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Fitzwatertown and Fitzwater Burial Ground — 1898 Ambler Gazette article

December 5, 2010

[Looking for Fitzwater genealogy information?  Then you’ll want this post.]

The following two articles appeared in the Ambler Gazette, page 2, on 14 July 1898:

THE FITZWATER GRAVEYARD

This old family burial place is about one-third of a mile northeast of the tollgate at Fitzwatertown, on the east side of the road running to Horsham.  It is on the north side of a steep declivity, the surface of the country here being quite rugged.  Here is a walled space, within which are many graves and a less number of tombstones.  The area enclosed is 20 perches.  It is a very small part of 222 acres, conveyed by John Penn, Thomas Penn and Richard Penn in 1740 to Thomas Fitzwater and which by his will of 1742 was given to his son, John Fitzwater.  In 1780 John Fitzwater conveyed 118 acres of it to his brother, Matthew Fitzwater, for £400.

Just when this spot began to be used by the family for a burying ground is not apparent, but it was before the Revolution.  The oldest stone with an inscription is to the memory of Thomas Fitzwater, who died in 1771.  In 1799 there was a formal conveyance of 20 perches from Matthew Fitzwater to John and George Fitzwater.  In 1847 it was conveyed by John Fitzwater as trustee to Jacob Fitzwater.

Besides the tomb of Thomas Fitzwater, mentioned above, are the following [rearranged according to chronology]:

1795, John Fitzwater;

1842, July 2, Robert McCurdy, son of Robert and Hannah McCurdy, born Nov. 15, 1748, reaching his 94th year;

1857, May 10, John Fitzwater, born July 12, 1776;

1876, April 3, Jacob Fitzwater, born Sept. 19, 1789;

1876, March 22, Tacy, his wife, born Feb. 22, 1795;

1877, March 16, Mary Fitzwater, born May 27, 1802

1877, March 25, Jacob Fitzwater, born Jan. 4, 1830;

1879, Feb 7, George W. Fitzwater, born April 3, 1823;

1889, Jan. 26, Robert E. Potter, born Aug. 25, 1834

FITZWATERTOWN

This old hamlet took its name from the Fitzwater family and has been known as such for more than 100 years.  Here is Niblock’s hotel, a store, the old mill, limekilns and a dozen or more dwellings, situated in the deep depression through which passes one of the branches of Sandy Run. There has been no appreciable growth of the village for a long while.  Its connection with the outside world is at Edge Hill or Oreland, only a mile away, however, and the turnpike, as of yore, furnishes the avenue of communication north and south.”

The Fitzwater mill was one of the earliest in Montgomery county. It is propelled by the waters of Sandy run, here flowing from the eastward and crossing the pike. The mill, now belonging to Samuel Conrad, is on the east side of the highway and near the north bank of the stream.  As elsewhere mentioned, William J. Buck speaks of this mill as existing in 1705, and then owned by Thomas Fitzwater.  Of course the present structure was built at a much later period.  The plantation upon which was the mill was inherited by John Fitzwater in 1742, who in turn conveyed part of it to Mathew Fitzwater in 1780, comprising 118 acres.

The same estate came into possession of George Fitzwater and which was sold after his death in 1826 by Sheriff Christian Snyder to William Jarrett.  Only the next year, 1827, the will of William Jarrett conveyed the property to his children, who were Ann Jarrett, Mary, wife of William Hallowell; Jane, wife of Thomas Thompson; Hannah, wife of William Penrose; Tacy, wife of Charles Lippencott.  Later the property came into possession of Mrs. Isaac Hallowell and Mrs. Jane Lippencott.  It was bought by John W. Price of Israel Hallowell in 1852.  The next conveyance was in 1863 from John W. Price to Catharine, wife of William W. Price.  Lastly it was sold by William W. Price in 1869 to Samuel Conrad, who by the date of 1898 has become an aged man of over 80 years.

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. Patty permalink
    January 2, 2011 9:24 pm

    I am of the lineage of Fitzwaters and now live in the Lancaster PA area but I did live near the Fitzwater cemetery– thanks for the write up about it. I have found extensive genealogy on my Fitzwater line. They also lived in Plymouth Meeting and Center Square. They are mentioned in various Quaker meeting house records. Many moved to VA and WVA. My branch moved to the Finger Lakes region of NY and then to Bradford CO , PA.
    Why are there white dots falling off your site? They look like blobs in front of my eyes!

    • Sabra Smith permalink*
      January 2, 2011 11:05 pm

      Well, hello “cousin” — I’m glad you enjoyed the Fitzwater information. As for the white dots/blobs you see falling — that’s snow falling. But it’s the special kind that you don’t have to shovel.

  2. Marty Torkington permalink
    May 10, 2011 12:48 pm

    Thanks for this writeup, Sabra. I was down Twining Rd. this morning, looking for the cemetery, but must have been in the wrong spot. The Franklin Potters were dear friends of our family in Oreland as I was growing up, and I’d like to visit their graves sometime.

    • Sabra Smith permalink*
      May 10, 2011 1:04 pm

      You’re looking for a low stone wall with a metal gate, on the south side of Twining Road, on the hill heading down into Fitzwatertown.

    • August 28, 2012 11:07 am

      Marty: It’s easy to drive past. Just a low stone wall in a suburban development on the side of a hill….. There’s no real indication of a cemetery of any kind.

  3. June 14, 2011 10:51 am

    Thanks for your article. I am a direct descendant of Thomas Fitzwater. He is my Great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather. Since my father’s passing in 2007, I have become increasingly more interested in the history of our family. Hoping to get up to PA this summer to visit the family cemetery. Any information that you can give on the family is greatly appreciated.

    • Sabra Smith permalink*
      June 19, 2011 12:14 pm

      Chris: we must be cousins! I am also a direct descendant of Thomas Fitzwater. If you are looking for genealogy info, I can provide you with a family tree — my dad is big on tracking all the branches, so it ought to be relevant to you, no matter which Fitzwater son your family descends from. I will poke through my files to try to find it and send it along. I can also send you photographs of the family cemetery, so strangely located in the middle of a suburban subdivision that grew up around it.

      • June 20, 2012 9:53 pm

        Wow! Okay… so, it’s been a year. But, yes, that would be great! Just send them to the email address I’ve included in my reply. Thanks!

  4. Anonymous permalink
    December 20, 2011 10:56 am

    Hey Sabra, Just another Fitwater with another Fitwater story. I remember having a map in my hand and stopping at a gas station and asking about Fitzwatertown. The gentleman said he had no idea what I was taking about. According to the map I was holding I was there (or was it, I am here?). Anyway, any photos or documents you would be willing to share would be awesome. My son will be turning 18 on Dec. 22nd. I started his tree about 10 or 12 years ago and would like to think its correct. We live in NE Ohio, my dad lives two miles down the road. He grew up in Clay Co., WV.
    Thanks for an awesome trip in your machine.
    Randy

    • Randy Fitzwater permalink
      December 22, 2011 1:46 pm

      I’m Anonymous dated 12/20/2011 Oops!

    • Sabra Smith permalink*
      January 16, 2012 8:32 pm

      Randy — you want documents? Have I got documents! I’ll dig around in my digital attic and see if I can find the genealogy my dad put together (with the help of all those other Fitzwater enthusiasts out there) and post that. I’ll bet someone out there has vintage photos of the Fitzwaters and their environs, but the people in the images may have become separated from their identities, like so many old photographs, tintypes and daguerreotypes. I did find a reference to a cabinet that Thomas Fitzwater ordered from a Philadelphia craftsman, but details were scant.

      Stay tuned.

      • Randy Fitzwater permalink
        January 17, 2012 10:22 am

        Thank you so much Sabra, I’m looking forward to it!

    • eric fitzwater permalink
      August 18, 2012 11:55 pm

      I am as well a fitzwater whos great grandpa elisha grew up in clay county, i would love to see pictures and documents pertaining to this. thank you very much

      • Randy Fitzwater permalink
        November 21, 2012 11:21 am

        Eric, Please drop me a line about your great grandpa Elisha. My grand pa is/was Elisha from Clay County.
        Randy andyfitz13@zoominternet.net

  5. Deb Fitzwater permalink
    November 22, 2012 1:03 pm

    Randy, not only was OUR grandpa was Elisha, but I believe HIS grandpa was Elisha, as well.

  6. Deb Fitzwater permalink
    November 22, 2012 1:07 pm

    Sabra, I am Randy Fitzwater’s sister. He sent me this website and I must say, I am so very impressed with you and your father’s work, as well as all the efforts put in by all the other Fitzwaters to whom we must be related! What a treasure you have here! Also, in reading through the stories, I see that you are named after one of your greats! You have such a beautiful name!

  7. Joe Chmielewski permalink
    February 28, 2013 11:59 am

    Hello Fitzwaters,
    I have lived in what used to be called Fitzwatertown for over 20 years. My kids went to Thomas Fitzwater Elementary School. I am very interested in the history of the area. If you would be so kind to share information you may have, it would be very much appreciated. Old photos would really be helpful too. Thank you. It’s so cool that you can date your family tree back to such wonderful roots.

  8. stephanie fedigan permalink
    August 9, 2013 12:32 am

    Hi to all my Fitzwater family: My Mother’s Mom my grandmother was Lillian Mae Fitzwater, and her father was William J. Fitzwater. My Mom’s family migrated from Pa, as well as other areas, and settled in Yates county (the Finger Lakes NY.) after doing research it is believed that our ancestry goes back to Thomas Fitzwater, and even back as far to Robert Fitzwalter. There are seven children, fifteen grandchildren, and 25 greatgrandchildren in my family all are direct ancestors through my Mother’s bloodline. My Mom is a Twin, her sister and brother’s have all past away.My Mother is 87years now,and so proud of all the information and history we have come to know about her bloodline. To date My Mom has suffered 2 Strokes, and with all this information she now thinks she is Royalty. Please keep me posted as too our roots.

  9. Mary Tillery Walker permalink
    November 23, 2013 5:39 pm

    Thomas was my 9th great grandfather on my Mother’s side ~ She was born in Ark., I was born in Michigan but now live in Alabama. Sabra or anyone else with info. & photo’s from Fitzwatertown from way back in the days please e-mail me at: lazywranch@knology.net .

    Mary Tillery Walker ….

  10. Mary Sue Foster Kramer permalink
    September 20, 2014 4:02 pm

    Am searching for any additional information on the lineage of Thomas Fitzwater. Will be coming to research the lime kilns which I saw in the 1950′s. My mother’s family are direct descendants of Thomas. Am looking for any type of museum or collection which might have papers or directions to any of the sites or cemeteries relating to the Fitzwater families. msfk@live.com

    Mary Sue Foster Kramer

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