Thursday, February 20, 2014

#52Ancestors #8 - Robert Vernon: History survives 319 years later

52 Ancestors in 52 weeks. Amy Crow has posted a challenge on her blog 'No Story To Small'.

County of Cheshire in England

Robert Vernon was born in the county of Cheshire in England. I have estimated his birth year as 1657 based on his marriage. He married Elinor Minshall on April 20, 1678. Their marriage record was recorded by the members of the monthly meeting of Hardshaw West. Robert and Elinor were members of the dissenting Christian group known as Quakers or Friends of the Society. They are my paternal 7th great grandparents.

Robert and Elinor's first two children were born in Cheshire. Their birth records show John Vernon born June 13, 1679 and Jacob Vernon born October 11, 1680. Both children were born in Cheshire.

Robert has two known brothers: Thomas and Randall.

Religious Persecution

The Quaker's presented a challenge to the social and political order of England. They refused to take an oath of allegiance to the king. Robert's oldest brother Thomas suffered religious persecution in 1678/79. Soon after the persecution William Penn established Pennsylvania. The Vernon brothers prepared their families for a voyage.

                                This Pennsylvania property was purchased while Robert was still living in England. 

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission


Robert, Elinor and their two sons boarded the ship Friendship. They arrived in Pennsylvania on August 14, 1682. Robert was granted 285 acres but he chose to purchase an extra 315 acres for a total of 600 acres. The land was located in Nether Province in the county of  Chester, Pennsylvania.

A resurvey of the property of Robert's brothers was issued on September 16, 1702. This survey shows where the three Vernon brothers lived as well as Robert's son John.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

It took almost ten years from the time of purchase until the land was actually surveyed.

Life, Family, and Church

Robert and Elinor had five more children: Isaac, Rebecca, Thomas, Alice, and a daughter whose name has not been proven. These children were all born in Pennsylvania. Their son Thomas is my paternal 6th great grandfather.

They lived in a borough known as Rose Valley. It was originally a part of Chester County but today it is in Delaware County. It's name derived from the roses that grew in the area. The history of Rose Valley can be read here. Robert and Elinor were active members of the Church and sometimes hosted the monthly meeting. 

This house was built ca. 1695. Robert was the property owner when the house was built and he was probably the builder.

The house is located at 5 Old Mill Lane. The two-and-half story home was built using unhewn rubble (stone).  The porch and tiled roof were added in later years by Mr. W. L. Price. The house is currently referred to as the 'Bishop White House'. 

There is an awesome map that shows where all the settlers lived. Robert and Elinor are located just above "Nether Province" in between Middleton and Springfield. 

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

Robert died after 1710. A death record can't be found. Elinor died July 24, 1720.

It amazes me that such a wonderful part of my family history has survived for at least 319 years or maybe longer.

Beam me up Cathy - (back to top)

1 comment:

  1. This house is in my family history as well!!