Project: William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers

Categories: Middle Colonies | 17th Century American Immigration | Pre-1700 Projects | Pennsylvania | William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project | Fleet of William Penn | Pennsylvania Projects


How to Join

Are you interested in the William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project?penn.gif

To ensure that project members have a basic understanding of how Wikitree works we ask that all applicants have at least 100 contributions.

  • Be sure to send your Wikitree ID number when you request to join the Google Group.
  • You can add the following category to your profile biography to mark your membership in the project:
[[Category:William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project Members]]
  • Additionally, you can add yourself to our members' list with your project-related interests.

Project Information


The settlement of Pennsylvania by Quaker and other European settlers marks an important chapter in American history. It is the intent of the William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project to record each early Pennsylvania settler who arrived after the New Sweden and New Netherlands settlements, and to make sure that each profile accurately reflects the known historical record.

The goal of the William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers WikiTree Project ("Penn") is to identify each profile that fits within the scope of the project and to protect it by adding the project profile as a profile manager and including a template on the profile. Please see this page for more info about project protection and this section of the Project FAQ page for information about management of project profiles.

To have the project profile added as a profile manager, add {{Pennsylvania Settlers}} to the biography, and add to the trusted list of a New Netherland Settlers project profile.

Once a profile has become part of the project, the project will work to improve the profile in every possible way: sourcing, connecting, merging, and more.

Additionally, project leaders and volunteers will strive to make sure that each of the Early Pennsylvania Settlers ("Penn") profiles are:

  1. Each profile should be fully sourced with a well written biography that is free from errors and written in the approved WikiTree style and format.
  2. Known historic individuals from early Pennsylvania should be adopted by the project; if no profile already exists, it should be created.
  3. Duplicate Penn profiles should be merged and cleaned.
  4. Penn profiles marked for maintenance will be corrected and improved.
  5. Disputed and disproven profiles will be annotated and resolved with a focus on the sources.
  6. Penn project volunteers should sign up for specific activities and update their progress.

Project Scope

The definition of a William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settler is:

  • Any immigrant who came to and settled in or was born in the historical area that was or would become Pennsylvania to include Delaware that was at the time a part of Pennsylvania:
  • On 24 October 1674 the Treaty of Westminster was signed, ceding control over the Dutch colony to England. Most Anglo settlement to the area that would become Pennsylvania began after this date. Most of the profiles of this project probably arrived after 1674. However, settlers who arrived before this date and who are not part of the New Sweden or New Holland communities may be admitted to the project.
and ending:
  • 28 October 1701 - the date of the adoption of the Second Frame of Governance. It was on this day that the Pennsylvania settlers changed the governance of Pennsylvania that delineated the roles of the government and its relation to the governed.

About William Penn and Early Pennsylvania

The earliest European settlement of the lands that would eventually become Pennsylvania were the New Sweden settlements along the Delaware River valley. Later, this area was annexed by the Dutch and finally ceded to England with the Treaty of Westminister on 24 October 1674. The first recorded Quaker migration to Pennsylvania was probably when Robert Wade migrated from England in 1675/1676. Wade helped to establish the first Friends meetinghouse in Chester. While most Anglo settlement to the area began after the treaty of Westminister; participation is open to all Pennsylvania profiles that do not fall under the scope of the New Sweden or the New Netherlands Settlers projects.

Prior to the Royal grant of Pennsylvania lands to William Penn, Quakers were encouraged to migrate to the area and in 1677 Penn commissioners sailed aboard the ship Kent with the mission to obtain land for Quaker colonists and to clear Indian land titles. From 1682 until 1776, Delaware was part of Pennsylvania and was referred to as the "lower [Pennsylvania] counties." In 1701 Delaware gained a separate Assembly from the three upper counties but had the same Governor as the rest of Pennsylvania."[1] While Delaware maintained a quasi-independent status from Pennsylvania, it was technically still a part of Pennsylvania until the American Revolutionary War.

While William Penn established the colony with the intent of establishing a refuge from religious persecution, the Society of Friends, or Quakers, were not the only migrants who came to settle the area. 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.[2]

Project Template and stickers

This project uses a project box to mark William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Profiles. The project's project account will need to be a Profile Manager (you can read more about project accounts here: project accounts).

William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Profiles Add this project box above the Biography heading on your William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers profiles and add the project account as manager ( Project Boxes should not be used without also adding the project as a manager of the project:

Add this To get this
{{Pennsylvania Settlers}}
William Penn
... ... ... was a part of William Penn's Pennsylvania Settlers community.
Join: William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project
Discuss: penn

Sticker templates For individuals who do not qualify for project inclusion (migrated or were born after 1701), a sticker template can be used.

Good examples of sticker templates can be found here:

... ... ... was a Pennsylvanian.
Flag of Pennsylvania
George Beals migrated to Pennsylvania
Flag of Delaware
John Clayton settled in Delaware in the 18th century

Fleet Passengers This sticker can be put on those people who were passengers on the ships that were part of the Penn fleet. Stickers go below the Biography heading.

Add this To get this
{{Penn Fleet Passenger}}
... ... ... was a William Penn fleet passenger.


  • Penn Project Reliable Sources: The project master list of resources that includes:
    • A definition of reliable sources with examples.
    • A master list of approved sources.
    • Other sources, leads, and additional reading suggestions.
    • A list of useful pages and other project information.

Project development and maintenance

5 Star Profiles

These project profiles have had over 1,000 visits and have been deemed as "high traffic" profiles and need extra attention. If you have some spare time, please adopt one and try to develop it. A free space page has been set up:

William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project 5 Star Profiles

Project development

  • Add the project template to all profiles that fall within the scope of the project.
  • Add the Penn Fleet sticker to the profiles of individuals who sailed in Penn's Fleet.
  • Make sure that each known Penn Fleet Passenger profile has a project template, a Fleet sticker, has William|Penn Fleet category and the appropriate ship category.
  • Add Fleet of William Penn category to all Fleet passenger profiles so that they appear in the category and searches can be made from that page rather than by searching ship by ship.

Known project profiles with missing elements

If you would like to help the project, select a category, choose a profile and see if you can find some additional information or sources:

Missing profiles

Known historical individuals for project inclusion who have not been added to the project or who do not yet have a profile made:

Project Maintenance

The following maintenance feeds should be monitored and corrected as issues arise:

This page was last modified 15:34, 20 January 2023. This page has been accessed 60,228 times.