According to “Patents and Deeds and Other Early Records of New Jersey 1664-1703”, page 673, James West made a purchase of land from William Steel “late of Cork, Ireland, now of Bristoll, England”. The land was east of John Taylor and west of Humphrey Morrey and purchased on September 20, 1697. Interesting that the seller was from Bristol, as James West also originated there.
Morrey also bought his land from Steel. Humphrey Morrey is an impressive neighbor: he was the first Mayor of Philadelphia, appointed in March 1691 by William Penn himself. He had a ten year term, which ended in 1701 when Penn appointed Edward Shippen. Morrey and Shippen were related. In 1694 Morrey opposed the authorities, reportedly joining with Isaac Norris, Edward Shippen and others in presenting to the Assembly a memorial asking that the grievances of the people be adjusted by putting in office “men of good repute and Christian conversation, without any respect to any profession or persuasion in religion.”
I absolutely love this book! It was originally compiled in 1899 by William Nelson. Many of us who are descendants of James West have ancestors who were Swedes as well, and you’ll find plenty of them here. If you’re stuck regarding your pre-1700 ancestors, it’s worth a review—even if they were on the other side of the river in Pennsylvania. The river was much easier to traverse than the land, back in that time. You can review the book on Ancestry.com, if you’re a member. A little tip: if you are viewing on Ancestry, use the index at the back of the book and add “12” to the page number to obtain the page you want when entering the page number into the “find” feature at the bottom of the screen. Also, buried within the index are a number of “sub-indexes”, for lack of a better term. For instance, there is a list of individuals names and occupations under “Occupations” starting on page 719. You can purchase a copy of the book through Google Books, but sadly it doesn’t appear to be offered for free there, or on archive.org. Here’s what Google has to say about this book:
“This monumental work contains abstracts of all the known surveys, patents, and deeds of Proprietary New Jersey (1664-1703). Thousands of documents pertaining to title and transfer of land are here sorted and calendared, each revealing the names of grantors and grantees, buyers and sellers, relatives and neighbors–most with references to specific places of residence–and further giving a precise description of the survey, including date, location, and acreage. The records are arranged under the headings of East and West Jersey and are rendered accessible by the indexes which, containing well over 10,000 main entries, bear upwards of 50,000 references.”