Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

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Established June 2, 1997
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March 16, 1998

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Brightside Farm

Brightside Farm - History and Timeline

The following is a portion of a research narrative prepared in 1997 by Jane E. Dorchester and provided for this web site by the Charlestown Historical Society. The portion shown below pertains to the 55 acre parcel to be sold by the Great Valley School District. The property's historical timeline through 1930, based on title changes, follows the narrative below.

I believe the stone and frame house on Tax Parcel #35-3-59 to be the older of the two houses found on the Harold Pyle Property. The stone portion of the house was probably built by 1809 when the Sheriff of Chester County sold the 55-acre tract with a messuage (dwelling house) on it to Jacob Ramsey (Deed B3, p. 338). I have labelled this house the "James Scott House" after the owner who probably had built the stone section some time between 1807, when he bought the place (Deed B3, p. 64), and 1809. Unfortunately, the Tax Assessment Records don't really shed any light on the construction of this section of the house. They only hint at the two times when improvements might have been made to the property: between 1808 and 1811 (1811 Triennial Tax Assessment Record), and between 1826 and 1829 (1829 Triennial Tax Assessment Record).
The question here is, is the frame section made of log? Peter Smith, who sold the 55-acre tract to Griffith Jones in 1801 (Deed T2, p. 635), was taxed in both 1796 and 1799 for 2 log houses and 1 stone barn (1796 and 1799 Triennial Tax Assessment Records). Could either of these log houses be the frame section of the present-day house? The Tax Records for 1802 are of no help as Griffith Jones owned several tracts of land and in that year was taxed for all of them in one lump (210 acres). And it doesn't help that he was taxed for "buildings" with no delineation of what those buildings were. So you can't tell where anything was or what anything was.
.... the James Scott Farm has contained 55 acres, more or less, since at least 1754. The "more or less" is based on refiguring the acreage contained within the property boundaries, it is not due to land being added to or subtracted from the property. In other words, the boundaries ... have not changed since 1754. In my experience, it is very unusual for farms to retain their boundaries for over 150 years, let alone for over 200 years. This is especially true this close to the 21st Century!

Timeline Through 1930
Tax Parcel #35-3-59

Year Date & Book Person(s)
1754 n/a Ann Rees
to James Lewis
1786 n/a James Lewis
to John Opperman
1795 March 26, 1795
R2, p. 46
John & Susannah Opperman
to Peter Smith
1801 February 28, 1801
T2, p. 635
Peter & Elizabeth Smith
to Griffith Jones
1804 December 25, 1804
Orphans Court,
Decendents - 1805
Griffith Jones Estate
1807 March 21, 1807
B3, p. 64
William Barown (sic) & Isaac Neilor, Administrators to Estate of Griffith Jones, dec'd
to James Scott
1809 January 30, 1809
B3. p. 338
Titus Taylor, Esq., High Sheriff of Chester County
to Jacob Ramsey
1809 May 27, 1809
B3. p. 340
Jacob & Ann Ramsey
to John Funderwhite, weaver
1837 April 3, 1837
O4, p. 157
John & Mary Wirts by their Atty. John Snyder; John & Hannah Snyder; John & Ann Funderwite; Frederick & Mary Funderwite; John & Julia. Nugent; Benjamin & Sarah Hobbs; & Eliza Funderwite
to Peter Hartman
1871 April 3, 1871
B8, p. 239
Peter & Elizabeth Hartman
to John Funderwhite
1881 April 1, 1881
H9, p. 426
John C. & Martha Funderwite
to William Snyder
1894 March 12, 1894
D11, p. 287
William & Elizabeth Snyder
to Lews W. Pyle [I]
1928 January 30, 1928
Wills & Admins.
Papers #42263
Lewis W. Pyle [I]'s Will
1930 February 10, 1930
P17, p. 550
E. William & Georgeanna McB. Pyle; DeWitt C. & Sara S. Pyle; Rosalba C. Pyle, spinster; & Lewis W. & Sarah F. Pyle, II
to E. Baker Pyle
The first two entries in this title search were done by Janet Baldwin. The remaining were done by Jane. E. Dorchester. The size of the property at each change of ownership was approximately 55 acres, varying due to measurement anomalies, not due to actual property changes.

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