Project: William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers

Categories: Middle Colonies | Pennsylvania | William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project | Pennsylvania Projects

* Welcome to the William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers WikiTree Project

* This project exists to bring together WikiTreers interested in improving the profiles of the people who emigrated to the Pennsylvania during and following the year 1682.

The initial focus is those settlers who arrived aboard 23 ships in 1681 and 1682 with William Penn's Society of Friends, or Quakers, and settled primarily in what is now called Pennsylvania.

The main aims are to grow the trees of these early arrivals and learn more about their history and lives.


Related Projects

Project's Mission


The William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers WikiTree Project was created to bring together WikiTreers interested in improving the profiles of the people who emigrated from Europe to William Penn's Pennsylvania during and following the year 1682.

From 1682 until 1776, this included "Delaware Colony in the North American Middle Colonies" which was "a region of the Province of Pennsylvania although never legally a separate colony. . . . it was part of the Penn proprietorship and was known as the lower counties. In 1701 Category:Delaware gained a separate Assembly from the three upper counties but had the same Governor as the rest of Pennsylvania."[1]

William Penn's Society of Friends, or Quakers, are the initial focus for this project. Specifically, those settlers who came in 1681 and 1682 with William Penn's fleet. Penn was among the 100 passengers who set sail aboard the Welcome on August 30, 1682. "Smallpox breaks out on board. Penn, who had already had the disease at age 3, administers to the sick. Penn lands at New Castle on 27 October (Delaware is also owned by Penn, and was at that time part of Pennsylvania)."[2] The project aims to grow the trees of these early arrivals and learn more about their history and lives.

However, the project could expand to cover other groups, as Penn's stance on religious freedom attracted a wide variety of settlers:

Long before [Penn's] death, Pennsylvania ceased to be a spiritual place dominated by Quakers. Penn's policy of religious toleration and peace--no military conscription--attracted all kinds of war-weary European immigrants. There were English, Irish, and Germans, Catholics, Jews, and an assortment of Protestant sects including Dunkers, Huguenots, Lutherans, Mennonites, Moravians, Pietists, and Schwenkfelders. Liberty brought so many immigrants that by the American Revolution Pennsylvania had grown to some 300,000 people and became one of the largest colonies. Pennsylvania was America's first great melting pot.[3]

  1. from a note on another WikiTree page
  2. from Penn's Timeline
  3. from William Penn, America's First Great Champion for Liberty and Peace, by Jim Powell

Additional Reading

In addition to the sites at footnotes 2 and 3 above, I found the following sites of interest:

On-Line Free Published Pennsylvania Resources:

The Bowne Family Biographies

Pennsylvania 1630-1700 on

Annals of our colonial ancestors and their descendants, or, Our Quaker forefathers and their posterity

The Colonial Homes of Philadelphia and Its Neighborhood By Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Horace Mather Lippncott

Hendrick Pannebecker, Surveyor of Lands for the Penns, 1674-1754 By Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker, 1894

Colonial And Revolutionary Families Of Pennsylvania, Vol I By John W. Jordan

The Settlement of Germantown, Pennsylvania: And the Beginning of German Emigration to N.A. By Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker, 1899

William Penn Ships and Passengers (pdf posted for the US Southern Colonies project on August 28, 2014)

Daughters of the American Revolution Search Engine to find Revo War Patriots and their descendants.

Genealogical Data Relating to the German Settlers of Pennsylvania by Edward W. Hocker

Pennsylvania: The German Influence in Its Settlement, Vol III by Henry Jacobs

The German and Swiss settlements of colonial Pennsylvania by Oscar Kuhns

Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Pennsylvania by Henry Frank Eshleman

Welsh Settlement of Pennsylvania By Charles Henry Browning

History of Lycoming Co., PA editing by J. F. Maginness

Before the Constitution and Bill of Rights West Jersey and William Penn leading the way!

Records of the Kingwood Monthly meeting of Friends

Swarthmore College Friends Historical Library has a Quaker History and Genealogy digital library, including explanatory documents like "Quaker Burial Grounds in Philadelphia, 1683-present."

Sippel, Peter. The Quaker Writings Homepage,

Futhey/Cope History of Chester County. "SHIPS TO PA area BEFORE 1720" (and, hints/clues of others)

Also, Kitty's Library on WikiTree

Project Template for Profiles

Add this template to the top of the biography for your project profiles:

Add this To get this
{{Pennsylvania Settlers}}
William Penn Stamp This person is part of the William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers
If you are interested in this profile,
please check out the William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project!

Profiles of Pennsylvania Settlers

Profiles that have been identified and marked as belonging to this project (by adding {{Pennsylvania Settlers}} template at the top of the profile's biography) are automatically included in the project's category page.

  • William Penn (WikiTree profile ID Penn-40) was pointed out as the lowest-numbered ID for William Penn in WikiTree. Duplicates should be merged into that profile.


penn.gifThe co-leaders of this project are Kitty Smith and Paula Ruehling. For a full list of current participants, see the badge report.

If you're interested in participating in this project, please do the following:

  1. Add penn to your list of followed tags. That way you'll see all of our discussions in your G2G Feed.
  2. Ask Kitty to award you the Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project Member badge.
  3. Add your name to the list below, along with a note about what you're working on in this project right now.

Our Progress

We have a NEW Google+ community that we hope all will join for celebrations, discussions and collaboration.

Beside your name below, please keep track of what you're currently working on for this project. This is both for your own reference, and to aid collaboration amongst the project participants. If you are going to be temporarily inactive in the project (eg. on vacation), please note that here. Thanks!

  • Genette McGroarty I have many early New Jersey and Pennsylvania relatives including surnames, Woodruff, Ayars/Ayres, Davis, Drake, Dunn, Dungan to name a few. I'm working on Woodruff right now.
  • Valerie Willis I am about to begin listing Clement Plumstead (1640-1713) and family, one of the twelve new proprieters in Pennsylvania following the death of Carteret in 1681. In 1699 this Clement Plumstead of London was granted 2.700 acres including most of the land now known as New Egypt, Monmouth county. Now Plumsted Townnship, New Jersey.This Clement Plumstead never settled in Pennsylvania, though several of his children and relatives did. My information for this family is rather thin at present, I do not yet know if they arrived on any of the ships listed, but I am counting on the interactive nature of Wikitree to help fill in these connections in early Philadelphia. For those interested, please note that in England and when at first in America their name is spelt "Plumstead" within a generation it became "Plumsted" in honour of a new start in a new land.
  • Chad Kent - I have many Distant Relatives that began their new lives in the North East. I recently found that I have relatives that were contracted by William Penn to Survey the Mason Dixon Line. I'm interested in learning more about this history and the history of the Early Life of Pennsylvania. I work over in Philly and live just across the river in New Jersey so this local history (to me) is very interesting as I find out more.
  • Sandi Wiggins - Descended from Cuthbert Hayhurst and Mary Rudd, I am interested in early Pennsylvania settlers and also the religious motivations and lives of the colonists.
  • Jean Jenks - I am descended from Thomas Jenks and have many Quaker ancestors. I also have some books related to PA and might be able to help others with their research.
  • Bob Fields - Descendant of John Balderston Scarbrough III who arrived with William Penn in 1682 with his father John Scarbrough. He lived with the Indians for 5 years, acting as an interpreter, likely preventing an Indian war which plagued most of the other colonies at the time.
  • Linda Ellinger - Descendant of Robert Vernon who arrived in PA in 1682 on the Friendship with his two brothers, Thomas and Randle (Randal) Vernon.
  • David Wilson - My 7th g-grandfather Robert Willson came to America with his family aboard the "Welcome" in the spring prior to William Penn arriving in the fall. I've found the battles for religious freedom by Winthrop, Bowne and Penn very interesting.
  • Matthew Pryber Currently working on the Kerstetters, Barners, Bierly's Glantz's etc These were all Early immigrants to PA]
  • David Lundy Currently working on all things Lundy. Descendant of Richard Lundy I, looking at his move to Boston in 1674 from England, to Pennsylvania as a Quaker, a few months before Penn. Can find no indication he was a Quaker prior to move to Pennsylvania, and wonder if he was just an opportunist, or a committed Quaker.
  • Doug Lockwood My family includes many Quaker settlers in Pennsylvania & New Jersey. A few of the names are: Stokes, Hancock, Braddock, Hall, Clement, Fogg, Potts, Ware, Townsend, Somers & many others. They all arrived in the 17th century. I also have many early German immigrants to Pennsylvania in my family.
  • Christa Vassillière Hi everyone! I am a graduate student in psychological counseling at Teachers College, Columbia U, but in my spare time I go on this website to try to find stuff on my ancestors, including Miriam Ingram (9th great grandmother) and Ann Short (8th great grandmother) of the Welcome Ship! I've also been trying to find our supposed connections with Randolph Jefferson, brother of our third president of the United States. (My great great grandfather, Jason Davis Passmore, married a Margaret Jefferson, who was supposedly a direct descendant of Randolph.)
  • Jayme McClary - Direct descendant of John Armstrong Sr. who immigrated as a surveyor for the Penn family; laid out the plans for the city of Carlisle, and (along with his wife and children) was among its first settlers. I also have many Quaker ancestors who settled in the northeast after immigrating to America in the 17th & early 18th centuries.
  • Denyse Baham Many of my ancestors came from England in the 1600s and settled in Pennsylvania. Their names include Heaton, Scaife, Paxson, Pownall, Horseman, Waln, and Turner. I have recently learned that they were Quakers, and want to learn more about them.
  • Danelle Schwertner - Direct descendant of Brinsley Barnes, searching for family information before him. Learning more as I go! Also interested in all other ancestors, of course, but this branch is the most well-documented as far as genealogy.
  • Jenny Mortimer - Descended from William Brown-2504 & Ann Mercer-123. Hoping to be a productive part of the collaborative effort of fine-tuning the profiles of these, and other ancestors, who fit within the parameters of this project.

Baertschi-2- I am a descendant of William Penn and I am working on

Related Category Pages

  • Fleet of William Penn category page.
    • When categorizing a profile, use the category for the ship they arrived on. For example [[Category: Welcome, sailed August 1682]] at the top of the bio.
  • WikiTree page showing Canterbury passengers
    • The 1699 voyage transported William Penn. Passengers with a WikiTree profile should have the category added to their biography: at the top add [[Category:Canterbury (1699)]] and in the text of the bio replace "ship Canterbury" with "ship [[:Category:Canterbury (1699)|Canterbury]]"
  • WikiTree page "Quakers"
    • Add to profile bio at top [[Category:Quakers]] and perhaps in bio section [[:Category:Quakers|Quaker]]

Useful Pages

  • Dates: Two things to be aware of - Quakers didn't use the names of months, just the numbers (7 8m 1742 for example), and until 1752, "8m" would have been October, not August, since the year started in March (1m).

Potential Leads

  • Quakers in Delaware in the Time of William Penn, by Herbert Standing 26-page pdf
  • The Quaker Corner, Joanne Todd Rabun's Quaker Genealogy website, now hosted by Rootsweb (still free at the moment though)
  • Ships
    • The Thomas and Anne, posted by Donna E. Ristenbatt and referencing Passengers and Ships Prior to 1684, Penn's Colony: Volume I by Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr., 1970.
  • Ships (also has links for The Thomas and Anne)
  • PA Roots, report on William Penn's 1681 deed
  • Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society has a wealth of information about early Swiss and German Mennonites who immigrated to Pennsylvania in the early 1700s because Penn offered them a safe haven from religious persecution.

Linked Pages

This page was last modified 17:43, 1 January 2016. This page has been accessed 8,669 times.