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Thomas Schooley

Birthplace: Barnsby, Handsworth, South Yorkshire, England
Death: between February 06, 1723 and April 13, 1724 (62-72)
Onychickon, Chesterfield Township, Burlington, New Jersey
Place of Burial: Chesterfield Township, Burlington County, NJ, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Scholey, of Aughton and Elizabeth Scholey
Husband of Sarah Schooley
Father of Thomas Schooley; William Scholey; Sarah Shinn; Elizabeth Busson; Joseph Schooley and 4 others
Brother of Richard Scholey; Ellen Barton; William Scholey; Mary Scholey; Robert Scholey and 1 other
Half brother of John Schooley, Jr. and Catherine Schooley

Managed by: Gwyneth Potter McNeil
Last Updated:

About Thomas Schooley


Thomas was unmarried when he arrived in West Jersey in August 1677. He did not marry until Oct. 1686 when he and Sarah Parker, daughter of George and Sarah Parker of Monmouth County, New Jersey, were married. they lived most of their thirty eight years of married life on their large plantation about Onea Nickon in Chesterfield Township, and there reared a large family. A list of their children is to be found in the records of the Chesterfields Friends. In George Schooley's book on P. 181, say Thomas Schooley 1650-1724, is mentioned in Smith's History of New Jersey. He was a member of the Farnsworth Society of Friends in Yorkshire, England. He sailed from Hull on the Flie-boat Martha of Bridlington and arrived at Chesterfield, New Jersey in August 1677. Source: Leona Gardner Carlson, 2804 NW North Creek Circle, Ankeny, Iowa 50021-1073 Original source: George Schooley, 3105 Winding Way, Zanesville, OH 43701 in Feb. 1982.

Came to Burlington NJ on "Willing Wind" in 1677

Retrieved July 30 2009

Notes from Janet and Robert Wolfe Genealogy Gateway, 2009/04/29

  • 1656 Thomas was born in England, likely Yorkshire. The identity of Thomas' father is uncertain. Both "Trails of Our Father's" (1937) by THS Schooley and "A Pioneer Schooley Family" (1941) by May Schooley Ivy suggest that Thomas' parents were John (1609-1696) Schooley and Elizabeth Fletcher. A revised "Trails of Our Father's" (1988) by James Schooley proposes Robert Schooley as the father. "Scholey-Schooley and Allied Families" (1990) by Marie Schooley concludes that Thomas' ancestry is uncertain and the candidates for his father includes a short list of related persons (page 21), and that John Scholey, born 1609, is a plausible candidate.
  • 1662 Sarah Parker was a daughter of George Parker and Sarah, his wife, who lived in Monmouth county, East Jersey, and later in Northampton Twp, in Burlington County, NJ.
  • 1676 Thomas Scoaley was fined 10 pounds by the Society of Friends of Warsop, Nottinghamshire, England for the poverty of the place.
  • Thomas Schooley was a member of the Society of Friends in England and belonged to the Farfield (Farnsfield?) Meeting in Yorkshire. He is said to have come from Aughton. The Friends meeting granted him a certificate of removal to New Jersey.
  • Records of very early land titles in New Jersey indicate that prior to Thomas' emigration to America he had his home at or near Woodhouse, a village in the parish of Handsworth, located about four to five miles easterly from


  • 1677 Thomas Scholey was among the one hundred and fifty-one men who signed a petition to the English King, Charles II, for "Concessions" of lands in WestJersey.
  • According to Smith's history of New Jersey, extensive plans were made before the emigration to America was begun. The petition spelled out the intended governing laws of the settlement in New Jersey. Among the petitioners were: E. Byllinge, William Penn, Mahlon Stacy, Thomas Budd, Gawen Lawrie, Samuel Lovett, Thomas Scholey, John Newbold, Thomas Revel, William Emley, Samuel Jennings, Thomas French, Godfrey Hancock, John Wood, John Pancoast, Thomas Lambert, Thomas Watson, George Hutchinson, Thomas Gardner.

Many of these petitioners were of the same, or near communities in England as the Scholeys. "Among other purchasers of West Jersey lands, were two companies, one made up of some Friends in Yorkshire, and the other of some Friends in London. In the year 1677 Commissioners were sent by the Proprietors with power to buy the lands of the natives; and to order the lands laid out and in general to administer the government, pursuant to the Concessions."

The Yorkshire Commissioners, Joseph Helmsley, William Emley and Robert Stacy, on behalf of the first purchasers, chose from the Falls of the Delaware, down, which was hence called the First Tenth. The London Commissioners and those of Yorkshire agreed to join in settling the first town; the Londoners taking along the river to the main street of the town, and the Yorkshire Commissioners to the east of the main street. This town was first called New Beverly, then Bridlington, but soon changed to Burlington. Laws for the government of this projected West Jersey settlement were agreed upon and adopted and signed on the third day of March, 1677.

Thomas and Sarah moved from near Sheffield in the West Ridings of Yorkshire in England to the unknown frontier in southern New Jersey. Once there, they were important citizens who helped solidify the settlement, especially the Quaker Church.

1677 Among the few early boats to arrive at Burlington was the Flie Boat Martha, of Burlington, Yorkshire, England, which arrived late in the summer of 1677, sailed from Hull (a port on the River Humber) with 114 passengers designed to settle the Yorkshire (First) Tenth. Some masters of families in this ship were Thomas Wright, William Goforth, John Lyman, Edward Season, William Black, Richard Longworth, George Miles, William Wood, Thomas Schooley, Richard Harrison, Thomas Hooton, Samuel Taylor, Marmaduke Horsman, William Oakley, William Ley and Nathaniel Luke. The families of Robert Stacy and Samuel Odas. Nearly all of these men were from towns and parishes in southeastern Yorkshire and in adjacent Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, near the old English homes of the Schooleys. Thomas was then unmarried. Thomas, a clothmaker and planter, was the first Scholey to arrive in America. (1883 History of Burlington by Woodward, page 10).

Other researchers have reported that he immigrated on the ship Willing Wind in Nov 1677 (Linda Crockett). Description Settlement of Burlington, New Jersey, 1677.

  • 1677 25 September Thomas Scoley witnessed the marriage of Abraham Strand and Rachel Nickholson in Salem, West Jersey.

Thomas was the first of the family to emigrate to America.

1678 Sarah and the family arrived on the ship "The Shield" in Oct, according

to some researchers (Linda Crockett).

  • 1678 His brother, Robert, arrived and his father, stepmother and their son, John, arrived two or three years after that.
  • 1679 Very little information has been obtained concerning the life and activities of the Scholey brothers during the first few years they lived in the Friend's colony on the Delaware river. Each of them owned lands near the Falls in Pennsylvania, later known as Bucks county. This place was then known as Crookhorn.
  • 1680 Thomas and Robert began to purchase land. They purchased 200 acres on the Delaware River on November 13 between the land of John Rogers and Crosswick Creek. On Nov. 12 there was a return of survey for William Wood, of 36 acres along Dellaware R. and the creek S. of Robt and Thomas Scholey. Marginal Note: 19 a. of this surveyed to Robert Scholey, ye rest is swamp.
  • 1680 From the time that Thomas Scholey settled in New Jersey near the Delaware river in the 1880s, his name appeared in the records as serving on many committees for the Quaker church, being fined for failing to serve jury duty with no excuse, as being an overseer of the highway, as writing a report on persons who "Broke ye prison dore oppne after a riotous manner at Burlington", and as a tax collector.
  • On April 12 of 1680, Robert and Thomas Schooley, of Crewcorn on the Delaware River, signed a petition that no liquor be sold tothe Indians.
  • 1684 Thomas and Robert Scholey were on the assessment list for Burlington Co, NJ as owning 200 acres.
  • 1685 on the 12th of month 2 Thomas purchased 200 acres on the "old Indian purchase" at Ones Nickon.
  • 1685 It appears that Thomas left Mansfield and bought land up near the Falls.
  • "Indenture, of July, 1685, William Emley of Nottingham, near ye Falls, yeoman,grants to Thomas Scholey late of Mansfield and Woodhouse, in West Jersey, "Deed for One hundred acres to be surveyed and devided out of lands of William Emley, lying in ye First Tenth, called Yorkshire Tenth." Witnesses were Robert Scholey and Mathew Watson. (Vol. B. of Deeds, Dept. of State of N. J.)
  • 1685-6 and 1689. Survey for Thomas Scholey of 340 acres between Geo.Hutchinson, M. Newbold, E. Higgins, and William Biddle. (N. J. A. Vol. 21.)
  • 1686 Thomas Schooley and Sarah Parker were married in the 8th month in Burlington. Thomas Scholey first "declared his intentions of marriage" with Sarah Parker of Burlington, at a meeting held at the house of Francis Davenport, at Chesterfield, on the 3d. day of 4th. mo. 1686. (Chesterfield Friend's records, Vol. A. p. 5) his second declaration and marriage, before the meeting at Burlington was on the 4th. day of the 8th. mo. 1686.
  • Thomas and Sarah lived most of the thirty-eight years of their married lives on their large "Plantations" about Ones Nickon in Chesterfield township, and there raised a large family. The children of Thomas and Sarah were, as evidenced by the records of the Chesterfield Friend's Meetings (Vol. L, p. 18):
  1. Thomas, Jr., born in 1691, and married Hannah Fowler in 1720.
  2. William, born in 1691, and married Elizabeth French in (???).
  3. Sarah, born in 1692, and married in 1718 to Samuel Shinn.
  4. Elizabeth, born in 1694, apparently unmarried in 1723, date of her father's will.
  5. Samuel, born in 1698, and married in 1725, Avis Hollowoy.
  6. Joseph, born in 1697, died in infancy. John, born in 1701, and married Mary Willson in 1727 at Burlington by a New Jersey license.
  • 1712 Thomas Scholey settled an account with the town of Chesterfield related to his role as oversar of ye poor" (Woodward, page 284). This could also be son Thomas.
  • 1714 Thomas purchased 350 acres from Thomas Stevenson which included land in the Schooley Mountains.
  • 1720 25 June Sarah Scholey was named in her mother's will.
  • 1724 Thomas died between 6 February, 1723/24 (will date), and 21 April, 1724 prove date). He died at Onea Nickon, in Chesterfield township, Burlington county, West Jersey, in the 74th year of his age. He made his "Last will and Testament" under date of the Sixth day of February, 1723. Thomas Scholey of Chesterfield, of the county of Burlington and the West Division of New Jersey,
    • being weak of body, but of perfect mind and memory."
    • The devisees of his will were "My son Thomas Scholey" "My son William Scholey." "All my improved lands unto Sarah, my wife, for, and during the term of her natural life and after her decease, I give it unto my son Samuel Scholey." "My son John" "My daughter Elizabeth Scholey" "My daughter Sarah Shinn and her two daughters Mary and Alice." "I will that 350 acres of land which I purchased of Thomas Stevenson to be sold." "And I do nominate my loving wife, Sarah Scholey, and my loving sons, Samuel Scholey and John Scholey, joint Executrix and Executors of this my last will and Testament." This will was "Proven the twenty-first day of April, 1724, at Burlington, before Samuel Bustill, Surrogate, and letters granted to Sarah, and Samuel and John. (Vol. 2 of Wills. D. of S. of N. J.)
      • In his will Thomas Scholey refered to "that 350 acres of land which Ipurchased of Thomas Stevenson." "This purchase was made in the year 1714, two and a half years after Thomas Stevenson and others had bought several thousand acres in the Upper Purchase. This last Indian Purchase covered all the lands lying above the Falls of the Delaware. It included all of what became Sussex and Warren counties and the west end of Morris county. This purchase made by Thomas Scholey, of 350 acres from Thomas Stevenson was the circumstance which gave his name to the mountains in Northern Jersey, which soon after were known as Schooley Mountains. These lands were disposed of as directed in the will of Thomas, but two years later, the same lands were owned by Samuel Schooley, his son.
  • Of the sons of Thomas Scholey, Thomas, Jr., and William had married before their father's death and Samuel and John remained at the father's home.Thomas, Jr., and William had been given large farms by their father while he lived. Samuel and John also received large improved farms.
  • The date of Sarah's death has not been ascertained but she survived her husband.

Sources for Thomas SCHOOLEY

Person Sources:

  • Title: Schooley: A Pioneer Schooley Family. Author: May Schooley Ivey. Publication: 1941 The Franklin Press, Miami, Florida. Call Number: R929.2 qS372. Media Type: Book. Note: Tracing back to Richard Scholey of Cadwell Bedfordshire, England, this is a record of the Scholey-Schooley lineage in England and America. Chapter 3
  • Title: Early Germans of New Jersey; their History, Churches, and Genealogies. Author: Theodore Frelinghuysen Chambers. Publication: Library of Congress, 1895, Dover Printing, New Jersey. Media Type: Book. p 173-4
  • Title: Schooley: Trails of Our Fathers Revised. Author: James B. Schooley. Publication: 1988. Call Number: 929.2 S3724S 1988 AFJ8013. Media Type: Book. p. 50
  • Title: NJ Burlington Mercer Woodward: History of Burlington and Mercer Counties, NJ, with Biographical Sketches. Author: Woodward, Major E.M and Hageman, John. Publication: 1883 Everts and Peck, Philadelphia. Media Type: Book. Note: Onondaga Pub. Lib., Syracuse, NY. p. 9-10, 284. Signer of petition for Concessions of lands in West Jersey. Immigrant of flyboat Martha.
  • Title: NJ History by Smith. Author: Smith, Samuel. Publication: 1877 Trenton, NJ. Media Type: Book. Note: The history of the colony of Nova Cæsaria, or New Jersey: containing, an account of its first settlement, progressive improvements, the original and present constitution, and other events to the yea Library of Congress. p. 102. Lists Flyboat Martha passengers.

Birth Sources:

  • Title: Schooley: A Pioneer Schooley Family. Author: May Schooley Ivey. Publication: 1941 The Franklin Press, Miami, Florida. Call Number: R929.2 qS372. Media Type: Book. Note: Tracing back to Richard Scholey of Cadwell Bedfordshire, England, this is a record of the Scholey-Schooley lineage in England and America. p. 1

Death Sources:

  • Title: Schooley: A Pioneer Schooley Family. Author: May Schooley Ivey. Publication: 1941 The Franklin Press, Miami, Florida. Call Number: R929.2 qS372. Media Type: Book. Note: Tracing back to Richard Scholey of Cadwell Bedfordshire, England, this is a record of the Scholey-Schooley lineage in England and America. p. 1

Thomas Schooley was the first of his family to depart for America at age 27 years. His brother, Robert Scholey, was next of the family to arrive, followed by their father, John Scholey and his second wife, Isabel Hancock, from England, and they brought their son John, Jr. & daughter (not named)Arrived From England On The Ship "Willing Mind" In Nov Of 1677. He was a member of the chesterfield friends meeting in n.j. New Jersey.

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Thomas Schooley's Timeline

Barnsby, Handsworth, South Yorkshire, England
November 25, 1688
Burlington Township, Burlington County, West Jersey
August 12, 1691
New Jersey
March 22, 1693
Chesterfield, Burlington County, Province of West Jersey
March 16, 1695
noted in Chesterfield meeting document, NJ

U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935
New Jersey Burlington Chesterfield Monthly Meeting Births and Deaths, 1675-1750 Marriages, 1684-1724

page 10 of 254

November 20, 1697

U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935
New Jersey Burlington Chesterfield Monthly Meeting Births and Deaths, 1675-1750 Marriages, 1684-1724

page 10 of 254

February 25, 1699
Chesterfield, Burlington Co., New Jersey
February 18, 1702
Chesterfield Twp, Burlington County, Province of West Jersey
February 6, 1723
Age 67
Onychickon, Chesterfield Township, Burlington, New Jersey