Among the first European settlers in the area were a group of Quaker families from Long Island who settled the Monmouth Tract, an early land grant from Richard Nicolls issued in 1665. They were followed by a group of Scottish settlers who inhabited Freehold Township in about 1682-85, followed several years later by Dutch settlers.
The Dutch families who settled in Monmouth County came from King's County, Long Island and included the Bennett, Schenck, and van Couwenhoven families). The emigration of the Dutch people from King's County to Somerset, Middlesex, and Monmouth counties between 1695 and 1730 was quite large.
- Aumack (Aumock)
- Bennett - Adrian Bennett
- Andrew Bowne
- Bruere (Brower)
- Conover (van Couwenhoven, Kowenhowen, Covenhoven) - Cornelius Couwenhoven
- Davis - Richard Davis (from Rhode Island)
- Denise (Denyse)
- Hendrickson (Hendricks) - Hendrick Hendricksonn
- Holmes - Jonathan Holmes
- Hulse (Hulshart)
- Lane (Laen)
- Leonard - Henry Leonard
- Longstreet - John Longstreet
- Polhemus - Johannes Polhemus
- Thompson - Cornelius Thompson (Tomson, Thomson)
- van Cleve (van Cleaf)
- van Dorn - Jacob van Dorn
- van Dyke
- van Mater
Of these families, the following ALSO settled the Jersey Settlement on the Miami River in Ohio (Warren and neighboring counties): Barkalow, Vanderveer, Wyckoff, Conover, Du Bois, Schenck, Lane, Denys (Denise).
BENNETT Isaac Bennett was one of a company to whom was granted whale fishing privileges 1689. Arian is named in court proceedings 1700. William Bennett is named among founders of the Presbyterian Church Freehold 1705. Thomas Bennett of Shrewsbury made will dated Oct 17, 1717. In tax list of Middletown 1761, Hendrick Bennett, John Bennett, Winance Bennett, William Bennett Sr. William Bennett son of John, and William Bennett CM are named. In tax list of Shrewsbury 1763 William Bennett and Thomas Bennett are named. Rev. Benjamin Bennett born 1702 was a Baptist minister and Representative in Congress 1815-19. He died at Middletown Oct 8 1840. In what is now Ocean Co., Moses Bennett was m. to Patience Imlay Aug 26, 1806 by Gabriel Woodmansee. About the close of last century David Bennett m. Polly Holmes dau. of John Holmes of Forked River. Some of the first of the Bennetts in Monmouth descend from William Adrianse Bennett who with Jaques Benton, both Englishmen, bought of the Indians in 1636 a tract of 900 acres of land at Gowanus on New York bay. The following m licenses are recorded at Trenton Edward Bennett of Monmouth to Ann Bolesberry Oct 1707, Jacob Bennett to Euphame Davis Aug 1764, Jeremiah Bennett to Ann Randolph Sept 1780. [Salter: A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, p. ix]
There were six Conover brothers and four sisters, who were all born in Kings county, Nassau Island, as Long Island was then called, and removed to Monmouth county. They were the children of William Gerritse Cowenhoven, who resided for a number of years in Brooklyn. He was a magistrate there in the years 1661-62- 64, and a deacon of the Dutch church in1663. From there he removed to Flatlands. His name appears as a resident and freeholder of that place, on the assessment rolls of 1675-83-93. He was also an elder of the Dutch church there in 1677. Nov. 1. 1709. he sold his farm at Flatlands to his son William, and is supposed to have spent his declining years among his ten children in Mon- mouth county.
DAVIS Nicholas Davis of Rhode Island was one of the twelve men to was granted the Monmouth patent in 1665 and he is also named those who paid for a share of land in 1667. He had 480 acres. Nicholas Davis the patentee was a freemen of Barnstable in Plymouth Colony 1643. About 1656-7 he joined the Quakers and July 14, 1659 he was arrested at Boston where he had gone to trade and kept in prison until September when he was banished with Mary Dyer under pain of death if they returned. Mary Dyer subsequently returned and was hanged on Boston Common. Thomas and James Davis were taxed in Middletown 1701 and William Davis in Shrewsbury 1764.
THOMPSON TOMSON Among those awarded a share of land in Monmouth 1667 was John Tomson. He did not settle in the county. Cornelius Tomson was an early settler in Monmouth county. He is named as a grand juror 1711 is spoken of as residing in Freehold and is otherwise mentioned in Freehold records. His will was dated Aug 14, 1727 and proved Dec 21, 1727 it named w. Mary and four sons and four daus. A tradition says that Cornelius Tomson was one of the earliest settlers in the vicinity of Freehold and as early as 1702 built the stone house now occupied by Mrs Achsah Hendrickson about four miles south west of Freehold on the Mount Holly road. Members of this family adopted the spelling of Thomson and Thompson during the last century and offshoots went to Somerset county NJ and thence to Alleghany county Pa.
- Early Dutch Settlers of Monmouth County, New Jersey by George C. Beekman, Moreau Bros. Publishers: Freehold, N.J. Second Edition 1915
- A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties by Edwin Salter
- Newport Historical Magazine No. 4 April 1883 Vol 8 "Rhode Islanders Who Settled In Monmouth Bounty New Jersey, by Edward Salter
- The Jersey Settlement
- Founders of New Jersey