RICHARD JOLLIFF was probably born in England. His great-great-great-grandson, Frank Hiett Jolliff (1871-1926) who researched the Jolliff family had this to say about him (Frank's source was James Richard Jolliff, b 1849, who was Richard's great-grandson):  

"Richard Jolliff and his brother James came across the water from England in the 17th century. They landed in Virginia and lived there for awhile and then moved to New Jersey and settled in Essex Co. in the early colonial days. It was told they had a sister who came with them and married an Allen. She had a son named Benjamin. Richard's wife's name was not known." [source]  [source]

[Frank Jolliff had an excellent source in James Richard. He wrote to and may have even visited with James Richard, son of Col. James Jolliff Jr., who was the only son had who stayed near his father James Jolliff in Kentucky until he died in 1821. Though James Richard (b1849) did not know his grandfather, his father, James Jr. would have likely known more about the family than anyone since he stayed near his father.]

From a little information here and there, here is a probable family for Richard Jolliff:

Parents: Aron or Aaron Jolliff and wife Jane (maybe), b England; maybe d England.

Their children:

1. Richard Jolliff, born 1733, England; d 1759 Quebec, Canada

2. James Jolliff, b abt 1735 (from family story, above)

3. Mary Jolliff, born 1737. Maybe she is the one who married ? Allen and had a son named Benjamin Allen who fought with his uncle Richard in the battle for Quebec.

4. Sarah Jolliff, b 1740, maybe m a Nightser. (Both families were in Morris Co, NJ, and both families moved to Westmoreland Co, Pa)

5. Elizabeth, b 1742, m Joshua Lewis in 1773

The above names (except for James) are from an old Nightser Family Bible.

The emigrant Nightser was Jeptha Nightser who was born in Holland, and settled in New Jersey. His descendants moved to Pennsylvania. One of the Nightser girls must have married a Jolliff for these names to be in the family Bible.

Ggg-grandson, Frank Jolliff also said that Richard Jolliff’s offspring owned and farmed land in 3/4 of the state of New Jersey, however this may not be true. There doesn't appear to be any deeds to verify this. Besides, Richard's only offspring that I know of (James) went to western Pennsylvania and did not stay in New Jersey.

Frank further said, Richard "enlisted in the English Army in New Jersey during the French & Indian war before the American Revolution. When the English invaded Canada, he and his nephew Benjamin Allen were captured and made prisoners of war in Quebec, Canada. They were so weak and suffering from neglect that they were taken to their grave alive. The grave was a long trench and they were taken along with [the dead] to the grave. While the wagon had gone back after more prisoners, Benjamin Allen managed to get out, but he was so weak he could not help his uncle Richard. [So] Richard was buried alive at Quebec, Canada in 1759. Ben Allen in his old days visited Colonel James Jolliff [son of James the frontiersman] in Barren Co, Ky and told him this story."

So far I have not been able to locate this Ben Allen. There are records of Allens being in Elizabethtown, Essex Co, NJ as early as 1695:  Essex County, NJ List of Wills:

Allen, George - died Dec 23, 1695, Elizabethtown, Essex County, NJ

Allen, Charles - Will dated Aug 8, 1717, Elizabethtown; wife Elizabeth, son Jonathan, daug Sarah & Mary; wit: Samuel Norris

List of the Freeholders in Essex County, New Jersey, Elizabethtown, Sept 1, 1755, included:

Jonathan Allen, Charles Allen & John Allen.  It seems likely that one of these men is the father of Ben Allen, nephew of Richard Jolliff.

Allen marriages in the 1st Presbyterian Church in Morris Co (1743-50) were:  

          Mary Allen & Sam'l Munson (wid'r) 09 Oct 1745

          Aaron Allen (of S. Hanover) & Abigail Bonel (of Turkey) 28 Nov 1750

          Elizabeth Allen (of S. Hanover) & Nathaniel Bonel (of Turkey) 28 Nov 1750

Wills in Morris Co

     1762 - John Allen of Hanover, Morris Co, weaver. wife Sarah, son Daniel.

     1764 - Jacob Allen of Morristown, widow Elizabeth Allen, Henry Allen a relative, 

Essex County, New Jersey, probate records do show that Richard Jolliff, a soldier, died in 1759.  Since his will was acted upon Aug 6, 1759 in Essex Co, NJ, it seems likely that he died earlier in the year.   

In 1758-60 New Jersey supplied 1000 volunteers to fight the French in Canada. The English finally took control of Montreal and Quebec, Sept. 13, 1759. In the military campaign against French Canada in 1759 the British greatly outnumbered the French 6:1. The French General Montcalm predicted that they would fall to the British that year.  In the Summer of 1759 there were 3 points of attack on Quebec: British General Wolfe came with a fleet  down the St. Lawrence Seaway, British General Amherst led a strong force (including the New Jersey men) north along the Hudson River to Fort Edward, then north by way of Lake Champlain, and a third group captured Fort Niagara and then came east to join them.  Wolfe had unsuccessfully besieged Quebec for two months, but on the night of Sept. 12, 4500 British & Americans troops scaled the cliffs above Quebec and at daybreak they were ready on the Plains of Abraham for battle. (see picture at top of page.) This resulted in the end of French power in Canada.   (Summary of the battle by Gen. Townshend, one of the general at the battle.)  Richard Jolliff and Ben Allen were a soldiers in a Morris County, New Jersey regiment and when he died in 1759 his captain was made administrator of his estate.

Richard's wife may have remarried and moved to Washington Co, (SW) Pa in the 1770s, where several other settlers from New Jersey had moved. 
There was a William Wilson who settled in Strabane twp of Washington Co, Pa in 1774. Maybe he was the Wm. Wilson b Del 1741, d Washington Co, Pa. I'd like to believe that Richard's widow married Wm. Wilson, but Wm’s wife was Elizabeth Jones.
There was some relationship to a Abner Wilson. There was an Abner Wilson who was about the same age as James Jolliff who moved from New Jersey to Washington Co, Pa. and then to Bourbon Co, Ky.  James named one of his sons Abner Wilson Jolliff.  Two of James' sons (Richard and James Jr.) had sons named Abner Wilson Jolliff. 

There is an interesting petition from about 1780 in which many men from Washington, Fayette & Green Cos in PA and Ohio & Monongalia Cos in Va. petitioned for a new state to be created. Some of the names on this petition may be related to the Jolliff family:

Allen: John, Joshua

Allison: Benjamin

Jollife: William

Norris: Charles, David, Jacob, William, Wm Jr, Wm Sr.

Wilson: Abner, Alexander, David, Ephriam(2), Henry, James, Jeremiah(2), John(3), Joseph, Robert, Thomas, William.  (Henry Wilson came to Washington Co, Pa from Ireland in 1800. James Wilson bought 200 acres of Washington Co, Pa. in 1783.

Children (maybe his only child):

  1. 1.James Jolliff "the Frontiersman" (born abt 1753)


Richard Jolliff


1st generation in America

See also:

Morris County,NJ

Pictured: British assault on Montreal, Quebec, Sept 13, 1759. Richard was captured and died in this war.