A GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL HISTORY
BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
By William W. H. Davis
Originally prepared under the editorial supervision of Warren S. Ely and John W. Jordan and Published as Volume III of History of Bucks County Pennsylvania, second edition, New York and Chicago, 1905.
Reprinted Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1975.
THE VANDEGRIFT FAMILY is of Holland descent, their progenitor being Jacob Lendertsen Van der Grift (that’s son of Lenerd) who with his brother Paulus Lenertsen Van der Grift, came from Amsterdam about 1644 and settled in New Amsterdam. Both of the Van der Grift brothers were in the employ of the West India Company. Paulus was skipper of the ship “Neptune” in 1645 and of the “Great Gerrit” in 1646. He was a large landholder in New Amsterdam as early as 1644. He was a member of council, 1647-1648; burgomaster 1657-1658, and 1661-1664; orphan master 1656-1660; member of convention, 1653 and 1663. On February 21, 1664, Paulus Leendersen and Allard Anthony were spoken of as “co-patroons of the new settlement of Noortwyck, on the North River.” He had five children baptized at the Dutch Reformed church, and he and his wife were witnesses to the baptism of five of the eight children of his brother Jacob. Paulus Leendertsen Van der Grift sold his property in New Amsterdam in 1671, and returned with his family to Europe.
Jacob Lendertsen Van die Grifte, bottler, of New Amsterdam, in the service of the West India Company, on September 11, 1648, granted a power of Attorney to Marten Martense Schoenmaker, of Amsterdam, Holland, to collect from the West India Company such amounts of money as he (Van die Grift) had earned at Curocoa, on the ship “Swol”, employed by that company to ply between the island of Curocoa and New Netherlands. The early records of New Amsterdam give considerable account of this ship “Swol”. It carried twenty-two guns and seventy-six men. In 1644 it was directed to proceed to New Amsterdam, and on arriving, “being old” it was directed to be sold. Another boat was, however, given the same name, being sometimes mentioned as the “New Swol.”
On July 19, 1648, Jacob Lendertsen Van der Grist was married at New Amsterdam to Rebecca Fredericks, daughter of Frederick Lubbertsen. On March 7, 1652, he sold as attorney for his father-in-law, fifty morgens and fifty-two rods of land on East river. On February 19, 1657, Jacob Leendersen Van der Grift was commissioned by the burgermasters and schepens of New Amsterdam as a measurer of grain. To this appointment was affixed instructions that from now nobody shall be allowed to measure for himself or have measured by anybody else than the sworn measurers, any grain, lime or other goods which are sold by the tun or schepel, or come here from elsewhere as cargoes and in wholesale, under penalty of three pounds first transgression, six pounds, for second and arbitrary correction for the third.” In 1656 Jacob Leendertsen Vandergrift was made small burgher of New Amsterdam. In 1662 he was a resident of Bergen, New Jersey, where he subscribed toward the salary of a minster. On April 9, 1664, he and his wife, Rebecca Fredericks, were accepted as members of the church at “Breukelen,” upon letters from Middlewout, (now Flatlands); his residence on the west side of the river must, therefore, have been of short duration. On May 29, 1664, then living under the jurisdiction of the village of Breukelen, Long Island, he applies to the council for letters of cession with committimus to the court, to relieve him from his creditors on his turning over his property in their behalf, he being “burdened with a large family, and on account of misfortune befallen some years ago, not having been able to forge ahead, notwithstanding all efforts and means tried by him to that end, etc.” There are records of a number of suits prior to this date, in which he appears either as plaintiff or defendant. In 1665 he was living on the strand of the North river, New Amsterdam, where he is assessed towards paying the expense of quartering one hundred English soldiers on the Dutch burghers. On October 3, 1667, he received a patent from Governor Nicolls for land on the island of Manhattan, on the north side of the Great Creek, which he sold to Isaac Bedloe, in 1668. He probably removed at this date to Noordwyck, on the North river, where he purchased in 1671 the land of his brother Paulus, who had returned to Amsterdam. In 1686 he appears as an inhabitant of Newton, Long Island, where he probably died, though the date of his death has not been ascertained. His widow removed with her children to Bensalem, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, in 1697, and was living there in 1710. The children of Jacob Lendertsen and Rebecca Fredericks Van der Grift, baptised at the Dutch Reformed Church of New Amsterdam, were as follows:
- Martje, baptised August 20, 1649, married Cornelius Corsen, March 11, 1666. He was baptised at New York, April 23, 1645, being the son of Cornelius Piterse Vroom, and Tryntie Hendricks. After the death of Vroom, Tryntje had married Frederick Lubbertsen, the grandfather of Marytje, father-in-law of Jacob Lendeertsen Van der Grift. Many descendants of Cornelius Corsen and Marytje Van de Grift still reside in Bucks county.
- Christina Van de Grift, baptised February 26, 1651, married (first) Oc- , a widower, by whom she had two children, Abraham and Jacobus. She married (second) April 14, 1681, Daniel Veenvous, from Beuren, in Gelderland, by whom she had five children – Wilhelmina, Rebecca and Contantia; two others also named Rebecca died in infancy.
- Anna Van de Grift, baptised March 16, 1653, married, September 29, 1674, *Jacob Claessen Groesbeck. They removed to Bucks County with the rest of the Vandegrift family in 1710, but little is known of them other than he purchased land in Bensalem adjoing that of his brothers-in-law, and that two of his daughters married into well known families of Bucks. Their children were: Rebecca, baptised June 23, 1673; Elizabeth, baptised September 4, 1677; Leah, baptised February 11, 1680, married 12 mo. 17, 1702, Johannes Van Sandt; Rachel, baptised November 21, 1682, married November 8, 1704, James Biddle; and Johanna, baptised August 9, 1685.
- Leendert (Leonard) Van de Grift, baptised December 19, 1655, died in Bensalem, Bucks county, 1725; married, November 20, 1678, Styntje Ellsworth. He, with his three brothers and two brothers-in-law, purchased land in Bensalem in 1697 of Joseph Growdon, Leonard’s purchase being two tracts of 135 and 106 acres respectively. He subsequently purchased seventy-four acres of his brother Frederick. He and his wife were received at Bensalem church in 1710, and he was appointed junior elder. On December 30, 1715, he was commissioned a justice of peace. Letters of administration were granted on his estate February 18, 1725, to his eldest son Abraham, known as “Abraham Vandegrift, by the River.” The children of Leonard and Styntje (Ellsworth) Vandegrift were: 1. Jacob, baptisted September 20, 1679; 2. Christoffel, baptised August, 1681; married July 7, 1704, Sarah Druith; 3. Rebecca, baptised December 15, 1683, married November 8, 1704, Albert Van Sandt; 4. Abraham, baptised July 4, 1686, married October 17, 1716, Maritje Van Sandt, died March, 1748, leaving six children – Leonard, of Bensalem; Garret and Abraham, of Philadelphia; Christine, wife of Yost Miller, of Salem county, New Jersey; Mary, wife of Mathew Corbet, and Jemima, wife of George Taylor, of Chesterfield, New Jersey. 5. Anneken, baptised April 7, 1689, married Andrew Duow. 6. Elizabeth, baptised at Brooklyn, October 8, 1691, married May 23, 1710, Francis Kroeson. 7. Annetje, baptised June 12, 1695, married December 22, 1715, Cornelius King. All of the above children of Leonard Vandegrift removed to New Castle county, Delaware, prior to the death of their father, except Abraham, to whom they conveyed the real estate in Bensalem in 1743. The above named heirs of Abraham conveyed the same to Leonard, eldest son of Abraham, in 1761.
- Nicholass Vandegrift, baptised May 5, 1658, married at New Utrecht, Long August 24, 1684, Barentje Verkirk, daughter of John Verkerk. They settled
*Nicholas (or Claes), father of Jacob, was a
carpenter of Albany, New York, in 1662. On October 10, 1696, deposed that he was seventy-two years old. His will dated January 3, 1706-7, mentions wife Elizabeth, son Jacob and others.
At New Utrecht, where he took the oath of allegiance to James II in 1687, and where he purchased land in 1691. He removed to Bucks county with his brothers and brothers-in-law in 1697, conveying his Long Island land after his removal. On July 1, 1697, Joseph Growdon conveyed to him 214 acres in Bensalem. He joined the Bensalem church in 1710, and became a junior deacon. The records of the Dutch Reformed church show the baptism of three children, viz: Rebecca, baptised July 26, 1685, married 11 mo. 7, 1707, Jacobus Van Sandt; Jan, baptised January 1, 1691, married May 5, 1721, at Abington Presbyterian church, Anna (or Hannah) Backer; and Deborah, baptised April 1, 1695, married Laurent Jansen, * or Johnson. Nicholas Van de Grift removed to Sussex county, Delaware, conveying his land in 1713 to Jacob Kollock, whose widow Mary in 1722 conveyed it to Folert, son of John Vandegrift.
- Frederick Vandegrift, baptised August 20, 1661, purchased of Joseph Growdon on July 1, 1697, 106 acres adjoining that of his brothers in Bensalem township, Bucks county, a part of which he conveyed a year later to Leonard Vandegrift. If ever a resident of Bucks county, he probably remained but a short time.
- Rachel Vandegrift, youngest daughter of Jacob, was baptised at New York, August 20, 1664, and married, in 1689, Albert Verkerk, son of Jan, and brother to his brother Nicholas’s wife. Barent Verkerk purchased in 1697 a tract of land in Bensalem adjoining his brothers-in-law, all the deeds being from Joseph Growdon, and bearing the same date, July 1, 1697. He died in 1739, leaving children: Jacob; John; Mary, married Nielss Boon; Constantina, married James Fitchet; Dinah, married James Keirll; and another daughter who married an Underwood.
- Johannes Vandegrift, youngest son of Jacob Lendertsen and Rebecca Frederics Van der Grift, was baptised at New York, June 26, 1667, and died in Bensalem township, Pennsylvania, in 1745. He married, September 23, 1694, Nealkie Volkerss, widow of Cornelius Cortelyou, who was living at date of his will in 1732, but died before 1740. He married (second) July 1, 1741, Elizabeth Snowden, a widow. He purchased 196 acres in Bensalem of Joseph Growdon, adjoining the tracts of his brother and brothers-in-law, the deed bearing date July 1, 1697. He was an elder at the “Sammeny” church, having joined it at its organization in 1710. His will dated March 16, 1732, proved March 22, 1745, devises to son Abraham the farm he lives on, for life, and if he die without issue it is to go to his surviving brothers
*Laurent Jansen, or Lawrence Johnson, was doubtless son of Claus Jansen, who purchased several tracts of land in Bensalem some years earlier than the Vandegrifts. He died in 1723, devising his lands to his sons Lawrence, John and Richard. The families later intermarried.
and sisters. Some years later the children of Johannes entered into an agreement by which the land was to vest in the heirs of those deceased, even though they did not survive Abraham and inasmuch as Abraham died without issue in 1781, the subsequent conveyance of the land throw light on the family connections. In 1786 the representation of Jacob, Rebecca, Christana, and Helena conveyed the land, 160 acres, to Jacob Jackson and later a partition thereof was had between Jackson and Abraham Harman and Cornelius, sons of Fulkert. The children of Johannes and Nealkie (Volkers) Vandegrift were: 1. Fulkert, born 1695, died 1775; married May 6, 1719, Elizabeth Vansandt, and (second) August 10, 1742, Marytje Hufte. He was a considerable landholder in Bensalem. He had five sons: Folkhart, Harman, Abraham, Cornelius and John; and three daughters: Alice LaRue, Elizabeth Krusen and Elinor, most of whom have left descendants in Bucks county. 2. Jacob, baptised at New York, October 14, 1696, died in Bensalem in 1771, married Choyes Touley, October 23, 1716. 3. Abraham, born 1698, died 1781, married but had no issue. 4. Rebecca married John Van Horn, died 1786. 5. Christiana, married November 8, 1722, Joseph Foster. 6. Lenah, married a Fulton. 7. Esther, baptised in Bucks county, May 10, 1710.
Most of the Vandegrifts of Bucks county are descendants of Johannes and Nealke (Volkers) Vandegrift. Leonard, grandson of Leonard, remained in Bensalem, and the land originally settled by his grandfather, descended to his son, Captain Josiah Vandegrift. John, son of Nicholas, became a large landholder in Bensalem; he died in 1765, leaving sons Nicholas, Jacob, John, Joseph, for many years an innkeeper in Bensalem, and daughters: Catharine Sands, Esther who married John Houten; and Rebecca Vansciver. Of the sons, John married Ann Walton, May 28, 1761 and had children: Joseph, John, Jonathan and Mary. The father died in 1777 and the widow Ann married Charles Fetters a year later.
Jacob Vandegrift, son of Johannes and Nealke (Volkers) Vandegrift, baptized at New York, October 14, 1696, was but an infant less than a year old when his parents settled in Bensalem township, Bucks County. He married, October 23, 1710, Charity Touley. He became a large landholder and a prominent man in the community. He died in 1771. His children were, John, died 1805, in Bensalem, leaving five children, viz.: Jacob, who settled in Northampton township; John; Jane, who married a Johnson; Bernard, settled in New Jersey; and Abraham, who married Catharine Vandegrift a granddaughter of Fulerd. 2. Bernard, who was devised 200 acres in Upper Dublin township, and settled thereon. 3. Jacob, who was devised by his father 200 acres of land whereon he was living at his father’s death. 4. Charity (or Catharine) who married John Praul, January 20, 1757. 5. Helen (or Elinor) who married Harman Vansant.
Jacob Vandegrift, third son of Jacob, married first Catrintje Hufte, May 19, 1753, and (second) Sarah Titus, February 5, 1775, as before stated he settled on 200 acres belonging to his father which descended to him at his father’s death. He died in May, 1800, leaving five children: Jacob, married Elinor —-; David, married Sarah —–; William Bloomfield, the grandfather of Senator Vandegrift; Mary married —– Bennett; and Elizabeth, who married Daniel LaRue. William Bloomfield Vandegrift inherited from his father considerable real estate. He was the youngest son, and had just arrived at his majority when the will of his father was proved in 1800. He married Christiana Saunders. His death occurred in 1854. His children were seven in number, viz.: Sarah Ann, married Charles Tomlinson; Eliza L., married Jacob Johnson; Eleanor, married Enos Boutcher; Alfred; Charles Souders; William M., married Eliza Boutcher and Susan, married Peter Conover.
Alfred Vandegrift was born in Bensalem township in 1807, and died there in 1861. In 1849 his father conveyed to him and his brother jointly a store property in Eddington, where they conducted a mercantile business until the death of Alfred in 1861. In 1849 he also purchased of his father 31 ½ acres on the Buck Road, which had been the property of his ancestors for several generations. He married Catharine Gibbs, daughter of John Gibbs, and granddaughter of Richard Gibbs, who was sheriff of Bucks county in 1771, and a prominent public man. His children were: John Gibbs, born September 2, 1834; William Bloomfield; Elinor, wife of William Lynesson Sayre; Charles Souders, Jr.; Augustus; Henry S.; Lewis H.; Susan; Mary; Christina; Alfred and Elizabeth LaRue.
HON. CHARLES SOUDERS VANDEGRIFT
HON. CHARLES SOUDERS VANDEGRIFT, son of Alfred and Catherine (Gibbs) Vandegrift, is a worthy representative of an old and eminent family. He was born in Bensalem township, August 20, 1839. He was reared on his father’s farm, and attended the public schools until fifteen years of age, when he entered Captain Alden Partridge’s Military School at China Hall, in Bristol township, where he remained for two years. At the age of seventeen he entered the employ of his uncle and namesake, Charles S. Vandegrift, Sr., in the country store at Eddington, where he remained as clerk and proprietor until 1873, when he sold out the store, and in connection with J. and E. Thomas opened a lumber yard on the Delaware at Eddington. This partnership continued until 1890, when he retired from the firm. Since that time he has been employed in the settlement of estates and the transaction of public business. In 1882 he was elected to the state senate and served four years. He was an active member of the upper house, and served on the ways and means, agriculture and other important committees. In politics he is a Democrat, and has served as representative to District, State and National conventions. He has always taken an active interest in local matters, and served his township officially at different periods. He is president of the Good Roads Association of Bensalem township, and one of its most active and efficient members. He is a director of the Farmers’ and Mechanics Mutual Insurance Company of Bucks and Philadelphia counties; president of the Doylestown Publishing Company; and treasurer and trustee of the Vandegrift Burial Ground at Cornwells. He is a past master of Bristol Lodge, No. 25, A. Y. F. and A. M.; and St. Johns Commandery, No. 4, K. T., of Philadelphia.
Mr. Vandegrift married, March 11, 1862, Mary Hannah Rowland, daughter of Charales Rowland, of Chester county, Pennsylvania. To this marriage have been born two children: Frederic Beasley, born December 22, 1862; and George Bloomfield, born May 22, 1864. The latter died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Vandegrift are members of the Presbyterian church.
FREDERIC BEASLEY VANDEGRIFT
FREDERIC BEASLEY VANDEGRIFT, son of Senator Charles S. Vandegrift, was educated at the public schools of Philadelphia, and at Smiths’ Commercial College, after which he entered the office of John W. Hampton, Jr., custom house broker of Philadelphia, where he remained for eight years. He then entered into the business himself with offices in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, and was also import freight agent. He continued to conduct the business of a custom house broker until his death. In 1893, feeling the necessity of a technical knowledge of the law in the transaction of his business, he entered himself as a student at law in the office of William S. Stanger, Es., in Philadelphia, and was admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1897, and was admitted to practice in the United States courts in January, 1899, but died on March 7, 1899.
Frederic B. Vandegrift made a close study of the tariff on imports and became an expert on that subject. Among the papers prepared and published by him on the subject was one on the McKinley Tariff. He received an order for 1,500 copies of his work on the Dingley Tariff from the United States government, a copy of which was to be sent to every United States counsel throughout the world. He received the prize offered by the United States government for the most perfect paper on the tariff. Mr. Vandegrift became a distinguished member of the Masonic fraternity. He was made a Mason on March 8, 1884, by his father, Past Master Charles S. Vandegrift, and became master of Bristol Lodge, No. 25, in 1888; joined Harmony Chapter, R. A. M., in 1889, and was elected king in 1899, which office he held at the time of his death. He joined the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, January 18, 1895, and on June 21st received his thirty second degree, S. P. R. S. He was also a member of Lulu Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., and was representative of University Lodge in the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania at the time of his death. On November 16, 1887, he married Harriet Elizabeth Harvey, of Philadelphia. This marriage was blessed with four daughters: Gertrude, Evelina, Loraine and Genevieve, all of whom are being educated at the Friends’ Schools of Philadelphia.
JOHN GIBBS VANDEGRIFT
JOHN GIBBS VANDEGRIFT, eldest son of Alfred and Catharine (Gibbs) Vandegrift, and brother to Hon. Charles S. Vandegrift, he subject of the preceding sketch, was born in Bensalem township, Bucks county, September 2, 1834. He was educated at the public schools, and later received an academic education. He was reared on the farm, and for several years followed the vocation of a farmer. In 1873 he purchased the store at Eddington and followed the mercantile business there for the rest of his life. He was a justice of the peace for twenty years, and filled many positions of trust. He took a deep interest in educational matters, and was for many years a member of the school board, acting as its secretary. He was a vestryman of the Episcopal church. In politics was a Democrat, but never sought or held any other than local office. He was a member of Bristol Lodge, No. 25, A. Y. F. and A. M. of Harmony Chapter, R. A. M.; and St. John’s Commandery, K. T. Mr. Vandegrift married March 27, 1861, Mary Jane Creighton, daughter of Thomas and Rebecca Ashton Creighton. She was born May 10, 1832, at Holmesburg, Philadelphia, and died May 4, 1895. John G. Vandegrift died April 11, 1901. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Vandegrift, Katherine and Lemuel.
Lemuel Vandegrift was born August 13, 1864. He was reared on a farm and attended public school. At the age of seventeen years he entered his father’s store to assist him in the business, and at his death succeeded him in its conduct. He was also elected a justice of the peace to succeed his father. He is a vestryman of the Episcopal church. In politics he is a Democrat. He is a member of Bristol Lodge, No. 25, A. Y. F. and A. M., Philadelphia Chapter, R. A. M. and St. Johns Commandery, K. T. Mr. Vandegrift was married, April 6, 1893 to Mary Ella (Moore) Carey. They are the parents of two children: Lemuel Creighton, born July 26, 1893, and Marian Katharine, born July 8, 1897. Tsheir eldest child, John G., Jr., died in infancy. These children are being educated in the public school of Bensalem.
MOSES VANDEGRIFT. In the preceding sketch of the descendant of Jacob Lendertsen Van der Grifte, who came from Holland in 1644 to New Amsterdam, where he married in 1648, Rebecca Fredericks Lubbertsen, is given an account of the baptism and marriage of Johannes Van De Grift, youngest son of Jacob and Rebecca, and the birth and marriage of his children. From two of the sons of Johannes and Nealke (Volkers) Vandegrift is descended the subject of this sketch. Folkhart, the eldest, and Jacob the second son.
Folkhart (or Fulkerd)n Van de Grift, eldest son of Johannes, was born in the province of New York in 1695, and was therefore but an infant when brought into Bucks county by his parents in 1697. He became a large landholder in Bensalem, a man of importance in the Dutch colony in Bucks, and a member of the Bensalem church. He was twice married, first on May 6, 1719 to Elizabeth Van Sandt, and second on August 10, 1742, to Marytje Hufte. Neither wife survived him. He died in November, 1775. Of his nine children, Fulkhart, Elizabeth, Harman, Alshe, Abraham, John, Cornelius and Elinor, the first eight are mentioned in his will.
Abraham Vandegrift, born about 1725 married Femmentje Hufte about 1752 and had six children. He died in Bensalem township about 1800. The children were: Elizabeth, baptized at Southampton church August 18, 1754, married John DeCoursey, and had eight children; Mary, married Benjamin Severns; Abraham; and Catharine, who married Abraham Vandegrift, her second cousin.
Jacob Van de Grift, second son of Johannes and Nealke, baptized at New Amsterdam, October 14, 1696, was the grandfather of Abraham above mentioned. John Vandegrift, eldest son of Jacob, known as “John Vandegrift, Esquire,” to distinguish him from his cousin of the same name on the records, married November 14, 1750, Maria (or Mary) Praul, who died prior to 1786. He died in 1805; his will dated September 7, 1804, proved May 3, 1805, devised to his eldest son Jacob, (baptized at Southampton, April 18, 1753) a stone house “I am now erecting” and one acre of land, he having been “advanced 400 pounds toward purchasing a plantation.” This plantation was in Northampton, where Jacob removed in 1783 and died leaving a large family. The will of John Vandegrift further devises to his son John, 162 ½ acres on the Dunk’s ferry road where the testator lived; to his daughter Jane Johnson a lot on same road; to son Bernard a tract of land in New Jersey purchased of John Longstreth and to his son Abraham sesenty-two acres, “part of the land where he now lives, beginning at brother Jacob’s lane end,” etc.
Abraham, son of John and Maria (Praul) Vandegrift, was born in Bensalem in 1766. On his marriage his father set apart to him seventy-two acres of land and built a house for him thereon which has since been the home of his descendants. He was twice married; by his first wife he had a daughter Mary who married John Brodnax. His second wife was Catharine Vandegrift, daughter of Abraham and granddaughter of Folkart, as previously shown. By this marriage Abraham had two sons, John and Samuel, and two daughters: Elizabeth, who married Joseph Myers; and Phebe, who married Thomas Darrah. Abraham died in May, 1800, leaving a will made eleven years previously, which was contested by the widow and daughter Phebe, but proved in the court of common pleas in December of the same year. The bulk of the landed property including the homestead descended to the son John.
John Vandegrift was born on the old homestead August 12, 1806, and died there in March, 1878. He was a successful farmer, a Democrat, and a member of the Presbyterian church. His wife was Susanna Sipler. She died July 3, 1898. John and Susanna (Sipler) Vandegrift were the parents of eight children: Jesse, who died young; Jesse (2); Moses; John; Philip, who served three years in the civil war and died January 12, 1900, in his fifty-eighth year; Samuel; Letitia; and Geoge W.
Moses Vandegrift, the subject of this sketch, was born on the old homestead June 5, 1840. He was reared on the old farm and received his education at the Eddington school. On arriving at manhood he settled on the old homestead that had been the property of his ancestors for many generations, and has spent his whole life there. He is a member of the Presbyterian church and politically is a Democrat. He was elected supervisor of Bensalem tonship in 1888 for two years and was re-elected in 1900 for an additional term. He married January 26, 1879, Sarah Knight, daughter of Strickland and Caroline (Briggs) Knight, by whom he has six children: Eugene, born January 4, 1880; Walter, born January 5, 1882; Roland and Oscar, twins, born May 27, 1884, (Oscar died in infancy); Fannie, born November 4, 1885, and Russell, born November 8, 1887.
SAMUEL ALLEN VANDEGRIFT
SAMUEL ALLEN VANDEGRIFT, eldest son of the late George V. and May Ann (Allen) Vandegrift, was born at Bridgewater, Bensalem township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, March 21, 1830.
The educational advantages enjoyed by Samuel A. Vandegrift were obtained in the common schools of the neighborhood, and he remained a resident on the paternal homestead until he attained his majority. He then settled on the Jonathan Paxon farm in Bensalem township, and after a residence of twenty years there located on the farm owned by his brother William A., remaining nine years, and the following six years he resided on the Thomas Hamilton farm. He then took up his residence on the farm in Byberry, owned by Colonel Morrell, remaining three years, after which he located on the farm in Bensalem owned by his brother Frank, and in 1903 removed to the old Black farm in Bensalem township, owned by his son Charles, where he has since resided. Being practical and progressive in his methods of management, he met with a large degree of prosperity in the various localities where he resided, and his honorable and reliable transactions won for him an enviable reputation which he has always fully sustained. He is a firm advocate of the principles of Republicanism, and his support has always been given to the candidates and measures of that party.
On March 12, 1857, Mr. Vandegrift married Julia Ann Luck, born in Philadelphia but reared in Bucks county, a daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Leslie) Luck. Joseph Luck was a native of England, from whence he emigrated to the United States, entered the service of the United States government and for many years had charge of the United States arsenal at Frankford, Pennsylvania. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Vandegrift: George, born January 28, 1858, engaged in agricultural pursuits in Bensalem township, married to Julia Miller, of Philadelphia, and they are the parents of one child, Frederick Vandegrift; Joseph, who died at the age of four years; Mary Ann, born February 19, 1863; Charles W., born December 16, 1865. The mother of these children, who was a most excellent woman in every respect, faithful and conscientious in the performance of her duties as a wife and mother, died June 9, 1902.
LEWIS HERBERT VANDEGRIFT
LEWIS HERBERT VANDEGRIFT, of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, was born at that place, October 1, 1845, the son of Alfred and Catherine (Gibbs) Vandegrift. He was educated in the public schools of Bensalem, after which he engaged in farming, as an employee of his brother, John, with whom he remained until 1870, when he removed to the old homestead farm in Bensalem, which he purchased in 1892. After thirty years of farm life, he sold his farm and removed to Philadelphia, when he entered the employ of the Western Union Telegraph Company, with whom he is still engaged. Mr. Vandegrift has been twice married – first, January 7, 1874, to Margaret, daughter of James and Margaret (Ballantyne) Harvinson. By this union four children were born: 1. Alfred Eugene, born November 22, 1874, married, February 20, 1901, to Susannah Keifer, of Brooklyn, New York, daughter of John Colder and wife, Susannah (Jenninker) Keiffer, and they have one child, Margaret Susannah, born November 10, 1902; 2. Clara May, born January 29, 1877, married March 7, 1905, Eugene Gaskill, of Philadelphia; 3. Maud, born May 13, 1882; married, first Elwood E. Porter, by whom the issue was Milton Harvinson, born December 1, 1899; second, to Frank Peabody Hedges, of Trenton, New Jersey, May 1, 1904; 4. Bertha Irene, born May 20, 1883. Mrs. Vandegrift died February 13, 1888, and for his second wife Mr. Vandegrift married, January 14, 1892, Margaret Brown, of Eddington, who was born May 4, 1854, daughter of Henry Jackson and Sarah (Staats) Brown, and the granddaughter of Alexander and Elizabeth (Darrah) Brown; also the granddaughter of Jacob and Maribel (Shaw) Staats. By his second marriage Mr. Vandegrift has one child – Lucy Eccleston, born October 13, 1893. Each of the above children, except Lucy, were educated in Bensalem. Alfred was graduated from Pierce’s Business College of Philadelphia, and Lucy is attending Lincoln Grammar School in Philadelphia.
Mr. Vandegrift is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and affiliates with Newton Lodge, No. 427, A. F. and A. M. Both Mr. and Mrs. Vandegrift are members of the church of Christ (Episcopalian) of Eddington, where they are efficient, earnest workers. Mr. Vandegrift has served on the school board very ably for three years, and has been its secretary. He has ever been much interested in educational matters, and is counted among the loyal citizens of his place.
GEORGE V. VANDEGRIFT
GEORGE V. VANDEGRIFT. The death of George V. Vandegrift, April 24, 1853, removed from Bensalem township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where he resided all his life, one of its prominent, influential and public-spirited citizens. His birth occurred in 1804, a son of Joseph and Sarah (Byson) Vandegrift, and grandson of John Vandegrift. Joseph Vandegrift (father) was also a native of Bensalem township, Bucks county, the year of his birth being 1776. In early life he served an apprenticeship at the trade of weaver, and this he followed successfully throughout his active career. He was a member of the Episcopal church, the service of which he attended regularly. By his marriage to Sarah Bankson the following named children were born: Lydia, Rebecca, Mary, Amy, George V., Frances, Sarah Ann, Joseph, Julia Ann, and Jane. Mr. Vandegrift died in 1839, survived by his wife, who passed away in 1857.
George V. Vandegrift attended the common schools adjacent to his home after which he learned the same trade as his father, that of weaver, but after following this for a number of years he turned his attention to farming, which proved both a pleasant and profitable occupation. Upon attaining his majority he cast his vote with the Whig party to whom he gave his allegiance up to the formation of the Republican party and from that time up to his decease he advocated the principles of that great organization.
Mr. Vandegrift married, May 17, 1828, Mary Ann Allen, who was born in Bensalem township, October 26, 1808, and they were the parents of nine children, namely: Samuel Allen, born March 21, 1830, a sketch of whom appears in this work; Joseph T., born August 24, 1832, was twice married and had two children by each marriage, and died February 16, 1904; Jesse S., born August 24, 1830, resides in the western section of the United States; Georgianna, born September 21, 1839, resides on the old Allen farm with her brother; William Allen, born June 23, 1841, resides in Philadelphia; Israel Thomas, born Augst 24, 1843 and resides in Philadelphia; George W., born August 24, 1845; Jonathan, born March 15, 1848, died September 1, 1888; and Benjamin Franklin, born June 18, 1853, and resides in Philadelphia. Mr. Vandegrift and his wife held membership in the Neshaminy Methodist Elpiscopal church. Their deaths occurred respectively April 24, 1853, and March 19, 1864
Mrs. Vandegrift was a daughter of Israel Allen, born May 29, 1766, and his wife Elizabeth Titus, born December 14, 1771. Isreal Allen was a son of Joseph and Sarah (Plumley) Allen. Joseph Allen was a son of William and Mary (Walsh) Allen. William Allen was born at what is now Bridgewater, Bensalem township, on the site of the Bridgewater Inn, a son of Samuel and Jane (Waln) Allen. Samuel Allen was a son of Samuel and Mary Allen, who came from England in 1681 and settled on the farm now owned by William Allen Vandegrift, in 1682, and one hundred acres of the original tract has never passed out of the possession of the family. The members of the Allen family have always adhered to the tenets of the Society of Friends.
J. WILSON VANDEGRIFT
Among the successful agriculturists of Buckingham is J. Wilson Vandegrift, who was born in that township January 1, 1863, being a son of Bernard and Mary Ann (Folker) Vandegrift, and a grandson of Lawrence Vandegrift of Northampton township, Bucks county, where his father, Bernard was born June 30, 1829. The family is of Holland descent, being descendants of Jacob Lendert Van de Grift, who migrated from Holland in 1644, and settled on Long Island, from whence three of his sons (Leonard, Nicholas and John) came to Bucks county in the latter part of the same century and settled in Bensalem, descendants of the last mentioned of whom settling in Northampton township a century later.
Bernard Vandegrift was a farmer all his life. In 1877 he purchased the farm being owned and occupied by the subject of this sketch, and resided thereon until his death, in September, 1900. He married, December 27, 1851, Mary Ann Folker, daughter of James and Mary (Herlinger) Folker, of Buckingham, where she was born August 8, 1829. Her parents were both natives of Buckingham, her mother being a daughter of Captain Mathew Herlinger, who married the widow Else, whose husband died at sea on the voyage to America. Bernard and Mary Ann (Folker) Vandegrift were the parents of six children: Harry, of Elizabeth, Colorado; Susanna, wife of William Orem, of Buckingham; Wilmer, a wholesale commission merchant of Philadelphia; Mary, wife of William H. Atkinson, of Forest Grove, Buckingham township; J. Wilson; and Theodore, of Warwick township, Bucks county.
J. Wilson Vandegrift was reared on the farm and acquired a good common school education. In 1885 he purchased the home farm, which he has since successfully conducted. By industry and careful business methods he has acquired a competence. In 1899 he purchased an adjoining farm of 102 acres and in 1903, purchased a farm of 160 acres in Warwick township. He married in November, 1894, Olive M. Fell, daughter of Wilson D. and Mary Jane (Trumbower) Fell, of Buckingham. She was born on the Fell homestead in Buckingham that had been in the tenure of her ancestors for over a century, January 19, 1863. She is still the owner of the farm, which is a portion of a tract purchased by her great-great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Fell, in 1753. This Benjamin Fell was born in 1703 in Cumberland, England, and came with his parents Joseph and Bridget (Wilson) Fell to America when an infant. His son John, born in 1730, married Elizabeth Hartley, and their son Seneca born 4 mo. 5, 1760, married Grace Holt of Horsham, among whose children was Stacy Fell, the grandfather of Mrs. Vandegrift. He was born in Buckingham in 1790, and died there in 1864. He married 10 mo. 14, 1812, Elizabeth Kinsey, of Buckingham, who was born in 1791 and died in 1863. They were the parents of seven children, the youngest of whom was Wilson D., father of Mrs. Vandegrift, who was born 12 mo. 2, 1832, and died April 28, 11895.
To Mr. and Mrs. Vandegrift have been born five children. Harry E. W., William Orem, Edwin Taylor, Wilson Fell and Gladys. Mrs. Vandegrift is a member of Doylestown Presbyterian church.
Wilson D. Fell married Mary Jane Trumbower December 1, 11854. She was the daughter of Philip and Catharine Trumbower of Bridge Point, now Edison, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. She was born April 11, 1833, and died April 15, 1904.