William3 GUEST of Morris Co., NJ PARKED HERE is of this Guest family but not son of John2
Migrated into Morris County, NJ about 1740
Iron worker. Noted to be at Black River Fordge in 1740-46 in partnership with Ezekial Frost. The two were subject to multiple law suits in 1762 and 63 as unable to pay creditors and after Frost died in 1762 William went bankrupt. [GGQ]
[Avery Guest article] The first Gest to settle in Morris County was probably William, who is referenced in the accounts of Janeway, the owner of a general store in Bound Brook, a community in close proximity to New Brunswick. Janeway made a notation to William Gest, Sept. 1740— Sept., 1746, located at "Black River Fordge", holding a joint account with Ezekiel Frost. Notation is also made that goods had been delivered to Guest by his neighbors, John Hager and Richard Sutton. Hager
is known to have owned property in the village of Flanders, which was in the heart of the iron/mining area of Morris County, a few miles from Morristown, the county’s major community.
William Gest apparently had a long-term partnership with Ezekiel Frost because the two were the subject of multiple law suits in 1762 and 1763 due to their inability to pay creditors who mainly lived nearby. The legal actions against William multiplied when Frost died in 1762, and it is clear that William became bankrupt. William appeared to experience the fickle fate of many
individuals who have worked in mining industries, which are notorious for their vicissitudes as economic conditions and technological needs change, and as the availability of resources shifts. Yet, William’s fate suggests that the early Morris County Gests did not end the 18th Century very prosperously.
William (as William "Gess") also appears in a list of freeholders (land owners) in Roxbury Township, Morris County, in 1752. In addition, he is also probably the "William Guest" who was enumerated in a Roxbury tax enumeration of 1778-80 as a householder, owner of 2 horned cattle, and no land. After that point, William seems to disappear from the records.
1870 NEW JERSEY, MORRIS, WASHINGTON TWP, [M593 Roll: 878 Page: 536]
Henry Guest, ae.27=b.1843, carpenter, b. NJ,
Margaret, ae.25, b. NJ,
on same page,
Richard Guest, ae.37=b.1833, farmer, RE:$8800, per:4000, b. NJ,
Elizabeth, ae.33, b.NJ,
Mary, ae.10, b. NJ,
Eliza Guest, ae.20, domestic in household of William Stark, (also apprentice --- Horton)
Avery Guest: Aaron Guest was a son of Richard Guest (b. about 1780) and Phebe Riggs (b. about 1782), who were born in Morris County, NJ. Richard was a son of John Jacob Guest and Sophia Pitney, and John Jacob was a son of William Guest who migrated into Morris County about 1740. William may have been the William who was born to John Guest and Maria DeBoa(DuBOIS) of New Brunswick in the early 1700s. I have seen no evidence that this William was the one who actually migrated to North Carolina. My direct ancestors are John Jacob Guest and Sophia Pitney.
Joseph Guest or Guess. His son, J. E. Guest/Guess left Somerset Co. NJ ca 1860s-70s for Rariton, Henderson Co. IL. J. E.s daughter, Ryda, married Geo. Henry Mahar and they settled in Indianapolis, IA.
Census Place: Point Pleasant, Warren, Illinois
Source: FHL Film 1254256 National Archives Film T9-0256 Page 274B
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Joseph GUEST Self M M W 41 NJ, Occ: Farmer Fa: NJ Mo: NJ
Jane E. GUEST Wife F M W 35 NJ, Occ: Keeping House Fa: NJ Mo: NJ
Charles GUEST Son M S W 13 IL, Fa: NJ Mo: NJ
Lizzie GUEST Dau F S W 11 IL, Fa: NJ Mo: NJ
Henry Q. GUEST Son M S W 4 IL, Fa: NJ Mo: NJ
Hannah GUEST Dau F S W 2 IL, Fa: NJ Mo: NJ
Jane Guest b. 6 March 1795, d. 6 November 1842 married. John J. Storms 3 July 1813.
Sarah Jane b. 21 May 1814, d. 2 Sep.1814,
John L b.23 Aug.1815, d.13 Dec.1816,
Sarah Jane b.17 Apr.1817, m. Samuel DEMAREST,
John L. b.18 June 1818, m. Eliza TERHUNE,
Thomas G. b.1819, m. Jane FOX,
Edward M. b.22 Sep.1821, m. Mary Ann FOLLY,
Maria b.14 Oct.1823, d.18 Aug.1824,
William H. b. 16 February 1825, d. 20 Aug.1826,
David b. 22 July 1826, m. Hannah Folly,
William H. b.3 Sep.1828, d.4 March 1829,
Mary Elizabeth b.13 Oct.1830, d.22 Dec.1830,
Catherine b.11 Dec.1832, m. --- Berry,
Rachel Ann b.7 Dec.1834, m. George Terwilliger,
John J. STORMS and Jane GUEST was married on the third of July in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirteen
John J. STORMS was born in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Four the 26th July (1794).
Jane STORMS was born in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Five the Sixth of March
Abigail, dau of John Guest. She was b.1778, m. 1800 to Jeptha Nitser(Nightser) lived in Mendham, Morris Co., NJ. She d.1854 Mt.Vernon, O. They also lived in Washington Co., PA bef. that. Children: John, Eliz., Mary, Jane, Jeptha II, Harriet.
from Guest Message Board - Avery Guest response to Marilyn Mizzi: 9/9/05.
Aaron Guest was a son of Richard Guest (b. about 1780) and Phebe Riggs (b. about 1782), who were born in Morris County, NJ. Richard was a son of John Jacob Guest and Sophia Pitney, and John Jacob was a son of William Guest who migrated into Morris County about 1740. William may have been the William who was born to John Guest and Maria DeBoa of New Brunswick in the early 1700s. I have seen no evidence that this William actually migrated to North Carolina. My direct ancestors are John Jacob Guest and Sophia Pitney.
Joseph Guest or Guess. His son, J. E. Guest/Guess left Somerset Co. NJ ca 1860s-70s for Rariton, Henderson Co. IL. J. E.s daughter, Ryda, married Geo. Henry Mahar and they settled in Indianapolis, IA. b [Ruth Dunlap Date: June 30, 2001 at 21:43:57]
Morris Co., GUESTS
The Reuben GEST, b. 28 Feb.1793 of MORRIS Co. who had son LEWIS. [see GGQ p.517:] There was a earlier Reuben GUEST involved in will [GGQ p.65:] perhaps father.
1870c. NEW JERSEY, MORRIS, WASHINGTON TWP, [M593 Roll: 878 Page: 536]
Henry Guest, ae.27=b.1843, carpenter, b. NJ,
Margaret, ae.25, b. NJ,
on same page,
Richard Guest, ae.37, farmer, RE:$8800, per:4000, b. NJ,
Elizabeth, ae.33, b.NJ,
Mary, ae.10, b. NJ,
Eliza Guest, ae.20, domestic in household of William Stark,
1860c. SOMERSET, BEDMINSTER TWP, NJ, [Series: M653 Roll: 708 Page: 711]:
William GUEST, ae30 = b.1830, b. NJ,
Isaac H.(?) ae.9/12, MORRIS CO. fam ?
Whitfield Solomon LAKE (b 14 Jul 1893 Mt Olive, Morris Co, NJ, a farmer,
served WWI, d 31 Jan 1966 Morristown, Morris Co, NJ,
bur 3 Feb 1966 Restland Mem Park, East Hanover Tp,
Morris Co, NJ)
Margarita OLIVER (b Wharton, NJ, d 21 Jul 1987 Morristown, NJ)
Mildred E (m 1st John GUEST, m 2nd Joseph MOTTRAM)
Margaret (m Frank MANDEVILLE, liv Morristown, Morris Co, NJ 2002)
Whitfield S (b abt 1923 Morristown, NJ, d Feb 1994 Morristown Mem
Hosp, Morristown, NJ, m Dorothy PIERSON)
Joseph A [22.214.171.124.2.4.1]
Evelyn (m William LEA, liv Hollywood, Fl 2002)
Winifred (m 1st ------ SMITH, m 2nd ------ OGLE ?, liv Lake
Hopatcong, NJ 2002)
(Source - 13, 23, 191, 194)
Morris Co. ? There is a David Guest, b.NJ, who m. in Princeton, KY, Linnie Leech, d. May, 1910, dau. of James Crawford Leech. [Railey, Clementine Brown. “History of the house of Ochiltree of Ayrshire, Scotland : with the genealogy of the families of those who came to America and of some of the allied families, 1124-1916” Sterling, Kan.: Bulletin Print. Co., 1916, 448 pgs., p.316]
Som. Hist Quart. v3: p.46 “Lane Family”: John Honeyman LANE, of Morrison, Ill., b. Somerset Co., Oct. 29 1796, d. April 17 1868, m. Mar. 4 1823, Mary A. Nightser, of Morris Co., (dau. of Jeptha Nightser and Abigail Gest), who was b. Apr. 28 1804, and d. Apr.12, 1871.
On Sep.1,1748 George Harris of Southampton, Suffolk Co., NY, willed a few pounds sterling to Abigail GESS, his granddaughter. [Abstracts of Wills, NY Surrogate],
1.+John Jacob GUEST, b.7 Jan.1738/9 Morris Co., NJ, m. Sophia PITNEY,
2. poss. Richard GUEST, b. say abt.1750 Morris Co., NJ,
3. poss. Henry C. GUEST, b. say abt.1754 Morris Co., NJ,
4.+Reuben GUEST, b.25 Dec.1758, m. Sarah HOWELL,
The State of New Jersey Versus Abigail Guest 1780
by Neil C. Gest
Was Abigail Guest of Morris County, New Jersey, progenitor of many descendants, a person during the American Revolution of a “Wicked Mind & Evil Disposition” or was she just being a good neighbor and relative?
A Supreme Court of New Jersey record was recently found in the New Jersey State Archives, which details an indictment for a misdemeanor against a one Abigail Guest of Roxbury in Morris County in the year 1780. Although the document was part of the State Supreme Court archives, the charges against Abigail Guest were brought through a Court of Oyer and Terminer in Morristown. A Court of Oyer and Terminer extends back to English common law and was used in New Jersey and other states and colonies to hear charges of treason, felonies and serious misdemeanors at the county level. The court was usually presided over by Supreme Court justices and local judges. In this case, the Supreme Court Justice was John Cleves Symmes, and the local judges were John Carle and Benjamin Halsey, all ardent patriots.
Of importance to descendants of the Morris County Gest/Guest family is the identification of Abigail Guest, who is described in the document as “Abigail Guest, wife of William, late of Roxbury”. It has long been thought that William Guest’s wife was named Abigail and this is the first confirmation of that belief. (See GGQ(Gest-Guest Quarterly) Fall 2005, Gest & Guest Familes of Morris County, New Jersey). Also, the words, “William, late of Roxbury”, pretty much confirms that William Guest died in either 1778 or 1779, after which his name no longer appears on the Morris County tax rolls.
The exact misdemeanor in the indictment is aiding and abetting a convicted felon, in this case one Caleb Swezy Jr., a well-known loyalist who escaped from jail in Morristown in September 1780. Part of the indictment reads:
That Abigail Guest/wife of William Guest/ late of Roxbury in this County, well knowing the Premises, But being a person of a Wicked Mind & Evil Disposition and contriving and intending to further aid & abet the said Caleb Swezy in his Escape as stated and in order to prevent the said Caleb Swezy being brought to Justice for his said crimes and on the tenth day of October in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand & Seven hundred Eighty at Roxbury in the said county of Morris, willfully, advisedly and unlawfully harbour, secretly conceal the said Caleb Swezy, so that the said Caleb did entirely escape from the Custody of the said Sheriff and was not brought to Justice for his said Crimes – in contempt of the Laws of this State – to the Evil Example of all others in the like case offending again the Peace of this State, the Government and Dignity of the same.
The crimes of Caleb Swezy Jr., were counterfeiting and distributing sixty-dollar bills in Morris County, for which he was convicted, jailed and then subsequently escaped. The printing and issue of counterfeit money was a common tactic of the Loyalists in concert with the British forces to disrupt the money supply and subsequently the economy in the rebellious colonies. It was viewed as a very serious misdemeanor by American patriots. Caleb Swezy, Jr. was a resident of Black River (now Chester) in Roxbury Township and a neighbor of William and Abigail Guest. He was an activist for the Loyalist cause with an on going record of offenses. An examination of the records of the Court of Common Pleas in Morris County from 1778 to 1780 exhibits a series of charges against Caleb Swezy for assault and battery, trespassing and assault, seditious words, petty larceny and default for payment of fines. He escaped from jail on September 4, 1780 along with three other confederates and was accused of carrying out armed robberies in the county for the next two years. Caleb Swezy, Jr was described as a handsome, well-proportioned man of about thirty-two years of age. Caleb’s brother Isaac Swezy was also incarcerated in the county jail and he escaped just days before his brother. Isaac joined the British Army and fought against his countrymen. After the war he was awarded 1200 acres of land in Nova Scotia for his services to the Crown. In September 18, 1782, it was reported that, “Last Thursday morning Caleb Sweezey, Jr., late an inhabitant of Black River for whose taking the Governor had offered a reward of $200, was shot and killed on the premises of Isaac Badgeley in the Great Swamp by a party under Capt. Carter who knew Sweezey was a relation of Badgeley’s wife”.
The question arises as to why Abigail Guest would help a convicted felon and a hated loyalist. Were the Guests of Roxbury townships loyalists? It has been estimated that one third of the populace of New Jersey were patriots, one third were loyalists, and the other third were neutral, waiting to see which way the War went before declaring their loyalty. In Morris County, however, the majority of the citizens were patriotic to the cause of the Revolution. It was no accident that Washington and his beleaguered army spent two winters in Morris County among friendly and supportive citizens.
The Swezy (sometimes spelled Swasey, Swayze, or Sweezey) family of Black River (now Chester) in Roxbury Township were early settlers in Morris County, having arrived there from Southold, Long Island in 1737. They were very prominent citizens owning considerable land and an iron works on the Black River and were active in the township government. It is thought that most of their property was near Coopers Grist Mill west of today’s Chester and in what is known as the Hacklebarney area. The family’s allegiance to the Crown and Britain was unwavering. Many Swezy family members left for Ontario, Canada before and during the Revolutionary War, while others moved to a settlement in Mississippi. In 1782 Caleb Swezy, the father of Caleb, Jr., offered for sale: “a forge in Roxbury Township on 15 acres plus a house – plenty of ore in the vicinity – also a farm of 5-600 acres with house and 500-600 apple trees”. William Guest was in Roxbury Township in 1740 operating a forge on the Black River with Ezekiel Frost according to the account books of the Janeway General Store in Bound Brook, New Jersey. It is very probable that he was working and living in the Black River area well before 1740 and certainly was well acquainted with the Swezy family. Black River was a small community, and in the eighteenth century residents not only knew one another well, they relied on one another for the many necessities of life on the frontier. William and Abigail Guest must have known the Swezy families for over forty years, and based on Abigail’s willingness to take the risk of helping a convicted felon and hated loyalist, she surely was more than a casual friend of Caleb Swezy, Sr. and his family. Caleb Swezy, Sr. married Elizabeth Pitney sometime after his family arrived in Roxbury in 1737. Abigail and William’s son John Jacob Guest (1739-18--) married a Sophia Pitney, thereby establishing a bond to the Pitney and Swezy families in Roxbury.
Abigail’s actions, helping a notorious loyalist, also raises the question of why no evidence has been discovered of Guest family participation in the Revolutionary War, either in the Continental Army or the Morris County Militia. Two of Abigail’s sons John Jacob (1739-18-?-) and Reuben (1758-1816/17) were certainly eligible for service when the Revolutionary War started in 1775. Two other probable sons, Richard and Henry Guest would also have been of age as well. Reuben and Richard are listed as members of the Morris County Militia in 1793, well after hostilities had ended. It is very possible that the sons of William and Abigail Guest were, like their father and neighbors, highly skilled in iron making, particularly the forging of armaments such as cannon balls, grape shot, and other materials for the Continental Army. There were serious shortages of these items and powder throughout the early part of the war. These skills may have kept the Guest’s away from any active participation in the war. Otherwise, there is no evidence that the Guest family in Roxbury Township were Loyalists.
Abigail Guest pleaded guilty to the indictment of October 1780. No records of a defense, name of an attorney, nor the names of witnesses appear in the judicial document in the State Archives. What the sentence may have been is unknown. However, the wording of the indictment against Abigail is ominous. The use of words such as “Wicked Mind & Evil Disposition” in the indictment would seem to portend an unpleasant outcome for Abigail. All the judges were well known patriots and all served as soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Their feelings about Loyalists and their supporters may have very well influenced the severity of the penalty. It was not unusual for the court to confiscate property or levy a punitive fine. What eventually became of Abigail is unknown, but certainly her sons and their families looked after her in the coming years. Her name disappears from the records after 1780.
The Supreme Court Justice was John Cleves Symmes (1742-1814) who was Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1777-1787; served in the Continental Army; and was a member of the Continental Congress in 1785 and 1786. After the war he became interested in the Northwest Territories and was able to purchase some 330,000 acres of land from between the Great and Little Miami Rivers in southwest Ohio from the United States. This became known as the Symmes or Miami Purchase. Symmes and his family moved to Ohio, near Cincinnati, in 1787. Ironically, between 1815 and 1820 many of William and Abigail Guest’s descendants and their families from Morris County moved to and homesteaded on land in the Symmes Purchase between Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio.
1. State of New Jersey vs. Abigail Guest 1781, Case No. 35485, New Jersey State Archives.
2. Genealogy of the Swasey Family, Benjamin F. Swasey, 1910
3. Black River Journal, Swayze Family, Black River Tories, Summer 2002
4. Colonial and Revolutionary Morris County, Theodore Thayer, The Morris County Heritage Commission, 1975
5. SWEEZEY.NET, Sweezey Family Website
6. Gest-Guest Quarterly, Gest & Guest Families of Morris County, New Jersey, Fall 2005
8. Minutes of the Court of Common Pleas of Morris County, New Jersey, 1778-1780
9. Notices from New Jersey Newspapers 1781-1790, Records of New Jersey, Vol.1, Thomas B. Wilson, 1988
Neil Gest, March 3, 2007, Sammamish, WA
Abstracts of Wills Vol IV 1744-1753 , Page 437ate. I leave to my grand daughter, Abigail Gess, £5. I leave to my son Henry ..... [From The New York Historical Society Collections, this 1895 volume features abstracts of wills on file in the Surrogates Office, City of New York, from 1744 to 1753.]
Abstracts of Wills Vol IV 1744-1753 , Page 513| Gesener, John | 170 , 171 . |Gess, Abigail | 437 . |Gibb, Jasper | 352 [The New York Historical Society Collections, this 1895 volume features abstracts of wills on file in the Surrogates Office, City of New York, from 1744 to 1753.]
Abigail Guest (wife of William) indictment for harboring the Loyalist Terrorist Caleb Swayze during the original American Revolution.
Abigails daughter in law, Sophia Pitney, was related to Calebs mother Elizabeth Pitney. While Abigail could have been wicked and evil, she could also have just been doing an altruistic act to help a family member in trouble. [Avery Guest 2006]