Caleb Carman

Dates of Birth and Death

1644/5 - 1693

John and Florence (Fordham) Carman arrived in Boston on the ship Lyon in1632. Their son Caleb was born 1 March 1639. John Caleb, with other associates, purchased a large tract of land on Long Island from the Indians, under a patent granted by the Governor of New Amsterdam, Wilhelm Kieft, 16 November 1644. The Carman family moved to the purchase, which became known as Hempstead.

Sometime prior to 1680, Caleb Carman and his eldest sons were among a group of Long Island whale men who shifted their operations to Delaware Bay and lived at what was known as Town Bank, during the whaling season. However, by 1685, the family permanently relocated to West Jersey, since in that year Caleb Carman was commissioned Justice of the Peace for Cape May County, New Jersey.

The Burlington County, West Jersey Court Records of 4 September 1685, include an indictment against a man for stealing a whale, which by rights the judge ruled belonged to Caleb and John Carman. In 1688, Caleb Carman was indicted taking, breaking up and disposing of a whale on the shore. The whale was purported to have yielded eleven barrels of oil. Carman argued that under license from the Governor all drift whales that came ashore belonged to him. The jury found Carman not guilty.

On 25 March 1688, the governor of the West Jersey gave a seven year lease to Caleb Carman for 1200 acres of land along Cold Spring Creek, near Cape May, with the right to purchase any of the land for five pounds per 100 acres for 400 acres and ten pounds per acre for the other 700 acres. At the time of his death in 1693, Caleb Carman owned over 1000 acres in Cape May County. He left his entire estate to his wife Elizabeth (Seaman) Carman, with the mention of his sons John and Caleb, Jr. The sons each purchased 250 acres from the estate, as did son-in-law Jonathan Forman; Elizabeth retained 300 acres. Elizabeth later gave 100 acres to her son Jonathan and bequeathed 100 acres to her son Daniel. Elizabeth died some six years after Caleb, but before September 1699.

Biography Author

Teresa Carroll Medlinsky #313, Evelyn Hunt Ogden (Registrar)


Caleb Carman Whaler, Millwright and Miller, in The Cape May County Magazine of History and Genealogy, June 1945, Clifford Campin, Jr.

Patents and Deeds and other Early Records of New Jersey 1664-1703, Cape May Deeds,. Edited by William Nelson

Roxbury Church Records, Rev. John Elliott