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Quaker Roots in Colonial America: My Paternal Family History

John Alonzo Dick

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Welcome to my Dick family history. My full name is "John Alonzo Dick" ("John" from my maternal grandfather and "Alonzo" from my paternal grandfather.)  People know me as "Jack." By way of a bit of personal history, I was born and grew up in Southwestern Michigan but attended high school and college in Detroit. I am a retired professor, and historical research has been my focus for many years. 

When it comes to writing a family history, I learned long ago that one must only rely on trustworthy documentation. If I cannot document a birth, marriage, death, etc., it doesn’t go into my historic overview….Every family passes on a lot of folklore and presumed happenings which sometimes develop their own lives with very little or no basis in reality. A problem that often occurs, for instance, is that events from a paternal or maternal family line get confused and mixed together as family folklore evolves….

To date, my paternal family history begins in sixteenth Cheshire, England. I can document that but have no way of documenting earlier history. I suspect that my paternal family ancestors came from Scotland…. My family tree DNA would seem to indicate that as well.

If you have comments or suggestions about this family history overview, please contact me at:

Kind regards,


Dr. John Alonzo Dick

Research Historian



Origins of Family Name


The Dick family is generally traceable only as far back as the origin of the name in its various spellings. ‘Dike,’ ‘Dyke,’ ‘Dicke,’ ‘Dykes,’ ‘Dix,’ ‘Dicks’ are all variations of the same family name. Our ancestors in the Middle Ages probably lived near a ditch, bank, or entrenchment and were named by their location: e.g. “John at the Dyke” or “John of the Dykes." At the time of the Norman Conquest in England, 1066, the French “del” meaning “from” appears between first and second names: e.g. “Robert del Dykes."

Early records in twelfth century England spell the name as ‘Dyke,’ ‘Dykes,’ ‘Dyx,’ and ‘Dycks’ and associate the name with Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England. The earthworks South of the wall were called Dykes. The surname Dykes was first applied to a family living there at the Western extremity of the wall at Dykesfield near Burgh-on-the-Sands, Cumberland. This family is said to have been there before the time of the Norman Conquest.

The name, in a Latinized form, appears in Normandy as well as ‘Dica’ in 1195; and there was a John Dike in England as early as 1272. Pedigrees of early Dykes, Dyke, and Dike families appear in England in Cumberland, Yorkshire, Sussex, Kent, and West Somerset as early as the twelfth century.

When it comes to documenting my own Dicks/Dick family, our history begins in the sixteenth century in the towns of Sandbach and Occleston, in Cheshire, England.







All we know about this first ancestor is that he married Anna Jacson on 23 October 1580 in Sandbach, Cheshire, England. He may have come from Scotland or from England. “Roger” is of course a Norman name.


Husband: Roger Dicks I (approximate birth date 1550)

Wife: Anna Jacson

Roger and Anna married in Sandbach, Cheshire, England on 23 October 1580. Marriage and baptismal records for the children are in St. Mary Church, Sandbach.



(1) Thomas (baptized 29 March 1584)

(2) Roger II (baptized 11 October 1590)

(3) Randolph (baptized 4 February 1593)

(4) William (baptized 15 April 1599)

(5) Margaret (“Margeria” -- baptized 15 October 1602)






Husband: Roger Dicks II (baptized 11 October 1590)

Wife: Isabella (?)

Roger and Isabella married in Sandbach 1621.



(1) Margaret (baptized 17 May 1621)

(2) Roger III (baptized 15 December 1622 – 1694 Occleston)

(3) Anna (baptized 20 December 1624)

(4) Maria (1628)

(5) Isabella (1631)

(6) Randolph (baptized 6 July 1637)

(7) Thomas (baptized 12 January 1639 – 1703)

(8) Jane (baptized 20 November 1643)






Husband: Roger Dicks III (1622 – 1694)

Wife: Elizabeth (?)

Roger and Elizabeth married in1651.



(1) James (baptized 15 July 1652) twin

(2) John (baptized 15 July 1652) twin

(3) Peter I (baptized 18 January 1654 – 1704)

(4) Joseph (baptized 10 November 1657)

(5) Sarah (baptized 27 December 1662 in Middlewich)

Married Roger Blower (Bloor) of Pope, Cheshire.





Peter Dicks I was born 18 January 1654 in Occleston near Chester in Cheshire England and died 1704 in Chester, Pennsylvania. His wife Esther Maddock, daughter of Nathan and Alice was born on the 16th day of the twelfth month 1661 in Cheshire, England died 1709 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Peter and Esther married 1 September 1681 at the Frandley Monthly Meeting in Chester, England. 

Peter Dicks and Esther arrived in Pennsylvania in 1684 aboard the "Friend Ship of Liverpool" on which he was a witness to the will of John Worthington on 16 January 1684. Worthington died at sea, not an uncommon occurrence when one considers that trans-Atlantic crossings were in cramped and (to our standards) primitive quarters and took between two and three months. By 1689 Peter Dicks also owned 554 acres in Kennett township, Chester Co. Pennsylvania.

Peter had been a flax-dresser in Chester, England. Peter and his wife, Esther, settled in Chester Pennsylvania, where he died in 1704. 

Peter was also an early financial supporter of the Quaker Concord Meeting House. In 1708, his widow married John Mendenhall (born 30 August  1659, Mildenhall, Wiltshire, England and died 19 August 1743, New Castle Co. DE) on the 11th day of the 8th month in 1708. 

[An observation about dating: Today we use the Gregorian calendar. In the early Dick family history however, we have to realize that some dates were recorded according to the Julian calendar, the so called “Old Style." This is especially important for the early Quaker Dicks, because the Quakers followed the Julian calendar until 1752 when England switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. Even after that for a while people sometimes recorded the years in both systems, e.g. 2nd March 1735/6. Quakers also had the custom of indicating the months not by name but by number, e.g. “this happened on the 3rd day of the 11th month.” In order to know which month (and mistakes are often made here) one has to know whether it was the Old Style calendar or the New Style.]


James Dix (Dicks) (b.1652) also a flax-dresser  from Occleston purchased land along Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania from William Penn in 1681, some say at the wedding of Peter. William Penn was in attendance at the wedding of Peter and Esther Maddock. On 16 August 1684 Peter purchased this land from his brother James Dicks.. One of the witnesses of the sale was their father Roger Dicks. It is quite possible that James had intended to travel to the new world. When his brother Peter got into difficulties with the Maddock family, the Dicks family decided it would be better for Peter and his wife to get on a boat and leave England!


Husband: Peter Dicks I (1654 - 1704)

Wife: Esther Maddock (16th of  XII 1661 – 1709)



(1) Hannah (1682 - 1728) who married Jonathan Thatcher 12 December 1699.

(2) Elizabeth (1684 - ) who married Richard Tranter on 2 October 1714

(3) Sarah (1687 - ) who married Joseph Pyle on 16 April 1715

(4) Esther (1689 - ) who married Francis Swayne 10 April 1724

(5) Deborah (1691 -) who married Jonathan Fincher on 29 April 1726

(6) Nathan  (1694 - 1765) who in 1715 married Deborah Clark (born c. 1690 and died before 1760)

(7) Peter II (1696 - 1760)





Peter Dicks was a Quaker “minister” a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, and owned and operated a forge on Crum Creek,  two miles above Chester Pennsylvania. A remnant of that Crum Creek forge still exists and today it is called  "The Old Mill." Strictly speaking Quakers do not have “ministers.” A number of early Dicks however have been called “Quaker ministers” because they were key religious leaders, in more or less the same way as “ministers” in other Christian traditions. Peter was a man of means and for a while seemed to be an aggressive land-buyer.  As a member of the Assembly he made several trips between England and Pennsylvania, due to Assembly work with the Governor of Pennsylvania and the Council in London. He was also one of a group of early Quakers who SUPPORTED slavery.


Husband: Peter Dicks II (February 1696 in Chester, PA and died 25 August 1760.)

First Wife: Sarah Hayes Powell (born c.1700)

They married in 1716.



(1) Joseph (b.26 March 1717) who married Ann Engle

(2) James (b.18 June 1718) who married ________________

(3) Nathan (b.21 November 1719) who married Sarah Sharpless

(4) Sarah 19 (January 1720 - 1793) married Thomas Gassaway

(5) Peter (23 October 1722 - 10 October 1790)

(6) Esther (c.1724 - ) who married John Darlington on 17 March 1750/51, Providence Mtg. House

(7) Abraham (c.1726 - )

(8) John (c.1728 - )

(9) Job (c.1730 - )



Second Wife: Sarah Swaffer

Sarah was a widow whom he married on 17 March 1750.



(10) Jane (b.4 November 1751) who married John Pierce on 17 November 1786

(11) Roger (30 July 1753 – 29 December 1808) who married Rebecca Morris.





My own Dick family research, confirmed by a great many other Dick and Dicks family researchers, is that Peter was born “Peter Dicks” on 23 October 1722 near Chester, Pennsylvania. Peter was disowned by his father, due to a disagreement, and left the Quakers and dropped the “s” to show that he was not part of the Quaker Dicks family any longer. He married a lapsed Quaker as well: Mary Elizabeth Linton. Some researchers say that Peter III was a Revolutionary War Veteran, serving in the Revolutionary War Continental Army from 1 May 1781 to 1 November 1782. This is still being looked into.

Peter’s daughter, by his first wife  (Some researchers suggest her name was Susan” and that she and Peter married in 1742) was Catherine – “Catey” -- who, according to family legend,  was born at sea in 1747 en route to Philadelphia. I suspect there may have been some family legend confusion about Catherine and her husband Lewis…i.e. we know that Lewis came across the Atlantic as a very young child….the Wills family researchers are in general agreement about the birth date for Catherine but NONE of them have the legend about her being born at sea.

It is not surprising, however, that Peter could have been in Europe during the pregnancy of Catherine. Quaker documents I found at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania mention that his father had property in England and made trips back and forth. There is also a reference that Peter (the father) was not pleased about a marriage entered into by “Peter” (Peter III)  when on a “foreign trip.”

Lewis Wills was Born in Strasbourg on the River Rhine in Alsace, France, in 1744. He was of Alsatian /English decent and came to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1748. It was there that he married Catherine Dick in 1770.

In 1780, Lewis bought a farm in Frederick County Virginia. In 1781, he entered the army serving 18 months during the Revolutionary War. He was in a battle at Jamestown and also at the taking of Cornwallis at Little York. Later he found iron ore in Johnson County, Tennessee and built a forge on 78 acres which he sold in 1797 for $10,000, a fortune in those days. Lewis was a very industrious and energetic man, a farmer and land speculator. 

After Catherine’s death, in 1802 in Johnson Co. Tennessee, Lewis married Ellender Martha King and they had five children. Lewis drowned at Byrd's Ford on the Nolickucky River in Green County, Tennessee on March 5, 1832 at age 88. His horse was found tied to a tree.

Peter III’s son Peter IV (Peter Jr.) bought 256 acres, on 3 October 1787 from Edmund Randolph, in Frederick County Virginia, on the waters of Sleepy Creek. He paid “one pound and five shillings.”  He may actually have arrived much earlier because in a court case dated 1776 in Frederick County, Peter Jr. was tried for killing a slave.  He was acquitted; but that would in any event place him in Frederick County that early.  Peter III purchased his 395 acres in 1789 for 2 pounds sterling. His property was next door to Lewis Wills. On the other side of Lewis Wills was Peter III’s son Peter Dick IV, adjoining 447 acres owned by Mathew Trotter on the drains of Sleepy Creek .


Husband: Peter Dick III (23 October 1722 – 10 October 1790)

First Wife: (Susan?)



(1) Catherine Dick (1747 - 1802) who married Lewis Wills

(2) Peter IV (1748 - 1804), who married Mary Aldridge


Second Wife:  Mary Elizabeth Linton (b. 18 July 1738 - d. before 1787)

They married: In St. Michael and Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 228 N. Franklin Street in Philadelphia on 30 September 1756.



(3) Eva\Eve (c.1758 - ) who married Christopher Hetherlin

(4) John (1762 - 1796), married Catherine Hieronimus 30 October 1787

(5) Sarah who married  Philip Burkhammer (Berkheimer) on 29 January 1799. She died 25 September 1835 in Sonora, Ohio.

(6) Henry (1760 - 1848) who married Decaude Dent Edwards (b. 1768), daughter of Benjamin Edwards

(7) Nicholas who married Patience Berry (was he also at one time the husband of Catherine Berry???)



Third Wife: Barbara Null  (c.1755 - after 1790)

They married: 25 September 1787.

Barbara was the daughter of Johan George Pence Noll, born 1742 in Jonestown, Lebanon County and Maria Barbara Genselin Bossert, born 2 February 1751/2 in Summer County, VA. The father of Johan George was Nicholas Noll, born 1716 in Alsace-Lorraine.



Barbara (c.1788 - ) who married Joseph Boot





Husband: Peter Dick IV (1748 - 1804) Born PA, died in Frederick Co. VA

Wife: Mary Aldridge (1752 – after 1813)


(1) Henry (2 January 1775-November 1847) who married Eleanor Kenny (20 March 1781-1 December

1831) and moved to Tennessee

(2) Jacob (10 April 1777 – 26 October 1855) who married Sarah McIntire (20/21 November 1781 – 7 March 1856) on 14 April 1804

(3) Mary (2 December 1781-12 January 1863) who married Thomas McIntire, Jr. (21 March 1776-5 July 1854) and (stayed in Winchester VA

(4) Elizabeth (born about 1780) who married Isaac Bohrer, Sr. (13 March 1780- 1850)

(5) Catherine (1783-1857) married Charles McIntire (7 October 1783-3 May 1858) stayed in Winchester,​

(6) Margaret (12 September 1789-22 September 1868) married 1st Samuel Waln (5 children) and 2nd

Joseph Smith

(7) Peter V who married Nancy Garner (daughter of Henry Garner) 25 (28?) July 1795

(8) John (1787-1865) who married Catherine Trotter and later Mary Barker

(9) Phillip (  -1872) who married Nancy Polly Kees  (died after 1872) on 12 February 1818 and moved to


(10) Barbara who married William Trotter

(11) Nicholas  (13 October 1792 - 15 February 1869) who married Mary Johnston (24 July 1795 – 24

August 1855) on 28 August 1815


Husband: John Dick (1787 - 1865)

First Wife: Catherine Trotter whom he married on 24 March 1812


(1) Aldridge (born 1813 in Frederick Co. VA). He was an invalid and had no children

(2) Uriah (1816 - 26 March 1892). born at Frederick Co. VA and died, Blackford Co. IN.


Second Wife: Mary Barker (born 1785)



Elijah  (1819 - 1906) He was born and died in Frederick Co. Virginia



Husband: Uriah (1816 - 26 March 1892)

First Wife: Rosanna  Michael  (died 23 September 1863 ) 

They married in Frederick Co. on 12 August 1844.


(1) William, who died young

(2) Mary Catherine (1845 - ?) She married Daniel Sils in Montpelier, IN. They had 14  children.

(3) Sarah A. (1845 - 3 March 1861) who died “as a young woman”

(4) Richard (15 September 1851 - ?)

(5) Emily Frances (20 September 1853 - 14 December 1931) She married John A. Mahon (c. 1853 - 1879)

(6) John (1858 - ) Born in Indiana. He married Mary ? – at least one daughter Floss Glenn (1888 - 1956)

(7) Michael


Second Wife: Sarah Jane Wickersham Kitterman (18 July 37 - 28 June 1912) 

They married in 1876.

Sarah Jane Wickersham, on 9 January 1856, had married her first husband Harvey Leroy Kitterman (23 March 1834  – 10 July 1866). Sarah Jane Wickersham had Quaker roots and the Wickersham family goes back to Chester Pennsylvania. Sarah Jane was disowned by the Society of Friends on 9 Feb 1856 for having married Harvey Kitterman contrary to Quaker discipline. She died at the farm home of her son, Alonzo William Dick. She is buried next to her first husband, Harvey Kitterman. Her second husband, Uriah Dick is buried in the same cemetery in a different section, on a hill overlooking her grave.


(8) Unnamed twin infant who died at birth (26 January 1877),

(9) Alonzo William (26 January 1877 – 24 March 1919) the other twin,

(10) Clinton (1879 - 1954).



Husband: Alonzo William DICK (26 January 1877 – 24 March 1919)

Wife: Mary Ellen Jarrett (11 February 1881 – 7 May 1960)

Alonzo died during the great influenza epidemic of 1919. His twin died at birth. He was a teacher and a farmer.


(1) Grant Alonzo (30 March 1903 - 12 January 1940) who married Marie Farr

(2) Howard Justus (22 December 1904 – 1986) who married Marjorie Mills (1902-2005).

(3) Bacil Theodore (28 February 1906 – March 1988) who married Olive Lambert.

(4) Waldo Emerson (28 May 1907 – 21 April 1996) who married Hellen Frances Fritz (26 September 1909 – 13 December 2000) on 26 July 1930

(5) Ethelbert Jarrett (9 February 1914 – 03 August 1998) who married Rosalie Violet Stigner (18 July 1911 – 31 December 2001) in May 1936.



Father: Waldo Emerson (28 May 1907 - 21 April 1996)

Mother: Hellen Frances Fritz (26 September 1909 – 13 December 2000)



(1) Waldo Joseph (JOE) (26 January 1936 - 15 November 2020) who married Joan Hill on 18 August 1956.

(2) John Alonzo (JACK) (27 March 1943) who married Josephina ‘t Hart on 26 June 1970

(3) Mary Veronica (24 June 1945 - 1 January 2023).

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