Scope and Contents
The George Family Papers include correspondence (1705-1864), other personal papers (1681-1887), business and financial accounts (1734-1887), and estate papers (1714-1883). Of particular note are the estate accounts of many family members and other individuals for whom John M. and Joseph W. George acted as conveyancers and administrators, including Joseph George (1773- 1846?), Jesse George (b. 1785), James Malin (d. ca 1859), John Malin Jr. (ca. 1778-1868?), and other members of the Malin family, Miller family, Price family and many others who lived in the Blockley area. The personal papers include journals and day books of Edward George and John M. George as well as marriage certificates, removals, and genealogical notes. Business and financial records include farm and dairy accounts, business accounts, property transactions, receipts, etc. of the George, Malin, and other related families. The collection also includes the plan of East Whiteland Friends Burial Ground, miscellaneous records of Radnor Monthly and Merion Preparative Meetings, and Blockley Township records. The family history is significant, as it traces the first two centuries of the history of Welsh Quakers that settled in the "Welsh Tract" of the Lower Merion area.
Biographical / Historical
The following is a brief history of noteworthy members of the George family, as well as other early Welsh Quakers that settled in America.
Richard George, d. 1708
Richard George, his wife Jane, and their family left Wales on board the ship "Salisbury" and arrived in Upland, Pennsylvania, in 1708. They came from [Llangyrig?] in Montgomeryshire Wales. Richard died a few days after landing; the family was dispersed among relatives and friends situated in the area surrounding Blockley Township.
Jesse George, 1785-1873
Jesse George, son of Edward George and first cousin of Joseph George, was born in 1785 and also lived in Blockley Township. He received an education in the local school and continued in the farming tradition. He was very active in the Society of Friends in the Blockley area. In his will, he and his sister, Rebecca George, donated to the city of Philadelphia a tract of approximately 80 acres, which became known as George's Hill. He died in 1873.
Joseph George, 1773-1845
Joseph George was born in 1773, the eldest son of Amos George and Rebecca Williams, and the first cousin of Jesse George. He studied Mathematics, Reading and Writing in the local school. The death of Amos in 1790 left Joseph to manage the farm and tanyard with his mother. He married Alice Malin, daughter of John Malin and Sophia Dilworth, on September 21, 1801. He died in 1845.
John Malin George, 1802-1887
John Malin George was born on October 16, 1802, the son of Joseph George and Alice Malin. He was the eldest of six brothers and sisters; their well-to-do Hicksite family lived on a farm in Overbrook, Blockley Township, Pennsylvania. John M. George received his education in the "common country schools of the neighborhood and beyond Reading, Writing and Arithmetic was limited perhaps to grammar, Geography and Surveying." The George family was particularly devoted to the life of the Quaker meeting. John was an Elder of Radnor Monthly and Merion Preparative Meetings. None of the George children ever married, and John M. George, the sole survivor, died without an heir on February 11, 1887. He was buried at Merion Meeting.
Randall Malin, 1728, and family
Randall Malin was one of the first settlers in the Upper Providence area of Pennsylvania, emigrating from Great Barrum, Cheshire, England, with his wife Elizabeth. Both had suffered in England for their Quaker beliefs, at one point being charged 20.5 pounds for having prayed aloud with Friends. They settled on 250 acres near Ridley Creek in March 1681. They had two children. Isaac Malin, born in 1681, and another son, Jacob. Elizabeth Malin died in 1687, and Randall then married Mary Hollingsworth, daughter of Valentine Hollingsworth of New Castle, Delaware. With Mary, Randall had two daughters, Hannah and Rachel. He died in 1728.
Thomas Ellis, d. 1688
Thomas Ellis was among the First Purchasers in Pennsylvania, owning land in the Mill Creek valley. He was a Quaker minister from Dolserre, Merionethshire, Wales. Arriving in Philadelphia in 1683, he did not establish permanent roots in the valley, but rather engaged in land speculation and participated in the affairs of the colony." He died in 1688, in great debt to the Proprietary. Thomas Ellis married twice, having children Ellis Ellis and Eleanor Ellis with his first wife, and daughter Rachel with his second wife, Ellin. Eleanor Ellis married David Lawrence. (Lewis) David and Eleanor Lawrence were married in Wales. Once in Pennsylvania, they settled in Haverford Township and were said to be "devout and exemplary members of the Society of Friends."
Thomas Wynne, d. 1737
Doctor Thomas Wynne emigrated from Flintshire in North Wales, arriving in Pennsylvania with William Penn in 1682 on the ship Welcome. In Wales he had been trained as a cooper and a surgeon, presumably continuing as a physician in Pennsylvania. He suffered for almost six years in prison for his religious testimony and wrote a book in 1677 called The Antiquity of the Quakers, Proved Out of the Scriptures of Truth. Once in Pennsylvania, he served as a Justice of the Peace and later as Speaker for the first Provincial Assembly in Pennsylvania. Wynne eventually sold off most of the land or rights that he had originally purchased. He resided in Philadelphia and was an early member of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends. Involved in many debates about the sale of alcohol, he was considered by some to be an "Ale-Man." Wynne left for England after two years in Pennsylvania, returning to Delaware in 1686. Mary, his daughter, married Dr. Edward Jones in Wales, and settled on a large tract of land in Merion Township, Pennsylvania, with their family. Their son, Jonathon Jones, married Gainor Owens (daughter of Robert Owen) in 1706. Dr. Thomas Wynne died in 1737. They were all among the Welsh immigrants known as the Cymric Friends.
Dr. Edward Jones, of Bala, Merionethshire, acted as a trustee with John Thomas for about seventeen families that intended to emigrate from Wales to Pennsylvania. Jones was one of the first to leave, arriving with a small group called the "Merioneth Adventurers" in August 1682 on the Lyon, two months before Penn. He and the group he led settled in present-day Bala Cynwyd, which was to be part of "The Great Welsh Tract."
Robert Owen and his wife left Merionethshire, Wales, in 1690 for Pennsylvania and settled in Lower Merion upon arrival. He was chosen as the local representative for the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania and also served as a Justice of the Peace. He was very active as a Quaker, travelling often while in Wales, and he and his wife were lauded in many memorials as "very serviceable in their places, and very much beloved in their native land,..an ancient couple of distinction."
William Edward, son of Edward ap John of Cynlas in North Wales, arrived in Philadelphia in 1682, prior to William Penn's arrival. In Wales, he had been married to Katherine, daughter of Robert ap Hugh and a Quaker. After her death, he married Jane, daughter of John ap Edward, also a Quaker. He and wife Jane and children from previous marriages came on the ship "Lyon, John Compton Master" and settled in a cave near the Schuylkill River, opposite the present area of Mannyunk). They suffered many hardships in their first season, but received help from Native Americans and neighbors. He later purchased a tract of land in Blockley Township.