1684 · [N.p., but likely Pennsylvania
Once the charter was signed, Penn hastened to find settlers for the new colony. He offered one hundred 5,000-acre tracts at the price of Â£100 each, as well as several smaller tracts. Seven of the 5,000-acre tracts were sold almost immediately to Penn's Quaker acquaintances in Wales. Seven individuals purchased 30,000 acres of land to the northwest of Philadelphia and proceeded in aiding the Welch Friends in their emigration to America. These individuals formed land companies for the division and sale of the 30,000 acres in the tract. Those companies were granted blocks of land, which each company subdivided and sold to others, and the heads of each company retained some land for himself as well.
The usual size of the company's grants were 5,000 acres, although some tracts were smaller. The original instruments of each patent are in existence today, such as those at Haverford College and in the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College. The individuals whose names were connected with these early companies are as follows:
1) John Thomas, of Llaithgyn, Merionethshire.
2) Dr. Edward Jones of Bala, Merionethshire.
3) Charles Lloyd, of Merionethshire.
4) Margaret Davies, widow of William Lewis, of Dolobran.
5) John Evans, of Treverigg, Glamorganshire.
6) John of Ruabom, Denbighshire.
7) Dr. Thomas Wynn of Caerwys, Flintshire.
8) Lewis David, of Llandewy, Pembrokeshire.
9) Richard Thomas, of Whitford Garne, Flintshire.
10) Richard Davies, of Welshpoole.
These individuals became, in effect, Pennsylvania's first real estate agents, although it is doubtful that many of them ever visited the land in question. This book records the sale of lands from Richard Davies, Richard Thomas, John Thomas, Edward Jones, and Lewis David. Each indenture records the date of the transaction, the individuals involved, a vague description of the boundaries of the land grant, and the amount paid for the land. The indentures are written in several hands, most likely by the individuals selling the land. Hundreds of individual buyers are named, thus documenting the earliest land transactions between Europeans in this region of Pennsylvania. The earliest indentures were sold in 1681, and the latest sale recorded in the book occurred in 1684. It is uncertain when the indentures were copied into the copy book, but it was most likely very soon after the transaction took place.
An important copy book documenting land sales and settlement in late 17th-century Pennsylvania. John B.B. Trussell, Jr., WILLIAM PENN: ARCHITECT OF A NATION (Harrisburg, 1980) pp.29-39 (passim). DAB XIV, pp.433-37 (Penn). ANB 17, pp.291-94 (Penn). (Inventory #: WRCAM54780)