David Trowbridge I

David Trowbridge I
Born: Dec. 30, 1709, Stratford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut
Died: Nov. 16, 1768, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., NewJersey
Parents: Joseph Trowbridge & Anne Sherwood
Stepfather: Caleb Fairchild
Original Burial: maybe Baptist Cemetery , Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey
Present Burial: unknown, Baptist Cemetery sold in 1880s and graves reinterred to Evergreen Cemetery, Morristown, David & Lydia Trowbridge not in Evergreen records as per Evergreen historian Kemper chambers.
Cause of Death: fever (according to the Combined Bills of Mortality for the Presbyterian and Baptist Churches of Morristown, New Jersey)
Occupation: farmer
Public Office: Freeholder, Morris Township (about 1752)
Religious Affiliation: Morristown First Baptist Church
Marriage: July 3, 1735, Bedford, Monmouth Co., New Jersey
Wife: Lydia Holmes
Born: Jan. 21, 1716, Monmouth Co., New Jersey
Died: Jan. 27, 1792, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey
Cause of Death: Old age (according to the Combined Bills of Mortality for the Presbyterian and Baptist Churches of Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey)
Parents: Samuel Holmes & Mrs. Holmes*
Religious Affiliation: Morristown First Baptist Church
Baptism: 1770, Morristown Baptist Church, Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey
Buried: maybe the Old Presbyterian Burying Ground, First Presbyterian Church,Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey


Lydia Trowbridge

Born: Aug. 30, 1736, Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey
Died: Mar. 9, 1749, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey

Daniel Trowbridge

Shubael Trowbridge I

Ann Trowbridge

Born: Nov. 15, 1740, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey
Died: June 6, 1755, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey

Samuel Trowbridge

David Trowbridge II

Caleb Trowbridge

Born: May 29, 1745, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey
Died: Mar. 13, 1760, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey

Mary Ann Trowbridge

Joseph Trowbridge
Born: Apr. 16, 1749, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey
Died: July 7, 1753, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey

Absalom Trowbridge

Crispus Trowbridge

Tabitha Trowbridge

Born: about 1748, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey
Died: before 1758, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey

Job Trowbridge

Joseph Trowbridge

Ann Trowbridge

Born: Jan. 30, 1763, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey
Died: 1767, Morristown, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey

Lydia Trowbridge (maybe a granddaughter)
Born: Feb. 23, 1769, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey
Died: still living, June 26, 1793, Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey
Marriage: June 26, 1793, Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey
Husband: unknown
Born: unknown
Died: still living, June 26, 1793, Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey 


Following the death of his father Joseph at a young age, David came to Hanover, New Jersey with his mother Anne, his stepfather, Caleb Fairchild, and his sister Anne by 1730. Shortly after his marriage to Lydia Holmes, David was quit-claimed land by his stepfather and mother on April 1, 1736. The following is from a Fairchild genealogy site, "The Descendents of William Fairchild":

"The New Jersey Archives prove Caleb was in New Jersey as early as 1730. His last grantor deed in Stratford was 18 April 1722 (41A). One of Caleb's descendants said he went from Stratford to Stonington, Connecticut, then to Hempstead, Long Island, New York, and thence to New Jersey. He also was briefly in the New Haven, Connecticut area, and is on the deeds there. On April 1, 1736, Caleb of Hanover, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey, and wife, Anne, formerly the widow of Joseph Trowbridge of Stratford, Connecticut, quit-claimed land to David Trowbridge, son of the deceased Joseph Trowbridge. The inventory for Joseph Trowbridge, dated June 1, 1715, Stratford, names children, David and Anne."

Later David moved to a steep hill located about 2 miles west of Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey along the Minisink Trail, which according to Julia Beers (see below), he purchased land from the local Native Americans. This hill would later be named Trowbridge Mountain, because David and his family built their farms there. According to tax records of the time, David farmed 143 acres of land, and owned 16 horses and livestock, and 40 sheep. He also is said to have produced an applejack whiskey called "New Jersey Lightning".
(Back in the 1700s, it was very common for the residents of northern New Jersey to produce this product.

The children of David & Lydia settled all over the United States. They moved into such states as: Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Vermont, Ohio,Michigan, New York, Illinois, Kentucky, and Indiana. Many Trowbridges from around the United States and (see below) Canada can trace their ancestryfrom David and Lydia Trowbridge.

There are some discrepancies n the Francis Bacon Trowbridge book, the Trowbridge Genealogy, about the names of the children of David and Lydia. Francis Bacon Trowbridge includes a note under the entry for David Trowbridge and Lydia Holmes regarding the source of information about their children:

"Children copied from family bible of David Trowbridge which was found in the mountains eight miles from Dover NJ by William A Eardeley of Brooklyn NY, a genealogist who visited that area."

This list is known to have several inaccuracies, such as the daughter listed as Tabitha II, who is listed as died at the age of 22, and buried in the Old Burying Ground in Whippany, New Jersey (the same cemetery mentioned above). For more information on Tabitha, click here. There is evidence that she may have been the wife of David Trowbridge II. Another son by the name of Crispus shows up in several deeds pertaining to the disposition of David'sestate, but not in other family records. Evidence has come to light that he may have been a Loyalist during the Revolutionary War, and thus could have been disowned by the family. For more on this subject, go to the section under Crispus Trowbridge.



"1768, Nov. 9. Trowbridge, David, of Morris Township, Morris Co., Farmer; will of. My lands and goods to be divided among my eight children, with this reserve, that my wife, over her equal proportion, is to have her choice of one cow, and any one jade (horse) belonging to the estate, and she is to have the possession of my estate, as long as she is my widow. Son, Shubal(Shubael) Trowbridge, has built and improved on 11 acres, and he is to have a deed for the same land.
Executrix - my wife, Lydia. Witnesses - James Smyth, William Locy, John Losee. Proved December 9, 1768."



1785, Mar. 19. Trowbridge, Lydia, of Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey, Morris Co. Widow of David Trowbridge: will of. All estate, including houseand lot of 3 acres where I now live, and a 3-acre lot in Hanover Twsp., and a 4-acre lot at Watnung Plains, to my son, Absalem Trowbridge.
Executor-Son, Absalem.
Witnesses - Timothy Linsley*, John Losen, Cornelius Losen.
Proved Mar. 11, 1812
*Signed by a mark.



In 1929, Julia Beers, the first librarian and a member of one of the first families to settle Morris Plains, wrote "The History of Morris Plains", which was published after her death in 1955. Born in the 1860's, she wrote about a Morris county that vanished a long time ago. Her book contains a lot of valuable information on the Trowbridge family, especially the location of the David Trowbridge farm. She writes:

"On the early maps of New Jersey, an Indian path is designated running from the south shore of the Shrewsbury River in a westerly direction, crossing the Raritan a little to the westward of Amboy and thence in a northerly direction to Island in the Delaware. Many branches of the Minisink Path spread out through New Jersey from this trail. The Dutch and Swedes must have traveled it long before the English settlers came to New Jersey. There are traces of Indian camping grounds, and no doubt there were Indian villages in the Watnong Mountains northwest of Morris Plains. Indian arrowheads are found there even at this time. A perfect arrowhead of New York Brownstone tells a tale of either of attack from New York Indians, or of a visitor from that state, we hope the latter! Hundreds of years ago, or farther back than that, the Plains must have been a marsh, for the Indian camps are found among the surrounding hillsides, notably the south side. The early settlers also chose these places to build their log huts, which were built without cellars. A cave was dug in an embankment to house produce from garden and field. The Indians camped on the many sources of the Whipponong River above Morris Plains. And that is where the white settlers built their log huts and started to make a living from the soil, which the Indians were incapable of doing. Now descendents of those white settlers have vanished from the land and other invaders have captured the hill and plain, for "to the strong belong the spoils." New Jersey Records show that the English settlers bought and paid for all the land they acquired from the Indians. We have no doubt that Morris Plains settlers did the same, or acquired land that had been bought by the original proprietors.

The above map is the Greystone Park area around the 1880s. Jesse Pierson's property (part of which occupied the former David Trowbridge farm) is on the lower left hand corner.

The Original White Settlers: Pierson, Losey, Trowbridge, Raynor

Probably the first English settler to come to the region now known as Morris Plains was Thomas Pierson. In 1685 he established a saw mill on Thomason's Pond and a residence on the road to the present state hospital. This mill was operated as recently as the 1860s. The Losey, Trowbridge, and Raynor families may have come here about the same time, settling on the north side of the Minisink Path on the east slope of the mountain known in that day as Trowbridge Mountain. Trowbridge owned the place that Jesse Pierson purchased. Tradition tells us that Trowbridge bought this place from the Indians.


Site of the David Trowbridge farm on West Hanover Ave., in Morris Township, New Jersey. The bottom picture is the September 11 memorial, located on the site, which includes steel from the World Trade Center. This site was chosenbecause the World Trade Center was clearly visible from Trowbridge Mountain, which is located about thirty miles west of New York City.


Above this tract was a road to the left called the Raynor Road. The land still showed evidence of cultivation in 1880. Whoever the Raynors were, they must have left there at an early date. Jesse Pierson built his house opposite the present TB Hospital and turned the Trowbridge house into a wagon shed. There was a lane or Indian path that started from there and traversed the lower part of the mountain, emerging on Pigeon Hill Road. There are signs of habitation on this lane, but they must have been of very early date. We have no record of the people who may have been there. Thisroad was used by the settlers to avoid the steep hill between the Losey and Trowbridge lands. Losey must have given the land for the present road to the Welfare House, thereby losing two acres of land. I don't know what the former hill was like. It must have been impossible. I think the present one is nearly so. Losey's son built the house now occupied by Reeds. The road was changed for their benefit.... Recently there was a tree uprooted by the elements on the old Losey place. In its stones were two stones, one oblique in form, the other small and square. Someone must have been buried there, probably during the Revolutionary War when Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey was occupied by the soldiers. It might have been William Losey [named as a witness in David Trowbridge's will and father-in-law of Joseph Trowbridge] who bought the land from the Indians. Tradition tells of three long houses built in Spring Street. These people may have been some of our early settlers who moved to the mountains north and west of Morris Plains."


Site of the David Trowbridge farm on Hanover Avenue in Morris Township, New Jersey. It is now the s Morris County 9/11 Memorial.


The former TB Sanitarium, which later became Morris View Nursing Home, and now houses several Morris county offices. The image on the right is the building, which also housed the Morris County poorhouse, around 1900, the picture on the left was taken in 2003.

The David Trowbridge house was located along the Minisink Trail, a former Indian trail, now West Hanover Avenue in Morris Township, just across the street from the former Morris County TB Hospital (the building is now occupied by a Morris County housing agency and shelter), and the nearby Morris View Nursing Home, where Karen Ann Quinlan from the famous "right todie" court case from the 1970s stayed. Jesse Pierson, who purchased and then converted the David Trowbridge house into a wagon shed, sold the property to the state of New Jersey around 1870, which was incorporated into the Greystone Park Lunatic Asylum (later Greystone State Mental Hospital)in 1871. The state will be downsizing Greystone Park within thenext five years, and most of the grounds will be deeded to the Morris County Parks Commission, which will develop this area into park and recreational facilities. When David built his house here,it was common for the first settlers to build their farms along these trails, which the Leni Lenape Indians built following the routes of big game, such as the deer. TrowbridgeMountain is located on West Hanover Avenue going towards Mt. Freedom, above Ketch & Koch Roads in Morris township. The hill is very steep, especially going towards Raynor Road and westward to Mt. Freedom in Randolph.


The original site of the Morristown Baptist Church on Mt. Kemble Road in 1900, and a drawing of the Morristown Baptist Church looked like during Colonial times.


The Morristown First Baptist Church in 2004. The church was gutted by a fire in 2000, but was reopened in 2004 after three years of repair.



The second church to be built in Morristown, the First Baptist Church of Morristown was founded by eleven members including David Trowbridge in 1752, meeting 3 miles south of the First Presbyterian Church on Mount Kemble andSandy Spring Road. The church moved to it's present location in 1771, building a wood frame structure on the southeast portion of the Morristown Green. Like the neighboring First Presbyterian Church, the First Baptist Church was used as a hospital by the Continental Army in 1777. 70 years later, in 1840, the congregation had outgrown the first building, and voted to build a new church in Littleton (now Parsippany), New Jersey. The church and the surrounding property, with the exception of the cemetery, was offered to the Second Presbyterian Church, which had just split off from the First Presbyterian Church that year, for about $2,000. Negotiations broke down when the Second Presbyterian Church wanted use of the cemetery, which the Baptists wanted to keep. So instead of moving to Littleton, the present church was built in Morristown. The cemetery was located on what is now occuppied by the Century 21 Department Store (formerly the location ofMacy's), and was in use from the Revolutionary War until the end of the 19th century. In the late 1800s, the property was purchased by a prominent citizen by the name of Mc Alpin, who then moved the graves to Evergreen Cemetery in Morristown (this area is sometimes known as the "Mc Alpin block"). Lydia and David might have been buried in the Baptist Cemetery along with their son Shubael, because their names show up on the "Combined Bills of Mortality" kept for both the Presbyterian and Baptist congregations, first by the Presbyterian minister Dr. Timothy Johnes, and then by the Presbyterian sextion, William Moses Cherry from 1768 to 1806. When the bodies were moved to Evergreen Cemetery, their remains could have been transferred there, but according to Evergreen Cemetery historian Kemper Chambers, no records of David, Lydia, or Shubael appear in Evergreen Cemeteries records. So unfortunately for now their graves are lost.

It is unknown why David and Lydia chose to join the Baptist congregation instead of the Presbyterian church, which his stepfather and mother were founding members of the congregation, but it probably has more to do with Lydia's denomination, since her grandfather, Obadiah Holmes, was a famous Baptist evangelist in Massachusetts and Rhode Island during the 1600s. About a year after David's death, Lydia received an adult baptism. One interesting fact is raised by David and Lydia's attending the Baptist Church is their contact with the family of David's mother Anne Sherwood Trowbridge Fairchild. The closest thing to any contact between the Trowbridges and the Fairchilds after the 1730s is the wife of David and Lydia's son David's wife Tabitha being buried in the Old Burying Ground in Whippany near the Fairchild Mill. Even though David and Caleb Fairchild's names appear in several tax and legal records (both were important land owners in the Morristown area), and David served on the Morris County Board of freeholders about the same time as his stepfather, there is little contact between the Fairchilds and the Trowbridges after David settled Trowbridge Mountain.

Something people still try to avoid having to do to this day! A list of potential jurors compiled by Justice of the Peace John Budd in 1742, includes the names of David Trowbridge, step-father Caleb Fairchild, and Caleb's brother Zacariah Fairchild.

According to the Combined Bill of Mortality for the Presbyterian and Baptist Churches of Morristown, compiled first by the pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Dr. Timothy Johnes, and then by the sexton, William Cherry, recorded the deaths of David, who died of fever on Nov. 16, 1768, and Lydia died of old age at 75. The Combined Bills of Mortality, first recorded by the Presbyterian Minister, Rev. Timothy Johnes, and then after 1768 by the legendary Presbyterian Sexton, William Moses Cherry for both congregations. According to books on the history of the Presbyterian church, most of the deaths listed were buried by Moses Cherry. While Mr. Cherry was very meticulous on recording who he buried, age, and cause of death, he was as careful in recording where he buried them, which was further complicated by the fact that he would put them anywhere. Strangers were buried in the middle of families, family members would be buried on the other side of the cemetery, etc. While most were buried by Mr. Cherry, some who were listed in the Bills of Mortality, one example being David's mother, Anne Sherwood, according to other sources, such as Francis Bacon Trowbridge, were buried in the Whippany Burying Ground near the mill of her husband Caleb Fairchild (the samelocation of the graves of several of David and Lydia's children) The Baptist Church was not built until 1771 at it's current location, which adds additional uncertainty where David is buried, since it is unknown if a cemetery existed at it's first location along Mount Kemble Road, but according to histories of the Presbyterian church, the Baptists already had a cemetery at least as early as 1768, so it is possible it could have been located there. But since Rev. Johnes and Mr. Cherry kept the records for the Baptists, it is possible that they had started burying their dead near the present location of the Baptist Church.



David Trobridge & Samuel Frost
Value of Land: 17 , 10 schillings
Acres of Land: 143
Horses and Cattle: 16
Sheep: 40
Pound Value: 51 schillings, 0 dollars
Poor Tax: 1 pound, 1 schilling, 3 dollars
County Tax: 12 schillings, 9 dollars
Sinking Fund Tax: 12 schillings, 9 dollars

James Frost by care of David Trowbridge
Value of Land: 5
Acres of Land: 100
Horses and Cattle: 0
Sheep: 0
Pound Value: 5 schillings, 0 dollars
Poor Tax: 2 schillings, 1 dollar
County Tax: 1schillings, 3 dollars
Sinking Fund Tax: 1 schillings, 4 1/2 dollars


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