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Prominent Families, New Castle, New Castle Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware

Among the old and honored families which resided at New Castle that of George Read, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was one of the most prominent. He was attorney-general under the British crown. His son, George, was also an attorney as were also his grandsons, George and William T., all deceased. Two granddaughter, Mrs. Anna Reeves and Miss Emily Read, reside at New Castle.

Nicholas Van Dyke was another official and local celebrity, who died here.

John Stockton held office under English rule and his son, Major Thomas Stockton, was an officer in the army. The latter had sons named Thomas, William and James. Several daughters reside at New Castle.

Judge James Booth lived here and reared a large family. A daughter married Attorney-General James Rogers. His son, James Booth, was also an attorney and chief justice; and William Booth was an adjacent farmer. The former was the father of James R. Booth, attorney, and Thomas Booth, civil engineer.

James Rogers was a son of Governor Daniel Rogers, of Milford, and was the father of William H. Rogers, attorney, and other sons, James, Eugene, Joseph H., Julian, Robert C. and Daniel, nearly all of whom were professional men. A daughter married J. Nicholas Barney, of the United States navy.

Chancellor Kensey Johns was an honored citizen and father of Kensey Johns, Jr., who was also a chancellor. His brothers were Bishop John Johns and Henry Johns. John Johns, son of Kensey, Jr., resides in New Castle Hundred. An older brother, James, was an attorney. John Bird, merchant, was prominent at the same period. Of his sons, R. M., was a physician, journalist, novelist and dramatist; John, Jr., became a banker; and Henry was a civil engineer.

John M. and Thomas Clayton lived a short time at New Castle.

Geo. Bead Riddle was a native of this place, but removed to Wilmington.

Another native of the town was James Booth Roberts, son of Joseph Roberts, who was a celebrated play-writer and author.

Judge James R. Black lived in the residence now occupied by Dr. David Stewart, where he died, leaving daughters who married Dr. James Couper, John C. Groome and William Young.

A later prominent citizen of the same name, but not of the same family, was Dr. Charles H. Black, father of Dr. John J. and Samuel H. Black. Dr. James Couper came here from Christiana Bridge, and for many years was the cashier of the Fanners' Bank. He was the father of Dr. James M., William, Samuel and John Couper, all deceased.

Another prominent citizen of New Castle, whose residence was of more recent date, was George B. Rodney, attorney, and father of John H. Rodney, also an attorney, and Major George Rodney, of the United States army.

John and Thomas Janvier, brothers, were very active in the affairs of New Castle. The former was the grand-father of the present mayor, Julian D. Janvier. Wm. Janvier, a cousin of John and Thomas, was a prominent merchant at the old Frazier stand; and this family is one of the few whose residence here has been continued for more than a century.

New Castle County

Source: History of Delaware, 1609-1888, Volume I, by J. Thomas Scharf, L. J. Richards & Company, Philadelphia, 1888.

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