Peter Teeple of Hunterdon County, New Jersey

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Daniel Dixon <> is the author of the following article. Sheri Pegg <>, Lois George-Smith and he have worked together to collect and collate the information on the family. Thanks to all three of you for sharing your research with the Teeple family history community. Readers should know that they will be pleased to hear from any interested persons. (February 2006)

The records of 18th century Hunterdon County, New Jersey, are scarce. This makes it difficult for a genealogical researcher to carry out research, unless the ancestor attained notoriety. As a result, few records have been located in connection with Peter Teeple. His gravestone in Craven Cemetery, Franklin Township gives his age as 85 years. He died in 1834, which places his birth year as 1749. His place of birth is unknown. However, two of his daughters reached an advanced age living until the 1880 United States Federal Census. One daughter gives his birthplace as Germany, while the other gives it as New Jersey. The inference could be made that he was born in New Jersey of German origin.

One of the earliest records of Peter Teeple in Hunterdon County comes from the Hunterdon County Tax Rateables. He is listed in January/February 1780 for Amwell Township (LDS Film #0865475):

Peter Teepel
80 acres valued at 31 pounds
2 horses
3 cattle
1 hog
single man with horse (Daniel Pegg)

Interestingly, Peter wasn't listed under the column for tavern owners, even though it appears that he was operating a tavern by this date. Peter's tavern petition in Hunterdon County dated May 1783 states the following (LDS Film #946853, p.343):

The Petition of Peter Teeple humbly Sheweth --- That your petitioner having kept an Inn or House of Entertainment for several years past in the house where he now lives in Amwell in the County af'd at the sign called the Boar's Head, your Petitioner begs your Hon'ble Court to grant him a license to continue his House of Entertainment for the year ensuing and your petitioner as in duty bound shall ever pray ----

The book Old Inns and Taverns in West Jersey by Charles S. Boyer makes reference that Peter Teeple became the landlord in 1775, although he gives no source. Until this time, Daniel Pegg kept the house. Only two tavern petitions survive for Peter Teeple --- 1783 and 1785. The latter petition providing similar information as the petition above, but also stating the tavern was located on the road leading from the (late?) Ringo's Tavern to Quaker Town.

Peter Teeple married Sarah Pegg circa 1774, daughter of Daniel and Catherine Pegg (Hunterdon Co. NJ Deaths, Vol. S, p.324). Sarah is named as the wife of Peter Teeple in the will of her mother Catherine Robbins written in 1806 (2960J, 1818). Together, they had several children: Hannah c.1775-? (Mrs. Philip Swallow), Susannah c.1779-1881 (Mrs. Abel Taylor), Catherine c.1780-1849 (Mrs. Emley Osmun), George c.1780-1843, Lucretia c.1783-1884 (Mrs. John Hice), Daniel c.1787-1856, Sarah c.1792-1847 (Mrs. Abraham Van Sickle, Mary c.1796-? (Mrs. Richard Youells) and Anny c.?-? (Mrs. Jesse Jones). Four of these children were named in the will of their grandmother in 1806: Catherine, Hannah, Sarah and Anny. No birth records have been found for Peter and Sarah's children. It also appears from gaps in the approximate birth dates that Sarah might have bore additional children who succumbed to illness or disease.

Peter Teeple remained on the Amwell Township tax list for the extant years of June 1780, 1784, July/August 1786 and 1789. In 1784, he was listed as a tavern owner. There is a gap in the tax lists from 1789 to 1802. In the extant years of 1802 and 1803, Peter did not pay taxes.

Thus far, only one deed record has been located that refers to Peter Teeple owning land in Amwell Township. Unfortunately, a large gap in the Hunterdon County deeds prevents one from finding original purchases made by Peter. A 1790 deed between the late Sheriff Joshua Corshon & Joseph Thatcher provides us with some insight regarding Peter's landholding (Bk. 15, pgs. 412-415, Hunterdon Co. Deeds). Sometime after 1786, Sheriff Corshon seized Peter's land in order to pay a pair of unpaid debts. The land was exposed to public sale on November 2, 1790 and sold to Joseph Thatcher. The deed refers to Peter's land as the "plantation of the said Peter Teeple situate in Amwell", and amounted to 39 acres. At the same time Peter's wife, Sarah, releases her dower in the land. The unpaid debts refer to earlier court proceedings taken by Daniel Pegg in 1785 and Moore Furman in 1786. The Hunterdon County Court of Common Pleas had adjudged both men with financial recompense in light of their suits against Peter Teeple.

The earliest record of Peter Teeple in the Hunterdon County Court of Common Pleas is found in the February Term of 1779 (#2410). Peter Teeple and Wm. McLane were given recognizance in the form of a bond for the appearance of Dan'l Pegg in court. This was followed by an October 1779 recognizance on appearance for Peter Teeple and Daniel Pegg (#2300). Later court records in 1783, 1785 and 1786 show signs of a strained relationship between Daniel Pegg and Peter Teeple. There appears to have been some unsavory dealings between them.

Peter and Sarah's family remained living in close proximity to them until circa 1820. By this date, daughter Catherine and her husband, Emley Osmun, had traveled to Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Son, Daniel Teeple and daughters Hannah (Teeple) Swallow, Mary (Teeple) Youells and Sarah (Teeple) Van Sickle moved to Livingston County, New York. Later, several of their descendants moved westward into Michigan. Son, George Teeple and daughters Lucretia (Teeple) Hice and Susannah (Teeple) Taylor remained living close to their parents in New Jersey. Susannah spent the last years of her life in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania with her sister's family. She died at the age of 102. Prior to this, Susannah lived in widowhood with her niece, Elizabeth Probasco (daughter of her brother, George Teeple). The whereabouts of daughter Anny (Teeple) Jones are unknown. The latter was living with children in 1843 being named in the will of her brother, George Teeple (4742J, 1843).

Peter Teeple died on November 29, 1834. His widow, Sarah, can be found in the 1850 United States Federal Census for Alexandria Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey (p.183, family enumeration 176, census taken Sept. 5, 1850). She is living with her daughter, Lucretia Hice, and is 96 years old. Sarah died 2 years later on April 14, 1852 in Franklin Township (Hunterdon Co., NJ Deaths, Vol. S, p.324).

The question arises as to which family of Teeple Peter belonged to? The location of his wife's birth and where she was raised is a good place to start searching. According to her death record, Sarah Pegg was born in Franklin Township, Hunterdon County. Franklin Township was formed from Kingwood Township in 1845. Sarah's father or grandfather purchased land near Pittstown in 1753 in Kingwood. Sarah was born in 1754 and raised here and most likely met Peter in this area. It seems likely that Peter came into these townships from the northern township of Tewksbury and may have been from the Oldwick line of Teeples at the German settlement there.

Peter having only two known sons, George and Daniel, a study in family naming patterns is limited. No doubt, Daniel was named for Sarah's father, Daniel Pegg. This leaves George, which is a common name in the Hunterdon and Somerset Teeple lines. Is George the name of Peter's father? George's position in the children's list as the eldest son is significant. Whether this indicates a linkage to the Somerset line of Teeples is yet to be proved.