Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday Search: Another Rediscovered Surname In The Revolutionary War


The Noblit surname is one that was lost to my family for well over 100 years until I started digging into this lineage. We were well aware of John Uttley, whom I have previously written about, but his parents were a bit of a mystery. It wasn’t until I found his death certificate that this new branch of the family tree was discovered. And to say that this has been an interesting journey would be an incredible understatement. But, for the time being, we are going to focus on the three generation prior to my 2nd great grandfather, John Uttley, beginning with his mother, Charlotte Noblit.


According to Charlotte’s obituary, she was the oldest living person in Manayunk at the time of her death in 1903 at the age of 93, which was not surprising given the longevity of her uncle, Dell Noblit, who exceeded the century mark. My grandfather was one of 16 children between her two marriages (first to Joseph Miller and later to John Uttley) and her father, Thomas Noblit, was noted to have served in the War of 1812. What has proven to be an invaluable tool at this point in the research process was that Charlotte was the most recent generation mentioned in John Hyndman Noblit’s book “Genealogical Collections Relating to the Families of Noblet” which also provided generations of additional information.  


Focusing more precisely on my lineal line, my next ancestral subject was Charlotte’s father, Thomas Noblit. While I was unable to find any information related to his service during the War of 1812, I did manage to find an interesting document. In 1855 Ann Pearce, Thomas Noblit’s widow, filed a Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application in which she states that Thomas Noblit, who died in 1850, served as a “private in the Revolutionary War from Chester County, Pennsylvania, and served at Chadds Ford and Battle of Brandywine commanded by Colonel Wallace, she thinks” and that he was drafted at Chester County, Pennsylvania in June 1777. While additional evidence is provided through a letter from the State Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania noting the pension that Thomas, and now Ann, was receiving, I could not find any additional information regarding his service in the war. However, his father, John Noblit, was a completely different story altogether.


Born in Middletown Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania in 1734 to Tavern and Inn Owner (The Black Horse Hotel) William Noblit and Mary Parke, the first mention of John Noblit that I found was in the depredation claims stemming from when the British Army occupied his land during the Philadelphia Campaign in September of 1777. However, there is much more information available outlining his service in Captain William Britton’s Company commanded by Colonel Oliver Spencer (also known as Spencer’s Regiment of Continental Troops) from March of 1777 until May of 1778. During his service he fought during the Battle of Brandywine and the Battle of Germantown before spending the winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge. It seems as though he returned home in the spring most likely to help his family recover from the depredations suffered in the fall and later moved to the adjacent Ridley Township in Delaware County where he died in March of 1786.


And this is just the beginning of this part of my family history as there are pages and pages of documents that have survived the centuries to tell the story of this surname. From the United States and Ireland to Great Britain and France, there is a lot that have yet to learn about this family and about this part of my heritage. But, for now, I guess I will be working on pulling together all of the aforementioned documents and additional materials for my first supplemental application for the Sons of the American Revolution. And, once approved, I will have patriots on both sides of my family.