Lancelot Strawn 1680-1720

Lily Strawn Painter relates a story I also heard from my grandmother, Hazel (Strawn) Steel, about an English ancestor who had been found abandoned as a baby in a pile of straw ( Also, I recall being told (please advise if you have clarification) that this Lancelot Strawn also served as Cabin Boy to William Penn on board the Ship Welcome.

“1. LANCELOT1 STRAWN was born November 23, 1680 in Parish of Billingshurst, Sussex County, England, and died June 10, 1720 in Newtown, Middletown Twp, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He married MARY BUCKMAN1 June 02, 1716 in Newtown, Middletown Twp, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, daughter of WILLIAM BUCKMAN and ??? SARAH. She was born November 23, 1680 in Parish of Billingshurst, Sussex County, England, and died Aft. January 07, 1738/39 in Bethlehem, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

1. Lancelot Strawn (Strawhen, Straughan). Born in POSSIBLY, Kincardineshire, Fife County Scotland. Died, 1720, in Newtown, Middletown Twp, Bucks County Pennsylvania.

Excerpt from a letter of Lily Strawn Painter dated March 24, 1939 relating the origin of Lancelot Strawn–

“My great grandfather, George Strawn’s family, conversed in their home and among their friends and neighbors the Holland language only. My grandfather, Enoch Strawn, related this to my father, when he was a small boy and sat upon his grandfather’s knee, Jacob Strawn II who married Susannah VanBuskirk.”

“Enoch asked his grandfather if he had a nice grandpapy when he was a little boy like he had and this is some of the conversation that followed:” “in the early part of the sixteen century in Scotland an unknown babe was found in a blanket in a pile of straw and was taken and reared by an old bachelor, he naming the babe Straughn, because of being found in the straw pile. This little highland lad became a trader early in life, and did some bartering in Wales. He Lancelot Straughn emigrated from Scotland to Wales before coming to the Colonies of North America. Also he said that after the children of Jacob and Christiana had grown up there were lots of hard feelings among them. That the old folks lives were saddened by their childrens conduct; Isaiah taking up arms to kill and Jacob II marrying Susannah, an outsider of the Friends faith and all their girls marrying outsiders also; consequently, my great, great grandfather Jacob willed his share of the estate to his baby brother, Enoch, your line down. There were such a devotion between the two brothers that I take notice even today that their lines down are more alike. It seems to be more of a tie”……

Lily Strawn Painter
(Lily was the 4th great granddaughter of Lancelot Strawn, who began her research in 1907 & continued until her death in 1988)

Lancelot Straughan, the first American ancestor of the Strawn family of Upper Bucks, is said to have been a native of Wales. There has been much speculation among the descendants and local historians as to the proper spelling of his name. The above form is believed to be the manner in which he himself spelled it. The name is frequently spelled on the early records as Strawhen. The will of the widow of Lancelot Straughan is written in the name of Mary Strawhen, but so far as we can learn none of her children wrote it in that form and practically all the descendants have used the name in its present form, Strawn.

Tradition relates that Lancelot Straughan was a native of Wales and came to this country in search of adventure in the wilderness of Pennsylvania during the first decade of the eighteenth century. He married Mary (Buckman) Cooper, and died in Middletown Twp., Bucks County, early in 1720, letters of administration being granted to his widow on June 10, 1720. Thomas Baynes signed her bond with her. The inventory was taken 8 4th mo. 1720 by John Wildman and Thomas Thwailes and came to L 34/16/6, one item of unusual interest being a desk, so Lancelot Strawhen was undoubtedly literate. This being the only occasion when his first name is recorded in contemporary document except for his presence at a Buckman wedding as witness.

The Ship Welcome

Mary (Buckman) Cooper, the wife of Lancelot Straughan, was born in the Parish of Billinghurst, County of Sussex, England, 9 mo. (November) 23, 1680. She came to Pennsylvania with her parents, William and Sarah Buckman, in the Ship Welcome, in 1682, with William Penn, the founder. William Buckman died in Bucks County in 10 mo., 1716, leaving a will dated 2 mo. 4, 1716, which contained the following clause.

“ITEM – I give unto my daughter Mary Strawhen Fifty Shillings current money, to be payed 12 months after my decease and to her five children, Ruth, Sarah, William, Henry and John, fifty shillings apiece to be paid to them respectively when they arrive at twenty-one years of age.”

Mary Buckman married in 1706 Henry Cooper of Newtown, Bucks County. He died in 1710 leaving her with five small children. William, Henry, John, Sarah and Ruth. The family were members of the Society of Friends before coming to America, and the Coopers were also Friends. Mary Cooper was disowned by the Society on her marriage to Lancelot Straughan and probably never reunited with the Society. Her daughter Sarah married first Joseph Strickland, a Friend, in 1727, and second in 1737 Jonathan Abbott. The other daughter Ruth Cooper married Denes Pursel of Dover, Kent County, Delaware, a son of Thomas Pursell, both father and son being natives of Ireland. Denes Pursel (as he wrote the name) on January 22, 1732, transferred his interest in a large tract of land in Kent County, Delaware, to his brother, Daniel Pursell in exchange for a tract of land owned and occupied by Daniel in Wrightstown Twp., Bucks County. He later removed to New Jersey and little is known of his history, but he and his brother Thomas are supposed to be the ancestors of the Pursell family of Upper Bucks. After the death of her second husband Lancelot Straughan, Mary Strawhen resided with her daughter Ruth. Her will, dated June 7, 1738, at Bethlehem, County of Hunterdon, and Province of New Jersey, was probated September 10, 1740, and it gives specific legacies of forty shillings each to her five children by Henry Cooper, and the residue of her estate to her son Jacob Strawn, whom she names as her executor. in the year 1848, Lancelot’s great grandson, John Straughan, as he spelled the name in his later years, prepared an account of his own life which was shown me by the late J. Donald Strawn (1888-1966) of Chardon, Ohio, with whom I long collaborated on a Strawn genealogy as yet unpublished. This John Straughan, born 1776, died in Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1856, was one of the 18 children of Jacob’s son Daniel. He was about twenty-five when his grandfather died in 1800. in this document John Straughan made the claim that Lancelot Strawn was a Welcome passenger, crossing the Atlantic on the same ship as his future wife, and this claim has been repeated by certain descendants. No evidence has been found to support the claim.

(Copied from “The Welcome Claimants Proved, Disproved and Doubtful” by George E. McCracken and “Early Friends Families of Upper Bucks” by Clarence V Roberts)
He married Mary Buckman Cooper, daughter of William Buckman Sr and Sarah ( ), 2 Jun 1716, in Newtown, Bucks County Pennsylvania. Born, 23 Nov 1680, in Billingshurst, Sussex County England. Died, 1740, in Bucks County Pennsylvania.

Mary Buckman, third child and second daughter of William Buckman (Edward) by his first wife Sarah ( ), was born in England, probably in Billingshurst, Sussex, on 23 9th mo. 1680, and she was baptized by Anglican rite in Billinghurst on 13 Jan. 1680/1, which fact may suggest that her mother was not a Friend. With the rest of the family she came to America on the Welcome in 1682. Tradition among her Strawn descendants says that she sat on the lap of William Penn while at sea, and since she was then a child of two, his interest in her would make this plausible. There has been handed down in the Strawn family through ten generations of Strawns, all of whom were named Jacob, a sea shell which she brought with her as a toy.

She married, first, on 30 Nov. 1703 under the auspices of Middletown Monthly Meeting but at the house of William Twining in Newtown, Henry Cooper or Couper, as the name was often spelled in contemporary documents. He had been baptized by Anglican rites in Low Ellington, Yorkshire, on 13 Jan. 1674/5, son of William Cooper by a wife who may or may not have been the wife Thomasine, mother of the six younger children of William Cooper.

There was a Richard Strawhen who witnessed the marriage of Joseph Lupton to Mercy Twining at Middletown Monthly Meeting on 10 7th mo. 1713, and is thereafter not found. An attempt to find the original of this certificate in order to verify the first name has failed. Lancelot Strawhen similarly signed as witness the marriage certificate of Mary’s brother William Buckman to Esther Penquite, as 21st name in the lefthand column, 27 9th mo. 1716, two months after the condemnation.

We hear nothing more of Lancelot until he is dead and there are no deeds of record and no will, for he died intestate, administration granted to the Widow in Bucks County on 10 June 1720. Thomas Baynes signed her bond with her. The inventory was taken 8 4th mo. 1720 by John Wildman and Thomas Thwailes and came to L34/16/6, one item of unusual interest being a desk, so Lancelot Strawhen was undoubtedly literate.

After the death of Lancelot in 1720 Mary and such of her brood as had not flown the nest probably removed about 1728 to Kent County, Delaware, where her son-in-law Dennis Pursell owned land, but by 1738 she was in New Jersey for she made her will in Bethlehem Twp., Hunterdon County, 7 Jan. 1738 (1738/9). She names daughters Ruth and Sarah, sons William Cooper, Henery Cooper, John Cooper and Jacob Starwhen (sic) who is named executor. This will was written by an exceptionally poor speller, and it was probated in Bucks county on 10 Sept 1740 by the oath of Daniel Ashcraft and on 2 Oct. 1740 by the affirmation of Richard Mitchell. The third witness, Robert Hazlet, did not appear. She had survived the making of her will by about a year and a half.

(Copied from “The Welcome Claimants Proved, Disproved and Doubtful” by George E. McCracken)

Children: Jacob.
Facts about this person: Christening Parish of Billingshurst, Sussex County, England

About jayhack2012

I help you find actionable insight.
This entry was posted in UK-Wales, US-PA-East and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lancelot Strawn 1680-1720

  1. Janice says:

    Fascinated to find the “baby in the straw” story — again. Several pieces do not quite “jell”. Note that the time reference to the baby is “early in the 16th century” so that would be early 1500s. Much history transpired between that date and the arrival of the WELCOME. I have just found another family account by Elsie Strawn Armstrong (1789-1871) who told her family that her grandfather (Jacob Strawn) “came from England when he was 10 years old…with a widowed mother…in 1729.” This Jacob is generally shown in family trees as the son of Lancelot. Here’s a new project for a serious Strawn researcher!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s