The Old Homestead

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God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

- Romans 5:8


    The Potter family came from England.  William A. Potter came to America before 1827 and settled in Beaver County, Pa.
    See Dell W. Lesnett.

    William A. Potter
 was born about 1791 in Yorkshire, England. (1)
    Married Mary Bird
, who was born about 1792 in Yorkshire, England. (2)
    Children: (3)
    Jane Potter
, born in 1827.
    William Potter
, born in 1829.
    Caroline Potter
, born in 1831.  Married William West.
    Emeline Potter
, born Aug. 12, 1833.  Married Dell W. Lesnett.
    Thomas Potter
, born in 1836.
    Henry Potter
, born in 1838.
    The Potters probably immigrated to the United States before 1827 because the 1850 Census states that all of their children were born in Pennsylvania.
    They settled in northern Beaver County, Pa., where William took up farming.
    In the 1830 Census, William Potter appears in North Sewickley Township, Beaver County, Pa.  His household contained one male under age 5, one male 30-39, one female 5-9, and one female 30-39.
    In the 1840, the census lists Wm Potter in North Sewickley Township.  His household contained two males under 5 years old, one male 10-14, one male 20-29, one male 40-49, two females age 5-9, one female 10-14 and one female 40-49.  It states that one person was employed in agriculture.     In 1850, the census lists William Potter as a 56-year-old farmer living in Franklin Township, Beaver County.  The Potters don’t appear to have moved.  Franklin Township was formed out of North Sewickley in 1850.  William’s household contained Mary, age 56; William, a 21-year-old farmer; Jane, 23; Caroline, 19; Emeline, 16; Thomas, 14; and Henry, 12.  The three younger children are listed as attending school.     In the 1860 Census, Wm A. Potter and his wife Mary are listed in Franklin Township, beside their son Henry and his wife Jane. Since Henry isn’t listed as owning any real estate, it is likely that he still lived on his father’s property.  The census indicates that William was 69-year-old farmer who owned real estate valued at $7,750 and personal property valued at $1,300.
    In 1870, the census lists Wm. A Potter as a 79-year-farmer living in Franklin Township.  He owned real estate valued at $17,500 and personal property worth $1,000.  The household contained Mary, age 79, and Jane, age 40.
    William seems to have been a very successful farmer.  The 1850 Census says his real estate was worth $3,000.  By the time of the 1860 Census, the value had grown to $7,750.  And it was valued at $17,500 in the 1870 Census.  All of these values were higher than average for the area.  He probably retired from farming before 1872 because in his will he refers to himself as a “gentleman,” the usual term for a retired, well-respected farmer.
    In his will, William left his daughter Jane 50 acres; Thomas, 150 acres and $2,000; Henry, 150 acres and $1,300; Caroline, $1,150; Emeline, $1,150; and his nephew William A. Wilson of Liverpool, England, $100. (4)
    William died March 5, 1873.  Mary died in April 10, 1874.  They are buried at the English Lutheran cemetery in Zelienople. (5)
    (1) The 1870 Census of Franklin Township, Beaver County, Pa., indicates that William was 79 years old and had been born in Yorkshire, England.  The 1850 Census of Franklin Township says he was 56 in that year and the 1860 Census of that township says he was 69 in that year.  Both say he was born in England.  (2)
Mary’s maiden name appears in the death records of several of her children.  The certificates are available in the database “Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1924.”  The 1870 Census says that Mary was 79 years old and had been born in Yorkshire England.  The 1850 Census says she was 56 and 1860 says she was 68.  Mary’s tombstone at Zelienople Cemetery in Butler County said she died in April 10, 1874 at 82 years of age.  (3) Emeline, Caroline and Henry’s links and dates appear in the database “Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1924.”  Other names and years come from 1850 Census.  The name of Caroline’s husband appears in the 1870 and 1880 Censuses of Franklin Township, Beaver County, Pa.  (4) Beaver County Will Book E, page 430.  (5) William’s death date is in Beaver County Register’s Docket 2, page 385.  Mary’s death date is on her tombstone.  Transcriptions of the tombstones in “Butler County Cemetery Inventory, Vol. 4,” by the Butler County Historical Society, page 31.  However, these say that William died on March 3 and that Mary was 81.