Now that I have the physical location nailed down, I can attempt to track down deeds associated with earlier Hamlins in the area: the theory is that if John D. was there long enough to become a teenager, dad probably owned land and the record of that ownership and possibly the transfer upon his death can be assumed to have been documented and may yet exist. However, the split of Warren County from Sussex was not the first change in county in the area. I'm trying to recruit some of R.'s relatives who live in the area to go look at the microfilm or possibly bound volumes for me, however, I have an uneasy suspicion that this might involve a visit to Hunterdon county's Hall of Records. In Flemington.
If anyone can figure out where I can get hold of control number CHNCL009 referred to on this page (and elsewhere) http://www.nj.gov/state/darm/links/webcat/queries/chnclerk.html, without me or some other warm body going to Flemington, I'd love to hear it. I'm willing to contemplate that microfilm loan thing the Mormons will do to local family history centers at this point, but it looks like they only have part of the early deeds available through that (1716-1730, and then starting again in 1766 -- I might get lucky, but my guy was born in 1759 and his papa probably bought the farm between 1730 and then, with my luck).
Aha! State archives has copies of everything the counties do.
"State Archives has microfilm copies of all county deeds up to 1900 (original records still owned by each county)
Most deeds date from about 1785, a few counties have deeds recorded before that date
All deeds (except Bergen County) have indexes on microfilm, many indexes continue past 1900"
Altho Trenton is even further away from the in-laws than Flemington. I wonder if I know anyone else I could rope into helping me out with this . . .
ETA: Maps are My Friends!
Pohatcong, NJ is _damn_ close to Greenwich Township, Warren, NJ.
"The earliest families of our community came from different and remote areas of the world. They had ethnic backgrounds such as English, Scotch, Scotch-Irish, German, Dutch and Welsh. Family names of these early settlers were Maxwell, Stewart, Kennedy, Ramsey, McCullough, Kell, Smith, Creveling, Bidleman, Fines, Hulshizer, Carpenter, Cline, Hances, Young, Boyer, Hagawout, Beaver, Sharpensteins, Pursell, Hunt, Hixon, Davis, Hamlin, Carter, Green, Barber, Bulman, Hughes and Hyndshaw."
And predictably, the wikipedia entry does a good job of explaining how the land didn't change, but which part was called what certainly did.
"Greenwich Township has a long history passing through as part of most of Northwestern New Jersey's counties." Details follow.
And these are definitely the right Hamlins, because the Capt. Giles Hamlin genealogy describes Thomas and his probable brother John (father of the John I am looking for) in Bloomsbury Mountain and then Greenwich Township. Which I _knew_, but couldn't figure out a way to connect it up to the Huntington story. Go figure.
This does not, alas, find me a father. *sigh*