The Founding Fathers

Ann Sotcher was my 7x great grandmother. She was born at Petworth, Sussex in 1665. I would not have expected to find that any of my relatives would have been likely to emigrate at that time, but look what happened to her younger brother John.

The following is an excerpt of a document that was kindly posted by a (very) distant cousin. The whole document had been ordered from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. It is item 96-05-30 and it details the research of genealogist Charles L. Early.

In the 1950s he submitted a detailed, sourced genealogy on the line of Willis Wesley Satcher. John is the 7th generation in this genealogy, the first being William Sotcher of Byworth, in the Parish of Petworth, Sussex, born about 1460.

Here’s the passage on John Sotcher, House Steward to William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania –

“John Sotcher, baptized at Petworth 31 Dec. 1668. In 1682, he was, on the order of the Sussex Quarterly Meeting, apprenticed to Edward Munery of Arundel (1682-10mo-25th). On William Penn’s second visit to Pennsylvania, John Sotcher accompanied him, sailing in the Canterbury from Cowes in the Isle of Wight on 7 September 1699 and landing at New Castle on 30 November 1699. He succeeded James Harrison as Steward of Pennsbury, serving in that capacity until about 1708, when he removed to an estate near Bristol on the Delaware. On 16 October, 1701, he married Mary, daughter of Thomas and Katherine Loftus of Bristol, England; this was the only marriage which Governor Penn is known to have attended in the Province. John Sotcher served as member of the Provincial Assembly from 1712 to 1722, and was for many years an Elder of the Falls Monthly Meeting, Society of Friends. He died 19 January 1729 and was buried in the yard of Falls Meeting House”.

Pennsbury was the name of Penn’s country estate and mansion in Pennsylvania. It was referred to as his ‘palace’. Situated in Bucks County on the margin of the Delaware River, below Bordertown, William Penn and his family lived there in 1700 and 1701. John Satcher (Sotcher or Sachar) and wife Mary Loftis were the stewards of Pennsbury from 1701 until around 1710.

This is an extract from William Penn’s Will –

“I give to my servts, John and Mary Sach…[sic] three hundred acres between them; to James Logan one thousand acres, and my blacks their freedom, as under my hand already; and to ould Sam 100 acres…..”

Grampa Jim

© Grampa Jim 2007