An American Family History

Margery Yerkes Saurman

Yerkes has also been spelled Gerkes, Gerckes, Jerghes, Jerghjes, Jurckes,Yercas, Yercks, Yerkhas, Yerkas, Yerkiss, Yerks, and Yerkus
  also spelled Souerman  
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.
Indiana became a state in 1819. The north was settled by people from New England and New York, the center by people from the Mid-Atlantic states and Ohio, and the south by people from Southern states, particularly Kentucky and Tennessee.

The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America and was ratified in 1789.

Margery Yerkes Saurman was born on October 28, 1757 in the Manor of Moorland. Her parents were Josiah Yerkes and Mary Walton. In 1793, when her father, Josiah, died, "Margaret" (sic) inherited 20 shillings.

She married shoemaker, Peter Saurman, in 1777 in Hatboro, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Peter was born in Hanover Germany on April 1, 1753. He was the son of Philip Saurman and Maria Knobler.

According to The Roster of Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Indiana, in the winter of 1775 Peter enlisted as a private for one year in Captain Harmans' Infantry Company, Colonel DeHames' Regiment on the Pennsylvania line. He participated in the battles of Three Rivers, Trenton, and Princeton. He also served as a volunteer on board The Lady Washington privateer commanded by Captain Josiah. He was present at the capturing of three prizes. His pension claim was S. 36748/His adventure while visiting Margery before the Battle of the Billet is described below.

Peter Souerman appeared in the 1776 assessment of the Manor of Moreland.

Margery and Peter's children included:
Ann Saurman Vasant,
Josiah Saurman,
Mary Saurman,
Rebecca Saurman (1784),
Jacob Saurman (1789),
Yerkes Saurman (1791), and
Jonathan Saurman.

In 1790 Peter was suspended from communion of the Southampton Baptist Church due to a complaint against him for defamation by Josiah Hart. In 1791, Peter acknowledged that Josiah had not taken a false oath and in 1792 he was restored to the communion of the Church. On December 13, 1794, Margery was baptized into the Church. In 1803 they bought a farm in Bucks County Pennsylvania.

Between 1806 and 1808, the church attempted to reconcile the Saurmans. In 1809 a church committee reported that she had left him without provocation and that her conduct had been disorderly at times. The church leaders resolved to suspend her from communion and directed William Watts to inform her that unless she gave some satisfaction to the church, she would be excommunicated. In 1810 Peter appeared in court for wife abuse.

In 1813 they sold their farm in Bucks County and the Saurmans divorced between 1813 and 1817 when Peter married, Eleanor.

In 1823 Peter owned land in Rising Sun, Ohio County, Indiana.

Peter died in 1830 in Ohio, Indiana.

Margery died in 1835 and was buried at the Old School Baptist Church Cemetery.


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.
Children of Josiah Yerkes
and Mary Walton
  • Joshua Yerkes
  • Josiah Yerkes
  • Rebecca Yerkes Wood
  • Sarah Yerkes Bower
  • Margery Yerkes Saurman
  • Mary Yerkes
  • Dearborn County, Indiana was first settled in the 1790's and officially organized in 1803. All or part of six other counties including Ohio and Switzerland were carved from the original Dearborn County.

    Bucks County, Pennsylvania is one of three original Pennsylvania Counties and was formed in 1682. Originally it was a large territory that included all of what would later be Berks, Northampton, and Lehigh.


    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.
    A sorrel horse is light brown.

    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.

    Berkeley County, Virginia was created from the northern third of Frederick County, Virginia in 1772. Jefferson County was formed from the county's eastern section. In 1863 Berkeley County became part of the new state of West Virginia.

    West Virginia is located in the Appalachians and was originally part of Virginia. The capital and largest city is Charleston. It became a state during the Civil War and was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863.

    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 2023
    An American Family History is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
    an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
    As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.