An American Family History

Amariah Bonham

Washington County, Pennsylvania, was created from Westmoreland and Fayette Counties in 1781. Originally it was a part of Virginia. Washington County split into Allegheny, Greene and Beaver Counties.

Most Americans were farmers in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Amariah Bonham born in 1709 in Maidenhead, Hunterdon County (now Lawrenceville, Mercer County), New Jersey. He was the son of Hezekiah Bonham and his second wife.

Amariah's wife is not known for sure. It could have been Mary Drake, Eunice King or Elizabeth Addy. His will mentions his wife Elizabeth. His life with his wife and children are described in the section on the Amariah Bonham Family.

In 1747 he became a member of the Baptist Church at Scotch Plains which was formed on September 8, 1747 by fifteen members from the Piscataway Baptist Church.

John King died in 1747 and Amariah Bonham was identified as a debtor to the estate.

Amariah's will was dated January 27, 1802 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. In it he left his wife, Elizabeth, the house, garden and all the profits of the plantation and premises. The real estate was to be sold and divided among his children at her death. He named his sons Jacob, Jeriah, Peter and his daughters Christian Fox, Rebecca Johnston, and Sarah Batey. The executors were Peter Bonham of Allegheny County and Philip Llewellyn of Washington County. The witnesses were Jonathan, Isaac and Rebecca Leet. Phillip Luellen refused to act as the adminstrator.

He died in 1803 in Middle Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. His will was proved on April 22, 1803. Peter Bonham settled the estate in 1805. The total value was $317.26 with debts of $253.51 leaving a balance of $63.75.

Hunterdon County was originally part of Burlington County, West Jersey. It was set off from Burlington County on March 11, 1714. It included Amwell, Hopewell, and Maidenhead Townships.

Children of Hezekiah Bonham:
  • Mary Bonham
  • Samuel Bonham
  • Hannah Bonham Stout
  • Sarah Bonham Runyan
  • Hezekiah Bonham
  • Nehemiah Bonham
  • Zachariah Bonham
  • Zedekiah Bonham
  • Amariah Bonham
  • Temperance Bonham Ayres
  • Amaziah Bonham
  • Malachiah Bonham
  • Jeremiah Bonham
  • Ephriam Bonham
  • Josiah Bonham
  • Zephaniah Bonham
  • Uriah Bonham
  • Obadiah Bonham
  • Children of Amariah Bonham
  • Christian Bonham Fox
  • Rebecca Bonham Johnson
  • Jeriah Bonham
  • Peter Bonham
  • Sarah Bonham Batey
  • Jacob Bonham
  • Lawrenceville, Mercer County, New Jersey was founded as Maidenhead in 1697, as part of Burlington County in the colony of West Jersey. In 1714, the village became a part of Hunterdon County.

    Allegheny County, Pennsylvania was created on September 24, 1788. Originally both Pennsylvania and Virginia claimed the region. Pennsylvania administered most of it as part of Westmoreland County and Virginia considered it to be part of Yohogania County. The new Pennsylvania county was made from parts of Washington and Westmoreland counties.




    The Dutch were the first Europeans claim land in New Jersey. The region became a territory of England in 1664 when an English fleet sailed into New York Harbor and took control of Fort Amsterdam.

    Bonham and Related Family Lines by Howard Eugene Bonham and Jean Allin, Bonham Book(s), 5104 Bridlington Ln., Raleigh, NC, 27612, printed by Genie Plus, Bradenton, FL, 1996: pp 152-8. 

    Amariah Bonham owned land in Amwell, Hunterdon Co., NJ.  He later sold his land there and removed to Piscataway. He was one of the charter members of the Baptist church at Scotch Plains, 5 Aug 1747. His first wife, Eunice King, was also a charter member. Mary (Drake) Bonham, his second wife, joined the church in 1749 and she and Amariah were marked dismissed on the roll of the church that same year. NOTE: The Scotch Plains Baptist Church was constituted Sept. 8, 1747 by 15 members from the Piscataqua (sic - Piscataway) Church, which included John King of Piscataway, father of Eunice King Bonham.  [NJ Archives, Vol. XXII.]

    Dec. 1, 1775. Amariah Bonham leased 200 acres in Cameron Parish, Loudoun Co., Virginia from Francis Lightfoot Lee for the natural lives of [three of his grandsons], Peter Bonham [s/o Peter Bonham, Sr.], John Bonham [s/o Jeriah Bonham] and Charles Fox [s/o Charles and Christine (Bonham) Fox] for 12 pounds sterling. Tobacco barn - eighty apple trees, etc.  keep fenced.  Amariah signed by his mark (same as in New Jersey). There does not seem to be any subsequent documentary support for the existence of Peter Bonham, Jr., as implied here. Therefore, it is more likely that Peter Bonham was Amariah's son rather than his grandson. 

    When a mark is used for a signature, the person was probably illiterate, but may not have been able to sign because of age or infirmity.

    New Jersey's first permanent European settlement was in 1660.


    An Ancestral Chart and Handbook : Genealogical Notes of the Sutton and Rittenhouse Families of Hunterdon County, New Jersey

    Amariah Bonham s. Hezekiah. He was first at Piscataway and later at Homewell. Probably married, says Monnette, into the Drake family. In Lib. F2 of deeds at Trenton, page 114, Amariah Bonham, yeoman of Piscataway, Middlesex County, and Mary M. Bonham on June 29, 1743, deed property to Richard Taylor. This is probably the same property which on the preceding day, June 28, 1743, the Executors of the estate of Peter Sutton (wife Sarah) of Piscataway had deeded to Amariah Bonham of Amwell, Hunterdon County.

    Amariah Bonham of Middle Township, Washington County, dated January 27, 1802, proved April 22, 1803; wife Elizabeth; children,
    Christian Fore(?),
    Rebeca Johnston,
    Sarah and
    executors, Peter Bonham of Allegheny County and Philip Luallen of Washington County;
    witnesses, Jonathan, Isaac and Rebecca Leet.
    from Publications of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Volume 6

    The Bonhams are Mayflower descendants: Samuel Fuller, Hannah Fuller Bonham, Hezekiah Bonham, Amariah Bonham.

    Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey, Volume 2; Volume 30 by New Jersey Historical Society

    1747-8, Feb. 22.
    King, John, of Piscataway, Middlesex Co.
    Int. Adm'x, Anderiah King. Benjamin Doty, fellow bondsman.

    Lib. E, p. 127.
    1748, Feb. 25. Inventory, £45.19; made by Isaac Manning and John Pound Jun'r.

    1749, Aug. 31. Account showing debts due to Mr. Lagrange, Thos. Clawson, Peter Sharp, Lawrence Reuth, Thomas Poole, William Worrall, Marcey Smalley, John Leforge, Benjamin Doty, William Jones, Charles Robison, Daniel Barto, Nathaniel Blackford, John Whitehead, David Laing, Amariah Bonham, Joseph Sutton, James Barto, James Alexander, Andrew Johnston, Esq. Cornelius Low, Justice Thomson, John Pound. Signed by "Anderiah Grimes, late Anderiah King," and George Greems., , —. Account of sale of land to Benjamin and Benajah Doty, for £129.15. Paid Solomon Comes, Mr. Alexander.

    Historically an esquire (Esq. or Esqr.) was the title of a man who ranked below a knight in the English gentry. Later it designated a commoner with the status of gentleman and was used by attorneys.

    Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.
    American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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