1774 Vellum Deed – History Nerd Heaven!

One of the most interesting documents in the washtub, and let’s face it’s a real history nerd’s dream, is a vellum indenture dated 1774 between Amos Hoopes and James Black. The property in question is part of the estate of Joshua Hoopes (1704-1769). The house, Brooznoll, still stands on Rt. 926 just east of Rt. 352 and was built by Daniel Hoopes in 1723 and enlarged by Joshua in 1740. Date stones are located on the east end of the house.

A trip to Chester County archives resulted in Joshua’s estate inventory and various petitions to divide the property “without prejudice” between the children. When that could not be done the property was appraised and sold to James Black.

The property was 208 acres in Westtown and Goshen Townships. As part of this sale, James Black was to pay to Hannah (Joshua Hoopes’ widow), “Seventeen Pounds, Fourteen Shillings, Five Pence, Lawful Money . . . yearly and every year annually, during the term of her Natural Life.” And after her death, “Two hundred Ninety-five Pounds, Seven Shillings and Six Pence” to  her 6 children (Amos, Joseph, Jane Starr, Mary Chamberlain, Phoebe, and Ezra).

In addition to the above sum James Black paid to Amos Hoopes and his wife Margaret, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Two Pounds, Ten Shillings and six pence.   And that’s a lot of money in 1774!!

Several years ago I transcribed one side of this indenture. Just this one side is like reading a who’s who of Chester County – Ashbridge, Smedley, James, Garrett, Webb, Hickman, Gibbons, Evans, Starr, Chamberlain, and Worthington.

So how did this end up in the Young family copper wash tub? The land in question is located in Westtown, Goshen and Thornbury Townships. Which puts it in the same vicinity as the property owned by the Youngs as mentioned in my first post. Did a Young at some point live in the Hoopes house, find the indenture and say this looks important let’s put it with our important papers? Whose to say.

Coincidentally, my mother’s maternal grandmother was Ruth Hoopes. So while this, as far as I know has no connection to my father, it does have a connection thru my mother. This interconnectedness of history has always intrigued me.

Next up, transcribing the second side of this document.

I can’t wait to see what other connections can be made as I continue this journey.


Who Were The Youngs?

And where did they come from?

Other then the family Bible the best source I’ve found so far is a short biography of my Great-Grandfather Charles Young from a history of Chester and Delaware Counties.

“CHARLES YOUNG, one of the enterprising young farmers of Willistown Inn, Pennsylvania, was born on January 3, 1865, on his present homestead, Westtown Township and is the son of John and Catherine G. (Maag) Young. John Young was born on May 12, 1825 on the Girard homestead, Second Street, Philadelphia, died April 10, 1807, and he was the son of John and Hannah (Adams) Young, of German descent.” (Stay tuned for more on John in a subsequent post.)

It goes on to say that Charles was one of 10 children, which the family Bible supports – see my previous post.  Charles married Maude Battin, “a most charming and accomplished lady.” They had one child, my grandfather, Cloud Earl Young. Earl Young (my father said that he hated the name Cloud and never used it) married Marie Titter. The Titters had a farm somewhere in Delaware County – I haven’t yet been able to locate where.

My grandparents met when Grandpa would offer my grandmother a lift to school on his way to work. My grandfather in addition to helping on the family farm was also a carpenter. He designed and built their home along West Chester Pike, “Wee Brick House” just east of Rt. 352. They built the house during the depression and lived in the attic while they finished the rest of the house.  The house still stands and has been converted into an office. He also designed and built a house for his brother Emmett and his wife LaVera (Stafford) Young and for my parents David Earl Young and Ruth Passmore Young.

In one of those strange happenstances, when I began working at Brandywine Battlefield in 2002 I discovered that one of the other employees, George Findle, was related to George Young, brother to my Great-Grandfather Charles. George Findle knew where some of the Youngs were buried and we took a field trip to Cumberland Cemetery in Delaware County . Here I also discovered the graves of my Grandmother’s two brothers, John Gordon and William Vincent Titter.

In another strange twist of fate, one day,several years ago, on a visit to Waynesborough, the home of Anthony Wayne near Paoli, I happened to glance down at a guest book displayed in a sitting room.  And on that page two names jumped out at me – Charles Young and C. Earl Young.  Talk about goosebumps! Why they were there I have no idea at this time – as my grandfather would still have been a child it was either to deliver veggies from the truck farm or maybe sightseeing – still – goosebumps.

Even before reading this and learning the Young’s were of German descent I had suspected as much. When I began working at the Ephrata Cloister in the summer of 1993 for the first time I was well and truly exposed to German life and culture and suddenly little things my grandparents did made sense.   Life is funny that way – things really do tend to go in circles.

The Young Family Bible

The Family Bible is embossed with the names of John and Catherine Young. The Bible itself was printed by John B. Perry in Philadelphia in 1849, which coincidentally happens to be the year that John and Catherine were wed.

The Bible contains birth and death registers, which seem to have been faithfully kept. The first Youngs listed in the Bible are the names of John’s parents. John and Hannah Young. John, not surprisingly, is John Jr. and his birthdate along with Catherine’s is listed on the second page of the register.

According to a short biography I discovered for their son Charles: John Young was born on May 12, 1825 on the Girard homestead, Second Street, Philadelphia, died April 10, 1899, and he was the son of John and Hannah (Adams) Young, of German descent.”

Ten children were born to John Jr. and Catherine.

John (1849-1922)          [married Mary J. Scott (1858-1940)]

Rebecca (1852-1860)

Phillip (1855-1946)       [married Jennie Folmer (1856-1940)]

George (1856-1899)      [married Ida Vaughan Zell]

William (1859-1935)     [married Laura Trainer (1865-1935)]

Henry (1860-1862)

Edward (1863-1930)       [married Elizabeth Steele (1867-1937

Charles (1865-1942)       [married Maude Battin (1880 – ?)]

Hannah (1866-1874)

Catherine (1868-1932)

As happened quite frequently during this time period several of their children did not survive childhood. Among the papers collected within the Bible are invitations to Rebecca and Henry’s funerals.

So where do I fit into this mix. Charles and Maude are my great grandparents, their oldest child Cloud Earl Young was my grandfather, although as I mentioned in my first post he hated his name and always went by C. Earl. C. Earl married Marie Titter.

More about Charles and Maude in the next post. And I’m not done with John, Jr either.