Richard Singletary
Susannah Cooke
Jonathan Henry Singletary alias Dunham


Family Links

1. Mary Bloomfield

Jonathan Henry Singletary alias Dunham 1366,1369

  • Born: 17 Jan 1639/40, Salisbury, Norfolk, Massachusetts Bay Colony 1370,1371
  • Marriage (1): Mary Bloomfield in May 1656 1368
  • Died: 6 Sep 1724, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., New Jersey at age 84 1366,1368,1372

bullet   Another name for Jonathan was Jonathan Henry Dunham.1171

bullet   FamilySearch ID: L4FK-4YN. Find a Grave ID: 199619267.


bullet  General Notes:

Perhaps no one in the family's ancestry has been given more attention on the Internet and elsewhere than Jonathan Singletary/Dunham; he has his own Wikipedia article with a number of references. That is perhaps because he is the 8th great grandfather of President Obama, but he is an interesting character in his own right.

It has never been resolved whether he truly was the son of Susannah Cooke or a first wife of Richard Singletary, although that seems likely given a marriage record to Susannah in 1656 - after the birth of many of the children. In any case, Jonathan was raised in a rather strict Puritan household but records do not really relay where he stood as a young man with regard to his religion. He was both involved in accusing someone of witchcraft and perhaps at odds with his Puritan elders having embraced antinomianism or becoming a Ranter, a nonconformist dissenting group.

In any case he was an energetic and entrepreneurial spirit who, after the birth of several of his children, moved his family to Woodbridge, New Jersey about 1665-1666. It was there that he changed his surname to Dunham. In New Jersey he worked as a carpenter and erected a grain mill in 1670. He and his father-in-law, Thomas Bloomfield, were elected Representatives to the General Assembly of Woodbridge in 1673. He led a respectable life for about a decade until, as some researchers maintain, he returned to Massachusetts and became embroiled in a curious set of circumstances with a young woman by the name of Mary Ross. He became a persona non grata to the authorities in Plymouth and returned to New Jersey in 1693, resuming a position of authority, his exploits in Massachusetts evidently not hindering his reputation.

It is widely accepted that the brick house that he built in Woodbridge, about 1671, is now (2017) the rectory for the Trinity Episcopal Church in Woodbridge.

bullet  Research Notes:

Dunham, Kenneth Royal. 1987. Dunham-Singletary genealogy: descendants of Richard Singletary of Salem, Newbury, and Haverhill, Massachusetts and Deacon John Dunham of Plymouth, Massachusetts, with particular emphasis on the life of David Elson Dunham, architect of New Brunswick, Canada. Rochester, N.Y.: Royal Press.
(Allen County Public Library) Not online anywhere.

See also a summary at

Dunham genealogy.
English and American branches of the Dunham family. Comp. by Isaac Watson Dunham
The Dunham genealogy touches on it and references a true Jonathan Dunham who died in Piscataway, N.J. in 1680:

Also at
See page 42


bullet  Events

Court: Salisbury Quarterly Court, 8 Apr 1662, Salisbury, British America.

[page 378] "Jonathan Singletary, assignee of Jno. Godfrey v. Edw. Clark. [page 379]: Debt. For non-payment of twenty-on bushels, one peck and a half of wheat and seventeen bushels and three pecks of Indian corn."

[page 381 ff] Not quite sure what this is about but he was a deponent in a dispute between two men. He is described as aged about 22 years.

Disposition: witchcraft, 14 Dec 1662, Salem, MA. Disposition against John Godfrey. Printed in whole at
Salem witchcraft; with an account of Salem village and a history of opinions on witchcraft and kindred subjects
by Upham, Charles Wentworth, 1802-1875

Property: Deeds, 1663-1672, Haverhill, Essex, MA.

residence, 1673, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., New Jersey.

Court, 1702.

Biography: Wikipedia:

Biography: Find a Grave Memorial 199619267.



Jonathan married Mary Bloomfield, daughter of Col. Thomas Bloomfield and Mary Withers, in May 1656.1368 (Mary Bloomfield was born 15 Jan 1641/42 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. 1373 and died 16 Apr 1705 in Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., New Jersey 230.)

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