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Northampton Township

Northampton Township municipal offices are located at 55 Township Road, Richboro PA 18954; phone: 215-357-6800.

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Northampton Township is a suburban community, approximately 26 square miles, located 12 miles northeast of Philadelphia, PA. The first Europeans to come to the Township were English immigrants who arrived with William Penn in the late 1600s.

It was these settlers who named the area after Northamptonshire, a small village outside of London. The Township was incorporated in 1722. By that time, Dutch farmers joined the English colonists to settle in places destined to become known as Richboro, Holland, Churchville, Rocksville, Addisville, and Jacksonville—all located within Northampton Township.

Source: Northampton Township

Beginnings [1]

The territory of Northampton was largely settled, in the first instance, by English Friends, who came to America with the founder of the commonwealth, or about that time. According to the map of Thomas Holme, the following were original land-owners in Northampton: Benjamin East, Thomas Atkinson, William Pickering, John Brown, Robert Turner, Anthony Tompkins, John Pennington, Christopher Taylor, Daniel Wharley, Samuel Allen, Peter Freeman, Richard Thatcher, Edmund Bennet, widow Hunt, widow Walmsly, Nicholas Walne, widow Plumly, Thomas Rowland, William Buckman, Joab Howle, Arthur Cook, George Willard, Henry Baly, Thomas Potter, James Boiden and James Claypole. Some of them came with their families, while others sought new homes in the forest of Bucks county alone. These names are to be received with a grain of allowance, on account of their imperfect spelling, and as some of these persons owned land in other townships, all of them hardly residents at all.

Thomas Walmsley, William Plumly, eldest son of Charles and Margery and the husband of Mrs. Hunt, lived only about a year after their arrival, and dying left their wives widows in a strange land. William Buckman, a carpenter from Billingshurst, in Sussex, a Welcome passenger, brought with him his wife, daughters Mary and Sarah, and son William. A daughter, Ruth, was born to them after their arrival. He took up a tract of land along the Bristol road, above Churchville, which extended nearly to Richborough. His second wife was Elizabeth Wilson, by whom he had four children, and at his death, 1716, his widow married Thomas Story, of Falls. His children intermarried with the families of Cooper, Buck, Blaker, Penquite and Heston, and left numerous descendants.

John Pennington purchased twelve hundred and fifty acres before leaving England, which he located to the northeast and adjoining, William Buckman. Arthur Cook owned a large tract on the northwest side of the township, next to Warwick, and laying along the Bristol road. Joab Howle came with John Brock as his indentured servant, and, at the end of his four years of servitude, settled in Northampton and purchased fifty acres near William Buckman. Thomas Walmsly arrived in 1682 with his wife and two sons, and settled in the lower part of the township on the Neshaminy. He brought machinery with the intention of building a mill, but died before he could erect it. William Plumly took up land in the southwest corner of the township, about Scottsville, and now part of Southampton. He died shortly after and his widow married Henry Paxson, of Middletown, in 1684. A thousand acres were surveyed to Anthony Tompkins along the Neshaminy, in 1685. Thomas Atkinson owned five hundred acres north of the road leading from Addisville to Newtown, reaching six hundred perches northeast of that village. Adjoining this tract on the north was John Holme, seven hundred acres, which he conveyed to Jeremiah Dungan in 1716. James Logan owned six hundred and fifty acres below Richborough, embracing the upper part of what is now Holland, and lying between the Newtown roads. In 1701 William Penn granted six hundred and fifty acres to Edward Pennington, of Philadelphia. The names of some of the earliest settlers in Northampton are not on Holme's map, among which is Cuthbert Hayhurst, who married Mary Harker. He arrived soon after the first immigrants, with four children, and his descendant, Shelmire Hayhurst, was living in the township as late as 1805. Of some of them nothing more is known than their names, while others are mentioned in connection with the townships in which they were actual settlers.

The Blaker family, which have become quite numerous and scattered over a wide extent of country, were among the early settlers of Northampton. They are all, so far as we have any knowledge, descendants of John Blaker, born in Germany, and appears to have become interested in America while he was quite young. A few years after he was married he heard of the tide of immigration from Holland to this country, and at once formed the resolution of joining in the movement if he could obtain permission to do so. Just how he managed to cross the ocean in a ship bound for Philadelphia is not clearly known. But we find that soon after his arrival, in 1683, he bought two hundred acres at Germantown of the Frankfort company of Rotterdam. His family at the time consisted of his wife and three sons, the youngest born on board the ship in which they crossed the ocean. The locality of Germantown, however, was not satisfactory, as we find that in 1699 he bought a thousand acres on the southwest bank of Neshaminy, in Northampton, which had been conveyed to Robert Turner by patent in 1690, to which he removed with his family. A dwelling house, near a fine large spring of water, was the first building erected on his thousand-acre farm. This portion of the land now belongs to the heirs of Charles Blaker, deceased, and is occupied [1876] by the widow and her son, John D. Blaker.

  1. W. W. H. Davis, The History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Doylestown PA, Democrat Book and Job Office Print., 1876
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