Alexander Biles1

M, #3439, b. circa 1694
  • Birth*: circa 1694;Born between say Jan 1693/4 to Mar 1695/6. Birth date range is conjecture based on lifespan of father.
  • Note*: The identity of Alexander Biles' wife is uncertain. It may have been Ann Tindall, daughter of Thomas and Isabel Tindall.
  • Note: The Biles of New Jersey are very difficult to piece together in families, as, most died intestate or with no probate at all, and they do not appear in church records, and they are named in only a few land records, and various authors in secondary sources have made assertions and conjectures about various Biles without providing sources.

    The difficulty for the name Alexander Biles is compounded, as there were, for certain, two Alexander Biles in New Jersey, and possibly three or even four or five. They were located in or near then Maidenhead Township, Hunterdon county, and Trenton. (Another, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is not treated here.)

    The five possible persons named Alexander Biles of New Jersey were:

    Alexander Biles #A, the son of Charles Biles & Sarah Wood. Alexander #A is well identified, appearing in three inter-related primary sources.

    Alexander Biles #B, the father of brothers William Biles and Alexander Biles #C. Alexander #B is identified only in the interviews reported by researcher John A. Biles, who surmised without evidence that Alexander #B was the son of Alexander #A. A case can be made that Alexander #B could be the same person as Alexander #A. Also a case can be made that Alexander #B was the same as Alexander #D.

    Alexander Biles #C, the father of the Martha Biles who married William Anthony. Alexander #C is identified in two secondary sources: in the interviews reported by researcher John A. Biles, and also in Cooley's book. John A. Biles identified Alexander #C as the brother of the William Biles who married Mary OpDike.

    Alexander Biles #D, the son of a Stephen Biles and the father of the Sarah Biles who married Thomas Biggs. Alexander #D is identified only in Francis Bazley Lee's book.

    Alexander Biles #E, the father of a Hannah Biles who married brothers Ebenezer and Daniel Howell. Alexander #E is identified in Cooley's book. A debatable case can be made that Alexanders #C and #E are the same person, based on the similar ages of their daughters.


    This Alexander Biles, the son of Charles, #A above, is certainly named in three of the sources detailed below: the 1698/9 conveyance of land by his uncle Joseph Wood, the 1731 will of his mother Sarah (Wood) (Biles) Brearley, and the 1740 will of his brother John Biles. The events listed below which occurred up through 1731 can also be ascribed with fair certainty to this Alexander Biles, based on probable birth dates of the other Alexanders. The events occurring after 1731 and through 1782 cannot be ascribed with certainty to this Alexander Biles or any one of the other persons of that name.

    The following events name involve some one of the persons named Alexander Biles:2,3,4,5,6
  • Note: 1697. By indenture dated 9 March 1697 Joseph Wood of Bucks County Pennsylvania yeoman granted unto Sarah Brearley widow of Charles Biles of Maidenhead in Burlington County West Jersey for her natural life and then to Alexander Biles second son of Charles Biles, or in case of his death and want of heirs, to the two daughters of Charles Biles, unnamed, 100 acres of land in West Jersey, being the same land purchased by Joseph Wood 10 June 1692 from John Tatham of Burlington attorney for Daniel Coxe of London [NJA 21:488]. Recorded 7 October 1698 West Jersey Deeds, Book B2, p. 658.
    Abstracted by compiler; viewed on FHL microfilm 460046. See also the abstract by Lewis D. Cook in his article on Woods, Biles & Brearley.

    Warren Ely, in a letter to A. V. Phillips dated 3 June 1927, puts this deed into context:
    "I find that Joseph English conveyed to Charles Biles, both of Burlington county, November 5, 1695, 200 acres of land above the Falls of Delaware. W.J. Deeds Liber #, page 12.
    "This probably accounts for the conveyance to Alexander, "second son" in 1697, by his Uncle Joseph Wood of the 100 acres, as joint tenant with his mother. Under the old New Jersey law, primogeniture was practiced, as to real estate, all lands descending to the oldest male, and Uncle Joseph took this means of providing for the second son and the daughters who were also mentioned in the deed, having in mind that John as eldest son would inherit the 200 acre farm acquired by his father in 1695. I have always puzzled over this conveyance to a mere infant - Alexander being then, 1697, some where from 5 to 7 years of age."

    Ely also notes, p. 16: "The return of survey of this tract, recorded in Revel's Book of Surveys, page 124, shows that it was on Little Shabbacunck Creek, next to Joseph English, and included 10 acres of Meadow."7,8,9
  • Note: 1722. "Commissioned Ensign of Maidenhead Twp. Militia Co., 14 May 1722."10
  • Note: 1730. At a town meeting Maidenhead Township March 1729/30: "Alex Biles over Seer of ye poor with john smith junr"11
  • Note: 1731. Will of Sarah Brearley, of Maidenhead, in West Jersey, widow. Written 16 Sept 1731, proven 27 Oct 1731. Clothing to Sarah Watson, Ruth Gumly and Ann Biles. Children John Biles, Elicksander Biles, John Brearley, David Brearley, Joseph Brearley, Benjamin Brearley, Sarah Watson and Ruth Gumly. Executor John Brearley. Inventory 23 Oct 1731, £149.7.1.12
  • Note: 1732. Inventory of estate of Robert Tindal of Trenton made 18 Sept 1732 by Alexander Biles and Joseph Tindall.13
  • Note: 1733. The inventory of the estate of John Severns of Trenton made 4 March 1732/33 includes a list of several hundred persons with debts to the estate, including Alexander Biles.14
  • Note: 1734. Maidenhead Township March 1733/34. Alex Biles elected one of the four commissioners.15
  • Note: 1736. Gravestones - Lawrenceville Presbyterian:
    "Biles, Ales, d. Aug. 29, 1736. Field stone: "ALES BILES / Ded 29 Aug'st / 1736" Next to Mary Biles."

    "Biles, Mary, d. Aug. 25, 1736. Field stone: "MARY / BILES DECD / 25 AUGUST / 1736." Next to Ales Biles."

    Note that there is a photo of the first stone on FindAGrave, showing a perhaps broken stone, crudely carved.16
  • Note: 1737. Maidenhead Township 8 March 1737. "Ellix Boils Philip Philips commissioners"17
  • Note: 1739. Maidenhead Township March 1739. Alex Biles Overseer of poor.18
  • Note: "1740, May 29. Biles, John, of Maidenhead, Township, Hunterdon Co., yeoman; will of. Wife, Elizabeth. Daughter Sarah Biles; two sons, John and Charles, land where testator lived. Executors - wife and brother, Alexander Biles. Witnesses - George Rozel, Samuel Lee, Mary Carpenter. Proved July 22, 1740. Lib. 4, p. 247.
    1740, July 1. Inventory of personal estate, £157.17.6; made by John Price and John Hunt."19
  • Note: 1740. Alex: Biles witnesses the 19 Jan 1740/1 renunciation of Phebe Brearley as administratrix to the probate of her husband Joseph Brearley of Maidenhead.
    [Note that Joseph Brearley was the son of Sarah (Wood) (Biles) Brearley, and hence the step-brother of Alexander Biles.]20
  • Note: 1741. Alexr. Biles witnessed the 12 Sept 1741 will of Edward Hunt of Hunterdon Co., "son of Ralph Hunt of Maidenhead".21
  • Note: 1746. By indenture made 14 January 1746 Alexander Biles of Maidenhead, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, carpenter, in consideration of £75.--.-7 proclamation money, granted to David Brearley of the same place, yeoman, a tract of 100 acres, which was surveyed to John Wood and now in possession of Alexander Biles. On 25 June 1765 one of the witnesses, Nathaniel Fitz Randolph, appeared in court to authenticate the indenture, [suggesting that Alexander Biles was not then available]. Recorded West Jersey Deeds, Liber W, p. 249. Abstracted by the compiler; viewed on FHL microfilm 460059.

    By indenture made 14 January 1746 Alexander Biles of Maidenhead, carpenter, in consideration of £50[?], granted to David Brearly ten acres of meadow. On 25 June 1765 one of the witnesses, Nathaniel Fitz Randolph, appeared in court to authenticate the indenture, [suggesting that Alexander Biles was not then available]. Recorded West Jersey Deeds, Liber W, p. 251. Abstracted by the compiler; viewed on FHL microfilm 460059.7
  • Note: "1746, July 5. Freeze, Abraham, of Maidenhead, Hunterdon Co.; will of. Brothers - Isaac and Joseph. Naomi Biles, daughter of John Biles, deceased, residue of estate when eighteen, if she dies in minority, then to her mother, Elizabeth Bils. Friend Elizabeth Biles, executrix. Witnesses - Sarah Overton, Alexander Biles, Martha Biles. Proved June 28, 1749. Elizabeth Moore, late Elizabeth Biles, executrix, sworn same day.
    1749, June 17. Inventory..."
    [Note that Alex. Biles, Jr. witnessed the 1771 will of a Joseph Moore - connection not explored.]22
  • Note: "Benjamin Yard...born at Trenton, in 1714. He married Ann Pearson...Their children were...4. Nahor, who married Betsay Biggs, daughter of Thomas Biggs, of England, who came to Trenton about 1750. He married Sarah, daughter of Alexander Biles, son of Stephen. They had children: Sarah died young. Anna, who married Ely Hutchinson, and for second husband Samuel Martindell. Joseph, who married Elizabeth Brinley, daughter of Jacob Brinley..."

    See in this database Alexander Biles, son of Stephen Biles. [Alexander Biles #D per above notation.]

    Nahor Yard and Elizabeth Biggs married 1784 by N.J. License. So Thomas Biggs and Sarah Biles were married by say 1765 at the latest; and Alexander Biles was married by say 1747 at the latest. So this Alexander Biles is not the son of the Stephen Biles and his wife Keziah Hunt who married by license in 1737.6
  • Note: 1756. The will of Benjamin Brearley of Maidenhead, Hunterdon Co. dated 5 June 1756, proved 17 March 1757, conveys "a tract of land joyning land of Allex.r Boyles and Jesper Smith containing sixty acres let it be more or less likewise one other tract of land joyning land of David Braily & Allex.r Boyles & joyning the file mile run and being part of a tract purchased of Thomas Green let it be more or less...". Hunterdon County Wills, 394J. Viewed on FHL microfilm 461816.23,24
  • Note: 1762. Alexander Biles had recorded in the Maidenhead Township records of 1 Nov 1762 the markings of two last spring cows.25
  • Note: 1765. The Alexander Biles who had sold two properties to David Brearley in 1746 (see above) was not available in June 1765 to appear before a magistrate to authenticate his deeds, as grantors normally did.
  • Note: 1765. Regarding the First Presbyterian Church of Hopewell, at Pennington, in Hopewell Township: "The church was commenced in 1765, and completed in 1766...William Worth, of Lawrence, was the chief mason, and Alexander Biles and Josiah Beakes the carpenters."26
  • Note: 1767. Birth of Martha Biles, computed from age at death.

    Cooley: "William [Anthony], who died 1831, aged 66, son of George, married Martha, daughter of Alexander Biles, of Maidenhead. She died 1848, aged 81..."

    [This is Alexander Biles #C above. See his separate page in this database.]27
  • Note: 1768. Alexander Biles of Hopewell and Charity Mullady administrators of intestate estate of Samuel Mullady, tanner, of Hopewell.28
  • Note: 1770. "Ebenezer Howell, son of Daniel, died October 28th, 1813, aged 45, married Hannah, daughter of Alexander Biles, of Lawrence,..."

    [This is Alexander Biles #E above. See his separate page in this database.]

    Compiler: Say that Hannah was born circa 1770, then she is a bit old to be a sister of brothers William & Alexander, and she is the right age to be an older sister of Martha (but unknown to Thomas Jefferson Biles in 1810 in Trenton around 1810?), and she would be the right age to be a daughter of the Pennington church painter. See Cook re Howells.29,30
  • Note: 1773. Alex Biles, Jr. witnesses will of Joseph Moore of Hopewell Township. Another witness appeared 2 Dec 1791 to prove the will; Alexander Biles did not.31,32
  • Note: Alexander Biles in tax lists Hopewell Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey:
    1780 - 1 household; 1 house & lot not exceeding 10 acres
    1781 - 1 household
    No entries for Biles in Hopewell Twp. in 1778, 1779, 1785, 1802.

    No entries for Alexander Biles in Maidenhead Twp. 1778-1789.33
  • Note: "1782, March 4. Biles, Alexander, of Maidenhead, Hunterdon Co. Intestate. Administrator - Benjamin Biles. Fellowbondsman - John Rozell; both of said place.
    1782, March 4. Inventory £26.4.0, made by Job Rozel and John Anderson. Lib. 23, p. 213."

    Inventory includes household goods, books, two swords, carpenters tools and a hand saw; no farming implements. Viewed by compiler on FHL microfilm 461822, file number 1150J.34,23
Last Edited: 16 Oct 2014

Parents:

Father: Charles Biles1 b. 13 Aug 1665, d. b 5 Aug 1696
Mother: Sarah Wood1 b. bt 1670 - 1672, d. Oct 1731

Citations

  1. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 30:59-60. Will of Sarah Brearley.
  2. [S250] Lewis D. Cook papers. Section entitled "Biles of N.J.", from the "Family Records, by L. D. Cook", call number "Gen 3.4", at Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 17 typed pages.
  3. [S397] Section entitled "Biles and allied families of Tindall", from the "Ely Collection, by Warren S. and Josephine I. Ely", call number "FC Bi", at Historical Society of Pennsylvania, loose papers, correspondence and typed pages, 26 pages.
  4. [S249] Letters from John A. Biles (1858-1929), Wyalusing, Penn. to Warren S. Ely, dated 4 April 1927 & 9 May 1927, relating conversations he had 22 Feb 1883 with brothers Thomas Jefferson Biles, Israel Biles and Charles Biles, residents of Trenton New Jersey. The letters are contained in the section entitled "Biles and allied families of Tindall", from the "Ely Collection, by Warren S. and Josephine I. Ely", call number "FC Bi", at Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See key note under Thomas Jefferson Biles.
  5. [S118] Eli F. Cooley and William S. Cooley, Early Settlers in Trenton and Ewing, p. 7, 130.
  6. [S152] Genealogical and Personal Memorial of Mercer County New Jersey. by Francis Bazley Lee, The Lewis Publishing Co. New York Chicago 1907., p. 209.
  7. [S491] West Jersey Deeds, 1677-1854. FHL microfilm series. Book B film # 460046, Book AAA film # 460047, Book W film # 460059, and other books. [Also see on web New Jersey Archives, Collection Guides, Department of State, Deeds SSTSE023. GSU reel numbers are FHL film numbers.]
  8. [S258] Lewis D. Cook, "Wood of Sheffield, Yorks., and Bucks Co., Penna.; Biles of Dorchester, Dorset and of Maidenhead, N.J.; and Brearley of Maidenhead", The American Genealogist, Vol.40 (1964), p. 210-213., p. 210-1.
  9. [S397] Section entitled "Biles and allied families of Tindall", from the "Ely Collection, by Warren S. and Josephine I. Ely", call number "FC Bi", at Historical Society of Pennsylvania, loose papers, correspondence and typed pages, 26 pages., p. 22.
  10. [S250] Lewis D. Cook papers. Section entitled "Biles of N.J.", from the "Family Records, by L. D. Cook", call number "Gen 3.4", at Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 17 typed pages., p. 7: Commission Book of New Jersey (Penn. Genealog. Magazine, 8:145.).
  11. [S468] Township minutes, 1716-1925, Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey, formerly Maidenhead Township, Hunterdon County. FHL microfilm 888838., p. 20.
  12. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 30:59.
  13. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 30:483.
  14. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 30:424.
  15. [S468] Township minutes, 1716-1925, Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey, formerly Maidenhead Township, Hunterdon County. FHL microfilm 888838., p. 29.
  16. [S283] "Mercer County Gravestones, Lawrenceville Presbyterian Churchyard", in The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Vol. 31 pp 2-10.
  17. [S468] Township minutes, 1716-1925, Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey, formerly Maidenhead Township, Hunterdon County. FHL microfilm 888838., p. 36.
  18. [S468] Township minutes, 1716-1925, Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey, formerly Maidenhead Township, Hunterdon County. FHL microfilm 888838., p. 26.
  19. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 30:45 Will of John Biles.
  20. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 30:59 Will of Joseph Brearley.
  21. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 30:256 Will of Edward Hunt.
  22. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 30:188 1746 Will of Abraham Freeze.
  23. [S210] Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Surrogate's Court. Filmed at State Library of Archives and History in Trenton. FHL microfilm series titled 'Record of wills, 1704-1900, 1J-10459J'.
  24. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 32:39 Will of Benjamin Brearley.
  25. [S468] Township minutes, 1716-1925, Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey, formerly Maidenhead Township, Hunterdon County. FHL microfilm 888838., unnumbered page.
  26. [S198] History of Burlington and Mercer Counties, New Jersey, with biographical sketches of many of their pioneers and prominent men, by E. M. Woodward and John F. Hageman, publ. 1883, Phila., Everts & Peck., p. 831.
  27. [S118] Eli F. Cooley and William S. Cooley, Early Settlers in Trenton and Ewing, p. 7.
  28. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 33:301 Samuel Mullady.
  29. [S400] Session Minutes of the First Presbyterian Church, Pottstown, Penn., 1847 to 1910. FHL microfilm 929,401, Items 1-3. Originals. Record of meetings; including new members and dismissals., p. 130.
  30. [S250] Lewis D. Cook papers. Section entitled "Biles of N.J.", from the "Family Records, by L. D. Cook", call number "Gen 3.4", at Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 17 typed pages., p. 10 1/2 Ebenezer Howell.
  31. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 37:258 Will of Joseph Moore.
  32. [S210] Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Surrogate's Court. Filmed at State Library of Archives and History in Trenton. FHL microfilm series titled 'Record of wills, 1704-1900, 1J-10459J'., 1566J, will of Joseph Moore, FHL microfilm 461827.
  33. [S464] Tax Ratables, Hunterdon Co., 1778-1822. FHL Microfilm 865475., List numbers 884, 885, 886, 887.
  34. [S98] Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey. aka New Jersey Archives., NJA 35:44 Alexander Biles, intestate 1782.