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Charlestown Township  and the stream of water which flows through it were named in honor of Charles Pickering, of Asmore, in the county of Chester, England, his first name--Charles--being given to the township, and his surname--Pickering--to the creek.  Charles Pickering was an Englishman who, it is said, crossed the ocean with William Penn, and wandered up the Schuylkill River in search of treasure.  Supposing that he had discovered traces of silver on the banks of the stream which now bears his name, and believing that the neighboring hills contained large quantities of the precious metal, he returned to Philadelphia, and obtained from Penn a grant of a large tract of land bordering upon the stream.  He subsequently dug up and sent to England a large quantity of the supposed precious metal for analysis.  What the result was is not known, but it is supposed it was unfavorable, as the efforts at mining were abandoned.  Traces of the excavations made in these mining operations are said to be still visible.  

In 1683, Pickering was tried for setting up a private mint for the "Quoining of Spanish Bitts and Boston money", for which he was fined forty pounds, and directed to redeem all that had been issued.  It does not appear that this was followed by any social condemnation, and the Council, on the 14th of 3d month, 1685, passed a resolution declaring that, in privileges and freedom, he stood in "Equal Capacity" with the other colonists.  He was afterwards drowned while crossing the ocean, and his land in Chester County was divided between sixteen of his friends, to whom he had devised it.  In the assessment of 1715 it appears as follows:


David Lloyd   1600a. ..... 0 6 8

Samuel Buckley   500a. ..... 0 2 1

John Moore   340a. ..... 0 1 5

Griffith Jones     340a. ..... 0 1 5

Tho. Tress   340a. ..... 0 1 5

Joshua Carpenter   340a. ..... 0 1 5

Sam. Carpenter   1620a. ..... 0 4 7

William Sanders   340a. ..... 0 1 5

Joseph Richards   340a. .....0 1 5

Griffith Pritchet   340a. ..... 0 1 5

John Jones   340a. ..... 0 1 5

Henry Flower   340a. ..... 0 1 5

Sam. Richardson   340a. ..... 0 1 5

Edward Shippen   340a. ..... 0 1 5

Francis Rawles   340a. ..... 0 1 5

In 1718, "Pickering's  Lotts", 4640 acres, were included in the non-resident land of Whiteland assessment, and it is not till 1722 that we get the names of actual settlers in the "Charles Town Rate," with the valuation of their estates:

(Amount = pounds)

Francis Buckholder and his sons.......... 38
Samuel Richardson.......... 28
John Humphreys.......... 30
James Jones..........24
Philip Jones..........16
David Jones..........20
Llewelyn David..........16
Griffith Pritchard..........26
Mathias Martin.......... 22
Alexander Owen..........12
John Rees..........10
Manuel Jones..........16
Thomas John..........34
Stephen David..........16
James Anderson.......... 18
Harry Griffith.......... 15
Lewis Martyn.......... 20

Non-resident Land.

Cocks & Co. .......... 20,000 acres
London Tract .......... 210 acres
John Moor .......... 21 acres
Joshua Carpenter ..........21 acres
John Bud .......... 10 acres
Sam. Buckley .......... 35 acres
Pike's Land .......... 700 acres

In this year Thomas John was constable, being the first in the township.  The tax-rate was three pence in the pound.  In 1724 we find also the names of William Moore, John David, David Giby, John Powell, David, James and Philip John (instead of Jones), Thomas David, John, Joseph and Jacob Buckwalder, Benjamin Villaur, John Evan, Griffith and Asariah Thomas, and John Jones.

William Penn, in 1681, conveyed to his sister, Margaret Lowther, and her family, 10,000 acres of land, in right of which a tract called the "Manor of Bilton" was laid out on the west side of Schuylkill, and separated from the "Manor of Mount Joy" by the Valley Creek.  In 1733 it was resurveyed, and found to contain 2850 acres, being the southeastern part of Charlestown township.  In 1737, William Allen, Esq., of Philadelphia, became the owner of the manor, and in 1739 he sold it to John Parry, of Haverford.  The land was then divided between the following persons:    

William John Adam; 500 acres
Jenkin David; 200 acres
William Griffith; 174 acres
Thomas Howell; 366 acres
Cadwalader Hugh; 176 acres
Thomas James, George Rees, & William Lloyd; 430 acres
John Jones; 500 acres
Widow Mathias; 263 acres 
Katharine Rees; 151 acres
Griffith Thomas; 235 acres

David Lloyd took up 950 acres on the west side of French Creek, at its mouth, in right of a warrant to John Henry Sproegle, in right of Benjohan Furly.  The warrant was dated 11, 20, 1708 and the survey made 2, 6, 1712. He also took up 650 acres on the other side of the creek at the same time, in right of a warrant to Francis Cooke.  The whole was patented to Lloyd in 1713, under the name of "Manavon," from the place of his birth in Wales.  He never settled thereon, but in 1720 sold the 650 acres to Francis Buckwalter, and in 1731 James Starr bought 350 and Moses Coates 600 acres, the balance of the land at this point.  These grantees of Lloyd were the first settlers at what is now Phoenixville.

Moses Coates and John David, overseers of the poor, petitioned the Court, 12, 28, 1737-38, complaining of the uncertain boundaries and asking the confirmation of certain bounds according to a survey which they had obtained at their own charge, as follows:I

"Beginning at the west side of Schuylkil by the mouth of a small Branch Called Stony run thence South West by Joseph Pykes land about seven miles and a half to a Corner Chestnutt by a small Brook being the North West Corner of 1600 acres of land late of John Budds Thence by the same South East seven Rods to a Corner in the Line of the Welsh Tract thence by the same East by North Eight miles and one Rod to the Value Creek then Down the same Between Mount Joy on the South and Mount Sorrow on the North about one miles to Schuylkil then upon the severall Courses thereof to the place of Begining Containing by Computation Twelve Thousand nine hundred and fifty acres.  Surveyed the seventh day of the Twelfth Month Anno Dom 1738-8.

"by Richard Jones.

"The above boundarys of the township of Charles Town was ordered to be Recorded the thirtieth Day of May 1738.
"P. JO: PARKER, Cler."

The township was divided in the year 1826, and the eastern division, lying along the river, called Schuylkill township, the name Charlestown being retained by the western division.  In 1827 the lines between the southwestern part of Charlestown and the townships of East and West Whiteland and Uwchlan were altered, the former survey having been defective or incorrectly reported.  The early settlers of Charlestown were mostly Welsh, followed by some from Germany. 

Charlestown Taxables, 1753.


Joseph Alexander
Patrick Anderson
William Bodley
Anne Boyers
Benjamin Boyers
Elias Brown
Daniel Buckwalter
John Buckwalter
Frederick Bussard
Alexander Campbell
Jacob Cauffman
James Cloyd
Benjamin Coates
Jonathan Coates
Moses Coates
Joseph Conrad
Christopher Coon
John Coon
David Davis
Israel Davis
Jenkin Davis
Llewellyn Davis
William Deweese
Abner Evans
Nicholas Foose
Valentine Foose
John Francis
William Fussel
Frederick Geerhart
William Graham
John Griffith
John Griffith, schoolmaster
Christian Halderman
Nicholas Halderman
Nicholas Halderman, Jr.
Samuel Harvey
Michael Holman
John Hoomel
John Humphrey
David James
David John
Griffith Jones
John Keiter
Robert Kennedy
Michael King
Edwin Lane
George Late
Benjamin Longstreth
Alexander McAuley
James McConell
John McKenny
James Martin
Jane Martin
Joel Martin
Christian Mary
Henry Miller
Jacob Miller
William Moore, Esq.
Isaac Morgan
Jacob Pennypacker
Matthias Pennypacker
Anthony Pritchard
Philip Rapp
John Richardson
Thomas Roberts
Thomas Robinson
Daniel Rossiter
Martin Shenbolk
Joseph Showalter
Joseph Smith
Joseph Starr
Joseph Starr, Jr.
Jacob Sturk
Amos Thomas
Benjamin Thomas
James Thomas
Richard Thompkins
Andrew Turk
John Varley
John Vergloth
Sebastian Wagoner
Jonathan Wells
James White
Christian Whitaker
David Williams
Thomas Williams
John Youngblood


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