An American Family History

Sarah Eaton Watts Yerkes

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Pennepek (Pennepack) Baptist Church, also known as Lower Dublin is in in Bustleton, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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

Sarah Eaton was born in Radnorshire, Wales on April 1, 1655. She was the daughter of John Eaton. She came to Philadelphia County in 1686 with her brothers George and John. 

She was one of the organizers of the Pennepek Baptist Church. When she was 32 she married the pastor of the church, the Reverend John Watts, in 1687. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on John and Sarah Watts.

After John’s death in 1702 she married Anthony Yerkes.

She died when she was 68 on June 27, 1723 in the Manor of Moreland.
Children of John Watts
and Sarah Eaton
  • Silas Watts
  • Elizabeth Watts Yerkes
  • John Watts, Jr.
  • Mary Watts Shull
  • Sarah Watts Davis
  • Deborah Watts Engle
  • Stephen Watts
  • Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

    Home of Anthony Yerkes in the Pennypack Creek area of the Manor of Moreland. It was inherited by Herman Yerkes.

    The Manor of Moreland was composed of a tract of ten thousand acres, and was created, in 1682, by a grant from William Penn to Dr. Nicholas More. Most of the Manor was in Philadelphia County, but is now Moreland Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

    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.


    Baptist churches were found in early colonial settlements and grew out of the English Separatist movement and the doctrine of John Smyth who rejected infant baptism.

    A History of the Baptists by Thomas Armitage

    In 1667 a company of Welsh and Irish Baptists crossed the Atlantic and settled at Lower Dublin, Pa., otherwise called Pemmepeka, Pennepek or Pennypack . . . This company organized a Baptist Church, built a meeting-house near the water bearing this name, and sent forth its influence all through Pennsylvania, also into New Jersey and New York, Delaware and Maryland, as its pastors preached in these colonies. Its records were kept with care from the first, and are still preserved in a large folio. We are indebted to Hon. Horatio Gates Jones for the following and many other interesting facts. The records state:

    By the good providence of God, there came certain persons out of Radnorshire, in Wales, over into this Province of Pennsylvania, and settled in the township of Dublin, in the County of Philadelphia, namely, John Eaton, George Eaton and Jane, his wife, Samuel Jones and Sarah Eaton, who had all been baptized upon confession of faith, and received into the communion of the Church of Christ meeting in the parishes of Llandewi and Xantmel, in Radnorshire,. . .In the year 1667 there came one Samuel Vaus out of England, and settled near the aforesaid township and went under the denomination of a Baptist, and was so taken to be.

    These, with Sarah Eaton,

    Joseph Ashton and Jane, his wife, William Fisher, John Watts"' and Rev. Elias Keach, formed the Church. Samuel Vaus was chosen deacon, and was "with laying on of hands ordained

    by Elias Keach, who

    was accepted and received for our pastor, and we sat down in communion at the Lord's table.

    Lower Dublin Township was located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania and adjoined Moreland and Byberry Townships. The township was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia
    Genealogical and Biographical Memorials of the Reading, Howell, Yerkes ...  By Josiah Granville Leach

    He [John Watts] married Sarah, born 1655, daughter of John Eaton, of Radnorshire, Wales. She was baptized in the Baptist faith in Radnorshire, and emigrated to Pennsylvania with her brothers John and George Eaton, and became one of the constituent members of the Pennepek church. Upon the decease of Mr. Watts she married, as second husband, Anthony Yerkes, the founder of the Yerkes family in America. She died 27 June, 1723.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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