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Evan Thomas, Wales to Hilltown, PA
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Evan Thomas, Sr Immigrant Ancestor
From "The Thomas Family of Hilltown, Bucks County, Penn" by Edward Matthews 1884: “Lewis Thomas and Evan Thomas, both Welshman, were among the earlier settlers of Hilltown, holding lands in the western portion, near Rieff's corner, and eastward of the village of Telford." Mathews was not only a Thomas descendant but had access to both court house records and private collections as well. In these collection were family bible, land records and family history notes that weren't and still aren't available to the public, especially would never be found in the LDS Library or online. Therefore he had access to a great deal we don't today. He also had access to a great deal of oral history. There were only a few generations between him and early Welsh settlers.
Be sure to read the introduction to the above mentioned work for a full understanding of the breadth of his research. All statements of fact are verified through materials at BUCKS COUNTY historical society or DAR records. Most are posted in the overview section. There are some documents we can not post because of copyright law. In addition, in the past we have posted everything and it was misused and abused.
We do wish to thank the librarian at the society for the wonderful research help. We were also able to locate family bible information and some photocopies of original pages through DAR records. These were invaluable in providing family information--birth and death records. These have been in the possession of descendants of Evan's sons. We would not have been able to put it all together without tracing the descendants down several generations. Most of what we discovered is in the Evan Thomas tree on ancestry.
Evan Thomas was born c1675-1688 in Wales, probably in the vicinity the first Baptist chapel in Pembrokeshire.
Evan Sr. would have married Mary before 1710 in Wales. She died 1721 in Pennsylvania. He then was married to Elizabeth, briefly, and then Sarah (possibly Farmar) by 1732 as confirmed by two deeds of land sale attached. Sometime after 1738 he married Ann as confirmed by a 1757 land transaction.
He was dismissed to New Britain Baptist Church in 1755 . Edward Mathews had sorted and compiled the church records so was extremely familiar with them. When speaking of Evan Sr Mathews writes that he found a "significant" entry for Evan Thomas’ death in New Britain Baptist Church records for Jan. 1 1766. Even though it was ten years after Evan sold his property he would be able to determine it was senior because Evan Thomas Jr was always referred to as Evan Thomas Jr in these records. The church clerk was very consistent using the suffix with Thomas family along with all others. Evan jr was never recorded without junior in church records--not even once. He certainly would have wanted to have the correct Evan recorded as having died. That Evan's Sr death was in Bucks County is confirmed by materials held at BUCKS COUNTY historical society and items at the New Britain Baptist church. Because Evan Sr was cut off from communion and voting in 1726, he doesn't appear on 1764 membership list. Even though his full membership was never restored he could be buried there. The intention was not to separate him from God but to encourage him to repent. They are to be forgiven seven times seventy. So he was referred as Brother Evan Thomas in the death record (no junior because this record meant Evan Sr.).
Researchers who believe Evan Sr. was missing from the 1764 membership means he had died or possibility gone to Virginia are almost certainly misinterpreting what makes one a member of most Baptist churches. From “Loudoun Discovered, Volume 2, Leesburg and the Old Carolina Road” by Eugene Scheel: “Before the war the neighborhood was known as New Valley be¬cause since 1767 a congregation known as New Valley had worshipped close by. In July of 1767, Elder Joseph Thomas, a Bucks County Pennsylvanian, came to Loudoun for a few days and organized the church. There may have been a place in Bucks County called New Valley, but more likely his home congregation called itself the Valley Meeting. By March of 1771 a house of worship had been built on ground that William Jones in his will had given to the congregation a piece of land Containing one and one half acres whereon the baptist Meeting House is built. Joyning this Plantation. To Joseph Thomas Minister & William Lewis & Thomas George Elders of sd. Meeting to them and their survivors and ministers & elders of sd. Congregation for ever. A person had to attend church regularly to remain a member." This is still a qualification today.
The Joseph Thomas mentioned above was ordained in NBBC so is continuing the membership practices of that place. Joseph is also the son of Evan, Sr. Since this Evan was "cut off" in 1726 from Montgomery Baptist with no record of his having been restored, the obvious interpretation of his missing from the 1764 list is he did not attend church regularly. He was also quite elderly and could not sign his name in full in 1757 so probably was also infirm.
The lack of references to Evans sr ever being restored to full belonging to the church is the most obvious reason for his not being noted n 1764. However, he could have died earlier, or the list is not perfect, so the clerk just could have made mistake.
It has been determined that Evan Jr died in the spring of 1766 and his death was not entered in the church book. Their records were very sketchy at the time per the historical society. These death dates are from materials also gathered by a paid researcher who went over every mention of junior and senior in Bucks County. She saw no reason to interpret them any way but how we did. She knew of the absence of Evan Sr on the 1764 church list. Finally May 5, 1766 for the first probate hearing follows the usual practice of probate beginning a couple weeks after death. A very few individuals believe the death record in the church book referred to Evan jr. When one reviews membership lists, deaths, births of various Baptist churchs in the colonies one see the clerks were very precise in describing people's relationships with each other so it was clear that an individual referred by his name with no suffix was the oldest of that name, hence Evan Thomas, father, is the one who died in 1766. Couldn't be clearer.
No will has been located in Bucks County for Evan, Sr. It’s very likely that he settled his estate with his children before he died or had nothing left. It was not necessary for a will or probate hearing when he died as he no longer held real estate, having sold his farm in 1757 to Edward Mathews. His wife’s signature is just a straight line which indicates age or infirmity, as well. (See attached samples). It seems reasonable that it was sold before he died he because he was obligated to a yearly “quit rent” to the Penns. Plus he may not have been able to farm to pay the quit rent. The property was considered mortgaged or entailed meaning it could not be inherited. Edward Mathews had to pick up this obligation as stated in the 1757 terms of sale. It was likely he was quite infirm and lived with one of his children or moved to other land that is noted in a 1757, recorded 1767, deed of Robert Heaton.
Children of Evan and Mary:
Richard Thomas, born Bet. 1710 - 1716 in Wales; died 1776 in Hilltown, Pennsylvania; married Elizabeth Walton 1736 in Abington Meeting, PA
Diana married John Mathews, son of Simon and brother to Edward and Margaret Mathew
Evan, Jr. married Margaret Mathews in 1742 in Philadelphia Presbyterian Church. Died Spring 1766
Joseph married Martha Lewis in Philadelphia, Presbyterian Church in 1737. Ordained Baptist minister 1766
There is no record or mention any other children than these in Bucks County or elsewhere.
Evan's arrival in Hilltown in 1721 is confirmed by biographical information for his son, Joseph
from VA Baptist Register XXXIX: "Joseph Thomas b.1718 Wales, came to Hilltown in 1721 with parents. Joseph baptized by Benjamin Griffith in 1730 in Montgomery Church, Montgomery Co. Pa. Ordained at New Britain in 1766, preached 1750-60". Materials Towards A History of the Baptists by Morgan Edwards
In 1720 the Montgomery (PA) Baptist Church received Evan and Mary Thomas from the Pembrokeshire, Wales Baptist Church. This church was the first Baptist Church in Pembroke--Rhydwilym. Statistics from Table 1 of the Transatlantic Brethren by Samuel Jones shows the only 1720 arrivals to Montgomery Baptist were a man and a woman from Rhydwilym--Evan and Mary. On Rhydwilym’s c1696 church records is an Evan Thomas with wife Joan from Pembrin, County of Cardican (Penbryn, County of Cardigan). This might be the same Evan but this can't be known.
Also there are two Thomas Evan who were baptized in 1704 & 1706 at Rhydwilym—could be he or his father. The church of Rhydwilym had a wide geographical ambit, from mid-Cardigan to Amroth by the sea, from Haverfordwest to Llanllawddog. But after 1700 it began to become more concentrated in the vicinity of the Rhydwilym Chapel; other churches having been established in those areas more
The early membership at Montgomery and other Pennsylvania Baptist church were monoglot Welshmen. They settled near each other to speak the language and maintain their communities. Most of very first members at Montgomery were from Rhydwilym.
Montgomery Baptist Church records:Evan and Mary Thomas received from the Baptist Church Pembrokeshire, Wales 1720
Mary, wife of Evan Thomas died 12//22/1721
Elizabeth, wife of Evan Thomas received Jan. 1724
Died, 10/28/1724 Elizabeth wife of Evan Thomas
1726 Evan Thomas "cut off" for several untruths and oft repeated drunkenness
1755 Evan Thomas dismissed to New Britain Church.
Church records also show Diana, Evan, Jr. & Joseph Thomas, children of Evan Thomas baptized 1730 at Montgomery. Evan Sr was received in New Britain with his daughter, Diana, and son, Joseph, on October 30th, 1755. There is no record of his having been restored to full membership at either Montgomery or New Britain Church. Hence he is missing from the 1764 list of those members who were considered to actually belong to New Britain Church. One must be careful not to make the same assumption I did at first, in thinking Evan Sr had died because he is not on the membership list. I investigated deeper and found how wrong I was.
There is a circa 1723 record in criminal papers of Evan Thomas and John Lewis witnessing George Wilson, mariner, selling rum to an Indian at the tippling house in Hilltown.
The only Evans, father and son, who had land in earliest Hilltown immigrated to PA 1720 and moved to Hilltown in 1721. During 1720's & 30's Evan owned a great deal of land southeast of the large tract owned by Andreas Van Buskirk. It may be this land about which Mathews was talking--it is not too far from Reiff's Corner, east of Telford and in the western part of the township.
The first Hilltown land record I found for Evan was in 1724 on the southeast side of land Andreas Van Buskirk sold to Bernard Young. Young's and Evan's property in 1730 was divided by the "Great Road", today the Hilltown Pike. The general location of this property appears to be in the southwestern part of the town east of Chalfont Road, south of Hilltown Pike and west of Callowhill Road. Certainly, this could be land he purchased in 1721.
He was deeded 200 acres where he was already living in this area from Edward Farmer and William Lowther in 1729. This property is on or near the Hilltown/New Britain border and is described only as being in Bucks County. Although one tract is known to have adjoined Van Buskirk, William Thomas, and John Humphrey and the other adjoined land of said Evan on the northwest side and was said to already be in his possession.
1732 Evan Sr., and Sarah (wife) Thomas sold property in Hilltown to John Lewis near Frets Mill. At the time of the sale the record described him as Evan Thomas, yeoman, Hilltown. This property along with above mentioned one totaling 200 acres was bought for 10 shillings from Edward Farmar/Farmer and William Lowther in 1729. In 1738 Evan Sr. and Sarah passed by contract the 2nd 100 acres acquired in 1729 to Evan Jr. It does appear that the majority of the land that was originally shown as belonging to the Evans on the 1876 map attached eventually belonged to Evan, Jr. probably as gifts. Although there is a piece on the northeastern end that may have stayed in Sr. possession a while.
No marriage record or death date has been found for Sarah. Nor is there any evidence documentary or circumstantial that she and Evan had any children. Nothing more is known about her, although it is possible that she was connected to either the Farmar or Lowther family. Edward Farmar did have a sister named Sarah, who would have about Evan's age.
My theory is Evan badly needed a wife in the1720's. Sarah Farmar had been orphaned as a young girl and left in the care of her much older siblings. She had not married and needed a husband and Evan needed someone to care for his minor children. The land which Evan later sold at a big profit was her dowry that encouraged Evan to marry an older woman beyond the age of childbearing. Hence no children.
When property is sold for such an undervalued price as the above property was it is often because there is a relationship by marriage of some sort between the two parties to the sale. It was actually deeded to Evan for a yearly quit rent of 10 shillings--part of the original warrant to Farmar and Lowther from William Penn--so essentially they gave him the land. William Lowther was part of the Abington Monthly Meeting at the time Richard Thomas, Evan Sr's son, and Elizabeth Walton were married there. This could have been the link between the families.
Another 150 acre tract of land in New Britain was warranted in 1734 by Evan Thomas Sr. The northeasterly border began at the Green Hill School House on Callowhill Rd southwest 201 perches, then southeasterly for almost a mile to Ferry Road. In 1757 this piece of land was sold to Edward Mathew, son of Simon, brother-in-law to two of Evan's children. Edward Mathews, author, wrote a piece first published in the Doylestown Democrat in 1800's about this property that was then known as the Sliffer Homestead that on the attached map of New Britain would be the J. Funk property.
Whether Evan had ever lived on this land is not known. In 1745 he is still considered of Hilltown according to court records. He was also Hilltown overseer of roads then. In 1754 he was in charge of building a road through his New Britain property. It is possible he just farmed the land, remaining on an original purchase in Hilltown or he could have lived on land originally belonging to one of his later wives.
As to when he married Ann it would have been after 1738 as Sarah was still alive then. The fact Ann didn't sign 1755 mortgage tells us nothing. Wives typically didn't sign mortgages just deeds of sale.
There was often confusion between EVAN Jr. who married to MARGARET MATHEWS and Evan Sr., except in the church records where it was always distinguished they meant junior by using that suffix.
The following file #400 applies to Evan, Jr. not Sr. who bought property on his father's line in 1734 and mortgaged it in 1749. Evan, Jr. also bought property in Hilltown in '36 and sold it in ’44. (A point of interest Evan, Jr. signed his full name on one document and later used a mark. This could be related to incapacity of some sort as well. He died fairly young and appeared to have some financial hardship.)
Orphan's Court File #400 - Evan Thomas, (junior) Hilltown Dec 8, 1766 -Widow Margaret. Sons John and Benjamin over 14 petition for guardians. Thomas Jones, Jr. appointed for John, Joseph Lunn for Benjamin. There were other children who were not all minors--papers mention several children, male and female, who are unnamed. There is a very good chance that two of the daughters were Jane and Rebekka. Elisha Thomas b1760, who first appears in Virginia with brother Benjamin is undoubtedly also a son--one of the unnamed minor children mentioned in court records. His inventory showed 7 chairs, so there may have been 5 children living at home.
Source: Book 1, Orphans Court Records, Bucks Co., Pa. Margaret was ordered by court to sell all land and mansion house to cover debts and expenses for children. The land totaling 115+ acres was purchased by David Mathias. At least 20 additional acres had been sold to Ebezner Owen.
Researchers must be cognizant that there were many men named Evan Thomas in the Philadelphia area. Certainly several with wives named Ann, Mary and sarah. So do not assume Evan Sr is the one you seek without solid documentation. Not something that fits in some places but all. Marks should match, BUCKS COUNTY or New Britain should be mentioned and children should match. Over and over I have found men with names such James, John, Evan etc with surname Thomas and wives of same name. Absolutely nothing can be assumed about a single man. The subject of this story died in Bucks County. Be careful not to confuse him with other Evans in the Philadelphia area or those in nearby states. All existing documentation points to his never having left Bucks County. There is nothing in Bucks County that even hints he left after settling there in 1721. Nor is there any sign that he had children beyond those mentioned above.
Sources for Evan Thomas of Hilltown
- Pennsylvania, Wilcox-Roads-Rhoads, Allen, Blue Bell, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, over a period of years, also by Miss Elma C. Bishop, Berwick, Genealogical Material copied by Mrs. Philip Meridith
- The Thomas Family of Hilltown, Bucks, Penna by Edward Matthews. link:https://books.google.com/books?id=Pk5WAAAAMAAJ&pg=PP9#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Bucks County Deed Book; Bucks County Grantor/ Grantee Index
- History of Montgomery Baptist Church, Edward Mathews
- "Wandering through Historic Hilltown" Edward Matthews.
- Va Baptist Register XXXIX
- Papers read before the Society and other historical papers, Bucks County Historical Society. Louis Ely Thompson. 1937 link:
- Transatlantic Brethren: Rev. Samuel Jones (1735-1814) and His Friends : Baptists in Wales, Pennsylvania, and Beyond (Google eBook)
- Judy Russell. The Legal Genealogist. legal.genealogist.com
- Bucks County Probate Records, Orphans' Court Records 1766-1801 vol 1-2
- The Sliffer Homestead, Edward Mathews, Doyletown Democrat, before1887
- New Britain Baptist Church Record Book, 1754-
- Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1694-1742. [Vol.I]
- A HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS - Volume - 2 - By Morgan Edwards A.M.
- Information obtained by visiting Bucks County
- Bucks County Historical Society collection and library assistant
- Family Bible pages available through DAR applications
- Byberry Waltons, 3rd edition, Norman Walton Swayne
- Wales to Bucks County,
SARAH FARMAR very possibly 3RD WIFE OF EVAN, SR.
No marriage record or death date has been found for Sarah. Nor is there any evidence documentary or circumstantial that she and Evan had any children. Nothing more is known about her, although it is possible that she was connected to either the Farmar or Lowther family. Son Richard could have been the link. Before removing to Hilltown, he was a mason in Lower Dublin and a member of the Abington Monthly Meeting, as were the Lowthers.
Edward Farmar did have a sister named Sarah, who would have about Evan's age. My theory is that she was the 3rd wife. When property was sold for such an extremely undervalued price as the 1729 deeded property was it is often because there is a relationship by marriage between the two parties to the sale.
In 1732 Evan Sr., and Sarah (wife) Thomas sold property in Hilltown to John Lewis near Frets Mill for 60 pounds. This property along with another totaling 200 acres was sold to Evan for the 10 shillings quit rent already paid by Edward Farmar/Farmer and William Lowther in 1729. An incredibly low price--essentially free. A family affair.
In 1738 Evan Sr. and Sarah passed by contract the 2nd 100 acres acquired in 1729 to Evan Jr. Another a transaction between family members that involved no exchange of currency.
Evan badly needed a wife in the1720's. Sarah Farmar had been orphaned as a young girl and left in the care of her much older step sister Katherine.. She had not married and needed a husband and Evan needed someone to care for his minor children. The land which Evan later sold at a big profit was her dowry that encouraged Evan to marry an older woman beyond the age of childbearing. Hence no children. This could have been the perfect arrangement for him as he had twice been left without a wife and with four dependent children. He probably was not interested in more children.
Sarah's step sister Katherine remarried to Christopher Billopp. Sarah Farmar may have gone with her or stayed with her young but very independent brother, Edward, depending on her age. I estimate her birth to be 1675-80. (close to Evan, Sr. but perhaps a little older--I estimate his birth between 1675-88). Katherine died c1700 at which time Sarah most likely became Edward's responsibility. There is no further record of her.
Having yet to marry, Edward no doubt was anxious about her future by the 1720's. Evan Thomas, Sr. was in trouble by 1726, drinking and lying, according church records with 3 young children--having lost two wives to death in three years. He would not have been especially desirable. But to an older woman it was a chance--he needed a wife and she needed a husband.
Farmar may have specifically asked for this land because it abutted Evan's. Both Nicholas Scull and Thomas Holmes who were primary players in the land affairs of the early Philadelphia area were associates of Edward's. The fact that two parcels that became Evan's were separate from the remainder of Farmar's warrant which was in Montgomery County makes this credible.
Edward Farmar easily could have induced Evan to marry Sarah with a dowry of 200 acres some abutting land Evan already owned. He was already in possession of this land by Nov. 1729, Farmar probably making a verbable agreement after he obtained it by warrant in February of that year. All that was necessary was for Evan to assume the yearly quit rent that was part of the warrant. Evan and Sarah passed this quit rent to John Lewis when they sold him part of it in 1732. By 1730 it was obvious there was order again in Evan's household. Undoubtedly Sarah's influence.
The Farmars were to become a prominent family in Philadelphia. Edward was a Justice of the Peace for many years. Probably well known to the Bulters and Mathews who were to become Evan's inlaws. The wills of Jaspar and Mary Batsford Farmar, Edward and Sarah's parents, follow.
"In the name of God, Amen. I, Major Jasper Farmer being weak in health but in perfect memory blessed be God doe make this my last Will and testament in manner and forms following that is to say, Imprimus, I give and bequeath my Soule into the hands of Almighty God that gave it and my body to be buryed wherever it shall please the Lord I dye. Secondly, I give and bequeath to my dear wife Mrs Mary Farmer one third of all my estate and stock in Pensilvania in America and the other two thirds of all my estate and stock to my sonn Edward Farmer. Item, I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Farmer fower hundred pounds ster. Item, I give and bequeath to my sonn John Farmer three hundred pounds ster. Item, I give and bequeath to my daughter Katherine Farmer the sum of three hundred pounds ster. Item, I give and bequeath to my sonn Robert Farmer three hundred pounds ster. Item, I give and bequeath to my sonn Charles Farmer the sume of three hundred pounds ster. Item, I give and bequeath unto my sister Alice Scull the sume of 10 pounds ster. Item, I give and bequeath unto my sonns Richard Farmer and Samuel Farmer and my daughter Webber in Ireland tenn shillings a peece to bye them mourning rings, and to my sonn Jasper Farmer and daughter Web tenn shillings a peece to buy them rings. Item, I appoynt and make my son Edward Farmer and my wife Mary Farmer my executors of this my last will and testament, and all the abovesaid legacies to be payed out of my estate in Ireland and in Pensilvania. Item, lastly I do appoynt Catn Thomas Holmes of Philadelphia and Wm Turner late of Dublin but now of Philadelphia in Pensilvania, Linnen Draper, boath of them overseers of this my last Will and testament, 7ber ye 25th '85. (signed) J Farmar Witness present: Edward Farmar, Saml Hunt." Endorsed on outside: Jasper Farmar's will 1685 #20 Probed in forme of Law ye 2d of ye 11 mo 1685 Registered book A: fol: 25 #20. Transcript of photostatic copy of original will in Collections of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, hereafter cited as GSP.
Bond: "Know all men by these p'sent that we Mary Farmer of Philadelphia in the Province of Pensilvania, widdow, and Edward Farmer her son, of Philadelphia aforesaid, & Thomas Holme of Philadelphia in the Province aforesaid, Surveyor General, are holden & stand firmly bound unto Christopher Taylor, Register General of the Province of Pensilvania aforesaid, in the sume of two thousand pounds of good lawful money of the said Province, to be paid to the said Christopher Taylor or his certaine Attorney, Executors or Adminst. To which payment well & truly to be made we bind us and either of us, our and either of our, heires, executors, administrators or assigns, firmly by these p'sents. Sealed with our seale, dated the second day of the eleventh month, being the first year of the King's Reign & the 5th of the Proprietary's Government, Anoque Dom. 1685
"The Condition of this Obligation is such that if the above bound Mary Farmer & Edward Farmer and Thomas Holme, or any of them, their, or any of their heirs, executors, adminstrs. or Assigns of any of them do & shall well & truly satisfy, discharge & pay all the just debts of Jasper Farmer, Senr., late of the Kingdom of Ireland, Gent. decd., and also well & faithfully to pay and discharge the several legacies to the persons mentioned in the last Will & Testament of the said Jasper Farmer, deceased, bearing date the 25th of the seventh month in the year abovesaid, according to the true meaning thereof & of a probate of this date to the same annexed & thereof save harmless the said Christopher Taylor, his heires or assigner, that then this obligation to be void or else to remain in full power & virtue. (signed) Mary Farmar, Tho. Holme. Sealed & delivered in the presence of Tho. Webb, Philip H. Lehnmann, Jos. Vaughan senr." Transcript of photostatic copy, supra.
Deposition: "Major Jasper Farmer to his son Richard Farmer. Be it remembered that Samuel Hunt of Philadelphia in the province of Pensilvania, being legally attested before me Humphrey Morrey, one of the justices of the peace of the County of Philadelphia, Deposeth and saith as followeth, that is to say, That he this Deponent, about the tenth day of September which was in the year 1685, saw a certain Deed from Major Jasper Farmer to Richard Farmer, of that date, sealed and executed by the said Major Farmar unto the said Richard Farmar for a certain ferme purchased by the said Major from one Sir Boyle Maynard, and upon delivery thereof this Deponent heard the said Major demand of Richard Farmar whether he was satisfied and whether he owed him anything. Whereunto the said Richard answered that the said Major owed him nothing upon any account whatever, or words to that effect. And this Deponent further saith that he, this Deponent, was desired by Major Jasper Farmar, since deceased to draw his the said Jasper's last Will and Testament, dated the twenty fifth day of September 1685, which Will this Deponent drew according to his directions, and which said Will and Testament he the said Major Jasper Farmer, being of sound and perfect memory, at the same time did seal and execute and publish in this Deponent's and Edward Farmar's presence, who have subscribed their names as witnesses thereunto. In witness whereof the said Deponent hath hereunto set his hand the 8th day of the 5th month July 1687. (signed) Saml Hunt. Attested by and before me, the day and year aforesaid Humphrey Morrey." Recorded 9th of 5th month 1687 in Philadelphia Letters of Attorney Book D-2-4, 166, now in Bureau of Land Records, Department of Internal Affairs, Harrisburg.
"In the name of God, Amen. I, Mary Farmar, widdow and relict of Major Jasper Farmar of Ireland, being weak in health but in perfect memory, blessed by God, doe make this my last Will and Testament in manner and forme followeing, that is to say, Imprimis, I give and bequeath my Soule into the hand of my God my Creator who give it me, and who alone is able to keepe it, and my body to be buried with or neare my children in this towne of Philadelphia. Secondly, after my burial it is my will that any debts be paid unto my sonne Edward Batsforth of which I am indebted to him, which is fifty-three pound starling money of England, twenty pound more of the same money brought over in shoes, and five pound more for two pieces of serge, in all amounting to seventy-eight pound starling money of England. Item, I do give and bequeath unto my before named sonne Edward Batsforth the plantation lately bought of Mr. Robert Jeffes at Frankford and will that the said plantation be paid out of the goods in the store heare in this towne. I do give and bequeath unto him the things followeing, that is to say, two fine pares of sheets, foure pares course sheets, foure pellowbeare, two beds, two bolsters, two pellows, two caddus, the courtins I use to lay in, and all appurtenances of the same, half a dozen pewter dishes of all sizes, six silver spoones, two silver porengers. Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Serah Farmar foure dozen doulas napkins, one dozen of damask, one dozen of drapes ditto, six table cloths of the like kind, six pares of fine sheets, six pellow beares, one silver sugar boxe, foure silver spoones, all my wearing apparill, all my rings, botkings, goulden locketts, and twenty pound in gould, and it is my will that my before named Sarah be and continue with her sister in law Katherine Farmar during her nonage or until she be married, requesting my daughter Farmar to have the oversight of her and her education and that her diet, appareill, and learning be paid out of the interest of her portion in Irland. Item, I give and bequeath to my sonne Edward Farmar my two brick houses in the city of Philadelphia, with the lott and backhouse thereupon and all thereunto belonging, and all other house or houses upon the said lott, and another house which I have bought in the same towne of Philadelphia near unto Dr. Wines lott in the same city or towne. Item, I give unto him all the cattles and horses that I have upon the plantation called Farmers Towne, with all the lands and tenements of the same, both to him and his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, forever, as also the mill, and that parcel of land which I bought of Thomas Webb, and all other things therein or thereupon together with all chattels, goods, moveable and unmoveable whatever they be, as gould, silver, marchandise, furnitures, linnen, plate, pewter, whatever they be, and also all debts, book debts, bills, bounds, specialteye, in what part of the World they may be dew to me or appertaining.
"Item, it is my will that my son Edward Farmar shall and doe pay yearly and every year five pounds starling unto my faithful servant maiden Elizabeth Mayo during his natural life, and if he outlive her, to pay the same unto her during her owne naturall life onely, which sum I do give and bequeath unto her as a reward unto her for her faithfulness to me. Item, I do give and bequeath unto my daughter Katherine Farmer a bundle bound up in a hare trunck which is my trunck, knowne by that name. Item, I appoint and make my sonne Edward Farmer my soule executor of this my last will and testament and of all the abovesaid legacies to be paid out of my estate abovesaid in Pennsilvania, and for as much as he is not of age to mind and do his business, it is my will and request that he be, until it please God he comes to age, under the wardeship of Nicholas More, Esq., of this Province, and that the said More be pleased to be his guardian during the said time. In witness of this my Iast will and testament, I have set my hand and seale this one and thartieth day of the month of October in the year one thousand six hundred eighty and six in Philadelphia in Pennsilvania and in the presence of the witnesses hereunto annexed. (signed) Mary Farmar." (Heraldic seal: a fess between 3 lions beads, Fermor-Farmar). Witnesses: John Farmar, Jacob Chapman, John Vaus. Endorsed on reverse: Mary Farmers Will 1686 Probed in forme of Law 1: 5th mo (July) 1687 & registered Book A: fol: 45 #32. Transcript of photostatic copy of the original will in GSP.
The inventory of the personal estate of Mary Farmar, made at Philadelphia 15 and 29 1m (March) 1687 "at the desire of John Goodson of the town and County of Philadelphia, chirugeon, guardian elected and chosen by Edward Farmer, son of the deceased Jasper and Marie Farmer, to him and his estate, by reason of the death of Nicholas More, guardian by the nomination of him in the last will & testament of his said mother "shows a total appraisal of £351,15,3½. Included with the foregoing will is the bond of John Goodson, dated 2 5m (July) 1687 which is not abstracted here. In addition there is also a schedule of "servants to Jasper Farmar Sr.":
John Welsh to serve me 4 yeares to commens at his arrival there, he to have (at) ye expiration of his time a new suit of cloths with 50 acres of land according to ye costom of ye country.
John Billon ye same, Carigon
Daniel Berrin ye toe sutes of cloths and land as the last.
William Forest for fife yeares, at ye expiration of fower, fifty acres of land according to custom with a howse to be built on it by me & two sutes of clothes with 20 shill. in monie.
Ishmael Grube for foure yeares, to have land as aforesd with five pounds in monie at ye expiration of the toe first yeares.
Edward Smout & his wife Elizabeth for 4 yeares, to have for the three last yeares 50d a yeare with land according to costom of the Country, with a new sute of cloths.
Jacob Prige for foure yeares, to have ye last three yeares 50d a yeare with land according to ye costom of ye Country.
George Booth is to serve 2 yeares after his arrival in PensiIvana, allowing him meat, drink, washing and lodging and cloths.
As per increase (of) Youghall, Richard Choson. Mr (Master of the Ship).
Children of Major Jasper Farmar and his first wife Miss Gamble, the second to tenth inclusive named in his will of 21 September 1685: . . .
i. ELIZABETH FARMAR, m. in 1669 JAMES DOWLEN of Youghall, Co. Cork, Ireland, merchant, by Friends' ceremony there. He d. there testate in 1682. She was not named in her father's will, presumably having pre-deceased him.
ii. RICHARD FARMAR, b. in or bef. 1653; d. testate in 1691 in Arderrack, Co. Cork, Ireland; m. in 1671 ELIZABETH PHAIRE. . .
iii. JASPER FARMAR, JR., b. in or bef. 1653; d. intestate in 1685. . . .
iv. SAMUEL FARMAR, b. in or bef. 1657; remained in Ireland. . . .
v. A daughter who m. THOMAS WEBB of Racannon, Co. Limerick, Ireland, gent. He gave a receipt for her dowry on 4 June 1682. She apparently died on the voyage to Pennsylvania, but her husband Thomas Webb and son Daniel Webb arrived at Philadelphia 10 Nov. 1685 in the Ship Bristol Merchant as abovesaid.
vi. MARY FARMAR, m. MICHAEL WEBBER of the City of Cork, Ireland, gent., and gave a receipt for her dowry on 10 Sept. 1685. One Michael Webber of Cork, gent., d. testate there in 1749.
vii. JOHN FARMAR, arrived at Philadelphia in the Ship Bristol Merchant on 10 Nov. 1685 with the family as abovesaid, but no further evidences of him are found in Philadelphia public records. He is said to have "married in 1686 MARY HAYLES, and was father of John Farmar of Youghall, Co. Cork. Ireland, who died in 1740 leaving, by his wife Alphra Garde, a son George Farmar, Royal Navy, 1732-1779."
viii. KATHERINE FARMAR, arrived at Philadelphia in the Bristol Merchant on 10 Nov. 1685 with the family, as abovesaid; no further record.
ix. ROBERT FARMAR, arrived at Philadelphia in the Bristol Merchant as abovesaid; no further record.
x. CHARLES FARMAR, arrived at Philadelphia in the Bristol Merchant as abovesaid; no further record. These last three children were possibly deceased by 31 Oct. 1686, the date of the will of Mary Farmar, widow of Major Jasper Farmar, wherein she ordered her burial to be "with or near my children in this towne of Philadelphia," as per the transcript of the will recited supra.
Children of Major Jasper Farmer and his second wife Mary Batsford, named in both their wills, 25 September 1685 and 31 October 1686: . . .
xi. EDWARD FARMAR, b. in 1672; d. 3 Nov. 1745, Whitemarsh Twp., Philadelphia (now Montgomery) Co. . . .
xii. SARAH FARMAR, arrived at Philadelphia in the Bristol Merchant with the family as abovesaid. As she was a minor at the time of her mother's death, she was entrusted to the care of her step-sister Katherine (Batsford) Farmar. widow of Jasper Farmar, Jr.; no further record found.
- Hilltown, Bucks County, PA
Interesting DNA matches
DNA matches of a descendant of Richard, Evan's son, to several descendants of the Rev Owen Thomas might indicate they were brothers or cousins. Owen was born 1692 in Gwrogodly Cillmanllwyd, Pembrokeshire, Wales. He was a member at Rhydwilim, as was Evan, before coming to Pennsylvania in 1719. Later, Owen's daughter, Elizabeth was a neighbor of Evan's in New Britain.
A more likely reason for the matches is that Owen's grandson, Owen, married Susannah Mathews, Evan's granddaughter. Owen, the younger, was son of Elizabeth and Joseph Thomas, while Susannah was the daughter of John Mathews and Diana Thomas. So these matches then actually would be to the Evan Thomas family not Owen's.
The most important DNA matches are several confirming the children of Evan and Mary. There are multiple matches between Diana's descendants and Richard's, along with one to Evan Jr's and Richard's.
Other interesting DNA matches are found to early Philadelphia families: Cantrell and Potts among other possibilities. The Potts matches can be traced easily to results of intermarriages with the Potts, Tyson/Doors, Rhodes/Roades and Kuster/Custer families who were early arrivals in Whitemarsh and Germantown. This information is confirmed by a wonderfully exhaustive Ancestry public tree, This is the end. The trunk of the tree is the Potts surname. However, its branches are a wonderful resource for many other Philadelphia families. By far I have seen never a tree with such complete documentation. Its owner/creator's ancestry id is claudiasul and she is a wealth of information and has posted images of her documentation. She is very willing to help.
The principal connection appears to come with marriage of Martha Custer and Joshua Thomas. Martha was the daughter of George Custer and Mary Rhodes.Mary was the daughter of John 1664. Joshua was the grandson of Evan Sr. Mary Rhodes was a cousin of Esther Rhodes who married Nathan Potts, great grandson of immigrant ancestor, Thomas Potts. Since these marriage were early in colonial history their DNA is carried by ten of thousands. It is very likely that all other connections come through the Rhodes family as well. Although the Cantrell connection is likely through the marriage of Diana Mathews to Owen Thomas.
- Bucks County