Morgan House and Weyer Barn
1706 – William Penn Jr was granted 14,500 acres, 8913 of
which were in New Garden Township. He went back to England and left it in the
hands of his lawyers to sell. 700 acres went to Mary Rowland in 1708 in the Kennett Square area. Almost 5000 acres were sold to Lt. Gov. John Evans who then sold off
1713 – John Miller bought 1013 acres May 1, 1713. He died
in 1714, leaving land to sons James, William, and Joseph. This William Miller
is further described as the son of John Miller and Mary Agnew, b. April 1698 d
Sept 5, 1768 in NG, m. Ann Emlen 6-15-1732 in Philadelphia. He was born in Ireland in April of 1698 and immigrated in 1709 at the age of 11, so he would have been 16
years old when he inherited the land. This William received 400 acres of this
land, but it is north of our property, along the Toughkenamon hills line, on
the western edge, and apparently extending into New London township. See map
of 1717. His family homestead was here, in Avondale (now Ellicott Road).
[Gayen Miller bought 700 acres of New Garden land 11-29-1712
and had a son named William, but this William married Ruth Rowland in 1724 and
had only three daughters, Mary, Hannah, and Margaret. This Mary Miller married
a James Miller, and this family branch is not relevant to our land search.]
1717 – A map of New Garden’s Quaker lands drawn by John
Taylor indicates that our land was near that of John Evans, a non-Quaker (Ref
1, available on openlibrary.org). Our land appears to be in the “vacant” area.
1734 – On May 31, 1734, deeds were filed for 1000 acres to
John Evans (unrelated to Lt.Gov John Evans) and another 1000 acres to William
Miller, presumably the husband of Ann (deed available and transcribed, but
wife’s name not mentioned). Costs were four hundred pounds each. The
positions are shown in the 1717 map, as annotated in Ref 2. Both parcels had
small portions in Delaware. According to Ellwood Michener (Ref 3), William
Miller, husband of Ann Emlen, wills this land to his son William, husband of
Hannah (see 1768 item below).
[John Evans Jr’s father built Yeatman’s Mill. Evans and his
wife Jane Howell purchased land “up the creek” in 1734. Evans Jr. died in 1738
and a son, Evan, received 400 acres. Sons George and Peter receive the other
600 acres. George moved to North Carolina. Peter had a son Septimus in 1771
whose daughter Sarah Ann (1812-1876) married David B. Nivin (1806-1977) who
established the large Nivin farm on Broad Run Rd, later owned by Septimus E.
Nivin. Again, this does not appear to be our land, but was researched in order
to exclude the possibility.]
1768 – William Miller Sr., son of John Miller and Mary Agnew
Miller, dies, leaving lands, dwellings, and mills in New Garden, London Grove,
and Delaware as well as an inheritance in Philadelphia from his wife Ann Emlen
Miller to his son William Miller, Jr. This included 1000 acres of land near
the center of the township . . . heretofor mentioned as marked vacant and had
acquired the name “wastelands” (ref 3).
1778 – William Miller Jr., dies, leaving his widow Hannah
and two minor children, Rebecca and Mary. Rebecca dies before coming of age.
Hannah dies the same year (1798), after having married Jacob Lindley in 1782.
Rebecca’s share goes to the children of William’s sister Mary and her husband
Joshua Pusey (many children). This portion includes the homestead in Avondale
(Ellicott Rd. house) and the land in that area.
1800 – Mary, daughter of William and Hannah Miller, inherits
1000 acres after the death of her mother Hannah in 1798, marries Thomas
Ellicott in 1806, moves to Baltimore, but returns in 1834/5. She trades some
of her land (750 acres) with her cousins so that she can live in the house she
grew up in on Ellicott Rd. (Ref 3.) Thomas Elliott is a wealthy man, having
been a bank president in Baltimore and one of the originators of the B&O
1809 – November 11 - Cadwallader Evans (unrelated to the
Evans family in London Britain Township) of Philadelphia purchased 371 acres of
William Miller’s Wastelands (Ref 8)(Deed available). Cost was $14,000. The
land was purchased from Thomas and Mary Elliott, Mary being the daughter of
William Miller. The description of the two parcels of 300 acres and 71 acres
indicates the 71 acres contains our land. It is said to adjoin that of William
Pusey on the east and formerly of John Evans to the south. An 1860 map (Ref 4)
shows about where William Pusey’s land was, and an 1883 map (Ref 5) indicates
that it was subsequently owned by Benjamin W.Pusey, grandson of William Pusey
(Ref 6). That map had clearly drawn lines.
[Regarding the 71 acre parcel, the deed says “same tract of
land which John Marshall and Sarah L his wife by indenture of release duly
executed did grant and confirm unto the said Thomas Ellicott his heirs and
assigns forever relation being thereunto had at large appears. And the afore
said described tracts are parts of the aforesaid large tract of land devised to
Mary Miller.” A deed dated December 9, 1806 grants 81 acres of Mary Miller’s
1000 acres to John Marshall and Sarah his wife of West Bradford, Chester County . The deed seems to indicate that the land was sold for only 5 shillings,
but that it was to be divided into four fifteen acre and two ten acre lots
which were to be sold for 1000 pounds and the money was to go to Jacob Lindley
Jr. and Sarah Lindley. So it looks like this was some kind of legal
arrangement to generate cash, and the Marshalls did not live on this land.]
[It has been difficult locating a John Marshall having a
wife named Sarah L. There was a large land and mill owner (1734-1815) in the
Kennett area near this time, but his wife’s name was Susanna L (Lamborn). The
wife of the immigrant John Marshall (d. 1729) was named Sarah, but her maiden
name was Smith. Another John Marshall of 1690-1749 had two wives, Joanna and
Elinor. A third John Marshall, son of John (1713-1750) and Hannah Marshall did
have a wife named Sarah; no children. This is the most likely couple, as they
lived in the West Bradford area. Also, the wife’s maiden name was Miller, so
she may have had a family connection.]
1809 –November 29, 1809 - Notice in Chester & Delaware Federal Nov 29, 1809 P. 4 Col 2: “377 (371 with a blotch) acres of land – Public
Sale – land adjoining Septimus Evans and others, 3 miles below Jacob Lindley’s
mill; 360 acres are heavy timbered, remaining 17 acres are cleared upon which
are erected a small house and barn. Ten lots of woodland containing 10-20
acres will be laid off. The remainder will be divided into two lots of about
100 acres each. White Clay Creek passes through these two lots. A plan can be
seen at Joseph Sharp’s or at the subscriber in Montgomery County. “
1814 – Enoch Chandler, Thomas Peirson, and David Brown were
all present at the signing of several deeds of land being purchased from
Calwalader Evans. They witnessed each others’ signatures. Brown bought 14
acres for $2217.81, Chandler bought 29 acres for $4539.82 and another 202 acres
for $14,544. Presumably, Thomas Pierson also bought 14 acres, but that deed
was not filed. He paid taxes on 14 acres in 1814 and 1815. In 1816, Thomas
Pearson’s name was crossed off in the tax documents and Isaac Pearson’s was put
in its place. In 1816, Isaac was taxed on 14 acres at $18/acre and a log
blacksmith shop for $60.
1816 – Thomas Pearson & Sarah his wife of Mill Creek, DE filed a deed selling 14 acres for $1510 to Isaac Pierson. The deed says
that it is the same land as Cadwalader Evans and wife granted to Thomas Pearson
by deed said to be recorded at West Chester, but was not (see above). The
land was bordered by Enoch Chandler and Thomas Brown’s land. A dwelling was
not mentioned. Isaac Pierson was said to be operating a blacksmith shop there
beginning in 1815 (Ref 7 and also 9). Taxes indicated a log house, smith shop,
a cow, a dog, and the occupation of blacksmith in 1817, and a building, a smith
shop, a cow, a dog, and the occupation of blacksmith in 1818. Between 1819 and
1820, the tax on his buildings jumped from $25 to $100 and between 1822 and
1823, the tax on the buildings jumped from $130 to $450, but the taxes of
neighbors also showed similar increases.
According to a biographical sketch of Isaac M.Pearson
(Toughkenamon Spoke Factory in USGenWEb contributed by John Morris from Ref
11), Isaac M. Pearson/Pierson was the son of Isaac and Eleanor (Mason)
Pearson. Born April 1, 1826 near Chandlerville, he “followed the blacksmith
trade until he was 20”. Isaac the father was born in 1791 in Chester County and was a blacksmith for many years. Isaac the father was the son of Thomas
Pearson (1761-1848) who was married to Sarah Cloud, owned a farm in Delaware, and had 11 children.
1826 – Isaac M. Pierson was born, the youngest of four
children. Isaac and Eleanor Pierson also had three daughters, Sarah, Mary, and
Ruthanna. In addition, 1-2 unrelated teenage boys and perhaps a girl, lived
with the Piersons, possibly as apprentices or servants. Mary married David
Brown, while Ruthanna and probably Sarah as well remained unmarried. In 1850,
Sarah and Ruthanna were still at home, ages listed as 30 and 35. Ruthanna lived
with Mary and David in 1880, as noted in that census. I have not yet located a
date of the marriage between Isaac and Eleanor/Ellenor. Their first child may
have been born in 1815 or it could be 1820, depending on the accuracy of
various census takers. Isaac Jr. married Ann Kimble in 1851, but it is
unclear where they lived until 1862 when Isaac Sr. died and Issac Jr. started
his business in Toughkenamon. He rented the spoke mill in the Landenberg area
until 1862 and then put the “Landenberg” property up for sale and moved.
1839 – Cadwalader Evans sold to Pyle & Martin 112 acres
$9592 (deed available) This relates to the history of the 10 acres described
below under ”1840”. It became part of the 24.25 acres eventually sold to
McMahon. There is no record of buildings on this portion.
1840 - Pyle & Martin sold to Pierson 10 acres for $500,
bordered by Thomas Hayworth, and Edward Sharpless (deed available).
1863 – Isaac M. Pierson, son, and administrator of Isaac
Pierson who died in 1862, sold 24.25 acres with dwelling to James Cloud by
public auction; the deed states that it is the same land as Thomas Pearson
deeded to Isaac Peirson in 1816 and Pyle and Martin deeded to Isaac Peirson in
1840. Paid $2350. (deed available)
1864 – James Cloud to Samuel Strahorn, $2450, 24.25 acres
with dwelling (deed available)
1864 – Mary McMahon arrives in US (according to notes in the
US Census of 1900), presumably along with husband William and some children.
1865 – Charles Robinson deeded to William McMahon a total of
19 acres: 14 acres bordering David Nivens, Charles Robinson, John Chandler,
and Samuel Strahorn plus 4 acres bordering John Chandler and Charles Robinson
and allowing Enoch Chandler a right-of-way, plus one acre bordering Thomas
Jeffers, Isaac Pearson, and Charles Robinson $1650. Robinson, Chandler, and Strahorn are all located on the south west of ours/Morgan’s land according to
the 1860 map (deed available). This acreage is probably not relevant to the
house and barn, and appears to be south of the house.
1866 – Samuel Strahorn to William McMahon, $3000, 24.25
acres with dwelling, now bordered by Halliday Hoopes, James Williams, James
Madron, John Chandler, and others (deed available).
1870 census – McMahon not recorded as living in Chester County, although he probably was. The tax information of that time period was unreadable.
1873 map (Ref 10) shows Wm. McMahon’s name, but no defined
boundary of his land. There was one building on each side of the road above
the stream, plus a blacksmith’s shop on the right side, but below the stream.
The buildings are not specified as to whether they are houses or barns, not
whether they were stone or frame.
1880 census shows Wm. McMahon age 46, wife Mary 45, Anna
Mary 13, Margaret 11, James 9, Katie 7, Wm. 5, Thomas 4, and Agnes 1. According
to Ref 9, Hagerty’s book, the oldest child was Robert (m. Cathleen Connell; Rbt
a railroad foreman). Thomas was a cattle dealer in Landenberg. Perhaps Robert
had already left home by 1880. Joseph was born later according the 1900
census, but that makes 9 children while Hagerty said seven. 1900 census says
Mary had 10 children, five surviving.
1883 map shows McMahon’s land, 26-3-30 (26 acres, 3 cows),
to include our triangle and the church property on Landenberg Rd, backing to
individual plots on Landenberg Rd. and all the way to the west almost to the
train tracks. The map shows a stone house on the west side of the road and two
frame houses on the east side, both apparently above the stream, although it is
not drawn in.
1893 – Mary McMahon donated the land for Francis Xavier
church, (Ref 8, p. 34).
1900 census shows Mary McMahon age 65, with Katie age 25 (b.
Sept 1874), Thomas age 24 (May, 1876), and Joseph age 16 (Oct, 1884). Her
occupation is listed as “farmer”. She owns the home mortgage-free. She
immigrated in 1864. William willed her the property in Will Book No. 20 Page
1915 – Kennedy Crossan’s sawmill established (Ref 8, page
97). Steam engines allowed for sawing that was not run by water-power
(therefore, not on the creek directly).
1918 Mary dies March 28th 1918 intestate. Heirs
James, Robert (Katta M., his wife), Kathryn (single), David (Sarah his wife in
Jenkintown, Montgomery Cty), Thomas (Mary his wife), Joseph F. McMahon
(Bessie his wife; Philadelphia), and Joanna Kelley(single woman of West Grove -
1919, April 29 - Deed Book H-15(?) Vol 355, page 535 – land
conveyed from heirs to Mary McMahon (wife of Thomas) (Will book No. 20, Page
317, as stated in the Deed of 1927)
1927 Mary and Thomas McMahon her husband sell 23.39 acres
with a dwelling to Kennedy Crossan for $1. Mentions that the property crosses
the road. (Deed of 1927, available)
1933 (Nov. 27) – Deed 5014405/06 # 60, B F18P 385/388
000697/698 to Kennedy Crossan from Thomas Baldwin and back again to Crossan on
the same day. $1 each way.
1945 (Jan 22) Deed 5067796 TR3-6 CT 23.01 acres, to C. &
P. Shirey from Ethel & Kennedy Crossan
1973 (May 31) Deed 5400470, Page B:141P:75 Related to
0007834-1973 #60, 4.179 acres, to David & Shirley Annand from C. & P.
1976 (June 16) Deed 5465451, Pg B148P:240 Related
0010150-1976, Charles and Pauline Shirey to Ernest G. Hodder #60 Parcel B CT
11.423 acres; also 0.954 acre C&P Shirey to Janet & Richard Shirey
1976 Our land purchased from Annand. Our tax ID: 6005
01370000 (or 60-5-137)
2004 Morgan 2 acres and house 60-5-191
Between 1818 and 1883, a stone house and accompanying stone
and wood barn were built, as there was still a log house present in 1817. It
may be useful to learn when Isaac Pierson Sr. married Eleanor, as the house could
have been built then. I will also look again through newspaper clippings to
see if there might have been a fire destroying the log house at some point. No
evidence of houses being built by previous owners of the land were found. The
“small house and barn” mentioned by Cadwalader Evans on the 71 acre tract could
have been at some other location within the 71 acres.
(1) Albert Cook Myers, “Immigration of the Irish Quakers
into Pennsylvania, 1682-1750”, Swarthmore, PA, 1902, p.132.
(2) Ezra Webster, chairman, “1715-1915 Two Hundredth
Anniversary of the Establishment of The Friends Meeting at New Garden, Chester
County, Pennsylvania,” self-published 1915.
(3) Elwood Michener, handwritten notes found in the West
Chester Historical Society Library, written in 1840 and published in the
Kennett Advance December 10, 1887, part of a series.
(4) 1860 map, Published by T. J. Kennedy, 1860, from actual
surveys, Entered according to Act of Congress by John E. Gillette in the clerks
office of the District of Columbia for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
(5) Breou’s Official Series of Farm Maps – Chester County, Pub. H. W. Kirk, 1883.
(6) Descendants of Joshua Pusey (1738-1804) and Mary Miller
(1741-1776) from http://gunboatempires.com/genealogy/Puseys04c1.htm
(7) Newspaper clipping, Avondale and Landenberg Express,
July 28, 1894.
(8) Keith Craig, “Images of America New Garden Township”, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC, 2010”
(9) Ann Hagerty, “Once Upon a Time in New Garden Township”,1977
(10) “Atlas of Chester County, PA”, surveyed by H. F.
Bridges and A. R. Witmer, Safe Harbor, Lancaster County, Printed by Jas.
McGuigan, Philadelphia, 1873.
11) “Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chester County, Pennsylvania” Samuel T. Wiley, ed. Winfield Scott Garner, Gresham Pub. Co., Philadelphia, PA 1893, pp 664-5.
1816 Thomas Pearson 14 acres $1510 1840
Pyle & Martin 10 acres $500
Cloud, 24.25 acres with dwelling
Strahorn, 24.25 acres with dwelling
McMahon, 24.25 acres with dwelling
Also: 1865 Robinson to McMahon, 3
lots totaling 19 acres land only
Then: 1927 Mary and Thomas McMahon
to Crossan 23.39 acres with dwelling, $1
Crossan-Baldwin-Crossan $1, probably clearing the title
1945 Crossan to Shirey,
1973 4.2 acres to Annand
– includes stone/wood barn
1976 11.4 acres to
Hodder- includes stone house
1976 4.2 acres to Weyer
– includes stone/wood barn