First Settlers of the Passaic Valley

NJGenWeb ~ Morris County, New Jersey

First Settlers of the Passaic Valley
Morris Co. Up

Information found on the family pages in Italics are my own additions to the original information. While I believe that this information is correct, and have listed the sources with it, please use this additional information only as a guide to your own research.
Brianne Kelly-Bly, Dover, NJ, 1999-2002

All items beginning with NOTE or in parens ( ) that are not in italic are from the original book.

Table of Contents:

Family List (List of primary family names found in this book with links to pages)

Errata (List of corrections by John Littell. These corrections are in the process of being incorporated as links to the appropriate web page)

Appendix - Additional Family Information by John Littell for the following family names: Baker; Ball, Broadwell; Caudwell; Crane; Conklin; Clark; Hall; Stites; Miller




Appeal of Antiques More Old Mills


The Park Commissions of two counties hold title to land on which are located old mills to be restored and several private projects similar in aim have reached the talking and planning stage, according to word from many quarters since a November article in this column concerned with the more than 1500 mills in New Jersey dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. 

A letter from Russell W. Myers, secretary-director of the Morris county Park Commission, tells us that land has been acquired by that agency along the Black River, in Chester, upon which is an old mill. "At present the mill is in rather poor condition," according to Myers, "but it is hoped it will be restored in the near future." 

Until advances of the last several generations made operation unprofitable, the mill had served the needs of farmers over a wide area in grinding grain since early in the 19th century. 


The Union County Park Commission is engaged in a restoration job on two mills, both of which are along the Blue Brook Valley in the Watchung Reservation. Situated in a valley between the first and second ranges of the Watchung Hills, they were of major importance when Feltville was at the peak of its prosperity as a village-like community from 1845 until nearly 1860. 

James B. Hawley of Summit, a member of the Trailside Museum Association, connected with the Union County parks, has taken on the role of historian and promoter of the Feltville area. The two mills, one for grinding grain and the other for sawing lumber, are believed to pre-date the settlement which was then in the Township of New Providence. The two mills, combined with an adequate water supply and bountiful countryside, suited David Felt, a prosperous New York City merchant, when he was looking for a place to locate his printing and other ventures. 

Records of the Post Office Department in Washington reveal that the community was officially named Feltville in 1845 and a Post Office was opened there. A population of 200, according to census figures, included a general manager, clergyman, school teacher, 12 printers, 6 bookbinders, a blacksmith, shoemaker, barber, tailor, wheelright, machinist, farmers, housewives, domestics and laborers. Felt adapted the mills to the making of paper from wood pulp, printing and binding of pads, business journals and even the printing of books and pamphlets. 

Used for Books

A product of Felt's genius and the mills at Feltville was the so-called marble paper used so widely for inside cover sheets of books. 

Felt sold the community lock, stock and barrel in 1860 and left the village in August of that year. His destination and later activities have not been learned. Gradually the people of the village left. The mills, printing shops and bindery closed down. Attempts to get started again were without success. The village became practically a ghost town by 1880, with cottages and other buildings deserted and lacking repairs. 

Since the Union County Park Commission undertook to restore what has been known for generations as the Deserted Village, some of the more than a century old cottages have been made habitable for families of employees assigned to the area. During New Jersey's tercentenary this year additional restorations are planned and visitors to the community will be encouraged. They will be requested, however, not to seek admission to the cottages or otherwise infringe on the privacy of occupants. 


It is an interesting object of curiosity to most men to search into the origin of their own families, to trace their descents, and to collect the history of the individuals who compose them. However remote in time or consanguinity, it is natural to believe that we inherit from our fathers their mental and physical peculiarities, though modified by circumstances. We enter affectionately into their concerns, and rejoice in their honors or prosperity, and are personally grieved by their misconduct or misfortunes. 

These sentiments are undoubtedly founded in the innate and best feelings of the human heart, which delights in multiplying and extending the ties that bind us to our fellow creatures. The love of our kindred is the first degree of expansion of the heart in its progress towards universal benevolence. The history of states is but a history of families. 

To satisfy this curiosity, in some measure, has been my aim in collecting the materials for the genealogies in this publication. Much pains have been taken to obtain correct information respecting families. Wherever family records could be obtained, they have been used; but in most cases no such record could be had. I therefore had to depend on the memory of some one or more of the family, and in consequence, no doubt, many errors may be found; but I hope for the most part the names are correct. With the exception of one or two, every family may be traced back to some branch that lived in Passaic Valley previous to the year 1800. 

I have now submitted to the public, and especially those whose families or ancestors are named, the labors of some seven years, hoping that some, at least, will be pleased to learn something more of their ancestors and connections than they would otherwise have known. 

Passaic Valley, New Providence, April, 1852. 

Family List

This list is in the same order as found in the original book. 





Copyright 1999-2017 by Brianne Kelly-Bly, all rights reserved.