The intent of this section was a place to share some of my various family lines. This title page will also serve as an introduction to Bucks County Pennsylvania. The early years of the area and Doylestown. It will give the reader an insight as to how this land was originally purchased and how it was divided.
Bucks County the early years., will contain excerpts from a book I had purchased entitled Pennsylvania Historical Collections dated 1843.
It is probably best if we start with William Penn and how Pennsylvania was acquired by him and move into the Bucks County Information:
Sir William Penn, the father of the founder of Pennsylvania, had been a distinguished admiral under Charles II.; and at his death left claims, of considerable amount, against the crown, for his services. His son, William, by way of liquidating these claims, and with the still nobler motive of securing an asylum where his Quaker brethren might enjoy unmolested the full development of their peculiar tenets, sought from King Charles II, a grant of a tract of land in the new world. His request was granted, and by the king’s order, much against Penn’s inclination, the new province was to be called Pennsylvania, in honor of the services of his illustrious father. The charter was dated 4th March, 1681, and confirmed in April, by the royal proclamation. The assent of the Duke of York, then the proprietor of all New Netherlands, and that of Lord Baltimore, whose possessions joined on the south, had been obtained to the provisions of the charter; and Lord North, then Lord Chief Justice, was careful to add several clauses in favor of the king’s prerogative, and the parliaments right to taxation. The extent of the province was three degrees of latitude in breadth, by five degrees of longitude in length; the eastern boundry being the Delaware River, the northern “the beginning of the three-and fortieth degree of northern latitude, and on the south a circle drawn at welve miles distance from Newcastle, northward and westward unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of northern latitude, and then by a straight line westward to the limits of longitude above mentioned.” This impossible southern line was afterwards the source of much dispute with Lord Baltimore.
On 30 August 1683 William Penn and nearly a hundred colonists accompanied Penn on his journey to Newcastle. It is said that English, Dutch and Swedes hastened to welcome the new proprietor.
DOYLESTOWN, THE COUNTY SEAT
Without a doubt, my favorite town in Bucks County. Possibly due to the fact that most of my paternal family records are housed here, or maybe it’s how familiar I have become with the area, perhaps it is just the familiar faces, the old town charm, or the historical character of the town. Whatever it is that draws me to this community my hopes are to one day retire to the town I love so well. Bucks County was one of the original three counties of Pennsylvania with Newtown originally being the County Seat. It was the year 1812 that the county records were removed from Newtown and brought to new surroundings in Doylestown. It does make me curious as to why Doylestown was selected as the Seat. The location of Doylestown is quite interesting. It was probably difficult to bring material to the top of the hill where most of the older buildings and homes were built. There were no water ways, and just the thought of carrying water to this location would seemingly tax one’s ambitions. Maybe, just maybe the toil by earlier man made the tasks rewarding, we can only imagine the views over the vast farmlands of the area.
The town was named from one of the earlier settlers, William Doyle the grandson of an Irish immigrant who in 1745 petitioned for a license to run a public house located somewhere on the corner of what is today State and Main streets in the center of the town. Mr. Doyle maintained his tavern until 1776. Although he had then left the area his name as do many original structures built in the early 1900s still live on.
It was written In a Doylestown newspaper article of 1833 “As far back as the year 1778, there were but two or three log buildings in the place; the oldest of which was kept as a sort of public house, for the “entertainment of man and horse.” “The most particular event which signalized the history of Doylestown during the colonial times, was the encampment of the American Army a few nights previous to the memorable battle of Monmouth, which took place on the 28th June, 1778.” The population of the town was 906 in the year of 1840.
This obituary Dated 30, Aug 1900 was in the Bucks County Intelligencer and was worth noting: Mrs. Mary Riale died at her home on West street on Saturday night of paralysis. She was eighty years of age and is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Harry Durkee and Mrs. Lizzie Aaron, and one son, Robert Riale. Mrs. Riale was the third of the eight children of Benjamin and Letitia (Meredith) Mathews, of New Britain, where she was born January 16, 1821. She married Isaac Riale in March 1843, and has ever since been a residence of the borough of Doylestown, except a few years spent in Buckingham. Her husband inherited a farm of sixty acres from his father, Richard Riale, in the western part of the town, and which is now mostly traversed by streets and covered with dwellings. This was the historic Doyle property, bought by Edward Doyle in 1730, and where he died in 1763. Mr. Riale died in 1886, at the age of 73. Mrs. Riale had been a member of the Doylestown Baptist church for upward of thirty years. The homestead of her family is now owned by her brother, Joseph Matthews, of New Britain.
Yes, the center of town is a modern day Williamsburg, Virginia. The older homes have been well cared for and many restored. With the exception of the new County Courthouse (What were they thinking) a modern structure which could have found its home in any city other than Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
GEOGRAPHY OF DOYLESTOWN TOWNSHIP
September 12, 1918: The geography of Doylestown township has helped to develop the growth of the industries, and therefore it is an important factor to be considered in the study of the township. In the study of this geography we will consider its roads, hills, streams, its boundary and its mails. The township is intersected by numerous roads, some of them having been turnpiked. The oldest, and still main highways, are the Easton road, laid out in 1723 from the County Line to Doylestown, and that from York road, at Centreville, to the Schuykill river at Norristown. For many years the former was called Dyer’s mill road, and the latter the North Wales road, and they intersected narly at right angles in the heart of Doylestown. The Swamp road, which forms the northeast boundary of Doylestown township, and runs through Quakertown into Milford township, was laid out in 1737, and was that time called Newtown road. In 1752 a road was laid out from the Eastern road just above the Turk, to the Lower State road; this new road was surveyed by John Watson. The township at present has two pikes, the Dublin pike and the Willow Grove pike. The Easton pike has been condemned and taken over by the state, while the New Hope pike has had all the toll gates closed. Repairs have recently been made on the Dublin pike, making it better for the large amount of traffic it supports. United States mails are distributed in two ways: By the rural free delivery and by the post offices. The rural free delivery, route No. 1, starts from the post office in Doylestown borough and distributes mail to those who have no local post office. Doylestown township has two small post offices, one in the eastern part of the township, at Edison, and another in the western part of the township at Tradesville. In 1818 when Doylestown township was formed it was made up of ninety-one parts of properties, taken from the surrounding townships. The townships which gave up some of their land are Plumstead, Warwick, New Britain and Buckingham. Among the leading families whose property had been taken to form Doylestown township are the Dungan’s, ____?, Worthington’s, Fell’s, Magill’s, Hough’s and Meredith’s. The township was enlarged sometime in later years, making it one of the leading townships of Bucks county. The soil of Doylestown township is of a sandy nature, having several loam and clay beds. The soil is well watered by the winding west branch of the Neshaminy and its tributaries. The soil supports all the crops that are common in this section. Among the streams of Doylestown township, the Neshaminy is the largest. Most of the others are tributaries of this creek. Some of the other streams are Pine Run, Cook’s Run and Trout Run. In an old title paper Cook’s Run is found to be called “Scooke’s Run.” The Pine Run drains the northeastern part of the township and empties into the North Branch of the Nesaminy near Chalfont. Trout Run drains the southeastern part of the township and flows into the Neshaminy at Edison, while Cook’s Run drains the central part of the township. Doylestown township has several hills, of which Featherbed hill, near New Britain, is steepest and most difficult for travel. Pebble Hill, which is on the road leading from Doylestown to Furlong is very steep and has a sharp turn in the middle, making it very dangerous. Loesch’s hill and Carr’s hill, are in the northwestern part of the township and are well known in this community. In 1913 the borough of Doylestown enlarged its limits, extending to the limits of the Chapman property on the north, East street, on the east, Chestnut Grove limits on the West, and slightly south of the railroad depot on the south. In doing this its decreased the area of the township very much. The scenery of Doylestown township is the direct result of its geography, its hills, valleys, streams and forest furnish a beautiful scene. The country is delightful, and its attraction to many visitors from our large cities. The Pine Run and Neshaminy valleys are noted for their beauty, and add to the delight and attraction for our people and strangers.