1791 Charles Biddle and James Ash Signatures - Deed Poll Philadelphia
This is a deed poll for a writ of 'fieri facias' or writ of execution for James Ash (1749-1830), High Sherrif of Philadelphia, to sell the property of James, Matthias, Derrick, and Daniel Lukens to recover money for Rebecca Lukens. Property of the deceased father, Derrick Lukens, was to be sold at public auction at the 'House of Mrs Grover, Innkeeper at the Sign of The King of Prussia' in Germantown, PA. George Leonhard bought the property next to Limekiln Road in Bristol Township, PA.
High Sheriff of Philadelphia James Ash, was Lt. James Ash during the Revolutionary War and served as a lieutenant under Brig. General John Cadwalader Philadelphia Brigade Continental Army 1777. Ash had a long life, lived to be 81 years old, and had 24 children by 3 wives. He was buried in Christ Church Burial Ground at Arch Street and 5th Street Philadelphia.
A second and more important signature on this deed poll is that of Charles Biddle (1745-1821). He was a mariner merchant’s apprentice in 1759, and a merchant captain from 1762 through the Revolution. In January, 1776 he joined Captain Cowperthwait's Company of the Quaker Light Infantry and as part of that company, participated, as a sailor, in the work around of the British fleet's blockade of American ports.
He married Hannah Shephard in 1778while serving in Beaufort, North Carolina. In 1784 he was elected to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Executive Council and became vice president of the Council under Benjamin Franklin in 1785 where he served for two years (October 10, 1785 until October 31, 1787). He became the prothonotary of the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and served from 1791-1809, was a member of the state Senate from 1810-1814, was a founder of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1805, a charter member of the Society of the Cincinnati in 1783, and a director of the Bank of Philadelphia from 1793 until his death, on April 4, 1821.
Land deeds like this one are sometimes the only information available to us about life during the 18th and early 19th centuries. From this type of document, we learn where people lived, their status in life, the amount of land they owned, who their neighbors were, and the names of their wives and children. Many times a child or wife's name will appear in these deeds that has been omitted from the genealogical records of our ancestors. To find the true story of your ancestors, land deeds and other contemporaneous documents are the most important documents to use.
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