Biographical / Historical
The John family is a Quaker family of Uwchlan and Shamokin Valley in Pennsylvania. Reuben John, the twelfth child of Griffith and Ann John, was born in Uwchlan in 1743. He married Lydia Townsend ca. 1768. After the death of the latter in 1798, he married second a widow, Jane Yocum. Reuben and Lydia had nine children, viz. Martha (Patty) who married Abia John, Phebe, Townsend, Israel, Pamela (Maly) who married George Brenholtz, Robert, Joanna who married Abraham Griffith, Sarah (Sally), who married George F. Janney, and Ann (Nancy) who married Ezra Haines.
Abia John (1761-1838) was the son of Griffith John, the older brother of Reuben John. Abia and Martha (John) John moved from Chester County, Pa., to Shamokin Township in Northumberland County. Abia and Martha were both birthright Quakers but were disowned when they married because they were first cousins. They had thirteen children: Asa; Hiram; Emily; Griffith (1795-1856); Reuben; Lydia; Sarah; Jesse J. who married Eliza Hicks; Elida (1805-1883); Samuel; Jehu; Eliza; and Perry.
The third son of Abia and Martha (John) John was Griffith John (1795-1856), who moved to Allen County, Ohio, in 1816 and became a Methodist, founding the town of Elida which was named for his brother. Don D. John, the family genealogist, was descended from Martha and Abia John through their third son, Griffith and his wife who had eighteen children, including Jesse J. John who was the grandfather of Don D. John. Jesse J. John had fourteen children, including Jesse Clinton John who was Don D. John’s father.
Elida John (1805-1883) married Sarah Hughes and took over the family farm, and they lived in Shamokin until 1868 when they moved to Illinois to join their children who had moved there. He and Sarah raised ten children and joined the Society of Friends at Roaring Creek MM in 1831. He and his brother, Perry, established a meeting at Shamokin, Pa., later known as Bear Gap Meeting. When he moved to Illinois, he was active in establishing Illinois Yearly Meeting.
Mary John Heritage (the donor, died 1954, member Mullica Hill MM) was descended from Martha and Abia John through Perry John (1815-1895) who was a Quaker minister.
Dr. Abia C. John (1831-1899) was a son of Elida John and Sarah Hughes. He served in the Civil War and later was a physician, one of the first to practice in Whiteside County, Illinois.
Kimber L. John (1838-1870) was the son of Jehu (1809-1863) and Patience (Houseweart) John, the second to the youngest child of Abia and Martha (John) John. Jehu’s family moved to Illinois, and Kimber John served in the Civil War, Company 8th Reg. Illinois Cavalry. He moved to California after he mustered out and never married.