UNTANGLING THE WEBBS--THE ANCESTRY OF MARGARET (WEBB) EPPLEY:

Webb is the maiden name of Margaret Eppley, wife of Jacob of Somerset Co., according to the obituary of son David Eppley.1 Since Margaret married Jacob Eppley of Fairview Twp., York Co., Pa., and since the couple made their home in that community for the first ten years of their marriage, it seems logical to begin the search for Margaret's parents in that area.

Margaret was age 56 on the 1850 census and 65 on the 1860 census, so it appears that she was probably born about 1794.2 This would make her 5-6 years old in 1800, and 15-16 in 1810. There are only two Webb families with a daughter or daughters in this age range in Fairview Twp. These were the families of John and Joseph Webb,3 brothers, who were sons of John Webb "Sr.," pioneer settler of Newberry Twp., York Co.4

John seems a better candidate for Margaret's father than Joseph. John's dwelling was located closer to the Eppleys than that of his brother. Joseph Webb's wife was Mary Harris, daughter of George Harris,5 and Margaret Webb Eppley did not name either of her daughters Mary, nor were any of her four sons named Joseph. Margaret's eldest son was named John, but this was probably in honor of his paternal grandfather, John Eppley. A James Webb, who came of age on the Fairview Twp. tax list in 1821, was very possibly a brother of Margaret, since Margaret named a son James Eppley, and the name James does not occur anywhere in her husband's family. Since James Webb came of age in Fairview, he is likely a son of John, as Joseph Webb had already removed to neighboring Newberry Twp. in 1816.6

All of Margaret's children seemed to be given traditional Eppley family names, with the exception of her son James, and her second daughter, who was named Rosanna. I suspected that the name "Rosanna" might somehow hold a clue to Margaret's ancestry.

In 1994, Mrs. Alice Getman of Michigan, a descendant of Joseph Webb's son John, put me in touch with Pauline Ritchie of Ohio. Pauline's Webb ancestor, a John Webb born in 1813, resided in Richland Twp., Cambria Co., Pa. He married twice, his first wife being Frana Thomas, daughter of George and Eve Thomas of Conemaugh Twp., Somerset Co. His second wife was a cousin of his first, Frances Thomas Wiland, daughter of Benjamin Thomas, and the widow of Abraham Wiland.

Since the Eppleys were traditionally said to have settled on the Thomas farm,7 and since Margaret Webb Eppley was located in Conemaugh Twp. after her husband's death, this John Webb seemed a good candidate for a relative. John and his second wife named their eldest daughter Rosanna.

On John's marriage application to Frances Wiland in 1853, he stated that he was born in York Co., and that his parents were John and Rose Webb.8 At first glance it seemed unlikely that John and Margaret could be siblings, as John was 19 years younger than Margaret. However, a look at the 1810 and 1820 censuses for York Co., before and after John's birth, show only two John Webbs in York Co., and both are in Fairview Twp.

The younger John was a son of Joseph Webb. He married Elizabeth Grubb and had a son John b. 1827, who later moved to Blair Co., Pa., and then to Illinois.9 Thus this John could not be the father of John Webb of Cambria.

The other John Webb in Fairview Twp. was Joseph's brother, the man who was the prime nominee for Margaret Webb Eppley's father. The 1820 census shows that this John did indeed have a male child in his household under the age of 10 years.10 (John Webb "of Cambria" would have been 7 at this time). The formerly unknown wife of John Webb of Fairview could now be identified as Rose. Her real name was likely Rosanna, since two of her granddaughters were named after her.

John Webb of Cambria Co. is first located on the tax list of Conemaugh Twp., Somerset Co., Pa. as a single freeman in 1836. He appears for two years and then vanishes, showing up on the 1840 census of Richland Twp., Cambria Co. with a wife and one female child. He probably married his first wife Frana in Conemaugh, as her parents, George and Eve Thomas, resided there.

Since the Eppleys were said to have settled on the Thomas farm, and John Webb came of age in Conemaugh and married a Thomas girl, one wonders if other members of the Webb family may have migrated to that area. Did 13-year-old John Webb come to Somerset with his sister and brother-in-law after the death of his parents, or might the entire Webb family have relocated in Somerset Co.?

John Webb the father, disappears from the tax lists of Fairview Twp., York Co., in 1824, one year before the Eppleys removed to Somerset. No widow of John appears in Fairview.

If John and Rose went to Somerset with the Eppleys, they may not have lived long afterward. Neither appear on the tax lists of Somerset, although it is possible that they owned no taxable property (John is taxed for only a single cow from 1817-1823 in Fairview). John does not appear on the census for Somerset, but he and his wife may have been enumerated with another family.

James Web, single man, appears on the tax list for Jenner Twp., Somerset Co. in 1826, the same year that Jacob "Aply," husband of Margaret, is first listed. This is just after the James Webb, single freeman from Fairview Twp., York Co., and probable son of John Webb, disappears from the tax lists there. It would seem that James Webb also lived in Somerset, perhaps briefly (One James Webb reappears as a distiller in Fairview about five years later), and Margaret may have named her son James Eppley (b. 1827) in honor of her brother.

John and Rose Webb had two other children, a daughter born between 1801-1805, and a son born between 1805-1810. They have not yet been identified.


RICHARD WEBB b. 9 Mar. 1656, Gloucester, England, the son of Richard and Mary (Heyward) Webb, both Quakers.* His birth was recorded at the Friends Quarterly Meeting in Gloucester.11 He m. ELIZABETH HOOPES, who was born about 1663 in Wiltshire.

In 1697 Elizabeth Webb, described as a (Quaker) minister of Gloucester, made a "religious visit to America." Her certificate from the Quarterly Meeting at Tetbury was signed by Richard Webb.12 She returned to England in 1799 and less than a year later she and her husband and family came to the Colonies and settled in Philadelphia.13 The family was accompanied by Richard's brother John and his family, Richard's unmarried sisters Mary and Rachel, and Richard's remarried sister-in-law, Hannah Lea (widow of Joseph Webb) with her husband and family.14

In February of 1710, Richard and his family were granted a certificate to the Concord Monthly Meeting (M.M.) in Chester Co.15

They resided in Birmingham Twp. where they were instrumental in founding the Birmingham Monthly Meeting, which began to meet regularly in members' houses in about 1716. In 1821, Elizabeth Webb conveyed an acre of land for three pounds to Friends for the purpose of erecting the first Friends Meeting House in Birmingham.16

Richard Webb wrote his will on 2 March 1819/20. In it he conveyed his estate, both real and personal, to his wife Elizabeth. He named each of his children who were living at the time and gave each of them one pound. The will was probated on 14 March 1719/20.17

Elizabeth Webb was still living in 1828, as the following is found in the records of the Concord M.M.:

"Elizabeth Webb, of Birmingham Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania in the year 1728 to one of her sons expressed herself thus:

`It has appeared to me very plain that the Time is coming in the Country when the people will get into Parties one against another and destroy one another and both sides will be in the wrong. And it has likewise appeared that there will be a People in that time that will not be a party on either side & they will be preserved as in a Castle, while the others are destroying one another.' Then she said to her son, `I shall not live to see it but don't know but thou mayst.' "18

Ch. of Richard and Elizabeth Webb:19

1. William Webb  b. ca. 1684, England;   d. 1753, Kennett, Chester Co., Pa.;  m. 22 March 1710, Rebecca Harlan.

2. Mary Webb  b. ca. 1687;   d. before 1 Oct 1743, Chester Co., Pa.;  m1) 6 May 1713, George Brown;  m2) 22 July 1721, John Willis;   m3) ca. 1740, Thomas Smith.

3. Sarah Webb  m. William Dilworth.

4. Esther Webb  m. 7 April 1718, Jacob Bennett.

4. Joseph Webb   (see below).

5. Benjamin Webb  d. before 1747;   m. 7 March 1725/6, Rachel Nicklin.

6. Daniel Webb  d. Oct. 1741;  m. 28 Nov. 1727, Mary Harlan.

7. John Webb  d. after 1747.

8. Elizabeth Webb   d. before 1719.

9. James Webb  b. 19 January 1708/9, Chester Co., Pa.;   d. 26 October 1785, Lancaster Co., Pa.;   m1) 15 April 1731, Martha Flemming;   m2) 15 December 1742, Hannah Evans;  m3) 10 August 1763, Mrs. Jane Edge Parke.  James Webb was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature for the years 1747-50, 1755-62, 1764-69, 1772-75, and 1777.

JOSEPH WEBB, son of Richard and Elizabeth, was probably born about 1696. On 13 September 1722, at the new Birmingham Meeting House, he married ANN WILLIS,20 who was born about 1702. She was the daughter of John Willis, who was born in London, England, 6 Mar. 1668, and his wife Esther Brinton who was born circa 1673 in Dudley Parish, Worcestershire, England.21

John Willis was the son of Henry Willis, born 14 Nov. 1628, Devizes, Wiltshire, England, and his wife Mary Pease (1632-1714). Henry, an early Quaker who immigrated to America in 1675, died on Long Island on 11 Sept. 1714.22 Esther Brinton was the daughter of William Brinton and his wife Ann Bagley (1635-1699). William was born circa 1633, in Nether Gornall, Sedgley Parish, Staffordshire, England, and came to this country in 1783. He died in 1700.23

Joseph and Ann Webb resided in Birmingham. The last mention of Joseph in the records of the Birmingham M.M. hints that he may have been disowned by the church. On 3, 6th month, 1741, we find the following:

"Joseph Webb complained of for accompanying his sister her marriage by a priest."

On 7, 4th month, 1742: "Joseph Webb refusing to make any satisfaction the meeting concludes that unless he make Friends some further satisfaction that we cannot own him as a member in unity of our religious society."24

Joseph's wife Ann died sometime between October 1741, when she is mentioned in the women's minutes of the Concord M.M., and 28 Mar. 1745, when her father wrote his will and left one shilling to "Joseph Webb the husband of my daughter Ann in her lifetime." (John Willis' other married daughters also received one shilling but it was bequeathed directly to each of them).25

Although the Quakers probably disowned Joseph, they did not put aside their sense of religious responsibility for his offspring. The Concord M.M. in 1756 received a communication from the Warrington M.M. in York Co. and reported "...there is three of Joseph Webb's children within the verge of said meeting, viz. John, William and Isaac, and as they have a birthright among Friends this meeting appoints John Taylor and John Townsend to prepare a certificate." The certificate was signed 3, 1st month 1757, and was sent to Warrington.

Ch. of Joseph and Ann Webb:

1. Isaac Webb  d. 1808, East Bradford, Twp., Chester Co., Pa.;  m. Elizabeth Webb, daughter of James Webb.

2. Elizabeth Webb   m. 15 June 1757, Londongrove, Chester Co.,  Pa., Thomas Dennis, and was described as the daughter of Joseph Webb of Lancaster Co.

3. John Webb  (see below).

4. William Webb

JOHN WEBB, son of Joseph and Ann, was born circa 1736 in Birmingham Twp., Chester Co., Pa. He migrated to York Co. in 1757 with his two brothers and settled in Newberry Twp. The records of the Warrington M.M. state that John's certificate was duly received from Birmingham, but that both he and his brother Isaac "declined joining with Friends." Three members were appointed to visit them. They must have been persistent, because the meeting reported in 1760 that Isaac, who had apparently joined Friends, had "removed to Sadbury" and a certificate was prepared for him. They further noted however, that "John Webb disregards his birthright."

The following testimony was signed against John Webb at Warrington M.M. on 11, 10th month, 1760: "...hath a birthright amongst Friends and might have known the way of truth, but instead of living under the true guidance thereof in his own heart, hath gone into a libertine way of living and married contrary to Friends rules to one not of our society." John Garrettson was appointed to read the testimony at Newberry, where John resided. It is unfortunate that as John's wife was "not of our society," her name was not given.26

On 27 Sept. 1784, John received a Warrant for 200 acres of land in Newberry Twp. John apparently took up this land as early as 1 Mar. 1764, as he was required to pay interest beginning at that date. John's land adjoined that of George Harris, whose daughter would later marry John's son Joseph.27

In 1779, 1780 and 1781, John is taxed on 50 acres, and in 1782 for 100 acres. His occupation is given as a tanner.28 In 1783, John was taxed for 100 acres, 4 cows, 3 horses, 6 sheep. His household consisted of 10 inhabitants. He was taxed in 1795 for 150 acres. In 1803, Fairview Twp. was created from Newberry, and John Webb was listed in the new township with 150 acres for the years 1803-7. In 1807 his acreage was 172 acres, possibly indicating that it had just been surveyed.29

During the American Revolution, John was somewhat of a colorful figure. A document found at the York County Historical Society describes some of his activities:

"Wheras Insinstion? heath been maid untwo the Comitee of Newbry Township In the County of York that John Weeb of sd Township heath threaned (threatened) the Continantal Congrass and all the officers of the Comattee That Intends to soport the Resolves of the assembly of this provance and haeth proveded powder and armes to kill any person that Intends to disarm him and has told of many more that live in town and Huntonton Township that he can get to assist him in 2 or 3 days that will lay York Town in ashis and many other unkindly Expressions Contrary to the good order of the gloris and Common Cause and safety of the people."

John Webb was required to put up a bond of 500 pounds for his good behavior, and a Robert Miller, possibly a friend or neighbor of John's put up 250 pounds. John agreed not to be seen with "any gun...nor no other weapon of war nor to be seen holding any conversation with any of the Tory party." The document was dated 17 Feb. 1776, and John's signature was found at the bottom.

On 7 Sept. 1777 the following deposition was given at York by a certain David Welch:

       "York County personaley apared before me the Subcriber David Welsh and
       on his solom Oath doth depose and say that he was in company with John Webb              sum time last fall and that the said Webb said he had torey money and whigg                 money & he had a tore bill which he intended to give for asealpth (?) and he the              Deponant asked him what asealpth he wold give it for and he said he wold give it          for asealpth of the Congrass."

John is listed on the 1817 and 1818 tax lists for Fairview Twp. as an "old man." On the 1819 list we find "John Webb's estate." John wrote his will on 27 Sept. 1816, bequeathing all of his real and personal estate to his two daughters "Mary the eldest" and "Elizabeth the youngest." He appointed as his executors "my trusty friend William Heck of Cumberland County and my youngest daughter Elizabeth Webb."30 On 19 May 1818, William Heck renounced the executorship, so John must have died shortly before that date. Solomon Gorgas and John Bucher were appointed administrators of John's estate, and in 1819 they filed a petition which listed the heirs as: Joseph and John Webb, Elizabeth, Mary, and the wife of William Cox. In Dec. 1819, John's land was sold to Frederick Misch for $6.40 an acre. Mary and Elizabeth Webb received the balance of the estate.

Ch. of John Webb:

1. Joseph Webb   b. ca. 1762;  d. 1821, Newberry Twp., York Co.,       Pa.;   m. Mary, daughter of George Harris.

2. John Webb  (see below).

3. Mary Webb   b. bet. 1775-1784;  unmarried.

4. Ann Webb  b. ca. 1776?;   m. William Cox.   Ann and her husband resided in Allen Twp., Cumberland Co., Pa. In 1799 they sold their personal goods to Isaac Webb of Newberry Twp. This Isaac may have been a cousin, son of William Webb. An Elizabeth Webb and Abigail Webb were witnesses to the document. Abigail     Webb was the wife of a William Webb who died bet. 1830-40, possibly  another cousin.

5. Elizabeth Webb,  b. bet. 1775-1784;   unmarried.

JOHN WEBB, son of John, was b. circa 1766 in Newberry Twp., York Co., Pa. He married ROSE_____ circa 1792, when he first appears on the tax lists of Newberry. He had no property, but was assessed a "poll tax" of fifty cents. John's property from 1803 (when Fairview Twp. was established) through 1809 consisted of only a horse and two cows. In 1810 through 1814 he is assessed on 50 acres of land "formerly John Webb Sr.," but in 1815 the 50 acres is once more taxed to his father.

John is found on the 1800 census of Newberry Twp., and the 1810 and 1820 censuses of Fairview Twp. John's last appearance on the Fairview Twp. tax lists is in 1823, the year before his daughter and son-in-law, Jacob and Margaret Eppley, leave for Somerset Co. At that time he is listed as a laborer with one cow. His son James is listed as a "single freeman" in 1823 and 1824, then he too disappears. James appears to have migrated at least temporarily to Somerset Co., and John's son John later comes of age in Somerset. It is unknown whether John and his wife made the trip also, or whether they died in York.

Ch. of John and Rose Webb:

1. Margaret   b. 1794, Newberry Twp., York Co., Pa.;   d. 1876, Cook Twp., Westmoreland Co.; m. ca. 1817, Jacob Eppley (1792- 1828), son of John and Elizabeth (Derr) Eppley, of Fairview Twp. Six children: Martha, John, Rosanna, Jacob W.,         James and David.

2. James  b. ca. 1799. May have migrated to Somerset Co. in 1824, and returned to York Co. later. Possibly the James Webb who m. Elizabeth Fetrow in York Co., and d. in Cumberland Co. in 1849.

3. daughter   b. bet. 1801-1805.

4. son   b. bet. 1805-1810.

5. John  b. 1813, Fairview Twp.;  d. 8 Feb. 1890, Richland Twp., Cambria Co., Pa.; m1) ca. 1839 in Conemaugh Twp., Somerset Co., Pa., Frana Thomas, d/o George and Eve (Miller) Thomas;  m2) 26 June 1853, Frances (Thomas) Wiland, d/o Benjamin and Nancy Thomas. Children: Susan, Jacob J., Emanuel, John A., Rosanna, Harriet, Lavina. The last three were born to the second wife. He also had a stepson, Samuel Wiland.


NOTES:

* Richard Webb married Mary Heyward on 29 August 1654 in the parish of Painswick near Gloucester. According to  Pennock, Lukens and Webb Families (Stewart Huston, compiler, Coatesville, Pa., 1966), Mary's maiden name was Holliday. A Mary Holliday married Giles Heyward in 1649 in St. Nicholas parish, city of Gloucester. No children were found for this couple in the parish registers of Gloucester. This Mary may have been soon widowed and may be the woman who married Richard Webb. Not proven.

1. Ligonier (PA) Echo, 9 March 1904, obituary of David Eppley.

2. U.S. Census 1850, Conemaugh Twp., Somerset Co.,  Pa., p. 66, Margaret Eppley.  U.S. Census 1860, Cook Twp., Westmoreland Co., Pa.,  p. 41, Margaret Eply.

3. U.S. Census 1800, Newberry Twp., York Co., Pa., p. 218, Joseph Webb, (2 females under 10); and John Webb Jr., (1 female under 10).  U.S. Census 1810, Fairview Twp., York Co., Pa., p. 1076, Joseph Webb, (3 females 10-16); p. 1078, John Webb, (1 female 10-16).

4. York Co., Pa., Orphan's Court, M-413, petition on the estate of John Webb, 1819.

5. Information provided by Alice Getman, South Haven, Michigan, a descendant of Joseph and Mary (Harris) Webb, 1994.

6. Fairview Twp., York Co., Pa., tax assessments, 1803-1834.

7. Johnstown (PA) Tribune, 23 August 1915, Eppleys Hold Annual Reunion.

8. Betty Mulhollen, Births Marriages and Death Certificates, Cambria Co., Pa., 1850-1855, transcribed October 1972, published by the author, p. 24.

9. Information provided by Alice Getman, 1994.

10. U.S. Census 1820, Fairview Twp., York Co., Pa., p. 74, John Webb Sr.

11. Church Records of Gloucester, England, Society of Friends, marriages, births and burials, 1642-1729, including Gloucester and nailsworht. LDS film #441397.

12. Albert Cook Myers, Quaker Arrivals at Philadelphia, 1682-1750 (Baltimore: Southern Book Co., 1937), p. 18.

13. William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. II, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1969), p. 680, Records of the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting.

14. J. Smith Futhy and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), p. 760.

15. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. II, p. 680.

16. History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, p. 234.

17. Chester Co., Pa., Will Book, 1-82, Richard Webb, dp. 14 March 1719/20.

18. Records of the Concord Monthly Meeting, Chester Co., Pa.

19. Ibid.

20. Ibid.

21. Janetta Wright Schoonover, A History of William Brinton, (Trenton, N.J., 1925), pp. 133 and 134.

Note: The Willis Data in the Brinton book was taken from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. XV, October 184, pp. 170-176. The author of the Willis article apparently misunderstood the Old Style dating system, which began the year on 25 March. Quakers called their months by number, rather than name, and thus "1st month" was march, "2nd month" was April, etc. The months given for the Willis family members in the NYG&BR all differ by two months from the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, which gives the number of the month rather than the name. I have corrected the Willis data to comply with the latter. John Willis' month of birth is not listed in the Encyclopedia, but is given as January in the NYG&BR. This would have been "1st month," which should actually be March.

22. Ibid.

23. Ibid., pp. 97 and 98.

24. Concord M.M.

25. Chester Co., Pa., Will Book, 2-186, John Willis, dp. 16 August 1745.

26. Records of the Warrington Monthly Meeting, York Co., Pa.  LDS film #387937.

27. Newberry Twp., York Co., Pa., Warrent dated 17 November 1784, John Webb. York County Historical Society.

28. William Henry Egle, M.D., Pennsylvania Archives, Third Series, Vol. XXI, (Harrisburg: William Stanley Ray, state printer, 1897), pp. 35, 192, 444, 537.

29. Newberry and Fairview Twps., York Co., Pa., tax assessments, various years.

30. York Co., Pa., Wills, John Webb, dp. __-___-1819.

.....................................

Copyright 1998 by Kathie Weigel, Reseda, California

Note: I provided a copy of this article several years ago to Mrs. Pauline Ritchey, who included it in a home-made Webb Family Book which she provided to several Historical Societies. Although Mrs. Ritchey gave me credit for much of the info in the book, she did not specifically credit me for my article! The Cambria County Historical Society, I believe, has a copy of Mrs. Ritchey's book.


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