Abram B. Bockoven
Morris Co. Up


Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

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Among the wealthy and influential farmers of Passaic township, Morris county, New Jersey, is found the gentleman to a review of whose life we now invite attention,—Abram B. BOCKOVEN.

Mr. BOCKOVEN is a descendant of George BOCKOVEN, who came from Germany, his native land, to this country at an early day and settled in Morris township, Morris county, New Jersey, where he married and reared a family that took first place among the most prominent and active citizens of the county. His children, in order of birth, were

  • George,
  • Lizzie,
  • Abram,
  • Phoebe,
  • John, and
  • Polly.

Of these, George was the father of our subject. George BOCKOVEN married for his first wife Miss Mary SMITH, and located near the old BOCKOVEN homestead, on the Morristown road. This union resulted in the birth of four children,

  • Amos,
  • John,
  • Anna and
  • James.

Some time after the death of their mother he wedded Miss Margaret SMITH, who bore him twelve children, viz.:

  • Mary,
  • Nancy,
  • Phoebe,
  • George and Margaret, twins,
  • Abram B. and Lemuel, twins,
  • Gestus,
  • Surah,
  • Gertrude Smith,
  • Jane and
  • Adelia.

Of this large progeny only two are now living, Mrs. Jane IRVING, Wife of Peter IRVING, of Morristown, New Jersey, and Abram B., whose name graces this article. The mother of the last named children died some years ago, and the father passed away in 1874, at the age of eighty- eight years.

Abram B. BOCKOVEN dates his birth April 15, 1822. He grew up on his father's farm and received his education in the common schools of that day and place, and had nothing unusual to mark, his boyhood as different from that of other farmer boys. When he attained manhood he engaged in the occupation in which his father and grandfather before him had passed their lives, and as a farmer he has met with a fair degree of success, maintaining a position as one of the leading and influential agriculturists of his locality. He has been the architect of his own fortune, and has been a man of vigorous constitution. He recalls with satisfaction that in his prime he could cut in a day nine hundred sheaves of rye with his cradle,-a task that would baffle the average farmer of later years.

Mr. BOCKOVEN was married in 1843 to Miss Nancy DeCOSTER, daughter of Joseph and Catherine (RICKEY) DeCOSTER, the DeCosters having long resided in this part of the state. Joseph DeCOSTER came to New Jersey from Santa Cruz. He died in Summit county, New Jersey, in 1864, at the age of seventy years, and his wife died in 1866, at the age of sixty-six. Their eight children were as follows:

  • Mary E.,
  • Nancy,
  • John,
  • Samuel,
  • William,
  • Cornelius,
  • Surah and
  • Margaret.

All are living except John, and William, and Surah, who became the wife of John J. ALLEN, of Basking Ridge, and who died in 1898. All the family are residents of New Jersey. Mrs. BOCKOVEN was born February 21,182 3, and became the mother of four children, namely:

  • Joseph, a farmer, born August 21, 1843, married Miss Phoebe MILLS, and has one son, George, born August 4, 1878;
  • Lemuel, born October 22, 1844, died at the age of three years;
  • Surah J., who married Charles PRUDEN, a farmer of Mendham township, has four children, Oscar, John, Lottie and Louise; and
  • George, born January 19, 1854, is unmarried and resides at the old homestead, where he is engaged in farming.

Both father and sons are Democratic in their political faith and are active in their support of public enterprises. Religiously, the family are Presbyterians, identified with the church of this denomination at Basking Ridge.

This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.


This page was last modified on:  01 January, 2014

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