A History of the Townships of Byberry and Moreland in Philadelphia by Joseph C. Martindale published by T. Ellwood Zell, 1867
Peter [Saurman], was born in Germany, and at the time of immigration to America was about three years old. He learned the trade of shoemaking from, his father, but having a taste for militarylife, he entered the British army during the latter part of the French and Indian War, and served therein about one year.
He then returned to Philadelphia, where he followed his occupation until the Revolutionary War, when he entered the army under Washington. He remained with it until it was disbanded in 1783, and although he was in all the battles fought by it, yet he was never wounded nor taken prisoner, and never sick during the whole time.
On the evening preceding the battle of the Billet he obtained leave of absence to visit the young lady afterwards his wife, who was then residing at Thomas Wood's house, near Hatboro. He remained here all night, and early the following morning he saw an English soldier, armed with a musket, coming up the lane. He immediately secreted himself behind a large cherry tree, and waited until the soldier walked past, when he stepped out and ordered him to surrender, at the same time presenting a pistol.
The summons was obeyed, and the English soldier became a prisoner. Upon examining the captive's gun, it was found to be filled with mud and water. Upon the principle that "to the victors belong the spoils," Peter cleaned the gun and loaded it with three buckshot and a bullet, after which he started towards Hart's (William Hallowell's) Mill, where he saw five English soldiers along the roadside dividing their booty. He attempted to shoot them, but the gun missed fire, and he was forced to run for his life. As he leaped over a fence the British fired at him, one ball passing through his coat pocket, and two others striking the fence near him, but he escaped unhurt.
After serving his country faithfully during the war, he returned to his trade, and located on the Pennypack, near what is now John Shelmire's Mill, in Moreland, Montgomery County. In 1788, he moved to Hatboro, and in 1795 to Bucks County, where he commenced farming. In 1804, he purchased a farm of ninety-four acres, near the Sorrel Horse, for $46.62 per acre, where he remained until 1812, when he sold out and went to the West. He died there in 1830, aged about 90 years.
He married Margery, daughter of Josiah Yerkes, of Moreland. She died in 1835. Their children were, Ann, Josiah, Mary, Rebecca, Jacob, Yerkes, and Jonathan.
Peter and Margery Saurman's Children:
(6.) Ann, married James Vansant, of Somerton, Twenty-third Ward, Philadelphia. He was a carpenter, and sometime after his marriage moved to Trenton, and still later to Philadelphia. Ann died in 1845. Children: Thomas Jefferson, Julia Ann, Cornelius, Austin, and Alfred.
(7.) Josiah, learned the shoemaker trade, and went to [Berkeley County Virginia which became] West Virginia, where he married. In 1840 he removed to Sandusky County, Ohio. Children: Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Archibald, Ebenezer, and two or three others.
(8.) Mary, remained single; still living.
(9.) Rebecca, remained single. She died in 1859, aged 75 years.
(10.) Jacob, was born in Moreland, Montgomery County, April 14,1789. He married Sarah, daughter of Daniel Hallowell, in 1819, and .settled in Cheltenham. In 1823, he moved to a farm in Moreland, Philadelphia, which he afterwards purchased. He remained on this farm until within a short period of his death. During his entire life he was an ardent Democrat, and much attached to the principles of that party. He took an active part in the local affairs of the township in which he lived, and was frequently called upon to fill the various local offices. He was a warm friend to public education, and was one of the first Directors under the Public School system in Moreland. He favored every work of public improvement, and fully kept pace with the age in which he lived. In 1853, he was elected a member of Common Council, in Philadelphia, and served one term. In 1864, he removed to Philadelphia, where he died, July 27, 1865, aged 76 years, much respected by a large circle of friends. His children are, George W., Charles E., Mary L., Caroline W., Ellen L., Norris S., John W., and Benjamin P.
(11.) Yerkes, was born in Moreland, January 20, 1791. He went to Philadelphia, where he learned the trade of copper-plate printer, which he followed for several years, after which he became a real estate agent. He married Mrs. Martha Brown, who had two children, Susanna and Joseph. By her he had the following children : Maria, Angeline, Eebecca, Abner, Amanda, and Madison.
(12.) Jonathan, married Sarah McChan, and settled in Chester County, where he resided for several years, after which he moved to Abington, and thence to Philadelphia. While in Philadelphia he was occupied as a pump-maker, and was killed in 1850, while blowing the rocks in a well which he was digging. Children: Sarah Ann, Mary, Caroline, Augustus, George, and William.