Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Foulke Family Papers, 1737-1859

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, October 2009

Summary Information
Title: Foulke family papers
Creator: Foulke, John
Inclusive dates: 1737-1859
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
The Foulke Family papers consist of correspondence and legal documents, as well as a few genealogical documents, for a prominent Quaker family living in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, through the 18th and 19th centuries.
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:

1992, 1994. M-2891.27, M-2984.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

Foulke Family Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The Correspondence and Documents are organized chronologically with undated items ordered at the end and oversized material housed separately. Genealogical items and fragments are also filed at the end.


The Foulke family, whose descendants immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1698, were among the earliest settlers in Richland, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. They were a prominent Quaker family in the county throughout the 19th century. Several family members held important religious and public offices including clerk, justice of the peace, and minister.

John Foulke, a member of the Bucks County Provincial Assembly from 1769-1775, likely collected the majority of the present documents.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Foulke Family papers consist of 14 correspondence and 58 legal documents, as well as a 9 genealogical items and miscellaneous fragments. Much of the collection consists of legal documents including: deeds and draughts of land, some with sketched maps of the property that record the bordering neighbors; contracts and an indenture from 1807; the last will and testaments of Michael Bishop and William Shaw (both undated); estate inventories (1781, 1784, 1796, 1807); a carriage license for Bucks County, Ohio (1816); a subscription list to defray the costs of building a new meetinghouse; Quaker marriage certificates from 1737 and 1777; and an anti-war printed epistle of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1812. Many of the documents relate to issues arising from the handling of estates.

Among the letters are several missives between friends and family members, including a letter concerning problems with local Indians (1763); a memorial tribute to Edward Roberts (1778); five items written between 1798 and 1818 addressed to William Shaw, apparently a relative of the Foulkes; and a lengthy letter from Townsend Speakman, describing a Quaker meeting in Pittsburg lead by prominent church leader, Jesse Kersey (September 22nd, 1813).

The Genealogy and Fragments folder holds a printed three page Foulke Genealogy from the papers of Samuel Foulke (1718-1797), describing the family's lineage in seventeenth-century Wales. The fragments are largely undated and unattributed and contain writings on the genealogy of the Penrose family (17-18th centuries), and a series of testimonies denouncing Joseph Greir's character as, among other things, a "Theif & a Rogue."

Subject Terms

    • Bucks County (Pa.)
    • Estates (law)--Pennsylvania.
    • Foulke, Samuel.
    • Indians of North America--Pennsylvania.
    • Inventories of decedents’ estates.
    • Kersey, Jesse, 1768-1845.
    • Mortgages--Pennsylvania.
    • Peace movements--United States.
    • Penrose Family.
    • Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
    • Quakers--Pennsylvania.
    • Whites--Relations with Indians.
    Genre Terms:
    • Legal documents.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Maps.
    • Wills.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence and Documents [series]
    Box   1 Folder   1
     October 10, 1737-February 25, 1779
    Folder   2  
     March 16, 1781-November 20, 1793
    Folder   3  
     November 22, 1794-September 22, 1813
    Folder   4  
     January 7, 1816-April 12, 1834
    Folder   5  
     March 1835-June 11, 1859
    Folder   6  
    Folder   : Oversize Manuscripts  
    Certificate of Marriage: Quaker marriage between Samuel Shaw and Mary Nixon,  October 10, 1737.
    Land indenture for property in Richland Township, Bucks County,  December 10, 1762.
    Map of land dividing Philadelphia and Bucks County; town of Perkasey. drawn by Samuel Foulke,  June 23, 1764.
    Certificate of marriage between William Shaw and Sarah Carr,  March 7, 1777.
    Legal document regarding the payment of a debt,  June 21, 1788
    Land/Mortgage indenture for property in Richland Township, Bucks County,  February 1, 1799.
    Land/Mortgage indenture for property in Richland Township, Bucks County, signed by Caleb Foulke,  April 12, 1834.
    Land indenture with attached mortgage indenture for property in Philadelphia County, signed by Stephen Foulke,  April 25, 1835
    Land indenture for property in Bucks County, signed by Joseph Thorne,  March 5, 1842.
    Copy of appraisement of the property of Mary Paul, deceased: itemized list of goods and assets belonging to Mary Paul along with appraisal values,  June 7, 1859.
    Map of land dividing New Britain and Warwick Townships; plan of Doylestown,  Undated.
    Last Will and Testament of Michael Bishop, division of estate and settlement of accounts,  June 21, 1787.
    Genealogy and Fragments [series]
    Box   1 Folder   7
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clements Library's Quaker Collection includes an item from Samuel Foulke [1768].

    The Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College also has a collection of Foulke Family papers.