History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index


HOWARD W. ATKINSON, of Doylestown, is a descendant on both the paternal and maternal side from the oldest families in Bucks county.  He was born at Davisville, Southampton township, Bucks county, November 22, 1853, and is a son of Mahlon and Mary Ann (WOOD) ATKINSON, and a grandson of Mahlon and Martha (WALMSLEY) ATKINSON.

   His paternal ancestor, John ATKINSON, was born at Scotforth, Lancashire, England, 9 mo. 25, 1695, and came to this country at the age of four years.   His father, John ATKINSON, married Susanna HYNDE, daughter of Richard, at Scotforth, 2 mo. 8, 1686, and in company with his brother Christopher and their respective families embarked for America in the ship "Britannica" in April, 1699, bearing a certificate from Lancaster Meeting of Friends to Friends in Pennsylvania.  John and Susanna ATKINSON both died on the voyage, and their three children (William, Mary and John) were taken in charge by the Friends of Middletown Meeting in Bucks county on their arrival.  John, the eldest, married 8 mo. 15, 1717, Mary, daughter of William and Mary (CROASDALE) SMITH, of Wrightstown, and the following year settled on a tract of two hundred acres of land in Upper Makefield, where their eight children were born, and where the father died in 1752.

   Ezekiel, the sixth child of John and Mary, born in 1728, purchased a portion of the homestead tract and died there in June, 1768.  He married in 1754, Rachel GILBERT, born 11 mo. 14, 1732, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (MASON) GILBERT, of Byberry, granddaughter of Joseph and Rachel (LIVEZEY) GILBERT, and great granddaughter of John and Florence GILBERT, who came from England in the ship "Welcome," in 1682, settling first in Bensalem, Bucks county, but removing to Byberry in 1695, where his descendants resided for many generations.  Ezekiel and Rachel (GILBERT) ATKINSON were the parents of five children: Benjamin, Thomas, Watson, Rachel and Ezekiel, the latter born after the death of the father in 1768.  After the death of her husband, Rachel ATKINSON returned with her children to Byberry, and later married William WALTON, of that place, known as "Jersey Billy," to distinguish him from his cousins of the name.  Here the ATKINSON children were reared.  Benjamin, the eldest, married Jane ADAMS and died in 1816, leaving a family of six children.  Thomas was a captain of a company in the war of 1812.  Ezekiel, the youngest, married and removed to Drumore township, Lancaster county, where he purchased land in 1818, and died in 1842.

   Mahlon ATKINSON, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born and reared in Byberry, but removed with his father to Drumore, where he purchased a farm of fifty-two acres in 1822.  He died four years later, in August, 1826.  His widow, Martha, returned to Byberry with her five children, Mary, Howard H., Violetta, Angelina, and Mahlon R., the latter born a few months after his father's death.  Martha, the wife of Mahlon ATKINSON; was a daughter of Daniel T. and Mary (WILLETT) WALMSLEY, and a granddaughter of General Augustin and Elizabeth (HICKS) WILLETT.  General WILLETT was one of the first soldiers of the Revolution to enter active service; he was commissioned as a caption in the First Pennsylvania Battalion, raised under act of Congress of October 12, 1775, for the expedition against Canada, on October 27, 1775, and suffered the terrible privations and hardships of that disastrous campaign of nearly a year on the frontiers of Canada.  Elizabeth HICKS, wife of General WILLETT, was a daughter of Gilbert and Mary (RODMAN) HICKS, and a descendant of Robert HICKS, the Pilgrim Father, who came to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the "Fortune" in 1621, from Southwark, London, England.  He was a leather dresser in Bermonfdey street, Southwark, and had been twice married, his first wife being Elizabeth MORGAN, by whom he had four children, Thomas, Elizabeth, John and Stephen.  His second wife was Margaret WINSLOW, who with her four children, Samuel, Ephraim, Lydia and Phebe, followed her husband to Plymouth in the ship "Ann," arriving in June, 1722, and they settled at Duxbury.  The sons John and Stephen removed to Long Island in 1642.  The subsequent history of the descendants of John HICKS is given elsewhere in this work, under the title of "The HICKS Family."

   Mahlon R. ATKINSON was born at Byberry Cross Roads, where his mother had taken up her residence with her relatives after the death of her husband, on February 1, 1827.  He learned the trade of a house painter, and early in life removed to Southampton township, Bucks county, near Davisville, where he followed his trade during the active years of his life, removing later to Ivyland.  He died at the residence of his son, Lawrence Rush ATKINSON, at Hatboro, October 17, 1904.  His widow, who was Mary Ann WOOD, survives him.  They were the parents of ten children, viz.: S. Emma, who died unmarried in 1898; Charles S., of Doylestown; Howard W.; Violetta, wife of William KLINE, of Philadelphia; Lawrence Rush, of Hatboro; Matilda, wife of Courtland YERKES, of Willow Grove; Anna, deceased; Joshua J., and Harry B. of South Amboy; and A. Louisa, wife of Albert Hohensack, of Ivyland.

   Howard W. ATKINSON was born at Davisville, November 22, 1853, and at the age of eight years went to live at Huntingdon Valley, where he remained until the age of sixteen years, when he returned home and learned the trade of a house painter, which he followed for fifteen years.  In 1876 he removed to Doylestown, where he carried on painting, employing twelve to fifteen men.  In 1884 he began the business of an undertaker, which he has since conducted at Doylestown with success.  In 1891 he opened the summer resort known as Oakland, just outside the borough of Doylestown, formerly occupied by the Doylestown English and Classical Seminary, which has become one of the popular institutions of the neighborhood under the conduct of Mr. ATKINSON and his excellent wife.  Mr. ATKINSON married, March 9, 1885, Emma WILSON, of Doylestown, and they are the parents of four children: Mary, Julia, Augistina, and Frances.

Text taken from pages 168 and 169 of:

Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed FEBRUARY 2001 by GRACE T. BURTON of PA as part of the Bucks Co., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published March 2001 on the Bucks county, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

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