Amariah Bonham
  b: Jun/1708 - Maidenhead Twp., Burlington Co., NJ
  d: 1802/1803 - Washington Co., PA

Father: Hezekiah Bonham, Sr.
Mother: Mary Bishop

Spouse-1: Eunice King
   d: 5/Feb/1748(1749)
  m: 1735/1736

Child-1: Christiana or Christine - b: ~1737 - Hunterdon Co., NJ
                                                   d: 2/Aug/1821 - Warren Co., OH - bur: Springboro Cem., Clear Creek Twp.
                                                  m: Absalom Fox - ~1758 - Hunterdon Co., NJ
          2: Jeriah - b: ~1739 - Hunterdon Co., NJ
                         m: Sarah *****
          3: Peter - b: ~1741 - Hunterdon Co., NJ
                         d: Jul/1833 - Ohio Twp., Allegheny Co., PA
                        m: Rebecca Luallen? - ~1771 - VA - m: Elizabeth ***** - ~1800 - PA
          4: Rebecca - b: ~1743 - NJ
                             m: Abraham Johnston
          5: Sarah - b: ~1745 - NJ
                         m: ***** Batey or Beatty

Spouse-2: Mary Drake - b: ~1713
  m: 1749

Child: Jacob - b: 1751
                       d: 9/Jun/1782 - Illinois Co., VA (i.e., Old NW Terr.)
                      m: Mary *****

Spouse-3: Elizabeth Addy?

Biographical Details:

The exact date of birth of Amariah Bonham is uncertain; however, he has been attributed as a son of Hezekiah Bonham, Sr., and his second wife.  Furthermore, some family researchers have asserted that he was born in June of 1708, probably in Maidenhead Township, Burlington County, New Jersey.  Even so, the source of this information is not clear, but in any case the year would seem at least to be approximately correct.  It is thought that Amariah Bonham married Eunice King about 1735 or 1736, probably in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.  He is believed to have owned land in Amwell Township in Hunterdon County, which he later sold, perhaps, about 1742 after which it has been reported that he moved with his family to Piscataway in Middlesex County.  Accordingly, civil records reveal that on June 29, 1743, Amariah Bonham of Piscataway conveyed real  property in Hunterdon County to Richard Taylor.  Moreover, just the day before this same property had been conveyed to Amariah Bonham of Amwell Township, Hunterdon County, by the estate of Peter Sutton of Piscataway.  Although, not all details of the land transaction are evident, those that are known do tend to confirm that Amariah and his family moved from Hunterdon to Middlesex County at about this time.  Moreover, it has been further reported by Mr. H. E. Bonham in his history of the Bonham family that Amariah and Eunice Bonham as well as her father, John King, were a charter members of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church, which was organized on September 8, 1747, by fifteen members of the Piscataway Baptist Church.1  Unfortunately, none of their names appear in the charter member list for the Scotch Plains church published by Mr. Robert Webb, a Primitive Baptist historian.2  Furthermore, in Mr. Bonham’s work the date implied for the charter member list was August 5, 1747, almost a month earlier than that given by the New Jersey Archives.  Therefore, it is possible that there was more than a single account of the organization of the Scotch Plains Church; one that included the Bonhams and the Kings and one that did not.  In any case, there is no reason to doubt that Amariah and his family were members of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church in the late 1740’s.  At present, Scotch Plains lies about ten miles due north of Piscataway just inside Union County, New Jersey; however, until 1857 this location would have been within Essex County.  Eunice King Bonham died February 5, 1748 (1749 N. S.) and shortly afterward Amariah is believed to have married Mary Drake.  Concomitantly, John King had died intestate probably in 1747 and Amariah Bonham was identified as a debtor to his father-in-law’s estate.3

It would seem that Amariah and Mary Drake Bonham were marked dismissed from the roll of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church in 1749, which suggests that they moved elsewhere.  Within this context, some researchers have asserted that they migrated to western Pennsylvania as early as 1743; however, this seems very improbable since there was no appreciable settlement in this area until quite sometime later.  It is more likely that they would have migrated to the Maryland or Virginia frontier and, accordingly, it has been reported that Amariah Bonham was assessed tax in Loudoun County, Virginia, in 1765.  Indeed, there is a record of an agreement in 1774 between Amariah Bonham and Francis Lightfoot Lee (a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a large landowner in Loudoun County) for the lease of two hundred acres in Cameron Parish on behalf of Peter and John Bonham and Charles Fox, who were apparently Amariah’s son and grandsons.4  Furthermore, it seems that Peter and John were subsequently commissioned as Ensigns in the Loudoun County militia.5  Amariah Bonham was assessed tax in Loudoun County in 1782 and 1787; however, by 1788 the Bonham family had apparently left this locality for western Maryland since Scharf reported in his history that in 1788 Peter, Josiah, and Amariah Bonham were settlers resident “upon the lands lying in Maryland, west of Fort Cumberland”.  The fort had been originally constructed by General Braddock on a bluff above the confluence of Wills Creek and the Potomac River, which at present corresponds to a location in Allegany County, Maryland, (formed from the western portion of Washington County in 1789) within the city limits of town of Cumberland and now occupied by Emmanuel Episcopal Church.  Within this context, Peter Bonham probably can be safely identified as the younger son of Amariah and Eunice King Bonham, but, the identity of Josiah is not certain; however, it is plausible that Jeriah has been transcribed incorrectly as “Josiah” from an original handwritten record.  Alternatively, Monnette and others have proposed Josiah as a younger son of Hezekiah Bonham, Sr., and his putative second wife; however, if so, then this would be the only known record of him.  As suggested by some researchers, it is plausible that the Bonham family moved to Maryland to take advantage of provisions made by the legislature to award land grants to patriot veterans of the Revolution in the area “westward of Fort Cumberland”.  This might seem inconsistent with service in Virginia militia, but it is possible, even probable that members of the Bonham family may have served in the militia of both states.  In any case, according to existing census records by 1800 Ameriah Boneham, i.e., Amariah Bonham, age above forty-five years, was living alone in West Bethlehem Township in Washington County, Pennsylvania.  Presumably, this is an indication that Mary Drake Bonham had died by the time the census was taken.  Subsequently, on January 27, 1802, Amariah made his will in Washington County.  He must have died before April 22, 1803, when the will was evidently entered into probate.  Furthermore, in the will, Amariah  mentioned his wife, Elizabeth; sons, Jacob, Jeriah, and Peter; daughters: Christine Fox, Rebecca Johnston, and Sarah Batey.  Accordingly, one may suppose that he married for a third time between 1800 and his death in 1802 or 1803.  Furthermore, Amariah’s putative third wife has been identified by some as Elizabeth Addy or Ady, whose name appeared on the line directly above his own in the 1800 Washington County population schedule.  Of course, in later census records such an arrangement might, indeed, indicate that the corresponding households were living in close proximity; however, this particular population schedule has been partially alphabetized and inspection reveals that Elizabeth Ady is the last name in the “A” section and Ameriah Boneham is the first name in the “B” section.  Therefore, the census record implies no relationship between them beyond that they were both living in West Bethlehem Township in the year 1800.

In passing, it is important to note that there has been considerable confusion concerning various details of the family of Amariah Bonham.  In particular, it has been frequently asserted that he married Mary or Martje Bebout (who, obviously, was of Dutch ancestry).  This presumption seems to derive from a deed in which John Bebout called Amariah Bonham “friend, co-partner and bro-in-law”.  Accordingly, one might suppose that the maiden name of Amariah’s wife was Bebout.  However, H. E. Bonham has concluded that John Bebout and Amariah Bonham were married, respectively, to sisters, Mary and Eunice King, thus, accounting for the usage.  Similarly, Peter Bonham has been attributed previously as a son of Samuel Bonham; however, the will of Amariah Bonham definitively confirms him as his son.  In addition, Jacob Bonham, son of Amariah, has commonly been confused with the putative son and/or grandson of Hezekiah Bonham, Jr., of the same name.  However, civil records of Brooke County, Virginia (now West Virginia), confirm that it was Amariah’s son, Jacob, who was killed by Indians in June of 1782.  Even so, the use of the similar names in both families, e.g., Jeriah, suggests a close relationship.  Moreover, owing to the paucity of documentation  it is possible that pedigrees have been conflated and, consequently, some individuals have been attributed incorrectly.  Obviously, further research is needed.

Source Notes and Citations:
1. Howard Eugene Bonham and Jean Allin, Bonham and Related Family Lines, Bonham Book(s), 5104 Bridlington Ln., Raleigh, NC, 27612, printed by Genie Plus, Bradenton, FL, 1996: pgs. 152-8.
     “Amariah Bonham owned land in Amwell, Hunterdon Co., NJ.  He later sold his land there and removed to Piscataway.  He was one of the charter members of the Baptist church at Scotch Plains, 5 Aug 1747.  His first wife, Eunice King, was also a charter member.  Mary (Drake) Bonham, his second wife, joined the church in 1749 and she and Amariah were marked dismissed on the roll of the church that same year. NOTE: The Scotch Plains Baptist Church was constituted Sept. 8, 1747 by 15 members from the Piscataqua (sic - Piscataway) Church, which included John King of Piscataway, father of Eunice King Bonham.  [NJ Archives, Vol. XXII.]”
     “Dec. 1, 1775.  Amariah Bonham leased 200 acres in Cameron Parish, Loudoun Co., Virginia from Francis Lightfoot Lee for the natural lives of [three of his grandsons], Peter Bonham [s/o Peter Bonham, Sr.], John Bonham [s/o Jeriah Bonham] and Charles Fox [s/o Charles and Christine (Bonham) Fox] for 12 pounds sterling.  Tobacco barn - eighty apple trees, etc.  keep fenced.  Amariah signed by his mark (same as in New Jersey).”  There does not seem to be any subsequent documentary support for the existence of Peter Bonham, Jr., as implied here.  Therefore, it is more likely that Peter Bonham was Amariah’s son rather than his grandson.
     “1782 List of Virginia Taxpayers:  Amariah Bonham is listed in Loudoun Co., VA.
     1787 List of Virginia Taxpayers: Amariah Bonham of Loudoun Co., VA, paid tax; listed 1 male over 21 years of age; 1 male between 16 & 21 years of age; 5 horses; 12 cattle. NOTE: In the 1787 Tax List, beneath Amariah’s name is listed one Lewis Garnes and Amariah is charged with his tax.  He is probably the ‘male between 16 and 21 years of age’ listed in Amariah’s household.  Perhaps he was a hired hand - no relationship noted.”
     “1802, Jan. 27.  Amariah Bonham died before 22 Apr 1803, as that is the date his will was probated, wherein he calls himself: Amariah Bonham, Township of Middle, Washington Co., PA.  He mentions wife Elizabeth:
     I bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth Bonham for and during her natural life the house, garden and all the profits of my plantation and premises.  Real estate to be sold and divided among my children at the death of Elizabeth.
     Amariah named sons: Jacob, Jeriah, Peter; daughters: Christian Fox, Rebecca Johnston, and Sarah Batey.  Executors: Peter Bonham of Allegheny Co., PA, Philip Luallen of Washington Co., PA.  Witnesses: Jonathan, Isaac and Rebecca Leet.  [Index to Wills, Book #1, Washington Co., PA, p. 89.]
     Phillip Luellen refused to act as adminstrator; Peter Bonham settled the estate in 1805: Value - $317.26; Debits - 253.51; Balance - 63.75.”
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2. “SCOTCH PLAINS (ESSEX)(1747)   The Scotch Plains Church was organized September 8, 1747, with the following members who were dismissed from Piscataway Church, viz., William Darby, Recompence Stanbery, John Lambert, John Dennis, John Stanbery, Henry Crosley, John Sutton, Jr., Isaac Manning, Mary Brodwell, Mary Green, Mary Dennis, Tibiah Sutton, Catharine Manning, Sarah De Camp, and Sarah Perce.
      In February 1748, Benjamin Miller was ordained to be their minister, by Elders Benjamin Stelle, and Abel Morgan.  The church joined the Philadelphia Association.  According to the Minutes of the Philadelphia Association, corroborated by Morgan Edwards’ ‘Materials,’ these persons, ‘appointed to come together on the 8th day of September, 1747, and having Abel Morgan and James Mott of Middletown for their assistants, they spent the fore part of the day in prayer and fasting; and afterwards gave themselves, in a solemn manner, to the Lord and to one another, by the will of God; and, after the usual solemnity, were owned as a sister church.’”  (Robert Webb, “Church and Family History Research Assistance for Primitive Baptist Churches in the State of New Jersey”, www.carthage.lib.il.us/community/churches/primbap/NewJersey.html, 2005.)
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3. Abraham Van Doren Honeyman (ed), New Jersey Archives - First Series (alt. title Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Adminstrations, Etc. Vol. II: 1730-1750), New Jersey Historical Society, Trenton, NJ, The Unionist-Gazette Assoc., Printers, Somerville, NJ, 1913: Vol. 30, pg. 283.  (cited op. cit. (H. E. Bonham): pg. 158.)
     Feb. 22, 1747 (1748 N. S.).  “John King of Piscataway, Middlesex Co. died Int.  Adm’x granted to Anderiah King with Benjamin Doty as fellow bondsman.  Inventory was made 25 Feb 1748 by Isaac Manning and John Pound Jun’r.  Account showing debts due: Amariah Bonham, Marcey Smalley, John Leforge, Benjamin Doty, William Jones, Joseph Sutton and several others.  Account of sale of land to Benjamin Doty and Benajah Doty for 129 pounds and 15 shillings, Aug. 31, 1749.”
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4. Indenture made 22 June 1774 between Francis Lightfoot Lee and Amariah Bonham.  Lee Leased to Bonham all a tract in the Parish of Cameron in the County of Loudoun...200 acres beginning at a road leading to Lane’s Mill...  To have and to hold the said tract Amariah Bonham, his heirs and assigns for and during the natural lives of Peter Bonham, John Bonham and Charles Fox and during the natural life of every or either of them longest living...yielding and paying therefore yearly unto Lee and issue the sum of twelve pounds sterling money of Great Britain beginning the first of December 1775.  (Deed Bk. M, Loudoun Co., VA, pg. 21, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - City and County Records #5).)
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5. Peter Benham (sic - Bonham) commissioned Ensign in May, 1778.  John Benham (sic - Bonham) commisioned Ensign on June 12, 1780.  These were probably two of the three individuals mentioned in the lease agreement between Amariah Bonham and Francis Lightfoot Lee made in June of in 1774.  (Order Bk. G, Loudoun Co., VA, pgs. 249 & 517, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - City and County Records #72).  (Rena Worthen, Loudoun County VAGenWeb Archives, ketoctin.8m.com/MilitiaOfficers.html, 2005.))
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Additional Citations:

6. 1800 US Census Population Schedule for Washington County, Pennsylvania, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 927, (microfilm: roll M32_44; img. 124).

7. John Thomas Scharf, History of Western Maryland, L. H. Everts, Philadelphia, PA, 1882: pg. unk.  (Reprint available from the Regional Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, 1968.)

8. Elmer Burt Hazie, Bonham, 1631-1973: letters, quotations, genealogical charts, military records, directory index, privately published, Los Angeles, CA, 1973: pg. 30.  (rev. of Emmet Lincoln Smith, Smith-Bonham, 1631-1908, privately published, Chicago, IL, 1911; also Emmet Lincoln Smith, rev. by Elmer Burt Hazie, Bonham, 1631-1959: letters, quotations, genealogical charts, illustrations, military record, directory, privately published, Los Angeles, CA, 1959 & Elmer Burt Hazie, Bonham, 1631-1975: letters, quotations, genealogical charts, military records, directory index, privately published, Los Angeles, CA, 1975.)

9. Orra Eugene Monnette, First Settlers of ye Plantations of Piscataway and Woodbridge, olde East New Jersey, 1664-1714, a period of fifty years, The Leroy Carman Press, Los Angeles, CA, 1930-35: Part 4, pg. 229.

10. Olive Barrick Rowland, Genealogical Notes of the Sutton and Rittenhouse Families of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, Garrett & Massie, Pub., Richmond, VA, 1935: pg. 115.

11. Ancestral File: CJ7F-WM, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT, continuously updated.

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