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compiled and copyright by MJP Grundy, 2007
Daylily, Block print by Anne E. G. Nydam, used by permission

This web page is not trying to be the definitive, all-inclusive study of the Lowther family. Its purpose is to give as much information as possible about the ancestors of Sarah Lowther (b. 1713/4) who married Thomas Ely on 22 Eleventh Month [January] 1734/5. See an explanation of Old Style and Quaker Dates. If you have corrections or additions to this page I would be very glad to hear from you, via e mail to .

English Ancestors

Thanks to a study of The Great Governing Families of England by John Langton Sanford and Meredith Townsend (1865), the Dictionary of National Biography, Burke's Peerage, and a Lowther website posted by Randall S. Treadway, we have a good bit of information about the Lowther family, dating back to the early feudal period. Sanford and Townsend characterize the family as "of the robe" rather than "of the sword", meaning that their influence and standing came more from being lawyers, politicians, and ministers of state than from being generals or admirals. These sources do not always agree, and I have not yet undertaken any primary research of my own to corroborate any particular version.[1]

Presumably the family is of Norman origin, although its progenitor was not one of William the Conquerer's intimates. In fact, their origins seem to be rather obscure, as they took their name from a little Westmorland river. William de Lowther appears at the head of the gentry of Westmorland as witness to a deed during the reign of Henry II (1154-1189). Sir Thomas and Sir GervaseO de Lowther show up in the register of Wethered Priory in the reign of Henry III (1216-1272).[2] [See the explanation of the National Genealogical Society's Numbering System used on this web page.]

The family became more visible on the pages of history with the great grandson of Sir GervaseO, who was the son of Sir JohnM Lowther. This was Sir Hugh LowtherL, who performed the functions of Attorney-General in the twentieth year of the reign of Edward I. He can be considered "the founder of the great fortunes of the house." He was "a justice itinerant and escheater on the north side of the Trent". He represented the shire of Westmorland in parliament in 1300 and 1305. For the next five hundred years there was always either a Lowther, or someone directly appointed by the Lowthers, sitting in parliament. Sir Hugh's brother, Thomas de Lowther, became a justice in 1330, and the following year Chief Justice of the King's Bench in Ireland. This seems to have started a family trend of exporting the younger sons to Ireland.[3]

Sir Hugh possessed lands in the hamlet of Whale, in Thurmby, the manor of Lowther, and the manor and town of Widehope in Cumberland.[4]

Sir Hugh's son, another Sir HughK (d. 1371), sided with the Earl of Lancaster in the struggle with Gaveston. Later he made his peace with the king. Hugh married the daughter and heiress of Lucie or Lucy, Lord Egremont, Baron of Cockermouth. Hugh was granted a license to make a park of his manor of Lowther. Once this feudal privilege had been obtained, the family rested there for some generations.[5] We only get the briefest of vignettes of their lives in terms of what remains in written records. Incidently I have not yet done any primary research. There are no doubt more legal kinds of documents squirreled away in archives in England.

Sir HughK's eldest son, Sir RobertJ (d. 1430) contributed in 1401 to building the choir of Carlisle Cathedral.[6]

Sir Robert's son, another Sir HughI, was sheriff of Cumberland. He fought at Agincourt, which must have been the defining act for his generation.[7]

The grandson of the Agincourt hero, yet another Sir HughG, married Anne THRELKELD, the daughter of Sir Lancelot Threlkeld, and half-sister of John or Henry, 9th Baron Clifford.[8]

The son of HughG and Anne, JohnF, was captain of Carlisle Castle in 1545. Twice he served as sheriff of Cumberland, during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-1547). John married Lucy, the daughter of Sir Christopher CURWEN of Worthington.[9]

JohnF and Lucy's son HughE married Dorothy de CLIFFORD, daughter of Henry, Tenth Baron Clifford. His claim to fame is being the "Shepherd Earl" of Wordsworth's "Song of the Feast of Brougham Castle".[10] The marriages of grandfather and grandson created a "double alliance" that "greatly increased the importance of the Lowthers."[11] HughE Lowther died ca. 1546, before his father JohnF, who died in 1552. Therefore Hugh's eldest son, RichardD, became heir to the Lowther inheritance.

Sir Richard LowtherD, son of Hugh and Dorothy, was born 14 January 1531/2 in Lowther Hall, Westmorland. It is a parish—St. Michael's—four and three-quarters miles south from Penrith, bounded on the west by the river Lowther. Several generations later in 1682 the village of Lowther was demolished by the then Sir John Lowther. He rebuilt it as New-town, with carpet and linen manufacturing which, however, were not successful.[12] But this is getting ahead of our story.

At the age of twenty two RichardD became the sole heir of his grandfather Sir JohnF, indicating his father and any of his father's siblings had died by 1553/4. In 1560 Richard was appointed Deputy to Lord Henry SCROPE, Warden on the British side of the Scottish border. Richard's principle duty was to lead raids into Scotland. For this work he was knighted in 1565. He was appointed High Sheriff of Cumberland in 1568 and again in 1588. In 1591 he held the office of Lord Warden of the West Marches.[13]

Randy Treadway tells the story that on 17 May 1568, with a party of 400 men, Richard raided the home of Henry FLETCHER and took Mary, Queen of Scots into custody. Sometime later Richard fell under the spell of Mary, and became involved in several of her conspiracies to rescue her from English imprisonment. For these indiscretions he was confined to the Tower of London twice between 1570 and 1573.[14] With a perhaps somewhat different bias, J. L. Sanford and M. Townsend write that Richard was sent by Elizabeth to receive Mary, but that he "earned the Queen's displeasure in this office; but he had not incurred the hate of any of the Queen's Ministers".[15] The Dictionary of National Biography tells a somewhat fuller and more nuanced story. After her defeat at Langside in May 1568 Mary sent a letter to Richard asking if he could ensure her protection. He replied evasively, promising to ask his Sovereign, but adding that if Mary were forced to enter England he would protect her. On May 16 Mary landed at Workington in an open fishing boat. The next evening Lowther and a party of local gentry escorted her to Carlisle Castle. There the charming Mary essentially held court for her admiring public. The Earl of Northumberland arrived, expecting to take Mary under his protection, but Lowther refused. There was a violent altercation, but since Lowther was backed by the guards of Carlisle Castle, he won the day. Then he imprudently permitted the Duke of Norfolk to visit Mary. She wrote to Elizabeth mentioning how kind Lowther was to permit this, and Elizabeth was furious. Lowther was heavily fined by the Star Chamber. By the end of the month Sir Francis KNOLLYS and Lord SCROPE had taken charge of Mary. On her way under guard to Bolton Castle she stopped the first night at Lowther's place, praising the warm hospitality of him and his family. The Abbott is a highly fictionalized romance by Sir Walter SCOTT based loosely on the incident of Richard and Mary. The next year Richard joined an uprising that was intended to coalesce behind Mary. His younger brother Gerard had to flee arrest as the plot unravelled. Richard was involved in yet another plot, this time to free Mary from Tutbury Castle. For this the Duke of Norfolk was executed in 1572. Meanwhile Gerard cleared himself, probably through the influence of his wife, Lucy DUDLEY, widow of Albany FEATHERSTONEHAUGH. Gerard then became a bencher in Lincoln's Inn, and sheriff of Cumberland in 1592. He built a house in 1585 which centuries later became the Two Lions Inn in Penrith.[16]

To return to our Sir Richard LowtherD, he married Frances MIDDLETON, daughter of John and Anne (TUNSTALL) Middleton. Richard died 27 January 1606/7. His will was dated 7 December 1607. [There is something wrong with the date; the will should have been signed in 1606 if he died in January 1606/7; or, if it was signed in Dec. 1607, it would have been proved in Jan. 1607/8. See an explanation of Old Style Dates.] In any event, the will was witnessed by John ADAMSON, Christopher FETHERSTONE (the family seems to have shortened the name), Henry NELSON, Mathew GRAYNE, Robert ADDISON, Jr., and John LOWTHER. He declared himself "sicke in body but perfect in memory".[17]

Children of Sir Richard and Frances (Middleton) Lowther:[18]

  1. Richard LowtherC, d. without issue.

  2. Sir Lancelot Lowther, d. 10 Jan. 1637; m(1) Elizabeth Welbury, daughter of Anthony; m(2) Anne COOTE, daughter of Thomas. Held office of Baron of the Exchequer in 1617; knighted in 1631.

  3. John LowtherC, b. 18 Feb. 1551/2, in Lowther, Westmorland. It was probably John's son or grandson, Richard Lowther who in 1638 gave 100 to support a school in Lowther. No children.[19]

  4. Anne Lowther, b. in Middleton Hall, Lowther; m. Alexander FEATHERSTONE[HAUGH], and had a son Christopher (perhaps the man who witnessed his grandfather's will in 1607?). Websites try to connect this extended family by way of a daughter of Featherstonehaugh of Stanhope Hall who m. Thomas FORSTER of Etherstone; their son Sir Roger FORSTER m. Joan HUSSEY; their son Thomas FORSTER of Hunsden, Herts. m. Margaret BROWNING of Chelmsford, Essex. They, in turn, were the parents of yet another Sir Thomas FORSTER (1548-1612) who m. Susan FOSTER. Their daughter, Susan FORSTER, m. Thomas BROOKE. I have not been able to verify the early links in this chain.

  5. Sir Christopher Lowther, b. 8 Sept. 1557, in Lowther, Westmorland; d. 1617 in Lowther Hall; m(1) Mary WILSON or Eleanor MIDDLETON; m(2) 1576 Eleanor MUSGROVE and they had 8 children including a son Sir John Lowther (1590-1637), who is the ancestor of the present, 8th Earl of Lonsdale (Hugh Clayton Lowther, b. 1949). Sir Christopher was a member of the Council of the North.[20]

  6. George Lowther, b. 23 Sept. 1558; d. 28 July 1562, both in Lowther.

  7. Florence Lowther, b. 7 Sept. 1559, in Lowther, Westmorland;

  8. Frances Lowther, b. 19 Oct. 1560, in Lowther, Westmorland; m. 10 Mar. 1593/4 Thomas CLEBORNE or Cilburn, and had a son, Edmund Cleborne.

  9. Gerard Lowther, b. 11 Dec. 1561, in Lowther, Westmorland; d. 14 Oct. 1624; bur. 29 Oct. Christ Church, Dublin; m(1) Grace BELLINGHAM, daughter of Alan Bellingham and Dorothy SANDFORD; m(2) ca. 1598 Anne (BULMER) Welbury, widow of Anthony WELBURY. Founded Lowerton (now Irvinetown) in Ireland where he served as judge, 1610-1624. He was granted large tracts of land in Counties Tyrone and Fermanagh where he built Lowtherstone castle. Dying without issue at age 62 he bequeathed his estate to Sir Richard Lowther, son of his brother William of Ingleton. He was knighted 3 May 1618.

  10. Hugh Lowther, b. 1563, in Lowther, Westmorland; m. widow BUROUGH. Served in British army; lived in Lowtherstone, County Fermanagh, Ireland.

  11. William Lowther, b. 30 Jan. 1573/4, in Lowther, Westmorland; d. 21 July 1641 at Ingleton, Yorkshire; m. Eleanor WELBURY.

William LowtherC, youngest son of Richard and Frances (MIDDLETON) Lowther, was born after a ten year gap, in Lowther, Westmorland, on 30 January 1573/4. He died in Ingleton, Yorkshire, 21 July 1641 at the age of 67. William married Eleanor WELBURY. She was the daughter of Anthony Welbury, born in 1578 in Castle Eden, Durham, and presumably the sister of Elizabeth, the wife of William's brother Lancelot Lowther. Eleanor died 27 August 1620.[21]

Anthony Welbury married Anne BULMER (ca. 1548-14 Oct. 1624), daughter of Sir Ralph Bulmer and Anne TEMPEST of Wilton-by-Redcar, Yorkshire. Anthony died 5 November 1596 at Castle Eden, County Durham. Anne then married, ca. 1598, as his second wife Sir Gerard Lowther, son of Sir Richard Lowther and Frances Midletown [sic].[22]

Beginning with William, our family now descends through a cadet branch and we see the impact of primogeniture. Although all sons of the family have the right to the Lowther arms, our branch no longer had any claim on the great bulk of Lowther real estate, possessions, position, and prestige. William's eldest son, Richard, however, managed to pull himself and some of his descendants back up into the aristocracy.

William, as the youngest of four surviving sons, had to find his own way and place in the world. He removed to Ingleton, West Riding, Yorkshire, and was known as William Lowther of Ingleton. Ingleton is a chapelry in the parish of Bentham, union of Settle, nine and three quarters miles northwest from Settle.[23]

Eleanor died in August 1620; William died 21 July 1641.

Children of William and Eleanor (Welbury) Lowther:[24]

  1. Anne LowtherJames LowtherB, b. 21 Nov. 1600, in Lowther, Westmorland; m. ca. 1621 Thomas HEBER.

  2. Richard Lowther, b. 30 Apr. 1602, in Lowther, Westmorland; m. Isabel FLETCHER, second daughter of Sir Richard of Cockermouth. Richard Lowther was "of Wolsey Castle, Cumberland", i.e. Governor of Pontefract Castle. He was a counsellor of law.[25] He seems to have been the heir of his uncle, Gerard Lowther. Had at least at least five sons, including:

         a) Henry Lowther of Ingleton and Cockermouth, second son; had 3 sons, and his youngest daughter Mary m. Joseph SMITH, Provost of Queen's College, Dublin.

         b) George Lowther of Skrine Abbey, Co. Meath, fifth son, m. Frances PIERS, daughter of Henry and Jane (JONES) Piers of Tristernagh. They had a son:

               1. Edward Lowther of Kilrue, m. Mary CUSAC, daughter of Sir Patrick of Gerardstown; they had a son:

                   a. Gorges Lowther of Kilrue, d. 11/6m/1716; m. 1711 Jane BERESFORD, daughter of Sir Tristram, 3rd Bart.; had a son:
           1) Gorges Lowther of Kilrue, b. 25/11m/1713; d. 1792; m. 1738 Judith USHER, daughter of St. George Usher, Lord St. George; had a son:
    1. George Lowther of Kilrue and Lowther Lodge, d. 1785; m. 28 July 1767 Frances PONSONBY (d. 19 Nov. 1802, daughter of Chambre Brabazon Ponsonby of Ash Grove); had a son:
    a) Gorges Lowther of Kilrue, later of Hampton Hall, b. 1769; d. 23 Feb. 1854; m(1) 1791 Catherine Adeline Pauline de Mont Brison (d. 5 Mar. 1792, daughter of Cayent de Mont Brison); m(2) July 1794 Julia HUNTINGFORD (d. 1830, daughter of Rev. Thomas Huntingford, brother of Bishop of Hereford); had many children including:[26]

           1) Maud Lowther, m(1) Thomas LEGH who owned Lyme Park in Shropshire famous for the BBC filming of Pride and Prejudice with Mr. Darcy swimming in the lake. Thomas Legh had been married first to Ellen Jane (TURNER) Wakefield, who had been abducted by Edward Gibbons WAKEFIELD. (After serving a jail sentence for the abduction Wakefield went on to become a main driver in the founding of New Zealand.) After Thomas Legh's death Maud m(2) Auguste Des Champs de la Tour from a Huguenot family line one time Lords of Burgundy in France. The Legh family have connections to John WILKINSON who was involved with Abraham DARBY's famous Iron Bridge and later set up Wilkinson Sword Edge Razor Co. which is still operating. Thomas Legh was Lord of the Manor of the area close to All Saints Church, Milford-on-Sea, where Maud and Auguste are buried.

           2) Brabazon Lowther, m. Ellen Jane Wakefield, daughter of Ellen Jane (TURNER) Wakefield (his sister's first husband's first wife).

  3. Gerard Lowther, b. 16 Apr. 1603, in Lowther, Westmorland; d. 25 May 1604.

  4. Hugh Lowther, b. 6 June 1604, in Lowther, Westmorland; d. 24 Oct. 1604. He is not listed on

  5. Launcelot Lowther, b. 1 Sept. 1605, in Lowther, Westmorland; d. 7 Apr. 1661, age 55; m. Sarah MILBANK.

  6. John Lowther, b. 1608 in Shirmingham [Birmingham?]; m. Margaret KING. On John b. and d. 10 May 1607.

  7. Robert Lowther, b. 29 Jan. 1609/10 in Ingleton, Yorkshire; d. after 1665; bachelor of law and Chancellor of Carlisle.

  8. Frances Lowther, b. 1 May 1612 in Ingleton; m(1) William NEWBY; m(2) Henry CURIER.

  9. Eleanor Lowther, b. 11 June 1613 in Ingleton; m. __ WALKER.

  10. Florence Lowther, b. 22 Oct. 1614 in Ingleton;

  11. Elizabeth Lowther, b. 17 Dec. 1615 in Ingleton; m. Anthony BAUCHE.

  12. Thomas Lowther, b. 6 Sept. 1616 in Ingleton.

  13. George Lowther, b. 13 July 1618 in Ingleton; d. in Ireland; m. Elizabeth FITZGERALD;

  14. James Lowther, b. 17 Aug. 1620 in Ingleton.

George LowtherB, next to the youngest son of William and Eleanor (Welbury) Lowther, was born 12 July 1618 in Ingleton, Yorkshire. George married Elizabeth FITZGERALD.[27]

His opportunities to get ahead in his home neighborhood were very small. So he followed an old family pattern and removed to Ireland. Although he returned to England for a while, and his oldest son was born in Ingleton, he went back to Ireland where he spent the rest of his life. He was Captain of the Horse for the Duke of Ormond.[28]

Children of George and Elizabeth (Fitzgerald) Lowther (order uncertain, may be incomplete):[29]

  1. William LowtherA, b. 13 Nov. 1642 in Ingleton, Yorkshire; d. ca. 1727.

  2. daughter

  3. daughter

  4. daughter

William LowtherA was born 13 November 1642 in Ingleton, Yorkshire. He died in 1727 in Ireland. Presumably as a child he moved with his parents to Ireland. William married first Jane KELSO, ca. 1671. Jane was born in Inniskillen, County Ulster, the daughter of the Rev. Robert Kelso of Scotland. Jane died by 1677, perhaps in childbirth. William then married 24 July 1677 Isabel LANCASTER, who was born in Armagh. I do not know if there is a connection, but in 1654 James Lancaster (d. 1699) from Alney Island (in the Severn River), Gloucestershire, was one of several English Friends who came to Ireland to spread the Quaker message.[30]

William became a Quaker in 1675.[31] But the records are somewhat confusing because there was another William Lowther, son of Anthony and his wife Margaret (PENN), sister of William PENN. I do not think these Lowthers were Friends, but they do show up in Pennsylvania real estate and other legal records.[32] There was also Thomas Lower (d. 1720) who married Margaret FELL's daughter Mary (1647-1720).[33]

Our William Lowther was a weaver. This was quite a come-down from his titled ancestors—not untypical of the younger son of younger sons. He died in 1727 in Ireland.[34]

Children of William and his first wife Jane (Kelso) Lowther:[35]

  1. Henry Lowther1, b. 1672 in Armagh; m. Amy FEATHERSTONE (b. Ballinskill, Co. Westmeath); had children: Eleanor, Jane, William, Edward, Hannah, Samuel, John, Henry, and Mary Lowther.[36]

  2. Elizabeth Lowther, b. 1677 in Armagh.

  3. Children of William and his second wife Isabel (Lancaster) Lowther:

  4. Samuel Lowther1, b. Nov. 1681 in Armagh.

  5. Mary Lowther, b. May 1684 in Armagh; m. 15 Mar. 1710/1 William SPROULE.

  6. Hannah Lowther, b. Apr. 1691 in Armagh; m. 5 Jan. 1717/8 Samuel LAYBORNE.

  7. William Lowther, b. 1694 in Tober, Kings Co., Ireland; d. 1750 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

  8. John Lowther, b. Jan. 1696/7 in Tober; m. 24 May 1723 Elizabeth RISSELL and had a son William Lowther.

Immigrant Generation

William Lowther1 was born in 1694 in Tober, Kings County, Ireland, and died in 1750 in Lahaska, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He married Martha __. Their six children were born in Westmeath.[37]

In 1729 William, Martha, and their six children emigrated to Pennsylvania, along with Edward and Rebecca FARMER, settling first within the verge of Abington Monthly Meeting. The four adults took possession of a grant of 1000 acres. When it was discovered that part of it lay within the German Land Company's possessions, the proprietors ordered a resurvey and laid out a new thousand acres. Part was in Oley township (then in Philadelphia County), and two tracts were in Bucks County. William and Martha transferred to Buckingham Monthly Meeting (their certificate was received 6 November 1734) and settled on the "Lowther Plantation" near Doylestown, in Bucks County. It bordered on the Lumberville and Durham Roads, about four miles northeast of Doylestown and mile southwest of Mechanicsville.[39]

Martha died ca. 1748, and William died in 1750 in Lahaska. The will of William Lowther of Buckingham, weaver, was dated 12 September 1750, and probated 1 November 1750. The preamble states that he made his will "for preventing disputes that might otherwise hereafter arise in my family, touching the estate with which it has pleased God to bless me". I do not know if this was boilerplate or if he had reason to fear future discord. He left 60 to his son-in-law James BRADSHAW, James to give security to provide for Thomas's granddaughter Hannah Lowther, daughter of Thomas's son Robert. The balance of the estate was to be divided equally among all children, Joel excepted, who was to get two shares.[40] Joel was not the eldest surviving male, so this was not a nod at primogeniture (which was not uncommon among wills of English colonists in this period). It is possible that Robert already had received land. But the bequest does raise questions.

Children of William and Martha (__) Lowther:[41]

  1. Sarah Lowther2, b. 1713 in Westmeath, Ireland; m. 22 Jan. 1734 Thomas ELY.

  2. Robert Lowther, b. 1714 in Westmeath, Ireland; d. 1780; m. 20 Feb. 1735/6 in the First Presbyterian Church of Phila., Aquilla REESE, daughter of Joseph and Rebecca of Plumstead; Aquilla was disowned by Buckingham MM in 1738. Ca. 1740 Robert and Aquilla moved to Moorfield, Hardy Co., on the Potomac. In 1770 Robert and his children moved to harrison Co. Robert and Aquila had children: Thomas, Hannah, Mary, Sarah, Col. William Beamer, Rebecca, Jonathan, Henry, Joseph, and Joel Lowther.

  3. Joel Lowther, b. 1715 in Westmeath, Ireland; m. 5 July 1738 in First Presbyterian Church, Phila. Phoebe ELLIS; both of them were disowned by Buckingham MM in 1740. Among his descendants there are spelling variations: Lother by Welsh who disregarded the "w", Louder and Lowder by Germans who used a "d" instead of "th". They had a son John Lowther who m. Martha VASTINE, daugher of Jeremiah ca. 1760, and lived in Hilltown, Bucks Co..[42]

  4. Ruth Lowther, b. 1720 in Westmeath, Ireland; d. 1803; m. 1738 James BRADSHAW (b. 1711 in Ireland, son of John; d. 13 Mar. 1776 in Bucks Co.). William Lowther sold 70 acres of the Lowther plantation to James, and after William d. in 1750 his executor, Benjamin Fell, sold the rest of it to James. It remained in the Bradshaw family for several generations, James bequeathing it to his oldest son, John. After her children were grown, she and several of them became Friends. Ruth and James had 12 children: John, Robert, Rachel, William, Ruth, James, David, Amos, Mary, Joel, George, and Sarah Bradshaw. This line is continued on the web site of Randy Treadway.

  5. Martha Lowther, b. 1723 in Westmeath, Ireland; m. 7 Nov. 1774 in the Buckingham Meeting house Joseph CARVER, son of William and Elizabeth (Walmsley) Carver, and grandson of John and Mary Carver who immigrated in 1682. Had a son Joel Carver, whose children were Joel, Jr., Rachel, and Robert Carver.

  6. Mary Lowther, b. 1725 in Westmeath, Ireland; m. 2 Aug. 1745 in Buckingham Samuel SIMPSON (d. 1790 or 1795). Samuel was clerk of Plumstead Preparative Meeting for 20 years; the family transferred to Abington in 1765. had children: Joel, Martha, Benjamin, Samuel, William, and Amos Simpson.

Second Generation in Pennsylvania

Sarah Lowther2, sometimes spelled Louder, daughter of William and Martha[44] was born 20 January 1714. She emigrated with her family from Westmeath, Ireland to Upper Buckingham ca. 1729. They were Friends. Sarah married 22 Eleventh Month [January] 1734/5 in Bucks County Thomas ELY under the care of Buckingham Monthly Meeting.[45]

The couple settled on the eastern end of Thomas's father's land, he having conveyed to Thomas 150 acres, including the farm occupied a century ago [ca. 1905] by Edward PAXSON.[46]

In 1773 the family moved to Harford County, Maryland. Harford County was formed in 1773 out of the northeast part of Baltimore County. Following the good order of Friends, they took with them a certificate of removal to Deer Creek Monthly Meeting. Certificates for Sarah and her husband, and for their daughter Ruth were received 5 Eighth Month 1773.[47] The Monthly Meeting had been formed in 1760 by the joining the preparative meetings at Deer Creek and Bush River, on the west side of the Susquehanna, originally under the care of Nottingham Meeting, part of Western Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. The next year Friends in Fawn township became an Indulged Meeting under Deer Creek's care. In 1766 Susquehanna or Bayside Meeting (near Havre-de-Grace) became the fourth preparative meeting of Deer Creek Monthly Meeting. In about 1763 Deer Creek Friends built a meeting house at Darlington. In 1790 Deer Creek MM was attached to Baltimore Quarter of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Sarah was clerk of Deer Creek Women's MM in 1790.[48]

Even though most of his children were grown, all but Ann accompanied Thomas to Maryland.[49]

Sarah had died by 27 Third Month 1794 when their son William announced his intention to marry Martha PRESTON, and he was identified in the Deer Creek MM minutes as the son of Thomas and Sarah Ely, deceased.[50]

Children of Thomas and Sarah (Lowther) Ely:[51]

  1. Thomas Ely3, b. 1735; m. 24/1m/1776 at Deer Creek Hannah WARNER, daughter of Croasdale Warner. On 24/4m/1790 Thomas and wife Hannah, and children George, Elizabeth, Mary, Hugh, and Amoss produced a cert. of rem. from Deer Creek MM to Gunpowder Monthly Meeting.[52]

  2. Sarah Ely, b. 11 Nov. 1737, Solebury twp.; d. 27 Mar. 1796 in Muncie, Northumberland, Md.; m. 1758 Benjamin WARNER. Cert. of removal from Buckingham received 2/6m/1772 by Deer Creek. [53] They were still there in 31/8m/1780 when their daughter Mary announced her intention of mar. to James HAYHURST.[54]

  3. Martha Ely, b. 19/12m/1739; d. 9 Dec. 1817; m. 10 Nov. 1772 Isaiah BALDERSTON.

  4. Ann Ely, b. 4 May 1742, Buckingham twp.; d. 2 Dec. 1781; m. 1763 Thomas ELLICOTT; remained in Bucks Co.

  5. William Ely, b. 1752; d. 1803 in Darlington, Md.; m. 30/4m Apr. 1794 Martha PRESTON, daughter of Henry and Rachel of York Co., Penna.;[55] removed to Md.

  6. Mahlon Ely, b. 1754; d. 1812 in Baltimore, Md.; m. Mary LITTON; requested cert. of removal from Deer Creek MM to Baltimore Monthly Meeting 28/4m/1796, he was received 13/7m/1797 and removed to the western district of the city.[56]

  7. Hugh Ely, Jr., b. 1756?; d. 1799 in Harford Co., Md.; m. 5 Jan. or May 1774 Sarah BALDERSTON, sister of Isaiah who m. Hugh’s sister Martha in 1772. They were children of John Balderston of Solebury. On 29/3m/1798 Hugh requested to be released from recording marriage certificates, births, and burials for Deer Creek MM.[57] Tradition says that Hugh fell from a rock while fishing in the Susquehanna River near Darlington, Md., and was drowned.[58] On 24/10m/1799 reported that “Hugh Ely, our clerk, is deceased”.[59] There is a will of Hugh Ely, 1799.[60] On 25/12m/1800 Sarah Ely, relict of Hugh, announced her intention to marry Joshua BROWN, son of Joshua and Hannah, both deceased.[61]

  8. Joseph Ely, b. 17 Mar. 1757; d. 20 Aug. 1819, bur. Deer Creek Cem, Darlington, Md.; m. Ann JONES on 2 July 1789 by a "Baptist Teacher". Presumably they were dealt with for this infraction; Joseph Jones did bring a paper on 8/10m/1789 condemning his assistance to Joseph Ely.[62] Joseph ELY was a farmer.[63]

  9. Rachel Ely, b. 1760; d. 1803 in Harford Co., Md.; unmarried. She was present at a number of weddings in Deer Creek MM.[64]

  10. Ruth Ely, b. 1761; her certificate of removal from Buckingham MM was received by Deer Creek MM 30/9m/1773;[65]

To continue the story of this family, go to the Ely page.

construction under way This page is still under construction, needing additional primary research, as well as filling in some of the missing endnotes.

If you have additions or corrections to this web page, I would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact me via e mail at .

Go to the index of other lines that are included in this website (not all of them have been posted yet).

Go to the Paxson home page.

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This page was posted 12/23/2007, and updated most recently on 10m/17/2016.

Notes and Sources

The full bibliographical citation is given the first time a source is mentioned, but is not repeated each time that source is cited. Scroll up till you find the first mention and there you will find the complete citation. My apologies for the missing endnotes.

  1. John Langton Sanford and Meredith Townsend, The Great Governing Families of England, 2 vols. (Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1865), 1:54.; The Dictionary of National Biography: From the Earliest Times to 1900 (London: Oxford University Press, reprinted 1937-38) hereinafter cited as DNB; 12:222;; Encyclopaedia Britannica (1970).

  2. Sanford and Townsend, Great Governing Families, 54.

  3. Sanford and Townsend, Great Governing Families, 54-55.

  4. Sanford and Townsend, Great Governing Families, 55.

  5. Sanford and Townsend, Great Governing Families, 55.

  6. DNB 12:222.

  7. DNB 12:222. For a thorough and readable account of Agincourt, see Juliet Barker, Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle that Made England (New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2005).

  8. DNB names him John; Sanford and Townsend call him Henry. I think I'll go with the DNB.

  9. DNB 12:222; Randy Treadway. It would be interesting to discover if there was any connection between Sir Christopher and the Quaker Alice Curwen who, ca. 1672 wrote a letter sharply criticizing slavery in Barbados.

  10. DNB 12:222.

  11. Sanford and Townsend, Great Governing Families, 55.

  12. Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 3:165.

  13. Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 2, page 2396, as cited on, accessed 4/20/2013.

  14. "Lonsdale, Earls of", Encyclopaedia Britannica (1970), 14:303, which says he was born in 1529.

  15. Sanford and Townsend, Great Governing Families, 56.

  16. DNB 12:222-23.

  17. First two sons are listed in Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, 2:2396, but are not given on other lists, perhaps because they had no issue.

  18. Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 3:165.

  19. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, 2:2396.

  20. Townsend, Burke's Landed Gentry, 1:463.

  21. G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), 2:414-420; and, Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 2, page 2396, as cited by, accessed 4/20/2013. Also John William Walker, Yorkshire Pedigrees (London: Publications of the Harleian Society Visitations, 1942-1944), 94:77, as cited by, accessed 4/20/2013.

  22. Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 2:559.

  23. Townsend, Burke's Landed Gentry, 1:463. Additional information, especially on Maud, a descendant, from Jim Butterworth, e mails 3/2012.

  24. My thanks to Jim Butterworth for information on Maud and Brabazon, e mails 3m & 8m/5/2012. Kate Atkinson's Abduction tells the story of Ellen Jane Turner. I have not done any research on these people myself.

  25. Wigham, The Irish Quakers, 18. James Lancaster was the one who, when Fox was being attacked and had been knocked to the ground and was being stoned, flung himself down on top of Fox's body to protect him.

  26. Randy Treadway's web page.

  27. William Penn's sister Margaret m. Anthony Lowther, and they had several sons, one of them William (1675-1705) who was granted a large tract, the "manor of Bilton" stretching from Valley Creek on the east to Pickering Creek on the west; other siblings were granted "the manor of Lowther" on the east bank of the Perkiomen, some distance north of the Schuylkill. Penn Papers, 2:426, 483, 484, 648.

  28. See, for example, Penn Papers, 4:426, 483, 484, and 648.

  29. Mrs. Ada Lowther Wilkinson, "The Lowther Family of Buckingham", A Collection of Papers Read Before the Bucks County Historical Society, Vol. V (1926), 465, accessed on, 12/28/2015.

  30. Bucks Will Abstracts, 1:149, citing Book 2, p. 220. A transcript of the will is in Wilkinson, "The Lowther Family of Buckingham", 467-68.

  31. William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (Richmond, Ind.: Friends Book and Supply House, Distributors, 1938), 2:391; Wilkinson, "The Lowther Family of Buckingham", 466-67.

  32. Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, 2:391; Wilkinson, "The Lowther Family of Buckingham", 466.

  33. Her name is given as Ruth by William W. H. Davis, A History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 2nd ed., (1905, reprinted 1975), who is no doubt copying Ely, in Reuben Pownall Ely, Warren Smedley Ely, and Daniel Brittain Ely, comps., An Historical Narrative of the Ely, Revell and Stacye Families who were among the founders of Trenton and Burlington in the Province of West Jersey, 1673-1683 with the genealogy of the Ely descendants in America (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1910) 162; but Ely also calls her Martha, Ely 171. Wilkinson, "The Lowther Family of Buckingham", 466, lists her as Sarah. This begs for some primary research.

  34. Pennsylvania Archives, series 2, 9:260.

  35. Ely, et al., An Historical Narrative of the Ely, Revell and Stacye Families, 171.

  36. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland, 135.

  37. Norma Jacob, ed., Quaker Roots: The Story of Western Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Kennett Square, Penna.:Western Quarterly Meeting, 1980), 54-55; Wilkinson, "The Lowther Family of Buckingham", 466.

  38. Ely, et al., An Historical Narrative of the Ely, Revell and Stacye Families, 171, 172.

  39. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland, 154.

  40. Ely, et al., An Historical Narrative of the Ely, Revell and Stacye Families, 172; FamilySearch on the web.

  41. Henry C. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland: Births, Deaths, Marriages and Abstracts from the Minutes, 1716-1800 (Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1993), 88, 113, 136, 147.

  42. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland, 135.

  43. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland, 140.

  44. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland, 124, 154.

  45. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland, 156, 195, 229.

  46. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland, 159.

  47. Ely et al, Ely, Revell and Stacye Families, 172.

  48. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland, 161.

  49. AJ 2 200.

  50. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland, 162.

  51. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland, 146, 147.

  52. Biographical Record of Harford and Cecil Counties, Maryland (orig. pub. 1897, published with new index by Family Line Pub’ns  & Harford Co. Genealogical Society, 1989), 317.

  53. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland, 112, 113, 115, 119, 124, 125.

  54. Peden, Jr., Quaker Records of Northern Maryland,

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