Hickson Genealogy

The Hixson Family in New Jersey

This research has been passed to me by Boyd Hixson to whom I am very grateful, and we would welcome any comments, additions or corrections. The original author's name is unknown.

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.

  1. Timothy Hixson of Loudoun County, Virginia was the son of Matthew Hickson (Hixon). (ii)
  2. On October 27, 1765, Timothy Hixson and wife were dismissed from the Old School Baptist Church of Hopewell, New Jersey to go to Catoctin in Virginia. (iii)

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. (vii)

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 his 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 HuntThe. ColemanCorne. Andries
John BainbridgeBenj. HardenJames Bice
Johanna Lawrence upDykeWm. AkersJohn Runion
William HixsonRob't LanenTho. Runion
John BryerlyPhilip PhillipsHezekiah Bonham
Sam'l HuntJoshua AndriesBenj. Maple
Theop. PhillipsSam'l DavisLawrence upDyke
Jonathan DavisElnathan DavisJoseph Sackett
Thos. SmithEnoch AndriesEdward 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.)
1699 Oct. 11
W. J. Society to Wm. Hixson of Burlington Ca., yeoman, for 100 A of the Society's 15,000 A Tract above the falls of the Delaware. (x)

1699 Dec. 6
Thomas Revolt for John Bainbridge and Ralph Hunt of 400 A adjoining William Hixson and Andrew Smith. (x)

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. (xi)

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:

1690 Apr. 23
Made Inventory for the estate of Thomas Robinson of Crosswick Creek.
1702 Oct. 8
Executor of will. of Thomas Smith of Maidenhead, Twp., Burlington County.
1703/4 Jan. 16
Witness to will of Andrew Smith of Hopewell, Burlington County.
1711 Jul. 28
Witness to will of Matthew Gilles of Stony Brook, Somerset County.
1722 May 7
Inventory of estate of Brealy or Braily of Maidenhead Twp.

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:

1722 Dec. 3
Hixson, William of Maidenhead, Hunterdon County (draft of will incomplete lacking signatures of testator and witnesses) Wife Phebe: Children: John, Joseph, Benjamin, and Presillah; wife's children: Matthew and Mary Giels (Giles). Real and personal estate. Executors John and Benjamin, sons. Proved January 24, 1722 by the testimony of Joseph Worth, a Quaker who received this draft from testator to be put in proper shape. (Lib. 2 Pg. 209.)
1722 Dec. 3
Inventory of the personal estate 166.18.3. new currency made by Benjamin Clark and Joseph Worth, both of Stony Brook, Middlesex County. (xiii)

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 their friends.

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. (xiv)

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, There 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: George Cowine, 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. (xvi)

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 wrote. 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. (xviii) 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: Matthew Hickson, carpenter, to Phebe Everett, June 3, 1728. (xix) This Is probably the same man who was listed in 1741 as a Freeholder in Hunterdon Co., N.J., Hopewell Township. (xx)

John Severns, of Trenton, was merchant, and apparently a money lender. The Inventory of his estate, dated March 4, 1732, included the names of 623 men who owed him money, (xxi) 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.