Rachel Ann is one of the most elusive of our ancestors. Who were her parents? Where and when was she born? How and when did she meet Joseph D. Wyburn? Where is her grave site? This page is dedicated to Rachel; yet there is not even a picture to add some substance to our ancestor.
Rachel was born in New Jersey. This is documented by both the 1860 and 1870 Federal Census records. In August, 1860 she was said to be 24; and in July, 1870 she was said to be 35. These ages suggest that she was born either in 1835 or 1836. Searching the 1850 Census records for New Jersey two Rachels are listed who may have been Rachel Ann Ten Eyck.
I. Rachel A Ten Eyck, age 17, East and West Antrim Townships, Hunterdon County, New Jersey
In the preceding Census record, Rachel A. Ten Eyck is shown living in East and West Amwell Townships, New Jersey on 30 August 1850. She was 17 and living in the household of George and Hannah Nevins. She should have been 14 or 15 for her age to correspond to the 1860 and 1870 Census, but perhaps she had to add a year or two to her age to get employment at the time. Or perhaps one of the Nevins simply guessed her age when telling the census taker about Rachel.
The map on the left shows the location of West Antrim, New Jersey (shown by the letter A in a tear-drop) versus New York City (shown in the upper right hand corner) and Philadelphia (shown in the lower left-hand corner).
This does not help to answer where Joseph and Rachel met. George Nevins, in whose home she was living in 1850, was a merchant. It is likely that his business may have taken him either to New York City or to Philadelphia to purchase goods for his business. He may have taken his family with him on one of these trips and taken Rachel with him to care for the children.
Joseph Wyburn and his son, John Minson Wyburn both arrived in New York City in September, 1850. So the most likely place for Joseph to have met Rachel was in New York City. But at this point, we simply do not know.
Today Interstate 78 goes from the area near Antrim, New Jersey. It parallels NJ Route 22 which is a very old route from Northern New Jersey communities into New York City.
Only a few pages before we find the 1850 Census record for Rachel A. Ten Eyck, we find a record for a Rachel Ten Eyck who appears to be a widow. She is the right age to be Rachel A. Ten Eyck's mother, and if she were a widow, it would be all the more reason for Rachel A. Ten Eyck to be "in service" at age 17.
II. Rachel Ann Ten Eyck, age 16, Hillsborough, Somerset County, New Jersey
Our second candidate is shown living with the family of John and Catherine Docharty or Doeharty. Her age is more consistent with that of Rachel Wyburn in the 1860 and 1870 Census than was the age of our first candidate, but Census records are so undependable when it comes to age that an one person can vary greatly from one census to each successive census. Therefore, the matter of age is not of itself a compelling arguement for or against this Rachel.
Also living in Hillsborough Township at the time of the 1850 Census is the family of Jerimiah F Ten Eyck (spelled Ten Eick on this census) and his wife, Elsey Hoagland Ten Eyck. One researcher suggested that the proximity of this family to Rachel Ann suggests that they were her parents. And they may have been. However, one thing that seems strange is that in that family there were children aged 31, 26, 21, 16, and 12. So why would another daughter age 16, be out "in service" if this were indeed her family?
The map on the right shows Somerset, New Jersey situated somewhere between New York City (upper right corner) and Philadelphia (lower left corner). In fact a glance at both maps suggests that this location is not that far from the place where Rachel A. Ten Eyck lived.
Those who lived and worked in the households of others had very little time to themselves -- perhaps only one day a week -- so how could Rachel have gotten the time and money to visit New York and met Joseph?
There is nothing compelling either to advance or to detract from the case of this Rachel having been the one who married Joseph Wyburn.
The name Rachel Ten Eyck can be found in genealogical records going back into the 1600's. So who knows how many other Rachels of the right age might have lived in New Jersey, the documented birthstate for the Rachel Ten Eyck in whom we are interested?