Abraham Probasco was born in 1737 in New Jersey, the seventh child of Stoffel Probasco and Sara Ammerman. His father built a grist mill in Colts Neck, Monmouth County, New Jersey. He grew up in Monmouth County and probably worked as a youth in his father's grist, learning the trade of being a miller.
When in his early twenties Abraham fell in love with and married Eleanor Van Doren, daugher of Abraham Van Doren and Eleanor Forman, in November 1761. Together they had six children: Jonathan, Sarah, Margaret, Christopher, Abraham and Isaac.
Abraham and Eleanor were members of the historic Dutch Church of Marlboro, near Freehold, and had six of their children baptized there. This church has been referred to as "The Old Brick Church" and was established in 1699 by the earliest Dutch settlers of Monmouth County who had come from Dutch villages and farms on the west end of Long Island, New York. It was the first Dutch Reformed congregation to be established in Monmouth County.
Upon the death of his father in 1778, Abraham took over the grist mill. There was a mill operating in Colts Neck as late as 1958 that was referred to as the "Probasco Mill." It is also thought that in his later years he may also have operated a tavern.
Abraham was a slave owner and in 1791 was involved in a dispute over the freedom of a slave family that went to the New Jersey Supreme Court. He purchased said slaves from William Winds with the agreement, which Winds had made to the slaves, that they would be released by Abraham Probasco after five years of service. After six years, Abraham Probasco refused to set them free, so the slaves took him to court to obtain their freedom. The Supreme Court unanimously supported the slaves and discharged them from the Custody of Abraham Probasco. He still retained slaves until his death which were listed in the inventory made of his possessions.
During the Revolutionary War, Monmouth was the site of many battles including a decisive one, the Battle of Monmouth, which was a major win for the patriots and a turning point in the war. Life during that time must have been very hard for Abraham and Eleanor living amidst the fray. Abraham served as an Orderly Sergeant in the 3rd Regiment, Monmouth County Militia under Captains Thoms Chadwick and Stephen Fleming.
Eleanor passed away in September 1806 with Abraham dying shortly thereafter in November 1806. Both are buried in the Old Scots Burial Ground in Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Jack T. Hutchinson, Leaves From The Tree An American Heritage, The Anundsen Publishing Co., Decorah, IA, 1989.
DAR Records: Sara Jo Probasco Maine, #651785
Bruce Pine Research
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