William Mann (~1755 to >1824)

William Mann, a Quaker, lived in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War. After the war, the New Jersey state government persecuted Quakers for their refusal to bear arms. In "Friends in the Niagara Peninsula", Richard MacMaster relates their plight:
"Friends began settling in the Niagara region in 1786. They were part of a larger migration "from the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, particularly the county of Sussex, in the latter state". Many incoming settlers, including some Friends, had stood loyally by King and country during the American Revolution and could be counted as refugees from the United States. Nearly all Friends who came to Niagara had taken no active part in the war and did not claim to be Loyalists. They had suffered nevertheless from double taxation and the loss of civil rights for their refusal to bear arms or pledge to defend the new nation. These penalties continued after the war. In 1778 Quakers in Chester County "in behalf of themselves and others in similar circumstances" petitioned the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania for relief stating that "being conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms, they have been fined in considerable sums for not attending militia musters" and their property seized by local collectors who gave no receipts so "the petitioners are still chargeable with the same fines." In urging repeal of "the present disgraceful test law" in 1789, the editor of the Pennsylvania Gazette observed that:

Virginia, and the governor of Canada, have already taken advantage of our folly; they invite Quakers, and other sects who are opposed to oaths, and promises of fidelity to government to come and settle among them." 

Objective evidence of William Mann Sr.'s presence on the Niagara Peninsula is provided by Mann descendent and researcher, Donna Cole. She cites a list dated 17 September, 1787 from the National Archives, listed as RG 4, A1, Volume 34, from Civil and Provincial Secretary Lower Canada "S series",  Page 11012, which states:

Return of Families who have this season come into the Settlement of Niagara and who have not taken the Oaths.
Name:
Wm. Man
From:
Jersey
Age:
32
Women:
1
Sons:
4
Daughters:
2
Servants:
1
Horses:
3
Cows:
10
Character:
A Quaker well known & much respected - as such never took up arms.
William Mann Sr. received a Crown grant in Grantham Twp., Lincoln County registered 10 Aug. 1801 of Lots 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10 in concession 5. (Each lot was 100 acres.) Although this Crown grant was registered in 1801, a map drawn by surveyor Augustus Jones in 1791, shows Wm. Mann resident on the land at that date. The following maps show the location of William Mann's Crown grant.

Wm. Mann's Crown grant
Grantham Township Map

In 1824, William Mann Sr. divided his Crown grant between 5 of his children. William Jr. got lot 6, lot 7 went to John, Richard got lot 8, lot 9 went to Elizabeth, and Elkanah got lot 10. John and Elkanah were born before William Sr. came to Canada, they were 2 of the 4 sons that arrived with him. One of the unidentified sons is believed to be Charles, who received a Crown grant in Beverly Township of Wentworth Co.,  Ontario in 1795. William Jr. later removed to Charles' property. No objective evidence of Charles birth, death, or the land transfer to William Jr. has yet been found.

There is also no evidence that William Sr. joined other Quakers in Canada. In addition, three of his sons served in George Ball's Company of the Lincoln Militia during the War of 1812.

William Sr.'s wife Esther died 25 June 1825 and was buried in Homer Cemetery, St. Catharines, Grantham Twp., Lincoln Co., Ontario, Canada. William Sr. probably died after Esther and was probably buried in the same cemetery.

Who William Mann was not

William Mann from New Jersey is often confused with another William Mann from New York. Because there's so much mis-information on the internet, I want to show here that they are clearly two different people.


William Mann
from New Jersey

William Mann
from New York

Born
Abt 1755
location unk.
Abt 1754
Stillwater, Washington Co., New York
Father
unk
Col. Isaac Mann (1723 - 1803)
Military
Service
None (Quaker) Sir John Johnson's First Battalion
of the Royal Regiment of New York
Married
Esther
Bef 1782
Eliza Shipman
Abt 1795
Settled
Grantham Township
Lincoln Co.
Ontario, Canada
Abt 1787
New Carlisle
Quebec, Canada
Abt 1785
Died
After 1824
Abt 1796
Children
9
0

Conclusion:
Descendants of William Mann from New Jersey (the subject of this page) are not descendants of Col. Isaac Mann.

William Mann before 1787

A number of Mann family researcher have tried to find records of William Mann's life before he came to Canada. I personally visited the New Jersey state Historical Society in Newark and the Sussex Co. Historical Society in Newton without success. It seems likely that William came from the Quaker settlement near the border of Sussex and Warren Counties because he came to Canada with Henry Beamer, for whom Beemerville in Sussex Co is named. The Quaker settlement was about 20 miles south of Beemerville.

Little is known about this settlement, it's bearly mentioned in "The Quakers in the American Colonies" by Rufus Jones. The property for the meeting house at this settlement was supposedly donated by a descendent of William Penn. The meeting house (in Warren Co.) is gone, but a Quaker Burying Ground (in Warren Co.), a Quaker Church Road (in Warren Co.), and a Quaker Road (in Sussex Co.) still exist today.

Two books written by Scott Shepherd ("Early Settlers in the Quaker Community of the Pequest River Valley, Allamuch, New Jersey and Vicinity" and "My Early Quaker Roots in West Jersey: the Lundy, Schooley, Wilson and Associated Families at Crosswicks, Kingwood and Hardwick") seem relevant, but do not list a William Mann.

Our William Mann is not listed in William Hinshaw's "Quaker Encyclopedia".

I found a couple of references to William Mann at the Sussex Co. Historical Society, neither seems to be the our Mann:

1. In "New Jersey Marriages 1665 -1800", Nelson, pg 259, a William Mann got a license to marry Beulah Gaskill at Mount Holly (Burlington Co.) on Nov 3 1784. This is interesting because Beula Gaskill was a Quaker, and Burlington Co. was the site of the West Jersey's Yearly Meeting. However, our William Mann went to Canada three years later with a different wife and 6 children. So, it seems unlikely this is the same person. Beulah Gaskill of Mount Holly was disowned by the Quakers in 1795 for marrying Asa Rogers, who was evidently not a Quaker. A search of the WorldConnect database for Beulah Gaskill of Mount Holly, NJ produced 22 separate records, none of which show her married before 1795 to anyone.

2. A William Mann is on a list of the Militia enrolled in the County of Essex, New Jersey, found in "New Jersey 1793" by James Norton. William is listed next to a Joseph Mann in this record. This appears to be the William Mann born in 1743, and shown in this WorldConnect record.

I have not been able to eliminate another William Mann shown in this WorldConnect record. The subject record shows a William Mann born the same year as our Mann. There is no information about his marriage or death, so it's possible this person could have married Esther and moved to New Jersey. However, I have no objective evidence of this.

Our William Mann had a wife and 6 children when he went to Canada. It seems odd there is no record of his farm, his marriage or any of the children's birth in Sussex Co., New Jersey. One possible explanation is that he didn't live there.

Although the record of William's marriage to Beula Gaskill seems bogus, it's possible two separate records got crossed in transcription. This would indicate William Mann made some kind of record at Mount Holly in 1784, which would suggest he lived there. I'm currently looking at that possibility.