Robert Treat, Montclair, and Thomas Edison

Robert Treat Academy Charter School









The Robert Treat Academy Charter School in Newark, NJ, is named after my eighth great grandfather Robert Treat (1622-1710), governor of Connecticut and a founder of Newark. Treat was a Puritan immigrant from England, and a founder of New Haven Colony. When King Charles II in 1662 allowed the more liberal, less religious Connecticut Colony to merge with New Haven Colony, the Puritans in New Haven were upset. They sent Treat, Jasper Crane and a few other men to New Jersey, where they purchased land along the Passaic River from the Hackensack Indians to found Newark as a Puritan city.

Treat later returned to Connecticut. He served as governor of Connecticut Colony from 1683 to 1698.

Governor Robert Treat

Governor Robert Treat


Robert Treat’s home in Milford, CT









Robert Treat married Jane Tapp (1628-1703), an English immigrant. They had eight children, including our ancestor, Abigail Treat. One of Robert Treat’s great grandsons Robert Treat Paine was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Meanwhile, Jane Tapp’s older sister Mary Tapp (1615-1669) is also related to our family. One of her descendants married Nathaniel Woodruff, my fourth great grandfather.


Jane Tapp Treat’s headstone, Milford Cemetery

When he moved back to Connecticut, Robert Treat left his daughter, Mary Treat, in Newark, where she married a son of Jasper Crane, Azariah Crane, who was a minister. Azariah and Mary Crane were among the first settlers of Cranetown, or what is now Montclair. They built a house at the present day intersection of Orange Road and Myrtle Avenue.   One of their descendants was Thomas Alva Edison who would have his laboratory in nearby West Orange.

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