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Former Coordinators
Sue Loder 1999-2006
Janice Brown 2007-2008
Last Updated
(and all links checked)
December 29, 2014
Current Coordinator
Laverne Tornow

Welcome to Cape May County

Aaron Leaming 1687 - 1746

Sketch of the Early History of Cape May County by Maurice Beesley, M. D. Published in Trenton, New Jersey in 1857.

"Aaron Leaming (the first), of the County of Cape May, departed this life at Philadelphia, of a pleurisie, on the 20th June, 1746, about five o'clock in the afternoon. He was born at Sag, near Easthampton, on Long Island, Oct. 12th, 1687, being the son of Christopher Leamyeng (as he spelt his name), an Englishman, and Hester his wife, whose maiden name was Burnet, and was born in New England. Christopher Leamyeng owned a lot at Easthampton, but he came to Cape May, being a cooper, and stayed several years and worked at his trade; and about 1695-6 he died at Cape May, and his land fell to Thomas Leamyeng, his eldest son; the rest was left poor."

Aaron Leaming was bound to Collins, a shoemaker in Connecticut, but did not serve his time out, and came into the Jerseys at about sixteen years of age, very poor, helpless, and friendless: embraced the Quaker religion, lived a time at Salem, came to Cape May while yet a boy (in 1703), settled at Goshen, raised cattle, bought a shallop and went by water, gathered a considerable estate, but more knowledge than money. The 12th day of October, 1714, married Lydia Shaw, widow of William Shaw,* and daughter of John Parsons. By her he had four children, Aaron, Jeremiah, Matthias, and Elizabeth.

* William Shaw died in the epidemic of 1713.

He was first a justice of the peace at Cape May. In 1723 he was made Clerk of Cape May; and in October, 1727, he was chosen assemblyman, and served in that post till July, 1744. He was universally confessed to have had a superior knowledge; he amassed large possessions, and did more for his children than any Cape May man has ever done. He left a clear estate, and was buried in the church-yard in Philadelphia. At Salem and Alloway's Creek he became acquainted with Sarah Hall, an aged Quaker lady, mother of Clement Hall. She herself was an eminent lawyer for those times, and had a large collection of books, and very rich, and took delight in my father on account of his sprightly wit and genius, and his uncommon fondness for the law, which he read in her library, though a boy, and very small of his age (for he was a little man), and could not write; for the Presbyterians of New England had taken no other care of his education than to send him to meeting."

Aaron Leaming, the author of the foregoing manuscript relating to his father and grandfather, was one of the most prominent and influential men the county ever produced. The family lost nothing in caste through him. He was a heavy land operator, and a member of the Legislature for thirty years. From the manuscript he left behind him, which is quite voluminous, it would appear he was" a man of great industry and much natural good sense, well educated for the times, and withal a little tinged with aristocracy; a trait of character not exceptionable under the royal prerogative. No man ever received greater honors from the county, and none, perhaps, better deserved them. The Legislature selected him, and Jacob Spicer second of our county, to compile the laws of the State, known as " Leaming and Spicer's Collection," a trust they executed to the satisfaction of the State and the people. He was born in 1716, and died in 1780.