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^,XrE HlSTq, 

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Historical Genealogy 







G. W. B. 



Fkom thi Pant or John P. MuitrnT, 

t>7 South Fifth St. 


The api>ende(l ** Historical Genealogy/' con- 
taining about 130 pages, divided into three 
principal divisions, and several sub-divisions, 
was recorded with a view of preserving in 
. condensed and more convenient and enduring 
form, some items <»f history and genealogy 
relating to a branch of the 1^'own familj', and 
to notices of other families more or less re- 
motely connected therewith by consanguinity 
or histori(%'il association ; and especially do we 
sec the importance of securing such informa- 
tion in permanent form, when our researches 
extend iiack to days of the primitive settlers 
an<l the early existence of the (Government of 
Pennsylvania. Although there are many spe- 
cimens of careful historical family record, yet 
in many instances there is serious lack of re- 
corded information relating to family history. 


which at the present time might be of much 
interest and value to many worthy families; 
much relating to early history is now probably 


lost beyond recovery, and some of that infor- 
mation which may yet be attainable will 
l>robably become more and more difficult of 
collection, the further we recede from the 
interesting period occupied by the primitive 
settlers. These reminiscences may be of some 
value in future research, and of utility as a 
book of reference. 

It would have been a pleasure to have 
noticed favorablv many of the other mem- 
bers of the families brought into^ view, but 
til is would have been exceeding the limits 
assigned to the contents of this brief Historical 

If some names have been handled with too 
much familiarity, or injustice has been done to 
any, or inaccuracies are manifest, it is to bo 
lioped that all of these defects will be modified 
at some future period, when this "Historical 
(fenealocrv" mav be continued bv other hands. 

A large proportion of this historical pro- 


duction was printed and utilized in pamphlet 
form ; the various sections of the whole his- 
tor;^ are now brought together and embraced 
in several small volumes, each containing an 
entire copy of the "Historical Genealogy;" 
these circumstances may account for some pe- 
culiarities in the arrangement of the contents. 



From traditions of the family supported to 
some extent by documentary evidence, it ap- 
pears that George Brown and Mercy his wife 
were among the earliest settlers at the Falls ; 
that they had immigrated from Leicester, Eng- 
land, in the year 1679, and commenced pidneer 
life, when what is now the State of Pennsylva- 
nia was almost an unbroken wilderness. It 
is recorded of George Brown that he Was ad- 
ministering the oiiice of '* Justice of the Peace " 
as early as the year 1680. lie possessed a 
valuable tract of land bordering upon the 
Delaware River, extending inland to the manor 
boundary, .and also bordering. on the posses- 
sions of Phineas Pemberton. George Brown 
was never a member of the Society of Friends, 


and tlicro docs not appear to be any satisfactory 
evidence that any of liis large family of child- 
ren became members, except his son Samuel, 


who came into the fold on the ground of con- 
vincement, became a prominent member of 
Falls Monthly Meeting, and likewise a member 
of the Trovincial Assembly. I lis sons George 
and John, were also members of the Colonial 
(iovernment; his daughter Mercy, married 
Joshua Baldwin, a Friend, of (-hester County. 
It has been represented that her live daughters 
were all interesting and valuable women; and 
her descendants are numerous, ller remains 
lie buried in Friends burial-ground atUwchlan. 
In the published biography of Jacob Jennings 
Urown, who was prominent in United States 
History, and a descendant of the primitive 
settler, it is state<l that " George Brown was a v 
man of vigorous and cultivated intellect; " that 
"his children and grandchildren partook of 
his character," and that *' several of them were 
for many successive years, i)rominent members 
oftheProvincial (iovernment of Pennsylvania." 
The family encountered a share of the hard- 


ried Ann Clarke in the year 1717, and died in 
1769, in the seven ty-fifth year of liis age. 
Saniuerssons, George and Jolm, married sistera, 
pjlizabeth and Ann Field, who were members 
of Middletown Monthly Meeting, and at the 
period of marriage were residing at the old 
family homestead in Middletown township, 
IJucks Co., situated about a mile from Ijang- 
horne, on the road lea<ling to Summerville. 
The family name of Field is now probably ex- 
tinct in the locality, and surrounding country. 
Susan, the daughter of Gecn'ge, and Elizabeth, 
the daughter of John, married brothers, Thomas 
and Mahlon Yardly. 

The marriage of John Brown and Ann Field 
was accomplished in the year 1750; their family 
circle was large, and he was active and energetic 
in his habits, as well as prominent in the Colonial 
Government ; and although a member of the 
Society of Friends, yet in harmony with a custom 
prevailing amongst the English gentry of those 
days, kept his pack of hounds and hunting 
horses, and indulged freely in fox hunting, a 
practice which he continued until quite late in 


life ; he had a cane-head made from a bone of 
a favorite horse, and remarked in reference 
thereto, that many a fox he and old roan had 
run down ; partly from his fox-hunting pro- 
pensity, and perhaps partly to distinguish his 
name from that of his son John, he was exten- 
sively known by the traditional name of " Fox 
hunter John Brown." It may be that the de- 
structive propensities of those cunning animals 
stimulated him as well as others to energetic 
efforts for their extermination, under the plau- 
sible pretence that they were a general nui- 
sance ; but fox hunting which had been toler- 
ated in the earlier history of the colony, at 
length became very annoying to some of his 
cotemporaries, and they appealed to the law 
for an abatement of the nuisance. In this 
controversy Nicholas Wain, then a young man, 
and who afterwards became a prominent and 
highly gifted minister of the gospel among 
Friends, was employed as counsel for the fox 
hunters, and by his powers of oratory and 
persuasive eloquence, gained the cause (of 
doubtful utility) for them. The other side of 


ships and privations, siicli as usually fall to the 
lot of early settlers; but it does not appear 
that there was any failure of courage, or any 
serious lack of worldly prosperity. A portion 
of their supplies were of course drawn from 
the water; but in their tirst experience of wil- 
derness life, their dependence was much ui)on 
tlie wild game of the forest, obtained by the 
skilful handling of the one gun in their poses- 
sion; but the lock thereof became disabled, and 
no metins of seasonable repair was accessible ; 
their wants were still pressing: in this emer- 
gency they sought the* deer in comj>any, and 
while the husband took deliberate aim, at a 
well un<lerstood signal the wife ai)plied the 
torch to the priming. 

As the family circle widened, the possession 
of a cow was thought to be an almost indispen- 
sable necessity, but none was to be purchased 
short of New Castle ; the cow was procured from 
tlience, but the undertaking was somewhat for- 
midable ; the way was long, extending through 
dense forests, along Indian paths, across treach- 
erous swami)s and over perplexing water courses. 


A dangerous overflow of the Delaware warned 
them to abandon their then occupied dwelling at 
the river bank, and locate upon higher ground ; 
upon leaving their old locality and removing 
to the new, they tran8[)lant9d their hominy 
block, which was the scooped out stump of a . 
tree. The farm which embraces the site of 
the original dwelling, and also the family 
burial-ground, still continues in possession of 
descendants of the family. It does not appear 
that there was any annoyance from Indian 
hostility, but an irritating question arose re- 
specting the boundary line between the adjacent 
lands of William Penn and George Brown. 
There is no evidence, and it is not likely the 
principals of tlie parties concerned in the con- 
troversy, manifested any pugnacious disi>o8ition, 
but it is asserted that their servants came to 
blows, in defence of the supposed rights of 
tliose for whom they were severally interested. 
These servants were probably slaves. 

George Brown, the pioneer immigrant of the 
family, died in the year 1726, in the eighty- 
third year of his age. His son Samuel mar- 


the case was represented by an eminent mem- 
ber of the legal profession — by the man who 
liacl trained and initiated Nicholas into the 
knowledge, the mysteries and the responsibili- 
ties of tlie practice of law, and who upon wit- 
nessing the keen sallies of wit, and the irre- 
sistible force of the ingenious arguments of this 
youthful aspirant for legal distinction, suddenly 
exclaimed, ** have I raised up a young eagle to 
tear my eyes out ; " " no, " was the energetic 
response, "only to open them." One night 
two notorious thieves entered the dwelling of 
John Brown, but being disturbed in their oper- 
ations fled, the hounds were unkennelled and 
started upon their tracks, and the robbers were 
overtaken and captured. iMiis night's enter- 
prise proved to T}e the last opportunity for 
gratifyingtheirthieving propensities, for having 
robbed a store a few nights previous, they were 
for that offence tried, condemned and executed. 
This item exhibits a specimen of the severity of 
the laws in those days. 

General Jacob Jennings Brown was of the 
Quaker branch of the Brown family, and in 


earlier life was himself a Friend, wearing the 
plain garb, and apparently conforming to the 
precepts and practices of the Society ; but he 
subsequently abandoned the religious profes- 
sion of his fathers, and became a prominent and 
successful military officer in tlie war with 
England, 1812-15. . At a later period he was 
created General-in-Chief of the United States 
armies, a position which he continued to occupy 
for years, died at his post, and was buried in 
the Congressional Burial Ground at Washing- 
ton, where a monument i9 erected to his memory. 
When Lafayette visited America the second 
time, Jacob Jennings Brown performed a promi- 
nent part in the entertainment of the nation's 
distinguished guest, and at the conclusion of 
his popular visit to the United States, was dele- 
gated to accompany him and his son down the 
Potomac River, and Chesapeake Bay, to the 
vessel awaiting them upon the verge of the 
sea, prepared to convey them to their native 
land. This incident, together with the mani- 
festation of kindly and cordial intercourse 
evidently subsisting between the parties, ap- 


pears to have been mutually interesting and 
satisfactory ; and was brouglit into promi- 
nence at a later period, when Lafayette , hear- 
ing of the decease of his American escort, wrote 
a beautiful letter of sympathy and condolence 
to the widow, portraying apparently with much 


feeling, the high estimation in which he held 
the memory of her departed husband. This 
venerable and interesting woman lived to bo 
over ninety years of age and died recently. 

Although we may recount some of the achieve- 
ments of military chieftans as matter of history, 
and feel a passing interest in their elevation to 
positions in the national government, yet we 
cannot rejoice in the violation of reverenced 
fundamental principles of our religious society, 
or feel that those who have turned their backs 
upon our religious profession, have acted wisely 
for their own best welfare. 

Jacob Jennings Brown, founded the town of 
Brownsville, located upon the Black River in 
the northwestern part of the State of New 
York, a few miles distant from Lake Ontario ; 
his father was Samuel Brown the son of John, 


his mother was Abi, the daughter of Joseph 
White, a prominent minister of Falls Meeting, 
and sister to the minister Benjamin White ; 
both of these ministers performed religious 
visits to England. Samuel Brown, his wife 
and nine children, have been represented as a 
rather unusually interesting family, both in in- 
telligence and social position. Their homestead 
was in Penn's Manor, Bucks Co., Penna., but 
subsequently nearly all removed to the new 
settlement in the State of New York, and were 
instrumental in contributing to the advance- 
ment and prosperity of thiat flourishing locality : 
several of the family continued worthy and 
respected members of the Society of Friends 
throughout their lives, but others imbibed the 
military spirit, and one lost his life in military 
service: their son John accepting judicial pro- 
motion occupied a judgeship, and their grand- 
son Thoinpson was in some way connected with 
the Government delegation to Russia. 

In the period of the Revolutionary War one 
of the sons of John and Ann Brown, main- 
tained a lingering attachment to English su- 


premacy, but being pursued with peril, escaped 
to Xova Scotia, and continued an exile. there 
until after the close of the war, when at the 
8olicitation of some of his friends, he was per- 
mitted to return to his father's house: another 
son was stopped upon the road, and had liis 
horse taken away from him, probably by mili- 
tary authority and for military purposes. 

The situation of the pleasant homestead 
habitation with its surrounding appendages 
and broad acres was of moderate elevation, 
commanding a pleasing, interesting and far 
reaching prospect, extending over Penn'a 
Manor, the distant Delaware River, and por- 
tions of New Jersey. It was upon this attrac- 
tive domain that the Statesman, the appreciator 
of English customs, and member of the Society 
of Friends, domiciled his large and generally 
interesting family ; and on the first day of the 
year of 1802, arrived at the close of life in the 
seventy-seventh year of his age. 





John Brown, Jr., the son of John and Ann 
Brown, great grandson of the English Ameri- 
can primogenitors of the family, married Martha 
a daughter of Abraham and Martha Harvey,. 
11th month 13th, 1777. This change of position 
in life taking place when the Revolutionary 
War was progressing, the young people with 
their matrimonial felicity partook of the vicissi- 
tudes appertaining to that agitated period of 
unsettlement, but maintained their integrity as 
conscientious members of tlie Society of Friends ; 
and yielding obedience to manifested duty and 
walking worthy of their vocation, became 
qualified to stand as pillars in the Cliristian 
Church. They both were valuable Elders of 
Falls Monthly Meeting, occupying prominent 
positions in that body and in the meetings for 
worship at Fallsington, when both of those 



, assemblies were frequented by large gatherings . 
of members. At the period of youthful at- 
tendance of Falls Meetings by a grandson, our 
venerable friend Jonathan Kirkbride occupied 
. the head seat thei^eof, and his friend John Brown, 
. Jr., sat at his side ; they had long been friends, 
in temporal. Christian, and church fellowship; 


associated together in mutual efforts for the 
prosperity of the Society of Friends in general, 
and for the welfare of individual members : in 
the various concerns appertaining to church 
government, their weight and influence was 
manifestly felt, and their usefulness recognized 
in abundant service. 

John Brown, Jr., owned and occupied aval ua* 
ble farm, at least fifty acres thereof being cov- 
ered with heaw timber, located on the Hulme- 
ville Road about two miles distant from 
Fallsington ; the situation of the ample dwell- 
ing with the surrounding improvements was 
attractive, the view fi*om the buildings extend- 
ing over a lawn.dotted with large walnut trees 
and skirted on one side by a meandering brook, 
the more distant prospect over green meadows 


bordered beyond by heavy forest, and divided 
by a placid stream of gently flowing waters, 
together with the abundance of fruit and nut 
trees scattered over the premises, embraced a 
pleasing landscape, contributing to youthful 
admiration and gratification, which seconded . 
by the generous hospitalities of loving kindred, 
have long been cherished in appreciative re- 
membrance. The old liorse-l)lock erected near 
the d>velling with its flight of stone steps lead- 
ing up to the solid platform is well remembered, 
indicating that the females of the family at an 
earlier period were accustomed to horseback 
riding, and John Brown, Jr., himself, although 
well supplied with riding vehicles, long retained 
a partiality for the primitive mode of convey- 
ance ; when some of his grandsons woukl oc- 
casionally go from school at Fallsington "to 
stay all night at grandfathers," he would return 
them the next morning, one placed in front of 
his saddle, the other in its rear. 

The venerable couple occupied this pleasant 
homestead, and there spent the accumulating 
years of married life, their children one by one 


entering into the marriage covenant and leav- 
ing the shelter of the paternal roof, cast their 
lots in other places ; their daughter Ann Brown, 
married Mark ]JaldQiaJLan, and in this short- 
lived connection when their son John B. Bal- 
derston was a little child, lost her life by a stroke 
of lightning. Tlie destructive element entered 
their dwelling, shattering a portion thereof and 
setting the building on fire ; several pieces of 
lumber fell around the couch on wliicli the 
young child lay, and it has been represented 
that pieces fell upon the couch itself, but as if 
by the miraculous interposition of Divine provi- 
dence, he was rescued unharmed. Their son 
Abraham Brown who married Annie Bve, also 
lost his life-by accident, by falling from a tree 
in which bees at considerable elevation had de- 
posited their stores of honey, and was instantly 
killed, leaving a wife and seven children. 
Their son Moses married Ann Ilarvey, accu- 
mulated a large estate, and died recently in the 
eighty-eighth year of his age. 

The family diffused liberal hospitality, not 
only ii^the entertainment of relatives <ind per- 


sonal friends, but the necessities of the poor 
were not forgotten ; those kindred in spirit 
with themselves were warmly welcomed at their 
habitation, especially those who were travelling ' ^ 
in the ministry and service of the gospel, and 
they were qualified to extend kindly sympathy 
and judicious counsel to some of those occa- 
sionally heavy laden Christian ambassadors ; 
ministers were sometimes accompanied in per- 
formance of their religious duties, occasionally 
in distant fields of religious service; and thus 
in their allotted spheres of usefulness these 
worthy candidates for immortality and eternal 
life, with the shadows of the evening more and 
more lengthening around them, in good old 
age arrived at the termination of their earthly 
pilgrimage, and we humbly trust that their 
dci)arted spirits were permitted to enter upon 
an everlasting state of happier existence. 
John Brown, Jr., died 12th month 17th, 1821, 
in the sixty-ninth year of his age. Martha 
deceased 2d month 25th, 1822. 

David tlieson of John Brown, Jr., and Martha 
his wife, was born 8th month 27th, 1780. His 


health becoming somewliat impaired about the 
age of manhood, fur the benefit thereof, he 
travelled on horseback through several of the 
Southern and Northern States. His physical 
condition improving, he was married to Sarah, 
the daughter of George and Abigail Williams, 
in the year 1806; and with his wife, settled upon 
a large farm in Penn's Manor, Bucks Co., Pa., 
which belonged to his father, who subsecpiently 
bequeathed it to him, and to which, he himself, 
purchased additions, until the whole tract 
amounted to nearly four hundred and fifty 
acres; about a fifth part l)cing woodland, the 
remainder w^1S cultivated under his own super- 
vision. These extensive farming operations 
involved the possession of a barge amount of 
live stock, and the assistance of a number of 
laborers, in additicm to services rendered. by 
those incorporated in his own fiimily and house- 
hold. As his sons attained suitable age and 
qualifications to take some of the weight and 
responfiibility from off his shoulders, he devoted 
considerable attention to a sphere of usefulness 
of a more public character, lie settled many 


estates, was guardian for many orphan childreni 
was a successful arbitrator, served on juries, 
was entrusted witli important missions by the 
court, and in many ways exercised an influence 
for good in the community. To Doylestown, 
the chief centralization in the county for the 
transaction of business appertaining to law, his 
visits were frequent, and the needful travelling 
in going and returning was about fifty miles, 
which in younger life was generally performed 
on horseback, and within the limits of a single 
day. In the year 1821 he was elected a Direc- 
tor of ** The Bucks County Contributionship for 
insuring houses and other buildings from loss 
by fire;" this Institution was established for 
mutual protection, rather than with the ex- 
pectation of making money, although the 
amount of available funds has since largely 
accumulated, and the Institution has grown to 
large proportions. He was elected Treasurer 
in 1824, a position to which he was annually 
elected for twenty-seven successive years, and 
also served as Secretary for the same pei*iod of 
time. He occupied positions in the meeting of 



which he was a member, sympathized with 
the afflicted, and was charitable to the poor. 

A fugitive slave arriving from Virginia ap- . 
plied for employment, and his appearance and 
bearing creating a favorable impression, was 
hired as a laborer to assist in the farming opera- 
tions ; he proved sober, industrious, trusty; and 
after a few months had passed away, his wife and 
three children who were not slaves, followed 
him ; the reunited family was installed in a 
neighboring tenement, and several more months 
passed pleasantly ; when as he left his humble 
dwelling at the dawn of morning to pursue his 
avocations, he found himself assailed by slave- 
catchers and their co-operators ; he struggled 
resolutely for his liberty, but being overpowered 

by numbers was conveyed to a neighboring 
tavern ; information of the situation was imme- 
diately transmitted to his employer, who being 

thus brought in contact with some of the pain- 
ful realities of slave life, sympathized deeply 
with his faithful servant, and with the afflicted 
family, but failed to effect any measures for 
their relief at that time ; but nevertheless fol- 


lowed the disturbing company to Philadelphia, 
and by advancing a considerable sum of money 
procured the liberation of the slave, who prom- 
ised to reimburse the amount with service, and 
which he faithfully performed to the value of 
the uttermost farthing. The reunited family 
manifested much gratitude for the favorable 
termination of the surrounding troubles, and 
ever held their benefactor in affectionate re- 
membrance. It did not appear that the liber- 
ated slave had become restless under the yoke 
of bondage, but ascertaining that his master 
was about to sell him to a trader bound to a far 
Southern slave market, and thus hopelessly sep- 
arate him from those he affectionately loved, his 
feelings became awakened in desperate efforts 
to gather his family in a more favored and con- 
genial locality, which through much tribulation 
was eventually accomplished. lie was a zealous 
and much respected member of the Methodist 
Society, and although not an ordained minister, 
frequently appeared in exhortation and prayer, 
lie was entrusted with the management of a farm 
of about seventy -five acres as tenant, was labor- 


ions, economical, prudent; accumulated money, 
and in the latter part of his life pui'chased 
land for himself. Ilis wife visiting Philadel- 
j)hia iml)il)ed the small-pox, and afterwards 
imparted it to the family, the members of 
which all recovered except himself; his long- 
proved friend was attentive to the wants of 
the sufferers in their extremity, and at' a 
time when the neighbors generally l^pld aloof 

' in fear of the disease, with due precautions 
for the safety of his own family, would 
visit the afflicted household, extending aid and 
endeavoring to impart comfort and consolation. 
David Brown and his worthy wife resided 
several of the last years of their lives at Falls- 
ington, where she died, after a short illness in 

. 1858, in the seventy- second year of her age ; she 
had been a faithful and loving wife, a devoted 
mother, a valued neighbor, a kind friend to the 
])(>or, and her prudent and efficient manage- 
ment in younger life, in fulfilling the varied 
and responsible liousehold duties appertaining 
to the welfare of a large family, engaged in 
conducting extensive farming operations, are 


worthy of remembrance. She and her hus- 
band were concerned to maintain diligence in 
the attendance of religious meetings, when 
ability of body permitted, and both participated 
in administration of church government. 

David Brown survived his bereavement in 
the loss of his beloved wife about two years, 
apparently passed calmly and gently down the 
stream of time, and with a loosening attach- 
ment to earth, and humble confiding hope of 
happier existence, in the 80th year of his age, 
was gathered ** as a shock of corn cometh in 
his season." 

The marriage of David and Sarah Brown 
M'as accomplished 11th month 13th, 1806, and 
in reference to their children : — 

John married Mary B. Eastbui'n, of Sole- 
bury ; they were the parents of Harriet who 
married Samuel Fox ; Mercy E. Brown is her 
sister; her brother David migrated to Ne- 
braska and married there, he became a Senator 
in the Legislature of that state; her brother 
John W. married Lydia Brock. 

Abigail W. married Henry Lippincott a 


prominent physician, whose residence was at 
Fallsington ; their son Allen was a young 
physician of much promise, but deceased be- 
fore arriving at the meridian of life. 

George W. married Ann Eliza Pitfield of 
]^hiladelphia:— of their children, Elizabeth P. 
married Edward Balderston ; Sarah W. mar- 
ried William Balderston; David J. married 
Anna Maria Headly, and a few years subse- 
quent to her decease miirried Anne Emlen 
Bangs; llebecca F. married John K. Hulme; 
llobei*t P. married Mary 11. Tatnall ; Anna is 
the youngest of the four sisters ; William 
Henry married Elizabeth K. Ilulme. 

Martha married !Mahlon L. Lovett, a minis- 
ter of Falls Meeting; their daughter Hannah 
• Ann Lovett is the only survivor of their family 
of children. 

Ann married William F. Pitfield, of Phila- 

Hannah W. married Charles M. Cooper, of 
New Jersey. 



It appears from, traditional, circumstantial 
and indirect documentary evidence, that Mar- 
tha Brown, daught&r of Abraham and Martha 
Harvey, the widow of John Brown, Jr., and 
mother of David Brown, was of the Plumstead 
family, of which that eminent minister of the 
Gospel, Thomas Brown, was a member. The 
certificate relating to the marriage of her par- 
ents, Abraham and Martha Harvey, in the year 
1750, does not state the parentage of the parties ; 
but it is signed, as witnesses, by three of the 
minister's brothers, by himself, and by his own 
family generally. 

From a letter written by John S, Brown, a 
much respected officer in one of the prominent 
financial institutions of Philadelphia, and a 
member of the Plumstead family, it appears 
that Thomas Ellicott, also of the Plumstead 



family, informed that Thomas Brown, Jr., 
was the eminent preacher of that name; that 
one of his daughters married Abraham Harvey, 
of Makefiekl, and another married Dr. Cooper, 
who went to England; — that his son Moses 
had two children ; the daughter married Abra- 
ham Paxson, of Solebury ; the son migrating 
to Maryland, married Mary, the daughter of 
Joseph Ellicott. This information the inform- 
ant estimates as reliable. 

The same writer states, that " Samuel Pres- 
ton, an aged and very intelligent man, in a 
letter to Thomas Ellicott in 1822, says : 
' Thomas Brown, Jr., not only became a great 
minister, but was esteemed by those of com- 
petent judgment, the most eminent speaker in 
the Society, in his day. He had five daugh- 
ters; Abraham Harvey's wife and thy father's 
lirst wife were two of them." 

There does not appear to have been any 
consanguinity or affinity existing between 
the Plumstead and Falls families of Browns, 
prior to the marriage of Martha, the daughter 
of Abraham and Martha Harvey, with John 


Brown the son of Jolin, a member of the Falls 
family, and that of her sister Susan, with 
George Brown the son of George, also of the 
Falls family; but since that period, several 
names of the minister's household have been 
reproduced in the llarvey and Falls families, 
and consanguinity has apparently spread to 
large proportions. 

David Brown occasionally referred to his 
grandmother, ,Martha I larvey, as the daughter 
of the minister, Thomas Brown, and some- 
times quoted his sayings as emanating from 
an ancestor; it was his impressi£)n that Martha 
was a widow when she married Abraham 
Harvey. When the minister's daughter Ann 
married John, the son of Griffith Jones, of 


Philadelphia, in the year l(>f31, the names of 
Abraham and Martha Ilarvev were inscribed 
in witness capacity upon the marriage certifi- 
cate, and after Ann's decease, the settlement 
of her estate was confided to the cave of their 
son-in-law, John ]5rown, of the Falls family. 
Considerable social intercourse formerly ex- 


istecl between members of the two families, on 
the score of relationship. 

As appears from information of the before- 
quoted writer and other reliable sources, that 
Thomas, the English-American primogenitor 
of the large Plumstead family, bearing the 
name of Brown, was born in Essex, England, 
in the year 1666, and in 1694 "was married to 
Mary Ayre, in a public meeting of Quakers.'* 
Five of their children, including their son * 
Thomas, were of foreign birth. The family 
immigrated, and had arrived in Philadelphia 
before the 2d month, 1702; and within the 
compass of a few years tarriance in that city, 
four more children were added to the posterity 
of the parents. Subsequent to the birth of the 
youngest child in 1709, the parents and child- 
ren effected a somewhat brief residence in a 
northerly direction, a few miles distant from 
the city, and it was probably while sojourning 
there, that they became members of Abington 
Monthly Meeting. They migrated to the 
central part of Bucks County about the year 
1712, perhaps a little earlier, and located in 

-*">»• > » »t ~ i 


the woods upon land where Dyerstown now 
stands, about eight miles distf\nt from any 
white inhabitants ; and there in that lone, but 
interesting, and in some respects, favored lo- 
cality, surrounded by abundance of ** unpruned 
forest," and " Indians, numerous but peaceably 
disposed;" while partaking of the privations 
and hardships incident to pioneer life, could, 
doubtless, gratefully recount the extension of 
many providential favors, and the blessings of 
civil and religious liberty so often obstructed in 
the fatherland. The primitive settler erected a 
small corn-mill upon his j^ossessions, and his 
first neighbor was John Dyer, a Quaker 
preacher, whom he had known in England, 
and like himself had migrated with his family 
to the central part of Bucks County, where his 
accumulated land purchases amounted to about 
600 aci^es, a portion thereof obtained by pur- 
chase from his friend Thomas. 

In the year 1717, Thomas Brown bought of 
Thomas Stephenson two tracts of land lying 
near Buckingham, each containing 500 acres; 
they adjoined, were in Plumstead Township, 


and upon a portion thereof stands the old Plum- 
stead Meeting House ; he established his own 
residence which he occupied throughout the 
remainder of his life, quite near the site upon 
which the meeting accommodations were sub- 
sequently erected. He conveyed to his son 
Thomas, who in the early i)art of the year 
1721 had married. Elizabeth Dawson, 250 of his 
1000 acres of land ; and upon this separate pos- 
session and fair domain, the minister laid the 
foundations of his future habitation, about half 
a mile distant from his father's dwelling, and 
probably resided there until his removal to 
riiiladelphia about the year 1743. 

There is much reason to suppose that relig- 
ious meetings were held at the house of Thomas 
Brown, previous to the erection of the first 
Plumstead jilace of worship, perfected in the' 
year 1730, upon the lot of fifteen acres of land, ' 
donated by himself, and his two sons Thomas 
and Alexander; and this supposition is sup- 
ported by some traditional evidence. But 
** under date of 7th day of ye 4th month, 1730j 
Thomas Brown records, was held the first 


meeting of worsliip of the people called Quakers 
in the Township of Plumstead." It is most 
likely that this memoranda had special refer- 
ence to the first meeting for worship held at 
the new meeting-house, which was first occu- 
pied in that capacity on that day ; and not to 
religious meetings of a more private character, 
held in private houses. 

It has been represented that when the new 
meeting-house became available for religious 
and church government purposes, that the two 
ministers, John Dyer and Thomas Brown, Jr., 
occupied prominent positions in the religious 
assemblies that were wont to gather there. 
It has also been represented, that between the 
families of Brown and Dyer, existed a warm 
feeling of friendship, having its origin in Eng- 
land, and its fostering through long years of 
l^roving existence in migratory and pioneer 
experience. By intermarriages of early and 
later date, the affinity, consanguinity and fel- 
lowship, so cordially prevailing in the two 
rapidly intermingling parties, appears to have 
been of much satisfactory and mutual accept- 


ance and of general appreciation. But their 
locality was occasionally invaded from more 
distant points ; ^Fartha, tlie daughter of Alex- 
ander and Esther Dyer Brown, m«arried Wil- 
liam, the son of Benjamin Shoemaker, of Phil- 
adelphia, in the year 1771. 

Alexander Brown, the eldest of the four 
brothers and sisters, born in America, appears 
to have possessed much qualification for useful- 
ness which he liberally utilized ; he and several 
of his descendants occupied prominent posi- 

A summary relating to the age of Thomas 
Brown, Sr., is not on hand, but by a compari- 
son of dates, it appears that he was about 
sixty-seven years of age when he inserted the 
following record in his memorandum book: 
"The 10th of ye second month, 1733, my son 
Thomas Brown's wife, Elizabeth Brown, de- 
parted this life, a virtuous woman." His son 
Thomas deceased in 1757, in the sixty-first 
year of his age; ho was an extraordinary 
minister, and his gift in that capacity has 
been represented as "living, deep, and very 



edifying." The following memoranda dated 
1756, is from his memorial: "the next day> 
went to the youth's meeting at Kennet, whicli 
was to great satisfaction ; my soul was so 
bended toward the people that 1 could scarcely 
leave them, being engaged in a stream of min- 
istry to extol the divinity of that religion that 
is breathed from heaven, and which arrays 
the soul of its possessor with degrees of the 
divinity of Christ, and- entitles them to «an 
everlasting inheritance; also introduces a lan- 
guage intelligible only to the converted souls, 
which have access to a celestial fountain, ■ 
which is no less than a foretaste of eternal 
joy, to support them in their journey toward 
the regions above, where religion has room to 
breathe in its divine excellencies in the soul ; 
liere it is instructed in the melody of that har- 
monious song of the redeemed, where the 


morning stars sing together, and the sons of 
God shout for joy." 


The following original poetical effusion was 
written in an album, in the year 1842, by 
Joseph Kite, a Friend, of Philadelphia : 

" An incident in the life of Thomas Brown, 
a minister of the Gospel who died in the year 

" From fatherland, acroos old Ocean's wave, 
Servant of Him who died poor man to save, 
Came one, his Maiiter'a bidding to proclaim 
To trae believers gathered in his name. 
He called the people to the hoiue of prayer, 
And solemn silence spread its influence there ; 
The wing of Ancient goodness hovered o*er 
While contrite hearts in mercy conld adore I 

He who had bade the congregation meet, 
In silent reverence had his cmmb to eat ; 
For him the Saviour blessed no bread to give 
To hungry souls that they might eat and live. 
Taught in his Master's school to humbly wait 
He dared not,' impious of the show-bread take, 
' But with the patriarch he the faith could share, 
God will himself a sacrifice prepare ! ' 

As a ram caught the thickets wilds among. 
Forth into view an unsought offering sprung : 
A humble youth, like John the Baptist, found 
With leathern girdle, compassed round. 
He sat not where the prophets sat : — ^he knew 
No other learning than from Christ he drew ; 
, But as the spirit quickened forth there came 

Like forked tongues the glowing words of flame. 


Words that he knew not fitly foand their place, 
Ab untaught pentences flowed forth with grace. 
Of classic learning he possepfed no store, 
But preached with demonstration and in power. 
No Southern eloquence or Northern wit, 
Or studied phrase the varying sense to fit, 
Was his to offer; — what he thought and said 
Flowed unpolluted from the fountain head ; 
The earthen vessel gave not of its taint, 
The artist man discolored not with paint! 

Some who were sitting in the judgment high. 
Deemed the youth rash the offering to supply ; 
And words of sympathy in misplaced seal 
Offered the stranger, hut this sage could feel 
That the same power at Galilee that had 
Blest barley, loaves and fishes of the lad. 
Here too a youth in duty's path had led, 
And with his meat the multitude had fed I 

,He knew the Master sent by whom he chose. 
Now used these servants, then directed those ; 
And as all stood in their allotted place. 
They stood in Him. in his sustaining grace. 
Thus he rebuked the outward sense that thought 
The baker boy an uncalled offering brought :-^ 
'Grieve not my friends, nor deem the occurrence sad, 
The service rightly fell upon the lad ! * 

Descendants of the worthy youth who then 
Preached of glad tidings to his fellow men. 
Follow his footsteps ! — wheresoe'er your post, 
Stand nobly, though encompassed by a host. 
The light that led him shall become your light 
Shining in darkness — in yqur weakness might : — 
Thus for the father shall the son be bound 
And Anna's still within the Temple found.** 


The family name of Harvey appears to be 
nearly extinct in Central Bucks County, but 
there are worthy families bearing other names 
connected therewith by consanguinity and 

In tracing remote ancestral history there is 
often embarrassment arising from a confusion 
of dates and scarcity of positive documentary 
evidence, and especially have we experienced 
these obstructions to researcli in our endeavors 
to procure information appertaining to some 
of the pioneer communities, families and indi- 
viduals, who were primitive settlers in sections 
of Bucks Co., Pa. ; this apparent neglect may 
perhaps be attributed to various causes, among 
them the lack of due appreciation of the 
value of preserving reliable records for the 
benefit of posterity, which, perhaps, in many 
instances was not thought important, not 
prominently in accordance with the custom of 
the times, and some jorobably did not feel that 
they owed this contribution to the welfare of 
future generations. 

The historical statement set forth in this 


chapter relating to the Brown families of Plum-, 
stead and Falls is manifestly supported by- 
substantial evidence, but there may be a slight 
shade of uncertainty hovering around the 
implied relationship which it has been asserted 
existed between the two families. There is 
abundant evidence, traditional and circumstan- 
tial, that such relationship does exist and has 
long existed, that it has been extensively re- 
cognized and acted upon in intercourse between 
the families, and we are not aware that its 
authenticity has ever been questioned; neverthe- 
less we admit a scarcity of positive documentary 
evidence sustaining our position, relative to 
affinity and consanguinity, and some of the 
surrounding circumstances are a little perplex- 

. The ancient records of Buckingham Monthly 
Meeting, relating to births and deaths, do not 
contain the names of the minister's daughters, 
but there is ample evidence that one of them 
was named Martha. 

The date of the birth of his son Moses who 
was born in the year 3727, i>erhai)s after a 


^better system of remembrance had been intro- 
duced, appears upon the meeting records ; and 
in a verbal will dictated by one of the minister's 
brothers, admitted to probate and recorded ut 
Doylestown, legacies are bequeathed to Ann, 
Martha and Hannah, daughters of his brother 

In the body of the certificate relating to the 
marriage of Abraham and Martha Harvey, 
Martha is represented as ^Martha Hayworth ; 
this somewhat embarrassing circumstance has 
to some extent been accounted for, by the 
traditional impression that she was a widow 
when she entered upon the marriage ceremony, 
and this view of the situation is apparently 
strengthened by the appearance of the certificate, 
which in witness capacity contains the signa- 
tures of a considerable number of the Plum- 
stead family, and the signature of but one 
Hayworth. As far as results have been 
obtained by research the daughter of the 
minister appears to have been the only avail- 
able Martha in the Plumstead family at the 
date of the aforesaid marriage. 


Although the evidence of affinity, consan- 
guinity and primogenitorship is perhaps as 
abundant and reliable as can generally be 
attained in endeavoring to establish remote 
family history, under the circumstances we do 
not press the recognition of our conclusion in 
reference to relationship, but are disposed to 
leave the subject to future development, that 
may reflect more light upon the situation. 


There has long been a tradition in the 
family that George Brown was a man of 
Title and Estate, in England; but losing 
the bulk of his possessions, was unwilling 
to occupy the position of a poor man in his 
native land, and, consequently, his migration 
to America, being at that period about forty 
years of age. And although we cannot, at 
the i)resent time, support this position by 
abundance of direct, positive documentary 
information, there is considerable circum- 
stantial, as well as traditional evidence, that 
apparently sustains this view of the premises. 
It has been confidently represented he was an 
educated man ; and this position has been 
supported by tradition, by reliable record, by 
specimens of his handwriting, by his written 
composition, by his qualification to administer 


the important local offices which were confided 
to his care in the early existence of the Falls 
Colony, and also by his qualification for use- 
fulness in support of the pul)lic welfare; but 
not being a member of the religious Society of 
Friends, was virtually ineligible to the position 
of legislative representative in the early years 
of the Colonial Government of Pennsylvania. . 
The family name was originally Browne; and 
this claim is supported by tradition, by cir- 
cumstantial evidence, and by signatures, in 
volumes belonging to some of the earlier 
members of the family. Tliere is a "Coat of 
Arms" appertaining to the Browne family 
residing in the shire of which the pioneer 
was a former resident; and this badge of 
distinguishment appears to be tlie only one 
of that character, referred to in the Index 
relating to Coats of Arms and Genealogies, 
edited by R. Sims; copies of this Index are 
to be found in the libraries of some of the 
Historical Institutions of Philadelphia, and 
in those of other localities. There has occa- 
sionally, at some former periods, been traces 


of aristocratic propensities manifested in the 
bearing and habits of some of the pioneer's 
descendants: and it lias been asserted that he, 
himself, when surrounded by pecuniary em- 
barrassments, by the perplexity attending his 
migration to America, and by the privations 
and hardships incident to pioneer life, still 
fostered aristocratic predispositions. But if 
the claim to aristocracy could be proven 
beyond all doubt, it is not likely that the 
attainment would be promotive of the growth 
of genuine Quakerism, that it would reflect 
any considerable degree of additional respecta- 
bility upon those interested, or be much 
advancement to individual interests and pre- 
ferment. ^Manifestly there were some pecu- 
liarities surrounding the situation ; these may 
be accounted for by the very embarrassing 
circumstances which enccmipassed the some- 
what extraordinary experiences of the parties : 
but there are also interesting and appreciated 
features in the history of the English Ameri- 
can progenitors of the family, notwithstanding 
the many perplexing and thwarting circum- 


stances which accompanied their proceedings 
before they arrived at the sylvan scene 
upon the bank of the Delaware, where they 
founded the habitation, that with the sur- 
rounding broad cicrcs they could call their 
own. George Brown, and Mercy who was 
afterwards his wife, left England under some- 
what peculiar circumstances. It has been tra- 
ditionally rej^resented that George was under 
marriage engagement to Mercy's elder sister, 
but when he unfolded to her his prosi)ect 
of seeking to re-establish his waning pecu- 
niary prosperity in the wilds of America, she 
declined further proceedings; he plead his 
cause earnestly, but when it became manifest 
that all his importunities were unavailing, 
he endeavored to interest her sister in his 
future welfare; Mercy was not disposed 
to commit herself to any premature engage- 
ment, but after deliberate consideration con- 
sented to independent emigration- to America. 
The pioneer was evidently a man of ener- 
getic comi^osition, and does not appear to 
have been disheartened by the adverse cir- 


cumstances that were strewn in his pathway, 

the pecuniary disadvantages resulting from 

the wreck of earthly possessions, the curtail- 

I ment of social surroundings, the partial sur- 

render of the somewhat advanced position in 
life which he manifestly occupied in England; 
.but apparently accepted the situation without 
repining, and with steady purpose and manly 
efforts, pursued the plans, which he trusted 
would result in the dawn of a brighter day. 
We arc not much acquainted with the position 
which Mercy occupied in England, but it has 
been represented that she set aside her spin- 
ning wheel when commencing preiDarations to 
emigrate. In her day and generation the wheel 
was an important and honorable appfendage to 
the household of a thrifty family : it occupied 
a somewhat corresponding position in house- 
hold economy, to that of the sewing machine 
of the present day, and its valuable services 
were recognized and appreciated by prominent 
families in England, as well as by many 
honorable mothers and heads of families, who 
afterwards occupied noticeable positions in the 


interesting days of tlie early Colonial Govern- 
ment. George and ^lercy emigrated, but after 
crossing the Atlantic, and arriving at the in- 
fantine settlement of New Castle, located upon 
the western hank of the hroad Delaware, a 
little above its entrance into the spacious b.iy, 
and upon the verge of a vast wilderness. Mercy, 
also, was unfavorably impressed with the pros- 
pect of wilderness life, and manifested a very 
decided inclination to return to her native 
country, and for a season it appeared probable 
that the pioneer was doomed to a second dis- 
appointment in matrimonial anticipjitions ; but 
after ct)nsiilerable delay and embarrassment, 
they ap[)arently arrived at a satisfactory con- 
clusion, and the marriage was accomplished at 
New Castle. After this important proceeding, 
they purchased a boat, shipped their goods 
and chatt^^ls, and slowly wended their way up 
the noble Delaware; — the broad and. attractive 
water-way, the primitive forest with but little 
exception appi'iiaching the river's brink, the 
pictures([ue red men with their equally pictu- 
resque families, passing sedately among the 


trees, or cultivating their small patches of 
vegetable subsistence, or dwelling in their 
deer-skin tents, or shouting in the exciting 
chase, or floating in their light can<ies upon 
the bosom* of the waters; these scenes [)erha])S, 
occasionally varied, with wondering gaze and 
mute greetings pjissing between the mutually 
friendly and much interested strangers. And 
thus for several days together they patiently 
pursued their interesting and, doubtless, long 
remembered voyage, in view of scenes such as 
had long existed, primitive in their character, 
and natural in their appearance, the deep, <lark 
forest unshbrn by civilization, the absence <rf 
cultivated farms, the lack of connnerce upon 
the river and its borders ; with tin* surround- 
ing accompaniments of animated nature, tlie 
numerous wild animals that roamed almost 
unmolested in the forest, the abundance i»f 
water fowl and other birds of various plumage, 
the multitude of specimens of the tinny tribes 
which then inhabited the river; — and at length 
arrived at the localitv where thev established 
their j)ermanent home, perhaps two years 


before the Province of Pennsylvania received 
its name, and three before the good ship 
Welcome rippled the waters of the Delaware. 
The Indians were peaceable and friendly. 

In this new settlement and new ])osition in 
life, the formerly reluctant maiden, but now 
devoted wife, walked hand-in-hand with her 
appreciative husband, for the sustenance and 
support of their widely-extending family cir- 
cle, and of this devotion some touching inci- 
dents are recorded; there they experienced 
early privations, there they prospered, there 
they accumulated large possessions, there they 
died influential and respected; on their fair 
domain they were buried amid scenes that had 
surrounded their i^ioneer lives and the child- 
hood of their children, and that portion of 
the original premises which contained the 
primitive dwelling and the family burial- 
ground, is still in possession of one of the 
Brown family. 

George and Mercy Brown were cotemj^o- 
raries with Phineas and Phebe Pemberton, 
their lands adjoined, they were near neighbors 


in early pioneer experience, and a manifesta- 
tion of friendship was long cherished by de- 
scendants of the two families. Late in life, 
Phineas sold "Grove Place" to Willowbv 
Warder, and purchased a large tract of land, 
a few miles inland, but still upon the borders 
of Penns Manor, and removed thither about 
the time of his marriage with Alice Hodgson ; 
this new purchase was subsequently adjoined 
by the homestead lands of the "Fox Hunter'* 
John Brown. At a much later period, the 
Pemberton farm (the name by which it has 
long been recognized) was occupied by tlie 
family of Anthony Morris, whose wife was the 
daughter of James Pemberton, and that at- 
tractive portion thereof, which contains the 
homestead dwelling and "Morris Graveyard/' 
is now owned by their grandson P. Pemberton 
Morris. These premises Avere at one period 
occupied for educational purposes, conducted 
on the Felenburg system, which combines 
occupation and instruction in agriculture, 
with literary teaching. 

We are not informed of the amount of 


intimacy that existed between the near neigh- 
boring families of Brown and Warder, in 
those primitive times, but at various periods 
of later years th.ere were many indications of 
valued friendships existing between members 
of the two families. A warm friendship long 
existed between John Warder, of Philadelphia, 
and John Brown, Jr., of the Falls; the fami- 
lies visited, their intercourse was frequent, 
the cannage-horses of the former were several 
times wintered at the stables of the latter, and 
at later dates the friendly feeling was still 
cherished by some of their children and. 


At the period that the Morris family occupied 
the Pemberton farm, Henry Waddell and his 
family occupied their attractive residence near 
Morrisville ; his wife was Joseph Pemberton's 
daughter, but at the present time there does not 
appear to be any of the descendants of Phincas 
Pemberton permanently resident in Bucks 
County, or any relatives except of the remote 
consanguinity of the descendants of William 
Yardley and Thomas Janney, who were both 
uncles to Phineas Pemberton. 


There are now but few bearing the family 
name in the original locality or in the sur- 
• rounding community, who are descendants of 
Samuel Brown the son of the pioneer settlers, 
but a trace of the blood still flows in the veins 
of many worthy families bearing other names, 
and the name itself exists considerably in more 
distant localities. 

It now appears that further development re- 
veals the probability that Mercy, the daughter 
of the primitive settlers George and Mercy 
Brown, became a member of the religious So- 
ciety of Friends. She married John Satcher, 
Jr., who was a member of a prominent family 
of Friends of that early period ; their daugh- 
ter Mary Satcher, mjirried John Knowles; 
their granddaughter Mercy Knowles, married 
Joseph Taylor ; their great-granddaughter 
Mary Taylor, married Cyrus Cadwallader ; 
their great-great-granddaughter Letitia Cad- 
wallader, married John B. Balderston. 

The maiden name of Joseph Taylor's mother 
was Letitia Kirk bride; she was a daughter 
of Mahlon Kirkbride, whose wife was sister 


to the John Satcher who married Mercy 

The venerable Jonathan Kirkbride was 
an approved minister. Our friend Edward 
Sharpless is a descendant of Joshua and 
Mercy Baldwin. 


George and Mercy Brown, the English 
American progenitors of the family, were mar- 
ried in the year 1679, and were the parents 
of fourteen children, ten sons and four daugh- 
ters. The sons were "John, Samuel, Joseph, 
Thomas, Edward, George, David, John, Sam- 
uel, Samuel." The daughters married '* Titus, 
Stackhouse, Slack, Satcher." Of the three 
Samuels two probably died in boyhood, and 
the third became a member of the Society of 
Friends; he has been represented as promi- 
nent in the Society, and in the Colonial 
Government. In the year 1717,- he married 
Ann Clarke, who appears to have been a 
woman of considerable prominence, and is 
favorably noticed by the historian of Bucks 
County. Their children : — 


George married Ei.izaueth Field. 
John " Ann Field. 

Mercy " Joshua Baldwin. 
Ann " Samuel Lovett. 

John, the son of Samuel and Ann Brown, 
was a member of the Society of Friends, but 
was a prominent statesman of aristocratic 
tendency, and an appreciator of English habits 
and customs. In the year 1750, he married 
Ann the daughter of Benjamin Field. Their 
children : — 

Samuel married Am White. 
Sarah ** Samuel Allen. 

John " Martha Harvey. 

Benjamin " Jane Wright. 


Charles " Charlotte Palmer. 

Joseph " Mary Butcher. 

Elizabeth " Mahlon Yardley. 

was a young man of interesting character, 
was warmly appreciated by members of 
the family, and his memory long lived in 


their affectionate remembrance; but he died 
in early manhood, his name was several 
times reproduced in the posterity of members 
of the family. 

John, the son of John and Ann Brown, 
married Alartlia, the daughter of Abraham 
and jMartha Harvey, 11th month 13th, 1777, 
They were both valuable Elders in the Society 
of Friends. Their children : — 

Ann married Mark Balderston.N 
David " Sarah Williams. 
Abraham " Anne Bye. 
Moses " Ann Harvey. 

David, the son of John and Martha Brown, 
married Sarah, the daughter of George and 
Abigail Williams, 11th month 13th, 1806. 
Their children : — 

John married ^Iary B. Eastburn. 
Abigail W. " Henry LirriNCOTT. 
George W. " Ann Eliza Pitfield. 
Martha " Mahlon L. Lovett. . 
Ann " William F. Pitfield. 

Hannah W. " Charles M. Cooper. 



George W., the son of David and Sarali 
Brown, married Ann Eliza, the daughter of 
Robert L. and Elizabeth Pitfield, 5th month 
10th, 183(5. Their children :— 

Elizabeth P. married Edward Baldeuston. ^ 

Sarah W. 
David J. 


Rebecca F. 
Robert P. 

William H. 


William Balderstox.x 
Anna Maria Headly. 
Anne Emlen Bangs. 
John K. IIulme. 
Mary R. Tatnall. 

Elizabeth K. Hulme. 


John Williams left his fatherland, with 
its ancestral endearments and with its perse- 
cuting spirit — encountered a lengthy voyage to 
America with its attendant anxieties and its 
perils — seeking a more congenial home and 
country where civil and religious liberty were 
respected — approached the land of promise, 
the infant Government of Pennsvlvania, and 
laid the foundations of his dwelling in 
Merion Township then Philadelphia County. 
He was of that large Welsh immigration that 
was chiefly instrumental in settling townships 
bearing Welsh names, in what is now Montgo- 
mery County. This emigration from Wales, 
encouraged and fostered by William Penn, 
embraced many substantial Friends in its com- 
pass, among them eminent ministers of the 
Gospel and prominent supporters of the 


colonial government. Their descendants have 
been and are yet represented in Philadelphia 
Yearly ^[ecting by many worthy members. 

John Williams married Ellen Klincken, of 
Germantown. The quaint antiquatied certifi- 
cate appertaining to the marriage i)rocecding, 
discloses some of the peculiarities of those 
primitive times; it sets forth that the mar- 
riage was accomplished on the 3d day of the 
4th month vulgarly called June, in the year, 
according to the English account, one thou- 
sand six hundred and ninety-six, in a solemn 
assembly of the people of God met together 
at their public meeting place at Germantown; 
and in a solemn manner, according to the 
example of the holy men of God recorded in 
the Scriptures of truth; Ellen promising with 
(iod's assistance to be his true, faithful, loving 
and obedient wife.' Among the signatures 
appended to the document in witness capacity, 
are those of Francis Daniel l\nstorius, Anthony 
Klincken and Catharine Williams. From the 
position of the signature of Anthony Klincken 
upon the marriage certificate, it appears mani- 




I fest that he was the father of Ellen, and was 
probably one of the primitive settlers at Ger- 
mantown from the German fatherland. The 
name of Klincken has probably become extinct, 
as it does not appear in the Philadelphia 
George Shoemaker was resident at Kres- 

; * heim, in Germany, and it is said was convinced 
of Friend's principles by the preaching of 
William Penn, in his extraordinary religious 
visit to the continent prior to his first embar- 
kation for America. Several of the converts 
of that German locality, among them Francis 
Daniel Pastorius, subsequently removed to 
Pennsylvania, and were instrumental in 
founding German town. George" Shoemaker 
and family removed first to England, and 
after a short residence there, sailed for 
America; but on the voyage he was stricken 
with small pox, and died at sea, leaving a 
widow and several children. After this afflict- 
ing bereavement, his son George assuming the 
superintendence and care of the survivors, the 
sorrowing company moved onward, and arriv- 


ing in Pennsylvania, approached the neigh-, 
borhoocl of Philadelphia, and in what is now 
Cheltenham Township, ^[ontgomery County, 
established their habitation. The head of the 
tribe, the worthy George, who originated and 
organized this exodus from Germany, but in 
the dispensation of Providence failed to ac- 
complish his ultimate purpose, and like Moses 
of old, was not permitted to enter the prom- 
ised land, was, nevertheless, the primogenitor 
of a very extensive posterity: many of the 
worthy scions thereof are now distributed over 
large portions of our favored land, in various 
and wide-spread localities. Our fi'iend Philip 
Price, one of the former efficient superintend- 
ents of Westtown Boarding School, was one 
of his much respected descendants. 

Anthony, the son of John and Ellen Wil- 
liams, married Sarah, the daughter of George 
and Catharine Shoemaker, 1st month 17th, 
1736-7. George was the son of George who 
died at sea. Catharine was a native of Ger- 
many, and it is said bravely pressed through 
embarrassments in effecting her migration to 



.this country; she, of course, was a member 
of the religious Society of Friends when she 
married George Shoemaker in Friend's Meet- 
ing ; and family tradition represents that she 
occupied her spheres of usefulness with unob- 
trusive goodness and substantial results. The 
widow of the George Shoemaker who died at 
sea, survived her husband for a considerable 
number of years. She appears to have been 
a woman of rather unusual attractions and 
worthiness, commanding the genuine esteem 
of her friends, and of an appreciative sur- 
rounding public. From amongst the German 
converts were obtained some of the lights that 

' early adorned the goodly heritage of our re- 
ligious profession. 

Anthony and Sarah Williams 'settled upon 
the family domain near German town, and he 
having survived his worthy wife, was still 
resident at the family liomestead during the 
period of the Revolutionary War, and partook 
abundantly of the many annoyances ai)per- 
taining to the surrounding political situation ; 
the seizing and sacrifice of property, the ob« 


structions to diligence in business, the tliwart- 
ings in performance of religious duties, the 
perils to liberty, and even to life; yet, notwith- 
standing the gravity of the situation, and the 
discouraging aspect of those troublous times, 
he himself, and those kindred in spirit, who 
walked in religious fellowship with him,, could 
number their blessings, and humbly acknowl- 
edge the manifest extension of providential 
l)rotection and favor. I 

Within the agitated period aforesaid. An- I 

thony Williams' team of three horses was , i 

upon the road several miles distant from i 


home, returning thitherward with the unha- 
dened wagon, when one in authority sprang 
therein, and informed the driver that the 
property was confiscated, and ordered him to 
proceed to a certain point, and there yield 
possession. But the horses being somewhat 
spirited, and perhaps a little disguised stimu- 
lation being administered by the driver, the 
team commenced running aAvay, and the in- 
truder realizing the peril of his situation, and 
becoming alarmed, at a favorable opportunity 


succeeded in escaping from the wagon without 
serious injury; the horses were afterward 
quieted, and the chattels were saved. A short 
time previous to the battle of Germantown, 
British depredation deprived Anthony Wil- 
liams of a favorite horse; the animal was 
sometimes heard from, and it was ascertained 
that it was appropriated by a liritish officer as 
saddle-horse and charger, and doubtless was 
ridden by him in the coming conflict. A short 
time after the battle, in the night season verg- 
ing upon the dawn of the morning, the horse 
approached the lodging-room windows of 
/ Anthony Williams and whinnied. The good 
man immediately recognized the greeting, 
arose at the call of his welcome visitor, and 
restored the faithful animal to re-established 
possession and added favor. After the com- 
motion at Germantown, several of the stricken 
soldiers straggled to the premises of Anthony 
Williams, and one of them died near his dwel- 

Several of Anthony Williams' children died 
young, but some lived to advanced ago. lli.s 


three married sons, and the seven married sons 
of the three brothers, were all engaged in agri- 
cultural pursuits; all owned and occupied large 
and valuable farms, with ample dwellings and 
attractive surroundings, and all left posterity. 
Two of his daughters married ; the daughter 
of one was the wife of our valued minister 
.William Bailey, and mother of our venerable 
friend Joseph Bailey, late of Exeter. Among 
the descendants, of the other was Benjamin 
Hallowell, of Alexandria, and his sister Mary 
Lippincott, of Moorestown, and also William 
Hallowell, of Philadelphia, and his son Wil- 
• Ham, who was a member of the Pennsylvania 

The following is a copy of a Memorial, is- 
sued by Abington Monthly Meeting, endorsed 
by Abington Quarterly Meeting, and approved 
by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting : 

** A Testimony of Abington Monthly Meet- 
ing concerning our ancient and much esteemed 
Friend Anthony Williams, deceased, dated the 
27th day of the seventh month, 1795. 

" He was born in Merion, and removed with 



his parents when young, and settled within 
the v^rge of this Meeting, where he resided 
the remainder of his life. 

" He was religiously inclined from his youth, 
and, after marrying, was industriously engaged 
in providing for the support of his family, yet 
not to the neglect of his religious duties ; but 
meeting about the meridian of life with a 
close trial in the loss of his beloved wife, and 
being surrounded by a numerous family of 
children, for whose welfare he was anxiously 
solicitous, he through the extendings and com- 
munications of Divine favor, was drawn to a 
more close engagement and dedication of heart 
to the service of truth, and a continued care to 
example well in the timely attendance of our 
religious meetings, on other days as well as on 
first days of the week; wherein his deportment 
was grave, solid and reverent, often manifest- 
ing by the tenderness of his spirit, the evident 
descendings of heavenly regard, whereby some 
of us have been comforted and instructed. 

" He was an example of moderation in his 
family, and deeply exercised in the loss of 


many of his children in a short space of time, 
whose phiinness and example gave proofs of 
his religious care for their education, accom* 
panied with the Divine blessing. 

" In his conversation he was cheerful, at- 
tended with a peculiar sweetness of disposition, • 
which rendered his company both agreeable 
and instructive. 

" A religious concern clothed his mind for 
the well ordering of the discipline of the 
Church in its various branches, and in pro- 
moting peace, harmony, and love amongst his 
friends and neighbors. 

"Being of a hospitable disposition, his house 
was open to the entertainment of his friends 
and others, and his benevolence manifested in 
his attention and contributions to the poor. 

" He was appointed an elder in 1761, which 
station he filled to the time of his decease with 
a good degree of faithfulness. 

'* His illness continued about three Aveeks, 
during which he underwent much bodily pain, 
and departed this life on the 11th of eighth 
month, 1793, and was buried on the 14th of 


the same in Friend's burying-ground in 
Abington aforesaid, aged upwards of eighty- 
two years." 

George, the son of Anthony and Sarah 
Williams, married Abigail, the daughter 
of John and Elizabeth Lancaster. Thomas 
Lancaster, the minister, was her grandfather ; 
Phebe Wardell Lancaster was her grand- 
mother; Israel Lancaster was her brother; her 
sister Anne married David Stokes, of New 
Jersey, and was the mother of Israel Stokes, 
and of Charles Stokes, a New Jersey legislator. 

Thomas Lancaster, the minister, was a na- 
tive of England, emigrated from thence, and 
in the latter part of his life resided in Rich- 
land, Bucks County, Pa. His children were 
eleven in number, his descendants numerous 
and widely distributed: several occupied prom- 
inent positions in religious society ; some ac- 
cepted Judgeships, some were prominent in 
professional pursuits, and several were state 
legislators. His son Thomas settled in Penn's 
Manor, and owned and occupied the attractive 
farm now belonging to the Estate of Edward 


Balderston. The son Thomas of the third 
generation, married a member of the Knowls 
family ; his half sister Jane Lancaster became 
the wife of Stephen WoolsUm, and was the 
mother of Thomas L, AVoolston who mar- 
ried Tacy F. Williams ; Jane's mother (being 
a widow) married John Justice, a minister of 
Falls ^Meeting. Joel McCarty, a grandson 
of Thomas Lancaster, the minister, was the 
husband of Ellen McCarty, who was long a 
beloved minister of the Elklands branch of 
-Muncy Monthly Meeting; their family circle 
was large ; several of their children as they 
became qualified were appointed to the station 
of elders, and one is an approved minister. 
The late Dr, Thomas L. Allen, of Langhorne, 
and the late Stokes L. Roberts, of Doylestown, 
attorney, legislator and judge, were of the 
Lancaster family. 

The following testimony was approved by 
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and printed in 
the old Book of Memorials : 

"A Testimony from Richland Monthly 
Meeting concerning Thomas Lancaster : 


" About ten years of the latter part of his 
time he was a member of this Meeting; he 
was sound in tlie ministrj^ and exercised his 
gift tlierein with great fervency and zeal, his 
life and conversation corresponding therewith. 
In the second month, 1750, he laid before our 
meeting his concern to visit friends on the 
Islands of Barbadoes and Tortola, which the 
meeting approved of, and gave him a certifi- 
cate in order thereto. Toward the latter part of 
the same year he performed said visit, and had 
good service there, as appears by certificates of 
Friends on each of the said Ishinds. On his re- 
turn homeward, it pleased Divine Providence 
to visit him with sickness, of which he died 
at sea — ^his removal being deejily felt* and 
lamented by his family and friends at home." 

George Williams succeeded his father in 
the ownership and occupancy of the homestead 
estate near Germantown, and some of his 
children were born there; but the location 
being four miles distant fi*om Abington Meet- 
ing, and he being desirous of placing himself 
more in the way of his friends, secured a more 


congenial location by purchasing a valuable 
farm adjoining the boundary of Abington 
Meeting grounds, and having ample build- 
ings erectod thereon in convenient proximity 
to the Afeeting-house retaining the home- 
stead near Germantown, but removing with 
his family to the new accommodations near 
the central locality where the members of the 
various branches of the large Quarterly and 
Monthly Meetings of Abington did so often 
congregate ; and his dwelling place became an 
attractive resort for the occasional entertain- 
ment of many members of those meetings, 
and of frequent visitors from Philadelphia 
and more remote points. 

The Monthly fleeting at that period in- 
cluded within its limits the members of several 
branch meetings, and also several prominent 
ministers. John Shoemaker, who performed 
a religious visit in several of the Southern 
states, accompanied by his friend John Brown, 
as travelling companion, was a beloved minis- 
ter of Abington Meeting. 

George Williams was one of the committee 


having the care of the preliminary measures 
leading to the establishment of Westtown 
•Boarding School. He felt a deep interest in 
the proceeding, and in the attainment of the 
important objects in view: several of his child- 
ren were amongst the early pupils of that 

George Williams, and Abigail, his wife, 
were both worthy elders, religiously concerned 
for the best welfare of their children, and for 
the prosperity of the Christian Church, walk- 
ing worthy of their vocation, and occupying a 
sphere of much usefulness in their surround- 
ings. Their house and hetirts were open for 
the entertainment of their numerous friends, 
and in this convenient locality and appreciated 
element, large numbers of guests occasionally 
surrounded their table. The social intercourse 
abounding in these spontaneous gatherings, 
the manifestations of cordial Christian friend- 
ship, the frequent occurrence of interesting 
incident, and the instructive conversations of 
many valuable friends were long remembered 
and cherished by some who had participated. 


Their daughter Sarah accompanied the fam- 
ily to the new home wlien about aix years of 
age, and continued an inmate there until she 
matured into womanhood and married in 1806. 
She retained vivid recollections of many of 
the valued friends who frequented her father's 
dwelling, prized the social intercourse which 
often prominently and instructively appeared 
in those gatherings, and was gratified with the 
cordial satisfaction which her parents appeared 
to feel when extending their liberal hospital!- . 
ties and kindly feelings to appreciative guests. 
She was much impressed with the powerful 
ministry and instructive company of Thomas 
Scattergood; the peculiarities and originalities 
of Nicholas Wain and James Simpson arrested 
her scrutinizing attention, but she bore unwa- 
vering testimony to the excellency 'of their 
ministerial gifts. John Simpson was repre- 
sented as a Friend whose grave countenance 
was seldom visited with even the ripple of a 
smile. The social and religious intercourse 
existing between her parents and John and 
Jane Shoemaker, were peculiarly pleasant and 


gratifying, and to lier imagination beautiful ; 
they were relatives and much in each otlier's 
company, and apparently bound togetlier l)y 
the strongest ties of Christian fellowship. She 
was present at the last interview of her father 
with his aged friend Ezra Comfort, (a minister, 
and father of the late Ezra of Plymouth,) and 
described it as a baptizing and memorable 
season ; both were approaching the borders of 
the grave, and both appeared to be sensible 
that their intercourse upon earth would cease 
with this interview; they kissed each other 
affectionately at parting, bid ejich other a 
loving farewell, and never met again in muta- 
bility. She long cherished these and kindred 
recollections of her early years, and imi)arted 
them to her children evidently with a view to 
their instruction as Avell as entertainment. 

George Williams, born tenth month 16th, 
1751, died ninth month loth, 1819. Abigail 
Lanciister Williams, born eighth month 27th, 
1754, died sixth month 9th, 1811. In refer- 
ence to their children, John L. Williams mar- 
ried Jane Fletcher, and succeeded his father 


in possessing the old homestead tract of two 
liundrcd acres, near Germantown, which he 
subsequently divided into two parts; that 
which contained the family residence he be- 
queathed to his daughter, and. the other with 
its attractive improvements he bequeathed to 
his son. Elizalieth Williams married Nathan 
Harper, of Frankford; their son Nathan is 
Ex-Mayor of Plainfield, New Jersey, and a 
Judge of the Court in that locality, Sarah 
Williams married David Brown, and removed 
to Penn's Manor, Bucks County, Pa. George 
Williams, Jr., occupied the family homestead 
at Abington, bequeathed to him by his father; 
his wife was the daughter of our friend Samuel 
Wills, of New Jersey; their son Samuel is an 
elder of Burlington ilonthly fleeting. Thomas 
Williams w^s a young man of much promise, 
possessing a strong and cultivated intellect; 
lie married Harriet Lancaster, and owned and 
occupied a valuable farm with its ample resi- 
dence and attractive surroundings, now ad- 
joining the grounds of Ogontz, which are said 
to have been a part of the orignal premises ; 


he died when about twenty-eight years of age. 
His widow married William Foulke, and he 
and her two brothers William and Morris, all 
l)ecame members of the Legislature of the 

State of Indiana. 


George Shoemaker became an early resi- 
dent of the Pennsylvania Colony. His first 
wife was Sarah Wain, sister to the ances- 
tor of the minister, Nicholas Wain ; their 
son Isaac married a daughter of Isaac 
Xorris. Of Isaac Shoemaker's two sons, 
John married Elizabeth Livzej', and of their 
children,* Charles married Elizabeth • Paul, 
John married Jane Ashbridge, Elizabeth 
married Peter Robinson ; after the decease 
of his first wife, Charles Shoemaker married 
Margaret Wood, and of their children, Eliza- 
beth R. married Abraham Taylor; Anna S. 


married Samuel Ritchie, removed to the west, 
came forth in the ministry, and died there. 
Joseph, Isaac Shoemaker's other son, married 

Junes, of Plymouth; their daughter 

Nancy married John Janney, of Virginia; 
their daughter Rebecca married Jasper Cope. 
One of the daughters of Jasper and Rebecca 
Cope, married Charles Yarnall, another mar- 
ried George Randolph. Robert and Benjamin 
Shoemaker were the descendants of Abraham, 
the son of George and Sarah Wain Shoemaker. 
Dr. Shoemaker was of another branch of the 
family, and Thomas ' Shoemaker probably of 
another. Alice Shoemaker who married Ezra 
Comfort, the senior of the two ministers bear- 
ing that name, and her sister Martha who 
married James Simpson, were also members 
of the family; James manifested his estimation 
of humility when he uttered the. precept: 
" Friends keep as little as the snow-birds, and 
then Satan can't hit you." 

In the old record of the minutes of Ger- 
man town Preparative Meeting, the name of 
Klinken Johnson appears, indicating marriage 


between members of tjie two families. S.arah 
was the name of the wife of the George Shoe- 
maker who died at sea,— the names of George 
and Sarah have been several times repro- 
duced in the Williams and the Brown fami- 
lies. The name of Shoemaker was formerly 
Schumacker. George Williams and those of 
his family long supplied Abington Quarterly 
and Monthly Meetings with clerks. The vene- 
rable Isaac Williams, son of Anthony and 
Sarah Williams, established his home in 
Whitemarsh Township, wliere he attained 
possession of valuable properties and accumu- 
lated large estate; he was a man of much 
energy and respectability, and lived to be 
about eighty-five years of age ; the three sons 
of his brother Anthony, — Joseph, Anthony, 
and John J., — were all noticeable for fine 
farms, careful management, and skilful hus- 

The following letter dated 20th of 1st month, 
1801, was addressed by George Williams to 
his daughters, Sarah and Hannah, who were 
then at Westtown Boarding School : " Dear 


children, we received Hannah's letter, dated 
26th of last month (Avith request for an answer) 
which was very acceptable; we were glad to 
hear of your enjoying a good state of health, 
which is a great blessing ; I may inform you 
thiit we enjoy the same favors. I have been 
informed that the scholars are to continue at 
the school for one whole year before they 
return home, which I make no doubt will be 
a very great trial to many of them ; but I 
hope, dear children, you will endeavor to put 
on so much fortitude as to bear it with patience 
without murmuring. Six months are now past 
and six more will soon elapse, so that I would 
not have you think the time long. We hear a 
good account of you since you have beeii at 
Westtown, which is comfortable news to us. 
I hope you will continue so to conduct during 
your stay there, as to give no occasion for a 
different report, which will be a credit to you, 
and to the school, and will, no doubt, be a 
great satisfaction to you after leaving there. 
Mother sends her love to you in which your 
affectionate father joins." The following is 


from an old newspaper clipping: "Chelten- 
ham, December 7th, 1825. — We are sorry to 
say that one of our most respected families in 
tliis neighborhood, has been sorely distressed 
by the loss of a worthy husl)and and father; 
and the community, by the loss of a learned 
citizen that bid fair to be useful in society. 
Thomas Williams paid the last debt of nature 
on Monday evening last, and died expressing 
a hope that there was a place of rest prepared 
for him in. another world." Hannah, the 
daughter of George and Abigail Williams, 
was unmarried, and deceased about the meri- 
dian of life. Among the freciuent visitors at 
Abington Meetings, and the abode of George 
and Abigail Williams, were four valuable min- 
isters resident in Byberry — James Thornton, 
Peter Yarnall, and John and Mary Witchell; 
of these Sarah Williams Brown retained inte- 
resting recollections, and also of several fami- 
lies of valuable friends at Abington, some of 
them citizens, but spending summer months 
in the attractive locality; with the daughters of 
some of these, she had formed intimacies which 


continued through life, not in much social 
intercourse and frequent visiting, but in ap- 
preciative observations and kind messages. 

In a recent visit to the Abington Meeting 
grounds, and the old homestead of George 
and Abigail Williams, there was much of an 
interesting character, both from attractiveness 


of the surroundings and in associations ex* 
tending back to remote periods. The Meeting 
House is somewhat antiquated in appearance, 
but large and substantially built, and pleas- 
antly located in a grove of fine oaks and other 
attractive shade trees extending over ample ^ 
grounds. A building of ancient appearance 
erected for the accommodation of saddle- 
horses, is still standing among the modern 
conveniences; it was utilized in the earlier- 
days of the meeting's history when in primi- 
tive simplicity, both men and women ap- 
proached their place of worship on horseback ; 
a stone horse-block (which is well remembered, 
but is now removed) together with the unused 
stabling, are indications of great innovations 
upon the customs of primitive times. More 


than two centuries have elapsed since upon 
these premises or vicinity, then upon tlie 
borders of a wilderness land, the worthies of 
Abington established their first religious meet- 
ings upon the continent of America; and walk- 
ing worthy of their vocations, were not only 
blest in basket and in store, but their little 
section of the Christian Church prospered, and 
they and their successors were, at periods, 
much favored with the outpourings of tlie 
spirit, and esi)ecially were such favors mani- 
fested in the latter part of the last and early 
part of the present century. The graveyard 
is kept in good order, and it is probable that 
the early members of the Shoemaker and 
Williams' families were buried there; upon 
the modern headstones are many familiar 

The old family homestead was also visited ; 
the dwelling and surroundings are kept in 
good condition, and the locality is of much 
attractiveness; the Tannery which was located 
upon the premises previous to the date of pur- 
chase, and was conducted in early manhood by 


our valued minister Samuel Rhodes, lias long 
since disappeared, except the two-story stone 
building erected over a fine spring of water 
which gushes from its hidden recesses at the 
base of the elevation upon which the home- 
stead dwelling is located, and its waters mean- 
dering a short distance, enter the stream that 
traverses the near and attractive vale, a con- 
siderable amount of which was of the original 
]K)ssession. The spring was formerly utilized 
in connection with tanning purposes, but the 
occupation being abandoned, the accommoda- 
tions were remodelled, and the benefits thereof 
transferred to the use of the family. 

The historic spot which tradition repre- 
sents as the site of the ancient abode of the 
somewhat eccentric Benjamin Lay, in which a 
considerable interest appears to be manifested 
in tlie neighborhood, and where it is exten- 
sively recognized as " Lay's Cave," and of 
historical interest, was also visited ; it is loca- 
ted upon the homestead farm about a quarter 
of a mile from the homestead dwelling, in the 
midst of a tract of several acres of woodland. 


and considerably up the side of a hill which 
rises from the aforesaid vale; the space within 
the boundaries of the supposed cave, in which 
it has been represented the occupant lived a 
hermit life, is now uncovered, somewhat de- 
pressed below the surface of the ground, of 
square design, and the back part of rocky 
formation. If this secluded spot is the identi- 
cal place where the hermit founded his solitary 
dwelling in the early days of the history of the 
colony, the indications are that the place of his 
abode contained but one room, and that of 
moderate dimensions ; of the covering thereof, 
we have no information, but a number of the 
early settlers lived in caves founded in hill- 
sides and covered with sods, or other simple 
material ; upon a farm in Penns Manor, one 
of the enclosures was familiarly known as the 
"Cave-town field;" it revealed several slight 
depressions in its surface which had formerly 
been occupied by the lowly dwellings of some 
of tjie pioneer settlers. If the humble habita- 
tion of Lay was erected upon the spot repre- 
sented, although there was running water and 


several springs in the vicinity, there was none 
in close proximity to his hermitage. 

Tradition represents that it was in this 
locality that Benjamin Lay essayed to fast for 
the term of forty days; he did abstain from food 
for more than three weeks, but liis mind be- 
coming weakened from long abstinence, and 
some of his friends becoming apprized of his 
situation, successfully prevailed in their eiforts 
to induce him to abandon his singular and 
perhaps doubtful proceeding. He was small 
in stature, his garments rigidly plain, his 
general appearance not unpleasant but pecu- 
liar; he was a zealous advocate for the aban- 
donment of slavery, and illustrated some of 
his sentiments by singular demonstrations; 
nevertheless, he was a friend possessing valu- 
able traits of character, and was held in con- 
siderable esteem by his cotemporaries. One 
day he was overtaken upon the road by some 
young men on horsebaok, who, perhaps, being 
attracted by the novelty of his ap]>earance, 
manifested a disposition to sport at his ex- 
pense, and one of them addressed him with 


"Sir, your humble servant." Lay replied, 
"If thou art my humble servant, clean my 
shoes;" he was then asked which was the 
nearest road to heaven? Lay answered, "Do 
justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with 
your God." The men apologized for their 
rudeness and rode away, perhaps enlight- 
ened and instructed. 

Among the descendants of Thomas and 
Phebe Lancaster, there appears to have been 
a rather unusual proportion of their numbers 
who have occupied prominent positions: some 
in the family connection were ministers of 
the Gospel, a considerable number were 
Elders, a considerable number were State 
Representatives, some occupied Judgeships, 
some were prominent in professional pur- 
suits, and some in literature, one was a 
State Senator, one a member of tlie House 
of Assembly and of the Legislative Coun- 
cil of New Jersey, and one the Mayor of a 
city. For a considerable number of years 
previous to the removal of the family to 
Richland, Thomas Lancaster and wife were 


members of Wrightstown Monthly Meeting, 
and upon its early records the dates of the 
births of their thirteen children, two of whom 
died in childhood, are entered ; of their two 
daughters, Phebe married David Roberts, 
Elizabeth married Thomas McCarty. Lydia 
Woolston, a beloved minister of Falls Meet- 
ing, was the widow of Joshua Woolston, the 
father-in-law of Jane Lancaster Woolston. 
John, Thomas, and Moses Lancaster, all of 
Philadelphia, were grandsons of the minister, 
Thomas Lancaster. 

We • are not much acquainted with the 
English history of the Lancaster family, but 
there are coats of arms appertaining to several 
branches thereof, some extending in their his- 
tory to the destructive contests waged between 
the adherents of the house of York, and those 
of the house of Lancaster; the long contest 
being eventually settled by the marriage of 
Elizabeth, of the house of York, with Henry 
the seventh, who was of the house of Lancas- 
ter. Lancaster blood in an amalgamated form 
still flows in the veins of the royal family. 


How far Thomas Lancaster may have been 
remotely connected by consanguinity with any 
of the distinguished branches of the Lancaster 
family is apparently an unsolved question, but 
even if solved in discoveries favorable to ambi- 
tious aspirations, it is not likely that the at- 
tainments would confer substantial utility upon 
members of the religious Society of Friends, 
or upon citizens of a Republican Government, 
in both of which merit is the acknowledged 
badge of respectability. 

Judging from a comparison of dates, it is 
not improbable that Thomas Lancaster was the 
son of Lydia Lancaster, an eminent English 
minister whose maiden name was Rawlinson ; 
her home was in Lancashire, a locality where 
it is most likely many of the family name have 
resided ; she was an intimate and sympathiz- 
ing friend of Samuel Fothergill, and corres- 
ponded with his wife at the period of his 
absence from England, in religious service 
upon the American continent, her ministry 
has been represented by him as "living, 
deep and powerful;" but we are not in pos- 


session of records, proving or disproving the 

Our friend Joseph Lancaster from England, 
about half a century since, attended Falls 
Meeting, and preached at considerable length ; 
he was the originator of the Lancastarian 
system of education, and was patronized by 
many of the statesmen of England who were 
interested in the education of the masses; 
according to his theory and practice, a very 
few teachers were sufficient to educate large 
numbers of pupils: whether the system is 
still in successful operation, or has been aban- 
doned we are not informed. He was cordial 
with his supposed relatives. 

There have been some efforts put forth of 
later time by descendants of Thomas Lancas- 
ter, in view of ascertaining genealogy of the 
family, for the purpose of establishing claims 
upon a Lancaster Estate of several millions 
in England, heirs to which have been adver- 
tised for in America, but how successful these 
investigations of family history have proved, 
we are not informed ; there are, however. 


interesting circumstantial evidences and much 
reasonable supposition of favorable tendency 
relating to the character and extent of the 
foreign genealogy, but at the present time we 
are not in possession of much direct positive 
testimony relating to the history of the family 
in England ; of course there are many there 
who are remote relatives of the members of 
the American branch. 


Benjamin Pitfield emigrated from Eng- 
land, and arriving in America, his residence 
became established with an uncle who was in 
possession of a tract of land lying upon Tim- 
ber Creek, in the State of New Jersey. There 
is a tradition that the uncle had sent a kindlv 
message to the nephew, inviting him to partake 
of the hospitalities of his American home, and 
with the invitation, gave assurance that the 
nephew should be treated as his own son, both 
in companionship and inheritance. As far 
as appears, there has been but scanty informa- 
tion gathered and transmitted to posterity 
appertaining to the more remote history of 
the family. There has, however, been a few 
scraps of intelligence obtained from records 
relating to relics and historical reminiscences 
which may be found in the collections pre- 


served in the Mercantile Library of Philadel- 
phia; in those of the Historical Society of 
Pennsylvania; and in the British Museum. 
The appended copies of two of those references 
are from the Mercantile Library collection: 
"Index to Pedigrees and Arms," by Sims, 
Middlesex. "Pitfield of Iloxton, from Co. 
of Dorset," and '* Pitfield of Iloxton, visit, of 
Middlesex 1663, fo. 40." The following is 
from an "Index to the Pedigrees and Arms" 
contained in the Herald's visitations, and 
other genealogical manuscripts in the British 
Museum, by R. Sims: "Pitfield of Iloxton, 
from Co. of Dorset, 1468, fo. 119." " Pitfield 
1096, fo. 6. b." There is also a description of 
the Coat of Arms appertaining to the Pit- 
field family, both among the records at the 
Mercantile Library, and among those of the 
Historical Society; and from these delinea- 
tions, which are in similar language, the suc- 
ceeding summary has been collected : " Pitfield 
of Hoxton, Coat of Arms, a band engrailed be- 
tween two Swans — ^royal, argent, with strings 
reflected over their backs, and gorged, or hung 


around the neck with open ducal crowns." 
There was manifestly in possession of Robert 
L. Pitfield, a die, which has now disappeared, 
corresponding with the aforesaid description, 
when he addressed to one of his children a 
letter bearing date 2d ^Month 27th, 1854, in 
which he gratefully acknowledged the very 
affectionate attention of his family through a 
long indisposition, and esteemed it a mercy 
and favor from his Heavenly Father, that he 
had been blessed with a beloved wife and dear 
children to soothe his declining days. The 
folds of tlie aforesaid letter were secured with 
sealing-wax, bearing upon its surface the im- 
pression of the die. From the evidences 
appearing upon tlic records of the aforesaid 
institutions, there are satisfactory indications 
that the Pitfields of Dorset and of Middlesex, 
were of identical ancestral origin ; the Coat of 
Arms retained by each section of the family 
are of the same design, the swans engraven 
thereon, among other symbols, representing 
prominence in literature. The record also in- 
dicates that aristocratic title appertained to 


the Pitfield family, Sir Charles Pitfield being 
represented in connection with the situation. 
There is a letter in existence dated Bridgesport, 
Dorsetsliire, October 6th, 1789, addressed by 
John Pitfield, to his uncle, Benjamin Pitfield, 
near Philadelphia, North America. In a sub- 
sequent letter, bearing date October 4th, 
1790, the same writer informs that he had 
been living for several months in T^ondon, 
was then with a relative, but would return 
to London. These reminiscences are indi* 
cations of the friendly int^^rcourse apparently 
existing between members of different bran- 
ches of the family, at not very remote pe- 
riods; but in more recent times, the English 
and American cousins do not appear to have 
maintained much communication with each 
other. There were, however, about the middle 
of the present century, visits performed by 
Oliver Pitfield, perhaps of English parentage, 
but resident in Canada, to the home and 
family of Robert L. Pitfield of Philadelphia. 
The intercourse between the acknowledged 
relatives was pleasant and acceptable. From 


present appearances, those bearing the name 
of Pitfield are not now numerous in England 
or America. 

On the 2d day of the Second Month, 1770, 
Benjamin Pitfield married Grace, the daughter 
of Robert Lucas, of Bucks Co., Pa., after an 
opposed and somewhat romantic courtship, he 
being an Englishman of aristocratic bearing 
and habits, and she a carefully trained 
Quaker maiden, who had been affectionately 
sheltered under the protection of the paternal 
roof by the guardianship of worthy parents ; 
but, notwithstanding this disparity of training 
and position, their married life appears to 
have been harmonious and cordial, at least so 
far as related to domestic duties and other 
temporal concerns appertaining to family 
felicity. Benjamin never became a member 
of the Society of Friends, and of course 
the marriage was accomiDlished contrary to 
Friends' order and discipline: for a time the 
father of Grace appeared to be much exercised 
in conflict of mind, in relation to the agitation 
that had overtaken his family, and manifested 


a somewhat unforgiving spirit, under the pain- 
ful consideration that his precious daughter 
had not only been taken away from him with- 
out his consent, by a man at variance with her 
in religious profession, and apparently unsuit- 
able in companionship, but that the precepts 
of his Church government had also been set at 
naught, and the results of his careful training 
relating to his daughter's budding womanhood, 
had been disappointing; but at length, the 
good man accepted the situation, and became 
reconciled to the gifted and polite transgressor 
and his youthful bride. As the intelligent 
conversation, the forbearing disposition, and 
other attractive traits of character manifested 
in the bearing of his accomplished son-in-law, 
more and more dawned upon the perception 
of the eventually reconciled father, the restored 
tranquility of the families was more and more 
appreciated, and social intercourse between 
the parties continued cordial throughout the 
remainder of their lives, and as further evi- 
dence of reconciliation and appreciation, the 
father-in-law, in his last will and testament, 


authorized the son-in-law to act in the capacity 
of an executor to his estate. The grand-par- 
ents of tlie mother of Grace Pitfield, Ezra and 
Ann Crosodalc, were among the earliest set- 
tlers of ^riddletown township, Bucks County ; 
her father, William Crosedale, married CJi'ace 
Harding, and they were the parents of Sarah 
Crosedale, who married Robert Lucas. The 
wife of Ezra's son, Joremiah, was Grace Crose- 
dale, the minister, of whom an interesting 
account is i)rinted in the old Book of Me- 
morials. She visited several of the provinces, 
and was frequently engaged in the weighty 
service of visiting familie.^. 

Robert and ]^]lizabcth Lucas, the first gener- 
ation of the Lucas familv in Americ«a, were of 
English nativity, and settled upon a tract of 
land at Falls, bordering on the Delaware 
River; they were mcml)ers of the Society of 
. Friends ; the former died in 1687, the latter 
in 1697. Their son Edward who was born 
in 1669, and died in 1740, married ]Jridget, 
the daughter of Benjamin and ^Mary Scott, 
of (Jhesterlield, N. J., in the year 17(K); and 

^ I 


about the same time, purchased a tract of 
244 acres of land of the agents of William 
Penn, and settling thereon, founded the sub- 
stantial homestead, located on the Newtown 
Road, about a mile from Fallsington, which 
with most of the acres has remained in posses- 
sion of descendants to the present time; Ed- 
ward was an elder of Falls Meeting. Robert, 
the son of Edward and Bridget Lucas, was 
born in 1719, and married Sarah Crosedale in 
1740, and died in 1784; they were successors 
in possession of the homestead property, and 
the parents of Grace, who married Benjamin 

Robert L. Pitfield, the son of Benjamin 
and Grace, was born 11th Month 19th, 1776, 
at the family dwelling, located on the Tim- 
ber Creek tract aforesaid. His amiable and 
beloved sister, Ann Eliza Pitfield, was also 
born upon the the same premises, and after 
the attainment of womanhood, married James 
West, but died after a short period of matri- 
monial existence. The father, Benjamin Pit- 
field, was stricken with the yellow fever at 


the period of one of tlie visitations of that 
destructive scourge tatlie city of Philadelphia, 
and died after a short illness. His son Robert 
was the only member of his family who fol- 
lowed him to the grave. The mother, Grace 
Pitfield survived her husband several years, 
and died in Philadelphia, to which city the 
family had previously removed. 

Robert L. Pitfield had been engaged in 
mercantile pursuits in Philadelphia, but about 
three years after his marriage with Elizabeth 
Folwell, in the year 1808, removed with his 
family to Burlington, and some time afterward 
again removed, having purchased a farm called 
"Green Hill," lying about two miles distant, 
and in proximity to Oxmead, the abode of the 
venerable John Cox. The family were still 
members of Burlington Meeting, at that period 
occasionally called " The School of Prophets." 
He occupying the position of elder, and his 
wife standing in the station of a recorded 
minister ; their relations with their numerous 
friends of that locality were of a congenial, 
cordial and interesting character. 

12 liisToincAL 

In the year 1821, Robert L. Pitfield returned 
with his family to Philailelphia, and for many 
years, occupied the position of cashier in the 
Hank of the Northern Lil)erties, and after- 
wards, the position of president in that institu- 
tion, for the remainder of his life, lie some- 
times jiccompanied friends traveling in the 
ministry, and was for a period, clerk of Phila- 
delphia Quarterly ^Meeting. ^Much reliance 
was placed upon his judgment in financial 
matters, and the execution and management 
of various trusts and responsibilities were con- 
fided to his care. I lis ftimily relations were 
affectionate, instructive, and warmly cherished. 
The retrospective memory of his virtuous and 
exemplary life, still retains much of the appre- 
ciation which often clusters around the remem- 
brance of departed worth ; there also remains 
appreciation of the loving kindness and valu- 
able precepts which he diffused around him, 
when his loved ones partook of his bounteous 
hospitality and guardian care, lie deceased 
7th Month, 11th, 1854, agcn! 78 years, and was 
buried in the Friends' burial-ground, near 


tlicir mceting-liousc on Arch Street. A smtall 
vol nine contniiiing extracts from his letters, an 
exliihit of Ills faith and trust, and various 
sentiments and cxpressimis appertaining to 
liis i>ilgrimage through time, lias been pub- 
lished for privfite distri1)ution. 

Tliomas and Elizabetli Folwell, of New 
Jersey, the first of the Folwell family of which 
we are at present in possession of record, were 
the parents of William Folwell, who was born 
in the year 1755, married Rebecca Spicer in 
1780, and died in 183o. lie was a merchant 
of Philadelphia, lived the greater part of his 
married life in the city, but had a country 
residence near the entrance of Shoemaker's 
Lane into Germantown Avenue. John Folwell, 
who formerly owned and occupied "Wood- 
side," the residence of the late Dr. Joseph Tay- 
lor, near Burlington, was his brother. Nathan 
Folwell was also his brother, Ann Yarnall 
was his sister. His sister Elizabeth, was the 
wife of William Lippincott of Xew Jersey, 
her daughter, Elizabeth Lippincott, was a 
minister in the Society of Friends. 


From reliable documentary evidence, it 
appears that Samuel Spicer was the son of 
Thomas and Michal Spicer, and was born in 
New England prior to 1640. In 1685, he 
purchased of Samuel Cole a tract of land on 
the north side of Cooper's Creek, and fronting 
on the Delaware River, in Waterford, now 
Stockton Township, Camden County. The 
Deed of Conveyance states that he then lived 
at Gravesend, on Long Island ; from whence 
in the following year he came himself, with 
Esther his wife and several children, and 
effected a settlement thereon. Esther was 
the daughter of John and :Mary Tilton of 
Gravesend, but they were married at Oyster 
Bay, Long Island, on the 21st day of the 
Third month, 1665. Their certificate of re- 
moval was as follows : 

" To our dear and well beloved friends, at 
their Monthly fleeting, or Quarterly Meet- 
ings, in West Jersey or elsewhere: 

" Whereas our dear friends, Samuel Spicer 
•and Esther his wife, have seen cause to remove 
themselves and family from Gravesend, on 


Long Island (where they have long abode) 
unto your parts to settle and inhabit, these 
may certify that they, the said Samuel and 
Esther his wife, have long been well known 
unto us ; and to our great satisfaction we can 
say, that from their convincement unto this 
very day, we have not known any misbehavior 
concerning them, either to the blemishing the 
Truth they have professed with us, or towards 
their neighbors ; but as far as we know (and 
do believe) they have been of honest conver- 
sation, and good patterns and examples, both 
amongst us and also their neighbors; and will 
leave a good savour in the hearts of Friends 
and people that know them^ and although 
they remove outwardly from amongst us, yet 
we hope our love and unity in the Truth shall 
abide towards them and remain the same. 

"At our Quarterly Meeting at Flushing, 
on Long Island, this 29th day of the Third 
Month, 1686." 

From John Clement's sketches of "First 
settlers of Newton Township," a few extracts 
are appended : 


"Samuel Spiccr took a Icailing part in the 
religious and political affairs of the colony, 
and his name mav he found in many matters 
of i)uhlic interest wherehy the development 
of the country was to be advanced. In 
religious matters he was a consistent and 
faithful member of his juMfession. For a 
long time, meetings of public worship were 
held at his house; these were continued after 
his death by his wi(h)W, who was also an active 
member of the same denomination. In 1G87, 
he was appointed one of the Ju<lges of the 
several Courts of Gloucester County. His 
will was executed in 1092, in which year he 
probably die<l. 

" Esther Spicer, his widow, remained upon 
the homestead estate, entertaining many 
Friends, and extending her hospitality to 
the large circle of acquaintance that sur- 
rounded her. On the 24th day of the Seventh 
month, 1703, she was killed by lightning in 
her own house. This event is still preserved 
among the traditions of the family. The 
sudden death of this person, at that season of 


the year, necessitated an early burial. The 
funeral occurred the night after her decease, 
the family and friends going in boats down 
Cooper's Creek to the river, and by the river 
to Newton Creek, and thence to Newton 
Graveyard, the place of interment. Kach 
boat being provided with torches, the scene 
upon the water must have been picturesque 
indeed. To the colonists it was a sad s])ec- 
tacle, when they saw one so much esteemed 
among them borne to her last resting place. 
To the Indians it was a grand and impressive 
sight. Arasapha, the king, and others of his 
people attended the solemn procession in their 
canoes, thus showing their respect for one, the 
cause of wliose death struck them with awe 
and reverence. The deep, dark forest that 
stood close down to the shores of the streams, 
almost rejected tlic light, as it came from the 
burning brands of pine carried in the boats ; 
and as they passed under the thick foliage, a 
shadow was scarcely reflected from the water. 
The colonists in their plain and unassuming 
apparel, the aborigines clad in their gaudy 


and significant robes, the negro slaves (as 
oarsmen) with their almost nude bodies, must 
have presented from the shore a rare and 
striking picture. 

"She left a will and disposed of her estate, 
which, together with that of her deceased 
husband, as retained by her, passed at that 
time to their children. The last will of each 
of them may be found on file in the Office of 
Secretary of State at Trenton; these prove 
them to have been persons of education, and 
of considerable property. Their children were 
born at Gravesend, where the names and ages 
of each may be found entered in the books of 
Friends Meeting at that place. They were as 
follows: — Abraham, born 1666; Jacob, born 

1668, who married Judith ; Mary, burn 

1671, who married Jeremiah Bates ; Martha, 
born 1676, who married Joseph Brown and 
Thomas Chalkley; Sarah, born 1677, who 
married Daniel Cooper; Abigail, born 1683, 
who married Daniel Stanton ; Thomas, born 
, married Abigail Davenport, and Samuel 

who married 



The following minute from *'tlie records of 
Iladdonfield " also informs of the death of 
Esther Spicer. "Esther Spicer, and Esther 
Saxby, her maid-servant, and Richard Thagk- 
ara — the son of Thomas Thackara of Newton, 
he being about eleven years nine months and 
twelve days old — were slain b)'' lightning on 
the 24th of the Seventh Month, 1703, they 
being in Esther Spicer's hi»use, which shock 
happened about the tenth hour in the evening. 
They were buried at Newton, in Friends' burial- 
ground on the 26th day of the same month." 
The following comments have been appended 
to this notice: "It matters not how the Lord's 
servants are taken away from this scene of 
probation ; if they have been walking in His 
fear, and seeking to perform their duty in His 
sight, their removal, through whatever passage 
eflfected, will be into His glorious rest." The 
accounts of the catastrophe which resulted in 
the destruction of three human lives, and of 
the incidents relating to burial, as they stand 
upon the records of Iladdonfield, and the 
pages of Clement, the historian, are both from 


sources of acknowledged reliability; and, al- 
though there may be some appearance of 
obstruction from discrepancy in harmonizing 
tlie two accounts, they are not absolutely 
unreconcilable ; both agree in the statement 
that the event occurred on the 24th of the 
Seventh Month, 1703. One account states 
that the funeral took place the night after 
Esther's decease; the otlier, that the shock 
occurred about the tenth hour in the evening, 
and that she was buried on the 2Gth of the 
month. The friends of the family may have 
realized, as has been suggested, that the sud- 
den death of this valuable friend in the 
middle of the summer season, involved the 
necessity of an early burial ; and after de- 
ciding upon the 2Gth as a suitable time for 
the funeral, may have discovered late in the 
evening of the 25th, that it was absolutely 
iiecessary to proceed to earlier interment; and 
the new arrangements may not have been 
perfected and the burial accomplished, until 
after midnight, but before the dawn of the 
approaching morning of the 26th, Some of 


these eircjimstances are brought into promi- 
nence, as probable reasons for the unusual 
and extraordinary proceedings relating to the 
night funeral. 

John and Mary Tilton, the fatlier and 
mother of Esther Si)icer, is thus noticed in 
one of the volumes of "The Friend:" "This 
noble couple outlived all persecution, and in 
tranquility laid down their heads, dying in 
peace with Ilim whom they had striven to 
serve, even in suffering, and honored by their 
neighbors and friends. She deceased in 1683; 
he in 1688." 

The father and mother of Samuel Spicer . 
were of the number who were exiled from 
the Massachusetts Colony by New England 
intolerance, and sought refuge with their 
children in the colony at Gravescnd, on the 
west end of Long Island, founded by tlie 
prominent, interesting, and friendly-disposed 
Deborah Moody, who had been persecuted 
and excommunicated by the Puritans of Salem 
in the year 1643; she sympathized with, and 
welcomed her fellow-sufferers, and they estab- 


lished homes within her local jurisdiction, 
made considerable advancement in worldly 
prosperity, and enjoyed the blessings of civil 
and religious liberty. Those in authority 
at New Amsterdam, also, apparently wel- 
comed the members of the new colony, and 
granted them favors ; but ere long, the Dutch 
Government waged bitter persecution against 
them, which continued to increase in intensity, 
until the Dutch Colony passed under English 
control, Samuel Spicer was several times 
imprisoned and heavily fined; and he and 
his wife were sentenced to banishment, with 
threats of public bodily chastisement if they 
returned; but they. were faithful to their con- 
scientious convictions, and were willing to 
suffer with their suffering friends. 

Samuel Spicer bequeathed five Hundred 
acres of land, bordering on the Delaware 
River and Cooper's Creek, to his sons, Jacob, 
Thomas and Samuel ; Jacob inherited that 
portion of the domain upon which the original 
Spicer homestead was erected, and his brother 
Samuel departing this life before he attained 


the age of manhood, his portion thereof passed 
into the hands of his brother Jacob, who sub- 
sequently sold his accumuhited possessions at 
Newton, and removed to a distant locality. 
"Jacob removed to Cape May County as early 
as the year 1691. lie was a member of the 
Legislature from 1709 to 1723, and Surrogate 
of that county from the Last-named year to 
1741, and for many years one of the Judges 
of the Court, lie was born in 1GG8, and 
deceased in 1741.'' 

The plantation belonging to Thomas Spicer, 
— the remaining brother, who had married 
Abigail Davenport — fronted on the north side 
of Cooper's Creek, and he established his 
dwelling near the intersection of that water- 
way, with what is now the ^loorestown lload. 
"Thomas remained upon this property, and 
died in 1759, leaving a will. His children 
were as follows: Jacob, who married Mary 
Lippincott; Thomas, who married Rebecca 
Day; and Samuel, who married Abigail Wil- 
lard and Sarah Potter. -From this branch of 
the family, came those of collateral issue, who 


retain the blood in these parts, although the 
name has disappeared for many years. The 
old graveyard where many of the Spicera 
were buried, is still in existence, and some 
degree of care has been extended to it by 
descendants of the fomily. It is near the site, 
of the Camden City Water-works." 

Samuel, the son of Thomas and Abigail 
Spicer, and Sarah his wife, who in the pro- 
gress of time had succeeded Samuel's father 
and mother in possession of the family home- 
stead, were the parents of Rebecca Spicer, 
who was born upon tlie premises in 1762, 
married William Folwell in 1780, and died 
in 1844. Iler sister Abigail Spicer, married 
John Keble; who, next to Steplien Girard, 
was the most liberal contributor to the pros- 
perity of the Pennsylvania Hospital, within 
the hundred years dating from its origin in 
1751. His contributions, principally by will, 
and between the years 1808 to 1851, amounted 
in the aggregate, to $28,242, trom which a 
small annuity was to be deducted. Samuel 
Spicer's sister, Ann Rudderow, appears to 


have been a woman of considerable prominence 
and ability, possessing large qm\lifications for 
usefulness, and attaining valuable influence 
and appreciation in her surroundings. 

Of the children of William and Rebecca 
Folwell, Elizabeth married Robert L. Pitfield. 
William married Martha Davis of New Jersey. 
Before arriving at the meridian of life, he 
accomplished a voyage to China in the per- 
formance of commercial transactions. lie ac- 
cumulated a large estate; and about half a 
century since, entered upon the possession of 
the Thomas Spicer ancestral homestead, where 
•his amiable and worthy mother had been 
nurtured in childhood, and had matured into 
womanhood. At the period of attainment of 
his newly acquired possession, the site of the 
original dwelling was occupied by a habitation 
of peculiar construction, of ancient date, of 
antiquated appearance; and for a brief season 
he seemed disposed to spare the ancient 
structure on account of peculiar interest in 
its history, had it carefully repaired and re- 
modeled, and added an addition thereto of 


approved modern construction; but subse- 
quently, removed the old ancestral building 
entirely, and by adding substantial additions 
and improvements to the remainder, developed 
an attractive family mansion with pleasant 
surroundings. The spring of excellent water 
near the dwelling has an Indian name, and 
doubtless the poor Indians, in earlier, if not 
happier days, occasionally resorted to this 
fountain of pure water; and there upon its 
borders, probably with a degree of sadness, 
discussed the gravity of the situation, be- 
holding with solicitude and jierhaps alarm, 
the steadily increasing diminution of their 
numbers, and the rapid advance of intruding 
strangers, who were fast absorbing the fair 
inheritance which had descended to them from 
their fathers. William deceased in 1871, in 
the 81st year of his age. Sarah was born in 
1795; she for a period, occupied the position 
of clerk of Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting, 
of Women Friends, served on the Westtown 
school committee, was usefully engaged in 
other services of the Society, and died in 


1880. Charles married Ann Lawrence of Xew 
York City; he resided at Germantown for a 
considerable number of the last years of his 
life, and deceased in 1876, in the 80th year of 
his age; he occupied important positions in 
business institutions of financial character, had 
employment in the Bank of the United States, 
and in the final settling of its affairs, was in- 
trusted with important missions. He also for 
a period, occupied the position of president of 
a Bank at Chester, Pa. Abigail was born 
in 1799, and appears to have been a young 
woman of very interesting character, of much 
promising usefulness, and of acknowledged 
Christian virtues. She died in 1831. 

The following extracts are from a memorial 
of the Monthly Meeting of Friends of Phila- 
delphia for the Northern District, indorsed 
by riiiladelphia Quarterly Meeting, and ap- 
proved by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. 

" Our much-esteemed friend Elizabeth Pit- 
field, having been a member of our Monthly 
!Meeting for about forty years, and many of us 
having partaken largely of the benefits of her 


religious labors, we feel constrained to bear 
testimony to her worth, and to the excellency 
of Divine Grace whereby she became what 
she was; desiring that others may be animated 
and encouraged thereby to follow her as she 
endeavored to fullow Christ. 

** In her youthful days she was subject to 
the temptations incident to that interesting 
period of life, but through the watchful care 
of her parents, and yielding obedience to the 
Divine law written in the heart, she was in 
great measure preserved from surrounding 
evils, and experienced advancement in the 
way of life and peace. 

"TTaving been led more fully to see the 
emptiness of all worldly enjoyments, and 
yielding to the Heavenly visitations, she was 
enabled to make a full surrender of some 
things which became a burden to her, after 
which great peace of mind was her portion, 
and she was favored with an assurance, that, 
if she was faithful to the end, she would 
receive the crown of life, which the Lord 
hath promised to them that love Him. 


" Her ministry was sound and edifying, 
and her communications lively and weighty, 
being attended with the baptizing power of 
the Head of the Church, by which the hearts 
of many were reached, and the heritage of God 
watered. She was frequentl)'' led to magnify 
and exalt the name of Christ Jesus our holy 
Redeemer, througli whose sanctifying grace 
she was made a living member of the Church, 
and qualified to proclaim the Gospel of life 
and salvation. 

" Her feelings were warm and sympathetic. 
The afflicted, the poor and the sick, were 
objects of her tender regard. She partook 
largely of the cup of suffering; but through 
all her trials she was strengthened to lay hold 
of that blessed hope that was as an anchor 
both sure and steadfast ; and thus she became 
qualified to encourage others to build on the 
alone sure foundation * Christ Jesus the Rock 
of Ages.' 

"At times during her illness through the 
infirmities of the body, she felt weary, yet 
she was enabled to cast her burden upon 


Him, who emphatically said, * Come unto me 
all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I 
will give you rest.' In this faith she was 
sustained through many tribulations, and as 
her end drew near, whilst passing through the 
valley and shadow of death, she expressed 
herself thus : * I believe I can say, ! death 
where is thy sting; 0! grave where is thy 
victory.' * 

" She peacefully departed on the evening of 
the 4th of the Seventh month, 1866, in the 
seventy-ninth year of her age." 

After a baptizing and instructive season at 
her late dwelling, her remains were conveyed 
to Friends' Arch Street burial-ground, and 
there beneath the mild radiance of a summer 
sky, and in proximity to green graves of the 
worthy dead, deposited in mother earth near 
all that was mortal of her beloved husband, 
whom she had survived about twelve years. 
Many partook of the solemnities of the 

William F. Pitfield married Ann, the 
daughter of David Brown. Benjamin H. 


Pitfiekl married Frances Pleasants. Rebecca 

F. Pitfield married Charles H, Abbott. ' ' ;-; ^ "^^ 

George W., son of David and Sarah Brown, 
married Ann Eliza, daughter of Robert and 
Elizabeth Pitfield, 5th month 10th, 1836. 
They afterwards occupied the family home- 
stead in Penn's Manor about twenty-nine 
years, and removed to Philadelphia in the 
year 1865, where they now reside in the 
fiftieth year of their matrimonial lives. 



^ i-,- 



Ann Eliza Brown, deceased 10 nio. 3d, 1885. 
The following is an appendage to a notice 
thereof published in the "Friend." 

" At a time of trial she wrote, * We poor 
mortals are sometimes purified and sanctified 
through suffering — what an unspeakable favor 
it is that we have our Heavenly Father to go 
to for consolation, for if our feeble petitions 
are offered in trust and confidence in his 
ability, He will in his own time and way 
grant our requests.' During a few weeks 
before her decease she was often heard 
feelingly to quote the language, *Thou wilt 
keep him in perfect peace whose mind is 
stayed on thee, because lie trusteth in thee/ 
"Two days previous to her death she 
exclaimed: * Just and true are all thy ways. 
Lord God Almighty!' 

"In thus quietly passing away from earth, 
her bereaved family have the <?onsoling belief 


that she was mercifully supported by her 
compassionate Saviour, prepared as we 
reverently believe, to receive the welcome 
message, * Enter thou into the joy of thy 

Her remains were buried in Friends' 
southwestern burial-ground, in lot No. 220, 
Central Avenue. The remains of Robert L. 
and Elizabeth Pitlield were removed from 
the grounds adjacent to the southeast corner 
of Fourth and Arch streets, in the eleventh 
month 1885, and reburied in the lot aforesaid, 
near the grave of their daughter. The 
remains of Sarah Folwell were reinterred in the 
same lot, about the same time. 

Joshua and Mercy Baldwin were married 
9 mo. 17th, 1747. Their children : Hannah, 
married William Millhous ; Samuel, died in 
the year 1837, aged 83 years; Rachel, 
married Nathan Sharpless ; Ann, Benjamin 
Maule ; Mercy, John Loyd ; Jane, Jacob 

It is most likely that Thqmas Brown (the 
minister) was never a member of Bucking- 


ham Monthly Meeting, as it now appears 
that when he and his daughter Ann migrated 
to Philadelphia about the year 1743, they 
obtained certificates of removal from Abington 
Monthly Meeting; and it may be that the 
primitive records of that meeting contain in- 
formation of the names and ages of his child- 
ren ; also portions of family history which 
now appear involved in some obscurity. 

It is not clearly ascertained that George 
Williams was one of the committee having the 
care of the preliminary proceedings leading 
to the establishment of Westtown ]ioarding 
School, but of his interest in the Institution 
there can be no doubt. He was a member of 
the School Committee first appointed in the 
fourth month 1800, and in the seventh month 
of the same year at least four of his children 
had been pupils at the Institution. John 
Brown was also a member of the first West- 
town School Committee ; was interested in 
the establishment of Friends' Asylum, and 
represented the interest of Falls Monthly 
Meeting therein ; he was also a member of the 


representative body of Philadelphia Yearly 

There appears to be some confusion in our 
account relating to the origin ajid early sur- 
roundings of Abington Meeting. The invita- 
tion extended a 'very few years since to all 
interested, to attend the two hundredth anni- 
versary of the existence of said meeting, at 
the old meeting-house at Abington, apparently 
strengthens the tradition that the locality 
embraced the original meeting-grounds where 
the primitive Friends of those parts established 
their first religious meetings after their arrival 
upon the continent of America. There is also 
a tradition, apparently reliable, that Friends 
early established a religious meeting in Chel- 
tenham township, and gave it the name of 
Cheltenham Meeting of Friends ; the site of 
their place of worship is still visible, also the 
graves of some of the primitive attenders, and 
it. is probable that George Shoemaker and 
several of, his relatives were buried there; It 
has also been intimated that when the new 
accommodations at Abington were comj^leted, 


Friends abandoned those at Cheltenham, and 
continued their meeting at the new locality 
and under the new name. Our information 
does not appear harmonious; perhaps the 
meetings of Abington and Cheltenham Averc 
both of early origin, and after some years of 
separate existence were mingled into one. 

James Thornton lived but a few years after 
Sarah Williams removed to Abington, and 
her impressions relating to the venerable min- 
ister were those of girlhood; he, doubtless, was 
at times qualified to awaken sensations in 
youthful minds, that lived long in interesting 
remembrance. John and Mary Witchell re* 
moved from Byberry about the year 1828, and 
settled within the compass of Stroudsburg 
Meeting; they were of English nativity. 

Sarah Williams Brown in the days of her 
maidenliood formed valued and lasting friend- 
ships with Elizabetli Cressou, Elizabeth Wis- 
tar, and Ann Wilson, daughters of her father's 
friends, John or James Cresson, Thomas Wis- 
tar, and Oliver Wilson; she also received 
much kindness from the minister, Sarah Crcs- 


son. These and kindred reminiscences, at 
times afforded interesting and gratifying re- 

It now appears that "Grove Place" was not 
sold to Willowby Warder until after the 
decease of Phineas Pemberton, probably a 
considerable number of years after. 

An' interesting account of the Kirkbride 
family prepared by a member thereof has 
recently been printed. Mutual friendship, 
occasionally fostered by marriage and inter- 
marriage, has existed between members of the 
two families of Kirkbride and Brown, from 
the distant period of the early settlement of 
the country down to the present time. Nine 
of the grandchildren of G. W. B. are descend- 
ants of the prinaitive settlers and prominent 
ministers of the gospel, Joseph Kirkbride and 
Mahlon Stacy, also of " worthy John Satcher." 

This volume is simply several pamphlets 
bound together, and manifestly might be 
improved by curtailment, modification, and 

Tbe Ancestral Cliart and tliese Appended References 


3D. J". B. 

I — George Brown came from Leicestershire, England, in 
1679, and settled on the Delaware River in what is 
since called Bucks County, Pennsylvania. 

2 — Thomas Brown came from Barking, Essex, England, 
in 1702, to Philadelphia, and afterwards settled in 
Bucks County, Pennsylvania. 

3 — George Schumacker came from Cresheim, Germany, 
in 1685. ^^^ family settled in Cheltenham, Penna. 

4 — Robert Lucas settled on the Delaware River in what is 
now Bucks County, Pennsylvania, about 1680. 

5 — Ezra Croasdale came from Brighouse, Yorkshire, Eng- 
land, in 1683. 

6 — ^Thomas and Michal Spicer, parents of Samuel and 
John and Mary Tilton, parents of Esther, settled 
near Salem, Mass., prior to 1640. 

7 — Benjamin Pitfield came from Hoxton, Middlesex, Eng- 
land, about 1760, and lived on Timber Creek, near 
Camden, N. J. 

8 — John Williams came from Wales, prior to 1696, and 
settled in Merion, Penna. 

9 — ^Thomas Lancaster came from Warwick, England, and 
settled in Bucks County, Penna. 

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