John Jones of East Bradford first appeared in Chester County records in 1738, when he was listed as a landholder.1 His origins are not known, even whether he was born in Pennsylvania or emigrated.2 Around 1732 John married Sarah Taylor, the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Taylor, who were members of Concord Monthly Meeting. John too was a Quaker. When he went before a justice in 1744 to attest to the will of his brother-in-law Richard Taylor, John affirmed rather than swearing.3
Sarah was born in Kennett Township, near the Forks of the Brandywine, in 1711. If John was a few years older, then he would have been born about 1708. He died in 1772, when he would have been in his 60s.4
In 1744 Sarah’s father Joseph Taylor died and left her a tract of land in East Bradford containing 26 acres. Sarah’s husband John and their sons built a mill there on the Brandywine River, later known as Sager’s Mill.5 There were two mills, a sawmill and corn mill, still owned in common in 1773, when one of the sons, Edward, sold his share.6
“By 1740 Joseph Taylor was a large land owner in the Brandywine Valley near Lenape. In 1744 he deeded twenty-six acres of land located on the east side of the Brandywine to his daughter, Mrs. Jones, whose husband and sons soon built a dam and erected a grist and saw mill… The mill property was purchased by Joel Baily in 1775 and sold two years later to Benjamin Powell for one thousand pounds. Among owners in subsequent years was Isaac Dixon who, in 1817, was running the grist and saw mills and built a four story cotton factory. This was known as Adelphi Cotton Works and produced cotton yarn and muslin… The property was purchased in 1855 by John P. Sager, a mill from Delaware County.”7
John was taxed in East Bradford for the saw mill and grist mill on this tract through 1770. In addition to the mill John probably farmed on the remainder of the land. They kept a horse or two and three cows, to provide milk for the family.8
John and Sarah were probably members of Bradford Meeting. In 1741 when her brother Samuel married Deborah Darlington at Bradford Meeting, Sarah and John both signed, along with some of Sarah’s siblings and relatives.
John did not leave a will. When he died in March 1772 in East Bradford, letters of administration were granted to Sarah his widow. She died three years later, living in East Bradford. Her will was written in January 1775 and proved in June 1775. In it she named sons Edward, John and Benjamin, daughters Hannah, “wife of Thomas Temple” (sic), Lydia, wife of James Jefferis, Elizabeth Harlan, Cordelia Webb, and Ann Chandler.9
William, b. 1732, d. 1766, probably unmarried.11 William died in East Bradford, with administration granted to John Jones. The inventory of his estate, taken December 1766, showed no furniture, a few tools, gear for one horse, and his share in the sawmill and gristmill. He was probably living with his parents.12
Edward, b. 1733, married Ann, a miller in East Bradford in 1771.13 In 1773 Edward and Ann sold a one-sixth share of the water mill to Benjamin Taylor of Pennsbury (Edward’s uncle). They may have left East Bradford after that.
John, b. 1735, named in the wills of his parents, no further information.
Benjamin, b. 1740, d. 1821, m. ab. 1765 1) Alice Temple, b. 1743, dau. of William and Hannah (Taylor), m. 2) Hannah Kirk, b. 1747, dau. of Adam & Phebe. They moved to Honeybrook Township by 1799. Alice Temple Jones died before November 1772, and most (or all) of Benjamin’s children were with his second wife Hannah Kirk. Children of Benjamin: Alice, Phebe, Cordelia, Hannah, John, Benjamin, Sarah, Samuel, Mary. They were all named in Benjamin’s will except for John, who died before 1819.
Elizabeth, b. 1745, d. 1811, m. 1766 Phineas Harlan at Birmingham Meeting, son of John and Sarah. Phineas died in 1795 in St. Georges Hundred, New Castle County. Children of Phineas and Elizabeth: Sarah, Cordelia, Elizabeth.
Cordelia, b. 1749, d. 1785, m. 1773 Ezekiel Webb, at Birmingham Meeting, son of William and Elizabeth. After Cordelia died, Ezekiel in 1787 married Elizabeth Hollingsworth and had seven children with her16. He owned a farm and kept the Anvil Tavern in Kennett. Children of Cordelia and Ezekiel: Elizabeth, Rebecca, Sarah, Hannah, Thomas, John, Ezekiel.17
Ann, b. 1754, m. 1773 John Chandler at Christ Church, Philadelphia. They were probably in East Marlborough in 1783 when he bought land in East Bradford. According to some sources they moved to Kentucky.18
- Tax lists, Chester County Archive. ↩
- Some Ancestry trees give his parents as Cadwalader Jones and Eleanor Evans. They did have a son John born in 1711, but he is not named in Cadwalader’s will and probably died young. Cadwalader Jones died in Uwchlan in 1758. Another source suggests that John’s parents were named Edward and Cordelia. John named two of his children Edward and Cordelia (an unusual name for the time), but this is not conclusive. ↩
- Probate of Richard Taylor, 1744, Probate records of Chester County on FamilySearch. ↩
- The Gofton-Jones tree on Ancestry has a birthdate of 1710 for John, with no evidence. ↩
- J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County, 1881. Also a 1773 indenture from Edward and Ann Jones, in the Gilbert Cope notebooks, Jo-Jy, at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. ↩
- Chester County deeds, in the Cope notebooks. ↩
- Arthur E. James, A History of East Bradford Township, 1971, pp. 10-11. ↩
- Tax lists of East Bradford, 1765 through 1770, Chester County Archive. ↩
- Hannah married Benjamin Temple, not Thomas. Her marriage to Benjamin is well-documented. The “Thomas Temple” in Sarah’s will is from the courthouse copybook. Perhaps the clerk made an error when he copied the original. Clerks sometimes made mistakes. ↩
- These birthdates are from the Ancestry tree of Benjamin Gofton, where they are given exactly. ( I have not included the full dates here.) He also includes a daughter Sarah born in 1748, and two daughters named Mary. These girls probably died young. I have not seen Bible or Quaker birth records for the family. ↩
- He should not be confused with other men named William Jones, one in Goshen, one in West Town, one in London Grove (a spinning wheel maker), and a tavernkeeper in Birmingham. (Chester County tax lists) ↩
- Chester County Probate Records on FamilySearch, estate number 2330. ↩
- In the Chester County tax list of 1765, Edward Jones was listed as an inmate (married but landless). His brother William was listed as a single man. (Chester County Archive) ↩
- Her death was noted in Kennett Meeting Records, in a listing of graves, but the date was given only as “1810 or 12 about”. (Kennett Preparative Meeting, Minutes 1910, image 71 on Ancestry, US Quaker Meeting Records) ↩
- Ancestry World Tree for James Jefferis ↩
- Ancestry World Tree for Ezekiel Webb ↩
- Births and burials, Kennett Meeting 1706-1806, on Ancestry. The family Bible, kept by Cordelia, was handed down to Thomas, the oldest son. (Chester County Historical Society) ↩
- Ancestry trees, no source given. ↩