Thomas Paschall, B, Biography

Thomas, B, Paschall Biography

by Clarence McDaniel June 9, 2013

It has been said that Thomas Paschall was the first of his name in Pennsylvania; that is a pretty concept but may not be true. It may be said that Thomas was the first of his line in America. Thomas was a tradesman from the city of Bristol. His lineage is traceable in England to about 1541. Thomas was born in Bristol, England, on 3, 8th month, 1634. He was baptized in the Anglican Church of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, on 29 December, 1634. He married Joanna Sloper there about 1664. In 1682 Thomas purchased of William Penn 500 acres of land in Pennsylvania. Most authorities agree that Thomas embarked for America in that year in the ship, “Society”. Thomas and wife were not Quakers.

Thomas arrived in Philadelphia, settled down a bit, and soon wrote back to his former home. His singular letter, dated February, 1683, to J.J. of Chippingham, England, told an account of the conditions of Philadelphia from a tradesman’s viewpoint. The letter was copied, translated into French, Dutch and German and found its way before the eyes of those Europeans that were thinking of migration. The letter related how, that first winter, Thomas had ordered suitable quarters for his servants to be built on his 500 acres(see survey plat, B22 p81) and said that he had obtained adequate housing for himself and family. This shows us that Thomas was far from poor, and he was in a relatively built-up area. He warns would be immigrants to bring their wants for six months with them and he gave the prices of the local vendors and stated that the price was not, “too dear”.

The land that Thomas had bought from William Penn was located in the country, was west of the Schuylkill River and bounded on the west by Cobb’s Creek, the dividing line between Philadelphia and Delaware counties. This land was set off in the famous Holmes map of 1685. The land designated to Thomas in that map was bounded by natural and artificial means. The natural boundaries were: Swedes Mill Creek(Cobb’s Cr) and a branch flowing south into the creek sometimes called, “Ameaseka run”. There seems to have been a strip of land going east to the Schuykill river where the house was located. The original boundaries were:

Note: PA archives has online survey plats; the relevant ones are B22 p68; D81 p188; B22 p183; D81 p246, et al; Hit button: Copied Survey Books

A line beginning north of the junction of the branch and the creek which ran north. At a certain distance north, a second line bearing ENE was struck. The second line ran to its intersection with the northern extreme of the branch. The property circuit was completed by going down(south) the branch(adjoining Wm Smiths line)to a corner then E, then SE, then W to the branch then along branch to Swedes Mill Cr, up Cr to the beginning.

The original land thus inscribed does not approach the Schuylkill River at any of its boundaries. This second line is probably where some prior investigators have gone astray as the line coninues on to strike a branch which feeds into the Schuylkill. This land is clearly shown to belong to Neels and Morris Johnson and further south to Lawrance Hedding and Peter Yocomb (B22 p68 – has a house labeled, “Thos Pascall”.) Thomas devised 200 acres of his land to his son, Thomas. Thomas, B2, then built a fence between his father’s land and his which encroached on his father’s land. In his will, Thomas,B, required that his son remove the fence so that he could devise a full 300 acres to be sold for his grandchildren’s benefit. Survey D81 p246 shows this 200a; the line labeled S 66 deg E, 280 is the dividing line. Peter Yocums line is shown as E 228 which matches with Peters survey, B22 p68. These plats are not oriented with N to the page top.

The son, Thomas, B2, in his will devised the parcel of land upon which he resided to his son, Stephen,B2a. The description of which reads:

In Blockley township; beginning at Swedes Mill Creek, N by the old bounds, 148 perches to a corner (D81 p188), then S 63 deg E 250(280?) perches to a small run(branch), which divides my land from that of Neal Jones, then down the run to its mouth (junction) running into Swedes Mill Creek, up the creek to the beginning, containing 200 acres. This is a simple description.

Reference to a 1712 map of Philadelphia County shows that Baltimore Ave was the east-west dividing line between Blockley and Kingsessing townships. The land west of the branch was in Blockley to its junction with Cobb’s Creek. Thus all the 500 acre grant was located in Blockley township. An 1890 map shows this area developed into Angora Station and the PA railroad.

The above quite lengthy description was due to the many “tales” of where the original land was located that the author has occasioned to find. It could be better defined by the even more lengthy task of deed tracing, but I feel the above is sufficient to acquaint the reader with the misconceptions he will encounter.

The executors of the will of Thomas, B, sold 100a of the 300a in 1719. The deed is located in Book H1 p685. This deed describes the original 500a and gives many additional references and descriptions. This deed was recorded in 1751 no less!

When Thomas arrived in America, Philadelphia was a “planned” city, the dream of William Penn. It was at first mostly a dream and not a reality. The purchase of 500 acres had entitled Thomas to a city lot (B22 p183)and he set up his shop and became one of the legions of Philadelphia merchants. Thomas was a “pewterer” which means he fabricated household utensils of metal, usually tin and cast lead-tin alloys. His lot with shop and house was situated near the small central “market” which ran along the center of today’s Market St. from the dock area to 2nd St.

There is found in Deed Book E1 p231 the deed of Anna Lee/Thomas. She was the widow of Charles Lee as shown by this and other deeds in the same book. Her husband must have died in 1685 as indicated by another of her deeds where she completes a contract made by him. There seems to be another Anna Lee making a deed to Thomas who is the daughter of Charles Lee.

Thomas made his will in 1716 and it was probated in 1718. He made his surviving son, Thomas, his chief heir but ordered 300 acres of his grant sold and divided among his 21 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. An earlier attempt (ref: W H Jinks) to ascertain the names of these children came up with 17.

Here is a my later rendition, those living 1716:

1. by daughter, Mary (m,Wm Say) Joanna Say 2. Mary Say 3. Paschal Say 4. Elizabeth Say 5. Thomas Say (famous) 6. by son,William William 7. by son,Thomas Thomas 8. Joanna 9. William 10. Joseph 11. Elizabeth 12. John 13. Benjamin 14. Samuel 15. Stephen 16. by daughter, Elizabeth John Flower 17. Thomas Flower 18. Seth Flower 19. Henry Flower,Jr 20. Enoch Flower 21. Joanna Flower

Daughter, Mary and her 2nd husband, Benjamin, A246, had no children. William Say, Jr, was the son of Wm Say’s first wife. Henry and Elizabeth had seven children. The order given above may not be correct by birth. Daughter Elizabeth died before her father and Henry Flower remarried.

Thomas, B2,the son of Thomas and Joanna was a member of the Friends and it is with the well kept birth, death and quaint marriage and removal records of this group that we owe quite a bit of the knowledge of his family. The Quakers required strict attendance to their marriage requirements. These marriage ceremonies were attended by the entire meeting which then signed, as witnesses, the marriage certificate, some of these containing fifty or more signatures. When a member left the local area of one congregation for that of another he obtained a certificate of removal which was again normally signed by the group. The certificate was surrendered to the receiving meeting which kept it on file. Many thousands of these certificates are among the surviving records. We note here, while on the subject of these records, that Joanna, the wife of Thomas,B, was buried with the notation, “burials of such as are not Friends”. This notation indicates that Joanna and presumably, Thomas, were not members of the Friends but were buried by them anyway. This true also for son, William, B1, and his son, Wm, B11.

The surviving two sons and daughters married and raised families. From the records we can see the numerous births and early deaths of a large number of their children. Life was no picnic in early Philadelphia; it was chancy at best. Benjamin Franklin suggested the center of streets should be depressed to keep the sewage in the center rather than the edges!

The two sons of Thomas, B, William and Thomas, had different aspirations in life. William became one of Philadelphia’s first silversmiths while Thomas took up the life of the gentleman country farmer in Blockley township. William very likely had his shop with his father using the same forges and tools, whereas Thomas started with 200 acres of his father’s land. He was designated, “Maltster of Blockley” in records.

The following is a short description of the descendants of Thomas and Joanna:

William, B1

From a tax list of 1684 we find William was born about 1666. William had by 1693 married Susannah Budd, the daughter of Thomas (not John) Budd. See her deed (F1 p261) to her son, William, B11(names her father, also).

William and Susannah had a son after which William, B1, soon died (1696) leaving a will. In his will, William, silversmith, left a legacy of L150 to his son, William. The money was to remain in the custody of Susannah. She then obtained from her father a building and lot known as the 4th building in “Budds Row” on Front St. This was an investment for her son William during his minority. In 1718 when William reached his majority Susannah (now Susannah Cropp) transferred this property to her son, sole heir of his father. An unfortunate misreading (in print) has caused some confusion but the above story is abundantly supported by her deed records.

William, B11

William, B11, has sometimes been regarded as “William of the Land Grants” of North Carolina. This unfortunate idea was begun in 1937 by the Rev. Jacob C Paschal, when he received a list of Paschal’s born in Philadelphia. He later realized his mistake but it forever plagues us now. It it is positive now that William, B11, died in Philadelphia on September 28, 1751(probate). William did not follow his father’s trade but instead became a “sadler” or maker of saddles. It was a very common thing in these early days to append a persons trade to their name, as a further means of identification. William like his father and grandfather, had a shop on High St. between Front and 2nd streets. His next door neighbor in 1741 was George Miffin.

In 1717, William married Sarah England and they had about 12 children. The Friends death records list their deaths and those of a number of their children. These early records did not show the age at death but when the person was a child the parents first names were also listed. No parents names were included for the death of an adult. Since these are usually burial dates they do not always exactly correspond to other records. William, Sarah, and their listed children were buried in the Friends graveyard in Philadelphia. As a curious thing, some of these children were baptized at Christ Church where the records show William and Sarah as parents. Also William’s name is found on a brass plaque on the door as vestryman from 1726-1745.

The Friends Society informs me he could not have been a member of both groups but that they did bury non-members. His wife’s family (Thomas England) were members.

William, sadler (sic), was well known and several records are found with his occupation attached. Notable is the 1731 will of his aunt, Mary, B5. She named four of William’s daughters. William signed her will as a witness. He also signed the will of the silversmith, Cesar Ghiselin, in 1729. The published record has confused him with his father in a self-evident error. In 1733 we find William a member of the first Masonic Lodge installed in America. William and Sarah sold some property to the estate of his deceased cousin, Joseph, B24, in 1742. This identifies and shows they were living at this time.

The administration of William, sadler (sic), was granted on December 2, 1751, to John Knight, his son-in-law, Sarah, the widow, having declined. Sarah died in 1768 at 68 years of age. There was no will but some of the surviving children may be found in various records. It is unknown at this time whether or not a son had children but this is very doubtful. The male line of William, B11, is believed to be extinct. The children B111-B115 died young.

Hannah, B116

Hannah was born after 1725 and before 1732. She married John Stow on April 6, 1751, at Christ Church in Philadelphia, PA. This was not a Quaker approved marriage so she was dismissed from the Quaker association. John Stow died about 1754 and Hannah was administrator of the estate. She lived until 1793 and had rejoined the Quaker Society as evidenced by the Quaker records. No children are known.

Sarah, B118

Sarah was born January 1, 1732. She obtained a Quaker certificate of removal with her sister, Rebecca, in 1778 to relocate in Burlington, NJ. She married George Wells, April 3, 1787, in Burlington. This was not a Quaker marriage. She was also named in her cousin’s will (Thomas, B211) in 1787. A Quaker record shows her dismissal for marriage outside the society.

Rebecca, B119

Rebecca was born after 1732 (not named by Mary, B5 in will) and obtained a Quaker certificate of removal with her sister to Burlington, NJ. She married a Mr. Powell outside of the Quaker society about 1780 as evidenced by a Quaker record expelling her from the association. The record states she had married her late niece’s husband.

William, B11b

William seems to have died 1766, in Philadelphia. He signed a deed of Samuel Miffin in 1763. No other records have been found.

End of B1 line

Thomas, B2

Thomas was born in Bristol, England, in the year 1667. He is regarded as a country gentleman, appearing on tax lists of Chester County from 1715 to 1727. He seems to have been in the real estate business, was styled, “maltster” and in his will of 1743 stated he was “of Blockley”. Blockley is a township in west Philadelphia county. Darby township was to the south, across Cobb’s Creek, in Chester county.

Thomas married Margaret Jenkins in Haverford township of Chester County. They lived on his property in Blockley, but he also owned land in Chester County. He seems to have preferred the nearer Darby Meeting and the records of that meeting record the vital statistics of the family. Thus the “removal” records show a change of membership from Darby to Goshen, etc, for his sons upon their marriages.

As the sons reached maturity, Thomas gave the two oldest, Thomas and William, land in Goshen and Whiteland districts, whence they removed and married in the Friends way, 1716 and 1720. These two oldest sons both died before their father, leaving issue. William had married twice before he died in 1732. The surviving widows then remarried, one having been a widow before she became the second wife of William. Most of the Friends removal and marriage certificates or copies of them are still existent. Some birth records of their children can also be found.

In his will of 1741, Thomas, named his two deceased sons, Thomas and William, and indicated that they had sons. The wording is a bit confusing and prior investigators have assumed that Thomas had one son, Thomas, and that William had one son, William. This may be so but it is not an exact requirement. Thomas gave his other heirs tokens but left his estate and land to his son, Stephen, B2a. This likely means the others had previously obtained their share of the estate.

Even though Thomas had his will in Philadelphia county he seems to have been buried in the Friends graveyard in Chester County. Thomas had married, as his second wife, Mrs. Abigail Golding in 1729. She signed with Thomas on marriage certificates and is listed in the death records of Darby Meeting, she dying before Thomas. Further evidence of the children of Thomas is found in the will of William Jenkins, the maternal grandfather.

The descendants of the children of Thomas and Margaret lived in Philadelphia and the surrounding countryside and a small number later fanned out generally towards the west moving to Ohio and then on through Indiana to Missouri and Iowa. Not one case has yet been identified of this line moving into the southern part of the United States.

The lines of John, B27, Benjamin, B28, and Stephen, B2a, are the best known and developed. The male lines of Thomas, B21, William, B23, Joseph, B24, Benjamin, B26, Samuel, B29, and Jonathan, B2b, are believed extinct.

Thomas, B2, died April 7, 1743. Some information for each child of Thomas and Margaret follows:

Thomas, B21

Thomas, B21, and his brother William, B23, were members of the Quakers and were given certificates of “removal” and “marriage examinations”. These records show they moved to Goshen and Whiteland districts of Chester County, PA. The tax lists of Chester County show their presence. The Chester Quaker marriage records indicate their marriages in 1716 and 1720 respectively. Thomas had four children, a son and three daughters. The son, Thomas, B211, had children but his will, probated 1796, fails to mention any surviving children or grandchildren. He was very rich.

Joanna, B22

Joanna married John Marshall and she died about 1731.

William, B23

William had a daughter by his first wife and five daughters and a son by his second wife. The son married but no descendants have been determined as yet.

Joseph, B24

Joseph married Elizabeth Coates and they had nine children, most of whom died young or without issue. A son, Isaac, married but had only two daughters. Cedar Grove mansion was built by descendants.

Elizabeth, B25

Elizabeth married Jacob Jones about 1730.

Benjamin, B26

Benjamin died at the age of four and another son was subsequently named Benjamin.

John, B27

John married and had nine children. His son, Henry is the best known of this line today.

Benjamin, B28

Benjamin was the second of the name. He has been confused in the past. One genealogy lists him as having married Elizabeth Horne in 1758 and another believes he married Margaret Price about 1734. The latter is now known correct due to the supporting evidence that has been found. Benjamin was a cutler (maker of knives) and had a shop in the city on 2nd St. Margaret was a member of the Haverford Meeting but Benjamin was not so she was dismissed from that group. Benjamin died in 1745 and Margaret applied for readmission, which was granted, as shown by a letter of removal, dated 1750. Margaret then married William Montgomery within the society in 1750. Benjamin and Margaret had 3 sons, John, Joseph and Benjamin. The evidence shows that Benjamin died a minor, without issue. At least one of the older sons is thought to have married and is the apparent father for some of the prior unknown lines that lived in NJ and northern VA. Benjamin may have been the father of Benjamin, T21, but only circumstantial evidence has been found to support the idea. See Bible extracts below, B28-T21.

Samuel, B29

Samuel died at the age of 17 without issue.

Stephen, B2a

Stephen married and had eight children, his namesake evidently carried the line down. However the son, Stephen, B2a8, died before the father just prior to the 1790 census. This family had an occupation described as “ironmonger” or “cutler” and had a shop at High and 31st streets, but lived at 19 N 5th St. Stephen is credited with being one of the first Americans to manufacture steel(illegally) in this country.

Jonathan, B2b

Jonathan married the widow, Mary (Hodge) Fisher, but did not leave issue. He did not name any children in his will. He had the rank of Colonel in the PA Militia during the Revolutionary War. His farm was the scene of a confused tale of the Revolutionary War. His heirs had an issue that went to the US Supreme court.

End of B2 line

The other children of Thomas and Joanna Sloper were:

Elizabeth, B3

Elizabeth was born May 28, 1671, in Bristol. She married Henry Flower in 1689 and they had seven children. She died the 19th of July, 1706, per the Say Bible (as Elizabeth Flower).

Joseph, B4

Joseph was born 1672 in Bristol and died young without issue.

Mary, B5

Mary was born July 27, 1674, in Bristol and married William Say in Philadelphia and had issue. Her Bible (Say) has been published and has many interesting entries of several generations. Mary next married, c1716, her cousin, Benjamin Paschall, A246. Mary died 1734 in Philadelphia. In her will she named four of William, B11’s (identifying him with his occupation as “sadler”) daughters. William signed Mary’s will as a witness. Mary and Benjamin lived, at their deaths, around 2nd and 3rd streets. They were buried in the, “3rd St burial ground” which later became the Say cemetery.

Joseph, B6

Joseph,the second of the name, was born November 16, 1676, and is thought to have died August 9, 1679.

Frances, B7

Frances, was born March 18, 1678 and if female died August 9, 1680.

End of B-line

Today the B-line has descendants from the B27, B2a and T21 lines. Only the T21 line is numerous.


There was a concerted effort to collect data and information concerning the early families of the Philadelphia area in the late 1800’s. Several of these men gathered up considerable Paschall information and recorded it in their notebooks. Some of these notebooks have found their way into the collections of the Chester County Historical Society of PA. These records were also microfilmed by the LDS library. The author has been able to access three of these original manuscripts. These three were:

John J. Parker, notes of c1885

Gilbert Cope, notes of c1894

Dr. George Smith, notes copied by Painter in 1863

These men had access to the collection of Phillip P. Sharples of West Chester, PA, who had possession of the Bible and papers of Thomas, B2. The Morris family had also inherited through the children of Thomas, B2, some of the original papers. Several biographical works have been published that used these notes and documents with various copying errors. The author has attempted, where possible to bypass these published works and to find as many original references as possible. For this reason the individual source lines will often not reference a published work but will refer to the manuscripts. The published books will be found listed among the reference sources. The author has not been able to access an earlier collection than those named.

Click here for the latest source database: Here


  1. The John Lea Family History, by John Lea, 1906 (English records); error
  2. Bible of Thomas Paschall, 154x, in possession of Morris family, 1925
  3. Lloyd Manuscripts, by Howard W Lloyd , 1912: Gen. Merrill notes(errors)
  4. Gene. of the Morris Family, by Robert Moon, 1898 PA Mag. of Hist. and Bio., Hist Society of PA, 1877+
  5. Genealogies of PA Families, PA Gene. Magazine, reprint, 1982
  6. Colonial and Rev. Families of PA, by John W Jordan, 1911
  7. History of Delaware Co, PA, by John W Jordan, 1914
  8. Some Colonial Mansions, by Thomas Glenn, Vol 1, 1899
  9. The American Genealogist, Vol 39, p79
  10. Sharpless Family Genealogy, by Gilbert Cope, 1887
  11. Smedley Family Genealogy, by Gilbert Cope, 1901
  12. Darlington Family Genealogy, by Gilbert Cope, 1900
  13. Chester Monthly Meetings, Marriages, by Gilbert Cope, 1873
  14. History of Chester and Delaware counties, PA, by Gilbert Cope, 1904
  15. PA Vital Records, Vol II,1983, Indexed by Elizabeth P Bentley
  16. Ency. of American Quaker Genealogy, by William Hinshaw, 1938
  17. Compendium of American Genealogy, by Frederick Virkus, 1925; not to good
  18. PA Chronicle by Kenneth Scott, Nat. Gene Society, Publ. #37, 1971
  19. Official Army Register, Sec of War, Part III, 1865
  20. Passengers/Ships Prior to 1684, Welcome Society of PA, 1985
  21. Welcome Claiments by George McCracken, Welcome Society, reprint, 1970
  22. Welsh Settlement of PA by C Browning, 1912
  23. American Prisoners of the Rev., by D Dandridge, reprint, 1967
  24. PA in the War of the Rev., by William Egle, 1896 PA
  25. PA Archives, by Mathew Quay, Second Series, 1878
  26. Merion in the Welsh Tract by Thomas A Glenn, reprint, 1970
  27. Colonial Records of PA Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
  28. Quaker records Bristol Quaker records by Gilbert Cope, LDS Library films