2005-10-13 / Front Page

U.F. boasts ties to U.S. presidents

UPPER FREEHOLD — While it is fairly well-known that one U.S. president had ancestors in the township, a link to a later chief executive is less publicized.

Ancestors of Abraham Lincoln called the township home in the early 18th century, according to information provided in 2001 by John Fabiano, president of the Allentown-Upper Freehold Historical Society.

Resident Thomas Frascella is spearheading the 275th anniversary of the founding of the township, which will take place next year. He said there is also an Upper Freehold link to former President Jimmy Carter.

According to Frascella’s research, “A William Ansley, [who] was born in Monmouth between 1710-1715 and died in 1773 in Upper Freehold, married Rebecca before 1737 in Upper Freehold. Rebecca was born in Middletown in 1715 and died in the 1750s.”

According to Frascella, William and Rebecca were the great-great-great-great-great-grandparents of Carter, the 39th president of the United States.

Records indicate that William joined the Old Tennent Presbyterian Church, Tennent section of Manalapan, on June 8, 1735, Frascella said.

“After Rebecca died, William, a weaver in Allentown, married Elizabeth Cox. There were no children of this marriage,” he said.

In 2001, Fabiano told the Examiner that the name Abraham was common in the Lincoln genealogy, and that the original Abraham Lincoln came from England and established the first iron forge in Massachusetts in the 1600s. Several decades later, Richard Saltar, who was establishing his own iron forge, brought Lincoln’s grandsons, Mordecai and Abraham, to the Imlaystown area of Upper Freehold in 1714.

Mordecai eventually married Saltar’s daughter, Hannah, and they had at least one child together, a son they named John. Over time, the Lincoln family moved to Pennsylvania, Kentucky and eventually to Illinois, where Mordecai’s great-great-grandson, Abraham, was born, destined to become the 16th U.S. president.

Through the Saltar line, Lincoln’s ancestry includes the names of a number of influential or notable families. Hannah Saltar was a direct descendant of Capt. John and Lydia Holmes Bowne.

Bowne was a prominent Baptist settler in Monmouth County, and his wife’s father, the Rev. Obadiah Holmes, was a Baptist preacher who was tortured for preaching his faith in Puritan Boston. The minister’s sons, together with Bowne, were among prominent early settlers in the Middletown area of Monmouth County.

Those who have an interest in the history of Monmouth County can visit Monmouth County Library Headquarters on Symmes Drive in Manalapan on Saturday for Archives and History Day. The event will feature more than 70 history organizations.

The keynote address will be given by Dr. Alex Magoun on “The RCA (Radio Corporation of America) Origins of Everyday Things.” For more information, call (732) 308-3772 or e-mail him at gsaretzk@co.monmouth.nj.us.

— Jane Meggitt

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