Monday, March 15, 2021

Stephen Harlan (1740-1830), Farmer, Millwright, Wagon-Maker, Friend

 

1751 Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson Map
A map of the most inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole province of Maryland with part of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. Drawn by Joshua Fry & Peter Jefferson in 1751, published by Thos. Jefferys, London, 1755. 
Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Click to Make Bigger


Stephen Harlan is my sixth great-grandfather. He is the son of William Harlan (1702-1783) and Margaret Farlow (1703-1767) – I wrote about them HERE. This is another post where I’m locking my perfectionism in the closet and proceeding anyway, in defiance of pandemic brain exhaustion. (I don’t have much documentation on him and I couldn’t verify as much of the family history as I’d prefer, but I learned a lot of history I never knew before in researching him and there's a wonderful love story towards the end of the post). The “History and Genealogy of the Harland Family in America”, compiled by Alpheus Harlan describes Stephen as a farmer, millwright, wagon-maker, Friend. He is also a pioneer. In my last post, I stated that in my research of the Harlan line, I have found that the older sons tended to stay close to home their whole lives and the younger ones tend to be the pioneers leaving and pushing further into the new country. Stephen’s father, William, was the first-born son and lived his whole life in the county in which he was born. On the other hand, Stephen was their seventh child and fourth son, and he moved his family to the western frontier counties of North Carolina (now mid-North Carolina), about 440 miles from his parents’ home.

 

 Stephen's parents, William and Margaret, had nine children: Mary Harlan (bn 1722- dd ?, married William Moore 1742), William Harlan (bn 1724- dd 1819, married Abigail Hollingsworth 1743), Jonathan Harlan (bn 1726- dd 1774, married Elizabeth Webb 1749), Alice Harlan (bn 1730- dd 1797, married Richard Flower 1754), Sarah Harlan (bn 1732- dd 1775, married Robert McMinn 1749), Stephen Harlan (bn 1740- dd 1830, married Mary Carter abt 1761), George Harlan (bn 1743- dd 1821, married Elizabeth Chandler 1768), and Enoch Harlan (bn 1745- dd 1794, married Edith Carter 1769).  Stephen was born on 12 May 1740 (3, 12, 1740)* in West Marlborough, Chester County, the British colony of Pennsylvania.

 

I have no information about his childhood and growing up years. As I noted the post about his father, I could find no records on the family between his parents’ marriage and his mother’s death. All of the secondary sources and genealogy website posts about Stephen Harlan that I have found have referred to him as a Quaker (Friend), but actual Quaker records (or at least the ones I can access from home sitting on my couch) are very sparse concerning Stephen. He probably was Quaker since his parents were and some of the later Quaker meeting records of his children in North Carolina indicate that they were birthright Quakers.

 

It is perhaps ironic that the one Quaker record I found regarding Stephen is a meeting record for the New Garden Meeting in Pennsylvania: “given forth at our mo. Meeting of Newgarden held the 28 day of the 4th mo 1759 -- Whereas Stephen Harlan son of William Harlan have had his education amongst us, but he not regarding the Principles Councils nor Precautions, but being Strong in his own self will, Placed his Affection on a woman not of Our Society & was Marryed by a Priest for which disorderly and Stubborn practice we disown him to be of our Society until by Repentance he comes to see the Evil of his ways, which is our desire he may. Signed in & on behalf of the Meeting by Isaac Jackson.”

Stephen Harlan Disowned 28 April 1759

New Garden Monthly Meeting 30 Jun 1759, Stephen Harlan, Disowned
Quaker Meeting Records, Ancestry.com


All the secondary sources I have found agree that he was disowned by the Society for marrying his wife, Mary Carter, daughter of Nathaniel and Ann (McPherson) Carter, farmers, in the Immanuel (Episcopal) Church in Newcastle in the Delaware colony, but they all have the marriage occurring on 2 December 1761 – over two years later. I haven’t found a disowning record for him in 1761 or 1762. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist, but I didn’t find it (yet). If Stephen and Mary married in 1759, they were both 18; if they married in 1761, they were both 21.

 

He would not necessarily have remained disowned. Members could be disowned for a variety of reasons (marrying outside of the society, getting drunk, dancing, not dressing plain, fighting, playing cards, joining the army during a war, etc.) and could be readmitted to the Society of Friends if they submitted a written petition to the Meeting acknowledging and repenting of their wrongdoing/willfulness and then the Meeting would decide whether to readmit them to the Society.

 

In going outside the meeting to marry, Stephen followed in the footsteps of his new father-in-law, Nathaniel Carter, who was a birthright member of the Society of Friends, but married Ann McPherson in an Episcopal ceremony at Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church in Wilmington, Delaware. So, his new in-laws were likely not quite as shocked as his own parents would have been.

 

A Quaker marriage took months (see this post for a description of the marriage process). Some couples did not want to wait that long and would go “outside of the Meeting” to be married by another religion’s church leader or by a judge. Often a couple who had married outside of the Society would seek readmission just prior to requesting a certificate of transfer in order to move to a new meeting. If this occurred years after their marriage any children born prior to their readmission would not have their births recorded in the monthly meeting records. I have been unable to find contemporaneous birth records on any of Stephen and Mary’s children in the Quaker records (several of them do have their birthdates recited in later Quaker records when they married or died). I don’t know whether that is because Stephen and Mary never were readmitted or because the area the family later moved to was a frontier area with a Meeting that was subsequently “laid down” (closed) in 1772, and the records for that Meeting have been lost.

 

Stephen and Mary had at least nine children: Elizabeth (bn 1762, dd 27 Feb 1845, m. Eleazar Kersey 1784), Alice Ellen (bn 22 July 1764, dd 17 June 1835, m. Moses Robbins 1786), Margaret (7 Dec 1766, dd 30 Nov 1825, m Obed Barnard 1810), Stephen (bn 25 Jan 1773, dd 6 July 1859, m. Alice Smith 1795), Edith (bn 6 Sept, dd 27 March 1847, m. William Hill), Enoch (bn 17 March 1776, dd 9 June 1863, m. Abigail Jones 1805), Mary (bn 12 Sept 1779, dd 22 May 1841, m. William Morrison 1802), and Ruth (bn ?, dd ?, m. George Criscow 1814), Ann (bn ?, dd 1866).

 

By the time Stephen and Mary married, the eastern portion of Pennsylvania was becoming quite crowded and it was difficult for a younger person to find land to farm. The proprietors of the colony discouraged expansion West into the mountains because of treaties with the indigenous tribes so expansion had been deflected southward into the valleys of Maryland and Virginia, and into the Piedmont region of the Carolinas. Within a few years after their marriage, Stephen and Mary and their first two children joined what has been described as “the first large overland migration of families in American history”, to the South. The “History and Genealogy of the Harland Family in America…” states that they may have moved south to Cumberland County NC with Mary’s family and I’ve seen other blogs writing that they joined Mary’s family who were already in Cumberland County, NC.  At that time Cumberland Country was part of the North Carolina backcountry – now, it is towards the eastern edge of the middle of the state.

 

The trip from Southeast Pennsylvania to the North Carolina backcountry was over 400 miles long. The migrating families largely followed one of two routes South. But before leaving they had to plan their journey and pack their belongings, paring down what they owned, so that it all fit in a Conestoga wagon, and selling or giving away the rest. The Harlans likely had the advantage of knowing quite a bit about the destination from correspondence with Quakers who had moved to the area before them. Also, in many cases, fathers made a preliminary trip to the backcountry to see what prospects there were and what the trip would be like before taking the family there, and it is possible that Stephen made that trip on behalf of his family. It would help explain the extended gap between children after the oldest two were born.

 

Conestoga Painting (1883) by Newbold Hough Trotter
in the public domain

    




Most families did not have a wagon before the trip and had to buy one, and the wagon of choice for the trip, the Conestoga wagon, was developed in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. It is possible that since Stephen Harlan has been described as a wagon maker, he may have built one or more for the family for the trip. It was the primary overland cargo vehicle until the railroads were invented. Because of its weight, it required a team of at least four horses. They would pack the wagon with clothing, food for at least for a few days and a similar amount of feed for the animals traveling with them, and a canvas tarp for a tent, and items they would need in their new homes such as tools, farming implements, cloth for clothing, and seed.



The main route was a series of roads and paths on a north-south course that came to be called the Great Wagon Road, where travelers left from Philadelphia, crossed over the gentle hills of Chester and Lancaster counties towards South Mountain (part of the northern extension of the Blue Ridge Mountain range) crossing the Susquehanna River by ferry or by ford, through the Maryland Hill country, into Virginia, where they had to cross the Potomac River, by ferry or ford, usually above Alexandria. They would then travel on through the valley of Virginia heading towards Western North Carolina or Southwest Virginia, almost all of it uphill through oak and pine forest, rising from 2000 feet above sea level at the start to 3000 feet above sea level at the end. By 1753, the Great Wagon Road made up a significant chunk of the route that many took to the backcountry of Virginia North Carolina, with a spur called the Carolina Road. Families traveling on this route dealt with daily challenges. Traveling the back country roads with a party on horseback, or walking, with wagons full of supplies was difficult as they were poorly maintained and poorly marked, even by 18th-century standards; and at the end of the day, families had to set up camp or find shelter in a private home that was willing to take in travelers. There were inns/taverns along the way called Ordinaries, but quality varied significantly and families sometimes preferred to camp near the Ordinary rather than to pay for rooms. The Ordinaries also offered opportunities for the travelers to buy provisions, send mail ahead to their new community or back to the family they had left behind, and get directions for the next leg of their journey. It took about four to five weeks for a family to migrate from Pennsylvania to the Piedmont of North Carolina.




Climbing My Family Tree: Great Wagon Road and Carolina Spur
Great Wagon Road and Carolina Spur
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Climbing My Family Tree: 18th C East Coast Chesapeake Ferry Route PA to NC
18th C East Coast Chesapeake Ferry Route PA to NC



There was another route that was used by many from southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and northeastern Maryland. For people in those areas, the most direct route to the North Carolina backcountry was a trip along the length of the peninsula comprising Delaware and the eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia. The roads along this route were not any worse than the roads comprising the Great Wagon Road but traffic along this route was lighter than on other routes. One deterrent could have been the 60-mile ferry ride across the Chesapeake Bay from Cheristone in Northampton County to the town of Norfolk Virginia, as it involved a significant investment of money and time. The ferry ran across the bay on a schedule determined by tides and winds, and those waiting to take it could be delayed for several days, and if enough people arrived waiting for the ferry, there would be no guarantee of there being sufficient room on the ferry for all those who waited. The roads beyond the ferry were often just paths instead of actual roads, and directions were confusing. There were also Ordinaries along this route, providing the same services as was available on the Great Wagon Road, and again many families preferred to camp with their Conestoga’s near the Ordinaries and save the money for settling in their new homes. Travelers could buy provisions from private homeowners along the way and occasionally stay the night with a breakfast provided in the morning. It was a long, hard trip with a family and it took approximately three weeks if there was no hold up at the Chesapeake Bay ferry.



Map of North Carolina Counties in 1760
Map of North Carolina Counties in 1760




It’s estimated that Stephen and his family made the trip in 1765, so that means the children on the trip would have been Elizabeth, 3, and Alice, approximately 1-year-old. The family first moved to Cumberland County, which today is not part of the Piedmont region (the county has shrunk as other counties were formed out of the original western parts of the county and it is now wholly in the eastern region of the state). Since they moved to Cumberland County, if they did rejoin the Quaker meeting, they would have joined the Dunn’s Creek monthly meeting in the Cape Fear River Valley (the Meeting site today would be about 8 miles southeast of Fayetteville NC). In later years the Meeting closed, which may explain why there are no records from the Dunn’s Creek Meeting. As far as I can tell, Stephen and Mary did not have any children for the first several years after they moved to North Carolina. That may have been because of the effort put in to settle in a new area on the edge of civilization, and it also may have been because people tend to not want to have children during a period of disturbance or war, and they had moved into an area that was anything but settled politically.



In 1766, local conflicts had erupted when backcountry farmers and small merchants in the Piedmont, calling themselves Regulators, tried to fight government corruption, unclear land laws, problems in the court system, and taxes to help build a governor's palace in the Coastal Plain at New Bern. (Lord John Earl Granville, who had been rewarded with nearly one-half of North Carolina by the King for his services, admitted fees and taxes were excessive and that 50 percent of the taxes collected were embezzled by his agents.) The popular movement to eliminate this corrupt system of government and replace it with a fairer version came to be known as the Regulator Uprising, War of the Regulation, or the Regulator War. At first, 1765 through the spring of 1768, it involved sporadic local protests and clashes over attempts to collect taxes. In 1768, the clashes escalated and the local objectors came together in an organized opposition who called themselves the Regulation or Regulators. The Regulators acts became more violent (including invading the courts, driving judges from the bench and dragging and whipping attorneys through the streets) because they felt their efforts to object were being ignored. The movement climaxed with the Battle of Alamance on May 16, 1771. Colonial Governor Tryon led a well-trained loyal militia of about 1,000 men into the backcountry. The usual Regulator strategy was to scare the governor with a show of superior numbers in order to force him to give in to their demands, and depending on the account, the Regulators showed up with between 2000-6000 men. Governor Tryon ordered the Regulators to disperse and return to their homes and when they did not, he shot and killed one of the leading Regulators. More shots were exchanged, but the untrained Regulator resistance dissolved and it was all over in two hours with nine deaths for the governor's forces and about the same for the Regulators. Following the battle, Tryon's militia army traveled through Regulator territory, where he had Regulators and Regulator sympathizers sign loyalty oaths, destroyed the properties of the most active Regulators and had six of the Regulators hung for their part in the uprising. He also raised taxes to pay for his militia's defeat of the Regulators.



Climbing My Family Tree: Battle of Alamance Postcard circa 1905 1915  by artist J Steeple Davis
Battle of Alamance Postcard circa 1905 1915  by artist J Steeple Davis
in the public domain



The Society of Friends in their official capacity condemned the Regulation movement to the fullest extent. The Quakers' religious principles did not allow them to condone the overthrow or challenge of any established government; obedience to the existing government, when such obedience did not run counter to conscience, was a fundamental duty. However, individual Quakers were known to have sympathized with the Regulators. Throughout the movement's years, 1766 to 1771, members were frequently disowned for doing anything associated with the movement. The Cane Creek Meeting disowned or had denials published by twenty-eight members on grounds ranging from “attending a disorderly meeting” and “joining a group refusing to pay taxes” to actually taking up arms. In 1771, eighteen men were disowned, sixteen of them two weeks after the Battle of Alamance. On the other hand, many Friends were forced to contribute to the war against their will by the colonial government to meet demands for provisions and equipment for the provincial forces fighting the Regulators.



Stephen and Mary and their family had moved to the portion of North Carolina most affected by the Regulator movement, at the start of the movement. I don’t know if they were involved or held to Quaker standards of noninvolvement. Either way, it would have been a tense time to live through. Stephen and his family lived in Cumberland County for several years because at least two of the children were born in Cumberland County, after the defeat of the Regulator movement: Stephen in 1773 and Edith in 1775. 

They had another son in 1776, who they named for Stephen’s youngest brother Enoch. Their daughter, Mary, was born in 1779. Although I have no birth records for any of their children, later records place both Enoch’s and Mary’s births in Randolph County. But Randolph County NC didn’t exist when Enoch was born; it was created out of the southern third of Guilford County on February 2, 1779. So, if the family had moved away from Cumberland County, it is likely that Enoch’s birth should have been attributed to Guilford County. Stephen and Mary had at least one more daughter, Ruth, but I have no idea when she was born and so don’t know where she fits in the sibling order.



Map of North Carolina Counties in 1775
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Map of North Carolina Counties in 1780
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As always, when any of my ancestors moved large distances from their home, I wonder whether they ever went back home for a visit. There were likely letters to the people back home, because several of the books and articles I read referred to frequent letters from those Quakers in North Carolina back to relatives in Pennsylvania who returned them letters. In addition, traveling proselytizing Quaker speakers would carry messages from one family to another as they traveled. I do know that at least one of Stephen’s brothers followed him to North Carolina, and followed in his footsteps in more ways than one.



Stephen’s younger brother Enoch had helped Stephen’s family and the Carter family on the trip down to North Carolina. After he returned home, he sent a letter to Mary’s younger sister Edith telling her that he was home safe. The History and Genealogy of the Harland family includes a transcription of a letter from Edith Carter to Enoch dated July 28, 1766: 
     “Dear Friend Enoch, I send thee these few lines to let thee know that I am in good health at present and I hope thee art in the same state. Our parting was a trouble to me, neither do I ever expect to see thee again, but I hope the Lord will preserve us both, and my desire is for thy welfare as for my own. I received thy letter which I was glad to see, and to hear that thee had got safe home again to thy dear parents, which no doubt was a joyful sight to them. Thee says in thy letter that thou art free in mind to come here again but that thy mother is not free to part with thee. So I despair of ever seeing thee again. So, in that love that nothing but death can separate I bid thee farewell, farewell, from thy loving friend, Edith Carter. N. B. I desire thee to write a few lines to me. I now live at John Carter’s. Direct thy letter to Betty Harveys. I would be exceeding glad to see thee again.”



Stephen and Enoch’s mother died in 1767, and three years later, the minutes for the New Garden monthly meeting on November 23, 1769, noted that “Enoch Harlan, son of William, went to North Carolina without a certificate and married out of the Society. A testimony prepared against him to be read at London Grove preparative meeting and then sent to North Carolina.” From the New Garden monthly meeting minutes for December 2, 1769, “Enoch Harlan was disowned.”



July 6, 1776 New Garden Meeting minutes, receiving Enoch Harlan into Society of Friends again eeting
July 6, 1776 New Garden Meeting minutes, receiving Enoch Harlan into Society of Friends again and resolving to recommend him to the Center Preparatory Meeting
Quaker Records, Ancestry.com

[

From the New Garden monthly meeting, July 6, 1776: “Enoch Harlan who was testified against by this meeting, in the year 1769, now residing in Guilford County North Carolina, having sent a request to be received again under care but not having sent any acknowledgment for his misconduct he was wrote to by direction of that meeting on that account and also to a Friend there requesting that he might be visited by them and an account of his disposition being sent to us and his acknowledgment being now received together with a few lines from Center Preparative Meeting in the said county signifying his orderly conduct of late, and their belief in his sincerity, both of which were read and the case solidly considered, and several Friends expressing their minds his offering is received, and Joshua Pusey is appointed to prepare a few lines recommending him to Center Monthly Meeting and bring it to the next meeting for approval." It was approved at the next meeting. With that certificate, Enoch was accepted back into the Society of Friends by the Meeting which had disowned him, and they recommended his admittance into the Center Monthly Meeting in North Carolina.



Enoch had married Edith Carter. The Harland history says that Enoch and Edith then moved to Randolph County, “where he rented and operated a sawmill and that he was a Cooper and a wagonmaker, and a good scholar for the day and was quite an astronomer” and he and Edith had at least 11 children. Since Stephen was described as a millwright in the family history, which was a specialist carpenter who designed, built, and maintained mills, including sawmills, I wonder whether he worked with his brother at the sawmill.



Stephen outlived his brother Enoch (dd 1794 of typhus) and many, if not all, of his other siblings; he also survived his wife Mary (dd 1824) and his daughter Margaret (dd 1825). Stephen died in 1830 in Randolph County, NC, USA, and was buried where his wife was buried in the Marlboro Friends Meeting Cemetery in Sophia NC. In his will, after directing that all his just debts be paid as quickly as possible after his death, he bequeathed one dollar ($1) each to his sons Stephen and Enoch and his daughters Elizabeth Kersey, Alice Robbins, Mary Morrison, and Edith Hill. He bequeathed to his daughter, Ruth Criscow his “featherbed and furniture thereto belonging.” He also bequeathed one dollar ($1) to his granddaughter Mary Bond, and he bequeathed to his grandson Stephen Criscow all his shop tools. Lastly, he stated that he wanted his daughter Ann Harlan to have his plantation [farm] during her natural life and that afterward, it was to return to his lawful heirs equally among them. He also left Ann all his household furniture (except the featherbed that went to Ruth).


Will of Stephen Harlan, p.1
Will of Stephen Harlan, p.1
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Will of Stephen Harlan, p.2
Will of Stephen Harlan, p.2
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x





*Note: Before 1752 England and its colonies used the Julian Calendar, in which the first day of the new year was March 25, and not the Gregorian Calendar (used today) in which the first day of the new year is January 1. While the Quakers followed the calendar commonly used by England, the Quakers designate months by numbers, such that in the Julian calendar First month (or 1st mo. or 1) was March. In writing dates in this essay that occur before 1752, I’ll state what the date would be in today’s calendar and then, in parentheses, I’ll include the date as I found it in the source used. [For a more in-depth explanation of the Julian calendar transition to the Gregorian calendar, and Quaker calendar see my post, Dating Induced Headaches for the Family Historian: Julian, Gregorian, and Quaker Calendars.]





History and Genealogy of the Harland Family in America, and particularly of the descendants of George and Michael Harlan, who settled in Chester County PA, 1687, compiled by Alpheus Harlan (The Lord Baltimore Press 1914); Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Minutes, 1746-1768; Collection: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Minutes; Call Number: MR-Ph 339, U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935, Ancestry.com; http://sites.rootsweb.com/~quakers/quakdefs.htm; PENNSYLVANIA AS AN EAELY DISTRIBUTING CENTER OF POPULATION By WAYLAND FULLER DUNAWAY, Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State College, pp. 134-169, file:///C:/Users/Jo/Downloads/28222-Article%20Text-28061-1-10-20121204.pdf; Southern routes: Family migration and the eighteenth-century southern backcountry Creston S. Long College of William & Mary - Arts & Sciences https://scholarworks.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3202&context=etd; Dunn’s Creek Monthly Meeting, http://jamestownmeeting.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ONCE-WE-WERE-FRIENDS-part-2.pdf; https://www.ncpedia.org/history/colonial/piedmont; North Carolina Quakers in the Era of the American Revolution by Steven Jay White, University of Tennessee – Knoxville https://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=2514&context=utk_gradthes; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Regulation; https://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/bassett95/summary.html; https://www.historyextra.com/period/georgian/who-regulator-movement-war-regulation-governor-tryon-battle-alamance-what-happened-outlander-real-history/; https://www.britannica.com/topic/Regulators-of-North-Carolina ; http://www.sonsofdewittcolony.org//mckstmerreg3.htm ; https://www.carolana.com/NC/Revolution/nc_randolph_county_regiment.html; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millwright ; https://www.history.com/topics/westward-expansion/conestoga-wagonWills, 1663-1978; Estate Papers, 1781-1928 (Randolph County); Author: North Carolina. Division of Archives and History; Probate Place: Randolph, North Carolina, North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998, Ancestry.com













Friday, January 1, 2021

William Harlan (1702-1783), Colonial Farmer, my 7th great grandfather

 

Climbing My Family Tree: 1770 Map of Pennsylvania Colony
A map of Pennsylvania exhibiting not only the improved parts of that Province, but also its extensive frontiers: Laid down from actual surveys and chiefly from the late map of W. Scull published in 1770; and humbly inscribed to the Honourable Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, Esquires, true and absolute proprietaries & Governors of the Province of Pennsylvania and the territories thereunto belonging.
From the Library of Congress
Click to Make Bigger


 

Earlier this year I listened to a podcast by Amy Johnson Snow titled “Is Perfectionism Ruining Your Genealogy?” and have come to the conclusion that whether or not it was ruining my genealogy, it was definitely contributing to the ruination of my family history blog. That and the 2020 pandemic. It’s been a weird, stressful year. It turned out that writing this blog takes up the same bandwidth in my brain that doing my job does, and as my job was deemed essential, I never stopped working (first from home when New York shut down and then we were called back to the office well before other office workers were allowed to return) and I was so stressed that I needed all that brain bandwidth for work. Now the coronavirus is far worse in my area of New York than it was in the spring. But I’m going to try to write more anyway, because of Amy’s podcast.

 

This post is on William Harlan (1702-1783) and Margaret Farlow Harlan (1703-1767), my seventh great grandparents. It won’t be as detailed as some of my posts tend to be because I haven’t been able to find out all that much about them, and whether that’s due to pandemic brain overload, or because there isn’t that much to find out, I don’t know; but I’m locking my perfectionism in the closet and proceeding anyway. As you might remember, I’m writing posts on this part of the family history coming down the line as it will make it easier to write about the history (in later posts – I don’t have much for this one). I’ve already written about William’s father, Ezekial Harlan (1679-1731) [see here ].

 

Climbing My Family Tree: Birth record of William Harlan, born 5 November 1702
Quaker Birth record of William Harlan, born 5 November 1702 (9,1,1702*)
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William Harlan was the only child of Ezekial Harlan, (1679-1731), and his first wife Mary Bezer (1682-1702). He was born 5 November 1702 ( 9, 1, 1702)*. His mother died shortly after his birth in 1702. His father remarried four years later to Ruth Buffington, and had six more children with her (Ezekiel, born July 19, 1707 (5, 19, 1707), died 1754, married Hannah Oborn, December 23, 1724 (10, 23, 1724); Mary, born June 12, 1709 (4, 12, 1709), died June 7, 1750 (4, 7, 1750), married Daniel Webb, November 28, 1727 (9, 28, 1727); Elizabeth, born July 19, 1713, died ?, married William White, August 8, 1728 (6, 8, 1728); Joseph, born August 14, 1721, died ?, married Hannah Roberts May 21, 1740 (3, 21, 1740); Ruth, born March 11, 1723 (1, 11, 1723), died ?, married Daniel Leonard, May 28, 1740 (3, 28, 1740); and Benjamin, born October 7, 1729, died October 1752 (8 Mo. 1752), at sea, unmarried.] William was likely cared for by his grandparents and his father until Ezekiel remarried, as Quaker families were close and helped one another with the needs of daily living.

 

After his father remarried, William lived with them in Kennett in Chester County, on property directly north of the Old Kennett Meetinghouse. Ezekial Harlan was a prosperous farmer. William, and the other sons as they came along, would have helped on the farm clearing and planting their land, and keeping their livestock, and when the weather was too cold, helping to repair tack and tools, and feed the animals.

 

When he was twenty-two, William married Margaret Farlow, born 1 November 1702, “Spinster”, also of Chester County. Most of the sources I’ve seen indicate Margaret was born in Ireland but don’t say where in Ireland. One source says she was born in Chester County Pennsylvania. This is something I still need to nail down. I don’t know who her parents are. Although the Quaker marriage record pictured below says that William is the son of Ezekiel Harlan, it doesn’t indicate any parents for “Margrett” Farlow. They lived for a few years in Kennett PA, near his parents, but eventually moved to Marlborough Twp (which later divided and the part where his lands were turned into West Marlborough Twp) in Chester County PA by 1732.

 

Quaker Record of William Harlan -Magrett Farlow marriage, 14 February 1725
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William and Margaret had nine children: Mary Harlan (bn 1722- dd ?, married William Moore 1742), William Harlan (bn 1724- dd 1819, married Abigail Hollingsworth 1743), Jonathan Harlan (bn 1726- dd 1774, married Elizabeth Webb 1749), Alice Harlan (bn 1730- dd 1797, married Richard Flower 1754), Sarah Harlan (bn 1732- dd 1775, married Robert McMinn 1749), Stephen Harlan (bn 1740- dd 1830, married Mary Carter 1761), George Harlan (bn 1743- dd 1821, married Elizabeth Chandler 1768), and Enoch Harlan (bn 1745- dd 1794, married Edith Carter 1769).

 

While Quakers had originally had a great influence on the formation of Pennsylvania’s government and social culture, during the mid-1700s that influence began to wane as other groups practicing other religions settled in the Pennsylvania colony. Additionally, the Quakers pacifistic and egalitarian beliefs eventually led to their diminishing influence in the area, in part, because of their concern for the well-being of the Native Americans in the area which became unpopular as more people expanded into the areas in which the Native Americans lived and wanted them pushed out. Additionally, the Quakers refusal to contribute to military activities and to pay taxes which would support any military activity did not endear them to their neighbors because they weren’t contributing to the local defense, and it kept them out of participation in the American Revolution, except in certain isolated cases. Their influence further waned as large numbers of Friends left Pennsylvania to move south and west in search of new lands that could better support their families because the Quakers had taken such a firm stand against slavery that they were no longer able to economically compete with neighbors who used slave labor on their farms and in their businesses.

 

In my research of the Harlan line, I have found that the older sons tended to stay close to home their whole lives and the younger ones tend to be the pioneers leaving and pushing further into the new country. William was no exception; he, the first-born son, lived his whole life in the county in which he was born.

 

1745 Map of Chester County Pennsylvania Colony
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I don’t have any information about the middle of his life when he and his wife made a family and raised their children. After his marriage, the next information I found was of the death of Margaret Farlow Harlan, through a record made by William Harlan which read, “William Harlan son of Ezekiel and Mary Harlan was born the first day of the ninth month 1702. Margaret my wife was born the first day of the ninth month 1703, and departed this life the 12th of the sixth month 1767, at 6 o’clock in the morning.” (See information on dates in the note at bottom of post).

 

According to the 1770 census, three years after his wife’s death, William owned 250 acres, for horses, six cattle, 10 sheep, and had one servant. He was 68 years old. In 1773, he served on a jury in the Court of Oyer and Terminer, which was the Pennsylvania colony’s version of criminal court. In the next two years, his son Jonathan and his daughter Sarah died, in 1774 and 1775 respectively. William lived nearly 10 years longer. He died 16 years after his wife on 22 October 1783. He left behind a will that was proved in 1784. The inventory of his estate included such items as one walnut desk, one case of walnut drawers, one feather bed and furniture part, three large pewter bowls and six small pewter bowls, two large iron pots, one walnut table & chest, two horses – one roan & one gray, one walnut cupboard & one doz (possibly “servers”, I can’t quite read the handwriting here), one poplar table.

 

Cover Sheet for
 Inventory of William Harlan's Estate
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Inventory of
William Harlan's Estate
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The will of William Harlan

I William Harlan of the Township of West Marlborough in the County of Chester in the province of Pennsylvania being in a Reasonable Measure of Health & Sound mind Praise be given to God for the same & knowing the uncertainty of this Life do make Ordain Constitute & appoint this my Last Will & Testament in manner & form following viz.

It is my will that all my just debts & funeral Expenses be paid by my Executor hereinafter named as soon after my Decease as they conveniently can.

Item. I Give & Bequeath unto my Daughter Mary Moore and her Heirs the sum of five Shillings Currant money of Pennsylvania.

I Give and Bequeath unto my son William Harlan and his Heirs the Sum of five shillings currant money of Pennsylvania.

I Give and Bequeath unto my grandson Wm Harlan (son of Jonathan Harlan Deceased) and his Heirs the Sum of five shillings currant money of Pennsylvania.

I Give and Bequeath unto my son James Harlan and his Heirs the Sum of five shillings currant money of Pennsylvania.

I Give and Bequeath unto my daughter Alice Flower and her Heirs the Sum of five shillings currant money of Pennsylvania.

I Give and Bequeath unto my daughter Sarah McMinn and her Heirs the Sum of five shillings currant money of Pennsylvania.

I Give and Bequeath unto my son Stephen Harlan and his Heirs the Sum of 50 pounds currant money of Pennsylvania.

I Give and Bequeath unto my son Enoch Harlan and his Heirs the Sum of 50 pounds currant money of Pennsylvania.

I Give and Bequeath unto my granddaughter (daughter of Stephen Harlan) & her Heirs the Sum of five pounds currant money of Pennsylvania.

I Give and Bequeath unto my son George Harlan & his Heirs & Assigns all that plantation and tract of land thereunto belonging whereon I now dwell situate in the Township of West Marlborough aforesaid and I give & bequeath unto aforesaid son George Harlan all that plantation & tract of land that I purchased of James Shields situate in the Township of East fallow field the County aforesaid to him his heirs & assigns forever. Also I give & bequeath unto him my said son George Harlan and his heirs & assigns forever all that plantation and tract of land called Brittlestown situate in the Township of East fallow field he paying all my just debts and the above legacies and I do hereby make all the said three palpitations & tracts of land liable and subject to the payment of all my just debts and legacies aforementioned. All the rest residue & remainder of my estate I give & bequeath unto my son George Harlan his heirs and assigns forever. And I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my said son George Harland executor of this my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this seventh day of 11th month in the year of our Lord 1700 & 74 William Harlan (seal) Nathan Hayes.

Witnesses

William Davis.

John Passmore.

The above will was proven February 19, 1784.

“An inventory and appraisement of the effects of William Harlan senior of West Marlborough in Chester County deceased this FebY 4, 1784” and signed by James Hannum and Jacob Chandler placed the total at 55 pounds, 2 shillings, 6 pence.

 


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*Note: Before 1752 England and its colonies used the Julian Calendar, in which the first day of the new year was March 25, and not the Gregorian Calendar (used today) in which the first day of the new year is January 1. While the Quakers followed the calendar commonly used by England, the Quakers designate months by numbers, such that in the Julian calendar First month (or 1st mo. or 1) was March. In writing dates in this essay that occur before 1752, I’ll state what the date would be in today’s calendar and then, in parentheses, I’ll include the date as I found it in the source used. [For a more in-depth explanation of the Julian calendar transition to the Gregorian calendar, and Quaker calendar see my post, Dating Induced Headaches for the Family Historian: Julian, Gregorian, and Quaker Calendars.]  

 

History and Genealogy of the Harland Family in America, and particularly of the descendants of George and Michael Harlan, who settled in Chester County PA, 1687, compiled by Alpheus Harlan (The Lord Baltimore Press 1914); Immigration of the Irish Quakers in Pennsylvania, 1682-1750, with their early History in Ireland, by Albert Cook Myers, member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (The Author, Swarthmore PA 1902); https://www.southernchestercountyweeklies.com/news/the-many-quaker-meetinghouses-of-chester-county/article_db570d2d-e806-5dc3-a313-6e0b36998a32.html; Title: Wills 3440-3554; Ancestry.com. Chester County, Pennsylvania, U.S., Estate Papers, 1714-1838 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013 (Original data: Pennsylvania. Chester County. Estate Papers, 1700–1820. Gale Cengage Learning. Microfilm, 85 rolls. Chester County Archives, West Chester, Pennsylvania); Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Births and Deaths, 1686-1739; Collection: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Minutes; Call Number: MR-Ph 267 ; Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Marriages, 1718-1821; Collection: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Minutes; Call Number: MR-Ph 265; http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/portal/communities/pa-heritage/our-first-friends-early-quakers.html

 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Ezekiel Harlan (1679-1731), Quaker, Yeoman, and Land Speculator




Generic Colonial era sailing ship


My eighth great-grandfather was the oldest son of George Harland and Elizabeth Duck, who I wrote about in January. He was born in the Parish of Donaghcloney, County Down, Ireland. He was only eight years old when his parents brought their family to the Pennsylvania colony in 1687. He had eight younger siblings, the first three of which were also born in Ireland and made the long journey to America with Ezekiel, his parents, and his uncle Michael. For a listing of his sisters and brothers, please see the post on his father, HERE.


A word about the dating used in this post before I continue with the story. Before 1752 England and its colonies used the Julian Calendar, in which the first day of the new year was March 25, and not the Gregorian Calendar (used today) in which the first day of the new year is January 1. While the Quakers followed the calendar commonly used by England, the Quakers designate months by numbers, such that in the Julian calendar First month (or 1st mo. or 1) was March. In writing dates in this essay that occur before 1752, I’ll state what the date would be in today’s calendar and then, in parentheses, I’ll include the date as I found it in the source used. [For a more in-depth explanation of the Julian calendar transition to the Gregorian calendar, and Quaker calendar see my post, Dating Induced Headaches for the Family Historian: Julian, Gregorian, and Quaker Calendars.]  Now on with the story of Ezekiel Harlan!


The main Irish ports from which ships sailed to William Penn’s new Colony were Cork and Waterford. Although while vessels did sail directly from those Irish ports, more often people took passage in ships which sailed from Whitehaven, Liverpool, or Bristol, in England, which then stopped at the Irish ports for passengers and cargo on the way. Philadelphia was the main port of entry in America from Ireland, but many settlers landed at Newcastle, on the Delaware River, and some at points in Maryland and Virginia.


The voyage from Ireland to the American colonies was a long one, ranging from six weeks to three months depending on the weather and sea conditions. Ships were often driven far off course by contrary winds and carried as far south as the West Indies. Additionally, dangerous diseases, such as smallpox, frequently occurred, and many passengers died at sea. George Harland and his wife Elizabeth (Duck) saw this new land as such a new hope and opportunity that they chose to risk their young family, children aged 4 to 8 years, in the hold of one of these ships for the long voyage to Pennsylvania. The Harlans landed and settled in Newcastle (and dropped the final “d” from their last name). Newcastle was then the largest city in the lower three counties of Pennsylvania (which later became the state of Delaware).


The first monthly meeting of friends in Pennsylvania occurred in January 1681/2, five or six years before the Harlan family arrived, thus the monthly meetings were well established when the family arrived. The congregations of the Quaker meetings  already in Pennsylvania, especially the Philadelphia monthly meeting, took special care of new immigrant Friends, welcoming them and advising them as to where to settle, and often giving needed financial assistance, especially in the payment of passage money, lending the new immigrants the money to pay the bill the ships master charged to bring them to the colony, or buying out their debt and taking them into service to work out their redemption. Once the immigrants chose their land and secured title, the family would quickly move to their chosen land so that their efforts in settlement will be well underway by the time winter season began.


The Landing of William Penn, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930), depicting Penn's arrival at New Castle.
The Landing of William Penn, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930), depicting Penn's arrival at New Castle.
In the Public Domain



The Harlans initially settled on the west side of Brandywine Creek, in the Christiana Hundred in Newcastle when Ezekiel was eight or nine years old. The Christiana Hundred was one of the original Hundreds created in 1682 and was named for the Christiana River that flows along its southern boundary. A Hundred was an old English term for a portion of land, like a County, was governed by a particular administrative or legal body. As they were joining an already existing community, there were neighbors within a reasonable distance to help and to provide more security than going further inland by themselves. In the summer they attended the Newark meeting at Valentine Hollingsworth’s house and, in the winter, because travel was treacherous, they were allowed to hold meetings in the homes of their own community.  


The whole family would have worked together to clear the forest on their land to build a house. The first dwelling built by new immigrants to the land was often a log cabin built from the trees they felled in order to make the clearing in which to build the cabin. It was built of long logs placed horizontally upon one another and notched together at the corners. The spaces between the lots were filled in or kinked with stones or wedges of wood and then plastered over with mortar or clay. The roof was covered with boards or all shingles, either pinned by wood wooden pins or held in place by weight timbers. A huge stone fireplace and chimney were built into one side of the house to be used for cooking and heat. The English and Irish Quakers made their log houses square not rectangular. As a family became more settled, and survived the first winter, with crops harvested and re-planted, they added a second floor. As they became more prosperous, the families would also build a larger and more comfortable in addition to the house of brick or stone.  A log house built, about 25 years later, in 1715, by Ezekiel’s younger brother Joshua still stands in Kennett Township, Chester County, PA and is on the National Register of Historic Places. See the picture below of Joshua’s house.


Joshua Harlan's Log House, 26' x 26',  built 1715, with 1815 19' x 15' stone addition.
Near Kennett Square, Kennett Twp, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA, about a half-mile west of Fairville.
Smallbones / CC0 

George Harlan moved his family about ten miles up the creek further into Pennsylvania to Kennett Township in Chester County Pennsylvania in 1698 after buying 470 acres of land up there. Ezekiel was 19 at the time of that move. The move would’ve been done with packhorses as there were no real roads and a wagon would not make it through the forest, even along the creek bank. The women and children and farm and household effects were loaded on the packhorses, with the men traveling on foot, leading the horses and driving their animal herds and flocks along before them. Again, they cleared land and built a new home. 


In the summer months George and his sons, including Ezekial, were busy clearing and planting their land, and keeping their livestock. In winter, if it was too cold or stormy for outside work, the male members of the family would do such tasks indoors as making shoes for the family, repairing horse tack, heating iron over the fire and berating it into farming or household implements, and making household furniture and utensils. The women of the household were even busier than the men. They would help the men in the fields and in caring for the animals, but also did the cooking for the family, washed dishes and clothes, made butter, made candles and soap and clothes, sewed quilts, picked, carded, and spun wool and flax, knit, worked in the kitchen garden, and had babies and cared for the children.


The produce and handicrafts of the farm were carried to Philadelphia, Chester, or Newcastle, on horseback to be sold in markets or fairs or exchanged for goods the household could not make themselves. They also met and socialized with other Quakers on these trips.  Despite the difficulty in travel the Friends visited with each other regularly at harvests and huskings, barn and house raisings, weddings and funerals, and at the twice weekly meetings on First-day and Fifth-day. Quakers also met for quarterly and yearly business meetings that brought in Friends from distant areas, which led to more socializing. The Quarterly Meetings lasted for several days.  The Yearly Meeting for the Harlans’ area of Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as parts of New Jersey and Maryland, was held in Philadelphia for a week or more each year.


The twice weekly Meetings were very important in a Quaker’s life for worship and quiet socializing. At the meeting, the congregation sat on hard, unpainted, un-cushioned benches, with women on one side and the men on the other. After some moments of silent worship, from the raised seats in the gallery facing the body of the meeting [congregation] where the ministers and elders sat, a minister would stand and give a spiritual message. Often the speaker was a travelling friend from England, Ireland, or other distant places.


In 1700, when Ezekiel was 21 years of age, he married Mary Bezer (in the below record, Mary Bazer), by ceremony of Friends at the Concord Monthly Meeting in what is now Delaware County Pennsylvania. Her family had come to the colony in 1683 when she was only 1-year-old, settling in the area of that Meeting.


Ezekial Harlan & Mary Bazer, Marriage Intention,  13 Jan 1700 (the 13th of  the 11th month 1700)  Minutes of Concord Monthly Meeting, Delaware PA
Ezekial Harlan & Mary Bazer, Marriage Intention,
13 Jan 1700 (the 13th of  the 11th month 1700)
Minutes of Concord Monthly Meeting, Delaware PA


Quakers required that marriage took place within the auspices of the meeting; it was not something to engage in lightly or quickly. Companionship and friendship were viewed as the proper base of a marriage. Romance was not condemned but was conditioned upon a shared devotion to God. Men and women chose their own spouses after months of corresponding and visiting. Parents could not force their children into marriage. However, a man and woman were required to have the approval of parents and their meetings to marry.  To do this, the two first appeared before the local women’s meeting. The records show the two chose the Concord Meeting that Mary attended. The women’s meeting appointed two people to meet with the couple separately to question them to ensure that neither of them were already married, were nonQuakers, or were otherwise unsuitable spouses. Friends believed that the wife and husband should be supportive of the other’s spiritual growth. Both partners were also expected to be capable of contributing to their household and to raise their children as Quakers. If the couple were found to be “clear of all entanglements” they were allowed to marry according to the good order of Friends. The couple then had to appear at at least two Men’s Meetings to declare their Intent to Marry before obtaining approval to do so. These early Friends did not believe that a priest or magistrate, or even a Quaker meeting, could perform a marriage. Only God could do that. Marriages took place in a silent meeting where the man and woman rose and affirmed their commitment to each other before God. Those present signed a certificate witnessing that the marriage had actually taken place. Careful records of witnesses were kept so courts would recognize the marriage and the legitimacy of the children in it, to avoid later challenges to inheritance.


Ezekiel and Mary had only one child, William, my seventh great-grandfather, who was born 1 Nov 1702 (9, 1, 1702) , died 22 October 1783, m. 14 Feb 1721 (12, 14, 1721). Unfortunately, Mary died shortly after his birth, in 1702 in Christiana Hundred, New Castle, Pennsylvania.


Four years later, in 1705/6, Ezekiel married Ruth Buffington in a ceremony of Friends. They had six children: Ezekiel, born July 19, 1707 (5, 19, 1707), died 1754, married Hannah Oborn, December 23, 1724 (10, 23, 1724); Mary, born June 12, 1709 (4, 12, 1709), died June 7, 1750 (4, 7, 1750), married Daniel Webb, November 28, 1727 (9, 28, 1727); Elizabeth, born July 19, 1713, died ?, married William White, August 8, 1728 (6, 8, 1728); Joseph, born August 14, 1721, died ?, married Hannah Roberts May 21, 1740 (3, 21, 1740); Ruth, born March 11, 1723 (1, 11, 1723), died ?, married Daniel Leonard, May 28, 1740 (3, 28, 1740); and Benjamin, born October 7, 1729, died October 1752 (8 Mo. 1752), at sea, unmarried.


Ezekiel and Ruth lived in Kennett in Chester County, on property directly north of the Old Kennett Meetinghouse. The Old Kennett Monthly Meetinghouse was built in 1710 by Ezekiel Harlan, on land deeded from William Penn. The bicentennial history for the old Kennett meetinghouse states that he “must have” conveyed the land for the meetinghouse, but the deed had been lost. Ezekiel was described in a few sources as a farmer and a land speculator. He dealt in lands throughout Chester County and adjoining counties. He was appointed constable for the Township in 1706. In 1715, he was the heaviest taxpayer in the Township, paying 12 shillings and sixpence, or approximately six days wages for a skilled tradesman. 12 shillings and six pence appear to be about double what most of the other people listed in the record paid that year.


I lost him for about fifteen years after that. But in 1731, he went to England, regarding what most sources described as “tradition holds was business in connection with his father’s estate.” Before he left for England, in an abundance of caution, he drafted his will. This was a tradition before any long sea voyage. He survived the sea-crossing to England, but while there, he contracted smallpox and died, at age 51, on 15 June 1731 (15 of 4 mo. 1731). He was buried two days later near Bunnhill Fields, in Devonshire, England.

The Will of Ezekiel Harlan, signed 14 Nov 1730. Probated 31 Jan 1732.
(found in PA Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993, Collection on Ancestry.com)


The Will of Ezekiel Harlan (transcription)

In the name of God Amen. I Ezekiel Harlan of the County of Chester in the province of pennsivania in America Yeoman being in reasonable health of body and of perfect mind and memory Thanks be to God for the same and being about to take a voyage into old England and Calling to mind the uncertainty of this life for the settling of my Temporal affairs I do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say first committing my soul to God I will order and appoint my boddy to be buried in a Decent matter at ye Discretion of my Executrix hereinafter mentioned and Touching such Worldly Estate and Substance were with God has Blessed me I give and appoint and bequeath to my son William Harlan the sum of five Shillings and to my son Ezekiel Harlan the sum of five shillings and my daughter Mary the wife of Daniel Webb the sum of five Shillings and to my daughter Elizabeth the wife of William White the sum of five Shillings and my sons Joseph and Benjamin Harlan and to their heirs and assigns forever I Give and Bequeath Five hundred acres of land to be equally divided between them share and share alike that is to say 250 acres each to be laid out at the direction of my executrix hereinafter named which said Five hundred acres of land is to be part and parcell of the Tact of Land which I now Dwell upon and to my daughter Ruth Harlan the sum of Fifty pounds Current money of pennsilvania or the value in goods at the market price and in any case any of my last mentioned three children viz Joseph, Benja, and Ruth should happen to Dye before they attain the age of Twenty one yeares or marry then and it is my will that the share or shares of each Child or Children so dying shall be Equally Divided between the survivor or survivors of them and my Executrix Share and Share alike.

Item I give and Bequeath unto my Dear and well Beloved wife Ruth Harlan the remaining part or parcel of my plantation or tract of land on which I now dwell after the said Five hundred acres is laid out to my two sons Joseph and Benjamin in the manner aforesaid Together with all my personall Estate of what kind or sort soever in order the better to Enable her to pay and satisfy all my just Debts and funeral expenses and towards bringing up maintaining and Educating of my children during their minority and lastly do a ordain constitute and appoint my dear and well beloved wife Ruth Harlan soul executrix of this my last will and Testament here by Revoking and making void all other and Former Will or Wills heretofore made or published by me.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Fourteenth day of November in the year of our Lord God one thousand seven hundred and Thirty.
Signed Sealed                                                                                              Ezekiel Harlan. (Seal) 
and published in the
Presence of

Joseph Robinson.
William Webb Junior
Wm Henderson.

An inventory of Ezekiel Harlan’s goods, filed January, 1/31/32, and signed by Joseph Gibbons and James Taylor, places the value of his worldly effects at the time of his death at 208 pounds 17 shillings. Appraised on February 1, 1743/44, and signed by Jno. Marshall, Benjamin Taylor and Samuel Sellars, the amount of the estate which passed to his widow, Ruth, amounted to 182 pounds, 19 shillings, six cents. In the report of the Executrix filed on 5 May 1734 by Ezekiel’s widow, Ruth Harlan, she listed 37 people to whom money was paid in the administration of the will. Ruth outlived Ezekiel by about twelve years. She died before 2 Feb 1743, which is when her will was probated.

The Will of Ruth Harlan (transcription)

Be it known to all men by these presents that I Ruth Harlan of Kennett in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-three being sick & weak of body but of sound and perfect Disposing mind & memory do make and ordain this my Last Will & Testament in manner and form following that is to say first and principally when it shall have pleased Almighty God to call my Soul to his mercy that my Boddy be Decently interred at the Discretion of my Executors hereinafter named, and in the next place my will mind an order is that all my just Debts and funeral expenses shall be paid and discharged as soon as possible after my decease And after all my Just Debts and funeral expenses are paid and discharged I do devise and bequeath unto my son Ezekiel Harlan of West Marlborough in the said county and province the sum of Five shillings to be paid to him or his assigns within one year after my decease. Also I Devise and Bequeath unto my son Joseph Harlan of Kennett aforesaid the sum of Five shillings to be paid under him or his assigns within one year after my decease and also I Give and Bequeath unto my son Benjamin Harlan the sum of Five shillings to be paid under him when he shall have arrived at the age of 21 years. Allso I Devis and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Webb & relict of Daniell Webb Late of Kennett deceased the sum of Five pounds to be paid to her or her heirs within one year after my decease. Allso I devise & Bequeath unto my said daughter Mary Webb my sattin Gown to be delivered to her immediately after my decease. Allso I devise and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth White my Gown made of wool & worsted and my quilted Petticoat and the Remainder of my wearing apparrall l I give Devise and Bequeath to my daughter Ruth the wife of Daniel Leonard. Allso I get devise and bequeath the wooll of my sheepe to be Equally divided between my two Daughters namely the above-mentioned Elizabeth White the wife of William White and Ruth the wife of Daniel Leonard. Allso I give devise and Bequeath unto my said daughter Ruth Leonard the seventeen acres of Land by me reserved out of the Lands left me by my husband Ezekiel Harlan Deceased & the House where I now Dwell & allso the orchard and a piece of Meadow called the Calf Passture & a piece of Wood Land at the Discretion of my executors so that the whole of the land in orchard Meadow Ground Woodland &c shall not exceed Seventeen acres To hold to the said Ruth Leonard during her Natural Life and after her decease I Give devise and bequeath the seventeen acres of Land & Premises above-mentioned to my son Benjamin & his heirs and Assigns forever, and the Remainder or Overplus of my Estate after my Just Debts funeral expenses & the above mentioned Legacies are paid and discharged I do Will in order to be Equally Divided between my two above mentioned Daughters, namely, Elizabeth White and Ruth Leonard.

Also my will mind and desire is that my son Benjamin be put to apprentice in a Convenient Time after my Decease to my Brotherinlaw Charles Turner of Birmingham untill he be the age of Twenty years to learn the Trade and art of Cordwainer & I do hereby constitute and appoint my son Ezekiel Harlan above-mentioned to be the sole Executor of this my Last Will and testament and my soninlaw* William Harlan of West Marlborough aforesaid to be Overseer & Trustee for the performance thereof but without the power of admintr except in case it shall so happen my son Ezekiel shall die before he shall have accomplished and fulfilled the performance of his Administration & Executorship to this my Last Will & Testament.
And I do hereby revoke Disallow & make void all and all manner & other and former Wills & Testaments by me heretofore made, hereby ratifying and confirming and declaring this and no other to be my Last Will & Testament.
In witness whereof together with the publication hereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day in the year first above written.
JOSEPH TAYLOR. Her mark.
Witnesses: John Walker. RuTH X Harlan. (Seal)
Thomas Worrall. Mark
proved February 2, 1733/4

*"soninlaw" is now called stepson


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Quaker meeting records, 1681-1935, ancestry.com, Provo, Utah, USA;  Estate Papers, 1713-1810; Author: Chester County (Pennsylvania). Register of Wills; Probate Place: Chester, Pennsylvania, collection at Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah, USA; Wills Proved at Philadelphia 1682-1692, pp. 51-52. No. 14, John Bezer, Publication of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Volume 1, 1896, No. 2; History and Genealogy of the Harland Family in America, and particularly of the descendants of George and Michael Harlan, who settled in Chester County PA, 1687, compiled by Alpheus Harlan (The Lord Baltimore Press 1914); The History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with genealogical and biographical sketches, by J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope (Philadelphia, Louis H. Everts 1881); Immigration of the Irish Quakers in Pennsylvania, 1682-1750, with their early History in Ireland, by Albert Cook Myers, member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (The Author, Swarthmore PA 1902); Bi-centennial of Old Kennett Meeting House, Kennett Township, Chester Co., Pa., seventh day, ninth month, twenty-fourth (Walter H Jenkins, 15th and Cherry Streets, Philadelphia); The History of the Society of Friends in America, Vol. II: Pennsylvania and New Jersey, by James Bowden (London: W & F.G. Cash, 1854); https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency-converter/#currency-result; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Kennett_Meetinghouse ; https://www.southernchestercountyweeklies.com/news/the-many-quaker-meetinghouses-of-chester-county/article_db570d2d-e806-5dc3-a313-6e0b36998a32.html; http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/portal/communities/pa-heritage/our-first-friends-early-quakers.html