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Home: Surnames: Pledger Family Genealogy Forum

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1st Pledgers in North America
Posted by: Bill Redstreake Date: January 19, 2002 at 09:12:56
In Reply to: Surname by Hoyt Pledger of 520

John Pledger and Elizabeth Leferve Pledger

John Pledger, born in England abt. 1645-1650? Ships carpenter. Arrived in Nieuw Nederland from Portsmouth BEFORE 1674 on a Dutch ship to arrange the purchase of Varkens Bloed, a Dutch whaling colony on Hudson's South River (Delaware R), renamed Fenwick's Colony (now Salem, NJ).

In June of 1986, Dr. Robert W. Harper, history professor at Glassboro State College, now Rohan University in Glassboro, NJ, confirmed my earlier "speculation" that John Pledger and his "cousin" (brother-in-law) Hippolet LeFevre arrived in Nieuw Nederland in advance of the colonists who founded the first permanent Quaker colony in the New World.

John Pledger's wife, Elizabeth Lefevre, a French Huguenot from St. Martins-in-the-Fields, Middlesex County, England, arrived at Fort Elsborg at the mouth of the Salem River, home of the new Quaker colony on March 13, 1675, with son Joseph (age 2) on the "Joseph and Benjamin," Matthew Paine, ships master (captain).

John Pledger, Esq. (1680?-1743/44), one of the sons of Elizabeth Leferve Pledger, was the owner of Nieuw Nederlands Farm (a vast plantation) when he and Hippolet Lefevre (his uncle) purchased an additional 6000-acre tract. Dorothy Roberts was the first wife of John Pledger, Esq. He married Hannah Champnes (2nd wife) in 1731.

Articles of Agreement February 24, 1702: John Pledger of New Netherlands Farm is to have Manning's Plantation Mannington) of 544 acres unless Margret Braithwait has a child in the next 9 months. (The deceased Manning Braithwait was a "cousin" of John Pledger, Esq,).

Will of Henry Roberts 1713: "... leaves all of estate, both moveable and immoveable to wife (Ann) for her natural lyfe, and after her decease to my beloved cousin John Pledger Junyor for him and his heirs and assigns forever."

Petition 1735: On March 5, 1735, Jane Hart sent a petition "to the Governour of the Provinces of New York and New Jersey, requesting that John Pledger, Esq., be her guardian."

John Pledger Jr. received title of Esquire for being the Justice of the Peace for Salem County in the years 1727, 1728, 1730, 1737 & 1740-1743.

Elizabeth Pledger, dtr. of John Pledger, Esq. & Dorothy Roberts married John Redstreake in 1726. John Redstreake's grandfather, John Redstreak(e), also known as John-the-Finn, was born in Varkaus, Finland abt. 1620; he was a cooper (barrel-maker) and fur trader along Hudson's South River in New Sweden (1637-1655), Nieuw Nederland (1656-1664), then West New Jersey (1664-?) after the Dutch lost their South River.

After his first wife died, John (-the-Finn) Redstreak's consort (wife) was Sarah Bright Star. Her Leni Lenape name was Walela (hummingbird).

Grandsons of John Pledger, Esq., mentioned in his will were: John Redstreake (1731-1768), Joseph Redstreake (1734/36?-1747) and Pledger Redstreake (1737/38?-1747). A fourth son of Elizabeth Pledger Redstreake (named Francis) died in 1735: Pennsylvania Gazette, Philadelphia, 7/24/1735, "We hear from Penn's Neck that John Redstrake's son of three years and Negro slave died after eating poisoned mushrooms. Their stomach(e)s swelled and continued to swell ..." A subsequent report in the Pennsylvania Gazette substituted the words "Negro workman" for "Negro slave," perhaps to make the Quakers more comfortable.

John-the-Finn (John Redstreak), John Pledger (the ships carpenter) and Elizabeth Leferve Pledger are the great-, great-, great-, great-, great-, great-, great-, great-grandparents of my younger son, Thomas Pledger Redstreake (b. 1970), my daughter, Anne Redstreake French (b. 1960) and my older son, Edward Worthington Redstreake (b. 1958). One of my grandsons, Nicholas Redstreake, is a 12th generation North American with the name Redstreake.

Other 10th, 11th and 12th generation Redstreakes live in Bucks County, PA (my brother Robert Theodore Redstreake, his sons and grandsons). Redstreakes in New Jersey now include 10th through 13th generation North Americans (the widow of my cousin Charles, his son Robert and Robert's son, and the two adopted sons of my deceased second-cousin Charles, and their sons.) In Florida, there are two Redstreakes (the widow of my older brother Edward Morton Redstreake, Jr. and his son, Edward III.). There should be a Redstreake or two in California (the adopted son of Douglas Redstreake, a very distant cousin, and/or a granddaughter -- Jill Redstreake -- daughter of Douglas' adopted son.)

My version of the Redstreake-Redstrake-Readstreake-Redsteicke geneology is on file at the Salem County, NJ, Historical Society. If you would like to have a recently revised/updated copy, please contact me.
Disclaimer: "History is not just a record of events; facts are elusive without access to people of the past. To reconstruct a possible past, one must exercise imagination and empathy, while striving to maintain truth."       

William N. (Bill) Redstreake, date: 1/18/02

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