The First Musgrave in Our Family in America

John Musgrave came to American in 1682, when he was 13 or 14 years of age. He was a Quaker and came as indentured servant* with Valentine Hollingsworth, living with Hollingsworth and his family for about four years in Delaware.

John’s father, Oswin Musgrave, most likely made the arrangements for John’s passage to America, planning to follow shortly with the rest of the family.

John was born in Belfast, Ireland in about 1668. His older brother, Moses, and parents, Oswin and Elizabeth, soon joined him in what is now New Castle County, Delaware near the present Pennsylvania-Delaware border. The earliest record is a warrant to John and Moses Musgrave to buy 200 acres of land, dated the November 2, 1689. This was just seven years after William Penn had founded his colony in Pennsylvania.

John went on to become a successful yeoman farmer and a representative of the Township, as well as a provincial representative with William Penn. His family has been extensively researched as has his father Oswin.** Since my direct ancestor is his brother, Moses, I’ll focus on Moses in a later post, after introducing his father and brothers. 

Oswin Musgrave

Oswin (first name also spelled Owen, Oswyn, Ossman and Oswin and last name also spelled Musgrove or Moosgrave on various documents) was the father of John and Moses. There is a lot of speculation about Oswin’s background. Oswin means “God’s friend”. There is speculation the name may be an adopted name. If so, we may never learn who his parents were. In “The Ejected of 1662: Cumberland & Westmorland; Their Predecessors and Successors” by Benjamin Nightingale there are quite a few references to a grandson of Sir Simon Musgrave who some speculate may be Oswin’s father.

Musgrave is a very old and noble English name with debate on which was first, a Musgrave from Germany via France with William the Conqueror or the English ones who formed the village of Greater Musgrave. Interestingly, Quakerism in Ireland was started by William Edmundson (1627-1712) who was born at Little Musgrave, England. The earliest records of Ireland have been lost by fire, leaving us to speculate on our Oswin Musgrave’s move from England to Ireland, and then on to Pennsylvania. That’s for other historians to research. Here’s what we do know.

 Oswin MUSGRAVE was born about 1640 in Cumberland County, England, some say at Eden Hall. He had died by 1687 in Chester County, Pennsylvania at age of 47. Oswin is thought to have moved from England to North Ireland about 1649, with his parents.  Oswin married Elizabeth last name unknown in 1665 in Armagh County, Ireland.*** Oswin and Elizabeth were Quakers. Elizabeth was born in 1644 in Armagh County, Ireland and died in 1698 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Their sons were:
i. Moses Musgrave Sr.-born 1667 in Belfast, Armagh Co., Ireland; died Lancaster Co., PA at age 59.
ii. John Musgrave Sr.-born in 1669 in Belfast, Armagh Co., Ireland; died Chester Co., PA at age 76.
iii. Thomas Musgrave was born in America and buried in Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
iv. Abraham Musgrave was born in America and buried in Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
v. Aaron Musgrave was born in America. We have no details on his death.

Oswin and Elizabeth left Belfast, Ireland arriving in port on the Delaware River in 1682.**** In 1683, Oswin bought 100 acres of land near his son John’s 200 acres. By 1687, Elizabeth was referred to as Widow Musgrave. In 1689, Elizabeth Musgrave was one of twelve women impaneled as a jury; in Quaker communities, women served as jurors on trials with women defendants.  Elizabeth was still alive on November 28, 1697, when she was asked to bring consent for Moses to marry Patience Hussey.  

 “John, Aaron, Moses, Thomas and Abraham Musgr(o)ve were the first settlers in the valley of Sadsbury, Lancaster county. Their warrant bears date in the year 1713. They purchased nearly all the land in that rich valley from George and Caleb Pierce, cleared off their land, and erected themselves residences. . . They were members of the society of Friends … The old Musgrove burying ground was expressly reserved by Moses Musgrove… It was kept enclosed …but, it was plowed up long since …”*****

*Indentured servant – the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. Usually the father made the arrangements and signed the paperwork. Both men and women could become indentured servants; most were under the age of 21, and most became helpers on farms or house servants. They were not paid cash. It was a system that provided jobs and transportation for poor young people from the overcrowded European labor markets who wanted to come to the colonies where more workers were needed.

**“A History of the Quaker Branch of the Musgrave Family”, Stanley Musgrave Shartle, 1995.

***Ossman Moosgrave paid one hearth tax in County of Armagh, Ballynegirne, Oneilland, West Ireland, Ireland in 1664. Source: Hearth Money Roll, County Armagh,1664, p.47. This meant that he had one hearth in his home.

****“A History of the Quaker Branch of the Musgrave Family”, Stanley Musgrave Shartle, 1995.

***** History of Lancaster Co, Early Settlers and Eminent Men, Genealogical Publishing Co, Baltimore, 1974. contributed by Isaac Walker,.

About Andrea Musgrove Perisho

Genealogy research on my own ancestors is a new focus. Posts will include information about those ancestors including the social and economic issues, along with techniques for research.
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12 Responses to The First Musgrave in Our Family in America

  1. some points john Musgrave was born in Belleniskfrannel, Segoe Parish, County Armagh, Ireland, Belfast is in County Antrim. the Musgrave’s of America that descendants of Oswin are Strath/Clyde Britons in origin not Norman.The border ReiVer DNA project collected a number of samples from Musgrave’s in Northern Ireland England and the United States including some from my family. The majority of these have a common ancestor but the most common recent ancestor which date back before the Norman conquest. Since the Musgrave’s work Umbrian’s they would’ve spoke that branch of Welch before they assimilated the Germanic tongue of the angles, and no doubt their name for themselves was incomprehensible to Germanic speakers. So in all likelihood the name Musgrave relates to a medieval place description such as a mossy grave, a grave mean a flat green place not a cemetery. That would pretty much described the border country except for the Cheviot HIlls. By the time of the writing of the Doomsday book of William the Conqueror the Musgrave’s were already described as established in Cumbria as a martial and warlike family.

    It’s not unlikely the family were named after the place as well. There were Musgrave Peers and there still are, to the best of my knowledge all the Musgrave this except the branching Yorkshire are haplogroup R1b the so-called Atlantic modal. The one in Yorkshire which is probably not related but may be descended from the Norman Knight Musgrose carries the Nordic gene Ia1.

    There is nothing but legend to link Oswin Musgrave to Eden Hall, being a dissenter which was what both Presbyterians and Quakers were his family was likely displaced to Ulster during the plantation. Of 1622 1640 when King James I of England who was also James VI of Scotland scattered the border families. The border Reiver DNA project can still be found on family tree DNA.
    The Musgrave served the crown in military matters that were constantly being accused by their enemies as having loyalty to Scotland as well. Sir Thomas Musgrave himself said that borderers were English at their will and Scottish at their pleasure. Musgrave’s were Reivers and were listed as among the “Devil’s Dozen the 13 families most responsible for raiding in the West March. All the border families carried on long blood feuds with other families either English or Scottish and the Musgrave’s were no exception. There feuds with the Charlton’s and the Dacres lasted for centuries. All of this is well documented in George MacDonald Fraser’s book SteEl Bonnets history of the Border Reivers.

    The Musgrave family that went to Chester Pennsylvania spread to North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and California. All of this happened between 1790 and 1840.

    • Andrea Musgrove Perisho says:

      Steve,

      Thanks for your great comments. You’ve done a lot research into the family and thanks for sharing. My father is haplogroup R1b1a2, tested at the 37 marker level on FTDNA. Since he was a match at that level to other men descended from Oswin, I haven’t done more testing. Do you know where I could see the information about the Atlantic modal and the Yorkshire line?

      I’ve collected the paper trail evidence to connect my family to Samuel Musgra(o)ve, a DAR Revolutionary War patriot, but have not conducted the research connecting Samuel back to Oswin. Other people have made that connection, but I haven’t seen the sources making that connection. At this point, I’m working on some more recent lines, but have more Musgrove research on my to-do list someday.

      My husband and I were fortunate to be able to travel to Scotland and England in May. In one of the northern England churches, I believe York Minster, I was pleasantly surprised to see an the burial tomb for Archibishop Musgrave, with a coat of arms with 5 balls. I’ll post that picture along with other family names seen on the trip, when I get time to wade through the 600 pictures from the trip. We’ll probably never be able to prove a family connection in England, unless DNA helps tie us to English families.

      If you have information about the DNA testing, please contact me directly at amperisho@gmail.com. I did find the Border Reiver DNA project on FTDNA, with 4 Musgraves listed.

      Warm regards,

      Andrea

  2. Todd Haggard says:

    I have a John Muskgrave with no information, but his son John Markley Musgrave (1800) and Horatio Nelson Musgrave (1807-1871) was born in upstate New York around the Syracuse area. If you have any info on this branch of the Musgrave clan, I’d appreciate!

    Thank you,

    Todd

    • Andrea Musgrove Perisho says:

      Todd,

      Thanks for your comment on my blog. I don’t have any information on Musgraves from upstate New York.

      Good luck on your research.

      Andrea

  3. Anandakos says:

    Ms. Perisho,

    Through which of Samuel David Sr.’s sons do you descend? I believe I’m descended through his great granddaughter Elizabeth Jane Musgrave Stout (1835-1926). She’s my great grandmother. The links are, I believe Samuel David Sr., David B Musgrave (1776-1865), Reverend James (1806-1888), and Elizabeth Jane.

    Since I don’t live anywhere near West Virginia or Pennsylvania, I’m getting this all from Ancestry in one form or another. I’m 100% confident that Elizabeth Jane Musgrave is my great grandmother. I have an original print of the same photograph that appears on several Ancestry nodes of hers posted by a different user. That was pretty interesting to discover.

    You sound like you’re a very careful researcher who doesn’t cotton to hearsay. So if you happen to have researched David B’s line from Samuel David Sr and I’ve made a mistake, I’d be very grateful to hear from you about it.

    Thank you,

    Richard Bullington

    • Richard,

      Thanks for your comments on my blog.

      I’ve only researched my direct line to Samuel Musgrave 1747-1834, which is Samuel>Moses>Enos>William Tate>William Walker (my great grandfather). I haven’t researched any of Samuel’s descendants lines. In a separate email, I’ll send you a link to my ancestry tree. I’ve never found documentation of a middle name for Samuel Musgrave 1747-1834, in my line, nor does the DAR have documentation of a middle name or initial. That doesn’t mean he didn’t have a middle name. If we share the same Samuel in our Musgrave line, I’d love to compare with you.

      It’s wonderful to have a photograph of your great grandmother. I live in south Florida, so have do a lot of on-line research as well with some research trips.

      Warm regards,

      Andrea Musgrove Perisho

      • Anandakos says:

        Andrea,

        Turns out I was wrong. There are two nearly exactly contemporary David Musgraves and they are terminally confused in many online sources. David B (probably 1785-1865) is Elijah and Baasheba’s son and not the father of the Reverend James (1806-1888) who is definitely Elizabeth Jane’s father.

        David (MI unknown; 1776-1851) is the son of Samuel Musgrave, the Revolutionary War soldier and may or may not be the father of Reverend James. The fly in the ointment is the online photo of Reverend James’ original West Virginia death record. There’s a huge glare of white down the column with the parents’ names — wouldn’t you know it; the MOST important information for genealogy purposes is partially blotted out — which says “David & th Musgrave”. The David who is Samuel’s son married Catherine Arnett, and I don’t see how you can get “th” out of “Catherine”. Well, maybe an abbreviation “Cath”, but there’s no period.

        Since I know there are plenty of other Musgrave/Musgrove’s who came to America other than Oswin and his sons, I’m researching next steps.

        Thanks for sharing your excellent work so artfully.

        Richard

        • Richard,

          Thanks for getting back with me. After your comments, I went to ancestry and saw how many trees had the David Musgrove married two women at the same time, having about 15 kids with each woman. Yes those two David Musgrove’s have certainly confused a lot of people on ancestry. Thanks for pointing that out and keeping it straight.

          Good luck with your research.

          Warm regards,

          Andrea Musgrove Perisho

  4. Ron Hyer says:

    I descend from Caleb Musgrave through his daughter Sarah. She married Thomas Morris. I believe Caleb was a descendant of Oswin. Can anybody help me prove this.

    • Ron,

      Thanks for your inquiry on my blog.

      I have Shartle’s book and the Duane & Marie Wilson Musgrave book. What other information do you have on Caleb, i.e. birth and death dates and places along with Caleb’s wife’s name if you have that? I’ll look for your Caleb in those books.

      Warm regards,

      Andrea Musgrove Perisho

  5. Shane Musgrave says:

    I am new to searching for my ancestry, but my wife and I are taking a trip to Ireland and renting a motorcycle for 10 days in July. The reason I picked Ireland is because I am pretty sure that is where my ancestry is from and would like to explore those portions of Ireland. Here is my dilemma, I have traced myself back to the first Aaron that came over from my line, but that is as far as I seem to be able to get. If you use some common sense by using name similarities, I would say that I am related somehow to the Musgrave’s that came over to PA and settled in Lancaster. Meaning Moses and Oswin’s Musgrave line, but their bother Aaron was born in PA and the Aaron (Born February 17 1760) I am looking for by all accounts from my father came over with his brother Isaac and was born in Ireland. He then married a Sarah (Woodrow) here in PA and settled in Columbia County, PA. If it helps I will include the information that I have been working on, and am 99% sure I have correct. I would love any assistance anyone would have, I have enjoyed the research thus far and it becomes frustrating to be stuck so close to the answer.

    Aaron, Sr. Musgrave born February 17, 1760 (In Ireland I believe) Wife Sarah (Woodrow) Musgrave

    Isaac W Musgrave 1792 – 1857
    Wife Hannah Musgrave 1810-1857

    Samuel C Musgrave Born 1822 Death August 7 1890 Rohrsburg Cemetary
    Wife 1 Christiana Musgrave 9 children Wife 2 Mary Musgrave 2 children

    Millard Musgrave Born April 8th 1850 Death August 24 1916 in Milltown, PA
    Wife Sarah E (Krouse) Musgrave Sister Emily J (Dewitt) Musgrave

    Charles Boyd Musgrave Born August 9th 1883 Columbia County PA Death Oct.24 1936
    (Wife) Clara A (Mordan) Musgrave Birth Date: 26 Nov 1895 Death Date: Sep 1967
    Sister Mary Edith (Hassert) Musgrave

    Franklin Musgrave Born 16 sept 1918 (Brother) Paul Musgrave born 1916

    Maynard Musgrave (Father)

    Lonnie Musgrave (My Brother)

    Shane Musgrave (Me)

    • Shane,

      Thanks for reaching out to me through the blog. With your direct paternal Musgrave line, I would suggest Y-DNA for you. For example, my father’s Y-DNA matches other descendants of Oswin, matching our paper trail. Family Tree DNA is having a sale now, so this would be the best time to order the test.

      I am a co-administrator of the Musgrove/Musgrave project on FTDNA. I’ll send you more details in an email.

      Warm regards,

      Andrea Musgrove Perisho

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