The Biddle Family, Part II

Updated: May 22, 2020

We continue to talk more about the Biddle family. In the last blog, we talked about the descendants of John and Sarah Biddle and the came-about of "Blythewood" in Whitpain.


Let's talk about the brother of John and his descendants: William Biddle and his wife Mary!

William didn't live his whole life in NJ like his ancestors. He ended up living in Philadelphia with his youngest brother John prior to 1730. Whiling living in Philadelphia, William engaged in mercantile business. He was making fortunes until his death in 1756. He left his wife Mary and his 6 children behind after his death.

William's son John, nicknamed "Jacky", did not side with the patriots during the American Revolutionary War. He was considered as a Tory, and supported the British. He was a Deputy Quartermaster in the Provincial Army in General John Forbes' campaign against Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War. John was later appointed Collector of Excise (tax collector) in Berks County, PA. During the war, he sought refuge with the British Army in New York in 1777-1778. He later fled to Nova Scotia with other loyalists where he died. His house in PA was confiscated, possibly because people found out he was a royalist. After he died, his wife and his children returned to PA.



The ancestry after John's children was unclear, but we know he had 2 sons named William and Edward. William married Abigail Johnson and had a son named Joseph Cadwalader (1805-1884). It's unknown if they had more kids.


Unlike Thomas Biddle from the other side of the family, we know that a Biddle did indeed live in Whitpain Township. According to the 1850 census data, I found Joseph Biddle's name listed with his wife and children.


Joseph was one of the most foremost farmers in PA, and took prizes at several county and State fairs as a plowman. Not only did he resided in Whitpain, but also in Horsham and Gwynedd townships. He purchased a farm in Whitmarsh township, but then left there 14 years later to reside in Ambler.


Montgomery County 1877, Gwynedd, North Wales, Ambler, Royer's Ford, Limerick Station; J. D. Scott, Publisher; If you look closely to the red box, the owner of that property was "J.C. Biddle" aka Joseph Cadwalader Biddle

With his wife Elizabeth, they had 10 children: Mary, Amanda, Henry C., Ross, William, Charles, Davis, Sanders L., George and Frank.


We now know that they resided in mostly Ambler, even though the children were raised in Whitpain, Gwynedd, and Whitemarsh townships. Out of the 10 children, Henry C. was considered the most recognized individual in the family.


North Pennsylvania Railroad 1886 Philadelphia - Bucks - Montgomery Counties, Ambler; J. D. Scott, Publisher; It looks like their son William took over the property
Google Satellite Plan View: 60 N Spring Garden St, Ambler, PA 19002
Google Satellite Birdseye View: Looking South

Henry Cook Biddle (1841-1938) attended public schools and took a course at Professor John W. Loch's academy in Norristown. After school, Henry went into teaching for 2 years in Lansdale (now Upper Gwynedd township). He leased two farms in Whitpain, combining 225 acres that belonged to Saunders Lewis.


In 1893, he purchased a property in Ambler, and became a member of the real estate firm "Buchanan & Biddle." Henry became interested in improving the town of Ambler: He was one of the founders of the First National Bank of Ambler as a director for 8 years. He was one of the incorporators of the Ambler Building and Loan Association as a director since its founding in 1873.


Henry became a good financier as well as a successful farmer.


Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., 1916, Plate 26; A. H. Mueller, Publisher
Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., 1916, Plate 26; A. H. Mueller, Publisher; This property might acutely be Henry Biddle's house.

In his personal life, he married Amanda K. Brownholtz in 1867, and had 5 children: Lewis, Clark, Laura D., Warren G., and Minnie G.


In politics, he was a Republican, and had been an ardent worker for the party. He served as a delegate to county and State conventions.


His property and building along Butler Pike were gone, and that area was taken over by restaurants like KC's Alley and Bridgets.


Google Satellite Plan View
Google Satellite View: Looking South

Bibliography:


"Distance Calculator." DaftLogic. Accessed May 3, 2020. https://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.


Jordan, John Woolf. Colonial and revolutionary families of Pennsylvania; genealogical and personal memoirs. (New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1911): 161–189.


Mueller, A. H. Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., Plate 26, 1916.


Ruoff, Henry Wilson. Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County, Together with an Introductory Historical Sketches, Part 2. (Philadelphia: Biographical Publishing Company, 1895): 485-487.


Scott, J. D. Montgomery County 1877, Gwynedd, North Wales, Ambler, Royer's Ford, Limerick Station, 1877.


Scott, J.D. North Pennsylvania Railroad 1886 Philadelphia - Bucks - Montgomery Counties, Ambler, 1886.


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