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Easttown Deeds
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Easttown Deed History

In 1681 William Shardlow and William Wood purchased 5,000 acres of land from William Penn. 3,380 acres of this land was surveyed in one block which encompasses what is now the majority of Easttown township. In the same year James Claypole purchased 1050 acres which constitutes the western part of Easttown township.

William Shardlow (c. 1624 - 1700), a London Quaker, did not immigrate to Pennsylvania. He served on the council of the Free Society of Traders in England (ref.: William Penn and the Founding of Pennsylvania).

Penn asked his surveyor-general Thomas Holmes to produce a map of the devised lands in his colony. This request may have been catalyzed by the issuing of overlapping patents. The extract on the right from the 1687 map shows the Sharlow and Wood tract called Easttown and to the west the Claypole tract. The township of Easttown was not actually created until 1704. The Claypole tract is erroneously located on the map in Willistown. Details on the Claypole tract can be found using the link below.

William Wood died around 1690 and the administrator of his estate, Joseph Wood, requested a partition of the tract between the estate and William Shardlow. The tract was split into 4 blocks, 2 for Wood, and 2 for Shardlow. The map to the right shows the boundaries of these tracts in red. The Wood tracts were soon subdivided while the Shardlow tracts were split in a longer timescale.

The following documents and maps show the land ownership in Easttown at significant times. 1715 was the first tax return for the township; 1777 the year when the British Army traversed the township and plundered it; 1796 was when the tax returns described the buildings and renters. The 1883 map is an electronic version of the first detailed map of the township.

There are a number of gaps in this deed history at this time. In the 18th century these are due to deeds not being recorded or being recorded outside Chester County (for example, in Philadelphia). In the 19th century the issue is the large number of deeds. These latter gaps will be filled on an ‘as needed’ basis.


These deed histories are based on research at the Chester County Archives and was supported by the ever helpful Archives staff.