William Penn and the Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project update

+10 votes

The William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project is designed to gather the profiles of persons who sailed on one of the ships of the Penn Fleet in 1681 and 1682. As part of the review process for profiles with project boxes, the following criteria has been proposed as a requirement to have the project box.

The {{Pennsylvania Settlers}} project box template should only be on a profile if the person:

  • died between 1681 (the earliest sailing year) and 1783 (100 years after the last sailing)
  • was born between 1581 (100 years before the first sailing) and 1682 (the year of the last sailing year)

We plan to request that EditBox remove the {{Pennsylvania Settlers}} project box template from profiles which fall outside this scope. That request will be made on Friday, 27 Jan 2018, with the changes occurring as soon after that as "Ed" has time.


If you have any reservations about this automated process, please let us know in this thread.


Thank you,


Leadership teams of the William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Prroject and the Quakers Project

in The Tree House by Debi Hoag G2G6 Pilot (342k points)
Having fretted over pages that were alleged to be part of the Penn project but didn't fit my understanding of project criteria (for example, someone who arrived in Pennsylvania around 1705), I much appreciate the initiative to clarify the use of the project template.

But seeing now that the template is named "Pennsylvania Settlers," I suddenly recognize why it has been applied to people who settled in Pennsylvania under circumstances that fall outside the project scope. Is it too late to consider a new name for that template?
Ellen, from what I understand, changing the template name should be possible. It will take some coordination to get it named correctly on all the appropriate pages and then ask to have EditBot change it on all profiles. I'm not a leader on the Penn Project, though, so that initiative needs to come from them.

My main focus is trying to get the profiles with both the Penn and Quaker project boxes sorted.
Yes, it should be easy enough to get the template name changed, but first it will be necessary to pick out a new name -- that may not be easy!

And, for the record, my concern is with non-Quakers who arrived in Pennsylvania well after 1682.

Would  "Penn Fleet Passenger" as the template name work for the William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Prroject? That, in my mind at least, completely explains who should be part of that project and thus have the template..

Is there a project that "Pennsylvania Settlers" should be assigned to? If so, we could have the profiles which meet the Penn Fleet date criteria changed to the new template name, leaving the old template in place.

My Quaker & Penn template conundrum will still have to be reviewed manually to determine whether the person arrived on a Penn ship but at least I won't be wading through non-qualified profiles.


I agree that we should remove the {{Pennsylvania Settlers}} project box template from those profiles because it does fall outside the historical boundaries of the project; plus, by removing those templates, it puts a clearer focus on the project's intent.

I am so not used to using wiki tree although I’m all signed up
I agree with limiting the age range, and the change in name to "Penn Fleet Passengers" is certainly more clearly targeted. I guess my only question with the latter is whether the intent is really to restrict the project strictly to those who arrived on Penn's fleet or whether it is more focused on the earliest arrivals and founders of Pennsylvania? Or is the main focus on people who somehow had a connection with Penn?

My understanding is that the ships list for Penn's Fleet by-and-large did not survive and have been secondarily constructed. My research has turned up some ancestors who were original grantees but apparently did not make the transit with Penn in 1681-82, whereas others are suspected but not proven to have traveled with Penn. For example, I have just been cleaning up the profiles of John Michener (Michener-4) and Sarah Moore (Moore-320), who were married in Penn's home in Sussex in 1686.  Moore is reported to have been either a ward or a servant-girl in the Penn household whereas Michener, who was a few years older than his wife, is plausibly reported in some accounts to have been Penn's manservant, and I have seen reports that claim that he traveled with Penn to the New World and back again, but have not found any primary documentation to confirm that. In any case, he emigrated permanently to Pennsylvania with his new wife shortly after their marriage in 1686. Is that an example of someone you would want included in the project, or not?  Or what about someone like William Clayton, whom the Quakers sent over in 1677 BEFORE the fleet in order to negotiate land purchases from the native Americans, and who presided over Markham's Council in 1682 and subsequently was left as acting governor by Penn in 1684? Or what about the Quakers who immigrated not from the Old World but from Long Island or New England? I have no axe to grind here -- a project focused strictly on the passengers on Penn's fleet is a very appropriate and easily understood focus area. I merely intend to point out that the arrivals on Penn's Fleet are not fully representative of the original pioneers to Pennsylvania.  Perhaps another way to define the group would be to set an arrival date before a certain time-certain -- for example, it would seem to me that one reasonable way to  identify the earliest Pioneers might be those who arrived before the adoption of the 2nd Frame of Government (October 1701) -- the so-called "Charter of Privileges" that was celebrated by the casting 50 years later of the Liberty Bell.  In this fashion, the "Pennsylvania Pioneers" might be identified in a manner somewhat analogous to the identification of the "Ancient Planters" of Virginia. Or another possibility might be to restrict it to those who arrived prior to the approval of the first frame in 1686.

The Mission Statement of the William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Prroject clearly indicates (see below) the original intent of the project. That has been confirmed by discussion with one of the founding members. The project was never intended to include profiles for people not identified as having been on one of those ships. 

The other persons you mentioned might qualify for the Quakers Project, depending on what is known about their membership in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Or they might fall under the Pennsylvania Project which is a US History sub-project. You could even start a sub-project of US History which was all about those early settlers. The current Pennsylvania Settlers template which we are discussing could be redirected to that project rather than the Pennsylvania Project in general.


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 aboard 23 ships in 1681 and 1682 with William Penn's Society of Friends, and Quakers.

Thanks Debi -- Sorry not to have read the description before posting, but glad I have not used the tag up till now (or at least if I do I will make sure it is accurately applied).  I would agree with the earlier post that the name is a bit confusing. Renaming it the Penn Fleet project would probably greatly reduce the number of mistaken tags that you get.
I noticed that some of the ships don't have any passengers/profiles listed. Is there an attempt being made to locate the (reconstructed) lists and MAKE profiles for all the named passengers?
@Alexandra: The output of a WikiTree project is the sum of what individual project members contribute. If you find profiles for people who arrived on one of these ships and aren't categorized in the appropriate ship category (at https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Fleet_of_William_Penn ), please add them to the category for that ship. If you determine that there's no profile yet for someone for whom you have sourced information, create the profile. And if you have information to add to the free-space pages for individual ships, contact the profile manager for the page -- I'm expect they'll be happy to say "Please contribute!"

OK, I'm going to wrap this up with a re-phrasing of what I think we came up with:

  1. A new template called {{Penn Fleet Passenger}} will be created for use by the William Penn and Early Settlers of Pennsylvania Project

  2. The existing {{Pennsylvania Settlers}} template will be redirected to the Pennsylvania Project sub-project of the US History Project
  3. If the {{Pennsylvania Settlers}} project box template is on the profile of a person meeting the following criteria, the template name will be changed to {{Penn Fleet Passenger}}:

    1. was born between 1581 (100 years before the first sailing) and 1682 (the year of the last sailing year) 

    2. died between 1681 (the earliest sailing year) and 1783 (100 years after the last sailing) 

  4. If the {{Penn Fleet Passenger}} template is on a profile, the {{Quakers_Project}} and/or {{Quakers}} project box templates will be removed

That may leave some profiles with both the Early Settlers and Quakers project templates. Those we will have to work out manually.

The Penn Fleet Passenger template has been created. Please review and suggest and/or make changes as needed.

Thanks, Debi, for getting this straighten out and now, this project has a focused template! Excellent.
You're welcome, Maggie. It wasn't my intention when it all started. I was just trying to weed out those the didn't need both the Penn and the Quakers Project box. William Penn's group is so focused where as Quakers, by the very nature of the 1652-current date range is going to be much more diverse. Thanks for being my second set of eyes.

3 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
The membership criteria is too narrow.

Not all of Penn's flock came in the big fleet.  There was an advanced party.  He sent trusted friends ahead to prepare the way and make sure that things were ready when the main fleet landed.  Are those folks not William Penn early Pennsylvania settlers?

If you don't include them, you should change the name of of this group to "The passenger's of William Penn's main fleet," and remove any reference to "early settlers."

Every military unit that deploys to War overseas sends an advanced party before the main unit arrives.  This advanced party breaks off from the main unit, liaises with the unit they are replacing, learns the lay of the land, secures housing for their unit, and facilitates the arrival of equipment shipments.  I can't imagine that the 101st Airborne advanced party would be excluded from recognition for a military tour because they didn't come on the ship that carried the other 90% of the unit.

We know that Penn sent some of his trusted friends ahead to make sure things were ready.  It would be wrong to exclude them.
by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
selected by Maggie N.
On the whole, SJ, I agree with you but it is currently as conceived by the people who started it. I'd suggest starting a new G2G thread to discuss expanding the scope of it. Maggie volunteered to lead the project so that it wouldn't go in to dormancy. She doesn't have a project coordinator to help her. Maybe the two of you could talk and get it active again.
+4 votes
Please tell me the long and sourced information on James Moon and Koan Burgess made a landing somewhere!
by Living Wilcoxon G2G Crew (320 points)

I don't personally have the long and sourced info but did find existing profiles for James Moon and Joan Burgess who might be your ancestors. The profiles have a lot of information and links to descendants. 

+5 votes
Very happy about the new template. In examining a few of the definitive profiles that have the old templates, and also lots of great history, some of them have NO source for their actual ship/voyage on the actual Penn ships. Many were assumed because they were early Quakers with some property engagements with Penn himself or his company and there are records of these proceedings. Does that qualify (for the purposes of the new Template) as a "source" for Penn Fleet Passage template?
by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (982k points)

An example of what I mean is, for instance, the immigrant for the Mendenhall family:


The original intent of the project, from discussion with those who started it, for for those with documentation. There are several lists of documented passengers, including one on The Welcome Society

I'm not sure the Pennsylvania sub-project is set up to take care of project protected profiles. Let's see if we can get the US History project leaders on the white phone. It sounds like there really needs to be an Early Settlers of Pennsylvania (sub-?)project to watch after these others PPP profiles.

I'm one of the two US History project leaders. Both of us are fairly new on the job at US History.

As I see it, there is a problem here that is much bigger than Pennsylvania.

There are several states, including Pennsylvania and pretty much everywhere that my ancestors lived, that have early settlers that fall in a gap between projects, and are not covered by one of the pre-1700 (or pre-1776) projects. The challenges are actually not as large in Pennsylvania (where settlement didn't begin as early) as they are in a few other states where I have early ancestors or have worked with profiles.

Apparently we will need LEADERS (not just Coordinators, as is currently the case for most states) for each state in order to have state project accounts managing profiles. My vision is for the state projects to manage early-settler profiles that don't fall under some other project, using a  project template that is relevant to the early history of the area, instead of the state flag that currently appears on every state project template.

But specific to Pennsylvania and John Mendenhall, it seems to me that someone who bought land from William Penn in 1681 and arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 should be in the scope of the Penn project. It shouldn't be necessary to know what ship he arrived on. A WikiTree project shouldn't tie itself to the exclusive membership qualifications of a lineage society.

A WikiTree project shouldn't tie itself to the exclusive membership qualifications of a lineage society.

I would agree with that. Unfortunately, several of our projects do just that. I have no issue with changing the scope of the William Penn project but I'm not the leader nor did I start or design the criteria. I'm just trying to get my Quaker ducks all quacking in the same direction LOL 

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