Hezekiah (Kiar) Bonham
  b ~1724 - Hunterdon Co, NJ
  d ~1781 - Hunterdon Co., NJ

Father: Hezekiah Bonham, Jr.
Mother: Martha Runyon

Spouse: Martha Runyon
 m: 1750/1751 - Hunterdon Co., NJ

Child-1: Mary or Marcy or Mercy - b: ~1752 - Hunterdon Co, NJ
                                                        m: Joseph Smith - 4/Nov/1769 - Hunterdon Co., NJ
          2: Elijah - b: 1753/1754 - Hunterdon Co., NJ
                         d: ~1829 - Hunterdon Co., NJ
                        m: Margaret *****
          3: Levi - b: ~1758 - Hunterdon Co., NJ
          4: Alice or Alsie or Elsie - b: 1762 - Hunterdon Co, NJ
                                                   d: 1819/1820 - Guernsey Co., OH
                                                  m: Stephen Reed - 4/May/1782 - Hunterdon Co., NJ

Biographical Details:

Of course, repetition of given names in younger generations of families was common social convention in colonial North America and even still remains current practice although, perhaps, with less frequency and more variation than formerly.  Accordingly, it is believed that the oldest son of Hezekiah, Jr., and Martha Runyon Bonham was born about 1724 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and was also named Hezekiah.  As a matter of convention, it might be thought that he would have been known as "the third" to distinguish him from his father and grandfather.  However, this formal appellation seems to have been applied to him rarely if at all during his lifetime, but, according to the work of Howard E. Bonham, the diminuative name "Kiar" was used, perhaps, for this same purpose.1  The situation becomes further confused because about 1750 or 1751 Kiar Bonham married his first cousin, Martha Runyon, who was the daughter of Vincent Runyon and Ailse or Alice Curtis.  Obviously, Kiar's wife, Martha, was the namesake of his own mother, who was a younger sister of Vincent Runyon, who was, thus, both Kiar's maternal uncle and father-in-law.  Although, marriage between first cousins is no longer a common social practice, it was not unusual in pioneer communities such as colonial New Jersey.  Moreover, this coincidence of names has caused some family researchers to assert that Hezekiah Bonham, Jr., remained alive in Hunterdon County until after 1770, but this is almost certainly not the case and is indicative of confusion between father and son (as well as mother and daughter-in-law).

Documentary evidence indicates that Kiar and Martha Bonham remained in Hunterdon County for the remainder of their lives.  Concomitantly, his name can be found in civil records from the 1750's and 1760's.  Indeed, Hezekiah Bonham was witness to the will of Elizabeth Hobbs of Hopewell Township on February 7, 1763.2  Moreover, dispositions to individuals mentioned in the will suggest that Kiar and his wife were probably Seventh Day Baptists as had probably been both his father and grandfather.   Likewise, in 1766 property of Hezekiah Bonham was mentioned in a deed associated with the sale of two hundred and seventy-seven acres in Kingwood Township owned by Joseph Everits to Smith Cornwall of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.3  It is not certain that this was a reference to Kiar Bonham (although, if not it almost certainly must have been a relative), but it seems likely.   In any case, on October 27, 1770, both Kiar and Martha Bonham witnessed her father's will, who apparently had died by early November of 1771 since an inventory of his estate was made by Hezekiah Bonham and Chriveyance Van Cleave on the ninth of that month.  Subsequently, on November 25, 1771, Hezekiah Bonham and Josiah Ellis were sworn as witnesses to the will of Vinson (Vincent) Runyan (Runyon).  Within this context, it is evident from their sworn statement that Kiar's wife, Martha, was deceased by this time, i.e., during the interval between witnessing the will in October of 1770 and proof of the will in November of 1771.  It is probable that Hezekiah Bonham survived, perhaps, at least another decade since it has been reported that in June of 1780 his name was included in a tax list for Hopewell Township.  Even so, no details concerning his death and burial are known.  (Indeed, there is no convincing evidence that he and his wife were buried in the Great Valley Baptist Church Cemetery in Chester County, Pennsylvania, as some researchers have reported;)

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. 235-7.
     "1757, Mar. 2. Kiar Bonham was appointed as one of the Overseers of the Highways for Hopewell Township, Hunterdon Co., NJ."
     "Ratables of Hopewell, Hunterdon Co., NJ, June 1780 listed Hezekiah Bonham III: 2 horses, 3 cows, 3 pigs; exempt householder."
back to bio.

2. Abraham Van Doren Honeyman (ed), New Jersey Archives - First Series (alt. title Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Adminstrations, Etc. Vol. IV: 1761-1770), New Jersey Historical Society, Trenton, NJ, The Unionist-Gazette Assoc., Printers, Somerville, NJ, 1928: Vol. 33, pg. 194.
     Feb. 7, 1763.  "Hobbs, Elizabeth, of Hopewell Township, Hunterdon, Co.; will of.  To the Baptist Church of Hopewell, £6 and 5 shillings, books are given to John Gano of New York, Enoch Green, Johnathan Dunham in Piscataway, Benjamin Miller at Scotch Plains, Joseph Powell, and the great Bible to Sarah Gano, the wife of Daniel Gano, Sr.  To Archa Hill, my bed.  To Elizabeth Ege, daughter of Adam Ege, chest of drawers.   Executors---Rev. Isaac Eaton and John Hart, Esq., both of Hopewell.   Witnesses---John Titus, Jonathan Smith, and Hezekiah Bonham.   Proved Feb. 7. 1767."
     Jan. 12, 1767.  "Inventory, £382.50, made by Nehemiah Stout and Samuel Stout, Jr."
back to bio.

3. In 1766, Joseph Everits of Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, sold his property of two hundred and seventy-seven acres to Smith Cornwell of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, for a consideration of £105.  The associated deed, dated October 6th, 1766, described the tract as lying along "Abraham Gray's line" near "Thomas Herbert's plantation" and "Hezekiah Bonham's & Daniel Everit's line".  (Deeds/Mortgages, Bk. 1, Hunterdon Co., NJ, pgs. 18-9.  (Pat Doster, "Herbert Family of Middletown Township, Monmouth Co, New Jersey", www.spaldinggenealogy.com/jherbert.htm, 2005.))
back to bio.

Additional Citations:

4. Lida Cokefair Gedney (comp.), The Town Records of Hopewell, New Jersey, pub. by New Jersey Society of the Colonial Dames of America, printed by Little and Ives, Co., New York, NY, 1931: pg. 15.  (cited op. cit. (H. E. Bonham): pg. 235.)

5. Abraham Van Doren Honeyman (ed), New Jersey Archives - First Series (alt. title Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Adminstrations, Etc. Vol. V: 1771-1780), New Jersey Historical Society, Trenton, NJ, MacCrellish and Quigley Co., Printers, Trenton, NJ, 1931: Vol. 34, pg. 439.

Return to Index