French Family Association

The Official Website of the Surname French

Work of a Brick Mason

Chart #188, John French, 1648,
the Brick Mason of NJ
and his sons Richard and John of Woodbridge twp, East Jersey,
and Johns son Joseph French, 1714, of Raritan Landing, NJ, who m. Hannah Horn
and their son Lafford / Lefford French of Spartanburg, SC
and Pinckney French, 1790, of SC and KY

This chart updated by Mara French on 9/29/08. Numbers in brackets [ ] refer to the bibliography at the end of this chart. An asterisk (*) shows continuation of that line. Send any corrections or additions to this chart to Jeanette S. French. Revisions 2008.

Charts that now connect to this one are: FFA Chart #28, perhaps #47, #71, #74, perhaps #170, perhaps #183, and perhaps #196.


GEDCOM File of Chart #188 by Jeanette S. French with help from Jim Gunderson, and Judith French (for David and Philimon French)

DNA for Chart #188. DNA prove that Charts #21, #22, and #188 are related.


Records -- Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statements

Records -- New Jersey Wills, Recorded and Unrecorded

Index for Chart #188


Chart #188. John French, brickmaker, merges the descendants of his son, Richard French, original research and compilation by Jim Gunderson, and the descendants of his son, John French, original research and compilation by Jeanette S. French. Database also includes data provided by Judith French.

The minutes of a Woodbridge town meeting held on August 20, 1669 state: "Granted to John French to be an inhabitant that is only to have ten acres of upland for a house lott [sic] and five acres of meadow and to expect no more and that he is bound here to live and to furnish the inhabitants bricks before strangers."  John French was an established tradesman by 1669 when he was admitted as an inhabitant of Woodbridge township; thus, we know he was born before 1648.  He also lived Staten Island, New York. His will was written in Woodbridge township, New Jersey, and names wife, Susannah, sons, John and Richard, and daughter Ann who married James Leith.  Son John lived and probably died in Woodbridge township.  Son Richard settled near Springfield, Essex County, New Jersey, where he died.

Some descendants remained in New Jersey for several generations, others moved to the new frontiers.  Names include Richard, Robert, David, William, John, Simon, Joseph, Lewis, Hugh, James, Noah and Aaron.  Unusual names include Cornelius, Philemon, Phineas and Lefford/Lafford.  See the French DNA web page for information on the  DNA Test from Group 1.  The family trees, submitted by the DNA participants, are posted there.  DNA test results indicate that descendants of John French, brickmason, (including David A. French born Warren twp, Somerset County, New Jersey) and descendants of Lefford/Lafford French, the Revolutionary War Pensioner, who was born in New Jersey in 1753 and lived in South Carolina/North Carolina, share a common ancestor.  Circumstantial evidence indicates that the common ancestor is John French, brickmason. Written by Jeanette S. French.


Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statements

Pension app of Lafford French W7329

Transcribed by Will Graves

State of NC, County of Rutherford

Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832 State of North Carolina County of Rutherford

On this 19th day of October 1832 personally appeared before me, John Mill, one of the Judges of the court of pleas and Quarter Sessions for County aforesaid at his own dwelling House in Rutherford County Lafford French age eighty years who being first duly sworn according to Law doth on his oath make the following Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th 1832:

He would premise that within a few years past his mental as well as his bodily faculties have very much failed—many things that were then familiar to his recollection he has now but a confused and imperfect recollection of and hence he cannot pretend to give with accuracy a detailed account of his services or the particular days of his entering and leaving the service—but as to the material facts of his service, he will state nothing but what he is certain of. His first service was in a company of South Carolina militia commanded by Col. Thomas Senior and Capt. David McDowell. We marched to Granby in pursuit of a party of Tories but before we arrived there they had dispersed—we then heard of a body of Tories in the neighborhood of Ninety Six but they hearing of our approach also dispersed. This was in the fall of 1779 or 1778 but he thinks the former and staid out as he thinks three months or over—his next service was under Col. Thomas, a son of the first mentioned Colonel Thomas—we marched from King's Creek to York District South Carolina to Musgrove's Mill on Enoree and were joined on the way by Col. Clarke and he thinks Col. Shelby. At the Mill we had a skirmish with a body of Tories whom [?] killing a number and taking a number of prisoners—how many he does not now recollect nor can he recollect the day or month but it was not long after his first service. He was not, he thinks, more than ten days in this service—after which a party of men among whom I was one rendezvoused at Mountain Creek in Rutherford County with us. The return of Col. Clarke from Salisbury where he had gone with the prisoners taken at Musgrove's Mill as soon as he arrived and other men had joined us he marched us to Augusta and laid siege to it but was not able to take it. I here was with the troops on the [this portion of the document is obliterated and illegible] a Col. Williams [could be Williamson] and other officers that I cannot recollect after the siege was raised he and fifteen other soldiers came back here with leave of our officers. He was about a month he thinks in this service—does not remember the day or month in which he was out. He next entered a militia company commanded by Capt. [? could be William] Wood of Spartanburg to guard against the Indians and Tories and ranged through a part of Spartanburg & Greenville So. Ca. and Rutherford County. He cannot state the day or year when he performed this three months service but would state that it was the first he performed after the first mentioned commander Col. Thomas senior and ought to have been set down so—he [?] of the terms of service hereinbefore mentioned served a whole summer every other week guarding a block house near the head of Pacolet River in Greenville So. Carolina against the Indians who were then committing depredations on the frontier. This was in the summer of 1778 or 1779. He served in a company of Rutherford militia commanded by Capt. James McFadden [could be McHadden] in an expedition against the Cherokee Indians. The party besieged one of their Towns on the Tuckaseegee River and killed and took prisoners several of the Indians—he was frequently out on scouts as long as the war lasted for a week or several days at a time besides those above mentioned. He has no documentary evidence and knows of no other Person by whom he can prove his services [?] of John McClure and George Salmon—he further states that he is entirely unable to go to Rutherford Court House which is seventeen miles distant—he being a great part of the time laid up with gravel which has brought on incontinence of urine—He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any state. [here he answers the interrogatories answering that he was born in 1753, has no record of his age, volunteered every time he entered the service, never received any discharge and states that John Granway, John Moore and John Mills can attest to his character.] Sworn and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

S/ Lafford French

[In her statement, Jane McMillan, a neighbor, says French served under her father, Capt. David McDowell as well as Cols. Roebuck and Thomas. French served with his brothers, William, Simon & Joseph French as well as James Beaty, Alexander Copeland, William Moore and Hugh Moore. Elizabeth French, Lafford's widow, made an application in 1854 saying that her husband served almost constantly during the entire war in Col. Benjamin Roebuck's regiment as a mounted horseman, but that due to his failing body and mind when he gave his statement in 1832, he could not detail his full service and therefore the pension awarded him was not what he was entitled to receive. She states that Lafford French died Sept. 11, 1834. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Gregory.] [Rebecca Copeland, widow of Alexander Copeland, filed a widow's pension application (W9395) in which she stated that her husband served in Spartanburg District under Capt. David McDowell. The war dept. papers indicate that McDowell was under Benjamin Roebuck.]

New Jersey Wills, Recorded and Unrecorded

New Jersey Archives, Trenton, New Jersey. Information found in my Gedcom is based on copies of New Jersey Wills stored in the Trenton Archives.  John French's will is only one of many that are used to document information found in my Gedcom. Jeanette S. French

      The ORIGINAL WILL of John French, brick mason, living Woodbridge twp, Middlesex Co., NJ, is available from the New Jersey Archives and can be ordered by anyone for a nominal payment.

      Also available is the hand copied duplicate of the original will that was originally made by a government clerk for the record and called the RECORDED WILL.  The original will is called the "unrecorded" will.

      In the ORIGINAL WILL OF JOHN FRENCH you will find the names of his 2 sons, John and Richard.

      The RECORDED WILL OF JOHN FRENCH is what was copied into the NJ Record Book by one of the clerks.  It is a hand written copy of the original will and is hard to read, the page being folded and the entries at the crease being quite faded.

      The RECORDED WILL was used to create the abstracts of the NJ wills that are widely available today.  Because of the condition of the recorded will for John French, brick mason, an error resulted in these abstracts WHEN THE NAME OF HIS ELDER SON WAS OMITTED.

      Only RESEARCHERS who have FAILED to OBTAIN the ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS make this error relative to John French, brick maker. 

      The New Jersey Archives is a great source of information for people researching the NJ FRENCH lines and we who descend from JOHN FRENCH, BRICKMASON are indeed blessed to be able to see his ORIGINAL WILL and the ORIGINAL signage.