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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tuckerton Numerology

Numerology is the study of the special relationship between a number and some coinciding observed event. Frequently, people associate a number with either good luck or bad luck in their lives.

For instance, the number 13 is considered to be unlucky by many. This belief goes way back in history. Some believe it goes back to the Last Supper where twelve apostles joined Jesus and the thirteen had the Passover meal. Others believe that it is related to the practice of witchcraft as witches often formed groups of 13 called covens.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was especially fearful of the number 13 and took great pains to avoid hosting a meal for a group of that size. If he had a cancellation and it looked like 13 people may show up for a White House luncheon or dinner, he would invite his secretary to join them so there won't be thirteen people sitting at the table.

The Jersey Devil, born in Leeds Point not far from Tuckerton, was the thirteenth child of mother Leeds. Wikipedia says the following about Mother Leeds and her thirteenth child. 
. . . Mother Leeds had 12 children and, after finding she was pregnant for the 13th time, stated that this one would be the Devil. In 1735, Mother Leeds was in labor on a stormy night. Gathered around her were her friends. Mother Leeds was supposedly a witch and the child's father was the Devil himself. The child was born normal, but then changed form. It changed from a normal baby to a creature with hooves, a goat's head, bat wings and a forked tail. It growled and screamed, then killed the midwife before flying up the chimney. It circled the villages and headed toward the pines. In 1740 a clergy exorcised the demon for 100 years and it wasn't seen again until 1890. 

Click on the Jersey Devil to read
what Weird New Jersey says about him.

Some believe that the Jersey Devil roams the Jersey Pines to this day. I have spoken to people who swear that they have seen him.

Friday the thirteenth is considered unlucky in our culture by many people. There are people who hesitate to get out of bed on this day.

Since the number thirteen is considered so unlucky, I was somewhat perplexed to find the following article involving the number 13 and the Tuckerton Bank in a 1903 newspaper article. If I kept my money there and read this article, I might feel a little uneasy. How about you? 

I wonder if there was a run on the bank back then. After all, that's a lot of thirteens!

Pete S


  1. Hi Pete: I just realized that the Leeds family is related to me. The only thing I could not figure out is just who was "Mother" Leeds. Or is this all a legend too.
    Beverly Mathis Robinson

  2. I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this!