John Mott (1746-1823), his marriages and life during and after the war.

The Mott Bible says John’s first wife was “Sarah”. Why is a mystery, but after examining the Quaker records it’s quite possible that John never wanted to talk about his first wife and kept her name from his son Mayhew who provided the records in the Bible.

Evidence that indeed his first wife was Patience Austin is provided on the Mott Bible page.

A Brief Summary:

We can get clues as to what happened in this marriage in this turbulent decade by turning to the Minutes of the Quaker Monthly Meetings in Rancocas and Evesham, New Jersey. In the first place, if the date of birth in the Bible is correct, then John and Patience had their first born six months before the marriage, which is likely why the first formal charge against John, brought in February of 1774, was that he had “…gone out in Marriage and had too early Familiarity with her who is now his wife…” After several months of negotiating and other charges like defrauding creditors and not attending Religious Meetings, he was disowned for those and “…for want of attending to the principles of Truth, he had so far deviated therefrom as to be charged with committing Fornication with her that is now his wife before Marriage…”

By 1776 John was in the 3rd New Jersey Regiment of Line off fighting the enemy with three children and a wife at home. (See "Captian John Mott of the Revolution" on this website for his career with the military.) The homestead was decimated in 1776 as the British advanced into New Jersey tightening their grip on General Washington across the Delaware River. But John was in New York State in the winter of 1776-77, and it is likely Patience and the children took refuge with her father’s family in Evesham, for that is where the charges against her begin to appear in the Quaker Minutes in 1782. The first charge appears in the Women’s Meeting Minutes when two women “…visited Patience Mott for her misconduct, she being guilty of unchaste freedom before Marriage, supposed to be with him that is since her Husband, and also going out in said Marriage…” This is not the same as “cheating” on your husband…he was no longer a Quaker and the marriage and baby making was not sanctioned of Patience, who was still a Quaker and a member of the Evesham Meeting. The same women met with her the next month but found her “…not seeing her way clear to make satisfaction to the Meeting…” and therefore referred her case to the Men’s Meeting to disown her. After several months of meetings in which she refused to appeal, the Meeting disowned her saying “…She hath given way to the seductions of the enemy so far as to be guilty of Fornication with him that is since her husband…”

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John's record with the Quakers:

  • 5 Feb 1774 in the Rancocas & Burlington MM: (page 76, image 82) “The Meeting was informed from Mount Holly Preparative Meeting that John Mott had gone out in Marriage and had too [smudged -?Early] Familiarity with her who is now his wife for which he had been treated with. Aaron Barton and John Sleeper are appointed to treat further with him and Report theron to our next Meeting.”
  • Two meetings later: Date of meeting hard to discover (the index put it as January but that can’t be right. Must be the 3rd Month 1774 as the 4th month follows): “John Motts case was Reported to by the Friends who had it under their care – and being considered it was agreed to Continue it under care of the same Friends.” (page 79, image 85)
  • 4th Month 1774: (page 80 image 86): “The Meeting was informed that John Mott Requested the Meetings forbearance another Month his case is therefore continued under care of the Friends appointed.”
  • 5th Month, second of, 1774: (page 83, image 89) – “the Meeting was informed that John Mott it is said Obsconded (sic), as supposed with a View of defrauding his Creditors, and as that with his Conduct heretofore has been so Reproachfull (sic) Henry Paxon & Aaron Smith are appointed to Prepare a Testimony against him for next Meetings Inspection.”
  • 6th Month, sixth day of 1774: (page 87, image 93) – “One of the Friends appointed to prepare a Testimony against John Mott now produced an Essay, which was read amended and sign’d and Aaron Smith is appointed to publish it at Mount Holly if after shewing it to him he doth not appeal._”
    • Note: On the same page: “One of the overseers of Mount Holly informed the meeting that Hulda Gaskill late Hulda Mott [John’s sister], and Elizabeth Chew late Elizabeth Allinson had married out, after being precautioned; and that Ruth Barnes late Ruth Mott [John’s sister] had also married contrary to [next page] good order, the latter having been since dealt with for her fault. They are therefore severally disowned as members of our Religious Society and Thomas Butcher is appointed to acquaint them with of their right to appeal.”
  • 7th Month, 4th day of 1774 (page 90, image 96) – “Aaron Smith reported that he had published the Testimony against John Mott as directed, he signifying he should not appeal it is as follows…’Whereas John Mott hath a right of (? Mem =fellowship ) amongst Friends, but for want of attending to the principles of Truth, he had so far deviated therefrom as to be charged with committing Fornication with her that is now his wife before Marriage, and with neglecting attending out Religious Meetings, and altho’ he hath been tenderly dealt with agreeable to our discipline for those offences he doth not appear to be in a (? rectable ) disposition of mind to condemn the same to the satisfaction of Friends, We do therefore disown him from being a Member of our Religious society until he shall Manifest his Sorrow by a second (? Respotance) and condemn the same to the satisfaction of those that he may is what we (? Denic). Signed on behalf of our Monthly Meeting this sixth day of the sixth month 1774.”
    • Page 93, image 99, evidently the same meeting: “Thomas Butcher now reported that he had acquainted Elizabeth Chew and Hulda Gaskill of the Meeting’s having disowned them, that Ruth Barnes had gone away which had prevented his informing the appointment as to her__”

First Wife: Patience Austin Mott

Patience was a good Quaker, the daughter of Amos Austin of Evesham, and it is likely her children were with John. John was disunited in 1774, went off to war returning to the county in 1779/80 where he was a constable in 1782. Patience, still a good Quaker, evidently took up with him again and was disowned two years later for that since he was no longer a Quaker. If the dates in the Bible are to believed, the last four children were all born to Patience after John had been disowned. The timelines (dates) relative to the births of the children recorded in the Bible and the Quaker records do not coincide, but it is unknown how long the Quakers typically waited before bringing any charges – several years would seem likely given the loving nature of the Society.

One must never forget the turbulence of this period when the British overran Mt. Holly twice as witnessed by John’s claims and witnessing of other claims for 1776 & 1778. (Footnote: Claim, #229 for goods plundered in 1776 and 1778, and his witness claims as to the goods of John Gaskill, claim #298 for goods plundered in 1776 and 1778; and Job Atkinson, claim #226 for goods plundered in 1776. Click here for the detail of those damages and claims. There is also the human cost as recounted by John’s granddaughter, Amanda T. Jones, in her autobiography. (Please note: much of Amanda’s recounting of events and ‘facts’ were from the legends she learned on her mother’s knee; they are to be taken with a ‘grain of truth.’ Her legend of the human cost is at on pages 13-14 and certainly conveys the terror of the time. ) When she died is unknown, but likely before John married his second wife, Beulah Mann, née Gaskill, the widow of William Mann, Sr.

Patience's record with the Quakers:

Women's Meeting Evesham:

  • 8 Aug 1782: (page 264, image 268): “And likewise that they have visited PATIENCE MOTT for her misconduct, she being guilty of unchaste freedom before Marriage, supposed to be with him that is since her Husband, and also going out in said Marriage, therefore Elizabeth Collins and Ann Read are appointed to visit her & report their senses respecting her to next Meeting.”
  • 5 Sep 1782: (page 265, image 269): “The Friends appointed to visit PATIENCE MOTT reported that they have comply’d therewith, and found her in some degree of tenderness but she not seeing her way clear to make satisfaction to the Meeting, Friends concludes to refer her case to the Men’s meeting to disown her agreeable to Discipline…..”

Men's Meeting Evesham:

  • 5 Sept 1782 (page 531, image 821): “They [the women] further inform that PATIENCE MOTT hath been treated with for being guilty of Fornication and outgoing in Marriage, (Footnote: “Fornication and outgoing in Marriage” might simply mean that she had babies with John, who was no longer a member of the Society. Those may have been all three of the children born between 1775 and 1779 as recorded in the Bible, but also may mean she had a baby with another man. ) but their labour of love not having the desired effect; therefore request that t Testimony might be prepared against her; John Haines Junr and Bethuel Moore are appointed to inform her that the Meeting has come to Judgement to disown her prepare one accordingly & produce it to next meeting…”
  • 10 Oct 1782: (page 535, image 825): “The Friends appointed reported that they have inform’d PATIENCE MOTT of the Judgement of this Meeting according to appointment and produced a Testimony against her which was read and with some amendment approved and Sign’d by the Clk. And John Haines junr and Bethuel Moore are appointed to give her a Copy thereof, inform her of her privilege of an appear and report to next meeting…”
  • 7 Nov 1782: (page 537, image 827) - PATIENCE MOTT says she will not appeal the testimony against her.
  • 5 Dec 1783: (page 541, image 831): PATIENCE MOTT has a birth-right among us…”She hath given way to the seductions of the enemy so far as to be guilty of Fornication with him that is since her husband, for which conduct she hath been tenderly treated with; but she not appearing in a suitable disposition of Mind to Condemn the same to friends satisfaction: therefore for the clearing of Truth we find ourselves engaged to testify to the World against such Conduct & her therein; & do disown the sd PATIENCE MOTT from having and Right of Membership…”

The Children of Patience and John:

Of the five children born to John and Patience listed in the Bible, we know only, really, of Sarah who married Richard Weter and was a progenitor of family that spread into Michigan, Wisconsin as well as those who stayed in New York. I have collected 1228 descendants of her in my database so far. The Rev. William Mann’s letter to his step-brother, my 2nd great grandfather, in 1864 indicates that he must have known three of them as a youth in New York; he mentions “Sally”, wonders if Vashti married a Palmer, and is fairly certain that Ebenezer died an idiot in New Jersey. Of the first Vashti and the last child, Patience, we can only assume they died young.

Some other references to Patience Austin Mott:

Second Wife: Beulah Gaskill Mann Mott

Beulah Gaskill was a Quaker who was disowned from the Mount Holly Monthly Meeting in August and September of 1782. (Footnote: Proceedings began in the Women’s Meeting in April of 1782, continue through the minutes to the Men’s Meeting which announced in 4 Sept 1782 that she had declined to appeal and the testimony against her was published. U.S. Quaker Meetings Records > New Jersey > Burlington > Mount Holly Monthly Meeting > Men’s Minutes, 1776-1793 > Image 80 of page 146. ) What the testimony against her is unknown, but it is likely for her fornication with William Horace Mann which produced a child, William Junior, whose date of birth is only calculated from his death certificate – an index - as being April 2, 1785, five months after Beulah’s marriage to William Horace Mann which is clearly recorded in the New Jersey records as November 3, 1784. (Footnote: New Jersey Archives Colonial Marriage Bonds, 1665-1799, M (Part 2: 1768-1794): 568; Also, Bible record transcriptions in the Bible Records in the Sophie Selden Rogers Collection; v.Ro 11, page viewer 106: )

Be that as it may, there is no record of her first husband’s death nor a record of her marriage to John Mott. That evidence is her son, The Rev. William Mann’s contact with his step-brother, my 2nd-Great Grandfather, Mayhew Daggett Mott, towards the end of their respective lives. In a letter in my possession dated Feb. 25, 1864 from Philadelphia, William addresses Mayhew as ‘brother’, writing “You say you are 70, I am 79. Time. Time! O what an eventful story could you and I tell of the past!” He also writes that he remembers “when your father married Miss Naomi Daggett. I was perhaps 11 years old.” He also says that he has kept up a long correspondence with “your sister Theodocia” and asks about the other siblings, saying that he [John] had by his first wife Ebenezer, Vashti, and Sally; that Ebenezer went into idiocy and probably died in New Jersey; he asks “did not Vashti marry a Palmer – you know something about that”, but wants to know what happened to them. “Sally was an (__?__) woman.”

The 1790 census of Rensselaerwick Township, Albany Co., NY conforms to what the Bible shows: One Male over 16 (John), One Male under 16 (Wm. Mann), three females (wife Beulah, daughters Beulah and Elizabeth.) The daughters evidently died young as they are not accounted for on the 1800 census.

When Beulah died is not recorded, but it was likely in 1792 at or shortly after the birth of her third child with John, John junior, who is recorded in the Bible as having been born June 7, 1792. By the same time the next year John was baptised in the Pittsfield Baptist Church, recorded as the husband of Naomi.

Third Wife: Naomi Daggett Mott

The Mott Bible gives her birthdate as June 15, 1769 and the “Notebook of William Nelson Higgins” places her birth in Dutchess County, New York in 1772. (Footnote: Lundell, Kay, Triumphant Banners - Supplement One: The Ancestry of Nelson Higgins (Ogden, Utah: Kay Lundell, c1990) Perhaps the best work on this family and its origins. Now online at ) By the mid-1780s, she was in Pittsfield, Rensselaer County, New York where she was one of the charter members of the Pittsfield Baptist Church of Christ along with her brother, Mayhew Daggett junior. Her sister Content Daggett joined the church in 1791. (Footnote: Pittstown Baptist Church Record books: ) John is baptised into that church on July 15, 1793, listed as the husband of Naomi. He would serve the church as clerk for a few years until 1808 when the family was on the move. In the census of 1810, there are two possibilities – one to Petersburg where Ebenezer Mott is on the same page, likely his brother, or Oneida County, but in neither case the family ages do not quite correspond. Theodocia says, on her 1855 and 1865 State Censuses, that she was born in Oneida County. (The Pittstown Church Record book says, “Brother Mott and Naomi his wife reec’ed letter October 10, 1808” – likely a letter stating they were in good standing with the Church.)

In 1810 John was 64 and Naomi was 51 and I think it was quite possibly they were in Whitestown in Oneida County, the growing wool manufacturing center of New York along the Mohawk River between Rome and Utica and where J. Mott is on the 1810 census in a family of eight. The family was shrinking by 1820 where the census shows a family of 5: One male 10-16 (Likely Lemuel who is still in Whitestown in 1830 with his mother); One male over 45 (John); One female under 10 (Mary Alma born in 1813 in Oriskany) (Footnote: Autobiography of her daughter, Amanda Theodosia Jones, page 8. ) ; One female 16-26 (Ruth); One female over 45 (Naomi). (Footnote: While William, born 1805 and dying in 1853, remains elusive, Benjamin did not make the trip west but settled in Maine. Theodocia remained in New York State in Erie County. )

Naomi died July 11, 1840 according to the Bible, a widow for seventeen years just turned 71; she had married John when he was 47 and she was 24. Census records of 1840 do not include her, but do include her son Lemuel who she was with in 1830 and by 1840 has a wife and three young sons in Whitestown. Two daughters lived to adulthood, both having issue; her youngest, Mary Alma, was the progenitor of an extended family, and Theodocia, who had children with Torry Hitchcock. Son Benjamin had stayed in the east with issue of an extended family, but dying in Maine the same year as his mother, (Footnote: Benjamin made a will in Somersworth, New Hampshire dated June 26, 1840 in which item one gives 10 dollars annually “to my honored Mother Naomi Mott.” So far in my database I have 54 descendants of Benjamin from his four children, the youngest, Lizzie, born a month after he died. ) as did her son Lemuel. Her eldest son, Mayhew, married in Pittstown, went to Wisconsin in 1853, and is my 2nd great-grandfather. He has at this point 136 descendants in my database. All told, I have collected 450 descendants of Naomi to this point.