Category Archives: Holme’s map

Early owners of Abington: sharp-dealing merchants

Quakers could be very good people, with benevolent religious beliefs, but they could also be sharp merchants. Most of them believed that there was no contradiction between being a good Quaker and being successful in business.  Samuel Cart was an active member of Abington monthly meeting, one of the trustees for the meeting house, and prominent in the early meeting minutes. Yet he was willing to cut a harsh deal with a poor man seeking to emigrate. In 1699 Samuel Hadden went before the Council and complained that Samuel Cart had encouraged him to immigrate, saying that if he could procure seventeen passengers, then his own passage would be free and his wife and four children would come for £15. So Hadden sold his effects, travelled 70 miles to Bristol with his family and the agreed-upon seventeen passengers, and loaded his goods on board, only to face a demand from Cart that he pay another £25. Hadden tried to remove his goods from the ship but Cart would not let him. He only had three pence left, and was forced to sell two of his children into indentured servitude or “stay in England, when his whole substance was Caried elsewhere”.  He petitioned the Council to return his children to him. Cart appeared and debated the issue with Hadden, and in the end the Council ruled that Cart had to return Adam Hadden to his father and pay £10 for the passage, while Hadden had to pay £8 to Cart.

Another of Cart’s neighbors also got into trouble with the Council for his business dealings. William Powell was a cooper from Southwark, Surrey. He immigrated, and did not live on his Abington land, but leased it out and lived on the Schuylkill River. The Council had granted Philip England the rights to ferry people and horses across the river, and erect landing places on both sides. Powell bought a boat and muscled into the business, violating the monopoly granted to England. The Council reprimanded him in the summer of 1693, and he tried to evade the restriction by selling the boat to a group of local Welshmen who hired Nathaniel Mullinax to be their ferryman. In 1694 England complained to the council again. The Council read Powell the minutes of the previous reprimand and made him promise to get out of the business; they threw Mullinax in gaol until he gave security for his good behavior.

The early merchants were often over-extended financially, with their money tied up in land or ships. If they happened to die early, as William Stanley did in 1689, they could leave substantial debts. Stanley had grand hopes for his 500 acres in Abington, calling it Mount Stanley. But he died before March 1690 when Walter King took Stanley’s widow Rebecca to court for a debt of £128. The sheriff according to the custom took twelve honest men and appraised Stanley’s various lands, awarding Mount Stanley to King to cover the debt. King promptly sold it to Peter Baynton, a scoundrel who cared more for his fortune than his family, and who specialized in marrying wealthy widows. Baynton first married Rebecca Stanley, but she died in childbirth in 1691. The next year he married Anna Keen, widow of James Sandelands, a merchant of Uplands. Baynton absconded to England in 1694 with the moveable proceeds of Sandelands’ estate, leaving Anna and the children in Pennsylvania. In 1698 he wrote a letter to her saying that he did not intend to return, that he had taken another wife in England, and that he planned to remove the remainder of the estate to England. She promptly went to the Council and pleaded to be allowed to sell the Pennsylvania properties in order to support herself and the children, which the Council granted. Baynton later returned to Pennsylvania, outlived Anna, and left his fortune to his daughter Rebecca.

Early owners of Abington: the women

There were four women who owned land in Abington in their own names: Catherine Martin, Sarah Fuller, Mary Broadwell, and Elizabeth Shorter. Three of them were widows, one was unmarried. At that time married women did not own property; any property a woman owned became her husband’s when they married. Widows, on the other hand, had some economic freedom if they inherited land at the death of their husband. In most cases they could dispose of it as they pleased, buying and selling in their own name.

Catherine Martin arrived in September 1682 with her husband Isaac and daughter Elizabeth. Isaac, a felt-maker from London, died the following May, leaving his land to Catherine. She shared it with their daughter Elizabeth, giving Elizabeth the tract in Abington. Elizabeth married Joseph Farrington, but died soon afterward, possibly in childbirth, and he sold the land.

Sarah Fuller and her stepfather John Barnes were from Sussex, two miles from Penn’s estate of Warminghurst. They probably worshipped with Penn there. Barnes was a tailor in Sussex and a farmer in Abington. He must have done well and is sometimes referred to as the wealthy tailor. He bought land for himself and for Sarah, perhaps as a dowry, She married a saddler, William Dillwyn, in 1687 and lived in the city with him. Barnes later donated part of his Abington land to Abington Meeting.

Another tract in Abington was owned by a woman at the time the map was finished, although the name on the map was William Chamberlin. He owned the land for a few years, and sold it to Mary Broadwell in 1685. She owned it for ten years. Mary Broadwell was remarkable. When she died on January 2, 1730 it was claimed that she was aged one hundred years and one day. The Pennsylvania Gazette noted that “Her Constitution wore well to the last, and she could see to read without Spectacles a few Months since”. At a time when many people did not live to see grandchildren, she named great-grandchildren in her will! A midwife, she also kept a shop in Philadelphia.

Elizabeth Shorter was a widow and a glover from London, who immigrated and settled in Abington. Her son-in-law John Rush also bought 250 acres, laid out in Abington adjoining her land. In the spring of 1687, he brought her a paper to sign, purporting to be a letter of attorney, but actually an extraordinary deed of gift conveying everything she owned to “my beloved son John Rush”. It read in part, “For my special naturall favour which I bear toward John Rush of Philadelphia my beloved son and for divers other good causes. I do grant all my lands, goods, chattells, leases, deeds, ready money, plate, household stuff, appearall, utensills, brass, pewter, bedding and all other my substances whatsover, moveable and immoveable, quick and dead, of what kind nature quality or condition … freely and quietly without any manner of challenge claim or demand.”  She signed with her mark.

It must have been a shock to her when she found out what she had signed. But she knew exactly how to deal with it. She went straight to the governing body for the province, the Council in Philadelphia. At their meeting on 3rd month 1687, she appealed for help. “The Petition of Elizabeth Shorter, Widdow, was read, complayning that John Rush, her son in Law, instead of a Letter of Attorney that shee was to signe, prepared a Deed of gifft of all her Estate, with power of Atturney, to one Samll Atkins, to acknowledge the same in Court. The Wittness to ye Deed were severally examined; They all Confest the writing was not Read to her, nor Could shee Ever write or Read herselfe, so yt it appeared to this board to be an Absolute Cheat.”  It is clear that she was able to get the fraudulent deed anulled, since later that year she sold one of her city lots, and she owned her Abington land until 1699. [1] There was a large family of Rush in Byberry, starting with John Rush, “the Old Trooper”, who had fought with Cromwell and who emigrated with his wife and sons about 1683. He apparently had a son John, and it is possible that John Rush of Abington was the son of the Old Trooper, but there are no records connecting them.

Rush had been accused of a serious crime several years before. In 1683 Charles Pickering and two accomplices were brought before the Council and questioned about counterfeiting—coining Spanish silver bits with copper added. They admitted to adding more copper alloy than usual, but said their money was “as good Silver as any Spanish money”. Pickering added that he heard John Rush swear that he spent half his time making bits. Rush was a blacksmith, who would have the skills to work with metal. When sent for and examined, Rush positively denied this, and he was not punished by the Council. Pickering was found guilty by a jury, and sentenced to make full restitution to anyone who brought in one of his “base and counterfitt coynes”, and fined forty pounds toward the building of a court house.

Early owners of Abington: the lecher, the surveyors, and the secretary

Samuel Clarridge owned the largest single tract, over 2500 acres, almost a quarter of the township. He never came to Pennsylvania. A wealthy Dublin merchant, he became a Quaker and was thrown into prison more than once, along with other Dublin Friends like Robert Turner and Thomas Holme. When Penn opened up the land in Pennsylvania for purchase Clarridge bought 5000 acres, as a gesture of support and in hopes of  a profit. With properties and a family in Dublin he probably did not consider emigrating. His good standing with Friends was seriously threatened when his maid became pregnant and he sent her to England to have the child, earning him a sharp reprimand. Clarridge sold his Pennsylvania land to Thomas Holme. 1

Thomas Holme, the map-maker and Surveyor General, was a colorful character, with a different background than many of the emigrants. As a soldier in Cromwell’s army he helped to conquer Ireland. One of his services was to rebuild a castle devastated in the fighting; he also surveyed the county of Kerry. After the war he bought land in Waterford and raised his family there instead of returning to England. Perhaps repelled by the devastation he became a Quaker. As a Quaker he was persecuted for his beliefs; he was fined and thrown into prison like so many others. But in 1682 he set off for Pennsylvania to be Surveyor General for William Penn’s new province. Holme came in September 1682 on the Amity, along his grown children, several indentured servants, and William Crispin’s son Silas. William Crispin, a cousin of Penn, had been Penn’s first choice for Surveyor General, but he died on the voyage and was replaced by Holme. Silas Crispin inherited his father’s lands, including two large tracts in Abington.

Another tract belonged to Thomas Fairman, a contentious and difficult man, whose services were valuable to Penn and Holme in the early days. When Penn and his commissioners arrived in 1682 Fairman rented out his house, billing Penn for the cost of putting them up. While Holme was staying with Fairman he must have recruited Fairman as one of his surveyors, since there was too much work for one man. Fairman incurred Holme’s anger for some sharp dealings as a surveyor, but Holme needed him even though he distrusted him. Thomas’ brother Robert invested in Pennsylvania land, including a tract in Abington, but he never immigrated, and Thomas sold his lands for him.

William Penn knew Thomas Holme and Silas Crispin personally, and he certainly came to know Thomas Fairman. But there was one Abington purchaser whom he relied upon and worked with intimately. This was his private secretary Philip Theodore Lehnmann. Lehnmann probably came with Penn on the Welcome in 1682. He attended the Council sessions, handled correspondence, and stayed behind when Penn returned to England in 1685? to defend his colony against the boundary claims of Lord Baltimore. But when Penn arrived in London and looked for the evidence he needed, he made a discovery that gave him a shock. Lehnmann had forgotten to pack the all-important depositions. As Penn put it, “Phil Lemain has most carelessly left behind ye York papers [that] Lloyd brought and should have come as the ground and very strength of my coming so yt I am now here with my finger in my mouth, he could not have done me a worse injury nor Balti[more] a greater service, if he had had ye bribe of 10000 to do it.” 2 Needless to say Penn fired Lehnmann after that. Lehnmann died, a widower and childless, in 1687. He left many debts and part of his Abington tract was seized by the sheriff and sold to pay them.

Next: the women of Abington

  1. Dublin’s Quaker Merchant, by Richard Greaves, a biography of Clarridge’s associate Anthony Sharp.
  2. Papers of William Penn

Early owners of Abington township

When the English Quakers came over in fifty boats in 1682 and 1683 they settled in Philadelphia and in an arc of rural townships, from Chester County through Philadelphia County and eastward to Bucks County. Abington township lay in the middle of this arc. It was good farmland, well-watered by streams and creeks, and not too far from Philadelphia, an important feature for farmers who might take their surplus to the market to sell. It was also the seat of Abington Monthly Meeting, one of the earliest, largest, and most influential of the Quaker meetings.

Abington was typical of the townships settled early by English Quakers. It was not a “linear village” like Germantown or a proprietary manor like Springfield. It was not owned by a single purchaser like Nicholas More’s Manor of Moreland, nor was it dominated like a single family like the Growdens in Bensalem. Instead Abington, like many townships in lower Bucks and Chester Counties, was cut up into tracts for the first purchasers, most of whom bought their land in England from William Penn in 1681. At first the land in the township was owned by these early purchasers, but as the years passed, it was divided into smaller tracts. Some of the early purchasers did not settle on their tracts, but bought them as speculation. They settled instead on lots in the city, if they came to Pennsylvania at all. Of those who immigrated, some lived on their city lots; some sold them and lived in the country. As we will see, the early owners of Abington were a mix of immigrants and speculators.

The township was not originally called Abington. When Thomas Holme made his map in 1687, it had no name. In early deeds it was described as “the county of Philadelphia” or sometimes “Pemmapecca” (by any of several creative spellings). Holme drew a dotted line across his map dividing it into a northern and southern half, suggesting that it was originally meant to be two townships. The upper half was sometimes called Hilltown, and the lower half was sometimes called Dublin. When the township boundaries were finally laid out, Abington was formed from Hilltown and the northern part of Dublin, while the remainder of Dublin became Lower Dublin.[1] Abington township is quite large compared to other townships, over 10,000 acres. It touches Cheltenham, Upper Dublin, Moreland, and Lower Dublin, and touches (or almost touches) Springfield, Horsham and Oxford at the corners.

Pennypack Creek flows south through much part of Abington, crossing from Moreland and flowing south and southeast on its way to Lower Dublin and the Delaware River. It is a strong flowing stream and in the 1700’s was dotted with mills. Frankford or Tacony Creek also flows through Abington, on a path parallel to the Poquessing and west of it, through Cheltenham and so down to the Delaware. One large tract in the middle of Abington, originally Sarah Fuller’s land, had streams that drained into both the Frankford and the Poquessing Creeks.

Who were the first purchasers in Abington? They were an interesting mix—Wasey  the sea captain captured by Barbary pirates, Clarridge the Irish lecher, Lehnmann the careless secretary, Mary Brodwell the midwive who lived to be a hundred, Elizabeth Shorter the glover, John Rush her deceitful son-in-law, the good Quaker farmers and the sharp-dealing Quaker merchants. By studying early records—land deeds, Penn’s letters, minutes of the Council, and more—we can find the stories hidden behind the names on the map. The next post will begin to tell those stories.

[1] The township of Upper Dublin lies north of Abington and, confusingly, does not touch Lower Dublin. The two Dublins were not derived from subdivision of one township, and currently lie in two different counties. When Montgomery County was split from Philadelphia County in 1784, the county line was run between Abington (in Montgomery) and Lower Dublin (in Philadelphia).

The people on the map: What was their religion?

Religious affiliation is more difficult to categorize than occupation or immigration. Affiliation could change over time, as when some Quakers followed George Keith in 1692 and became Baptists or Anglicans. And it was not always recorded. The Quakers were the only group with surviving early records. If someone does not appear in the Quaker records, does that mean that they were not Quaker, or simply that they were not active in the meeting?

Evidence for religion comes from Quaker meeting records, burial records of non-Friends, wills (for example, those with bequests to other churches). sometimes by association with people of known affiliation, like the Dungan family of Baptists.

Certain assumptions are reasonable. The Swedes were overwhelmingly Lutheran, many attending the church at Wicaco, later Gloria Dei. There were known Anglicans in the province, such as William Markham and George Foreman. There were people whose behavior shows that they were not Friends, like Gilbert Wheeler the unruly innkeeper.

Using available evidence, religious affiliation was classified into Quakers, Lutherans, Unknown, and Other, a category that included Baptists, Anglicans, and the occasional Catholic. As the table shows, the people on the map were predominantly Quaker.

 ImmigrantsNon-immigrantsSwedesTotal
Quaker418740492
Lutheran104142
Other3814254
Unknown190019
Total4768843607

Does this mean that the people in the province were predominately Quaker? The answer is no. There were many people missing from the map who show up in court records, wills, and land records, and many of them were not Friends. Since the Quaker meeting houses were too small to hold the population, even in the early years, it is clear that many people in the province were unchurched.

The people on the map: Where were they from?

The people on Holme’s map were from many of the same regions as Quakers in general, even though they were not all Quaker. The evidence for origin comes from land records,especially for First Purchasers and people who sold their land while still in England, English Quaker records, certificates of removal, and a smattering of other sources.

Because of the particular records that give place of origin, we know the origin of almost all who did not immigrate. Many of them were First Purchasers. Those who immigrated appear in many records, most of which don’t show origin. This is the same pattern as for occupation.

The map shows the pattern of emigration. 1

Map of origins

The cities of London and Bristol provide many of the people, especially the merchants. Many of the farmers and artisans came from a few counties, especially Cheshire and Wiltshire. There were few from East Anglia; that was Puritan country. 2 Some of the clusters reflect patterns of immigration. For example a cluster from Derbyshire ended up in Darby township, Delaware County. More analysis would probably show more clusters like this. And of course the Welsh predominately settled in the Welsh Tract.

 

  1. Adapted from Dunn and Dunn, Papers of William Penn, volume 2.
  2. See David Hackett Fischer’s informative work, Albion’s Seed, for more on regional differences.

The People on Holme’s map: What were their occupations?

The next question about the people on Holme’s map is about their occupations. How did they support themselves and their families? The evidence for occupation comes from many sources—primarily deeds and wills, but occasionally from other places such as letters. For some of the people, almost a quarter of the total, their occupation is unknown. In many cases it can be presumed to be farming, but they are not counted as farmers unless they are actually described this way in a record.

When we break down the numbers of people on the map by occupation and whether they immigrated or not, we see an interesting pattern. Many of the gentlemen and merchants did not immigrate; their interest in the colony was as investors or supporters of Penn’s vision. Many of the artisans and farmers, the “middling sort”, did immigrate. They formed the backbone of the colony—the largest single group. These were the people whom Penn had hoped to attract when he advertised the colony. The Swedes, who were neither immigrants nor non-immigrants, but in a category of their own, were generally farmers.

It may seem paradoxical that more of the occupations are unknown for the immigrants than the non-immigrants. (As will be seen, this is also the pattern for their origins.) This is a result of the records available for them. Many of the non-immigrants were First Purchasers, whose origin and occupation were given in their deed of lease and release from Penn. Many of the immigrants were not First Purchasers; they were late purchasers of land from Penn or bought rights or land from others. The records that include them, such as church or court records, typically do not specify occupation.

Here are the occupations, broken out by immigration status.

 ImmigrantsNon-immigrantsSwedesTotal
Women233127
Artisans112160128
Farmers111521137
Gentlemen1621037 (inc 3 women)
Merchants6129292
Services22000
Other236130
Unknown108918135
Total4768943608

There are several interesting points here. As already noted, merchants and gentlemen did not immigrate at the level of farmers and artisans. It might be surprising that so many farmers immigrated, since they would seem to be tied to their land. Obviously many Quaker farmers found a way to leave their land in England (or Ireland or Wales) and start over a new place. The climate in Pennsylvania was comparable, though more extreme, than that of England, but their skills would have served them well. Another interesting point concerns the Swedes. They would have needed some services, such as milling and blacksmithing, and in fact they had a mill, but the names of people who provided those services are unknown. Perhaps some of the Swedes whose occupations are unknown were in fact millers or smiths. Finally, many of the women, especially the widows who headed households, probably engaged in farming, as discussed in the post on classification, though they were never described that way. When women appear in a will or deed they are described by their status, not their occupation. So strong is this status identification for them that some women on the map are described only as “Widow Bond” or “Widow Hurst”. To our modern eyes they are denied the dignity of a given name.

Next: Where were the people from?

The people on Holme’s map: Classifying their occupations

The occupations of Pennsylvania in the 1680s fall into six categories: artisans, farmers, merchants, gentlemen, service providers, and others. These categories are for the men on the map. The women are a special case and get counted separately.

Artisans were people who made things. Carpenters, tailors and shoemakers were the most common, along with maulsters who made beer. John Bowyer was a shipwright. Some of them had occupations in England that would been irrelevant in the new world; Edmond Bennet had been a tobacco cutter in Bristol but probably became a farmer in Bucks County.

Farmers included those who called themselves yeomen or husbandmen. These names had meant different things in England. For example a yeoman owned his own land. But in early Pennsylvania the terms seem to be used interchangeably. It is important to note that even most people with other occupations such as artisans and millers also carried on farming. That is, they lived on substantial plots of land and raised crops for their family, even while earning income in other ways. 1

The term merchant covered everyone from wealthy men like Samuel Carpenter who traded with England and the West Indies, to those who kept a small shop and sold dry goods and groceries. To be called a merchant was a status symbol. No one described himself as a shopkeeper, but there must have been many, in both the city and the countryside.

Gentlemen did not have to work for a living. The Penn family, his relatives the Lowthers, wealthy merchants—they lived on income from investments and rents. Thomas Hudson of Macclesfield, Chester, was a land speculator who bought 5000 acres, sent his servants in 1685 to have the land laid out, did not immigrate. Richard Ingelo came on the Welcome with Penn, served as clerk of the council, went back to England in 1686 when he inherited property there. Like merchant, gentleman was an term of aspiration; some prosperous farmers described themselves as gentlemen in their wills.

Some men (and one known women) provided  a service: blacksmiths, millers, innkeepers, carters, ferrymen, midwife. These were essential, and in the case of ferrymen, sought-after positions. The council granted the Schuylkill ferry rights to Philip England, but in 1693 William Powell tried to muscle into the business and was rebuffed by the council. Innkeepers were supposedly licensed, frequently in trouble for selling beer without a license, frequently in trouble for selling rum to the Indians. The one known midwife was Mary Bradwell, who lived to be a hundred and named great-grandchildren in her will. There must have been other midwives whose names were not preserved.

Some occupations are unusual and form a mixed group: the Swedish minister, doctors, surveyors, clerk, schoolmaster, mariner. Except for the mariner, this would be called a white-collar group. They were probably all literate. But some of them were also probably farmers. For example, John Southworth was the clerk for Philadelphia County in 1683 but also owned 500 acres of land.

The women on the map are a special case, when considering occupation. Of the 34 women on the map, only a few were wealthy enough to live on their income, such as Gulielma Penn and Margaret Lowther. Of the others, 21 were widows, including 8 who were widowed during the voyage or immediately after. These women would need to support themselves and their families with their main asset—their land. Although women were never described as farmers, many of them must have hired laborers (or had adult sons) to run a farm.

Next: The results for occupation

  1. Remember that the income was probably not money as we think of it. Currency was scarce in the early days, as Pennsylvania was not allowed to mint its own coin, and many payments were in “country currency” like a bushel of wheat.

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.

Identifying people on Holme’s map: matching them to records

Every genealogist and family historian faces the task of identifying people in records. Identifying the people on Holme’s map is no different. In the end, each person in the past is no more than a collection of records.  All that is left of Walter Bridgman’s life in Pennsylvania is 21 records: he immigrated from Cornwall, married Blanche Constable by approval of Middletown Monthly Meeting, owned land, signed a paper against selling rum to the Indians, died, left a daughter. Unless a descendant somewhere has an heirloom, that is the sum total of the material we have for Walter. He is typical of many of the people on Holme’s map—the records form a straightforward pattern that fits one and only one person.

Some of the people on the map were prominent—they served in the government or were personal friends of Penn or otherwise left substantial evidence of their lives. Men like John Bevan, Thomas Lloyd, John Simcock, Christopher Taylor and James Harrison do not need to be identified; they are historical figures who in a sense have already been identified. About a hundred of the names on the map fall into this category and required little research.

Another group of people were not prominent, yet left records that formed a pattern, people like Walter Bridgman. Given the population involved here, we would expect to find an emigration record, land purchase, membership in a Quaker meeting, marriage and death. When we find these records for someone, with a name that is probably unique, and where the records fit into a location matching the tract on the map, then we can assume we’ve found a person. This is the largest group of people on the map—it required research to find them, digging into the records, yet the records when found formed a recognizable pattern. There are several hundred people like this on the map, famous only to their descendants, people like John Jennet, Mary Bradwell, Luke Hank, Michael Isard and Thomas Groom.

Some people on the map posed problems: names radically different from the one on the map, two men with the same name, records that don’t form a neat pattern, people who lived quietly and left few records. These required more research and more evaluation of the evidence.

For example, who were the widow Bond, John Bye, Drawell, Daniel Hough, and John Swart? With some research, these were found to be the widow of John Bond, the First Purchaser John Boy, Joseph Drake the 1683 emigrant, John Hough of Darby (not Daniel), and Jan Classen the horse trader who was known by different names. About fifty of the people on the map required this extra level of analysis.

That leaves a few genuine puzzles: names that don’t match any known records. We have to assume that these were errors, either by Holme or by the engraver in London who had no personal knowledge of the people. There are five of them: John Denne, John Eluny, Free School, Widdow, and William Jones. John Denne is shown on the map in Whitpain township with John Goodson. There were several men around named John Dennison or Denning or Densey, but none of them can be tied to this land in Whitpain or to the physician John Goodson. John Eluny is shown in Westtown next to Francis Yarnall; there are no records of any Eluny at the time, and no land records that give a clue who this might be. The tract marked Free School is in Chester Township. There are no records of land being set aside for a school at this time. The only owner near there was Richard Few, so perhaps this was an error for his name. Widdow is on the map in Edgmont. When Holme showed the land of a widow he always included her surname, for example the widow Hurst or the widow Shorter. There was a William Findlow who bought land in Edgmont in 1687, but this seems late to make it onto the map, though it was in about the right place. Finally, there is the problem of William Jones. There were men around named William Jones, but none of them can be tied to this land in Newtown. Smith’s Atlas of Delaware County shows this land as belonging to Robert Dunton. Did one of the men named William Jones acquire the land from Dunton? These are puzzles that cannot be answered yet, possibly not at all, given available records.