BUCKS COUNTY, PA
|This is a map showing the subdivision
of Bucks County in 1780. Many of these subdivisions did not exist
in our critical period from 1740-1750, when it is supposed that the Helms
brothers were there, just prior to going to North Carolina. However
some of these places figure in the history of Bucks County in ways which
may relate with us.
At one point, Warwick TWP extended nearly to Easton and included a Lower Smithfield area in which I think a farm of Thomas Helling, referred to in Bucks County History as Thomas Helms, was located.
In 1790, there was a Wm. Helms in Rockhill TWP. Hilltown Baptist Church was in Hilltown, Neshamiy Presbyterian Church was in Warwick, and a village of Jamison was also there. Jamisons were prominent in that church. Jamisons figured in Moses Helm's history. The records of those two churches have been searched without success.
Wrightstown was the place where the infamous "Walk" that opened up the area above Blue Mountain was started. But that event turned the Indians against them as the Indians who signed the deed description containing the words "a day's walk" above Wrightstown as the limit of the deed did not have Indian rights above Blue Mountain. Penn's people had advertised for and hired the fastest walker they could find to conduct the walk. He walked all the way up to Pike County, almost to NY, in a day and a half. Surveyors, who went to begin the settlements there, were surrounded by the natives and were told to "take their iron chains and go home". Oddly, several families, who were not connected with Penn's Colony, had been living there in peace with the locals for some time.
Anyway, the idea was that the opening of the area was an opportunity and reason for the Helms brothers to have been there, as they were surveyors, apparently. If they had come from Barbados, they were probably not only planters but also military, and could have been in on the planning of the Frontier Forts. The records of those forts has been reviewed and are negative to Helms participation. The forts had to be created on the sly because the Quakers were not inclined to fighting, even in defense. Ben Franklin was a leading figure in those behind - the - scenes preparations, as were Wm. Allen and Parson of Easton.
Separately, it had been reasoned that laying out or building the roads to the "about to be established" Frontier Forts may have been a reason to have been there. A map of the early roads is shown separately.
Bethlehem was the largest settlement in that region and just the fact that it was a developing center could have been the reason for the Helms brothers' story about starting from Bethlehem, PA to go South. Also Craigs were in the area in the Presbyterian church at Allentown, and it is remembered that Tilman Helms' wife was Rachael Craig. Maybe they went to see her relatives. Also, we have the dead letter for Moses Helm which was sent to Bethlehem by Ben Franklin, then Post Master in Philadelphia. Why Bethlehem?
Also, there were Welsh at Durham's Furnace, just below Easton, and there was one historical note about a timely Brom being in Falls TWP.
See Gerald Helms book for other details of the Helms "story". They were supposed to have gone with some Welsh. Just lately a place called Ye Welsh was shown on one of the Barbados maps we have. The Welsh had led the settlement of the Lower Peedee River area in SC. They had recruited heavily here and abroad and enlisted and conducted hundreds to SC. Wm. Helms of SC has indicated that a Helms is listed as the surveyor for a Baptist church in SC; and, the High Hill Baptist Church, which the Helms helped establish in NC was an off-shoot of a church in SC with the same name. Apparently, in some way, the Welsh had a lot to do with the Helms going South. One would have thought that Rachel Craig was a Presbyterian, yet the Helms established a Baptist Church in NC. The Welsh were into all of the faiths represented in the Colonies.
|Rev 3, Oct 1999|