Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Our Persecuted 8th Great Grandparents. Devoted Quakers. (Williamson Line)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Today we read about our 8th Great Grandparents, Francis and Grace Standfield (along the Williamson Family Line - See Relationship Chart Below). Needless to say I'm humbled by the hardships our Williamson ancestors suffered because of their Quaker religion and desire to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscious. This religious stubbornness and determination is a reoccurring theme throughout our family's early history along many lines.

As a Williamson family, lets not forget the sacrifices made by our ancestors in the establishment of this "one nation, under God with liberty and justice for all." Let's especially remember their hardships as the July 4th holiday approaches. Perhaps a short discussion of our family's history would be appropriate during your celebrations. It would make an interesting discussion around the barbecue.

And now, please take a moment and read about our Great Grandparents, Francis and Grace Standfield.


The Story of Francis and Grace Standfield

Francis Standfield, a Quaker, was a (farmer) who brought his family to Pennsylvania from Cheshire, England in 1683. They arrived July 29, 1683, aboard the ship “Endeavor” of Liverpool, George Thorpe, Master. The Endeavor was one of the ships that brought many of the original Quaker settlers to the Pennsylvania Province beginning in 1682. William Penn made at least one voyage on the Endeavor, when he returned to England in 1684.

Francis and his wife, Grace, brought with them five children, James, Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth, Grace and Hannah; and eight servants, Daniel Browne, Thomas Marsey, Isa. Brookesby, Robert Sidbotham, John Smith, Robert Bryan, William Rudway and Thomas Sidbotham. A sixth child, Deborah, was born after the arrival in Pennsylvania. At the time of the the Standfields’ arrival, there were less than 80 houses in Philadelphia, and less than 400 farms in Pennsylvania. William Penn had arrived aboard the “Welcome” only a few months previously to found his new colony, offering religious tolerance and openly welcoming members of the Society of Friends (Quakers).
Quaker Persecution

Francis Standfield had good reason to join Penn in the new colony. When George Fox started the Quaker movement soon after 1650, it spread rapidly in the northern counties of England. The Standfields had been in Yorkshire for generations, and were among the first to embrace the Quaker religion. They were persecuted, their property was siezed, and had other sufferings along with their Quaker brethren. Abraham Standfield, son of James Stansfield of Brighouse and possibly a brother of Francis, died with wife Lydia in 1669, while imprisoned in York Castle.

In 1670, our Grandfather Francis was arrested for attending a Quaker meeting at Cartop (Carthorpe), and had property seized for tithes. Like many other Quakers, Francis moved his family from place to place attempting to escape persecution, which varied by locality and changing times. It was probably about 1670 when Francis and Grace moved into Cheshire. They lived first at Marthall, on the southwest side of Manchester near Knutsford. Daughter Grace was born at nearby Marple, and the family was at Gorton (central Manchester) just prior to the emigration.

By 1683, Francis and Grace made the decision to emigrate. They knew that ship travel in 1683 was a deplorable and dangerous experience. Passengers were forced to take their own provisions aboard, and the ship’s drinking water was vile and unsanitary. Many ships arrived in the colonies with a high percentage of the passengers either ill or dead. The “Brittannia” once arrived in Pennsylvania with so many passenger losses and orphaned children, it was long called the “sick ship.” Nevertheless, Francis and Grace Standfield were desperate enough to brave the journey with five children. The family was lucky to escape England with considerable assets. In some localities, affluent Quakers were commonly fined up to a third of their assets upon being arrested. Even though Francis is known to have suffered some seizure of property, he was able to bring his wife, five children, and eight indentured servants, and still be able to purchase a large parcel of land in Chester County, Pennsylvania, for his initial estate.

Survey maps of 1683 show a 600-acre lot in Marple, on the west side of Philadelphia, for Francis Standfield. The lot was bounded by Crum
Creek on the west, and by two lots on the east which extended to Darby Creek. A 1687 map shows joint ownership of the lot with son James.

The Stanfields were among the earliest settlers of Marple. They may have been instrumental in naming the town, after their former village of Marple in Cheshire. The parents seem to have been about 40 years old at the time of coming to this country. In that formative period, consequent upon the settlement of a new country, religious meetings were held at private houses, until some one place had been determined upon. During this period one or more meetings were held at the house of Francis Stanfield.

Although he called himself a farmer upon arrival, he and son James quickly built up a thriving trading business. They had a two-masted ship, the Brigantine “Betsy,” and apparently were involved in the Barbados sugar and rum trade. They had major business dealings with the family of John Fisher of Philadelphia and Sussex County, who may have come with Penn on the “Welcome.” They also did business with James Logan, private secretary to William Penn.

Relationship Chart

Francis Stanfield b. 1642 England. married Grace Achelly b. 1646 England.
Sarah Stansfield b. ? England. married Edward Bennett b. 1656. England
Joseph Bennet b. 1704 Pennsylvania. married Rebecca Fincher b. 1704.
Phebe Bennett. married John Willis
Bennett Willis married Katherine Nosseman
Jonathan Willis married Anabella Phlegar
Margaret Ann Willis married George Matthew Williamson
William J. Williamson married Effie Helen Victor
Vennie, Ima Della, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie, Emmett, Walt, Charles married Elda, Maurice.
Charles Williamson married Luella Mattson
Kim, Victor, Kevin, Jon, Janice, Jilane, Lisa, Annette.

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