There are descendants of New Jersey colonists living all over the United States and in other countries. The lives and contributions of some of their ancestors of three centuries ago may have been chronicled, but many have been lost.
Settlers came to East Jersey as early as 1618 when the Dutch from New Amsterdam settled at Bergen (now Jersey City), and in West Jersey as early as 1623 when Fort Nassau was established on the Delaware River. In March 1664, King Charles II formally granted the land to his brother, James, Duke of York. In June 1664, James divided the grant between Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret.
The two Jerseys were formally divided by the Quintipartite Deed of 1 July 1676, and governed as separate proprietary colonies until 1702. Throughout this period settlers continued to arrive and flourish in East Jersey and West Jersey. Land was purchased from the native Indians, grants were made by Proprietors to individuals and groups, and the settlements multiplied.
In 1982 a group of descendants of these founders found it desirable to bring together in one society the descendants of both those who remained in New Jersey and those who migrated to pursue the continuing dream of a better way of life.
Objectives of the Descendants of Founders of New Jersey:
- Provide financial support in furtherance of the research and preservation of the early history of New Jersey.
- Research and publish information about the lives of the founders in the land that became the colony of New Jersey as of 17 April 1702, the date that East Jersey and West Jersey were merged into a single entity by Queen Anne. Founders were those who, prior to this date, were settlers in or who financed the settlement of others in any area within the present day border of the State of New Jersey.
- Establish and maintain a society of fellowship among members.