Friday, October 7, 2011

Joshua Bullard Ely

Joshua Billiard Ely
From Bullard and allied families: the American ancestors of George Newton Bullard and Mary Elizabeth Bullard, by Edgar John Bullard, (privately published, Detroit, Mich., 1930)
(G9, note S5439)

Joshua Ely, emigrant ancestor of this Ely family, was born in Mansfield, County Notts, England, about 1656, the son of George and Sarah (Heath) Ely of Mansfield. He married, by Friends' ceremony, October 29,1673, Mary Senior (see note). From Friends' Register of marriages at Nottingham, the following record is taken: "Joshua Ely of Mansfield, married Mary Senior, daughter of Alice Senior, at George Cockaran's house at Skegby, 29-8-1673."

With his wife and family, he joined the West Jersey colony sometime prior to 1685, at which date four hundred acres of the Ballifield plantation of his brother-in-law was transferred to him. The deed included, "all ye mines, minerals, woods, fishing, hawking, hunting, and fowling." The land was situated with a frontage on the Delaware of five-eights of a mile and extended back from the river one mile, the consideration being, "seven and forty pounds and ten shillings." In this deed, Joshua Ely is mentioned as late of Dunham, Nottinghamshire, which is a few miles west of Mansfield, where he had evidently removed some time before his departure for America.

There is on record from 1678 to 1700 a number of transfers of land between Mahlon Stacy, Joshua Ely, and Thomas Revell, and the presence of these men in this vicinity is doubtless responsible for the naming of the early townships of Chesterfield and Mansfield, near Trenton, after their old homes in England. The present village of Ely in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and Ely in Bucks County, across the Delaware, were named by branches of this family at a later period.
Joshua Ely apparently severed his connections with the Society of Friends before his removal to New Jersey; for no record is found of a certificate of transfer nor any evidence of his having association with the society in this country; and, though some of his children and grandchildren were members, they seem to have acquired their membership by admission after arriving at the age of maturity, and not by birthright.

In 1699, and again in 1700, Joshua Ely was commissioned a justice of Burlington County. this office was one of highest importance in colonial days and carried with it that of justice of the several courts of Common Pleas, Quarter Sessions and Orphan's court.

He resided on the property acquired from Mahlon Stacy until his death in 1702. His first wife, Mary Senior, died in 1698; and he married (second) November 8, 1699, Rachel Lee, who survived him.

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