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Manuscript Collections


Collection 39

Bedle Family

Papers, (1771-1845)

Processed by

Doris K. Handzo

Edited by

Gregory J. Plunges

Monmouth County Historical Association

70 Court Street

Freehold, New Jersey


November 1981

Collection #: 39
Accession #: 1976-126


This collection consists of family papers of several members of the Bedle Family of Middletown and Matawan, New Jersey. The earliest papers are those of Joel Bedle (Beddel) (April 18, 1723 or 1727 – Feb. 2, 1792), originally from Bordentown, New Jersey, who married Mary Walling, daughter of Thomas Walling of Middletown, by license (as Joel Biddle) on Jan 24, 1748.

Other papers included in the collection are those of their sons, Job, who married Lydia Walling, and Thomas (died ca. 1820), who married Amy Herbert. Thomas and Amy Bedle had a son, Joel, and, by him, a grandson, Thomas I. Bedle (1805-1899) whose papers are also included.

The biographical sources on this family are unclear and often contradictory. There is a Joel Beedle and a Thomas Beedle listed as privates in the Monmouth Militia during the Revolutionary War and another Thomas Beedle listed as a private in the Continental Line, but the relationship of the three men to each other is not given. Thomas I. Bedle married Hannah Dorsett (d. March 27, 1886) on Dec. 13, 1825. They were the parents of Joseph Dorsett Bedle (Jan. 15, 1831-Oct. 21, 1894) who was the governor of New Jersey in 1874.

Thomas I. Bedle came to Middletown Point (now Matawan) in 1827 and opened a shoe store. In 1835, he went into the mercantile business which he continued to operate until he retired in 1871. He was commissioned a Justice of the Peace on May 1, 1863 and became a director of the Middletown Point Steamboat Company in 1837.

Description of the Collection

The Bedle Family Papers relate largely to business transactions including loans, tax returns, sales of property and miscellaneous purchases of such items as shingles, clothing and liquor. There is one will, that of Joel Bedle, with its accompanying inventories for public vendue. Job and Thomas both died intestate and the papers include the naming of their administrators and inventories of their estates.

The papers of the first Thomas indicate that he was a miller and there are numerous documents concerning the buying and selling of corn, wheat and rye. This type of document continues to appear after his death and is included in the papers of his grandson, Thomas I. Bedle, seeming to indicate that he took over the mill. However, the earlier Thomas was also a shoemaker, according to papers in the collection. While it is possible that he could have been both a miller and a shoemaker, the fact that the administrator of his estate was a Thomas Bedle, very unlikely to have been his sixteen-year-old grandson, indicates the possible existence of another man by that name. There was no available biographical information to support this hypothesis, so it cannot be stated as a fact.

This collection has value for any researcher interested in genealogical material on the Bedle family or in general business transactions in Monmouth County during the early part of the nineteenth century.

The arrangement of the collection series is described at the beginning of the Container List below.

Provenance: Acc.# 1976.126

Restrictions: None

Number of Items: 195



1. Joel Bedle (April 18, 1873 (or 1727) - Feb. 2, 1792)
Papers, April 12, 1771-Jan. 5, 1793, n.d. 12 items

Arranged chronologically

Contained an early plot diagram of land owned by Joel Bedle and papers relating to land purchases. There is also a copy of his will and an inventory of his goods sold after his death at public vendue.

2. Job Bedle (died 1807)
Papers, June 7, 1793 – April 15, 1804. 10 items

Arranged chronologically

Most of these documents pertain to his estate, including the appointment of an administrator, bills against the estate and an inventory for public vendue.

3. Thomas Bedle (died c. 1820)
Papers, Sept. 2, 1775 – Feb. 3, 1823. 113 items

Arranged chronologically

Some of these documents are indentures pertaining to rentals of land. Quite a few others are receipts for money borrowed and lent. Many business transactions are included – the selling of leather for shoes, and requests for rye, wheat, corn or the newspaper, True American. There is an interesting agreement between two Justices of the Peace in Monmouth County and Thomas Bedle to apprentice a boy to learn shoe making. Since Thomas Bedle died intestate, there are administration papers appointing another Thomas Bedle and Cornelius Walling as his administrators.

4. Thomas I. Bedle (1805- April 20, 1899)
Papers, Jan. 23, 1821 – May 10, 1840. 52 items

Arranged chronologically

Contains documents pertaining to the business of the mill, sale of wood and land sales.

5. Miscellaneous Papers, Jan. 20, 1792 – Dec. 25, 1845. n.d. 8 items

Documents include sale of property by the Hunter family and payment for work done by and for Asher Holmes. There is also a list of different varieties of apple trees planted by a Mr. Bedle.



The collection is arranged first by individual and then in chronological order.

Box # / Folder # / Contents

1 / 1 / Joel Bedle (Apr. 18, 1723 or 1727 – Feb. 2, 1792)
Papers, Apr. 12, 1771 – Jan. 5, 1793. n.d. 12 items

2 Job Bedle (d. 1807)
Papers, June 7, 1793 – Apr. 15, 1804. 10 items

3 Thomas Bedle (d. ca. 1820)
Papers, Sept. 2, 1775 – Feb. 3, 1823. 113 items

4 Thomas I. Bedle (1805 – Apr. 20, 1899)
Papers, Jan. 23, 1821 – May 10, 1840. 52 items

5 Miscellaneous Papers, Jan. 20, 1792 – Dec. 25, 1845. 8 items



1. Ellis, Franklin. History of Monmouth County, New Jersey
Philadelphia: R.T. Peck & Co., 1885.

2. Horner, William S. This Old Monmouth of Ours. Freehold, N.J.
Moreau Brothers, 1932.

3. Monmouth County Division of Social Services. Monmouth County
Veterans Grave Registrations. Report of Veterans in Alphabetical
. Freehold, N.J., 1979.

4. Stillwell, John E. Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, Vol. 5
New York: s.n., 1932.

5. Stryker, William S. Official Register of the Officers and Men of New
Jersey in the Revolutionary War
. Trenton, New Jersey: William T.
Nicholson & Co., 1872.

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This page last updated 16 July 2008.

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