JOHN NORMAN came from Cornwall, England about 1740 to 1750. Family lore has it, that John came with a French clock and ruler, saying it was “from the old country”. He first settled in Albany, New York on land granted to him for his service, as a corporal in His Majesty’s Twenty-eighth Regiment. This land was located on the east side of Lake Champlain, to the southward side of Missisquoi Bay, which is in present day, the state of Vermont.
In 1762, he married Rachel, however her Surname or family history is unknown at this time. In 1763, John & Rachel gave birth to their first son, Oliver, of whom I (Ruth Norman Martinez) descend from, my 5th great-grandfather. During this time, many settlers, had to relocate do to fighting amongst the Indians, French, English and the various Providence’s of American Colonies, with one another. We know that he had relocated to Orange County, New York by 1772 because he is mentioned in the article, of the Williamsburg Virginia Gazette, announcing the arrival of Rev. Myles Cooper, President of the King’s College (presently known as Columbia University), along with Captain Norman, both from New York, to assist with the settlement of a Bishop, to the American Colonies. Rev. Cooper had authored, with several other Anglican clergy in New York, a pamphlet arguing that all forms of resistance to the Crown constituted treason.
In May of 1775, an outbreak of hostilities between the British and the colonists started. Rev. Cooper, who was a well known loyalist, was confronted by an angry mob, however he managed to escape by boarding & seek refuge on a British naval ship, anchored in the New York harbor and fled back to England along with other Loyalist, ten days later. This was the beginning of the American Revolution.
In August of 1775, the Provincial Congress of New York passed a law, to organize in each district a regiment of colonial militia. In 1776, John enlisted in the New York Militia serving as a Captain in the Sterling Company, under Colonel John Hathorn, 4th Orange County Regiment. The other Companies were Warwick, Pond, Florida and Wantage.
John relocated with his family to Sussex County, New Jersey in the vicinity of Sparta where he settled and opened his shop and forge on Norman’s Pond. The name was changed to Morris Lake, for Morris Anchor Works, owned by Richard R. Morris, of Sparta, when they made a reservoir there. It was located one mile east of Sparta.
In the Book: Centennial Anniversary of the Presbyterian Church at Sparta, N.J., November 23, 1886. John’s son’s, Peter and Oliver (my 5th great-grandfather), are mentioned as early settlers in the vicinity of Ogdensburg. Excerpts from the book, “Peter Norman, with his brother Oliver, was a tenant of the Ogdens, and the father of sixteen children, among whom were three sons, William, Peter and James. Morris Lake was formerly called Norman’s Pond, from them.”.
Ironically, some type of disturbance happened with Oliver’s 2nd wife, Rebecca Chamberlain, causing Oliver to sell his interest in his business, to his brother Peter and settled in Hopewell Twp., Muskingum County, Ohio with his son William (my 4th great grandfather) and many other Jersey men, who relocated to Ohio. Peter Norman ended up marrying his older brothers, previous wife, Rebecca Chamberlain, having 8 children with her and he had 8 children with his 2nd wife Elizabeth Burr. It is unknown at this time of how many children Rebecca had with Oliver.
In the Book: History of Morris Co., New Jersey, John is reffered by the name Peter Norman, a Hessian. Hessians were the 18th century German auxiliaries contracted for military services by the British government. Excerpts from the book, “The arrival of the Normans was also about this time (1775-1778). Peter Norman (Capt John Normans alias) was a Hessian, and at the close of the war settled on the mountains behind Milton and Sparta, perhaps in Sussex County.”. And in the Book: Colonial and Revolutionary, Morris Co., John, is referred by the name, Peter Norman, and is mentioned as "a Hessian deserter". John did have a son in 1778, that he named Peter, his alias name, thus, the reason he is referred to as John “Peter” Norman by his descendants.
John Norman's military experience potionally saved his family lives by deserting Col. John Harthorn command, who had no military experience. Col. Harthorn worked as a surveyor, working on the boundary dispute between NJ & NY. He also was a teacher however through his acquaintance with Govenor George Clinton and General George Washington, who was a guest of the Harthorn's in Warwick, he was commisioned as a commanding officer. He was one of the commanding officer during the disastrous Battle of Minisink. It was over 40 years, before their loved ones, were able to over come their fear and retrieve the little scattered bones, and interred in a memorial in Goshen.
Although, we do not know of Capt John's parental line at this time, or where in England, he was born, or why he is reffered as a hessian German Solidier, and of the French items he brought with him. However, we do have many clues, for a future descendant, and thru the Norman DNA, for one day, someone to figure out. - Ruth Norman Martinez
This is still a work in progress .....
John & Rachel had 8 son's & 5 daughters
Their 13 children were:
1) OLIVER NORMAN who was born Nov. 8, 1763 in Albany, NY and died c. 1826 in Falls Twp., Muskingum Co., Ohio
2) JOHN NORMAN b. December 8, 1765
3) SARAH NORMAN b. October 17, 1767
4) WILLIAM NORMAN b. March 31
5) DAVID NORMAN b. 1772
6) SAMUEL NORMAN b. 1773
7) MARY NORMAN b. November 11, 1775
8) PETER NORMAN b. April 1778
9) ABIGAIL NORMAN b. March 24, 1780
10) ELIZABETH NORMAN b. December 5, 1789
11) RACHEL NORMAN b. February 1784
12) CHARLES NORMAN b. June 20, 1787
13) JAMES NORMAN b. May 1789