Jersey Devil Alternate Origin

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,300
280
Near Mt. Misery
I would be very surprised if the Lenape had anything to do with the Jersey Devil legend. The Jersey Devil is the quintessential pinebarrens folklore and perhaps provides the easiest insight into the piney sub-culture, historically speaking. An opinion of course.

I work with the Tabernacle school district and I can tell you that the Jersey Devil is still alive and well with regional youth. I hope and suspect that the BSA has informally kept his old heart beating strong on cold autumn nights as well. The movie industry on the other hand....somethings just can't transfer to film.
 
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Ben Ruset

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Oct 12, 2004
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I encourage any and all to pick up a copy of the book that I just reviewed. I think it has the most solid theory of the origins of the Jersey Devil to date, and is a really entertaining read to boot.
 

Bill Sprouse

New Member
Dec 17, 2014
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Mexico City
jerseydevilbook.com
I've been trying to listen to your album Jeff, but I'm on vacation somewhere with SLOOOWWW intwebs.
I just recieved a copy of the book for Christmas, Ben. I read your review and I am looking forward to reading it. I see our new member is the author! Congratulations on the book, Bill, I am excited to read it. I released a couple albums, one of which is titled in reference to your long lost relative. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jefflarson1

Jeff
 

willy

Scout
Jul 16, 2014
44
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47
galloway nj
A little interesting side note. Danial leeds great-grandson Japhet Leeds 3rd (born 1739 d. 1805.) was apparently a special needs person.
In Japhet Leeds Jr's will it states, "...and they are to provide for their brother, Japhet, food, drink, lodging and apparel. Son Japhet, a bed and after his death to go to them that have the care of him..."
(http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/k/i/n/Joyce-A-Kintzel/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0218.html)
This child would be alive in the 1740's.
Its just a thought.
 
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Ben Ruset

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I clicked from that link on to Deborah Smith's info and was dismayed by the person citing "Brigid's Charge" by Cynthia Lamb, which is a fictional story of Deborah Leeds, as fact.

Seriously, it's almost as bad as citing Weird NJ as a source. I'm sure the book is great and an entertaining read, but it's FICTION. :argh:
 
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willy

Scout
Jul 16, 2014
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galloway nj
I know not too trust ancestry sites as fact. That being said, most of her citations of wills are accurate.
(I am at work and it was the first reference I could locate and cite)
Any opinion on my thought?
 

Teegate

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I know not too trust ancestry sites as fact. That being said, most of her citations of wills are accurate.
(I am at work and it was the first reference I could locate and cite)
Any opinion on my thought?


I have an opinion. I believe your statement is the best theory I have heard to date.

Guy
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,079
387
Little Egg Harbor
A little interesting side note. Danial leeds great-grandson Japhet Leeds 3rd (born 1739 d. 1805.) was apparently a special needs person.
In Japhet Leeds Jr's will it states, "...and they are to provide for their brother, Japhet, food, drink, lodging and apparel. Son Japhet, a bed and after his death to go to them that have the care of him..."
(http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/k/i/n/Joyce-A-Kintzel/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0218.html)
This child would be alive in the 1740's.
Its just a thought.

This has always been my theory as well. When one considers that the date most often given for the birth was a mere generation after the Salem witch hunts, and superstition was still very common, any child born with a mental or physical disability could have been susceptible to accusations of some sort. Such an atmosphere could lead a parent to shelter an afflicted child from public view and scrutiny, which could result in further suspicion. Add a few centuries of re-telling to the mix and you have the makings of a decent legend.
 

willy

Scout
Jul 16, 2014
44
14
47
galloway nj
leeds will.png This is the progression of property ownership from Japhet Leeds Sr. to Japhet Leeds Jr.
Any opinion on weather or not Jr would have his mom living with him until her death in 1748?
Also, I know not when Japhet the 3rd becomes special needs. At birth? by an accident?
Again this is just a thought!
 
View attachment 5375 This is the progression of property ownership from Japhet Leeds Sr. to Japhet Leeds Jr.
Any opinion on weather or not Jr would have his mom living with him until her death in 1748?
Also, I know not when Japhet the 3rd becomes special needs. At birth? by an accident?
Again this is just a thought!
Willy:

Makes me wonder if there are any probation documents at the State Archives associated with the estate. I will probably be visiting the Archives sometime in the near future, so I will check.

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 

Bill Sprouse

New Member
Dec 17, 2014
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Mexico City
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Boyd, many natives to the Pines like myself, even those from Estell Manor, have long considered considered Oakville, a "suburb" of Estellville, to be the true birthplace of the Jersey Devil. The open property has long returned to woodland. You should be honored for the distinction. Folklore is not a byproduct of ignorant, uneducated, and superstitious Pineys, but a remnant of a well-honed art form related to oral tradition. Jersey Devil tales are the Walt Disney of the olden Pine Barrens - if you will. Please respect that culture that you moved in to.

S-M

According to H.C. Beck (Jersey Genesis) Alfred Heston, writing in 1928, said Estellville was the birthplace of JD. I'm very far from a library with any NJ books and can't find a copy of Alfred Heston's work, so I don't know what he actually said.

Also the WPA Guide To 1930s New Jersey (1939) says a Mrs. Leeds of Estellville was the mother of JD, but they're not v. clear on sourcing either, and I suspect they may have been relying on Heston.
 
According to H.C. Beck (Jersey Genesis) Alfred Heston, writing in 1928, said Estellville was the birthplace of JD. I'm very far from a library with any NJ books and can't find a copy of Alfred Heston's work, so I don't know what he actually said.

Also the WPA Guide To 1930s New Jersey (1939) says a Mrs. Leeds of Estellville was the mother of JD, but they're not v. clear on sourcing either, and I suspect they may have been relying on Heston.

Bill Sprouse:

In reviewing the Heston reference in Jersey Genesis, Beck fails to provide his readers with the exact nature of Heston’s 1928 recounting of the story concerning the birth of the Jersey Devil and Estellville. It certainly did not appear in any published book or pamphlet that I have found. Heston could have written a newspaper article (unknown to me) or Beck might have received a personal letter from Heston containing the information. Beck’s daughter, unfortunately, never deposited her father’s papers at any known repository, although Special Collections at Rutgers, New Brunswick did attempt to obtain them. If anyone reading this posting can provide the exact nature of Heston’s 1928 recounting, please do so for potential review by interested parties.

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 

willy

Scout
Jul 16, 2014
44
14
47
galloway nj
Bill Sprouse:

In reviewing the Heston reference in Jersey Genesis, Beck fails to provide his readers with the exact nature of Heston’s 1928 recounting of the story concerning the birth of the Jersey Devil and Estellville. It certainly did not appear in any published book or pamphlet that I have found. Heston could have written a newspaper article (unknown to me) or Beck might have received a personal letter from Heston containing the information. Beck’s daughter, unfortunately, never deposited her father’s papers at any known repository, although Special Collections at Rutgers, New Brunswick did attempt to obtain them. If anyone reading this posting can provide the exact nature of Heston’s 1928 recounting, please do so for potential review by interested parties.

Best regards,
Jerseyman
Jerseyman,
I believe the Heston reference can be found in Waggon Jaunts vol. 1. The page number escapes me at the moment. I have the book at work and can write it verbatim tomorrow if you wish.
Best wishes,
Willy
 
Jerseyman,
I believe the Heston reference can be found in Waggon Jaunts vol. 1. The page number escapes me at the moment. I have the book at work and can write it verbatim tomorrow if you wish.
Best wishes,
Willy

Willy:

Not to put too fine a point on it—and I knew of the Jersey Wagon Jaunts reference—Beck cites the year 1928, which is two years after Heston released his two-volume set of jaunts. Perhaps Beck just had the date wrong, in which case it is Vol. 1 as you cite; or it may be something else like a personal letter. In any case, it is good that you weighed in here and reminded me and everyone else of this Heston reference.

Happy New Year, Willy!

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 

Bill Sprouse

New Member
Dec 17, 2014
23
8
46
Mexico City
jerseydevilbook.com
Does anyone know if Herbert Halpert mentions Estellville?

I guess he would have been writing/doing his fieldwork after Heston, but might be interesting anyway.

My shoddy memory tells me he didn't, but I'm not sure...
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,346
353
Galloway
Does anyone know if Herbert Halpert mentions Estellville?

I guess he would have been writing/doing his fieldwork after Heston, but might be interesting anyway.

My shoddy memory tells me he didn't, but I'm not sure...

Bill,

Halpert 's documentation does not mention Estellville as the birthplace of the devil. Neither is Leeds Point mentioned, for that matter. Well's Mill and Calico are mentioned, however.
 
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