James Jackson was born in Londonderry township, Chester Co., Pa., on the 16th of the fourth month (April), 1805. He was the descendant, in the sixth generation, from first, Anthony Jackson, who Was born in Eccleston, parish of St. Michael, Lancashire, England, about the beginning of the second quarter of the seventeenth century, settled with an elder brother, Richard, in 1649, in Lurgan, Province of Ulster, Ireland.
Second, Isaac Jackson, born in 1665, married Ann, daughter of Rowland Evans, County of Wicklow, Feb. 29, 1696 (0. S.), emigrated to America in 1725 settled at Harmony Grove Farm, near West Grove village, Chester Co., and died in 1750, aged eighty-six years. Isaac and Ann Jackson had ten children, viz.; Rebecca, Thomas, Isaac (1st), Alice, William Mary, James, Isaac (2d), John, and Isaac (3d). .
Third, William Jackson, fifth child above, born Feb. 21, 1705, married, Sept. 9, 1733, Katharine daughter of James and Katharine Miller, members of Tunahoe Meeting of Friends in Ireland. William died Nov. 24, 1785, aged eighty years. His wife died April 12, 1 781. He is described as a man of industry, frugality, and unswerving integrity."
Fourth, James Jackson, born Nov. 3, 1736, married Mary, daughter of Joseph and Susanna (Miller) Jackson June 19, 1760, who was born March 27, 1738, died Aug. 30, 1812. James died April 11, 1817. Fifth, Josiah Jackson, born Jan. 17, 1773, married Mary, daughter of Caleb and Ruhaney Sharpless, of Christiana Hnndred, Del., Jan, 30, 1799, who was born Aug. 26, 1777, and died March 26, 1817.
Sixth, James Jackson, subject of this sketch. On his mother's side he was a lineal descendant of John and Ann Sharpless, who left England on account of religious persecution, being followers of George Fox, as were also the Jacksons. They landed at Upland, now Chester, Pa., on the 14th of sixth month, 1682 (O. S.). Taking their few effects, they wended their way up Ridley Creek about a mile and a half, and, built their cabin in the wilderness, against a large rock He took up a large tract of land. most of which after the lapse of two hundred years is still owned by the Sharpless family. Josiah Jackson, father of James died when the latter was but twelve years of age. His mother being a woman of energy and perseverance took upon herself the charge of the homestead, somewhat encumbered with debt, kept her boys at work sending them to school only a few weeks in the winter season, and as they arrived at what she thought a suitable age, had them apprenticed to learn trades, much, however, against the wishes of her son James, whose strong inclination and desire was to study law with a view eventually of following that profession but being overruled in his wishes by his mother, he was sent to Dupont's Bank to learn the trade of a fuller, or woolen manufacturer. The society into which he was thus thrown would have wrecked many characters, as it was one in which hard drink was the custom; but his" Jackson firmness" preserved him and they and after serving his time as an apprentice, and remaining a short time as a journeyman, he visited home for a few months, and returned again to the factory, but not to tarry long, for scarcely had he commenced work, when he was called upon to furnish money to treat all the hands in the mill. Giving the money, he left his loom and resigned his place, where upon the foreman said to him, "Jackson, I know what is the matter, I cannot keep a sober man in the mill
After this he bought a part of his mother's farm, and erected thereon a small factory, in which he carried on business a few years, during which time he mar-ried Abigail Rakestraw, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Lippincott) Rakestraw, 8th month 20th, 1829. Her father was the grandson of Anthony Rakestraw, who emigrated from Wales. Her mother was of English extraction, her ancestry being traced back to the Lippincotts, who were also Friends and left England hoping to find religious liberty in the colony of Massachusetts; but during the terrible persecu- tions of the Friends there they returned to the mother-country, but afterwards tried their fortunes in the New World in New Jersey, about the time of the settlement of Pennsylvania
Jackson continued to carry on the factory about two years after his marriage, but it not agreeing with his health to work in the mill, he sold his small farm and factory, and bought a much larger farm adjoin-ing, where he pursued the business of agriculture until 1841, when he moved to Bart township, Lancas-ter County, settling on the farm now owned by his son, James J. Jackson. Here for a number of years he carried on the lime business, also improved his farm, and erected thereon a full set of farm buildings. In the year 1872 he built for himself a new house on the part of his farm now owned by his daughter, Lydia F. Jackson, where he lived tilll his death, 4th month 6th, 1881. His wife died 9th month 3d, 1881. They were buried at the Bart Meeting-House burying- ground.
He was a recommended minister in the Society of Friends, was very liberal in his belief, subscribed to no creeds, dogmas, or traditions inconsistent with reason or philosophy. His was an every-day religion, such as Jesus taught, consisting rather in good works than in mysterious theories, that the profound-est intellect cannot unravel He was one of the early abolitionists, and his door was always open to the flying fugitive, whom he would help on his way to a place of safety. in 1852, during the excitement attending the" Christiana Riot," he was indicted for high treason, though he was not on the ground during the fight, but went there after hearing the reports of the guns. Through the leniency of the marshal Anthony B. Roberts, he was never arrested, but his family suffered great annoyances, the house being twice searched by bands of roughs who were hunting, for colored men he had had in his employ, and they often knew that spies were watching them. He was opposed to all war, was a strong advocate of temperance, not much of a politician, but, if he did vote, he was first a Whig and afterwards a Republican. As a money-loaner he was cautious, but very conscientious never taking a bonus from anyone, but often loaning his money below the legal rate. No man in his neighborhood was more uniformly respected. As a religious teacher he was most highly esteemed in the Society of Friends, and his memory is greatly re-vered, not only by his large family of children and grandchildren, but by the entire community in which he spent a long and useful life.
The children of James and Abigail Jackson are as follows: Mary R., born July 4, 1830, wife of Joseph H. Brosius, a farmer iu Sadsbury township (three children, Ella, IdelJa, and Anna Mary); Thomas R, born Nov. 28,1832, drowned Aug. 28, 1834; Eliza, born May 7, ] 834, wife of Thomas Baker, farmer in Coleraine township (five children living,-Abbie, Al-lison, James Eugene, Xanthus, and Lewis); Edith Ann, born July 22,1835, died Dec. 13, 1842; Lydia T., born April 7, 1837, lived with her father and mother until their death, at present time with her brother, James J.; William L., born March 15, 1839, married Lydia W., daughter of George and Hannah Walton, born Dec. 26, 1842, farmer in Sadsbury township (five children, Hannah B., James H.., Mary F., Elsie Louisa, and .Jessie W.); Thomas Elwood, born Sept. 5, 1842, farmer in Bart township, married Annetta LuciJla, daughter of Owen and Sarah Ann Williams, who was born May 14, 1841 (children, James Norwood and Thomas Baker); James Josiah, born Nov. 4, 1845, owning and occupying the home-stead farm, married Josephine, daughter of Abner and Abbie (Andrews) Davis, who was born March 16, 1849 (children, Abner Davis, Abbie, Attey Elwood, Bertha Kirkwood, and Ralph Garfield).