I love the stories about Peggy Clevenger as I claim her on my family tree also. I have a "cousin" who has a picture of Margaret Clevenger, her granddaughter, who remembers visiting her in her home in south Jersey. I have asked him permission to share this story with you
Thank you for the reference to the previous thread. I have read that and it is through the daughter of John R. Clevenger, Elizabeth Ann Clevenger, that I have relationship to Peggy Clevenger. Her daughter Mary Ann Walcott Williams was my greatgrandmother.
The originial thread had some good information for the Clevenger researchers I know.
As a relative newcomer to NJPineBarrens, this is my first posting. My thanks to Marcia for directing me to this site !! I have been reading with great interest the postings on the subject of Peggy Clevenger. This is of particular interest to me because Peggy Clevenger was my great-great-great grandmother on my father's side of the family. I know that much of what has been written of her through the years is folklore, and sometimes it is hard to separate the fact from the lore. I think I can safely say that the tales of her changing herself into a rabbit or other forms are fable, as neither I nor any family members have been able to duplicate this feat to my knowledge. We had always heard that she and her husband, William, operated a Stagecoach Inn in the Pasadena (Wheatlands) area and that she carried a sock full of gold. A fire destroyed her home, in which she had perished. Years later, a man made a deathbed confession that he and an accomplice (who he would not name) had killed her while searching for her gold, and set the fire to cover the murder. Reportedly he said that he could not die until he got it off his chest.
In my own investigations, I had believed that she died about six months after her husband, around 1870 which I believe was the date given in one of Beck's books. I had been unable to find any contemporary accounts of her death, until reading your postings of the tragedy in 1857. The 1857 date would explain why I had seen William and Margaret in the 1850 Federal Census, but no entries in either the Federal Census of 1860 or 1870. I had not heard of her using opium, but if that is so, it was probably for medicinal purposes, or at least started out that way. I also had never before heard where her remains had been buried until reading of Wrightstown. Apparently there is a large military cemetery there now. I read somewhere that her husband had been in the War of 1812, so that may be a possibility if the military cemetery had been there at the time of their deaths. The Methodist cemetery mentioned certainly bears some further checking out....
One posting mentioned Peggy and William's children, in particular John R. Clevenger. John R. married Sarah Sygars (alternate spellings of her name are Saggers and Sargis) and their children were John C., Anna, and Margaret, all born in the 1830s. John C. was in the Union Army during the Civil War, was wounded, captured by the Confederates, and escaped. He was in the battle of Fredericksburg, among others. He died on April 1, 1918 and is buried in Freehold, NJ. I know very little about their daughter, Anna, but many of her descendants grew up in the Point Pleasant, NJ area. Their other daughter, Margaret, was my great-grandmother. In all proabaility she was named after her grandmother Peggy (= Margaret). I have dates for Margaret's birth as being 1830, 1834, and a few others. She was twice married - to Caleb Worth in 1852, who was reportedly lost at sea, and to David Hulse in 1864. My grandmother, Ida Hulse, was the last of Margaret's eight children, born in October, 1878. Ida married Elvie Brower in Brick Twp, NJ, in 1899 and my father, Gilbert Brower, was the youngest of their nine children, born April 26, 1920. In her final year, Margaret spent the winter at my grandparents' home and died on March 25, 1929. Her death certificate lists her age as 99. My father remembered her very well. She used to tell of staying with Peggy Clevenger when she was a little girl. So that's a sketch of my line of descent from Peggy Clevenger with a few bits of information thrown in. I would gladly share any information I have in helping to establish the real story of Peggy Clevenger. She may today live mostly in folklore, but my father knew his elderly grandmother who as a young girl knew and spent time with the flesh-and-blood Peggy Clevenger. My thanks to all who have posted a lot of fascinating and heretofore unknown (to me, at least) information, and thanks again, Marcia!
I'm not familiar with Pete Brower, although it is possible that he could be a distant cousin. Members of my family, who grew up primarily in Brick Township, NJ, worked the local bogs for years, especially Mutah Patterson's bogs, when the cranberry industry was big there - mostly up through the 1940s.
Thanks for the interesting write up Gilberto. I wonder how your great, great, great grandmother would have reacted, if she had known then that she would for ever live on in piney folklore as a witch!LOL. Most, if not all, folklore has origins in reality and it is particularly cool when real accounts and relations surface. Now if we could just get the Jersey Devil's great, great, great, great,great second cousin to post here....