LDS film 568060 - Brick Meeting House and Andrew Job 'The Hermit'

LDS film 568060
Brick Meeting House and Andrew Job 'The Hermit'

Transcribed by Eleanor Othun

She is still researching the film for further information, but has given us permission to post her discoveries so far.
Updates may be forthcoming.

Introduction by Eleanor

LDS Film #568060 is primarily about cemeteries and Chester Co. church records. Quite a distance into the film, there are pages about the Quaker Brick Meetinghouse and the Nottingham Lots. It is handwritten, author unknown so far. The pages appear and re-appear in different versions, so I think they may be drafts of a talk or paper about the meetinghouse and its adherents. There are at least two authors. Included are two descriptions of Andrew Job, who was the son of Daniel and Mary (Brown) Job and grandson of Thomas Vernon Job and Elizabeth Maxwell and gt grandson of Andrew Job Jr and Elizabeth Vernon. Many records today refer to him as Andrew 'The Hermit' Job. I have attempted to copy the text as closely as I could to the original on the film. I do not recognize any handwriting, but it may be Kirk Brown. Toward the end of the pages, I find the phrase “Said to Meeting by Isaac Chandler. . / eo

Brick Meeting House as it looks today

“Brick Meeting House”

The pages begin:

"At the Request of Several Members of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the author has taken some trouble to gather up as much of its history as can be discovered at this remote period. He deems it not unimportant to Preface his historical Effort with some Brief reminisences of the Settlement of Nottingham Township in which domain the Brick Meeting House was Erected;

On March 7th 1701 Wm. Penn then Proprietor and Governor of Pennsylvania directed a warrant to issue to his Surveyor General to lay of [sic] a Manor of land (which was called Nottingham) which was bounded south by the supposed line between his Colony and that of Lord Baltimore, on the West by Octoraro Creek, on the North by an East West line, and on the East by Big Elk Creek (these Boundaries may not be technically correct but are substantially true). These lot lines are to a large Extent from the dividing lines of many farms at this day, the author’s farm in East Nottingham is bounded on the South for over three hundred perch by the northern line of said lots, at the time this manor was laid off there was not any settlements within its limits. Indeed there [were] but few inhabitants west of Brandywine. The whole track was covered with splendid timber and amply watered by springs and babling brooks that found their way into the North East and Octoraro Creeks. A specimen may be seen at this day (1874) of the timber near the P&B Central RR about one mile N.E. of the Rising Sun Borough, the majestic Oaks Hickorys etc still stand there in all there primative grandure. The Townships of East and West Nottingham were organized, the Eastern line being Big Elk Creek and running a line nearly East West from said creek to Octoraro, thence down the same to the Supposed Colonial line, this East & West line was about four mile north of the northern line of said lots and nearly parallel thereto. The Borough of Oxford or the larger portion thereof was included in the Bounds of East Nottingham; The Friends who for many years had been emigrating to America had generally congregated along the Delaware near to Chester, after this survey of Nottingham was made, in the Autumn of the year 1701, a party determined to make a push for the new settlement in the “Back Woods.” According to Jas Brown & his Brother William Brown, both Preachers in the Society of Friends …. Horse back … pack horses……. Lands of Wm. Cameron & Reuben Kirk ….

By the spring of 1702 [or 3?] they had a number of cabins erected …. Before they had any buildings erected they held their meetings …beneath the majestic oaks. . . .

Among the names of the first settlers of Nottingham were Brown, Kirk, England, Reynolds, Churchman, Job, Chandler, Rogers, Haines, & Rowls, all of whom were Friends. quite conspicuous, the Churchmans appeared to have been the most learned as very many of them were surveyors, one of them named John Churchman was for some years Surveyor General under the Penn government…. He died aboard ship returning from his second visit to England. … clockmakers…scientific people…. The Kirks and Browns are still numerous in that locality, …. Names Haines, England and Reynolds very numerous in Not’m at this day … The Jobs, and Rowl’s are by no means numerous as there are but few of the first and still fewer of the latter names now residing in that vicinity."

(Hand drawing and star drawing appear on the line. New thought sequence starts immediately on next line…)

Page 7 of the new handwriting shows:

“… They soon erected log houses laid the floors with split boards and removed their families thereto and commenced housekeeping in the most primitive style, such as I presume none of their present descendants would at this day be willing to adopt…”

[This is the end of the page and next page picks up totally new subject, the layout of the Nottingham lots. The text goes on to page 15 about Mason-Dixon line. Then page 16 starts over with the Brick Meeting House title centered at top of page….]

“This Ancient and far famed House of Worship was Erected by the Society of Friends in the year 1724…the writer presumes that some Reminiscences and history … may not be uninteresting… hence his attempt at its preservasion [sic].
James and William Brown….”

[More pages over…]

“Fairville Chester Co Pa 11 mo. 1st 1869.
Respected friend B.J. Pafsmore [Passmore]
I have delayed answering thy interesting letter in the hope that way would open to examine the records of Newark / now Kennet / monthly meeting that being it is preserved, the executive body under which the Nottingham settlement of Friends was first organized. This object I have not yet been able to accomplish, but intend embracing the first opportunity to do so. It appears that up to the year 1718 all the settlements of Friends west of the Brandywine through the southern part of Chester Co. and as far as the Sunfsow [Susquehana?] river in Maryland, were included within the bounds of Newark monthly meeting. In that year New Garden Monthly Meeting was established sweeping the entire region about the Red Clay Creek to the western and southern lines of the society. In 1730 Nottingham Monthly Meeting was set off from Newgarden. I have examined the Newgarden records but they throw no light on the early settlement of Nottingham."

“Thus far, we are borne out by authentic history, we must now for the present fall back on tradition. Some years since I furnished the substance of the following account to Samuel Gayly, Presbyterian Minister at West nottingham, which is included in a short work he has published on the early beginning of that section. I have often heard it from the old families of the neighborhood, the Churchmans, Jobs, Reynolds, and Browns, all agreeing substantially in the facts, and the memory of some of them extending back to within one generation of the events narrated. In the summer of 1702 by direction of Wm Penn a tract of land 18000 acres was laid off in farms along the southern border of Chester County to be called Nottingham. It extended from about the Blue Ball tavern in Maryland to near Porters bridge on the Octoraro, and as afterwards appeared encroached somewhat on the domain of Lord Baltimore, the line between the provinces, not being at that time settled. Att this time about 20 years had elapsed since the first landing the quakers and they had congregated in considerable numbers along the delaware. In the autumn of that year / 1702/ it was determined to make a push for the new survey in the “back woods”…. 20 men , …"

…. “Reciprocating the kindly tone of thy letter, I remain thy friend James Trimble.”

The film text now shows the other, earlier handwriting…

“… we approached the talk with many misgivings of our ability to do any thing like full justice to the subject …“

Andrew Job, the Hermit

I think the following is by James Trimble:

“the beginning or at least very early in the present century he [Andrew the hermit] withdrew entirely from Society, and strenuously persisted in living entirely alone on his farm {I well remember him so living in 18[illegible, but maybe 1828] for very man[y] years he refused to have any intercourse with his fellow-man (Except to purchase salt; and ammunition, His dwelling was in a retired spot, hidden from the public highway by timber. He cultivated a small plot of ground with a spade and raised wheat corn and vegitables [sic] which with the fruit around his lonely dwelling constituted his entire food. He did not even patronize the grist mill. He had quite a large flat stone in his house which one of his neighbors (Reuben Haines) found him slowly and laboriously rolling at a considerable distance from his House, after some importuning he consented to Reuben assist him and they two placed the stone in position in his house on this stone with a smaller one that he worked by hand he ground all his grain from which he made his Bread, with his gun he procured meet [sic] on his own premises, game being plentiful in his own timber land, and other sportsmen were shy about tresspasing [sic] on his premises. His farm was mainly covered with timber in its primitive state and his purse was occasionally replenished by the sale of a tree to some favorite neighbor, of which he had but few. A stranger or one not a favourite could under no circumstance purchase a tree from Andrew Job. His wardrobe was extremely limited. In warm weather he simply wore a skirt of coarse material reaching from his waist to near his knees, and a large portion of the time at home he abandoned the skirt and wore no clothing whatever. (I have been at his place more than once when I found him in a perfect nude state) In winter he wore a knit suit fitting him tight from the neck down to his feet, this suit he manufactured entirely himself having procured the wool he spun or twisted with a stick or peg and then knit it, the first time I remember seeing him was in 1820 and he was then dressed in one of his knit suits. His shoes he manufactured out of the skins of squirrels and other animals that he shot for food he was a large, powerful well developed man and I have heard many old persons say that before he took this sad turn of mind he was handsome, intelligent, and quite a favourite among his friends and associates; some thirty years or more ago his particular friend Jos. Haines prevailed upon him to wear clothing and he furnished him a suit and during the remainder of his life he continued to dress somewhat after the fashion of his neighbors. Jos. Haines was a son of Reuben Haines who helped him put his mill stone in place and on that account no doubt in part enabled Joseph to have some influence with him."

“For many years during the latter part of his Hermit life he kept a cow and at one time the Increase had become so great and his stock of provender so light one hard winter that his neighbors drove his cattle home to keep them from famishing. He cut his hay himself and carried it on a fork to a stack allways [sic] scrupulously endeavouring to avoid assistance or intercourse with his fellow man. After fifty years or more of this Hermit life, by some accident in mid winter perhaps about fifteen years ago his house was burned to the ground and with the greatest reluctance he was compelled to yeald [sic] to the solicitations of a kind Nephew and accompany him to his home about two mile distant. He was unwilling to live with the family and his nephew kindly fitted up an Out House for him and there the old man’s latter days were made comfortable by the kind attention of his nephew and family. He had lived so long isolated that even a cook stove and thrashing machine were great curiosities to him. He died perhaps about twelve years ago at an advanced age. His farm has since been sold and the woodmans ax [sic] has demolished the fine timber that the old man prized so highly.”

Various Families -More on Andrew 'The Hermit" Job

I think the following is by George Churchman.
Page 18 of new handwriting discusses the various families:

“… the name of Job is by no means numerous … Jacob Job, a worthy citizen who resides on his farm between the B.M. (brick meeting) house and the Rising Sun is the only male Resident of that name known to the writer, he is nephew to the late Andrew Job, whose singular life and character deserve more than a passing notice in these sketches. Andrew Job was a Seminal descendent of a man of the same name was one of the Pioneers who subjected the Nottingham Forrests [sic] to the habitation of Civilization. Andrew inherited from his Father a farm of some eighty acres in West Nottingham adjoining Mason & Dixon’s line on the north. He was a fine well raised young man, both intelligent and comely in person and it is said was a great favourite among his friends and associates. Unfortunately, however, whilst still a young man his mind became effected what cause is not known to the writer and quite early in the present century he withdrew entirely from society and betook himself to the solitary life of a hermit, his dwelling was some distance from the public Road and hidden from view by heavy timber. He strenuously persisted in living alone on his Farm and positively refused having any intercourse with his fellow man Except to procure salt and ammunition (I well remember him so living in 1820) He cultivated a small plot of his ground with a space on which he raised wheat, corn and vegitables, with his Gun he procured his meet on his own premises which was nearly all covered with heavy timber, game was quite plenty therein for the reason that sportsmen were shy about trespassing on his premises. He did not even patronize the grist mill but manufactured his own flour in the most primitive way. He found a large flat stone at some distance from his house which he undertook to roll to his dwelling. One of his neighbors (Reuben Haines) happened to be passing and offered his assistance which after much importuning Andrew accepted, and it was with much hard labor and dificulty [sic] the two succeeded in placing it in the position in the dwelling where Andrew desired (this information I received from my mother in law who was the wife of Reuben Haines)"

“His furniture and wardRobe was of the most simple and primitive kinde, young folks some times visited the old man’s premises where his fruit was ripe. He was civil but very reserved, still would freely part with his lucious [sic] peaches to his visitors by briefly saying get some and then closing the door and have no more conversation. I well remember being one of a party of young folks of both sexes, some of whom were his near neighbors whom the old man knew. He happened to be from house and we entered his solitary dwelling and even I and some others had impudence to ascend to his sleeping chamber on the second floor which we did by what might be called an open stair way (as it was a simple ladder) His chamber furniture consisted of a stool and about eight feet of the one half of a large hollow log (which must have [been] at least five feet in diameter) with the concave side up over which was tightly stretched a raw cow hide, with a block (soft side up)for a pillow. Neither Blanket, Quilt or counterpane were to be seen. … “In warm weather he wore a skirt made of an old coffee bag or some coarse material that someone had given him which reached from his waist to about his knees, very frequently in warm weather he wore no clothing whatever about Home. The writer has been at his house and seen him a bout Home frequently in a perfect nude state. When I knew him he was a large powerful man with mussels [sic] extraordinarily well developed. He was allways [sic] civil and unobtrusive however and offered never to offend or molest anyone. In winter he wore a very peculiar suit of emphatically domestic manufacture, he procured wool and spun it on a stick sharpened at one end by which he twisted it into a course thread and knit it with a peg into a suit – open in front – of sufficient space to get into it; and when it was on and tied over in front it fit him from his neck to his ankle Bones as light apparently as his own skin underneath it, his cap he made of rabbit skins and his shoes were his own manufacture from the skins of squirrels and perhaps some other animals. I distinctly remember seeing him in the winter of 1820 thus attired at the store of my brother in law Josiah Kirk purchasing a small quantity of salt. I was a very small boy and gave him plenty of room upon which he passed away from the store. Thus did Andrew Job for near half a century isolate himself from his fellow men and live devoid of social intercourse and those endearments that makes life enjoyable. About thirty years ago his particular friend Joseph Haines (who kept store at the Brick Meeting House where Andrew often made his purchases of salt – and powder (illegible) prevailed upon him to wear clothing and furnished him a suit and during the Remainder of his life he wore clothing somewhat like his neighbors. …. To be continued from about a “page 13” “…raised a very black moily cow to which Andrew…."

Page 25 discusses “daniel job”

Pg. 28 says “By George Churchman.” mid-page.

So I assume it was a George Churchman writing about Andrew Job.
/ eo 11/16/2003.

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