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John Grubb (1652 - 1708)

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John Grubb
Born in Stoke Climsland, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Chester County, Pennsylvaniamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Marcus Hook, Chester, Pennsylvaniamap
Profile last modified | Created 30 Dec 2010
This page has been accessed 4,347 times.



Conflicting parents

Henry Grubb married to a Wilmot Grubb and John Grubb married to a Helen Vivian are both put forward as John's Parents. We do not have information to determine which are correct.
Wikipedia Page describes John Grubb's history and details of settlement and political career.

John's timeline: John Grubb (1652-1708) was christened in Stoke Climsland on August 16, 1652, In his youth, John apprenticed as a tanner with the Hawkins family, Stoke Climsland Quakers closely associated with the Grubb family.[5]

He had eight known children, including at least seven with his second wife, Wilmot (maiden named unknown)(c.1625 - 1698). By 1677, John's father was dead and his widow, Wilmot, lived with her oldest son, Anthony and his family. Married Frances Unknown abt 1660-bef 1721 John’s widow, Frances remarried to Richard Buffington.

1677 came to America on the "Kent".[1]

1679 married Frances (last name unknown)

1682 acquired 1/3 interest in 600 acres on Naaman’s Creek in Brandywine 100. John’s next land transaction was recorded on September 3, 1691 involving a 4-acre (0.016 km2) tract purchased from Thomas Gilpin adjacent to the Naaman’s Creek tract. Here John built his tannery that became the center of a substantial tanning industry that lasted in the area until the nineteenth century.

1692-elected to PA Provincial Assembly.

1693- property in New Castle, Delaware assessed. In 1700 John moved to Marcus Hook, PA (another name for Chichester Town) (died here) John’s will is dated 1708

March 3, 1676 John together with William Penn, Richard Buffington and others signed the Plan of government for the provence of West Jersey and came to America in 1677. (Ailene Beeson "the Beeson Family -September 1973"
John Grubb came to America in 1677 on the Kent.
In August, the Kent landed at Sandy Hook outside New York harbor. At the time, Governor Andros in New York was also experiencing problems with the issue of duties, and made it clear to Penn's agents that the Kent settlers would remain under his political control and would have to pay the appropriate customs. As instructed, the Kent cleared customs at New Castle, and crossed the river to disembark its passengers near Major Fenwick's settlement at Salem.
John was elected to a one-year term in the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly from New Castle County, 1692, New Castle, New Castle, Delaware
In 1698, John was elected to the Assembly for his second term.
John did not return to the Assembly and was appointed a Justice of the Peace. He was also responsible for tax collection and his own property was assessed at 200 pounds - an amount which one source termed, moderately substantial. 1693 New Castle, New Castle, Delaware.
William Penn arrived at New Castle and was met by a group of early settlers, including John Grubb.
John Grubb came to America in 1677 on the Kent. While there is no passenger list per se, there is strong evidence that John Grubb was among the Kent's passengers. Shortly after the arrival of the Kent, John Grubb became one of the 150 individuals involved with the West Jersey venture to sign the West Jersey Concessions and Agreements. The fact that John signed this document indicates that he was in West Jersey no later than the arrival of the Kent. While the list of signers includes a number of individuals who are known to have been on the Griffen in 1675, it is unlikely that John Grubb arrived earlier than the Kent because his name does not appear on the 1677 census of the area taken before the Kent's arrival. This census survives in the Records of the New Castle Court. Therefore, it is improbable that John could have been on any ship other than the Kent.[2]
The surname Grubb, Grubbe and its variations do not appear in the first census of England, taken in the late eleventh century. It appears that the name was brought to England by twelfth and thirteenth century Danish immigrants and later by fifteenth century Protestant Hussite refugees from northern Germany. The Grubb/Grubbe surname is not common in England, but by the seventeenth century there were Grubb families throughout the United Kingdom. Just as in America, many of these families were probably not related.


20 APR 1652, Stoke Climsland, Cornwall, England.


1679, Marcus Hook, Delaware Co., PA,
Husband: John Grubb
Wife: Frances Vane

Children of John and Frances Grubb

Emanuel Grubb (1682 - 1767) married Anna Hedge Koch in 1706 and was a tanner. They lived in the original house built by his father and had 12 children by 1733. The family house near Grubb's Landing was replaced by a two story stone dwelling built in 1783 by Amer Augustus Grubb, Emanuel's grandson. This house still exists and is owned by the Holy Rosary Church that uses it as a retreat. Like his father, Emanuel was not a Quaker and is buried along with Anna at St. Martin's in Marcus Hook. Emanuel's 2nd great grandson was Judge Ignatius Cooper Grubb of the Delaware Court of Appeals.
John Grubb 2nd (1684 - 1758) married Rachael Buckley and they had eight children. John was a Quaker farmer in Brandywine Hundred (now Arden, Delaware) and was probably responsible for establishing Grubb's Landing. His great grandson was Charles Gilpin, Mayor of Philadelphia in 1850-53, and 4th great grandson was Commodore Warner Norton Grubb, U.S.N.R. during World War Two.
Joseph Grubb (1685 - 1747) married Sarah Elizabeth Perkins and had seven children between 1716 and 1728. He lived on Naaman's Creek and in 1720 acquired an additional 120 acres of Stockdale's plantation. Both Joseph and Sarah are buried at St Martin's. Two of Joseph's 2nd great grandsons, Thomas Samuel Grubb and his brother John Edgar Grubb, were Confederate soldiers from Virginia who were lost in action during the Civil War.
Charity Grubb (1687 - 1781) married Richard Beeson in 1706 and they moved to Virginia and later to North Carolina. Charity and Richard were Quakers and had eight children.
Phoebe Grubb (1690 - 1769) married Richard Buffington Jr. in 1715 and had twelve children. They were also Quakers and lived at Marshall Top, Pa. Phoebe married 2nd Simon Hadley.
Samuel Grubb (1691 - 1760) was a member of the Concord, Pennsylvania Quaker Meeting and married Mary Bellerby in 1745. A mason by trade, he purchased 181 acres in Bradford Township, Pa. and also owned land in Lebanon County, Pa. in conjunction with his brother Peter's iron works. He died without children.
Henry Grubb (1692 - 1771) purchased 250 acres in Middletown Township, Delaware County, Pa. and died unmarried.
Nathaniel Grubb (1693 - 1760) married Ann Moore at the Concord Quaker Meeting in 1725 and had eight children. A carpenter by trade, he purchased 500 acres in Willistown Township, Pa. in 1726 in addition to property in Marcus Hook and Philadelphia.
Peter Grubb (1702 - 1754) married Martha Bates in 1732 and had 2 children before she died in 1740. A mason by trade, Peter founded the historic Cornwall or Grubb's iron works in Lebanon County, Pa. He was remarried in 1742 to Hannah Mendenhall at the Concord Quaker Meeting. In addition to the iron works, he also owned extensive property and died in Wilmington. Both of his sons, Curtis and Peter Jr. were Colonels in the Revolution, and his 2nd great grandson was Civil War General Edward Burd Grubb Jr. of Burlington County, New Jersey, later unsuccessful republican candidate for Governor in 1889 and U.S. Envoy to Spain in 1890 during the Harrison Administration. Edward's brother was Isaac Parker Grubb, a Union soldier who died at the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1864.


1678: Brandywine, New Castle, Delaware
[date?] : John and Frances, along with their younger children, moved out of the [Naaman's?] Creek homestead to Marcus Hook.
29 DEC 1703 Marcus Hook, Delaware, Pennsylvania


Several sources give conflicting dates/places of death.
10 MAR 1708 Wilmington, Chester County, Delaware
04 APR 1708 Marcus Hook, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
10 MAR 1708 Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, USA
Also found Died in Chester Co., Pennsylvania


Date: AFT 12 FEB 1708
Place: St. Martins Churchyard, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania


Settlement of West Jersey began in 1675 when Major John Fenwick, one of the two original Quaker purchasers of West Jersey, sailed on the Griffen and founded Salem, across the river from New Castle, Delaware. Fenwick quickly experienced problems with almost everyone including Edward Byllynge (the other purchaser of West Jersey), and Governor Andros in New York. A number of the Salem settlers became disenchanted with Fenwick and relocated across the Delaware to the Brandywine region on the modern border between Pennsylvania and Delaware. William Penn was appointed as trustee to settle Byllynge's financial difficulties and decided to organize settlers to populate Byllynge's portion of West Jersey. Penn sent letters to Quaker Meetings announcing his intention to lease ships beginning with the Kent leaving in the late spring of 1677.[4] By 1677, John's father was dead and his widow, Wilmot, lived with her oldest son, Anthony and his family. John finished his apprenticeship about the time the small Quaker Meeting in Stoke Climsland heard about William Penn’s plans for West Jersey. The Meeting organized a small contingent of young adults from Stoke Climsland to sail on the Kent. The fare was high: five pounds, but for only another five pounds John could buy enough land in the Delaware Valley for a tannery and a decent sized farm. John’s brother Henry could not pay the fare and agreed to become an indentured servant for three years.[5] After picking up passengers from the Yorkshire port city of Hull, the Kent sailed from London in late spring with 230 settlers and landed outside of Salem. While some of the Kent's passengers settled in Salem, most remained with the ship when it sailed up the Delaware River and established Burlington, West Jersey.[4] Henry and John Grubb and the rest of the Stoke Climsland group remained in Salem.[5] Penn himself remained in England for another five years.[4] Shortly after the arrival of the Kent, John Grubb became one of the 150 individuals involved with the West Jersey venture to sign the West Jersey Concessions and Agreements.[7] Largely based on the ideas of Edward Byllynge, a radical republican, West Jersey's governing document was one of the most democratic constitutions of the colonial period. In August 1676, the trustees and the proprietors first signed this constitution in London. A year later, the resident proprietors and other West Jersey inhabitants signed the constitution just after the Kent arrived.[4] The fact that John was one of the signatories was not unusual because almost every free adult male in the colony at that time also signed. However, as an indentured servant, Henry Grubb was not one of the signatories.[5] After he finished his three-year indenture, Henry moved to Burlington where he opened a tavern and became an elected official. He was survived by two daughters.[2] In 1678, Robert Wade, one of the Griffen settlers who left Salem for Brandywine, purchased 500 acres on the south side of Upland Creek. That July, John Grubb and his friend Richard Buffington entered into an agreement with Wade to farm this property. Upland was a small settlement across the river from Salem and several miles north of the modern border between Delaware and Pennsylvania. At that time, the European population of the entire Brandywine region including Upland consisted of only several hundred, mostly Dutch and Swedes. Wade erected a large house that became the first regular meeting place for Quakers in what was to become Pennsylvania. The next year, Grubb and Buffington used their earnings to acquire their own property. On November 25, 1679, they recorded at the court in Upland their joint purchase of a 340-acre (1.4 km2) tract on the southwest side of Upland Creek adjacent to Wade’s property. After selling the tract in Upland, John acquired a one-third interest in a 600-acre (2.4 km2) tract on the Delaware River at Naaman’s Creek in modern Claymont, Delaware just south of Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. This tract was jointly owned with two Dutchmen, Isaac Savoy and David Bilderbeck. The Naaman’s Creek tract was the beginning of what would be the Grubb family’s homestead for almost 300 years. By the time John moved to Naaman's Creek, he was married to his wife, Frances (c1660 - Bef. 1721). Her maiden name is lost to history. Frances and John had nine children: Emanuel Grubb (1682–1767), John Grubb (1684–1758), Joseph Grubb (c1684 - 1747), Charity Beeson (1687–1761), Phebe Buffington (c1690 - 1769), Henry Grubb (c1692 - 1770), Nathaniel Grubb (c1693 - 1760) and Peter Grubb (1702–1754). Emanuel Grubb’s obituary in Penn’s Gazette eighty-six years later reported that his parents lived in a cave along the banks of the Delaware River until John finished their house, and that Emanuel was born in this cave. The story also claims that Emanuel was the first child of English parents born in Delaware. However, Gilbert Cope indicates that at least six children of English parents were born in the area before Emanuel. The story about the cave seems improbable because John already lived on the Naaman’s Creek tract for a year or so by the time Emanuel was born.[2]

SOURCES: 1. Horle, Craig (1991). Law Making Legislators in Pennsylvania 1682 - 1709. 2. Cope, Gilbert (1893). The Grubb Family of Delaware and Pennsylvania. 3. Penney, Norman (1928). Record of the Sufferings of Quakers in Cornwall 1655 - 1686. 4. Fischer, David Hackett (1989). Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. 5. Grubb, David (2008). The Grubb Family of Grubb's Landing, Delaware. Higginson Book Co. 6. Pounds, N.J.G. (1982). The Parliamentary Survey of the Duchy of Cornwall. 7. McCormick, Richard (1977). The Concessions and Agreements of the Proprietors, Freeholders and Inhabitants of the Province of West Jersey. 8. Schiek and Hester (2000).Claymont Arcadia Publishing. ISBN: 9780738506357 9. Grubb, Ignatius (1893). The Grubb Family of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 10. Donehoo, George (1926). A History of Pennsylvania. 11. The Magazine of Western History, Vol. III. February, 1886 No.4. Grubb Family Papers, University of Delaware

John Grubb was born on 20 Apr 1652 in Truro, Cornwall, England. He died on 12 February 1708 in Marcus Hook, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. He was buried in Buried at St. Martin's Church Cemetery, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. He was married to Frances Vane sometime before 1681 probably near Naaman’s Creek and New Castle, Delaware.


  1. VIRKUS, FREDERICK A., editor. Immigrant Ancestors: A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1964. 75p. Repr. 1986.
  2. David N Grubb, Ancestors of John Grubb (1652-1708). Posted May 07, 1999 at 13:24:45 by David N Grubb), PART TWO ANCESTORS OF JOHN GRUBB, THE DELAWARE SETTLER, by: David N Grubb, May 07, 1999 at 3:24:45.
  • will recorded at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and it's recorded at New Castle, Delaware
  • Ailene Beeson's book "A Genealogy of the Beeson Family" dated September 1973

(based on Henry Hart Beeson + additional info) says his death date is March 1708.

  • A Genealogy of the Beeson-Beason Family by Henry Hart Beeson,1968, p.7. "John Grubb, together with William Penn, Richard Buffington, and others, on March 3, 1676, signed the Plan of Government for the Provence of New Jersey and came to America in 1677, where he became a prominent pioneer as a legislator, magistrate, farmer and leather manufacturer. His will is recorded at Philadelphia and also at New Castle, Delaware. His widow, Frances Vane Grubb, married Richard Buffington, her deceased husband's friend as her third husband."
  • Believed to have come to America in 1677. After her first marriage to Edward Kewkewich of Minhincot, Cornwall with whom she had come to Cornwall, Frances Vane [Kewkewich] became a Quaker. It was her money that enabled her second husband, John Grubb, to purchase land in America. Source "A Genealogy of The Beeson-Beason Family in America" by Mickey Elliott.

Frances Vane Kewkewich married Edward Beeson in Cornwall in March 1675 and they emigrated together to New Jersey in 1677 or 1679 (sources vary on exact sailing date)[3] Frances Vane was born in 1652 in Kent, England. She died in 1720 in Bradford Twp, Marcus Hook, Chester Co, PA .

  • [MargrafJM.FTW]

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