Friday, October 13, 2023

52 Ancestors - Week 500: #957 Elizabeth (Hunt) (Vail) (Gach) Griffith (1657-1747) of Westchester, New York and Woodbridge, New Jersey

 Elizabeth (Hunt) Vail (1656-1747)  is  #957 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandmother, who married  #956 Thomas Gach/Gage/Gauge (c1660-1703) in about 1698, probably in Westchester, New York.

I am descended through:

*  their son #478 Thomas Gach (1702-1770) who married #479 Elizabeth Bloodgood (1702-177) in 1721.
*  their daughter #239 Martha Gach (1729-????) who married #238 Samuel Fitz Randolph (1730-????) in 1750.
*  their daughter #119 Tabitha Randolph (1752-1841)  who married #118 Stephen Cutter (1745-1823) in 1769.
*  their daughter #59 Sarah Cutter (1785-1878) who married #58 William Knapp (1775-1856) in 1804.
*  their daughter #29 Sarah G. Knapp (1818-1904) who married David Auble (1817-1894) in 1844
*  their son #14 Charles Auble (1849-1916) who married #15 Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952) 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:                          Elizabeth Hunt[1]
*  Alternate Name:          Elizabeth Vail[4]
*  Alternate Name:          Elizabeth Gauge[5]
*  Alternate Name:          Elizabeth Griffith[2]

*  Sex:                              Female

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                            February 1657, probably Westchester, New York, United States[1]

*  Will:                             12 April 1739 (about age 82), will written; Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States[2]

*  Death:                           3 November 1747 (about age 90) Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States[3]

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                      Samuel Vail (1654-1695)
*  Marriage 1:                   about 1677 (about age 20), Southampton, Suffolk, New York, United States[1]

*  Child 1:                         Samuel Vail 1678-1733
*  Child 2:                         Martha Vail 1681-1742
*  Child 3:                         Rev. John Vail 1685-1774
*  Child 4:                         Sarah Vail 1685-1730
*  Child 5:                         Daniel Vail 1688-1746
*  Child 6:                         Arthur Vail 1690-1776
*  Child 7:                         Thomas Vail 1695-1717

*  Spouse 2:                      Thomas Gach/Gage/Gauge (c1660-1703)
*  Marriage 2:                   about 1698 (about age 41), probably Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States[1,4]

*  Child 8:                        Mary Gach 1700-1760
*  Child 9:                        Thomas Gach 1702-1770

*  Spouse 3:                     John Griffith (1653-1713)
*  Marriage 3:                  20 October 1709 (about age 52), Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States[1,5]

4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):    

Elizabeth Hunt was born in about February 1657, probably in Westchester County, New York.  Her parents are not clearly identified in records or by other researchers[1].  

Elizabeth married, first, to Samuel Vail (1654-1695) in 1677 perhaps in Southampton, Suffolk County, New York and they had seven children[1]:

*  Samuel Vail (1678-1733), married 1707 Abigail Hadden (1685-1724).
*  Martha Vail (1681-1742), married 1733 Edward Burling (1674-1749).
*  John Vail (1685-1774), married 1712 Martha Fitz Randolph (1693-1766).
*  Sarah Vail (1685-1730), married 1707 Edward Crowell (1685-1756).
*  Daniel Vail (1688-1746), married 1717 Hannah Griffin (1700-1747).
*  Arthur Vail (1690-1776), married 1721 Hannah Causten (1698-1773).
*  Thomas Vail (1695-1718), married 1717 Rachel Fitz Randolph (1698-1722).

It is apparent that Elizabeth (Hunt) Vail married Thomas Gage/Gauge married in about 1698, probably in Westchester[1,4].  Her birth date of about 1657 has been reported by other researchers.

Thomas and Elizabeth Gach moved from Westchester, New York to Woodbridge, New Jersey in about the year 1700[1]

Thomas and Elizabeth (Hunt) Vail had two children, probably born in Woodbridge, New Jersey[4]:

*  Mary Gach (c1700-1760), married 1726 William Bloodgood (1698-1756).
*  Thomas Gach (c1702-1770), married 1721 Elizabeth Bloodgood (1702-1770).

Elizabeth, the widow of Samuel Vail and Thomas Gach, of Woodbridge, married (3rd.) John Griffith, on 20 October, 1709[5].

The following information was obtained from the book Pioneer Families of Northwestern New Jersey, by William C. Armstrong[1].

Elizabeth married (2nd) Thomas Gach (Gauge) of Westchester, New York, a ship builder, who owned a house and land in Westchester.

The Vail Papers (Vol. 18:44) quote from the Westchester Town Records, the "sale of a house and 8 acres of land formerly owned by Thomas Gach, in Westchester" -- sold by Joseph Appleby to Samuel Vail (son of Elizabeth and Samuel (2) Vail) 28 February, 1705-6. Thomas Gach and wife removed from Westchester, N. Y., to Woodbridge, N. J., about the year 1701. We infer this from a deed of sale of "a house and lot at Woodbridge, N. J., 14 April, 1701, sold by Thomas Codrington and wife to Thomas Gauge, late of Westchester, N. Y., Shipwright." (v. N. J. Archives, 1st Ser. Vol. 21: 140).

Thomas Gauge died between the 28th March 1703 and 23 April, 1703, the date and proving of his will.  It states he lived in Woodbridge; was a ship carpenter; it names Elizabeth as Executor, son Thomas and apparently other children, also names his "son-in-law, Thomas Veale" (v. N. J. Arch. 1st Ser. Vol. 23:182; also Middlesex Co. Wills). His inventory amounted to 171-6-0, including half interest in a boat equal to 130.

She appears as Elizabeth Gach in the Woodbridge Monthly Meeting Quaker Records as early as 19 December 1706. She took a lively and consecrated part in all activities of the Friends Meeting. She supervised the care of the Meeting House and in other ways looked to the comfort of the Society. Doubtless she was the most popular match-maker among these early Quakers for we have counted not fewer than a half a dozen couples "presented to the Meeting," intending to marry. She made legal provision for her children at the time of her third marriage and conducted her whole life as a loving parent and a "Mother in Israel." She made her home with her son Thomas Gachat one time, at another with her daughter, Mary Bloodgood.

Elizabeth, the widow of Samuel Vail and later the widow of Thomas [Gach,] of Woodbridge, married (3rd.) John Griffith, on 20 October, 1709. He was from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and brought a "Certificate of Clearness" from the Middletown, Monthly Meeting in Bucks County. He became an active member of the Woodbridge Friends Meeting (v. Shotwell Family, p. 188.) Elizabeth is believed to have had no children by this marriage, being at the time of marriage 52 years of age.

Her will was found among the papers of the estate of John Vail of Littleton, N. J., a grand-son of John [Vail] the Quaker Preacher. It was found by Alfred Vail, and recorded among the Vail Papers. It is one of the documents which proves Elizabeth Griffith to be the mother of John (3) Vail. Being thus important it is herewith annexed.

Elizabeth, wife of Samuel (2) Vail, is the connecting link between the Westchester, N. Y., Vails and a numerous progeny, in Essex Co., N. J., primarily, but now widely extended in the United States and abroad. The maiden name of Elizabeth has not been definitely found yet; but as she is so important in establishing the connection she demands consideration. She was thrice married : (1st.) to Samuel (2) Vail about 1677, for her first child, Samuel (3), was born 21 December, 1678. That she was the wife and later the widow of Samuel Vail is assured beyond doubt in a land record of Westchester which reads, "Elizabeth Uail quitclaims land to Thomas Hunt." (v. Vail Papers, Vol. 18: 44, No. 82). The full reading of this extract from the "Westchester Town Records," is, "Elizabeth Uail, widow of Samuel Vail late of Westchester, quitclaims, etc." dated 6th June, 1695.

"The last Will and Testament of Elizabeth Griffith of Woodbridge, New Jersey[2]:
Forasmuch as it is appointed for all people some day to die and the time when very uncertain, I, Elizabeth Griffith, of Woodbridge, in the County of Middlesex and Province of East New Jersey, being weak in body, but of a sound, disposing mind and memory and inclined to dispose of the estate that the Lord hath to bless me with, do make this, my last will and testament in manner following: That is to say,

First of all, I desire to resign my soul to God Almighty who gave it me, whensoever it shall please Hlin to call for it;  and my body to the earth, to receive such decent burial as my executors hereinafter named shall think convenient; and as touching my worldly estate, I give and bequeath the same as followeth, viz: First, I give and direct that my daughter, Mary Bloodgood, the wife of William Bloodgood shall be fully paid for the trouble that I have been and shall be to them.

Item, I give and bequeath to my son Thomas Gach all that remains in his hands (at the time of my decease) of those goods that I have left with him when I came to live with my son in law, William Bloodgood.

Item, I give and bequeath to my son John Vail the sum of £10, which he has already got in his hands; my will further is that all the meadows which my husband left me to divide at my discretion, shall be divided between my son John Vail and my son Thomas Gach, that is to say that my son John Vail shall have all that my son Thomas Gach has given him a quitclaim for, to be enjoyed by him, his heirs and assigns forever.

Item, I give and bequeath to my two daughters, Martha Burling, the wife of Edward Burling of New York and Mary Bloodgood, the wife of William Bloodgood of Woodbridge all the remaining part of my estate to be equally divided between them.

Lastly, I nominate, constitute and appoint my two daughters, Martha Burling and Mary Bloodgood, executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all others and former wills by me at any time heretofore made, declaring this and this only to be my last will and testament.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 21st day of the Fourth Month, commonly called June, in the Year of our Lord, 1739.   Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Elizabeth Griffith as her last will and testament in the presence of its subscribers.
Elizabeth Griffith.
John Shotwell.
Thomas Pike.
Joseph Shotwell.

Whereas, my daughter, Martha, is dead, mentioned ln this will to be my executrix with my daughter Mary; now it is my further will be put my son John Vail Executor in her room and place, giving my son, John all power and privilege that my said daughter, Martha, had in the said will, relating thereunto being had may further appear. In testimony hereof I have hereunto set my hand this 17th 10th Mo., 1742. Elizabeth Griffith.
Witness: Abraham Shotwell.
Elizabeth (Hunt) (Vail) (Gach) Griffith died 3 November 1747 in Woodbridge, New Jersey[3].


1. William C. Armstrong, Pioneer Families of Northwestern New Jersey (Lambertville, N.J. :  Hunterdon House, 1979), pages 294-297, Elizabeth (Vail) Gach sketch.

2. William C. Armstrong, Pioneer Families of Northwestern New Jersey (Lambertville, N.J. :  Hunterdon House, 1979) , page 296, Elizabeth (Hunt) (Vail) (Gach) Griffith will transcription.

3. U.S. Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1931, Rahway and Plainfield [N.J.] Monthly Meeting, Rahway and Plainfield Monthly Meeting, Births 1705-1901, Deaths 1705-1908, Marriages 1712-1885, page 189, Elizabeth Griffith entry, age 90 years 6 months; indexed database and digital image, ( : accessed ).

4. Clyde V. Gage, John Gage of Ipswich, Mass. and his descendants : an historical, genealogical and biographical record, as developed from sources explained herein (Worcester, N.Y. : C.V. Gage, 1964), pages 83-84, #1004 Thomas Gage family sketch.

5. U.S. Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1931, Rahway and Plainfield [N.J.] Monthly Meeting, Register of Marriages, Births, and Deaths, 1687-1871, Marriages, page 2 (image 41 of 129), John Griffith and Elizabeth Gauge entry; indexed database and digital image, ( : accessed 3 July 2014).


NOTE:  Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post 
 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog in 2014.  I have extended this theme in 2023 to 520 Ancestors in 520 Weeks.

Copyright (c) 2023, Randall J. Seaver

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