........ Conjecture, noun, the formation of judgments or opinions on the basis of incomplete or inconclusive information. Source: Encarta Dictionary

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Hopewell Church Records of Rev. Oliver Hart

This post was updated Thursday, Nov 1 after I went to the South Caroliniana library on the USC campus in Columbia, SC to view the papers of Rev. Oliver Hart. What does he have to do with Penelope? Hart was the minister of Hopewell Baptist Church when Morgan Edwards published his book Materials Toward a History of the Baptists, the second printed account of Penelope's ordeal and the first to claim 502 descendants and an age of 110 years. I had assumed that Hart provided the data to Edwards but the journals recorded that Rev. Morgan Edwards preached in Rev. Hart's church in Hopewell on Feb 14, 21 and 28 of 1790, about the time that Edwards was supposedly collecting his data from various towns in New Jersey.

Why are the records in South Carolina. Rev. Hart was a Baptist minister in Charleston for 30 years before he was chased away by the British because he was an active patriot. He was originally from Bucks County, PA, just across the Delaware River from Hopewell, NJ  but his older children remained in Charleston and his widow returned there (presumably with his journals and papers).

Here from Rev. Hart's journals is the list of the 216 members of the Hopewell Baptist Church on Dec.  1, 1780, when Rev. Hart became the pastor. Typos may be embedded due to Rev. Hart's tiny but neat handwriting, 200 years of fading, the person who oiginally transcribed his journal, and my typing. This list makes it much easier to believe that Penelope had 502 descendants when she died.

Note: Later I will update this page with additional information in [brackets] from the journals.

86 male members--John Stout, Elder; David Stout, Elder; ??Stout, Deacon; Nathaniel Stout, Deacon; Nathan Stout, Deacon; Zebulun Stout, Jacob Stout, David Stout, Hezekiah Stout, Benjamin Stout, Andrew Stout, James Stout, David Stout, John Stout, Zebulun Stout, Richard Stout, Samuel Stout, Benjamin Stout, Richard Stout, Samuel Stout, Benjamin Stout, Jedidiak Stout, David Stout, Levi Stout, Zehania [Zephaniah] Stout, Benjamin Stout, Thomas Drake, James Drake, John Drake, Ralph Drake, Enoch Drake, Timothy Titus Senr., Timothy Titus, Junr., Stephen Barton, Deacon; Zebulun Barton, John Hunt, James Hunt, Wilson Hunt, Nathaniel Hixon, Andrew Hixon, Bonham Runyan, John Corwine, John Corwine, Joseph Reed, James Wicoff, David Labaw, Francis Labaw, Moses Labaw, Ichabod Lee, Joseph Lee, Elijah Lee, Henry Vankirk, David Snowden, John Jewel, Jacob Huff, James Osborne, Uriah Osborne, William Osborne, Abraham Servie, Joseph Merrell, Samuel Merrel, John Matthew, Benjamin Matthews, Jedidiah Higgins, Geshome Herren, Samuel Hill, Thomas Craven, James Hill, Alexander Buchanan, William Parks, John Manners, Joseph Higgins, John Disberry, John Hixon, Gideon Lyan, Jerrer’d Saxton, Nathaniel Foster, Ephraim Smith, Abm. Runkle, Rev. John Blackwell, Rev. Benjamin Coles.

122 female members--
Rachel Stout, Sarah Stout, Mary Stout, ?? Stout, Esther Stout, Grace Stout, Marcy Stout, Eppenetus Stout, Martha Stout, Catharine Stout, Charity Stout, Mebal Stout, Penelope Stout, Hannah Stout, Ann Stout, Rhoda Stout, Rachel Stout junr., Rachel Stout, Dorothy Drake, Jemima Hunt, Jemima Laban, Jerusha Lee, Charity Lee, Mary Jewel, Lidya Huff, Lidya Servie, Leah Merrell, Elizabeth Matthews, Frances Higgins, Sarah Higgins, Barsheba Hill, Rachel Buchanan, Rachel Parks, Rachel Shannon, Jemima Hixon, Martha Smith, Sarah Blackwell, Mary Coles, Sarah Runkle, Ann Wilkins, Martha Hogland, Alice Runyan, Sarah Vankirk, Sussannah Gano, Sarah Park, Rebekah Eaton, Eleanor Merrell, Jane Vannelt, Hannah Saxton, Elizabeth Hise, Lucretia Chamberlain, Elizabeth Knowles, Mary Carbines, Tabitha Brush, Phoebe More, Anne Manners, Penelope Stout, Elizabeth Roberts, Anne Sherd, Mary Silvers, Marcy Runyan, Catherine Nanpelt [Vanpelt?], Abigal Vannoy, Anne Warford, Martha Dollos, Thamar Drake, Elizabeth Hart, Amy Olivant, Sarah Stout, Anne Brinson, Sarah Matthews, Sarah Randolph, Lucina Stout,  Anne Craven, Lucina Park, Miriam Younk, Penelope Hart, Elizabeth Cochran, Martha Reed, Elizabeth Drake, Margaret Sherrard, Hephziba Stout, Mable Cannuel, Hosa Vankirk, Catherine Saxton, Mary Barton, Margaret Vankirk, Elizabeth Lefever, Mary Hise, Jane Hutchefon, Mary Prawl, Pamelia Hunt, Sarah Goflin, Sarah Wildgoose, Elizabeth ??, Mary Runayn, Elizabeth Stout, Naomi Osborne, Pencina Osborn, Frances Laryson, Hannah Merrell, Sarah Listsen, Sarah Runkle, Elizabeth Hill, Sarah Hunt, Sarah Brush, Jane Stout, Mary Biggs, Sarah Roberts, Mary Stout, Elizabeth Stout, Rachel Snowden, Sussannah Allen, Elizabeth Hixon, Margaret Wilson, Sarah Hilsy, Mary Vanpelt, Rebekah Chetester.
7 Negroes--Bonto, Cate, Dinah, Weld, Cate, Sor, Frank
I think the pattern of names is a grouping by families. Unfortunately, I see no distinction between groups. A listing of "Jemima Hunt, Jemima Laban" suggests Jemima Laban is the daughter of Jemima Hunt.
More details next week.

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