An American Family History

William Walton

Byberry is a township in the northeast corner of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. The Walton brothers were early settlers. Moreland Township was just west of Byberry. When Montgomery County broke off in 1784, Moreland was divided into two townships, both called Moreland. In 1917 the Montgomery County Moreland split into Upper Moreland Township and Lower Moreland Township.

William Walton was born in Byberry Parish, Gloucestershire, England about 1662. His parents were William Walton and Alice Martin.

He came to America with his three brothers. They settled in Byberry, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania and were early members of the Byberry Friends Meeting.

William married Sarah Howell on April 20, 1689. 

In 1691, at the time of the Keithian Separation, the Byberry meeting went Keithian. Nathaniel was the only one of the Walton brothers who remained. The other brothers met with those at the home of Henry English. 

William and Sarah's children included:
Rachel Walton Perry (1690, married Edward Perry),
Isaac Walton (1692, married Mary Perry, Sarah Holt, and Sarah Kennet),
Jeremiah Walton (1694, married Elizabeth Walmsley),
Jacob Walton (1697),
Sarah Walton Albertson (1699, married Benjamin Albertson),
William Walton (1701),
Abel Walton (1703, married Rebecca Walmsley),
Job Walton (1706, married Agnes Walmsley and Catherine McVaugh),
Hannah Walton Walmsley Mardon (1708, married Thomas Walmsley, Jr. and Thomas Marden) and
Mary Walton Homer (1710).

In 1712 William Allen, of Philadelphia sold William Walton 552 acres southeast of Hatboro.

In 1717, William visited all the families who belonged to the Byberry Meeting.

In 1721, he went with Richard Busby to visit to Maryland, Virginia, and Carolina.

In 1723 he again visited the families of Byberry with Henry Comly.

At the time of his death on December 9, 1736/37, he was on the island of Tortola on a religious journey.

Children of William and Alice Walton
  • Nathaniel Walton
  • Thomas Walton
  • Daniel Walton
  • William Walton

    The Society of Friends (Quakers) began in England in the 1650s, when they broke away from the Puritans. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, as a safe place for Friends to live and practice their faith.

    Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.



    Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.

    from A History of the Townships of Byberry and Moreland in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Joseph C. Martindale

    William, one of the four brothers, married Sarah Howell, 4th mo. 20th, 1689 (O. S.), and located near the present residence of Josiah Walton. He was the first preacher of Byberry Meeting after the Keithian separation, and continued the principal, if not the only one, for the next forty years. But little account of his religious labors has been preserved; but his ministry met with the approval of the Meeting, and he was recommended as a minister.

    In 1717, he visited all the families belonging to Byberry Meeting; and, in 1721, in company with Richard Busby, paid a religious visit to Maryland, Virginia, and Carolina. This gave great satisfaction to those visited, and on his return he produced several certificates from meetings visited, stating that they "felt great unity with his visit of love." He again visited the families of Byberry in 1723, and was then accompanied by Henry Comly.

    He died 12th mo. 9th, 1736-7 (O. S.), and left ten children: Rachel, Isaac, Jeremiah, Jacob, Sarah, William, Abel, Job, Hannah, and Mary. Although this family was so large, and many of their descendants still reside in Horsham, yet very few are now living within the vicinity of Byberry.

    The Keithian Schism was a split within the Society of Friends in the last decade of the seventeenth century led by George Keith.


    Jeremiah Walton, Sr., came from Byberry, and was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Walmsley. They had children,-
    William, born 1719
    Thomas, 1721
    Rachel, 1724
    Jeremiah, 1726
    Jacob, 1728
    James, 1730
    Mary, 1732
    Sarah, 1734
    Elizabeth, 1737
    Phebe, 1740.

    He died in 1740 and was buried at Horsham.


    Memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Historical Society of Pennsylvania M'Carty and Davis, 1827

    26 of 10 mo. 1698. The records say

    there hath been a complaint against Wm. Hibbs, concerning his disorderly behaviour in keeping on his hat when William Walton was at prayer in their meeting.

    At the next monthly meeting, it is said,

    Wm. Hibbs being sorry for his disorderly behaviour, promiseth to do so no more.

    It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.

    William Walton was the youngest of four brothers, who settled in and near Byberry. He married Sarah Howell, in 1689, and had ten children, viz. Rachel, Isaac, Jeremiah, Jacob, Sarah, William, Abel, Job, Hannah, and Mary. He was a long time at the head of Byberry meeting, being esteemed as a valuable minister of the Gospel, for upwards of forty years. In 1721, accompanied by Richard Buzby, he performed a

    visit in the service of truth, in Virginia, Maryland, and Carolina, and produced on his return several certificates signifying their, (friends,) great satisfaction and unity in their visit of "love."

    In 1783, in company with Henry Comly, he made a family visit to the members of Byberry meeting. He died the 9th of 12th mo. 1736-7.

    Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.

    Memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Volume 2

    Thomas Walmsley and his brother, Henry Walmsley, were brought to this country by their parents, the one nine, and the other seven years old, with a younger sister, and landed in Burlington, N. Jersey, in 1682. Their father, Thomas Walmsley, had conceived the idea of possessing himself of lands and water power in this country, and had purchased a tract of land on the Neshamony creek, in Bucks county, before he left England. He also brought with him such machinery as he thought could not be procured here, to facilitate the erection of mills, &c.; but being seized with the dysentery, died within a fortnight after his arrival, aged forty years, and the young children were consequently left under the care of their mother.

    Thomas when grown up, first settled in Bucks County, and married Mary Paxson, daughter of Wra. Paxson. He had two sons, Thomas and William, and seven or eight daughters. He possessed a large landed estate, in and near Byberry, and was esteemed as a man of wealth and respectability. He lived to the age of near eighty, and died 1754. Mary died in 1755, aged about seventy nine.

    Their son Thomas Walmsley, Jun. deceased 30th of 6th mo. 1728—his death was occasioned by being thrown off his horse in descending a short steep hill near Clayton's on the Horsham road. He had been married a short time before, and left no male issue.

    Dysentery is an infectious disease marked by inflammation and ulceration of the lower part of the bowels, with diarrhea that becomes mucous and hemorrhagic.

    Diseases have transformed history and the lives of our ancestors.
    Colonial Maryland
    Colonial New England
    Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
    Quakers & Mennonites
    New Jersey Baptists
    German Lutherans
    Watauga Settlement
    Pennsylvania Pioneers
    Midwest Pioneers
    Jewish Immigrants

    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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