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The Pawlings

The first recorded Pawling that came to America was Henry Pawling. His exact date of birth is unknown and he allegedly came from Padbury, Buckinghamshire, England.

"The Fall of New Amsterdam" by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

Described as a gallant young Englishman of means, education, and enterprise, he came to America in 1664 as part of the military expedition sent out by the Duke of York and Albany to secure the patent accorded to him in that year, by his royal brother, King Charles II. The expedition of four warships and about three hundred soldiers sailed from Portsmouth, England on 18 May 1664 and arrived at New Netherlands in August. By September, New Amsterdam and Fort Orange had surrendered, and the whole territory came under the control of the Duke of York and his agent and governor.

One of the earliest acts of the new government was the establishment of a garrison for protection against Indians at Esopus, later Kingston, Ulster County, and the promotion of settlements in this district. Lands were promised to the 'soldiers and all other persons who had come over with Colonel Richard Nicholls and on 9 November, 1668, Henry was appointed to lay out lands at Esopus Creek to induce the former soldiers to become settlers. The garrison, of which Henry was a member and probably an officer, was maintained until the autumn of 1669, when, all fear of Indian depredations having ceased, the troops were withdrawn from service.

On 9 September 1669 the governor, Sir Francis Lovelace, appointed seven leading men of the Province a commission to regulate affairs at Esopus and the surrounding areas with Henry as one of the commissioners. This body located sites for the villages of Hurley and Marbletown, heard grievances, made redress, passed ordinances for the general betterment and government of the locality and appointed officers to carry out the same. He was voted as the officer with whom the Native Americans would interact if they had any issues with the settlers in Kingston, Hurley and Marbletown. This appointment was due, doubtless, to the fact that, while at the garrison, he had become acquainted with the Indian tongue and displayed marked ability to deal with them. Henry was appointed High Sheriff of Ulster County in 1684. As such, he was a member of the Governor's Council and levied and collected taxes for the county.

He also became a major landowner. He purchased about 7,000 acres of land in Dutchess County, N.Y., which was known as the "Pawling Purchase." He received a land grant in Philadelphia County, PA.

On 3 November 1676 he married Neeltje Roosa. They had eight children; 4 sons and 4 daughters.

Two sons, John and Henry, moved to Philadelphia County, PA. After the death of their father in 1692, the Pawling Purchase was sold so they probably were men of considerable means. They settled on adjoining tracts of 500 acres at the junction of the Schuylkill River and Perkiomen Creek, about ten miles from Norristown, PA. The owned a couple of grist mills and a shad fishery.

John died at age 52 in May 1733. He was buried in the family burying ground which he provided for in his will and was located on the east side of the creek.


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