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Robert Ayars
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Birth: Mar., 1640
Bishop's Cleeve
Tewkesbury Borough
Gloucestershire, England
Death: Jan. 14, 1719
Salem County
New Jersey, USA

Robert AYARS 1# Married Katharin TAYLOR in
St. Marylebone Church, Marylebone, London, England, there is a record of the marriage of Robert Eyrs to Katharin Taylor on 24 October 1672. This church is located on Marylebone Road, across from Regency Park, London.

Their Children Were:
Esther AYARS
Robert AYARS

Robert AYARS 2# Married Hester/Esther BOWEN? Abt 1685/1886 in Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, USA.

Their Children Were:
Stephen AYARS
Joshua AYARS

I am so glad to find this recording of the work of Jim Ayars and myself recorded here. We devoted countless hours collaborating on our progenitor. Some things remain elusive, but on the whole, we have located and recorded what we can declare as either solid fact, or reasonably deduced from the records extant.
- Barbarann Ayars

Thank You Jim Ayars and Barbarann Ayars for all the hard work that you have done. My Family History (#47719401)

The town of Shiloh was founded in 1705 by Robert Ayars.
He brought over 2,000 people from Rhode Island to be free of religious persecution.

BIRTH: GLOUCESTER DIOCESAN RECORD BOOK, No. 202 -- Visitation March 1640. Cleeve Episcopi (The old name for Bishop's Cleeve, which covered the villages of Gotherington, Stoke Orchard, Southam and Woodmancote). Margarette Fouche - presented to the Ecclesiastical Court (held in Gloucester Cathedral) for having a bastard child. Robertus Eyres, of the same place, presented for the same offense (in other words for being the father). Although described as a birth out of wedlock, it must be remembered that this is only in the eyes of the established Church of England, a wedding taking place outside the Church, i.e., in a nonconformist wedding, was not legally recognised until Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1764. [Thus marriages and births among nonconformists were considered illegitimate. JA] There is no baptism of this child in the Bishop's Cleeve Parish Registers for that period, and one could assume from this that the parents had nonconformist tendencies, or at the very least were not participating members of the Church of England. One thing to bear in mind is that if this was Robert's father he would have been fairly old, as he was at least sixteen in 1608.
From David Bryson Ayars, Bartlett, IL.

Robert Ayars 1719 Death

14 or 24 January 1719

The Death of Robert Ayars

Robert Ayars died on either the 14th or the 24th of January, 1719. The uncertainty regarding the exact day stems from the fact that the first numeral on the original documents is unclear; his will was proven on 1 May 1719. The inventory of his personal estate, made by Dickason Sheppard on 20 April 1719, amounted to £167, 6s. 7d., including books valued at £1, 6s.68

68 New Jersey Archives, First Series, Vol. XXIII, Abstracts of Wills, Vol. I, 1670-1730, edited by William Nelson, Paterson, NJ, 1901, pp. 19, 20.

The Marriage of Robert Eyrs to Catherine Taylor

24 October 1672

The Marriage of Robert Eyrs to Catherine Taylor
St. Marylebone Church, Marylebone, London, England

In the records of St. Marylebone Church, Marylebone, London, England, there is a record of the marriage of Robert Eyrs to Catherine Taylor on 24 October 1672. This church is located on Marylebone Road, across from Regency Park, London.

We are told from family traditions that Isaac Ayars, Robert's first-born son, was born in 1673.14

The Taylors were from Soham, Cambridge, England. There we find a record detailing the christening of Katherin Taylor, daughter of Robert Taylor and his wife Marie, in November, 1642.15 That this Katherin is Robert's first wife is confirmed by the next item.

14 Immigrants to America Before 1750: Surnames A through Bat, Edited by Frederic Adams Virkus, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1965, pp. 104, 105.

15 This information is found in the IGI [International Genealogical Index] of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am indebted to Barbarann Ayars for bringing this data to my attention.

Katharin Taylor wife of Robert Ayars

22 February 1684/5

The Gravestone of Katharin Ayars

The earliest "hard" evidence for Robert Ayars' presence in the colonies known at this time is found engraved on a slate gravestone located in the Common Burial Ground on Fairwell Street, Newport, Rhode Island. It is dated 1684/5, and marks the final resting place of Robert's first wife, Katharin. The epitaph reads "Here Lieth Buried Ye Body of Katharin Ayars Ye Wife to Robert Ayars aged 42 departed this life Ye 22 February 1684/5." Based upon this datum, she was born in 1642. Assuming that Robert was about the same age as his wife, he was in his early forties in 1685. We also know from the location of this gravestone that Robert was living in or near Newport, Rhode Island, at this time.16

This headstone is the earliest evidence of a possible relationship between Robert Ayars and the first documented Seventh Day Baptist in the colonies, Stephen Mumford.17 Katharin's headstone was carved by a Boston stone-cutter, the Quaker William Mumford, and is identical to the headstones of Stephen and Ann Mumford who were later interred in the burial plots immediately adjacent to Katharin Ayars.18 Judging by the dates on the adjacent headstones, Katharin Ayars was one of the first persons buried in this section of the Common Burial Ground.

Finally, this headstone reveals that Katharin was the mother of most of Robert's children, including Isaac, Judah, Robert, John, and Esther. It cannot be proven whether Katharin was the mother of Ann Ayars at this point. There is also some important primary documentary evidence that suggests that she may not have been the biological mother of Stephen Ayars. In his will, Stephen calls Esther his "mother".

The Gravestone of Katharin Ayars
Newport Common Burial Ground, Newport, Rhode Island20

26 November 1687

Braces Farm

The next evidence chronologically revealing a bit of Robert Ayars' life is a deed to a farm located on the outskirts of Newport, Rhode Island. This evidence states, in abstract:

…six and Twentieth day of November…One Thousand six hundred Eighty seven… Between John Walley of Bristol on the one part: - - And Stephen Mumford of James Towne yeoman and Robert Ayres of Newport…yeoman; …on the Other part…John Walley for…six hundred and Twenty pounds in Currant money of New England…by…Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayres…paid…Hath sould his farm containing about Two hundred and fourty acres of Land…in the Towneship of Newport…called…Braces farme Late in the Occupation of Richard Allison now in the actuall possession…of Robert Ayres being the whole of that farme and Lands upland Meadows and swamps…given by William Brenton Esqr: in…his Last will…unto his son William Brenton…bounded Westerly by the Land…of Henry Bull and Jireh Bull, Southerly by the Land of Major John Coggeshall, Easterly by the sea, Northerly by the Land of John Easton Senr: in part…by the Common…with all houses Barnes…buildings Woods, Trees and Stones… upon request…of Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayres…and at their Cost…will perform such Other act…for further Confirmation of the above granted…so as…John Walley…be not compelled to travill more than twenty Miles from his…home…Also Sarah Wife of…John Walley doth…confirme…premises…


Jse: Addington John Walley

Thomas Dudley Sarah Walley

Boston 30th. November 1687

John Walley Esqr: …Acknowledged This

. . . . . . . . . . . . William Stoughton
This document reveals several interesting details. First, we find here further evidence of at least a business relationship between Robert Ayars and Stephen Mumford. Second, we find that Robert Ayars was living on "Braces Farm" in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1687.

However, it has been discovered that Robert Ayars may have had a sister named "Anne", and that this "Anne" married Stephen Mumford! If this is true, then Robert Ayars and Stephen Mumford were "brothers-in-law." This would explain at least two things: why Robert's first wife, Katherin, was buried in the Mumford burial plot, and why Robert and Stephen Mumford were in business together. This theory is currently awaiting further documentation.

Comparing the description of the land given in this document with ancient maps of Newport, we find that this property was located along the western shore of the estuary now known as Easton's Pond in modern Newport. In 1687, this pond was part of a bay which opened directly into Rhode Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean; however, in modern times a causeway was built which divided this bay into its present configuration.

There were a number of burial grounds located in Westerly and Hopkinton by this time, including two owned by Seventh Day Baptists. If this couple lived in the Westerly/Hopkinton area, why is Katharin buried in Newport? Transporting her from Westerly to Newport would have been a major inconvenience.

Isaac Backus, History of the Baptists, Vol. III, pp.232ff. Henry Clarke, History of the Sabbatarians, or Seventh Day Baptists in America, (Utica, NY: Seward and Williams, 1811), p. 8.

Harriette Merrifield Forbes, "William Mumford", Gravestones of Early New England - - And the Men Who Made Them: 1653 - 1800, (Boston: The Houghton Mifflin Company, 1927), pp. 28-34.

The will of Stephen Ayars is dated 25 February 1726, in which he wills his lands to Esther Ayars, whom he calls his "mother." It is possible that he is using the term loosely, or that the term "step-mother" was not yet in use. If his mother was Hester, then he died quite young, not older than age 41. If his mother was Katharin, then he could have been as old as 51. See New Jersey Archives, First Series, Vol. XXIII, "Abstracts of Wills," Vol. I, 1670-1730, edited by William Nelson, Paterson, NJ, 1901, pp. 19, 20. Salem County Index of Wills, p. 1152. Salem county N.J. Genealogical Data, Compiled by H. Stanley Craig, Vol. I, Merchantville, NJ, H. Stanley Craig, ND, p. 12.

The headstone is located next to the graves of Steven and Ann Mumford. The published documentation for this marker may be found in Alden G. Beaman, Rhode Island Vital Records, New Series, Vol. II, "Births 1590-1930, From Newport Common Burial Ground Inscriptions", (East Princeton, MA: Rhode Island Families Association, 1985), p. 19. Remarkably, none of the previously published histories of the Ayars Family seem to know about this woman. Many of them rapsodize about romances between Robert Ayars and his second wife, Hester (or Esther) Bowen (See for example John H. Bonham, "Three Girls of Swansea", The Sabbath Recorder, January 6, 1930, pp. 28-32, and January 13, 1930, pp. 41-43). However, the earliest evidence for Robert's marriage to Hester is found in a mortgage to William Phipps, Esq., dated two years after the death of Katharin; this mortgage is examined below.

Rhode Island Land Evidences, 1648 - 1696, (Providence, Rhode Island: Rhode Island Historical Society, 1921), Vol. I, p. 208.

Origins in Gotherington, Gloucestershire, England


There is an interesting scene recorded in the Diocesan Record for Gloucester Cathedral. In Bishop's Cleeve (an area encompassing the villages of Gotherington, Stoke Orchard, Southam and Woodmancote), Gloucestershire, England, there is a record, dated March, 1640, of a trial in the Gloucester Cathedral of a Robertus Eyres and Margarette Fouche for having given birth to an "illegitimate" child.11

This type of trial was a common occurance in the lives of non-conformists during this period. After the publication of the Authorized Version of the Bible under the auspices of King James I in 1611, everyman could now develop his own faith without the mediation of a pastor or priest. This was the primary cause of the rise of the Quakers, the Congregationalists and Puritans, and the Baptists.

Since these non-conformists would not marry in the official state church, the Church of England, their marriages were considered invalid, and therefore any children born to such unions would be considered "illegitimate." This state of affairs continued until the passage of Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1764 more than a century later.

What is of further significance about this trial is the fact that Gotherington is a mere five miles southeast of Tewkesbury, the home of one of the earliest Baptist churches in England. Within this congregation was a large contingent of Sabbatarians. These separated from the main congregation in March, 1661. On 3 May 1663, these Sabbatarians organized themselves into the Seventh Day Baptists of Tewkesbury. It is no small coincidence that Stephen Mumford, the founder of the first Seventh Day Baptist church in Newport, Rhode Island, was one of the charter members of this congregation.12 This same Stephen Mumford twenty-four years later joined with Robert Ayars in the purchase and mortgage of a piece of property in Newport, Rhode Island (see more below).

However, there is no mention of any "Eyres" among these members. This is probably because the "Eyres" were no longer present in this area in 1661-3 (see the next item).

Robert Ayars Carpenter's Apprentice

29 October 1660

Robert Ayres
Carpenter's Apprentice

On 29 October 1660, there is mention of "Robert Ayres, son of Robert Ayres, late of Gotherington, husbandman," who was bound at Carpenter's Hall to Thomas Ware of Petticoate Lane as an apprentice "carpenter."13 That this is of the same family as the Robert Aires, husbandman of Tewkesbury, and Robertus Eyre of Gotherington, mentioned above, is clear from the fact that this record declares this Robert to be the son of Robert Ayres, "late of Gotherington, husbandman." We know, from land evidences in Newport, Rhode Island, that our Robert was a "carpenter." [See below]

Sometime during the next twenty-four years, Robert Ayars married and moved to Rhode Island. Family traditions state that he came over in 1664 in the company of Stephen Mumford. This is possible; however, we have no primary documentary evidence to substantiate this yet. What we do know, with a fair amount of certainty, is that Robert was born in 1640, that when he reached 20, he was an apprentice carpenter. In the next two records, we possibly find his first marriage.
13 Gloucester Notes and Queries, Volume X, edited by Richard Holworthy, October, 1913. "29 October 1660 -- Apprentices from the County of Gloucester bound at Carpenter's Hall, London, 1654 0 1694, by Bower Marsh: Robert Ayres, son of Robert Ayres, late of Gotherington, husbandman, to Thomas Ware of Petticoate Lane." Courtesy of David Bryson Ayars.

Robert Ayars 1692 Seventh Day Baptist Church List


The Seventh Day Baptist Church List

The second oldest surviving membership list of the Seventh Day Baptist Church in Newport, Rhode Island was made in 1692. The Church had been organized 23rd December 1671. The original seven charter members were William Hiscox, who became their pastor, Stephen Mumford, Samuel Hubbard, Roger Baster, Tacy Hubbard, Rachel Langworthy, and another lady who's name has not been recorded. Was this "unknown" lady Stephen's wife? By 1692, the membership had grown considerably.24 Robert Ayars' second wife, Esther, his daughter-in-law Hannah, and his daughter Esther,25are included on the list.



HENRY MR. 1692
MAXSON JOHN SR. 1692 1771

One characteristic of Baptist belief is the insistence on baptism by immersion of believing adults. Therefore, in order for Robert's daughter to be listed among the membership in 1692, she had to be an adult.

If Robert's daughter Esther had been baptized in 1692 at the biblical age of accountability, that is, at age twelve, then the latest year she could have been born is 1680. However, given the average known age for adult baptisms during this period (based upon data preserved in surviving church records), it is more likely that Esther was in her late teens or early twenties at this time. Thus, she could have been born as early as before 1673. This could make her a twin of Robert's first son, Isaac, who was allegedly born in that same year.27

We must also take into account the fact that Robert's daughter-in-law Hannah, Isaac's wife, is also listed as a member at this time. Thus, Hannah is also, at a minimum, around eighteen to twenty years of age. Hannah's husband, Isaac, who was allegedly born in 1673, would have been nineteen in 1692.

Therefore, the mother of Isaac and Esther must be Katharin, and not Hester Bowen. This also reinforces the idea that Robert and Katharin were married sometime before 1673.

It would be so nice if we could recover the lost records of the Newport Church written prior to 1692. It would be nice if the British had not burned them during their occupation of Newport during the Revolutionary War. Alas, this did not happen. We may never know if Robert and Katharin were ever members of the Newport Seventh Day Baptist Church. However, lost records of colonial churches continue to resurface; who knows what may be found tomorrow, or next year. We only know for certain at this time that Robert married Katharin in 1672; that after her death in 1685, but before 1687, Robert married Hester; that by 1692, Robert's second wife, Hester, Robert's daughter-in-law Hannah (wife of Isaac), and his daughter, also called Esther, were members of the Newport Seventh Day Baptist Church.

24 The church building of this group, built in 1730, still stands, preserved in an annex to The Newport Historical Society Library, Newport, Rhode Island.

25 We don't know for certain which "Esther" was the wife, and which was the daughter. One of them is called "the younger". The fact that Esther, Robert's second wife, was having children as late as 1695 (the year of birth of Robert's youngest son, Joshua Ayars), while Robert was in his 50's, suggests that Hester was quite a bit younger than Robert. Thus, Robert's daughter by his first wife Katherin, Esther, could conceivably have been older than her step-mother!

26 The Seventh Day Baptist Memorial, Vol. I, Number 3, p. 121, and Vol. I, number 4, p. 172.

27 The evidence for the year of Isaac's birth is, unfortunately, based upon secondary evidence found in Immigrants to America Before 1750: Surnames A through Bat, Edited by Frederic Adams Virkus, Genealogical Publishing Company, (Baltimore, 1965), pp. 104, 105.

Trial of Robert Ayars 1697

30 March 1697
The Trial of Robert Ayars

This next piece of evidence points toward Robert Ayars' religious sentiments. Early in 1697, Robert Ayars ran afoul of the local "Sunday Blue Laws" -- he was caught "working" one Sunday morning.

At A Genril Court of Tryall held for the Collony at Newport the 30th of March, 1697

Robart Ayres being presented for working on ye first Day of the weeke and his Bill Read and demanded wheather guilty or not Guilty he possatifely den(y)ing to give his Answer which the Cort Juged to be Contempt Against ye King's Authority for which the sd Robart Ayres is Sentansed to pay fourty Shillings in Mony to ye Genril tresuar and officers fees.32
This type of court appearance was a fairly common occurrence in the lives of Seventh Day Baptists during this time. Since Seventh Day Baptists observed the seventh day of the week as the Biblical Sabbath, they attached no particular sacred significance to the first day of the week. They celebrated the resurrection of Christ annually, rather than weekly.

While on the one hand Seventh Day Baptists tried to live peaceably with their first-day neighbors, they were resolute in their Sabbatarian sentiments, and refused to capitulate to any traditions which did not conform to Biblical standards. Robert's refusal to even answer the charge brought against him is an example of this. In the Seventh Day Baptist view, such a proceeding was itself illegal, challenging as it did the right of an individual to follow his own conscience as he sought to obey his God. They would rather pay the fine levied against them than to acknowledge the sovereignty of the court which tried them. They did not consider any judgment on their religious practices to be within the purview of that earthly court's jurisdiction.

Already, a few years earlier in about 1687, just a few miles away across the border in Massachusetts Colony, the Baptists (comprised of both first-day and seventh-day varieties) of Swansea and Rehoboth had packed up their belongings to move to West Jersey because of the constant illegal harrassment they were receiving from the government there. These Baptists moved to what would become known as 'Bowentown' (so named because the bulk of the families who made this move were 'Bowens'), not far from the property Robert Ayars himself would shortly purchase in the same area. It is clear that the migration of these Baptists to New Jersey was due solely to the religious persecution they were suffering for their religious non-conformity. If Robert Ayars' second wife, Esther (already mentioned), was a Bowen from Swansea, then Robert married her at about the time of this migration.

An irony lurking behind this story of whole towns moving out of the Massachusetts Bay Colony is the fact that, just ten years earlier, on a sunny Sunday morning, these two towns had experienced the brunt of the initial attack of the Narragansett Indians led by Chief Metacomet in the beginning of the infamous "King Philip's War". These Baptists led out in the defence of, not only Massachusetts Bay Colony, but also Rhode Island Colony. One of the leading men in this defence of the colonies was Captain Timothy Brooks, father of the Reverend Timothy Brooks, the Baptist minister who helped lead the migration of Swansea and Rehoboth to New Jersey.

The Reverend Morgan Edwards, in his Materials Toward a History of the Baptists, which he published in several small volumes from 1770-1792, records an example of a confrontation between a Seventh Day Baptist and one of his "first day" neighbors. The town was Piscataway, New Jersey.

About the year 1700, a separation from [the Piscataqua Baptist Church] took place: the occasion was as follows: 'one Hezekiah Bonham was doing some servile work on Sunday: Mr. Edmond Dunham admonished him: Bonham put Dunham to prove that the first day of the week was holy by divine institution.' How the debate was carried on is not known; but it is known that the above attack was the thing which set Mr. Dunham to study the subject; and that embracing the seventh day of the week was the effect. In a short time after, about 17 persons sided with Mr. Dunham, which opened a prospect of having a sabbatarian church in Piscataqua: to prepare for it, Mr Dunham went to Westerly [Rhode Island] (in 1705) and there received ordination at the hands of Rev. William Gibbons; and in 1707 he and his party were formed into a church.33
There are several ironies in these stories. First, one of the members of the Grand Jury which indicted Robert Ayars was none other than his partner and fellow-believer (and alleged relative), Stephen Mumford. One has to ask if this case had been brought to court as a test case in order to challenge the legality of religious legislation in Newport. Did Stephen Mumford, "the first Seventh Day Baptist in the colonies", dissent to indict Robert?

Second, one of the members of the jury which convicted Robert Ayars was Stephen Mumford Jr. What was the verdict of Stephen Mumford Jr. in this civil case?

Third, many of the descendants of Robert Ayars shortly met and married the descendants of Edmund Dunham and Hezekiah Bonham from Piscataway, and members of the migrant families from Rehoboth and Swansea -- the rest is biological history.

What is most important in this treatise, however, is what this "Tryall" in Newport reveals about Robert Ayars:

First, he was still living in Newport, Rhode Island in 1697.

Second, he was an active Seventh Day Baptist.

32 Rhode Island General Court of Trials 1672-1704, "Newport Book A", transcribed by Jane Fiske, Boxford, Massachusetts, 1998, p. 182. Many thanks to Barbarann Ayars for discovering this one! Jane Fiske transcribed two volumes: Gleanings From Newport Court Files 1659-1783, and Rhode Island General Court Trials 1672-1704.

33 Materials Toward a History of the Baptists, Vol. I, 1792, reprinted by Heritage Papers, Danielsville, Georgia, 1984, pp. 85-86, 134.

Robert Ayars 1712 Controversy in Westerly, Rhode Island

5 October 1712
Controversy in Westerly

The Westerly, Rhode Island, Seventh Day Baptist Church, looking for a pastor in 1711, decided to choose Rev. William Davis to fill the role. William Davis had published several tracts presenting and defending some unorthodox views about the Trinity. This led to a serious controversy with the rest of the Seventh Day Baptist Churches, especially in Western New Jersey. The "pastor" in the "Cohansey" area, Jonathan Davis,56 sent a warning to the Westerly Church of the potential problems he believed would occur with William Davis' ministry. The Westerly congregation responded with a letter dated 5 October 1712, which was carried from Westerly to Cohansey by Robert Ayars' eldest son, Isaac.
The act of the church in Westerly in receiving Mr. [William] Davis into its fellowship [14 September 1711], was followed by a serious controversy with Elder Gibson of the Newport church, Jonathan Davis, and the brethren in Pennsylvania. Joseph Crandall, also, then a member in Westerly, refused to commune with the church on the same account. Yet the church maintained its position in defense of Mr. Davis, and encouraged him in the exercise of the ministry, and informed those brethren in answer to their allegations, dated October 5th, 1712, and sent by the hands of Isaac Ayars, "that what they had written, formerly or latterly, or what they should write in the future, would not be noticed for the purpose of passing judgment upon them, unless they should produce the evidence according to the Scripture rule, or unless the truth of such allegations should appear from William Davis' own hand, or from his own mouth."57

While the nature of the controversy over William Davis makes interesting reading (for historians and theologians?), what is significant here is the location of Isaac Ayars, and what that means in regard to the existence of Seventh Day Baptists in West Jersey as early as 1712! While they were not an organized body (this would not happen until 1737), they still had enough clout to "interfere" in the congregational life of another church in another colony! This also suggests that Isaac Ayars was a Seventh Day Baptist as well as his wife, Hannah (Barrett).

There is the knotty problem of the persistent family tradition that Robert Ayars settled in the Westerly/Hopkinton area of Rhode Island. Is this brief historical notice the source of this tradition? Did Isaac live in Hopkinton?

This problem may be solved if we consider another significant record regarding Isaac's whereabouts at this time. In the Probate Records of Bristol, Massachusetts, there is a record of the probate of the will of Obadiah Bowen in 1711.58 There were several Bowens from Swansea, Massachusetts who had moved with Rev. Timothy Brooks to Bowentown, New Jersey, just across the Cohansey River from Robert Ayars' "Lippincott Purchase," and just a couple of miles southeast of Robert's "Wass Purchase." Among them was Samuel Bowen, Obadiah's son.

The first record is of a Power of Attorney granted to Isaac Ayars by Samuel Bowen, dated 16 October 1711:

Letter of Attorney granted to ‘my trusty friend Isaac Ayars of Cohanze, late of Rhode Island)' by Samuel Bowen of Cohanze, County of Salem, Province of West New Jersey, to be lawful attorney to receive from Thomas Bowen of Swansea a legacy from the estate of ‘his and my honored father Obadiah Bowen Senr,' dated 16 Oct. 1711 at County of Glocester, Province of New Jersey. Witns: Will: Parker and Sarah Wheaton (3:57).

Isaac also served as a witness for at another power of attorney granted to John Brooks, brother of the Cohansey pastor, Rev. Timothy Brooks, dated 16 October 1711:

Power of Attorney granted to ‘Our well beloved Brother John Brooks' of Rehoboth by Timothy Brooks and Hannah Brooks his wife of Cohanse, County of Salem, Province of West New Jersey, that said John might receive the legacy to by paid by Thomas Bowen of Swansea ‘from his and our Honored father Obadiah Bowen Senior,' dated 16 October 1711 at County of Glocester, Province of New Jersey. Witns: Samuel Bowen and Isaac Ayars (3:76).59

Further, there is a receipt for this legacy received by Isaac, dated one month later, 16 November 1711:

Receipt by Isaac Ayars of Cohanze, County of Salem, Province of West Jersey, for a legacy of money he received, as attorney for Samuel Bowen of Cohanze, from Thomas Bowen of Swansea, Administrator of Estate of Obadiah Bowen, their father, dated 16 Nov. 1711. Witns: Nathaniel Miller and John Cary (3:57/8).

Finally, there is the final accounting record summarizing the transactions of the probate, dated 12 May 1712:

Account of Thomas Bowen of Swansea, son and Executor of Estate of Obadiah Bowen of Swansea, dated 12 May 1712. Legacies: to Isaac Ayars for Samuel Bowen of Cohanse....

It is clear from these records that Isaac Ayars was living in Cohansey in 1711, and NOT in Hopkinton, Rhode Island. Apparently Isaac Ayars was the courier from the "unorganized" Seventh Day Baptist Church in Cohansey to the Church in Westerly; having delivered the views of his pastor, Jonathan Davis, he then carried the Westerly response back to his own community.

This has interesting implications in regard to the possible denominational affiliation of his father, Robert Ayars. If Isaac could act in behalf of a "not yet organized" congregation, never appearing anywhere on membership roles, what of his father?60 We know that Robert probably came from Gotherington, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England, home of Sabbatarian evangelist Stephen Mumford. We know that Robert's first wife, Katharin, was buried adjacent to the burial plots of Stephen Mumford and his wife Ann. We know that Robert had significant land dealings with Stephen and Ann Mumford. We know that Robert's second wife, Esther (Bowen) was certainly a Seventh Day Baptist! So was his daughter, Esther. And don't forget his daughter-in-law, Hannah, Isaac's wife. We also know that Robert was arraigned before the Newport Court to answer for working on Sunday. There is also the possible marriage relationchip between Robert and Stephen Mumford through Robert's sister, Anne. Add to this list the historical signing of the Shiloh Church Covenant by his grandson, Caleb Ayars -- he was a charter member of the Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church in 1737, even donating an acre of his inheritance from Robert for a church building and cemetery. Later, his son Joshua and daughter-in-law Keziah (Brooks) also joined the new Shiloh Church [1739], with Joshua being one of the early deacons.

Now we see Robert's eldest son, Isaac, also participating in Sabbatarian congregational life. We know from the records of the Cohansey (Shiloh) Seventh Day Baptist Church that all of Isaac's children except Rebecca were members, while his daughter Esther married the church's first pastor, Rev. Jonathan Davis in 1731.61 While we may never know for certain, it at least seems highly likely that the allegations of later historians is correct: Robert Ayars was probably a Seventh Day Baptist.62

56 Elder Jonathan Davis lived near Trenton, New Jersey. Yet he preached regularly to the Seventh Day Baptists in the Cohansey area. He was considered their pastor. This Rev. Jonathan Davis was a predecessor of the Rev. Jonathan Davis who was the first pastor of the Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church. He was a large man, nicknamed "Our Great High Priest" by the church members. He was married to Elizabeth Bowen, but had no children. See Morgan Edwards, Materials Toward a History of the Baptists, Philadelphia, 1792, pp. 137, 138.

57 Seventh Day Baptist Memorial, Vol. II, Number 2, (New York: Seventh Day Baptist Publishing Society, 1852), pp. 103, 104.

58 I am indebted to Barbarann Ayars, of Medina, Ohio, for directing my attention to Abstracts of Bristol County, Massachusetts Probate Records 1687-1745, compiled by H. L. Peter Rounds, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1987, pp. 52ff.

59 Timothy Brooks' wife was Hannah Bowen, sister of Samuel Bowen. Two of Timothy and Hannah's daughters married Robert Ayars descendants: Keziah Brooks married Joshua Ayars, son of Robert and Esther, and Patience Brooks married Caleb Ayars, Robert and Katharin's grandson through Isaac and Hannah Barrett.

60 It should be stated that Isaac Ayars is mentioned in the Register of the Cohansey Seventh Day Baptist Church, Shiloh, New Jersey, 1737-1830, (Ernest K. Bee, Jr., Seventh Day Baptist Publishing House, Plainfield, New Jersey, 1976, p. 26) in a penciled notation next to the records of Isaac's daughter Esther: "Rev. Jonathan Davis the first pastor of Shiloh Church; his wife was a daughter of Isaac Ayars of Shiloh, the deputy surveyor of New Jersey." There is no record of him having officially joined the church, however. He probably had died before the Shiloh Church officially organized.

61 See the documentation accompanying the family group charts at the end of this monograph.

62 Thos. Cushing, M.D. and Charles Sheppard, Esq., History of Cumberland County, Everts and Peck, Philadelphia, 1883, p.693.

Robert Ayars 1716 Will

25 February 1716
The Will of Robert Ayars

Robert Ayars wrote his will on 25 February 1716. In it we find the state of his affairs as of that date:
In ye name of God Amen, ye twenty-fifth day of February 1716, I Robert Ayars of Cohansey in ye county of Salem in ye province of West Jersey, Yeoman, being weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be to God for it therefore calling unto mind ye mortality of ye body. And knowing yt it is appointed for all men to dye, doe make and ordain this my Last will and testament yt is to say e Principally e First of all, I give e Recommend my soul into ye hands of god yt Gave it e my body I Recommend to ye earth to be Buried in Decent Christian Burial. All Decently of my executors hereafter named nothing Doubting but Att ye General Resurrection I Shall Resume ye same again by ye mighty power of God. And as touching such worldly state wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in this Life, I give devise and dispose of ye following & same manner.

IMPRIMIS: I give & bequeath to Isaac Ayars my Eldest son and to his heirs, executors administrators or assigns, one hundred acres of land around to ye house where he now liveth it being part of two thousand two hundred acres of land which I bought of William Billy, Edward Shippen, Junr. & Joseph Wass, as by one deed bearing date ye twenty-first of Novemr 1705, many more at large Appor.

IMPRIMIS: I give to my beloved sons Judah Ayars, Caleb Ayars and Rob Ayars and to my beloved daughter Ester Ayars & wife of John Garmen and to my grandson, Caleb Ayars son to Isaac Ayars & to their heirs, executors, administrators or Assigns forever all of ye remaining pt of ye above said tract of land, being divided equally between them their heirs, executors, administrators or assigns in quality and & quantity.

IMPRIMIS: I give to my son John Ayars, Stephen Ayars & Joshua Ayars their heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns ye plantation I now live att, being about eight hundred acres of land & marsh to be generally divided between them their heirs, executors, administrators or assigns in quality and & quantity.

IMPRIMIS: I give & bequeath to my beloved wife Ester Ayars all my movable estate During her natural life, And what she shall leave at her decease to be equally divided between my children above named, & I do hereby constitute name and appoint my most beloved wife Hester Ayars my executor & my beloved friend Henry Buck, these my executors of my last will & testaments, legacies & bequests & executors by me in any wise before name willed & bequeathed Ratified & confirming this and no other be my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & fix my seal ye day of year Above written.

Robert Ayars

Signed, Sealed, published, pronounced and declared by the said Robert Ayars as his last will and testament in the presence of us the subscribers.

Dickason Sheppard
Joseph Shepherd
Nathan Lorence.64
This will, now located in the New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey, also bears one of the important examples of Robert Ayars' seal, identical to the one described earlier in this document.

By this time Robert Ayars was firmly ensconced in New Jersey. We find not only where he was living (i.e., the 800 acre Shrewsbury Neck Purchase), but know the whereabouts of all but one of the various members of his family. Isaac, Judah, Caleb, Robert Jr., Esther (wife of John Jarman), and his grandson (via Isaac) Caleb received and were living on portions of the Wass Purchase. John, Stephen, and Joshua received equal parts of the Shrewsbury Neck Purchase. There is no mention of little Ann. Robert himself, with his second wife Hester, is living on the Shrewsbury Neck Purchase.

64 This will was copied from the original by Frank D. Andrews, who compiled Robert Ayars and His Descendants, Vineland, NJ: Privately Printed, 1918, pp. 7-8.

Some Unfinished Business

There are a number of things that may never be known for certain about Robert Ayars and his family. Future researchers may get lucky, however, and find this missing information.

First, we don't know his particular lineage in England. Repeated efforts by various members of the family to trace his ancestry in England have so far failed.

Second, we don't know for certain when Robert first arrived in the colonies; it had to be sometime between his first marriage in London in 1672 and his first wife's death in Newport in 1685.

Third, we don't know the lineage of Robert's first wife, Katharin, except that her father was Robert Taylor, and her mother was Marie.

Fourth, we don't know what happened to two of Robert's children -- Judah and Ann. Judah is "said to have returned to Rhode Island" (but who "says" this?); Ann simply disappears.

Fifth, why is Robert never mentioned in any of the early Seventh Day Baptist histories? The earliest history, Morgan Edwards Materials Toward a History of the Baptists, published in 1792, omits all mention of him, although his grandchildren are there. Henry Clarke's History of the Seventh Day Baptists, following Edwards' lead in 1812, also knows knothing of him. Where was he all of this time? If he was a non-conformist, a Baptist, why was he married in the Church of England in Marylebone, London, England? Was it to avoid the stigma attached to his own birth?

There is always the possibility that some of the information in this essay was misinterpreted, misapplied, or is simply wrong. If any readers of this essay discover necessary corrective information that applies to anything in this article, please let this author know as soon as possible. Thank you.

Sources on the Descendants of Robert Ayars

A pair of researchers, Ebenezer Mack Treman and Murray E. Poole, published the first genealogical listing of the descendants of Robert Ayars in 1901 when they compiled and published their History of the Treman, Tremaine, Truman Family in America.. Included in their history was information regarding several "Ayers" families, including the descendants of our Robert Ayars. They do not tell who or what their sources were.

Bessie Ayars-Andrews published her brief listing of some of the descendants of Robert Ayars in 1912.69

Later, in 1918, Frank D. Andrews published his history of the Ayars family. Andrews recounts the manuscript history behind his 1918 publication, Robert Ayars and His Descendants , in his preface:
This record of the descendants of Robert Ayars was commenced over a century ago, by one Joshua Ayars who, beginning with the ancestor of the family in West Jersey, gathered the names of his descendants, leaving a written copy dated Sept. 1, 1811.

Under date of March 10, 1856, Jehu B. Ayars, writes:
"The following list of families I have copied in part from a book written by Joshua Ayars, dated Sept. 1, 1811, and the remainder from what information I could obtain from other sources."

The record was of names only. Miss Elizabeth A. Ayars, of Greenwich, N.J., made a copy some years later, and added such information as she could secure, particularly of her family and its branches.

At her death, in 1900, the manuscript record came into the possession of her sister, Mrs. Bessie Ayars Andrews of Vineland, N.J., wife of the compiler of the present work. They further added to the list names, date of marriages, births and deaths, consulting records, visiting and copying the Ayars inscriptions to be found in the old burying grounds of Cumberland County.

During these investigations it was learned that Mr. Micajah Ayars had a copy of the Ayars' record, his copy coming from Josephine Highby, who writes under date of February 19, 1880: "Copied from a book written by Jehu B. Ayars, and added what I could from other sources."

Mr. Micajah Ayars was a resident of Shiloh, the centre of the Seventh Day Baptist Society of Cumberland County. He was greatly interested in the genealogy of the Ayars family and gathered much information regarding them which he recorded in a book to which he prefixed the following:

"I copied, Jan. 1886, from Josephine Highby's book and added other families and the date of births, marriages and deaths, collected from different sources to this time. There were no dates in the book from which I copied of births, &c. "

Micajah Ayars.

Shiloh, N.J. Feb. 1898.

Mr. Ayars died some years ago and the record upon which he had spent so much time came into the possession of his daughter, Mrs. Margaret D. (Ayars) Lane, through whose courtesy the writer has been permitted to make use of such material as he did not already possess.

The two records thus united, with some additional data obtained from Charles E. Sheppard, Esq., of Bridgeton, has formed the revised family record as it appears in the following pages.

That the efforts of those earnest workers in the genealogical field who gathered the material for an Ayars' genealogy may have due recognition, the compiler of this record has thought it worth while to preserve it in printed form, imperfect and incomplete though it is; names and dates occasionally differing in the records, and the reader is advised to make some allowance for errors.

The compilation of this record of the descendants of Robert Ayars, the first of the name to settle in "Old Cohansey," has been a labor of love on the part of the compiler, as no adequate return for his time and expense is likely to accrue from the limited demand for such publications.

With the belief that it will be of some use to genealogists, and of service to members of the family in tracing their ancestry, this record is respectfully dedicated to the descendants of Robert Ayars.

Frank D. Andrews.

Vineland, N. J. December 6, 191870

There is another source detailing many of the descendants of Robert Ayars, Register of the Cohansey Seventh Day Baptist Church, Shiloh, New Jersey: 1737-1830, (Edited by Ernest K. Bee, Jr., Seventh Day Baptist Publishing House, Plainfield, NJ, 1976). This primary source contains genealogical data for those descendants of Robert Ayars who remained in fellowship with the Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church.

It is apparent that most of the information we have about the descendants of Robert Ayars is based upon these publications. Other individuals have picked up the threads of these compilers' researches and added their own "attachments" to the family tree.

I have added data from as many other sources as I have been able to find, most of which have already been presented in this essay.

Here, in the following Family Group Charts extending for three generations, is what we know about the immediate descendants of Robert Ayars.


FATHER: Robert Ayars, Yeoman
b. c. 1639/40, Gotherington, Gloucestershire, England71
m. 24 October 1672, St. Mary, St. Marylebone, Marylebone, London, England72
d. 14/24 January 1719, Back Neck, Salem, NJ73
Parents: Robert Eyres and Margarette Fouche, of Gotherington, Gloucestershire, England.

MOTHER: [First Wife] Katharin Taylor
b. November 1642, Soham, Cambridge, England74
d. 22 February 1684/5, Newport, Newport, RI75
Parents: Robert Taylor and Marie ____, of Soham, Cambridge, England.76


1. Isaac Ayars, Yeoman [Go to Family Group 2]
b. around 1673, Newport, Newport, RI78
m. Hannah Barrett, bef. 1692, Newport, Newport, RI79
d. after 1719 and before 1737, Cohansey, Salem, NJ80
2. Esther Ayars [Go to Family Group 3]
b. before 1680, Newport, Newport, RI81
m. John Jarman Jr., bef. 1716, Cohansey, Salem, NJ82
d. before 1737, Cohansey, Salem, NJ83
3. Judah Ayars, Yeoman
b. bet. 1673-1684, Newport, Newport, RI84
d. after 171885
4. John Ayars, Yeoman [Go to Family Group 4]
b. bet. 1673-1684, Newport, Newport, RI86
m. Cecelia Colwell, bef. 1735, Cohansey, Salem, NJ87
d. bet. December 1740-March 1741, Cohansey, Salem, NJ88
5. Robert Ayars, Yeoman [Go to Family Group 5]
b. bet. 1673-1684, Newport, Newport, RI89
m. Sarah Burgin, bef. 1725, Cohansey, Salem, NJ90
d. 173591
6. Ann Ayars92
b. bet. 1673-1684, Newport, Newport, RI
d. bef. 171693


FATHER: Robert Ayars, Yeoman

b. c. 1639/40, Gotherington, Gloucestershire, England94
m. between 1685 and 1687, Newport, Newport, Rhode Island95
d. 14/24 January 1719, Back Neck, Salem, NJ96

Parents: Robert Eyres and Margarette Fouche, of Gotherington, Gloucestershire, England.

MOTHER: [Second Wife] Esther “Bowen”

b. [unknown, possibly Swansea, MA]
d. bet. 1726-1737, Cohansey, Salem, NJ97


1. Stephen Ayars, Yeoman
b. between 1685-1705, Newport, Newport, RI99
d. bet. 25 February-12 April 1726, Back Neck, Salem, NJ100

2. Caleb Ayars, Yeoman [Go to Family Group 6]
b. 1692, Newport, Newport, RI101
m. Rebeccah Berryman, bef. 1723, Cohansey, Salem, NJ102
d. 24 January 1760, Cohansey, Cumberland, NJ103
3. Joshua Ayars, Yeoman [Go to Family Group 7a/b]
b. 1695, Newport, Newport, RI104
m1. Keziah Brooks, bef. 1724, Cohansey, Salem, NJ105
m2. Anna Swinney, 18 Mar. 1753, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ106
d. 3 May 1759, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ107


FATHER: Isaac Ayars, Yeoman
b. c. 1673, London, England108
m. bef. 1692, Newport, Newport, RI109
d. 1761, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ110

Parents: Robert Ayars and Katharin Taylor.

MOTHER: Hannah Barrett
b. before 1680, Newport, Newport, RI111
d. c. 1793, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ112

Parents: unknown.


1. Rebecca Ayars
b. bef 1697, Newport, Newport, RI114
m. Robert [Francis?] Hunt115
d. [unknown]

2. Caleb Ayars
b. 5 November 1697, Newport, Newport, RI116
m. Patience Brooks, before 1718, Cohansey, Salem, NJ117
d. 7 August 1771, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ118
3. Abigail Ayars
b. c. 1700, Newport, Newport, RI?119
m. Caleb Barrett, before 1721, Cohansey, Salem, NJ120
d. [unknown]
4. Hannah Ayars
b. 1705, Newport, Newport, RI121
m. Jeremiah Bacon, Cohansey, Salem, NJ122
d. 13 January 1793, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ123
5. Catherine Ayars
b. [unknown]
m. John Jarman, after 1737, Cohansey, Salem, NJ124
d. 6 April 1760, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ125
6. Esther Ayars
b. c. 1711, Cohansey, Salem, NJ126
m. Rev. Jonathan Davis, 1731, Cohansey, Salem, NJ127
d. Aft. 5 July 1755, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ128
7. Anna Ayars
b. 9 November 1713, Cohansey, Salem, NJ129
m. Samuel Davis, 13 October 1735, Cohansey, Salem, NJ130
d. 20 September 1783, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ131
8. Isaac Ayars
b. 3 February 1716, Cohansey, Salem, NJ132
m. Jane Philips, 26 Nov. 1738, Cohansey, Salem, NJ133
d. 26 May 1761134
9. David Ayars
b. [unknown]
d. [unknown]


FATHER: John Jarman Jr.
b. bef. 1704135
m. bef. 25 February 1716, Cohansey, Salem, NJ136
d. 1768, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ137

Parents: John Jarman Sr. and _____.

MOTHER: [First Wife] Esther Ayars
b. before 1680, Newport, Newport, RI or London, England138
d. before 1737, Cohansey, Salem, RI139
Parents: Robert Ayars and Katharin Taylor.


1. John Jarman III
b. Cohansey, Salem, NJ
m. Mary Bowen, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ141
d. May 1769142

2. Esther Jarman
b. [unknown]
m. [unknown]
d. [unknown]
3. Mary Jarman
b. [baptized 29 May 1770] Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ143
m. [unknown]
d. [unknown]
4. Reuben Jarman
b. [unknown]
m. [unknown]
d. [unknown]
5. Beriah Jarman
b. [unknown]
m. [unknown]
d. [unknown]


FATHER: John Ayars, Yeoman
b. between 1673 and 1685, Newport, Newport, RI or London, England144
m. bef. 1736, Cohansey, Salem, NJ145
d. bet. Dec. 1740-Mar. 1741, Cohansey, Cumberland, NJ146

Parents: Robert Ayars and Katharin Taylor.

MOTHER: Cecelia Colwell
b. [unknown]
d. [unknown]


1. Samuel Ayars
b. [unknown]
m. [unknown]
d. [unknown]

2. John Ayars Jr.
b. 1736
m. Susannah Jarman, c. 17 November 1757
d. [unknown]
3. Mary Ayars
b. 27 November 1738, Cohansey, Salem, NJ147
m. Isaac Ayars, 5 April 1758, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ148
d. [unknown]
4. Stephen Ayars
b. c. 1740, Cohansey, Salem, NJ149
d. [unknown]


FATHER: Robert Ayars, Jr., Yeoman
b. bet. 1673-1685, Newport, Newport, RI or London, England150
m. bef. 1722, Cohansey, Salem, NJ151
d. 1735, Cohansey, Cumberland, NJ152

Parents: Robert Ayars, Sr., and Katharin Taylor.

MOTHER: Sarah Burgin
b. [unknown]
d. [unknown]


1. James Ayars
b. c. 1722, Cohansey, Salem, NJ154
m. Hannah Ayars, Cohansey, Salem, NJ155
d. c. 1755, Cohansey, Salem, NJ156

2. Burgin Ayars
b. c. 1726, Cohansey, Salem, NJ157
m. Susannah Gilman, 28 May 1754, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ 158
d. c. 1807, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ159
3. Robert Ayars
b. Cohansey, Salem, NJ

d. Cohansey, Salem, NJ
4. Temperance Ayars
b. Cohansey, Salem, NJ
m. Henry Paullin
d. Cohansey, Salem, NJ
5. Sarah Ayars
b. Cohansey, Salem, NJ
m. Joseph Paullin
d. Cohansey, Salem, NJ
6. Ann Ayars
b. Cohansey, Salem, NJ
d. Cohansey, Salem, NJ


FATHER: Caleb Ayars, Yeoman

b. 1692, Newport, Newport, RI160
m. before 1723, Cohansey, Salem, NJ161
d. 23 January 1760, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ162

Parents: Robert Ayars and Esther Bowen

MOTHER: Rebecca Berryman (Bereman, Brayman)
b. 1699163
d. 18 October 1774, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ164

Parents: Unknown


1. Aaron Ayars
b. 18 December 1723, Cohansey, Salem, NJ165
m. Abigail Robinson, 12 Nov. 1746, Cohansey, Salem, NJ166
d. c. 31 June 1792, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ167

2. Stephen Ayars
b. April 1727, Cohansey, Salem, NJ168

m1. Jane Surage

m2. Hester _____
d. Will, 29 April 1770, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ
3. Sarah Ayars
b. 10 February 1729, Cohansey, Salem, NJ169
m. Joseph Bivins, 14 Dec. 1749, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ
d. 29 August 1799, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ
4. John Ayars
b. 19 February 1731, Cohansey, Salem, NJ170
d. 1759, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ
5. Bennajah Ayars
b. 11 January 1733, Cohansey, Salem, NJ171
m. Elizabeth Dunham
d. after 1750, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ
6. Rebecca Ayars
b. 17 December 1735, Cohansey, Salem, NJ172
m. Enoch David,
d. 1759, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ173
7. Halibege Ayars
b. 20 November 1736, Cohansey, Salem, NJ174
m. Sarah Davis, 25 Dec. 1760, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ
d. 22 January 1795, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ
8. Rachel Ayars
b. 10 November 1738, Cohansey, Salem, NJ175
d. [unknown]
9. Caleb Ayars
b. 5 December 1741, Cohansey, Cumberland, NJ176
d. 1756, Cohansey, Cumberland, NJ177

10. William Ayars
b. 5 October 1743, Cohansey, Salem, NJ178
d. 4 January 1760, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ179

11. Tabitha Ayars
b. 22 September 1745, Cohansey, Salem, NJ180
m. Thomas Francis
d. [unknown]


FATHER: Joshua Ayars, Yeoman
b. 1695, Newport, Newport, RI181
m. 18 April 1723, Bowentown, Salem, NJ182
d. 3 May 1759, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ183

Parents: Robert Ayars and Esther Bowen

MOTHER: [First Wife] Keziah Brooks
b. [unknown]
d. 1 May 1749, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ

Parents: Rev. Timothy Brooks and Hannah Bowen


1. Esther Ayars
b. 1 May 1724, Cohansey, Salem, NJ184
m. Jarman Davis, 15 Oct. 1751, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ185
d. 16 Jun 1793, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ186

2. Philip Ayars
b. 14 February 1729, Cohansey, Salem, NJ187
m. Lydia Lennox, 23 May 1751, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ188
d. 11 December 1789, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ189
3. Joshua Ayars
b. 1744, Cohansey, Salem, NJ190
d. 17 April 1759, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ191


FATHER: Joshua Ayars, Yeoman
b. 1695, Newport, Newport, RI192
m. 18 March 1753, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ193
d. 3 May 1759, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ194

Parents: Robert Ayars and Esther Bowen

MOTHER: [Second Wife] Anna Swinney
b. 7 January 1718, Cohansey, Salem, NJ195
d. 6 March 1791, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ196

Parents: John Swinney and Deborah Smith197


1. Robert Ayars [Twin]
b. 11 March 1754, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ198
d. March 1759, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ199

2. Keziah Ayars [Twin]
b. 11 March 1754, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ200
m. Valentine Swinney, bef. 1788, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ201
d. 11 August 1811, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ202
3. Seth Ayars
b. 1 November 1755, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ203
d. after 1793, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ204
4. Deborah Ayars
b. 26 July 1757, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ205
m. Stephen Ayars, 1786, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ206
d. 11 August 1791, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ207
5. Ann Ayars
b. 29 August 1759, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ208
m. James Wood,
d. 1 August 1785, Shiloh, Cumberland, NJ209

In this record, it says "Third, many of the descendants of Robert Ayars shortly met and married the descendants of Edmund Dunham and Hezekiah Bonham from Piscataway, and members of the migrant families from Rehoboth and Swansea -- the rest is biological history." Edmund was married to Mary Bonham who was Hezekiah's SISTER!

Just an interesting side note. Robert Ayars is my 10th Great grandfather. The names Robert and Ruth Burdick that are mentioned as 2 of the members of the Seventh Day Baptist Church are my 8th Great-grandparents. Their descendants are my 2 times Great-grandparents, Stillman I.W. and Prudence Alen. Stillman descended from R. Burdick and Prudence descended from R. Ayars. My great aunt, Stillman and Prudence' granddaughter, Mary Munson Bott is still living and told me recently that her mother, Henrietta F. Alen Munson, was a Seventh Day Baptist member until they moved to Oklahoma in 1905 where there was no such church. So they joined First Baptist Church, Leticia, OK. I love finding these little gold nuggets.

Information provided by: Merciesrnew (#47864238)

Family links: 
  Katharin Taylor Ayars (1642 - 1684)
  Hester/Esther Bowen? Ayars (1651 - 1726)
  Issac Ayars (1673 - 1761)*
  Stephen Ayars (1675 - 1726)*
  Judah Ayars (1677 - 1718)*
  Esther Ayars Jarman (1680 - 1737)*
  Robert Ayars (Yeoman) (1681 - 1736)*
  John Ayars (1684 - 1741)*
  Ann Ayars (1685 - 1716)*
  Caleb Ayars (1692 - 1760)*
  Joshua Ayars (1695 - 1759)*
*Calculated relationship
Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church Cemetery
Cumberland County
New Jersey, USA
Created by: Our Family History
Record added: Oct 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 99822938
Robert Ayars
Added by: Our Family History
Robert Ayars
Cemetery Photo
Added by: The Bull
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Rick
 Added: Jan. 10, 2015
Rest in 8th great grandfather. An Iris for you!
- Mary Sloan
 Added: Sep. 9, 2014
Robert, Rest in Peace. My 8th Great Grandfather.
- Donna, Wayne, Tonee, Terrence
 Added: Jul. 20, 2013
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