Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Holme Family Account Book, 1684-1762

Finding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, October 1984

Summary Information
Title: Holme family account book
Creator: Holme family
Inclusive dates: 1684-1762
Extent: 102 pages
Irish Quakers and compatriots of William Penn, the family of John Holme prospered in the new colony of Pennsylvania. The Holme family account book includes accounts of goods sold and services rendered to Philadelphia families in the 1680s and 1690s. Interspersed throughout are medicinal and food preparation receipts, mostly recorded in the 1740s, as well as copies of the laws of Pennsylvania, ca. 1685, the wills of Capt. Thomas Holme, 1695, and John Holme, Jr., and a poem and two religious songs.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1983. M-2071.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Holme Family Account Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Irish Quakers and compatriots of William Penn, the family of John Holme emigrated to Pennsylvania very early in the history of that province. Prior to 1685, John Holme, Sr., had established himself as a mill wright in Lower Dublin Twp., near Philadelphia. Holme prospered in the new colony and came to own numerous tracts of land in and near the city, quarries, and mills, and he apparently owned at least some slaves. He was selected as one of the magistrates of the city of Philadelphia, and presided over the trial of William Bradford for publishing pamphlets of the "Quaker" schismatic, George Keith. It appears certain that John Holme, Jr., and his wife, Jane, had four sons, John, Thomas, Abel, and Enoch, and three daughters Hannah, Martha, and Priscilla. The various John Holmes appear also to be related to William Penn's well-known Surveyor General, Thomas Holme.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Holme account book is particularly heterogeneous in its construction. It includes accounts of goods sold and services rendered to Philadelphia families in the 1680s and 1690s. However, the accounts appear to have been kept by several different members of the family. These include records of the sale of shoes, gun powder, grain, cloth, nails, and many other goods. Interspersed throughout the accounts are pages of calculations, numerous medicinal receipts, and receipts for various food preparations (including a large number relating to wine), most of which appear to have been recorded in the 1740s, though some are earlier.

John Holme, Sr., also appears to have used the "account book" to copy the laws of Pennsylvania (copied ca.1685), and he or a later Holme recorded the wills of Capt. Thomas Holme (1695; William Penn's Surveyor General), and of one of the John Holmes, probably John Holme, Jr. Finally, a poem and two religious songs have been included, the former perhaps written by one of the Holmes. It is tempting to attribute the poem to John Holme, Sr., whose poetry is among the earliest recorded as having been written in the province (see Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vols. 3 and 20).

Medicinal receipts are indexed under the term "Receipts" while those for foods are indexed as "Cookery." Additional indexing (e.g. for type of food or medicine) is highly selective. Similarly, only the primary names are indexed for the accounts.

Subject Terms

    • Cookery.
    • Pennsylvania.
    • Recipes.
    • Holme, Thomas, 1624-1695.
    • Wills--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
    • Wine.
    Genre Terms:
    • Account books.
    • Housebooks.
    • Poems.
    • Holme, John, Sr.
    • Holme, John, Jr.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Holme family account book,  1684-1762 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Partial Subject Index
    • p. 63
    Ashton, Joseph
    • p. 14
    Badcoke, Henry
    • p. 24-26
    Black, William
    • p. 2
    Butler, Charles
    • p. 2
    Champnes, Edward
    • p. 12
    • p. 56
    • p. 54
    Cock, Lacy
    • p. 14
    Cock, Mons.
    • p. 11b
    • p. 40
    • p. 27-30, 54
    Dix, Hector
    • p. 2
    Drew, Robert
    • p. 10
    • p. 32
    Farrington, Joseph
    • p. 20
    Freeman, William
    • p. 6
    Hill, John
    • p. 12
    Hogan, William
    • p. 18
    Holme, Thomas, 1624-1695
    • p. 4-5, 28, 29, 31
    Hyde, Jane
    • p. 2
    • p. 75-79
    • p. 34
    Keach, Elias
    • p. 21, 23
    Keach, Mary
    • p. 21
    • p. 43, 50-52
    Mitchel, James
    • p. 86
    More, Samuel
    • p. 84-85, 87-88, 90
    Moreland Manor
    • p. 1
    Nelson, Peter
    • p. 11b
    • 94-102 (reversed)
    Phillips, Samuel
    • p. 18
    Phillips, William
    • p. 18
    • p. 54
    • p. 22
    Poulter, James
    • p. 8
    • p. 32-37, 40, 42-43, 53, 55-61, 64-65
    Richardson, John
    • p. 12
    Spring Hall House
    • p. 16
    Taylor, Peter
    • p. 8
    • p. 26, 53
    • p. 54
    • p. 38, 39, 41, 66-71
    • p. 26-30, 34