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



THE WILLIAMSON FAMILY.  The history of this family takes us back to the period prior to the grant of Pennsylvania to William PENN and possibly to two or three decades prior to that date when the representatives of three Eureopean [sic] nations were battling for supremacy on the shores of our middle states.  The Swedes made the first organized settlement on Pennsylvania soil in 1638 under Peter MINUIT.  The Dutch began almost immediately to contest their supremacy there, and from the time of the conquest of the Swedes by the Hollanders, two decades later, until the subsequent conquest of the latter by the English, representatives of the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic races began to make their appearance on the Delaware.  The earliest records of the court at Upland (now Chester) under English jurisdiction in 1676, show a number of names of undoubted English origin, though the first justices were all Swedes.  Dunck WILLIAMES, as his name is usually spelled in the earlier records, though it appears in various forms both as to first and surname, during his whole life was the founder of the family of WILLIAMSON in Pennsylvania.  He is claimed by his descendants to have been of Swedish or Holland origin, but many circumstances in connection with his first appearance on Pennsylvania soil strongly indicate to the writer of these lines that he was of English or Scotch origin.   The most significant of these is the fact that he was associated in his first purchase of land with Francis WALKER, whose name clearly indicates that he was of neither Dutch or Swedish origin.  Again, hereditary surnames were unknown in either Sweden or Holland until late in the sixteenth century and their representatives in America were known by their father's given name, with the addition of "es" or "se." [SIC]   Had he therefore been of Dutch origin his name would have been more probably Gulliamse, if his father was named WILLIAM, and the name WILLIAN was practically unknown among the Swedes.  The name DUNCK or DUNK was doubtless a contraction of DUNCAN, and in neither form has ever been found among the Swedes or Dutch [SIC] Just when Dunk WILLIAMSON arrived on the Delaware is a matter of some conjecture.   As early as 1667 Dunk WILLIMS and eight others secured from Governor Richard NICOLLS a patent for a tract of land of one thousand acres, known as Passayunk, indicating that he was one of the first settlers to secure title to land in what is now Philadelphia, from the English rulers who conquered the territory in 1664.   His grant of land, in connection with Francis WALKER, under patent from Sir Edmund ANDROSS under date of July 18, 1676, comprehended 450 acres on the Neshaminy in the present limits of Bensalem township, comprising the present site of Dunks Ferry, named for him.  “Franck WALKER,” first appears of record at Upland as the custodian of goods belonging to Captain Edward CANTWELL, who administered the oaths to the first justices at Upland in 1676.  On a "List of Tydable persons under the jurisdiction of ye Court," made November 13, 1677, the names of "Dunk WILLIAMES" and "Franck WALKER" appear in the district of Taokanink (Tacony), and on November 12, 1678, Dunk WILLIAMS petitioned to take up one hundred acres of land "on the lower syde of Nieshambenies (Neshaminy) creek, 50 acres thereof at ye river syde & ye other 50 acres up in the woods;” This was therefore at the mouth of Neshaminy in Bensalem.  He also served on a jury at the same date.  On March 12, 1678-79, he petitioned to take up four acres of marsh back of his "plantaceion."  On the latter date Edmund DRAUFTON brought suit against him for the tuition of his children, showing that at that early date of Pennsylvania colonists were interested in the education of their youth.  The title of WILLIAMSON and WALKER to the tract of land in Bucks county was confirmed by PENN, and the former became a large landowner.  The will of Dunck WILLIAMSON, dated February 12, 1607-8, and probated March 1, 1699-1700, mentions his wife, Wallery, sons William and John WILLIAMSON, and daughters, Hanns, wife of John GOUND, and Margared, wife of John JOHNSON.  To John he devises 500 acres of land in the bounds of Cohanset.  (Cohansey, Salem county, New Jersey), to Hanna GOUND, one hundred acres in the county of Kent; to Margred JOHNSON, five pounds or its equivalent; and to William, all his estate in Pennsylvania. *

William WILLIAMSON, born 1676, died 1721, married Elizabeth CLAESSEN, of Dutch or Swedish origin, + and had five sons:  Jacob, who is said to have died without issue; Abraham, who married Rachel ----------, and had two sons and two daughters; John who married Elizabeth-------------, and had eight sons and two daughters, who resided in Philadelphia county, see forward; William, married and had a son John and a daughter; Peter, married Leah-----------, and had seven children:  Jacob, Isaac; Peter; Elizabeth, who married a MOORE of Burlington, New jersey, and after his death removed to Virginia; Sarah; Rebecca; and Jane, who married Abraham HEED.

Peter WILLIAMSON, third son of Peter and Leah WILLIAMSON, born in Bucks county, January 17, 1735, settled in Falls township, Bucks county, and died there June 11, 1823, at the age of eight-nine years.  He was twice married; first to Sarah SOTCHER, daughter of Robert and Mercy (BROWNE) SOTCHER of Falls, and granddaughter of John and Mary (LOFTY) SOTCHER, the last named being William PENN'S steward and stewardess at Pennysbury for many years.  They were married at Pennsbury in the presence of William PENN, October 16, 1701, Falls Meeting having held a special session in order that they might be married before PENN left for England at the conclusion of his last visit to his province in America.  John LOFTY became a prominent man in the colony and served many years in colonial assembly, 1712 to 1722.   He died November 19, 1729.  John and Mary (LOFTY) SOTCHER were the parents of four children:  Hannah, born January 25, 1702, married October 26, 1720, Joseph KIRKBRIDE; Mary, born September 15, 1704, married November 12, 1724, Mahlon KIRKBRIDE; Ann, born March 27, 1710, married April 23, 1729, Mark WATSON; Robert, born November 3, 1706, married in 1731, Mercy BROWNE, youngest daughter of George and Mercy BROWNE, who came from England in 1678 and settled in Falls township, Bucks county, George BROWNE was the first Englishman to serve as justice of the court at Upland, being returned as a justice at the June sessions, 1680, but not being present was sworn and took his seat as a justice, in accordance with his commission, October 13, 1680, and served until the establishment of the courts by PENN after his arrival.  George and Mercy BROWN [sic] reared a large family who have left numerous descendants, General Jacob BROWN, commander-in-chief of the United States Army, was a great-grandson.

Peter and Sarah (SOTCHER) WILLIAMSON were the parents of eight children, as follows:  Letitia, born June 12, 1765, died August 5, 1847, married Jonathan BURTON, of Falls; Mercy, born June 12, 1766, died March 10, 1830, married William CROZER, of Falls, and had ten children:  Parmelia, born January 16, 1768, died October 23, 1813, married Thomas CROZER and had three children:  Jesse, born September 21, 1769, died October 23, 1852, married Sarah WILLIAMSON, daughter of Josephus, see forward, and had three children; David, born March 14, 1773, died August 10, 1799; Mahlon, born March 15, 1777, died July 8, 1848, John, born February 24, 1778, was lost at sea March 4, 1798; Sarah, born November 28, 1781, married Nov. 30, 1815, Jesse KELLY, son of Joseph and Phoebe (BUCKMAN) KELLEY, [sic] and died July 18, 1862.  Sarah (SOTCHER) WILLIAMSON died November 3, 1799, and Peter married a second time Elizabeth BANES, but had no children by her.

Mahlon, sixth child and thrid son of Peter and Sarah (SOTCHER) WILLIAMSON, born March 15, 1777, settled near Fallsington, Bucks county, and lived there all his life, dying July 8, 1848.  He married Charity VANSANT, born November 16, 1781, died April 29, 1848, daughter of Cornelius and Ann (LARZELERE) VANSANT, and whose paternal and maternal ancestry is given elsewhere in this volume.  Mahlon and Charity VANSANT were the parents of eight children, as follows:  John, born December 21, 1800, died July 28, 1802; Isaiah V., born February 4, 1803, died March 7, 1889, unmarried, was the founder of the Williamson Industrial School in Delaware county, Pennsylvania; Peter, born September 4, 1805, died February 21, 1880, married May 26, 1831, Eliza MARTIN, and had six children:  John B. born January 4, 1808, died October 24, 1874, moved to New Albany, Indiana about 1833, married and had nine children; Jesse, born May 13, 1810, died October, 1892, married first Margaret BUCKMAN, and second Elizabeth ALBERTSON, (had five children:  Edward C., of Morrisville, ; Henry D., of Lancaster; Franklin, of Lancaster; Ida, wife of Headley HARPER; and Ella, wife of J. B. TANTUM); Sarah Ann, born May 14, 1812, died July 22, 1891, married December 14, 1830, Spencer W. BUCKMAN of Falls, Bucks county, see forward; Mahlon, born March 9, 1815, died May 1, 1871, married Mary Ann STILES and settled in Philadelphia, had seven children; Eliza Ann, born February 1, 1819, died July 26, 1891, married William J. MOON , son of Daniel and Mercy (LOVETT) MOON and had eleven children.  Spencer W. BUCKMAN, born December 18, 1814, was a son of Zenas and Mary (WORTHINGTON) BUCKMAN.  He married December 14, 1836, Sarah Ann WILLIAMSON above mentioned, and they were the parents of seven children as follows:  Mary, born) December 11, 1837, married Charles A. PARSONS, see PARSONS Family in this volume; Elizabeth, born January 2, 1839, married Owen MOON son of Evan and Ann (PALMER) MOON, see preceding sketch; Isaiah, born May 26, 1841, died May 9, 1842; Charles, born July 13, 1842, married Henrietta ANDERSON and has eight children; William A., Spencer W., Engene, Anna Mary, George, Ida, Sarah, and Macre; Wallace, born April 26, 1845, married Elizabeth HART, and has two children:  Edwin H., and Williamson; George, born 1846, died 1848; Sarah, born March 5, 1854, died April 24, 1883, married Mahlon WHARTON and had two children:  Caroline and Albert.

John WILLIAMSON, third son of William and Elizabeth (CLAESSEN) WILLIAMSON, and grandson of Dunck and Wallery WILLIAMSON, born 1698, died August 31, 1761, married Elizabeth-------------, who survived him.  They lived on the homestead (inherited from his father) and are buried in the old family burying ground on the banks of the Neshaminy.  They had nine sons and two daughters, as follows:  William, born June 14, 1727; John, born May 10, 1730; Joseph, born September 16, 1731, removed to Philadelphia; Abraham, born November 16, 1733; Elizabeth, born April 25, 1736, married Joseph VANDEGRIFT, Katharine, born November 17, 1738, married Benjamin WALTON, of Byberry; Jesse, born June 25, 1741, removed to Philadelphia; Josephus, born December 3, 1743, died April 28, 18117, married Mary BUSH, who died July 28, 1843, aged 87 years, both buried at St. Peter's churchyard, Philadelphia, see forward; David, born September 21, 1748, died April 22, 1794, married Ann BENNETT and had eight children, see below; Jeremiah, born March 8, 1751, removed to Philadelphia; Benjamin, born July 8, 1752, also removed to Philadelphia.

Josephus and Mary (BUSH) WILLIAMSON had nine children, as follows:  Jereemiah; David, died September 7, 1803, aged 33; Joseph (none of whom married); Rebecca, born 1774, died July 5, 1831, married December 3, 1797, David FLECKMIRE, of Philadelphia and had seven children; Sarah, born September 22, 1776, died May, 1868, in her ninety-second year, married November 2, 1794, Jesse WILLIAMSON, son of Peter and Sarah (SOTCHER) WILLIAMSON, before mentioned; Ann, born 1799, died April 21, 1839, married her cousin David WILLIAMSON, of Philadelphia, a son of David and grandson of John, see forward; Elizabeth, died 1840, married May 3, 1804, John BURNS, lived on a farm adjacent to Pennsbury until 1825, and then removed to Wayne county, Indiana; John, born May 15, 1786, died April 1, 1791; John G., married Harriet SHARDON, and after her death removed to St. Louis, Missouri, had three children.

The children of David and Ann (BENNETT) WILLIAMSON were as follows:  Catharine, born April 20, 1777, died August 30, 1798; Thomas, born May 5, 1774; Joseph; born September 15, 1779, had one son; Jesse, born January 24, 1782, died September 2, 1798; David, born June 18, 1785, died June 10, 1851, married his cousin Ann WILLIAMSON, and had three children:  Joseph, Bennett, and David E.; Benjamin, born June 5, 1788, married Ellen FITZMAURY; Ann; and Samuel, who died in infancy.

*In the Williamson (sometimes called the Johnson graveyard situated in Bensalem township, near Bridgewater, a tablet has been erected with this statement:  "In memory of Duncan WILLIAMSON, one of the original settlers of this township, who died about the year 1700."

+Members of the Claesson family, children of Jan Claesson, who was of Dutch or Swedish origin and a grantee in 1605, are as follows:  Henricks, eldest daughter of Jan Claesson, married Matthias Kyn (Koen) born 1667, died 1714, eldest son of Hans and Willemka Kyn, and grandson of Joran Kye, an original Swedish settler near Chester about 1644.  Gertrude, second child of Jan Claesson, married Hans Laican, oldest son of Peter Nilsson Laykan, a native of Sweden.  Of the Kyn family, one Jonas Koen (third son of Hans and Willemka Kyn and grandson of the original Swedish settler, Joran Kyn married in 1607 to Frances Walker, only daughter of Francis Walker (Walcker), a grantee in Bucks county on the Neshaminy Creek with Dunck Williams and others in 1676.  Catharine, third child of Jan Claesson, married Erie Kyn (Keon second son of Hans and William Kyn, and grandson of the original Swedish settler Joran Kyn.  Elizabeth, another daughter of Jan Claesson, married William Williams, a son of Dunck Williams.

Text taken from page  216, 217, 218 of:

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

Transcribed April 2001 by Donna J. Kling of Pennsylvania as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

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

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