Chester Co PA; Caln; 1881 HISTORY

Part of the

Including East & West



1774 East Caln Land-Owners | 1774 West Caln Land-Owners

Caln township originally included the territory now embraced in Caln, East Caln, West Caln, East Brandywine, West Brandywine, and a part of Valley township, and the borough of Downingtown, and that part of Coatesville lying east of the west branch of Brandywine.  It was named from the town of Calne, in Wiltshire, England, whence some of the early settlers came.  In 1702, and about that time, surveys were made, extending from the Welsh tract (the western line of Whiteland) on the east to the west branch of Brandywine on the west, mostly confined to the valley.  These surveys were afterwards extended northward and northwesterly.

Joseph Cloud, Richard Cloud, and George Mendenhall, all of Caln, were indicted for assault on Joseph Hickman, in his house, in Caln, April 6, 1709.  In 1714, Peter Taylor was constable for Caln, which shows an organization at that date.  The assessment of 1715 here follows:

Nov. 26, 1728, a petition to the following effect was presented to the court: 

"That your Petitioners Labouring under many difficulties by reason of the Largeness of the said Township, which was never yet Bounded but on the East Side Joyning Whiteland Town:  That the Said Town Extends in Length above fourteen miles, and in breadth near fourteen miles, That the farthest Setlers back from the Great Road leading to Philadelphia, living so Remote from the Said Road Seldom have notice to come down to repair it, which often wants by reason its so abused and cut with the Dutch Waggons which daily pass and Repass along the said Road.

"Inasmuch as the Said Township is large Enough to be Devided into Two, your Petitioners Humbly desire for the Ease of the said Township that it may be Devided and that the Bounds of ye Township of Caln may begin at the line of Whiteland on the South Side of the Town of Caln and so Extend from the Said line Westerly along the Valley Mountain to the West Branch of Brandywine Creek, then up the Said Branch Northerly to the plantation of Joseph Darlington, then Easterly Along the Mountain Between ye plantation of Thomas Elderidg and the Indian Town to David Roberts, then to the Bounds of Uwchland.

"That the Remaining part of the Town being Large Enough for a Township, its Humbly Desired by your Petitioners it may be called Spefforth*.  Wherefore your Petitioners Humbly Desire that you will take this into your Consideration and to allow the Said Township of Caln to be Devided and Bounded as is before set forth, and yr Petiors will pray, &c.

(*Another name, perhaps "Caln Grove" was inserted in the petition, but afterwards crossed off and 'Spefforth, or Spofforth', was written in the margin.)

"William Heald; Samuel Bishop; John Daveson; William Sinkler; Will. Nichols; William Dunn; Richard Hughs; Thomas Vernon; Arthur White; William Gregory; Edmund Gregory; Thomas Dawson; Edward Thompson; Thomas Eldridge; Peter Whitaker; Thomas Parke; Pierre Bizallion; David Evans; Thomas Moore; Peter Whitaker; Robert Miller; Joseph Griffiths; Jason Cloud; Aaron Mendenhall; Liewelin Parry; Edward Irwin; James Bruce; Thomas Heald; Joseph Darlinton; Samuel McKinley; Thomas Ramsey."

The petition is indorsed "allowed," but there is no further evidence of a township was ever called Spefforth, in lieu of which West Caln appears.  The bounds given are rather indefinite and did not include a large tract of 1820 acres on the north, which was subsequently added.  

The inhabitants of East Caln petitioned for a determination of their boundaries*, 29 May, 1739, whereupon,--

"It is ordered that the said Township of East Caln shall be bounded and limited as followeth viz. Beginning at a post being the South East Corner of the land late of John Baldwin thence west along the said Baldwins south line three hundred and forty-nine perches to a black oak thence south ninty two perches to a hickery thence south eighty-five Degrees west Two hundred perches to a Chestnut tree by the north branch of Brandewine Creek at a Corner of William Claytons land then up the same Branch Two hundred perches to the line of the land late of George Ashton thence West by South by the same and by Abel Parkes Land Three hundred and forty perches to a corner thence west along the south end of Phineas Lewis and Phillip Romans Land Two hundred and seventy-six perches to a corner thence South one hundred and Eight perches to a Black oak at a Corner of William Pimms land thence west along the south end of the said Pimms Patrick Miller and Robert Millers Lands seven hundred and twenty-one perches to a Corner then by ye Lands of Moses Coates Peter Bazalion and William Fleming West by South five hundred and fifty  perches to the west branch of Brandewine Creek then up the same on the several courses thereof about fifteen hundred perches to a black oak at the north west Corner of Joseph Darlington's land then west one hundred and Eighty nine perches to the southwest corner of George Claypooles land thence north three hundred and forty three perches to a black oak being ye northwest Corner of the said Claypooles land thence east by Springtown Manor twelve hundred and forty-eight perches to a post at a Corner of the said Manor and from thence east four hundred and twenty perches to the said north branch of Brandewine Creek then down ye same on the several Courses thereof about nine hundred perches to the north line of a Tract of land lately surveyd to Thomas Moore thence east about five hundred and eighty perches to the welsh line thence along the said line South twenty four Degrees east about five hundred and teen perches to the South east Corner of Lewellin Parrys land thence south sixty degrees west one hundred and forty three perches and South sixty five perches to the place of beginning."

*One of the "stock" phrases in petitions for settling boundaries of townships was that while they remained uncertain "your petitioners are in great danger of being infested with profligate persons, who flee hither from the neighboring provinces."

At a court held 29 May, 1774, upon the petition of the inhabitants of West Caln--

"It is ordered that the said Township of West Caln shall be bounded and Limited as followeth viz. Beginning at a Black oak by the West Branch of the Branywine Creek at the northwest corner of Joseph Darlington's Land thence by the land late of George Claypoole West 189 prs to a post and north 343 ps to a Black oak at the northwest corner of the said Claypole's land thence on a due west course to the division line of the Counties of Chester and Lancaster thence southward along the said division line to the south side of a Tract of Land formerly surveyed to Thomas Clarke and from thence by a Straight line to a white oak at the southwest corner of Hugh De Venny's Land thence along the lines between the Land of the sd De Venny and the land of Walter Guilkey & Wm Ferguson to the sd Hugh DeVenny's southeast corner post thence along a line between the land of the said Wm Ferguson and Adam Leech and the land of Robert Sandford to the said Sandfords south West corner black oak and from thence along the southern boundaries of hte Lands of the sd Robert Sandford, John Williams, Hugh Cowen & John Kinkead to a Black oak at the South East corner of the sd Kinkead's land from thence due east to the sd western branch of Brandywine Creek thence up the same to the first mentioned black oak.
"And it is further ordered that the Plantations of Walter Guilkey, William Ferguson and Adam Leech and all other seats and improvements Lying on the Valley Mountain to the South of the Southern boundaries of the sd Township of West Caln shall belong to the Township of Sadbury in the sd County of Chester and are hereby Annexed to the same."

East Caln Township was reduced in size in 1790 by the erection of Brandywine Township, which  was taken from its northern part in that year.  It was again reduced in size in the formation of Valley township on the west in 1853.  In 1859 it was still further reduced by the incorporation of the borough of Downingtown.  In 1868 it was again divided, the part lying east of the east branch of the Brandywine retaining the name of East Caln, and the remainder, with the part of Valley township lying east of the borough of Coatesville, taking the original name of Caln.  West Caln was slightly reduced in size in 1853, in the erection of Valley township on the southeast.  From 1790 to 1853 East Caln was a long, narrow township, extending from the west branch of the Brandywine to the western line of West Whiteland, a distance of over nine miles.  The greater part of the present townships of Caln and East Caln lie in the valley and contain beautiful farming lands, while West Caln in more hilly.  

The committee, appointed by the court, who formed the new township of Caln in 1868, recommended to the court that it be called Wawassan, but this was not satisfactory to the residents, and the name of Caln was given to it.  This was deemed appropriate by reason of the new township embracing the heart of the old original township of Caln, and having within its limits a post-office and railroad station bearing that name.

Among the early settlers and owners of land in East Caln were the names of Baldwin, Cloud, Moore, Parker, Taylor and Vernon; in Caln, the names of Aston, Hunt, Lewis, Miller, Pim, Parke, Roman, Coates, Bizallion, Musgrove, and Mendenhall; in West Caln, the names of Sharpless, Swayne, Sinkler (St. Clair), Way, White, Weaver, and Dawson.  Peter Bizallion was a French trader among the Indians for some time, but finally settled here.

East Caln Taxables, 1753.


Joseph Arbuckle
John Baldwin
Joshua Baldwin
William Baldwin
Henry Barker
William Barry
George Buchanan
Richard Buffington
John Carmichal
Richard Cheyne
James Clark
Jason Cloud
Isaac Coats
Moses Coats
Thomas Coats
Andrew Cox
Mary Cox
Andrew Culbertson
John Culbertson
Samuel Culbertson
Robert Darlington
John Downing
Joseph Downing
Richard Downing
Andrew Elliott
Robert Elton
Thomas Fisher
Alexander Fleman/Fleming
Joseph Fleman
Peter Fleman
John Gileylen
Isaac Green
Adam Guthry
James Guthry
James Hanson
Mary Hart
James Hood
John Hoops
Jona. Hoops
Samuel Hunt
William Iddings
Arch. Irwin
Isabel Irwin
Theophilus Irwin
Charles Jack
James Jack
David Jenkins
William Johnston
George Kennedy
Curtis Lewis
Henry Lewis
Obed Lewis
Ludwick Liggett
James Lockhart
Robert Lockhart
Joseph Long
William Long
James McGlaughlin
James McKelby
Joseph McKinley
Griffith Mendenhall
Joshua Mendenhall
James Miller
Michael Miller
Warwick Miller, Esq.
Abiah Parke
Anne Parke
Jonathan Parke
Samuel Pickins
John Proudfoot
Hannah Pym
William Roberts
Samuel Rolliday
Rachel Roman
James Sheward
John Sloan
John Smith
Thomas Stalker
James Stanley
Samuel Thompson
James Thomson
William Todd
Jona. Valentine
Robert Valentine
Robert Valentine, Jr.
John Walker
Isaac Webb
Samuel White
Thomas White
Robert Wilson
William Wilson
Thomas Windle
Francis Zook

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Francis Alexander
Joseph Ash
Samuel Atley
Mary Babb
Samson Babb
William Bennett
Joseph Bishop
James Boid
Michael Boldridge
James Brown
Charles Campbell
Joseph Clark
James Clemson
William Clingham/Clingan
John Cochran
Robert Cortney
Richard Cox
William Crawford
Francis Daneson
Alexander Davidson
William Davidson
Zaphaniah Davis
Margaret Dawson
Samuel Denny
James Douglass
Thomas Douglass
John Edge
Matthew Ferguson
Samuel Fisher
John Fleming
Robert Gamble
Joseph Gardner
Gilbert Gibbs
Joseph Gladney
James Goudey
John Griffith
George Harris
William Henry
Richard Hope
William Hunter
Andrew Jack
John Jack
James Kelley
Robert Kelley
Thomas Kennedy
William Kennedy
James Keys
Sarah Keys
Francis Kincade
Thomas Law
David Lewis
John Linsey
William Logan
John Long
John McCullough
William McGloughlin
Alexander McPherson
Robert McPherson
John Marshall
James Martin
John Martin
Nathaniel Maxwell
William Moore
William Neeley
Arthur O'Neale
Joseph Parke
John Parkehill
James Pierce
Patrick Porter
George Quaintance
Robert Robeson
Alexander Rogers
William Shearer
Job Sinkler
John Stalker
Herman Stiles
Edward Vernon
Barbara Wagoner
Gabriel Walker
Benjamin Wallace
John Wallace
Josiah Wallace
Oliver Wallace
Caleb Way
Mary Way
Peter Whitaker
Thomas Wilson
Robert Witherow
Samuel Witherow
William Witherow

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History of Chester County, Pennsylvania; Futhey & Cope; Louis H. Everts; Philadelphia; 1881.


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