History of the Welsh Tract Baptist Church
Pencander Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware
NOTE: This is the text of a published history of this church, prepared in 1952, no copyright claimed. The text was scanned, and hopefully errors of transcription are few if any.
In sending forth this short history of Welsh Tract Church, (The oldest Old School Baptist church in America) it is with the desire that our people may be better informed as to the early days of the church in this country.
The minutes, church covenant, rules, etc., that are republished are copied from the original, just as recorded in the early days.
In preparing this work we have been favored with the assistance of a number of good friends of the church. We mention here a few who have contributed to this work. Mr. Edward Cooch who furnished the names of a number of soldiers and Patriots of the Revolutionary War who are buried in the church cemetery; Mr. O. R. Higman of Wilmington, Delaware who made the pictures of the meeting house; Mrs. R. S. Jarman and Mrs. E. S. Shakespeare who also furnished much information.
May this book be of much interest, and a source of information to our readers is our humble desire.
D. V. SPANGLER
CHAPTER I – OUR BEGINNING AS A CHURCH
In the year 1701 some of us (who were members of the churches of Jesus Christ in the countys of Pembroke and Caermarthen, South Wales in Great Britain, professing believers baptism; laying- on-of-hands; election; and final perseverance in grace) were moved and encouraged in our own minds to come to these parts, viz. Pennsylvania; and after obtaining leave of the churches it seemed goed to the Lord and to us, That we should be formed into church order, as we were a sufficient number: and as one of us was a minister: that was accomplished and, withal letters commendatory were given us, that if we should meet with any congregations or christian people, who held the same faith with us, we might be received by them as brethren in Christ.
Our number was sixteen: and, after bidding farewell to our brethren in Wales, we sailed from Milford-haven in the month of June, the year above mentioned, in a ship named James and Mary; and landed in Philadelphia the eighth of September following:
After landing, we were received in a loving manner (on account of the gospel) by the congregation meeting in Philadelphia and Pennepek who held the same faith with us (excepting the ordinance of Laying-on-of-hands on every particular member) with whom we wished much to hold communion at the Lord’s table; but we could not be in fellowship with them in the Lord’s supper; because they bore not testimony for God touching the fore-mentioned ordinance.
There were some among them who believed in the ordinance: but it was neither preached up, nor practiced in that church: for which cause we kept separate from them for some years.
We had several meetings on this account, but could not come to any agreement; yet were in union with them (except only in the Lord ‘s-supper, and some particulars relative to a church).
After our arrival we lived much scattered for about a year and a half, yet kept up our weekly and monthly meetings among ourselves: during which time it pleased God to add to our number about twenty members, in which time we, and many other Welsh people purchased a tract of land in New Castle County, on Delaware, which was called Welsh tract: in the year 1703 we began to get our living out of it, and to set our meetings in order, and build a place of worship which was commonly known by the name of, The Baptist meeting house by the Iron-hill.
In the year 1706 we, and the congregation (meeting in Philadelphia and Pennepek) appointed a meeting to come together once more, in order to try at union in the good ways of the Lord setting up our prayers and supplications on this great occasion and purposing to do as the Lord should give us light.
The following considerations induced us to come to the above appointment.
(1) Because they and we were desirous of union in the privileges of the Gospel.
(2) Because we were not like to gain them by keeping asunder from them.
(3) Because they without were taking occasion to mock because of so much variance among the Baptists.
(4) Because some of our members were far from us, and near them; and some of theirs near us and far from them; and that these members might sit down in the meetings next to them.
(5) Because, as we all came to the yearly meetings, we might have a general union at the Lord’s-table.
In the said meeting (after seeking God by prayers and supplication) we came to the following conclusion. viz.: That they with us and we with them might hold transient or occasional communion; but that we might not be obliged to receive into membership any that were not under laying-on-of-hands.
This agreement was set down in writing as follows:
“At the house of Richard Miles in Radnor, Chester County, and province of Pennsylvania, July 22, 1706.
The agreement of many persons met together from the congregation under the care of brother Thomas Griffith, and others, from the congregation (late under the care of our Church
[Two pages missing in the text at this point]
Communion and the truth of grace (as we hope) in some good measure upon one another spirits. We do solemnly join ourselves together in holy union and fellowship, humbly submitting to the Discipline of the Gospel and all holy duty required of people in such a spiritual relation.
We do promise & engage to walk in all holin’ss, godliness, humility and brotherly love, as much as in us lieth to render our communion delightful to God, and comfortable to ourselves and to the rest of the Lord’s people.
We do promise to watch over each others conversation, and not to suffer sin upon one another so far as God shall discover it to us, or any of us, and to stir up one another to love and do good works, to warn, rebuke and admonish one another with meekness according to the rules left by Christ in that behalf, &c.
We do promise in an especial manner to pray for one another and for the glory and increase of His church and for the presence of God in it, and the pouring forth of His spirit on it, and His protection over it to His glory.
We do promise to bear one anothers burdens and infirmities, to cleave to one another and to have fellow feeling with one another in all conditions both outward and inward as God in His providence shall cast any of us into.
We do promise to bear with one anothers weakness and failings with much tenderness not discovering to any without the Church, nor within unless according to Christ’s rule and the order of the Gospel provided in that cause.
We do promise to strive together for the truths of the Gospel and purity of God’s ways and ordinances to avoid causes, occasions of divisions and endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Eph. 4:3.
We do promise to meet together on Lord’s days, and at other times as the Lord shall give us opportunities to serve and glorify God in the way of his worship, to edifie one another and contrive the good of His Church, &c.
We do promise according to our ability, or as God shall bless us with the good things of this world to communicate to the necessity of the church.
These and all other Gospel duties we humbly submit unto promising and purposing to perform. Not in our own strength being conscious of our own weakness, but in the power and strength of the blessed God, whose we are, and whom we desire to serve, to whom be glory now and forevermore. Amen.
We whose names are under written, endeavored to adhere to the foregoing rules.
|Thomas Griffith||Thomas Wild|
|Elisha Thomas||Samuel Wild|
|Enoch Morgan||Thomas John|
|James James||Thomas John|
|Evan Edmond||Lewis Philip|
|Griffith Nicholas||John Devonald|
|Edward Edwards||Samuel Griffith|
|Richard Owen||David Thomas|
|Hugh David||Rees Jones, in all 30|
|John Griffith||Mary Wallace|
|John Philips||Elinor John|
|Antony Matthew||Elinor Morris|
|Rees David||Hannah Mileher|
|Thomas Evans||Mary David|
|Thomas Edmond||Jane James|
|Thomas Morris||Elizabeth John|
|Arther Mileher||Luce Edmond|
|Jenkin Jones||Joan Morgan|
|John Bolton||Rebeka Edward|
|John Edward||Caterine Edward|
|Hugh Morris||Rebeka John, in all 12.|
CHAPTER III – CHURCH DISCIPLINE – BY THOMAS JAMES
1 Tim., 5, 17. Let the Elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.
There is various opinions who these Elders were, but all agree that they were some officers in the Gospel Church, but we know who are the chief officers of the church in our days, that is, Pastors, Elders and Deacons, for these are the officers that do officiate in our church.
When can it be said that they rule well?
When they rule according to the direction of the word.
What is the duty of the Pastor?
The duty of the Pastor chiefly is to preach the word, Acts 6, and likewise the Pastor is chief moderator in the Church Discipline.
What is the duty of the ruling Elders in the church?
The duty of the Ruling Elder is to assist the Pastor in governing the church but not in preaching the word. Rom. 12, 7; 1 Cor. 12, 28.
What is the duty of the Deacons?
The duty of the Deacon chiefly is to serve in the outward concerns of the church and to serve tables, and they are intrusted with the stock of the church, to provide all necessaries for the church and the poor thereof. And they are likewise by their office to assist the Elders in discipline. Therefore these three set of officers are the chief managers in the church, but all the members of the church have a voice and a vote in church affairs.
When are the Elders counted worthy of double honor?
When they act the part of faithful Shepherds over the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood. Acts 20, 20.
By taking special care of the affairs of the church and watch over members thereof–to see whether they walk answerable to the rules of the Gospel, and, if any member walk contrary to gospel rule, to deal with him in gospel manner according to the heinousness of his crime, when their case comes orderly before the church.
What faults ought they to take notice of if they find any of the members guilty?
For a more particular manner, the heinous sins that the apostle mentions in 1 Cor. 5, 11-6, 9, 10, & and Gal. 5, 20, 21. Fornication, Covetous, Idolaters, Railers, Drunkards, Witchcraft, hatred, variance, Emulation, Wrath, Strife, Sedition, Heresies, Envying Members reviling and such like, and many evil branches grow on the above heinous sins that ought to be taken notice of.
Ought not the Elders and Church to forgive their brethren their sins whatever they may be.-Matt. 6, 11; Eph. 4, 30.
We must distinguish between transgressions done to ourselves and sins that and more immediately against God. Sins against the first tables are greater than the sins against the second A man may and ought to lorgive injuries done to himself. but can not forgive sins that are more immediately against God.
It is the duty of every Christian to forgive his brother all transgression done to himself upon his real repentance and true sorrow for it, but it is not in the power of man to forgive and discharge a sinner from the justice of God. If any offers to forgive sinners in this respect, as it is a sin against God, doth take upon himself the prerogative of God which is a presumtious sin, for there is none that forgive and discharge a sinner from his sins but God alone. Mark. 2, 7.
Therefore the Elders of the Church ought to be wary and careful how to deal with transgressors that are members of the church, and not to act hastily, on either hand considering that they are to act for God. For they are intrusted as embassadors for Christ, to manage the affairs of His Church here in the world, and when any member falls into sin and his case comes orderly before the church, they ought to be very tender hearted towards him, but not to wink at his sin lest they be partakers of his sin. 1 Tim. 5, 22.
But they ought to examine narrowly the truth and reality of the affair and the heinousness of his crime and deal with him accordingly and when he confesseth his sin and profess repentance they ought to be wary in receiving him except some frults of repentance will appear because men cannot search the heart to know the reality of his repentance: The safest way is to give reasonable time to prove the sincerity of his repentance that the church may be in some measure satisfied of the reality of his repentance and they are to deal with every one according to the heinousness of their crime.
There is more danger in receiving too hastily than referring for a reasonable time especially sins committed publicly in the face of the open world least they bring reproach on the Church of Christ and disgrace to themselves. 1 Tim. 3, 7.
Therefore they ought to act wary and wisely and use the likeliest way to save the church from ill spoken of by any and they ought likewise to do their endeavors to have the consent of the whole Church especially in every weighty matter.
The duty of the rulers of the church of Christ is very weighty and those who ruleth well ought to be counted worthy of double honor ‘especially those that labor in the word and doctrine.
Both officers and common members ought to strive to follow the advice that the apostle Paul gives to Timothy. 1 Tim. 3, 14, 15.
These things write I unto thee, that thou mayst know how thou ought to behave thyself in the house of God which is the church of the liviing God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
What is the duty of the common member of the House or Church of God!
Every member of the church ought to know how to behave in the House of God. There ought to be a strict order and solemn behavior in and among all the members of the family of the House of God.
Every one to behave in his own station as becometh the Gospel of Christ and if any of the members of the House of God walk disorderly the appointed officers of the house is to examine the affair when it comes orderly before them. 1 Cor. 14, 40. Let all things be done decently and in order.
The above instruction of St. Paul is to the officers of the Church, for Timothy was a minister, and not to the common member.
It is to be applied to every member, for every member of the church ought likewise to observe and know how he should walk and behave in the House and Church of God. It is the duty of every member to observe the Golden Rule given by Christ the Head of the Church. Matt. 1,18.
Is it not the duty of every private member to bring accusation to the Church against offending brothers when they cannot make it according to scripture rule without acquainting the Elders first?
No. For they ought to acquaint the Elders of the affair first and not declare it to the Church of their own heads, except they were requested by the Church to do so, otherwise it is irregular and disorderly and whoever be guilty of the like are guilty of church reproof. For God is a God of order and a strict order and decency ought to be in His house. Therefore if any private member hath anything in his mind to offer to the Church he ought to acquaint tile officers of the Church first, and the officers ought to consult with one another before they lay it before the Church that everything in the House of God might be carried on decently and in good order as becometh the affairs of the House of God, and this will be one means to keep peace unity and concord in the House and Church of God. For if any private member do take upon him the place and duty of any of the officers it is a great disorder. By so doing they take the duty of the officers in their own hands. When they see every private member intermeddling in the duties that they are set apart and ordained to officiate therein for it is vain to choose officers to rule and govern in the Church if every private member takes upon himself the government as well as they, for every one ought in his own station. Rom. 12, 9; 6, 7-8.
The Church is a state or body politic in which a strict order ought to be kept or else it will soon run into confusion, divisions and schism. Every church bath a power of government within itself and the officers of tbe Church are of God’s appointment in order to govern the same. 1 Cor. 12, 28.
And those that are Called and set apart to rule therein ought to exert their offices and govern in the name and fear of the Lord.
The officers of the Church of God ought to magnify their office that the Head of the Church Christ Jesus may have the glory and that the Lord Jesus may grant them the directions of His holy spirit shall be the prayer of an unworthy member of the Church of Christ.
April 27, 1773.
The above is a true copy taken from a piece that Thomas James, Esqr., wrote concerning Church Discipline which I think ought to be read every monthly meeting day of business.
CHAPTER IV – WELSH TRACT BAPTIST CHURCH MARKS 250th ANNIVERSARY
Services in Meeting House at Iron Hill South of Newark Attended by 200 From Five States, Who Hear Elder Pastor Extol Religious Freedom
Described as a symbol of “religious freedom,” the Welsh Tract Primitive Baptist Church south of Newark at the foot of Iron Hill celebrated the 250th anniversary of its founding December 9, 1951.
“As we come together to celebrate,” said Elder David V. Spangler of Annapolis, Md., who conducts aervices on the second Sunday of each month, “we are wonderfully blessed; we have religious freedom-the privilege to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience.”
200 FROM FIVE STATES
More than 200 persons from five states attended the anniversary services. In addition to Delaware, there were residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia crowding the small meeting house in Bencader Hundred. Many of these former members of the church moved away.
Elder Spangler, present pastor, reviewed the history of the church, which was founded by a congregation formed in South Wales in 1701. Welsh Tract is the oldest of the old school Baptist congregations in America. The present meeting house was erected in 1746.
During the Sixteenth Century, according to the pastor, the Baptists were called Anabaptists by their enemies because they insisted on rebaptising all who came to them for membership. They were of their faith and practice but a continuation of the followers of Novation, who withdrew from the Catholic Church charging loose discipline, and Peter Waldo, Fourth Century Baptist leader.
PERSECUTION CAUSES SHIFT
Elder Spangler said persecution was a factor that led the Welsh to east their “‘eyes to a new world, where they hoped to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience.”
The founding fathers of Welsh Tract, the pastor recalled, were 16 in number, and this “body of believers” landed in Philadelphia Sept. 8, 1701.
Early in the Eighteenth Century William Penn granted to David Evans and William Davis a tract of 30,000 acres, since ‘mown as the Welsh Tract. It was divided and deeded to the settlers from South Wales. The first meeting house occupied the same location as the present building.
The church itself is the mother church from which came churches in Wilmington, Kenton, and Mispillion. The present building was erected in 1746, but the first church building was erected in 1703.
Mr. Spangler also pointed out that the church kept remarkably accurate records, all of the earlier ones in Welsh, which have since been translated by the Historical Society of Delaware. The language of the services in the church was Welsh for the first 75 years or more.
Arrangements for the anniversary program were made by a group under the leadership of Edward W. Cooch of Cooch’s Bridge.
TWO HUNDRED FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY
OF WELSH TRACT CHURCH
(SIGNS OF THE TIMES)
On Sunday, December the 9th, the “Welsh Tract,” Old School Baptist Church, at Newark, Delaware, celebrated its two hundred and fiftieth Anniversary. The church was organized in Wales in 1701, and emigrated to this country as a regular constituted church.
This is the oldest Old School Baptist Church in America. I have been requested by several to give an account of the meeting through our paper, as it would be of interest to our readers.
D. V. SPANGLER, Pastor
In the Month of June, 1701, this body of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, later to be called The Welsh Tract Church, sailed from Milford-haven, South Wales, in Great Britain. The number was sixteen including their pastor. The names are as follows:
THOMAS GRIFFITH, Pastor
They landed in Philadelphia, September 8th of the same year, and continued in that vicinity for about a year and a half. They were received by a congregation meeting in Philadelphia in a loving manner, as both held the same faith; There was a difference in belief about the ordinance of laying on of hands of newly Baptised persons. The Welsh Tract brethren held this as a gospel ordinance, the Church in Philadelphia did not. This caused some conflict between them for some time, but was finally settled to the extent that all could commune together at the bord’s Table.
Early in the eighteenth century William Penn granted to David Evans and William Davis a tract of land of thirty thousand acres. This tract has since been know as “The Welsh Tract.” This land was to be divided and deeded to settlers from South Wales.
To this place moved the Welsh Baptist church, and in 1703 built a log meeting house in which they worshiped until the present structure was erected in 1746. The first house occupied the same location as this present building.
The bricks in the present house were brought from England, and carried by mule-back from Newcastle to the present location. It is reported that these mules were led by women members of the congregation.
In 1680 representatives of over one hundred congregations of Baptists from England and Wales, meeting in London, put forth what is generally known as “The London Confession of Faith.,” There articles of faith were adopted by this church in February 1716. It is mentioned in the original church records that this confession of faith held the following principles of Faith; believers Baptism; election and final perseverance of the Saints.
These Articles of faith were translated into the Welsh Language by Abel Morgan, to which was added an article relative to laying on of hands; singing Psalms; and church Covenant.
The first pastor died June 25th, 1725, living about twenty years after immigrating to these shores.
As the Church was composed of Welsh People, the preaching for about one hundred years was in the Welsh language.
This was one of the five original churches forming the Philadelphia Association in 1707, and according to history was for many years the most influential member of that body.
Ministers who have served this church as pastors are as follows in order:
Thomas Griffith, Elisha Thomas, M. E. Thomas, Enoch Morgan, Owen Thomas, David Davis, John Sutton, John Boggs. Also Gideon Farrell, Stephen M. Woolford, Samuel Trott, William K. Robinson, Thomas Barton, G. W. Staten, William Grafton, Joseph Staton, John Eubanks, H. H. Lefferts and D. V. Spangler, present pastor. There may have been others, but according to the information I have been able to obtain, this is the complete list.
This list includes eighteen names. These pastors served nearly two hundred and fifty years in all, and the average time of service of each would be about fourteen years.
Buried in the church cemetery are nine former pastors as follows: M. E. Thomas, David Davis, John Boggs, Gideon Farrell, Enoch Morgan, William K. Robinson, G. W. Staten, Joseph Staton and John Eubanks. There may be others.
Buried here are other noted ministers who did not serve here as pastors, among them is Elder B. F. Coulter.
On September the 3rd, 1777, the meeting house took part in a military engagement. The Americans after being driven from Cooch’s bridge retreated along Christiana and made their last stand under the shelter of the church walls. At this time a cannon ball is said to have passed through the building.
A few of the prominent descendants of Welsh Tract include President Garfield of the Union, Davis of the Confederacy, Senator Chamerblain of Oregon and John Griffith McCullough former governor of Vermont. In 1894 he erected two of the large monuments in the cemetery in memory of his Griffith and McCullough ancestors.
Today as we come together to celebrate the two-hundred and fiftieth anniversary of this church we are wonderfully blessed; We have religious freedom; the privilege to worship God according to the dictates of each one’s conscience.
Blessed to meet where the children of God have gathered to worship Him for over two hundred years. Here around this meeting house sleep many precious loved ones who continued steadfast in the Apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, and breaking bread, and prayer.
How thankful we should be to the Giver of every good and perfect gift. In the midst of rejoicing may we ever be mindful that we enjoy these things today through the tender mercies of God.
In reviewing the history of this church, we would do well to remember that the identity of a church, as the church of Jesus Christ cannot be claimed because of the age or length of time it has been in existence. Its identity is in the doctrine, faith and practice.
A church could be very old as an organized body; have articles of faith that would be in accord with the Word of God, and hold fast to the ordinances as taught in the New Testament, and then not bear the mark altogether of the Apostolic Church.
Neither can a church or denomination lay claim to Apostolic Faith and practice, because of the name it bears, the number of members enrolled, or its success in the eyes of men. The name is only one of the marks.
PRESENT BOARD OF TRUSTEES
A. C. RITTENHOUSE, President
B. S. SHAKESPEARE, Treasurer
L. S. JARMAN, Secretary
C. H. JARMAN
B. W. COOCH
J. L. HOLLOWAY
HENRY TOWNSEND, Sr.
This hoard of trustees have shown much interest in managing the financial affairs of the church. The grounds are kept in good condition, and the buildings in good repair. They deserve much credit for their untiring efforts to carry on the work assigned to them.
NAMES OF MEMBERS 1952
Deacon CHARLES H. JARMAN
RUTH S. LUCHT
HENRY TOWNSEND, Sr.
HENRY TOWNSEND, Jr.
The first marriage in Welsh Tract Church was Miss Philo Goudy and Calvin Jones in 1850.
The second marriage was Miss Louise Staton and Everett C. Johnston June 10, 1902.
The third marriage was Miss Mildred Jarman and Edward C. Person October 3, 1942, by Elder H. H. Lefferts.
CHAPTER V – SOME SHORT MINUTES OF THE MEETING TOGETHER WITH THE SOLEMN CHURCH COVENANT ENTERED INTO IN 1710–AND THE NAMES OF THE SIGNERS TO THE COVENANT
Some short minutes of the Baptist Church at the Iron-hill, in the Welsh Tract in New Castle County, in Pencader Hundred, in its first beginning in Wales, as follows as you may see in the Church Book.
The Lord was pleased to incline some of us to come over to Pennsylvania and we consulted with our brethren, and they advised us to be constituted a church before we come over and it was done in the year 1701. And we sailed from Milford Haven in South Wales, and when we arrived in Philadelphia, Peulpack and Philadelphia Church received us with christian love on account of the gospel, &c.
The names of those that were constituted a church in the above mentioned year are as followeth. The Reverend Thomas Griffith was Pastor. Members, Griffith Nicholas, Evan Edmond, John Edward, Elisha Thomas, Enoch Morgan, Richard David, James David, Elizabeth Griffith, Lewis Edmond, Mary John, Mary Thomas, Elizabeth Griffith, Jane David, Margaret Matthias and a Jane Morris in all 16.
These people settled first about Penipack, but in the year 1703 they purchased land in New Castle County which was called the Welsh Tract. In the year 1706, they built a meeting bouse which was called by the publick the Baptist Meeting House at the Ironhill, &c.
CHAPTER VI – “THOSE WHO WERE EXCOMMUNICATED”
The names of those who were excommunicated from the church together with the various reasons thereof:–
In the year 1714 Magdalen Morgan because she withstood the advice of the church relative to unscemingly dress which even the world thought to be unbecoming and which she wore and because the brethren learned that she neglected the church meeting and worship and because she refused to listen to the church through the messengers sent to her that she might not bring reproach on the church.
Joseph James because his associates are godless men and he spends his time with loud talkers and in the midst of disorderly nights carried to a great extreme. These two above mentioned were excommunicated by the decision of the church from its membership at the monthly meeting of the church Ap: 4, 1714.
In the year 1714 Evan Edmonds and Cathrine Edwards were excommunicated because they persisted in giving cause for men to judge and carry the scandal that they misbehaved themselves together in keeping company too often and too unseemiy, and because they withstood the advice of the church that they should not keep company together until they should be able to clear themselves from the scandal that they were bringing upon themselves: after waiting two years, without any change manifesting itself in their relations, it was determined in the monthly meeting of the church to excommunicate them from the church membership until such time as they should become blameless and should clear themselves of the scandal.
It was so announced July 3, 1714.
In the year 1716 Griffith Nicholas was turned out of the church for the following reasons:–
Hebroke his promise which he had made relative to a matter of business that existed between him and Brother Thomas John from Bryn. For this reason they both asked the church to arbitrate between them and they both promised to abide by the decision of the church in the settlement of the matter between them. Griffith Nicholas after making this compact broke it through disobedience of every single judgment of the church and not only that but he brought reproach on the church by asserting that the judgmen of the church was unrighteous. At this time in 1726 Griffith Nicholas, repenting his action, fulfilled his obligation.
In the year 1717 Richard Lewis was turned out of the church because he kept unseemly company with his neighbor’s wife and because he withstood the counsel of the church in urging him to clear himself from a reproach such as he was under. He was excommunicated until he acquainted himself with his faults and cleared himself satisfactorily to the church.
On April 4, 1717 John Pain was turned out of the church for gross misconduct in his life and for disobeying the rules of the church. John Pain afterwards repented in 1723.
In the year 1720 Richard Scary was cast out of the church the crimes against him as followeth:
May 31st, 1713 there were laid to his charge by the church two things (1) that the said Richard fakely accused this congregation of charging him with asserting that he expected salvation by his works.
(2) Affirming that the signing the articles of this congregation was partly imposed on him, which two accusations were found to be scandalous and therefore he to be under the censure of the church till penitent.
(3) And after that in the time following absenting himself from the meeting and disorderly communing with other people without giving the least notice to the church of which he was a member.
(4) About a year and one-half after when called by the church he was examined again about the aforesaid things but he lightly regarded the church and its counsel.
(5) And again at the same time the church condescended for to consider and contrive (if so be he was desirous for conscience sake in regard to those things in which he differed from the church in judgment, to transplant himself to another particular church which he liked best)-the most and best regular way in order for to have dismission from us and our commendation to that church. This also he slighted and regarded not.
(6) In consideration of the aforesaid particulars he was deemed to be a covenant breaker in regard to the church covenant.
Philip Truax was dismembered January 6th, 1721, the reasons for which you will find on page 17 of this Book.
Mary Rees was dismembered January 5th, 1723 the reasons being as follows: She withstood the advice of the church namely that she should not be attracted to a man who sought to speak with her relative to her marrying him. Withstanding this advice she listened to this man and married him in opposition to the advice and warning of her christian brethren and of her natural father. In this the church looks upon her as having broken the church covenant and also having broken her marriage vows with her other husband because neither she nor we know but he is yet alive. This terminates only on the death of one or the other.
Relative to Thomas Jones and Elinor (Eleanor) his wife, complaint about them came to the ears of the church of improper conduct of the one towards the other, with regards to the obligation of the marriage vow and with regard to minor improprieties in other things. When the church had summoned them before it to question them in these matters, it seemed right that it should place them out of communion for a time of probation with a view of reforming them by words of counsel and advice. After a little while the church again took their case under consideration, and getting no testimony of their being better but rather one tending against them, it seemed proper to send for them to come before it and after thus sending for them several times for some years and patiently waiting for them, they yet would not come. The church then deemed it proper in its monthly meeting February 6, 1724, because of their improper life and their absolute disregard of the church meetings and their disobedience to the call of the church-to excommunicate them as fruitless branches and degenerate persons.
The Bill of excommunicate of Abigail Thatcher. In the first place there was a complaint brought against the church that she was guilty of speaking a lie and that proved upon (against) her before the magistrate, and she was called to an account for it before the church. She told the church that it was wrong and desired time to clear herself; the church did grant her request and left her for a long time in order that she may clear herself from the said complaint and see how she should behave herself in the meanwhile, but instead of clearing herself therefrom she bought herself gullty of the same fact, as it was evidenced by creditable persons and behaved herself unworthy of the gospel as it is generally reported among her neighbors and also she forsook the meeting altogether.
Jacob John was restored May the fifth, 1770.
John Evans, Esq., was baptized June ye 30, 1770.
October ye 6th then was Martha Griffin received into full communion here being baptized in May last by Mr. Thomas Davies, then in Kent and came under Laying-on-of-hands before ye church in ye Welsh-tract where she was received.
November the third 1770, then was the Reverend John Sutton received into full communion by virtue of a letter from Scotch plains.
Novem: the third, 1771 then was David Miles and Levy Dungan taken into communion, at ye same was John Boggs baptized and received into full communion.
May ye second 1772 then was Enoch Morgan, Jr., baptized and received into full communion.
At ye same time was Joseph Griffith restored Sept. 1772 then was John Thomas bap. and received into communion.
CHAPTER VII – Revolutionary Soldiers and Patriots – Buried in New Castle County, Delaware
Boggs, Rev. John, b 1739, d 12-9-1802, age 63. Probably John Boggs of Whig Battalion.
Booth, Ebenezer, b 1732 or 1752, d 2-20-1904, age 52 or 72. Signed oath of fidelity at Elkton.
Cooch, Col. Thomas, d 11-16-1788. Col. of Lower Regiment of New Castle County.
Cooch, Thomas, Jr. Enlisted man in Col. Samuel Patterson’s Battalion. d Feb. 1785.
Cooch, William, Served as privateer, b June 5, 1762, d 9-25-1837.
Coulter, Patrick, b 1764, d 6-9-1848.
Eceles, Samuel, b 1749, d 9-18-1800, age 51.
Gottier, Frances, b 1747, d 12-11-1826. Took oath of fidelity at Elkton, Md.
Goudy, John, b 1764, d 1846, age 82.
Griffith, John, b 1765, d 1837, age 72. Oath before Thomas James, June 29, 1778.
Hugg, Benjamin, b 1755, d 11-21-1800, age 45. Armorour to Capt. Kirkwood.
James, John, b 1752, d 1-19-1811, age 59. Captain Whig Battalion.
Jones, Morgan, b 1758, d 9-25-1820, age 62. Private Col. Cooch’s Regiment.
Maxwell, Solomon, b 1742, d 4-19-1798, age 56. Issuing Commissary at Christiana Bridge.
McMullen, Samuel [crossed out and replaced with handwritten name Robert], b 1762, d 8-27-1813, age 51.
Menough, Isaac, b 1750, d 12-9-1826, age 76.
Middleton, Robert, b 1763, d 1-2-1805, age 42. Private McClary’s Company. On delinquent list.
Miles, James, b 3-13-1746, d 6-14-1797.
Miller, Hance, b 1749, d 3-21-1779, age 30. Oath of fidelity before Thomas James.
Miller, Hance, b 1743 or 1745, d 5-17-1807 or 1809, age 62. Private Capt. Thomas Watson’s Company. Oath of Fidelity.
Price, David, 1722.
Price, David, b 1693, d 9-20-1776, age 83.
Shakespeare, David, b 1732, d 9-29-1800, age 68.
Shields, Robert, b 1736, d 2-13-1792, age 56. Privat, Delaware Reg.
Simonton, John, b 1740, d 7-11-1797, age 57. Took oath of fidelity before James Black. Property damages by British.
Slack, Uriah, b 1759, d 9-10-1855, age 76.
Thomas, Thomas, b 1738, d 4-9-1781, age 43. Signed oath of fidelity.
Tyson, Mathias, Sr., b 1754, d 1829, age 75.
Underwood, Solomon, b 1740 or 1745, d Apr.28 1815 age 70. In Isaac Lewis Company. On delinquent list.
Wattson, John, b 1763, d 6-11-1791 or 10-21-1820 age 57. Private Carson’s Company.
Wattson, Joseph, b 1734, d 2-28-1790, age 56. Treason.
Wattson, Lewis, b 1765, d 3-4-1805, age 46.
Wattson, Thomas, b 1737, d 12-16-1792. Capt. Whig Battalion.
BETHEL CEMETERY NEAR HARES CORNER
Angier, Rev. Theodore, b 1754, d 4-20-1797, age 43.
Britton, Richard, b 1730, d 7-9-1802, age 72.
Hixharvey, James, b 1767, d 5-12-1826, age 59.
Mitchbell Richard, b 3-15, d 8-2-1801.
Scout, Capt. Augustus, b 1757, d 1-14-1815, age 58.
Stoops, Benjamin, b 1749, d 1825, age 76.
Vaughn John, b 1775, d 3-25-1807, age 32.
Welsh, William, b 1724, d 10-1-1805, age 81. Took oath of fidelity.
CHAPTER VIII – COPIES OF WIILS
COPY OF WILL OF THOMAS EDMOND
In the name of God, amen, I, Thomas Edmond, of the hundred of Pencader County of New Castle, yeomn being of perfect mind and memory, but calling to mind the mortality of my body (knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die) do this sixth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight, make this my last Will and Testament.
First, I recommend my soul to Almighty God, who gave it me, nothing 4oubting but I shall receive the same again united to my body at the general resurrection of the great day thro Jesus Christ my Lord, and my body be buried in a christian and decent manner at the discretion of my Executor hereinafter named. And as touching such earthly goods as it hath pleased God to bless me with in this world, I dispose of in the manner following, viz.:
Imprimis I give and bequ’eath for the benefit and support of ye gospel in the Baptist congregation in the Welsh Tract of which David Davis is now minister, the sum of two hundred pounds current money of Pennsylvania, to be laid out in Bank by way of a “found the interest of which shall be paid yearly and every year to the minister for the time being, forever by William Eynon and David Evans, whom I appoint Trustees over the same during their lives and at their death such other Trustees as the said Baptist Congregation shall unanimously appoint.
I give and bequeath for the benefit of the Baptist Church of Montgomery in the County of Philadelphia of which Benjamin Griffith is now minister, the sum of two hundred pounds current money of Pennsylvania, to laid out in Bank by Abel Griffith and Joseph Griffith now members of s’d Church, whom I appoint trustees of the same during their lives for to pay the interest of s’d fund to the minister for the time being, forever and at their lives to such other trustees as the said Baptist Church shall unanimously appoint.
I also will that s’d Abel Griffith and Joseph Griffith or heirs, exc. or adm. do raise and levy as niuch out of my Estate which is in them parts as will amount to tile said sum of Two Hundred pounds, and what of my estate that remains in them parts over and above the s’d sum I give and bequeath to s’d Abel Griffith and Jos. Griffith or heirs for their own use and behoof.
I give and bequeath to Mary Watson my daughter-in-law my chairs, my chests, horse and chairs and all my brason Vessels and my clock to her and her son Thomas Watson.
I give unto her daughter Hannah my chest of drawers.
I give unto Mary Price, daughter of Benjamin Price the sum of Twenty pounds.
I give unto Sarah Thomas daughter of Joseph Thomas the sum of Twenty pound current money of Pennsylvania.
I give and bequeath unto my well beloved friend William Eynon, whom I constitute and appoint my whole and sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament, my bed and furniture, my books and wearing apparel, Linnin and woolen as also all and every of my estate that be and remain after my funeral charges, legecies & bequethmenta are paid in those parts for his and heirs only use and behoof, and I do hereby revoke, disanull and make void all other and former Wills and legacies by me, made or intended to be made, declaring and pronouncing this only as my last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I, s’d Thomas Edmond have to this my last Will and Testament put my hand and seal the day and year first above written. Signed, Sealed and pronounced as his last Will and Testament. THOMAs EDMOND.
In presence of us
NEW CASTLE COUNTY,
July 21st, 1758.
Then personally appeared before me William Till, Esq., Register for the probate of Wills and granting letters of Administration in and for the County of New Castle on Delaware. Sam’l Platt, Zebulon Cantrell & Sarah Miles the witnesses to the foregoing Will and on their solemn oath declared they saw and heard the testator therein named sign, seal, publish and pronounce and declare the same Will for and as his last Will and Testament and that the doing thereof he was of sound mind, memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge. Wm. TILL, Register.
NEW CASTLE COUNTY.
(SEAL) I do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true copy of the Original of Thomas Edmonds remaining in my office at New Castle, in testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of the County as s’d this Twenty-First day of July 1758.
Wm. TILL, Register.
COPY OF WILL OF HUGH MORRIS
In the name of God, amen, I Hugh Morris, of Pencader Hundred, in the County of New Castle on Delaware, farmer, do make this, my last Will and Testament, in manner following, viz:
First, I recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it, hoping by the merits of Jesus Christ, my Redecmer, and at the resurrection of the Just shall be reunited to the same body again by the mighty power of God, and my body to be buried in a christian like manner after the discretion of my Executrix hereafter to be named.
I will that all my debts which in right of conscience I owe to any person or persons whatsoever to be paid by my Executrix in convenient time after my decease.
I give to my nephew, David Morgan, the sum of three pounds Pennsylvania currency. To be paid him within twelve months after my decease, together with my Welsh Bible.
I give and bequeath to my cousin, Hugh Evans, thirty shillings, to be paid him at the years end after my decease.
I give and bequeath to my servant maid Five pounds to be paid her as above said.
I give and bequeath to John Jones two shillings and six pence, if demanded.
I give and devise unto my well beloved wife, Margaret Morris, the plantation whereon I now live, during the term of her natural life only without any impeachment of waste, and after her decease my will and meaning is, that the said plantation be let out upon rent to the best advantage and afterward the rents thereof to he applied in manner following, viz.:
1. The sum of twenty shillings per annum to the Pastor of the Church at the foot of the Ironhill and to his successors and likewise twenty shillings for and toward the relief of any poor member or members of said church yearly, and likewise twenty shillings per annum for and towards needful repairs either on the meeting house or yard as long as it shall continue under the denomination of a Baptist meeting house, and further if any remainder or overplus may happen to be, my will is that the Elders and Deacons of said church shall distribute the same to pious uses as they shall think fit.
I give and bequeath to my good friend, Owen Thomas, forty shillings to be paid him as above.
All the rest of my goods and chattels and credits that I am now possessed of in and out I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Margaret Morris, whom I order in my soul Executrix of this my last Will and Testament, ratifying and confirming this and none other, and lastly I do hereby nominate, continue and ordain Richard Thomas and John Thomas to be my supervisors of this last Will and Testament during their being members of the said church, and after their dicease to the inspection and discretion of the then Elders and Deacons of the said church successively forever.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affix my seal this fourteenth day of November, Anno Domino, 1743.
Signed, sealed, published, pronouned and declared by said Hugh, as his last Will and Testament in the presence of the subscribers.
COPY OF WILL OF DAVID LEVELIN
I, David Levelin do make this my last Will and Testament in manner following:
I give and bequeath to my well beloved wife one-half of the Plantation that I flow live on during her natural life but when she dies her said share of the land shall be for the said use and purpose as rest of said land.
I likewise give to my wife one feather bed and furniture, and one horse of her own choice of all my hors:es and a good saddle and hridle, two cows, two calves and three hundred pounds in cash.
I give and bequeath to Ruth Davis my wife’s brother’s daughter the sum of One hundred pounds.
I give and bequeath to Isabel (blot in book) daughter of James McCoy the sum of (blot) shillings in cash if demanded (blot) person.
I give, bequeath and devise to my brother Thomas Levelin the other half of my ass ‘d land and plantation where I now live (under the incumbrance of my wifes life time of her share as above said) to him heirs and assigns forever if he comes to demand them in his own person.
I give and bequeath and devise to by brother William Levelin the other half of my ass ‘d lands and plantation to him his heirs and assigns forever under the incumbranee above said if he comes to demand the same in his own person but in case that one and only one of s’d brothers come to demand the said land and the other never comes to his said share that then my will that the one brother that comes shall have the whole land to him his heirs and assigns forever, under the above incumbrance upon condition that he will pay or cause to be paid the sum of one hundred pounds each in manner and form following that is to say, sum of fifty pounds of the same to the Presbyterian Congregation at the head of the Christiana Creek or New Castle (blot) be paid to the Deacons or Elders (blot) to be applied to the Ministry (blot) direction of the session thereof and (blot) pounds thereof to that of the Baptist Congregation near the Iron Hill in Pencader hundred in the county ass ‘d to he paid to the Deacons or Elders of the same to be applied to the use of the Ministry thereof by the direction of s ‘d Congregation.
But in case that neither of my s’d brothers come to demand s’d land that then the s’d land and plantation shall be for the use of the Ministry of the above named two Congregations in equal proportion and to be at the will of the s’d two congregations either to rent or sell the same.
And likewise I give and bequeath to the before mentioned Presbyterian Congregation the sum of one hundred pounds cash to he paid by my Exers. to one of the Deacons or Elders of s’d Congregation, to be applied to use the Ministry of s’d Congregation by the direction of the Session. And likewise I give and bequeath to the af ‘s ‘d Baptist Congregation the sum of one hundred pounds Cash to be paid by Exers. to one of the Deacons or Elders of tlie s ‘d Congregation to be applied to the use of the Ministry of s’d Congregation by the direction of the same.
I give and bequeath to my Step-mother Mary Wilson the sum of five pounds Cash, if the same be demanded by her in person.
I give and bequeath the remainder of my estate if any there be after paying the before mentioned Debts and legacies to my well beloved friend Thomas James.
Lastly I do make my and constitute my s ‘d wife and Andrew Kerr Exers. of this last Will and Testament revoking all others and confirming this to be my last. In writing whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Twenty Third day of Jan’y A. D. 1777.
David Levlelin (Seal)
Signed, Sealed, and delivered in presence of us:
Personally appeared before me Nathaniel Chestnut and Elizabeth Edwards two of the subscribing evidences to the above and foregoing Will and being duly sworn do declare they did see, and hear David Levelin sign, seal, publish and pronounce and declare the above and foregoing instrument of writing to be his last Will and Testament and that at the time of so doing and saying he was to the best of their belief of sound and disposing mind (blot) that they did sign their names as evidences thereon and at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other, and they did see James Biays sign as one other evidence at the same time.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand at New Castle the 8th of Feb ‘y, 1779.
G. BEDFORD, Regr.
I do certify the above and foregoing to be a true copy of the original Will of David Levelin late of the county afsd deceased as filed and recorded in the Registers Office in book L page 136.
In testimony where unto I have there unto set my hand at New Castle the Twenty Third day of April, A. D. 1782.
WILL’M CANNAN, D. Regr.
To thore of our readers who visit in the state of Delaware instruction is here given for finding the meeting house. The MEETING HOUSE IS LOCATED about one mile South of the town of Newark, Delaware. Follow the road leading due South from town for about one mile, and a sign will be on the right hand side of road marked Welsh Tract. This is a state marker. Turn right and the meeting house is only about three hundred yards away.
The regular meeting time is second Sunday in each month at 11 o’clock A. M.
This trip will be most interesting to all who are interested in the cause of truth, and historical places of interest in the United States.
The meeting house and cemetery are enclosed with a rock wall, with giant oaks in the background. The sexton’s house is located in front of the meeting house.
On the hill behind the meeting house is the parsonage. This is constructed of rock. There is approximately thirty aeres of land now owned by the church.
An invitation is extended to all lovers of truth to visit the place, and attend our services.
D. V. S.