Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Gen-6: Cornelius Prall, Jr.


Sixth Generation

1.  Cornelius Prall Jr112 was born on 19 Jun 1768 in East Amwell, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey.1314 Between 1790 and 1834 he was a Farmer in New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He died from gangrene following an injury in a railroad accident near Philadelphia., on 8 Jul 1834 at the age of 66 in Hopewell Center, York Co., Pennsylvania.15 Cornelius was buried after 8 Jul 1834 in Old Prospect Burying Ground, Fawn Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.15 Cornelius was born in Amwell Township in 1768 to Cornelius and Rebecca [Garrison] Prall and raised on the family farm through the Revolutionary War. His mother died in the late 1770s. By 1784 the family - now including stepmother Sarah - had moved to Tewksbury Twp. and resided there until about 1791.
Cornelius Sr. acquired 175 acres in Kingwood Twp. in 1791 and relocated the family there. Cornelius Jr. met
  and married Elizabeth Rittenhouse, the daughter of Isaac and Susanna [Baker] Rittenhouse. Isaac was an innkeeper at Rosemont in Amwell Twp. and a direct descendant of Wilhelm Rittenhouse, the first papermaker in the colonies. Brothers Garrison and James moved to Kentucky and John moved to Somerset Co.
On 10 April 1793 Cornelius was deeded his father's 100 acres in Kingwood Twp., which he sold to John Bray in 1794. He also purchased 7 acres in Bethlehem Twp. from Henry Compton. Cornelius also paid $3 for a military exemption that year.

Tragedy struck the family when firstborn son, Garrison died on 16 September 1793, possibly a victim of the cholera epidemic that swept through the states that year. He was barely a month old. [Daughter Susanna may have also died that fall. There are conflicting death dates of 1793 and 1818 on her.]

Cornelius evidently inherited his father's ability to land in court, or the two were business partners from time to time. He was taken to court in 1795 by Gabriel Cooper. He and his father would be sued by Aaron and James Warford in 1799.

By 1799 Cornelius had relocated the family to Bernards Twp., Somerset Co., purchasing 100.5 acres [from Jonah and Nancy Smith on 29 June 1799] that was located east of the North Branch of the Raritan River.
  He used the land as collateral to borrow $300 to buy 121.5 acres from John J. and Mary Miller on 1May 1800. Cornelius would use one tract of land as collateral to purchase another several times. The family moved to Warren Twp. in 1806 and Bridgewater Twp. in 1808.
In 1808 Cornelius moved the family to East Windsor Twp., Middlesex Co. to a tract adjoining the Catterlin land where his father and 3rd wife resided on her late husband's farm. The land was a 113 acre tract purchased from Jonathan and Sarah Brearly, as well as 4.14 acres in South Amboy Twp.

Benjamin Alward took Cornelius to court over a $1000 debt in June 1809. On 7 June 1809 Isaac H. Williamson filed suit aganst Cornelius for a $68.64 debt. Cornelius did not appear or answer the charges.
  The court ordered the sheriff to sieze the Prall land, goods and chattles. The land was put up for sale and eventually purchased by Sarah Brearly, now widowed, for $6. Mrs. Brearly obtained a judgement against Cornelius in 1810 and he had to sell the land in South Amboy. [Nathan Davis bought the land for $61 on 15 Jan. 1811.]
By this time, Cornelius had left Middlesex Co. [probably to avoid the Williamson lawsuit] for PilesgroveTwp., Salem Co. He sold the two tracts of land in Bernards Twp. to Nicholas Perrine for $4000. While in Salem Co., Cornelius had a run-in with his brother, James. The altercation led to assault charges being filed against James.

The next move for the Prall family was to Chester Twp., Delaware Co., Pennsylvania. Cornelius was residing there in 1813 when named as an heir to his father's estate. He moved again to East Nottingham Twp., Chester Co., Pennsylvania sometime before 1820, when he appeared on the tax rolls.** During that year the family moved across the state line into Cecil Co., Maryland. Cornelius appeared on the Federal Census in both locations.

Another move landed the family in Harford Co., Maryland, near Bel Air. Cornelius's Uncle Edward had lived in the area from the 1770s until his death in 1803. While in Harford Co., the family acquired land in York Co., Pennsylvania. John R. purchased 83 acres and 108 perches in Hopewell Township from William Gemmill of Baltimore.

Elizabeth Rittenhouse Prall died* on 21 September or Decmber 1826. However, Cornelius did not remain a widower for long. On 11 February 1827 he married Bathiah Cunningham Porter, the widow of sea captain Ralph Porter.
  Before the family headed back to Pennsylvania, eldest son Isaac married Bathiah's niece, 16 year old Ann BethiaRhodes on 7 February 1828. It would appear that Bathia and Ann had moved to Harford County after the death of Bathia's husband a few years earlier.
Cornelius had settled in Hopewell Twp., York Co. by 1830 and son Isaac in Lower Chanceford Twp. Cornelius died as a result of a railroad accident on 8 July 1834 in Delaware Co., Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. He was buried at the Old Prospect Burying Ground, Fawn Grove, Fawn Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania. Cornelius' widow, Bathiah, moved in with Isaac and Ann following his death. Bathiah remained with her niece's family until her death sometime between 1860 and 1870. [She appeared with the family on the 1860 York Co. Census, but did not appear with any of the families on the 1870 census.]

The inventory of Cornelius Prall's estate was taken on 17 October 1834 and filed on 6 November 1834. Son John R. Prall was named administrator and bonded at $150. [Adm. Bond 2M,109] On 8 January 1850, William S. Hough [son of Rebecca Prall Hough] filed a petition objecting to the administration of John R. Prall.

On 6 May 1915, Isaac Prall of Pawnee City, Nebraska, son of Isaac R. and Ann B. [Rhodes] Prall, published "A Short History of my ancestry on my mother's side - also some on my father's side", which offered some interesting details on Cornelius and Elizabeth:

"Cornelius Prall of near Trenton, NJ was my grandfather. He was a man of leisure, as he inherited quite an estate and slaves. He married a Miss Rittenhouse of Philadelphia with considerable means so he never had to labor much. He had five sons and four daughters. His oldest son Isaac was my father, who with his father moved to Maryland and there became acquainted with my mother and married her in 1828. They spent their lives on farms, a few years in Maryland and most of the time in York Co., Pennsylvania where my grandfather located and all of his sons but one. They all owned their farms. My grandfather got hurt on a car on the Schoolkill River hill. The car was being hauled up the hill by rope and arm sweep powerand the rope broke and the car ran back and crashed into a car at the bottom of the hill, so he died some time after with gangrene.
Mother Aunt Bathia married Captain Porter and sailed with him on a nine months' trip in a sailing vessel. They were in England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and I think in some other country. They had quite an adventurous trip and saw some strange sights. They saw the flying fish and monkeys and the beautiful birds of the tropics, also the great waves of the sea running high and the sun drawing water."


[There are definitely some errors in this account. There is no evidence of any large inheritance, Isaac may have confused the Catterlin estate for one of Cornelius Jr.'s farms. Elizabeth's grandfather establihed the family line in New Jersey, she did have relatives in the Philadelphia area, but she was a born and bred New Jersey girl.]
A letter dated 16 June 1941 from Marion C. Prall to Mrs. E. B. Williams offered the following information on the family:

"Prall, Cornelius P. Jr. Son of Cornelius. Born June 19, 1768, Died July 8, 1834, Hopewell Center, York County, Pa. Result of R.R. accident near Philadelphia. Married [1] to Elizabeth Rittenhouse, Jan. 2,1791 and [2] Mrs. Bathia Porter, Feb. 11, 1827. To his first wife were born eleven children: 1. Susannah B.; 2. Garrison; 3.Rebekah Garrison; 4. Eliza Rittenhouse; 5. Isaac Rittenhouse; 6. Squire; 7. Lucretia P.; 8. John Rittenhouse; 9. Asher Garrison; 10. Ellis Free; 11. Amy R., resident Mt. Airy, New Jersey, Hunterdon County.This family was sober, industrious, and most of them prosperous.
Cornelius P. Jr. and wife and family removed from Pralltown [?] to State of Delaware and thence to Cecil County, Maryland, thenceto Hartford County, Maryland, near Bel Air, thence to Hopewell Center, York County, Pennsylvania. He was a large man, very fleshy, with a head longer than narrow [his hat was made to order], of jovial disposition, ever ready to aid the deserving and undeserving. He is buried in the Old Prospect Burying Ground, Fawn Township, York County, Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Bathia Porter, his second wife, was first wife of a sea captain, and as the consequence of many sea voyages and travel was a very interesting conversationalist."


Both Cornelius and his father were often found in court and land records. The following is a list of legal, land, and tax records utilized in the research covering thr mid-1700s through the 1830s that were not detailed in the above narrative.
Court records:
1790 Oct Term, Somerset Co. Court of Common Pleas: William Willet vs. Cornelius Prall, Jr.: debt

1795 Hunterdon Co. Court of Common Pleas #33339: Gabriel Cooper vs. Cornelius Prall: debt, damages £100

1799 May Term Hunterdon Co. Court of Common Pleas #6735 : Aaron &James Warford vs. Cornelius Prall Sr. & Jr.: neither found by sheriff in his "bailiwick".

1805, 7 August, Middlesex Co. Court of Common Pleas: Isaac H. Williamson vs. Cornelius Prall: debt

1809 June Term Middlesex Co. Inferior Court of Common Pleas: Benjamin Alward vs. Cornelius Prall: debt

1809, 7 June, Middlesex Co. Court of Common Pleas: Isaac H. Williamson vs. Cornelius Prall: debt, land & belongings siezed.

1810 Middlesex Inferior Court of Common Pleas: Sarah Brearly obtains judgement vs. Cornelius Prall, who is forced to sell 4.14 acres of Woodland in South Amboy.

Deeds & Mortgages:
10 April 1793: Deeded 99+ acres in Kingwood Twp. by father. [Hunterdon Co. Deed Book 30:412]

1793: Buys 7 acres in Bethlehem Twp. from Henry Compton. [unrecorded]

15 December 1794: Cornelius Prall, Jr. and wife Elizabeth of Kingwood Twp. sell 99+ acres to John Bray of Bucks Co., Penn. for £420. With quit claim signed by Sarah Prall. [HCDB 30:412-14]

29 June 1799: Buys 100.5 acres in Bernards Twp., Somerset Co. from Jonah & Nancy Smith. [Somerset Co. DB B:612]

9 April 1800: Of Bernards Twp., sold 7 acres in Bethlehem Twp. to Samuel Davis Jr. of Bethlehem Twp. [SCDB 6:??]

23 April 1800: Mortgage deed from James Miller for $300, used land purchased in 1799 as collateral. [SCMB E:445]

1 May 1800: Buys 121.5 acres in Bernards Twp. from John J. & Mary Miller. [SCDB B:614/J:91]

20 August 1804: Purchased land from Michael Martin. [SCDB D:157]

12 February 1807: Purchases land in Warren Twp.,Somerset Co., from David Kelly. [SCDB D:824/MB G:122]

4 March 1807:Of Warren Twp., sold 45 acres [$450] to Charles Tomes. [SCDB E:293]

20 April 1807: Of Warren Twp., sold 66.2 acres [$690.26] to Thomas Richardson. [SCDB D:806]

16 May 1807: Sold 2.24 acres to William Bilyear [$22.40.][SCDB E:806]

3 June 1808: Of Bridgewater Twp., sold 71.25 acres in Warren Twp. to Benjamin Alward [$801.56.][SCDB E:433/MB G:232]

1808: Purchased 113 acres, including buildings, etc. in Middlesex Co. from Jonathan and Sarah Brearly and 4.14 acres of woodland in South Amboy. The land was "bounded by the land of Vincent Catterlin." [SCDB 8:160]

18 July 1810: Of Pilesgrove Twp., Salem Co., NJ, sold 113 acres in Bernards Twp. to Nicholas Perrine of Bridgewater Twp. for $4000. The land was the 121.5 and 100.5 acre tracts. [Salem Co. DB J:91]

New Jersey Tax Ratables: [entries for Cornelius Prall, Jr.]
Tewksbury Twp., Hunterdon Co.:
June - August 1790: single man and horse [FHL # 0865475]

Bernards Twp., Somerset Co.:
1802: 160 a, 2 horses, 7 cows [FHL # 0865489]
1803: 220 a, 2 horses, 10 cows
1805: 200 a, 4 horses, 10 cows

Warren Twp., Somerset Co.:
1806: 140 a, 3 horses, 6 cows, 1 dog
1807: 220 a, 4 horses, 12 cows, 1 dog

East Windsor Twp., Middlesex Co.:
June - August 1808: 110 a, 4 horses
June - August 1809: 110 a, 4 horses

South Amboy Twp., Middlesex Co.:
June - August 1809-10: 5 a

*Elizabeth Rittenhouse's death date was taken from The Prall Family [p. 50]. The date is mistakenly given for Bathiah Prall. The birthdate given matches Elizabeth's and would be a logical deathdate considering the 1827 marriage for Cornelius. Marjorie Snyder's descendency chart for Cornelius Prall, Jr.'s family gives Elizabeth's date of death as 21 December 1826.

**East Nottingham Twp., Chester Co., Pennsylvania tax records for 1820 list Cornelius Prall being taxed as an inmate [married and landless.]

Cornelius Prall Jr and Bathia Cunningham were married on 2 Feb 1827 in Harford Co., Maryland.16 Bathia Cunningham, daughter of James Cunningham and Pathiah \ Bethiah Standiford, was born about 1782 in Baltimore, Baltimore Co., Maryland.12,17 She died between 1860 and 1870 at the age of 78 in York Co., Pennsylvania.12 She was also known as Bathia Prall.16 Bathia was also known as Bathia Porter.18

 

 

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