Rogers Family History


The following story, of a family that previously owned much of the land that the large nurseries along the Crosswicks Creek now occupy, is from the Allentown Messenger, dated July 6, 1910.


The name Rogers is an old one in the annals of Monmouth county, where it is shown that, William Rogers conveyed a tract of land at Navesink as early as 1667. In Mercer county the name of John Rogers, of Hamilton township, appears in a tax list in 1695. It is also one of the oldest names in and about Allentown, as shown on a tombstone in the old Episcopal Cemetery here [on Lakeview Dr.]. This stone is to the memory of James Rogers, who died January 2, 1734, and is the oldest inscribed grave stone in our town.


Several branches of this family are located in Burlington county. The family generally have been agriculturists, and most of them have been members of the Society of Friends. Many of them also belonged to the “New Jersey Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery.”


This family is of English origin, one of whom, Joseph Rogers, came to this country in the latter part of the 17th century and located on a tract of land on Crosswicks creek near the hamlet of Extonville. In his religious belief he was a Quaker, as where many of his posterity, some of whom are interred in the old burying ground of the Friends at Crosswicks.


In the laborious operations of hewing timber to build his pioneer home, Joseph was assisted by some friendly Indians then living about Crosswicks. It has long been a tradition in the family that Joseph wooed and won the heart of a handsome Indian maiden, the daughter of a chief of one of the Lenape tribes then inhabiting the State. She is said to have been a woman of queenly manners and of superior intelligence for one of her race [according to social mores of the time]. She was doubtless one of those who used to listen to the preaching of David Brainerd, the famous Indian missionary who frequently gathered the red men about him on the meadows at Crosswicks. From this union has sprung a long line of posterity who have lived in this vicinity and elsewhere.


The old homestead founded by Joseph Rogers, and which included several hundred acres of land, was occupied in turn by several of his descendants. One of these was Asa Rogers, whose wife was Rebecca Field of South Jersey. He was a son of Joseph (3d) and father of Mrs. George R. Buzby, of Allentown, who was born and spent many years of her early life on this farm.


As was the custom in former times, Mr. Rogers devoted a portion of his land to the cultivation of flax after being gathered was prepared and spun in his own home. Among the members of his household for many years was Mrs. Susan Sprague, the grandmother of our townsman, Sterne P. Sprague. “Aunt” Susan was known about the neighborhood as expert spinner both of flax and wool, and Mrs. Buzby now has in her possession several fine linen bed sheets which were woven with thread which Mrs. Sprague had spun.


Other children of Joseph Rogers (3d) were Joel, Enoch, Ann, Amy and Margaret, the latter of whom married George Sinclair, and they were the parents of Mrs. Margaret Vanderbeek, now residing in Allentown. Other children of Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair were John, of New York, Enoch of Phildelphia, Nathaniel, of Allentown, and Elizabeth (Mrs. Richard Conover), of New Egypt, all of whom are now deceased.


The said Asa Rogers afterward removed to another farm in the near neighborhood, where he spent the remainder of his days. He was succeeded in the occupancy of his former place by his brother John, who was the last in the family line to occupy the old homestead. John married Hannah Hance, of Burlington county. His children were Benjamin, Joseph, David, Mary Ann, Emma, Margaret, Sarah, Caroline and Susan, the latter two being twins.


The next purchaser of the Rogers estate was Lawrence Jones, who in turn disposed of it to Amos Middleton, both of near Crosswicks. About thirty-four years ago the place passed into the possession of Aaron Robbins. The old home that had sheltered so many of the family of Rogers was then torn down and near the same site Mr. Robbins erected a fine large modern dwelling for his own home and where he still continues to reside.