A newly discovered Quaker marriage contract that predates the American Revolution offers a unique glimpse into local history, writes Ron Devlin for the Reading Eagle.
The 18th-century document was donated to the Leesport Area Historical Society by trained archaeologist Dan Bailey. He had discovered it in a box of old papers he purchased at a Leesport public sale.
The marriage contract was signed on April 20, 1757 at the Maiden Creek Friends Meeting House. It contains details of the marriage of Joseph Barger to Lydia Pearson, both of Maidencreek.
Among the witnesses who signed the contract was Francis Parvin, one of the first land agents in Reading and a member of the provincial assembly in 1755.
Pearson’s grandfather, Thomas Pearson, was a representative in the Provincial Assembly when it met in Chester County in 1708. Meanwhile, her great uncle, John Starr Pearson, arrived from England with William Penn in 1682. A native of Chester, England, John Pearson is believed to have suggested calling the region Chester County.
“This is a really significant document in the history of Schuylkill Valley,” said Dexter Mengel, Secretary of the Leesport Area Historical Society. “We’re fortunate to have it in our collection.”
Read more about the historical document in the Reading Eagle here.