The Penn Family
Manors and their Relevancy to our Pennsylvania Forebears:
Page Table of
Family Manors [A brief
and general overview]
Penn Family Manors
Our Forebears Within Them
to Our Forebears and Research
With Dedicated Pages :
Relevant Links regarding
within these Pages
William Penn & his family acquired
44 Manors aggregating in total 421, 015 acres, 82 perches.
Our directs James LOGAN
and his son William Logan were
both responsable for their formation, while other of our directs lived
The concept of manor grants was
resurrected by the English for William Penn more than three centuries
after the last grant of a manor in England occured [during the Reign
of Edward III which began in 1327].footnote
charter for Penna eastablished the Penn family right to manors.
The charter "gave Penn broad powers in
selling or renting his lands. Those purchasing land from him must
have his approval of any method they themselves might use to sell the land
to others. Although Penn could create manors for individuals he liked
(Section XIX), these 'lords of the manor' could not subdivide by creating
smaller manors. Thus, the manorial system could not develop to break up
Pennsylvania into small, hostile areas. "1
The ongoing nature of the manors was
related to the ongoing expansion of Pennsylvania and the desire for profit
by the Penn proprietaries, but did not always keep pace with settlement
of the frontier
As new lands were opened for settlement
based on treaty with the Native Americans, the Penn family sometimes delayed
in designating their apportioned manors within the newly assigned lands.
Settlers in the affected territory sometimes predated the manors allocated
by the Penn familyFootnote 3
and sometimes the treaties themselves [See Blunstone
All Manors were abolished by act of legislature
1776 but the effects lingered
compensation to the Penn Family was included
in the 1776 acts of legislation. Footnote
2 Hostilities caused by the Manor system did occur and the lingering
effects were seen until the early 19th century [apropros the Manor
of Springettsbury in now York co,
and the Manor of Maske in then
York, now Adams , Co and as evident in other areasfootnote
1] Penn Family Manors, A General Overview
2] Manors Relevant to Our Research
within them Links to their history and our families
Penn Family Manors, A General Overview:
The first manors of Pennsylvania involved
the southeastern area of Penna; As treaties with the native Americans were
made opening new territories to warranty, the Penn family typically allocated
for themselves generous Manors among the choicest of the lands now open
for white pioneering. The surveyor-general [this person being direct
ancestor James Logan of the
Howard Allied famlies] under the Penns surveyed to them forty-four
manors in the eastern, western and other parts of a Pennsylvania, aggregating
421, 015 acres and 82 perches. Research any county in Pennsylvania
as they are first settled as frontier, then branched off from previous
counties, and unfolded in history to us, and you will see mention of the
original manors of the Penn family.
" In nearly every tract that Thomas
and Richard Penn opened for sale, they reserved a parcel of ten acres for
every 100,000 that they sold. Their purpose was to hold the acreage until
the area's population increased, which would enable them to sell
portions of it for a higher price. In what became Adams County, they retained
the 43,500-acre ' Manor of Mask.' Although the state legislature
passed the ' Divesting Act' in 1779 confiscating the proprietors'
unsold lands, it permitted them to retain their manors." From PHMC
Doc Heritage, Wilt's Map Discussion
of Centre county Webpages reads "By limiting claims to 400 acres for
any one person, the warrant process was intended to favor poor settlers.
However, Penn and his descendants took prime land as "Manors,"
consisting of 1/10th of any new land opened to warranting.Merchants, speculators,
and military officers claimed multiple warrants under their own names and
those of relatives and friends. Most settlers, predominantly Scotch-Irish
and German, bought land already warranted or took out later, "junior,"
warrants on tracts where they had squatted."
The manorial right, particularly
as the colony grew in size, often led to dischord, as the manors were frequently
in wild frontier, not even yet surveyed, at the same time that the region
was open for emmigration to the burgeoning population in the east anxious
and in need to farm their own lands.
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On to 2.Penn
Family Manors with links to Our Forebears Within Them
Penn Family Manors and Our Forebears
are several Manors [or proprietary leases] that are relevant to our Pennsylvanian
forebears, and all three of them were involved in hostilities. Adding
to the sense of chaos regarding their regions was the dispute between Maryland
and Pennsylvania regarding the
Maryland/ Penna boundary finally summarized with the Mason
Dixon Survey [1763 - 1767] . The manors involving our ancestors all
involved Md and Penna and their contest to hold the land as their own.
Manor Of Maske [York, now Adams County Penna and likewise referred
to as the "Marsh Creek Settlement" ] . This area was one squatted by Scotch
Irish almost in entirity, and is relevant to our McCURDY and allied lines.
Although the first settlers appeared there in 1732-1739, [Penn having
paved the way for westward expansion with his treaty with the natives regarding
the land west of the Susquehanna in 1736] it was 1740 when Penn's surveyors
appeared to conduct their business. They were driven away by the Scotch
Irish 'squatters' who chased Penn's surveyors off the Manor of Maske with
threat of arms. The region in its southern aspect involved land disputed
with Maryland, only assuredly settled by the Mason Dixon Survey [begun
1763] . It was in 1766 that the York County Manor of Maske
Surveyors lined out the Manor of Maske, the second largest reserved estate
of the Penns in Pennsylvania. Originally encompassing the then unconceived
and now famous town of Gettysburg, Penna, the Manor of Maske encompassed
an area 12 x 6 miles in breadth and width . The Mason Dixon Survey
was formalized in 1668, and the border of Maryland/Penna made firm.
Despite the ample size of the Manor of Maske, Springettsbury Manor
[which follows] was the largest of the Penn estates. The Manor of Maske
is relevant to our McCurdy and allied lines.
Manor of Springettsbury relevant to our Spangler and allied lines.
This was the first of the Penn proprietaries holdings west of the Susquehanna,
being surveyed in 1722, and predating the deed of lands from the natives
of "All the Land West of the Susquehanna to the Setting Sun" by 14 years.
Its allocation from the natives had been sought by the Governor of Penna
as a result , and to stem the flow of, increasing numbers of
Maryland settlers along the Susquehanna into the border region contested
by both colonies. Located in the region now encompassed by York,
York Penna, this region was the object of the
"Cressap War" of 1731-1736 the effects of which our direct SPANGLER
ancestors endured, this Cressap War being part of the larger Border Wars
involving Md and Penna. Ongoing legal disputes resultant of the Manor's
contentious beginnings were still remarked upon in 1834. This Cressap War
is not to be confused with the more famous and later war of the same
name involving Lord Dunmore of Maryland , Va , and the Ohio Indians.
Choice, relevant to many of our German Surnamed Forebears encompassing
the region of now Hanover, York County, Penna, and Littlestown, Adams County,
Penna. This region, again , involved hostilities with the officials
of Maryland. Digge's Choice was in fact a Maryland grant in a region also
claimed by Pennsylvania. Digges Choice is relevant to our Swope,
Hoke, Eichelberger and Troxell lines.
For hard copy research regarding
the Manors and their inhabitants see:
THE PENNSYLVANIA ARCHIVES . See THIRD
SERIES = 30 volumes. Land, Military and Tax Records. General Index located
inVolumes 27-30.Vol. I & 2: Land Grants 1681-1795 Vol. 4: Maps of proprietary
manors (1683-1773). Contains relevant maps.
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The concept of a manor was not new
to the Penn family; It had been resurrected by the English for William
Penn many years after the last grant of a manor in England .
"...The charter granted in 1681 by
Charles II to William Penn invested in the latter and his heirs the absolute
ownership of all the land in Pennsylvania, with comparatively slight exceptions.
From then until July 4, 1776, all titles to that land were derived either
from Penn himself or some of his family. Though a manor had not been granted
in English since the reign of Edward III, which began in 1327, the surveyor-general
under the Penns surveyed to them forty-four manors in the eastern, western
and other parts of a Pennsylvania, aggregating 421, 015 acres and 82 perches.
....By his charter, Penn and his heirs became the owners, subject to the
Indian titles, of all the land in Pennsylvania, except that in the possession
of the Swedes, Dutch and English along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers."3
A] In 1776, the proprietary estates were
abolished, and compensation to the "devisees and legatees of Thomas Penn
and Richard Penn, late proprietaries of Pennsylvania, respectively, and
to the widow and relict of the said Thomas Penn, such proportions as shall
hereafter by the legislature be deemed equitable and just, upon a full
investigation of their respective claims." See
Public Lands [Title 64]
B] " It
having become evident, in the course of the first four years of the Revolutionary
war, that the independence of the United States would result, it was obvious
that the possession and control of so much territory by the Penn family,
who adhered to the English side of that contest, were incompatible with
the principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence, the safety
and stability of free institutions, the growth of the commonwealth, and
the just and proper distribution o the rights, duties, and burdens of the
people. Hence, the act of June
28, 1779, was passed, which provided for the payment to the proprietaries,
after the close of the war, of 130,000 pounds for their lands, except their
manors, quit-rents and private estates, the last mentioned of which consisted
of tracts of land other than the proprietary manors in the interior, eastern
and northeastern parts of the state, aggregating nearly 89,000 acres, all
of which were reserved to them, that is, all which had been ' duly surveyed
and returned to the land office,' on or before the 4th day of July, 1776.
In pursuance of that act, and particularly its 15th section, Joseph Reed,
then president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, addressed
to Edmund Physic, as Receiver-General under the late proprietaries, a written
demand, dated February 9, 1780, for the books, certificates and other documents,
instruments, writings and seals belonging to that office, which must have
been complied with, as the 130,000 pounds and interest were paid within
eight years after the peace of 1783. In Richard Penn vs Ann Penn,
executrix, and John F. Mifflin, executor of John Penn, deceased, 2 Yeates,
550, Chief-Justice Shippen treated that amount as having been paid
to John Penn in his lifetime in money or certificates, and one-third therefore
paid over to Richard Penn." 3.
C] With the
advent of the revolution, and as a result of a provision extended by the
Revolutionary legislature that the "tenths" or Manors of the Penns which
had been surveyed and delivered to office by July 4, 1776 could still pertain
to the Penn family heirs, ongoing trouble persisted. This is evident in
the history of the Manor
of Springettsbury, where comment on ongoing legal dispute was made
in 1824, among others. " The Kittanning (Appleby) manor having been one
of those thus reserved, its title was never vested in the commonwealth,
and did not pass from the Penns until they conveyed it to Beates3".[occured
1804]. See Footnote Two B above
for background relevant to the lingering effects of the Penn family Manors.
A] "...as one seeks to unfold [Pennsylvania]
and develop the picture of each township as it was erected. It must be
remembered that due to the system of land being held as Manors, by Wm.
Penn as well as those set up by him for his family, much of our land remained
in Proprietary ownership to later times. Squatters were prevalent and ultimately
it became necessary for the Penn interests to grant such persons some of
the land which had been improved by them, despite the reservation of such
land to Penn and his heirs forever"From the Newsletter of the Philadelphia
City Archives, Number 30 (February 1977) .THE
FIRST ADVENTURERS By J. Paul Dilg
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Sources for this Page if not previously
[in text] given:
1. (New Jersey) Extract from
The Indian Tribes of North America by John R. Swanton. Bureau
of American Ethnology Bulletin 145ó1953. [726 pagesóSmithsonian Institution]
(pp. 48-55). Presented in pages of
Northern Plains Archive Project web site.
County History Pages of York
3. Armstrong County
Penn. Genealogy Project . Chapter
14 Manor Part 1 of the
Manor Township pages. Sites: Source: Page(s) 310-345, History of Armstrong
County, Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins
& Co., 1883. Transcribed January 1999 by Donna Mohney for the Armstrong
County Smith Project. Published 1998 by the Armstrong County Pennsylvania
Genealogy Project. "
4. State Museum of
Summary of the 1681 Charter.
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