Hibbs
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Hibbs

Compiled and copyright by MJP Grundy, 2003
"Daylily", block print by Anne E. G. Nydam, used by permission.



The information on the earlier generations in England is taken from the web. I have not had an opportunity to check it, and we all know that caveat emptor is the rule for web-generated data. However, it is included here as a tentative beginning for this Hibbs twig on the larger Balderston branch of our own particular family tree. If any reader has corrections, additions, or most helpful, primary sources that prove or disprove any of the information please contact me via e mail to .



Possible English Ancestors

WilliamA Hibbs [Senior] was born 1629/30 in "Dean Forest", Gloucestershire, and died there on 6 March 1686. He married in 1654 Joanne ___, who had been born in 1632.[1]

"Dean Forest" named above in the familysearch page, is obviously the Forest of Dean, an extra-parochial liberty in the hundred of St. Briavell's, western division of Gloucestershire. It is an area twenty miles north to south, ten miles east to west, between the Severn and Wye rivers. At the time of Henry II the area was so thickly overgrown that it was the haunt of robbers and highway men. After iron and coal were discovered, forges, and villages were established. All the inhabitants were exempted from rates and taxes, and had free pasturage and the right to cut timber and sink mines, as long as one sixth of the produce went to the crown.[2]

Charles I, chronically short of cash and hoping not to have to call Parliament, sold "waste soil", mines and quarries to Sir John Wyntour for £10,000 and a fee-farm rent of £1,950.12.8. The Civil War put an end to this arrangement, opened the enclosures, and reforested the area. After the Stuart restoration Charles II regranted it, while reserving the timber for the British navy.[3] How these swings in control of the area affected the people living there, especially the Hibbs family, has not yet been learned.

Possible children of William and Joanne (__) Hibbs (I have not researched them yet myself):[4]

  1. John Hibbs, d. 1697 in Coolsford;

  2. Jane Hibbs, b. 1 or 14 Jan. 1654/5 in Dean Forest [sic];

  3. Jonathan Hibbs, b. 2 or 26 May 1657; d. 6 Mar 1686 in Gloucester, or 12 Feb. 1698 in Colford;[5]

  4. Mary Hibbs, b. 1 June 1659 in the Forest of Dean;

  5. Sarah Hibbs, b. 6 Jan. or June 1660 in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire; d. 6 Dec. 1702 or 24 Mar. 1708.

  6. Hannah Hibbs, b. 11 Nov. 1662 in the Forest of Dean;

  7. Jonathan Hibbs, ?? probably spurious; or the earlier one d.y. and this one lived.

  8. William Hibbs, b. 23 Dec. 1665 in Gloucestershire; presumably he is the one who d. 1708/9 in Cheltenham [?], bur. 1709 in Byberry.

  9. Joseph Hibbs, b. 10 Oct. 1668 in the Forest of Dean


Immigrant Generation


William1 Hibbs, supposed to be the son of William and Joanne (__) Hibbs of the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, was said to have been born the 23 of December or January 1664/5. However, I have not yet seen any proof that the Gloustershire man was the same one who came to Pennsylvania and died sometime between 28 Seventh Month [September] 1708 and 5 March 1709/10 in Byberry, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. William married 12 February 1686/7 Hannah HOWELL, daughter of Thomas.

Our William, whoever were his parents, emigrated to America on the Greyhound, Joseph Wasey, master. The ship loaded in London from 11 April to 31 May 1677, just after the more famous Kent, and like her was also bound for New Jersey. The Greyhound arrived at Wickaco [sic] in the Delaware River in October 1677. William Hibbs or Hebes is identified among her passengers by Sheppard, which is definitive enough for me.[6]

If our William was born in 1664/5, he would be twelve years old when he arrived in New Jersey. My assumption is that he would have been apprenticed or indentured to someone. Thus far I have found no trace of him until he shows up five to eight years later in Pennsylvania.

Detail from Thomas Holmes's 'Map of the Province of Pennsilvania' (1687)

If William turned 21 in 1685, my guess is that this is when he would have been able to settle. He showed up in the general vicinity of Byberry by 1685.[7] His land lay northwest of the tract belonging to Henry ENGLISH. On Holmes's map, Henry English shares a tract with Henry COMLY, Sarah WOOLMAN, and Abel NOBLE on the county line.[8] William Hibbs's land is not marked.

Friends meetings for worship were settled in Byberry in 1683, meeting first at the home of John Hart. The first meeting house was constructed in about 1694. About the year 1701 it became a Preparative Meeting under Abington Monthly Meeting. The stone meeting house was built in 1714, with an addition in 1753. This was replaced in 1808 by a new stone meeting house, about 66 feet by 36 feet.[9] So the building presently in use is not the one in which our Hibbs family worshipped.

William and Hannah HOWELL or Houl, daughter of Thomas, were married 12 February 1686/7 in Byberry Meeting.[10] On Holmes's map, the tract for "Thomas Hould" was just over the county line in Bucks County, bordered by Lawrence and Joseph Growden to the southeast, John Gilbert to the northeast,

On 26/12m/1689 "Will Hibbs" and Nicholas HICKET witnessed a power of attorney granted by two Bucks County shipwrights to appoint Abel HINEKSTON [sic] to be their attorney to receive a deed for 40 acres.[11]

When the Keithian controversy[12] erupted in 1692, John HART was a leading supporter of George KEITH. Because Byberry Meeting was held so near Hart's house, and was considerably under his influence, a group of Friends seceeded and met at the home of Henry ENGLISH. William Hibbs was one of those who left. Since the Friends burying ground was on Hart's farm, in 1694 English gave an acre of his land for Friends to use as a "burying-place" for those in good standing with the meeting. In spite of the provision that the land only be used for burials, a meeting house was soon erected there, with the full consent of the donor. The building was of logs, chinked with mud, and covered with bark. It served as a place of worship for twenty years before being replaced with a more comfortable stone structure.[13]

At some point Abington Monthly Meeting minuted dealing with a William Hibbs for refusing to take off his hat when William WALTON (d. 1736), the first recorded minister in Byberry, prayed.[14] I do not know the date. It might well have been part of the Keithian controversy: a person who did not remove his hat when another Friend prayed was saying, in effect, that the praying Friend was not really communicating with God, that he was at best insincere, and more likely an imposter, not a true minister called by Christ. This, obviously, was a serious charge to make against someone the meeting had recognized as being given by God gifts of ministry. This needs more research in the minutes of Abington MM. It is possible it concerns a different man with the same name.

Local historian Joseph Martindale cryptically wrote that William Hibbs "seems to have had some difficulty with his neighbors.[15] Meeting minutes and court records need to be checked to confirm this and uncover details. He is perhaps confusing William with his son and grandson?

William died between 28 September 1708 when he signed his will and 5 March 1709/10 when it was probated.[16] He signed with his mark, indicating he was illiterate, and it was witnessed by Abraham GRIFFITH, and Henry ENGLISH (who also signed with a mark). William named his wife Hannah executrix, and mentioned his children Joseph, Jonathan, Jacob, William, Jeremiah, Sarah, Phebe, and Hannah. For overseers he named Daniel WALTON and William WALTON, possibly (but not necessarily) the one who was a recorded minister.[17]

The confusion on the part of many familysearch entries as to where he died or was buried is probably a result of unfamiliarity with the structure of Friends meetings and records. Abington was the Monthly Meeting, under whose care all marriages occurred, and in whose records all births and deaths were recorded. Byberry was a Preparative Meeting under Abington, with its own burying ground. William would technically be a member of Abington Monthly Meeting but would be an active participant of Byberry, because that is where he lived and worshipped.

Hannah married secondly, in 1712, Henry ENGLISH, whose farm lay southeast of the Hibbs's. Before they were married, in March 1711/2, Henry had made a deed of his property to her, "in consideration of the love, good-will and affection which he had and did bear toward his loving friend, Hannah Hibbs." Henry died about 1724. They had no children.[18]

Hannah's will was written 13 June 1737 and probated 30 August 1737. She listed her daughters Sarah Cooper and Phobey BLICOR [sic: Blaker], and youngest son Jeremiah. Executors were her sons Joseph and William Hibbs.[19]

Children of William and Hannah (Howell) Hibbs:[20]

  1. Joseph2 Hibbs, b. 1687/8 in Byberry; d. 22 Mar. 1762 in Buckingham; m(1) Rachel WARING (1687-1740); m(2) 1749 Catherine LOVE. He was named co-executor of his mother's will. Had a son Isaac who m. Elizabeth ROBERTS.


  2. there may have been an infant b. 1689, who d.y.?


  3. Jonathan Hibbs, b. 1690; d. 16 Apr. 1722; bur. 19/4m/1722[21]; m. Elizabeth __. Jonathan witnessed the will of William CUNDIT of Lower Dublin, Phila. Co. on 21 Nov. 1719.[22]


  4. Sarah Hibbs, b. 1692; d. 2 Dec. 1769; m. Jonathan COOPER.


  5. Phebe Hibbs, b. 1693/4; m. 1715 Paul BLAKER; in her mother's will of 1737;


  6. Jacob Hibbs, b. 169_; d. 1733/4


  7. William Hibbs, b. 1699/1700; said to have d. 31 Jan. 1789, but this seems rather to be the date of his son's death; m. between 7/1m/1727 and 4/2m/1727/8 in Middletown MM Ann CARTER.[23] Because William1 had died when William2 was still a very young lad, when he grew up and had a son he was called William Senior, and his son William Jr. Children of William and Ann (Carter):[24]
    a) Susanna Hibbs3, b. 22/11m/1728;
    b) Hannah Hibbs, b. 6/4[?]m/1730;
    c) Phebe Hibbs, b. 14/2m/1732; in the will of Thomas NELSON of Middletown, dated 4 June 1753, pr. 4 Aug. 1753, left bequests to "friend Phebe Hibbs daughter of William Hibbs and her son Valentine Nelson, alias Hibbs and any child or children of hers begat by me" also Naomi Nelson alias WILDMAN, daughter of Hannah Wildman; and sister Ann WILSON "as long as she remains Ann Wilson or goes to live with her husband again"; Thomas gave real estate to Valentine Nelson alias Hibbs.[25] Friends minuted that Phebe's behavior was "so disagreeable to truth that friends can do nothing but testify against her", 2/2m/1752.[26] Eight years later, still unmarried, Phebe brought a paper condemning her action, but after consideration, and consultation with the men, it was not accepted.[27]
    d) Sarah Hibbs, b. 4/1m/1734; it may have been this Sarah who paid a substitute fine for her brother, a breach of Friends' peace witness. Her paper acknowledging and condemning her action was accepted by Friends 4/5m/1780.[28]
    e) William Hibbs, Jr. b. 2/10m/1735; disowned 2/9m/1756 for highway robbery. See below.
    f) James Hibbs, b. 7/10m/1737; d. d. 31 Jan. 1789 In his will, dated 12/9m/1785, he identified himself as William Jr. of Northampton township. He did not name his wife. Son Benjamin was made executor. William named his son Nehemiah's children; and his own sons James and William, and daughters Anna WORSTALL, Abigail PARSONS, and Ann SMITH.[29]
    g) Ann Hibbs, b. 12/9m/1739;
    The Middletown Monthly Meeting overseers reported that a complaint was brought against William Hibbs Sr. by Margaret THORNTON for refusing to settle long-standing accounts with her and her late husband Joseph, 6/2m/1755; they were reported settled 6/3m/1755.[30] Later that year William Hibbs Jr. was accused by John WILLIAMS of robbing him on the road at night. William Jr. denied the robbery, and came to monthly meeting but was unable to clear himself. Friends decided 4/12m/1755 that a testimony needed to be made explicitly explaining that because of behavior so inconsistent with Friends' principles, William Jr. could no longer be owned as a Friend. The following month a testimony was read, approved, and ordered to be delivered to William Jr., along with acquainting him of his right to appeal to the quarterly meeting. At the next monthly meeting, 4/3m/1756, it was reported that the testimony had been delivered and William Jr. intended to appeal. But he didn't go to Quarterly Meeting to make his appeal, so "the meeting's judgment stands", Abington minuted in 2/9m/1756. The final step was reading the testimony after meeting for worship, and at the meeting 7/10m/1756 it was reported to have been accomplished. In the meantime, on 6/11m/1755 William Sr. was asked to come to the next monthly meeting on account of his son. But when William Sr. didn't show up, a committee was named to speak to him, 4/12m/1755. They reported back that William Sr. said he would come but he was ill. Friends thought a testimony ought to be drawn up and delivered to William Hibbs Sr., who said he didnít mean to countenance his son's disorder or to slight the meeting, 5/2m/1756. So apparently this acknowledgment was sufficient and the charges were dropped.[31] A few years later the overseers reported that William [presumably Sr. since Jr was disowned] Hibbs "in public railed and villified holy men recorded in the scriptures of Truth". Friends agreed that a testimony be prepared, 4/1m/1759; the testimony was signed, and William said he would not appeal, 1/2m/1759; the testimony was reported read, 3m/1759.[32]
    William is in the Northampton tax duplicate for 1761, assessed on £16.4.0.[33] William was named co-executor of his mother's will in 1737.


  8. Hannah Hibbs, b. 1701/2; d. 1711/2; m. James COOPER and was the grandmother of the author James Fennimore Cooper.


  9. Jeremiah Hibbs, b. 1706; m. Hanna JONES. He was mentioned in his mother's will in 1737.



Second Generation in Pennsylvania


Sarah2 Hibbs, the daughter of William and Hannah (Howell) Hibbs, was born in 1692, and died 2 December 1769. Sarah and Jonathan Cooper were married ca. 1714, presumably in the Byberry meeting house.

Jonathan and Sarah lived in Upper Makefield township.[34] They attended Wrightstown Preparative Meeting which in 1724 was shifted from Middletown Monthly Meeting to Buckingham. In 1734 it became a monthly meeting in its own right.[35]

Children of Jonathan and Sarah (Hibbs) Cooper:[36]

  1. Hannah3 Cooper, b. 10 Apr; 1715; d.y.

  2. Jeremiah Cooper, b. 30 Feb. 1716; m Rebekah WILDMAN under the care of Middletown MM, June 1741. She gave birth to a baby a month later, the child not being her husband's. She obstinently denied it but the meeting testified against her (disowned her) 6 July 1741.[37] He is not in the Bucks Co. tax records.

  3. Hannah Cooper, b. 29 May 1719; m. 1739 John BALDERSTON;

  4. Jonathan Cooper, b. 1 Sept. 1721; he appears in the tax duplicate in Upper Makefield in 1753 assessed on £10.2.6; in 1754 once for £10.1.3, and once for £10.2.6; in 1762 on £5.0.10; in 1763 on£10.2.6.[38]

  5. Phebe Cooper, b. 29 Jan. 1723;


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Notes and Citations


  1. http://www.familysearch.org/Search/af/family_group_record.asp?familyid=1895659, seen 13 March 2000; http://www.genforum.genea...n/pageload.cgi?william::hibbs::109.html (seen 4 July 1999) which seems to reference a 1933, 30 page book, Descendants of William V and Sarah (Holley) Hibbs.

  2. Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 2:19.

  3. Lewis, Topographical Dictionary of England, 2:20.

  4. http://www.familysearch.org/Search/af/family_group_record.asp?familyid=1895659, seen 13 March 2000.

  5. The web reference to Descendants of William V and Sarah (Holley) Hibbs merely suggests that Jonathan died "about the same time" as the father, William, in 1686. I have not checked any of this myself.

  6. Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr., ed., Passengers and Ships Prior to 1684, Publications of the Welcome Society, No. 1 (1970), 141. Citing Woodward and Hageman, 7-10. There was another William Hibbs or Hebes who was listed on the passenger list for the Kent, Gregory Marlow, master, which loaded in London for New Jersey 18 March to 31 March 1677, with additional loadings at other ports, and sailed before May. It arrived first in New York on 16, 12, or 4 August, then went to Perth Amboy, and finally down to the Delaware River, landing first at Raccoon Creek where 230 out of 270 passengers disembarked. Then it sailed to Chygoes Island (now Burlington). The Yorkshire purchasers who came on the Kent settled 1 Tenth Month (December) from Assinpink to the Rancocas Creek. London purchasers settled on 2 December from the Rancocas to Timber Creek. Sheppard, Ibid., 139-140.

  7. Joseph C. Martindale, A History of Byberry and Moreland, in Philadelphia, Pa. Ö new and revised edition edited by Albert W. Dudley (Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs & Co., n.d.), 26.

  8. Thomas Holme's "Map of the Improved part of the Province of Pennsilvania" is dated 1681 but generally thought to reflect real estate ca. 1687.

  9. Ezra Michener, A Retrospect of Early Quakerism; Being Extracts from the Records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and the Meetings Composing It . . . (Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Zell, 1860; reprinted by Cool Spring Publishing Company, 1991), 91.

  10. http://www.familysearch.org/Search/af/family_group_record.asp?familyid=1592993, seen Mar. 3, 2000.

  11. Charlotte D. Meldrum, comp., Abstracts of Bucks County, Pennsylvania Land Records, 1684-1723 (Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1995), 25. "HINEKSTON" seems to be a typo for Hinchkston/Hinchkstone/Hinchstone/Hinckstone which are other variations appearing in the early records.

  12. Information on the Keithian schism can be found in J. William Frost, The Keithian Controversy in Early Pennsylvania (Norwood, Pa.: Norwood Editions, 1980); Jon Butler, "'Gospel Order Improved': The Keithian Schism and the Exercise of Quaker Ministerial Authority in Pennsylvania", William and Mary Quarterly, ser. 3, 31:431ff; Ethyn Williams Kirby, George Keith (1638-1716) (New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, Inc., 1942); Rufus M. Jones, The Quakers in the American Colonies (London: Macmillan and Co., 1911). After a few years the Keithian group disintegrated, with some individuals joining the Anglicans or forming a Baptist congregation, and some returning to Friends.

  13. Martindale, Hist. of Byberry and Moreland, 43-44, 230

  14. Martindale, Hist. of Byberry and Moreland, 111.

  15. Martindale, Hist. of Byberry and Moreland, 230.

  16. Martindale, Hist. of Byberry and Moreland, 230, says only that he d. before 1711.

  17. Phila. Will Abstracts, 2:268, citing book 6, #158, p. 198.

  18. Martindale, Hist. of Byberry and Moreland, 228-29.

  19. Book F, p. 31, as cited by Edmund West, comp., "Family Data Collection" (2001) on Ancestrylibrary.com, seen 6m/10/2007.

  20. familysearch ancestral file v4.19; familyid=1592993.

  21. Phila. Monthly Meeting records as excerpted in William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (Richmond, Ind.: Friends Book and Supply House, Distributors, 1938), 2:444.

  22. Phila. Will abstracts, 2:416, citing book D, #216, p. 186.

  23. Middletown Monthly Meeting Womens' minutes, 1/12m/1727, 7/1m/1727, 4/2m/1727/8.

  24. Middletown Monthly Meeting records, Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College.

  25. Bucks Will Abstracts, 1:162-3, citing Book 2, p. 261.

  26. Middletown Monthly Meeting Womens' min, 5/1m/1751, 2/2/1752, 7/3m/1752, 6/6/1753.

  27. Middletown Monthly Meeting Womens' minutes, 7/2m/1760, pp. 313, 314, 316.

  28. Middletown Monthly Meeting Womens' minutes, 3/2m/1780 through 4/5m/1780, 2:52-55.

  29. Bucks Will Abstracts, 1:453, citing Book 5, p. 125. His daughter Ann Smith was guilty of unchaste action before marriage, meaning her baby was born less than 9 months after the wedding—which was not under the care of Friends. Middletown Monthly Meeting Womens' minutes, pp. 329, 330.


  30. Middletown Monthly Meeting Mens' minutes, 6/2m/1755 and 6/3m/1755.


  31. Middletown Monthly Meeting Mens' minutes, 6/11m/1755, 4/12m/1755, 1m/1756, 2/9m/1756, 5/2m/1756, 2/9m/1756, and 7/10m/1756.


  32. Middletown Monthly Meeting Mens' minutes, 4/1m/1759, 1/2m/1759, 3m/1759.


  33. Terry A. McNealy and Frances Wise Waite, Bucks County Tax Records, 1693-1778 (Doylestown: Bucks Co. Genealogical Soc., 1982), 29.


  34. William W. H. Davis, A History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 2nd ed., (1905, reprinted 1975), 3:573.


  35. Michener, A Retrospect of Early Quakerism, 80.


  36. Middletown Monthly Meeting records, Quaker Collection, Haverford College.


  37. Middletown MM Women's min., 2/2/1741, 7/3m/1741, 4/4/1741, 2/5m/1741, 6/6/1741 (1:197, 198, 199, 200).


  38. McNealy and Waite, Bucks County Tax Records, 15, 19, 20, 36, and 39.


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This page was first posted 7m/8/2007, and updated most recently on 7m/23/2012.