103 – Life in Pequea 1720s

Between 1715 and 1720, the families of Joseph Jervis, Daniel Cookson, and Joseph Cloud had moved to the west, along the old trading route toward Conestoga and the Susquehanna River.


Joseph Jervis and Daniel Cookson had settled near the head of Pequea Creek. Joseph and Ruth Cloud had moved farther west, about 15 miles northwest of Pequea.

A History of Salisbury Township
Pequea Valley – looking south toward White Horse

This vast area was still part of Chester County. Two huge new townships were created – first Conestoga and then Pequea.

Ed. Note: Pequea is (pronounced peck-way). It was named after the local Piqua Indian tribe.

The Jervis, Cookson, and Cloud families were among the first settlers.

The 1724 tax list for Pequea includes the Jervises and Cooksons among the 25 families living there.

Tax List – Pequea – 1724

In 1726, there are 31 families living in Pequea township.

Joseph and Esther Jervis (7G)

Joseph married Esther. Esther was born in 1698. So she was 25 years younger than Joseph. We don’t know Esther’s family name or where she was from.

It’s likely they married in Pequea in the mid-1720s. Joseph would have been about 52, and Esther about 27. By the end of the 1720s, they had three children:

  • Joseph Jr – b. about 1722
  • John – b. about 1724
  • Solomon – b. abt 1727

Joseph and Ruth Cloud

In 1725, Joseph and Ruth Cloud sold their land in the west, and returned to Caln Township, about 10 miles east of Pequea. They had lived there earlier.

They had a son Jason, and they deeded him land in Caln in 1728. Joseph Cloud died in 1728.

Deed – Joseph and Ruth Cloud to Jason Cloud – 1728

Daniel and Margaret Cookson

Daniel and Margaret Cookson had three children – Charles, Daniel, and Thomas. They were born in late 1710s and early 1720s.

Daniel’s family lived on the farm adjacent to Joseph’s. Citations show that the families’ activities were intertwined.

… and Elizabeth

Elizabeth Jervis Cookson had stayed on her land in Middletown from 1684 to the 1720s, about forty years. In the mid-1720s, we find a citation that she is living in Caln. She has probably moved to live in the household of her daughter Ruth Cloud.

Grist Mills

Both Joseph Jervis and Daniel Cookson erected grist mills. Both their lands were ideally situated on streams.

A Changing Place

As the 1720s ended, the families were well settled in their new lands. They had children, worked their farms, and milled grain.

As more settlers took up lands nearby, our families were less remote. There was a growing community around them. It must have been like the 1680s settlement boom around Chester.

For the first time in his adult life, Joseph Jervis had found stability in home and family.



  • Introductory paragraph about Pequea Valley – A History of Salisbury Township Lancaster County Pennsylvania – Joan M. Lorenz
  • Tax assessment and census lists – Assessment Lists and Other Manuscript Documents of Lancaster County Prior to 1729 – Lancaster County Historical Society – Lancaster, PA – 1916
  • Deed – Joseph and Ruth Cloud to Jason Cloud – Caln – 1728 – Chester Historical Society – West Chester, PA
  • Maps – collation of base modern maps like Google maps and overlaid layers of drawings or graphics.
  • Presentment of Joseph, Joseph Jr., and John Jervis in court – Lancaster Court of Quarter Sessions – May 5, 1740 – Lancaster County Archives, Lancaster, PA
  • Photos – Mark Jarvis – July 2017 and June 2018

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