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Jacob and Abraham Smith

by Bob Rowland
as of Jan 10, 2005
Research continuing

The research for this paper started in support of another paper I had recently written “THE KUNKLES in KUNKLETOWN” which was published this summer in the SPINDLE, the newsletter for Kunkle researchers. The thrust of that paper had been to document the often told story that Abraham Smith built the mill in Kunkletown. He definitely did have a mill, but at this point, I don’t know exactly where. The key aspect of this paper is the properties owned by Abraham and his father Jacob and the finding of Jacob’s Will. I am able to supplement what has been previous written, adding new information and filling in many of the details.

One of the most interesting documents discovered was the patent for the first and only property that Abraham acquired in full. This patent tells the story of six prior owners of the property, before Abraham Smith. It is supplemented with documents from the Land Record Office of the Pennsylvania State Archives, Northampton County tax records and historical writing by many.

The Patent is a six page document reciting the ownership of the Abraham Smith tract from William Penn, the first Proprietor and Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania, to Abraham. It covers a period of 92 years from the first indenture in March of 1682 to the issuance of the Patent to Abraham Smith in July of 1774. A microfilm of the Patent is on file at the Land Records Office of the Pennsylvania Archives in Patent Book AA, vol. 12, pages 274-279.

Penn granted unto Adrain Vrosen 5,000 acres to be taken up in any part of the Province of Pennsylvania by an Indenture and a Release dated the 6th and 7th of March, 1682. This was only one year after Penn received his proprietary grant from the King of England. Vrosen would have had to come to Philadelphia and have the document recorded or he could have had a representative deliver the document, so it is not know if he ever came to Pennsylvania.

The Deeds of Lease and Release were utilized by William Penn to transfer land. It was the first of a six-fold series of documents which was a continuation of the English feudal system. The document stated the total amount of land involved in the transaction, but did not describe specific locations. The recipient normally received the documents from William Penn in England and then had them recorded in the public registry in Philadelphia. (Donna Bingham Munger, 1991, Pennsylvania Land Records)

The 5,000 acres remained open and undefined and was transferred to Benjaham Furley of Rotterdam, on 10 June, 1704 (Philadelphia, Deed Book G Vol. 5 page 340). Furley died and the said 5,000 acres descended to his children. He had three daughter, none of which came to Pennsylvania; Dorothy who married Thomas Forster, a London Merchant, and Martha and Elizabeth Furley, both spinsters living in Rotterdam.

This document may be quoted for local and family research but not for commercial use.
Credit must be given with name and date.
Bob Rowland
3 Cornell Drive
Camp Hill PA 17011
Request for Survey| The Moravians Arrive| Abraham Smith| Jacob Smith| Jacob Smith's Will
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