The people on the map: did they immigrate?

Identifying the names on Thomas Holme’s map of the three counties required matching them to records from the time: church, land, court, immigration, probate, and more. Once that was done, the records were studied to see if they formed a pattern to match a single person. Of the 600-plus unique names on Thomas Holme’s map, 608 can be identified in this way. 1

With the people identified, we can answer questions about them. Did they immigrate? What were their occupations? Origins? Religious affiliation? Some of these are straightforward, others trickier to define.

The question of immigration is straightforward, and the evidence is usually clear. Evidence for immigration comes from any record that shows them living in Pennsylvania: a deed, a will, church records such as Quaker meeting minutes, signing a petition such as the tax protest of 1692.

Of the 608 identified people, 476 were believed to have immigrated. This includes one or two where the evidence is shaky, and a few people who settled for a while, then went back to England, like Henry Maddock of Chester County. 2

That leaves 89 people who did not immigrate, including a few probables. Some non-immigrants were wealthy investors like Daniel Cox and Matthias Vincent who had no intention of settling in the colony. Some middling Quakers bought land, possibly with intention of immigrating, then changed their minds and sold the land to others. For example, Henry Bailey, a member of Marsden Meeting in Yorkshire, bought 1500 acres, did not immigrate, and sold his Bucks County land to Alexander Giles. Bailey may have been one of those Quakers who believed in serving his faith by staying in England, rather than leaving. He was jailed and fined there between 1682 and 1690. 3

The Swedes were a separate case. Most of the Swedes on the map had been born in New Sweden (before it was taken over by the Dutch and later the English). They weren’t non-immigrants like those who stayed in England, but they also did not share the immigrant experience of a sea voyage and cultural upheaval. They were culturally Swedes and Finns, but Americans by birth. There were 43 of them on the map. 4

We find that the majority of people on the map immigrated or were born here. The absentee landlords were a minority. In that sense the map gives a mostly true picture of who was there living on it.

Next: Their occupations.

  1. See the previous post for the few remaining puzzles.
  2. The evidence for Richard Coats is mixed. There are no records of him in Pennsylvania except the Blackwell Rent Roll, which usually includes only residents.
  3. Reference: Gilbert Cope on the Bailey family.
  4. See the work of Peter Stebbins Craig for the early Swedes, in his long series of articles and two books.

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