Father: Hezekiah Bonham, Sr.
Mother: Mary Bishop
Spouse-1: Maria Marlett
m: ~1739 - NJ
Child-1: Jehu - b: ~1740 - NJ
d: ~1785 - Cumberland Co., NJ - bur: Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church Cem..
m: Ruth Ayers - ~1762
3: John - b: ~1744 - NJ
Spouse-2: Patience Ayers - b: 16/Jun/1730
d: 28/Dec/1785 - bur: Lot 21, Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church Cem.
Child-1: Hezekiah - b: 17/Apr/1752 - Cumberland Co., NJ
d: 19/Nov/1809 - Stow Cr. Twp., Cumberland Co., NJ - bur: Plot: 67 space 1, Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church Cem.
m: Sarah *****
2: Malachi - b: 1754 - Cumberland Co., NJ
d: 17/Nov/1863 - Cumberland Co., NJ - bur: 151 space 1, Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church Cem.
3: Ephriam - b: 1756 - NJ
d: 4/Sep/1817 - Cumberland Co., NJ - bur: Plot: 21 space 6, Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church Cem.
m: Julian Tomlinson
There is considerable uncertainty as to the year that Zachariah Bonham was born, viz., in his excellent book on Bonham family history Mr. Howard E. Bonham indicated that he was born about 1718, but Hazie in his earlier work indicated a birth year of approximately 1705. This latter assertion seems to derive from Monnette, who, presumably from family tradition, asserted that Zachariah was the third oldest son of Hezekiah Bonham, Sr., and his putative second wife, i.e., he was younger than Nehemiah, but older than Zedekiah. However, this is not supported by circumstantial evidence provided by corresponding New Jersey civil records of the 1720's and early 1730's (e.g., identification of Nehemiah, Zedekiah, and Jeremiah Bonham along with their older half brother, Samuel, as debtors to the estate of John Severns of Trenton; apparent involvement of Hezekiah, Jr., and Nehemiah Bonham in disputes related to the "Coxe Affair"; etc.) and in which Zachariah's name never appeared. Therefore, it seems probable that the later estimate of his birth date is more correct and, accordingly, that Zachariah was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and was one of the younger sons of Hezekiah Bonham, Sr. Indeed, the first mention of Zachariah Bonham seems to have been in December of 1736 in the minutes of a town meeting for Maidenhead Township when he evidently recorded details of marks and brands appearing on three horses presumably belonging to him.1 At this time, he would have likely been about eighteen years old. Within this context, Hazie has further reported that Zachariah Bonham married either Miss "Marlett or Smalley" about 1729. Obviously, if he had been born in 1718, then he would have been only of age eleven at this time, i.e., far too young to comtemplate marriage. Thus, to remedy this apparent chronological difficulty, H. E. Bonham suggested that a typographical mistake or, perhaps, an incorrect transcription had been made in earlier work by Hazie and others and that the year should have been estimated as 1739 and, further, that Zachariah married Maria Marlett, daughter of Thomas Marlett. This presumption is further supported by the will of Thomas Marlett made in 1748 for which Zachariah Bonham was named as a witness.2 Similarly, his name appeared in other contemporary civil records of Middlesex County, New Jersey, and suggests that he and his family moved from Hunterdon County to Middlesex County, perhaps, about 1745 or even earlier. It seems that Maria Marlett Bonham died before 1750 and that about that year Zachariah Bonham married Patience Ayers (or Ayres). She was a distant cousin of Zebulon Ayers, husband of Zachariah's sister, Temperance. Moreover, in the early eighteenth century her family had settled near Cohansey Corners, subsequently called Shiloh, in Salem (later Cumberland) County, New Jersey, where, concomitantly, a large settlement of sabbatarian Baptists had formed.3,4 Furthermore, in his history Rev. L. A. Platts affirms that these settlers established a Seventh Day Baptist congregation in a "sister relation" with the congregation originally established at Piscataway.5 Accordingly, Zachariah and Patience lived in this locality after their marriage and without a doubt, they were also Seventh Day Baptists. Likewise, it would seem almost certain that Zachariah Bonham died in Cumberland County, but no definite date is known. Within this context, tax records of 1773 and afterward for Stow Creek Township in Cumberland County identified Patience Bonham as the widow of Zachariah, therefore, it is probable that he died in the 1760's or very early 1770's. In addition, it has been further reported that he and Patience were both buried in the cemetery at the Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church.6 Subsequently, the names of Malachia, Nehemiah, Ephraim, and Zachariah Bonham were included in Cumberland County tax records of 1793 and afterward. It seems very probable that these were sons and grandsons of Zachariah and Patience Ayers Bonham. (Indeed, Malachia appears to have lived to be well over one hundred yeats of age,)Source Notes and Citations:
1. "December ye 13 day 1736" Zachariah Bonham records a "soril mair with a call face branded with Lo on the near thigh marked with a half penny eich side of the off ear also a sorril mare colt with a flaxen main & and tail about a year & ... branded with 1 1 as he supposes with lC on the off thigh both hur hind feet white with a small crop on the off ear & a half penny one the fore side of the ... with a yiar old hors coalt bay culour with a blais in the face & white feet gelt. pr [by] me John Anderson" (Minutes of Town Meeting, 1716-1928, Lawrence Twp., Mercer Co., NJ, New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, NJ, (microfilm: roll control #MLACL001). (reprinted in Volume I of the Minutes of Lawrence (Maidenhead) Township, Pub. by Lawrence Historic and Aesthetic Commision, Spruce Printing Co., Inc., Trenton, NJ, 1976: pg. 19.) (cited 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: pg. 201.))
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2a. 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, pgs. 147-8.
Mar. 11, 1746 (1747 N. S.). "Doughty, Benjamin, of Prince Town, Middlesex Co.; will of. Wife Abigail and son, Benjamin, house and plantation occupied by Joseph Morrow. Executors---wife, and friends Thomas Leonard, Esquire, of Somerset, and James Leonard, of Kingstown, Middlesex County. Witnesses---William Mounteer, Joseph Morrow and Noah Gates. Proved May 2, 1747."
Apr. 17, 1747. "Inventory (£2086.7.5) includes old silver tankard, £4; goods Benjamin Doughty bought of Thomas Whitehead; old Sambo, £5; Sarah and child, £40; negro girl, £20. Bills and bonds---John Bainbridge, ..., Zacharia Bonam, ..., Richard Stockton. Inventory made by Edmund Beakes, Jedidiah Higgins, and Aaron Hughes; filed in Hunterdon Co."
b. ibid.: Vol. 30, pg. 332.
Aug. 25, 1748. "Merlatt, Thomas, of Somerset Co.; will of. Wife, Nelly, executrix, and to have the house and lot in Piscataway near the Bound Brook. Legacies to sons Abraham, John, Thomas and Mark. If Thomas or Mark die in non age, survivor shall have his portion, but if both die their portions shall be divided among their three sisters (not named), or their heirs. Executor---John Pound, Junior. Witnesses---Isaac Smalley, Zachariah Bonham. Proved 18 Jan, 1748-9."
Jan. 12, 1748 (1749 N. S.) "Filed 1752. Inventory of personal estate, £203.13.2; made by John Vail and Joseph Hall."
"[Not dated]. Account of said estate, mentions Peter Kemble, Jonathan Dunham, Isaac Hoofe, Thos. Pound, Jno. VanBuren, David Lang, Zachariah Bonham, Micaiah Dunn, John Pound, Jun., Teunis Middah, Elijah Pound."
c. ibid.: Vol. 30, pg. 297.
Mar. 3, 1748 (1749 N. S.). "Leforg, John, Jun'r, of Piscataway, Middlesex Co., weaver; will of. Children---John, Nathaniel, David, Frances Blackford, Sarah Leforg (under age). Real and personal estate. Executors---wife, Sarah, John Bound, Jun'r, and John Leforg, the third. Witnesses---Reune Runyon, Samuel Mackfarson, Zachariah Bonham. Proved March 30, 1749."
Mar. 15, 1748 (1749 N. S.) "Inventory of personal estate, £106; made by David FitzRandolph, and Reune Runyon."
d. ibid.: Vol. 30, pg. 437.
May 6, 1749. "Smalley, Isaac, of Piscataway, Middlesex Co.; taylor; will of. Wife, Hannah. My mother to live in my house. Brothers and sisters---Benjamin, Joshua, John, Susannah and Lydia Smalley. Land bought of Thomas Lewis. Executors---friends Daniel Drake and Joseph FitzRandolph, Jun'r. Witnesses---John Holton, John Molleson, Reune Runyon. Proved May 22, 1749."
May 19, 1749. " Inventory (£38.19.7) includes Bible, and cash in the hands of John Smalley, son of Jonathan Smalley, John Dennis, William Rogers, George Lang, James Piatt. Made by John Hepburn and Zachariah Bonham."
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3. Thomas Cushing and Charles E. Sheppard, History of the Counties of Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland, New Jersey, Everts & Peck, Press of J. S. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1883: pgs. 693-4 & 697.
"Shiloh.--The village of Shiloh lies in both Hopewell and Stow Creek townships, the road from Greenwich through Roadstown to Philadelphia passing directly through it. It is about four miles northwest of Bridgeton, in the centre of a rich agricultural community, and in 1880 had a population of two hundred and sixty-five, one hundred and forty-three of whom resided on the Hopewell side and one hundred and twenty-two in Stow Creek. It is situated on that part of Dr. James Wass' survey which he sold to Robert Ayers, Nov. 21, 1705, containing two thousand two hundred acres. A company of Baptists came from Swansea, Mass., to this region with Rev. Timothy Brooks in 1687, and settled in the neighborhood of Bowentown, as is related in the sketch of the Cohansey Baptist Church. They were followed by the above Robert Ayers, who first settled in Back Neck, on six hundred acres of land which he bought of Restore Lippincott, of Burlington County, but soon removed to the land he purchased of James Wass. He was probably a Seventh-Day Baptist when he came to this county in 1705, and sold off his tract to those of his own faith, who naturally settled in the same neighborhood, the better to carry out their belief and to keep the seventh day as the Sabbath. The establishment of a church of the Sabbatarian order at what was then called Cohansey Corners in 1737, but which name was soon changed to the more melodious one of Shiloh, made a nucleus about which the settlers of this faith gathered, and ever since has caused a slow but steady growth of the village. The history of the village is the history of the church, very few except the adherents of this faith residing within its limits. The surrounding country for a distance of from one to one and a half miles in all directions is filled with highly-cultivated farms, nearly all belonging to those of this faith. To one unaccustomed to the sight it seems out of place to find the people at work on their farms and in their shops and houses on the first day of the week, but if such a person will look in upon this community on the seventh day, and observe the scrupulous regard for the Sabbath as they view it, he must feel that only a conscientious conviction of the truth of their belief can inspire them in upholding the banner of Sabbatarianism in the midst of surroundings which ever tend to change their adherents, especially the younger portion of them, to advocates of the keeping of the first day as the Sabbath."
"The Seventh-Day Baptist Church of Shiloh.--In the year 1663 a large number of Welsh Baptist emigrants, known as the 'Rev. John Miles' company,' settled in Massachusetts, and named their location Swansea, after their native place in Wales. Meeting with persecution, a large number of their children and grandchildren, with some Baptists from Scotland, moved to South Jersey in 1687, and settled at Barratt's Run, Bowentown, and Shiloh. This colony from New England was known as the 'Rev. Timothy Brooks' or the Bown company, and kept up a separate society until 1710, when the united woth the Old Cohansey Baptist Church. From 1695 to 1700, and subsequently, Jonathan Davis, a Seventh-Day Baptist, of Miles' company, son of Rev. Jonathan Davis, having married Elizabeth Bowen, one of the 'Miles' company,' visited his Welsh cousins at Bowentown and vicinity, and gained many converts to his persuasion. Their numbers were also increased by additions from Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and from Trenton, Bonhamtown, and Piscataway, N. J. About the year 1700, Jonathan Davis moved from Long Island and settled at Trenton, with his brother, Elnathan Davis, a noted land surveyor, and from their made frequent visits to his brethren at Shiloh.
Jonathan Davis, son of Elnathan Davis, the surveyor, married Esther, daughter of Isaac Ayars, Sr., of Shiloh, and located near by, and became a prominent preacher of the gospel. His uncle, Jonathan of Trenton, however, was from the first recognized as the actual founder of the church.
On the 27th day of March, 1737, the Seventh-Day Baptist Church of Shiloh was organized with articles of faith and agreement.
The following were the constituent members: John Swinney, Dr. Elijah Bowen, John Jarman, Caleb Barratt, Hugh Dunn, Jonathan Davis, Jr., Caleb Ayars, Jr., Joseph Swinney, Samuel Davis, Jaen Phillips, of Newton Square, Pa., Deborah Swinney, Deborah Bowen, Abigail Barratt, Amy Dunn, Esther Dunn, Deborah Swinney, Jr., Ann Davis, Anna Swinney. ...
On the 24th of March, 1738, Caleb Ayars, Sr., deeded to the church one acre of land near the village of Shiloh fo a meeting-house lot and burying-ground, and a frame house of worship, thirty by forty feet, was erected the same year."
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4. Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Elder, History of the Early Settlement and Progress of Cumberland County, New Jersey, George F. Nixon, Pub., Bridgeton, NJ, 1869: pg. 94.
"Edwards says that in 1716 several of the Baptists embraced the sentiments of the Sabbatarians, who insisted that the seventh day Sabbath was of perpetual obligation. This led to the establishment of the Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church about the year 1736. The founders were John Sweeney, Dr. Elijah Bowen, John Jarman, Rev. Jonathan Davis, Caleb Ayres, and others. About the year 1790 a considerable number embraced the Universalist sentiments of Winchester, some of whom became in fact deists, whereby the society was much disturbed and troubled. This difficulty has now passed away, and the society, as well as the town itself, surrounded by fertile land, has greatly improved. Their tenets are believed to be the same as those of the regular Calvinistic Baptists, with the exception of that relating to the observance of the Sabbath. At their first organization they erected a wooden meeting-house, which, about the year 1761, was superseded by the old brick building still standing on their burial-ground lot. This latter was superseded in its turn in 1854 by the present neat edifice of brick, a little nearer to the town than the old one. They have also a neat and commodious school-house of two stories, in which a good school is maintained."
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5. Lewis Alexander Platts, "Seventh Day Baptists in America Prior to 1802" in Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America, American Sabbath Tract Society, Plainfield, NJ, 1910: Vol. 1, pgs. 120-46. (David Hill, www.seventh-day-baptist.org.au/library/books/sdbusa.htm, 1996.)
"In the decade between 1730 and 1740, families from different points within the boundaries of the Piscataway church, made settlements on the Cohansey Creek, in Cumberland County, New Jersey, about 40 miles south from Philadelphia. These were joined by others from Shrewsbury, and in 1737 they were constituted a church in sister relation. The first pastor was Eld. Jonathan Davis, who, together with several others of that name, was a descendant of a family of Davises, who came to this country from Glamorganshire, Wales, about 1649, and settled somewhere in New Jersey. Subsequently they lived on Long Island, then near Trenton, N. J.; thence they removed to Cohansey. Somewhere, probably in the course of this itinerary, they came in contact with Sabbath-keepers, and most of them appear to have embraced the Sabbath. It is believed that Eld. William Gillette, M. D., who was a Sabbath-keeping French Hugenot refugee, was the man through whose influence this was brought about. Elder Davis served the church faithfully and acceptably for 32 years, during which time the church grew to several times its original numbers."
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6. 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. 198-203.
"Patience and Zachariah are both buried in the cemetery of the Seventh-Day Baptist Church of Shiloh, Cumberland Co., New Jersey in Lot 21. ['Sexton's Book of Burials' , copied by John H. Bonham, 1929, published in Bonham Revised 1975, pp. 457, 458, 459.]"
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7. 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. Olive Barrick Rowland, Genealogical Notes of the Sutton and Rittenhouse Families of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, Garrett & Massie, Pub., Richmond, VA, 1935: pg. 114.
10. Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church Cemetery, Cumberland County, New Jersey (www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2131812&CScn=Shiloh&CScntry=4&CSst=33&, continuously updated).
11. 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.
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