Looking for Frelinghuysen Ferris

Updated: April 13, 2014

A more accurate story on Frelinghuysen Ferris follows this post.

On his mother’s side, Frelinghuysen Ferris (1846-1907) is a descendent of Jeffrey Ferris through his son, James. His father was a Ferris, as well, but the link to any lineage is a mystery. Frelinghuysen is the son of Ammi Rogers Ferris.

The name Frelinghuysen is found as both a last name and a first name

, and is tied to New Jersey. There is a Frelinghuysen Township in Warren County, NJ. Frelinghuysen Avenue runs through Newark, NJ. A middle school in Morristown bears the name. On the Rutgers University campus sits a dorm named Frelinghuysen Hall.

The name is prominent in politics. Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen was appointed Secretary of State by President Chester A. Arthur.

New York Times

Mr. (Peter H. B.) Frelinghuysen represented affluent Morris and Somerset Counties in the House of Representatives from 1953 through 1974. He was a member of a socially prominent family that has provided four United States senators and two House members from New Jersey since the nation’s earliest years.

Most, like him, have been Republicans, including his son Rodney, who, since 1995, has represented the same north-central New Jersey area in the House that his father did.

Our friend, Frelinghuysen Ferris, has no apparent connection to New Jersey. He appears to have lived his life in and around Greenwich and Stamford, CT. He is buried in the First Congregational Church Cemetery as are so many Ferrises.

There is an interesting area to speculate upon. Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen (c.1691–c.1747) was a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, and a theologian of some note who came to New Jersey in 1719. All seven of his children were ministers or, if daughters, married ministers.

The Rev. Frelinghuysen was one of the stalwarts of the “Great Awakening”, which shook New England and the mid-Atlantic. The Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist churches were energized by the preaching of many men, and divided by the varied beliefs. It is possible that Ammi Rogers was impressed by the teachings of Frelinghuysen. Enough so, perhaps, that his son named his grandson after him.

Still looking, still not settled.

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