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Daniel Robins (ca 1630-1714) Scottish Prisoner of War


Daniel Robins, an early settler of Woodbridge, New Jersey, had his origins in Scotland. Although there is some disagreement about his specific origins in Scotland, it is believed that he was of the Clan Donnachaidh (Hoffman, 1992). It is clearer that he was a participant on the losing side of the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Cromwell exiled several hundred Scots after the Battles of Dunbar and Worcester in 1650 and 1651. His name is listed as one of the Scottish prisoners of war sent to New England on the ship John and Sara in the winter of 1652 arriving in Boston in February. Following arrival in Boston, these prisoners were sold into periods of servitude lasting from six to eight years. It seems that Daniel was purchased by Nathaniel Foote of New Haven.


Following his period of indenture, Robins seems to have stayed in close contact with the Foote family. Hope Potter (1641-1687) was related to the Foote family by marriage. Daniel and Hope married in New Haven 3 February 1663. The couple remained in New Haven for a few more years and their two oldest children, Mary and Daniel, were born there. Soon after the birth of their second child, the young family made the trip to Woodbridge. Daniel Robins received 173 acres in Woodbridge on 18 March 1669.


The births of ten additional children; nine are recorded in Woodbridge vital records. A son Robert does not seem to have a record, but he is listed in his father's will. One of these children, Hope (1674-1675), died in infancy; there was a second daughter Hope born in 1681. Eleven of the children lived to adulthood and nine of the children were living at the time of Daniel’s will in 1714.


Hope Potter Robins died in 1687 within a year of the birth of her youngest child in 1686. Eight years after Hope’s death, Daniel relocated 28 miles away to Crosswick, New Jersey. Daniel purchased a large tract of land there. In 1696, he conveyed property in Woodbridge to his son Daniel, Jr. In 1701, he conveyed some of his property in Crosswick to his son Moses. Daniel also established Ye Old Robbins Burial Place in Crosswick. However, it appears that Daniel was not buried there; rather, his body was transported to Woodbridge to be buried near Hope.


Click here for the family group sheet for Daniel Robins and Hope Potter:



Calendar of New Jersey Wills, volume I, 1670-1730, p. 389.

Hoffman, Sara Robbins. (1992). The Exile of Daniel Robins to America in 1652. Published by the author.

Monnette, Orra Eugene. (1930). First Settlers of Ye Plantations of Piscataway and Woodbridge Olde East New Jersey 1664-1714. Los Angeles, CA: Leroy Carman Press.

New Jersey State Archives, Early Land Records 1650-1801.

Scottish Prisoners of War: Daniel Robinson, #213 on the “John and Sara” Passenger List. Retrieved from



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