James Family Archives


•  Researching the Past

•  Education for the Present

•  Preservation for the Future


Guardianship Petition of Sarah (Henderson) James (1753) Records
of the Orphan’s Court of Philadelphia, 1716-1755, File No. 218

     The tragic dissolution of the James family upon the death of Thomas James is reported in this petition for the appointment of guardians for Thomas' five children, Enoch, Leah, Elias, Daniel and Jonathan.  The three eldest children were the children of Thomas’ first wife, Mary Jones, who predeceased her husband.  Daniel and Jonathan were the children of Thomas’ second wife, Sarah Henderson.  This document was obtained from the Library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania located in downtown Philadelphia.  The document may be viewed on microfilm at “Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Orphan’s Court Records Book 1-6, 1719-1763, ref. xwo-pa-ph-2.”

The OP Roll 218 p.
Eodem Die.  Before the Justices aforesaid this Petition of Sarah James Widow and Relict of Thomas James late of Upper Merion Yeoman Deceased was read setting forth that her said Husband lately died Intestate seized & possessed of a small Real and Personal Estate within the said County of Philadelphia and left Issue by Mary his former Wife and the petitioner: five Children Viz. Enoch aged fourteen years, Leah aged Ten Years, Elias aged eight years, Daniel aged three Years and Jonathan about eighteen months old.  The petitioner therefore prayed the Court to Nominate and appoint some proper & discerning persons for Guardians to the said Children who might take care of their several Interests in the said Estate.  At the same time Enoch James the Eldest Son personally appeared in Court and prayed that Isaac Rees of Upper Merion Township Yeoman might be appointed his Guardian thereupon the said Isaac Rees is hereby appointed his Guardian to the said Enoch and John Davis, Benjamin Davis and Sarah James are appointed Guardians to Leah, Elias, Daniel and Jonathan.