Shubael Trowbridge

Capt. James Keene's Company
Morris Militia
("The Rams Horns Brigades")
American Revolution

Shubael or Shubal Trowbridge I
Born: Sept. 3, 1739, Morris Township, (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey
Died: Mar. 12, 1782, Hanover Township (now Morris Plains), (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris Co., New Jersey
Parents: David Trowbridge & Lydia Holmes
Cause of Death: smallpox (according to the Combined Registers of Bills of Mortality for the Presbyterian & Baptist Congregations of Morristown)
Buried: maybe Baptist Cemetery, Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey (now extinct)
Occupation: farmer
Religious Affiliation: First Baptist Church, Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey
Military Service: private, Capt. James Keene's Company, Eastern Battalion, Morris County Militia, also known as "The Rams Horns Brigades", American Revolutionary War
Marriage: Dec. 3, 1765, First Presbyterian Church, Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey
Wife: Mary Bayles
Born: Sept. 7, 1745, Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey
Died: before April 7, 1788, Morris Co., New Jersey
Parents: Benjamin Bayles I & Letitia Creed
Baptism: Sept. 22, 1745, First Presbyterian Church, Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey
Second Marriage (Mary Bayles): between Mar. 12, 1782 - Mar. 11, 1783, Morris Co., New Jersey
Second Husband: Joseph Williams


(Shubael Trowbridge & Mary Bayles)

Augustine Bayles Trowbridge

Jabez Trowbridge

Justus Strawbridge

John Strawbridge

Benjamin Strawbridge?

Elizabeth Trowbridge

Katharin Trowbridge?

Born: unknown
Died: still living, 1812, Morris Township, Morris County, New Jersey
Marriage: before 1812, unknown
Husband: Henry Parsons
Born: unknown
Died: still living, 1812, Morris Township, Morris Co., New Jersey

2 unknown daughters?



Second eldest son of David Trowbridge & Lydia Holmes, Shubael is listed in the list of patriots by the Daughters of the American Revolution, starting around May 7, 1778, Shubael served as a private in the New Jersey Militia during the American ;Revolutionary War in Capt. James Keen's Company, Eastern Battalion, in the New Jersey Militia, also known as ;the Ram's Horn Brigade. Capt Keen was in charge of protecting the iron forges around Morristown.


Shubael Trowbridge and his brother Absalom seem to be the ancestors of most of the Trowbridges who lived in Morris County. Regarding his descendents from Pennsylvania, information was brought to my attention by cousin and fellow Trowbridge researcher Douglas Gawron regarding Shubael's children younger children, John, Justus and Elizabeth. Mr. Gawron has copies of the original quitclaim deeds from the state archives in the state capital of Trenton, New Jersey that were filed by Justus, John, & Elizabeth Trowbridge, which they are deeding their lands in Morris County to their older brother Augustine Bayles Trowbridge, mention siblings not listed in the 'The Trowbridge Genealogy" by Francis Bacon Trowbridge. There is one branch of the Trowbridge family in counties of Columbia, Monroe and Lycoming, Pennsylvania that goes by the ;name of Strawbridge. The origin of spelling, according to Francis Bacon Trowbridge in "The Trowbridge ;Genealogy", occurred when Shubael's son Justus moved to Columbia Co., Pennsylvania. His descendents starting using the name of Strawbridge, instead of Trowbridge. Francis Bacon Trowbridge relates one supposed origin that it was derived from how Shubael Trowbridge signed his legal documents. When he signed "S. Trowbridge", several people did not see ;the period after the S, and they started to spell "Trowbridge" as "Strowbridge. But there are several other descendents of David Trowbridge and Lydia Holmes that went by the name of Strowbridge, notably the descendents of Shubael's younger brothers Absalom in Morris County, New Jersey, Samuel in Frederick County, Virginia, and Crispus in Ontario, Canada. In the case of Samuel the reason for the alternate spelling is the same as the one for Shubael, Samuel Trowbridge signed documents with "S Trowbridge". My guess is the county clerk mistook it for "Strowbridge", and because of the complexity and expense involved in correcting legal documents, which could have jeopardized land deeds, those branches of the Trowbridge family found it more expedient to adopt the Strowbridge spelling. But Justus and John are different from the above in that they spelled their name "Strawbridge" before leaving Morris County in the 1790s. And it is hard to see if it was because of a clerical error, because their older brothers Augustine and Jabez still used the original Trowbridge spelling. This is indicated in the copies of the quitclaim deeds researched by Douglas Gawron. He says that in the deeds filed by Justus and ;John Trowbridge, and Elizabeth Trowbridge, they signed these documents with the last name of Strawbridge and not Trowbridge.

Other interesting facts also came out of Douglas' research. There seem to be several ;of Shubael Trowbridge's children listed in these documents who were missed by Francis Bacon Trowbridge. One example is a quitclaim deed mentions a son named Benjamin Strawbridge, which I believe he existed because his first name would have ment that he was named after Shubael's father-in-law, Benjamin Bayles. The wording of another quitclaim deed for Elizabeth Trowbridge's seems to indicate that she has a sister, or sisters from names of people previous unknown listed in the document.. And quitclaim deed dated from 1812 between Henry and Katharin Parsons and Augustine Bayles Trowbridge indicate that Katharin could have been one of these sisters alluded to by Elizabeth. With all of these new facts, there were simply a lot of facts missed by Francis Bacon Trowbridge, another example being the existence of Shubael's brother Crispus, who was never mentioned in "The Trowbridge Genealogy".



Shubael inherited 18 acres from his father David, as per his fathers will. It is unknown where Shubael was buried. He was probably buried in the Baptist Cemetery in Morristown, but unfortunately in the 1880s the cemetery was purchased by a developer, and all of the bodies where moved to the new cemetery at Evergreen Road in Morristown. The graves of Shubael, his father David and mother Lydia are probably lost as their names do not show up on any lists of those reinterred at Evergreen, compiled and maintained by Evergreen historian Kemper Chambers from cemetery records dating back to the 1850s.



1782, June 24
Trowbridge, Shubel, of Hanover, Morris county.
Int. Adm- Mary Trowbridge. Fellow bondsmen, Timothy Lindsly and Robert Young, all of said place. Lib. M 27, p 72"



1788, April 7.
Trowbridge, Javish {Jabez], of Hanover, Morris Co., son of Shubel Trowbridge, of said place, ;deceased. Said ward, being out of wardship of Mary Williams, makes choice of Joseph Beers as his guardian.
1788, April 7. Guardian-Joseph Beers, of Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey,said co.
Fellow Bondsman-Absalom Trowbridge, of said co.
Witness-John Dalrymple.

Jabez's mother, Mary Bayles, must have recently died, and because Jabez was not of legal age, he had to name a ;guardian. ; The person that he named as his guardian, Joseph Beers, was a close family friend and father-in-law ;of Jabez's first cousin, David Trowbridge, and future father-in-law of Jabez's nephew, Shubael Trowbridge.


1783, March 11.
Bayles, Benjamin, of Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey, Morris Co.; will of. Grandson, ;Benjamin Bayles, oldest son of the wife of my son, William Bayles, all of my real estate: but if he dies before 21, then to my son William. Granddaughter, Mary Aikerman, a cow. Daughters, Hannah, wife of Benjamin ;Hathaway, and Mary, wife of Joseph Williams, rest of personal estate.
Executors - son, William, and friend, John Pitney. Witnesses - Caleb Russell, Stephen Conkling, Benjamin Larselere, David Larselere.
Prove March 3, 1784" Lib. M, p. 190)



DEED DATED AUG. 19, 1768

Dtd August 19, 1768
Cons. 5 Schillings
Lawful Proclamation
David Trowbridge of Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey
to Shubal Trowbridge of Hanover
All that tract of Pine Land situate in Hanover Township in Morris County and in Morris Town and County Off ;on both sides of the Road leading to Succasoney. Beginning at the second Corner of a Tract of Eleven Acres and ;Eighty two Hundredths of an acre strict measure surveyed & returned to Isaac Winshel the 30th Day of March ;1764 & recorded in Book S 5 page 168 then runing first allong the said Winchels Line north 39 & 15 east 5 ;chains & 36 Links thence (3) 4 South 50 West 21 Chains & 42 Links & from thence 5y South 7 East 12 chains to ;the Beginning Containing 17 acres & 68 Hundredths of an acre of Land strict measure which said tract was Returned to William Earl of Stirling on Pine Right the 26th of July 1766 and Recorded the 26 of August 1766 in ;book S No 5 Page 12 which said tract above Described was conveyed by a Deed under the hand & seal of the ;said Earl of Stirling bearing date first day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & sixty seven unto him being David Trowbridge as reference to the said Instrument had may more at Large appear.
Witnesses Thos. Millidge, Mercy Millidge
Course & distance numerals spelled out in orig.

DEED FROM FEB. 20, 1773
Right Honourable James Earl of Perth
to Shubal Trowbridge
of Hanover
Dated Feb. 20, 1773
Cons. 13 pound, 18 schillings four pence
Signed Perth by his Atty Drummond
Witnessed by John Doughty & George Trumbull

Recites: Power of
Attorney from James Earl of Perth to Honourable Thomas Drummond,
commonly called Lord ;Drummond ;dated Sept. 7, 1769, empowering him to sell & dispose of all his Estate in the province of New Jersey which sd power is rec'd in Perth Amboy Libr 3 page 127. Recites:and also whereas the said Earl of ;Perth at the special Instance &; request of the said Shubal Trowbridge caused to be returned to the said Earl of Perth on the 21st Day of December 1772 all that tract of pine land in Hanover Township in the said County of Morris on the South to the North East of the Road leading from Whatenung to Succasunny adjoining eleven acres and 73 Hundreths of an acre strict measure surveyed & returned to Isaac Winchell on or about the 30th day of March 1764 & Beginning at the fourth Coerner therof & from thence running (1) along the line of said land South 32 East to Chains & 40 Linkes thence (2) South 61 East 1 chain thence (3) North 13 East 20 chains thence (4) North 60 West 6 chains thence (5) South 47 & 15 West 20 chains 65 linkes thence (6) South 31 West 10 ;Chains & 32 links thence (7) North 50 East 16 chains & 20 Links thence (8) South 48 East 6 Chains to the ;Beginning Containing 21 acres to 41 Hundredths of an acre strict measure which said return is recorded at Perth ;Amboy in the surveyor General's office in Book SN 6 page 304. Now this Inendutre witnesseth. (Conveys the tract above mentioned)



Warranty Deed dated Feb 12, 1781
Unrecorded-$20 orig.
N.J. Historical Library, Newark
Samuel Trowbridge
Frederick Co. Virginia to
Shubel Trowbridge of Morris Co.
Grants the following tract of land being part of a Tract of land which was divided to the said Samuel Trowbridge in pursuance to the devise and direction in the last will & Test of his father David Trowbridge decd & that part of sd lands hereby intended to be granted being part of lot No. 11 as marked on a survey thereof made in April 1769 is bounded as follows by it on the South corner of the said lot No. 11 being the East cor of Dan Trowbridges land marked on said Survey lot the 12 thence extending from the said corner along the said David line (1) N 64 W 20 ch to his cor. in a line of lot no 9- (2) in the same N 20 E 2.97 to cor of Job Trowbridges land in said line (3) S64 E 2.97 to corner of Jobs line to his corner (4) S 20 W 2.97 to beg containes (blurred) across to 3/4 and 27 rodds Strict measure signed sealed & delivered/
Samuel Trowbridge (seal) in presence of
Jn Kirkpatrick
Job Trowbridge



Cousin Angela Dethloff submitted this article she found on the web. "OK time to get the chains out to measure where Shubael's farm was:

Gunter's chain n.
Surveying a measuring instrument 66 ft (20.1 m) long, subdivided into 100 links (1 rod or perch = 25 links), each link being a short section of wire connected to the next link by a loop. It was long used for land surveying and became a unit of length (80 chains = 1 mile), but has now been superseded by the steel tape and electronic equipment.
[Edmund Gunter, Engl. mathematician (1581-1626)]

The Oxford English Reference Dictionary
You [your name] doe swear by the great name of ye living God that you shall faithfully attend to and discharge your office of Surveyor unto which you are appointed without favour or respect to persons.

The Surveyor's Oath (c1760)
You ____ and ____, Being desired to assist [name of surveyor]. -- Surveyor;
in carying the Chain,Do Swear by the Everliving God
that you will faithfully assist the said Surveyor in his servis and that you
will keep a true account of all Lines on measures by you taken and the
same give up
to said Surveyor at his desire according to your best Skill and ability
So help you God.
The Chainsmen's Oath (c1760)

Gunter's Chain is the most widely known unit of measurement that is universally attributed to the Art of Surveying. It came into common usage about 1700 a.d. and was the standard for measuring distances over 150 years. Until early in the 20th Century, it was universally made of iron or brass links. Because all of these chains were hand made, they rarely measured exactly the proscribed sixty six feet in length. Thus, the surveyor had to use a correction factor when translating his notes into a drawing. In later years, it became the Surveyor's Tape that was machine made and used sophisticated metallurgy to compensate for the small (but measurable) effect of temperature on the length of the tape. These chains are commonly found in both the full (100 link) and half (50 link) lengths.

The Chain Winder
This wrought iron device was frequently used in the field to keep the chain from tangling, thus speeding the process of measuring distances.

Chaining Stakes
These stakes come in many sizes and shapes. Their main function is to aid in holding the chain in place while the chainsman makes a change in direction. They can also be used to identify temporary locations the need arises.

Value: 20.1168 ;m
Category: - Units of Length
Description: The chain is an obsolete unit of length used
by British surveyors. The value given above is Gunter's Chain.
1 chain (Gunter's) = 1/10 furlong
1 chain (Gunter's) = 4 rods
1 chain (Gunter's) = 66 feet
1 chain (Gunter's) = 100 links
Other values for the chain:
Engineer's Chain: 30.48 m
Ramsden's Chain: 30.48 m
Surveyor's Chain: 20.1168 m


Gunter, Edmund (1581-1626), was of Welsh extraction, but was born in Hertfordshire in 1581. He was educated on the royal foundation of Westminster school, and in 1599 was elected a student of Christ Church, Oxford. After graduating bachelor and master of arts at the regular times, he took orders, became a preacher in 1614, and in November, 1615, proceeded to the degree of bachelor in divinity. Mathematics, however, which had been his favorite study in youth, continued to engross his attention, and on 6th March, 1619, he was appointed to the professorship of astronomy in Gresham College, London. This post he held till his death, which took place on 10th December, 1626. With Gunter's name are associated several useful inventions, descriptions of which are given in his treatise on the Sector, Cross-staff, Bow, Qua drant, and other Instruments. He had contrived his sector about the year 1606, and written a description of it in Latin. Many copies were transcribed and dispersed, but it was more than sixteen years afterwards ere he allowed the book to appear in English. In 1620 he published his Canon Triangulorum, a table of logarithmic sines and tangents (extended to 7 decimal places) for every degree and minuteof the quadrant. In later editions an account of the general use of the canon is prefixed, and Brigg's logarithms of the first 1000 numbers are appended. There is reason to believe that Gunter was the first to discover (in 1622 or 1625) that the magnetic needle does not retain the same declination in the same places at all times.By desire of James I, he published in 1624 The Description and Use of His Majestie's Dials in Whitehall Garden, the only one of his works which has not been reprinted. He introduced the words co-sine and co-tangent for sine and tangent of the complement, and he suggested to Briggs, his friend and colleague, the use of the arithmetical complement (see Brigg's Arithmetica Logarithmica, cap. xv.). Other of Gunter's practical inventions are briefly noticed below.
Gunter's Line, a logarithmic line, usually laid down upon scales, sectors, etc. It is also called the line of lines and the line of numbers, being only the logarithms graduated upon a ruler, which therefore serves to solve problems instrumentally in the same manner as logarithms do arithmetically.
Gunter's Quadrant,an instrument made of wood, brass, or other substance, containing a kind of stereographic projection of the sphere on the plane of the equinoxial, the eye being supposed to be placed in one of the poles, so that the tropic, ecliptic, and horizon form the arcs of circles, but the hour circles are other curves, drawn by means of several altitudes of the sun for some particula r latitude every year. ; This instrument is used to find the hour of the day, the sun's azimuth,etc., and other common problems of the sphere or globe, and also to take the altitude of an object in degrees.
Gunter's Scale (generally called by seamen the Gunter) is a large plane scale, usually 2 feet long by about 1-1/2 inches broad, and engraved with various lines of numbers. ; On one side are placed the natural lines (as the line of chords, the line of sines, tangents, rhumbs, etc.), and on the other side the corresponding artificial or logarithmic ones. ; By means of this instrument questions in navigation, trigonometry, etc. are solved with the aid of a pair of compasses.


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