Genealogy of the Charles Fish Family
Joseph Fish of Hopewell was born about August 8, 1756 (based on his age at death) and died April 26, 1844. He is possibly the son of Joseph and Sarah Fish of Trenton (or son of a brother of Joseph) and Grandson of Benjamin (d. 1773) and Sarah Fish (d. 1790) who in 1745 came to the area of Trenton that later became Ewing Township. A definitive connection for Joseph to the line of Benjamin Fish has not been located. However, as indicated below, circumstantial evidence points to a connection.
Joseph may be the Joseph Fish listed in a New Jersey Rateables list for Trenton in August and September 1779. He may be the Joseph listed as a member of the Hunterdon Militia in 1792 from Hopewell.
He married Penelope Young who was born May 15, 1771(based on age at death) and died September 8, 1848.
Both Joseph and Penelope are buried in the Ewing Presbyterian Church Cemetery where the marker gives their date of death and age at death. (see the Fish Family Grave) They are buried next to the family plot of other descendants of Benjamin and Sarah Fish, and this may be an indication of some connection between the families.
The known children of Joseph and Penelope Fish were:
Andrew, born about December 24, 1793 and died 10 March, 1873 at Pennington in his 80 th year. (Death notice in Daily True American 12 March 1873 page 2) He never married. Andrew was half owner of the 140 acre Hopewell Towhnship farm. He is buried in Ewing Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
Palmer, born March 1802, married Margaret, and died in June 1890 (Palmer lived on a farm in Hopewell Township with his family.) Margaret was born in December 1812 and died in September 1897. They are buried together in the cemetery of the Old Church Yard on the road to Titusville near Pennington, Hopewell Township. (see Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, vol 6, p43) Their children were (based on US Census records):
Charles, born about 1808/09 and died August 1, 1891. He never married. He was half owner of the 140 acre Hoepwell Township farm. He was also half owner of the 28-acre Pennington farm. In 1882 he was a director of the Mercer County Mutual Fire Insurance Company. (History of Burlington and Mercer Counties, New Jersey, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Their Pioneers and Prominent Men by Major E. M. Woodward & John F. Hageman, 1883) He is buried in Ewing Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
Amy, born October 2, 1811 and died November 7, 1898. She never married and apparently lived in Washington, DC as an adult. (She is mentioned in the wills of both Andrew and Charles and is buried in Ewing Presbyterian Church Cemetery)
Sister ?, married ? Stout and had son John M. Stout who had son Andrew J. Stout. (She is mentioned in Andrew's will 1873)
Hannah , married ? Fletcher (mentioned in the wills of both Andrew and Charles)
Margaret K., was born in Feb 1819 and died March 12, 1905. She never married. Margaret also considered herself a farmer and inherited Andrew's half share in the farm and then the complete 28 acre Pennington farm upon the death of Charles.
Order of the children is uncertain and there may be other children. These children cover a very long span of dates of birth and the gaps are very wide. There may have been a number of children who died young or who we just don't know about yet.
The mystery of Joseph Fish.
It is apparent the Joseph C. Fish, born in January 1842, was raised in the household of Andrew, Charles, and Margaret Fish as a virtual son. We know that neither Andrew, Charles, nor Margaret ever married. Was Joseph their ward, the son of a relative who died? Was he an illigimate child of Charles, Andrew, or Margaret? So far, no direct evidence has been found to answer these questions.
The following facts are circumstantial evidence that he was at least considered a child, if not a biological child, by the Fish siblings and by Joseph himself.
He bears the name of the father of Charles, Andrew, and Margaret.
Shortly after he married Mary E. Lord of Lawrenceville in 1867, Charles Fish purchased a 98-acre farm that Joseph and Mary lived on just west of Harbourton. After Charles and Mary left the area Charles sold this farm. Apparently Joseph did not like farming and he moved to the big city, Washington, DC, and became a dealer in produce.
Joseph named his first son, born in May 1870, Charles. This son must have died young because he does not appear with the family in 1880 and may have died before 1873 when Andrew died, perhaps explaining why he was not mentioned in Andrew's will.
Joseph is not mentioned in either the will of Andrew or Charles, but perhaps he received his inheritance upon his marriage in 1867, about six years before Andrew died.
In the 1880 and 1900 US Census he is found living in Washington, DC (where the fourth unmarried Fish sibling, Amy, lived) with his wife and children. In 1880 he was a produce dealer and in 1900 a pickle dealer.
He and Mary had two other children that bear names from this line of the Fish family. Joseph C., born in July 1880 in Washington, DC and Margaret, born in August 1883 in Washington, DC.
Further research may reveal the true story of the relationship of Joseph to the three Fish siblings.
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