Potts Family

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My source for information on the Potts family is from "The Potts Family in America" by Thomas Maxwell Potts, Canonsburg, PA, 1901.This was further enhanced by contributions from Cy Potts. The best source for Potts information will be Cy Potts' web site. Recently, there have been many corrections to William Potts's work as it was discovered that much of the information contradicted itself. I've put the very latest information on the Potts family on this site which has been verified through proper sources such as vital records, etc.

There is a line of Potts that descends from Wales that is thought to be the ancestry of our Jonas Potts, Sr. I will list it here but it can't be overly stated that this is just conjecture at this point. However, the line from the original Thomas to his grandson Thomas is proven, as is the line from Jonas Potts, Sr. and down:

Thomas Pott, Yeoman, resident Llangirrig, Montgomeryshire, Wales died after 1654. He and unknown wife had four children: Evan, John, Anne and Eliz'h Pott. Daughter, Anne Pott married John Pott whose will was made up in 1672. They had the following children: Thomas, George, John, Margaret, Alice, Elizabeth, Anne and Sarah. Thomas Pott, son of John and Anne Pott married Elizabeth and they had the following children:

Jonas, son of Thomas and Elizabeth was our ancestor.

It has always been said that Jonas Potts, Sr. wed two women named Mary. There is some question whether there was in fact two Marys or which children might have been descended from which Mary. Mary of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania was Jonas' second wife. Tradition of descendants allege that the family came to Pennsylvania from Wales. This Jonas, hereafter referred to as Jonas, Sr., was first noticed in Pennsylvania as a witness to the marriage certificate of John Austin and Jane Potts, September 11, 1686. He was a resident of Germantown, Philadelphia County, and vicinity for a number of years, where he sometimes held local offices under the government. Later he settled on land in Gilbert's Manor, not far from the present town of Tyersford in Montgomery County. He was a party to several transactions in the purchase and sale of lands in Philadelphia County. He was also party to a land transaction in Cheltenham Township, County Hereford, England.

Jonas Potts held the office of Range for the County of Philadelphia, his term of office expiring in 1702. He also held the office of Court Sheriff for Germantown at one time. He seems to have been a man of determination, and perhaps of an impetuous temperament, as upon one occasion, in making arrest, it is said that he handled the man so roughly as to have almost killed him.

He was a member of the Society of Friends, but does not appear to have been very active in meeting affairs. The imperfect records of the early Meetings do not show a very clear record of his consecutive connection with the Society. He seems to have been under the care of Abington Monthly meeting, but later in life may have resorted to Gwynedd, or some Meeting in that vicinity.

About the year 1703, Jonas Potts seems to have been straitened circumstances, perhaps by reason of his wife's long continued illness. Radnor Monthly meeting minutes of 1703 show that "Jonas Potts and his wife being poore, and haveing divers small children, want assistance to buy a Cow." He was granted the cow.

Among different lines of descendants are several traditions, which probably have some elements of truth in them as well as inaccuracies. One tradition alleges that Jonas Potts came from England in the sixteenth (seventeenth) century and settled in Pennsylvania. Another claims that the first of the family came to Pennsylvania with William Penn. Another alleges that the first Potts settles in Pennsylvania came from Wales, emigrating from there on account of religious persecution. All agree that the first settlers were Friends or Quakers.

Jonas Potts and first wife, Mary, had the following children:

Jonas Potts and second wife, Mary, had the following children:

John Potts b. 1751 in Loudoun Co., Virginia m: Susannah Hibbens 14 MAR 1782 in Berkeley, Virginia. He d. Oct 1820 in Columbiana, Ohio and was buried near Scroggsfield, Fox Twp., Ohio. His children:

Jonathan Potts b. July 1755

David Potts b. November 1756

Jonas Potts b. before 1758 (Jonas is being rigidly researched by Dave Osborne)

Nathan Potts b. July 10, 1764

Joshua Potts b. February 4, 1769

Thomas Potts b. ca. 1770

Unknown daughter b. 1770+

Noah Potts b. 1772

The "gaps" appear at 1758 to 1764, and 1764 to 1769 it would seem. So Nathan could swing either way I guess. "Poor Nathan."

Two of the Potts' daughters were married on August 15, 1719 at their home.

[1] Jonas Potts married twice-once to Mary, last name unknown and second to Mary Heckathorn. This is what Cy Potts has to say about it:

"The birth info on Jonathan, John and David is pretty solid. It came from Jefferson Co., OH records and DAR stuff. All three were Rev War veterans as you know. The DAR record for John states that Mary Heckathorn was his mamma, and Gary Jespersen (descendant of John Potts & Susannah Hibbens, and a careful researcher) was not budging from that. As you know, Thos. Maxwell Potts was confused as evidenced by the conflicting information in chapters 8 and 21. My take on all of it is that the chart of page 337 was TMP's last shot at it but he got the spouses surnames backwards (Heckathorn was first). That puts David, Jonathan, John, Jonas, Nathan and Joshua as children of Mary Heckathorn and Thomas, Noah and ____ as children of second spouse Mary _____.

Proof? Why absolutely none - of course. So my current stand is (subject to change by any persuasive information). (See notes at bottom of page for more information on Jonas.)

This book contains many branches of the family and I will not attempt to record them all here. However, I have done so for the direct lines. I do have some pages from the book. Cy Potts is a wealth of information.

More Potts info

Other Potts cousins with info to share:

Ann L. Holland

Additional information received from: Dave Osborne

Jonas Potts (Jonas I) was indeed married twice to women named Mary. Recent research has shown that the second Mary was Mary Burson, daughter of George and Hannah Burson. There IS proof of this. The marriage of Jonas I and Mary Burson took place about 1726, and Jonas II was most likely born about 1727/28. No marriage record for Jonas and Mary has yet been found, nor a birth record for Jonas II, or any other children Jonas and Mary may have had. It appears that Jonas and Mary left PA for (probably) Virginia about 1740. Records of David Potts, son of Jonas, show that he went to Virginia about the same time, so it's quite possible that Jonas and David went together.

There has always been some confusion concerning where Jonas lived. He's often called Jonas of Limerick, or Jonas of Gilbert's Manor, or Jonas of Perkiomen. The fact is.....Jonas lived in two different places. He first lived down in the lower part of Gilbert's Manor and about 1726/27 he moved up to Burson land which was right below Limerick Twp., but still in Gilbert's Manor.

Jonas' first wife Mary appears to have been alive as late as July 1721, so she must have died sometime between then and 1726. This means that Jonathan, born 1714, (if he was even a son of Jonas I, which I highly doubt) and Deborah were children of Jonas and the first Mary.

Jonas II, likely born 1727/28, was married by 1748, and it appears his first wife's name was Mary Thomas, daughter of Evan and Ann (last name unknown) Thomas. The will of Evan Thomas in 1757 shows "a" Jonas Potts as Evan's son in law. This has to be Jonas II. No mention is made of a daughter Mary, so it would seem that Mary had died previously. Jonas II and Mary Thomas had the following children.....

1.Jonas, born about 1749
2.John, born 1750/51
3.Daughter, born about 1752/53 (married Richard Hart)
4.Jonathan, born 1754/55
5.David, born November 1756

Jonas II married a second time to a woman named Mary, and she is said to have been Mary Heckathorn. There was a Heckathorn family across the Potomac River in Frederick Co., MD in the 1750's and 1760's. This was the family of Rheinhard Jacob Heckathorn, and he had a daughter, Mary, born in the 1730's. Whether she was the Mary Heckathorn that Jonas married, I don't know, but there are a couple of pedigrees done by Heckathorn researchers that show that Mary married a Johannes Potts. IF she was the Mary Heckathorn that married Jonas II, she was born September 30, 173?, and died July 26, 1820. Mary Heckathorn was the mother of Nathan, Thomas, Joshua, and Noah.

DNA test results for the Potts family

David Potts descendant, Linda Balderson, has contributed this information.

Other sites of interest:

Olin Family Society

Olin Family Society Facebook Site

MacGillivray Clan Facebook Site

Spencer Historical and Genealogy Society (SHGS)

SGHS Facebook Site

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Last updated: 3/6/14