MARY HAWORTH MIERS
Sister of George Haworth, the Emigrant
By Don Hayworth ,
revised April 2012
, revised April 2012
Editor's Notes. Don Hayworth has researched and published numerous family history articles. These include Rita Hayworth and Daniel Boone, which can be seen on our "Family Notes" page. We very much appreciate Don's work. Don found additional information about Mary Haworth Miers, and revised his original article. Ron Haworth, Editor
What George Haworth wrote about his sister Mary!
In George Haworth’s first letter dated “26th of ye 8th Mo. 1699” (see note on Quaker dating system at the end of this write-up) to his family in England, he wrote as follows about his sister Mary and her family.
“After my dear love to you all, with my dear love to all my friends and neighbours, hopeing you are all in good health, as I am at present, blessed be the Lord for the same; tho I have been very weakly at Sea in the latter end of our Journey; but it pleased the Lord that I got well on shore at a place 100 Leagues short of Philadelphia, where I was informed that my Sister dwelt there at a place called Hurbills, and so in much weakness I got to the place and quickly found her, and staid there one week, and then set sail in a Sloop for Philadelphia for which I paid 5s. My Sister was in good health and she hath four children 2 Boys and 2 Girls and her Husband being well allso, and is a Hatter to his trade.”
In his seventh letter dated “ye 27th of July 1715” George wrote as follows about his sister Mary and her family:
"Two of my Sister Mary's children, John and Mary came to see me this Spring and they are all in good health, and Sarah, sisters daughter, is married to one Thomas Rowland and like to live well. Sister Mary owneth Friends, but her Husband holdeth more for the Church of England; but she hath brought up her children very orderly and they behave themselves very civilly amongst sober people, and their love is very respectfully desired to you all and they were glad to see and read the letters I received from thee."
Caleb Haworth wrote about Mary!
Caleb Haworth wrote about Mary in a letter from England dated “9th month, 25th day, 1826”. First Caleb wrote as follows:
“We have several letters from him (him being George Haworth, the emigrant - drh) from 1699 to 1720 and after his death the correspondence was continued by his sister Mary Myers (usually spelled Miers - drh) and her son John, to 1745.”
Caleb then continued with some details about Mary Haworth Miers and her family:
“Mary, the daughter of the said James and Isabelle Haworth married one John Myers, and both emigrated to America about the year 1697 or 1698. They at first resided on the sea coast bordering on the State of Maryland at a place called Harbills, where he followed the business of a Hatter. It is not known how long they remained here. But, in 1725, Mary resided at Lewistown in Pennsylvania, her husband having been then dead about five years, and left four children, viz., John, James, Mary and Sarah, two others having died in infancy. For an account of their descendants see the pedigree. Mary appears to have joined Friends many years before her husband’s death. He seemed more inclined to the Church of England. She died about the year 1728 and was buried at Lewistown in a piece of ground given by her for a Friends' Burial Ground.”
While Caleb’s letter provided some accurate information about Mary Haworth Miers and her family, his letter is inaccurate in several respects. The inaccuracies will be addressed in the following paragraphs.
Where is Hurbills, Harbills, Whorkill?
I became intrigued by the location where George visited his sister Mary. Since I could not locate any place called Hurbills, Harbills, or Whorkill (as James Rodgers Haworth wrote it in his book), I decided to do some research and find out where it was located. I soon discovered that the place was actually called and spelled “Whorekill”, which was anglicized from the Dutch name for the same place. The Dutch name was “Hoerekill” which translates as “Harlot’s River”. Whorekill has a long and interesting history under both Dutch and English rule, including the origin of the name, but that is another story. For a brief period of time the village name was changed from Whorekill to Deal. Later William Penn permanently changed the name of the village of Whorekill/Deal to Lewes, after Lewes in Sussex County, England. After the village name was changed to Lewes, the village was often referred to as Lewestown, although the name was never official. Use of the unofficial name Lewestown eventually ceased and the village was thereafter known as Lewes but often pronounced and misspelled as Lewis or Louis. Therefore, George’s sister Mary was living at the current location of Lewes, Sussex County, Delaware, in 1699 when George visited her.
When did John Miers and Mary Haworth immigrate to America?
Based upon George’s letters to his family in England, Caleb knew that John Miers and Mary Hayworth were married and living in America when George arrived in 1699. Caleb apparently just assumed that John & Mary must have immigrated together a year or two earlier than George without any supporting evidence. Caleb was clearly wrong! There is proof that John Miers and Mary Haworth immigrated separately before they were married and many years earlier than 1699 when George immigrated.
John Miers’ Immigration
On the “20th day of first month called March 1687-8” John Miers was a testator to the marriage of Thomas Oldham and Elizabeth Sikes in Lewes, Delaware (see Reference 7). In the “7th month called September 1688” John Miers served on a Grand Jury in Lewes, Sussex County, Delaware (see Reference 6). From these records it is clear that John Miers was living in Sussex County, Delaware, in 1688 and immigrated to America prior to 1688.
Anna Wharton Smith, an eminent and respected genealogist, states that John Miers emigrated from Wales to America in 1682 (see Reference 5). Smith cites no source for her statement and it cannot be verified based on the incomplete ship passenger lists. However, it seems probable that John Miers did immigrate to America in 1682 or 1683. Several of Penn’s 1682/83 fleet of ships carried passengers from Wales, including Dr. Thomas Wynne and his large family. John Miers’ parents, Ralph & Elizabeth, were Welsh and staunch devotees of George Fox, the eminent Quaker leader. They were familiar with and probably impressed by America based on Fox’s journal about his trip to America in 1671. (An Elizabeth Miers, believed to be the mother of John Miers, was one of only two women in the entourage who accompanied Fox to America in 1671.) Fox and his followers visited Lewes (known as Deal at the time) and spent some time on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the vicinity of Easton in Talbot County. It, therefore, seems highly likely that John Miers would have been on one of Penn’s 1682/83 fleet of ships. There is also evidence that John Miers’ brother Edward and father Ralph immigrated to America. No evidence has been located to indicate whether Elizabeth Miers also immigrated to America or died in Wales.
Mary Haworth’s Immigration
On the “8th day of March 1693/4” Mary Miers was called upon by Thomas Fisher to give testimony in court “relating unto his wife Marjeries patrimony in the hands of Doctor Thomas Wynn, deceased” (see Reference 7). (Note that “Marjerie” was Margery Maude, step-daughter of Dr. Thomas Wynne, prior to her marriage. The court case in question was related to property given to Thomas Fisher and his wife Margery by Margery’s natural mother Elizabeth, second wife of Thomas Wynne, after the death of Thomas Wynne.) This is the earliest known record of Mary Haworth (then Mary Miers) being resident in Lewes, Sussex County, Delaware. Thus, it is known that Mary Haworth Miers immigrated to America prior to 1694. The fact that Mary Haworth Miers was called on to testify (as an expert witness) in the court case cited above establishes that she was intimately acquainted with Margery Maude and the family of Dr. Thomas Wynne.
Anna Wharton Smith states in Reference 5 that Mary Haworth, along with her parents, immigrated to America in 1682 with Dr. Thomas Wynne and his family. While we know that Mary’s parents never emigrated and both died in England, Anna Wharton Smith was a careful and respected researcher and had to have some evidence to support her statements regarding the year of immigration for Mary Haworth and John Miers. Unfortunately, the author does not provide a source or substantiation for her claims. Mary Haworth is not listed on any of the incomplete ship passenger lists although she is listed as an “improbable Welcome Claimant”.
Since Mary Haworth lived in England, one must wonder how she might have known the Thomas Wynne family well enough to sail to America with them. Dr. Thomas Wynne was well known in both England and Wales as a Quaker pamphleteer and a “Speaking Quaker” so the Haworth family would have known of him even if they did not know him personally. However, it also seems likely that Thomas Wynne’s second wife, Elizabeth (Chorley) Rowden Maude would have been known to the Haworth family. Elizabeth was a native of Lancashire and was living there in Rainhill as a twice widowed lady when she married Thomas Wynne in her parent’s home. Following their marriage Thomas Wynne and Elizabeth (Chorley) Rowden Maude Wynne had a combined family of thirteen children: six Wynnes, one Rowden and six Maudes. The younger Maude children were near the same age as Mary Haworth.
I have confirmed that Dr. Thomas Wynne, the personal Physician for William Penn, sailed for Philadelphia on the “Welcome” with Penn in 1682. Thomas Wynne’s wife and some of their children were probably on board the Welcome with him. His daughter, Mary Wynne Jones, her husband, Dr. Edwin Jones, their two children, and his unmarried daughter, Rebecca Wynne, were on the “Lyon” 13 Aug 1682. His stepdaughters, Jane and Margery Maude, and probably his son Jonathan Wynne were on the “Submission” 2 Nov 1682. Another of Wynne's step-daughters, Elizabeth Rowden, brought two other daughters from Wynne’s first marriage, Sidney and Hannah, on the Morning Star, which sailed from Liverpool in September 1683 and arrived in Philadelphia on 14 November.
Mary might have been on the Welcome or on any of the other 1682 Penn ships, including the Lyon and Submission, as a servant or as a companion to the children of the Wynne family. It is known that the Wynne family took several servants along on the voyage and Mary may have been one of those servants. The fact that Thomas Fisher called on Mary to testify as an expert witness regarding the patrimony of Margery (Maude) Fisher “in the hands of” Dr. Thomas Wynne strongly supports the claim that Mary immigrated with the Wynne family in 1682. (See Reference 7 citation above regarding Mary Miers testimony in Court in March 1693/94.)
Mary Haworth’s marriage to Thomas Haslum
While Mary Haworth may have come to America as a servant in the Wynne household, it is also a possibility that Mary came to America to be married to Thomas Haslum and traveled with the Wynne family for convenience and safety. Whether Mary first knew Thomas Haslum in Lancashire or first met him in America, there can be no doubt that Mary Haworth and Thomas Haslum were married and lived in Lewes, Sussex County, Delaware; or, possibly, in a nearby Maryland county served by the Sussex County Court.
A reference to the marriage (no date given) of Mary Haworth to Thomas Haslum, before she married John Miers, can be found on the Familysearch.org website. At first, I was skeptical about this presumed marriage because no sources were cited and I had always believed that John Miers was Mary’s only spouse. However, after exchanging information with Dr. Maynard Mires, (see Reference 8) it became clear that Mary Haworth was indeed the widow of Thomas Haslum when she married John Miers. Dr. Mires wrote as follows:
John Miers' wife is often referred to as the widow of Thomas Haslum (or Hazelum) whom she married in Philadelphia soon after arriving in this country. He apparently died rather soon after this event, leaving her a very rich widow. She then married John Miers, purchased land down in Lewes, Sussex County, Delaware, and raised a family.
In a follow-up message Dr. Mires indicated that it was “family tradition” that both of Mary Haworth’s marriages took place in Philadelphia, but no proof of the location or date for either marriage has been found. He also wrote:
Numerous sources (which I no longer recall) always referred to Mary as "the widow Haslum"; even after she was married to John Miers and lived in Lewes.
Very little is known of Thomas Haslum. He was supposedly born in Yorkshire, England, about 1661. He has been described as a “wealthy and prominent member of the Society of Friends”. It is not known when he immigrated to America. The only information I have found about Thomas Haslum is in transcriptions from the Sussex County Court Records which are paraphrased below (see Reference 7 for complete transcriptions).
Item #1: 7th & 8th of 4th Mo. 1687 (Jun) - Thomas Hassellum (Haslum) was reproved for singing & making a noise in the hearing of the Court. When he cursed the Sherriff for trying to remove him from Court, saying “God damn ye”, the court judged him to be drunk and fined him ten shillings for cursing and being drunk. This shows that Thomas Haslum immigrated to America prior to 1687 and was residing in Sussex County, or one of the nearby Maryland counties served by the Sussex County Court, in June 1687.
Item #2: 1st Month 1689/90 (Mar) – The sale of six hundred Acres of land to Tho(mas) Haslum (and others) was acknowledged in open court; the deed is dated “the tenth day of the twelfth month 1689/90”. Another account of this sale reads to “Thomas Hazlecham in Maryland (and others)”. This shows that Thomas Haslum purchased land in Sussex County in February 1689/90 and was living nearby in Maryland at the time of the purchase.
Item #3: 4th – 8th day of 12th Month 1689/90 (Feb) - A Grand Jury was paneled, and Tho(mas) Hasselmn (Haslum) was among the Jurors. This shows that Thomas Haslum appeared as a Juror in Sussex County Court for the first time in February 1689/90. Since this date coincides with his purchase of land in Sussex County, Thomas Haslum may have moved to Sussex County from Maryland around this time.
Item #4: 1st – 3rd day of 1th month 1691/2 (Mar) - Tho(mas) Haslam (Haslum) served on Grand Jury. This is the last record of Thomas Haslum serving on a Jury in Sussex County. He probably died not long afterwards, since he served frequently during the preceding two years. (Note also, from an earlier record, his widow was married to John Miers when she testified in court as Mary Miers in March 1693/94.)
Item #5: 6th & 7th day of Dec. 1694 - John Miers produced an account in court due from Henry Bowman, deceased, to Thomas Haslam (Haslum), deceased. After being sworn, the Court gave him judgment against William Clark, administrator of the Estate of Henry Bowman, deceased. This is the most revealing of the five court records. It proves that Thomas Haslum died sometime before December 1694. It also proves that John Miers was married to Mary Haworth Haslum, widow of Thomas Haslum. (As the husband of the widow of Thomas Haslum, John Miers would be entitled by law to collect on a debt owed to the deceased, Thomas Haslum.)
Mary Haworth, John Miers, their children, and their Quaker faith!
Now that we have dealt with the location of Harbills/Hurbills, the immigration of both John & Mary, and the marriage of Mary to Thomas Haslum, it is time to address the children and family life of John Miers and Mary Haworth.
Mary Haworth was born about 1668 in Lancashire, England, the daughter of James Haworth and Isabel. She was the wealthy widow of Thomas Haslum at the time of her marriage to John Miers sometime after March 1691/92; probably in Sussex County, Delaware. John and Mary Mires lived out the remainder of their lives in what is now Lewes, Sussex County, Delaware, where all of their children were born and reared.
Note that Caleb Haworth is definitely wrong about Mary living in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, at the time of her death. Mary and John never left the area that is now known as Lewes, Sussex County, Delaware. The confusion about where Mary lived at the time of her death probably came about because there is a town in Pennsylvania named Lewistown and, for a period of time Lewes, was widely known as Lewestown (pronounced and sometimes spelled Lewistown), even though the name was never official. (Of course, officially the “lower counties” that comprise present day Delaware were part of the Pennsylvania Colony until the American Revolution. However, the “lower counties” functioned independently with their own separate General Assembly beginning in 1704; although they shared a common Governor with the much larger remainder of the Pennsylvania Colony. Caleb Haworth would not have been aware of any of these subtleties and could not have known that “Lewistown” and “Harbills”, as he called it, were one and the same.)
When Mary died in 1729, she left a will which named her children, grandchildren, and son-in-laws as heirs.
“Mary Miers, widow, of Lewes, died leaving a will dated 27 Aug 1727, proved 7 May 1729. Heirs: sons John and James Miers; Daniel Palmer, Jonathan Ozburn; daughters Sarah Ozburn, Mary Palmer; granddaughters Sarah Palmer, Sarah Rowland, Elizabeth and Sarah Miers; grandsons Joseph Palmer, Samuel Rowland, John Rowland and John Miers. Witnesses: William Burton, Edward Rickets, Judith Rickets.”
Mary is buried in a Friends burying ground in Lewes near Block House Pond on a one acre plot of ground that she donated and set aside as a Friends burying ground in 1727.
John Miers was born 1665 in Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Wales, the son of Ralph and Elizabeth Miers who became Quakers in Wales. John was a mariner by profession and immigrated to America prior to 1688; possibly in 1682 on one of the earlier ships in the fleet engaged by William Penn. (Note that Mires, Myers, Meres, and Mears are common spelling variations of Miers in the old Pennsylvania and Delaware records.)
After Mary and John married, she convinced him to give up the “dangers of the sea”. John then became a “hatter” and set up shop on Second Street in Lewes, Delaware. He became a successful businessman, and became quite an important man in the community (see References 4 & 7). He served frequently on Jury duty from 1688 through 1707 and was a Grand Jury Foreman in 1694, 1695, and 1703. He was Representative for Sussex County to the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1696 (Delaware was part of the Pennsylvania Colony until 1703), Overseer of Highways in 1698, and Justice of Peace in 1716. John and Mary also acquired a large plot of land in 1712.
“On 6 May 1712 Jonathan Bailey, atty. of John Mahan of Kent Co., acknowledged to John Miers and his wife Mary by deed of release a parcel of land, 400 acres, part of a 600 acres tract called Lebanon in Cedar Creek Hundred.”
When John died in 1721, he left a will naming his wife and children as heirs. His brother Edward was a witness.
“John Miers, of Lewes, died leaving a will dated 26 March 1721, proved 11 April 1721.
Heirs: wife Mary Miers; sons John and James Miers; daughters Mary and Sarah Miers.
Executrix: wife Mary Miers. Witnesses: Alexander Molston, James Simson, Edward Miers.”
John is buried in the Cool Spring Friends burying ground about 8 miles outside of Lewes, Delaware.
John and Mary’s children!
John Miers and Mary Haworth had six children as follow:
1. John MIERS b: first month, 28th day 1693 (28 Mar 1693), d. before 28 February 1749/50 – John was a mariner at the time of his death; following the first career of his father. John married Jane Brock and their marriage is recorded in the minutes of the Duck Creek Monthly Meeting. They had one daughter; Jane Miers m. Joseph Cord and no sons. John apparently married a second time, because his wife is called “Ann Miers” in his will. No record of a second marriage has been found and Ann’s maiden name is not known. John’s will is recorded in the “Sussex County, Delaware Probate Records 1680- 1800”.
John Miers, Mariner, will made 31 November 1749, proved 28 February 1749/50. Heirs: Wife, Ann Miers; daughter Jane Cord; Jane Rowland (d/o Samuel & Tabitha); Mary Palmer (d/o Joseph & Mary); Joseph Palmer (s/o Daniel & Mary). Executor: Wife Ann Miers. Witnesses: Tho(mas) Ozburn, Samuel Robinett, Ann Stuart.
2. Sarah MIERS b: ninth month 30th day 1695 (30 Nov 1695), d. 19 Oct 1766 in Kent County, DE – Sarah married five times and outlived all five husbands. Sarah’s first marriage was to Thomas Rowland. The Rowlands had at least three children: Samuel Rowland; John Rowland; and Sarah Rowland m. Joshua Fisher. Second she married Jonathan Ozburn (Osborn) and they had two children: Jonathan Ozburn m. Eunice Manlove; and Mary Elizabeth Ozburn. Her third marriage was to Samuel Blundel and they had a son James Blundel. Next she married Enoch Cummings and they had five children: Ann Cummings, Elizabeth Cummings, Mary Cummings, Jane Cummings, and Hannah Cummings. (Note: Elizabeth & Hannah were Sarah’s natural children. Jane, Ann, and Mary were her step-children; from Enoch’s first marriage.) Her fifth marriage was to Joshua Clayton and there was no issue from this marriage although he had a number of children from his first marriage. Sarah’s first marriage took place before the Cool Spring meeting was established and affiliated with the Duck Creek Monthly Meeting, so that marriage is not recorded at Duck Creek. However, her other four marriages are recorded at Duck Creek. In Reference 5 Sarah Miers is described in the following glowing terms:
“She was five times married, and was always an honored member of the Society of Friends. She is remembered as a woman of uncommon excellence in mental and personal advantages, an efficient manager of her own estates, and extensively esteemed for her usefulness and virtues.”
Sarah Miers grandsons and her son-in-law Joshua Fisher became central figures in a Revolutionary War incident that became an embarrassment and bit of a disgrace to the emerging American government. Joshua Fisher, husband of Sarah Rowland and son-in-law of Sarah Miers had established a large mercantile business in Philadelphia under the name “Joshua Fisher & Sons” by the time of the American Revolution. As conscientious members of the Society of Friends, Joshua and his sons felt obligated to take a neutral position with respect to the conflict and they continued to sell to both their British and American customers. The Provincial Government of the fledgling America ended up seizing all their goods and locking the doors of the business. The Government then issued arrest warrants for Joshua Fisher and his sons Thomas Fisher, Samuel Fisher, and Miers Fisher and they were duly arrested. They were never charged with any offense, but were among 20 members of the Society of Friends who were first detained in the Freemason’s Lodge in Philadelphia then exiled to Winchester, Virginia, where they were detained for eight months. After eight months of confinement they were ordered to be discharged, unheard, untried, as persons against whom no imputation could be sustained. They were released and escorted back to Philadelphia by order of Congress and permitted by General Washington to return to their homes.
3. Mary MIERS b: tenth month 5th day 1696 (5 Dec 1696), d, 1742 – Mary first married Daniel Palmer and they had at least three children: Joseph Palmer m. Mary Lay; Mary Palmer; and Sarah Palmer. Second she married Charles Dingee and they had a son, Daniel Dingee m. Esther Fisher. Both of her marriages are recorded in the Duck Creek Monthly Meeting.
4. James MIERS b: fifth month 14th day 1699 (14 July 1699), d. 1742 (lost at sea) – James apparently took over his father’s business, because he was a hatter until 1733, when he sold the business. James marriage to Margery Fisher is recorded in the Duck Creek Monthly Meeting. They had five children: John Miers m. Ann Cummings, daughter of Enoch Cummings; Hester (or Esther) Miers m. Charles Draper; Mary Miers m. 1st John Clarke, m. 2nd Andrew Collins; Sarah Miers m. 1st Jeremiah (or Nehemiah) Draper, m. 2nd Aaron Williams; and Elizabeth Miers m. Jonathon Manlove.
John Miers and Ann Cummings were the parents of Daniel Miers/Myers, distinguished Revolutionary War soldier and renowned “Indian fighter”, and a daughter Catherine. (Apparently, Daniel did not embrace the “Friends” traditions of his ancestors.) Daniel married Catherine (Catherina) Van Auken and had numerous children. Some of Daniel and Catherine’s descendants adopted the surname Mires while other descendants adopted the surname Myers. Curiously, none of his descendants seem to use the surname Miers.
5. George MIERS b: first month 12th day 1701 (12 Mar 1701/02), d. before Mar 1704 – In a letter dated March 1704 George Haworth wrote to his family in England that George Miers had died of small pox. Nothing more is known of George.
6. Elizabeth MIERS b: eleventh month 20th day 1703 (20 Jan 1703/04), d. before 26 Mar 1721 - Since Elizabeth is not named in her father’s will, dated 26 March 1721, it his known that Elizabeth died before that date. Nothing more is known of Elizabeth. (Caleb’s letter says Elizabeth and George died as infants.)
John Miers and the Society of Friends!
Despite George and Caleb’s observation in their letters that John Miers seemed to favor the Church of England, there is evidence that the entire family of John Miers, including John, were “Friends” in good standing.
John Miers parents became Quakers in Wales and his mother traveled with George Fox on his visit to America in 1671. There can be little doubt that John was reared as a Quaker. All four of the Miers’ children were married among Friends and their marriages were recorded at the Duck Creek Monthly Meeting. Both John and Mary are buried in Quaker burying grounds in unmarked graves; according to Quaker traditions of not being ostentatious.
Herbert Standing wrote about the Lewes Quaker community as follows in Reference 3.
“The Rowland and Miers families were associated with the Lewes Quaker community from early times. Samuel Rowland had come to Sussex County from England in 1682. His son, Thomas Rowland, married Sarah Miers, daughter of John and Mary (Haworth) Miers. James Miers, son of John and Mary, married Margery Fisher, sister of Thomas Fisher. As the years went by, the Fisher, Rowland, and Miers families became even more interrelated.”
John Thomas Scharf wrote the Friends residing in Lewes as follows in Reference 2.
“As early as 1692, the Friends residing at Lewes held meetings after the manner of their sect and in June 1712 a Weekly Meeting was established at the house of Cornelius Wiltbank. Members of that family, the Fishers, Miers, and some others constituted this meeting, which was attached to the Camden Monthly Meeting (in Kent County, Delaware).”
Note that prior to 1712, when a Weekly Meeting was established in the Wiltbank home, Friends residing in Lewes had no fixed meeting place and there was no Monthly Meeting near enough to Lewes to make attendance practical. This may have led outside visitors, like Mary’s brother George, to view the Quaker families in Lewes as lukewarm Friends. Perhaps, John Miers just enjoyed “tweaking” an overzealous George Haworth by pretending to favor the Church of England. I can imagine George asking John how often he goes to Meeting, where he goes to Meeting, and which Monthly Meeting he attends. John probably seemed unconcerned as he answered George’s questions with responses that were unexpected from a devoted Friend.
In 1720, when the Cool Spring Meeting was established about eight miles outside Lewes, most Friends living in Lewes began to meet there. The Cool Spring meeting was attached to the Duck Creek Monthly Meeting in Kent County, Delaware. As noted earlier, John Miers is buried in the Quaker burying ground at Cool Spring and Mary Haworth Miers is buried on a one acre plot of ground that she donated and set aside as a Quaker burying ground in Lewes.
1. Richard “Dick” Osborn - In 1995 Richard “Dick” Osborn was residing in San Diego, California. At that time Dick stated that he had done Osborn genealogy for 35 years. The family name was in earlier years spelled Ozburn, but evolved to Osborn over the years. Dick Osborn is of the same family as Jonathan Ozburn, second husband of Sarah Miers, daughter of John Miers and Mary Haworth. The exact relationship is not known, but this explains why his research included the Miers family. The results of his research are incorporated into various family trees now available on the Internet. The information provided by Dick Osborn is substantiated by numerous citations of source material, including the minutes of the Duck Creek Monthly Meeting. (Note that the birth dates shown in the various on-line family trees appear to have been incorrectly converted from the Quaker system to the modern system.
2. History of Delaware: 1609-1888: Local History by John Thomas Scharf
3. Quakers in Delaware in the time of William Penn by Herbert Standing
4. Lawmaking and Legislators in Pennsylvania, 1710-1756 by Craig W. Horle
5. “Genealogy of the Fisher Family” by Anna Wharton Smith published in 1896
6. Records of the Courts of Sussex County, Delaware, 1677-1710: Volume 1 & 2, by Craig W. Horle; published in 1991 by the University of PA Press.
7. Some Records of Sussex County, Delaware by C. H. B. Turner; published in Philadelphia; Allen, Lane & Scott; 1909.
8. E-mail Messages from Dr. Maynard Mires in early 2012. – Maynard Mires is a direct descendant of James Miers, son of John Miers and Mary Haworth. (Another line of descendants spell their surname Myers.) He is recognized as the historian and genealogist in his branch of the Mires family based upon extensive research he conducted “many years ago”. Most of Dr. Mires information came from the Quaker records in the “Collection at Swarthmore” and from the collections in the Georgetown, Delaware, courthouse. Dr. Mires was a thorough researcher, but maintaining traceability to his sources was not a high priority. He is careful, however, to distinguish between information that is “family tradition” and information verified by his own research. In April 2012 Dr. Mires was retired and residing in Georgetown, Sussex County, Delaware, not far from Lewes.
A Note on the Quaker Dating System
The way in which Quakers dated letters, minutes and other documents, particularly before 1752, often leads to confusion and results in many erroneous conversions to modern dates. Up to and including 1751 the Julian calendar was used in England, Wales, Ireland and the British colonies overseas. In these places the year officially began on 25 March. As an example, 24 March 1750 was followed the next day by 25 March 1751. In 1752 the law changed; the year 1751 began on 25 March 1751 and ended on 31 December 1751, which was immediately followed by 1 January 1752. It is important to note that in Europe and in Scotland the new calendar (the Gregorian) had already superseded the Julian calendar.
Quakers followed the English practice, with one exception. They objected to using those names of days (Sunday to Saturday) and months (January to August) which derived from pagan gods, substituting numbers. Thus Sunday was for them "First Day." Until 1752, they had no difficulty with the months September to December, which derived from numbers, but for the other months, they wrote out First Month, Second Month, and so on. They sometimes used Roman numerals (i-xii) for these, and sometimes Arabic (1-12). Numerically, March was first month and February was twelfth month until 1752. After 1752, all months were referred to by Quakers by their number. September became Ninth Month, which it now was, and so on.
January and February present some major complications dates before 1752. The English who were aware of the difference between the two calendars often "double-dated" documents by giving both their own and the Gregorian calendar year to avoid confusion, so that 8 11 mo. 1732 may appear as 8 11 mo. [January] 1732/3. The first 24 days of March present even greater complications. Often, but not always, these are double-dated: 12 1 mo. [March] 1708/9. Where they are single-dated, the writer is usually, but not always, anticipating the year to begin on 25 March, so 8 1 mo. 1734 is probably 8 1 mo. [March] 1734/5, but may be 8 1 mo. [March] 1733/4 instead. Only the original writer knows which was intended.
Be wary of the month for any Quaker date before 1752 that has been converted to modern style without also showing the date in Quaker style. Be especially wary of any date in January (11th month), February (12th month), or March (1st month) that has been converted, because both the year and month may be converted incorrectly.
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