ROYALTY: The Riggs family and
their decent from the British Royal House
On Tuesday evening, June 16, 2015, Roxbury resident Patrick Andriani and his son Jack presented a program at the Roxbury Township Historical Society.
Jack is a student at Roxbury High School, and he presented the results of his in depth research into the genealogy of the Silas Riggs family, one of the earliest residents of the area, arriving circa 1805, and notable as he became an influential businessman. Of course, the treat was that the presentation was given in the preserved Silas Riggs Saltbox House, which dates circa 1770-1805.
“The Interesting Historical Ancestry of the Riggs Family of Roxbury, NJ”
By Jack Andriani
When you think of Roxbury, New Jersey and the families who settled here a long time ago, you don’t usually think of famous people in history. Even though we know about some of the founding families in this area like the King and Riggs families, we might not realize that their family history might be very surprising indeed. My father has always been very interested in our family history and done a lot of research. As a volunteer for the Roxbury Historical Society, I thought it might be interesting to see if there might be anything I could learn about the King and Riggs families that I might be able to share.
I began reading what I could find online, and even visited some of the cemeteries in Roxbury and nearby areas to see what I could learn from the gravestones and other records. In addition I learned how to do research on websites, such as familysearch.org, and what I found really was amazing.
I started focusing on the family of Theodore F. King, but as I dug deep, it seemed like the Riggs family might have a different story. The whole story starts with Emma Louise King (1881-1975). She was the daughter of Theodore Frelinghuysen King and Emma Louise Riggs. As we know Emma King lived in the King Home right here in Ledgewood, NJ. Emma was the daughter of Emma Louise Riggs (1844-1925). Emma Riggs was the daughter of Albert Rose Riggs and Nancy Stanburrough. As we move into the beginning of the 19th century, we see that Albert Rose Riggs (1812-1882) was the son of Silas Riggs (1779-1847) and his wife, Harriet Rose. Here is where things start to get interesting.
Silas Riggs was the son of Preserve Riggs (1746-1821). Preserve, a farmer in Mendham, was married to a woman named Puah Hudson (1744-1822). Puah, the daughter of Samuel Hudson and Zerviah Schellinger, lived a modest farmer’s life with Preserve. They may have been members of the Hilltop Presbyterian Church in Mendham, as they are both buried in Hilltop Cemetery in nearby Mendham.
Abigail Ufford (1620-1658) - the wife of Roger Terrill (1616-1682) – was the maternal great, great grandmother of Puah Hudson. Abigail’s maternal great, great grandfather was a man named Edmund Bryan, who was born in England in 1511, and married to Margaret Courtenay (1517-1604).
Edmund’s maternal great grandfather was Humphrey Bourchier (1435-1471). Humphrey is interesting not just because he was actually killed in the War of the Roses, but because his mother was Anne Plantagenet (1383-1438). And the reason Anne is important is her grandfather was King Edward III of England (1312-1377), and Anne’s mother was the great, great granddaughter of King Edward I “Longshanks“(1239-1307). King Edward I was the son of King Henry III (1206-172), and the great grandson of King Henry II of England “Henry Curtmantle” (1133-1189).
Now King Henry II was related to a lot of famous people. He had two sons who were kings of England. One son was King Richard I of England or Richard the Lionheart (1157-1199), and another son was King John (1166-1216) who signed the Magna Carta. Henry II was also the great, great grandson of King William I of England aka “William the Conqueror” (1028-1087), who was the first Norman King of England, and directly descended from the Viking founders of Normandy.
As with any research like this, there are is always room for mistakes when you research so many centuries back, but it does seem that there is a very possibility that there is a connection between the Riggs family of Roxbury, NJ and British royalty. So next time you’re driving down Main street or going by the Silas Riggs/Theodore King home and store, and hear “Hail to the Queen,” don’t be too surprised.
Editor's note: In coming days we will post illustrations of the people mentioned in this history
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