FROM THE DOWNHILL SLOPE

LIFE THEN   More About the Broomalls

A bit more about the Broomall family was compiled by Anne Broomall Wiegle.  The family genealogist, she tells this story:   [1]The first John Martin Broomall was born in 1816. but the family history as Americans goes back to a John Broomall who came to the then colonies in 1682, as part of William Penn’s land grant. This John Broomall was born in England. He came to Pennsylvania in 1682. He married Mary whose last name is not recorded on any of the genealogical records

Family tradition has John either coming from Sheffield, West Riding, Yorkshire, or “between the border of England and Wales.” He was a farmer. He must have come as a servant, since there is a record of him being granted 50 acres Head Land in Bradford Township. He sold the rights to this land in 1717.  He bought two tracts of land in Edgmont Twp- one in 1700 and another in 1713. Later in he moved to a “plantation” in Nether Providence Twp, Chester (now Del) Co. PA in 1720.   His name is on the list of subscribers to build Chester Meeting House in 1690.John died sometime before August 23, 1729.  He directed in his will that he be buried in Upper Providence Twp at Providence Friends’ Burial Ground.

So the first of the Broomall in America came as part of William Penn’s land grant.  Penn,  one of the best known Quakers in England; decided that his followers needed a new place to worship. He asked King Charles II to repay a debt owed to his family by granting him land in America. In 1681  King Charles agreed to the deal, and the new colony was named “Pennsylvania” or Penn’s Woods for the Penn family.

William Penn planned his colony to be a holy experiment by which he meant the people were to live according to Quaker beliefs. . He also decided that if they could live in peace and harmony then this colony should also allow non-Quakers to live here as well.  Quakers believe all people hold a light to the divine within their beings.

In keeping with this idea of a multi-cultural society, he advertised to Quakers and non-Quakers alike in England, Wales, Germany, Scotland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Many people then bought land from Penn. While Penn himself was not able to travel to Pennsylvania until 1682, he did send his cousin William Markham to act as his deputy governor. It was Markham’s job to convince the old colonists, the Swedes, Finns, Dutch, and English, that they, too, would be governed by laws of their own making and that everyone in Pennsylvania would live as free people.

Like most religions, the Quakers at one time became exclusionary and eventually one of the John M. Broomall was read out of meeting for marrying an Episcopalian.


[1] http://www.springhillfarm.com/broomhall/j1brooml.html

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