Person:William Harvey (49)

William Harvey
d.20 JUN 1754 Chadds Ford, PA
m. 12 AUG 1714
  1. Hannah Harvey1715 - 1756
  2. William Harvey, Jr.1717 - 1813
  3. Sr. Isaac Harvey1718 - 1802
  4. Amos Harvey1721 -
  5. James Harvey1723 - 1784
Facts and Events
Name[1] William Harvey
Gender Male
Birth? 5 SEP 1678 Parish Land, Worchestershire, England
Marriage 12 AUG 1714 Philadelphia MH, PAto Judith Osborne
Death? 20 JUN 1754 Chadds Ford, PA
Reference Number? 1824
Other? Worcester Meeting, England/ Kennett MM, Chadds Ford, PAHistory
Burial? Parkersville MM cemetery, Kennett, PA

William Harvey is the progenitor of the Harveys of our lineage in America. He immigrated in 1712 at the age of 34, part of a burgeoning exodus of Quakers from Europe, hoping to find freedom from religious persecution in the province granted to fellow Quaker William Penn in the New World.

    Since so many of our ancestors were Quakers, a word about their faith and its beliefs might be instructive. The Society of Friends was begun in 1647 when George Fox, the son of a Leicestershire weaver, began preaching a seperatist view which departed radically from the established church order in England. (The name 'Quaker' was contemptuously applied to them because of the trembling and quaking that characterized their early meetings) The Quakers rejected formal church services, sacraments and paid ministers, emphasizing instead the "inner voice of God speaking to the soul". They faced great hostility and persecution in ecclesiastical courts for refusing to pay tithes, take oaths and serve in the military, as well as "forming illegal conventions".
    Early Quakers were often poor, but as the movement became more acceptable and respectable, their numbers increasingly included the gentry, yeomen, shopkeepers and manufacturers. By the late 1600's the Society of Friends was the largest nonconformist sect in the country, despite the emigration of large numbers to America after the Quaker William Penn, founded the colony of Pennsylvania (Penn's Woods). Their meeting houses were built in simple vernacular style, where regular meetings of quiet contemplation took place. Monthly and quarterly meetings were held, the monthly meetings being used to record official business and births, marriages and burials. The Friends rejected the established names of the days and months because they were derived from heathen gods; instead, they were designated as the First Day, the First Month and so on. Further, March rather than January was the first month of the year. For example April 3rd would have been recorded as the Third Day of the Second Month.
    Back to William Harvey. He was from Worcestershire, a county in the western English midlands, about 100 miles northwest of London at the confluence of the Severn and Avon rivers. He was a Maltster by trade, one who processes barley through a number of intricate and demanding steps to make malt, the essential ingredient in beer. There is no indication that he pursued that occupation after leaving England. Upon arriving in America, he purchased 300 acres of land on the west side of Brandywine creek, near Chadds Ford, PA. It is located in the southeast corner of the state about 50 miles southwest of Philadelphia, near Wilmington, Delaware. With him on the journey came the family of Peter Osborne, who bought land on the opposite side of the Brandywine, a short distance upstream.
    Three months after their arrival, Peter Osborne died, leaving his wife Judith and four small children. Two years later, William Harvey married the widowed mother. She had come from the town of Bilson in Staffordshire, England, a county immediately to the north of Worcestershire, and one noted for its excellent beer and ale, fine pottery and large coal deposits.
    For a year after their marriage, they lived in a log cabin while a substantial new dwelling of native limestone was being built. The mansion, as such houses were characterized in those colonial days, was completed in 1715 and remains standing today. It was in this home that William and Judith brought up their own brood of five children along with the four by her first husband. Most established homes in the vicinity.
    Upon William Harvey's death in 1754, the homeplace was inherited by his eldest son, also named William. It was during the son's residence there that the battle of the Brandywine was fought across the Harvey and Osborn land. That conflict, in which colonial troops under General George Washington were defeated, was one of the bloodiest encounters of the Revolutionary War and devastated both land and property. Tradition has it that especially heavy British fire was drawn by the unfurling of the stars and stripes from a window in the Harvey house. This, along with a skirmish eight days earlier at nearby Cooch's Bridge, is supposed to have been the first time the new national emblem designed by Betsy Ross was flown. The battle was also notable in that it was here that Washington's French associate, the Marquis de Lafayette, was wounded. (Taken from: A Family History, by Donovan Faust)

The Scottish Clan Harvey-ie is/was a Sept (ally) to the Clan Keith.

  1. A. Donovan Faust (Foust). A Family History: The Ancestors of Thomas Wilson Faust. (1997).