Collection Title: Taylor, Harris, Roman, Frazer, and Smith Families Papers
Collection Number: Collection 150
Dates of Collection: 1683-1980
Repository: Chester County Historical Society Library
Project Archivist: Margaret Miles Baillie
The families in this collection are all related by the marriage of Marianne Smith to Dr. Stephen Harris on April 14, 1833. Marianne’s father, Joseph Smith, was an iron and shipping merchant in Philadelphia, and her mother was Mary Frazer, daughter of Colonel Persifor Frazer and Mary Worrilow Taylor. Marianne’s brother was Persifor Frazer Smith, the lawyer. For an overview of the relationship between the families in this collection, see the chart on page 4 of this guide. More information on the individuals represented in this collection is included in the introductory material to each family’s papers.
Both sides of the lineage represented in this collection immigrated to Pennsylvania because of religious persecution in England and Ireland. As Presbyterians and Quakers, they no longer wished to live under a series of laws which forced non-Anglicans out of public office, schools and the church as well as prohibiting meetings for non-Anglican worship. These newcomers contributed to the establishment of the government and religious expression in early Chester County.
The documents provide a broad picture of early Chester County and its residents as they interacted with each other at home and in Philadelphia through business, religious, and social transactions. Included in the collection are letters from James Logan (William Penn’s secretary); a broadside by Andrew Bradford, a Philadelphia printer; and a real estate document signed by David Lloyd, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania.
Additional biographical information for each family appears in the content section before each family group.
 Some of the laws: Corporation Act (1661), Act of Uniformity (1662), Conventicle Act (1664), and the Test Act of 1673.
The collection spans the years 1683 to 1980 (bulk dates 1683-1851). Included in the collection are letters, land records (draughts, surveys, deeds, warrant, maps, advertisements of sale, etc.), business, legal and financial records, commissions, architectural drawings, receipts, account book, broadsides, genealogy, marriage certificates, wills, oath of allegiance, poetry, photographs (originals transferred to photo archives), etc.
Topics include: surveying, Native Americans, Rev. War (includes prisoners, discharge certificate, receipt for British dead, militia, etc.), estate settlements, astronomy, publishing, iron industry, Sarum Forge (includes labor agreements), East Whiteland Presbyterian Church, St. David’s Church, Harris family homestead, domestic abuse (18th c), English Quakers and religious persecution, etc.
The collection is organized into five main groups by family: Taylor, Harris, Roman, Frazer and Smith. There is also a small grouping of miscellaneous documents.
Each group of family documents is arranged chronologically, as much as possible. The bulk of the collection consists of papers of the Taylor and Harris families.
Within the Taylor family, some documents are further organized under individual names.
Taylor Family Papers, 1702-1826
As surveyors, mill owners, publishers and public officials, the Taylor family was active in the community of early Pennsylvania. Beginning with the 1702 document “The Indians of Oakhookney,” and concluding with a livestock purchase in 1826 by Alice Frazer from Vernon G. Taylor, the collection reveals one hundred and twenty-four years of family history.
The following excerpt from Futhey & Cope’s History of Chester County, Pennsylvania (1881) traces the family genealogy:
John Taylor, who is supposed to have come from Wiltshire, was a resident on Tinicum Island in 1684, as a lessee under Christopher Taylor. The name of his wife was Hannah, and their children, Elizabeth, Isaac, and John. He was deceased in 1688. His daughter Elizabeth was married, 1, 1, 1686, to Hugh Durborow, who with the rest of the family moved to Thornbury.
Jacob Taylor acquired a good education, and was engaged in teaching school in 1701, when, owing to the death of the surveyor general, he was called to take charge of that office, and about 1706 was commissioned surveyor-general. He was succeeded by Benjamin Eastburn in 1733, and retired to live with his nephew, John Taylor, in Thornbury, where he died March 2, 1745/6. For several years he prepared the necessary calculations for an almanac, together with verses of his own composition and other matter, which were published by Isaiah Warner, William Bradford, and perhaps others.
Isaac Taylor, the brother of Jacob, resided in Thornbury, and was deputy surveyor for Chester County from 1701 until his death in 1728. He married, in 1694, Martha, daughter of Philip Roman, and had children, – John, Jacob, Philip, Ann, and Mary. Ann married Samuel Savage, of Coventry, an ironmaster. Jacob married, 8, 13, 1728, Grace Worrilow, and had several children.
John Taylor, son of Isaac, was a physician, as was his father, and also a surveyor, both under the latter and as his successor until 1740. After this he engaged in iron manufacture, and erected Sarum Forge, at the present Glen Mills Station, on Chester Creek. He died in 1756, leaving children, – Martha, Isaac, John, Philip, Jacob, and Mary. His son John married Sarah, daughter of John Worrall, of Edgmont, and left three children, – Mary, m. to Persifor Frazer ; Isaac, m. to Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Townsend; and Sarah, m. to James Thompson.
Jacob (the Surveyor-General), who seems to have married twice, was originally known as an astronomer and mathematician who wrote the first North American mathematical publication – a guidebook to the solar and lunar eclipses for the years 1698-1717. He taught school in Philadelphia briefly and went on to author a yearly almanac for forty-six years. While he oversaw the Society of Friends’ Philadelphia press, and occasionally published his own almanac, many of the volumes were printed by others which enabled him to interact with colonial printers such as Regnier Jensen, John Zenger and the Bradfords. Jacob praised Ben Franklin as “an able and poetic almanac maker,” and Franklin eulogized Taylor on the cover of his 1747 edition of “Poor Richard’s Almanac.” Franklin later integrated Taylor’s two-page calendar in his own almanac.
Mary Worrilow Taylor, granddaughter of John (d. 1756), married Colonel Persifor Frazer in 1766. The Society of Friends disapproved of this marriage since Persifor was Presbyterian. Mary has been purported to reply that she was sorry that she had offended the Society, but she would never be sorry that she had married Persifor.
Isaac, son of John (d.1756) received a letter from his father in 1740 in which his father instructed him not to give credit at the shop to Elizabeth, John’s second wife.
Scope and Content – Taylor
Taylor family papers are arranged chronologically under subject and name headings.
Box 1 contains documents related to Taylor surveying careers. This includes, but is not limited to, drafts of Lord Baltimore’s Line; New Castle, Delaware; work in Philadelphia and around the Schuylkill and Susquehanna Rivers, Springton Manor, and Indian lands (“Oakhookeny”).
Also in Box 1 are legal documents and letters that relate to their county offices and personal matters. These include: letters from John Taylor to the Chester County Commissioners and Assessors concerning the county treasurer’s office, letters of James Logan to John Taylor, manuscripts documenting Thompson vs. Thompson domestic abuse court case, a list of members of Concord Weekly meeting, several documents relating to John’s separation from his second wife, and a survey by Anthony Wayne.
Box 2 contains correspondence, poetry, etc. Folders 1 -5 are papers related to Isaac Taylor which include estate papers, a deposition, a commission as well as an indenture agreement with Margarita Herner. Folders 6 – 25 contain documents related to Jacob Taylor, correspondents include: James Logan, Nicholas Scull, Joseph Rose, and several printers, as well as family. There are also poems and some astronomical observations.
Box 3 contains documents related to John Taylor and his operation of Sarum Forge in Thornbury, including surveys and drafts, work contracts with employees and suppliers of the forge.
Taylor family, Box 1 – Surveying, etc.
Folder 1 – John Taylor – James Logan letters, 1719-1739/40
Folder 2 – John Taylor – “Calculation by Anthony Wayne, Surveyor, of Land in West Bradford Township, Chester County 1769.” Late John Taylor’s Land.
Folder 3 – Survey by Anthony Wayne (?), Undated.
Document is in pieces. Photocopy in folder for viewing.
Folder 4 – John Taylor – Marlborough Street Certificate.
His testimony concerning a survey he conducted in 1717 in Marlborough Township. This document indicates he was approximately 57 years old when the testimony was given.
Folder 5 – Directions to an Iron Ore deposit, Undated.
Document in two pieces. Photocopy in folder for viewing.
Folder 6 – Survey of T. Crosop, Hendrick and Minshall Land. Five documents, 1735 and undated.
Folder 7 – Survey notes, 1734, undated.
Folder 8 – Lord Baltimore’s Line, undated.
Folder 9 – New Castle
Folder 10 – John Taylor – Anna Nutt Survey, 1738.
Survey order from Thomas Penn and Benjamin Eastburn to John Taylor to survey a grant of 150 acres of land in Nantmel (sic) Township for Anna Nutt, March 27, 1738. Signed by Thomas Penn and Benjamin Eastburn.
Folder 11 – John Taylor – Letter from Thomas Callowhill giving directions to John Taylor on the surveying of his 5000 acre land grant. Undated. Transcript with the fragile document.
Folder 12 – “A Draught explaining the annexed affirmation John Taylor, Surveyor” Undated.
Folder 13 –“Draught of the western part of the Province of Pennsylvania.”
Also lists names of those who lived near the Susquehanna River and the southern boundary of Pennsylvania. Undated.
Folder 14 – Springtown Manor (Springton Manor)
Folder 15 – “Draught of Land near Conecochegue” Undated.
Folder 16 – “Survey Notes of the Boundary of Delaware ___ in 1732 and 3 and the Penn Southern boundary ____ in 1734 by John Taylor with other memorandum.” Paper booklet written in pencil and ink.
Folder 17 – Susquehanna River
Folder 18 – The Indians of Oakhookeny, October 13, 1702.
Original is extremely fragile. Photocopy in folder.
Folder 19 – “Estimate draught of the Land by the Indians” Undated.
Folder 20 – “Thom Biles Draft of Society Land in Bucks County.” “A Draught of the Society’s Land in Bucks County, resurveyed the first day of May 1723 ..” Also date of May 17, 1725 written on top edge.
Folder 21 – “Copy of the Return of a Road from Philadelphia to the Point over against Glocester in West Jersey laid out be an Order of the Governor and Council dated August 6, 1720 and confirmed by the same Board November the 9th, 1720.” Jacob Taylor is one of the signers.
Folder 22 – Drawing of “The Streets from Broad Street to Schuylkil.” Undated.
Folder 23 – “Warrant for Running a Line from Susquehannah to Conogochoge” document signed October 19, 1734 by John Penn and Thomas Penn and written to Samuel Blunston and John Taylor.
Folder 24 – Drafts, 1716-1746
Folder 25 – John Taylor – Correspondence in regard to a 1727 survey of Captain Holl’s land at Tulpehocken, May 12, 1735. A rough draft addressed, “May it Please the Proprietor.”
Folder 26 – John Taylor – Correspondence – County Treasurer’s office, 1739-1740/1
4 letters to the County Assessors and Commissioners dated 9/27/1739, January 4, 1739/40, February 4, 1739/40, and July 2, 1740/1.
Folder 27 – Bill on the Commissioners, 1782.
To the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from John Gardner for keeping British Prisoners. Prisoners’ names listed, 1782.
Folder 28 – Thompson vs. Thompson, 1786-1790, undated.
Folder 29 – “An Extemporary Sermon preached at ye request of two scollars by a lover of ale out of a hollow tree” no name or date.
Folder 30 – “Account of Disposal of Churchill’s Books” 2 documents with titles of books listed along with number of copies and cost. Also account of a “T. H (?) junior and father.” Undated.
Folder 31 – Charges for improving land and raising deceased man’s child by Peter Grubb and Martha ______. Charges approved, signed and witnessed by twenty-five men including “John Taylor and his Man” Undated.
Folder 32 – Gideon Griffith’s Deposition, undated.
Tells how he tried to serve Charles Calvert, Edmond Jennings and Benjamin Tasker and the results.
Folder 33 – John Taylor – document fragment, 1727.
Folder 34 – Two miscellaneous receipts, 1717, 1826.
Taylor family, Box 2 – Correspondence, etc.
Folder 1 – Isaac Taylor – Correspondence, 1714-1945.
Folder 2 – Isaac Taylor – Estate Related, 1733-1772..
Folder 3 – Isaac Taylor – Deposition. “A Copy of my Deposition,” July 15, 1742. Affirmed testimony of Isaac Taylor stating, with details, that he saw David Weems receive a racehorse from Anthony Whitehead Waters.
Folder 4 – Isaac Taylor – Commission to Weights and Measures, 1741/2-1742.
Folder 5 – Isaac Taylor – Margarita (Henrita) Herner Indenture, September 16, 1742. Indenture agreement of Margarita Herner to Isaac Taylor. Back of document has transfer of indenture to John Taylor, May 15, 1748. Photocopies in folder.
Folder 6 – Jacob Taylor – Correspondence, 1704-1710.
Folder 7 – Jacob Taylor – Correspondence, 1711-1720.
Folder 8 – Jacob Taylor – Correspondence, 1731-1748.
Folder 9 – Jacob Taylor – Correspondence, 1741-1744.
Folder 10 – Jacob Taylor – Correspondence from James Logan, Stenton, December 20, 1743. One letter.
Folder 11 – Jacob Taylor – Correspondence, 1736-1743 – Nicholas Scull
Folder 12 – Jacob Taylor – Astronomical Observations, 1717-1741
Folder 13 – Jacob Taylor – Almanac – Correspondence, 1739.
A letter from J. Breintnall, Philadelphia, to Andrew Bradford, Printer, Philadelphia, twenty-ninth day, eighth month, 1739, in regard to Jacob Taylor’s Almanac.
Folder 14 – Jacob Taylor – Almanac – Correspondence, 1745, undated.
Folder 15 – Jacob Taylor – Almanac – Correspondence, August 4 (no year).
Letter from J. Zenger to Jacob Taylor, August 4th.
Folder 16 – Jacob Taylor – Almanac – Correspondence, 1743.
Letter from Isaiah Warner, Philadelphia, to Jacob Taylor, Sarum Forge, Chester County, December 29, 1743.
Folder 17 – Jacob Taylor – Almanac, undated.
A small page from a bound booklet that contains a notation of printer’s terms, possibly print types or a layout for a publication.
Folder 18 – Jacob Taylor – Almanac – Poetry, undated..
Folder 19 – Jacob Taylor – Receipts, Accounts, etc., 1705-1735.
Folder 20 – Taylor Family – Poetry
Poem “To Jacob Taylor, on his Calculations (?) for ye Year 1737,” addressed to Andrew Bradford. Document torn in half with center missing. Photocopy in folder.
Folder 21 – Taylor Family – Poetry, 1741-1744, undated.
Folder 22 – Taylor Family – Poetry, undated.
Taylor family, Box 3 –Sarum Forge papers, etc.
Folder 1 – John Taylor – Sarum Forge – Work Agreements, 1743-1753.
Folder 2 – John Taylor – Sarum Forge – John Larkin Account, 1744-1755.
Folder 3 – John Taylor – Sarum Forge – John Larkin Account, 1749-1755.
Folder 4 – John Taylor – Sarum Forge – John Larkin Account, 1752-1755.
Folder 5 – John Taylor – Sarum Forge – Caesar Andrew Account, 1748-1752.
Folder 6 – John Taylor – Receipt for land from Thomas Wills, Middle Town, March 11, 1728/9.
Folder 7 – John Taylor – Agreements, Deeds, Bonds, etc., 1723-1755.
Folder 8 – John Taylor – Agreements, Deeds, Bonds, etc., 1716-1723.
Folder 9 – John Taylor – Agreements, Deeds, Bonds, etc., 1724-1736.
Folder 10 – John Taylor – Correspondence to Samuel Savage in regards to M Taylor’s effects, July 18, 1735. Rough draft.
Folder 11 – John Taylor – Correspondence – County Treasurer’s Office, 1737-1740/1.
Correspondence about filling the post of County Treasurer. Six letters.
Folder 12 – John Taylor – Joseph Baker and Mary Worrilaw Taylor – Legal documents, 1711-1731.
Folder 13 – John Taylor – Joseph Baker and Mary Worrilaw Taylor- Legal documents, 1703-1717/8, undated.
Folder 14 – John Taylor – Joseph Baker and Mary Worrilaw Taylor- Legal documents, 1716-1719/20, undated.
Folder 15 – John Taylor – Joseph Baker and Mary Worrilaw Taylor – Legal documents, 1712-1721.
Folder 16 – John Taylor – Joseph Baker and Mary Worrilaw Taylor – Legal documents, 1715-1719/20.
Folder 17 – John Taylor – Joseph Baker and Mary Worrilaw Taylor – Bond, 1719
Folder 18 – John Taylor – Correspondence, 1734-1745, undated.
Folder 19 – John Taylor – 31 – Documents pertaining to John Taylor’s Second Wife, 1740-1745
Folder 20 – John Taylor -Draught of Petition in regards to John Worrall’s Account, December 20, 1745.
Folder 21 – John Taylor
Folder 22 –John Taylor – Miscellaneous, 1682-1776.
Folder 24– John Taylor – Thomas Bell Estate, March 19, 1744/5.
Folder 25 – John Taylor –Receipts, etc., 1732-1744/45.
Harris Family Papers, 1779 – 1885
Dr. Stephen Harris was born September 4, 1798, to William and Mary Campbell Harris. He was the youngest of seven children and brother to Campbell, Thomas, Mary, John, William and James. After attending the Chester County Academy, he became a medical doctor upon his graduation from the University of Pennsylvania in 1819. He came back to the East Whiteland area where he served the community as their doctor.
Dr. Harris married Marianne Smith, daughter of Joseph and Mary Frazer Smith, on April 4, 1833. They had three children; Stephen, Joseph and Martha. They were founders of East Whiteland Presbyterian Church and were influential in the building of the church and parsonage.
Dr. Harris died in Philadelphia on November 18, 1851. Marianne died March 12, 1890.
Scope and Content
Folders 1 – 6 of Harris family papers are documents related to William Harris, father of Stephen Harris. Most of these concern his time of service as captain in the East Whiteland Militia during and after the Revolutionary War.
Folders 7 – 12 are largely concerned with Dr. Stephen Harris.
They include: correspondence, receipts and memorandums, real estate papers such as mortgages, deeds, leases, maps, building plot plans, surveys, and floor plan drawings. The real estate papers are for his personal and family property and for the parsonage of the East Whiteland Presbyterian Church.
Also included are matriculation cards for classes and lectures he attended at the University of Pennsylvania. According to “Sketch of the Life of Dr. William Harris,” Dr. Stephen Harris was asked to take care of his brother William’s finances as he was better with money than he. It appears that was so as the collection also includes Dr. Stephen Harris’ involvement with accounts for Capt. John Harris, Campbell Harris, the East Whiteland Presbyterian Church and Sunday School. (See Folder 18, which houses the account book, 1829-1843, of Dr. Stephen Harris, which includes children’s birthdates, estate records of Mary Todd, Capt. John Harris’ accounts, farm and employee accounts, East Whiteland Presbyterian Church and parsonage accounts.)
Folder 14 includes four letters from 1845, which document a lively correspondence between Thomas Hutchison and Rev. D. H. Emerson.
Harris family, Box 4
Folder 1 – Harris Family – Capt. William Harris – Correspondence, receipts 1779 – 1782.
Folder 2 – Harris Family – Capt. William Harris – Correspondence, receipts 1783 – 1789.
Folder 3 – Harris Family – Capt. William Harris – Correspondence, receipts 1790s, 1800s.
Folder 4 – Harris Family – Capt. William Harris – Correspondence, receipts. Undated.
Folder 5 – Harris Family – Capt. William Harris – Militia Correspondence, Receipts, 1782-180(0)?
Folder 6 – Harris Family – Capt. William Harris – Militia Nonattendance Fines and Receipts, 1781-1783.
Folder 7 – Harris Family – Stephen Harris – Matriculation cards, 1815-1819, 1850-1851.
Cards for classes and lectures that he attended at University of Pennsylvania.
Folder 8 – Harris Family – Stephen Harris – Samuel Turney’s Estate, 1822-1830, undated. 15 documents.
Folder 9 – Harris Family – E. Whiteland Presbyterian Church Manse.
Written building specifications 1842, signed by Samuel Hartman, Stephen Harris, John Todd and William P. Hibbard.
Folder 10 – Harris Family – E. Whiteland Presbyterian Church Manse.
Floor plans, 3 documents.
Folder 11 – Harris Family – Stephen Harris – Will, September 18, 1832, written when he was very ill.
Folder 12 – Harris Family – Conditions of Sale of the Old Homestead, Stephen Harris, November 1849.
Folder 13 – Harris Family – Correspondence, 1830-1833.
Folder 14 – Harris Family – Correspondence – 1845.
Folder 15 – Harris Family – Correspondence – 1849.
Folder 16 – Harris Family – Dr. William Harris. “Sketch of the Life of Dr. William Harris 1792 – 1861, by his son Dr. Robert P. Harris”, 1885. Copy with envelope.
Folder 17 – Harris Family – “Homestead”.
Notes from the collector including photocopies of maps and book articles, Chain of title from William Penn to Thomas Harris, and handwritten notes.
Folder 18 – Dr. Stephen Harris’ account book, 1829-1843.
Lists children’s birthdates, Estate records of Mary Todd, Capt. John Harris’ accounts, Farm and employee accounts, East Whiteland Presbyterian Church and parsonage accounts.
Roman Family Papers, 1683-1724.
The central figure in the Quaker Roman family papers is Philip Roman who left England to settle in Chichester, Chester County, in the 1680s. According to documents in the collection, he was married at least twice. The death of his first wife and two children, sometime before June 1684, left him a widower with their remaining children, as condolence letters from Thomas and Ann Norris, Edward Harper and Edward Bayley seem to indicate. It can not be ascertained from these documents whether they died on the voyage over or after they arrived. There is, however, a marriage certificate for Philip Roman and Sarah Bezer dated 1684.
Scope and Content
The papers in Box 5 and 6 are arranged in chronological order; most are accompanied by typed transcripts. Consisting primarily of correspondence to members of the Quaker Roman and Beazer families, these letters shed light on the political, social, and religious climate of late 17th century England. Several letters from English relatives tell of imprisonment of Quaker friends and loved ones. A letter between Mary Coole and Sarah Beazer mentions Fisherton as the name of a prison.
The transition from new immigrants to established residents is also revealed in these letters as the topics shift from social and religious issues to economic and estate problems.
Includes letters from: William Coole, Benjamin Coole, Mary Coole, Thomas and Ann Norris, Edward Harper, Edward Bayley, Thomas Withers, William Hitchcock, Richard and Mary Walter, Cornelius Harding, John Childe.
Roman family, Box 5 – Correspondence
The following folders contain original manuscripts with typed transcripts unless otherwise noted.
Folder 1 – Letters
Folder 2 – Letters
Folder 3 – Letter – Mary Coole, Devizes, to Sarah Beazer, Chichester, 18th of the 12th month, 1683.
Folder 4 – Letters
Folder 5 – Letter – Thomas and Anne Norris, Preston, to Philip Roman, Chichester, 16th June, 1684.
Folder 6 – Letter – Edward Harper, Linham, to Philip Roman, Chichester, July 18, 1684.
Folder 7 – Letter – Edward Bayley, Pickwick, to Philip Roman, near Marcus Hook, 24th day 5th month, 1684.
Folder 8 – Letter – Benjamin Coole, Goatacre, to Philip Roman, Chichester, 13th day 5th month 1685. It includes a small note at end of letter from Mary Roman.
Folder 9 – Letter – William Coole, Devizes, to Philip Roman, Chichester, 24th day 5th month, 1685.
Folder 10 – Letter – from Mary Coole, Devizes, 19th day 7th month, 1685.
Folder 11 – Letter – William Coole, Devizes, to Sarah (Coole) Roman, Chichester, 29th day 6 months, 1686.
Folder 12 – Letter – Thomas Withers, Calne, to Amy Harding, Chichester, 28th day 9th month, 1689.
Folder 13 – Letter and Power of attorney
Folder 14 – Letter – Benjamin Coole, Bristol, to Philip Roman, Chichester, 18th day 7th month, 1691.
Folder 15 – Inventory – “An Inventory of what Goods Philip Roman Received being Gardean (sic) for Richard Bezer orfon (sic) son of John Bezer deceased.” 20th day, 12th month, 1693.
Folder 16 – Letter – William Hitchcock, Marlbrough, to Philip Roman, Chichester, 17th day of ye 8th month 1694.
Folder 17 – Letter – William Hitchcock, Marlbrough, to Philip Roman, Chichester, 15th day, 3rd month, 1695.
Folder 18 – Letter – Edward Bayley, Pickwick, to Philip Roman, Chichester, 8th day of ye 3rd month, 1697.
Roman family, Box 6 – Correspondence, continued
Folder 1 – Letter – Benjamin Coole, Bristoll, to Philip Roman, 18th day, 7th month, 1691 [1697?]. Transcript only.
Folder 2 – Letter – William Hitchcock, Marlbrough, to Philip and Amy Roman, 6 September 1697.
Folder 3 – Letter – Richard and Mary Walter to Amy Roman, November 1697.
Folder 4 – Letter – William Hitchcock, Marlbrough, to Philip Roman, 1st of ye 2d month 1699.
Folder 5 – Letter – Thomas and Ann Norris, et. al, Preston, to Philip and Amy Roman, September 13, no year.
Folder 6 – Letter – Cornelius Harding to William “Hiskock” [Hitchcock], March 10, 1700, and William Hitchcock, Marlbrough, to Philip Roman, Chichester, 18th day of ye 1st month, 1700.
Folder 7 – Letter – William Hitchcock, Marlbrough, to Philip Roman, 28th day 12th month, 1703.
Folder 8 – Letter – Edward Bayley, Pickwick, to Philip Roman, 8th day, 6th month, 1704.
Folder 9 – Letter – Three receipts: John Child to David Lloyd, Chester, through Philip Roman, 5th November, 1705. (John Jones and Nathaniel Evans also mentioned on receipt). The back includes another notation of John Jones to David Lloyd through Philip Roman.
Folder 10 – Correspondence
Folder 11 – Letter –
Folder 12 – Letter – Thomas Bayly, Pickwick, to Philip Roman, Chichester, 17th day of ye 4th month 1712.
Folder 13 – Letter – Thomas Bayly, Pickwick, to Philip Roman, Chichester, 22nd day of ye 7th month, 1714.
Folder 14 – Letter – Thomas Bayly, Pickwick, to Philip Roman, Chichester, 20th day of ye 4th month, 1716.
Folder 15 – Correspondence
Folder 16 – Marriage Certificate of Phillip Roman and Sarah Bezer, January 5, 1684, Chester County. No transcript.
Folder 17 – Bond – William Smith to Philip Roman 1724. No transcript.
Frazer Family Papers, 1750 – 1980
Col. Persifor Frazer, son of John Frazer, was born August 9, 1736, near Newtown Square, PA. As a young man, he was involved in business with his family, but eventually migrated into the iron business and partnered with J. Vernon. After their iron business closed, he went to Sarum Forge where he worked with his future father-in-law, John Taylor.
On October 2, 1766, he married Mary, daughter of John and Sarah (Worrall) Taylor. After their marriage they moved to a farm in Thornbury Township, Chester County.
Persifor Frazer served as a delegate to the Provincial Convention in January 1775. In 1776, he was named a captain of one of the companies of the fourth regiment of Pennsylvanian troops under Anthony Wayne. Shortly after the Battle of Brandywine on Sept. 11, 1777, he was captured by the British and imprisoned in Philadelphia. After his escape from jail, he returned to his troops and participated in the Battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778. Soon after he retired from the military, he served in various public offices, including his election to the legislature in 1781, 1782, and 1784.
Col. Frazer died April 24, 1792 and is buried at Middletown Presbyterian Church (Delaware County, PA). The remains of his home are now part of a park in Glen Mills.
Although the Frazer family was an integral part of Chester County history, this section of the collection contains mostly photographs (listed with Box 9 Smith family) and a few manuscripts.
Source for above: see Futhey & Cope’s History of Chester County, Pennsylvania (1881) for more information.
Frazer family, Box 6
Folder 18 – Sarah Worrall’s will, September 28, 1750. Document is in 2 pieces. No transcript.
Folder 19 – Letter – Letter to Col. Persifor Frazer from James(?) Thomson, undated. [James Thomson could be P. Frazer’s brother in law.]
Folder 20 – Receipt – from Captain William Harris, December 21, 1790, with envelope.
Folder 21 – Transcript – Twenty-four typed pages on the biography of Col. Persifor Frazer. Originally pages numbered 18 through 41. Author unknown.
Folder 22 – Land
Folder 23 – Letterhead for Dr. Persifor Frazer, American Association for the Advancement of Science, September 1884.
Folder 24 – Frazer Family – “Revolutionary Items related to the Battle of Brandywine,” Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) article, September 11, 1877. Photocopy of document. Envelope labeled, “Aunt Lizzie…Battle of Brandywine given by Sallie Frazer daughter of [Genl.] Persifor Frazer to her (niece?) Lizzie.” Another copy of article located in CCHS clippings file.
Smith Family Papers, 1758 – 1844
The Smith section of the collection consists primarily of real estate papers. There is one family letter and a document giving the lineage of the marriage of Robert and Margaret Vaughan Smith.
John Smith (d. Dec.19, 1765, age 79) and his wife Susanna (d. Dec. 24, 1767, age 76), left Ireland and settled in Uwchlan Township in 1720 because of religious persecution. According to Futhey & Cope’s History of Chester County, Pennsylvania (1881), they were the parents of fifteen children. Their son Robert Smith (d. 1803, age 83), was born aboard ship during this voyage.
Robert Smith married Margaret Vaughan (d. 1822, age 87) on December 20, 1758. She was the daughter of John Vaughn of Red Lion, Uwchlan Township, Chester County. They were the parents of eleven children.
Robert inherited his father’s property and became a prominent citizen in Chester County. He served during the French and Indian War and over the years rose in rank to Colonel. During the Revolutionary War, he was called on to be the Lieutenant for Chester County. He was the county Sheriff and Justice of the Peace and served one term in the State Assembly. Robert and Mary were founding members of the Brandywine Manor Presbyterian Church.
Three of their sons, John, Jonathan, and Joseph, and one grandson, Persifor Frazer Smith (son of John), are represented in these papers along with other descendents. John was an ironmaster and owned Joanna Furnace. Jonathan was the first cashier of the Bank of Pennsylvania and then the Bank of the United States. Joseph was an iron and shipping merchant in Philadelphia. Persifor Frazer Smith was the son of John and Mary Frazer Smith. Born in 1808, Persifor graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and became a lawyer. He helped establish the First Presbyterian Church of West Chester.
Robert’s Aunt Mary also sailed from Ireland with her brother John in 1720. She married Alexander Fulton and was the grandmother of Robert Fulton.
Smith family, Box 7
Folder 1 – Robert Smith and Margaret Vaughan lineage, married December 20, 1758.
Folder 2 – Correspondence – Ann Vernon, letter. Undated.
Folder 3 – John Smith – Survey, copy of 1757 survey drawn in 1806.
Folder 4 – John Smith – Survey, New London Township 1741/2.
Folder 5 – Persifor Frazer Smith – Philadelphia Covenant 1844.
Folder 6 – St. David’s Church History, written either 1820 or 1826. Two names, M.A. Smith and Mr. Brinkle, are written on the reverse of the document.
Folder 7 – “Robert Smith” by Joseph S. Harris, 1880, reprint from Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography.
Box 7, Miscellaneous
Folder 8 – Broadside, Joseph Reed, Philadelphia, January 27, 1781, stating publicly his defense against the rumor that he was guilty of “trading to New-York.” Reed states that he was a member of Congress.
Folder 9 – Music, poetry, undated.
Folder 10 – Misc. Legal documents, 1772, 1813.
Folder 11 – “Part of Deed Nathan Newlin to Nathaniel Newlin,” May 8, 1749.
Document fragile, photocopy in folder.
Folder 12 – Mortgage. Isaiah & Jane Hoopes to Phinehas Lewis, May 6, 1772.
Document fragile, photocopy in folder.
Folder 13 – Photograph Related Manuscripts, 1903, 1960.
Folder 14 – Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) newspaper article, April 2, 1977, “Great Valley church records date back to 1600s.” Photocopy in folder.
Folder 15 – Notes, envelopes from collector. Various notations that were made by the collector(s) in regard to manuscripts.
Folder 16 – Envelopes from photographs.
Box 8, Photographs
Folder 1: Smith and Frazer Family
Folder 2: Smith and Frazer Family
Folder 3: Marianne Smith?
Folder 4: Isaac Smith – Engraving. Plate from a book, “portfolio, Vol. 1. 1809, p. 135.”
Folder 5: Frazer and Vaughn Family
Folder 6: Smith and Harris Family
Folder 7: Smith and Harris Family
Folder 8: Smith House
Folder 9: Smith House
Folder 10: Harris house, near Frazer Station
Folder 11: Harris House (Accompanying letter in Box 7, Folder 13.)
Folder 12: Joseph Smith Harris
Folder 13: Harris House, East Whiteland
Folder 14: Col. Persifor Frazer House, Thornbury (accompanying letter in Box 7, folder 13)
Folder 15: Col. Persifor Frazer House, Thornbury
Folder 16: Col. Persifor Frazer, Thornbury
3 folders (33 items)
Folder 1, Oversized Deeds, Leases, etc. 1701 – 1719
1 – October 13, 1701, Sale of land by John Harris and Edward Harris to Phillipp (sic) Roman. Document in poor condition with stains and holes, readable.
2 – Fifth day, Seventh month, 1702, Sale of land by John Worrolaw and Daniel Hoops to Joseph Baker.
3 – January 13, 1712/3, sale of land by Joseph and Mary Baker, Edgemont, to Joseph Baker, his son, Thornbury. Attached is a draft of the land.
4 & 5 – February 3, 1713, sale of land, messuage and plantation by Philip Roman, Chichester and Nicholas Pyle, Concord, to, Robert Pyle, the second part and Jonah Roman, his son, the third part. Document was written in “tripartite”, and these are two of the three copies. One is signed by Philip Roman and Nicholas Pyle and four witnesses. The other was not negotiated.
6 – September 23, 1713, sale of land by Robert and Conrad Roberts, Philadelphia, to William Smith, Darby.
7 – July 16, 1718, sale of land by Mary Baker, widow of Joseph, Thornbury, and Isaac Taylor, Thornbury, to John Taylor, eldest son of Isaac.
8 – September 18, 1718, sale of land by John Worrilaw, Thornbury, to John Taylor, Thornbury.
9 – October 23, 1719, Release and confirmation by Isaac Norris, Philadelphia, and David Lloyd, Philadelphia, to Joseph Seale, Middlesex, Great Britian, and Theodore Ettleston, London. Estate related. Four holes in document, readable.
Folder 2 Oversized Documents, Deeds, Leases, etc. 1724 – 1750
10 – March 5, 1724, Lease of land by John Baker, Edgemont, to John Taylor, Thornbury.
11 – March 26, 1724, Release of land by John Baker, Edgmond (sic), to John Taylor, Thornbury.
12 – January 28, 1724/5, Sale of land by Charles Read, Job Goodsonn, Evan Owen, George Fitzwater and Joseph Pidgeon, Philadelphia, to John Taylor, Thornbury. Two holes in document, but they do not affect the handwriting.
13 – 1725, no month or day, non-negotiated release by James Child, Burlington, West New Jersey, to Jacob Roman, Chester, Pennsylvania.
14 – March 21, 1728, Release by John Ettlestone, London, to John and Priscilla Blandon, London, and John and Mary Mann, London, and conveyed to Priscilla Blandon and Mary Mann and their heirs. Power of Attorney executed by Job Goodman and Thomas Annis, August 12, 1729.
15 – March 26, 1729, Sale of land by Ephraim Jackson, Edgmont (sic), and Thomas Wills, Middle Town to John Taylor, Thornbury.
16 – August 7, 1733, Release by Sarah Baker, Thornbury, to John Taylor, Thornbury.
17 – December 1, 1733, Sale of land by Jacob Taylor, Bradford Township, to John Taylor, Thornbury. Two pages, stitched together.
18 – November 10, 1736, Release by Joseph and Hannah Baker Talbot, Middle Town, to John Taylor, Thornbury.
19 – May 17, 1744, Release by Joseph Baker, Goshen, to John Taylor, Thornbury.
20 – May 3, 1749, Sale of land by Richard and Ann Richison, Whiteland, to Jacob Trego, Whiteland.
21 – March 24, 1749, Lease by William and Elizabeth Kinnison, Burdon Town (sic), West New Jersey, Thomas Smedley, Willis Town, Pennsylvania.
22 – Ninth day of the first month, 1749, Lease by Thomas Smedley and Thomas James, Willis Town, executors of the last will and testament of Edward Kinnison, Whiteland, to William Kinnison, Burdon Town (sic), West New Jersey.
23 – Tenth day of the first month, 1749/0, Release by Thomas Smedley and Thomas James, Willis Town, executors of the last will and testament of Edward Kinnison, Whiteland, to William Kinnison, Burdon Town (sic), West New Jersey.
The following two documents have been damaged by iron gall ink:
24 – March 25, 1750, William and Elizabeth Kinnison, Burdon Town (sic), West New Jersey, to Thomas Smedley, Willis Town, Pennsylvania.
25 – October 3, 1750, Release by William and Elizabeth Kinnison, Burdon Town (sic), West New Jersey, to Thomas Smedley, Willis Town, Pennsylvania.
Folder 3 Oversized Documents, Deeds, Leases, etc. 1754 – 1844
26 – March 20, 1754. Sale of of the William Kinnison’s land, tenements, and goods by Isaac Pearson, sheriff, to John Minshall. (penciled note on document: “Deed to what became Harris homestead Pearson to Minsall Minsall (sic) sold to Thos Harris 1770.”
27 – July 21, 1755, Sale of land by John and Sarah Minshall, Middletown Township, to Francis Smedley, John Smedley, Thomas Smedley, and George Smedley, Willistown. Signed by John and Sarah Minshall, witnessed by John Scott and Edward Pilkinton.
28 – June 1768, Sale of land by Abiah and Ann Taylor, to George Smedley, Willistown. Left side of document cut off. Further notation, dated 1790, on back of document concerning Ann.
29 – December 30, 1770, Deed from John and Sarah Minshall, Francis and Anne Smedley, Thomas and Lydia Smedley, George and Patience Smedley and John Smedley to Thomas Harris.
30 – January 1, 1771, Mortgage for Thomas and Elizabeth Harris, Whiteland Township, to John Minshall, Middletown Township, Francis Smedley, John Smedley, George Smedley, Willistown. Document fragile at folds.
31 – November 1782, Land patent for John Smith. Mention Hugh Cook and John Smith’s wife Martha and daughter and/or sister Margaret.
32 – January 25, 1790, Deed from Thomas and Susannah Smedley, John Smedley, Nathaniel and Phebe White, George and Priscilla Green, Jesse and Mary Smedley, George and Ann Matlack, and Priscilla Smedley to Thomas Harris. Signed by all grantors along with Sarah Smedley, Charles Dilworth, James Dilworth, Jr., John Hannum, Isaac Woodrow, Nathan Mudegraff and John Bartholom.
33 – March 14, 1818, Deed from Mary and Hannah Burgess, Philadelphia, to Campbell Harris, Dr. William Harris and John Morton Davis, Tredyffrin Township. Includes drafts of two lots.
34 – April 10, 1830, Deed from Campbell and Jane Harris, Genesseeo (sic), New York, Dr. Stephen Harris, their attorney, Dr. William and Matilda P. Harris, John M. and Anna Maria Davis to Capt. John Harris.
35 – April 13, 1836, Deed from Dr. Stephen Harris, East Whiteland, to John Harris of the United States Marine Corps.
36 – August 9, 1839, Deed from Thomas Finley, Baltimore, Maryland, to Jonathan Smith, Philadelphia. Reverse of document has notation from the City of Baltimore clerk Solomon Sting with attached Armstrong County record number slip.
37 – January 3, 1844, Release of Mortgage, from Sarah Wharton Chancellor Twells, Wharton Chancellor and Josiah Hamar to Joseph and Mary Smith.
 see Taylor Family, page 5 of this finding aid.