Cliff McCarthy, 2016
Thomas Skillman was born in 1739 at the old Long Island home at Newtown (now part of Elmhurst, Queens). He was the son of Benjamin and Margaret (Coe) Skillman. He became a blacksmith.
In 1762, Thomas married his first cousin Sarah or “Sallie” Skillman. She was the daughter of Jan and Anne (Hull) Skillman and was born in 1738 in New York State. Their home was at Kingston, New Jersey on the Somerset side of the “Great Road.”
Thomas, and Sallie’s brother Jacob were co-executors of the will of Anne (Hull) Skillman, Sallie’s mother (written 1772, probated 1776). In her will, Anne Skillman refers to Sallie as, “My loving daughter, wife of Thomas Skillman, of Kingstowne.” Sallie was bequeathed her mother’s “moveable estate” and Sallie’s daughter, Anne, received from her grandmother, a name-gift of “one chintz gown.”
Thomas served in the military during the Revolutionary War, from March 1778 to 1 July 1778. He enlisted as a Corporal in Capt. James Moore’s company, Col. Seeley’s Regiment, Somerset County, N.J. militia. He was on duty at Princeton, N.J. guarding prisoners from May 24 to June 4, 1778. He reenlisted as a Private in Capt. Moore’s Company, Col. Van Dike’s regiment Somerset Co. militia on June 19, 1778. He guarded prisoners while en route to Philadelphia and Morristown, N.J. He was discharged July 1, 1778.
In 1782, near the end of the Revolutionary War, Thomas Skillman petitioned the government of New Jersey to recover damages committed by the British troops to his farm in Somerset County, during their occupation, December 1776 through January 1777. He itemized a list of goods — everything from cattle, furniture, and household items to plates, pots, and bedding — amounting to more than 237 pounds currency.
In March of 1784 the following item appeared in the newspaper:Thomas died before Sallie, on 9 July 1795 at the age of 56 in Kingston, Somerset, NJ. She was granted letters of administration of the estate at Somerville, July 9, 1795. Later on, her name appears in property transfers signed “Sallie Skillman” (Middlesex Co. Records, N. Brunswick), i.e., “two lots or parcels of land at Kingston” sold for $8oo.
Children of Thomas & Sarah (Skillman) SKILLMAN
THOMAS SKILLMAN was born 1739 in Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens Co., NY, and died 9 July 1795 in Kingston, Somerset Co., NJ. He married SARAH “SALLIE” SKILLMAN 1762, daughter of JAN SKILLMAN and ANNA HULL. She was born 1738 in New York State. The Children of THOMAS SKILLMAN and SARAH SKILLMAN are:
i. BENJAMIN SKILLMAN, b. 1763; m. RACHEL STOCKTON.
ii. SAMUEL SKILLMAN, b. 1764.
iii. JOHN SKILLMAN, b. 1767; d. “killed by accident at Penn’s Neck or Hightstown, a young man, unm.”.
iv. THOMAS SKILLMAN, b. 1768.
v. ANN SKILLMAN, b. Abt. 1770; m. ? VAN DOREN.
vi. MARGARET SKILLMAN, b. 1774; m. HENRY GULICK.
vii. SARAH SKILLMAN, b. 1776; d. 14 April 1830.
viii. ISAAC SKILLMAN, b. 1778; d. 16 August 1813, “Castle Howard” farm, Princeton, NJ; m. ANN “ANNIE” JOHNSON, 4 May 1800, Somerset Co., NJ; b. 1782; d. 10 October 1827.
ix. MARY SKILLMAN, b. 1779; m. ? WESSELS.
- Damages by the British in Somerset County, (Volume 5, pg. 195, New Jersey State Archives).
- “Four Dollars Reward,” New Jersey Gazette (Trenton), 30 March 1784.
- Skillman Family Association, (Website at: http://www.skillmanfamily.org/), “Electronic.”
- Skillman, William Jones, “The Skillmans of America and Their Kin,” New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vols. 37-38.