I finally have time for my own research and have decided to work on First Families of Pennsylvania through the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania (GSP). My initial family was Sarah Shoemaker who arrived in Philadelphia in 1686 and purchased 200 acres. Her husband, George had died on the way over from Germany or before she had left so it was that she landed in Philadelphia with seven children.
From further research, we know that Sarah’s son, George married Sarah Wall, whose family was already here in 1682. I will work on the Wall/Waln family for my supplement to First Families of PA. There is an abundance written about the Wall’s, but I haven’t found EVERYTHING, so if you are researching the Shoemaker/Wall connection and have some records not available on line, I would love to have a copy.
The next families will be the Richardson and Levering families. It is a challenge to get them listed in the oldest division of First Families – Colony and Commonwealth: 1638–1790, but how fun to see how much information is available from that time period at GSP and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia.
Happy hunting to those who try.
I haven’t written in a while about the Shoemaker’s, but thought I would give a little update. I had been working on a Welcome Society application for two clients when I realized that I was eligible. That has led me to a quest of completing the application for my ancestor. It has been a long time coming, but I think I now have it all sorted out that George Shoemaker, who married Sarah Wall is my eligiblity. Sarah arrived in Philadelphia in 1682 with her father and grandfather, Richard Jr. and Sr. Wall. Richard Jr. died and Sarah was the only child to survive to inherit her grandfather’s land and home.
The home Sarah inherited is still standing in all it’s glory in Elkins Park, PA. It is owned by Cheltenham Township and may be visited on the 4th Sunday from 1-4 pm. I happened to be there on an off day, but got a sneak peak of the inside. How wonderful to still have this historic home of our family available for viewing and being preserved. They have a cd available at their gift shop or visit their website. http://www.cheltenhamtownship.org/pview.aspx?id=3593&catid=26.
For those interested in The Welcome Society, it is an organization of descendants of those who came on William Penn’s twenty three ships in 1682. If you can prove your descent, this is a very interesting organization. A very helpful article was written about the ships by Marion Balderston, William Penn’s Twenty-Tree Ships with N0tes on Some of Their Passengers. This may be found in Passengers and Ships Prior to 1684, Vol. 1 of Penn’s Colony, by Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. through Heritage books or from Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.