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



   MARY S. ABBOTT.  The paternal ancestors of Mrs. ABBOTT were among the earliest German settlers in Pennsylvania, her first American ancestor being Johannes KEIM, who emigrated from Germany in 1698, and after a short stay in Pennsylvania returned to the fatherland, where he married in 1706, and returned to Pennsylvania the following year.  He located soon after on the Manatawny, in Oley township, Berks county, and took up land.  He was probably one of "those adventurous Germans" who settled beyond the limits of the land purchased by Penn of the Indians, and referred to in the correspondence between James LOGAN, Penn's famous secretary, and the founder.  He obtained a patent for his land in 1720 and further patents for additional land in 1737.  He died in Oley in December, 1753.  A manuscript in his own writing gives an account of his first marriage in 1706, (without mentioning the name of his wife) and the birth of his six children by that marriage, and his second marriage in 1731.  By the second marriage he had ten children.  The children by the first marriage were: Katharina, born 1708, died 1793; Johannes, born 1711; Stephen, born 1717; Johan Nicholas, born April 2,1719, died at Reading, Berks county, Pennsylvania, in 1803; Elizabeth, born 1723; and Jacob, born 1724.

   Nicholas KEIM, the third son, became a merchant in Reading, and his son John, born at Oley in 1749, was the ancestor of Mrs. ABBOTT.  At the age of twenty-eight years, in 1777, John KEIM enlisted in the Fourth Battalion of Berks county and served through the Revolutionary war.   He was a captain in the Fifth Battalion in 1778.  At the close of the war he returned to Reading and resumed his position with his father in the mercantile business, and remained in that business until his death on February 19, 1819.  The "Berks and Schuylkill Journal," in referring to his death, says: "The remains of John KEIM, merchant, were interred in the Episcopal burial ground this afternoon.  * * * * He had resided in this borough sixty-four years, during which time he amassed a large fortune which never caused a widow's tear or an orphan's execration.  What he left behind was justly his own.  As a creditor he was ever lenient and his numerous tenantry can testify to his goodness as a landlord."  His wife was a daughter of George DE BENNEVILLE, of Bristol township, near Germantown, Philadelphia county.

   Daniel de Benneville KEIM was captain of the Berks county "Washington Blues," attached to the First Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers in the war of 1812.  General George de Benneville KEIM, grandfather of Mrs. ABBOTT, was born in Reading in 1778, and died there in 1852.  He married Mary MAY, daughter of James and Bridget (DOUGLASS) MAY, of Reading.  James MAY was born May 2 1749, in Coventry township, Chester county, Pennsylvania, and removed to Reading prior to the Revolution, dying there March 13, 1819.  He was a descendant of John MAY, born in Mayfield, Sussex, England, in 1590, and emigrated to New England in 1635, Robert MAY, the grandfather of James, coming from New England in 1700 and settling at Limerick, now Montgomery county.  Bridget DOUGLASS was a daughter of George DOUGLASS and granddaughter of Andrew Douglass, of Scotland, the latter of whom settled at what is now Douglassville, Berks county.

   Major Daniel May KEIM, son of George de Benneville and Mary (MAY) KEIM, was born at Reading, in 1806, and died in Bristol, Bucks county, February 12, 1867.  He was a man of much more than ordinary intellectual ability and of scholarly tastes and extensive learning.  He had an antiquarian turn of mind, and made extensive researches in almost everything pertaining to history, and made many valuable contributions to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, of which he was one of the most active and distinguished members.   He was for many years engaged in mercantile business in Philadelphia, and during the later years of his life held a responsible position in the custom house at Philadelphia.  He was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and at the time of his death was affiliated with Bristol Lodge, No. 25, A. Y. M., and that lodge and the grand lodge of the order adopted resolutions commemorative of his worth as a man and his distinguished services in the order.  He married, November 17, 1829, Mary Linnington SHEWELL, born in Philadelphia, June 5, 1805, daughter of Thomas and Sarah B. (LINNINGTON) SHEWELL.  The former was born at Painswick Hall, New Britain township, Bucks county, July 13, 1774, and was a son of Robert and Sarah (SALLOWS) SHEWELL, and a grandson of Walter SHEWELL, of Painswick Hall, the founder of the family.  Thomas at the age of eighteen years went to Philadelphia and entered mercantile pursuits.  In 1796 he went to the West Indies, and from thence to England, where he entered the house of Bonsfield & Co., woolen staplers and army contractors, London.  He returned to Philadelphia and became a merchant there in 1802, and was a member of the board of managers of the House of Refuge, and held many other positions of honor and trust.  He retired from business in 1832, and died in Philadelphia, March 23, 1848.  He was three times married.  His first wife was Sarah B. LINNINGTON, born March 10, 1784, whom he married March 10, 1802.   She was a granddaughter of Dr. George DE BENNEVILLE, of Bristol township, Philadelphia county, near Germantown.  She died February 11, 1819.

   Daniel MAY, and Mary L. (SHEWELL) KEIM, were the parents of eight children, the two eldest of whom died in infancy.  Those who survived were: Thomas Shewell KEIM, born January 3, 1834, in Philadelphia, died at Bristol, Bucks county, November 9, 1866; Joseph D. (Brown) KEIM, (so signed as administrator of father and brother) born November 26, 1835, married April 17, 1868, Lillie Paxson; Esther de Benneville KEIM, born November 26, 1835, died January 24, 1874, married James P. WOOD; Augusta Shewell KEIM, born September 6, 1840; Mary Shewell KEIM, the subject of this sketch, born December 1, 1843, married January 22, 1884, Francis ABBOTT; Anetta Faber KEIM, born December 29, 1845, died December 20, 1860.

Text taken from pages 196 and 197 of:

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

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

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

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