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Vernon History


The "Vernon Family" story begins around 888-906 AD, when the Vikings under "Marching Rollo" invaded and conquered Normandy, including the ancient town of Vernon. The town dates back to Gallo-Roman times and is located in a beautiful valley on both sides of the Seine River, about 30 miles northwest of Paris.

Rollo's son, William Longsword, became Duke of Normandy in 925. The family became very powerful and wealthy, holding many large estates in Normandy.

Richard de Reviers, the first Vernon, was a good and loyal officer serving the Duke of Normandy, William the Bastard (future William the Conqueror). He was such a good and loyal officer, that in 1050 he was given the little town of Vernon-sur-Seine as a reward. From then on, Richard de Reviers and all his descendants, took the name of their town for their name.

The VERNON family was born. Richard de Reviers changed his name to Richard de Vernon.

Sixteen years later, when William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, at least two of his high ranking officers were Vernons. Richard de Vernon as well as many others of the family also participated. For this service, great estates in Normandy and England were granted to the Vernon family, and its members were ranked among the wealthiest and most powerful in both countries. Several members became barons and were knighted.

"The Three Quaker Brothers"

The Quaker Vernons descended from Sir Richard De Vernon, Baron De Shipbrook. They were not only friends of the Quaker William Penn but related to him through marriage. William Penn's father was owed a great deal of money by the King of England, and to settle that debt the area of Pennsylvania was given to William Penn.

Thomas Vernon made the surveying voyage to Pennsylvania with William Penn in 1681 and returned later that year to England. He and his brothers Randall and Robert were among the first to obtain property in the newly acquired land. Land Titles in Delaware County Records reveal that the Three Vernon Brothers purchased 625 acres each in March 1681. Robert Vernon purchased an additional 330 acres in 1684. Randall Vernon purchased an additional 829 acres in 1711 and 1712.

The three Quaker Brothers; Thomas, Randal and Robert came to America, arriving on a Liverpool ship, "Friendship". Robert Crossman was the Master, and the ship is presumed to have arrived 14 August 1682 at Upland, Pennsylvania.

The "Friendship" of Liverpool was one of the 24 known ships that sailed from England, arriving December, 1681 through December, 1682 with passengers to establish William Penn's "Holy Experiment" in Pennsylvania. These 24 ships made up "William Penn's Fleet", and descendants of the passengers are eligible to become members of the "Welcome Society".

Their Father was James Vernon and their Mother was Hester of Cheshire, England who probably lived in the neighborhood of Davenham, between Northwich and Middlewick. She died April 1, 1675.

Thomas Vernon of "Stanithorne", near Middlewick, County Palatine, Chester England had been persecuted for being a Quaker in 1678/9. He brought with him to America his wife, Elizabeth, and a son Thomas, aged about 12 years. He settled near Upper Providence, PA., and died Dec. 25, 1698, buried at Chester, PA. His widow died May 24, 1714. Their son, Thomas, married Lydia Rolf/Ralfe on August 13, 1702. He was born about 1670 and died Nov. 4, 1754 or Apr. 11, 1754.

Randall Vernon of Sandivway, in the Parish of Weaverham, County Cheshire, England, believed to be the second son, was born in England about 1640. He married (being then the son of Maron) Sept. 14, 1670 at the home of Thomas Vernon in the parish of Middlewick, Sarah Bradshaw of Stanithorne. Sarah Bradshaw was probably related to John Bradshaw, who was appointed Premier of England after Charles I was beheaded. She died Dec. 18, 1718/9. They settled in Lower Providence Tsp., PA. Randall served as a member of the PA. assembly in 1687 and was a Justice of the Peace in 1692. He died in 1734.

Robert Vernon of Stoke in the Parish of Aston, County Cheshire, England, the third son, came with his wife, Elinor Minshall, daughter of John Minshall, and their sons John and Jacob. Robert was born around 1642 and died in Jan or Feb. 1709/10. His wife Elinor died July 24, 1720.

The Brothers occupied the same house for sometime after settling in Nether Providence, Chester (now Delaware) county, PA., and a good deal of the surrounding area. Each one built large homes in later years. Thomas Vernon's home was destoyed a few years ago. However, the large two story stone houses built by Randall and Robert around 1690 are still in excellent repair, and presently occupied in the exclusive area of Rose Valley near Media, PA.

"The Vernon Family History, Descendants of Robert Vernon(1682)" by John V and Laureen E Winterton, Higginson Book Company
"History of Vernon-sur-Seine... Giverny and Vicinity"
by Michel de Decker and Andria L Fiegel's Vernons
VFAA Vernon Vignette, Sept 1976, page 4
"Friendship" passenger list
James KENNERLY, Thomas and Margaret MINSHALL, Thomas POWELL and family (son Thomas Jr died during voyage), John and Jane SHARPLESS and children: Phebe, John, Thomas (died on voyage),James, Caleb, Jane and Joseph, John SIMCOCK and sons John and Jacob, William and Margaretta TAYLOR and children Joseph, Elizabeth and Mary, Peter TAYLOR, Randle VERNON, Robert VERNON, Thomas VERNON
Delaware County, PA. Records, Land Titles
"Vernon Vignettes" Newsletters