Commentary on the Will of Mary Houlton (1730-1811)

MARY HOULTON “Maiden” (1730-1811)
Parents:   John Houlton (1695-1769) &  Elizabeth Brooks (1700-1759)

(On June 11, 1722, New Garden MM, Chester County, Pennsylvania, “Margaret Johnson & Rachel Miller make report that the marriage of John Houlton & Elizabeth Brooks was orderly accomplished.”)

The will of Mary Houlton was written in 1805 and the opening words are:

I Mary Houlton of the City of Philadelphia Maiden

The exact date & place of birth are unknown.  Her death is recorded in ”The Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia Burial Record Record of Burials at Arch Street, 1806-1828.”   The date of interment is May 24, 1811, age 81.  Her date of birth has been calculated from this information.  Existing records indicate that the Society of Friends was a large part of her life.  Persons other than family members mentioned in her will were Friends.  In the 1772 will of William Logan, probated 1776, Mary Houlton is mentioned as “housekeeper.”  William Logan was a prominent merchant of Philadelphia and was made attorney of the Penn family in 1741.  Detailed in Bequeath #17 you will find her name mentioned in wills of other prominent Quakers of Philadelphia of the 18th century.  The Philadelphia MM, Feb. 17, 1798, records an  “application being made for the admission of Mary Lanstroth {sic} into our Alms house and also that her aunt Mary Holton may accompany her.”  Mary Langstroth is named in bequeath #4.

Hats off to Richard Tittermary, the 1798 Southwark Direct Tax Surveyor of the Revenue, But a Sad Moment for a Missing Antiquity

Shown below is an example of the A plus handwriting and details recorded by the tax assessor for East Southwark, Philadelphia County, PA in 1798.  Pennsylvania is indeed fortunate that these assessments still exist.

All the occupants and owners of property on Becks Alley, located between 172 Swanson St. and 453 Front Street, situated in the district of Southwark, were listed in this assessment.