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Potts Family

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. Recently, there have been many corrections to William Potts’s work as it was discovered that much of the information contradicted itself. I’ve had a very difficult time with this family myself. So many similar given names! 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. The family were Quakers.

Double Cousins

There are at least two instances in my line where two Potts cousins married. See Anne, daughter of Thomas, Sr. and John Pott below. Then Thomas Bollen, Sr. to Lydia Potts. (See Mary Potts b. 1783 below).

Thomas Pott, Sr. Yeoman, resident Llangirrig, Montgomeryshire, Wales. His will was made August 12, 1654, inventory made May, 1658 and the will was filed September 1661. It is believed that he died after 1664. He and unknown wife had four children:

  • Evan Pott who had one daughter
  • John Pott who married Margaret and had a child
  • Anne Pott married John Pott and had: Thomas, Jr., George, John, Margaret, Alice, Elizabeth, Anne, Sarah
  • Elizabeth Pott married William Bound and had: Thomas, William, Joseph, Benjamin, Jeremy, Anne, and Elizabeth.
Anne Pott and John Pott’s (Thomas)

Anne and John Pott’s son Thomas Pott, Sr. married Elizabeth. Elizabeth married second to Edmund Bennet. Thomas and Elizabeth had the following children:

  • John Potts Was persecuted for his faith. He had five children: Thomas, John, Mary, Margaret, and Eleanor.
  • Thomas Potts, Jr. was a miller. He died 1719. He married Judith Smith and had a son Thomas Potts. Judith married second to Thomas Sharp.
  • David Potts died 1730 and married Alice Croasdale. They had Thomas, John, Daniel, Elizabeth, Jonathan, Mary, Stephen, Rebecca, Ezekiel, and Nathan.
  • Jonas Potts, Sr. (See below)
  • Margaret Potts married Jacob Shoemaker and their children were George, Thomas, and Jacob.
  • Jane Potts married John Austin and had Samuel, Ann, Elizabeth, and Mary.Elizabeth Potts died in 1690.
  • Son Potts married Jone and had one daughter.
  • Roes(?) Potts married three times to Elizabeth, Lydia King, and Christina Rambo.
Jonas Potts, Sr. (Thomas, Anne, Thomas Jr)

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 married twice and both women were named Mary. Children with the first Mary:

  • David Potts was born in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died in 1768 in Virginia. He married Ann Roberts and had Rachel, Susanna, Christian, Elizabeth, Nathan, Ezekiel, Samuel, and David. He married second to Elizabeth Lane and had Jonas, Mary, Ann, and Jonathan.
  • Rachel Potts was born 1702 in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died in 1752 in Loudoun Heights, Loudoun, Virginia. She married Joseph Burson, Sr. and had Joseph Burson, Jr.
  • Elizabeth C. Potts was married August 15, 1719 in Pennsylvania to William Heald.
  • Hannah Potts

Children with the second Mary were:

  • Deborah Potts died July 24, 1718.
  • Jonathan Potts was born 1714 and died in Mercer County, Kentucky. He had two wives: Emma and Amy (1718-1790)
  • Jonas Potts, Jr. (see below)

Notes from other researchers:

Cy Potts

Jonas Potts married twice-once to Mary, last name unknown and second to Mary Heckathorn. This is what Cy Potts had 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 wass a wealth of information and has since passed on.

Dave Osborne

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.

Jonas Potts, Jr. (Thomas, Anne, Thomas Jr, Jonas, Sr)

Jonas Potts, Jr. (Thomas, Anne, Thomas Jr., Jonas, Sr.) was born in 1716 in Pottsgrove, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died December 18, 1814 in Georgetown, Beaver, Pennsylvania. Jonas was a blacksmith by trade and purchased 270 acres from his half-brother David in Loudoun County, Virginia where he later removed to. Later he and his wife, Mary sold 122 of those acres to James Thomas on May 9, 1761. Jonas obtained a patent from “the proprietors office of the northern neck of Virginia,” on August 20, 1761 for a tract of land on or about Round Hill. He married Mary Heckathorn who died in 1812. Jonas and Mary’s children:

  • John Potts (see below)
  • David Potts was born 1756 and died May 31, 1837 in Ohio. He married Milly Adams.
  • Jonas Potts, III was married to Hannah.
  • Jonathan Potts (see below)

Jonathan Potts (Thomas, Anne, Thomas Jr, Jonas Sr,)

Jonathan was born in 1744 in Pennsylvania and died July 4, 1831 in Jefferson County, Ohio. He married to Elizabeth English in 1788 at Loudoun, Virginia. She died January 14, 1814 in Jefferson.

Jonathan served in the Virginia Continental Line in the Revolutionary War. On account of his patriotic services, he was granted a pension on March 17, 1819. He was a blacksmith by trade, but was probably also engaged in farming. He removed from Loudoun County, Virginia, to Washington County, Pennsylvania, where he lived for several years. In 1800, his name appears in the assessment list for Hanover Township, when he is designated as “blacksmith.” Shortly after this he removed to Jefferson County, Ohio. Jonathan and Elizabeth had the following children:

Joshua Potts was born April 12, 1789 and married Catherine Chayser.

Thomas Potts was born February 12, 1791 and married to Rosana Jackson and second to Elizabeth Wallace.

David Potts was born February 11, 1793 and married to Susannah Jackson and second to Margaret Penny.

John Potts was born March 6, 1795 and married March 4, 1819 to Rebecca Harris.

Nathan Potts was born August 6, 1797. Burned to death.

Anna Potts was born June 28, 1799 and married to John Goodwin.

Jonas Potts was born June 15, 1801 in Jefferson and married October 31, 1822 same place to Elizabeth Johnson.

Samuel L. Potts was born 1803 in Jefferson and died August 31, 1867. He married March 29, 1825 in New Jefferson, Harrison County, Ohio to Elizabeth Barnes. Elizabeth was born to Thomas and Mary Barnes in 1799 in either Maryland or Virginia and died March 17, 1873 in Jefferson, Harrison County, Ohio. I have an original letter sent by Samuel to his niece Lydia in 1844. They had six children:

  • Nancy Potts born September 21, 1826 in Jefferson, Harrison, Ohio, married October 16, 1845 in Jefferson to Dr. Alexander H. Taylor. Their children: Orville, Samuel, Robert, William, Lizzie, and Margaret Taylor.
  • Jonathan Smith Potts born May 1, 1828 in Jefferson (or German Township, Harrison, Ohio) married Nancy Vandegraft.
  • Elizabeth Potts born February 9, 1830 in German, Harrison County, Ohio married on June 28, 1854 in Jefferson to Dr. A.W. Guthrie and died on November 8, 1877. Their children: James D., Elizabeth J., William Potts, Ettie Guthrie. Elizabeth married second to John A. Croskey.
  • Dilla Ann Potts born October 24, 1831 in German married Ross James Roberts and died Mach 15, 1856. Their children: Elizabeth E., Samuel R., and Richard Roberts.
  • William O. Potts born September 19, 1836 in Jefferson married Ella F. Warren/Wharton?.
  • Sarah C. Potts born May 16, 1839 and died March 1, 1840 in Jefferson.

Mary Potts was born August 1, 1805 in Jefferson, Ohio or Arismon, Ohio and married September 28, 1826 in Jefferson to Osmond Ryan.

Lydia Potts was born September 28, 1807 in Jefferson, Ohio and married Thomas Rowland. She died June 2, 1892 in Spring Hill, Henry County, Illinois. Lydia married John Cain. See Cain family below. Lydia’s second marriage was to Thomas Bollen. See more about Lydia and Thomas’s family>>>

William Potts was born February 11, 1810 in Jefferson, Ohio and married Cecelia Hurd in Portage, Ohio, and then Mary H. Morris.

Sources

Illinois Ancestors Bollen Database retrieved from http://www.illinoisancestors.org/henry/bollendatabase.html

Clifton-Bolen Family Bible (in the possession of Ruth Ellis)

Kain-Potts-Bollen Family Bible (in the possession of Mary Laura Bollen (Middleton))

Personal research done by Cora Pearl Glass Sand, granddaughter of Lydia Bollen Martin.

John Potts (Thomas, Anne, Thomas Jr., Jonas, Sr., Jonas, Jr.)

John Potts was born in 1751 in Loudoun County, Virginia and died October 20, 1820 in Columbiana, Columbiana, Ohio. He married March 14, 1782 in Berkeley County, West Virginia to Susanna Hibbens. Susanna was born March 16, 1763 in Berkeley Parish, Spotsylvania, Virginia and died in 1853 in Fox, Carroll, Ohio. Their children:

  • Mary Potts was born in February 1783 in Pennsylvania and died in 1839 in Ohio. She married Thomas Bollen, Sr. Their son, Thomas Bollen, Jr. married his second cousin, Lydia Potts. (See Lydia’s line below)
  • Jonathan Potts was born in 1785 in Falls, Berkley, Virginia and died April 23, 1857 in Lawrenceville, Lawrence, Illinois. He married Elizabeth Triplet and had Sarah, John, Hester, Abraham, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Joshua, Lucinda, Wesley, Joseph, and Thomas Wilson.
  • Sarah Potts was born in 1787 in Jefferson, Ohio and died January 24, 1863 in Scipio, Meigs, Ohio. She married Daniel Brickles.
  • Jonas Potts, IV was born in 1787 in Pennsylvania and died December 29, 1813 in Lake City, Erie, Pennsylvania.
  • Ruth Potts was born in 1789 and died young.
  • John Potts was born in 1790 in Jefferson, Pennsylvania and died November 9, 1876 in Webster, Vernon, Wisconsin.
  • Nathan Potts was born in 1792 in Hickory, Washington, Pennsylvania and died April 23, 1858 in Lawrence, Lawrence, Illinois.
  • James Potts was born August 16, 1796 in Hickory, Washington, Pennsylvania. He married Jane Mapel and had one son, Benjamin Franklin Potts.
  • Ruth Potts was born in 1798 in Pennsylvania and died October 22, 1872 in Franklin, Indiana.
  • Margaret Potts was born about 1800 in Ohio.
  • Deborah Potts was born in 1802 in Jefferson County, Ohio and died in 1873.
  • Rebecca Potts was born August 8, 1804 in Hickory, Washington, Pennsylvania and died August 7, 1892 in Webster, Vernon, Wisconsin. She married Warren Post and had two children: Martin V. and Sarah.
  • David Potts was born March 20, 1807 (twin) in Jefferson County, Ohio and died in Carroll, Ohio.
  • Thomas Potts was born March 20, 1807 in Jefferson County, Ohio and died in Carroll, Ohio.
  • Sarah Potts was born in 1809 in Hickory, Washington, Pennsylvania
  • Margaret Potts was born in 1813 in Washington, Ohio. (probably Pennsylvania)
Mary Potts (Thomas, Anne, Thomas Jr., Jonas Sr., Jonas Jr., John)

Mary Potts was born in February 1783 in Pennsylvania and died in 1839 in Ohio. She married Thomas Bollen, Sr. Their son, Thomas Bollen, Jr. married his second cousin, Lydia Potts. More on Mary Potts Family>>>

Note that Jefferson County Ohio was a huge county and eventually was split into other counties. I believe that some of our history is in Harrison County.

The Potts Family book can be found at genealogy libraries or state historical societies. There are quite a few floating around. At least you have some clues to assist you in searching this family more extensively. Your George W. Potts furnished the writer with much valuable data in the way of copies of Bible records, etc.

Last Updated on April 14, 2021 by rootie

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this information. My maternal grandfather was Clyde Potts son of David and Malvira Coleman born in Harlem Springs, Carroll, Ohio.

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