ELDRIDGE - Josiah marries Sarah MIDDLETON
JOSIAH ELDRIDGE son of William and Deborah MALANDAR ELDRIDGE was probably born in Greenwich, Gloucester County, New Jersey, 12 May 1777. Gloucester County deeds show William and Deborah ELDRIDGE acquired land at Greenwich in 1774, but by 1791, they are shown in a deed selling the land they owned and stating they were residents of the Town of Gloucester.
Josiah married Sarah MIDDLETON, 23 March 1801, in Gloucester County, New Jersey. Sarah was the daughter of John and Sarah MATLACK MIDDLETON, born 1779, probably in Haddonfield, Camden County, New Jersey.
In 1801, Thomas Jefferson was elected President of the United States. A Gloucester County deed dated 17 march 1801 described Josiah as a storekeeper and resident of Woodbury. During Thomas Jefferson’s first term in office, shipping raw materials from America and the West Indies to Europe expanded enormously, as did the importation of manufactured good from European countries. American economy was booming. However, complicated international pressures during Jefferson’s second term caused him to place an embargo on all imported and exported goods by ships of other countries as well as America’s. This embargo dropped suddenly, almost without warning on the merchants; wheat, timber, cotton, tobacco, rice -- all dropped in value or became unsalable. Every imported article rose in price. Wages stopped and thousands were forced into bankruptcy. People were deprived of sugar, salt tea, coffee, molasses and rum; the cost of cotton and wool yard goods trebled. The country was on the verge of ruin.
In 1807, a judgment was levied against Josiah for $1,000, and the land they owned in Woodbury was sold at a sheriff’s sale. The History of Scott County, Iowa 1882, states the ELDRIDGE family moved to Haddonfield in 1809.
Josiah was last known to be alive in 1824. On 6 March 1824 Josiah ELDRIDGE of Gloucester Co., N.J., and Sarah his wife, deeded for $50, to their son Duncan ELDRIDGE of Haddonfield, said County, Bricklayer, land in the Township of Gloucester, Gloucester Co., 7 acres, 3 rods, and 20 pershes of Cedar Swamp, which John HOPKINS and Sarah his wife, Elizabeth MICKLE, Joshua CRESSON and Mary CRESSON his wife, Ann HOPKINS, Thomas REDMAN, and Thomas STOKES, on the 14th of the 6th month 1782, granted to John MIDDLETON of Haddonfield, and which John died seized of intestate, and which the Orphan’s Court awarded to his children, including daughter Sarah, now married to Josiah ELDRIDGE.
Wit: Thos REDMAN /s/ Josiah ELDRIDGE Sam M. DAY Sarah Eldridge
In 1834, Sarah, a widow, purchased 1/2 acre in Haddonfield. In 1837, she moved to Moorestown in Chester Township, Burlington County, New Jersey. Asa MATLACK records that Sarah died 1 April 1843 in Haddonfield. Tradition says Josiah and Sarah were strict members of the Quaker faith.