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Some Paternal Ancestors of Edwin Brown (“Big Doc”) KUGLER Sr

Edward HARNED Sr (1700–1774)

As explained elsewhere, relationship to the next earlier generation of Harneds presented here is not proven.

If the connection is true, Edward was born at Huntington, Suffolk Co, Long Island, NY. He married Rebecca ?????? (1704–1775). At some point in the early 1700s, Edward and his brothers Jonathan and Nathaniel moved their families to the Woodbridge Patent, Middlesex Co, East Jersey, where the farmland was much more fertile than on Long Island and which was becoming a center for members of the Quaker religion.

Many new settlers to this area came from New York and New England, presumably including three Harned brothers from Huntington, Long Island. Edward was included in a 1730 list of townsmen to whom Arthur Tappan sold four and a half acres at Bonham Town, in the southern part of the Woodbridge Patent, for benefit and use of a school. The list also includes the names of Jabis, Peter, and Christian Jarvis, almost certainly descendants of a Jarvis family that accompanied Edward Harnett Jr and his family when they moved from Salem, Massachusetts Colony, to Huntington, LI, in 1658.1 In Woodbridge the Harneds were members of a large Quaker community. The meetinghouse at Plainfield, northwest of Woodbridge, in whose records the name of Edward’s brother Jonathan Harned Jr appears several times, is still in use.2
Plainfield Meeting House

     Harned and Harned (ws)

The meeting house at Plainfield, northwest of Woodbridge, NJ, in whose records the name of Edward’s brother Jonathan Harned Jr appears several times, is still in use with its original doors and pews

About 1735, however, Edward apparently again felt the urge to move on, and he and Rebecca removed from the Woodbridge area to Hunterdon Co in West Jersey, settling in the Great Tract, owned by the West Jersey Society, a land speculation company. He is shown as occupying 200 acres.3

Four children are documented for the Harneds—Jonathan, Benjamin, Rebecca and Edward Jr. Edward Jr and his family were one of 18 families that moved to the Turkeyfoot area of Cumberland (now Somerset) Co, PA. Jonathan is thought to have been influenced by his nephews who are said to have moved to the Redstone Country of southwest PA; he went a little farther, to the Ten Mile Country in Washington Co, PA. Then in 1780 he moved on to found the Kentucky branch of the Harned family. Daughter Rebecca married William Rittenhouse and that marriage spawned a long line of your ancestors. Edward, Jonathan, and Rebecca’s brother, Benjamin Harned, on the other hand, had his estates confiscated in 1778 because of his Tory activities during the Revolution, and was obliged to depart to New Brunswick, Canada.

The Harneds were Quakers and Quakers abhor war. Their peacable attitudes and sometimes actions led them at times to be considered Tories or traitors.4 By the time rumblings of independence from England began, the Harneds of Woodbridge and Plainfield had sizable farms and a stable life. Some probably thought they had a better chance of maintaining the status quo by siding with the Loyalists than with the Rebels.

Two Harned cousins, Nathaniel and John, sons of Benjamin the Tory’s Uncle Nathaniel, also had their goods seized; they left for the British Colony of New Brunswick as well.5 Their brother Josiah Harned, in contrast, is said to have served under General Nathaniel Greene as a spy for the American side.

Edward Harned died in Hunterdon Co, NJ, in 1774; thus he did not live long enough to experience the Revolution.


1 Starr (RW db).

2 Harned and Harned (ws), “Our Quaker Roots”.

3 Ramsey (RW db); Starr (RW db).

4 Harned and Harned (ws), “Our Quaker Roots”.

5 Harned and Harned (ws), “First Generations in America”.

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