The Worland Family in America and Beyond

I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

August 1722, Pennsylvania

Graeme Park was originally called "Fountain Low" by Sir Keith.

August 27, 1722- John Kirk and Sarah Tyson are married in at the Abington Monthly Meeting in Germantown, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

"Whereas John Kirk & Sarah Tyson having Declared their Intentions of Marraige with each other before two Mo. Meetings Enquirey being Made by Persons Appointed & found clear from all others on ye Acct of Marraige are Left to Accomplish ye same Orderly." (Swarthmore - Abington MM)

John Kirk was a stone-mason, (today he'd be called 'building contractor'), and built the house known as the Kirk Homestead (still standing) in which he and his descendants lived for many years. He also worked on, in 1722, Graeme Park, the mansion of Pennsylvania's first Governor Keith, which has recently been restored and is a Pennsylvania Historical Site.
The official Graeme House booklet notes John Kirk as having built the house, however, further research - and the initials "M.T." on the house - indicate that John Kirk most likely was not the building's mason, but rather it was Matthias Tyson, John's brother-in-law. John Kirk probably built the brewery elsewhere on the property, but no longer extant.
"Know all Men by these presents that I Sir William Keith Baronet Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania am held and firmly bound unto John Kirk of the County of Philadelphia Mason in the Summ of One Hundred Pounds good and lawful Money of America to be paid to the said John Kirk his certain Attorney Executors Administrators or Assigns; To the which Payment well and truly to be made I bind myself my Heirs Executors and Administrators firmly by these presents. Sealed with my seal. Dated the Twelfth Day of December in the Eighth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King George Anne Domini 1721." (The original is in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.)

The Kirk homestead, painted circa 1830 by Robert Street, who traveled through the Philadelphia area doing portraits and farm landscapes in oil in exchange for room and board. In this way he made his living. The Kirk house is still standing on Fitzwatertown Road near Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, although the barns and outbuildings have been demolished. Today it is surrounded by a development of new homes which come within a few feet of the house itself.

(Sarah Tyson is my first cousin 9 times removed. Our common ancestors are Mathias Dohrs and Agnes Neesgen Op den Graeff.)

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