The Society of Friends (Quakers) began in England in the 1650s, when they broke away from the Puritans. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, as a safe place for Friends to live and practice their faith.
William Walton and Alice Martin married on September 30, 1657 in Oxhill Parish, Warwickshire, England. They were both born in Warwickshire. William was born in 1629 and Alice in 1631.
William died on February 20, 1681 in Oxhill Parish. In September 1682 William purchased a tract of land in New Jersey.
William Walton . . . together with Joseph Hunt of Stratford-upon-Avon, and William Hunt of Radway, all of the county of Warwick, . . . purchased of Edward Billynge of London, by deeds of lease and release, dated 9 mo. 22 and 23, 1682, a one-tenth share of the Proprietary of West Jersey, and by virtue of this deed a tract of land was laid out for him in Gloucester County, New Jersey." (Early Friends Families, p. 573)
The brothers set off for America soon after the land purchase. The History of Byberry and Moreland recounts their arrival
They arrived at New Castle early in 1674 (sic), provided with axes, hoes, etc., ready for making a settlement in the wilderness. From there they proceeded up the Delaware in search of a place for a settlement carrying their whole stock of utensils, provisions, etc., on their backs. After some time spent in examining the country they arrived at the Poquassing Creek, and were so highly pleased with the level land in that vicinity, the abundance of good water, and the beautiful appearance of the country, that they determined upon making a settlement near the banks of that stream.
Having neither the time nor the means of erecting a dwelling they dug a cave and covered it with bark and dirt. Threin they lived several months while they prepared the soil for crops. Not having any wheat two of the brothers, in the latter part of the same summer, walked to New Castle to procure a bushel of it. Shouldering half a bushel each, they carried it home, a distance of nearly fifty miles. For want of other implements the soil was prepared with hoes, and so well was the job done that they are said to have reaped sixty bushels at the next harvest.
Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.
Byberry is a township in the northeast corner of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. The Walton brothers were early settlers. Moreland Township was just west of Byberry. When Montgomery County broke off in 1784, Moreland was divided into two townships, both called Moreland. In 1917 the Montgomery County Moreland split into Upper Moreland Township and Lower Moreland Township.
Their first purchase of land was 100 acres each from Thomas Fairman on October 1, 1688.
The brothers were Quakers and in 1691 at the time of the Keithian Schism among the Friends the Byberry meeting went Keithian. Nathaniel was the only one of the three brothers who remained. The other three went with those who met at the home
of Henry English. The Keithian meeting broke up after a few years and the members joined other churches.
New Jersey's first permanent European settlement was in 1660.
from Memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by Historical Society of Pennsylvania, published by M'Carty and Davis, 1827
A tradition says, that the first persons who settled here were Giles Knight and Josiah Ellis. By the ancient records of the meeting and other documents, it appears, the following named persons settled in and near Byberry, in 1683-84, and 85.
Richard Collett, and
Nearly all of them members of the Society of Friends.
The Keithian Schism was a split within the Society of Friends in the last decade of the seventeenth century led by George Keith.