1686 8th of 9th month of Gift Jno. Pattison and wife Margrett of Crosswick Creek, West Jersey to their daughter Mary and her husband William Hickson of the same place, for 140 acres bo't of John Brewster.(i)
Although this is essentially about the Hickson, Hixon, Hixson, Hiscon families of Loudoun County, Virginia, it is quite impossible to confine anything about this pioneer family to any one location. There has been much guessing about the origin of these ancestors, but many of the statements have been unfounded, and cannot be proved. We can now state and prove two important items which will eliminate some of the errors.
The earliest records that have been preserved of the Ketoctin Church in Loudoun County, Virginia lists Timothy Hixon and his wife as members. (iv)
Timothy Hixson and his first wife, Rachel ..... were married in New Jersey, and lived in Hopewell Township or Village, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Sometime previous to October 27, 1765 they removed to Loudoun County, Virginia and decided to settle there.
The fact that Timothy Hixson was the son of Matthew Hickson is perhaps the most important item. Now that we know, with proof, that we had roots in New Jersey, it might be well to clear up some of the errors about our earliest ancestors in that area.
The quotation at the beginning of this page is the earliest record I have found of William Hickson (Hixson) who is said to be the first of that name in New Jersey. Variations of the spelling of the name have been with us from the first. In the quotation above, it is spelled Hickson, but on the very next day, (the records show) William Hixson and wife Mary deeded that same land to another man.
We do not know when or where William Hickson and Mary Pattison were married, but they were already married on the 8th of the 9th month, of 1686 when Mary's parents gave them the land, and on that date they were all living in Crosswick Creek, Burlington County, West Jersey. This was in the part of Burlington County from which part of Hunterdon County was later formed. A search of early records of Burlington County, Might answer many of our questions, but those records have not been available to me. I believe Mary (Pattison) was the mother of all of William Hickson's children. I know his widow, Phebe, could not have been this mother.
Matthew Giles (Giels) arrived in Piscataway (now Woodbridge) in 1683 with his brother, James. Vital records show Matthew's first wife was Katherine. Their daughter, Anne, was born January 10, 1691, and their son, James, on February 12, 1693. Matthew Giles married as his second wife, Phebe Hendricks on November 18, 1695. To them were born Matthew, April 16, 1697 and Henry, September 24, 1698. I do not have the records of the death of Henry, nor of the birth of their daughter, Mary. (v)
The will of Matthew Giles of Stony Brook, Somerset County, New Jersey was dated July 23, 1711, and it was proved May 5, 1712. Witnesses were John Field, John Olden, and William Hixson. (vi) William Hixson married Phebe (Hendricks) Giles some time after May 5, 1712. Phebe was the wife of William Hixson when he died in 1722, but she could not have been the mother of his children. We know two of his sons, John and Benjamin, were of legal age as William appointed them Executors of his estate. As no provisions were made for children of minor age, it is very possible all were of legal age in 1722.
While East Jersey was largely settled by families
from New England, and Long Island, the Quakers from England
formed the largest part of the population of West
Jersey. The first ship
The Griffith of London, arrived
in 1675. and the new arrivals soon laid out a town, and
they called it Salem. The second ship
The Kent of London
made a safe landing in the Delaware River, in October,
1677. They called their town Burlington, at the place
where they landed. By 1681, 1400 brave souls had crossed
the Atlantic to make a home in the new colony of New Jersey.
As was the custom of the Quakers, they bought their
land from the Indians, at a fair price, and so enjoyed
good relationship with the original inhabitants.
Jno. and Margrett Pattison were in Burlington County, West Jersey as early as 1682, when they bought land from John Brewster. (viii)
William Hixson was constantly expanding his land holdings
by buying, selling and trading property. He added to
settlement at Crosswick Creek, and added land in various
locations. Some bordered on the line that divided East and
West Jersey. Records of his activity in his community, and
in the colony make interesting reading. He contributed a
great deal to the development of that area.
On March 30, 1688, 30,000 acres of land was conveyed to Dr. Daniel Coxe of London, by 11 Indian Chiefs. The West Jersey Society was formed, and Thomas Revell their Surveyor and representative from 1696 until 1700. He claimed the right to sell property, and did so with sad results. The property of Dr. Daniel Coxe, and that of the West Jersey Society were in conflict, and land titles were in confusion for many years. After the hard work, and money invested in improving their land and building their homes many of the early pioneers either had to pay a second time for their land, or they had to abandon it. That was one of the principal reasons for the mass migrations of the Jersey people to New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky. (ix)
For the sake of identifying some of the ancestors of the allied families whose names are familiar to us, I will quote one of the transactions of the West Jersey Society. (x)
1698/9 March 18 - The W. J. Society by their agents Jeremiah Passe (?) and Thomas Revell to
Robert Hunt The. Coleman Corne. Andries John Bainbridge Benj. Harden James Bice Johanna Lawrence upDyke Wm. Akers John Runion William Hixson Rob't Lanen Tho. Runion John Bryerly Philip Phillips Hezekiah Bonham Sam'l Hunt Joshua Andries Benj. Maple Theop. Phillips Sam'l Davis Lawrence upDyke Jonathan Davis Elnathan Davis Joseph Sackett Thos. Smith Enoch Andries Edward Runt Jasper Smith
all of Maidenhead Twp. for 100 acres there of the Society's 15,000 acres Tract above the falls of the Delaware. To be used for a meeting house, burying ground and schoolhouse.(Names arranged in columns for convenience in reading.)
As Andrew Smith is given the credit of naming the township
Hopewell there can
be no doubt that William Hixson owned property in that area at the turn of the century.
Hunterdon County was formed from Burlington County in 1714. William Hixson served on the first grand jury in 1719. (xii)
Many of his various activities appear in the early records of Burlington and Hunterdon Counties. A few follow:
The copies and abstracts of the will of William Hixson are not complete. They lack the signatures of the testator and witnesses. Alice Blackmail Losers, Curator of the Hopewell Museum sent the following information:
Mrs Lewis added,
Maidenhead Twp. is now called
Lawrence Twp. It is next to Hopewell Twp. on the east.
It seems that these Hixsons may have lived near the Printon
area as the Inventory was made by Benjamin Clarke and
Joseph Worth, both of whom lived near Stony Brook by the
Princeton Battlefield area. The Worth family had the mill,
and the Clarke family owned the land on which the battle
was fought. People always had their Inventory made by
In his Will, William Hixson named his four children: John, Benjamin, Joseph and Presillah. His sons, John and Benjamin were appointed executors of the estate, so we know they were of legal age in December 1722. There is reason to think all of the children were of legal age at that time. I have found no reference to the daughter, Presillah, except in her father's will.
Early records of Hunterdon County, place Benjamin and
Joseph Hixson in Amwell Twp. As Freeholders, they voted
in Amwell, and their property was mentioned in a survey of
new roads. John Hixson settled in Hopewell Twp. Among
some of the records we find:
In 1722 when Hunterdon
County embraced the five Townships, Hanover, Amwell, Maidenhead,
Trenton and Hopewell, the taxroll contained the names
of 128 men, who were subject to taxation; 16 of whom were
single. Among those 16 single men was listed John Hixson:
cattle and horses 14, 100 acres of land.
Not long after, John Hixson must have married, as his daughter, Abigail, was born in 1726. (xv) This may not have been a first marriage for John Hixson. If all of William Hixson's children were of legal age when their father died, and if John Hixson was the eldest as some think, John Hixson may have been of legal age in 1708/9.
In his article, which is now in a book, Mr Ege has
given us many clues. In speaking of the land that was
inherited by Elias, the third son of Joseph Golden,
were 114 acres in the Tract when purchased by Joseph Golden
and in 1736 it was occupied by John Hixson. In a footnote
on page 24, we find the following:
father of Amos, born July 12, 1718, married Abigail, daughter
of John Hixson, another of Hopewell's pioneers, who
lived on the farm afterward owned by Hon. John Hart, and
now (Oct. 9, 1902) owned by WilliamI Phillips, Esq.
Abigail is the only child of John Hixson that is known to us at this time. After the death of her husband, in 1782, Abigail removed to Mason County, Kentucky with some of her children. She died there, and is buried in the cemetery in Washington. Kentucky.
Of the three sons of William Hixson, only Joseph and his descendants are known to us. In the middle of the 18th century, Benjamin arid John seem to disappear. There are no probate papers to be found in all of New Jersey.
In the same article we discussed above, Mr. Ege
In the vicinity of Woodsville and Linvale were
Capt. John Reed, Richard Reed, Lieutenant Richard Corwine, Samuel Corwine, John Corwine, JOHN and JOSEPH HIXSON.
John Stillwell, Sergeant Jacob Decker. Philip Young, and
perhaps others ... These men were patriots who were living
in Hopewell Township during the Revolutionary War. There
are some who have overlooked the time elemnt and who
think the John and Joseph Hixson mentioned above, are the
sons of the first William Hixson. That is hardly logical.
Joseph Hixson, son of the first William, was the only one of the family who lived out his life in Hunterdon County. His will was dated 24 April, 1764, of Amwell Twp., and it was proved in 1775. Perhaps Joseph was as surprised as anyone that he lived 10 years after he made his will. This might indicate that he lived to a ripe old age. As far as I know, no probate papers have been found in New Jersey for the estates of Benjamin arid John Hixson. Perhaps they traveled west with one of the migrations of the Jersey people. Many of the heirs of Joseph Hixson continued to live on the land of Joseph Hixson, in Amwell Twp. at least through the 1850 Census Record, perhaps, longer.
The John and Joseph Hixson mentioned by Mr. Ege were possibly the grandsons of the first John Hixson. With the material at hand, we can only guess about that. One John Hixon, a veteran of the Revolution, was living in Berkley County, Virginia when he applied for his pension. According to his statement, he was born in 1757, in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. (xvii)
Matthew Hixson was another patriot mentioned by Mr. Ege as living in Hopewell Twp., during the Revolutionary War. He appears to have lived in the same area where the first John Hixson was seated in 1722. No doubt this Matthew was the son of Judiah Hixson. He was born December 12, 1756, and married Catherine Hogg in 1779. The family was living in Warren County, Ohio when Matthew applied for his pension. (xvii)
It is time to consider Matthew Hixon, the father of
Timothy Hixson, of Loudoun County, Virginia.
He appears to be the earliest of that name in the Hunterdon County records.
Tradition says he was the son of the first
John Hixson, but so far, we have no proof of that.
The earliest mention of him, that I have, is as follows:
Hickson, carpenter, to Phebe Everett, June 3, 1728.
This Is probably the same man who was listed in 1741 as a
Freeholder in Hunterdon Co., N.J., Hopewell Township.
John Severns, of Trenton, was merchant, and apparently
money lender. The Inventory of his estate, dated
March 4, 1732, included the names of 623 men who owed him
Among these were the names of Matthew and Joseph
Hixson. In those early times the laws governing land, deeds,
money, etc. were so similar to the laws we have now, I feel
sure a man would have to be of legal age to borrow money in
that way. In that case, this early Matthew Hixson would have
been born by at least 1711. This date of birth would agree
with the marriage record, and other early records, but we
do not have proof that any of this pertains to the Matthew
Hixson who was the father of Timothy Hixson of Loudoun County,
Virginia, but it is a good possibility.
Again, in the early records of Hunterdon County, we learn of two Timothy Hixsons. The earliest one witnessed the will of Thomas Curtis, of Hunterdon County, January 30, 1748. (xxii) If this man was of legal age on that date, he was born about 1727. The second Timothy Hixson who appears in Hunterdon County records, was born August 13, 1730 in Hunterdon County. He died in 1792 in Canada. He married his distant cousin, Naomi Corwine, and the granddaughter of the first Joseph Hixson. (xxiii)
The names of Matthew and Timothy appear frequently in some lines of the Hixson family, but the ones I have mentioned are the earliest I have found. Their approximate ages seem to correspond with the ages of the family in Loudoun County, Virginia. I repeat, I do not have proof of any of this except Matthew Hixson was the father of Captain Timothy Hixson, of Loudoun County, Virginia.