This page is dedicated to the Reverend Samuel Kennedy, immigrant ancestor and minister at the Presbyterian Church in Basking Ridge, New Jersey for over 35 years.
Samuel was born in Scotland around 1720 and was educated as a physician prior to coming to this country. He arrived some time around 1745 and at the urging of the presbytery in Trenton, NJ became an ordained minister.
Samuel was a wealthy man who owned a plantation on the Dead River in Passaic. He shared his books with his parishoners, and as a result became the first lending library in the town. From the history of the Bernards Township Library "probably began sometime between the years 1751 and 1787, during the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kennedy, fourth minister of the Presbyterian Church in Basking Ridge. In those times, when Basking Ridge was the center of social, religious and educational life for the whole area, the church owned and loaned most of the books available to the community. Although the accounts are fragmentary and much is left to speculation, it is recorded that Dr. Kennedy lent his own books to his parishioners. Undoubtedly, this collection developed into a Sunday School library and eventually, a general library evolved."
Below are photos from the cemetery at the Presbyterian Church. His tombstone has just been replaced with a new replica of this original stone. Photos show both. Buried under the old oak tree (which is hundreds of years old) is Samuel's son, Ebenezer.