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



William WATSON, one of the most enterprising and progressive farmers of Buckingham, was born on the old Watson homestead upon which he still resides, February 17, 1862, being only son of Henry and Emeline P. (RICH) WATSON. 

The first American ancestors of the subject of this sketch were early settlers in Chesterfield township, Burlington county, New Jersey.  Mathew WATSON and Anne MAULEVERER, his wife, migrated form [sic] Scarborough, in Yorkshire, England, about 1682, and settled in Chesterfield.  They were members of Chesterfield Monthly Meeting of Friends.  Mathew's occupation is given as "chemits." [sic]   He purchased in 1683 of Thomas Hutchinson, late of Beverly, in Yorkshire, a one-twelfth share in the province of West Jersey, and appears to have been a man of wealth and education.  He died in Chesterfield, 7 mo. 13, 1703, and his wife Anne died there 11 mo. 16, 1721.  Their children were:  Mathew, Jr., born at Burlington, 10 mo. 2, 1682: and Marmaduke, born 8 mo. 13, 1685.  Mathew seems to have been engaged in a shipping business, as on 3 mo. 27, 1724, he takes a certificate from Chesterfield Meeting to "transport himself to other parts on account of trading."

Marmaduke WATSON, second son of Mathew and Anne, was married at Burlington Meeting, 1 mo. 27 1718, to Elizabeth Pancoast, daughter of William and Hannah (Scattergood) Pancoast.  He inherited from his father large tracts of land in different parts of West Jersey, allotted as part of the one-twelfth share of the province, among them a tract in Bethlehem township, Hunterdon county, on the Musonetcong creek, which he devised in his will to his son Aaron.    This will is dated in Chesterfield township, Burlington county, 3 mo. 14, 1746, and was proven July 24, 1749, and mentions, beside the son Aaron, wife Elizabeth, son Marmakuke, and daughter Anne, wife of Joseph Curtis

Aaron Watson, son of Marmaduke and Elizabeth (Pancoast) Watson, was born in Chesterfield about 1720.  It is possible that on arriving at manhood he became associated with his uncle Mathew in the "trading" business, as he seems to have followed a migratory life for some years.     In 1744 he brings a certificate from Chester, Pennsylvania, Meeting to Philadelphia where he remained until after his father's death.  In 1750 he takes a certificate to his old home at Chesterfield, but probably located at once on his inheritance at Bethlehem, now Kingwood, though he does not take a certificate to Kingwood Meeting until 1754, when about to marry Sarah Emley, a member of that Meeting.  The children of Aaron and Sarah (Emley) Watson were:  John, Lucy, Anne and Sarah, all born at Kingwood, New Jersey.

John Watson, eldest child of Aaron and Sarah, born at Kingwood, about 1755, was reared on the Jersey farm.  During the Revolution he removed to Shrewsbury, and engaged in the manufacture of salt on the Jersey coast, where Point Pleasant is now located.  He sold the product to the continental army, and thus incurred the special enmity of the British, who destroyed his residence and plant, thereby ruining him financially.   He married about 1778 or 1779, at Shrewsbury, Mary Jackson, a descendant of Daniel Jackson, who migrated from Strangerthwaite, in Yorkshire, about 1693, and located in Bristol township, Bucks county, whose descendants had removed to Shrewsbury prior to the revolution.  John Watson returned to Kingwood in 1781, with wife and daughter Sarah.  His eldest son John was born there 10 mo. 25, 1781.  In the autumn of 1782 he removed to Middletown, Bucks county, where his son Aaron was born, and his eldest child, Sarah, died.  He removed to Buckingham in 1785, where the rest of his ten children were born, viz.:  Hannah, married William Gillingham; Sarah, married George Hughes; Elizabeth married James Shaw; Joseph: Charles; Ann; Marmaduke and John.  In 1794 he purchased 140 acres of land lying on both sides of the Mechanicsville road, and including the present Watson farm, the original buildings being on the northwest side of the road, where John Riniker now lives.  He died on this farm in 1818, and the farm was partitioned through the orphans' court, the farm now occupied by the subject of this sketch being adjudged to his oldest son, William Watson.

William Watson, son of John and Mary (Jackson) Watson, was born in Kingwood, 10 mo. 25, 1781, and was but a child when his parents removed to Buckingham.    He married, May 10, 1809, Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel and Margaret (Jenks) Gillingham, who was born 11 mo. 21, 1784, and died June 28, 1868, Upon his marriage William Watson settled on the farm still occupied by his grandson the subject of this sketch, the building then being first erected for him by his father.  William Watson was a prominent and useful man in the community, and filled many positions of trust.  He was one of the original trustees of the Hughesian Free School, and filled other responsible positions; was one of the solid substantial men of his day a prosperous farmer and conservative business man.  He and his family were members of Buckingham Meeting of Friends.    The children of William and Elizabeth (Gillingham) Watson were:   Samuel G., born 4 mo., 10, 1810, married Sarah H. Thomas; Jenks, died an infant; Margaret Jenks, born 1814, died 1835: Mary, born 4 mo., 17, 1817, married Joshua Fell; Henry, the father of the subject of this sketch; Elizabeth, born 1822, died 1861; and Sarah, born 1825, died 1904.  Neither of the last two were married, and lived and died at the residence of their brother Henry, on the old homestead.

Henry Watson, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born on the farm upon which he still resides, on 12 mo. 17, 1819.  He is one of the most highly esteemed men of his neighborhood.  Like his father, he is a member of Buckingham Friends" Meeting, and has fully maintained the standing of this old and respected family.  He succeeded his father as a trustee and director of the Hughesion Free School, and has served as director of the public schools for many years, and held many other positions of trust.  He married Emaline P., daughter of Moses Rich, of Buckingham, who was born in 1822 and died January 3, 1903.  They were the parents of five children:  John Rich, who died in infancy; Caroline M., born 10 mo. 19, 1852, died 11 mo. 8, 1898, married Lewis D. Rich; Martha Rich, born 7 mo. 25, 1855, died 3 mo. 12, 1903, married James McNair; Fannie born 4 mo. 8, 1858, married William E. Wilson, born 2 mo. 27, 1862.

The subject of this sketch was reared on the farm, and obtained his education at the public schools and at Doylestown English and Classical Seminary.  Being the only son, the care of the farm devolved upon him at an early age, his father being occupied with public affairs and the oversight of several other farms owned by the family.    Like his father and grandfather, he is an excellent farmer, and takes great pride in the old farm, which is one of the best tilled and productive in the township.  In politics Mr. Watson is a Republican, and though never an office seeker, takes a keen interest in all that pertains to the best interests of his party, and has served as a delegate to several state and district conventions.  He is a member of Buckingham Friends' Meeting.  Socially he a member of Pennsylvania Commandery No. 70, K. T.; Philadelphia Consistory, A. and A. S. S.; and of Aquetong Lodge No. 193, I. O. O. F., and Doylestown Council, No. 1117, Royal Areanum.

He was married on 12 mo. 5, 1893, to Caroline M., Daughter of the late Captain John S. Bailey, of Buckingham, and has one child, Edward Blackfan Watson, born in 1894.

Text taken from page 136 of: Davis, William W. H.,  A. M. History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905]  Volume III

Transcribed November, 2000 by Donna J. Kling of Pennsylvania as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

PublishedNovember 2000 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

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