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Green Brook History

The Vails of Green Brook

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Descendants of Thomas Vail

76. Abraham5 Vail (John4, Samuel3, Samuel2, Thomas1) was born September 22, 1744 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey, and died September 11, 1824 in Somerset, Union County New Jersey. He married Margaret FitzRandolph August 28, 1768 in Plainfield, Union County New Jersey. She was born September 02, 1746, and died 1826 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

Children of Abraham Vail and Margaret FitzRandolph are:

  306 i.   James6 Vail, born July 01, 1769 in Woodbridge, Middlesex New Jersey; died May 09, 1773 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey.

  307 ii.   Daniel Vail, born May 01, 1771 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey; died August 1774.

  308 iii.   James Vail, born January 25, 1773 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey; died June 28, 1850 in Plainfield, Union County New Jersey. He married Maria Jackson in Long Island, New York. In 1832, James Vail and his wife Maria, purchased the Adrean Vermeule farm. (See the Mundy House.)

  309 iv.   Mercy Vail, born February 19, 1775 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey; died November 13, 1872 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey. At the time of her death, Mercy was living in the home of her brother, Ephraim.

+ 310 v.   John A. Vail, born February 09, 1777 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey; died June 28, 1832 in Dunellen, Middlesex Co, NJ.

+ 311 vi.   Phebe Vail, born May 16, 1779 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey; died September 19, 1866 in Rahway,New Jersey.

+ 312 vii.   Elizabeth Vail, born February 17, 1782 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey; died August 15, 1866 in Rahway, Essex County New Jersey.

+ 313 viii.   Ephraim Martin Vail, born April 04, 1784 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey; died April 26, 1878 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey.

+ 314 ix.   Taylor Vail, born 1785 in Greenbrook, New Jersey; died 1866 in Menallen Township, Pennsylvania.

+ 315 x.   Margaret Laing Vail, born May 23, 1786 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey; died April 22, 1805 in Bridgewater, Somerset County New Jersey.

+ 316 xi.   Christiana Vail, born December 11, 1788 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey; died November 29, 1871 in Plainfield, New Jersey.


Abraham Vail:

Known as "Red Abraham," from the colour of his hair, to distinguish him from his cousin Abraham (5) Vail, of Stephen (4), -- who was known as "Black Abraham," Dwelt at Green Brook, in Warren T'w'p, Somerset Co., N. J. He built there in 1775, "the year the War broke out in Boston," what was for many years the only two story house between Green Brook and Brunswick Landing. This Abraham was known as "Black Abram" to distinguish him from Abraham Vail who also married a Margaret FitzRandolph. The other one was known as "Red Abram". Ephreim Vail House
circa 1775

(click on image to enlarge)

77. Benjamin5 Vail (John4, Samuel3, Samuel2, Thomas1) was born October 03, 1745, and died October 05, 1820 in Essex County, New Jersey. He married Margaret Clarkson April 11, 1788. She was born June 27, 1766, and died 1838.

Children of Benjamin Vail and Margaret Clarkson are:

  317 i.   Stelle6 Vail, born 1789.

  318 ii.   Bethia Vail, born June 08, 1790; died September 28, 1833.

+ 319 iii.   Clarkson Vail, born August 10, 1792; died July 31, 1877.

+ 320 iv.   Christiana Vail, born October 10, 1794 in New Jersey.

  321 v.   Abel C. Vail, born December 18, 1797 in Plainfield, Union County New Jersey; died June 19, 1798 in Plainfield, Union County New Jersey.

+ 322 vi.   Robert Clarkson Vail, born August 23, 1799 in New Jersey; died April 03, 1881.

+ 323 vii.   Benjamin F. Vail, born November 17, 1803; died December 10, 1866 in Rahway, Essex County New Jersey.

  324 viii.   Abel Clarkson Vail, born May 21, 1806 in Plainfield, Union County New Jersey.

  325 ix.   Margaret Clarkson Vail, born November 08, 1808 in New Jersey. She married Robert Henderson.


Benjamin's headstone is engraved with his age as being 70 at the time of his death. If this is true, he would have been born in 1750. Burial: October 06, 1820, Plainfield, Union County New Jersey
Residence: Essex, New Jersey

82. Thomas5 Vail (Stephen4, Samuel3, Samuel2, Thomas1) was born March 09, 1733/34 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey, and died WFT Est. 1756-1837 in New Jersey, U.S.A.. He married Mary Drake Aft. March 17, 1758, daughter of Edward Drake and Mary Vail. She was born Abt. 1738, and died WFT Est. 1756-1845.

Children of Thomas Vail and Mary Drake are:

+ 326 i.   Isaac6 Vail, born WFT Est. 1756-1797; died WFT Est. 1765-1874.

  327 ii.   Martha Vail, born WFT Est. 1756-1797; died WFT Est. 1765-1876.

  328 iii.   Esther Vail, born WFT Est. 1756-1797; died WFT Est. 1765-1876.

  329 iv.   Peter Vail, born WFT Est. 1756-1797; died WFT Est. 1765-1874.

  330 v.   John Vail, born WFT Est. 1756-1797; died WFT Est. 1765-1874.


Mary Drake:

The supposition that Mary Drake was a grand-daughter of John (3) Vail, the Quaker Preacher, is a very plausible one. Mary (4) Vail, daughter of John (3), Q. P., b. 1719, married Edward Drake 27 September, 1736, he being the son of Andrew and Hannah (Fitz Randolph) Drake. Mary was the fourth of the Quaker Preacher's eleven children. Mary (4) Vail and Edward Drake had among their six children Jeremiah Drake, (b. 1738) who married twice. He had by his first wife a daughter, Mary Drake. By his 2nd. wife he likewise had a daughter Mary Drake, the mother of this Mary being neÚ Elizabeth Wooden. Presumably the first of these two Marys died before the birth of the second, and it may very likely have been she who married Thomas (5) Vail as above noted. There were two other sons of Mary (4) Vail and Edward Drake who are possible fathers of our Mary, wife of Thomas (5) Vail; i. e., Joseph Drake and Andrew Drake, the latter of whom married Eunice Martin and had six children

85. Stephen5 Vail, Jr. (Stephen4, Samuel3, Samuel2, Thomas1) was born December 19, 1739 in Green Brook, Somerset County New Jersey, and died Bet. April 18 - December 25, 1808 in Lemon Township, Butler County, Ohio. He married (1) Rebecca Jackson Bet. November 19 - December 16, 1761 in New Jersey. He married (2) Sarah Smith October 26, 1763 in New Jersey, daughter of Stephen Smith and Esther.... She was born February 06, 1741/42 in New Jersey, and died August 31, 1769 in Plainfield, Union County New Jersey. He married (3) Mary FitzRandolph Bef. June 19, 1771, daughter of Robert FitzRandolph and Catherine Taylor. She was born April 16, 1749 in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and died WFT Est. 1756-1845.

Children of Stephen Vail and Sarah Smith are:

+ 331 i.   Samuel6 Vail, born October 20, 1765 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey; died April 12, 1830 in Green Brook, Somerset County New Jersey.

+ 332 ii.   Moses Vail, born August 24, 1767 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey; died 1829 in Middleton, Ohio.

  333 iii.   Shubell Vail, born June 15, 1769 in Green Brook, Somerset New Jersey.

Shubell Vail:

Information concerning Shubell is gleaned from the following letter from Mr. Franklin S. Gordon, of Willowbrook Lane, Stamford, Connecticut, to Dr. William H. Vail of Newark, N. J., under date of 23 July, 1926. " * * * Shobel (6) Vail, grandson of Stephen (4) Vail, moved from Middletown to Drake County, Ohio, and bought the farm which had belonged to my deceased grandfather. In March, 1861, I was born: my mother died in December, 1861, leaving my father with four small children. He had gone to the War in 1862, -- his children scattered. I was taken into the family of Mr. Hugh Vail, a widower with four small children of his own, to care for till my father came home from the War. * * * I stayed with Mr. Hugh Vail until his death in 1881, aged 70 years, -- he having been born at Middletown, Ohio, 7 April, 1811. * * * I will mention one item regarding Shobal Vail which will perhaps interest you. Hugh Vail had a picture of his father and mother taken together, and on the pocket of the vest was a patch which was quite visible. When his wife suggested that he put on another vest he declined, saying that he wanted his children to know that their father was not above wearing a patch. * * * I think from my standpoint that the Quaker authorities were a little severe to turn Stephen (5) Vail out of church because he married his wife's sister. It might have been that he didn't want to break in another mother-in-law."

Children of Stephen Vail and Mary FitzRandolph are:

+ 334 i.   Rebecca6 Vail, born July 03, 1772; died WFT Est. 1779-1876.

+ 335 ii.   Shubal Vail, born January 29, 1774; died WFT Est. 1765-1874.

336 iii.   Aaron Vail, born August 07, 1775; died 1850 in Springboro, Warren County, Ohio.

  337 iv.   Sarah Vail, born July 05, 1777; died Bef. 1851 in Lemon Township, Butler County, Ohio. She married Anthony Burge.

338 v.   Randall Vail, born July 19, 1779 in New Jersey; died January 30, 1847 in Madison Township, Butler County Ohio.

339 vi.   Mary Vail, born October 29, 1781; died 1870 in Butler County, Ohio.

  340 vii.   Esther Vail, born February 04, 1784; died in infancy.

341 viii.   Hugh Vail, born May 25, 1786 in Plainfield, New Jersey; died 1868 in Middletown, Ohio.

342 ix.   Catharine Vail, born October 29, 1787; died WFT Est. 1765-1876 in Springfield, Ohio.


Stephen Vail, Jr.:

Founder of Middletown. O., 1800, miller, farmer, builder of 1st dam across Big Miami River, m 2d, 1763, Sarah Smith (their dau. Rebecca was the grandmother of Montgomery Ward, Chicago, mcht.);

He was one of the founders of Middletown, Ohio, in 1802, having come to Ohio in 1799. He purchased a large tract of land on both sides of the Miami River & began erecting mills,--a gristmill, fulling mill, & saw-mill,--which were finished in 1802. He was buried on the banks of the Miami River; his grave was washed away by a flood.

The town of Middletown, Ohio, was incorporated by Act of the General Assembly 11 Feb'y, 1833.
At the first election held 1 April, 1837, by 106 legal voters, Hugh (6) Vail, Stephen (7) Vail & John R. Russel, a grandson of Stephen (5) Vail the original proprietor, were three of the five Trustees of the Corporation elected.

THE WILL OF STEPHEN (5) VAIL: extracts from--
Executed 18 April, 1808.
Stephen Vail of Lemon T'w'p, Butler Co., Ohio.

 -   gives to his eldest son Samuel Vail, clothing.
 -   to son Moses Vail, $20.00.
 -   to son Shubal Vail, land North of the line run by Henry Weaver as division line between said Shubal
     & son Hugh, "it being part of the land I now live on".
 -  "I have given sons Aaron and Randall Vail the tract of land on the West side of the Miami River as
 -   far  West as the East boundary of the tract I sold to Andrew Clawson."

 -  to son Hugh Vail, "the farm where I now live", and all the town lots remaining unsold at his death.
 -  to son Hugh also "the whole of the tract of land South of the 100 acres sold to Andrew Clawson and
    West of a tract deeded to my sons Aaron and Randal Vail) containing 220 acres".
 -  to grandchildren Rachel Burnett, Mary Burnet and Catharine Jeffers--cash bequests of $28.00 each. 
 -  to daughter Sarah Burdge, $84.00
 -  to daughter Mary Russell, $84.00
 -  to daughter Catharine Smith, $84.00

All of these cash bequests to be "paid out of the money due me from William Jeffers in Pennsylvania, as soon as collected. And the balance of $40.00 in each is to be paid in stock at the appraisement value."

 -  "I also give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Mary Vail all my personal property after my just
    debts are paid and the above legacies, with the use of my house for her life and after her decease,
     I give    unto my son Hugh Vail or his heirs said personal property".
 -  Executors to be sons Shubal Vail and Aaron Vail.
 -  Will dated 18 April, 1808.  (Signed) Stephen Vail (Seal)

Stephen Vail removed from New Jersey with his brother Abraham about 1790, going to Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and later (1800) went to Ohio, again with his brother Abraham and this time also with a younger brother who had come that year from New Jersey, (this being Samuel Vail), where he was one of the founders of Middletown, Ohio.

Among the first settlers was Steven VAIL and his large family of sons and daughters. These were all New Jersey people. Mr. VAIL was born October 19, 1739, and was married three times, his first wife living but a short while after the marriage. Her name was Rebecca JACKSON. To Mr. VAIL were born ten children, who grew to maturity and were a part of this new settlement. These were Samuel and Moses, whose mother was Sarah SMITH VAIL, and Rebecca, Shobal, Aaron, Sarah, Rachael, Hugh, Mary and Catherine, children of Mary FITZGERALD VAIL. These were all potential in the social, industrial, educational and moral development of Middletown. Mr. VAIL was reared in the Quaker faith and his children drank in this pure faith in their father's home and its influence was noticed in the bearing and conduct of all during their lives. No family connected with the early days of this settlement made a more kindly impression on men and measures than did these Quaker folks.
It is probable that in the plans made in the New Jersey home of the VAILs, it was decided that the sons, Shobal and Aaron, should come to this place a little in advance of the father, Steven, and that they were actually here before he arrived, for it may be noted that Shobal was married to Miss Mary BONNELL, of Warren county, in 1799, a year before Steven VAIL arrived, according to best authority. Mrs. Shobal VAIL was a sister of Samuel BONNELL, an early settler in this new county, and was a very lively lady, full of jokes and fun, an exactly [sic] opposite of her Quaker husband. They lived and reared their family in a home situated on the sixty-one acres patented by Mr. VAIL and coming off the north side of section 28. The house was located where the Catholic Sisters now have their home, on Clark and Crane streets.

Aaron and Randal VAIL began their careers on the west side of the Miami. Aaron subsequently went to Warren county. Others of the children after marriage drifted to nearby points, but Hugh, the youngest, remained in Middletown and out of lands bought and inherited added important additions and improvements to the town and was more a part of the new and advancing community than any other of the children. The new town had no better citizen. He was twice married. Miss Lydia WEBSTER, of Monroe, Ohio, came to his home first and latter Mrs. Jane PORTER, of South Carolina, became his wife. His daughter, Lydia J., married to L. D. DOTY and still lives in this city, while the daughter Ida lives in or near Chicago with her daughter, Lulu FLENNER. Ida became the wife of C. F. GUNCKEL, who is now dead.

from: Centennial History of Butler County, Ohio edited by Hon. Bert S. Bartlow, W. H. Todhunter, Stephen D. Cone, Joseph J. Pater, Frederick Schneider and others, B. F. Bowen & Co., publishers 1905. pages 286-287.

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