Joseph Richardson and Family of Philadelphia

Genealogy of Francis Richardson
of New York City and Philadelphia

Introductory Note.  I think this line might be the one from which my g.g.grandmother Rebecca (Richardson) Kennedy (19 Nov 1817—2 May 1887) was descended. She was the wife of Jesse Osburn Kennady/Kennedy and his obituary stated she was from New Garden Township, Chester Co., Pennsylvania; New Garden Township is located next to Philadelphia. The name "Rebecca Richardson" was passed down in this Philadelphia RICHARDSON line for generations, and as you can see, the book referenced below did not trace all the descendants from the male lines. Also please see the information quoted below from a message posted to the PACHESTE-L mailing list in 1998 from the History of Chester County. My Kennady/Kennedy family was residing in E. Nottingham Twp., Chester Co. Penn. at the time of the 1860 census. I highlighted the name of John Richardson as one of the early settlers in Nottingham, because there were a couple of men in the Francis Richardson line who were named John, who may have been this same John Richardson, who was an early settler of Nottingham Township.

The following was quoted partly from Futhey and Cope, History of Chester County, at page 195ff:

November 14, 1701, Cornelius Empson for himself and several others presented a petition to the Commissioners of Property at Philadelphia proposing to make a settlement "on a tract of land about half way between Delaware and Susquehannah, or nearer the latter, being about 24 miles distant from New Castle, on Octorara river, in case they may have a grant of 20,000 acres in the said place." On March 1, 1702 [new style] a warrant for land was issued for land "beginning at the Northern Barrens between the [main branch of the Northeast river and the Octorara Creek] and bounding it to the southward with an east and west line parallel as near as may be to the line of the Province, and northward next the Barrens with a line also parallel to the south bounds, and in the said tract run 18 several divisions, each of 1000 acres."

The tract was surveyed seven and one half miles west of the northeast corner of Maryland and extend­ing westward thence to the Octorara Creek about ten miles. The south line was nearly straight but the north line had offsets to include good land and leave out the "barrens." It was about three miles north to south at the widest part.

Early purchasers were John Guest, Edward Beeson, Henry Reynolds, **John Richardson,** Cornelius Empson, Ebenezer Empson, Joel Baily, James Cooper, James Brown, Randal Janney, John Churchman, William Brown, Robert Dutton, Samuel Littler, Andrew Job, and John Bales (or Beals).

The large tract is said to have received the name Nottingham when first laid out, and it was doubtless so called in remembrance of the town or county of Nottingham in England. It was supposed all to be in Pennsylvania, but when the [Mason-Dixon line was later drawn] a great part of the tract fell into Maryland. "Owing, no doubt, to the variation of the compass, the lines, which were intended to be paral­lel to the Maryland line, run a little south in going westward." The land north of this tract was described as "back of Nottingham" and was subsequently taken up in various sized and mostly irregular tracts by set­tlers, and was at length included in the township of Nottingham. The early surveys were for a long time known by the distinctive appellation of "Nottingham Lotts."

In 1788 petitions were filed with the state legislatures of Pennsylvania and Maryland to confirm the ownership of tracts which might have crossed into neighboring jurisdictions.

Since that time, the present Borough of Oxford, the township of Londonderry, and other municipalities have been formed from the Nottingham tract, and Nottingham itself has been split into East and West Nottingham Townships, as well as Elk Township.

For everyone interested in early Chester County history, a very helpful book with maps of interest is Lemon, James T., The Best Poor Man's Country, (New York: 1972).

Further research:

  1. There is an article entitled "Early Settlers of the Notting­ham Lots," which was published in the National Genealo­gical Quarterly, December, 1982, Vol. 70, No. 4, pp. 282-294. It states that John Richardson, whose name ap­peared in the above excerpt from the History of Chester County, "did not locate permanently in Nottingham," so this article had nothing about his family. Also since the Nottingham Lots were established in 1701/02, this John Richardson could not have been the father of my g.g. grandmother, since he had probably been dead for years by the time of her birth; however, it is possible he was a more distant ancestor, but I have no proof of that.

  2. Additionally volumes 1-10 of The William Wade Hinshaw Index to Pennsylvania Quaker Meeting Records, ©1990, published by Selby Printing, of which vol. 10 is a copy of the New Garden Monthly Meeting records, were examined for the birth of Rebecca Richardson, born in 1817, but no record of her birth was found in that collection.

  3. Also, no record of her birth was found in the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy by William Wade Hinshaw, Vol. II, which has records of Philadelphia and the sur­round­ing area, including New Garden Township. It is still possible that my g.g.grandmother was a descendant of this family, but perhaps the later generations fell away from the Quakers; however, more research needs to be done. Interestingly the record of the death of a man named John Richardson of Philadelphia was found on p. 716 of Hinshaw's Encyclopedia, giving his date of death as "10-1-1866, age 77," which matches the date of death of the John Richardson mentioned in the Fourth Genera­tion below, but he could not have been the same "John Richardson" who was one of the original buyers of the Nottingham Lots, as that man was probably born in the mid- to late 1600s.

Updated:  12-Sept-2005.

  1. Francis Richardson b. in England, was m. 27 Jan 1680, in London, England to Rebecca Haward, b. ca. 1660, Uxbridge, England, who d. 26 Feb 1705, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Francis d. 15 Jul 1688, New York City. The source for this lineage of Francis Richardson is from the book, Joseph Richardson and Family:  Philadelphia Silversmiths by Martha Gandy Fales, ©1974, published by The Barra Foundation, pp. 2-8; however, this book is primarily about the items of silver produced by the Richardson family, and is not a genealogy, except for the first few chapters along with a genealogical chart in the front of the book. This book says Francis Richardson was a mariner from South Shields in Durham, England, prior to his removal to New York in 1681. In New York he operated a sloop named "Supply." When he moved to New York City, he established himself as a merchant and became a freeman of the city on 1 Oct 1683. By a warrant dated 30 Sep 1683, William Penn gave Francis Richardson, a "merchant of New York," a lot in Philadelphia on the southwest corner of Second and Walnut streets. Francis Richardson is not known to have used his lot, but he did visit Philadelphia in 1687.

    Rebecca Haward was a daughter of a shoemaker of Uxbridge, England. She m. Francis Richardson at Devonshire House outside of Bishopsgate in London, England in a Quaker ceremony. During her marriage to Francis Richardson, Rebecca H. Richardson kept the books for his business interests. After her first husband's death she and their two living children moved to Philadelphia where her late husband had owned property granted to him by William Penn, which he had willed to his children. Rebecca (Haward) Richardson m. (2) Edward Shippen, a wealthy Quaker, who later became mayor of Philadelphia. She d. 26 Feb 1705 in Philadelphia. Children:

    1. 2. Francis (Jr.) Richardson, b. 25 Nov 1681.
    2. Rebecca Richardson, b. and d. in 1684, in New York City.
    3. Rebecca (II) Richardson, b. 2 Nov 1685, New York City, m. (1) Thomas Murray, m. (2) _________ Young.
    4. John Richardson, b. 26 Jul 1687, New York City, d. 1688, New York City.

    Second Generation

    Francis (Jr.) Richardson b. 25 Nov 1681, New York City, m. (1) 18 Apr 1705, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Growden, who was b. in England, and d. 19 May 1714, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, m. (2) 30 Apr 1726, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Letitia Swift, dau. of John Swift, who d. ca. 1734, in Philadephia, Pennsylvania. Francis d. 1729, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was believed by the author that Francis Richardson, Jr. may have been sent to England with his Shippen step-brothers to learn the trade of a goldsmith during the period 1695-99, although the records of the London Goldsmiths' Hall has no record of him as an apprentice. Alternatively, she thought he may have been trained in Philadelphia under Johannis Nye, since Nye's work most closely resembles that of Francis Richardson, and it's known from Richardson's account books that Nye had business with him. At any rate at the age of 20, Francis Richardson, Jr. had begun working as a silversmith in Philadelphia in 1701, since William Penn made a note in his cashbook that he had purchased a set of shoe buckles for his daughter Letitia from Richardson.

    Elizabeth Growden was a daughter of Joseph Growden of Philadelphia. Her grandfather Lawrence Growden and father migrated from Trevose in Cornwall, England to Bucks Co., Penn. By 1684 her father Joseph Growden was a member of the Assembly from Philadelphia. Later he became a member from Bucks Co. and was speaker of the house. Elizabeth (Growden) Richardson d. just one week after the birth and early death of her sixth child, Benjamin.

      Children by Elizabeth Growden:

    1. 3. Francis (Frank) Richardson b. 18 Feb 1706.
    2. John Richardson b. 1708, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 1709.
    3. Thomas Richardson b. 1709, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. Jul 1709, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    4. 4.  Joseph Richardson b. 17 Sep 1711.
    5. Rebecca Richardson, b. 1713, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lived only a few months, d. 1713.
    6. Benjamin Richardson b. May 1714, Philadephia, Pennsylvania, d. May, 1714, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

      Children by Letitia Swift:

    7. John Richardson b. ca. 1729, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 1730, Philadelphia of smallpox.

    Third Generation

  2. Francis (Frank) Richardson b. 18 Feb 1706, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, m. Mary Fitzwater, who d. 1771. Francis d. 1782.  Children:

    1. Mary Richardson, b. 1743.
    2. Grace Richardson, b. 1745.
    3. Francis (IV) Richardson, b. 1746.
    4. George Richardson, b. 1747.
    5. Hannah Richardson, b. 1748.
    6. Elizabeth Richardson b. 1749.
    7. Thomas Richardson, b. 1749.
    8. John Richardson, b. 1752.
    9. Deborah Richardson, b. 1753.

  3. Joseph Richardson b. 17 Sep 1711, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, m. (1) Hannah Worrill, b. ca. 1716, d. 1747, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, m. (2) Mary Allen, b. 1716, d. 1787. Joseph d. 1784, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

      Children by Hannah Worrill:

    1. Elizabeth Richardson, b. 1742, d. 1804.
    2. Grace Richardson, b. 1743, d. 1744.

      Children by Mary Allen:

    3. Hannah Richardson, b. 1748, d. 1817.
    4. Mary Richardson, b. 1749, d. 1835.
    5. 5.  Joseph (Jr.) Richardson, b. 1752.
    6. Nathaniel Richardson, b. 1754, d. 1827, unmarried.
    7. Rebecca Richardson b. 1758, d. 1826.

    Fourth Generation

  4. Joseph (Jr.) Richardson b. 1752, m. Ruth Hoskins, b. 1756, d. 1829. Joseph d. 1831.  Children:

    1. Mary Richardson, b. 1781, d. 1837.
    2. Joseph (III) Richardson, b. 1784, d. 1793.
    3. John Richardson, b. 1786, d. 1786.
    4. Sarah Richardson, b. 1787, d. 1855.
    5. Elizabeth Richardson, b. 1788, d. ?.
    6. John Richardson, b. 1790, d. 1866.
    7. Hannah Richardson, b. 1791, d. 1866.
    8. Nathaniel Richardson, b. 1793, d. 1872.