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John Pancoast (Panckhurst)

Also Known As: "John Pankhurst"
Birthplace: Ashton, Northamptonshire, England (United Kingdom)
Death: December 1694 (59-68)
Mansfield, Burlington, New Jersey
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph Panckhurst; Private; Susannah Panckhurst and Susannah Pancoast
Husband of Private; Second wife Ann Pancoast; Third Wife Jane Chapman; Elizabeth Pancoast; Jane Chapman and 3 others
Father of James Pancoast; Private; Susannah Pancoast; Ann Pancoast; Hannah Pancoast and 13 others

Occupation: West Jersey Proprietor
Eighth Child: Mary Pancoast
Fifth Child: Sarah Pancoast
First Child: Susannah Pancoast
Fourth Child: Hannah Pancoast
Second Child: William Pancoast
Seventh Child: Elizabeth Pancoast
Sixth Child: Joseph Pancoast
Third Child: Ann Pancoast
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Pancoast

JOHN PANCOAST, a Quaker, was one of the early colonists of West Jersey, and the founder of the American family of his surname. From a manuscript written by his son Joseph Pancoast, it is ascertained that the father came to America from Northamptonshire, England, in October, 1680, in the ship " Paradise," William Evelyn, master, and settled in Burlington County, West Jersey. He was a signer of the noted " Concessions and Agreements," and owned proprietary rights in the province named. His homestead was in Mansfield Township. In 1681 , he was appointed regulator of weights and measures for Burlington County; was chosen constable two years later, and in 1685 was elected a member of the Assembly of West Jersey. His will, dated 3o November, and proved 22 December, 1694, names wife Jane, and children M;u v , Ann, William, Joseph, Elizabeth, Sarah, Hannah, and Susanna. These children were by his first wife, who accompanied him to America, but whose name is unknown. He married (2), 2 August, '682, Ann Snowden ; (3) Jane . The marriages of his children, so far as ascertained, are : Mary married, in 1682, Seth Smith ; William married, in 1695, Hannah Scattergood ; Joseph married, in 1696, Tomasin Scattergood ; Sarah married Edward Boulton ; and Susanna married Ralph Cowgill.

Source: "Annals of the Sinnott, Rogers, Coffin, Corlies, Reeves, Bodine and Allied Families" by Mary Elizabeth Sinnott in 1905.


Sarah Pancoast was the daughter of John Pancoast and his wife Elizabeth. Of the accounts of this family I would recommend Bennett S. Pancoast, The Pancoast Family in America (Woodbury, NJ: Gloucester County Historical Society; Salt Lake film no. 1005008). She was the sixth child, the family consisting of James (whose life ended in tragedy), Mary, Ann, William, Elizabeth, Joseph (b. 1672), Sarah, Hannah and Susannah (who was the second wife of Ralph Cowgill, son of the widow Ellen (Stackhouse?) Cowgill).

John Pancoast, with two sons (minus James) and six daughters, arrived at Burlington, West New Jersey, in October, 1680, on the ship Paradise, William Evelyn, Master. The father brought with him a certificate of removal dated 13th of 3rd mo. 1680 from Bugbrooke Monthly Meeting, near Ashton, Northamptonshire. They knew that brother James was somewhere in Maryland, for he had written to them. James, before they emigrated, had been apprenticed to a watchmaker in London, but was kidnapped by a press gang and put on a vessel bound for Maryland. There he was sold by the ship’s captain as an indentured servant to some gentlemen in Maryland, of Prince George’s County. James wrote home to his family that his new master "treated him with great kindness and as one of the family he was not treated as a Servant," and that "when his time was out he continued to reside in the family of his Master, who advised him to take up vacant land, which he did" (1802 testimony by Mary (Pancoast) Hewes and her brother Edward Pancoast, descendants of William, William, and John, in the Maryland case "Pencott’s Lessee vs. Addison"). This old grant, known as "Pencotts Invention," lies in the District of Columbia today. It was for 700 acres, granted February 7th, 1686.

The wife of John Pancoast (maiden name unknown) had died in England. In his removal certificate his name is spelled Panckhurst. "This supports the idea that our ‘Pancoast’ spelling was adopted by John and explains why ‘Pancoast’ is not found as a family name in England" (Bennett S. Pancoast, p. 1). John’s father was Joseph Panckhurst, and his grandfather was the Rev. Samuel Panckhurst of Ashton, Northamptonshire. Presumably this grandfather was of the Church of England. I would like to use parish records to trace him, only Northamptonshire parish records have been largely unavailable through the LDS family history centers. The story I heard was the the Bishop of Northamptonshire, on religious grounds, had refused the Mormons permission to film them. My friend Thelma Cagle, while working as a volunteer in the British section of the Salt Lake library, found an ordinance map of the Bugbrooke and Ashton area, as well as Bennett S. Pancoast’s book and other materials. But no further information on John’s wife or his ancestors.

While in England, John had signed "The Concessions and Agreements of the Proprietors, Freeholders and Inhabitants of the Province of West New Jersey," dated March 3, 1676. William Penn, along with John and about 150 other men, had drawn up this document, which was the first constitution of lower New Jersey. When he arrived in New Jersey, John took up 162 acres at the mouth of the east branch of Assiskunk Creek, adjoining the land of fellow signer Thomas Barton. In 1681 John was appointed Regulator of Weights and Measures for Burlington County. The following year he was selected Constable for the Yorkshire Tenth, and in 1685 he was a member of the Assembly of West Jersey at Burlington. His cattle were marked with the "Left eare slit ye Right cut out" (court record, 8 Aug. 1686). In 1688 his neighbor Thomas Barton of Birch Creek named John one of the four executors of his wIllinois The 1692 "Keithian Agitation" (a controversy among Quakers, the exact nature of which I do not know) involved certain issues which Quaker ministers had been preaching against; John signed the document (4-7 Sept. 1692) that asked Quaker ministers to cease their criminations (some of these events in John’s life I have taken from Thelma Beck Ellis, "Pancoast Family": Trenton, NJ, 1965, Salt Lake microfilm 349739).

John Pancoast married his second wife, Ann Snowden, in the fall of 1682 (second intentions, 2nd of 8th mo. 1682). In 1689, again a widower, he married his third wife, Jane Chapman (8th day, 7th mo.). Jane, as the widow of Thomas Curtis, had married John Chapman, who died within a few months. When she married John Pancoast, less than five months later, they were reproved for their haste by the Burlington Meeting of Friends. John Pancoast died in December of 1694 and his widow later married her fourth husband, Thomas Crosse. John Pancoast’s will is dated 30 November 1694; he died prior to December 12.

To return to the tragic ending of James Pancoast: some time after his brothers and sisters settled in New Jersey, they advertised for him. After some time they received a letter from him in Maryland, and he traveled to see them. His two brothers in New Jersey asked him to sell his lands in Maryland and live near them, and they offered him some land if he would come. He left for home, in a state of peace and great satisfaction I would suppose, at being able to renew these family ties. But he was never to see them again. As he was crossing the Potomac River on his return to Maryland, he was drowned. His brothers, once more inquiring for him, learned that he was dead, and their heirs eventually brought suit to recover his lands (Ellis’s source is an article by Frank Willing Leach from the North American, Sunday, 16 Feb 1913). The Pancoasts won their suit in the lower court and probably also in the Court of Appeals, where the case was entered in the June term 1805.



The will of JohnPancoast, of Mansfield, Burlington county, dated November 30, 1694, proved December 22, 1694, mentions his wife Jane, and children: Mary, Ann, William, Joseph, Elizabeth, Sarah, Hannah and Susannah. These children were doubtless by a former wife, as he, was dealt with by Burlington Monthly Meeting, September 8, 1689, for marrying before his former wife had been dead five months.



3. JOHN PANCOAST (JOSEPH PANCKHURST, REVEREND SAMUEL PANCKHURST) was born in England, and died December 1694 in West Jersey, NJ. He married (1) ELIZABETH ?. He married (2) ANN SNOWDEN 1682. He married (3) JANE ? CURTIS CHAPMAN 1689.

Notes: The Pancoasts are of English origin, coming to America from Northamptonshire. Pancoast, the present spelling, was used by John in 1676 when he signed the "Consessions and Agreements". However, John brought with him in 1680 a certificate from Friends in England wherein his name was spelled Panckhurst. This supports the idea that our 'Pancoast' spelling was adopted by John and explains why 'Pancoast' is not found as a family name in England.

John, in preparing to come to America, secured the following certificate of Removal, which was duly presented to the Friends Meeting at Burlington.

"From the Men's Monthly Meeting at Ugbrook, in the County of Northampton in old England, the 13th Day of the 3rd month (May) 1680, to ye ffrds. and Brethern in New Jersey, in America, greetings.

"Whereas this friend John Panckhurst of Ashton having laid his intentions of transporting himself into New Jersey and desired a Certificate form this Meeting. These may therefore let you understand that ye sd John Panckhurst hath lived soberly as becometh ye truth and yt he is clear from all women as to relative in marriage soe far as we understand. And that friends here have not anything against his transporting himself by reason yt we do not understand but that he hath left all things clear as to his debts: all we thought meet to signifie etc., in testimony thereunto we whose names are here written have set our hand by the direction of ye sd meeting I shall rest you ffrds. and brethern:"

Signed by - Thomas Poole and eight others.

Shortly after securing this "Certificate of Removal", John Pancoast left his home at Ashton, five miles from Northampton in Northamptonshire, England, and with his family of eight children (two sons and six daughters), came into America on the ship "Paradise"; William Evelyn, Master, landing at Burlington on the fourth of October, 1680.

"The Concessions and Agreements of the Proprietors, Freeholders and Inhabitants of the Province of West New Jersey in America" was drawn up and signed in England on March 3rd, 1676. many of its important features were incorporated into our Constitution one hundred years later. This document was signed by 151 men, including William Penn, who were directly interested in West Jersey. John Pancoast, a signer, may be one of those who signed after they arrived in America.

Within three weeks of his landing, "John's first survey was recorded for 100 acres of land "Burlington County" on the north side of Assiscunk Creek against Mattacopenny Branch". Four days later, October 28, 1680, John Pancas [sic] recorded a deed for 1/32 of a 10-90th share of the province of West Jersey. This is easier to visualize when we remember that Province was first divided into 100 shares. Ten of these were awarded to Fenwick and became known as the Fenwick tenth (roughly, Salem County).

The Quakers, who settled at Burlington in 1677, were really in two groups, one from Yorkshire and the other from London. The land from the Rancocas Creek to Timber Creek was selected as the London Tenth, and from the Rancocas north to the Assunpink at Trenton, as the Yorkshire tenth. The city of Burlington was founded jointly by the two groups. The proprietors bought their land from the Indians, the first Indian deed being dated October 10, 1677. Ten years later, this deed was recorded. may 25, 1687 - John Pancoast - and 58 others, "Proprietors of several undivided shares of West Jersey, to Thomas Budd, for 1500 acres to be bought of the Indians".

John also signed on February 13, 1687 - with twenty-six other Proprietors, an agreement --- to issue a warrant to the General Surveyor to survey and lay out --- ye said lands.

He also signed February 22, 1688 - with others, giving consent of the Proprietors to the agreement made with East Jersey concerning the partition line by Daniel Coxe.

Amon the early Jersey Records, the name of John Pancoast is found in several places. As different surveys are made to him - as he signs as a Proprietor, business papers, and in the court record of ear-mark for cattle made august 8, 1685, as follows: "John Pancoast. Left ear slit, ye right cut out".

John took an active part in Civil affairs of the province. He served as regulator of weights and measures in 1681. He was Constable of Yorkshire Tenth in 1682, and served as a member of the Assembly of the Province of West New Jersey in 1685.

One son, James, preceded his father to America, unknown to them at that time. It seems that James, who was bound apprentice to a watchmaker in London, was kidnapped and brought to Maryland and sold by the Captain to some gentleman there. However, James worked out his time, bought a tract of land on the Potomac in 1687, acquired a nice estate, and became a leading citizen of Prince George County. About 1734, learning of his family's being in New Jersey, James came north for a visit and upon returning home, was drowned crossing the Potomac River, leaving no heirs.

NJA 21,22,23; EAQ-2; GMNJ 30-13; FWL-NA2/13/1913; Shinn Gen.

From The Pancoast Family in America, 1981, by Bennett S. Pancoast. References Listed:

Children of John Pancoast and Elizabeth ? are: 4. i. WILLIAM4 PANCOAST,was born in England, and died 1742 in Mansfield Township, Burlington Co., NJ. He married HANNAH SCATTERGOOD September 05, 1695 in Burlington Co., NJ, daughter of Thomas Scattergood and Elizabeth ?.


From Ashton, Northamptonshire, England.

Punished for marrying his second wife before his first wife had been dead 5 months.

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John Pancoast's Timeline

Ashton, Northamptonshire, England
Burlington, Burlington Co., NJ
Northamptonshire, UK
Yorkshire England
October 27, 1672
Ashton, Northamptonshire, England, United Kingdom
Northamptonshire, England, United Kingdom
Ashton, Northamptonshire, England