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Chapter 2




In the fall of 1675 Captain William Warner and family crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the ‘Griffin’ or the ‘Joseph and Benjamin.’ John Fenwick had arranged with the English


king for a location in New Jersey to establish a Quaker community.  There were difficulties since others had already settled on this land. Captain Warner soon struck out on his own, went upriver and purchased land directly from the Delaware Indians. It would be on this land that some of his family would live for several generations. His son Robert had been left in England to assure an heir if they were lost at sea.


Other settlers from Sweden and Finland had been in this area since 1638. The Netherlands had claimed this land in 1655 but lost it to England (1674) the year before Captain Warner had set sail. On a document executed in England, 3/31/1676, William Warner is listed on “The Concessions and Agreements of the Proprietors, Freeholders and inhabitants of the Providence of West Jersey in America.” 


Captain William and his sons dug, chopped and cut a home out of the wilderness. There were no rules, no authority, and no king to say what they could or could not do. Their survival depended on the use of their own energy and decisions. They knew they were the subjects of the king back in England but they experienced the vision of complete freedom. 


Then in 1681 Charles II issued a Charter to William Penn for the area of Pennsylvania.

Captain William and his son John received a letter, as did the other residents, from William Penn which said in part:

       For you are now fixed at the mercy of no governor that comes to make his

       fortune great; you shall be governed by laws of your own making and live

       a free, and if you will, a sober and industrious life. I shall not usurp the right

       of any, or oppress his person. God has furnished me with a better resolution

       and has given me his grace to keep it.

In his negotiations with William Penn, William Warner secured a survey for his plantation, which he named ‘Blockley’ for his home parish back in Worchester, England. Captain Warner felt that William Penn understood the kind of freedom he had obtained for his family.  Both he and his son John had built houses and buildings for their families and farm activities; perhaps these were the first buildings to be erected west of the Schuylkill River. The heavily forested area provided the families with plenty of rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, geese, deer and other wildlife. Life was not easy but it was good.


Captain William served twice on the governing body known as the First Provincial Congress.  The minutes of a session in 1677 approved some of the first laws and the location of new roads. William was one of four assigned to establish a road from the Schuylkill ferry crossing to Philadelphia. An example of the agenda from January 16, 1683, included these items: sowing of hemp and flax, runaways, passes to other states, selling of servants into other provinces, destruction of wolves, hog stealers, raising money and a recommendation that every township build a prison.


Captain William was appointed to the Council of Nine 1681, and served on the Second Provincial Congress 1684. He was also commissioned as a justice in Chester County and appointed as a deputy sheriff.  He understood the responsibility that went with this new freedom. His land became Blockley Township in Montgomery County. It was an area of 7,580 acres located on the west side of the Schuylkill River about four miles long and at its greatest breath about five miles wide. Blockley was located in West Philadelphia.


The pioneer life required many activities for survival. Besides the activities related to hunting and fishing, there was the care of domestic animals, garden, orchard, and field crops. Inside activities included churning, candle making, spinning, sewing, and quilt making. Laundry was done outside in an iron kettle over an open fire. For recreation they had board games, checkers and card games. Winter activities included skating, sledding, tobogganing, and occasionally the making of homemade crutches.


The first farmers’ market in Philadelphia was at the corner of First and Market Streets in 1693. The farmers sold their vegetables, fruits and meat to townspeople. The chief crops produced during the pioneer era were wheat, corn, oats, rye, barley, potatoes, fruit, and hay. There were also agents who bought horses and sold them at the market. People shared the news and discussed the many issues as Philadelphia became a central location for colonial activity.


There are several indicators that the Warners continued with the manufacturing and mill work they had done in England. There was a small stream on the property that retained the name of Mill Stream.  In his last Will (see Appendix B for full text), Captain William mentioned three times that various members of the family share the use of his “Iron Tow Hetchel (also hatchel, hackle, or heckle) and Iron Bar.” These were used to comb flax in the process of making thread for cloth. If they had harnessed water power they probably also ground grain.


The story has been passed down telling about the boat landing that was located near the present Girard Avenue.  Captain William would put his musket, dog and fishing pole in his boat, row out to a rock where he fished and shot ducks. His dog retrieved the ducks.  The rock was known as “Warner’s Rock” until it was covered when a dam was built downstream. Captain William lived here until his death in the fall of 1706. (*Bold indicates direct line)



    *1.  John, b 1649, m Anne Campden, d 1717

      2. William, m Christian, dau of Swen Schute, a Swede who helped in the settlement of  

          New Sweden in America. William and Christian Warner had four children, namely,  

          Swen, Isaac, Hannah and Jacob. William lived in Glouster Co., N. J., he died in 1714.

     3.  Mary, m James Kite about 1680, d 1686. She had four chi1dren, namely James,  

          Abraham, Grizze1 and John.

     4.  Robert (if he ever came to America, returned to Worcestershire, England, d abt 1709

     5.  Isaac, m Anne Cravens in 1692, d April 10, 1727. He had seven children, namely, 

         William, ("The Baron"), John, Isaac, Mary, Esther, Hannah and Anne.

In his Will, Captain William (7) attempted to equally distribute his land, meadows, woods, cows, sheep, mares and colts and included various amounts of corn, rye, and wheat for his three sons (8) John, William, Isaac, and James Kite husband of deceased daughter, Mary (Warner) Kite. Son Robert received the two properties in Worcester, England.


The oldest son of Captain William and Anne, John (8), was a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1713-1715. He and his wife Anne Campden had four boys and four daughters (9) while living on Blockley land. By his Will dated 17 September 1716 and proved 20 May 1717 (Philadelphia County Will Book D, p. 72, 1717:#94) he directed:

          “his plantation to be divided equally between his sons William (9) and Isaac

     Warner (9); to his oldest son John Warner (9) he left the 100 acres of "Backland”

     where he now lives, with all the meadow and Wood belonging to it (the land

     which John Warner, (8), inherited from his father Captain William Warner (7)

     John paying 10 pounds to the testator's daughter, Margaret Roades; to his

     daughters (9), Mary Warner, Esther Warner, Sarah Warner and Jane Warner,

     and his son Joseph Warner, all stocks on the plantation, household goods, etc.;

     the executors were his "son Swen Warner, John Warner and Mary Warner.”


The "son Swen Warner" was not John Warner's eldest son. He was not a son but a son-in-law, and also a nephew, having been the husband of John Warner's daughter Esther, and the son of John Warner's brother, William Warner, of Gloucester County, New Jersey.


It is Captain Warner’s son, John (8) and wife Anne (Campden) Warner that are next in our direct line. They had ten children. When John died in 1717, his sons John (9), William (9),  and Isaac (9), continued to build houses and to live on the Blockley Plantation as the city continued expand. Fifty years after Captain William stepped on American soil there were 10,000 people in Philadelphia and 475,000 in the colonies.



     1. Edward, b Oct. 29, 1680 (probably died young).

     2. Margaret, b Jan. 23, 1684, m Jacob Rhodes

     3. Mary, b Dec. 3, 1684, unmarried in 1716.

     4. Esther, b Aug. 18, 1686, m Swen, son of her Uncle William Warner,

         and had three children.

     5. Sarah, b 1688 and unmarried in 1716.

     6. John, b Nov. 26, 1689, m 1715 to Mary Kirk, with whom he had eight children.

     7. William, b 1694 (No further record).

     8. Isaac, b 1696, m Jan. 24, 1716 to Veronica de la Plaine Cassel

         with whom he had ten children. He died in 1748.

     9. Jane, b 1698, unmarried in 1716.

  *10. Joseph, b April 15, 1701, m Agnes Croasdale April 16, l723 dau of John and Mara  

          (Chapman) Croasdale.


John’s son, Joseph Warner (9), was born at Blockley, May 15, 1701. He moved to Bucks County as a teenager to live with other relatives when he lost both his parents. Here he married the attractive Agnes Croasdale at the Middletown Meeting of Friends, Wrightown Township. They had nine children.



     1. John, b Feb. 16, 1724, d after 1770.

     2. Mary, b Jan. 28, 1726, m James Wildman, d after 1770.

   *3. Joseph, b Jan. 10, 1728 d 1809, m 1752 Ruth Hayhurst, dau of

            Cuthbert and Mary (Harker) Hayhurst

     4. Croasda1e, b Feb. 5, 1730, m Mary -, d 1800.

     5. Ruth, b Oct. 8, 1732, d Jan. 8, 1804. Unmarried.

     6. Abraham, b Sept. 14, 1735, d after 1770.

     7. Sarah, b Jan. 7, 1738, m May 14, 1760, Benj. Wiggins d 1805.

     8. Isaac, b Nov. 8, 1741, d Nov. 28, 1829.

     9. Thomas, b Dec. 6, 1746, d Feb. 19, 1821.


The Warner wives, Anne, Agnes, and Ruth, did most all of their cooking in an open fireplace. These large fireplaces contained hot fires, most of the heat passed up the chimney, and the parts of the room most removed from the fire would be far from comfortable on a cold winter’s day.


The cast-iron kettle was used to boil meats and vegetables and to heat water for the needs of the household. Food was also cooked on the hearth in front of the fire or by skewering it to spits resting on brackets attached to the backs of the andirons.

                                                                                                    Fireplace cast iron kettle


Baking was done in a cast-iron “Dutch Oven” that could also be hung on the crane or set directly in the hot coals. Hot coals were also placed on top of the cast-iron lid. The first departure in America from these open fireplaces, built of stone or brick, was the cast-iron fireplace invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1742. One household economy resulted, however, in that the light from the flames in fireplaces was generally so bright that candles were not required for the ordinary work of the family.

Dutch oven


There was an event just northwest of Philadelphia that involves a family destined to connect with a later generation of Warners. In 1744 several Shawnee Indians captured a twelve-year- old girl and her brother from a cabin in Berks County. Catherine Gouger and her younger brother were taken west. Along the way the younger brother disappeared and Catherine saw his red curls attached to the belt of one of the braves. She and her descendants would eventually end up in Ohio and one of them would become a Warner wife.


It was during this time that Benjamin Franklin moved from New York to Philadelphia to start his newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette. The following articles published between 1740 and 1760, by or about some of the Warners, have been selected (as printed) from many listings in this newspaper. (See Pennsylvania Archives for additional articles and also copies of the minutes of meetings when the Warners were serving in public offices.)

     December 4, 1740. STOLEN or Stray'd, about six Weeks past, from the

     Plantation of Isaac Warner , in Blockley Township, Philadelphia County,

     a natural pacing sorrel Horse Colt, about a Year old, with a flaxen Mane

     and Tail, a Blaze down his Face, has neither Brand nor Ear Mark, and is

     cut. Whoever brings the said Colt to the Subscriber, shall have Ten

     Shillings Reward, paid by Isaac Warner


     December 14, 1742. Next Week will be published, TAYLOR'S

     ALMANACK, for the Year 1743: Printed and sold by Isaiah Warner,

     almost opposite to Charles Brockden's in Chesnut Street. Just Published,

     SPIRITUAL SONGS: Or, Songs of Praise, with Penitential Cries to

     Almighty God, upon several Occasions. Together with the Song of Songs,

     which is Solomon's, first turn'd, then paraphras'd in English Verse; With

     an Addition of a sacred Poem on Dives and Lazarus. The Fourteenth

     Edition. London printed; Philadelphia reprinted and sold by said Warner,

     price 2 s. Where may be had, lately publish'd, the Moravian Catechism;

     also all Sorts of Blanks.


     June 21, 1744.  The Subscriber having taken the Fulling Mill belonging to

     John Marshall, near Darby, intends to take in Cloth at the House of John

     Warner, at the Sign of the Horse and Groom, in Strawberry Alley, near

     Market Street, Philadelphia, where I design to give Attendance one Day in

     every Week: I have followed that Employment above Twenty Years; and

     any Person may depend on my good Performance, having nothing but that

     to recommend me. JOHN ATKINS. N. B. I scower and dye Silks, and wet

     and dry-scower Cloaths, and take out Limejuice or other Stains to the

     greatest Perfection.


     July 12, 1750.  By virtue of his majesty's writ of Venditioni Exponas, to

     the sheriff of Philadelphia county directed, on Saturday the 28th day of

     July inst. at 4 a clock in the afternoon, at the house of Joseph Scull, will

     be exposed to sale, by publick vendue, a messuage, plantation, and tract

     of land, situate in Blockley township, on the river Schuylkill, about 4 miles

     from Philadelphia, containing 100 acres, or thereabouts, belonging to John

    Warner seized and taken in execution at the suit of Rebecca Edgell.

     RICHARD SEWELL, sheriff.


     December 8, 1757.  TO be sold, by publick Vendue, on the 20th of this

     instant December, at the late Dwelling house of Isaac Warner, deceased,

     in Blockley, good working and riding Horses, Milch Cows, Cows with

     Calf, and young Cattle, Sheep, fat and other Swines, Cart, Implements of

     Husbandry, a large Quantity of choice Hay, corn in the Ground, Indian

     Corn and Buckwheat by the Bushel, Flax unbroke, several Casks of Cyder,

     and empty Casks, good Feather Beds and Bedding, two good Fowling

     pieces, and sundry other Things; being the personal Estate of the said

     Decedent. The Vendue to begin at Ten a Clock on said Day, and to

     continue from Day to Day until the whole be sold, where due Attendance,

     and six Months Credit will be given, by ISAAC Warner, and JAMES

     JONES, Executors.

     August 28, 1760 TO be sold by publick Vendue, at the London Coffee

     House, on Monday the 8th of September next, at Five o'Clock in the

     Afternoon, Three Lots of Land, situate on the West Side of Schuylkill,

     in Blockley Township, a Mile and an half from the Middle Ferry. No. 1.

     situated on the South Side of Conestogoe Road, containing 24 Acres and

     153 Perches, seven whereof are Woodland; on it is a handsome two Story

     Brick House, with a Kitchen adjoining the same, with good Chambers, 

     and a Well of choice Water near the Door, a handsome Garden, well

     fenced with Cedar Boards, a good Barn, and young orchard, with the best

     Kind of Fruits, such as Apples, Peaches, Pears, Cherries and Plumbs. No. 2.

     fronting the same, on the North Side of said Road, contains 30 Acres and

     a Quarter of cleared Land. No. 3 is pleasantly situated on the River

     Schuylkill, between the Lands of WilliamWarner, and Ralph Ashton, ESq;

     deceased, containing 49 Acres and a Quarter, with a Dwelling house, Barn,

     Spring house, and good bearing Orchard; a Road leads thro'this Lot to the

     Falls, the whole under good Cedar and Chestnut Post and Rail Fence, and

     very suitable for Gentlemans Country Seats.


The Warners and their families were very much caught up in the many Quaker discussions concerning their faith and the faith of others. Their great-great-grandfather, Captain William Warner, was said to be Philadelphia's sole Puritan. Captain Warner had been with the militant Puritans in England and had mellowed during his time with the Quakers. The Quakers were anti-Calvinistic, which emphasized original sin, unconditional predestination, invincible grace in conversion, particular redemption, and perseverance of saints as the essential elements of the Christian Faith.


 The Quakers placed their emphasis on human responsibility, or “every man following the inner light” for salvation. They were true lovers of God, men of integrity in the community and showed a practical concern for the poor and needy.


Many of the Captain’s children and grandchildren married into the Quaker Faith. They were the Warners that lived during the religious movement later called “The Great Awakening,” as it was spreading through the colonies. This movement contributed to changing attitudes about people of other faiths, liberty, slavery, and loyalty to the king. Many people were becoming more aware of being in control of their own thoughts and actions and the need for mutual community responsibility.


Attitudes were also changed by the writings of Thomas Paine. In 1776, he published Common Sense, a strong defense of American Independence from England. He traveled with the Continental Army and wasn't a success as a soldier, but he produced The Crisis (1776-83), which helped inspire the Army. This pamphlet was so popular that as a percentage of the population, it was read by or read to more people than today watch an Ohio State ball game.


William (The Baron, 9), son of Isaac and Anne Cravens, grandson of Captain William, made the decision in his Will that he had not made while he was living.  He died in 1776. He had long believed the Bible sanctioned slavery but became convinced that it was wrong. In his Will he gave his nine slaves their freedom. His land he left to his wife and then it was to pass to his son William (10). His daughters Barbara, Catherine, Ann, and Lucy received parcels of land in Blockley Township.


Joseph (10), son of Joseph (9) was born 1727 or 1728, continued to be active with the Middletown Friends where a very sweet Ruth Hayhurst caught his eye. They were married in 1752, and after several moves settled in Deer Creek near Darlington, Maryland. Here they had six children (11), the third of which was Aseph.  Joseph (9) and Ruth (Hayhurst) Warner raised their six children during the series of events that led directly to the Declaration of Independence. The English king and Parliament saw the colonists as a source of income. Many of the colonists saw the power to tax without representation as a return of the power of the king they had sought to escape. Being human, the Warners would have been among the crowds that heard inspired speakers calling for independence; being Quakers, they would have observed quietly from the background and pondered how to personally respond.




     1. Cuthbert, b March 10, 1753, m 1st Rachel Hill in 1773, 2nd Ann

         Smith. Children: Rachel, Thomas, Ralph, (died young), Joseph,

         Elizabeth, Andrew Ellicott, William, John, and Julia (died young of TB)

     2. Joseph, b April 23, 1755, d young of tuberculosis.

   *3. Aseph, b Aug 14, 1757, m 1781 Ruth Ellicott, d 1849.

     4. Ezekial, b Jan. 2, 1761, drowned while a young man.

     5. Mordecai, b Dec. 24, 176), died young of tuberculosis.

     6. Silas, b April 15, 1766, m Sarah Warnock in 1807, d 1822.


Isaac (10), son of Joseph and Agnes, made the decision for independence. He was promptly disowned by the Friends MM 7/10/1776 for bearing arms.  In 1777 he was commissioned Lieut. Col. Of the 7th Battalion Philadelphia Militia. He fought against the British at Philadelphia and later was made a full Colonel. (Other Warners that fought in the War for Independence, were Swen (9), Isaac (10), William (10), John (10), and Edward Heston (10), son of Mary (Warner) Heston.


When the British Army was approaching Philadelphia Colonel Isaac Warner was included in the following action as recorded in the minutes of the Supreme Executive Council for September 11, 1777:


     …The two Armies now engaged, & the event doubtful,

          Ordered. That all Shops & Stores be immediately Shut up, except those

      only where workman are employed in making or repairing the Public arms,

      & that every Man capable of bearing arms, or repairing Arms repair to his

      Captains’ Quarters at Two O’Clock this Afternoon.

         The Commissioned Officers are hereby Commanded to exert themselves

      in the execution of this Order. & order that the Drums beat the Arms


         Ordered, Colo. Heister, Colo. Corsey, Colo. Antis, & Colo. Dean’s

      respective Battalions, do immediately rendevous at the Sweed’s Ford,

      & the Colo. McVeaugh, rendezvous at the Falls of Schuylkill Falls, &

      Colo. Warner’s at Derby.

         As the enemy is near at hand & this minute engaging our Army

      under the Command of his Excell’y Gen’s George Washington,

         Ordered that the issueing Commissary supply Provisions to the Militia

      at the Sweed’s Ford, Schuylkill Falls, & Derby   

         Ordered, That every able bodied man in the County of Bucks, turn

      out with his Arms, accoutrements & blankets, & that those who cannot

      furnish themselves with Arms to take axes, spades, & every other kind

      of entrenching Tool…


The British occupied Philadelphia but not before everything that could be eaten or used to keep warm was removed by the rebels. Some of those who stayed were later called traitors and after the war the council had to deal with selling their property.


Before we leave Blockley there is more to the story. The Warners were leaving the area as it was going down. The name Blockley would become a synonym for misery, sordidness and suffering. The streams and meadows that had attracted Captain Warner and been home for several generations of Warners were now considered to be of little value and became a slum area.


In 1772 the Blockley Almshouse was built to help the poor in the area and in 1829, 187 acres of Blockley Township was purchased for $51,000 to build the Philadelphia General Hospital In 1864 the city consolidated the area, and Blockley Township became defunct, but the name lived on and became associated with the care of the unfortunate.


The first building of the University of Pennsylvania was built on the land that had first been purchased by Captain William Warner.  In 1949 Dr. Rodney David Warner (17), a direct descendant, walked across this Blockley land to receive his Medical Degree. He had been drafted into the U.S. Army during WWII. After Basic Training at Camp Grant, he was assigned to engineering classes at Harvard. In an opportune conversation with a Doctor Brofee, he spoke of his medical desire and was soon reassigned to complete his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Much of his medical training was at the General Hospital. The hospital was closed in 1977 after 200 years serving the poor, ill, and insane, through the name of the old almshouse, “Old Blockley.” 


The third child of Joseph (10) and Ruth continues our direct line. He was named Aseph (11), born 1757. He moved with his father’s family about 1770 to Deer Creek, Harford County, Maryland. He returned to Bucks County for a while where he met and married Ruth Ellicott, daughter of Thomas and Ann (Ely) Ellicott 1781. The family lived in Bucks County until 1785 when they moved to Deer Creek, Maryland, and settled on part of his father’s estate which he inherited at his death.  Aseph farmed and operated a clockmakers shop in a country store on this farm and was active with the Deer Creek Friends Meeting.


Aseph and Ruth had ten children. Mordecai (12) was born 1788, the year before George Washington was inaugurated as the first president and the year after the Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. He was the third of their ten children.



     1 Aseph, died in infancy April 27, 1783 

     2 Letitia, b Mar 25, 1786 d Aug 12, 1876 m Samuel Scarborough May 29, 1809

   *3 Mordecai, b May 6, 1788, d July 19, 1842 m Jane Lewis Jan 14,1815 dau of

            James and Rachel (Fox) Lewis

     4 Pamelia, b Sep 39, 1790 d Oct 29 1863, unm

     5 Ruth Ann, b Feb 25, 1793 d May 11 1849 unm

     6 Thomas, Sep 11, 1795 d Feb 19, 1821 m Feb 7, 1821 Mary A. Worley

     7 Joseph, Sep 7, 1798 d Dec13, 1828 m Ann Smith

      8 Elizabeth, Aug 5, 1801 d Apr 1869 m James Healy abt 1826

      9 Silas, b Jan 30, 1805 d abt 1885 m Mary Jones 2nd m Jul 18, 1850 Martha F Carr

    10 Matilda, d infant Mar 15, 1808


Mordecai learned the trades of millwright, silversmith and coppersmith. He and Jane Lewis developed a mutual affinity and were married in 1815. Jane was the daughter of John and Rachel (Fox) Lewis. For a wedding gift John Lewis gave his daughter and new son-in-law a tract of land with a small house located in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.


Here Jane Lewis Warner is seated in her garden with her daughters Letitia, Elizabeth and

grandson, AT Warner. The house in the background was built by Mordecai. It was known as the Warner Homestead of New Jersey and became a gathering place for both the Lewis and the Warner families. The Mordecai family always lived here with the exception of the three years that Mordecai was connected with the construction of a college on Girard Avenue in Philadelphia.


Harold Warner Osler wrote about Mordecai’s wife, “Jane was a very                                      

Mords house and Jane068

estimable and loving woman and under              Jane Lewis Warner 1793-1884

her care her nine children grew up to be                                                                                good and honest citizens. She has been spoken of as the grand old lady of the family. She was a God-fearing woman of Quaker faith. She lived to be quite old.”


Mordecai was described as a moderately large man with red hair, red complexion and blue eyes. He was especially noted for his extreme intelligence. He made his own tools and many utensils for the house. He helped in the construction of water wheels at various places along the Delaware River and elsewhere. He was dismissed from the Friends Meeting because of his tendencies to follow arts of warfare in 1809. (1788-1842) 





    *1. John Lewis, Nov 27, 1815 d 1891 m 1837 Amelia Charity Wells 1919-1892

      2. Aseph b Oct 4, 1817 d Jul 20, 1866 of typhoid fever m Mary Smith Dec 14, 1839

      3. Ruth Oct 9, 1819 d infant

      4. Letitia b Sep 30 1821 d Mar 3 1905 unm

      5. Elizabeth b Apr 19, 1841 d Dec 5, 1905 Letitia and Elizabeth, maiden ladies,       

          always lived at the Homestead. Letitia took care of Grandmother Jane while 

          Elizabeth worked at nursing when she could get work. (see picture p 15)

     6. Joseph Cuthbert Oct 4, 1826 d Mar 9 1904 m Permelia Hunt June 19, 1850

     7. Thomas Silas Feb 11, 1831 d Mar 9, 1854 of pneumonia

     8. Sarah Jane b Jun 29, 1835  d Mar 9, 1895 m Sylvester Hann Dec 29, 1863

     9. Pamelia Charity b Oct 7 1853 d Oct 7, 1838 of heart trouble


Mordecai’s son, John Lewis Warner (13), born 1815, learned the trade of millwright from his father and also taught school in the East. He taught from The New England Primer, which began with the Calvinistic theology –“In Adam’s Fall, we sinned all.” The New England Primer was the book from which most of the children of Colonial America learned to read. It has been estimated that as many as two million were sold in the 1700s.


The lessons frequently contained moral texts based on the Old Testament.  The letters of the alphabet were illustrated by rhymed couplets:

F "The idle Fool/Is whipt at School"

JJOB feels the Rod,

    Yet blesses GOD.” 

PPETER deny'd His Lord and cry'd.”


Perhaps the worst couplet was for Q. This one extended unchristian like hatred for many generations to come. 

QQueen ESTHER sues

    And saves the Jews.” 



In 1836 at the age of 21, John Lewis Warner (13) decided to “go west”. He got as far as the Monongahela River Valley in Pennsylvania where he met, was charmed by and married the lovely Amelia Charity Wells in 1837. She was the daughter of James and Mary (Scarborough) Wells.


John L and Charity (Wells) Warner042

Six children were born to them here in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, before he packed his family into a road wagon for a move across the Ohio River.  


In April of 1851 they arrived in the vicinity of Batesville, Ohio, which had recently been taken from Guernsey County to help make up  the newly formed Noble County.

                        John and Charity Warner                            They first settled in Beaver Town-           

                                                                                              ship about five miles west of Batesville just below the Palestine Church. Five more children were born while they moved several times in this area. He then built a house near Calais in Monroe County.


John Lewis Warner was considered a kind and honest neighbor. He was a staunch Republican and voted for Abraham Lincoln. He adhered to the Quaker Faith though he did not join a meeting after leaving Philadelphia. He taught school after coming to Noble County. He taught his last term on Beaver Creek. He also worked some at the millwright trade, but the pay was not enough to support his large family.  He later moved to the home of daughter Mary Jane Reed in Tyler County, West Virginia.


The children of John and Charity were never all at home at one time, the two older ones being married and away before the younger two were born. On September 22, 1904, after the death of their parents, the eleven children met at Sistersville, West Virginia. On this day they had their picture taken being seated in the order of their birth, James Wells is seated on the right, in the front row. To complete the happy day they all stepped on the stock scales and were weighed, totaling just 2250 pounds.  


                       The children of John Lewis and Charity (Wells) Warner 1904.


Front: Margaret Matilda Dickey 1848-1930; Mary Jane Reed 1845-1919; Thomas Burton 1843-1924; Mordecai John 1841-1907; James Wells 1838-1918; Back row: Ulysses S. Grant 1864-1943; Aseph Ellsworth 1861-1922; Samuel Silas 1859-1943; George Washington 1856-1936; William Stotler 1853-1931; Joseph Cuthbert 1850-1908


The famous prayer of the New England Primer:

                                 Now I lay me down to sleep,

                                  I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep;

                                   If I should die before I wake,

                                   I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take.


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 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17