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Searching for the Ancestors of Thomas Fisher of Chester County, Pennsylvania

Chapter V. Other Fishers of Chester County

George Fisher, Immigrant on the Bristol Merchant

Records of the Court of Newcastle County (now part of Delaware) show that a George Fisher bought a town lot (a kitchen and half a lot) in 1687/88, from the Swede Justus (Eustace) Anderson. Justus Anderson lived at Upland (now Chester Township) in Chester County, and the Fisher lot is assumed to have been from the Anderson lands there which he purchased from the Swedish priest Lasse Corolus, but it could have been in Newcastle County. There was some sort of dispute over payment, but after John Smith and Hugh McGregory testified, George Fisher settled by paying 19 pounds. Hugh McGregory died in Cecil County, Maryland in 1703. It is not clear which of several John Smiths was involved. No further record of this George Fisher has been found in Chester County or Newcastle County. I think he may have been George, son of Dennis and Susannah Fisher, who came by 1683 to Salem County, West New Jersey from Portsmouth, Hampshire. George, son of Dennis and Susannah Fisher, was christened September 1, 1667, in the parish church of St. Thomas in Portsmouth.

A connection between George Fisher of Upland (Chester), and Thomas Fisher of Kennet Township is possible. Thomas Fisher and Thomas Robinson received a joint grant from William Penn for land near Brandywine Creek, in the Province of Pennsylvania, in March of 1701. The Robinson/Fisher tract, about 15 miles from Upland, was in what is now Pennsbury Township, formerly part of Kennet Township, Chester County. One of the abutting neighbors of Thomas Fisher was Zerobabel Thatcher, a son or nephew of Jonathan Thatcher, a fellow passenger of George Fisher on the “Bristol Merchant.” John Robinson of Thomastown in Monkstown Parish, southeast Dublin County in Ireland may be the same as John Robinson who also came with George Fisher.

An Irish George Fisher arrived in Pennsylvania in 1685 aboard the “Bristol Merchant,” carrying mostly Irish passengers but with some immigrants from around Bristol, England. George came as a servant to the Jaspar Farmer family. The Farmers came from Garrankinnesfeake, County Cork, Ireland, on the northeast side of the bay of the city of Cork, but Jaspar Farmer is mentioned in the Quaker records of Youghal Monthly meeting, at the eastern edge of County Cork, as early as 1669. This George Fisher, being bound to Jaspar Farmer, would have lived first in Philadelphia County on the estate of the Farmer Family, in Dublin Township. His indenture should have ended by 1689. Jaspar Farmer died only two months after the immigration, and it is not known if George Fisher was released from the bond. He may have gone to Joseph Fisher of Dublin Township, who came from Dublin County, Ireland in 1683 and who seems to have been his father or close relative. In January of 1696, George Fisher and Edward Farmer were witnesses to the Philadelphia will of Thomas Tearewood. Joseph Fisher, executor, was born at Elton, Cheshire, but was of Stillorgan (Dublin County), Ireland, when he brought Thomas Tearewood as a servant aboard the “Lion” in 1683. George Fisher was plaintiff in a suit in the Bucks County Quarter Sessions, against Edward Shaw for debt, in 1699.

John Fisher of Chichester, Chester County

John Fisher, a hatter of Chichester Township, is one of the few known Fishers who lived in Chester County before 1713. His death coincides almost exactly with Thomas Fisher’s application for land in Kennett. He died intestate, and his administration was assigned to his wife Barbara on 10 March, 1701. He probably belonged to the Church of England, but lived only 4 or 5 miles from the Concord meeting house where Thomas Fisher and Elizabeth Huntley were married. The administration papers are lost. On 25 March, 1702, Barbara was appointed administrator for Isaac Jessop of Chichester, taylor, as his principal creditor.

Thomas and John Fisher of Chester County could have been the brothers Thomas (born 1682) and John (born 1679), sons of Thomas and Rosamond Fisher of Dunleary in Dublin County, Ireland. Considering his age, John would then have been married less than a year when he died.

Another possibility is that John Fisher of Chichester was the one who married “Barbary” Munckhouse on 8 February 1699, at Embleton near Cockermouth and Pardshaw in Cumberland. Barbara Munckhouse, daughter of William, was christened 7 February 1676, at Caldbeck in Cumberland, about 10 miles northeast of Pardshaw. (In 1700, a John Fisher, Quaker, came to Bucks County, Pennsylvania from Pardshaw.)

William Fisher, Agent for Elizabeth Andross of Thornbury, Chester County

Elizabeth Andross (Andries, Andrews) was the widow of George Andross, of the City of Chester in Chester Township. George died about 1687. Probable sons were Mather and Claus Andross. The widow and sons moved to Thornbury Township in 1695, where she became a neighbor of Richard Woodward. His property adjoined her tract.

In 1701, Richard Woodward married Deborah Standfield, daughter of Francis, deceased. Richard and Deborah settled on his tract next to the Andross family.

Deborah (Standfield) Woodward was an aunt of Elizabeth Huntley, who married Thomas Fisher in 1713. When Elizabeth Andross bought the Thornbury land, her agent was William Fisher, identity unknown.

William Fisher, Executor of Jonathan Bradley, 1731

In 1730, William Fisher was administrator for the estate of Jonathan Bradley, which included a tract of 200 acres on the branches of the Brandywine that had been surveyed in 1729. In 1730 Edward Bradley, a glazier of Philadelphia, had land in East Caln. The identity of this William Fisher is unknown.

Joseph Fisher of East Bradford/Caln/Uwchlan

This Fisher came a little later than the scope of my search for Thomas Fisher but may be relevant. This information came from a researcher and I have not worked the source records. This Joseph Fisher has not been placed with respect to earlier Fishers of Chester County. In 1774 Joseph Fisher married Susannah Gray of East Bradford, at the Old Swedes Church at Wilmington. An old map of part of Uwchlan and West Pikeland shows a Joseph Fisher house about 2 miles south of the Uwchlan Quaker meeting house which was at Lionville. One Joseph Fisher leased land from Ezra Taylor whose estate sold it in 1805 to John Fisher. A Joseph Fisher was taxed in East Caln Township in 1776 and 1783 as an inmate (tenant), not a land owner. A Joseph Fisher was taxed in 1786 in Uwchlan.

Henry Fisher

Henry Fisher was administrator for Moses Rambo of Darby, Chester County, in 1757. His identity is unknown.

Philip and Peter Fisher et al

Benjamin Cummings described these Fishers in “A Fisher Family of Chester County, Pa.” in 1898.
“--- Fisher, whose first home is not given, b. ab. 1700? Is said to have settled in Germantown, Philadelphia county. He had a son named Peter, b. ab. 1740? Who settled in York county Pa., and had the following children: Jacob b. ab. 1768, William b. ab. 1770, Peter b. ab. 1772, John b. ab. 1774, Adam b. ab. 1776, Frederick b. 22 Dec 1778, Elizabeth b. ab. 1780. Peter Fisher, father of these children, died and his widow married Rev. Phillip Young, a Lutheran minister, and removed to Martinsburg Va. Mr. Ra. A. Brock, of Richmond Va. Has a full record of Frederick’s descendants. Penna Magazine vol 15 Page 269.” Peter Fisher of Lebanon township, Lebanon county, Pa, died shortly before 1800. Leaving the following adult children who are all supposed to have been living in that year: Peter, Catherine wife of John Zimmerman, Jacob, Phillip, Margeret wife of Jacob Wise, David, Christian, John. Duplication of given names would indicate this family to be related to Peter Fisher of York county, above named. These names are given in Egles’s History of Lebanon county Pa., page 336.”

Philip Fisher left a will in Germantown, Philadelphia County in 1795. Peter Fisher had 50 acres surveyed in West Nantmeal Township in 1784/5. Herman and Jacob Fisher appear in the land patent books for Chester County in 1738. Custin and Poston Fisher (perhaps the same person) appear in the Chester County tax books in 1725. These Fishers were probably German immigrants.