Henry Bale of Sussex County, NJ
compiled by Alan Edward Jones | (July 1997)
Johann Heindrich BEHL, who went by the name of Henry BALE, was born around 1730 in the Black
Forest area of Germany. He spent some time growing up in France. It is supposed that he came from Germany via Alsace-Lorraine through Brest, leaving Rotterdam on the ship Forest and landed in Philadelphia, PA on 11 October 1752. He was the first settler of the New Jersey village of Lafayette, building the first flour mill and the first dam in the area, erecting his business on the Paulinskill River.
Henry BALE and his wife, Elizabeth GUNDERMAN (or GUNDEMAN or GUNTERMAN), raised seven children. Elizabeth’s father is reported to have been Conrad GUNDERMAN or GUNTERMAN. She was from Holland or her family was from Holland. Three of their children Jacob, Rhoda and Mary, moved to Kentucky with their families. Two of their sons, Peter and Henry, remained in the area, moving farther down the Paulinskill and building another mill and blacksmith shop in a settlement later to be known as Baleville, which still exists today. Some children and or grandchildren went to many states including KY, NY, IL, TN, etc.
Henry BALE had a brother Peter BALE who also came to NJ from Europe. This Peter BALE has 4 sons who fought in the Revolution and his children spread to OH, PA, VA, TN, east KY, and Green county KY. Based on some traditional naming conventions, Henry BALE’s father may have been named Jacob BEHL since he named his first son this name. His second son may have been named after his older brother and his third son named after him. Also it should be noted that some of Henry BALE’s children and grandchildren went by the surname of BALES, having added the S. Many of his descendent owned or ran mills.
Henry died in 1783 in Hampton Township, Sussex Co. N.J. and is buried in a small cemetery in Ross’s Corner, Hampton Township, Sussex Co., New Jersey.
Henry and Elizabeth (GUNDERMAN) BALE’s Children are:
1) Jacob BALE b 17 Aug 1761 in Sussex, Co., NJ d 21 Sept 1822 in Green Co. KY
md 21 December 1786 in Sussex Co., N.J. to Suffiah or Sophia SNOOK
2) Peter BALE b 4 February 1768 in Sussex Co.,NJ d 17 June 1813 in Sussex Co., N.J.;
md Elizabeth STRUBLE
3) Henry Jr BALE b 1778 in Sussex Co., N.J.;
md Abigail CURRENT
4) Rhoda BALE b in Sussex Co., N.J.; d in Kentucky
md Jacob HUFFMAN
5) Elizabeth BALE b in Sussex Co., N.J.;
md 29 Aug 1784 to Zachariah STICKLES
6) Mary BALE b in Sussex Co., N.J.; d in KY
md George WASHER
7) Catherine BALE b in Sussex Co., N.J.;
md to John WIDENER
(sources include: 1774 tax records for Newtown, Sussex Co., NJ; the passenger list for the ship Forest; History of the Bale Family since 1750 by Buckner Bale; The old Jacob Bale bible; estate inventory of Henry Bale; History of Sussex and Warren Counties, NJ; “New Jersey in 1793” by James S Norton; “Three Generations of New Salem Pioneers” by Ida L. Bale; etc.)
Jacob BALES b. 17 Aug 1761 in Layfayette, NJ; md Suffiah/Sophia SNOOK 21 Dec 1786; d. 21 Sep 1822. Sophia’s parents were Casparus/Casper and Elizabeth SNOOK/SCHNUCK. See the biography onCasper SNOOK for more details. Jacob BALES was the first son of Henry BALE to leave Sussex County NJ. In 1797 he traveled down the north side of Ohio river to settle out west. With his 6 horse team wagon he crossed the river at the Falls over into Kentucky. He was offered 1000 acres of land in what is now Lousiville but he chose to move on 75 miles south to settle near Big Brush Creek at the mouth of Little Brush Creek, in Green County KY. Like his father he built a mill.
Shortly after making their home in KY, Jacob had to travel to Holland to settle an estate left to his wife. He was gone for 2 years but when he returned he brought with him a chest of gold. He soon prospered and established a black smith shop, carpenter business, and watermill. It was said that his daughters were very strong and “they could shoulder a turn of meal or flour and put it on horses back as good as any man”. Jacob brought west with him the works of a clock which he finished into a working clock. This clock has been handed down and is not in a museum in Denton Texas. Jacob was also called Jake by his wife.
In 1810-1811 he was involved in a law suit by a Mr. OWENS who claimed Jacob was trying to get slaves to run away so Jacob could buy them at a reduced price. Evidently this was partly because of his dislike for the abuse slaves received from their owners.
Jake took another trip to Europe to buy good German mill stones for his mill, he was gone longer than expected. His long absence resulted his Sophia getting several marriage proposals which she turned down and the community generally agreed he was never returning. But one evening Sophia called family, friends and neighbors together for a feast at her home, at which time she said she felt Jake was on his way home. Late that evening Jake rode up on a horse all weak and pale for he had been near death for a long time. After this show of Sophia’s foresight she was called a “witch woman with powers”.
Jacob’s will is found in the Green Co., KY Will Records Book II on pages 71 through 74, dated 8 Sep 1822. A number of their children and grandchildren ended up in Menard Co, Illinois in the community of New Salem and there they lived as neighbors with Abraham LINCOLN. Some grandchildren ended up in Bureau Co., Illinois.
Jacob and Sophia (SNOOK) BALES had the following children:
1) Elizabeth BALE b 22 Dec 1787 in Sussex Co.NJ;
md John KERSEY 9 May 1808 Green Co. KY
2) Catharine (Caty) BALE
b 24 Aug 1789 Lafayette, Sussex Co., NJ; md. Mr. HAYS
3) Rhoda (Rhody) BALE
b 30 Jan 1792 Lafayette, Sussex Co., NJ; md Thomas MERIDETH
4) Henry BALE b 18 Apr 1793 Lafayette, Sussex Co., NJ;
d. 23 Apr 1793 Lafayette, NJ
5) Jacob BALE (jr) b Mar 1794 Lafayette, Sussex Co., NJ; d 1843 Petersburg, Menard co., IL
md Betsy DAVIS 20 Dec 1815
6) Peter BALE b 5 Apr 1796 Layfayette, Sussex Co., NJ; d 1873 Green Co., KY
md Mary DOBSON 27 Feb 1817
7) Sophia BALE b 5 Oct 1798 Lafayette, Sussex Co., NJ; d after 1860
md Joseph HUFFMAN
8) John BALE b 4 Jan 1801 Green Co., KY (a twin); d 30 Apr 1843 KY
md Dimmey or Diane LEWIS 9 Oct 1823 (a sister of Mary Polly LEWIS)
9) Abraham BALE b 4 Jan 1801 Green Co., KY (a twin); d 1853 Illinois
md Mary Polly LEWIS 6 Mar 1823 (a sister of Dimmey LEWIS)
10)Solomon BALE b abt 1803 Green Co., KY
md Nancy EDWARDS 22 Jun 1826
11)Harriet BALE b abt 1805 Green Co., KY
md Mr. BLACK or BLAKEMAN
12)William BALES b 1808 Green Co., KY; d 5 Aug 1870
md Catherine NELSON abt 1854 in Green Co., KY
13)Suzannah(Susan)BALE b 9 Mar 1815 Green Co., KY; d before 1860 in KY
md William James R. BRADSHAW 12 July 1834 Green Co., KY
For additional information on the descendants of Jacob Bale and Sophia Snook, contact Alan Jones