was born in July 1611 at Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England. James Grover was born circa 1622 at Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England. He married Rebecca Cheesman
circa 1639 at Gravesend, Kings County, New York. James Grover died before 28 December 1685 at Middletown, Monmouth County, New Jersey. The information regarding the Grover family was obtained from Hist.and Geneat. Miscellany by Stillwell, pp.246-278, Vol. 4, Grovers ofMonmouth County, N.J. We have been unable to find, with assurance, anyhistory of this family in England, but we are sure that the Groverswere English, and that James Grover, first member of the Grover familyto settle in America, was loyal to the English Crown.
James Grover, the founder of the Monmouth County families was one ofthose brave adventurous spirits, of whose history, prior to coming toGravesend, Long Island, at its first settlement, we know little ornothing. The first positive knowledge of James Grover is the grantingto him, Feb. 20, 1646 (Nov. 12, 1646, says T.G. Bergenm, Esq.) in thefirst division of Gravesend lands, a house, lot and farm of 20 acres.
On March 9, 1655, with James Hubbard and George Baxter, he proclaimedthe republic of England and repudiated the Dutch Government, atGravesend, but managed to escape when they were arrested on a chargeof treason, although his hands hoisted the English flag there. Thatwas an important historical event and was of great value to theColonies later. He went to Boston thence to England, but, in 1657reappeared at Gravesend, bringing with him a letter from the Proctor,Oliver Cromwell, addressed to the English inhabitants of Long Island,which he afterward presented to the Magistrates of Gravesend "to beopened and read"; but the Director Stuyvesant had been informed of it,and he, August 24, 1657, addressed a letter to the "Honorable, DearFaithful, the Schont and Magistrates of the Village of Gravesend"countermanding the substance of said letter and requesting that Groverand his letter to be sent to Peter Stuyvesant, Director and Council ofNew Netherlands. James Grover considered it unwise to appear beforeStuyvesant and prudently made his escape, leaving the letter with theMagistrates.
James Grover's farm was on the S-E portion of the town, and, in 1657,he had six acres under cultivation. He must have been protected by theMagistrates and people of Gravesend, although he was an open enemy tothe Dutch Government.
About this time (1663) some of the people of Gravesend decided toemigrate, and a number of them went in search of a place to settle.Stuyvesant heard of it and sent a vessel in pursuit of the party. Theparty had an eventful trip but was not overtaken.
1666-7 James Grover sold his farm in Gravesend, and went to EastJersey, where he was one of the first settlers in Middletown where,December 30, 1667, he had a town lot assigned to him and was deputedto "survey the land that is to be laid out in lots". 1668, JamesGrover was town clerk of Middletown and December 16, 1668, he made anagreement with the Town to lay out the meadows into town lots for onepound of merchantable blade tobacco for each acre.
Jan. 4, 1669, James Grover recorded his "earmark" for his cattlerunning at large.
Dec. 25, 1669, made an agreement with Town of Middletown, in legalTown Meeting to operate his flour mill in accordance with certainspecifications.
1667-8, he was the first Town Clerk of Middleton.
1668, he was one of the founders of the Baptist Church of Middletown.
1673, he was millwright employed by Governor Lovelace of New York inthe erection of a mill on Staten Island.
1673 (August 8, 1674), he was chosen as the Commissioner to consultupon terms of surrender, with the Dutch at Fort Orange.
1667-8, Feb. 27. James Grover of Middletown subscribed to the "Oath ofAllegeance".
1672. Commission granted to Mr. James Grover to be Lieutenant of afoot company in Middletown.
1675, March 13. A Commission granted for the County Court ofMiddletown and Shrewsbury, at which James Grover was to be anassociate.
1677, March 12. James Grover appointed Justice of the Peace, at Courtheld in Shrewsbury.
LANDS OF JAMES GROVER
The first recorded land transaction in which James Grover took part isdated August 24, 1674, and is to be found on page 68 of Liber 1 st ofEast Jersey Deeds in the Office of the Secretary of State. At thattime Matappeas, Tawapung, and Seapeckne, "Chief Sachems of Toponemese:sold to John Bowne, Richard Hawthorne and James Grover, of "Middletownin After Cull", "In consideration of sundry species of trading goods",a certain tract of land on Navesink River.
On June 30, 1675, Governor Carteret granted to James Grover for ayearly rent of one-half penny per acre a tract of 330 acres called"Grover's Inheritance", on Swimming River, in Middletown; also atriangular tract of 200 acres, also called "Grover's Inheritance", onRamanesse Creek in Middletown; also another triangular tract of 25acres in Middletown on Navesink's Bay, and six acres of swamp land atthe head of Jumping River.
The third recorded grant of land to James Grover is from GovernorCarteret, for 517 acres in Middletown, and is dated June 20, 1677. Itwas known as "Grover's New Invention". (This adds up to 1072 acresowned by James Grover in addition to that tract of unknown acreagepurchased from the Indians).
WILL OF JAMES GROVER.
Ref: Liber I, p. 68, East Jersey Deeds.
"In the name of God AMEN, I James Grover, Senr. of Middletown, Countyof Monmouth, in East Jersey, being sencible of my Mortality and thepresent of perfect and sound mind---Imps. I bequeath my soul toAlmighty God that gave it, and my body to the Earth, etc.--- And asfor my Temporal Estate as it has blessed God to bestow upon me, i doeGive, Order and Dispose of the same in manner and forme following(that is to say)--first- I will that all those debts and Duties as Iowe in Right or conscience to any man whatsoever, shall be well andtruly contented and paid, in convenient time after my Demise, by myExecut(ers) hereinafter named.
Item I give and bequeath and my will is that my Mansion house, my Millwith that belongs thereto, and all my land lying on the N-E side ofMill Creek, together with all my Meadow land adjoining or Elcewhere,shall be divided into three equal parts, one third I give to my sonJames Grover, on third to my son-in-law Benjamin Border, for sake ofhis wife, my daughter Abigail, and the other third part to myson-in-law, Richard Gardiner for the sake of my daughter Hannah, hiswife with all the privilidges & appurtenances thereto belonging, tothem and their Heirs Execut(rs), Administrat(rs), or assignes.
Item all the rest of my Estate, Movable or Imovable, both householdand stuffe, tools, implements--cattle, horses, swine and everythingelce that is mine, my will is that after decease of me and my wife, itshall be equally divided between my five children, James, Joseph,Safety, Abigail and Hannah.
Item My will is that after my decease, all my Estate, both Real andPersonal shall be and Remaine in the possession of my Deare WifeRebecca for her support and Maintenance as long as she shall live orremain a widow, and afterward to be disposed of as specified.
Lastly I doe Ordain and Appoint my son James Grover and my son-in-lawRichard Gardiner to by me Execut(rs), and none other after my decease,to see this Will and Testament performed. In witness whereof I havehereunto set my hadn and fixed my seale, this 1 st day of Dec. in theyear of Our Lord 1685.
This will are proved Jan. 28, 1685/6.
Witnesses: Richard Hartshome and Tho. Webly,
before John Throckmorton.
Note: President Grover Cleveland was a descendant of this line ofGrovers and his Christain name was in honor of the family name broughtdown from the pioneer, James Grover.