Near Newark in New Castle County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Origin of Pencader Hundred
Pencader Presbyterian Church
On October 15, 1701, William Penn granted 30,000 acres of land to William Davies, David Evans, and William Willis "in behalf of themselves and company of new Welsh Purchasers." Known as the Welsh Tract, this expansive holding attracted large numbers of settlers who had migrated from Wales to Colonial America. The settlers soon established two churches, known respectively as Welsh Tract Baptist and Welsh Tract Presbyterian. The Presbyterian Church was subsequently renamed "Pencader", a Welsh term meaning "chief chair or seat." The congregation's first recorded pastor was Rev. David Evans, who was serving as lay
Welsh Tract Primitive Baptist Church
The original Welsh Tract Primitive Baptist Church was a log meeting house built in 1703 by a congregation that had been organized in Southern Wales, immigrated to Pennsylvania, and then, as a result of a disagreement over baptismal practices, split off from the main congregation and moved to Delaware. The present structure, with its distinctive half-hipped roof, was built in 1746. The oldest tombstone in the walled cemetery is that of Rees Rhyddracks. It is inscribed in Latin and dated 1707. Legend also places unmarked graves of Revolutionary War soldiers somewhere in the peaceful churchyard.
Welsh "Love Spoon"
Given as a gift
The Welsh Tract lay mostly in New Castle County with a small portion extending into Maryland. That in Maryland may well have resulted
The northeast corner of the Welsh Tract is a few hundred yards from the old train station in Newark on South College Ave. From there the line extends about four and a half miles west into Maryland, not far from the Big Elk Creek. It then travels south and east back into Delaware some distance south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal before heading east a short distance where it winds its way north and east in a way that is anything but "straight" back to the place of beginning. In Delaware it nearly covers that which is Pencader Hundred.
[photo caption] Welsh National Flag
The Welsh were seeking religious freedom but what induced them to choose this particular area is a mystery. Much of the land was low and swampy but may well have been more fruitful than what they had left behind in Wales. One possible inducement was the prospect of iron mining. The Welsh were skilled miners and evidence of their earlier tunnels appeared as the later open ore pits were excavated. Many owners would test their business schemes on the hill over the years with varying amounts of success. Iron mining on Iron Hill continued until the end of the nineteenth century.
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"Men must be governed by God, or they will be ruled by tyrants." [signature:] William Penn
Delaware State Historic Marker #NC-47
39°31'05" N 75°42'51" W
Location: The marker is located on Rt. 896 below the C&D canal at the south end of Summit Air Field near the boundary between Pencader and St. George's Hundred.
[photo caption] Traditional Welsh Garb
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Engraved on the pedestal of this statue by Charles Parks:
"The Citizens of New Castle Delaware presented to William Penn the key of the fort, one turf with a twig upon it, a porringer with river water, and soyle."
Statue of William Penn,
on the Green in New Castle
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Original Deed (and spelling) as Recorded in New Castle County
William Penn [ --- ] Proprietor and Governor of the Province of Pensilvania and Counties annexed
At the Request of William Davies, David Evans & William Willis in behalf of themselves and Company of new Welsh Purchasers That I would grant them to take up in ye County of Newcastle thirty thousand Acres of Land or so much as there is to be had beginning at a line distant Westward from Newcastle seven miles and from there extending Northward and Southward by Straight Lines as near as may be sufficient to comprehend the said Number of Acres upon the terms already agreed on under their hands. These are to require the forthwith to survey or cause to be surveyed to them the said number of Acres in the said place and make particular Returns of the Subdivision to each Man under his proper Name unto my Secretaries office. The whole to be laid out according to the Method of Township by me appointed. Given under my hand and Seal at Philadelphia the 15th day of October 1701.
To Edward Penington Surveyor General of the Province of Pensilvania and Territories
William Davies and Companies Warrant for thirty thousand acres of land in Newcastle County Dated the 15 day of 8 ber 1701 Entered page 43 Recorded and Examined A23
Agreed this day of October 1701 between William Penn Esq. Propietor and Governor of the Province of Pensilvania on the one hand and William Davies, David Evans and William Willis all of Radnor Township in the County of Chester & Prov. Of Pensilvania. In behalf of themselves & Company Purchasers of Land in the county of Newcastle on the other hand as Follows . viz. That the said Purchasers shall have in the said County of Newcastle, a Tract of Land Containing in the whole Thirty Thousand acres if there should be so much vacant in the place hereafter expressed, that is to Say behind the town of Newcastle Westward extending Northward and Southward beginning to the Westward Seven Miles from the said town of Newcastle and extending upwards and Downwards as there shall be found room by regular straight Lines as near as may be, and be all subdivided according to the Manner of Townships, Leaving to the Proprietors according to regulation one Tenth part of the whole. For which Land they the said purchasers shall pay to the Proprietors twelve pounds ten Shillings, for every hundred acres in Manner followings, that is to say for Seven Thousand acres thereof at the Expiration of two years next after the Date of Proprietors warrant for the remainder of the whole Tract at the end of three years next after the Date of the said warrant and for every acre of the whole the said purchasers shall pay one English penny or value thereof in Coin Currant for a yearly Rent til such time as the Prospective purchase money for the same Shall be paid and after the payment of this said purchase money shall be paid one English silver Shilling or value thereof for every hundred acres in yearly Rent for ever and it is further agreed That if there be found vacant Land enough that can conveniently be spared to be in The Said Tract, at the distance of Six Miles only, from the Town of Newcastle and the prop. think fit to spare the same Then the said purchasers over and above the prices aforesaid shall pay one hundred pounds in Consideration of the Situation of the Said Land. Signed in behalf of the Proprietory and Governor and by his order [ --- ] James Logan Secretary [ --- ] Recorded the 8th June, 1749 [ --- ] Richard M. William Recorder Deeds
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Colonial Era • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 39° 38.342′ N, 75° 45.373′ W. Marker is near Newark, Delaware, in New Castle County. Marker is on Robert L. Melson Lane near Whitaker Road, on the left when traveling north. Although Whitaker Road is named above (because Robert L. Melson Lane intersects it), the Lane is blocked at Whitaker Road, so Iron Hill Park, which includes this marker, has to be reached by road from Old Baltimore Pike. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Newark DE 19702, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Historic Iron Ore Mining (a few steps from this marker); Iron Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Iron Hill (approx. 0.3 miles away); Washington's Reconnaissance (approx. half a mile away); Iron Hill School #112-C (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Iron Hill School #112-C (approx. 0.6 miles away); Old Welsh Tract Church (approx. 0.8 miles away); Battle of Cooch's Bridge (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newark.
Regarding Welsh Tract. Early in the last paragraph, what should be "Proprietor" is missing 2nd "r".
Credits. This page was last revised on October 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 2, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. This page has been viewed 51 times since then and 3 times this year. Last updated on October 18, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 2, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. 3. submitted on October 3, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.