the justices out of the court several times. Although jailed, a large party of Elizabethtown residents made such a disturbance that the court was forced to adjourn and presumably, Samuel was released.

On 10 Sep 1700, the court was in session when a party of horsemen, apparently led by Samuel Carter, forcibly prevented the sheriff from arresting Samuel Burwell, who was to be tried. When the trial finally opened, Samuel verbally challenged the court, "On what authority does this court sit?" Some of the officials tried to reason with Samuel, but after the court sentenced Burwell, the mob broke loose, and fled en masse on horse, including the prisoner, Samuel Carter, and his son or nephew.

The trouble was apparently due to the fact that the colonists had acted under a right granted by Governor Nicolls of New York to purchase their land from the Indians and settle on it. Proprietors later claimed ownership by virtue of a grant from the Duke of York, and forced the settlers to take out "patents" for the land and pay rent, to which the colonists objected as strenuously as they knew how.

The conflict ended on 15 Apr 1702 when the proprietors surrendered all claim and right to the province. At this point, New Jersey became a "Royal Province," governed no longer by a company of land speculators, but directly by the Crown.

Samuel witnessed (by signature) the will of John Clark of Elizabethtown on 14 Dec 1702. Samuel Melyn was also a witness; he was the son of Jacob Melyn who sold a tract of land to Samuel's father in 1678.

After David Smith died in East Hampton on 24 Mar 1703, Samuel went there and on 4 Oct 1704 made an indenture with John Hopping to provide for Elizabeth Smith, a minor daughter of David Smith. They made a further indenture that would give Samuel several parcels in East Hampton after the death of John and his "now wife." As Hopping was Tabitha's stepfather, this agreement would appear to conform to the 1688 agreement. In turn, Samuel sold these parcels to John Shaw for forty pounds, and Shaw could take possession only after the death of John Hopping and his wife.

In the meantime, 9 Feb 1704, at a Court of Quarter Sessions" for Essex County, Samuel and others were indicted for assaulting the sheriff in 1700. Samuel was tried in May 1712, in Aug 1716, and again in Oct 1716. There are no details available on these cases, and Samuel disappears from the records after this last date. It seems to me more likely these cases refer to his son, but it cannot be ruled out.

On 5 Mar 1712, Samuel again went to East Hampton to certify that he gave up his "claim to any right in Easthampton, by any deed from David Smith, especially by a deed dated 19 Sep 1686, which deed he then assigned to Matthias Hopping," son of John Hopping by his wife Rebecca. This deed is not recorded in the town records or in the court archives at Riverhead L. I.1


Tabitha Smith b. say 1666
This person was last edited on4 Feb 2006


  1. [S14] C. H. Cory, Lineal Ancestors of Captain James Cory and of His Descendants: Genealogical Historical and Biographical, Vol I Pt 2 ([New Jersey]: s.p., 1937), 332-356, further cited as Cory, Ancestors of Captain James Cory.
  2. [S288] Donald Lines Jacobus, "Roger Smith of East Hampton," The American Genealogist 25 (Apr 1949): 93, further cited as Jacobus, "Roger Smith."