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  • ID: I00307
  • Name: Thomas MASSEY
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1663
  • Death: 18 NOV 1707
  • PROP: 12 DEC 1708
  • Note:

    "Lineage--THOMAS MASSEY, the founder of this branch of the family in America, left England in the employ of Francis Stanfield, of Garton, Yorks, and arrived in the New World in the ship Endeavor, 29 Sept. 1683. He settled at Marple, Chester Co., Penna., b. 1663, m. 2 Nov. 1694 [I have Nov. 7, 1692], Phebe, daughter of Robert Taylor of Clatterbridge [sic Clatterwick Farm], Cheshire, England, and later of Pennsylvania, and d. 18 Nov. 1708, having had issue, with four dates . . ."

    Source: Burke's American Families with British Ancestry, McAllister-Myers, Page 2819, Gen. Publ'g Co. (1975)

    Thomas Massey came to Pennsylvania on the "Endeavor" which
    carried a number of passengers from Cheshire, England and
    arrived at Chester County, Pennsylvania 1683-7mo-29. Thomas
    Massey then 20 years of age was one of 8 servants whose
    passage was paid by Francis Stanfield. Phoebe Taylor, then age
    13. was on the same ship along with her mother, five brothers
    and sisters, and her Uncle, Daniel Williamson. .

    Thomas Massey and Phoebe Taylor were married and soon after
    purchased three hundred acres of land from Jonathan Hayes,
    Phoebe's uncle. The land was in Marple Township where Thomas
    and Phoebe (Taylor) Massey spent the rest of their lives.
    The home they built has been preserved and is located just
    off present day Route 320 in the village of Broomall. A
    brick section was added to the first structure, a log
    house, by Thomas and Phoebe. Their son Mordecal replaced a log
    kitchen with a two story stone addition about 1730.

    Thomas Massey served as a juror, grand juror, road
    supervisor and constable during his life in Chester County.
    He owned nearly eight hundred acres at the time of his death.

    There is no indication that Thomas Massey was a member of
    the Society of Friends when he left England although he came
    with a group of Quakers. Phoebe's parents were Quakers in
    England and Thomas and Phoebe became members of Goshen
    Monthly Meeting in Chester County, and records of the births
    and marriages of their children are in the minutes of Goshen
    Meeting. Most of their grand-sons, however, were dismissed
    from Goshen Meeting for one reason or another.

    Thomas Massey died 1707 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. His
    will was probated 1708 and was recorded in the Philadelphia
    Will Book. He left his oldest son, Mordecal the home
    plantation in Marple Township. Phoebe was to have a lower room
    in the brick house. She was also to have a horse and a cow.
    James and Thomas were to divide the land in Willistown
    Township. Three lots in Chester were to be sold and the
    proceeds divided among his four daughters, Esther, Hannah,
    Phoebe and Mary. Executors were Henry Lewis and Phoebe Massey.
    Witnesses were Bartholomew Coppock and Jacob Taylor.

    Source: Duane Funk's gedcom on Rootsweb (WorldConnect) 847

    Thomas Massey found in:

    Passenger and Immigration Index, 1500s-1900s
    Place: Pennsylvania Year: 1683
    Age: 20
    Primary immigrant: Massey, Thomas
    Permanent entry number: 2012598
    Accession number: 8499027
    Source publication code: 5334
    Source publication page number: 38
    Source publication: MASSEY, GEORGE VALENTINE, II. "Passengers on the Ketch Endeavour." In Pennsylvania Folklife, vol. 18:1 (Autumn 1968), pp. 36-39.
    Source annotation: From Liverpool to Pennsylvania, 1683; mouth of the Delaware River, September 1683. Refers to 23 Quaker families, totaling 87 passengers from Cheshire, England, including their servants.
    Source: Passenger and Immigration Lists Index,

    Thomas Massey found in:

    Passenger and Immigration Index, 1500s-1900s
    Place: Philadelphia Year: 1683
    Primary immigrant: Massey, Thomas
    Permanent entry number: 2505416
    Accession number: 8499031
    Source publication code: 236
    Source publication page number: 83
    Source publication: BALDERSTON, MARION. "Pennsylvania's 1683 Ships and Some of Their Passengers." In The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, vol. 24:2 (1965), pp. 69-114.
    Source annotation: List of 21 ships arriving between 1682 and 1684 at Philadelphia and the Delaware Bay (p. 110). Also in no. 8370, Sheppard.
    Source: Passenger and Immigration Lists Index,

    Thomas Massey found in:

    Passenger and Immigration Index, 1500s-1900s
    Place: Pennsylvania Year: 1683
    Primary immigrant: Massey, Thomas
    Permanent entry number: 2012596
    Accession number: 8499032
    Source publication code: 8370
    Source publication page number: 89
    Source publication: SHEPPARD, WALTER LEE, JR., compiler and editor. Passengers and Ships prior to 1684. (Publications of the Welcome Society of Pennsylvania, 1.) Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1970. 245p. Reprinted by Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1985.
    Source annotation: This excellent work contains over 3,000 names and an index to vessels. Reprints the following articles with corrections, additions, and new materials: "The Real Welcome Passengers," by Marion Balderston (no. 242) pp. 1-26; "Pennsylvania's 1683 Ships," (no. 236), pp. 75-120; "William Penn's Twenty-Three Ships," (no. 248) pp. 27-69; "Early Shipping to the Jersey Shore of the Delaware," by Sheppard and Balderston (no. 8390) pp. 135-138; "The Philadelphia and Bucks County Registers of Arrivals," compared, corrected, and re-transcribed by Roach (no. 7585) pp. 159-175, from Futhey and Cope, no. 2313, and Battle, no. 418. Includes "The Names of the Early Settlers of Darby Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania," by Bunting (no. 1018) pp. 179-185; "The Sailing of the Ship Submission in the Year 1682," by Dickson (no. 1587); "The First Purchasers of Pennsylvania," by Roach (no. 7570) pp. 195-208. Also includes "Digest of Ship and Passenger Arrivals in the Delaware" by Sheppard, pp. 121-126.
    Source: Passenger and Immigration Lists Index,

    "THOMAS MASSEY doubtless came from Cheshire, England, where the family had been numerous and prominent for a long time. He was probably the Thomas Marsey who came over in the employ of Francis Stanfield, of Garton, in Cheshire, and arrived in the Endeavour, of London, George Thorp, master, 29th of 7th mo. 1683. In 1692 he married Phebe, daughter of Robert and Mary Taylor, she having been a passenger on the same vessel; and in 1696 he purchased 300 acres of land in Marple, adjoining that of Francis Stanfield. His death occurred 9, 18, 1708, in the 45th year of his age; after which his widow married Bartholomew Coppock, 3, 10, 1710, and died 12, 27, 1749. The children of Thomas and Phebe Massey were Esther, Mordecai, James, Hannah, Thomas, Phebe and Mary."

    Source: Samuel Lightfoot Smedley, Genealogy of the Smedley Family, Wickersham Printing Co., (1901), Call No. CS71.S637

    n 1683, at the age of eighteen, Thomas Massey left old England for the chance at a better life in America. As a member of the Religious Society of Friends (also known as the Quakers), Massey and his fellow believers were subject to fines and imprisonment for worshipping as they pleased and not supporting the official state church – the Church of England. Additionally, his prospects for property ownership were limited since very wealthy people owned most of the land. As a farmer in England he would have to rent a plot of ground and hope to eke out a living making just enough money to pay his rent. Wanting a better future, Massey joined the thousands of the “middling” and poor English, Scots, and Welsh who decided to “push fortune” and emigrate to a new North American colony established by prominent Quaker William Penn as a refuge for other Friends – Pennsylvania.

    Unable to pay for his passage, Massey struck a bargain with wealthy Quaker Francis Standfield, who also was headed for Penn’s colony. In return payment for his passage, Massey signed an indenture that required him to work for Standfield for a period of five to seven years. At the end of this time, Standfield, in turn, agreed to give him “freedom dues… according to the custom of the country.” In these early years, freedom dues in Pennsylvania included one new suit of clothes, ten bushels of wheat or fourteen of corn, one axe, two hoes and, most importantly, land. On July 11, 1683, Massey and seven other indentured servants in the employ of the Standfield family joined twenty-three other Quaker families and embarked on the “Endeavour” out of Liverpool for far-away Pennsylvania. The ship made landfall at Upland (present-day Chester) on September 29, 1683. Just twenty-eight days after he turned nineteen, Thomas Massey embarked on a new life.

    At the end of his time of service, Massey received his promised freedom dues – 100 acres of land near present-day Broomall - fifty from Francis Standfield and fifty from proprietor William Penn. Now an independent landowner, he worked quickly to clear some of his ground, build a shelter, and plant crops. In short order, he built a log home and began to farm. In 1692, Massey married twenty-two-year-old Phebe Taylor and began to raise a family. Four years later, he was able to buy an additional two hundred acres of land from James Standfield, the son of his former master. In the same year he started to build a brick addition to his log cabin for his wife and their two young children, Ester and Mordecai. When finished, the new brick home contained a walk-in fireplace and beehive oven (a domed oven for baking, built into the side of the house).

    Measured by the standards of the day, a new brick home was a substantial accomplishment that indicated Massey’s success. Comfort and security, a beautiful brick house, a 300-acre plantation, and freedom of worship was more – much more – than he ever could have expected back in England. When Thomas Massey died in 1708, he left his home and property to his eldest son Mordecai, who remodeled the house in the early 1730s and tore down the original log cabin, replacing it with a stone addition and kitchen. In 1964 a Massey descendant, Lawrence M.C. Smith, saved the home from demolition by buying it and donating it to Marple Township for preservation. Today, the restored Thomas Massey home sits on one acre of his former plantation. It is open to the public by appointment.

    Thomas Massey’s rise from indentured servant to an independent farmer, homeowner and landowner demonstrated the opportunities that drew more Europeans to Pennsylvania than to any of Britain’s other North American colonies in the eighteenth century. His experience and the experiences of others like him, inspired tens of thousands in the eighteenth century to come to a place that many people by the 1720s were calling “the best poor man’s country in the world.” Farmers like Massey and his descendants, and the descendants of so many other immigrants who followed, were the foundation of Pennsylvania’s economy and the backbone of its society for generations to come.
    Beyond the Marker
    James T. Lemon, The Best Poor Man’s Country: A Geographical Study of Early Southeastern
    Pennsylvania (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972).

    Sharon Salinger, To Serve Well and Faithfully," Labor and Indentured Servants in
    Pennsylvania, 1682-1800 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

    Marple Net online, "1696 Thomas Massey House":


    The Thomas Massey House is a monument to the American dream – the home of an indentured servant who became a landowner, and like the American dream the house has endured over 300 years. The Thomas Massey House is one of the oldest English Quaker homes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is on the National Register of Historical Places, and the Historical American Building Survey.

    The Thomas Massey House is unique because so much of the original fabric has survived. The 1696 brick portion was built by Thomas Massey as an addition to the existing log or frame house. In 1731 his son, Mordecai, replaced the log or frame house with a stone section. During the restoration, evidence of a walk-in-fireplace and beehive oven was discovered. These features have been reconstructed and are in use today.

    Ninety-three years before the Declaration of Independence was signed, a group of people, known as The Society of Friends departed England to come to Pennsylvania where they could practice religious freedom. A part of this group of Friends, or Quakers, came on the Ketch “Endeavor”, arriving in the Delaware River on September 29, 1683, and disembarked at Upland, which is now Chester.

    Thomas Massey was born in the village of Marpoole (Marple) in Cheshire, England. Arriving in America at the age of twenty Thomas disembarked at Chester as an indentured servant to Francis Stanfield, who thusly provided transportation for eight people to the New World. Thomas fulfilled his indenture and received the promised 50 acres of ground from his master and 50 acres from William Penn. Arriving with Thomas on the “Endeavor” was a thirteen year old girl, Phebe Taylor, who came with her mother and seven siblings to join their father, Robert. In 1692 Thomas Massey married Phebe Taylor – he was twenty nine, she was twenty two.

    By 1696 Thomas was able to buy three hundred acres of land from James Stanfield, the son of Francis, and established his “plantation” in Marple Township. At this time he started his fine brick house. Seven children were born to Thomas and Phebe before his death in 1707. In his will Thomas left his “plantation” to his eldest son, Mordecai, with the provision that Phebe should have “the lower room in the brick end of the house, a horse and a cow” as long as she remained a widow. Mordecai was thirteen when his father died, and his youngest sister was less than a year old. With seven small children to raise it was no wonder that in two years Phebe married Bartholomew Coppock, a widow with two children.

    Mordecai Massey married Rebecca Rhoads in 1731, it was probably about this time that he changed the original log or frame house to stone. A kitchen addition was made in the early 19th century and about 1860 a room was added over the kitchen. It was fashionable at this time to have a section of siding on a house, which is why the second story of the kitchen was faced with siding on one side.

    In 1964 the Massey House was on the verge of demolition when a descendant, Lawrence M.C. Smith bought the house and one acre of ground, and gave it to the Township of Marple for restoration. Restoration was to be completed in ten years. Although the “plantation” is now only one acre, gardens of the period are maintained.

    The Massey House is presently furnished with appropriate late 17th and 18th century furniture.

    Children of Thomas and Phebe Massey:
    Esther (1693)
    Mordecai (1695)
    James (1697)
    Hannah (1699)
    Thomas (1701)
    Phebe (1705)
    Mary (1707)

    Early residents of the Massey House:
    Thomas and Phebe Massey
    Mordecai and Rebecca Rhoads Massey
    Henry and Hannah Massey Lawrence


    From THE HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY, by Futhey and Cope (1881);

    pg. 653

    MASSEY, Thomas, migrated to this country prior to 1687, and before he was of
    age. He probably resided within the bounds of Chester Monthly Meeting from the
    time of his arrival. In 1692 he married Phebe, the daughter of Robert Taylor,
    of Springfield, and soon afterwards purchased a large tract of land in Marple,
    where he continued to reside while he lived. He died 9,18,1708, in the forty-
    fifth year of his age, leaving seven children, viz: Esther, Mordecai, James,
    Hannah, Thomas, Phebe and Mary. the brick house erected by Thomas Massey is
    still standing in a good state of preservation. His widow married Bartholomew
    Copock, Jr., then a widower, in 1710.
    Mordecai remained on the mansion tract, but Thomas and James settled in
    Thomas Massey, Jr., born 11,21,1701, died 6,13,1784, married his first cousin,
    Sarah, daughter of Isaac Taylor, and had children,-Sarah, Mordecai, Phebe,
    Hannah, Mary, Isaac, Elizabeth, Thomas, Jane, Joseph, Esther, Levi, Rebecca, and
    James Massey, born 7,13,1697, married Ann, daughter of Lewis Lewis, of
    Newtown, and had issue,-Thomas, Lewis, Abram, James, Mary, William, Phinehas,
    Mordecai, and Lydia.

    Marriage 1 Phebe TAYLOR b: 15 AUG 1670 in Little Leigh, Great Budworth, at Clatterwick Farm, Cheshire, England
    • Married: 7 NOV 1692
    1. Has Children Esther MASSEY b: 30 AUG 1693 in Marple Twsp., Chester Co., Pennsylvania
    2. Has Children Mordecai MASSEY b: 9 AUG 1695 in Marple Twsp., Chester Co., Pennsylvania
    3. Has Children James MASSEY b: 13 SEP 1697 in Marple Twsp., Chester Co., Pennsylvania
    4. Has No Children Hannah MASSEY b: 7 AUG 1699 in Marple Twsp., Chester Co., Pennsylvania
    5. Has Children Thomas MASSEY b: 21 JAN 1700/01 in Marple Twsp., Chester Co., Pennsylvania
    6. Has No Children Phoebe MASSEY b: 20 APR 1705 in Marple Twsp., Chester Co., Pennsylvania
    7. Has No Children Mary MASSEY b: 3 FEB 1707/08 in Goshen Twsp., Chester Co., Pennsylvania
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