Some of the descendants of Joseph
and his wife Mary Paxson
of Middletown Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
compiled and copyright by MJP Grundy, 2002
This page attempts to include all the Richardson surname descendants of Joseph Richardson for the first three generations in Pennsylvania, and then a few lines in later generations.
This page is not complete.
Please excuse the construction debris. The citations on this page still need formatting, among other things.
In time this page may have links to related lines such as Dixon, Paxson, and Preston. Please be patient as the entire project is very large and will be under construction for a very long time, and I am unable to work on it full time.
If you have information to correct or add to this account, please send me an e mail to me at . I would be very glad to hear from you.
Possible English Ancestors
Who were the parents of our Pennsylvania Richardsons? Notes of J. Rowland Richardson state that our first Joseph's father was also named Joseph and lived in Swaledale; he died 1 Eleventh Month 1720 and was buried in Lower Ellington, Yorkshire. His wife was Elizabeth Lonsdale. I have not been able to check this out yet myself. If a reader has documentation, I'd appreciate hearing from you.
1. Joseph Richardson1, was born ca. 1700, probably in Yorkshire, England, and died in Middletown Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in April 1772. He married Mary Paxson, daughter of William and Mary (Watson) Paxson in December 1732.
This Richardson line begins rather abruptly with a 7 Twelfth Month [February] 1723/4 [See an explanation of Quaker dates] certificate of removal from Richmond Monthly Meeting, held at Chantrey in Yorkshire for Joseph, Joshua, and their sisters Mary or Amy or Ann (decipher the blot for yourselves in the document below) and Rachel. The certificate was received first by Philadelphia Monthly Meeting on 26 Fourth Month [June] 1724. [Albert Cook Myers, Quaker Arrivals at Philadelphia, 1682-1750: Being a List of Certificates of Removal Received at Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of Friends (Philadelphia: Ferris & Leach, 1902), 77, as seen on http://books.google.com/, 1/21/2008.] The actual document is in the Spruance Library of the Bucks County Historical Society. I would be very pleased to receive information about Joseph Richardson before he emigrated, documenting where and when he was born, and his parents. I do not know when Joseph joined Richmond Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in Yorkshire.
In order to maintain good order Friends' practice was to carry a certificate of removal when they moved to a new location. After such a certificate was requested, a few Friends would be appointed to look into the affairs of the individual, to see that there were no unpaid debts, wedding engagements, or other obligations that might impede leaving. They also gave an account of the individual's lifestyle, or "conversation" as it was often termed then, to see if the person was faithfully upholding Friends' witness to the world. If all was well, the meeting would approve the report and in the early years often all who were present at the meeting for business would sign it. (In later years only the clerk would sign, on behalf of the entire meeting.) Upon arrival in the new location the Friend would turn in the certificate to the new meeting, and he or she would be entered in the minutes as a member in good standing. The same process would happen, in parallel, in the women's meetings for females who were moving. When entire families went together, sometimes the move would only be recorded in the men's minutes, however. Often each child would also be named, but not always.
Joseph and his siblings probably arrived in the new world at the port of Philadelphia. There they turned in their certificate of removal, and apparently went their separate ways. Joseph made his way to Middletown Township, Bucks County, with nothing but the proverbial flail, the clothes on his back, and a single groat in his pocket (or at least that is the family tradition). What became of his siblings is unknown to me, although they may have ended up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. [J. Rowland Richardson notes, 29/6m/1987.]
Joseph hired himself to thresh wheat for William Paxson that winter in Middletown. Presumably he lived with the family while working for them. Apparently he did the job so well, and ingratiated himself with the family, that several years later he married William’s daughter, Mary.
However, before he married, he fully engaged in business as a merchant/shopkeeper. In 1730 Joseph travelled to Barbados on business. Although the only evidence of his trip is his endorsed certificate, we might guess that he was lining up trading partners to exchange Bucks County farm produce for rum, molasses, and sugar.
Joseph Richardson's account book for 1733 still exists. It has a separate page for each person who had an account with Joseph.
With the help of a small legacy from England Joseph bought an acre at the nearby crossroads called Four Lane’s End (now Langhorne), where in 1737 he built a fine stone house and store.
The Richardson store was the only one between the Durham iron works in the north, and the port of Bristol, on the Delaware to the south. He traded cordwood, deerhides, iron, lime, and farm produce in exchange for sugar, molasses, rum, and British manufactured goods.
The building that served as store and home still stands at the intersection of Bellevue and Maple Avenues in Langhorne. Since 1919 when the Richardson family sold the house it has been restored and opened as the Langhorne Community House.
Illustration to the right is from the cover of a brochure put out by the Langhorne Community House. The photo below is from a post card ca. 1900-1910 from the collection of Paul Flack, of Furlong, Pa. The drawing on the lower right is by John Foster, in Bucks the Artists' County Cooks, © 1950 the Women's Auxiliary of Trinity Chapel, Solebury, Pa.
Men of substance were expected to participate in public affairs, but Joseph was not as active as some others. He served on a grand jury in June 1754 and again in March 1756. [QS&CP]
Joseph and Mary were members of Middletown Monthly Meeting.
Joseph signed his will 20 September 1770 and it was proved 29 April 1772. He designated himself as a gentleman, definitely a step above a yeoman. He bequeathed 319 acres in Middletown to Joshua, 150 acres to Mary, 112 acres to Rebecca, land in Northampton to William, and in Southampton to Ruth.
Mary continued to live in Attleboro, Middletown Township, as a widow. Throughout the Revolution she was listed on the various tax duplicates. She had 30 acres, and in 1779 two cattle. By 1781 she had only one cow, and the following year none. By 1785, after the war was over, she had two cattle again. Her tax was 11 shillings and 5 pence.
Mary signed her will 15 March 1783 and it was proved 7 April 1786. She bequeathed things to all five of her living children, and to her grand children. She divided 8 acres between two daughters, and gave 29 acres to her son Joshua along with a large Bible, £50, and Ellwood's History of the Old Testament and New Testament. The silver teaspoons and tongs went to Martha, daughter of Joshua. Two silver tablespoons apiece went to Ruth (Joshua's daughter), to Mary (William's daughter), and to Thomas Jenks (Rebecca's son). The estate inventory came to a total of £942.11.5 1/2. It included items that had been in the house when Joseph died, such as the coffee mill, watering pot, and clock. There were also notes and bonds, and money scales.[Bucks Co. Will Book 4:437, file #2016.]
Joseph and Mary had six children, all of whom lived to adulthood. Their two sons were Joshua (1733-1800) and William (1737-1813).2 i. Joshua Richardson2, b. 23 9m 1733; d. 27 Nov. 1800; m. 16 4m 1761 Sarah PRESTON.
3 ii. Mary Richardson, b. 25 5m 1735; d. 7 Aug. 1806; unmarried. In the 1800 census she and her sister Ruth were joint heads of the household. Her will was dated 5 Jan. 1803, and pr. 16 June 1806. She left a sizeable estate to many relatives. In addition to her siblings and their children, she remembered her cousin Joshua PAXSON, son of her Uncle William Paxson. She left some clothes to Black Ann JOHNSON, wife of Armstrong, and her three children, Fender CARTER, Pennington and Ann Johnson "to clothe her and her children". She also bequeathed Ann £3 per year for 3 years and £15 to school her three children. The executors were her nephew by marriage, Thomas STORY and his wife, her neice Rachel Story.[Bucks Co. will file #3438.] I need to research if Armstrong or Ann Johnson had been Richardson slaves thirty years earlier.
4 iii. William Richardson, b. 3 8m 1737; d. 31 Aug. 1813; m. 1762 Elizabeth JENKS. She was the sister of Thomas Jenks, Jr. who married Rebecca Richardson.
5 iv. Rachel Richardson, b. 29 3m 1739; d. 5 1m 1763; unmarried.
6 v. Rebecca Richardson, b. 27 1m 1742; d. 17 Apr. 1808; m. 22 4m 1762 Thomas JENKS Jr. He was b. 9/10m/1738, the son of Thomas Jenks and Mercy (Wildman). Thos. Jr. d. May 1799. His estate was valued at £3,542.0.11.[Bucks Co. Will #2892.] Thomas was described as "tall and rather fleshy".Fol. 30] Thomas had a fulling mill and saw mills on the Middletown to Newtown Road. Thomas was elected to the Committee of Observation for Bucks Co. 15 Dec. 1774, but resigned for reasons of conscience 21 Aug. 1775 when the committee became more radical and began preparing for violence. He served in the Provincial Assembly in 1775. During the Revolutionary War Thomas was reported to Middletown Meeting for judging in a military affair in 1777. His acknowledgment and repentance were accepted by the Meeting. Between 1780 and 1783 he was fined a total of £9.15.0 for non-participation with the militia. He was elected to the Pennsylvania Constitutional convention held in 1790, and was the first Penna. state senator elected from Bucks County. Thomas served on 4 Bucks Co. grand juries and was foreman of 3 of them in the period after the War, between 1788 and 1795. He and Rebecca were both moderately active in Middletown Meeting. They had 9 children of whom 8 lived to adulthood and 7 were married. Rebecca had a number of fairly elegant possessions which she bequeathed to specified daughters: silver pap spoon, silver knitting bag hook, 6 enamelled china plates, silver tea pot and sugar dish, several looking glasses, old silver cream jug, half dozen silver teaspoons marked TRJ, 6 wine glasses, 2 goblets, spice mill, and books. Total value of her estate was $2,574.09.[Bucks Co. Will #3548, signed 8/5m/1807, pr 27 Apr. 1808.]
7 vi. Ruth Richardson, b. 31 8m 1748; d. 1818; m. 14 or 17 12m 1801 John DIXON (his second wife). No children. John died before Ruth, and she moved in with her sister Mary. Her will was dated June 1813 and pr. 1 Sept. 1818. Executors were her nephews Joseph Richardson and Thomas Story. Notice in the Bucks County Patriot that her land would be offered for sale on 20 Dec. 1823, it was described as 150 acre farm, 30 acres in woodland, in Southampton, then in the tenure of Edmund PLUMLEY, 17 miles from Philadelphia and one mile from the Buck Tavern on the Philadelphia-Newtown road. It was near a quarry and a kiln and thought to have limestone, then a valuable resource. There was a two-story stone house, 1-story stone kitchen, frame barn, spring house. [Bucks County Patriot, 24/4/1827 settlement in orphan's court] In December 1829 a somewhat similar notice in the Bucks County Intelligencer said the sale was necessary to settle the estate. Now it was 130 acres in the possession of tenants William and Samuel PAXSON.[Bucks County Intelligencer, 12/1829.]
Click here to see a Richardson chart.
2. Joshua Richardson2 (Joseph1) was born 23 November 1733 in Middletown Township, Bucks County, and died there in December 1800. He married Sarah PRESTON, daughter of Jonas of Providence Monthly Meeting in Chester County. They had six children before she died on 7 July 1777.
Joshua carried on his father’s mercantile business in Attleboro (as Four Lanes End came to be called). He petitioned to maintain a "public house of entertainment", posting a bond of $2,000 on 13 June 1780. This was a time of high inflation of continental currency, so it wasn't as much money as it might at first seem.
After the battle of the Brandywine, the wounded Lafayette made his way to Middletown. In Joshua Richardson’s house he stretched out his leg on the table to have his wound dressed. The table remained in the family until it was sold in 1927 or 1928.
The revolutionary government seized the property of people it deemed disloyal. A map of some of the "forfeited" property of Gilbert Hicks shows Richardson property in the southwest corner of "Four Lane's End", as the village was called.
Joshua and Sarah were members of Middletown Meeting, Joshua more active than Sarah. He was appointed a trustee for the meeting house and land in 1767, continuing a family tradition. From 1772 to 1785 he served as treasurer, as his father had before him. He contributed £20 to the Middletown school fund. During the Revolution he upheld Friends testimony against taking up arms and was fined nine times. The amounts indicate the rate of inflation and the varying currencies between 1780 and 1783: £9.15.0, £9.15.0, £72. £72, £18, £1.4.0, £1.8.0, £1.8.0, £20.6.0. But after his wife died, twice Friends disciplined him for taking strong drink to excess, in 1779 and 1787. Both times he acknowledged his wrong and promised to do better. [PA; Middletown MM minutes, . For more on Middletown Meeting and the Revolutionary War, see Grundy, The Evolution of a Quaker Community (Edwin MellenPress, 2006).]
Like his father, Joshua served on two grand juries (December 1762 and June 1764) and otherwise did not hold public office.[QS&CP] He voted in the 1 October 1770 election. [#575]
Joshua signed his will 14 October 1800, and it was proved 22 December that year. He named his son Joseph and "nephew by marriage" Thomas STORY as executors. He specified certain tracts of land to be sold so cash legacies could be paid to his grandchildren. His children Jane, Ruth, and Joseph were directed to share equally the expense of supporting "bound negro Mary in case of her becoming chargeable during her servitude as she is in poor health." My assumption is that Mary was indentured for a specified number of years, rather than held in lifetime bondage. His estate inventory included six wine glasses, Fitch's map, a hot plate, and books. It was valued at £767.0.3.[Bucks Co. Will Book 6:307, file #2975.
Joshua and Sarah (Preston) Richardson had one son and five daughters:[Middletown MM recs]8 i. Sarah Richardson3, b. 4 2m 1762; d. 16 9m 1828; m. 13 1m 1785 William ALLEN Jr. They had eight children of whom four lived to adulthood. William was b. 2 8m 1759; d. 8 3m 1837. Sarah received two tracts of 29 and 20 acres, a silver watch, and an old Bible from her grandfather. In 1803 they removed to Falls Monthly Meeting, returning to Middletown in 1813. After the separation in 1827 Sarah was active in the Orthodox meeting.
9 ii. Mary Richardson, Jr., b. 19 8m 1763; d. 2 11m 1799; m. 21 9m 1786 Joshua WOOLSTON (his second marriage). Joshua was b. 19 6m or 7m/1755, the son of John and Elizabeth (Wildman) Woolston; he d. 27/12m/1821. He m(1) 18/9m/1777 Mary STAPLER and had 3 children, of whom 2 survived to adulthood and married. During the Revolution he was fined 9 times for non-participation in the military effort. After the war, 9/1787 he was elected constable for Middletown, and served on grand juries in 12/1789, 6/1790, and 2/1795. Joshua and his second wife, Mary, removed to Falls Monthly Meeting in June 1796. They had six children of whom four lived to adulthood and married. After Mary's death Joshua married a third time, in 1801 Lydia JORDAN, in Horsham Meeting. They had a daughter, Lydia. He brought his family back to Middletown in May 1804. In 1817 Joshua, Lydia, and young Lydia went back to Falls. Mary (Richardson) was moderately active in the meeting. Lydia (Jordan) was recorded as a minister. Joshua's will was signed 20/12m/1820 and pr. 4 Mar. 1822. His wife Lydia received the house and lot where they lived, and another lot during her widowhood. She did not remarry. His estate was valued at $3,419.62, and included a carpet, clock, gun, patent stove, silver watch, books, 6 silver teaspoons, looking glass, and a number of bonds and notes.[Bucks Co. Will Book 10:73, #4935.]
10 iii. Jane Richardson, b. 22 1m 1766; d. 29 12m 1861; unmarried. Jane was bequeathed 20 acres by her grandfather, being the residue of land formerly belonging to the VanHorns. She also received furniture and £200. She lived alone, so appears in the tax and census records as head of household. In 1785 she was assessed on 58 acres valued at $2320. In 1810 her household consisted of one woman between the ages of 26 and 45. In 1815 she was assessed on 35 acres, her tax being 86 cents. In 1825 she had 60 acres and was taxed $6.60. In 1835 it was 35 acres and a tax of $3. In the 1850 census Jane was head of the household which consisted of four other people, including her neice Mary D. Richardson and Benjamin Borden. Her real estate that year was valued at $2,300. Jane was occasionally appointed to small committees by the Middletown Monthly Meeting of Women, and once she was asked to help collect funds for the poor. She remained with the majority of the Meeting after the separation of 1827, so that she was a Hicksite. Her obituary appeared in the Friends Intelligencer, 18 (1862):712. She was known for smoking a pipe.
11 iv. Joseph Richardson, b. 8 9m 1768; d. 28 8m 1826; married 4m 1802 Mary DIXON. She was b. 19 11m 1777; d. 29 5m 1834.
12 v. Martha Richardson, b. 22 7m 1771; m. 2 3m 1797 Seth CHAPMAN, esq. Martha and her sister Ruth inherited from their grandmother 80 acres in Northampton, 26 acres in Middletown, six tablespoons, 8 teaspoons, tongs and cream jug (all of silver), and furniture, which was all to be divided between them. Martha and Seth removed after their wedding to Gwynedd Monthly Meeting, returning to Middletown in 1811. The following year they moved to Muncy Monthly Meeting. They had eight children: John, James, Elizabeth (who m. Charles KAY and had issue: Emily H. Kay and Charles Kay Jr.), Mary Ann, Josiah, Mary (who m. John SMITH), Anna, and Martha Chapman.
13 vi. Ruth Richardson, b. 25 8m 1773; d. 30 9m 1854; m. 11 11m 1802 Robert CROASDALE, son of Robert and Margery (HAYHURST) Croasdale. Ruth was his third wife. Robert was b. 20 2m 1763; d. 15 6m 1821. In addition to half the items bequeathed to her and her sister Martha, Ruth also received £100 from her grandmother. Ruth and Robert lived in Middletown Township, and Robert was a little active in Middletown Meeting. With his first wife, Tacy KNIGHT, Robert had three children. By his second wife, Hannah MITCHELL, widow of Henry, he had one. Robert and Ruth had five children of whom four lived. They were Mary R. Croasdale (b. 7 8m 1803, m. 3m 1828 Samuel BRIGGS); Joseph H. Croasdale (b. 8 1m 1806); Rachel Croasdale (b. 20 11m 1807, d. 9 10m 1815); Tacy Croasdale (b. 28 11m 1810, m. 3m 1833 James BRIGGS); Robert Maurice Croasdale (b. 6 2m 1812, m. 1836 Mercy M. CADWALLADER). After Robert's death their farm had to be sold to cover debts. His will stipulated that Ruth and her four minor children be given a home with Robert's son Jeremiah Woolston Croasdale. [Bucks Co. will file #4834; Pa. Correspondent & FA, 1/1823.] Ruth does not appear to have been very active in the Friends Meeting and after the separation the Orthodox disowned her, presumably for attending meeting with the Hicksites.[Middletown MM Orth. women's minutes, ]
4. William Richardson2 (Joseph1) was born 3 October 1737, and died 31 August 1813, living in Bucks County all his life. On 23 Twelfth Month 1762 William married Elizabeth JENKS, daughter of Thomas and Mercy (Wildman) Jenks. Elizabeth was born 15 Third Month (May) 1746 and died 30 December 1808.[Middletown MM recs] She was the sister of Thomas Jenks, Jr. who married Rebecca Richardson, sister of William.
William and Elizabeth were both very active in Middletown Meeting.
In 1777 during the Revolution, when American troops had comandeered the school, classes were held in William's house. When his team of horses was pressed into military service he sent a person to look after them. As this concern for his property compromised the pure testimony, he offered a paper acknowledging and condemning his behavior, which the meeting accepted. Between 1780 and 1783 he was fined ten times for refusing to participate in military activities. The details of items distrained give a vivid glimpse of the sufferings undergone in wartime to witness to the message of the Prince of Peace--and this list does not include the last two years of war. Some other Friends in Middletown Meeting lost considerably more. ["An Account of Friends Sufferings for the Testimony of a Good Conscience Within the Compas [sic] of Middletown Monthly Meeting", signed by Isaac Watson, Clerk, and James Moon, Clerk of Bucks Quarterly Meeting, on 30 and 31 of Eighth Month 1781. For more on Middletown Meeting and the Revolutionary War, see Martha Paxson Grundy, The Evolution of a Quaker Community (Edwin MellenPress, 2006).]
taken by John Thompson for a substitute fine of £27 - a horse
taken by John Fenton for tax by him & his order 5 1/2 bushel oats, 4 bushel Indian corn
taken by John Gregg for tax 14 bushel Indian corn
taken by John Gregg for tax 10 hundred of hay
taken by Mikel [sic] Gregg under his Brother for tax a young horse
taken by Lafford Lafford for tax 7 bushels of wheat
taken by Mikel Gregg for fine and tax 25 1/2 bushels of buckwheat
taken by John Gregg for tax 14 bushels of Indian corn
taken by Lafford Lafford for tax 4 bushels of wheat
taken by John Gregg for tax 14 1/2 bushels of wheat
William signed his will 9 November 1812, and it was proved 18 September 1813. Simon GILLAM and Joseph Richardson witnessed it. William named his sons William and Joseph to be his executors. The brief inventory included a modern ten-plate stove, looking glass, and silver and china ware. It was valued at $1,616.72 1/2.[Bucks Co. will book 8:349, file #3971.]
William and Elizabeth (Jenks) Richardson had ten children:[Middletown MM recs]14 i. Mercy Richardson, b. 20 Apr. 1764; d. 20 Jan. 1851; m. 9 Jan. 1783 Jacob SHOEMAKER. Mercy was mentioned in her grandfather's will, and in her aunt Ruth Dixon's will. She was given one share, specified that it could not be used as liability for Mercy's husband's debts. Her sons Jonathan and Thomas were given land and other things in trust for their mother. She received a certificate of removal to Northern District Monthly Meeting in Philadelphia in 1781, and returned to Middletown Monthly Meeting in 1782. After her marriage she removed to Philadelphia. Her obituary is in the Friends Review, 4(1851):313, indicating her Orthodox sympathies.
15 ii. Rachel Richardson, b. 21 Nov. 1765; d. 9 Nov. 1844; m. 19 Apr. 1792 David STORY; removed 1792 to Wrightstown Monthly Meeting; her obituary is in the Friend, 18(1845):112.
16 iii. Ann Richardson, b. 12 Nov. 1767; d. 15 Oct. 1829; unmarried. She was very active in Middletown Orthodox Monthly Meeting, serving as assistant clerk, among numerous other assignments. Ann wrote her will when she was in "declining health", specifying that her share of the plantation be divided into four parts to be given to her four sisters. Other land was given to her neices and great neices. Her clock was given to her brother William. She named her brother William and nephew Thomas L. Allen as executors. Her will included a note dated 16 Seventh Month 1829, without witnesses, "This will be read when I am no more, & hope my dear sisters will not think much at my showing partiality to my sister Mary's children and grandchildren they feel to me as my own." Included in the file at the Doylestown courthouse is a note to William, "My Dear Brother upon reflecting I object to that paper being presented to the Register for filing purporting to be apart of Sister Ann Richardson will. [signed] Rachel Story" and dated First Day 15, 1829. She withdrew the objection on 9 Jan. 1830. On 27 April 1830 Samuel Comfort and John Buckman, Jr. attested to the will. Her inventory included gold sleeve buttons, 6 silver tablespoons and 6 silver teaspoons, a large Bible, looking glass, 20 shares of stock in Farmers' National Bank of Bucks County, and some personal bonds (loans she had made to others).[Bucks Co. will file #5968]
17 iv. Elizabeth Richardson, b. 31 Jan. 1770; d. 4 Jan. 1841; m. 18 Nov. 1802 Josiah REEVE. After her marriage she removed to Upper Evesham MM in NJ. Her obit is in the Friend, 78(1905):256.
20 vii. Mary Richardson, b. 19 Sept. 1776; d. 1848; m(1) 1797 Marmaduke WATSON and had 1 daughter, Susanna M. Watson who m. 1817 Thomas L. ALLEN; m(2) Samuel HULME, and had two children. Samuel d. 1 8m 1830.
21 viii. Rebecca Richardson, b. 13 Apr. 1780; d. 19 Sept. 1791.
22 ix. Hannah Richardson, b. 28 Feb. 1783; d. 12 Sept. 1791.
23 x. Thomas Richardson, b. 16 Dec. 1787; d. 8 Feb. 1823; m. Abigail BLACKWOOD. She d. 31 Mar. 1822.
11. Joseph Richardson3 (Joshua2, Joseph1) was born 8 September 1768. He died on 28 August 1826. Joseph married Mary DIXON in 1802. Their marriage certificate is in the possession of one of their descendants. Mary died 29 May 1834, aged 56 years, 6 months, and 10 days.[Middletown MM recs] Mary came from England about 1784 with her parents, who settled at Peale Hall in Philadelphia. [Theodore W. Bean, History of Montgomery County (Phila.: Everts & Peck, 1884), 2:1039, as transcribed by Susan Walters and posted on usgenweb/pa/montgomery/history/local/mchb0027.txt]
. Family tradition says this chair was brought from England by Mary Dixon, 8/24/1784, and close-up of the plaque on it. However, Herb Lapp, who has studied Windsor chairs, believes that it is actually much older, being an excellent example of a 1750 Philadelphia Comb-Back, certainly made no later than 1760. [E mail, 3/2008.]
Joseph moved to Philadelphia with a certificate dated June 1802. He returned in May 1803 with his wife. [PMMM 3:669, 28/1m/1803] He was named a trustee of the Middletown Meeting property in 1801. Mary was very active in the meeting. She served as an overseer from 1814 to 1820, and treasurer from 1821 to 1833. She was recognized as an elder in 1821. At the time of the separation she remained with the Hicksite majority.
Joseph died in 1826, leaving three minor children. After Joseph's death, Mary and her four (then) unmarried children moved in with her son Joshua. There they seem to be in the 1830 census.[fn census] Mary's will was probated 10 June 1834, and her estate was settled on 12 September 1836.[Bucks Co. will file #6643.]
Joseph and Mary (Dixon) Richardson had five children:24 i. Joshua Richardson4, b. 6 3m [Mar.] 1803; d. 1874; m(1) 15 6m [June] 1835 Mary HUNT who died in childbirth; m(2) 1838 Mary KNIGHT. They had three children: Joseph Richardson (b. 1839, who married Hannah Gillingham ROWLAND); Edward Richardson (b. 1841, d. 1917); and Mary Jane Richardson (b. 1844, d. 1917).
25 ii. Mary Dixon Richardson, Jr., b. 16 7m [July] 1805; m(1) 11 3m [Mar.] 1830 in Middletown meeting house Jonathan K. STACKHOUSE; m(2) 13/9m/1849 Benjamin BORDEN of Darby Meeting. Jonathan was b. 28/9m/1796, son of John and Sarah (Knight) Stackhouse; Jonathan d. 17/8m/1842. He wrote his will 24 Sept. 1841 in a "delicate state of health" leaving his wife house and land "forever" (i.e. not just while she remained a widow). As they had no children, he left a 5.5 acre lot to his brother-in-law John Allen MITCHELL, $200 to his sister Margaret WILSON, and various other items to his sisters Anne PAUL, Mary STACKHOUSE, Sarah PAXSON, as well as to his nephew John S. Mitchell and brother-in-law Joshua Richardson (a horse), and nephew Rowland MATHER (another horse), and other nephews and nieces of his sister Anne Paul, and Tacy MITCHELL. The executors were brothers-in-law John A. Mitchell and Joshua Richardson. The total value came to $4,170.91.[Will file #7568.] After she remarried Mary was named an overseer in Middletown mtg. She and Benjamin removed to Gwynedd Meeting. 5m/1857. They were all Hicksite Friends.
26 iii. Rachel R. Richardson, b. 27 7m [July] 1808; d. 1885; after m. 18 10m [Oct.] 1832 Thomas LIVEZEY. He was b. 27 Fourth Month 1803 and d. 2 Tenth Month 1879. He was the son of Samuel and Mary Livezey, of Welsh origin, who settled in Plymouth in 1788. Rachel transferred her membership in 1833 from Middletown to Gwynedd Monthly Meeting. Thomas was a farmer and storekeeper, director of the Bank of Montgomery and of the First national Bank of Norristown. For many years he was a school director, too. Thomas and Rachel had 7 sons: Edward Livezey (b. 1833, d. 1876, m. 4/5/1866 Mary Balderston, the second daughter of Samuel F. and Martha Ann (Griffith) Balderston. Edward and Mary (Balderston) Livezey had four children and lived in Elkins Park, Penna. he was a physician); Samuel Livezey (in the packing business in Chicago); Joseph R. Livezey (engaged in real estate in Philadelphia); John R. Livezey (b. 1842, d. 1867, studied conveyancing with Nathan R. POTTS of Philadelphia, and had a lucrative business); Henry (1843-1846); Henry Livezey [2nd.] (1847-1873, read law with Judge F. C. Brewster, of Philadelphia, and D. H. Mulvany, of Norristown; was admitted to practice at the Montgomery County bar, November 10, 1869, and at the time of his death he was associated with the present Judge Boyer); Thomas Ellwood Livezey (a farmer on the old homestead). [From Theodore W. Bean, History of Montgomery County (Phila.: Everts & Peck, 1884), 2:1038-9, as transcribed by Susan Walters and posted on usgenweb/pa/montgomery/history/local/mchb0027.txt]
28 v. John Dixon Richardson, b. 24 1m [Jan.] 1815; d. 27 7m [July] 1842; unmarried.
18. William Richardson, (William2, Joseph1) was born in 1772 and died in 1832. He married Anna PAXSON, pictured to the right. She was the daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Rodman) Paxson. [This Joseph Paxson was a grandson of the brother of Mary Paxson who married the first Joseph Richardson, above.] Anna was born 6 January 1775 and died 26 September 1863.
William and Anna lived on Mineral Spring Farm in Middletown Township. They had two children. Both children and William had died by 1835. Without heirs, the now childless widow Anna turned to some relatives. She invited Samuel Harrison Paxson, her first cousin once removed, and his bride Sarah Paxson (married in 1836) the first cousin once removed of William Richardson, to join her on her 93 acre farm. The Paxson’s five children were born and raised on Mineral Spring Farm.
The farmhouse served at least once as a stop on the underground railroad. The story has come down in the family of hiding an escaped slave in the garret, and putting the sleigh bells up against the cover of his hiding place so that he would know if anyone had come near. He was not discovered, and was able to continue his journey.
Children of William and Anna (Paxson) Richardson:[Middletown MM recs]30 i. Sarah Rodman Richardson, b. 25 July 1797; d. 10 Jan. 1826; unmarried.
31 ii. William Rodman Richardson, b. 6 Apr. 1801; d. 31 Oct. 1835 of "a pulmonary disease"; unmarried. He was treasurer of Middletown Meeting from 1833 to 1835 and at his death the meeting owed his estate $2.26.[Middletown MM minutes] The 1825 tax assessment noted that he had one horse and was taxed 26 cents. In 1835 he was assessed on 120 acres, 4 horses, 4 cows, a carriage, $1,000 in money and $660 in bank stock. He owed county tax of $12.83 and state tax of $3.88. William was a member of the second agricultural society in Bucks County, involved in its fair in 1827. He wrote his will 12 January 1832 when he was in a "delicate state of health" and left everything to his mother. It was probated 2 Dec. 1835. His mother and uncle John Paxson were executors. His estate included bonds, bank stock, a watch and silver worth $1,485; household goods valued at $468.50; stock worth $70; farming utensils worth $215; grain on hand worth $377; a dividend on bank stock of $26.40 for a total estate valued at $3,441.90. [Bucks Co. will file #6837; death notice in BC Intelligencer].
19. Joseph Richardson, (William2, Joseph1) was born 28 July 1774. He died 2 December 1814. In 1798 he married Rebecca NEWBOLD, the daughter of Clayton Newbold, of Springfield, NJ.
The young couple removed to Horsham Monthly Meeting in 1793, returning to Middletown in 1795. His certificate noted that he was "measurably orderly in Life and conversation, frequently attending religious meetings".[PMMM3:562, 2/9m/1795.] Joseph was moderately active in Middletown Meeting. Rebecca was quite active. She was named an elder in 1811, and recorded as a minister in 1821. After the separation she was part of the small Orthodox meeting.
Joseph was a farmer and tanner.
Children of Joseph and Rebecca (Newbold) Richardson:[Middletown MM recs]32 i. Margaret [or Mary?] N. Richardson, b. 20 July 1799 [Jean Over has her b. 29 July]; d. 1847; m. 20 Oct. 1825 at the Middletown meeting house Jacob D. STROUDT [sic]; they removed in 1826 to Stroudsburg.She was described as "mild, amiable, and accomplished". Her obituary was in the Friend, 20(1847):280.
33 ii. William Richardson, b. 6 Jan. 1801; unmarried. His father bequeathed him 70 acres in Middletown that his father had given him, plus a tanyard in Bridgetown when he reached the age of 21 years.
34 iii. Elizabeth Richardson, b. 14 Sept. 1802; m. John P. BALDERSTON, son of Hugh and Margaret (Wilson) Balderston. They removed in 1829 to Northern District Monthly Meeting in Philadelphia. They had one son, Joseph Balderston.
35 iv. Susanna Richardson, b. 23 Oct. 1804; d. 3 June 1861; m. 23 Oct. 1828 Daniel WILLS; removed 1/1829 to Burlington Monthly Meeting. Her obituary was in the Friend, 35(1862):344, and his 52(1879):16. Both were Orthodox. Daniel was an overseer in Rancocas Prep. Mtg.
36 v. Clayton N. Richardson, b. 20 Dec. 1806; m. Susan Gillam SLACK; Disowned by Middletown Orthodox Meeting in 1831.
37 vi. Hannah Richardson, b. 5 Nov. 1808; m. Josiah NEWBOLD. They removed in 1829 to Northern District MM in Philadelphia. Her obituary was the Friend, 38(1863):264, and his in 67 (1894):120. Both were Orthodox.
38 vii. Ann Richardson, b. 28 Sept. 1810; d. 26 Nov. 1812.
39 viii. Joseph N. Richardson, b. 7 May 1812; d. 15 Nov. 1812.
40 ix. Joseph Richardson, twin, b. 4 Aug. 1813; d. 1 May 1814.
41 x. Rebecca Richardson, twin, b. 4 Aug. 1813; m. William H. BALDERSTON, son of Hugh and Margaret (Wilson) Balderston, brother of John who m. Rebecca's older sister Elizabeth. In 1829 she removed to Northern District MM in Philadelphia. Her obituary was in the Friend, 46 (1873):144; his was in the Friends Intelligencer, 77 (1920):508. Rebecca was Orthodox. They had at least two children, Francis and Emily Balderston.
23. Thomas Richardson3, son of William2 (Joseph1) and Elizabeth (Jenks) Richardson, was born 16 December 1787, and died 8 February 1823. Thomas married Abigail E. BLACKWOOD in Haddonfield, NJ in 1818. Abigail died 31 March 1822. She was received in Middletown Meeting on a certificate of removal from Haddonfield in 1819, along with Ann Blackwood, a minor (I'm guessing Ann was her sister). [Middletown MM minutes]
Thomas was a merchant and farmer in Middletown. The photograph to the right shows his money bag, marked, "T. Richardson, Middletown, Bucks Co., 1821".
After his death at just two months past his 35th birthday, his house and farm were sold.
Child of Thomas and his wife Abigail (Blackwood) Richardson:29. i. John B. Richardson, b. 8/8/1819; d. either before 4/2m/1826 or on 7/3m/1828 [the latter date according to Middletown MM recs].
24. Joshua Richardson4, (Joseph3, Joshua2, Joseph1), son of Joseph and Mary (Dixon) Richardson, was born 6 March 1803 in Attleboro, and died in the late spring of 1874. Joshua married twice. First, on 15 June 1835 he married Mary Carpenter HUNT who died in childbirth, 18 July 1836, aged thirty years, nine months, and nine days. The baby did not survive, either. Joshua married secondly on 15 March 1838 Mary KNIGHT, daughter of Joshua and Jane (BUNTING) Knight of Lower Makefield. Joshua Knight was the son of John and Margery (PAXSON) Knight.[Davis, Hist. of Bucks Co., 3:256.] The photographs below are of Joshua Richardson and Mary (Knight) Richardson. On the map of Attleboro (Langhorne) in 1860, unfortunately, it is a bit hard to decipher the Richardson holdings.
Joshua attended the Friends school in Attleboro, and helped work his father's farm. He liked farming, and continued it as his life occupation. [Davis, Hist. of Bucks Co., 3:255-6.]
Apparently Joshua kept a journal, although as far as I know it has never been published. I do not know where it is now. If any reader knows its whereabouts, please let me know.
Joshua signed his will on 13 May 1873, naming his wife Mary, children Joseph, Edward, and Mary Jane Richardson. He also mentioned his grandson Joshua and his brother Samuel.
Mary was enumerated in the 1880 US federal census as a 69 year old widow, keeping house for her son, Edward, who was a farmer in Langhorne. Mary's daughter Mary J., age 36, was also living there, along with an African-American servant, 25-year old Lottie ANTHONY. [1880 census as transcribed on FamilySearch.org, NA Film T9-1106, page 318A, seen 7/31/2007.]
Mary signed her will on 17 April 1882. She described herself as the widow of Joshua, living in Langhorne Borough. She remembered her four grandchildren: Margaret, Mary R., Samuel, and Joshua, all the children of Joseph and Hannah G. Richardson. She also mentioned her three children, Joseph, Edward, and Mary J. Richardson. Her sons Joseph and Edward were named executors. It was witnessed by Jonathan W. GILLAM and John S. MITCHELL. The will was proved 8 March 1883. [Thomas G. Myers, Bucks County Pennsylvania Will Abstracts, 1870-1900 (Westminster, Md.: Willow Bend Books, 2002), 194, citing Bucks Co. Will Bk. 22, p. 26, file #15811.]
The children of Joshua and Mary (Knight) Richardson: [Middletown MM recs.]42 i. Joseph Richardson, b. 14 Mar. 1839; married 16 Feb. 1865 Hannah Gillingham ROWLAND;
43 ii. Edward Richardson, b. 4 Apr. 1841 [Davis sez b. 21 Apr.]; d. 3 Jan. 1917; unmarried. Edward attended the Friends School and the Bucks County Academy in Langhorne. He was a farmer.[Davis, Hist. of Bucks Co., 3:256] Living with his sister and mother in 1880 census.
44 iii. Mary Jane Richardson, b. 7 Mar. 1844; d. 12 Jan. 1917; unmarried. Attended the Friends school and Bucks County Academy.[Davis, Hist. of Bucks Co., 3:256.] Living with her brother Edward and mother in the 1880 census.
Edward Richardson Mary Jane Richardson
27. Sarah Richardson4, (Joseph3, Joshua2, Joseph1), daughter of Joseph and Mary (Dixon) Richardson, was born 22 4th Month 1812 and died 3 12th Month 1903. On 12 Fifth Month 1836 Sarah and Samuel H. PAXSON were married. They were invited to live at Mineral Springs Farm in middletown Township, byAnna (Paxson) Richardson.
In the 1880 federal census, Sarah was a 68-year old widow living in Langhorne with her widowed daughter, 37-year old Anna PALMER, and granddaughter, 15-year old Sarah E. Palmer. [ 1880 census as transcribed on FamilySearch.org, NA Film T9-1106, page 316B, seen 7/31/2007.]
Children of Samuel H. and Sarah (Richardson) Paxson:i. Mary Richardson Paxson5, b. 18 Mar. 1837; d. 12 Oct. 1867 at the age of 30; unmarried; slightly active in Middletown Meeting.
ii. John Paxson, b. 27 Mar. 1841; d. 3 June 1907 in Newtown; m. Tacie Long; a physician; res. Newtown. His obit is in Friends Intelligencer, 64:398; hers 85:801. She d. 1928; John does not seem to have transferred his membership to Newtown Meeting. They had no children.
iii. Anna Richardson Paxson, b. 27 Apr. 1843; d. 23 Oct. 1898; m. 22 Oct. 1863 Joseph Palmer. He was b. 23 Oct. 1840; d. 23 May 1872. Anna was asked to serve on 5 meeting committees. They had a daughter, Sarah ("Sallie") Palmer who m. Thomas L. ALLEN.
iv. William Rodman Paxson, b. 16 Apr. 1846; d. 15 Aug. 1894; m. 30 Apr. 1874 his distant cousin from Solebury, Catharine Paxson, the daughter of Howard and Mary (Small) Paxson. Had three children.
v. Sarah Paxson, b. 17 Aug. 1851; d. 24 Apr. 1864.
He signed his will in July 1842, and it was probated 12 August that year.
His father bequeathed Clayton the farm he had been living on, plus 16 acres purchased from John WATSON. In an effort not to have to sell the land in order to make cash distributions, Clayton was to pay $2,000 to his mother, and once he came of age, to pay her $100 per year as long as she remained a widow. His brother William was also to pay her $100 a year.[Bucks Co. Will Book 8:443, file #4063.]It is possible that Clayton then lived in the old Richardson house in the center of Langhorne, but this isn't yet clear to me. Can a descendant provide any information on this?
Clayton was disowned by the Orthodox Middletown Meeting in 1831 for hitting a man in anger, apparently with an axle. The story is that the man he struck had refused to take off his hat to Clayton's wife. Clayton was about 25 years old. Thereafter he disappears from Friends' records and it becomes more difficult to trace him.
Susan (or Susanna) made a sampler which, I am told, has come down in her family. Even more exciting, perhaps, is the oil portrait of Clayton, from which this detail is taken.
In the 1880 federal census, Clayton Richardson was enumerated as a 73-year old married gardener, living in the 23rd Ward of Philadelphia with three unmarried sisters, Anna (age 52), Martha (age 47), and Rachel R. SHADE (age 43). Two single men in their 20s who were printers also lived there, Sprague D. HOLDEN and John NASH. Clayton's father was listed as having been born in Pennsylvania, and his mother in New Jersey, which computes. But how or why he ended up in a Philadelphia boarding house is unclear. [ 1880 census for 23rd Ward, District 15, Philadelphia, as transcribed on FamilySearch.org, NA Film T9-1182, page 195A, seen 7/31/2007.]
Child of Clayton N. and Susan Gillam (Slack) Richardson:[This information has been kindly sent to me by their descendants, Nancy and Ted Over.45 i. Elizabeth Newbold Richardson, b. 15 Oct. 1830; m. on 8 Mar. 1861 Louis R. MERSHON, son of Randall and Henrietta (Clemens) Mershon. Louis was b. 4 Oct. 1828. They had two daughters: Elizabeth Richardson Mershon (m. __ KIDDER and had a son, Almon Kidder), and Laura Mershon (m. __ Vail and had two children: Lawrence Vail and June Vail).
42. Joseph5 Richardson (Joshua4, Joseph3, Joshua2, Joseph1) son of Joshua and Mary (Knight) was born 14 March 1839. He married 16 February 1865 Hannah Gillingham ROWLAND, daughter of William D. and Margaret G. Rowland of Middletown.
Joseph attended the Friends School and Bucks County Academy in Langhorne, and Foulk's boarding school in Gwynedd. He was a farmer. [Davis, Hist. of Bucks Co., 3:256.]
In the 1880 US census for Middletown Township, Bucks County, Joseph was enumerated as a 42-year old farmer living with his 40-year old wife Hannah. Their four children were living with them: Margaret (14), Mary R. (13), Samuel (12) and Joshua (7). The younger three were in school. The household also included 24-year old Sarah WORTHINGTON, a Pennsylvania-born servant, and Samuel P. PRICE, a 14-year old African American, also born in Pennsylvania, who worked on the farm. [ 1880 census as transcribed on FamilySearch.org, NA Film T9-1106, page 361B, seen 7/31/2007.]
Joseph and his wife Hannah had four children: [Davis, Hist. of Bucks Co., 3:256; the first three also in Middletown MM recs.]i. Margaret R. Richardson6, b. 23 Feb. 1866; d. 10 Sept. 1932; m. 23 Jan. 1890 Newton May COMLY; they had 6 children who all attended public schools in Bustleton. [Children from ttp://hla.buxcom.net/early_residents.htm#RICHARDSON, seen 5/27/2008.]a) Rowland Richardson Comly, b. December 23, 1890;
b) Bessie May Comly, b. Feb. 1892;
c) Edith Rosier Comly, b. 17 July 1894;
d) John Byron Comly, b. 17 June 1896;
e) Mary Richardson Comly, b. 14 July 1897;
f) Helen Maud Comly, b. 18 February 1899;
ii. Mary Rowland Richardson, b. 13 July 1867; d. 18 Aug. 1915; m. Edwin L. PARRY.
iii. Samuel R. Richardson, b. 25 Feb. 1869; d. 18 Oct. 1951; m. Sarah HIBBS.
iv. Joshua Richardson, b. 12 Nov. 1872; d. 19 Nov. 1945; m. Marian OSMOND; attended Pierce's Business College in Phila.; had some children.
Margaret R. Richardson6, the daughter of Joseph5 (Joshua4, Joseph3, Joshua2, Joseph1) and Hannah Gillingham (ROWLAND) Richardson, was born 23 February [Davis sez 3 Feb.] 1866 and died on 10 September 1932. She married on 23 January 1890 Newton May COMLY of Philadelphia.
Margaret attended public school and the Friends School in Langhorne.
Children of Newton May and Margaret R. (Richardson) Comly. They all attended public schools in Bustleton.i. Rowland Richardson Comly, b. 23 Dec. 1890; attended the Manual Training School in Philadelphia. [Davis, Hist. of Bucks Co., 3:256.]
ii. Elizabeth May "Bessie May" Comly, b. 11 Feb. 1892; m. Wayne Saud EVANS; had 4 children: Rowland Comly Evans (b. 14 June 1921; d. 28 Dec. 1975; m. Henrietta Harvey LATTA; had 3 children); Wayne Saud Evans, Jr.; Anne S. Evans; and Samuel W. Evans III. [My thanks to Kelsey Sullivan for this information, e mail, 1/31/2007.]);
iii. Edith Bosler Comly, b. 17 July 1894;
iv. Joseph Byron Comly, b. 17 June 1896; had a son, Joseph Byron Comly, Jr. [My thanks to Ginger (Comly) Johnson, e mail 4/24/2007, for Joseph's correct name.]
v. Mary Richardson Comly, b. 14 July 1897;
vi. Helen Maud Comly, b. 18 Feb. 1899;
Samuel attended public schools and the Middletown Friends School in Langhorne.[Davis, Hist. of Bucks Co., 3:256.] He was 14 years old when his grandmother, Mary (Knight) Richardson died and remembered him in her will.
Samuel and Joshua took on as housekeeper Catherine Paxson, a widowed cousin who needed a place. On 5 June 1900 the federal census enumerator listed her there. Her two daughters were listed as boarders, Marion employed as a school teacher and Anna "at college". Samuel was unmarried, 31 years old. His brother Joshua was 27, also unmarried. Included in the household was Joseph HENZEY, a 24 year old "servant-farm laborer". [1900 census, enumeration district 23, sheet no. 5, as shown on Ancestry.com.] Curiously, there is no mention of the boys' mother, who may have been an invalid, but didn't die until 1911.
Children of Samuel and Sarah (Hibbs) Richardson???
Joshua6 Richardson, son of Joseph5 (Joshua4, Joseph3, Joshua2, Joseph1) and Hannah Gillingham (ROWLAND) Richardson, was born 12 November 1872. He was eleven years old when his grandmother, Mary (Knight) Richardson, died and remembered him in her will.
Joshua attended public schools and the Middletown Friends School in Langhorne. He graduated from Pierce's Business College in Philadelphia. [Davis, Hist. of Bucks Co., 3:256.]
This Richardson web page is still under construction. The plan is eventually to make an expanded hard-copy book about the Richardsons of Middletown Township, Bucks County..
"Yarrow", block print by Anne E.G. Nydam
copyright 1996, used with kind permissionLast updated 8m/30/2014
If you have corrections and additions please let me know