First Hanover Settlers


Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
By: Henry Blackman Plumb, 1885, 498 pp.
Robert Baur, Printer and Stationer, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Website Compiled By: James H. Culbert


This page last updated: 9 Jul 2009


In 1768, in Hartford, Connecticut, the Susquehanna Company resolved "that five townships, five miles square, should be surveyed and granted, each to forty settlers, being proprietors, owners of land, on condition that those settlers should remain upon the ground, man their rights, and defend themselves and each other, from the intrusion of all rival claimants."  The five townships assigned to these adventurers were Wilkes-Barre, Hanover, Kingston, Plymouth, and Pittston.  The lands were divided into "rights" of 400 acres each, reserving three rights in each township for the public use of a gospel ministry and schools.  These claimants were called the Yankees.

At the same time, the Penns leased to Charles STEWART, Captain Amos OGDEN, and Sheriff JENNINGS of Northampton County, one hundred acres for seven years on the condition that the lands be defended from the Connecticut claimants.  These people were known as the Pennamites, and they arrived first in Wyoming Valley, in January, 1769.  They took possession of the block-house and huts at Mill Creek (about one mile above the present city of Wilkes-Barre), which had been left by the massacred settlers of 1763.  They laid out for the Proprietaries (the heirs of William PENN) two extensive manors, Stoke on the east bank, and Sunbury on the west bank of the Susquehanna.  These manors embraced more than 30,000 acres in the heart of the Wyoming Valley.

The first forty Connecticut settlers arrived on 8 February, 1769.  Finding the block-house occupied, they sat down in mid-Winter to besiege it.  Captain OGDEN proposed a conference.  Three of the Connecticut men went to the block-house and were arrested by Sheriff JENNINGS in the name of Pennsylvania and taken to the jail in Easton, PA.  Friends immediately bailed them out and they returned to the Wyoming Valley immediately, taking possession of the vacant fort.

When Captian OGDEN heard of this, he raised a posse from Northampton County, stormed the fort, and carried the whole forty to Easton.  Again they were bailed out and returned at once to the valley.

The additional quotas of forty men from Connecticut for the other four townships arrived in April, making two hundred in all.  They erected Fort Durkee on the river bank, and thirty huts.  The fort stood at the lower end of the "river common" in Wilkes-Barre.  This was much closer than the block-house at Mill Creek to the lower flats along the river, near the old Indian town of Wywamick, Maughwauwama, where large fields had long since been cleared, and invited renewed cultivation.  The Connecticut settlers went vigorously to work felling trees, plowing, and planting, and building houses in the valley.

Author PLUMB provided the following list of the first two hundred names enrolled as actual settlers to "man their rights" in the first five townships, from a roll dated 2 June, 1769.  In 1885, when the author compiled this list he stated that it was later claimed that this list of 200 did not include the forty Hanover men; that the number for a township had been changed to fifty; and that the forty from Lancaster County took in ten Yankees, and arrived on the ground in February, 1770.

1. ALDEN, Captain Prince
2. ALLEN, Noah
3. ANGEL, Daniel
4. ARNOLD, Ephraim
5. ARNOLD, Joseph
6. ASHLEY, Benjamin
7. ATHERTON, James Jr.
8. AVERY, Christopher
9. AVERY, Elisha
10. AYRES, Peter
11. BABCOCK, Elisha
12. BADGER, Samuel
13. BAKER, John
14. BARTON, Rowland
15. BEACH, Nathan
16. BENNETT, Isaac
17. BENNETT, Thomas
18. BINGHAM, Abisha
19. BRADFORD, Peris
20. BRIGGS, Peris
21. BROWN, Daniel
22. BUCK, Elijah
23. BUCK, Jonathan
24. BUDD, Benjamin
25. BUEL, Ezra
26. CAREY, Eleazer
27. CARRINGTON, Jonathan
28. CARVAN, Morgan
29. CASS, Daniel
30. CHESEBROUGH, Sylvester
31. CHURCHELL, William
32. CLARK, John
33. COLEMAN, Naniad
34. COLT, Abraham
35. COMSTOCK, John
36. COMSTOCK, Peter
37. COOKE, Jabez
38. CORAH, Jenks *
39. DEAN, Josiah
40. DELONG, John
41. DINGMAN, Jacob
42. DORCHESTER, Benjamin
43. DORRANCE, John
44. DORRANCE, Samuel
45. DRAPER, Simeon
46. DRAPER, Thomas
47. DRAPER, William
48. DUNKIN, James
49. DURKEE, Andrew
50. DURKEE, John
51. EVANS, James
52. FELLOWS, Ephraim
53. FERLIN, Thomas
54. FISH, Jabez
55. FORSYTHE, James
56. FRANKLIN, John *
57. FRISBEE, Zebulon
58. FULLER, Stephen
59. GALLOP, William
60. GARDNER, Christopher
61. GAYLORD, Joseph
62. GEROLD, Duty
63. GORE, Daniel
64. GORE, Obadiah Jr.
65. GORE, Silas *
66. GOSS, Comfort
67. GOSS, Nathaniel
68. GOSS, Philip
69. GRAY, Thomas
70. GREEN, Job
71. GREEN, Job Jr.
72. HARRIS, Peter
73. HARROT, Asher
74. HAWKSEY, Zebulon
75. HAYNES, Daniel
76. HEBBARD, Ebenezer *
77. HEBBARD, Moses *
78. HEBBARD, Moses Jr. *
79. HEWIT, Benjamin
80. HEWIT, Benjamin Jr.
81. HEWIT, Gershon
82. HILLMAN, Joseph
83. HINSDALE, Stephen
84. HOPKINS, Robert
85. HOPKINS, Timothy
86. HOPSON, Gurdon
87. HOTCHKISS, Samuel
88. HULL, Diah
89. HULL, Stephen
90. HUNGERFORD, Stephen
91. HUNTER, Robert
92. HURLBUT Reuben
93. HURLBUT, Stephen
94. JACKSON, Robert
95. JENKINS, Stephen
96. JEORUM, Zeorbable
97. JEWEL, Elephalet
98. JOHNSON, Edward
99. JOHNSON, Solomon
100. JOLLEE, John
101. KENNE, Cyrus
102. KENYON, John
103. KNAPP, Hezekiah
104. KNIGHT, Thomas
105. LAMPHER, Joshua
106. LAWRENCE, Asa
107. LAWRENCE, Gideon
108. LEE, Asa
109. LEE, John
110. LEE, Joseph
111. LEE, Noah
112. LEE, Stephen
113. LEONARD, Jesse
114. LEONARD, William
115. LEWIS, Elijah
116. LOTHROP, Cyprian
117. MANVIL, Nicolas
118. MARVAIN, Daniel
119. MARVIN, Samuel
120. MARVIN, Uriah
121. MATTHEWS, Benjamin
122. MAXFIELD, Joshua
123. MAY, James
124. MCCLURE, Thomas
125. MEAD, David
126. MEDCALF, Andrew
127. MILES, Stephen
128. MILLINGTON, Samuel
129. MITCHEL, John
130. MOCK, Abijah
131. MORGAN, Samuel
132. MORSE, Joseph *
133. MURDOCK, Dan
134. MURPHY, John
135. NESBITT, James
136. NORTHROP, Ebenezer
137. NORTON, Ebenezer
138. OLCOTT, Thomas
139. ORMS, Jonathan
140. ORTON, Samuel
141. PARK, Silas
142. PARKS, Elias
143. PERKINS, John
144. PIERCE, Abel
145. POST, Oliver
146. READ, Noah
147. ROBERTS, Elias
148. ROBERTS, Jabez
149. SATTERLEE, Benedict
150. SAVAGE, Abraham
151. SHAW, John
152. SHOEMAKER, Benjamin Jr.
153. SILL, Jaebez
154. SLOCUM, Joseph
155. SMITH, Abel
156. SMITH, James
157. SMITH, Lemuel
158. SMITH, Oliver
159. SQUIER, Zacheriah
160. STEARNS, Ebenezer
161. STERLING, John
162. STEVENS, Phineas
163. STONE, Ebenezer
164. STORY, Samuel
165. STRONG, Henry
166. SWEET, Samuel
167. TAYLOR, Preserved
168. TEED, Zophur
169. TENNANT, Caleb
170. TERRY, Parshall
171. THAYER, Zephaniah
172. THOMAS, Elias
173. TRACY, Isaac
174. VORCE, Timothy
175. WALL, Henry
176. WALL, Henry (a second person of the same name on PLUMB's list)
177. WALLWORTH, Thomas
179. WALLSWORTH, William
180. WALTER, Aaron
181. WATSON, Nathaniel
182. WEBSTER, Joseph
183. WEEKS, Philip
184. WEEKS, Thomas
185. WESTOVER, Theophilus
186. WHITE, Caleb
187. WHITE, William
188. WHITNEY, Joshua
189. WHITTLESEY, David
190. WIGHTMAN, Zerobable
191. WILEY, John
192. WISE, John
193. WITTER, Elijah
194. WYBRANT, Samuel
195. YALE, Enos
196. YALE, Ozias

NOTES: It cannot be explained why there are only 196 persons on PLUMB's list when it was supposed to be a list of 200 settlers.

Only two of the above, Silas GORE and John FRANKLIN, belonged to the Associates with Captain Lazarus STEWART, to whom Hanover was granted.

* Those seven so marked were Hanover proprietors, seven of them in 1769.

John CHAMBERS may have been one of the missing names above.  In May 2008, I was contacted by Carol Church [Email: cchurch at], who suggested that her ancestor, John CHAMBERS, may have been one of the 200 settlers because in HOLLISTER's book (probably Horace HOLLISTER, 1885, History of Lackawanna Valley, J.B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia) he names some of the settlers, and among those who settled at Pittston (or intended to) were Thomas BENNET (named above) and an unnamed CHAMBERS.

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