JOURNAL OF GENTRY GENEALOGY
Issue 2012-A
March 2012
Home Page and Index

THE PENNSYLVANIA AND NEW JERSEY GENTRYS
by
Willard Gentry

Introduction
It is well known that a vast preponderance of Gentrys in America descend from Nicholas Gentry who immigrated to eastern Virginia in the late 1670's. However, there was a small but cohesive group of Gentrys living in Philadelphia and the neighboring counties of southern New Jersey in the latter part of the 1700's and early 1800's that appear to be part of a different extended family. This article proposes that they descended from a John Gentry who presumably lived in Philadelphia and is mentioned in an obscure reference recorded there. Namely, in June 1711, a John Webb included the name John Gentry with a number of other names in his will<1>. The timing of this mention coincides very nearly with the date of death of Nicholas Gentry of Virginia and the time when Nicholas' son, Joseph Gentry and later his brothers, began to appear in the vestry records of St. Paul's Parish in New Kent County, Virginia. There is no logical way by which these two individuals, John and Nicholas, can be linked. The unescapable conclusion is that John's family was unrelated to the Nicholas Gentry family and that they probably came from different parts of England to account for their different destinations in the Colonies.

This brief reference to John Gentry was followed over time by a series of references to Gentrys in several southern New Jersey counties and in their neighbor, the city and county of Philadelphia. The earliest of these occurred roughly simultaneously in the two locations. In Philadelphia, the references begin with the marriage of a Robert Gentry in 1774, then during and following the Revolutionary War a succession of references to taxes due and to Philadelphia Militia service for several Gentrys<2a,b,c>. In New Jersey, the references begin with tax lists in Gloucester and Cumberland Counties in 1773 and 1774<3>. In addition to further tax references through 1779, a William Gentry is known to have served in the Gloucester Militia during the war<4>. These references were followed in 1785 by the will of a John Gentry of Cumberland County who had three sons and six daughters<5>. His date of birth has been estimated as being in the vicinity of 1730, probably in either Philadelphia or New Jersey. Finally, records of a series of marriages by Gentry brides and grooms in New Jersey provides additional names of Gentrys<6>. We suggest that this cluster of Gentrys descended from the original John Gentry of 1711 and started a new line of American-born Gentrys. To facilitate their study by family historians, this article will try to consolidate into one location the small amount of information we have concerning them.

Summary of Potential Pennsylvania Family Members
We will summarize below references to a number of Gentrys that lived in Philadelphia that appear to be the earliest members of a family of Gentrys separate from those that originated in Virginia.

  • John Gentry as mentioned above appears only once in historical records that have been found to date, namely in the 1711 will of John Webb. For purposes of distinguishing this John from others in the article, I will refer to him as John-I.

  •  
  • Robert Gentry is assumed to be the father of a younger Robert Gentry who was born probably about 1750 and who is described below. We have found only one reference to the elder Robert that seems unequivocally to identify him. A few other references could possibly apply to either Robert the elder or Robert the younger. The second Robert in terms of age could not have been a son of John-I, and the elder Robert fills the missing generation gap. The Pennsylvania Supply Tax records for 1779, 1780 and 1781 show that in 1779, Robert Gentry, shipwright, was taxed for property valued at 3600 pounds. In 1780 and 1781, a Robert Gentry was taxed for property valued at 100 pounds. This very clearly suggests that the first reference was to the father and the two following references were to the son. Nothing further is known for sure about the older Robert. He may have been the subject of some earlier militia service records but there is no way of telling apart the two Roberts. To distinguish this Robert from others, I will refer to him as Robert-II with the suffix numeral indicating his generation within the family. His son is indicated as Robert-III.

  •  
  • Robert-III Gentry was surely the groom in a marriage to Mary Johnson recorded in August 1774 in Old Swede's Church in Philadelphia. He is also presumed to be the Robert who was taxed for property valued at 100 pounds in 1780 and 1781 as mentioned above. Two additional tax liabilities, both in 1779 (one for one pound and one for ten shillings) were probably for the younger Robert based on the amount of tax. A Robert Gentry is listed in several references to Philadelphia Militia service beginning in 1776 and ending in 1785. Most if not all of them are assumed to refer to Robert Junior. He appears to have served in two different militia units: private in Capt. Forepaugh's Co., 5th Bn of the Philadelphia City Militia from 1777 to 1783; and private and matross in Capt. Rice's Co., Artillery Bn of Philadelphia Militia in 1784 and 1785. Following the war, we find references to Robert-III in the 1790, 1800 and 1810 census lists for Philadelphia.

Summary of Potential New Jersey Family Members
We will now summarize the earliest references to members of the branch of the John Gentry family that appear to have moved at an early point in time across the Susquehanna River into southern New Jersey.

  • John-II Gentry is believed to have been born about 1730. He married Hannah Bateman probably in about 1750-1755. His will, written in January 1785 in Cumberland County, names his wife Hannah, reveals ownership of a plantation, and make bequests to "an eldest son William ... my youngest sons, Thomas and Bateman Gentry ... and ... my 6 daughters, Susanna, Hannah, Ruth, Orpha, Sarah and Unice Gentry". John was also included in tax lists for Deerfield Township, Cumberland County for 1774, 1778 and 1779.

  •  
  • William-III Gentry served in the 3rd Bn, Gloucester Militia, New Jersey, as a private under the command of a Colonel Richard Somers. In addition there is a record of a William Gentry paying taxes in Great Egg Harbor in Gloucester County in 1773. He apparently moved from Gloucester County to Cumberland County after his military service as a William Gentry paid taxes in that county in 1778 and 1779. A William Gentry who paid tax in Pittsgrove, Salem County, in 1793 could have been this William or his son, William-IV. The older William is assumed to be the father of a number of Gentrys who paid tax and/or married in Gloucester and Cumberland Counties between 1797 and 1815. These children are described in more detail later in this article in a further discussion of William's family. William is briefly mentioned in "The Gentry Family in America" (GFA)<7> as family #255.

Proposal for an Extended Family
We will now undertake to assemble a probable extended family for John-I Gentry. We propose a scenario where John came to Philadelphia in the early 1700's or even before, from where we do not know, but presumably England. He probably was a young man with neither wife nor children at the time. We suggest his own family and his descendants can be outlined as shown below. As an aid to locating them, the map below shows the counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland in which there were Gentrys recorded in the census between 1790 and 1850. Census records for the years 1790 to 1830 are included in the Reference section<9,10> as being representative of records available for these families.


Shaded Counties had Census References to Gentrys, 1790 - 1850

First Generation
John Gentry, Immigrant
  - Born about 1685 - 1690, probably in the British Isles
- His wife is Unknown as is his date of death.
  Children included:
A i John-II Gentry
B ii Robert-II Gentry

Second Generation, Children of John-I
A.    John-II Gentry
  - Born about 1730, probably in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Married to Hannah Bateman who died after John.
John died Apr 1785, Cumberland County, New Jersey; buried 6 May 1785. He was a yeoman farmer and left a will naming his wife and nine children as beneficiaries.
  Children of John and Hannah:
1i William-III Gentry born about 1758, probably in Gloucester County, New Jersey.
 ii Susanna Gentry, married 1 Dec 1776, Gloucester County, William Garret.
 iii Hannah Gentry
 iv Ruth Gentry
 v Orpha Gentry
 vi Sarah Gentry
 vii Eunice Gentry
 viii Bateman Gentry born about 1776, Cumberland County. Bateman is listed in the roster of Capt. Eli Elmer's Arty. Co. of the Cumberland County militia that was called to active service to participate in the so-called "Whiskey Rebellion" (otherwise known as the Pennsylvania Insurrection of 1794). To be called into service, Bateman must have been at least eighteen years old. This means he must have been older than his brother Thomas even though the two sons of John were named in the latter's will in the opposite order. Nothing more is know of him after the military service.
(Speculation): Was the Lethea Gentry who married Allen Cathcart, 30 Dec 1798 in Philadelphia, the widow of Bateman? She was married in the First Baptist Church rather than in Old Swede's Church where Robert Gentry and his daughter were married, so was probably not a part of that family
2ix Thomas Gentry born 15 Nov 1779, Cumberland County.

B.   Robert-II Gentry
  - Born probably in the time period 1730 -1735, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Wife's name is Unknown, but the fact that Robert's family appears to have belonged to the historic Swedish Lutheran Old Swede's Church suggests that Robert's wife may have been of Swedish descent.
Robert probably died between 1780 and 1790 since there is no mention of him in the 1790 Philadelphia census. He was a shipwright as we have indicated above, and the one unequivocal mention of him was in the 1779 Pennsylvania Supply Tax lists when he was recorded as having taxable property valued at 3600 pounds. This Robert fills the generation gap between the original John-I Gentry and the Robert Gentry who was listed in early Philadelphia tax, military and census records.
  Children included::
3i Robert-III Gentry born about 1750 -1755, Philadelphia.
4ii George Gentry born about 1765, Philadelphia.

Third Generation
Children of John-II Gentry
1. William Gentry, Sr.
  - Born about 1750 -1755;
- married Unknown.
William lived in Gloucester County, New Jersey; paid taxes there in 1773 at Great Egg Harbor (located on the Atlantic coast), and served as a private in the Gloucester County militia during the Revolutionary War. He was probably the William Gentry who paid taxes in Salem County, New Jersey in 1793. He died before 1800 when four of his sons were apparently living together with the oldest son John.
  Proposed children include:
 i John Gentry born about 1768 -1772 probably in Gloucester County, New Jersey; married (1) Unknown, probably about 1794; married (2) 24 Mar 1802, Cumberland County, New Jersey, Hannah Ware. John was present in one of the few census listings that survived for the early years of New Jersey, that for 1800, Cumberland County. At that time, it appears that in addition to his wife and probably a son and daughter, four of his brothers and a sister were living with him. We hypothesize that John moved to New York City and was the John Gentry who was listed there in the 1820 census with three new children. Further references to John and Hannah have not been found. Charlotte Gentry who married Jedidiah Haines, 27 Mar 1819, in Salem County is thought to be the daughter who was present with John in the 1800 census (born 1790-1800). This daughter was no longer with him when he was in New York City in 1820. An entry in the 1830 New York City census that is difficult to distinguish between a William M "Gentry" and a William "McGentry", probably represents the former name. This William was newly-married and was of an age appropriate for John's son.
 ii Benjamin Gentry born about 1770 - 1774, probably in Gloucester County, New Jersey; married 15 Nov 1805, Cumberland County, Christina Joslen. He paid taxes in Cape May County in 1805 so must have moved there shortly before his marriage. There is no further record of him but a William L. Gentry who was listed in the 1850 Cape May census (born in New Jersey about 1813) was probably a son of Benjamin which would indicate that Benjamin survived at least to that time but may have died before the first New Jersey census records of 1830. William died in 1854 and an inventory of his estate is on record. His widow, Martha, continued to live in the county, taking a job as a tollgate keeper.
 iii Naomi Gentry born about 1775-1778; married 15 Oct 1797, Cumberland County, New Jersey, Michael Adams, the first of William's children to marry. This suggests she was one of the older members of his family.
5iv William Gentry Jr. born about 1779, probably in Cumberland County.
6v Hudson Gentry said to be born 31 Oct 1781, Cumberland County.
 vi Margaret Gentry born about 1785. David Allegretti, who is a descendant of William Gentry Jr,. has suggested that a Margaret Gentry who lived roughly 1790 to 1879, moved to Philadelphia and married a George Kelly there, was a daughter of William Jr. This seems very unlikely given William's date of marriage, but his Margaret may have been the daughter of William Sr.
 vii Jeremiah Gentry born probably about 1789. He paid taxes in Deerfield, Cumberland County, New Jersey, in 1807, 1812 and 1815. There is no record of his marriage, and he appears in census records, with wife and three children, only in the 1830 record for Cumberland County. His date of birth in that census was given as 1790 to 1800. Given the tax record for 1807, it seems he must have been born at the beginning or shortly before that time period. The 1830 census shows a wife that was roughly ten yours younger and with three children born approximately 1820 to 1830. Sarah Gentry (born about 1822), who married David P. White, 21 Jan 1841 in Cumberland County was probably a daughter of Jeremiah. A William Gentry (age 30) who was living in Burlington County, New Jersey, in 1850 with a wife Elizabeth and young child, may have been Jeremiah's oldest son..

2. Thomas Gentry
  - born 15 Nov 1779, Cumberland County, New Jersey
- married Susannah [Unknown] probably about 1800.
Thomas died 4 Dec 1841, in Philadelphia. He was recorded as paying taxes in Cumberland County, New Jersey in 1803. He appears to have moved to Philadelphia between then and 1806 (when his son William was born in Pennsylvania). In 1814, Thomas was included as a private in the muster roll for Capt. Knorr's Co., 2nd Brig., 1st Div. of the Pennsylvania Militia for service in the War of 1812. He was listed with his wife and children in the 1810 census for Philadelphia and again in 1820 and 1830. By 1840, his children were married and listed separately and he and his wife were living alone. His wife, Susannah was living next door to her son Thomas in 1850. Thomas Gentry is included in GFA as family #256 with details as to his wife and children and further descendants provided by family of a grandson. He was roughly the same age as his brother William's older sons, and in GFA he is indicated as being an additional son of William-IV rather than the son of John but this is unlikely.
  Children of Thomas and Susannah (all born in Pennsylvania, except Margaret?):
 i Margaret Gentry born 17 May 1804
 ii William Gentry born 9 Sep 1806. He was present in the 1840 and 1850 Philadelphia census with wife Mary (age 46, born Delaware) and son William E. (age 13, born Pennsylvania).
 iii George Gentry born 21 Nov 1808. George had probably just married in 1830 and he and his wife were listed with his parents in the 1830 census. This wife and two daughters, Margretta and Susannah were present in the 1840 census. By 1850, George appears to have remarried, Susan (age 37, born Pennsylvania). His two daughters were still living with him at that time.
 iv Thomas Gentry born 21 Feb 1811. Thomas was listed in Philadelphia census records beginning in 1840. His wife, Martha, was age 36 in 1850, born in Pennsylvania. They probably married about 1835.
 v Sarah Gentry born 7 Apr 1813
 vi Susannah Gentry born 14 Sep 1815
 vii Jane Gentry born 3 May 1818
 viii Alfred Gentry born 22 Oct 1820 (GFA #257); married Caroline [Unknown] about 1841.

Children of Robert-II Gentry
3. Robert Gentry Jr.
  - Born about 1750-1755, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Married 20 Aug 1774, Old Swede's Church, Philadelphia, Mary Johnson.
Robert was named in a number of military and tax records during the Revolutionary War period in Philadelphia as we have indicated above. In 1790, he appeared in the first census records with four sons and presumably a daughter in addition to himself and his wife. In 1800, he was listed with two of those sons and his older daughter with him along with a younger, second daughter. The older daughter is presumed to be Sarah who was married in 1810 in Old Swedes Church (the same church in which her parents were married). Robert appeared for the last time in the 1810 census with his wife, his younger daughter, and a probable grandson.
  Proposed children (all born in Philadelphia) include:
 i Hugh Gentry born about 1775. He appeared in the 1800 census for Chester County, Pennsylvania with a wife of his age and five sons all born after 1790. His own age was consistent with being one of the sons (presumably the oldest) of Robert. This is the only record that has been found for him. One of the five sons may have been living with their grandfather, Robert, in 1810.
 ii Son probably born about 1780. An extra family living with Samuel in Philadelphia in 1820 may have been the widow and possibly seven surviving children of this son of Robert. The children were all born between 1804 and 1820 which suggests that their father was a few years older than his brother Samuel. The age of the children suggest the father died shortly before 1820 and his family had had little time to find permanent lodging after his death. The son's widow may have been Margaret Gentry who was born about 1782 in Pennsylvania, who moved to Salem County, New Jersey, and was included in the 1840 census there, then moved to Cumberland County where she was included in the 1850 census. She was joined in 1850 by a William Gentry, born about 1819, a "peddler" (traveling salesman?) who may have been her youngest son. Another son was probably Robert Gentry who moved to New York, then to Mobile, Alabama, where he was located in 1850, age 35, shopkeeper, with a wife Mary and young daughter.
This Margaret is said to have died 19 Aug 1856 and was buried in the Methodist Church graveyard in Bridgeton, where two infant children of her presumed son, William, are also buried. Margaret has been identified by some as the Margaret Hector who married William-IV Gentry whose family is described below. This seems very unlikely. Because William was married twice after his marriage to Margaret, this would have involved a divorce, no record of which has been passed down in his family's records or tradition.
 iii Sarah Gentry (speculation) born about 1784; married (age 26, of Philadelphia) 15 Dec 1810, Old Swede's Church, Philadelphia, Isaac Zane (age 56, widower, of Gloucester County, New Jersey). She is assumed to be a daughter of Robert-III, both by reason of appropriate age, and because this is the church in which her parents were married.
7iv Samuel Gentry born about 1787.
 v Son born about 1790. He was present in the 1790 and 1800 census records with Robert's family, but not thereafter. He may have been the husband of Nancy Gentry who was present with a family of six children in Northampton County, Pennsylvania in 1830. Nancy and one of her youngest sons appeared also in the 1840 census. William Gentry (age 24) appeared in the 1850 census for the same county and is presumed to be this son of Nancy.
 vi Daughter born about 1794. She was with Robert in the 1800 and 1810 census. She is assumed to have married soon afterward. There is no further record of her.

4 George Gentry
  - Born about 1765 in Philadelphia
- Married Lethea [Unknown] (speculation).
In 1784 a George Gentry is listed as a private in the Philadelphia Militia muster rolls of Capt. Rusk's Co., 3th Bn. This is assumed to be a younger brother of Robert-III. George is mentioned only once in militia rosters so we assume he reached the age for military service late in the war. No further mention has been found of him
. A Lethea Gentry who married Allen Cathcart, 30 Dec 1798 in the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia may have been George's widow. The fact that George's brother, Robert, was married in Old Swede's Church, suggests that since Lethea was a member of a different church, she was not a member of Roberts' family, and she was too old to have been a daughter of George.
  Child of George:
8i Jacob Gentry (speculation) born about 1785 - 1790.

Fourth Generation
Children of William-III Gentry
5. William Gentry Jr.
  - born about 1779, probably in Cumberland County, New Jersey
- said to have married (1) 8 Dec 1803, Salem County, New Jersey, Margaret Hector;
- married (2) Unknown;
- married (3) 7 Aug 1842, Cumberland County, a widow, Rachel Dunham.
William is said to have died 29 Apr 1857. He was probably living with his brother John in 1800 in Cumberland County. He then appears to have moved to Salem County, where he paid taxes in 1802, and where he appeared in the census listing for 1830 and 1840. The final reference to him is found in the 1850 Cumberland County census. The members of William's family have been posted on a variety of internet sites by David Allegretti, a descendant of William's son Casper, basing them both on his own research and extracts of manuscripts held by the Vineland (NJ) Historical and Antiquarian Society<8>. His description of the family (with the exception of a daughter, Margaret, that is suggested for William) agrees with census and other records and is the basis for the listing of children below.
  Children of William and Margaret Gentry:
 i Mary Gentry, born about 1805; said to have married 20 Mar 1824, James Kelly
 ii John Gentry said to have been born 10 Aug 1806, Centerton, Salem County; and died 3 Oct 1875, Upper Pittsgrove Township, Salem County. John was listed as a single individual in the 1830 Salem County census but has not been found in any census records for 1840 through 1860. A John Gentry (age 65, born in New Jersey) appeared in the 1870 Salem County census, working on a farm for a Joseph Miller and family and was presumably this same John. (He was not living near or with the family in 1860).
 iii Sarah Ann Gentry, married 23 Feb 1833, Cumberland County, Ephraim Woodruff.
 iv Naomi Gentry said to have been born 3 Apr 1810; married 25 Nov 1835, Dayton Whitaker. Naomi is said to have died 5 Nov 1837, and was buried in the Methodist church cemetery in Bridgeton, Cumberland County.
 v Stillborn child, buried in Methodist church cemetery in Bridgeton.
 vi Casper Gentry said to have been born Aug 1817, and died 10 Dec 1898, Williamstown, Gloucester County. Married 25 Jun 1840, Gloucester County, Ann Hartman. Casper was in the 1850 Gloucester County census with his wife and three children and was in the 1860 census but has not been found in any earlier census records.
 
  Children of William and second wife (speculation):
 vii Henry C. Gentry born about 1822; married 9 Dec 1845, Cumberland County, Elizabeth Husted. Henry was living with his father in Salem County at the time of the 1830 census, is missing from the 1840 census, and was listed in Cumberland County in 1850 with his wife and one son.
 viii Jane Gentry may have been the Jane who was listed as a domestic working in a family in Philadelphia in 1860, but born in New Jersey about 1822.
 ix Hannah Gentry born about 1831, Salem County; said to have married William Vanleer. She was living in Gloucester County in 1850 with a John and Jane Smith family. This Jane was born about 1815 and one might wonder if she was Hannah's older sister, but her age and the census records do not support this conclusion.

6. Hudson Gentry
  - Born about 31 Oct 1781, Cumberland County, New Jersey
- Married (1) 12 Jan 1803, Cumberland County, Abigail Robinson
- Married (2) 1832, Franklin County, Indiana, Mary Weir.
Hudson is thought to be one of the brothers who was living with John-IV Gentry in 1800 in Cumberland County. He paid taxes in Deerfield township in that county in 1807, 1810 and 1815, and also paid taxes in Fairfield in Cumberland County in 1807. Hudson and his wife appear to have had six children in New Jersey, two of whom (a son and a daughter born between 1810 and 1820) did not survive. Shortly after his son, Alva, was born (about 1819), Hudson moved to Franklin County, Indiana--in time to be included in the 1820 census. The family continued to appear in the Franklin County census records for 1830 and 1840 and then in the Decatur County census for 1850. At that time Hudson was listed as being 59 years old (born about 1790 which was considerably in error and should have been a good ten years older). His second wife, Mary, was a widow, two of whose sons apparently were living with the family in 1840. Both Hudson and Mary appear to have died before 1860.
  Children of Hudson and Abigail (all born in Cumberland County, New Jersey)
 i Josiah Gentry born about 1804. Josiah was present with his father in 1820, but then struck out for himself. He is missing from 1830 and 1840 census records but was in Union County, Indiana in 1850. In 1860, he had joined his brothers Bateman and Alvy in Decatur County.
 ii Gilbert Gentry said to be born 5 Oct 1805; married 1832, Franklin County, Indiana, Elizabeth Hall. Gilbert was listed with his father in the 1820 census, but with his wife, Elizabeth in Franklin County in 1830, 1840 and 1850. He was listed by himself in 1860. Gilbert's occupation was master carpenter.
 iii Bateman Gentry born about 1813; married (1) 15 Oct 1839, Franklin County, Ann Bassett;.married (2) 1880, Mary Osman. Bateman was in the 1820 and 1830 census with his father. In 1840 he and Ann were listed in the 1840 Franklin County census. By 1850, they had moved, along with Hudson and his brother, Alvy, to Decatur County. They were also in the 1860 census with a large family of nine children.
 iv Son born about 1815. He and his brother Bateman were present with their father in the 1820 and 1830 census listings, but this presumed son of Hudson is missing from census records thereafter.
 v Daughter born probably about 1817. She was included in the 1820 census with her parents, but apparently died before 1830.
 vi Alva ("Alvy") Gentry born about 1819; married 7 Jan 1828, Franklin County, Mary A. Donean. Alvy's census record parallels that of his brother Bateman, moving from Franklin County to Decatur County at the same time as Bateman and their father. Like Bateman, Alva had a large family of nine children with him in the 1860 census. Alvy's family had a Susan Shoemaker, born about 1801 in Kentucky, living with them from 1840 through 1860. Her further identity has not been determined.

Children of Robert-III Gentry
7. Samuel Gentry
  - Born about 1787, in Philadelphia
- Married about 1805, Mary [Unknown] born about 1790.
Samuel died shortly before 1830. His Philadelphia census records begin in 1810 with his wife and one son, then in 1820 it is apparent that a second family with widowed mother and probably six children was living with him. Samuel is missing from the 1830 census, but his wife Mary is shown there in his place. She is missing from the 1840 and 1850 census and was presumably living with one of her children. In 1860 and 1870, she appeared back in the Philadelphia census with her son Samuel. Both years, a Mary Gentry, widowed with children, was living next door to the older Mary. The younger Mary had a daughter born about 1851 in Illinois. We can speculate that the younger Mary was the widow of a son of the older Mary, who may have been living with this son in 1840 and 1850, and then returned to Philadelphia after that son died.
  Children of Samuel and Mary (all born in Philadelphia)
 i John Gentry born about 1809; thought to have married twice, his second wife's name was Rachel. John was listed with his parents in the 1820 and 1830 census, then with apparently a young son and an unidentified teenage girl but no wife in 1840. In 1850 John was listed with his second wife but with no children in the home. John appears to have had only one child by his first wife, probably an Abraham Gentry, a nineteen-year-old bachelor plasterer living in 1850 with the family of his employer.
 ii Daughter born about 1813 - 1814; present with the family in 1820 and 1830. There is no record of her in 1840 and she is presumed to have married in the interval.
 iii Son born about 1816 - 1817; present with the family in 1810 and 1820 but missing in 1830. This may have been the husband of the Mary Gentry who was living next door to her mother-in-law, Mary in 1860 with a son Frederick (age 12, born PA) and daughter Mary (age 9, born IL). There is no record in the I850 Illinois census of her family. Mother, Mary, and daughter, Mary were still living next to her mother-in-law (age 80) in 1870. The latter had died when mother and daughter were listed once more in 1880. Mary was labeled as a widow in that census.
 iv Robert Gentry born about 1818 - 1819; present with the family in 1820 and 1830. He was listed in the 1840 census with his wife and one daughter as well as an adult male who is thought to have been his younger brother, Samuel. Robert died before 1850, but his wife, Eliza, and daughter Julia were in the 1850 and 1860 census.
 v Samuel Gentry born about 1821; was included with his parent's family in the 1830 census and possibly was with his brother, Robert, in the 1840 census. He is missing from the 1850 census, but was living with his mother in 1860 and 1870.

8. Jacob Gentry
  - Born about 1785 - 1790, probably in Philadelphia.
Jacob appears only once in early records, namely in the 1840 census of Monmouth County, New Jersey. His date of birth suggests that he must have been a son of George Gentry or of some unknown brother of George. Or alternatively, it is possible that he was a Gentry immigrant who was not related to the other New Jersey Gentrys. An argument against the latter proposition is that two of his suggested sons indicated that they were born about 1816 and 1820 in New Jersey. It is recognized that a number of newly-immigrated Gentrys arrived in the United States in the 1800's, but most of them did not show up until about 1850 or later. Whatever the facts of his origin, Jacob was missing from the 1850 census, as was one assumed son, Abraham, but several other prospective children were present in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland in 1850 and later.
  Children of Jacob (speculation)
 i Abraham Gentry born about 1812 - 1814. Abraham was included in the 1840 Monmouth County, New Jersey, census with a wife, two sons less than five-years-old and what appears to be one of his brothers. He has not been found in any census thereafter. A Patrick Gentry (age 20) living in Gloucester County, New Jersey in 1860 may have been one of Abraham/s sons.
 ii Theophilus Gentry born about 1816 in New Jersey. Theophilus was probably living with his brother Abraham at the time of the 1840 census rather than with his parents. He was included in the 1850 and 1860 Baltimore, Maryland, census with a wife Emily but no children.
 iii Charles Gentry born about 1820 in New Jersey. Charles was in the 1850 census for Ocean County, New Jersey (a newly-formed county split from Monmouth County in 1850). Charles has not been found in any later census records.
 iv Daughter born about 1822 - 1824
 v Son born about 1826 - 1829
 vi Daughter born about 1826 - 1829.
 vii Henry Gentry born about 1833; married Mary [Unknown]. Henry was living in Cumberland County, New Jersey in 1860 with his wife and two young children.
 viii George Gentry born about 1835. George was a bachelor in 1860, living in Cumberland County.

Possible Origins in England
In the search for the birthplace and parents of Nicholas Gentry of Virginia commissioned by Mrs. Herbert Gentry of Austin, Texas, a number of records were found in Suffolk County, England that may apply to the John Gentry family<11>. A series of entries in the register of the village of Little Wenham over a period of almost one hundred years contain a striking correspondence of names of Gentrys born in Little Wenham with names that are found in the family of John Gentry of Philadelphia. These include John, Robert, William, Thomas and Susanna. A fragmentary portion of the Suffolk family follows:
John Gentry
 :- married (1?) 11 Oct 1584 Elizabeth Harply, Little Wenham, Suffolk County
- married (2?) 19 Jun 1599 Thomassen/Tomazine Smith,
 Children of John and Elizabeth:
 iJohn, chr 24 Nov 1594
 Children of John and Thomassen
 iiWilliam, chr 17 Sep 1601
 - married Ann --?--
 Children:
 a)William, chr 13 Jul 1631
 b)Thomas, chr 1 Mar 1634/5
 c)Edward, chr 5 May 1639
 d)Thomasin, chr 4 Apr 1641
 iiiThomas, chr 29 Apr 1604
 ivRobert, chr 28 Dec 1607
 - married 1636 Ann Liveing
 Children:
 a)Anne, chr 25 Jun 1637
 b)Robert, chr 10 Mar 1638/9
 - married 1661 Elizabeth Bacon
Robert died 1679
 Children:
 (1)Robert, chr 29 May 1662
 (2)Elizabeth, chr 3 Apr 1664
 (3)William, chr 20 Aug 1665
 (4)Susanna, chr 23 Feb 1667/8
 (5)Nathaniel, chr 20 Nov 1669
 (6)John, chr 3 Dec 1671
 (7)Daniel, chr 20 Nov 1673
 (8)Ann, chr 12 Mar 1675/6
 (9)Thomasin, chr 1 Feb 1679/80
 c)John, chr 4 Apr 1641
 vJohn, chr 12 Sep 1610
John Gentry of Philadelphia probably falls just beyond the range of family members shown here. The John of Little Wenham born in 1671 could be the same as the American John, but the latter was quite possibly a part of the next generation--a son of the 1671 John, or one of his brothers or cousins. Little Wenham is a small community southwest of the city of Ipswich (on the east coast of England, a major shipping and trading community throughout history). In time, further study in Suffolk may provide additional information but the correspondence of names we have mentioned is certainly very intriguing.

Conclusions
There appears to be abundant evidence that there was a Gentry family living in Pennsylvania and New Jersey between 1700 and 1850 that cannot logically be connected to the Gentrys that descended from Nicholas Gentry of Virginia. It was displaced only one generation in time from the Nicholas family (its founder was about the same age as the sons of Nicholas). Despite this the family never spread anywhere nearly as rapidly as that of Nicholas, and after a hundred and fifty years was still very much concentrated in a small geographical area in the vicinity of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. A rough comparison of the number of sons in the first few generations goes far towards explaining the difference. Nicholas Gentry's family was very prolific. He had six sons, some 34 grandsons (not all of whom survived to have children), and approximately 140 great-grandsons (again a number of those did not survive to have children). His grandsons spread from Virginia to North and South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. In contrast, we know of only two sons of John Gentry of Philadelphia, and have been able to identify only 5 grandsons and 14 great-grandsons. There may have been other sons and grandsons but they did not survive to generate any records or any descendants that can be identified. By 1850, the only states other than Pennsylvania and New Jersey in which John's descendants were found were Indiana and one family each in Alabama, Maryland and New York. With this difference in survival and in number of children it is easy to see why an overwhelming number of Gentrys in this country descend from Nicholas.

References
1. Philadelphia County Wills, 1682-1819. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1900, p.D:44
Date: 21 Jun 1711
Prove Date: 15 Mar 1715
Remarks: John Webb of Philadelphia. Wife Anne. Daughter Susanna and her husband William Monington. Kinsman Joseph Webb and son of Hannah Lea of Chester County; sister Sarah wife of Nathaniel Perrin; sisters Mary and Rachel Webb and brother Daniel Webb who is in Great Britain. Thomas and John Redman, Robert Burrow, Reinier Jansen, John Gentry, Robert Adams are all mentioned. Executor: William Monington.

2. (a) Pennsylvania Archives Selected and Arranged from Original Documents in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Series 2, Volume VIII, Marriage Record of the Swedes' Church, 1750-1810.
Accessible online at <http://www.fold3.com/title_450/pennsylvania_archives/>, Page 378
 1774 Aug 20 Gentry, Robert and Mary Johnson
 
 (b) ibid, Series 3, Tax Records
  YearVol Page  ValueTax  
177914656 Robert "Genty", d. 1  -   - Supply Tax
17791596 Robert Gentry, d. 10  -  0 Five Shilling Tax
177915322 Robert Gentry, shipwright.3600 10 - 16 - 0Supply Tax
177915588 Robert Gentry100 1 - 1 - 6     "
177916511 Robert Gentry100 12 - 0     "
["d." = double payment]
 
 (c) ibid, Series 6, Military Records
  YearVol Page   
  Militia who have not joined their respective Companies
1776113 Robert Gentry.back of Jesse Williamson's at the New Ferry
1st Philadelphia Bn, Capt. John Williams Co.
 General return of Militia when called into service, July 1777
17811340 Eighth Class, Robert Gentry paid Novem'r 1st 1781
5th Bn, Phila. City Militia, Capt. Forepaugh's Co.
 Muster Rolls
178431069Privates, George "Gentery" 8th Co., 3rd Bn, Capt. John Rusk
178531245Privates, Robert Gentry3rd Co., Arty Bn, Capt. Thomas Rice
178531274Matrosses, Robert Gentry7th Co., Arty Bn, Capt. Thomas Rice
1814742Private, Thomas Gentry2nd Brig, 1st Div, Capt. Michael Knorr
 "Account of Lieutenants" [fines for non-attendance on days of exercise]
17835456Robert Gentry    13 - 0 - 05th Bn, Capt. Forepaugh's Co. Fall 1779
17835499Robert Gentry    40 - 0 - 05th Bn, Capt. Forepaugh's Co.
For not marching with the militia, 1st tour in 1779

3. New Jersey Census, 1772-1890, Ancestry.Com [Tax Records for New Jersey]
  Note. Federal census records are available for New Jersey only from 1830 onwards with the exception that a census exists for Cumberland County for 1800. The Ancestry.Com census reconstruction is taken from tax lists for New Jersey counties.
Name County Township Year
William GentryGloucesterGreat Egg Harbor1773
John JentryCumberlandDeerfield1774, 1778, 1779
William JentryCumberlandDeerfield1778, 1779
Thomas JentryCumberlandDeerfield1793
 Lower Deerfield1793
William JenterySalemPittsgrove1793
Jeremiah JentryCumberlandHopewell1802, 1803
William GentryGloucesterDeptford1802
John GentryCumberlandMillville1803
Thomas GentryCumberlandMillville1803
Benjamin JentryCape MayUpper1806
Hudson GentryCumberlandDeerfield1807, 1810, 1815
 Fairfield1807
Jeremiah GentryCumberlandDeerfield1807
 Fairfield1812, 1815

4. "Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War", compiled by William S. Stryker, Adjutant General, Trenton, NJ, 1872, p.605
Among listings of privates in State Troops:
William Gentry, third battalion, Gloucester, Colonel Somers battalion, state troops.
 
5. Documents relating to the colonial, revolutionary and post-revolutionary history of the State of New Jersey, New Jersey Historical Society, vol 35, "Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Administration, etc.", vol 6, 1781-1785
 1785 Jan. 4 Gentry, John, of Deerfleld Township, Cumberland Co., yeoman; will of. Eldest son, William, 5 shillings. Wife, Hannah, % [sic] of the moveable estate, and use of my plantation. Land to be sold after death of wife, and money given to my youngest sons, Thomas and Bateman Gentry, £25 each, and the rest to my 6 daughters, Susanna, Hannah, Ruth, Orpha, Sarah and Unice Gentry
Executors -- wife, Hannah, and James Hood. Witnesses -- Richard Terry, Jeffery Parvin.
Proved May 5, 1785.
 
 1785 May 6 Inventory, £33.16.6, made by Mark Ryley and Manoah Lummis. Lib. 17, p. 541
.
6. New Jersey Marriages, 1684-1895, Dodd, Jordan, Provo, UT, 2001, Ancestry.com Operations
 Cape May County
1849 Feb 14 William L Gentry Martha Stites
   Cape May County, New Jersey Marriages, 1679-1850. County court records located at Cape May, New Jersey.
 Cumberland County.
1797 Oct 16 Michael Adams Naomi Gentry
1802 Mar 24 John Gentry Hannah Ware
1803 Jan 12 Hut[/d]son Gentry Abigail Robinson
1806 Nov 15 Benjamin Gentry Chistina Joslen
1833 Feb 23 Ephraim Woodruff Sarah Ann Gentry
1841 Jan 21 David P. White Sarah Gentry
1842 Aug 7 William Gentry Rachel Dun[h]am
1846 Dec 9 Henry C. Gentry Elizabeth Husted
   Cumberland County, New Jersey Marriages, 1733-1850. County court records located at Bridgeton, New Jersey.
 Gloucester County.
1776 Dec 01 William Garret Susanna Gentry
1840 Jun 25 Casper Gentry Ann Hartman
   Gloucester County, New Jersey Marriages, 1684-1850. County court records located at Woodbury, New Jersey.
 Salem County.
1803 Dec 03** William Gentry Margaret Hector
1819 Mar 27 Jedidiah Haines Charlotte Gentry
   Salem County, New Jersey Marriages, 1683 - 1850. County court records located at Beaumont, New Jersey.
** Date and spouse name provided by David Allegretti

7. Richard Gentry, The Gentry Family in America, 1676 to 1909, The Grafton Press, New York, NY, 1909. (Commonly abbreviated as "GFA").

8. Sheppard, Charles E., M. H. and G. (My History and Genealogy), manuscript at The Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society, Vineland, NJ.; microfilm available through LDS Family History Center libraries. This manuscript has one page of information on the Gentry family history.

9. 1790 Federal Census, Pennsylvania
 Philadelphia, Northern Liberties Dist. M(>16) M(<16) F  
 p.194 Gentry, Robert 142

10.Federal Census for 1800 - 1830
 
 1800 Federal Census Born->
Sex
1790-
 1800
1784-
 1790
1774-
 1784
1755-
 1774
Bef
1755
 
 New Jersey  Cumberland Co.
Page
35
  John Gentry M
F
1
2
1
1
1
0
3
1
0
0
 
 Pennsylvania  Chester Co.
795   Hugh Gentry M
F
6
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
 
   Philadelphia Co.
337   Robert Gentry M
F
0
1
2
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
 
 
 1810 Federal Census Born->
Sex
1800-
 1810
1794-
 1800
1784-
 1794
1765-
 1784
Bef
1765
 
 Pennsylvania  Philadelphia Co.
Page
46
Thos Gentry M
F
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
 
141 Robert Gentry M
F
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
 
203 Samuel Gentry M
F
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
 
 
 1820 Federal Census Born->
Sex
1810-
 1820
1804-
 1810
1802-
 1804
1794-
 1804
1775-
 1794
Bef.
1775
  Indiana  Franklin Co.
Page
215
 Hudson Gentry M
F
3
1
2
0
0 0
0
1
0
0
1
  New York  New York City, Ward 10
1116  Jno Gentry M
F
0
0
0
1
1 2
1
0
0
1
1
  Pennsylvania  Philadelphia Co.
24  Samuel Gentry M
F
4
3
2
2
0 0
0
1
2
0
0
67  Thomas Gentry M
F
1
3
2
0
0 0
1
0
1
1
0
 
 1830 Federal Census Born->
Sex
1825-
1830
1820-
1825
1815-
1820
1810-
1815
1800-
1810
1790-
1800
1780-
1790
bef
1780
 Indiana  Franklin Co.
Page
285
 Gilbert Gentry M
F
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
285  Hudson Gentry M
F
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
50-60
 New Jersey  Cumberland Co.
487  Jeremiah Gentry M
F
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
   Salem Co.
296  John Gentry M
F
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
296  William Gentry M
F
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
50-60
0
 New York  New York City, Ward 4
166  William [M. / Mc] Gentry M
F
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
 Pennsylvania  Northampton Co., Easton
16  Nancy Gentry M
F
2
0
2
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
   Philadelphia Co.
249  Mary Gentry M
F
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
249  Thomas Gentry M
F
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
2
1
0
0
1
1
0
50-60

11. Gentry, Mrs. Herbert R, "The Hunt for the Missing Link, Research in England", Gentry Family Gazette and Genealogy Exchange, vol vi, p.151 (May 1987), published by Richard H. Gentry, McLean, Virginia.

March 24, 2012


© 2012, W.M. Gentry - All rights reserved. This issue may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial purposes provided that proper attribution (including authors and journal names) is included.

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