Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.
The ancestry of the Condict family, one of the oldest in Morris county, can be traced back to John Condict, who is recorded as having purchased lands in Newark, New Jersey, in 1689. He was the founder of the various branches of the family in America, and tradition says that he removed from England to Wales, and thence to the New World. It is certainly known that he was of Norman descent, and at one time the name was spelled Conduit. One of his relatives married a sister of Sir Isaac Newton, and near the monument of that celebrated philosopher in Westminster Abbey, London, is that of Johannes Conduit. In the first church graveyard in Morristown there is also a monument erected in memory of a member of the Condict family.
In 1741 Peter Condict is mentioned as one of the members of the First Presbyterian church of Morristown. Among his children was Ebenezer Condict, a very prominent man, who was married, March 16, 1762, to Huldah Byram, a daughter of Ebenezer and Abigail (Alden) Byram, and a great-granddaughter of John Alden, of Mayflower memory. Ebenezer Condict was a colonel in the Revolutionary war during the period when the army was stationed at Morristown. He died of smallpox while in the service, and during his last illness was cared for in the old church in Mendham, which at that time was utilized as a hospital by the American troops. His remains were interred in the cemetery there, and the monument which marks his last resting place may still be seen.
Silas Condict, son of Ebenezer, was a leading and influential citizen of Morristown and an extensive land-owner. He married Charlotte Ford, a great-granddaughter of Jonathan Dickinson, the first president of Princeton College. The children of Silas and Charlotte Condict were Ebenezer, Charles, Julia, Sydney, Marcia, Henry, Silas and Elliot. The only members of the family who continued to reside in Morris county were Marcia and Silas. The former married Gordon Burnham, who lived in Speedwell, and they had two children: Julia, who is now Mrs. Byram Sherman, and Frederick Gordon Burnham. The mother of this family, Mrs. Charlotte (Ford) Condict, together with Mrs. Abigail Byram Lee, in 1810 established the first Sunday-school in Morris county—probably the first in New Jersey— in a barn on the farm of Mrs. Condict, at Littleton, New Jersey.
Silas Byram Condict, the only son of Silas and Charlotte Condict who remained in Morris county, lived on the old family homestead near Littleton, receiving that property through inheritance. At that time Rev. Albert Barnes was pastor of the First Presbyterian church, and preached many earnest and powerful sermons to his congregations. His righteous soul was stirred to its depths to find that a large portion of his more wealthy parishioners were regularly distilling apple jack and selling it in large quantities, finding it a prolific source of money-making. The good minister determined to overthrow the liquor traffic among his people and preached some very searching sermons, for distilleries were then of much more common occurrence than they are at the present day, and were not held in such abhorrence by the better class of people. These sermons had the desired effect on many of the parishioners of Mr. Barnes, including Silas Byram Condict, then a young man, who had recently come into possession of his property. Upon his place were large orchards, and like his neighbors he was accustomed to making apple jack. After listening to the burning words of his pastor, he determined to have nothing more to do with such a business, and quickly removed all temptation from him by cutting down all his apple trees, .save enough to supply his own family with fruit. The same upright and practical Christianity characterized his entire life.
In his early manhood he married Miss Emeline Phillips, of Orange county, New Jersey, and to them were born two sons, George Phillips and John Elliott. The mother died soon after the birth of the second son, and seven years later Silas Byram Condict wedded Mary Johnson, by whom he had the following children: Walter, Emeline, Alice Byram, Jonathan Dickinson, Charlotte Ford, Silas Alden, Henry Vail and Winthrop. Of the sons, George Phillips and Walter became members of the Union army and valiantly defended the stars and stripes in the Civil war. The latter became a Presbyterian minister. He was born March 24, 1841, in Littleton, New Jersey, and as a student in Phillips Academy, of Andover, Massachusetts, prepared for Williams College, at Williamstown, Massachusetts. He entered the latter institution at the age of seventeen and was graduated in 1862. He had no love for war, and no ambition to achieve distinction in that way, but in his country's call he heard the voice of God and marched to the front as a member of Company I, Twenty-seventh Regiment of New Jersey Volunteers. He lay in the trenches before Fredericksburg and tramped through the blue-grass region of Kentucky with true soldierly devotion. On the return from the war he spent a year in the Union Theological Seminary, and two years at Princeton, graduating in 1868. In the same year he was called to organize, and become the first pastor of Calvary Presbyterian church in. Newark, New Jersey.
In 1870 he married Adelaide Burnet, who died in 1871, leaving one son. Later he married Miss Cornelia A. Eames, of Newark, New Jersey. He was a scholarly man of great spiritual power, an eloquent preacher, a sympathetic pastor, a thorough organizer and so catholic in spirit that his love and. service could not be bounded by his own denomination. His last charge, from 1883 to 1888, was the Presbyterian church of Southampton, Long Island. His life work was done while fighting the hidden foe of disease. He contended for his life that he might serve his generation. He "fell asleep" October 24, 1888, leaving a widow and only son, Walter Halsted Condict, now a young lawyer of Jersey City, New Jersey.
Several of the descendants of Silas Byram Condict still reside in Morris county, Jonathan Dickinson being a resident of Madison; and Henry V. and Charlotte (wife of Joseph M. Lee) both living in Morristown. Jonathan Dickinson Condict makes his home in Madison, where he has resided for some years, taking an active interest in everything that pertains to its substantial development.
Transcribed by Brianne Kelly-Bly
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