James Hunt of England and Pennsylvania

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James Hunt Families

James Hunt married: (1)Eliza Chambers, (2)Elizabeth Wood Bonsall, and (3)Sarah Burges Pierson Wildman. More on the wives below.

  James Hunt
born about 1643 Kent, England
died 1/31/1717 Chester Co, Pa
burial Darby Meeting Burial Ground
Eliza Chambers
born ca 1640 Kent England
died ca 1682 Kent, England

  Married: unknown date in England

Eliza Hunt, born before 1684 Kent, England; married William Bartram
Mary Hunt, born about 1681 Kent, England; married Abraham Marshall

(2) Elizabeth Wood Bonsall

born unknown
died 6/28/1703 Chester Co, Pa
burial Darby Meeting Burial Ground

  Married: 9/10/1686 in House of John Blunston, Darby, Chester Co, Pa

Ann Hunt born 12/14/1688 Darby, Chester Co, Pennsylvania; married (1)John Blunston, Jr. (2)Nathan Gibson
James Hunt born 2/14/1690-91 Darby, Chester Co, Pennsylvania; married Rebecca Faucett

History of James and Eliza Chambers Hunt

Sarah Hoopes of West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania, writing of her ancestors in 1861, said "James Hunt came from Kent in Old England about 1684." This note was found among notes of Darby Monthly Meeting. A crest for the Hunt family is found in "A Visitation of Kent" but there is no family information that connects our James Hunt to the English family.

There is general agreement that James Hunt was a widower when he came to America with his two small daughters, Mary & Eliza Hunt, his wife having probably died in England about 1682. Barbara Frisby has done a great deal of research on James Hunt and located the proof that his wife was Eliza Chambers. She located a reference to a deed in Chester Deeds Book F-9, page 179, dated 11 January 1716/17: "Stephen Jackson of Philadelphia, merchant, and Elizabeth his wife, she daughter of John Chambers, late of Philadelphia, decd, who was a brother of Benjamin Chambers, late of Philadelphia, gent., also decd, to Abraham Marshall of Bensalem, Chester Co., and Mary, daughter of Elizer who was wife of James Hunt, late of Darby, yeoman, decd, said Elizer being the other daughter of said John Chambers..."

The Ancestral File in Salt Lake City gives the name of James Hunt's first wife as Eliza Chambers, but indicates she died in England in 1746. Since the Quakers would have carefully examined James Hunt's marital status when he married Elizabeth Bonsall, we do not believe he had a living wife in England.

History of James and Elizabeth Bonsall Hunt

Elizabeth Bonsall was a widow and was daughter of George & Hannah Wood. Karen Mullian furnished this information in reply to a request by us on Genforum: �Elizabeth (Bonsall) Hunt was the widow of Joshua or Joseph Bonsall, and was the mother of Obadiah Bonsall. She was the daughter of George and Hannah Wood of Bonsall, Derbyshire, b.c. 1645. Her sister was Mary Wood who married Richard Bonsall, brother of Elizaeth's first husband and uncle of Obadiah.�

A descendant, Rocky Bonsal tells us that Elizabeth was widow of Joseph Bonsall, Jr., who died in England just before Obadiah Bonsall and his mother Elizabeth came to Philadelphia.

According to Chester County deed abstracts, George Wood's land bounded that of John Blunston, hence the location of the marriage of Elizabeth & James Hunt at the house of John Blunston, and the marriage of daughter Ann to John Blunston, Jr. (Note: John Blunston, Jr. died in 1716 and Ann married second to Nathan Gibson on Dec 7, 1719 at Darby MM)

History of James and Sarah Burges Pierson Wildman Hunt

James Hunt and Sarah Wildman gave notice of intent to marry on 7/3/1707 at Darby Monthly Meeting, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and were probably married shortly thereafter. Sarah is the wife named in James Hunt's will written 1st month 29th day 1717 at Kingsessing in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania (see will and inventory at the end of the page). There are no children for James & Sarah found in Quaker records or named in the will. James Hunt owned a negro slave which he gave to his wife and said she might give her to son James and that James might set her free. He did not name the negro woman.

5/2009 We are indebted to Paul C. Palmer for additional information on Sarah. He tells us she came from Styal, Pownall Fee, Wilmslow Parish, Cheshire, England and was christened 9 June 1650. Her first husband was older brother of Paul's 6-great grandfather Thomas Pearson. He has a document of her first marriage (Quaker). On the Pearson page, the correct Thomas Pearson is the first one on the page "of Caln."

Other Records for James Hunt

A deed to James Hunt on 5 March 1716 refers to him as James Hunt of Kings Sess in the county of Philadelphia, yeoman, and transfers 400 acres to him on the north side of Brandywine Creek, for 65 pounds. On January 24 & 25, 1684, William Penn granted 1000 acres to James Hunt but Hunt's residence is not specified so he may not yet have left England. A deed in 1712 indicates James Hunt had sold the 1000 acre tract to Benjamin Chambers, uncle of wife Eliza Chambers. These are the only deeds found for James Hunt in Abstracts of Chester County, Pennsylvania Land Records The 400 acres of land purchased in 1716 is apparently the "land at Western Hook" left to son James.

In James Hunt's will he leaves one Good Jacobin piece of Gold and two silver spoons to our ancestress Mary Hunt Marshall. He also forgives a debt of sixty pounds plus interest to his son-in-law Abraham Marshall. He then leaves ten pounds apiece to the children of Abraham & Mary Hunt Marshall. He makes similar arrangements for the children of daughter Anne & son James.

A special arrangement of 150 pounds and a direction for an apprenticeship is made for his grandson James Bartram. James Hunt's daughter Eliza married William Bartram and had two sons, John who would become the famous botanist, and James. William Bartram married again and moved to North Carolina and was killed there. James and John Bartram were left in the care of their grandparents, John evidently with Bartram grandparents and James Bartram in the care of James Hunt. Thus the special arrangement in the will for grandson James Bartram; he had no one else to look after him.

James Hunt's grandson John Bartram was a famous botanist. His cousin, Humphry Marshall, son of Abraham Marshall, was not as famous but was also a well known scientist, probably somewhat eclipsed by his older cousin. A 1916 biography of the two botanists states "They were cousins, and it is not unnatural to suppose that they inherited a common genius from their mothers, who were Hunts, and came from England with their father James Hunt who was a friend of William Penn, their mother having died at their English home in Kent." John Bartram's son William Bartram was a famous botanist in his own right and a marvelous artist. In contacting many of our modern cousins we find some connection to art and that too may have come from the genius of the Hunt family.

James Hunt's inventory (at end of the will) indicates he died a very rich man. This was probably largely the result of his land purchases. He may have had wealth already in England as evidenced by the 1000 acre land purchase the year he left England. He also had a fine house which had both a parlor and a great room, neither one of which would have been found in a common house.

James Hunt's Will

I, James Hunt of the Township of Kingsess in the County of Philadelphia in the Province of Pensilvania Yeoman this Twenty Ninth day of the first month called March in ye year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred & seventeen being weak of body but of perfect sound & well disposed mind & memory (praise be the Lord) do make ordain publish & declare this my Last Will & Testament In manner & form following. That is to say
Imprimis My Will is that my funerall expenses & all my Just debts be paid & discharged by my Executor hereafter named. Item I give and bequeath unto Sarah my loving wife (over & besides the Eight pounds of Currancy that is Six pounds of this present Currancy Covenanted by Indenture to be paid yearly unto her.) Two pounds every year which making the sum of Eight pounds a year. My Will is that it shall be duly paid to her by my son James Hunt. In manner following that is to say fforty shillings at the end of three months after my decease & so proportionably fforty shillings every Quarter of a year during her natural life, my said son James securing the same unto her.
Item I give unto my said wife my Negro woman so long as my said wife shall see fitt to keep her on this place or otherwise she may dispose of her to my son James & if my son James will not keep her he may sett her free.
Item My will is that my sd[said] son James shall suffer my sd wife to have the use of the Bed that stands in the Room where we usually lye, and also the use of the said Room & such household goods as she may have occasion for and to find & allow unto my said wife the milk of a good Cow & firewood during her natural life or so long that such times as she shall think fitt to live on the place where we now dwell.
Item I give and bequeath unto my said son James Hunt the Land & plantation whereon I now dwell and the Land at Western Hook containing by estimation Three Hundred acres of fast Land Meadows & swamp together with all the houses & buildings thereunto belonging & all other Lands & Marshes in the sd Township that doth in any wise belong unto me. To Hold to the use of him my sd son James & the Lawfull heirs of his body for Ever. But if in case my sd son James shall die without Lawfull Issue then all the sd Lands & premises thereunto belonging shall be equally divided between my two daughters Mary & Anne or their respective heirs to the use of them their heirs & assigns for Ever
Item I give & bequeath unto my daughter Mary the wife of Abraham Marshall one Good Jacobin piece of Gold & two silver spoons
Item I give & bequeath unto my daughter Anne Blunston the Bed & furniture belonging to it that stands in the parlour and two Guineys and two silver spoons and one Cow which she shall like best
Item I give & bequeath unto my sd son James Hunt the sum of One Hundred & five pounds he paying to my sd wife fforty shillings every Quarter of a year during her Life as aforesd and I also give unto my sd son James all the remainder of my stock of horses cattle sheep etc & the rest of my household goods & Implements of husbandry and all my servants
Item I give & bequeath unto my grandson James Bartram the sum of One hundred & fifty pounds to be paid to him by my Executor hereafter named when he shall arive to the age of Twenty One years and my will is that the said James Bartram shall be put apprentice to some good trade untill he comes to his sd age of Twenty one years
Item I give & bequeath unto my son in Law Abraham Marshall one bond which I have under his hand for Sixty pounds Currancy & all the Interest due upon it Item I give & bequeath unto my daughter Mary Marshalls children (to witt) Samuel, Eliza, John, James, Abraham Ten pounds apiece to [be] paid to them by my Executor as they shall respectively arrive at ye age of Twenty one years and unto my sd Daughters daughter Hannah the sum of Ten pounds when she shall be at the age of Eighteen years or marriage
Item I give & bequeath unto my daughter Anne Blunstons children (viz) Sarah Hannah & Mary Ten pounds apiece to be paid to them by my Executor as they shall respectivly arrive at ye age of Eighteen years or marriage
Item I give & bequeath unto my son James daughter Elizabeth Ten pounds to be paid her when she arrives to ye age of Eighteen years or marriage & to his son John the sum of Ten pounds to be paid him when he arrives at ye age of Twenty one years
Item I give & bequeath unto my said son James all the rest & remainder of my Estate both reall & personall to Hold to him his heirs & assigns for Ever he paying all my just debts funerall expenses & all the Legacies in this my Last Will appointed for him to pay in manner aforesd and I do make & ordain the sd James Hunt full & sole Executor of this my Last Will & Testament hereby revoking & making void all former Wills & Testaments made by me or in my name. And I do Constitute & appoint my brother in Law John Wood & my friend Thomas Panhall overseers to see that this my Last Will & Testament be performed. In witness whereof the said James Hunt have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written. Signed Sealed published & declared by the sd James Hunt the Testator to be his Last Will & Testament in the presence of us
James Hunt (Seal)
Benj Bonsall
Enock Bonsall
Obadiah Bonsall
Philadelphia, April 3, 1717

James Hunt's Inventory

True & just Inventory of all & severall the goods and chattles rights & credetts of James Hunt Late of Kingsessing Yeoman Deceased as they appraised by the persons hereafter named
In the Parlour Sundry Waring Apparell Beding linnens & wooling at all amounting to 29:13:6 (pounds)
In the Great Roome Sundreys as bed & beding A Clock Sillver Spoons & cups porcess(porcelain?) & pewter & Table Cheires & Books 33:9
In the Upper Chamber for sundrey 1:10
In the Roome Over the Kitchen Lumber &c 4:17
In the Kitching & Seller Sundreys 4:7
In a little Roome & entrey Sundreys 1:10:6
In the Granery wheat Rye Malt &c 5:19
In & About the Stable & Yard Sundreys 6:18
In the Field Sundrey Cattle & Horses & sheep 43:00
Corn upon the Ground &c 121:00
In Cash as Sillver & Gould 81:00
In Sundrey Bonds Mortgages & bills On Sundrey Persons Amounting to 519:12
Sum Totall 745:18 (pounds)
Appreised the 12th of 2 m April 1717
/s/ Abraham Bonsall
/s/Joseph Gibbons(?)
/s/ Stephen Jackson