John Ogden, 'the Pilgrim'

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John Ogden, of Elizabethtown

Also Known As: "the Pilgrim", "Old John Ogden", "John Ogden the pilgrim", "John Ogden I"
Birthplace: Perhaps of, Bingley, West Yorkshire, England
Death: May 30, 1682 (72)
Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Ogden, of Lees and wife of Richard Ogden
Husband of Jane Ogden
Father of John Ogden, jr.; Jonathan Ogden, Sr.; David Ogden, I; Sarah Mary Woodruff; Joseph Ogden, Sr. and 1 other
Brother of Richard Ogden, Sr., of Fairfield

Occupation: Stone Mason, Deputy Governor, NJ, stonemason, magistrate, builder, trader, whaler
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Ogden, 'the Pilgrim'

From "The Ogden Family in America, Elizabethtown Branch, and Their English Ancestry: John Ogden, the Pilgrim, and His Descendants, 1640-1906," By William Ogden Wheeler, Published by Printed for private circulation by J.B. Lippincott company, 1907:

John Odgen, b. Bradley Plain, England, Sept. 19,1609; [SIC: there is no Bradley Plain in county Hampshire, England] d. Elizabethtown, N.J., May, 1682; m. Bradley Plain, May 8, 1637, Jane Bond, b. ___; d. Elizabethtown, N.J., ___; dau. of Jonathan Bond, of England.


  1. John Ogden, Jr., b. England, Mar. 3, 1638; d. Nov. 24, 1702; m. Elizabeth Plum.
  2. David Ogden, b. England, Jan. 11, 1639; will proved Feb. 27, 1692; m. Elizabeth (Swaine) Ward.
  3. Jonathan Ogden, b. twin, Jan. 11, 1639; d. Jan. 3, 1732; m. Rebecca (Wood?).
  4. Joseph Ogden, b. America, Nov. 9, 1642 (?); d. before Jan. 15, 1690; m. Sarah Whitehead.
  5. Benjamin Ogden, b. America, circa 1654; d. Nov. 20, 1722, in 69th year. m. Hannah Woodruff.
  6. Mary Ogden, b. America, ___; d. ___; m. John Woodruff, 2d.

Another list of Children

  • 1. Jonathan OGDEN b: BEF 11 JAN 1638/39
  • 2. David OGDEN b: BEF 11 JAN 1638/39 in Bradley Plain, Hampshire ENGLAND
  • 3. Joseph OGDEN b: BEF 9 NOV 1642
  • 4. Sarah Mary OGDEN b: 1643 in Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut USA
  • 5. Mary OGDEN b: 1644
  • 6. Sarah Gosmer OGDEN b: ABT 1646
  • 7. Benjamin OGDEN b: BET 1653 AND 1654


From John Ogden, The Pilgrim (1609-1982): A Man of More than Ordinary Mark, by Jack Harpster:

This book tells the story of a remarkable man who left a significant footprint in seventeenth-century colonial America. Now nearly forgotten, John Ogden was one of our country’s earliest patriots – a man who stood tall against the intrusion of foreign intervention in colonial affairs.

An accomplished stonemason, John Ogden was born in Lancashire, England in 1609. He immigrated to the New World in 1641, arriving in Rippowam (now Stamford, Connecticut) to build a dam and gristmill for the community. In 1642, he was hired to build the first permanent stone church in Fort Amsterdam, then but a small dusty settlement at the foot of Manhattan Island.

Leaving Stamford in 1644, Ogden spent the next twenty-one years on Long Island. Among other accomplishments there, he established the first commercial whaling enterprise in America.

In 1665 Ogden became one of the original patentees on the Elizabethtown Purchase, the first English settlement in the Colony of New Jersey. For the next nineteen years, until his death in 1682, he led the community though the difficult years of conflict between the settlers – who had purchased their land directly from the Indians – and the English proprietors, who attempted to usurp the settlers’ property and their government. On one occasion, he risked almost everything he owned rather than accede to a foreign authority that he felt had no legal standing. This single act of civil disobedience should allow him to stand with the foremost patriots in our history

Ogden’s service to his community included many stints as a magistrate, first at the town level and later at the East New Jersey colony level. He was also chosen on many occasions to lead delegations to deal with the Indians, who trusted him completely.

His years in New Jersey also saw Ogden develop and pursue many business interests. He built, with his own hands, a gristmill, a lumber mill, a tanyard, and a brickyard. He also conducted a successful trading business and built another whaling company.

No accurate information has been previously published about John Ogden’s earliest years in England. A one-hundred-year-old genealogical study on the Ogden family in America – which has served as the foundation for much of our information about the man – is inaccurate. Using both direct and inferential information, Jack Harpster has recreated that early time, providing the first-ever look at the ancestral home of the Ogdens and how they came to immigrate to America. Harpster has also delved deep into early colonial records to discuss the Ogden family’s life and times in America during the mid to late 1600s. The story is highlighted by many colorful incidents and descriptions, often told in the words on contemporary colonial Americans.

John Ogden, The Pilgrim (1609-1982): A Man of More than Ordinary Mark, provides new history – and often rewrites existing history – about an important colonial American pioneer. It is an absorbing, insightful biography set in an exciting but understudies period of American history.

ISBN 0-8386-4104-0

NOTE: Anything from the Wheeler genealogy for any ancestors prior to John and Jane Ogden is basically fraudulent. All research on English ancestors was done by a hired "expert," not Wheeler himself, and was later discovered to be completely made up by that researcher. There is no "Bradley Plain, Hampshire," in England! However, research on American ancestors is basically valid.


Gov. Jonathan Belcher, from James I Vaughan's 19th century portrait The Belcher Ogden Mansion originally housed the family of Elizabeth Associate John Ogden in the mid-18th century. About 1751 the then royal Governor of New Jersey, Jonathan Belcher, relocated the center of colonial government from Burlington on the Delaware to Elizabeth NJ. He bought the Ogden residence and lived there until his death in 1757. In that time among other important events Belcher strongly supported the creation of a school which became Princeton University. The school’s first president, Rev. Jonathan Dickinson and his successor, the distinguished Protestant minister, Rev. Jonathan Edwards, both visited Belcher at his residence and won his friendship.

In 1758 William Peartree Smith, a grandson of NYC mayor, close friend of NJ’s first Governor William Livingston and himself a member of NJ’s Committee of Correspondence, took ownership of the house. In 1778 his daughter Catherine married Elisha Boudinot, brother of Elias Boudinot, President of the Continental Congress. Alexander Hamilton served as Master of Ceremonies on that occasion and welcomed distinguished guests including Gen George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette.

In 1797 Aaron Ogden, a descendent of the original builder of the house, acquired the family property and resided there until his death. In 1812 Ogden, who had served with distinction in the Revolutionary War, became NJ governor. He entertained the Marquis de Lafayette there in 1823, and enjoyed reliving their joint wartime exploits, especially the culminating victory over the British at the Battle of Yorktown.

Later residents of the house included F. B. Chetwood, mayor of Elizabeth (1871-73) in the mid-19th century and US Congressman Amos Clark. The last owner-resident was Warren Dix. For many years the house received the restorative attention of a local businessman, Edward Grassmann and the Elizabeth Historical Foundation.

Fowler, Colonel Samuel, Franklin New Jersey, eldest son of celebrated scientist, Dr. Samuel Fowler, of Franklin New Jersey, was born, March 25th, 1818, at Ogdensburg, at the homestead of his grandfather, Robert Ogden. His mother, Rebecca Ogden, was lineal descendent of the Sir John Ogden knighted by Charles II, for services rendered in assisting Charles I, to escape fater the battle of Worchester.

On November 15, 2005 the Historical Society; Elizabeth NJ Inc formally accepted the deed to this historical property.

One of the founders of Elizabethtown (Elizabeth) NJ


progenitor of the Elizabethtown line

view all 14

John Ogden, 'the Pilgrim''s Timeline

September 19, 1609
Perhaps of, Bingley, West Yorkshire, England
September 19, 1609
Bradley Plain, , Hamps, Hampshire, England
September 19, 1609
Bradley Plain, , Hamps, Hampshire, England
May 3, 1638
Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England
January 11, 1639
New York, Colonial America
January 11, 1639
Bradley Place, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Southampton, Suffolk, New York, British Colonial America
Hempstead, Long Island, New Netherland
Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey, Colonial America