Hometown Tuesday #37 ~ Lower Merion, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

The Shawnee, Saluda and Delaware Indians were the first settlers in Lower Merion, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania long before the coming of Europeans. The Dutch came, not as colonizers, but as traders. In 1633, they established an extensive fur trade with the Indians, and in 1648 bought from them a tract, supposed to have been near Gray’s Ferry, on which a fort, called “Beversrede,” was soon completed.

Then in 1638 the Swedes arrived. Unlike the Dutch, they came prepared to found a colony. Others followed, and in 1643, their settlements were extended to Tinicum island, near the Schuylkill’s mouth, where, under Governor Johan Printz, had built a mansion house, a fort and dwellings, and called the place “New Gothenborg.” The same year, they built a grist mill on Cobb’s creek, and a Meeting House.

They lived here for about 40 years before the arrival of William Penn. Along with Penn came the Quakers and for many years they lived peaceably, side by side. A few Indian names have survived in the geography of the state. One of the purchases of land made by William Penn in 1683 was described as beginning “on ye West side of Manaiunk, called Consohockhan.” Two years later, the Indians conveyed to him all the lands lying between Chester and Pennypack creeks.The compact made between William Penn and the Indians, under the treaty elm at Shackamaxon, ensured peace for more than seventy years.

The countryside was full of deer, fowls, and birds. The waters which were abundant in the area was full of fish. “Hogs” roamed the woods and hunting them brought much needed meat to the tables of the increasing number of newcomers.

When Penn sailed up the Delaware, in 1682, there were probably 1000 Dutch, Swedes, English and Germans settled within the present limits of Pennsylvania. Not long after Penn’s move to Delaware did William Warner, ancestor of the Warner family of Lower Merion and of many other places, built a mansion here. He called his place “Blockley,” which name was afterwards extended to the surrounding township.

In December 1688, John Blackwell became Deputy Governor and disagreements soon occurred between him and Thomas Lloyd, a Welshman, who had been President of Council. In the spring of 1689, Lloyd appeared before Council, to say to object to the town of Lower Merion being incorporated into Chester, County. After much debate the matter was dropped.

Burial Grounds of Thomas and Elizabeth Lloyd

The above mentioned Thomas Lloyd is my 8th Great Grandfather. He was born in 1670 in Cynlas, Merionethshire, Wales, and he emigrated to the Lower Merion Pennsylvania area in 1683. Here he married Elizabeth Williams (1672-1748) on August 8, 1700, at the Radnor Monthly Friends Meeting in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. They had 6 children, 3 sons, and 3 daughters. Thomas continued to serve as the President of the Council until 1720. He was a prosperous farmer. He died in 1741 in Lower Merion, at the age of 71.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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