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Joseph Carter, II and Mary Gaskill, both of Quaker families, were first cousins who grew up in the early 1700s near Mount Holly in Burlington County, New Jersey, or West Jersey as it was called at the time. Their families had deep Quaker roots.
Their grandfather, Josiah Gaskill, was the son of Samuel Gaskill and Provided Southwick, who were born in Salem in the Massachusetts Colony in the mid 1600s. The Southwicks were Quakers, but Samuel Gaskill’s family, though not particularly religious, allied themselves with the church of the Puritans to avoid business trouble. When young Samuel fell in love with and married Provided and joined the Quaker Society, Samuel’s father disavowed him, and when Samuel and Provided were persecuted and tried, his father testified against him. Samuel and Provided (Southwick) Gaskill were banished from the colony and died on Shelter Island, New York. Around 1690, Josiah Gaskill left Salem, Massachusetts and went to Burlington County, New Jersey with his brother Edward and settled near Mount Holly. It was there that he met Rebecca Lippincott. You can read more about the Southwicks and Gaskill families here.
Rebecca Lippincott’s great-grandfather, Richard Lippincott, and his family originally emigrated from Devonshire, England to Boston in Massachusetts Colony in 1639, where they lived until in 1651, when they were excommunicated for “nonconformity” to the Church of England. The family returned to England and made their home in Plymouth, and soon after their return, they associated themselves with the Society of Friends. In Plymouth, England, the family was also met with intolerance and was persecuted, and Richard spent time in prison. Because he felt like he had a better chance to live free in the American Colonies, he decided to emigrate again, this time first to Rhode Island, and then to Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey. You can read more about the Lippincott Family here.
Josiah Gaskill and Rebecca Lippincott had six children: Jacob born 1708, Mary born 1706 who married Joseph Carter, Josiah born 1711, Jonathan born 1710, a daughter Thanet who married Absalom Ewan and another daughter who married Robert King. Rebecca apparently died before 1748 for in that year Josiah Gaskill married Mary Griffith, who survived him. Josiah’s will, probated in 1761, mentions his wife Mary, and his children, with the exception of Jonathan Gaskill who died before his father. Jonathan Gaskill’s son is mentioned in his will along with his grandson Joseph Carter, II, the son of his daughter Mary and Joseph Carter, I, who had also apparently passed away by 1761.
Jonathan Gaskill married Jane Shinn July 4th, 1732 near Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey. She was the third great-granddaughter of John Shinn and Jane Garwood. They had come to the colony with their children in 1680 from the Church of England Albury Parish in the borough of Guildford in Surrey, England. John Shinn had been committed to prison for being absent from their Church of England parish church and for not paying the court fees because he and his family had joined the Society of Quakers. For more information on the Shinn family, see: The History of the Shinn Family in Europe and America by Josiah H. Shinn, A. M.
Jonathan Gaskill’s will shows that he and Jane had the following children; Joshua, Josiah, and six daughters, Livinia, Mary, Hope[*], Rachel, Patience and Charity.
The paternity of Joseph Carter, II’s father, Joseph Carter, I, is not known. We do not know when or where he was born, nor do we know when he or his family came to Burlington County, New Jersey. If Joseph Carter, I married Josiah Gaskill’s daughter Mary within the Quaker community, the records no longer exist. The only reason that we even know of the existence of Joseph Carter, I is because of a genealogy of late President Richard Nixon, as well as other unsourced mentions of the marriage in various family histories, and Josiah Gaskill naming of Joseph Carter, II as his grandson in his will.
The paper trail ends there; however, Y-DNA testing between two male Carters, one who has traced his branch of the family to Joseph Carter, II and Mary Gaskill, and another who has traced their family to a Benjamin Carter and his wife Sarah, who were also Quakers and lived in Burlington County, New Jersey during the exact time period, shows that Joseph Carter, I and Benjamin Carter could have been brothers.
[*] Mary Gaskill’s sister Hope Gaskill married James Cattell, they are President Richard Milhous Nixon’s 4th great-grandparents.
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Paternity of Joseph Carter II and Mary Gaskill
Nixon stuff here
Will of Josiah Gaskill
The INDEX OF BURLINGTON CO. WILLS
Gaskell, Josiah – w. 1761, Inv. 1761
Josiah GASKILL, Senior, of Northampton in Burlington Co, West Jersey being of sound mind &c.
Item: I give to my son Jacob GASKILL 5 shillings and no more.
Item: I give to my son Josiah GASKILL 5 shillings and no more.
Item: I give to my beloved wife Mary all the…. provisions in my house and fields and I will that they be not appraised, such corn and provisions as are there at the time of my decease. I also give to my said wife….and furniture. One of my horse creatures at he choice which and her saddle and bridle, one cow, one pair of chest of drawers and all her pewter. All these I give her to be her own property.
Item: I give to my grandson Joseph CARTER two acres of land to be laid off my plantation as follows…as will make two acres on a breadth of ten rods wide to hold to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item: I give to my grandson AARON GASKILL, son of JACOB GASKILL all that four acres of meadow lying near Lott RIDGEWAY’s be the same more or less, to enjoy the same as my wife Mary does, either marry or depart this life, for that time forward to hold to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item: I give to my granddaughter, Tamar EWAN one good cow, and one feather bed, two sheets, one blanket, one coverlet and the bedstead and a bolster.
Item: I give to my beloved wife Mary the hole use and benefit of my plantation and the balance of that meadow as above given to AARON GASKILL during the time she remains my widow reserving to Joseph CARTER his two acres to enjoy at my decease.
And my will is that my wife while she enjoys my plantation cut wood and timber for her own use only, not cut to sell.
I give to my grandson David EWAN all my homestead, plantation and dwelling house with all the appurtenances, Joseph CARTER’s two acres excepted to enjoy when my wife either marries or departs this life on condition that he David EWAN pay out of it fifty pounds proclaimed money as follows; to wit: My will is that he pay five pounds to Benjah KING, son of Robert KING, my grandson when the said Benjah King attains the age of twenty-one years; and that he pays five pounds to Jonathan GASKILL, son of my grandson Josiah GASKILL dec’d, when the said Jonathan attains the age of twenty one years, and if either or both of my great grand children die in minority without issue I will that the share of such deceased shares remain to the said David EWAN; the remaining forty pounds, I will he pay it equally amongst all my grandchildren that are living in New Jersey at the time of my decease. Each one to receive their share at mature age. Those of my grandchildren who have something given the! m….as above mentioned are excepted in this division. To hold to him my grandson David EWAN his heirs and assigns forever on the conditions above said.
Item: After all my just debts and funeral charges are paid if there be any remainder of my personal estate my will is that my beloved wife have the use of it during her widowhood without demolishing the principal and that after her decease it be divided as the forty pounds above mentioned is divided.
I appoint my beloved wife Mary and my friend, Joseph LIPPINCOTT Executors of this my Last Will and Testament.
In witness &c this 15th day of the ninth month in the year of our Lord 1761.
Witnesses: James Budd, Jacob Powell, John Woolman.
Proved by John Woolman, Quaker, 13th day of October 1761.
Mary Gaskill sole Executrix qualified. Inventory 10- 21- 1761