Friday, April 14, 2017

52 Ancestors - Week 171: #248 Jacob Zavering/Sovereign (1759-1851) of New Jersey and Ontario

Here is my 52 Ancestors biography for week #171:

Jacob Zavering/Sovereign (1759-1851)  is #248 on my Ahnentafel List, my 5th great-grandfather, who married #249 Elisabeth Bikel/Pickel (1764-1849)  in 1781, in Oldwick, New Jersey.

I am descended through:

*  their son, #124 Frederick Sovereign (1786-1875), who married #125 Mary Jane Hutchison (1792-1868) in 1810.
*  their son, #62 Alexander Sovereen (1814-1907), who married #63 Elizabeth Putman (1818-1895) in 1840.
*  their daughter, #31 Mary Jane Sovereen (1840-1874), who married #30 James Abraham Kemp (1831-1902) in 1861.
*  their daughter #15 Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952) who married #14 Charles Auble (1849-1916),  in 1898.
*  their daughter #7 Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977) who married #6 Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976) in 1918.
* their daughter #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002), who married #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983), in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                       Jacob Sovereign[1]
*  Alternate Name:       Jacob Zavering[2]  
*  Sex:                           Male   

*  Father:                      Frederick Zavering (1711-1805)   
*  Mother:                    Anna Waldruff (1715-1768)   
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                        about 1759, Schooley's Mountain, Morris, New Jersey, United States   
*  Death:                      about 1851 (about age 92), Charlotteville, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada   
3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):    

*  Spouse 1:                  Elisabeth Pickle (1764-1849)   
*  Marriage 1:               1 March 1781 (about age 22), Oldwick, Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States[2]    

*  Child 1:                    male Sovereign (1782-1785)   
*  Child 2:                    Elisabeth Sovereign (1783-1850)   
*  Child 3:                    Frederick Sovereign (1786-1875)   
*  Child 4:                    Henry Baltis Sovereign (1787-1878)   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

Jacob Zavering/Sovereign/Sovereen was born in Morris County, New Jersey in about 1759, the second child and second son of Frederick Zofrin/Zavering/Sovereign and Anna Waldruff.  Some online family trees and derivative sources say his birth date was 6 November 1759 in Schooley's Mountain, New Jersey.  

On 1 March 1781, Jacob Zavering married Elizabeth Bikel [Pickel] in Zion Lutheran Church in Oldwick, New Jersey[2].  They had four children in New Jersey between 1782 and 1787 - an unnamed son who died at age 3, Elizabeth, Fredcerick and Henry Baltis Sovereign.

A description of the life of Jacob Sovereign is provided in Pioneer Sketches of Long Point Settlement by E.A. Owen, published in Toronto in 1898[1].  This book describes the settling and building of Norfolk County, Ontario, mostly by Loyalist immigrants from the United States. The section on Jacob (pages 137-139) is entitled "Jake Sovereign, the Pioneer Tavern-Keeper" and reads:

"About a hundred years ago, Jacob Sovereign, one of eight German-American brothers who came to Long Point settlement before the present dying century was born, built a log cabin on a ridge in the unbroken forest that crosses east and west the front part of Lot 14, in the 6th concession of Charlotteville.  Here with his brave New Jersey wife -- formerly Miss Elizabeth Pickle -- and his three children, the eldest of whom, Frederick was only twelve years old, was planted one of the main branches of the great Sovereign family -- a family now widely scattered over the American continent by the many transplantings of a century.

"If the story of Norfolk's development during this first century of its history were written in detail from the time the sharp 'click' of the settler's axe first broke the long and awful stillness down to the present time, what a wonderful tale it would be!  We can see in our imagination these primitive log cabins, one here on the shady bank of a babbling brook, and one there on the sunny side of a chestnut ridge, and all intervening space covered with a dark and forbidding forest; and around the cabin door and underneath the wide spreading branches, we see little bare-footed and bare-headed children skipping about. What of the life in these lonely cabins?  The days were full of toil, and the nights, oh, how long and dark, and full of strange, startling sounds for young mothers and timid children.  If the veil were lifted, what fears, hopes -- eye, and tears -- would be revealed in the inner life of those rude dwellings in the struggle to meet the crying demands of the hour, and in planning for the unknown future!  We shall never know the full meaning of such a life;  we can only catch a faint glimpse of it through our imaginations.  We never saw the brave old pioneer fathers and mothers who erected the first log cabins in Norfolk, but we distinctly remember the bent forms of our grandfathers, and the wrinkled, saintly faces of our grandmothers; and they were the little tots that gambolled around those first cabin doors, and sometimes cried for bread when there was no bread for them. But we have no more space in this sketch for our imaginations.

"After Jacob Sovereign had effected a clearing and made a start in the world, he made his home into a tavern and kept it for several years. It was one of old Charlotteville's first taverns, and the rough-and-ready settlers who used to gather at 'Jake Savreen's tavern' and spin yarns and crack jokes before the big open-mouthed fire-place have long since passed away.  The old sand ridge remains, but the people who occupy it at present live in another world and know nothing of the old scenes enacted there so many years ago, or the conditions of life that prevailed at that time.  Many a funny story was told at this old tavern, inspired by copious drafts of 'Uncle Jake's grog'; and sometimes our grandfathers exhausted their fund of good humor by indulging too freely in pioneer 'bitters,' and then the curtain would drop on the funny part, and the spectators would witness something more tragical.  As resort to the old game of fisticuffs was the usual way of settling all disputes in our grandfathers' days; and the fellow who could wield his fists the most effectively was considered the most convincing disputant in all argumentative controversies -- political, religious, or otherwise.

"Jacob Sovereign lived to a good old age, and left two sons -- Frederick and Henry; and one daughter, Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth was married her father told her he would give her a span of horses and a wagon if she had a family of twenty children.  She came within two of it."

The death date of Jacob Sovereign is not known.  Some derivative sources or authored works say 1845, others say 10 August 1851, probably in Charlotteville in Windham Township, Norfolk County, Ontario.  He may be buried in Delhi Cemetery in Windham Township.

1. E.A. Owen, Pioneer Sketches of Long Point Settlement (Toronto, Ont. :  William Briggs, 1898), pages 137-139, Jacob Sovereign biography.

2. Norman C. Wittwer and D. A. Sinclair, "Marriage Records of the Zion Lutheran Church at Oldwick," Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Volume 40, page 10, Jacob Zavering and Elisabeth Bikel entry.


NOTE:  Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post Challenge:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2017 to 208 Ancestors in 208 Weeks.

Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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