An American Family History

Josiah Yerkes and Mary Walton

Manor of Moreland, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
which is now Montgomery County Pennsylvania
Yerkes has also been spelled Gerkes, Gerckes, Jerghes, Jerghjes, Jurckes,Yercas, Yercks, Yerkhas, Yerkas, Yerkiss, Yerks, and Yerkus
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.

Josiah Yerkes and Mary Walton married about 1747. They lived on the farm that his father, Herman Yerkes, gave him in Moreland on Pennypack Creek. The farm was above the mills that his brother, Silas Yerkes owned. On July 22, 1747 Josiah and Mary mortgaged 84 acres of his land to Joseph Spangenburg.

Their children were born in Moreland. Joshua Yerkes was born about 1749. Josiah Yerkes was born about 1751. Rebecca Yerkes Wood was born about 1753. Sarah Yerkes Bower was born in 1755.

In 1755 Josiah conveyed some of his land to his brother Stephen Yerkes.

Margery Yerkes Saurman was born on October 28, 1757. Mary Yerkes was born in 1760. Nathaniel Yerkes was born August 9, 1763.

In April, 1765, Josiah and Mary mortgaged their land to George Sharswood.

In the Assessment of Moreland for 1776 from Bean's 1884 History of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania he had 6 acres, 2 horses and 2 cows.

In 1790 the Josiah Yerkes family was in the Manor of Moreland, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Josiah died in September, 1793 in Moreland.
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.

In the Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic of 1793, 5000 or more people died between August 1 and November 9.




The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.

Chronicle of the Yerkes Family: With Notes on the Leech and Rutter Families by Josiah Granville Leach, J. B. Lippincott, 1904

Josiah Yerkes (Herman2, Anthony1), fourth child and third son of Herman Yerkes by his wife Elizabeth Watts, was born in the Manor of Moreland, Montgomery (formerly Philadelphia) County, Pennsylvania, 28 November, 1718; died there, in September, 1793.

He was a farmer, and resided on a farm given to him by his father, in Moreland, on the Pennypack Creek, above the mills of his brother Silas. On 22 July, 1747, he mortgaged his land, consisting of eighty-four acres, to Joseph Spangenburg. His wife Mary joined him in this mortgage; also in a mortgage of the same land, given to George Sharswood, of Philadelphia, 16 April, 1765, to secure the payment of £200; and in a deed dated n February, 1755, by which he conveyed certain lands to his brother, Stephen Yerkes.

The date of his marriage or the maiden name of his wife is not certainly known, although it is probable that the name was Walton, as Nathaniel Walton, of Moreland, in his will, dated 6 February, 1777, names "my sister Mary Yerkes." Mr. Yerkes no doubt survived his wife, as she is not named in his will. This instrument, dated 2 December, 1791, proved 1 October, 1793, describes him as "of the Manor of Moreland," and names son Joshua, son Josiah, daughter Rebecca Wood, granddaughter Sarah Boore, daughter Margary, daughter Mary, and son Nathaniel, the latter being named as executor, and the devisee of his plantation, which at that time consisted of one hundred acres.

Children of Josiah and Mary Yerkes; born in the Manor of Moreland:
37. Joshua Yerkes.
38. Josiah Yerkes, married Rachel Edwards, nee Brooks.
39. Rebecca Yerkes, living at the date of her father's will; married, 30 January, 1765,Thomas Wood.
40. Sarah Yerkes, married, in May, 1774, Thomas Bower, of Moreland. The marriage was performed by the Reverend John Blackwell, as appears from the records of the Southampton Baptist Church. In the marriage license, dated 20 April, 1774, and printed in Pennsylvania Archives, second series, ii. 322, the name is spelled " Bower," while Josiah Yerkes, in his will, named his " granddaughter Sarah Boore," probably a misspelling of Bower. Such granddaughter is thought to have been the only issue of Sarah Yerkes.
41. Margery Yerkes, died circa 1835; married Peter Saurman.
42. Mary Yerkes.
43. Nathaniel Yerkes, born 9 August, 1763; died 5 June, 1831; married Sarah Johnson.

American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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