Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Janet Hampton

Female 1668 - 1761  (93 years)


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  • Name Janet Hampton 
    Born 1668  East Lothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Female 
    Died 15 Jan 1761  Freehold, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Buried Old Tennent Churchyard, Tennent, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I4127  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of TNH
    Last Modified 23 Apr 2016 

    Father John Hampton,   b. 1643, East Lothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 23 Jan 1702 and 26 Feb 1702, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years) 
    Mother (Unknown first wife of John Hampton,   d. Bef 1675 
    Family ID F3997  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Robert Rhea,   b. 1664, East Lothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jan 1719, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years) 
    Married 9 Jan 1690  Shrewsbury, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Children 
    +1. Mary Rhea,   b. Abt 1708, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 23 Apr 2016 
    Family ID F3967  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • After her husband died, she became a Presbyterian, and was part of the community that founded the Old Tennant Church in Monmouth County.

      Going Up to the House of the Lord, at the site of the Old Tennent Presbyterian Church:

      By 1731, the hardy group of Scottish Covenanters who worshipped on Free Hill in present-day Marlboro had outgrown their small log cabin church. Because the congregation's growth was fed by new settlements in the Freehold-Manalapan area, an acre of land was purchased five miles to the south to build a new house of worship here on White Hill (said to be named for its white oak trees).

      There is a tradition that the builders planned to locate the new church on a lower part of the property and had gathered there to begin work. Whereupon a woman from the congregation named Janet Rhea seized the small cornerstone in her apron and, toiling to the top of the hill, set it down there, saying to the astonished onlookers: "Wha ever heard o' ganging doon to the Hoose o' the Lord, an no o' ganging oop to the Hoose o' the Lord?" Janet's point was made and that church, as well as the present larger sanctuary which replaced it 20 years later, was built on top of the hill.

      In Rev. Symmes' history of the church, he described Janet Rhea as a woman of strong mind and scriptural application and a devout worker in the Presbyterian community that built Old Tennent. The wife of Robert Rhea, a carpenter by profession, who came from Scotland in 1688, Janet was also newly arrived from Scotland when they were married in 1689 at Shrewsbury in the Quaker Meeting House.

      The old Rhea farm, which Robert had purchased, is now the site of the Visitors Center at Monmouth Battleground State Park. Janet Rhea Road, named in Janet's honor, is just west of the intersection of Routes 9 and 33. There is reportedly a family burial ground on the farm's property and that is where Janet and members of her family were buried. She died in 1761 at the age of 93.

      A wonderful piece of furniture from the Rhea family home is on display in Freehold. A chair crafted by Robert Rhea was donated to the Monmouth County Historical Society and is on display at the main museum. The massive chair with very detailed carving was fashioned after chairs Robert remembered in Scotland. It dates from 1695 and is thought to be one of the oldest documented chairs crafted in America.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1275] Van Der Veer Genealogy by Steve Vandiver.

    2. [S1276] Findagrave.com page for Janet Hampton Rhea.