Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

This website designed by Clovis LaFleur

 

The Aaron Stark Family Chronicles

 

Home

Genetic Project

Volume 1

Volume 3

Volume 4

Stark Family Yearbooks

Album

 

Last Update: December 11, 2013 Webmaster: Clovis LaFleur <clafleur1@austin.rr.com> Click HERE to see Copyright & Disclaimer.
Volume 1: The First Three Generations of Aaron Stark's Descendants in New England
Chapter 7: Introduction to Third Generation & Aaron Stark (3rd) & Margaret Wells

Part 3: The Third Generation; Children of Aaron Stark (Junior) & Mehitable Shaw

 

 

Page 69

 

 

 

Chapter 7

Introduction to Third Generation

&

Aaron Stark (3rd) & Margaret Wells

 

The Third Generation, A Summary

William Stark (Senior) and Aaron Stark (Junior) had sons who would pass down the Stark surname to their sons and grandsons. John Stark had two daughters and the other children of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] were female. All males living today with the surname Stark --- who descend from Aaron Stark [1608-1685] --- are descendants of one of these two men.

Aaron Stark (Junior) had sons named Aaron Stark (3rd), Stephen Stark (Senior), John Stark, and Abiel Stark. Aaron Stark (3rd) became a property holder, inheriting property from his father and purchasing the property inherited by his siblings. He joined the Baptist Dissenters about 1705 and was a member of this religious movement until about 1720, most likely joining the Rogerene Religious sect about 1720. Between 1720 and 1725 he moved to Colchester, New London County, selling all of his property in Groton Township, New London County. About 1732, Aaron (3rd) followed John Culver and the Rogerenes to New Jersey. His descendants continued to live in New Jersey and several moved to Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York after the Revolutionary War.

Stephen Stark (Senior) first appears in the Groton records in 1707 as a witness to several property transactions. He was a member of the Baptist dissenters for he and his wife along with several others were accused in 1709 of holding unlawful meetings and assisting the settlement of Baptist minister Valentine Wightman in Groton Township. Stephen was accepted as a freeman in 1712 and was a witness to many deed transactions over the years in Groton. He was a member of the Baptist Church as late as 1717, being one of several who purchased 1 and 1/2 acres from William Stark (Senior) for the purpose of building a Church and providing a burying ground. After 1722, Stephen and his family had moved to Lebanon, New London County, where he resided until his death after 1755. After the Revolutionary War, a grandson moved to the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania; while several other grandsons moved to Northeast New York.

Abiel Stark first appears in the record in 1710 as a witness to a deed transaction and was one of the members of the Baptist Church who purchased 1 and 1/2 acres from William Stark (Senior) in 1717. In 1721, he appears in the records as a resident of Lebanon, New London County, where he resided until his death in 1755.

John Stark first appears in the record in 1712 as a witness to a deed transaction and was a the members of the Baptist Church that purchased 1 and 1/2 acres from William Stark (Senior) in 1717. IN 1722, John Purchased property in Lebanon and the records reveal he is a resident of Lebanon in 1726. Between 1739 and 1746, John moved from Lebanon to Waterford, where he was a member of the New London Baptist Church (the 2nd Baptist Church). He died in New London in 1753. His son, John Stark (Junior) died soon after his father. The son of John (Junior), Benajah Stark, moved to South Hero, Chittenden County, Vermont after the Revolutionary War and later to Clinton County, New York.

 

The Children of Aaron Stark (Junior) & Mehitable Shaw

The publication entitled "The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations," compiled by Charles R. Stark and published in 1927, states that Aaron Stark (Junior) and Mehitable Shaw had the following children:[142]

† Aaron, born in 1678, who married Margaret. † Stephen, born in 1685, who married Hannah Culver (born in 1682) on February 13, 1708. † Mary, who married Joseph Colver (born in 1680) on January 29, 1707. † John, born in 1694, who married Martha Walworth on November 10, 1715. † Abiel, born in 1696, who married Mary Walworth (born February 6, 1685, died August 23, 1771) before April of 1721. † Hannah, born in 1678, died April 27, 1734 at the age of 56 years, who married Abraham Waterhouse (born December 23, 1674/5, died May 1750 at the age of 76 years) on November 12, 1697. † Sarah.

There are surviving documents to confirm these were children of Aaron Stark (Junior) and Mehitable Shaw. An especially important one is a Groton deed on April 24, 1721, which states:[143]

"… to fix a deviding lane between mr. William Stark of sd Groton and his Cozen Aron Stark son to Aron Stark decd ye brother of ye sd William Stark according to ye last will & testament of Mr. Aron Stark decd. Father to ye above said Brothers ye boundary…"

__________

142) Charles R. Stark, "The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations of the Descendants of Aaron Stark of Groton, Connecticut." (Wright and Potter, Boston, Massachusetts; 1927). Page 2 identifies the children of Aaron Stark (Junior) – reported in this publication as Aaron [ID#2].

143) Groton, New London County, Connecticut; First Book of Records, 1705-1723. Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ Family History Library Film #4293, pages 551 &552 (Transcribed by Gwen Boyer Bjorkman).

 

 

Page 70

 

This document tells us: Cozen Aron Stark was the son of a deceased father named Aron Stark; the deceased father of Cozen Aron Stark was the brother of William Stark; and the two brothers were sons of a deceased father named Aron Stark. Undoubtedly, the deceased father of the two brothers was Aaron Stark [1608-1685] and the deceased father of Cozen Aron Stark was Aaron Stark (Junior); thus, Cozen Aron Stark was the nephew of William Stark (Senior). Assuming this deduction is indeed correct, then we can confidently state that Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased before April 24, 1721, and had a son with the same name – hereafter referred to as Aaron Stark (3rd).

On May 29, 1716, the Groton Deed Books show that several of the siblings of Aaron Stark (3rd) acknowledged receiving their fair share of their deceased father’s estate:[144]

"Be it known … the subscribers do … acknowledge that we have received our full parts of shears of all ye estate that was our father Aaron Starks of Groton deceased … and acquit all our right title claim or demand whatsoever of or unto the estate of our sd father Aaron Starke and to every part therof unto our brother Aaron Stark of said Groton … 29 May 1716.Signed: John Stark, Aabiel Stark, Joseph Collver, Sarah Stark. Wit: Samll. Fox, David Collver. Ack and recd 29 May 1716.."

The said "subscribers" who signed this document could not have been children of Aaron Stark [1608-1685], for his 1685 probate record names those sons. All those mentioned were children of Aaron Stark (Junior), except for Joseph Collver, the husband of their sister, Mary (Stark) Culver. This document provides persuasive evidence John Stark, Abiel Stark, Mary Stark, and Sarah Stark were children of Aaron Stark (Junior).

Another Groton deed indicates that Stephen Stark was the son of Aaron Stark (Junior):[145]

"Stephen Starke of Groton, for 16L,… by Capt. Samuell Fish of Groton, all the right, all the estate that was my father Aaron Starks, ? Feb 1714Signed: Stephen Stark. Wit: John Wood, John Morgan. Ack. and recd 3 Feb 1714."

This deed shows that Stephen Stark had sold the property inherited from his deceased father, Aaron Stark (Junior). This was the same Stephen Stark who on May 20, 1751, sold a "Tract of Land which did formerly belong to my Honoured Grand Father Thomas Shaw Late of Said Stonington Deceasd."[146] Thomas Shaw of Stonington was most likely the father of Stephen’s mother, Mehitable Shaw – further suggesting that Stephen was the son of Aaron Stark (Junior).

According to Connecticut records, "Hannah Starkie" married "Abraham Watrous" on November 12, 1697, in Saybrook, Connecticut.[147] On September 12, 1697, two months before the wedding, Hannah Stark was baptized by Reverend James Noyes at the Stonington Road Church.[142]

 

Religious Affiliations

The third generation became religious dissenters early in the 18th century, openly choosing to become Baptist or Rogerene Quakers, in defiance of the Connecticut theocracy (Congregationalist Church). William Stark (Senior) became supported the Baptist movement and was instrumental in the founding of the First Baptist Church in Groton in 1704. Many of those in the third generation joined the First Baptist Church and were members as late as 1717. However, by 1720, several of the sons of Aaron Stark (Junior) and Mehitable Shaw became active with the Rogerenes.

In the book entitled: Groton, Conn., 1705-1905, Charles R. Stark had this introduction to the religious sect known as the "Rogerene Quakers."

"Among the sects which have found a home in Groton should be mentioned the ‘Rogerene’ Quakers. Founded by John Rogers in New London about 1675, their peculiar beliefs and practices soon brought then into conflict with the standing order church, which dealt with them with no gentle hand. A branch of this society was established in Groton early in the eighteenth century. Great and varied has been the comment on the customs of the Rogerenes, but the commonly accepted view of the community was tersely stated by a neighbor who when asked what their beliefs were answered: ‘To rejoice at everybody's downfall and not go to training.’ Time has softened men's judgment and today we look upon their work in the community as of constructive value."

__________

144) FHL Film #4293, page 310.

145) Ibid. Page 203.

146) Stonington, New London County, Connecticut Deeds, Volumes 5 & 6. Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ Family History Library Film #5595; Volume 6, page 217 (Transcribed by Gwen Boyer Bjorkman).

147) Lucious Barnes Barbour, "The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records." Vol. 1-55. White, Lorraine Cook, ed.Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002.

 

 

Page 71

 

The Rogerenes were best described by Francis Manwaring Caulkins in the publication entitled "History of New London:"[148]

"In respect to the most important articles of Christianity, Rogers was strenuously orthodox. He held to salvation of the just and unjust, and an eternal judgment. He maintained also obedience to the civil government, except in matters of conscience and religion. A town or country rate the Rogerenes always considered themselves bound to pay, but the minister rate they abhorred  denouncing as unscriptural all interference of the civil power in the worship of God. Of their peculiar characteristic a brief summary must here suffice.

In respect to baptism, and the rejection of the first day Sabbath they agree with the Sabbatarians, but they diverge from them on other points. They consider all days alike in respect to sanctity, and though they meet for religious purposes on the first day of the week, when the exercise is over, they regard themselves as free to labor as on any other day. They have no houses set apart for public worship, and regard a steeple, a pulpit, a cushion, a church, and a salaried minister in a black suit of clothes, as utter abominations. They hold that a public oath is like any other swearing, a profanation of the Holy Name, and plainly forbidden in Scriptures. They make no prayers in public worship or in the family: John Rogers conceived that all prayers should be mental and not vocal, except on special occasions when the Sprit of God moving within, prompted the use of the voice. They use no means for the recovery of health, except care, kindness and attention, considering all resort to drugs, medicines and physicians, as sinful.

In the summer of 1721, Boston experienced an epidemic of smallpox. John Rogers, then in his seventy-fourth year, had many times previously traveled to places in New England that were plague-stricken, administering to the sick and trusting that God would protect him from the pestilence. On this occasion, he traveled to Boston and went about his ministrations to the sick and infirm until early October. As the number of new cases dwindled, he returned to New London in early October, unaware he had contracted the disease; unfortunately, he arrived at his home (called Mamacock) in New London with the disease fully developed. The alarm spread throughout the community and Mamacock was quarantined, the number of persons living on the property being thirteen including the servants living in separate houses on the place. John Rogers, the leader of the Rogerenes, died on October 17, 1721, of smallpox."

Anna Williams described the ordeal:[149]

"About 1735, John Culver and wife, with their sons and families, together with other Rogerenes of Groton, emigrated to New Jersey, where they founded a Rogerene settlement. (The cause of this removal is unknown. The theory that it was to escape persecution is weakened, not only by proof that the Culvers had proven themselves of heroic mould in this struggle, but by the fact that there was a cessation of virulent persecution at this time.) In the course of a few years, they are found, with quite a following, at Watertown [Note2] (in the southern part of what is now Ocean County), holding their meetings in a schoolhouse.

[Content of Anna Williams Note 2: They first settled in Morris County, N, J. Schooley’s Mountain but soon moved south to above location. About eleven years later, they seem to have returned to Schooley’s Mountain. In the latter part of the eighteenth century, many of these New Jersey Rogerenes are said to have moved to the "red stone country," supposed to be Virginia. Most of them had names indicative of Groton origin, as Waterhouse, Mann, Lamb, etc., showing that other Groton people either accompanied the Culvers to New Jersey or joined them there. It would be interesting to know more of the New Jersey Rogerenes than has been discovered. Very naturally, various fabrications regarding the New London Rogerenes have become attached to them also, simply because they were of the same sect."

Author’s note: Most likely "the red stone country" was the southeastern region of present-day Washington County, Pennsylvania, near Brownsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania on the Monongahela River. Until 1782, this region was claimed by Virginia.

 

__________

148) Caulkins, Frances Manwaring, History of New London, Connecticut. From the First Survey of the Coast in 1612 to 1860. Published in 1895, 696 pp., 2 vols.

149) Anna B. Williams, "The Rogerenes: Part II, History of the Rogerenes." Boston: Stanhope Press, 1904. Pages 264 & 265, 270, 272.

 

 

Page 72

 

Author’s Introduction: Aaron Stark (3rd) and Margaret Wells

Aaron Stark [the third] was the son of Aaron Stark (Junior) and Mehitable Shaw. The genealogical order of the descendants of Aaron (3rd) has long been greatly influenced by Charles R. Stark’s 1927 publication, but some of the children presented there most likely were actually grandchildren of Aaron (3rd) and his wife, Margaret. This has been the cause of considerable discussion and confusion for persons researching the descendants of this couple, especially those who resided in Morris County, New Jersey.

Charles R. Stark listed the seven children of Aaron Stark (3rd) and his wife as follows, with those I believe are questionable shown in italics:[148]

† Aaron, born about 1709 and died January 21, 1772, who married Elizabeth Young. † John Stark, born about 1730, died 1825, who married Mary Dilla (died in 1825). † Amos, born before 1729, died 1767, who married first, Unknown, and married second, Mrs. Hannah (Goble) Tompkins (born in 1729, died February 7, 1799). † Isaac, who married Elizabeth Reed. † Mary, who married a Soloman/Salmon. † Margaret, died October 1, 1820, at the age of 80 years, who married Peter Solomon/Salmon (born November 25, 1740, died February 19, 1825 at age of 84 years, 2 months, 25 days). † Hannah, who married Abraham Fulcher.

Based on my research, only Aaron Stark – hereafter referred to as Aaron Stark (4th) – and Amos Stark can reliably be identified as sons of Aaron Stark (3rd). John Stark and Margaret Stark were most likely children of Aaron Stark (4th) and Isaac Stark was most likely the son of Amos Stark. Other than the data listed above, I know nothing about Mary Stark and Hannah Stark and suggest they may have been daughters of Aaron Stark (3rd). The John Stark who married Mary Dilla was probably a son of Aaron Stark (4th) and will be identified as such in this publication. See Chapter 8 entitled, "Aaron Stark (3rd) and Margaret Wells; Who Were Their Children and Grandchildren?," for my reasoning on the organization of this family.

Many past and present researchers have inadvertently overlapped or confused information about Aaron Stark (3rd) and his father, Aaron Stark (Junior), and some of them have stated that Aaron Stark (Junior) died about 1721. What follows accepts the argument that Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased before 1705, his year of death discussed in detail in Chapter 4 entitled, "Aaron Stark (Junior) and Mehitable Shaw." Therefore, the discussion that follows presumes all surviving documents dated after 1705 in Groton Township, New London County, Connecticut were related to Aaron Stark (3rd) and that he and his wife, Margaret Wells, had two sons: Aaron Stark (4th) and Amos Stark.

 

Early Years and Marriage of Aaron Stark (3rd)

Aaron Stark (3rd) was born about 1678 in New London County, Connecticut, the son of Aaron Stark (Junior) and Mehitable Shaw.[148] The following deed most likely mentions the relationship between father and son:[143]

"… to fix a deviding lane between Mr. William Stark of sd Groton and his Cozen Aron Stark son to Aron Stark decd ye brother of ye sd William Stark according to ye last will & testament of Mr. Aron Stark decd. Father to ye above said Brothers ye boundary…"

As the introduction to this chapter states: Cozen Aron Stark was the son of a deceased father named Aron Stark; the deceased father of Cozen Aron Stark was the brother of William Stark; and the two brothers were sons of a deceased father named Aron Stark. Because the deceased father of the two brothers was Aaron Stark (Senior), the deceased father of Cozen Aron Stark was Aaron Stark (Junior), and Cozen Aron Stark was Aaron Stark [the third] and a nephew of William Stark (Senior).

Helen Stark, in a 1937 article entitled, "Aaron Stark Family, Known Facts & Authorities," wrote:[149]

"June 9, 1707. [Aaron Stark (Junior)] Mentioned as deceased in a petition by the daughters of his deceased brother John, in regard to their share of the estate of their grandfather, Aaron 1 [Aaron Stark (1608-1685])]."

__________

148) Charles R. Stark, "The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations." Page 8 identifies Aaron Stark (3rd) as Aaron Stark [ID#8].

149) Helen Stark, "Aaron Stark Family, Known Facts & Authorities," Unpublished typed manuscript dated 1937. Archived Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut. Call Number 929.2 St.

 

 

Page 73

 

Helen's source for this document was the New London Probate Records in Hartford, Connecticut, but the document itself has not been found. If such a document did exist – and there is no reason to doubt its existence – then Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased before 1707. Who, then, was the Aaron Stark mentioned in the following deed, who sold a lot in Voluntown on March 22, 1709/10?[150]

"Aron Starke of Groton … for 5 pounds silver money of Boston … to Samuell Avery … a certain tract of land lying in that tract of land granted to those persons who were vollenteers in the last war with the Narraganset Indians … in the town of Vollentowne and in the 69th -?-?-?- 122a … 22 Mar 1709/10Signed: Aaron Stark. Wit: James Morgon Junr, Wm. Latham. Ack 22 Mar 1709/10. Recd 28 Mar 1709/10."

If Aaron Stark (Junior) was indeed deceased before June 9, 1707, then the Aron Starke who sold the above property must have been Aaron Stark [the third]; he was probably selling the lot his father received posthumously for his service in King Philip’s War.The date of marriage of Aaron Stark (3rd) is not known with certainty, but on April 20, 1709, William Stark, John Culver, Isaac Lamb, Joseph Culver (Junior), Aaron Stark, and Stephen Stark, along with their spouses, were accused by a grand jury of holding unlawful meetings and of assisting Reverend Valentine Wightman in settling in the community without the approval of the New London Selectmen.[151]

This occurred as a result of their activities in the Groton Baptist Church, which was established in 1704. The Stark men accused were William Stark (Senior), Aaron Stark (3rd), and Aaron’s brother, Stephen Stark. The wives of these men were also accused, which suggests that Aaron Stark [the third] was married sometime before April 20, 1709.

The given name of the wife of Aaron Stark (3rd) is found only reported two times in the surviving records. On November 25, 1721, Margaret Starke was described as being the wife of Aaron Starke; in this document, she was relinquishing her dower right to property being sold to Nathaniel Niles :[152]

"Aaron Starke of Groton for 1800£ paid by Nathanael Niles Junr of KingsTown in Rhode Island … sold … two tracts of land … 460A of upland & also of fresh meadow joining to ye same containing 30A … bounded by lands of ye widow Wallsworth … Gideon Cobb … Capt. Samll. Fish … on ye hill called Wolfpit Hill … Thomas Wells … lands of William Starkes … & Margret Starke ye wife of me ye said Aaron Starke doth give all her right of dowry & power of thirds … 25 Nov 1721. Signed: Aaron Starke, Margret Starke. Wit: Samll Avery, William Starke, John Starke. Ack and recd 25 Nov 1721."

Margaret was also mentioned as acknowledging the above deed transaction on October 1, 1725.[153] Her surname can be inferred from the surviving records, as follows:[154]

"Aaron Stark, John Wells & Thomas Wells all of Groton yeomen sendeth greetings, £35, from Joseph Wells of Groton yeoman, lott of land in Groton being the heads of that land [ ] by their father deceased containing by estimation forty acres, [unreadable), Signed: Aaron Stark, John Wells, Thomas Wells. Wit: Ebenezer Avery, Dorothy Avery. Ack. And Recd: 20 Jan 1713/4."

Aaron Stark, John Wells, and Thomas Wells received £35 from Joseph Wells for a lot "by their father, deceased." Because women were not allowed to own property unless widowed, even when receiving an inheritance, Aaron was most likely acting in her behalf, in company with his brothers-in-law, to sell her right in the property to her brother, Joseph Wells. If this is so, then Margaret’s surname was "Wells."

Based on the probable birth date (before January of 1707/08) of Aaron Stark (4th) – the oldest known child of Aaron (3rd) and Margaret – they were most likely married before mid-year in 1707.[155] Some researchers state Margaret Wells was born on May 19, 1682, but there is no record to substantiate this day of birth. If she married Aaron Stark (3rd) as late as 1707 at the age of sixteen, she was most likely born before 1692. (As reported above, we know Aaron (3rd) and Margaret were married by April 20, 1709.)

__________

150) Voluntown, New London County, Connecticut Deed Records. Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ Family History Library Film #5881, page 69, Lot #124. Transcribed by Gwen Boyer Bjorkman.

151) Eva Butler transcribed record from New London Court Records. "William Starke, John Coulver, Isaac Lamb, Joseph Colver Jr., Aron Starke, Stephen Starke and wives all of Groton have and do in a common manner attend upon an unlawful and seprat meeting from that which is Established by law calling & settling Vallantin Whitman....…"

152) FHL Film #4293, Book 1, pages 620 to 624.

153) FHL Film #4294, Book 2, pages 173 and 174.

154) FHL Film #4293, Book 1, Pages 186 and 187.

155) Letter dated August 17, 1970 to T. (Thomas) G. Allen from Rev. Clement Bloomfield, O. S. D., St. Mary’s Abbey, Morristown, New Jersey. Rev. Bloomfield describes a visit to Flanders, attempting to locate the Stark family burial ground. As his guide, he refers to an earlier cemetery survey by Russell Rankin in 1927. According to Rev. Bloomfield, this survey was filed in the New Jersey Special Collections of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey at Rutgers Library. Found a stone with "A. S." and the inscription "In memory of Cap’t Aaron Starke who died Jan. 21st 1772 in the 64th year of his age." Captain Aaron Stark was the son of Aaron Stark [3rd] and Margaret and is referred to in this publication as Aaron Stark [4th]. If Aaron [4th]’s age when he died was correctly stated on his tombstone, then he was born before January 21, 1707/08, indicating Aaron [3rd] and Margaret were married as late as early 1706/07.

 

 

Page 74

 

Religious Affiliations of Aaron Stark (3rd)

Aaron Stark (3rd) most likely was first a Congregationalist during his early years. As noted above, he was a member of the Baptist Church on April 20, 1709, the date he and his wife, among others of the Baptist congregation, were accused of holding unlawful meetings.[151] On March 24, 1717/18, he was a participant in the purchase of one and one-half acres from William Stark (Senior) by members of the Baptist congregation; a church and cemetery were both placed on this site.[156] After this date, Aaron (3rd) may have joined the Rogerene movement.

The Rogerenes were best described by Francis Manwaring Caulkins in the publication entitled "History of New London:"[157]

"In respect to the most important articles of Christianity, Rogers was strenuously orthodox. He held to salvation of the just and unjust, and an eternal judgment. He maintained also obedience to the civil government, except in matters of conscience and religion. A town or country rate the Rogerenes always considered themselves bound to pay, but the minister rate they abhorred  denouncing as unscriptural all interference of the civil power in the worship of God. Of their peculiar characteristic a brief summary must here suffice.

In respect to baptism, and the rejection of the first day Sabbath they agree with the Sabbatarians, but they diverge from them on other points. They consider all days alike in respect to sanctity, and though they meet for religious purposes on the first day of the week, when the exercise is over, they regard themselves as free to labor as on any other day. They have no houses set apart for public worship, and regard a steeple, a pulpit, a cushion, a church, and a salaried minister in a black suit of clothes, as utter abominations. They hold that a public oath is like any other swearing, a profanation of the Holy Name, and plainly forbidden in Scriptures. They make no prayers in public worship or in the family: John Rogers conceived that all prayers should be mental and not vocal, except on special occasions when the Sprit of God moving within, prompted the use of the voice. They use no means for the recovery of health, except care, kindness and attention, considering all resort to drugs, medicines and physicians, as sinful."

From the earliest days of New London County, the Culver and Stark families had been neighbors and friends. John Culver and his wife along with Aaron Stark (3rd) and Margaret, had been accused in 1709 of assisting Valentine Wightman in settling in Groton and having meetings separate from the Congregational Church. Aaron’s sister married Joseph Culver (Junior), and several Culver families could be counted as members of the Baptist Church when they purchased land from William Stark (Senior) on which to erect a church building.

After the death of John Rogers in 1721, John Waterhouse and John Culver became the leaders of the Rogerenes, who were living in the northeastern part of Groton. Anna Williams described them as follows:[158]

"This is a sparsely populated district [northeastern Groton Township], where the nonconformists are less exposed to such molestations and extortions as assail those of New London. These Groton Rogerenes have Baptists for their nearest neighbors, a sect agreeing with them in certain particulars, but equally with the ruling order holding to the observance of a ’holy Sabbath.’ It is certain that the Groton Rogerenes have, sooner or later, some grievance against these Baptists, evidently in connection with the question of Sunday sanctity."

At about the time John Rogers died, Aaron Stark (3rd) began to sell his properties, which were located between Old Mystic and Groton Center. On November 25, 1721 – one month after John Rogers died – Aaron Stark (3rd) sold the property he had inherited from his father, along with the adjacent property that he had purchased from Isaac Fox earlier in the year.[152]

Although there were several more deed transactions showing that Aaron (3rd) was divesting himself of property in Groton, the first to mention he was a resident of Colchester occurred September 25, 1725.[153] Had Aaron (3rd) decided to leave Groton to be nearer the Rogerene movement? If so, this may suggest he had joined this religious sect. by 1725. That he was subsequently part of the Rogerene movement to New Jersey is attested to by the following deed, signed on August 20, 1734:[159]

"Aaron Stark of ye Black River in ye County of Hunterdon East Jersey for 220L paid by Jonathan Collver formerly of Groton now Resident in Black River and in the County of Hunderdon, sold, 20A, in Groton upon a place known by ye name of Fourt Hill which is as followeth: Rock marked W. S. which is the SE corner of ye Two rod way and adjoining to ye four rod highway, heap of rocks marked W. S., stone marked W. S., which ye sd Aaron Stark formerly bought of Isaac Fox, 20 Aug 1734. Signed: Aaron Starke. Wit: Nathaniel Collver, William Douglas. Ack 26 May??? Then personally appeared before me Moses Rolfe Esqr. One of his majesties Justices of ye peace for ye county of ???? in the Province of New Jersey, Aaron Starke did acknowledge the within deed of sale to Jonathan Collver, and recd: 7 Sep 1734."

__________

156) FHL Film #4293; Book 1, pages 374-375.

157) Caulkins, Frances Manwaring, History of New London, Connecticut. From the First Survey of the Coast in 1612 to 1860. Published in 1895, 696 pp., 2 vols.

158) Anna B. Williams, "The Rogerenes: Part II, History of the Rogerenes." Boston: Stanhope Press, 1904. Pages 264 & 265, 270, 272.

159) Family History Library Microfilm #4295, Book 3, pages 160-161.

 

 

Page 75

 

The Black River was within Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and near Schooley’s Mountain. Hunterdon was later divided to create Morris County, New Jersey. Sometime between 1725 and 1734, therefore, Aaron Stark (3rd) moved to New Jersey with the Rogerenes. That this group can be identified at Schooley’s Mountain is shown by the following account:[160]

"In 1732 the first religious body came to Schoolmen's Mountain from New London, Connecticut. The group called the Rogerenes, had as their leader a John Cooler (Culver)…These people considered all days alike. They deemed it lawful to labor after worship on the Lord's day, and would sometimes even attend the service of the churches carrying their work along with them into the sanctuary. One description of their worship says "To the meetings the women took their spinning wheels and stools. The men hats on, seated themselves upon the ground in rows opposite the women. Then came the solemn hush of the period of introspection, which often would be long and impressive. When some one was moved to speak the women would quickly uncross their hands and the men would unfold their arms, neither thereafter would be idle for a minute. The women applied themselves to knitting, sewing and spinning, the men went to basket making or some noiseless occupation until the speaking ended and the assemblage dispensed. Their house of worship was usually the ‘temple in the grove’ a grassy slope in the shade of a cluster of venerable oaks leading down to the edge of a body of water."

Aaron (3rd) and his brothers, Stephen, John, and Abiel, were all reported to be residents of Colchester by 1725, proving that the family had made a move to the region before then. The reason cannot be determined with certainty, but the migration of the Rogerenes could explain their relocation; another reason might have been the settlement of a ownership dispute with the Mohegans, which opened the region for new settlers.

 

New Jersey

Charles R. Stark believed that Aaron (3rd) moved to New Jersey with the Rogerenes, as he states in the following:[161]

"Aaron Stark was formerly of Groton, where he was named as one of the grantees in the deed of William Stark to the First Baptist Church Mar. 24, 1717/18. About 1730 or 1732 John Culver, Jr., conducted a party to New Jersey, where they settled at a place called Schooley’s Mountain. It is supposed that Aaron Stark was one of this company, as on May 29, 1744, he was of Roxbury (Flanders), Morris County, N. J."

Could this have been Aaron Stark [the fourth]? In a deed transcription, Charles R. Stark confirmed that both Aaron Stark [the third] and Aaron Stark [the fourth] were residents of Roxbury as of May 29, 1744.

"To whom this presents shall come Know ye that I Aaron Stark Junior of the township of Roxbury in the County of Morris and Province of West Jersey yeoman for and in consideration of the sum of fifty pounds current lawful money of the Province aforesaid in hand paid by my father Aaron Stark Senior of the Province aforesaid which I acknowledge myself satisfied therefore…In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this 29, day of May Anno 1744. Signed: Aaron Stark Junior"

Aaron Stark (Junior) and Aaron Stark (Senior) were, respectively, Aaron Stark [4th] and Aaron Stark [3rd], as identified in the present publication. The description of the property appears to be the same property sold to Jonathan Culver in 1734 – as reported above, unless it was a different property located in close proximity to the twenty acres Jonathan Culver purchased in 1734. The reason for the sale of this property cannot be explained, but it does represent the last documented evidence that Aaron Stark (3rd) was living; thus he most likely died after May 29, 1744.

__________

160) Clara E. Hasid, "Mercenary Days: A brief history of Pleasant Grove." Excerpt from her research and student essay.

161) Charles R. Stark, "The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations." Pages 8 and 9.

 

Top of Page

Copyright

Other than that work created by other acknowledged contributors or sources, the articles and genealogical data presented in this publication were derived from the research of Clovis LaFleur; Copyright © 2007. All rights are reserved. The use of any material on these pages by others will be discouraged if the named contributors, sources, or Clovis LaFleur have not been acknowledged.

Disclaimer

This publication and the data presented is the work of Clovis LaFleur. However, some of the content presented has been derived from the research and publicly available information of others and may not have been verified. You are responsible for the validation of all data and sources reported and should not presume the material presented is correct or complete.

 

[Return to Top]