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Genealogy: Sarah Richards

Sarah Richards Born c.1765. Died in 1840. Married c.1785 to Edward Roberts. They came to New Castle, PA about 1807 in Conestoga wagons, Mrs Roberts riding horseback and carrying her youngest son, Samuel, aged one year, in her arms. (Family oral history and some publications state a relationship to Mary (Ball) Washington, but this is unproven. See Note 1)

Known children of Edward Roberts and Sarah:
Anne (Nancy) (ca.1786-ca.1860), m. Andrew Guyer
Owen (ca.1787-1848), m. Martha Williams
David (1789-1879), m. Rebecca McChesney
Mary (Aunt Polly) (b.ca.1802)
Sarah (Aunt Sally) (b.ca.1804)
James (b.ca.1805)
Samuel P. (1806-1899)

Owen Richards Born abt.1730. Baptized 9/20/1737. Died aft.1785. Married to Elizabeth Baker (Note 2). Owen was a private during the Revolutionary War in Capt. Gray's Company, 4th Penna. Rgt., Continental Line. He came to New Castle, Penna. from Centre Co, Penna. about 1807 (Note 3).

Children of Owen and Elizabeth:
William (b.1756); m. Anne Roberts
John; m.Sarah
Mary
Elizabeth; m. George Barr
Eleanor; m. _ Hamilton
Jane; m. John Stevens
Sarah (c.1765-1840) (above)
Owen

Owen was baptized, according to the records of St. Gabriel's Church, ..., together with his brother James and sister Ruth, September 20, 1737. He appears to have been a farmer by occupation, and is assessed in Amity Township as a tenant from 1756 to 1760, and in Union Township from 1766 to 1773, after which no further trace of him is to be found in the county records. He removed, probably about the commencement of the Revolutionary War, to Northumberland County, or some other of the then so-called western portions of the State. A person of his name, presumably the same individual, appears on the list of privates of Capt. Gray's Company, Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment, Continental Line, in 1777. The names of his children, as given in a tabulated list of the heirs of his nephew, Joseph Ball, were William, John, Mary, Elizabeth (Barr), Eleanor (Hamilton), Jane (Stevens), and Sarah (Roberts). [Genealogies of Pennsylvania Families, from The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Genealogy Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1981.]

William Richards Probably born in Wales. He married Elizabeth --- around 1730 because they had four children baptized at St. Gabriel's Church in 1737. William died in January, 1752. His will, 12/26/1751, is on file in Philadelphia and mentions the names of all his children. (See Note 4 wherein it also states: "To his occupation of tiller of the soil, he at one time added the functions of constable of the [Amity] township").

Children of William and Elizabeth:
William
James
Owen (b.c.1730) (above)
Mary (m. John Ball)
Ruth (m. Kunzman)
Margaret (m. Dewees)
Sarah (m. Hastings)

The first record of William was in 1735 when he bought 150 acres adjoining his older brother, James. He purchased the land in Amity township from Michael Warren [PA Arch 3 Ser I]. In 1741 William witnessed the Administrator's Bond of Sarah and John Ball of Douglass township which was adjacent to Amity. By 1751 he moved up into Oley township where he was living when he made his will. The will of William Richards of Oley township was written December 26, 1751. It named his "dearly beloved wife, Elizabeth" and instructed her to have their son William live with her one year and then put him out to learn a trade which he liked. William was the youngest son. Ruth and Sarah were evidently the youngest daughters as their father left their education and bequests in the "care and discretion" of their mother. To his daughters, Mary Ball and Margaret Richards, and his son, Owen, he left five shillings each. His son, James, was left Ten Pounds and his father's mare. The rest of the estate went to Elizabeth. Executors named were Peter Weaver and the wife, Elizabeth Richards. William signed with his distinctive "W" (see copy of Administrator's Bond of John Ball, deceased). The will was signed coram (in the presence of) John Campbell. It was proved February 15, 1752 [CPhi 1752 W315, I:533]. In 1754 Widow Richards was listed for 12 Pounds 3 shillings with the taxables of recently-formed Berks County [Tax Lists 1754-1790, GSP Call No. Be 3A2]. (Note 5)
Owen Richards Sometime before 1718, Owen Richards went to Pennsylvania from Merionethshire, North Wales. It is believed that his wife [first] and four children emigrated with him.

Children of Owen and first wife:
James
Willaim (above)
John
Elizabeth

The first record of Owen Richards was December 23, 1718. On that date he bought 300 acres of land from Mouns Justice. [Ref: Frank Willing Leach, "Prominent Philadelphia Families-- Richards", The North American, Phila. PA, 24 Mar 1912, p.6.; preserved and bound at GSP.] The tract was in Amity township, now Berks County, on a branch of the Monacacy and about three miles from the Schuykill River. At the time, that area was part of Pennsylvania's frontier. Among the Richards' neighbors during the early years of settlement were the Balls, Rhoads, Boones, Brumfields, Lincolns, Hanks, Tallmans, and Evans.
    On June 5, 1727, Owen Richards married, second, Elizabeth Baker at Christ Church, Philadelphia [Record of Pennsylvania Marriages Prior to 1810 (Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., Inc., 1968) p. 215]. It is not known when Owen died, but records show that it was not prior to 1734. Elizabeth died in 1753, age 80, and was buried in the graveyard of St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church at Douglassville [Lewis Richards, A Sketch of Some of the Descendants of Owen Richards (Phila.: Collins Printers, 1882)]. (Note 5)

(1) See p.504 of The Magee Family, Robert Ashley Stevenson, Johnson Publishing Co., Boulder, CO, copyright 1968, LOC Card #68-8387.
(2) There could be some confusion about Elizabeth Baker since Owen Richards senior's second wife was Elizabeth Baker.
(3) From the DAR Patriot Index - Centennial Edition, Washington: 1990, Part 3, page 2454, copyright DAR 1994:
RICHARDS: Owen: bpt 9/20/1737 PA d p 1785 PA m X Pvt CL PA
Also see PA Archives 2d Series, Vol 10, p.500; 5th Series, Vol 4, p.221
(4) Genealogies of Pennsylvania Families, From the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1981.
(5) This information and references came from Ball Cousins, Descendents of John and Sarah Ball and of William and Elizabeth Richards of Colonial Philadelphia Co., Penna. by Margaret B. Kinsey, Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, 1981. The forward in the book states: "A remarkable estate was distributed between 1827 and 1858. It established the descent of 955 people from two couples--John and Sarah Ball, and William and Elizabeth Richards. In the 1730s those families lived in adjoining Amity and Douglass townships in (then) Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. They were the grandparents of Joseph Ball whose estate it was."

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Last change: 11 Jun 2009