Saturday, January 26, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Pyle of Chester, Pennsylvania

Due to popular request from family members, I am going to start a series of blog posts about immigrant ancestors and how I descend from them. Surname Saturday is a blogging prompt from Geneabloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging.

Courtesy: Wikipedia
My immigrant Pyle ancestor is Robert Pyle, son of Nicholas Pyle and Edith Musprat. He was baptized at Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire, England, on December 29, 1660. Robert married Ann Stovey on November 16, 1681, in Bishops Cannings.

Immigration records indicate that Robert was a malster (he brewed beer) from Horton, Bishops Cannings, England when he, his wife Ann, and infant daughter Sarah, immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1683.

Robert Pyle purchased 150 acres of land in Bethel Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania on May 1, 1683. Chester County was one of the three original counties initially created by William Penn in August 1682, with many Quakers following William Penn in settling there. Chester County was also much larger then, going west to about the Susquehanna River. Robert Pyle became a leader among the local Quakers and often held meetings in his home. He also became a justice of the county court by 1685. However he is referred to as "yeoman" in his will.

His wife, Ann, died in 1724, and he remarried a widow, Susanna (Deeble) Turner on December 30, 1725, at Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Robert Pyle died on January 17, 1729/30, at Bethel Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. An extract of his will, which was proved on August 29, 1730, can be found in Chester County, Pennsylvania Wills, 1713-1825 at
Pyle, Robert. Bethel, yeoman. 1/2/1729/30. August 29, 1730. A.322. To wife Susanna £100 and 1/2 household goods. To son William £50 and to his children £50 to be divided at 21. To son John all my right title to that 200 acres of land in Marlborough which I lately leased to one Holt on condition that he pay to his son Moses £30 when 21 also to his daughter Sarah Pyle £20 at 21 or married. To son Joseph £30. To grandson Robert son of Joseph my tract of land in Marlborough containing 224 acres. To son Daniel £70 paying to his daughters Susanna and Mary £15 each at 21 or married. To daughter Mary Moore £50, she paying to each of her children £5 at 21 or married. To grandson Aaron Vernon £15. To granddaughter Rachel Green £15. To George, James and Dorothy Turner my now wifes children £4 each. To grandchildren Saml. Pyle and the 3 daughters of son Robert 10 shillings each. Executors: wife Susanna and sons Wm. And Joseph.
Robert and Ann had eight children: Sarah (b. 1682), Robert (b. 1684), William (b. 1685), John (b. 1687), Mary (b. 1688), Jacob (b. 1691), Joseph (b. 1692), and Daniel (b. 1694).

Generation 2:
John Pyle (1687-1752) spent his life as a farmer with extensive land holdings in Thornbury Township, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. He married first in 1710 to Lydia Thomas, who must have died young, as he married again in 1716. I am descended from his second wife, Susanna Chamberlin. They had eight children.

Generation 3:
Stephen Pyle (1730-before 1789) was a weaver who was disowned by an act of the Concord (Pennsylvania) Monthly Meeting in 1752 after he married outside the Society of Friends. He married Elizabeth Ash, widow of Daniel Heinrick Esch/Ash. It is unclear what her maiden name is, possibly Kerlin. They had four children. It is also unclear as to when he died.

Generation 4:
Stephen Pyle (1762-1840), a carpenter and farmer, was a Loyalist in the Revolutionary War, along with his father. After the war, he fled to Guysborough County, Nova Scotia and married Elizabeth (Betsey) Hull, from Connecticut in 1797. (His first marriage, to Mary McKenzie in 1785, ended in divorce in 1788.) They had nine children, the youngest of whom (my 2nd great-grandfather) was born when Stephen was 61.

Generation 5: James Pyle (1823-1900) married Esther Abigail Whitman
Generation 6: James Tolman Pyle (1855-1912) married Frances Adelaide McAlpin
Generation 7: Charles McAlpin Pyle (1893-1966) married Elizabeth Adsit
Generation 8: Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. (1924-1993) married my mother
Generation 9: Me

My sources for much of this information are secondary:
[1] Howard Thornton and Jane (Weaver) Pyle, The Pyle-Pile Family in America 1642-1980: Also Pyles-Piles (Kokomo, Indiana: Howard Thornton and Jane (Weaver) Pyle, 1981). This book loses track of my branch when Stephen moved to Nova Scotia.
[2] Pyle, Smith and Allied Family Histories (Privately published, 1951). There are only a few copies of this book owned by distant cousins. I have seen it a couple of times, but do not own this book. I would love to have a copy.

And a wonderful source for Guysborough genealogy and history is Guysborough Sketches and Essays, by A.C. Jost. The revised edition was published in Guysborough, Nova Scotia in 2009. I have been able to use this book to link Stephen Pyle (1762-1840) and his wife to their earlier ancestors in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.


  1. Bethel Township is further down state, in Delaware (formerly Chester) County:,_Delaware_County,_Pennsylvania

    Nice post - I had no idea there were Pyles of Bishops Camnings extraction that were living in the Canadian Maritimes. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Yes, the counties in southeastern Pennsylvania have changed since pre-Revolutionary times. I would guess that we are distant cousins, and yes, the Pyles that ended up in Nova Scotia didn't stay in touch with the Patriots who remained in the U.S.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!