Person:James Grover (1)

  • HJames Grover1621 - 1685
  • WRebeccaabt 1625 - after 1694
  1. Abigail Grover1654 - 1719/20
Facts and Events
Name James Grover
Gender Male
Birth? July 1621 Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England
Death? Dec 1685 Middletown, Monmouth, New Jersey, United States


Family History

Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England

James Grover (c1621-1685) is said to have been born in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England sometime between roughly 1610 and 1623. The basis for his birth in Buckinghamshire is unknown, as are his parents. There are at least three "James Grovers" born in that area during this time period, to different sets of parents (James Grover=Ann Eames, John Grover=Martha Monk, and Lazarus Grover=Gods Grace King), and most researchers seem to have picked one or the other of these parent child sets. We have not found any direct evidence that points either to his DOB, or to his parents, that would allow us to select between these possibilities. Indeed, we have no direct data that even points to Buckinghamshire as his place of birth.

"Chesham, Buckinghamshire, EnglandThumb
Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England

Lynn, Massachusetts

James left England during the Great Migration, arriving in Lynn, Massachusetts Bay Colony sometime prior to 1643. Our first confirmable record for him is in connection with his apprenticeship as a carpenter. James Grover, apprenticed servant to James Hubberd, by consignation of Mathew Bancke, apprenticed himself to Edward Tomlins of Lynn to learn the carpenter's trade. He is to pay Hubbard eight pounds MySource:Dow, 1911:48 Image:Lynn, Massachusetts.jpg

From this we can assume that Grover had been transported to America by Mathew Bancke as an indentured servant. Bancke then placed him as an apprentice to James Hubbard, presumably for a fee, reimburseing Bancke for the cost of the transportation. Grover in turn, re-apprenticed himself to Edward Tomlins, agreeing to reimburse Hubbard for his costs.


Grover, however, would continue in association with Hubbard for sometime. and it is partially this relationship that shows us that the James Grover who appears in this apprenticeship record is the same James Grover who later appears in Gravesend Long Island. Hubbard was a follower of the Lady Deborah Moody, who had emigrated to MBC in 1640. Lady Moody's religious views were not in accord with those of the colony, and by 1643 she was forced to leave, taking with her several follower's including James Hubbard, and James Grover. Moody first fled to Rhode Island, but later moved on to the New Netherlands, where she was well received.

Location of Gravesend shown on Vischer's Map of 1685
Location of Gravesend shown on Vischer's Map of 1685
On 19 December 1645 she was authorized to establish a townsite at what became known as Gravesend, on wesstern Long Island. A total of 28 settlers were among the first inhabitants of Gravesend. Some, like Hubbard and Grover, came with Moody from the MBC. Others, such as Englishmen Richard Stout (?-?), and Dutchman Nicholas Stillwell, were already living in New Amsterdam, but choose to join with Moody in the establishment of the new settlement.

[Additional work on Gravesend history, and James Grover's presence and role needed] Settlement of Gravesend, Long Island

Middletown, New Jersey

Personal Data

DOB:1611, 1621, 1623Multple records in Buckinghamshire, specific sources unknown
POB:Buckinghamshire, Englandsource unknown; I've not been able to find a useful source that supports this, other than the reputed fact that there are "Grovers" in that area, and that some used the given name "James"
DOD:3 Dec 1685 MySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3 gives will dated 1 Dec 1685, and probated 28 January 1685 (old style)
POD:Monmouth Co., NJMySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3 indicates still living in Monmouth County
Spouse:Rebecca MySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3 identifies wife as "Rebecca"
DOM:before 1650based on unsourced DOB of eldest child
POM:Gravesendpresumed; might have been any nearby community where Rebeccas parents presumably lived.
James GROVER Jr ABT 1650 Gravesend, NY1715identified in will MySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3
Person:Abigail Grover (3) 27 Sep 1654 Gravesend, NY1720Person:Benjamin Borden (4)22 September 1670Monmouth, NJidentified in will MySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3
Joseph GROVER ABT 1656 Gravesend, NY1689identified in will MySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3
Safety GROVER ABT 1658 Gravesend, NYidentified in will MySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3;
Hannah GROVER ABT 1660Gravesend, NYidentified in will MySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3

My Source References

MySource:Thompson, 1839:437-447Gravesend History
MySource:Broadhead, 1874:367Gravesend History
MySource:Colby, 1848:581-582Middleton Church
MySource:Dow, 1911:48James Grover's Apprenticeship
MySource:Bishop, Freedly, and Young, 1866:539-540Iron Works
MySource:Swank, 1892:146Iron Works
MySource:Nelson and Fernow, 1899:24James Grover first land records
MySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3Will of James Grover, and estate record
MySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 2:398 et seqFirst record book of Middleton, and first series of lots
MySource:Stillwell, 1903 Vol 2:399Second set of Lots at Middleton
MySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3:657Stillwell's history of James Grover

Source References

Source:Salter, Edwin. 1890. A history of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, embracing a genealogical record of earliest settlers in Monmouth and Ocean counties and their descendants. The Indians: their language, manners, and customs. Important historical events. Bayonne, N.J.: E. Gardner & Son.

Salter, Edwin, and George Crawford Beekman. 1980. Old times in old Monmouth: historical reminiscences of old Monmouth County, New Jersey, being a series of historical sketches relating to old Monmouth County (now Monmouth and Ocean) : to which is appended the history and the centennial of the Battle of Monmouth. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co.

Hornor, William S. 1990. This old Monmouth of ours: history, tradition, biography, genealogy, and other anecdotes related to Monmouth County, New Jersey. Baltimore, MD?: Clearfield Co.


27 Dec 1642 "James Grover, apprenticed servant to James Hubbard, by consignation of Mathew Bancke, apprenticed himself to Edward Tomlins of Lynn, Massachusetts to learn the carpenter's trade." MySource:Dow, 1911:48

10 June 1644 It was ordered that "Capt. Hawkins, Mr. Glover, Mr. Mayhewe, Ensigne Tomlins & Mr. Steeves were a committee for the drawing up of an order about ship carpenters, (respecting their engagements to those that employ them)" Massachusetts Bay Colony records 3:7 fide "The Great Migration Website"? (Site not currently available publically to check this.)
10 Dec 1645, Lady Moody, with her associates were granted a patent by the Dutch Director Kieft of New Amsterdam.
20 Feb 1646 granted a house, lot, and a farm of 20 acres in the first division of Gravesend lands
9 Mar 1654/55 James Grover, George Baxter, and James Hubbard, "hoisted the English flag" at Gravesend
1657 mission to Cromwell in England, returned to Gravesend in 1657, bringing with him a letter from the Proctor, Oliver Cromwell, addressed to the English inhabitants of Long Island, which he afterward presented to the Magistrates of Gravesend "to be opened and read". P Stuyvesant, ordered the arrest of James Grover, who escapes (to Rhode Island?)
8 Apr 1665 became one of the original Monmouth Count Patentees in New Jersey when he received lot #16 in Middletown, Monmouth County,
21 Mar 1666/67sold farm in Gravesend to Thomas Devall.
27 Feb 1667/68 subscribed to the Oath of Allegiance. He became the first town clerk of Middletown, and was one of the founders of the Baptist Church at Middletown.
16 Dec 1668 made an agreement with the town to lay out the meadows into town lots for one pound of merchantable blade tobacco for each acre.
4 Jan 1669 made agreement wth the Town of Middletown, in Town Meeting to operate his flour mill in accordance with certain specifications.
1670's discovered bog-iron on his property; he mortgaged the property to Cornelius Steenwyck of New York. Established an iron mill which eventually became known as Tinton Falls Iron Works, located near Shrewsbury, known as the earliest iron works in New Jersey. MySource:Swank, 1892:146
13 Jun 1672 made a lieutenant in the Middletown Company of New Jersey Militia, and as a deputy to treat (discuss terms of an agreement or settlement) with the admirals and commanders of the fleet of the States-General in 1673.
30 Jun 1675 Governor Carteret granted to James Grover for a yearly rent of one-half penny per acre:MySource:Nelson and Fernow, 1899:24; MySource:Stillwell, 1903 Vol 3:658
1, a tract of 330 acres, called Grover's Inheritance, bounded N. by Peter Tilson, E. and S. by Swimming R., W. by undivided lands;
2, a tract of 200 a., called Grover's Inritance (?) along Richard Stout junior and Romasse Brook;
3, 25 a. of meadow on Navesinks Bay, N. of Richd. Hartshorne;
4, six acres of swamp at the head of Jumpping R.
29 Dec 1675 sold one-half interest of his ironworks to Colonel Lewis Morris of Morrisiana, New York. Morris later took over Steenwyck's mortgage and thus retained a three quarter interest in the works.
12 Mar 1677 grant of land to James Grover from Governor Carteret, for 517 acres in Middletown. Known as "Grover's New Invention".
1 Dec 1685James Grover's will was signedMySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3
28 Jan 1685/86 will proven by this dateMySource:Stillwell, 1903:Vol 3
Oct 1686Rebecca dies

Additional Sources to pursue:

"This Old Monmouth of Ours", p. 180, by William S. Hornor. 

"Grover of Monmouth County" by John E. Stillwell in "Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, New York, NY" vol. 3 1914, pps. 246-278. "The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy" vol. 6, 1937, pps. 690, 778-9, by Frederick A. Virkus.

Research Problems

Records of Chesham for this period show three birth records for a James Grover, on three different dates:

  • 8 November 1607 in Chesham (christened )
  • July 1621
  • 30 August 1623 (baptized)

In theory, the James Grover who migrated to New England c1640 could be any of these, though the 1607 DOB seems early for someone who married c1646. The 1621 and 1623 DOB's seem more plausible, but there is nothing obvious to say which is correct.

In anycase, this probably explains why some identify different couples as his parents:

  • John Grover and Martha Monk
  • James Grover and Ann Eames
  • Thomas Grover and Rebecca Gardiner

It is not clear which, if any, of the above are in fact his parents

RootsWeb WorldConnect (Keith Cline ) - According to the Chesham Paris[h] Register: James, son of James Grover, weaver, married Anne Eahmes ... on 24 Apr 1605. James, son of James and Anne Grover, glover, was baptized on 8 Nov. 1607.

[1] According to the Chesham Paris Register: James, son of James Grover, weaver, married Anne Eames, servant to Mr. Anthony Sawrey on 24 Apr 1605. James, son of James and Anne Grover, glover, was baptized on 8 Nov. 1607. James Grover, Jr. died on 7 Jan 1615/6.

[2] Some records found says that he died in 1686 in Whitehall, New York. He was killed by the Indians while on a business trip to Whitehall.

Research Question

Question from Perry Streeter

Do multiple occurences of the name, "James Grover," within a branch of the Garrison family (which was also associated with the Stout family) indicate a unknown line of descent from James Grover or other significant point of association? For more information, please see:

Perry Streeter, “Gerrit1 Jansen Van Oldenburg: DNA Testing Yields More Garrison Descendants in New Jersey & New York, etc." (New Netherland Connections, January, February, March 2010; Volume 15, Number 1 and April, May, June 2010; Volume 15; Number 2)


According to the link
1764. John Garrison and James Grover Garrison went to court to collect debts.

citing:Hunterdon County New Jersey Court Records, Vol. 8-10, 1756-1767 (FHL # 1730176).

I'd want to look at the specific document to ensure that "James Grover Garrison" was explicitly identified in the original, and that the name was indeed given as "James Grover Garrison". The reason being is that this person was at least 21 in 1764, implying a DOB no later than 1743. During this period the use of middle names is exceedingly rare. Families with German heritage made use of middle names at an early date, but in those instances the middle name is always a given name (e.g., of the form "Johan Jacob Schmidt"), not a surname. The use of surnames as middle names seems to come into play after about 1760, at least in English-Scots-Irish lines. "James Grover Garrison" is presumably of Dutch-English extraction, and so might follow a different naming way. My knowledge of nameing ways in the Monmouth area is quite limited, but at this time, location, etc., this doesn't look right. Q 09:33, 7 July 2012 (EDT)

Response by Perry Streeter

Thank you for your reply! Please review the remainder of the article for other occurrences of "James Grover" and related source citations which include:

The first item immediately above identifies a "James Grover Garrison" in 1782. That makes the use of middle name reasonable at that date. The next question would be "how do you know the JCG is the same person identified in the 1764 document? What you need to check is the 1764 document.

Within any PDF, right-click and select Find to search for a specific text string quickly. Based on multiple source citations, we can be confident in the existence of James Grover Garrison (and James Grover Christopher, a Garrison descendant).