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.


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