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English Ancestors

What follows is some general background information on the corner of England where the Kirkbride family lived. The only part I have researched myself is about the immigrant Joseph Kirkbride, although I also lean heavily on the work of Roger Clayton.

At one time the family must have lived in or near what is now the hamlet of Kirkbride and like so many folks picked up a sobriquet based on their location, a nickname that eventually became a surname. Kirkbride is near the Solway Firth, in the Allerdale Ward, below Derwent, Cumbria, in the northwest corner of England. More specifically, Kirkbride "is situated on the south side of the estuary of the Wampool, 6 miles north by west of Wigton." In ca. the 1840s there was a small meeting house belonging to the Religious Society of Friends, though there was only one Quaker in the parish at that time. Kirkbride Parish "is bounded on the east and north by the river Wampool, and on the west and south by Oulton and East Waver townships, and is about 1½ miles in length and breadth. It has no dependant township, but contains the hamlets of Longland's-Head and Powhill, lying within one mile south of the village [of Kirkbride], and 1,606 acres of land, rated [in 1841] at £1609 . . . . The soil is various, but in general consists either of a moss earth or clay, and is very level. Its population in 1841, amounted to 372 souls."[8]

There was a Roman camp here, of at least 30 acres. The present church of St. Bridget (aka St. Bride) was built in the northwest corner of the site. Roman pottery sherds and coins found there have been dated between ca. 80-160 C.E. There was also a port in the area, and a paved Roman road from the fort leading south.[2]

The name derives from "Bride", a corruption of Bridget, a beloved Irish saint. St. Bridget (died 523), the second patron saint of Ireland after Patrick, was revered by the early Irish missionaries to the west coast of Britain/Scotland. Later she also had followers among the Vikings who spread out from Ireland to the Isle of Man and then on to the Solway coast. "Kirk" being the old Norse word for church, the name reflects the tumultuous and mixed ethnic heritage of the region.[1] Although it is thought that the present building may have been begun by Saxons (and the chancel arch is of Saxon style) the building is essentially early Norman. Click on the thumbnail picture of the church for more photographs and information. The vestry and porch are later additions. The original church had only a nave and chancel, divided by a chancel arch. The walls are three feet thick, allowing the church to serve as a sanctuary and fortress against marauders.[3]

Early on the church's living seems to have been owned by the WIGTON family. It seems to have been given to Lady Joan de Wigton[4] or Margaret[5] and thereby into the hands of her husband, Sir John de Weston, according to a 1341 inquisition. Later the living became invested in the DALSTON family. It seems that the sixth Earl of Northumberland presented it to King Henry VIII. Apparently both men loved Anne Boleyn, so the gift may have been a gesture of conciliation. In any event, in the 35th year of his reign (ca. 1545) Henry sold it to a local magnate, Thomas Dalston. Thomas already owned part of the manor of Kirkbride, so this presumably rounded out his holdings. This Kirkbride line consisted of the brothers George who married Anne THRELKELD, and Richard who married Christina WHITFELD. The brothers were sons of John de Kirkbride whose older brother Richard died with three married daughters but no sons. The eldest of George's daughters, Elizabeth Kirkbride married John DALSTON of Dalston, and thus part of Kirkbride Manor passed into the Dalston family when George died in 1511. Their son, Thomas Dalston, eventually inherited and purchased the entire manor of Kirkbride. Meanwhile John de Kirkbride was the progenitor of the Ellerton Kirkbrides through his son Richard and Christina (Whitfeld) Kirkbride.[6] However, dashing hopes for more titled ancestors, this line is not "ours".

Back in the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries in the United States white Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs) were eager to prove they were the "real Americans" unlike those southern and East European immigrants (sound familiar?) that were crowding in before the laws got changed to exclude them. In addition they wanted to prove that they had noble, or at least gentry roots back in England. So a regular cottage industry sprang up to find and/or manufacture respectable ancestors for WASPs in the United States willing to pay for their lineages. There was one "researcher" whose name I do not remember, who did actually make up data. Most of the others just jumped to fortuitous conclusions buttressing claims to upper class status. It is good to remember there is much more information easily available now that was very difficult to access a century ago. Anyway, now we are left with amateurs who copy one another's internet genealogies and happily claim all sorts of interesting ancestors, and who steadfastly prefer their "alternate facts" to any solid research. Multiple copies on the internet does not constitute proof. So those of us more interested in facts than reputed glory, labor on for our own satisfaction.

There has been considerable confusion over the identity of Bernard Kirkbride, whom too many secondary sources assume was the father of Matthew KirkbrideA and grandfather of "our" Joseph Kirkbride1, the immigrant. However, there were several contemporaneous men named Bernard. One Bernard married Jane FEATHERSTONE (aka Featherstonehaugh) who can be traced back to King Edward III's son Lionel, born in Antwerp, first Duke of Clarence. This connection links us to many crowned heads of early medieval Europe. However, it has been proved to be erroneous, because Bernard was the last of his line, and he and Jane died childless.[7] In addition, the birth dates do not compute at all well. As Roger Clayton points out, "Bernard K declared himself 36 years old in 1665 (Herald's Visitation) and therefore born circa 1629. Matthew K was born circa 1636 deduced from the Quaker birth record of his first born and son John K in 1657 (I believe named after Matthew's father). However, if you can believe that the Bill and Answer of Matthew K dated 1651 was the same person, then I understand that he would have to be at least 21 years of age and therefore his birth year would be circa 1630. Almost the same year as his supposed father Bernard K".[7a]

Several Kirkbride cousins are trying to find more about the various Kirkbrides through a study of their sixteenth and seventeenth century wills. These have not been transcribed and are extremely difficult to decipher. Roger Clayton has kindly brought to my attention the paper by T.H.B. GRAHAM, The Kirkbrides of Kirkbride who shows unequivically that there were two quite distinct Kirkbride families in Cumberland in the 17th century. One, centered around Ellerton and fathered by the John de Kirkbride mentioned above, was gentry and therefore was the family with the interesting medieval noble and royal connections. The other were yeomen of Kirkbride and environs. This is the family from which the immigrant Joseph descended.[7b]

I'm indebted to Roger Clayton who has been examining wills and church records to learn more about the Matthew KirkbrideA who fathered the immigrant Joseph. Matthew (b. ca. 1630) died in 1680. His son Joseph1 arrived in Pennsylvania in early fall 1682. It appears that two of Joseph's three brothers followed later, in time for them to witness Joseph's second marriage in 1702. Here are the five known children of Matthew and Magdalen (__) Kirkbride as recorded in Holme Monthly Meeting records, begun in 1653, pp. 2, 4, 5, and 6. [Thanks, Roger!]

  1. John Kirkbride, b. 26 Twelfth Mo. [December], 1656 in Kirkbride;

  2. Matthew Kirkbride, b. 14 Fifth Mo. [July], 1659 in Oulton; d. 22 Feb. 1705/6; m. 27 May 1686 Jane WEISS in England at Holme Cultram. The family immigrated to Pennsylvania. Matthew signed his will 17 Feb. 1705 and it was pr. in Philadelphia 14 May, even though Matthew was a resident of Bucks Co. According to the abstract he mentioned wife Jane and children Sarah, "Eles", and Martha, and named his wife Jane and brother Thomas Kirkbride executors. [Phila. Will Index, 1682-1819, B:425] Children of Matthew and Jane (order uncertain, and there probably were more):
    a. Sarah Kirkbride
    b. Eles Kirkbride [Alice?]
    c. Margaret Kirkbride, daughter of Matthew, bapt. 30 July 1693, in Scalby, North Yorkshire; bur. 9 May 1699 "in woolen", Yorkshire; this is a reference to the "Burying in Woolen Acts" that attempted to stimulate the local woolen industry by decreeing that burials must be made in woolen shrouds. It is interesting that other deaths on that page of the register do not mention this.[Bishop's Transcript, "A true copy of Scalby's Register from Lady day 1699 till Lady day 1700" Thanks to Roger Clayton.] I do not understand why Matthew and Jane's daughter was baptized if they were Friends. One possible explanation is that the birth was recorded and the registrar just wrote in "bapt" instead of "born".
    d. Martha Kirkbride, bapt. Jan. 1, 1696/7; [Scalby Parish Register].
  3. Joseph Kirkbride, b. 29 Seventh Mo. [September], 1662; d. 1748; mar. 3 times; apparently the first in his family to immigrate to the Delaware Valley, in the early autumn 1682; 14 children.

  4. Sarah Kirkbride, or Sarra, b. 2 Fourth Mo.[June], 1665; perhaps signed the marriage certificate of Joseph and Sarah STACEY in Tenth Mo. [Dec.] 1702, indicating she must have immigrated to the Delaware Valley by that time. However, due to the placement of her signature, it is quite possible that the Sarah who signed was her niece, the daughter of Matthew [Jr.] and Jane (Weiss).

  5. Thomas Kirkbride, b, 24 Sixth Mo. [Aug.], 1668; Thomas m. the widow Elizabeth (BANNER) Darby in 1707. [So who was the "cousin" mentioned in Joseph Kirkbride's 1736 Will? perhaps a relative back in England?] Thomas had immigrated to Pennsylvania by 1705 when he was named executor for his brother Matthew Kirkbride's estate. Children of Thomas and Elizabeth (may be incomplete):
    a. Mathew Kirkbride, b. 3 3m [May] 1707;
    b. Thomas Kirkbride, twin, b. 13 6m [Aug.] 1712; he may be the Thomas, Jr. who d. 1747; mar. 31 3m [May] 1738 Grace WOOLSTON; had 5 children, and they were members of Middletown MM.
    c. Elizabeth Kirkbride, twin, b. 13 6m [Aug.] 1712;
    d. Joseph Kirkbride, b. 18 8m [Oct.] 1715;

Immigrant Generation

A more detailed knowledge of our particular Kirkbride ancestors begins with Joseph Kirkbride1, who was born 29 September 1662 at Oulton, son of Matthew KirkbrideA. He died in 1737/8 at the age of 75, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was married three times and had fourteen children. Oulton is a tiny hamlet on the Wigton-Kirkbride Road, just north of Wigton. It's west, southwest of Carlisle.

Joseph was a member of Holme Monthly Meeting in Cumbria, England. He ran away from his master to whom he had been apprenticed and, as a single man, joined the group of Quakers sailing to Bucks County on the Bristol Factor. The story goes that he carried only a small bundle of clothing and a flail. The group arrived either 7th month [September] 29, 1682, or on 28 October 1682.[9] Joseph worked at first at Pennsbury Manor, the country estate of William PENN, then settled for a time in West Jersey. While still a young man of 23 in August 1687 he bought 500 acres in Falls Township from Thomas ATKINSON for £35. He was identified as a carpenter. On 23 July 1696 Joseph sold the same 500 acres to Gideon FREEBORN of Rhode island for £50.[10]

Joseph was a surveyor and businessman.[12] An intriguing bond dated 20 Eleventh Month 1687 binds Joseph Kirkbride and Robert LUCAS to Arthur COOKE, Thomas JANNEY, William YARDLEY, and Nicholas WALN for the sum of £24. It further stated that Joseph had £12 in his possession, “being orphanage money belonging to Henry COMLY, son and orphan of Henry Comly, Bucks Co., dec’d.” The estate was to be administered before 14 Tenth Month of the following year.[13] It is interesting that a man as young as Joseph should have been entrusted with these amounts. It is also interesting that only a few months earlier he had had the cash to buy a farm.

Joseph transferred his membership to Falls Monthly Meeting. He married 13 March 1688 at her father’s house, Phebe BLACKSHAW, daughter of Randal (Randle, or Randolph) and Alice (BURGES). No other Kirkbrides were present to sign as witnesses.[14] They had six children including one set of fraternal twins. Joseph's homestead farm remained the home of the Kirkbride family for several generations until 1873 when it was sold to Mahlon MOON, although this may have been a later building, as the British burned the “handsome mansion of [his grandson] Col. Joseph Kirkbride, of Falls” during the Revolution.[11]

Joseph Kirkbride’s name appears fairly frequently in Bucks County real estate records. He witnessed bonds, as on 20 Twelfth Month 1693,[15] and deeds, as on 2 Ninth Month 1695; 22 Fourth Month 1696; 27 Fourth Month 1696; two on 8 First Month 1696/7; 9 First Month 1696/7; 9 First Month 1698; 1 Seventh Month 1698; 20 Twelfth Month 1698/9; 10 First Month 1700; 61[sic] First Month 1700; 6/6/1701, 1/7/1701; 13/6/1701; 2/4/1702.[16] Witnessing documents like these indicates that Joseph was present at the court when it met quarterly to deal with most of the legal issues of the young county. Joseph and Edmund LOVETT served as trustees for the orphaned children of Abraham COX in 1699.[17]

Joseph also bought and sold land. Here the records get interesting and potentially confusing, because they refer sometimes to Joseph Kirkbride, yeoman, and sometimes to Joseph Kirkbride, carpenter. Were these two different men? On 1 Second Month 1697 Joseph Kirkbride, linen weaver, purchased from Edward SMITH, yeoman of Burlington, West Jersey, 150 acres for £13.10. The land was identified as “beginning at land of Robert LUCAS”. Then Joseph Kirkbride, yeoman, sold 50 acres “lying next to widow Lucas’ land” for £13.10 to Peter WEBSTER, husbandman. This was dated 8 Tenth Month 1696, recorded 11 Tenth Month 1697. I am assuming that the first date is an error, and should be understood to be 1696/7?[18] When the townships were officially set off by a jury appointed at the September 1692 county court session, the “lands formerly belonging to the Hawkinses and Joseph Kirkbride and widow Lucas’ land” were included in Falls; just north of them lay Makefield Township.[19] Joseph Kirkbride, yeoman, on 14 Twelfth Month 1693 paid £6.8 to Randel [sic] Blackshaw, yeoman for “a parcel of land containing 3 and 4 acres lying by land of Joseph Kirkbride”.[20] A deed from Joseph Kirkbride to Randal [sic] Blackshaw for an undisclosed sum, 150 acres confirmed to Edward SMITH by deed on 10/3/1689, and another parcel formerly of Randal Blackshaw 112 acres confirmed to Joseph Kirkbride dated 1/1/1696. The present deed acknowledged 1/1/1698/9.[21] The 112 acres were then conveyed by Randle Blackshaw to his son Nehemiah, land identified as lying by land of Peter Webster and Joseph Kirkbride.[22] On 18 Eighth Month 1699 Joseph bought for £25 11 acres from Thomas BROCK, yeoman, adjoining land of Jeremiah DUNGAN ... to land of Anthony BURTON.[23] On 29 Sixth Month 1701 Joseph bought from Jeremiah Dungan, yeoman, two lots in Bristol adjoining land of Anthony Burton, for which he paid £60.[24] Joseph bought for £40 290 acres near the falls in the Delaware adjoining land of William BEAKES, from John PARSONS, carpenter of Philadelphia County, on 1 Tenth Month 1701.[25] Joseph Kirkbride of Falls Township, yeoman, sold 103 acres beginning at a post by the Delaware River and the corner of John LUST’s land to Mathew Kirkbride of Makefield, tailor, for £30.[26] Was more than one man named Joseph Kirkbride involved?

Eighteen years after his arrival, Joseph returned to England, ostensibly to visit his old home in Cumberland and repay his former master. On 3/3/1699 Joseph Kirkbride was given a certificate from Falls Meeting that he was clear to go to England, he had his wife's consent, and that his affairs were in order. He carried a letter from Samuel CARPENTER to William ELLIS in Airton, Yorkshire.[29] A letter from William PENN from England dated 6th month 11, 1699 tells of having seen and talked with Joseph Kirkbride.[30] Samuel Carpenter sent his love to Joseph in letters he wrote to William Ellis 9th month 4, 1699 and 12th month 28, 1700.[31] Genealogist Jane Brey hypothesized that Joseph was instrumental in encouraging Thomas Watson and his family to immigrate to Pennsylvania.[31a] When he was ready to return to Pennsylvania, Pardsay Cragg Monthly Meeting gave Joseph a certificate dated 6th month 7, 1700. But there is no mention of its receipt in the Falls Meeting minutes.[32] He apparently returned on board the Welcome, sometime before 2 Second Month [April] 1701 when the Falls Men’s minutes note that he contributed £2 12s 4d towards the yearly meeting debt.[33]

Joseph was involved in activities of the Friends Meeting. On 4 September 1701, for example, he was named to the marriage clearness committee for John SOTCHER who had announced his intention to marry Mary LOFTY. The process was speeded up so that William PENN, on whose Pennsbury Manor they worked, could be present at their wedding. Joseph was one of four men appointed to draw up the marriage certificate. The wedding was held at Pennsbury on 16 October and the Penns were present. Much later the Sotcher’s daughter Hannah married Joseph Kirkbride’s son Joseph, Jr.[27] On 12 June 1692 Joseph signed the testimony against George KEITH.[28] Joseph was a recorded minister.

Phebe died later that year, 1701, and was buried in the Middletown Meeting burying ground on 29 Seventh Month [September] 1701. She and Joseph had six children, of whom one, Mary, had died in 1694 at the age of one and a half years. It seems likely that Matthew, Mary's twin, also died young, although there doesn't seem to be a record of his death.[34]

When William Penn left Pennsylvania for the second time, in 9th month [November] 1701, a letter of farewell was sent from several Indian chiefs and signed by five of Penn’s loyal supporters, including Joseph Kirkbride.[35]

Falls MM marriage record of Joseph Kirkbride 1703 & Sarah Stacey

Joseph Kirkbride, yeoman of Falls, married for the second time 17 Tenth Month [December] 1702 Sarah STACY, daughter of Mahlon and Rebecca (ELY) Stacy who lived where Trenton is now. This time the marriage certificate was signed by four Kirkbrides: Matthew, Jane, and Thomas clustered together as immediate family of two brothers and a sister-in-law, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th signatures in the right column, and Sarah Kirkbride, 14th in the right column who was probably Matthew and Jane's daughter. Joseph's wife Sarah (Stacy) bore a son, Mahlon, and died soon after. She was buried 29 Ninth Month 1703. The little boy was brought up by his mother’s sisters. Bucks County historian Davis claims she also had two daughters, but this seems to be an error.[36] Sarah inherited 12,000 acres from her brother Mahlon.[37]

Falls MM marriage record of Joseph Kirkbride 1704 & Mary Yardley

Joseph was married for a third time, 17 Eleventh Month [January] 1704/5, to Mary (Fletcher) Yardley, widow. She was the widow of Enoch who, with all their children, had died of smallpox in 1703 leaving Mary the only survivor of their family. This time there were six Kirkbrides to sign the certificate as witnesses not counting the bride and groom.[38] The same two brothers and sister-in-law Jean/Jane, plus three children of Joseph and his first wife. Martha would have been about 10 and a half years old at the time.

As often happened, the court granted Joseph the administration of his new wife’s affairs. He and Mary were given the administration of the estate of Mary and Sarah, the daughters of Enoch, on 11 July 1706. If I read it correctly, the girls died intestate, and Joseph and Mary were granted quietus on 8 February 1706/7.[39] Joseph and Mary went on to have seven more children, giving Joseph fourteen in all.[40]

Joseph’s name appears frequently in the Falls Monthly Meeting Men’s minutes. For example, 5 Third Month [May] 1703 he was one of five men asked to see what help was needed by a Friend who had broken his leg. Later that summer Joseph reported on the needs of another family. On 1 Eleventh Month [January] 1706/7 he and nine other men were asked to review the minutes and copy them neatly into a book. The next month he was named to a marriage clearness committee.[41] In 1708 Robert HEATH made a charge against Joseph, so Falls MM appointed several men to look into the charges.[42] On 7 Fourth Month [June] 1721 Falls minuted that Joseph, and Thomas WATSON were asked to prepare a memorial minute for William BALDWIN, a Friends minister lately deceased. In 1714 Joseph was one of 23 men who signed the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting epistle, along with others of our ancestors, Thomas WATSON and Nicholas WALN, and Richard TOWNSEND who may be our ancestor.[43]

In 1704 Falls Monthly Meeting granted the Friends in Bristol permission to hold a meeting for worship once a month. In 1707 this was increased to twice a month. They met in private homes, but in 1706 Bristol friends complained that they needed a meeting house. One was built in 1710. The unpaid balance of the cost of construction, £86, was assumed by the three monthly meetings of the Quarter: Falls, Middletown, and Buckingham. The building was constructed on a lot donated by Samuel Carpenter. Joseph Kirkbride was one of the five trustees. By 1728 the building was in need of repairs, which were soon made.[44]

On 7 January 1702, Joseph Kirkbride, yeoman of Falls Township, sold to Matthew KIRKBRIDE, tailor of Makefield Township, for £30, 103 acres that had previously been purchased of John PARSONS. [John David Davis, Bucks County, Pennsylvania Deed Records 1684-1763 (Heritage Books, 1997), p. 84, citing p. 123 of vol 3 (1699-1708).] This presumably is our Joseph selling real estate to his brother Matthew. Then on 13 June 1705, Joseph Kirkbride, yeoman of Falls Twp, sold to his brother Thomas Kirkbride for £50, 188 acres . . . line of John SNOWDEN, William BEAKES, Mathew KIRKBRIDE, and Richard HOUGH. [John David Davis, Bucks County, Pennsylvania Deed Records 1684-1763 (Heritage Books, 1997), p. 95, citing p. 221.] So this confirms that Joseph's brother Thomas made it to Pennsylvania.

In 1718 the Pennsylvania Assembly authorized a ferry at “Kirkbride’s Landing” opposite Bordentown. It was established by 1720, perhaps earlier.[45]

Joseph was active in the political life of Bucks County. As a freeman he signed the election return papers.[46] He signed the agreement to take paper money of the lower three counties at par, 1730-31.[47] Either Joseph or his son by the same name was named to a four-man commission to purchase a piece of land in Newtown on which to build a courthouse and prison.[48]

Joseph died in 1738, aged 75. He was buried 1 First Month [March] 1738/9. My thanks to Roger B. Clayton who sent me a facsimile of the will, dated 5 June 1736 and proved 18 April 1738. Joseph identified himself as a yeoman[49] Mary received a half interest in the “plantation where I now live” for her life, plus the residue after other bequests, including a tract on the Raritan River in New Jersey. Joseph gave land to his three sons, Joseph, Mahlon, and John (each with a different mother) to share among them, as well as specific tracts to each one. He mentioned daughter Phebe's children, as she had died before her husband remarried in 1726, his daughter Martha Marriott, and unmarried daughters Sarah and Jane. The latter two were each given real estate, £500, a good bed and its "furniture" (i.e. bedding, curtains, etc.) and chest of drawers. So only seven of Joseph's fourteen children were mentioned, and one of them had died. He left £40 to his cousin Thomas Kirkbride, and £10 to cousin Joseph Kirkbride. It seems likely that these two relatives were back in England. He also instructed that £100 be used to establish a free school.[50] He left a total of 13,439 acres to his family, of which the home farm in Falls consisted of 101 acres and 46 perches. He also left three “Negro boys”, Isaac, Cuffee, and Ishmall, to his son Joseph. His wife Mary and sons Joseph and John were named executors.[51]

Mary lived considerably longer than her husband, dying in 1751. Her will was dated 26 August 1751 and proved 3 January 1752. Her son John and sons-in-law Israel PEMBERTON, Jr. and Samuel SMITH were named executors. Son John and daughter Jane Smith were to divide the household goods, the residue of sheets, table linens, and books. She left bequests of £500 to her daughter Jane Smith and husband Samuel, the five children of her deceased daughter Sarah Pemberton each received £100, £100 to her grandson John Kirkbride when he became 21 years old, £5 each to the five granddaughters who were the children of her “son-in-law” (i.e. step-son) Joseph, £5 to Mahlon’s daughters, £5 to her granddaughter Anna PAXSON, and £5 to her “kinswoman” Grace (Woolston) Kirkbride, the wife of Thomas Kirkbride, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Banner) Darby Kirkbride; thereby Grace was a niece-by-marriage. Mary’s estate in Falls was inventoried 2 First Month 1752.[52]

Children of Joseph and his first wife Phebe (Blackshaw) Kirkbride:[53]

  1. Phebe Kirkbride, Jr.2, b. 1m/7/1689; probably d. ca. 1724 or 1725 before her husband remarried; m. at Falls MM 2 3m [May] 1706 John HUTCHINSON; 6 children; Phebe's father devised £20 to each of her children, excepting Hannah to whom he gave 250 acres in Plumstead Twp. John m(2) 1726 Sarah BURGESS.Falls MM marriage record of Mahlon Kirkbride 1724 & Mary Sotcher

  2. Joseph Kirkbride. Jr., b. 9m/6/1690; d. 1748; m. (1) 26 8mo. [Oct.] 1720 at Falls MM Hannah SOTCHER, daughter of John and Mary (LOFTY) Sotcher; their marriage certificate was signed by his father Joseph, half-brother Mahlon and Mahlon's wife Mary, and brothers-in-law John HUTCHINSON (Phebe) and Thomas MARRIOTT; Martha (Kirkbride) Marriott signed at the top of the middle column. There may be additional signatures on the next page.[Falls MM mar. rec., copy, p. 45-46.] Joseph Jr. mar. (2) 1724 at Falls MM Sarah FLETCHER, daughter of Robert Fletcher, Jr. Joseph inherited three enslaved men from his father. I have not discovered what became of them, or if they lived long enough to be manumitted. Joseph signed his will 21 May 1748 as a yeoman of Falls Twp., proved 22 July that year. He named his wife Sarah, brother-in-law Nicholas AUSTIN, and Mark WATSON executors. He bequeathed the plantation "whereon I live" to son Joseph when the boy turned 21; also named 5 daughters who were devised land in New Jersey that was to be sold so that they would receive cash. [Bucks Co. Abstracts, p. 48, citing Will #261, Will Book 2:108] The assumption is that they would marry men who had their own real estate. Children of Joseph and his second wife Sarah:
    a. Phebe Kirkbride, b. 12 12m [Feb.]1724/5; m. 1746 Joseph MILNOR;
    b. Hannah Kirkbride, b. 23 9mo [Nov.] 1726; m. 1749 Langhorne BILES;
    c. Mary Kirkbride, b. 1729
    d. Joseph Kirkbride, b. 1731; became a Col. in the American Revolution, and his house was burned down by British marauders in 1778.[54]
    e. Elizabeth Kirkbride, b. 1734
    f. Sarah Kirkbride, b. 1736
  3. Matthew Kirkbride, twin, b. 10m/12/1692;

  4. Mary Kirkbride, twin, b. 10m/12/1692; bur. Middletown MM 5/28/1694.[55]

  5. Martha Kirkbride, b. 9m/13/1695; d. 12/11/1742 in Bristol Twp.; m. Falls MM 1713/4 Thomas MARRIOTT, son of Isaac and Joyce (OLIVE) Marriott. Martha Marriott signed her brother Joseph, Jr.'s marriage certificate in 1720.

  6. Hannah Kirkbride, b. 11m/7/1698; bur. 10m/4/1703 at Falls Twp.

Child of Joseph and his second wife Sarah (Stacey) Kirkbride:[56] Falls MM marriage record of Mahlon Kirkbride 1724 & Mary Sotcher

  1. Mahlon Kirkbride, b. 3 9m [Nov.] 1703; d. 11m/17/1776; m. 12/9/1724 at Falls MM Mary SOTCHER, daughter of John and Mary Sotcher. Mary d. 1779. Mahlon was said to be like his father in "piety, public spirit, ability and influence." He inherited 650 acres in Great Bog Meadows (?) Hunterdon County, New Jersey, from his father along with other land. Mahlon and his wife Mary settled in Lower Makefield where their 1730 stone house stood until 1855 when his grandson of the same name tore it down.[57] Mahlon and Mary reared 12 children. Mahlon was in the Penna. Assembly when the Indians fought at Tulpehocken and the people of Reading threatened to revolt; he and 3 others resigned their seats so as not to have to vote for war or violence. In the 1740s Mahlon, like a number of other Bucks County Quakers, bought land in Loudon County, Virginia. He bequeathed the land to four of the seven sons of his daughter, Letitia (Kirkbride) TAYLOR, who had 13 children. Each of the four migrated to Virginia in his early 20s, settled into their inheritances, and lived there the rest of their lives. A fifth brother, who had not been included in the bequest, moved to the area as well.[58] Children of Mahlon and Mary (Sotcher) Kirkbride, all born in Falls Twp., Bucks Co. but there may be two families conflated because some of the birth dates are awfully close[copy of Fall MM Births, p. 195]
    a)   Stacy Kirkbride, b. 29/5m [July] 1725; d. 6 Mar. 1789 in Haverford Twp., Del. Co.; m. 26 Apr. 1753 Frances SMITH; 4 children:
    1. Mary Kirkbride, b. 1754; m. Joseph POTTS
    2. Prudence Kirkbride, b. 1755; m. Edward THOMAS
    3. Sarah Kirkbride, b. 1757; m. Jonathan BUCKMAN
    4. Joseph Kirkbride, b. 1761; m. Mary PAUL
    b)   Hannah Kirkbride, b. 29 Sept. 1726; d. 30 July 1728.
    c)   Mary Kirkbride, b. 22/2m [Feb.] 1726/7; d. 3 Nov. 1787; m. 31 Oct. 1746 Bernard TAYLOR; at least 1 child.
    d)   Sarah Kirkbride, b. 13 Dec. 1729; d. 21 Jan. 1783; m. 31 Mar. 1756 William YARDLEY; 9 children.
    e)   Rebecca Kirkbride, b. 14 Oct. 1731; d. 15 Jan. 1731/2.
    f)   Ruth Kirkbride, b. 10 June 1733; d. 14 June 1733.
    g)   Letitia Kirkbride, b. 23/6m/1735/6; d. 29/4m/1771; m. Timothy TAYLOR (1729-1788).
    g)   Mahlon Kirkbride, b. 9 Mar. 1735/6; d. Feb. 1778; m. Ann RICKEY.
    g)   Robert Kirkbride, b. 23 Nov. 1737; d. 1 ct. 1798; m(1)27 Mar. 1758 Hannah BIDGOOD, 9 children, Hannah d. 6/10m/1784; m(2) 18 Jan. 1786 Hannah WILSON. Children of Robert and Hannah (Bidgood) Kirkbride [Anna Miller Watring, Bucks County, Pennsylvania CHURCH RECORDS OF THE 17TH & 18TH CENTURIES, Vol. 3 (Willow Bend Books, 2003), p. 167]
    1.   Mary Kirkbride, b. 1/10m/1759 [these are new style dates]
    2.   Esther Kirkbride, b. 24/10m/1761
    3.   Mahlon Kirkbride, b. 128/2m/1765; d. 27/9m/1777 [this was during the Revolution]
    4.   Hannah Kirkbride, b. 16/1m/1767
    5.   Sarah Kirkbride, b. 22/2m/1769
    6.   Letitia Kirkbride, b. 15/4m/1771
    7.   Robert Kirkbride, b. 10/3m/1773
    8.   David Kirkbride, b. 17/3m/1775; d. 8/12/1830; m. Mary JONES
    9.   Ann Kirkbride, b. 22/1m/1782; m. William TAYLOR
    h)   Jonathan Kirkbride3, twin, b. ca. 1739; d. 5 Nov. 1824 in Lower Makefield Twp., Bucks Co.; m. 18 Nov. 1767 Elizabeth CURTIS; 6 children.
    h)   David Kirkbride, twin b. 10 June 1739; d. 14 Dec. 1764.
    j)   Joseph Kirkbride, b. 27 Apr. 1745; d. 31 May 1745.

Children of Joseph and his third wife Mary (Fletcher) Yardley Kirkbride:[59]

  1. John Kirkbride, 13 11m [Jan.] 1706/7; d. ca. 6m [Aug.] 1753; m(1) 1730 at Chesterfield MM, NJ, Hannah SIKES; m(2) Edith NEWBOLD in 1744 (granted a cert. to Chesterfield MM, NJ by Falls MM on 8m/3/1744 [William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (1938) Vol. 2: Philadelphia, p. 1007]; m(3) 11m/1750 at Falls MM Margery WOOLSTON, daughter of John. In 1738 John inherited his father's plantation at Falls (half to be his mother's as long as she remained a widow, then to go to John; he also received 900 acres in New Britton Township, a lot and store house in Bristol Twp., and 588 acres currently held by James Grey. Had a son:
    1. John Kirkbride, b. 2 9m [Nov.] 1732; d. by 1768; had an illegitimate child with Jane SIMCOCK, a son, John Simcock KIRKBRIDE, born 30 April 1750 at John Simcock's house in [West] Virginia, Jane's father. Jane Simcock sent a paper to Kingwood MM minuted 8/9m [Nov.] 1750 whereby she "condemned the heinous crime which she had been guilty of by committing fornication." Falls minuted in 7m [Sept.] 1751 that John Kirkbride Jr. had "for some considerable time lain under the imputation of being the [father of the] bastard child born of Jane Simcock." In 1752, Jane Simcock informed the Falls Meeting that John Kirkbride Jr. "has made satisfaction to her and that she desired the meeting to proceed no further against him on her account." Then John "shamefully fornicated" with his step-mother Margery (Woolston). They were both disowned by Falls MM 12m/1753. Margery gave birth to Phineas Kirkbride in 1754. John eventually m. Phebe (WADY?) who removed by cert. from Shrewsbury MM to Falls as Phebe Kirkbride in 1758. She m(2) 5/18/1768 George MERRICK at Falls.
  2. Robert Kirkbride, b. 5 12m [Feb.] 1708/9; d. before his father d.

  3. Mary Kirkbride, b. ca. 1710; bur. 2/18/1712.
    signatures of Israel Pemberton and Sarah Pemberton, 1740
  4. Thomas Kirkbride, b. 31 11m [Jan.] 1712/3; d. young.

  5. Sarah Kirkbride, b. 4 11m [Jan.] 1714/5; m. 2nd mo 1737 at Falls MM Israel PEMBERTON, Junr. In 1738 she inherited from her father the plantation "bought of John BILES". Her father also bequeathed to her £500, a good bed and its "furniture" (i.e. bedding, curtains, etc.) and a chest of drawers. On 25 Mar. 1740 Israel and Sarah signed her half-sister Martha's daughter Anna MARRIOTT's wedding certificate.

  6. Thomas Kirkbride, b. 30 10m [Dec.] 1716; probably d.y., not mentioned in his father's will.

  7. Jane Kirkbride, b. 28 12m [Feb.] 1719/20; m. 1741 at Falls MM Samuel SMITH, an historian of Burlington, NJ. Inherited from her father 440 acres adjoining Edward BOYLE in Bucks Co. in 1738. Her father also bequeathed to her £500, a good bed and its "furniture" (i.e. bedding, curtains, etc.) and a chest of drawers.

Second Generation

Martha Kirkbride2 was born 13 November 1695, the daughter of Joseph and Phebe (Blackshaw) Kirkbride. She married at the Falls Meeting in 1713/4 Thomas MARRIOTT, son of Isaac and Joyce (OLIVE), who was born in 1691 in Burlington, West Jersey (now the state of New Jersey).[60]

Thomas and Martha settled in Bristol, Bucks County. He was an elder in Falls Monthly Meeting and helped found the Bristol Preparative Meeting. He served in the Provincial Assembly of Pennsylvania in 1733, 1734, and 1738.[61]

Martha's father Joseph Kirkbride died in 1737, remembering her in his will. He bequeathed her £300, but it was in the form of three bonds assigned to her husband. He also devised 1,250 acres on the Delaware River in Hunterdon County, New Jersey and 500 acres in Minisink Township to Thomas, although Joseph bequeathed land directly to his two unmarried daughters. This was in line with English law of femme covert under which a husband and wife were legally one person, who was, not surprisingly, the male.

signatures of Thos. Marriott and Martha Marriott, 1740

Martha and Thomas both signed their youngest daughter's marriage certificate at Middletown Meeting, 25 First Month [March] 1740.

Martha died 12 Eleventh Month 1742. Thomas married a second time, a woman named Mary FOULK who died 15 Eleventh Month 1747. According to Falls minutes, Mary “was a considerable time concerned in the ministry.”[62]

Children of Thomas and Martha (Kirkbride) Marriott (may be incomplete, order uncertain):[63]

  1. Joyce Marriott, b. 13day 9m 1714, died 27d 10m 1714 [C238, p. 23] or bur 24/10m/1714. [something is wrong with these dates]
  2. Isaac Marriott, b. 19day 1m 1715, died 2d 3m 1719 [C238, p. 23] or bur 2/3m/1719.
  3. Thomas Marriott, b. 21day 12m 1717. [C238, p. 23]
  4. Mary Mariott ?, b. 1day 9m 1719. [C248, p. 190]
  5. Anna Marriott, d. 5/1/1773; m. William Paxson

To continue the story of this family, go to the Marriott page. Or jump a generation to William Paxson's page. Other families that (I hope) will someday be posted include Blackshaw, Burges(s), and Olive as well. The research on these is not complete yet. Don't hold your breath!

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

Go to the index of other lines that are included (or are hoped someday to be 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 4/1/2004, and updated most recently on 5m/29/2017.

Notes and Sources

View the Photographs that illustrate the Kirkbride family story.

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 til you find the first mention and there you will find the complete citation.

  1. St. Bride's Parish Church, Kirkbride, Cumbria: 1189-1989 Octocentenary, pamphlet from St. Bride's Church, 1-2.

  2. St. Bride's Parish Church, Kirkbride, Cumbria, 3-4.

  3. St. Bride's Parish Church, Kirkbride, Cumbria, 1-2, 5.

  4. St. Bride's Parish Church, Kirkbride, Cumbria, 5, quoting the 1341 Inqusition. Margaret is the name given in Hadley's data file.


  6. St. Bride's Parish Church, Kirkbride, Cumbria, 5. However, there seems to be something amiss with the dates in the pamphlet, as Henry married Anne in 1533. He was crowned in 1509, so his 35th year would be ca. 1544. He died in 1547. T.H.B. Graham, The Kirkbrides of Kirkbride (1914), 63-75. For a thorough account of the Dalston family, seeFrancis Haswell, M.D., "The Family of Dalston" (1909) available (5/2017) at My thanks to Roger Clayton for the link.

  7. Here is the proof that I found on the internet. It seems persuasive to me (unfortunately), although I have not done the research myself. Bernard II Kirkbride registered his pedigree at the Visitation of Penrith, 3/27/1665, stating that his grandfather, Bernard I Kirkbride, of Ellerton, m. Dorothy, daughter of Edmund Dudley. [This is taken from William Jackson, on families of Cumberland and Westmoreland.] So far, so good. But this web page also had the following note from Maureen Rawson [Email: ] to the effect that Bernard Kirkbride had no children. For proof of this, there is a plaque on the wall of the church in Hesket, Cumberland, which states in Latin that he (Bernard II) was the last of his family ["sine prole, extinctus"]. This is published in The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmoreland and Cumberland by Joseph Nichollson and Richard Burn (London 1777), Vol. 2, pages 343-4. Bernard II had an extensive will, dated 27 Feb. 1677 with an inventory. He names his wife Jane, 2 sisters, 2 cousins and many other people. But apparently he had no surviving children. A great many secondary sources, for example Jane Brey, A Quaker Saga, in her note "b" on p. 59, repeat what was commonly thought/hoped to be the case. But those earlier researchers just jumped to the conclusion that the Bernard who was the father of Matthew MUST be the same Bernard who married Jane Featherstone. But such is, clearly, not the case. Gene Stackhouse follows this assumption in his extensive work, as does A Brief History of the Kirkbride Family, with special reference to the descendants of Phineas Kirkbride, 1754-1815, arranged by Edna L. Kirkbride (1932); copied and supplemented with reference to the Guy Carmini Kirkbride family, by Annabeth Hall 1955 (revised 1972); expanded and updated by Jean Kirkbride Pruett (1996). Much of this is on which has slightly different names and dates from those supplied by Glen Stackhouse.
    Unfortunately, what we have here seems to be the proverbial brick wall.

         7a. E mails from Roger Clayton, May, 2017.

         7b. E mails from Roger Clayton, June and August, 2013; April & May, 2017. A copy of the paper can be seen on A more complete explanation of the Ellerton gentry Kirkbrides, who ended with Bernard and Jane who had no children, is in T.H.B. Graham's "Landed Gentry" available at: My thanks to Roger Clayton for providing these links. The data presented here should lay to rest the internet mythology of the Pennsylvania Quaker Kirkbride connection to these upper class British Kirkbrides.

  8. Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847, as transcribed by Steve Bulman, (as of 5/15/2005).

  9. The first date is according to an old family Bible, the second date is given in the Bristol port book. William W. H. Davis, History of Bucks County Pennsylvania (© 1905, reprinted by A. E. Lear, Inc., 1975), 1:38; the Bristol Port Book, E, 190/443/1, as quoted in Brey, A Quaker Saga, 102, 152. There seems to be some confusion over the date of arrival, Davis also offering 11/10m/1681 as the day the Bristol Factor landed its passengers including Joseph Kirkbride, in the Delaware. Citing family accounts, Davis says Joseph’s parents were Mahlon and Magdalene, of Kirkbride, Cumberland.

  10. Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:38; Charlotte D. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks County, Pennsylvania Land Records, 1684-1723 (Westminster, Md.: Family Line Publications, 1995), 14, citing Deed Book A, Vol. 1. p. 132; 52-53, citing Deed Book A, Vol. 1. p. 92. Brey, Quaker Saga, 152, lists it as 800 acres.

  11. Emma Chambers White, Your Family, 54, as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 152; Davis, History of Bucks County, 2:128.

  12. Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:72.

  13. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 16.

  14. My thanks to Roger Clayton for sending me a copy of the Falls MM marriage record which includes this information, e mails April 2017. As a caveat about secondary sources, Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:38 gives the date as 14 March 1688, while on p. 72 he says they were married in 1683.

  15. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 45.

  16. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 46, 51, 52, 58, 67, 71, 75, 86, 87, 88, 89, 92.

  17. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 83, citing Deed Book A, Vol. 3. p. 9.

  18. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 60, 65, citing Deed Book A, Vol. 2. pp. 132, 164.

  19. Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:64.

  20. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 52.

  21. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 75, citing Deed Book A, Vol. 2. p. 238.

  22. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 76, citing Deed Book A, Vol. 2. p. 240.

  23. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 78, citing Deed Book A, Vol. 2. p. 261.

  24. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 88, citing Deed Book A, Vol. 3. p. 55.

  25. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 92, citing Deed Book A, Vol. 3. p. 91.

  26. Meldrum, Abstracts of Bucks Co Land Records, 96, citing Deed Book A, Vol. 3. p. 96.

  27. Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:151.

  28. Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:61.

  29. Falls Monthly Meeting men's minutes, 3/3m/1699; Letters: William and Alice Ellis, ed. Backhouse (London, 1849), 128 and A.C. Myers, Phila. Certificate Removals, 1682-1850, as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 109.

  30. A.C. Myers, Phila. Certificate Removals, 1682-1850, as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 110.

  31. Letters: William and Alice Ellis, ed. Backhouse (London, 1849), 168, as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 112.

        31a. Brey, Quaker Saga, 113.

  32. The certificate, signed by 18 Friends including Thomas Watson, is in FHL, Swarthmore, as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 113.

  33. Jordan, Col. Families of Phila. (1911) 1:546, reports that Joseph Kirkbride kept a journal of his trip, but they were unable to find it, as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 116.

  34. Middletown Mtg records???

  35. Mary S Patterson, "Notes from Eng Frds Rec", mms notes at FHL, as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 118.

  36. My thanks to Roger Clayton who e mailed me facsimile copies of both the original marriage record which is difficult to read and a much later copy. White, Your Family, as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 152; Davis, History of Bucks County, says there were daughters who married Abel Janney and Reuben Pownall, 1:38.

  37. Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:72.

  38. Brey, Quaker Saga, 161.

  39. Philadelphia Administrative Book B:48, 53, as abstracted in the Penna. Gen. Mag. 20:44, 45.

  40. Brey, Quaker Saga, 153.

  41. Falls Men's min as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 161-2, 166, 172, 173, 194.

  42. Falls Men's min as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 181.

  43. PYM and Falls MM minutes as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 189, 193.

  44. Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:319.

  45. On p. 39n Davis gives the date as 1718; on p. 71 “about 1720”, Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:39, 71.

  46. See Penna. Archives.

  47. Brey, Quaker Saga, 287, but see Hist of Phila.

  48. Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:213n.

  49. Bucks Co. Will Book 1:251. My thanks to Roger Clayton for sending me a facsimile of the actual will, e mail April 6, 2017.

  50. Bucks Co. Will Book 1:251.

  51. Bucks Co. Will Bk 1, 251; for secondary sources, see Brey, Quaker Saga, 152-3; Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:72.

  52. Bucks Co. Will Book 2:239.

  53. Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:38-39.

  54. Hank Steubing's research indicates Mary d. 28 6m 1694. My thanks to him for giving me this information.

  55. Davis, History of Bucks County, 1:38, actually names three children, but the two girls seem to be an error.

  56. White, Your Family, as quoted in Brey, Quaker Saga, 152.

  57. Michael R. Yogg, "The Best Place for Health and Wealth": A Demographic and Economic Analysis of the Quakers of Pre-Industrial Bucks County, Pennsylvania (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1988), 172, drawing on Arthur Edwin Bye, A Friendly Heritage Along the Delaware, 59-65. The children are from Rash's Surname List, accessed 1/20/2015.

  58. Horle??? Brey, Quaker Saga, 268.

  59. Brey, Quaker Saga, 268, quoting Falls MM minutes.

  60. C238, p. 23; C248, p. 190; and Brey, Quaker Saga.

  61. Brey, Quaker Saga has no b. date for her; Hank Steubing doesn't mention her.

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See the Photographs that illustrate the Kirkbride family story.

Check out what other lines are on this web page.

See the Paxson family pages.

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

construction under way

This page is still under construction in that there is that big brick wall awaiting demolition. There are also a few citations that are still incomplete or missing.