Settlers of Edgmont. - Among the earliest purchasers of land from the proprietary were Joseph Baker, John Worrall, Philip Yarnall, Robert Pennell, Joseph Pennell, Ephraim Jackson, David Register, John Houlston, Samuel Bishop, and in 1722 appear the names of Jonathan Hunter, Samuel Lewis, Joseph Pratt, Henry Howard, James Sill, Jacob Taylor, and others, whose names still survive in their descendants in the limits of the township.
The descendants of Joseph Baker and Mary, his wife, are very numerous throughout Delaware and Chester Counties. He represented Delaware County in the Provincial Assembly, and died in 1716. His son, John, born in Edgmont the 11th of Tenth month, 1686, inherited all his land in the township. When Dr. Ash's map was published, in 1848, Abel, Thomas, and William Baker were land-owners, as well as Edward, George, Abel, and Anthony, sons of Edward Baker.
John Baker, a brother of Joseph, died in Philadelphia in 1685, and left four daughters, - Rebecca, Mary, Dorothy, and Sarah. In 1684, Roger Jackson, Mary, Hannah, and Sarah Baker appear as purchasers from William Penn in Edgmont. Mary married William Coebourn, Hannah to Francis Yarnall, and Sarah to Charles Whitacre.
Phillip Yarnall, with his brother, Francis, came from Cloynes, in Worcestershire, England. They first settled in Springfield township, adjoining George Maris' land, about a mile from Springfield Friends' meeting-house, on the road to Clifton. This land was conveyed to Francis, Oct. 17, 1683, and for several years they were members of Darby Monthly Meeting of Friends. Francis married Hannah Baker, of Edgmont, and purchased five hundred and ten acres of land adjoining Edgmont line, in Willistown township, extending from Crum Creek westward nearly two miles, a large portion of which is still held by his descendants. He was a member of the Provincial Assembly, and died in Willistown in 1721. His son, Mordecai, was a noted preacher among Friends, and removed to Philadelphia. Peter, a grandson, born Second month 17, 1754, studied medicine, entered the army, and afterwards sailed as surgeon's mate on the privateer "Delaware" during the Revolution. He subsequently renounced warfare, and became a noted Quaker preacher.
Lieut. John Jolliff Yarnall, who served with Commodore Perry in the battle of Lake Erie, was a descendant of Francis. The Legislatures of Pennsylvania and Virginia each voted him a sword for bravery. He was commander of the privateer "Epervier," lost at sea with all on board in 1815.
Professor Mordecai Yarnall was also a descendant. He was an astronomer connected with the National Observatory at Washington, and died there Feb. 27, 1869, in his sixty-second year.
Philip Yarnall married Dorothy Baker, Second month 20, 1694, and purchased four hundred and eighty acres in Edgmont, extending from the Middletown line to the road running westward from the present village of Howellville, and erected his house at the place now owned by William H. Miller, an eighth of a mile west of the Temperance Hall. He died in 1734, and his wife in 1743.
They had ten children, - John, born First month 5, 1695, died Seventh month 4, 1749, at Wilmington, married Abigail, daughter of John Williamson, of Newtown; Philip, born Ninth month 29, 1696, married Mary Hoopes; Job, born First month 28, 1698, married Rebecca -----, and died in Ridley in 1740; Sarah, born Eighth month 25, 1700, married Evan Ellis; Benjamin, born Eighth month 20, 1702; Thomas, born Sixth month 10, 1705, married Martha Hammans; Nathan, born Twelfth month 27, 1707, died First month 10, 1780, married three times, to Rachel Jackson, Hannah Mendenhall, and Jane Beazer; Samuel, born Second month 10, 1710, married Sarah Vernon; Rebecca, born Sixth month 6, 1712, married William Jones, of Plymouth; and Mary, born Eighth month 23, 1718, married Samuel Milner, of North Wales.
Samuel Lightfoot's notes of the survey "due west" from Philadelphia for fixing the Maryland boundary in 1738 states that they passed twenty feet from Thomas Yarnall's house (now the home of Caleb Yarnall), twelve perches south from Philip Yarnall's house, and fifty perches south of John Yarnall's (now James Thorp's). This gives the residences of three of the sons at that date.
John and Abigail Yarnall had six children, - Mary, born 1722, died 1792, married three times, - to Thomas Pennell, John Lea, and James Preston, - and was the mother of Dr. Jonas Preston, founder of Preston Retreat, Philadelphia. Thomas, born 1724, died 1759, married Margaret, and lived in Thornbury. Ann, born 1729, died 1797, married John Thomson, and was the grandmother of John Edgar Thomson, the engineer and president of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Isaac, born 1732, died 1765, married Mary Bennett; his grandson, Isaac Yarnall, was commissioner of Delaware County; another grandson, Reuben Yarnall, born Fifth month 18, 1800, is now living in Philadelphia; on the 8th of April, 1884, he, with his wife, Rachel, daughter of Davis Garrett, celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of their wedding. Abigail Yarnall, born 1733, died 1803, married Jesse Garrett. Hannah Yarnall, born 1741, died 1818, married Thomas Garrett, of Willistown.
The children of Philip and Mary were Grace, Philip, David, Abraham, Jane, Elizabeth, Esther, Dorothy, and Mary.
The children of Thomas and Martha were Margaret, William (the ancestor of Thomas Yarnall, a minister among Friends), Job, Caleb (ancestor of Owen Yarnall, the present county commissioner), Joseph, Hannah, and Sarah.
The children of Nathan and Rachel Yarnall were Ephraim, born 1733; Nathan, born 1736; Benjamin, born 1738, who moved to Cecil County, Md.; John, born 1739; Edith, born 1743, married Joshua Sharpless; Joel, born 1745; Samuel, born 1748; Eli, born 1753, died 1812, a noted Quaker preacher; Joshua, born 1755; Ellis, born 1757, who removed to Philadelphia in 1774, became a prominent merchant, leaving many descendants, among them Rev. Thomas C. Yarnall, of the Episcopal Church in West Philadelphia; and Robert, born 1761.
In 1696, Ephraim Jackson purchased one hundred and twenty acres of the southern portion of Philip Yarnall's land. He was born in 1658, and came from England in 1687, and in 1695 married Rachel, daughter of Nicholas Newlin, of Concord, and died in 1732. He was a good penman, kept the Friends' records, and wrote many deeds and marriage certificates and other records, which are still in existence. Their children were John, born 1697; Joseph, born 1699, married, first, Hannah Pennell, second, Susana Miller, and settled in Londongrove; Nathaniel, born 1701; Josiah, born 1702; Samuel, born 1704, married Ann, daughter of Robert Johnson, and moved to Lancaster County; Ephraim, born 1706, married Mary Register; Mary, born 1708, married Benjamin Johnson; and Rachel, born 1710, married Nathan Yarnall.
Jacob Smedley, born Twelfth month 31, 1801, married, Eleventh month 13, 1826, Jane Yarnall, daughter of Isaac and Mary Yarnall, of Edgmont. Their children were Isaac Y., born 1827, died 1853; Abram P., born 1829, now a dentist in Media; Nathan, born 1831, died 1884; Hannah P., born 1836; William Alfred, born 1838, died 1852; and Bennett L., born 1839, a druggist in Philadelphia. Jacob was a surveyor and conveyancer, and, with Enoch Lewis, made surveys of a railroad from Chester to West Chester, along Chester Creek, in 1835. He was surveyor of Media, where he now resides, and held the position of clerk of the county commissioners for twenty-one years.
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