Churchman History

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Churchman Coat of Arms The Churchman Story
This brief history highlights some of the fascinating people and events that we have discovered in our research. This history documents the family of John Churchman, a Quaker who immigrated to America from England in 1682. His descendants and their many accomplishments are woven throughout the fabric of American history. Today, the descendants of John Churchman live in virtually every state in the contiguous United States.
Nottingham Lot Map The Nottingham Lots and the Early Quaker Families (by Robert Warwick Day, Ph.D.)
John and Hannah Churchman were one of 17 Quaker families to settle the Nottingham Lots, an 18,000 acre tract granted by William Penn. The area has a storied past, chronicled in this paper by Robert Warwick Day, Ph.D., presented at the 300th Anniversary Celebration of the Nottingham Lots on September 29, 2001. We appreciate his permission to provide this insight into the history of the Nottingham Lots as part of the Churchman history presented on our website.

During our research, we have documented many historical sites and documents that are especially significant to the Churchman family. Below are some of the place and documents we have found. Many have links to additional pictures and information.

Historical Places:

Sun Inn at Saffron-Walden Saffron Walden, England Website
Saffron Walden lies in the north-west corner of Essex. With its narrow streets and ancient houses, it is a quintessential English market town. By-passed by the Industrial Revolution, it has retained much of its medieval charm. This site has information on the birthplace of John Churchman, the emigrant to America.

Nottingham Lots Nottingham Lots
William Penn granted a tract of approximately 18,000 acres, known as the "Nottingham Lots", to 17 Friends. The Nottingham Lots extended from Octoraro Creek eastward to the present village of Blue Ball in Maryland, the village of Colora lies on the southern boundary, and at points the northern boundary extended just above the present Pennsylvania-Maryland line. John and Hannah Churchman were some of the original settlers of the Nottingham Lots, settling on lots 16 and 17 just north of the future Brick Meeting House.

Brick Meeting House Brick Meeting House
The Brick Meeting House is located at Calvert, Maryland, about five miles east of Rising Sun and five miles south of Oxford, Pennsylvania. In 1701 William Penn told his companions that he "Then and there set apart and dedicated forty acres of land to them and their successors forever, for the combined purpose of public worship, the right of burial, and privilege of education".

Mercer Brown's house Mercer Brown/Amassa Churchman house
Built by Mercer, Jr. and Hannah Brown in 1746 and later added to by Amassa Churchman. It is located on England Dairy Road, Calvert, Cecil County, Maryland near the Brick Meeting House.

John Churchman's house John and Margaret Churchman's house
John and Margaret Churchman's house is located close to the Brick Meeting House near Rising Sun, Maryland. The original brick portion of the house was built around 1745. The rock portion was added about 1785.

Williams Churchman's house William Churchman's house
A traveler going north towards Chrome, Pennsylvania from Calvert, Maryland will drive about two miles through the share of Nottingham Lots owned by John Churchman. In 1763 William (one of John's sons) and Abigail Churchman built their home on some of this land in the vicinity of Oxford,Pennsylvania. The keystone in the peak of William's home has etched A flower, a capital "C", letters "W&A", and date 1763.

Chapel Hill Chapel Hill
John Knight Churchman built Chapel Hill in 1834. It is located at the end of Churchman Mill Lane in Staunton, Virginia. John or his descendants have lived in this house since it was built over 160 years ago. This residence is listed as one of Virginia's Historic Landmarks.

Shiloh Methodist Church Shiloh Methodist Church Cemetery
Shiloh Methodist Church is important because of the small fenced area of graves located to the side of the church only about 30 feet from the church's front door. This area has been set aside as a family graveyard for James L. Churchman, his wife, Mary O. Young, and their descendants. James and Mary originally owned the land where the church and cemetery are located.

Historical Documents:

John Churchman's Will John Churchman's Last Will and Testament
John Churchman was born ca. 1665 in Saffron-Walden, Essex County, England. He came to America with William Penn in 1682 to settle the new state of Pennsylvania. When he died in 1725, at the age of 60, he owned about 1800 acres, and had personal property worth about 126 Pounds. All of his 9 children and his wife Hannah are mentioned in the will.

Thomas Jefferson Letter Jefferson Letter, Alderman Library, University of Virginia
This is a letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Churchman concerning his idea to use variations in the earth's magnetic field to determine longitude. The page is browning on the edges, ink is smeared on several words, and the Jefferson seal is cracked. Nevertheless, the Aug. 8, 1787 letter Jefferson authored from Paris, France, to John Churchman in Philadelphia, is in good condition.

Send comments and questions to Vici Churchman

Copyright Notice: This website and all of its contents are Copyright © 1998-2001 Wayne & Vici Churchman - All Rights Reserved. This information is provided free of charge for the personal use of the Churchman family and other family genealogical researchers only. Any commercial use or reproduction of the genealogical information, text, or photographs contained herein is strictly prohibited.