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The Hoskins family came from Cheshire, England, in 1682, and settled in Chester, Pennsylvania, where “The Old Hoskins House” was built in 1688 on Edgemont Avenue, between Front and Second Streets, and was originally used as an Inn. The settling of the city of Chester was entered into with great enterprise and spirit, and those early pioneers established a foundation for all the requirements of living in that age. As early as 1678 they were engaged in laying out roads, building bridges, running ferries, and making possible intercourse between the settlements. Buildings were erected, with a large number to be used for Inns; meeting houses for religious worship, schools, courts where both women and men served on the juries; a House of Correction, where the so-called “Good Old Whipping Post,” Pillory, Tread-mill, Stocks, etc., were included; burial places were made by purchase of plots, including a negro burial ground; business and shipping flourished. We quote from Martin’s History of Chester, Pa.:
“Vehicles were not used for traveling in the early days of the Province. The Swedes used boats, as did also the Dutch before them, the creeks and rivers were the natural highways to these people in their own countries, and both nature and necessity made them so in ours. The roads were generally mere paths through the woods, which were free from undergrowth, from the habit the Indians had of firing the woods every fall.
The English settlers here traveled, of necessity, on horseback, both men and women. * * * In going to meeting on First-day, the women rode on a pillion, behind their husbands or some relative, and thus couples often came into Chester in the old times. It was impossible then to travel in any other way, the numerous streams, then much wider than now, were without bridges. The roads crossed the creeks where they were fordable; and the ‘King’s Road,’ from Philadelphia leading south, crossed all the creeks above tide water, and did not as the ‘Queen’s Road’ does now, pass through Chester, but some distance to the north of that place.”
In these later days when the use of pent-houses are becoming so popular, it is of interest to read a definition of the early days:-“A pent-house is so called, because there is a demi-roof or projection over the windows of the different stories to shed the rain, such as is found built in the old Court-House, and in almost all the ancient buildings in Chester.”
1. JOHN HOSKINS and his wife, Mary, came from Cheshire, England, and were among the pioneer settlers of Chester. He was one of the original purchasers from William Penn, and obtained a Warrant July 21, 1683, for 25o acres in Middletown Township, which was laid out on April 27, 1684. A Deed of William Penn’s, transferring a lot of ground in the neighborhood of Third and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia, is in the possession of Charles R. Hoskins. John Hoskins was a member of the Provincial Assembly, March 12, 1683. He was a Friend, and a man of education, and his name is mentioned in many important movements. He was one of “six viewers” at the December, 1699, Court, to lay out a roadway “for a convenient road from the West side of Chester Creek, where the Ferry is to be kept, for to lead to the now King’s road.” He purchased land referred to above on Edgemont Avenue, and lived on it. His Will is dated January 2, 1694-5, and was proved August 15, 1698, in which he is spoken of as of the county o f Chester, and the name spelled Hodgkinson. It was also frequently spelled Hodgkins. His wife, Mary Hoskins, served on a “Jury of Women” at Chester, on June 27, 1689, of which a full account is given in the Records of Chester County Court. She was active in Chester Monthly Meeting of Friends. After the death of her husband, she married in 1700 George Woodier.
John and Mary Hoskins had two children:
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John Hoskins, Jr., born 1677; died October 26, 1716; married 1698, Ruth Atkinson. (She died in 1739.) See below.
Hannah Hoskins, married 1698, Charles Whitaker.
2. JOHN HOSKINS, JR., born 1677; died October 26, 1716; married 1698, Ruth Atkinson. (She died 1739.) He was a man of ability, whose name appears in many Chester County Records. At the age of twenty-three he was appointed High Sheriff of Chester County by William Penn, and served consecutively, with the exception of the year 1705, from 1700 to 1715. Member of Provincial Council from Chester County 1682, 1683, 1703, 171o. His name appears among eighty-three on a petition presented on March 19, 1705-6, to a meeting of the Provincial Council in Philadelphia, as given in 2nd Colonial Records, page 244, as follows:-
“That whereas by ye laws of this Government ye sold power of laying out of the Queen’s Road is lodged in the Governor and Council,–and whereas the Town of Chester is daily improving, and in time may become a great place and very advantageous to the Proprietor, but fore as much as most of the People of that place concerned in the Improvement is much discouraged for want of a direct Road from thence to Philadelphia, wee, your Petitioners, whose names are hereunto subscribed, do beg the Governor and Council,–that an ord’r may be granted to fitt and proper persons to lay out the Queen’s Road on as direct a Line as can be from Darby to answer the bridge on Chester Creek; and your petitioners in duty bound will ever pray.”
John Hoskins, Jr., inherited the old homestead from his father, and made it his own home. He had five children:–
John Hoskins, born December 24, x699-1700; died March 29, 1780.
Stephen Hoskins, see below.
George Hoskins, born October 8, 1703; died young.
Joseph Hoskins, born June 30, 1705; married, first, 1738, at Chester Meeting House, Jane Fenn, a noted Quaker preacher. They had no children, and she died in 1765. In 1731 he made a voyage to the Barbadoes, and in 1739 was in Boston on business. After the death of his first wife in 1765, he married, second, Esther Bickerdike of Bucks County. His Will was proved July 21, 1773, in which he left £10 to be used in enclosing the burying ground belonging to the Friends of Chester Meeting; £30 towards schooling and educating such poor children of the borough or township as the Meeting thinks are worthy of such assistance; a lot of l00 feet square, in trust to his friends Henry H. Graham and William Swaffer, for the use of the inhabitants of the township, “for the Building and Erecting thereon a School House or School Houses or other Edifices for the Teaching, Instructing and Educating of youth therein.” His nephew, John Hoskins, of Burlington, was his heir and executor.
Mary Hoskins, born August 1, 1707; married about 1730, John Mather. He was a prominent citizen of Chester; Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. They had three children Joseph, Ruth and Jane. One of these, Ruth, married Hon. Charles Thomson, and inherited her grandmother’s property in Chester; Jane married Dr. Paul Jackson.
3. STEPHEN HOSKINS, second son of John and Ruth Atkinson Hoskins, born December 18, 1’01-2; married in 1727, Sarah Warner (nee Cowgill), a widow of Maryland County, Pa., and moved there. He returned to Chester in 1730, and settled in Philadelphia about 1743. He was Member of the Provincial Assembly from Chester County, October 4, 1737, one of the “three original counties”; Coroner of Chester County. His children were:
John Hoskins, see, below.
Ruth Hoskins, married Wilson.
Mary Hoskins, married Warner.
4. JOHN HOSKINS, son of Stephen and Sarah Hoskins, born in Maryland County, Pa., December 24, 1727; died in Philadelphia, March 27, 1814; married at Burlington, N. J., September 22, 1750,. Mary Raper, daughter of Joshua and Sarah Cooper Raper. (She was born October 8, 1730; died May 29, 1798.) He was the residuary legatee and executor of his uncle, Joseph Hoskins, who died in 1773. He had twelve children:
Sarah Hoskins, born December 9, 1751; died January, 1832 ; married Thomas Scattergood, an eminent Minister in the Society of Friends. (He died 1814.) They had two daughters:
Mary Scattergood, born March, 1784; died aged fourteen years.
Rebecca Scattergood, born October 3, 1790; died September 14,1855;
married Stephen Pike, and had three children:
Sarah Pike, born September 27, 1820.
Mary Pike, born October 19, 1822.
Thomas Pike, born September 25, 1824.
Raper Hoskins, born April, 1754; died 1798; married at Chester Meeting, May 2, 1781, Eleanor Graham, daughter of Henry Hale Graham. They settled in Chester in 1775, and had five children. See below.
Ruth Hoskins, see below.
Joseph Hoskins, born June 15, 1758; died July 30, 1827; married June 12,
1793, Mary Graham, daughter of Henry Hale Graham. They lived at
Radnor, Pa., and had six children. See below.
Lydia Hoskins, born December 1 1760 died January 26, 1840; unmarried. She was a Minister in the Society of Friends, who traveled extensively on religious missions, and strongly advocated the freedom of the slaves, in which work she was very successful. These trips were made on horseback, and over roads that were far from easy to travel.
John Hoskins, born February 23, 1763; died March 8, 1828; married Martha Treat, daughter of Dr. Treat of Burlington. They had eight children. See below.
Mary Hoskins, born May 9, 1765; died July 24, 1814; married twice; married, first, Samuel Newbold, and had one daughter Martha Newbold, who married John Thomas, and had no children.
Mary Hoskins Newbold married, second, Isaac Bonsall, and had a son :
Samuel N. Bengali.
Rachel Hoskins, born July 17, 1767; died unmarried.
Thomas R. Hoskins, born August 6, 1769; died 1797.
Caleb Hoskins, born April 15, 1771; died 1793.
Stephen Hoskins, born April 4, 1773; died September 14,
Abigail Hoskins, born October i9, 1775; died April 3, 1816; married John Griscom. They had eight children:
John Griscom, married Henrietta Peel, and had five children, who lived in New York.
Ruthanna Griscom, married William Dennis, and had two sons:
Abigail Griscom, married Samuel Gummerie, and had two children :
5. RAPER HOSKINS, son of John and Mary Raper Hoskins, born April, 1754; died 1798; married at Chester Meeting, May 2, 1781, Eleanor Graham, daughter of Henry Hale Graham. They settled in Chester in 1775, and had five children;
Abigail Hoskins, married John H. Warder, and had six children:
Eleanor H. Warder, married Robert Pearsall.
John G. Hoskins. Henrietta Hoskins. Graham Hoskins, married and had two sons. See below.
5. RUTH HOSKINS, born at Burlington, N. J., May 26, 1756; died
in Philadelphia, January 14, I829; married at Burlington, June 15, 1780 Joseph Richardson, son of Joseph and Mary Allen Richardson. See Richardson Family.
5. JOSEPH HOSKINS, son of John and Mary Raper Hoskins, born June 15, 1758; died July 30, 1827; married June 12, 1793, Mary Graham, daughter of Henry Hale Graham. They lived at Radnor, Pa., and had six children:
Anna Maria Hoskins, married Charles Roberts.
Dorothea Hoskins, married john Tyler, and had two children:-
Henry G. Hoskins, died about 1831.
Mary Hoskins, died about 1831
Joseph R. Hoskins
6. JOHN HOSKINS, son of John and Mary Raper Hoskins, born February 23, 1763; died March 8, 1828; married Martha Treat,
daughter of Dr. Treat of Burlington. They had eight children:-
Mary Hoskins, married November 13, 1833, Amos George of
Georges Hill, and had a daughter:
Susan Hoskins, married Joseph Griffiths. (He died August 5, 1854.) They had a daughter:
Raper Hoskins, married Anna Maria Stewart, and had children. See below.
6. GRAHAM HOSKINS, son of Raper and Eleanor Graham Hoskins, married and had two sons:
6. RAPER HOSKINS, son of John and Martha Treat Hoskins, married Anna Maria Stewart, and had children, of whom one son:
Charles Raper Hoskins, is now living at Upper Darby, Pa., and is the last of the Hoskins family. He has in his possession many of the family relics, including pictures of the two original Hoskins houses in Chester, which are thought to be still in existence; a cane used by the first John; the first patent from William Penn given to John Hoskins in 1684; portraits of Stephen Hoskins, 1702, and John Hoskins, 1717, and family manuscripts. This family represented the well known firm of William H. Hoskins Co., in Philadelphia.1
- Private Family Trees
- Private Family Bibles.
- Private Family Manuscripts.
- Letters from Charles R. Hoskins.
- Martin’s History of Chester, PA,
- History of Delaware County, Pa., by H. B. Ashmeade.
- Family Sketches, by Julianna R. Wood.
For fuller accounts of the family see Richardson Family, page 27. ↩