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John Watkins, Lydia Stillwell, Judith Livingston

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John Watkins, Lydia Stillwell, Judith Livingston

Posted: 1162485775000
Classification: Marriage
Surnames: Watkins Stillwell Livingston Burr Erskine Alexander Stirling
Anne Stillwell's youngest sister was Lydia born in 1726. She married John Watkins from Glanmorganshire, South Wales. He had been a merchant in St. Christophers in the West Indies and then a shipping merchant in New York City. Lydia and John spent time in England in 1761. His successful ventures enabled him in 1767 to buy 140 acres on Harlem Heights just north of the Maunsell estate and to build an attractive homestead there. John and Lydia had six children, two girls and three boys who lived into adulthood.

During the Revolution John Watkins went to the British Isles in order to protect interests he had just inherited. He thought that the war would be of short duration and that a way would be found to reconcile differences between the American provinces and the mother country. However, as the war continued and he being abroad, Lydia took charge of the family. Since the Harlem area was in British hands and at least one of her sons, John, enlisted in the Whig military, Lydia found it advisable to take her family across the Hudson and locate in Paramus near the home of her mother and sister in New Jersey.

John Watkins, Jr., who had developed some skills as a surveyor, became an officer, a captain in Malcolm's regiment which in fall 1777 was stationed in the Clove under the command of Colonel Aaron Burr. Later Watkins was appointed an assistant to General Robert Erskine, the cartographer for the Continental Army, at Ringwood. Watkins helped develop some of the maps of northern New Jersey that clearly located the Prevost property. After Erskine's death from a fever, Watkins applied for the post of chief Continental Army cartographer. In support of this application, he drew up a proposed fortification of the Paramus Reformed Church. When he failed to attain this post, he became an aide-de-camp to Major General William Alexander, known as Lord Stirling, of the Continental forces. In 1780 Watkins married Judith, the fifth daughter of William Livingston, the War Governor of New Jersey. (Albert Heusser, The Forgotten General: Robert Erskine, F.R.S. (1735-1780), The Benjamin Franklin Press, Paterson, N.J., 147, 195) Anne Stillwell's youngest sister was Lydia born in 1726. She married John Watkins from Glanmorganshire, South Wales. He had been a merchant in St. Christophers in the West Indies and then a shipping merchant in New York City. Lydia and John spent time in England in 1761. His successful ventures enabled him in 1767 to buy 140 acres on Harlem Heights just north of the Maunsell estate and to build an attractive homestead there. John and Lydia had six children, two girls and three boys who lived into adulthood.

During the Revolution John Watkins went to the British Isles in order to protect interests he had just inherited. He thought that the war would be of short duration and that a way would be found to reconcile differences between the American provinces and the mother country. However, as the war continued and he being abroad, Lydia took charge of the family. Since the Harlem area was in British hands and at least one of her sons, John, enlisted in the Whig military, Lydia found it advisable to take her family across the Hudson and locate in Paramus near the home of her mother and sister in New Jersey.

John Watkins, Jr., who had developed some skills as a surveyor, became an officer, a captain in Malcolm's regiment which in fall 1777 was stationed in the Clove under the command of Colonel Aaron Burr. Later Watkins was appointed an assistant to General Robert Erskine, the cartographer for the Continental Army, at Ringwood. Watkins helped develop some of the maps of northern New Jersey that clearly located the Prevost property. After Erskine's death from a fever, Watkins applied for the post of chief Continental Army cartographer. In support of this application, he drew up a proposed fortification of the Paramus Reformed Church. When he failed to attain this post, he became an aide-de-camp to Major General William Alexander, known as Lord Stirling, of the Continental forces. In 1780 Watkins married Judith, the fifth daughter of William Livingston, the War Governor of New Jersey. (Albert Heusser, The Forgotten General: Robert Erskine, F.R.S. (1735-1780), The Benjamin Franklin Press, Paterson, N.J., 147, 195)

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