Saturday, December 26, 2015

Thomas Higginbotham sells land to Robert Rose 1751

I started this post and spent so much time on the introduction to why I was writing it, that I ended up publishing the post on its it is the next post that you might read if you continue to scroll down.

Luan Marks sent me information at my request about a man named Patrick Morrison who was probably born c. 1750.  A woman named Ruth Sammons Nassar who did a great deal of research on family lines that my mother and Ruth shared in the mid 1900s had said that the wife of Solomon Hensley was Elizabeth Morrison and that Elizabeth's father was Patrick.  The Patrick in the below information would have been of a suitable age to have been a father to Elizabeth.

 I decided to work on Luan's information  immediately and added the first fact to the time line that I am working on:

3 June 1751 
Patrick Morrison appeared as a witness on a deed in Albemarle County for sale of 540 acres of land on the Piney River and Piney Woods.This Patrick Morrison would have been at least 16 years old to sign legally as a witness on this deed.
Thomas Higginbotham, son of John and Frances (Riley) Higginbotham was living in Albemarle Co., in 1751, when on June of that year, he conveyed by deed to Robert Rose also of Albemarle, for a consideration of 45 lbs, three messages or tenements . . . Witnesses: John Walker, Robert Green and Patrick Morrison” 
(Albemarle County Deed Book 1, page 378).

I have for a long time been interested in Robert Rose, so I was very excited to see this first item!  

On March 16, 1749, the remarkable planter-minister Robert Rose introduced a new era in Piedmont with the discovery that two canoes lashed together could convey downstream eight or nine hogsheads of tobacco as compared to one hogshead on a single canoe. 

Gotta quit....Christmas stuff.....but fun....afraid I'll loose what I have saved so far if I don't publish.

Ruth Salmons Nassar and Morrison, Hensley, and Webb

This Christmas Season I have been ordering Morrison and Hensley DNA kits and chatting with Luan Marks and Ed Griffith about their mutual Morrison lines.  I hope that Morrison will also be a line belonging to Mom.  Ruth Sammons Nassar had run out of energy or health by the time she began to work on Mom's Hensley line.  She says:  "It has been vexing that I could find so little on the Hensley family and even less on the Webb line.  Lucinda Hensley Salmons was certainly the most colorful and intriguing of my ancestors and I would like to know more about her antecedents, however my research capabilities are now limited and I now compile as much data as I have in order that some future researcher may be aided."

I take this as a personal note from Ruth to me.  I dedicate all of my research on the Morrison, Hensley and Webb lines to this lady who I consider one of my best buddies even though I was never able to actually meet her in person.  When I read her pages, I truly believe that she did all that she could to help me move this research on.  And I hope that I will be able to live long enough to do the same for some future researcher....

In her book about her Hensley family, Ruth seems to take for granted the fact that Solomon Hensley was indeed her ancestor and that his wife was Elizabeth Morrison.  She also places Patrick Henry Morrison as a father for Elizabeth.  I am rereading all of this today in hopes that I will find some source for documentation in the pages that I have missed on previous readings.  I do not believe that Elizabeth's father was Patrick Henry Morrison.  I believe that Cabell County researchers have found some sort of evidence that Elizabeth had father Patrick.  They then turn around and connect her to the Cabell County Patrick Henry Morrison that they know.  In truth Ed Griffith explained to me several years ago that the Patrick Henry Morrison that the Cabell County researchers are talking about would have only been 10 years old when Elizabeth was born.  It is much more likely that if indeed Ruth had evidence that Elizabeth's father was named Patrick, he was a much older Patrick who lived in a time period in which it was unusual to give a child both a first and middle name.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Salmons and Goochland/Cumberland County

I pulled some books off the shelf to reshelve them in places that make sense.  One of them is Southam Parish Land Processioning 1747-2784 by Ann K. Blomquist.  There are quite a few pages on which John Salmons is listed.  There is also one page on which William Salmons is listed and he seems to be in the same neighborhood as John.

So I decided to go on-line and see if I could get a feeling for the vicinity that is being talked about when John Salmons is among those to whom the processioning refers.  Over and over the points of reference are:  Widow Dillion's Path, Ham Chapel, Muddy are some of the references that I found about these places:

The other chapel would be between Peterville and the James River and called initially “Willis” but shortly Ham Chapel. The parish entry detailing its construction is torn but most likely stated that it was to be constructed “as the other” in size and shape, etc. Its site using the names of the time was along Pruett’s Path and Widow Dillion’s Path or today’s along Virginia Road 45 north of U.S. Highway 60 near Ashby. Ham Chapel was finished sometime in 1747, but repairs, modifications and additions were frequently needed.

I found some information about the Dumas family that includes an explanation of the area being in district #19 on the map on page 10 of this book...oh, yes, I see now that the information is actually labelled as being in precinct #19 on page 14.  This information is found at:

I have a couple of maps on one of my own posts:

OK....before I file the book, here are a few maps that help me understand this area of Precinct #19:

And in the below map Muddy Creek is labelled with the small marker.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is the area in which the Salmons Family was living when John Salmons died.  And probably all of these families could have attended the Ham Chapel if indeed it was near present day Ashby.

Monday, November 9, 2015

John Slater in Arkansas

I had bought a couple of books while attending the NGS conference in Missouri this past spring.  I unpacked them tonight and took a look.  The dates of the Index to the Arkansas Land Office are 1820-1907.  Both books have Slater males listed as having bought land.  None named have given name John.  I think it likely that John may have bought land that was in private hands

My 3-gr-grandfather, John Slater, is found in the

....1850 census finds John A. Slater living in Greenbrier, Independence, Arkansas with a wife: Louisa M. Slater who is 19.  THis John has North Carolina as his birth place.

My grandmother, Mary Ann McGregor Hawkins told me in an interview c. 1969 that her grandfather, John Slater, had been born in NC.  I feel sure that this is the right man.  And the John Slater who is found in Lassen County in the 1860 census is also shown as having been born in NC.  I have absolute proof that this John Slater in Lassen County is my man! Also Louisa is absolutely the name of the Lassen County's man's wife.

So where were they living in 1850?  I went surfing tonight and found the following maps:

Hmmmmm.....I am going to have to work on this some more.  The lower map has almost no resemblance to the boundaries of Independence County in the upper map.  Think I quit for the night.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Trip to the suburbs of Philadelphia

I very much want to make my next trip to Philadelphia to be a driving trip.  That way I will have my car in order to visit sites in the more suburban areas.  My earliest ancestors seem to have  settled in Philadelphia city.  Their children and grandchildren moved out into the surrounding countryside.  This blog post is mostly for me in order to organize my thoughts about this possible

Here are some websites that I am finding helpful. 

The first one gives overviews of Old Quaker Meeting Houses in Pennsylvania:

I found the below site while looking for Evan Thomas (connection to Foulke surname)

I am doing some of my work in keynote (my slideshow program).  There are a few maps and etc that I feel do not belong to me to put on the internet without asking permission.  If you want me to add or clarify anything, let me know and I'll try to help.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Moore family in Oley/Exeter MM in Pennsylvania

Richard Moore and his wife, Sarah, moved to the area near Oley/Exeter MM in Berks County, PA
c.1740.  Richard is my 7-gr-grandfather.  I found the below two paragraphs on-line in Nov 2015.

The third settlement of Friends was in Robeson township, on the west side of the Schuylkill River about the year 1740. Moses Embree, Owen Humphray, John Scarlet, Sr., John Scarlet, Jr., Thomas Thomas, Robert Long, Peter Marsh, Richard Moor, Evan Thomas, David Cadwallader, David Jenkins, John Wells, David Morris and Ephraim Jackson were the earliest Friends in this territory. 

In the fifth month, 1740, they petitioned
the Monthly Meeting at Exeter for a separate Meeting which was granted them. A preparative Meeting was then instituted at Robeson and first held sixth month, 1741. In
 that year a committee was appointed to choose a place upon which to build a meeting- house, and in the Fall a log house was erected in the central part of Robeson township which was the most convenient meeting-place for worship for Friends residing in the Hay Creek and Allegheny Creek valleys. The Meeting at Robeson was long known as "the Forest Meeting," being situated in the great tract of almost unbroken woodland called "the Forest", which extended from Flying Hill, south, beyond the Hopewell Hills.

First some pictures and maps.  I remember having seen this map I have worked on this before.  This map is taken from Wikipedia on the Schuylkill River entry.  I am not clear yet from where the group were moving.  But I believe that the place to which they moved would have been on the below map just down river from Reading in the area where Schuylkill is printed.  I think that Reading is smack dab in the middle of Berks County.  And that Exeter township and Robeson Town ship adjoin each other with the Schuylkill River being their shared boundary.  There is another map just after this one illustrating that idea.

Here is the map showing Robeson:

You can see the river between Exeter and Robeson townships and the grey area just to the left is Reading.  It is hard to read the word Reading because the white line goes right through it.  It is easier to read on the site where I found the map:

Where is Forest Meeting likely to have been?

The Creek Valleys mentioned are as shown on the two maps below:

So I have to assume that the men settled on the River between what is now Birdsboro and the area on the River near what is now Gibraltar and Seyfert.

Note while visiting the Berks County Historical Society library in March 2018:  The librarian pulled a map of early landowners of Berks County.  These are Warrantee Maps.  So these people who are shown on the map that I am looking for bought their land from William Penn.  I see Moses Embree and John Scarlet, David Cadwallader, David Jenkins, Owen Humprhey, Thomas Thomas.  However, Richard Thomas is not in the index.  A few of the others are not as well.  Did they buy land from someone who had already bought a warrant?  If so the deed should be in Philadelphia County at that early date.  Or was it Lancaster County.  The below link is for the Warrant map that is on the Pennsylvania Archives website:

OK....before I quit for today, here are some of the thoughts that I want to explore on this post:
Where were the men living before this move in 1740?

[possible answers.....Moses Embree is said to have moved to Oley /Exeter MM area from Haverford MM]

Richard Moor's parents, John and Jane Cureton Moore, were living at Cobbs Creek in Blockley Township near Philly by the time that Richard was 5.  Probably he grew up in that area and was a part of the Merion MM.  Our group has not totally proven assumption that Richard's wife was Sarah Jenkins which is at least somewhat supported by the fact that David Jenkins is part of the group.  Is David father/brother to Sarah?  Can we find all of these men in the Cobbs Creek area?

I found information indicating that it could be possible that Richard and wife were still in Cobbs Creek area and a part of Merion MM and still have come from Haverford.  The following site:

explains:  The term “Haverford Meeting” is a bit confusing, because for a time the Schuylkill, Merion and Haverford Meetings held “Haverford Monthly Meetings” in a round-robin fashion in those areas. Plymouth and Radnor later replaced Schuylkill. 

Richard and Sarah live in this area in Berks County until 1755 when they take a certificate from Exeter to Orange County, NC.  How many of these men move south with them? I recognize the Jackson surname from Eno Preparatory Meeting in Orange County.

I also find that Moses Embree is among the men who move to Orange County, NC as the Embree family is also found on the monument for the Eno preparatory Meeting cemetery.  I found a thread on the Quaker mail list that supports this fact:

The author of this e-mail from 1999, Jerry Richmond, says that Moses Embree
and wife Mary & son Samuel were received at Exeter MM on
31 5M 1740 on cert from Haverford MM.

Certainly this is a clue as to possible place from which all of the men came.  Jerry Richmond also explains in the e-mail that this Embree family moved from Cane Creek to Bush River, Westfield MM in NC, and of my favorite places for research!

Owen Humphray did not move south with the group.  I found at:

Information that he and his wife were both buried in the cemetery connected with the MM.

The following site:

Has potential information about David Jenkins descendants.  The author of the site does not seem to know for sure that his David Jenkins had father/grandfather David Jenkins....but the family certainly falls into the mold:  moving to Cane Creek and then Bush River.  He was married to Elizabeth Cox.

The Jackson family are found on the Eno cemetery Marker.

Can I find more information on Forest Preparatory Meeting?  I notice that there is a historical society that covers the area that I might want to visit:

A good historical map that shows Exeter and Robeson townships in Berks County:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Orange County, VIrginia

It came up on a Facebook site that some of us who have ancestors who lived in Orange County, Virginia in the 1700 and 1800's might want to share our photos.  I will start a blog post in which we can do that and add a few of my own photos etc to start it:

This photo is a photo of Edward Pinkard Hawkins.  E. P. did not live in Orange County, Virginia during his adult life.  However his father, Thomas R. Hawkins, is said to have lived his entire life in Orange County.  Because this 3-gr-grandfather of mine died in 1885, I do not have a photo of him.  There is a lot of information about my Hawkins line on this blog if you type Hawkins into the search box in the top left hand corner to narrow the posts to those of interest.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Eastern Kentucky geography

I am thinking about a quick jaunt to Eastern Kentucky.  This post is just a place to "hang" a few pieces of information with some maps to go with them.  I need to fill in some "space" so that my maps won't have interference with my side "stuff" I am going to chat for a few paragraphs.  If you are reading this and you are really interested, feel free to skip down to the maps.  My ancestors who lived in Eastern Kentucky were the Salmons clan.  My mother's grandfather was Henry Clay Sammons.  His wife, my mom's grandmother, was Sarah Jane Wooten.  The Wooten family were also in Eastern Kentucky very early.

Roland/Rowland Salmons is said by Ruth Sammons Nassar to have been buried:

Ruth says that Rowland was buried in the small plot set aside for a cemetery on the Beaver Creek Farm.  Frankie was buried beside him.  She was about 89 at the time of her death.

 My dad (who married into the Sammons family, LOVED to tell the story that "there were so many Roland Salmons in the hollows of Eastern Kentucky that they had to go by nicknames to keep everyone straight."  Then dad would come up with a few of the nick names:  Booger man, hmmmm can't do anymore from memory tonight.

I have the following in my data base:

 Roland was a very private, but strongly patriarchal, and except for land transactions, which were numerous, he seldom appears in public records of any kind.  For one reason, the farm on Baker’s branch was located in an area isolated by Tug River on the east, Levisa Fork on the west, and mountains to the south.  The Tug and Levisa converge north of his home, at Louisa, to form the Big Sandy.  There were no bridges, no roads, and in wet seasons the rivers were not easily forded.

OK...these two pieces of information tell me that I have some land research to do.  It would seem that a farm on Beaver Creek (on atlas, look just north of the town of Martin.  I do not know how far north this Creek flows.  But I am sure that it does not flow as far north as Louisa.  So it would appear that these are two separate farms.  According to Ruth Sammons Nassar, there will be many land transactions to view.  

Then the Wootens who seemed to have settled on George's Creek on the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy....

Silas P. Wooten:

1804 Silas received a land grant of 400 acres at Georges Creek on Levisa Fork of
Big Sandy River Certificate #115-- date of the Survey was Nov 6, 1804. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Star Spangled Banner

I have been thinking about where I might take my first grandchild who will reach the age of 12 this year.  The two places that appeal to me the most are Baltimore and Philadelphia.  Hmmmm.....I first have to admit that I am not a resort person....nor does it make sense to take her to a place such as an amusement park since that would be a lot more fun with cousins!  And one of the things that swings the balance to the two cities already mentioned is that we could take the train from Huntington to either place.  Both cities are serviced by the Cardinal.  Philly is just a bit farther.

Ok....phooey....segway tours of Philly require everyone to be 14.  We might save that tour until then.

So....what made me start this blog post tonight is that I received a Banner Lecture Series flyer from the VA Historical Society  that announced a lecture on July 2 for "What so Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, a Life".  So I did a quick look at Wikipedia.  And Francis Scott Key was a really interesting man!  He owned slaves.  He was a lawyer and took on cases where masters were trying to retrieve slaves that they owned.  But he also took on cases (for free) of slaves who were seeking their freedom.  Sometime in the 1830's he manumitted seven enslaved people, one of whom (Clem Johnson) continued to work for him for wages as his farm's foreman, supervising several other enslaved people.  Francis Scott Key was a complicated man.  I like him.


Key throughout his career also represented several slaves seeking their freedom in court (for free), as well as several masters seeking return of their runaway human property.[15][16] Key, Judge William Leigh of Halifax and bishop William Meade were administrators of the will of their friend John Randolph of Roanoke, who died without children and left a will directing his executors to free his more than four hundred slaves. Over the next decade, beginning in 1833, the administrators fought to enforce the will and provide the freed slaves land to support themselves.[17]

Obviously he was doing the best that he could in a very complicated time period.  I like the man....

OK why do I choose this location?  I would like to work on the question:

"Did our ancestor, Frederick George Louis Beuhring take part in the battle that Francis Scott Keyes watched from a British Battleship

or was that not part of his War of 1812 commitment?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wrightsboro Ga

I thought that I had more information on this blog site about Wrightsboro, Ga.  I must have entered most of it into a slideshow format before I was working via the blog site.  I am sitting on the porch this morning going through a very fun pile of magazines, etc.  In the Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly Vol 51, Number 1, Spring 2015 there is the following Query and answer:

Where is the Columbia County research done by the late Pearl Baker, the famous historian of Wrightsboro?

A search is underway by the Historic Wrightsboro Foundation to find Pearl's papers.  she published some of her material in Early Court Records of Columbia County, Georgia, 1792-1840.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Quakers in Maryland

I was trying to come up with some information to help Elaine with a puzzle that she was working on last week.  It involved a Mills family in Guilford County.  There was the possibility that this Mills family had had connections to Maryland.  Because my own experience with Guilford County, NC is with Quaker families, I suggested that we might look in Hinshaw.  No entries.  But as I have thought about this since, it has come to my attention that Hinshaw did NOT index Maryland!

Then at the Ohio Genealogical Society's conference in Columbus this past week, I had the crazy serendipity that one of the speakers had to leave early and Craig Scott had a last minute fill in to talk about Quakers and Quaker migration.  And lo and behold, Craig actually mentioned a few works that pertained to Quakers in Maryland.  I might not have been as interested if I had not already realized that it was a huge hole in Hinshaw.  Craig offered to send a copy of his handout for the talk via e-mail, and I will add some of the books that he suggested when I get that copy.

Last night I looked for one of the books that Craig suggested:

Quaker Records in Maryland by John Brinkley that is now out of print.  The closest library in which I can view this book is Earlham College in Richmond Indiana.

But last night while I was searching for that book, I actually ordered two books:

and I found the following book available on-line:

The early Friends (or Quakers) in Maryland : read at the meeting of the Maryland Historical Society, 6th March, 1862

Author:J Saurin Norris
Publisher:[Baltimore] : Printed for the Maryland Historical Society by John Toy, [1862]
Edition/Format:  eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
More like this

and the following that is available to read at Swarthmore:

Maryland Quakers in England, 1659-1720

Author:Kenneth L Carroll
Edition/Format:  Print book : English

Friday, March 6, 2015

Early Meeting Houses in Philadelphia

This post will be a mish-mash of information that I don't want to loose, but probably won't get organized.  It is dibs and dabs from different people about the early Meeting houses.

From Steve Moore:

The subject of the first meeting houses in Philly is really interesting.  I am no expert and have not done the research, but have been looking at it in passing as I look into our Moore family.   For example, I’ve just finished reading through the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting minutes from 1684 through 1742 as abstracted in the Publications of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania volumes I through 8.

The minutes are filled with references to the various meeting buildings but my time is so limited I was not able to jot down more than a couple of lines.  

31 11m 1695/6 - "The deed for the Lot of Ground in the second street, that was purchased of Governor Markham was read at this meeting and delivered by Samuel Carpenter…""

26 1m 1697 - "At our Monthly Meeting held at the Meeting house in the High Street…"

26 6m 1698 – “Whereas the Old Bank Meeting house is much decayed and in great danger of falling down, this meeting hath taken the same into consideration, and it is agreed that William Southeby, Anthony Morris, Samuel Richardson & James Fox do Endeavor to get it sold at publick outcry sometime between this and the next monthly meeting, and to give Robert Turner notice thereof.”

And of course they built the center meeting house which was to be THE meeting house.  According to the minutes they spared no expense in so doing.  It took several years to build and our James was one of many.  But as we know, the center of Philly did not play out as Penn had hoped and the epicenter of activity remained closer to the river.  The center house was eventually abandoned, but since they had so much money tied up in it, they made plans to dismantle it and sell the building materials.  Unfortunately, with my limited time I did not notate any of this, just bookmarked in my mind so I can go back to it down the road, so I can’t point you to the pages wherein this was all written.  Though no mention was made of the windows during their discussions of dismantling, it does stand to reason that they would also be salvaged and sold, or even reused in one of the other meeting houses.  I get the feeling that James’ windows lived on.

Next is a land transaction in which land owned originally by James Moore is being sold to be used for building a meeting house:

JAMES MOORE’S LOT ON THE WEST SIDE OF SECOND STREET IN PHILADELPHIA, PURCHASED 12 OCTOBER 1691 AND CONVEYED BY DEED FROM JOHN MOORE, HIS SON & HEIR, TO NICHOLAS PEARCE ON 2 JANUARY 1694, for use of the Quakers to build a meeting house (James Moore having prior to his death agreed to the sale to Pearce and Pearce having paid him the seven pounds price for it, the same being acknowledged in the following deed by John Moore, son of James, in order to convey title from Moore to Pearce and the Society of Friends.)  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Quakers move from Philly to Northern Virginia c. 1730

When one reads about the movement of the Quaker families out of the Philadelphia area, the movement that I first became aware of was from Philly area to Northern Virginia.  Alexander Ross and Morgan Bryan seem to have headed up this migration.  ("He" is Alexander Ross)

  • He and Morgan Bryan petitioned the Council of the Colony of Virginia on 28 October 1730 that there were 100 families desirous of settling in Virginia and requested 100,000 acres on the west and north side of "Opeckon" to the North Mountain and along the River Cohongarooton (Potomac River). With the advice of the Council, the Governor gave permission to Ross and Bryan to take up the 100,000 acres; patents would be granted, providing that the 100 families were present and dwelling upon the land within two years.

    Ross probably moved to Virginia soon after he received notification of the Council's action. He received his patent from the Colony on 12 November 1735 for 2,373 acres. The tract is located west of Clearbrook, Virginia on Braddocks Road, Frederick County Highway 672. Interstate Highway 81 crosses the east part of the tract, Frederick County Highway 671 runs along the north side and County Highway 661 runs along the east.


Joseph has told me that:

  The Mordecai we know we are related to in Pennsylvania is the son of John and Jane.  He is Steve's ancestor, who left the area about 1729, is missing for about 15 years, and then turned up in Frederick County, VA, then Granville, NC, then SC.  There is no evidence that James and Rose had more than the two children we know about---John and Mary. 

The date that Mordecai "goes Missing" is just about perfect for having been a part of Alexander Ross' early group to move from the Philly area to Northern Virginia.  I did a bit of thinking about this and remembered that Old Frederick county was not carved out of Orange until 1738.  So it is possible that Mordecai might be found among the Orange County, Virginia records in the period between 1730 and 1738.  I am doing this from memory...but I believe that early Hopewell MM records burned in a fire in someone's home.  I will work on some of this when I get home.

Here is what I found on-line (Thanks to Bruce Locken) about the original 70 families that accompanied Alexander Ross and Morgan Bryan from Philly area to Northern Virginia:

In the State Land Office at Richmond are to be found recorded in Book 16, pages 315-415, inclusive, the patents issued to the settlers who came to the Shenandoah Valley under authority of the Orders in Council made to Alexander Ross and Morgan Bryan. All bear date of November 12, 1735, and recite that the grantee is one of the seventy families brought in by them, and excepting location and acreage, are alike in wording and conditions, and are signed by William Gooch, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony at that time. . . .

These patents were issued under the seal of the colony and were grants from the Crown, free of any obligation of feudal services to the Fairfax family, who claimed the land as lords proprietors of the Northern Neck of Virginia. The sixth Lord Fairfax, who later established his home at Greenway Court near Winchester, instituted many suits against early settlers in the Shenandoah Valley, but it does not appear that any Friend who claimed under Ross and Bryan was ever ejected from his land.

Although it is specifically stated that seventy families have been "by them brought in to our said Colony and settled upon the Lands in the said Order mentioned," only thirty-six patents issued to thirty-four grantees have been found. The names of these grantees are here given, together with sundry information gathered from the minutes of various Friends' meetings, from the records of the counties of Orange and Frederick in Virginia, and Chester County, Pennsylvania. . . .

 Frederick County, Virginia, Hopewell Friends History [database online], Orem, UT:, 1997:

Friday, February 27, 2015

James and Rose Moore in Philadelphia 1684-1720

I am going to try to summarize here what I know and what I do not know about my 9-gr-grandparents, Joseph and Rose/Roose Moore.  If you scroll down you will find lots more information about my research on this couple in other posts in February 2015.  I learned so much about my ancestors and about the very early days of Philadelphia this past week that I can not begin to write it all down.  However, there were a few things I wanted to note before life begins to blur my research.  The area that is pictured below is almost certainly where the couple lived from 1684 until they sell the land in 1693.  James is listed as a blacksmith in the "Philadelphia Business Directory of 1690" in the book, Colonial Philadelphians by Hannah  Benner Roach (I own this book) for this time frame.

Everything that I have read has explained that while William Penn had a very clear master plan for the city of Philadelphia, the actual development did not follow his plan.  Penn chose the site that is shown above as the center of the town.  Of course, the City Hall pictured was built MUCH later.  This  site was to be a center open space that was square in shape.  Penn pictured Philly to be a town with much green space everywhere.  Not the helter skelter town that it has become.

William Penn had chosen the land where the Delaware and the Schuykill Rivers come close making the neck of land narrow for his new city.  You can see the Center Square right in the middle of the map.

 However, those who settled did their own thing.  You can look at Elfreth's Alley to see that there is absolutely NO green space between the row houses that were built on that site.  Jeremiah Elfreth died before 1700, so that Alley is VERY old.  What really happened is that the settlers ended up settling along the Delaware River and ignored the center of the city and the land on the side of the city nearest the Schuykill River.  So the Center square remained outside of the more heavily settled area in the early days.

Wikipedia says:

However, the Delaware riverfront would remain the de facto economic and social heart of the city for more than a century.
[…] hardly anyone lived west of Fourth Street before 1703. Consequently Penn's design of a center square as the hub of his community had to be abandoned. The large Friends meeting house which was built in 1685 at the midpoint between the rivers was dismantled in 1702. Efforts to develop the Schuylkill waterfront likewise collapsed. Of the merchants, tradesmen, and craftsmen who can be identified as living in Philadelphia around 1690, 123 lived on the Delaware side of town and only 6 on the Schuylkill side. One of the latter, a tailor named William Boulding, complained that he had invested most of his capital in his Schuylkill lot, 'so that he cannot, as others have done, Remove from the same.' Not until the mid-nineteenth century, long after the city had spilled northward and southward in an arc along the Delaware miles beyond its original limits, was the Schuylkill waterfront fully developed. Nor was Centre Square restored as the heart of Philadelphia until the construction of City Hall began in 1871.[10]

This information gives me the idea that James and Rose may have decided to move to the Delaware River front as they found that the center of the city did not develop as they had expected.  James had spent his years while they lived at Center Square working on Penn's Mill and on the leaded glass windows at the Center Meeting house.

From  Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West Jersey and Delaware 1630-1707 Edited  by Albert Cook Myers, Charles Scribners Sons NY 1912:

A footnote by Mr. Myers on page 271 says:  "The Friends' Meeting House in the Centre Square of the city, midway between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, where the City Hall now stands, was built of brick, in 1685-1686, and was used for a time for the more important First Day (Sunday) morning and business meetings of the society.  The location being in the midst of the forest some little distance without the town, and its two or three streets along the Delaware, the meeting was not well attended;  the Friends preferred to wait for the afternoon meeting at the Bank Meeting house, near at hand, within the town proper; consequently, in a few years the Centre Square meeting was abandoned."

My best guess is that James and Rose lived these truths and when the land just to the north of Vine Street (the northern boundary of Philadelphia) opened up, decided that they would move there in order that James' business would be more accessible to the population that was more heavily settled along the Delaware River.  The area in which their land lay was in what is now the Northern Liberties:

 The historical boundaries:  Vine Street as the southern border and the Cohocksink Creek serving as the northern border. The creek now flows as a storm sewer under the following streets (starting at the Delaware River and running from southeast to northwest): Canal, Laurel, Bodine, Cambridge, and Orkney Streets.

The below is the map that Lynn sent to me that helped me locate the bank lot.  Lynn says that the maps came from:  The Philadelphia Map by Holmes was published in 1687. The northern Bank lot area came from the PA State Archive online.

James and Rose sold their Center Square lot in 
James died in 1694.

Rose sold the Delaware River bank lot in 1709.  Rose died in 1720.  It is not likely that she moved outside of the city limits as her burial is recorded in the Philadelphia Meeting records.  She is listed among the non-Quakers whose burial is recorded by.....

The one more piece of information that I want to add into this post deals with:

pp 581-582, in archives of the Historical Society of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

JAMES MOORE’S LOT ON THE WEST SIDE OF SECOND STREET IN PHILADELPHIA, PURCHASED 12 OCTOBER 1691 AND CONVEYED BY DEED FROM JOHN MOORE, HIS SON & HEIR, TO NICHOLAS PEARCE ON 2 JANUARY 1694, for use of the Quakers to build a meeting house (James Moore having prior to his death agreed to the sale to Pearce and Pearce having paid him the seven pounds price for it, the same being acknowledged in the following deed by John Moore, son of James, in order to convey title from Moore to Pearce and the Society of Friends.) [this information sent to me by Joseph Moore}

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Moore land in Philadelphia

I am a bit confused on where the land on which James and Rose Moore lived in Philadelphia.  So I am trying to sort out what I can sort out.  The Philadelphia Business Directory of 1690 (WOW!  Could there really be such a thing?)  says that there are five smiths in Philadelphia:

Lyonel Brittain a blacksmith from Alney, Buckinghamshire

Thomas Peart a whitesmithwho brought a certificate of removal from Thusk Meeting in Yorkshire

Joshua Morris a tynn-plate-worker or tinsmith who arrived on the Welcome with William Penn in the fall of 1862

James Moore, blacksmith, by warrant dated 17 4m 1684, had a lot surveyed to him at Center apparently at the southeast corner of High Street and Schuylkill Eighth.  Here he built a house and presumably lived here while employed at the Proprietor's mill, and while making the windows for the Center Meeting House.  In December, 1693, he sold it to Richard Worthin, but was not taxed that year.  (the footnote says:  Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd Series, II 752, ibid, 2nd series XIX, 328, which recites Moore's said of the house and lot to Richard Worthin in  1693 , ibid, 89, 92, PGSP, II, 169, See also PGM, XX, 62 for further notes on James Moore.

Jeremiah Elfreth, blacksmith, in 1686 bought from John Wheeler the latter's lot "before Henry Flower's House."  When he came to build on this bank lot in 1690, he bought from Richard Russel the right to build into Russell's north "gavell" wall.  He was not taxed in 1693.  There was a footnote about this entry.  This is almost certainly the Jeremiah Elfreth of Elfreth's Alley fame.

All of this is taken from the book Colonial Philadelphians by Hannah Benner Roach that I bought from the Philadelphia Genealogical Society on Tuesday.  The information about the smiths was found on page 47.

OK, I just reread page 31 of the article in Ms Roach's article about the 1690 Business Directory.  It explains that John Goodson wrote a letter to friends in England in which he listed some thirty-five different grades and businesses that were flourishing in Philadelphia in 1690.  He did NOT list names.    The author has examined many sources that she names on pg 31 in identifying these individuals.  Ms. Roach has footnotes to explain her identifications of the various tradesmen.

On December 8, 1853, Councils gave them new names. Schuylkill Eighth became Fifteenth Street. Schuylkill Seventeenth Street. Schuylkill Fifth became Eighteenth Street. Schuylkill Fourth became Nineteenth Street. Schuylkill Third became Twentieth Street. Schuylkill Second, and Ashton Street to Twenty-third Street.

Market Street (Philadelphia) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Market Street, originally known as High Street, is a major east–west street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

The City was laid out by William Penn, the founder of the province in 1683, and settled by a colony from England, which arrived in that and the preceding years, and was increased by a constant and regular influx of foreigners, to so great a degree, that in just less than a century, and within the lifetime of the first person born within it of European parents, it was computed to contain 6,000 houses and 40,000 inhabitants.
The ground plot of the city is an oblong square, and is intersected by a number of streets at right angles with each other, nine of which run East and West from Delaware to Schuylkill, and twenty three North and South, crossing the first at right angles, forming one hundred and eighty-four squares of lots for buildings.
The streets running East and West are named (except High Street near the middle of the City) from the trees found in the country upon arrival of the colony: Vine, Sassafras, Mulberry, High, Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce, Pine, and Cedar Streets, and those running North and South from their numeral order, Front, Second, Third, Fourth, etc. to Broad Street, which is midway between the two rivers.

Thus  James Moore's land in 1690 would have been on the corner of what would now be Market and Fifteenth Street.  Literally right where Dilworth plaza is today.  I have proven for myself what my buddies told me!  So if James and Rose lived on the property from the time that he had it surveyed until the time that he sold it they were on that property for almost ten years.

So the next question is how does the land up in the Northern Liberties fit into the story of James and Rose?  Certainly this must be the bank lot?

OK...I found it.  Rose is selling this lot in 1709:

...... to wit in the first month 1689/90 surveyed & laid out to the above named James Moore The Right & property of which sd Lot as Surveyed appertaineth unto me the sd Rose Moore.....  James had sold the Center of town lot in December 1693 according to Ms. Roach.  James seemed to have died the following year.  And his widow, Rose, then sold the bank lot 3 May, 1709.  In the land transaction in which Rose is selling the land it is said that she sells the premises and appurtenances. I believe that this implies that it was not vacant land.  Perhaps she and James had moved to the bank lot on the Delaware River from the Center of the City lot for whatever reason.