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 The Pennock family was a leading Quaker family in colonial Pennsylvania. The descendants are numerous. Three known books have been written about them:
The Pennocks of Primitive Hall by George Valentine Massey II,
The Pusey Family by Pennock Pusey, and
Christopher Pennock Genealogy, compiled by Charles A. Rudolph, 1959.

A note about the Quaker calendar. From the 12th century in England the year began with the vernal equinox, on March 25th. This lasted until January 1752 as the legal and civil year. However, from the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D. the first of January had been considered the historical beginning for the year. It was customary to use a system of double dating between Jan 1 and March 25, giving both years i.e. 11-8-1747/48. In Pennsylvania, where friends controlled the legislation for many years, the numerical form of dating was commonly used and sanctioned by law, i.e. eleventh month, 8th day, which would translate to Jan. 8, 1748 in the new calendar. Whenever dates were given with numbers we have left them as we found them.

Joseph Pennock was born 11/18/1677 at Killhouse, near Clonmel, Ireland. He was the son of Christopher Pennock and Mary Collett.

In the mid 1680's the family went to Philadelphia. Accounts differ as to when they arrived there.  George Collet, Mary's father was one of the original Penn Grant purchasers. Christopher went to Pennsylvania in 1683 perhaps to lay claim to the land. According to a brief bio of Christopher, which you can find on his file, Mary and her children went to Pennsylvania in 1687. Paul Rodebaugh, historian, in a news article in the Kennett Paper, gave a slightly different account. I don't know his source. He states that the family went to Philadelphia in 1684 but returned to Ireland in 1686. Mary was either very unhappy there or there were problems with the marriage because she did return to Ireland with her family and raised them in Ireland. Perhaps she was concerned about their education in a very new frontier town. The same Kennett article mentions that Joseph was educated in Ireland.

George Collet died in 1699. Christopher Pennock died May 31, 1701 in Talbot County, Maryland or Philadelphia.  Joseph was then 23 years old.

In 1701 Joseph set out to claim his land inheritance from his grandfather but was captured by a French war ship. He was a prisoner of war in France for nearly a year. The French and English were often at war and the story is believable, but I do not know the source of this event.   Finally in 1702 he settle in Philadelphia.

On 2/2/1703 Joseph married Mary Levis in her father's home in Springfield, Delaware County, PA. We understand that the house may still be standing and owned by descendants of Samuel Levis. The couple lived in Philadelphia where Joseph was a merchant until 1710 or 1714. He then moved his family to settle on 1200 acres in West Marlborough Township, Chester County that Joseph had inherited from his grandfather George Collett of Ireland. That land had been an original Penn Land Grant.

The family first lived in a log cabin until Joseph erected a large brick mansion they called Primitive Hall in 1738. Primitive Hall stayed in the family until 1960 when it was transferred to the Primitive Hall Foundation. The Foundation is a non-profit organization whose Board and many members are comprised of Joseph Pennock descendants. The house is considered one of the most important houses in Pennsylvania reflecting the sense of 18th Century solitude and strength.

In the stately house Joseph, then a Justice of the Peace, held court. A room in the basement even served as a temporary jail cell. Indians were always welcome. Joseph and two of his sons, Nathaniel and Joseph, Jr. served in the Colonial legislature. Joseph served almost continuously from 1716 to 1744

He was also active in the affairs of the London Grove Friends Meeting. In 1751 he transferred property to the London Grove Meeting. The deeds are found in Chester County, PA Deed Book H pages 199 and 205.

Joseph and Mary had twelve children:
1. Elizabeth born 1703 married Edward Tatnall
2. Samuel born 1705, died 1754 wed Elizabeth Widowfield
3. William born 1707 died 1763 wed Hannah Chamberlain and then Alice Mendinhall
4. Mary born 1709
5. John
6. Nathaniel born 1712 died between 1774 & 1786 wed three times: Jane Pusey, Ann Bennett, and Sarah Bourn .
7. Joseph born 1715 died 1800 wed Sarah Taylor
8. Ann born 1720
9. Sarah wed Humphrey Marshall
10. Hannah wed Jacob Marshall
11. Levis born 1725 died 1817 wed Ruth Marshall
12. Susanna wed Isaac Evans

Mary died 1-2-1747/8. Joseph continued to live at Primitive Hall until his death 3/27/1771.



If you know the answer please CONTACT US

1. Read the deeds.


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Maier_Associates: Copyright 2017

Doc; gppen09.html
Date created: 2/10/1998
Date updated 9/27/2013
Date edited 7/14/2017