Vernon & District Family History Society

SHARING GENEALOGY KNOWLEDGE SINCE 1982

My Duffield Line by Lawrna Myers

The surname Duffield is said to have been derived from the French surname DuFielde, a locational name that means "of the field". There is a parish in County Derbyshire, England and two townships in County Yorkshire by the name of Duffield. The surname de Duffield (of Duffield) has also been found in early records of Ripon Cathedral in Yorkshire County.

My Duffield ancestors are believed to have been French Huguenots who fled to England because of religious persecution in France and settled in Derbyshire and Yorkshire Counties. My branch of the Duffield family later migrated to Northern Ireland, probably in the early 1600's.

Image - Duffield Coat of Arms

Duffield Coat of Arms

A Duffield coat of arms was recorded by the Ulster King of Arms of Ireland, in the name of Thomas Duffield from Ripon, Yorkshire County, England. The crest of this coat of arms holds a silver dove with an olive branch and the motto: Pro Deo, Amicus, et Respublica, meaning "For God, Friends, and the Commonwealth".

My earliest recorded Duffield ancestor is my eight-great grandfather named, William Duffield who was born about 1660 in the British Isles. He married Mary, daughter of Charles Willington of Ballymena, Ulster, Ireland.

Their son, George Duffield was born in 1690 in Ballymena. George, with his wife Elizabeth, came to America in 1730 settling in Pequea, Salisbury Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. By 1759, they owned 100 acres of land in Lancaster County. Their home, known as the Duffield Place, was owned for many years by the descendants of their daughter, Mary (Duffield) McIlvaine.

George Duffield was described as a person of fine education, highly esteemed in his community, kind, amiable, and gentlemanly in his deportment, and a man of strict integrity.

The Duffields were Presbyterians and among the charter members of the Presbyterian Church of Pequea.

George and Elizabeth had five children.

Mary who was born about 1723 in Ireland married Robert McIlvaine. They had two sons, George and Andrew.

John was born about 1725 in Ireland. He married and had five children: George, John, Elizabeth, Francina and Margaret. John died in 1772.

Samuel was born about 1730 in Ireland. He and his wife Mary had one son, George. Samuel Duffield was a well-known Philadelphia physician who was one of the founders of the first hospital in that city. Samuel died about 1814.

My sixth great grandfather was William who was born in Pequea, in 1731. He married Susanna in 1757 or 1758 and soon afterward moved to Welsh Run in Cumberland County, which later became Franklin County, Pennsylvania. It was here that William died in 1799. They settled on West Conococheague Creek and built a stone house, which is located at 9423 Fritz Road (between Welsh Run and Mercersburg) and is still known as Duffield Mansion. It was once part of a large plantation.

William was said to have been active and influential in matters of public interest and the safety of the frontier. He was referred to as the "Honorable William Duffield". He was a Cumberland County delegate to the Pennsylvania Assembly of 1776-77. He was one of the pioneer members of the Presbyterian Church of Welsh Run, Pennsylvania - first the Old Log Church, which was burned by Indians in 1770, and then the Old White Church, built in 1772, which stands today. He, like his father, was an earnest advocate of education and devoted special attention to the education of his children.

Their last child George was a well-known Presbyterian minister who was born in 1732 in Pequea, Pennsylvania. Reverend Duffield began his ministry in the small churches of Carlisle, Pennsylvania but at the time of the Revolutionary War was called "the dominant Presbyterian leader in Pennsylvania". He was an ardent supporter of the American Revolution, serving in the war as a chaplain and Colonel. He was also Chaplain of the Continental Congress. He died February 2, 1790 and is buried beneath the centre aisle of Pine Street Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, where he was pastor at the time of his death. His portrait presently hangs not only in the Pine Street Church but also in Independence Hall and in the National Gallery of Portraits in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Image - George Duffield (1832-1790)

George Duffield (1832-1790)

George died on March 31, 1774 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth died a few years later.

The Will George wrote on June 16, 1772 reads:

Be it remembered that I, George Duffield, of the Township of Salisbury in the county of Lancaster and province of Pennsylvania, yeoman, do this sixteenth day of June in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy two make and ordain this my last will and testament in the manner and form following that it to say I give and recommend my soul to God who gave it to me and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent manner at the discretion of my Executors herein after named. It is my will that all my just debts and funeral charges be first pa id and satisfied. Then I give and bequeath to my well beloved wife Elizabeth Duffield the possession and use of the whole of my personal estate during the term of her natural life except of such particulars as are here in afterwards otherwise bequeathed and also the possession and profit and advantages of the whole of my Real Estate during the term of her natural life.

Item. I give and bequeath to my son William Duffield the sum of five pounds current money of this province at the expiration of one year after my decease and the first volume of Flavels works after the decease of my wife.

Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary McIlvaine the sum of eighty pounds current money as above to be paid to her at the expiration of two years after the decease of my beloved wife in case of her surviving me but if otherwise then at the expiration of two years after my decease.

Item. I give and bequeath to George Duffield the son of my son John Duffield the sum of five pounds current money as above to be paid to him at the expiration of three years after my decease and my largest fowling. Then I give and bequeath to John Duffield the other son of my son John Duffield the sum of sixty pounds current money as above to be paid to him at the expiration of one year after my decease.

Item. I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Duffield daughter of my son John Duffield the sum of sixty pounds current money as above to be paid to her two years after my decease and also a cow, a bed, and bed clothes and a desk now in being all to be hers at the decease of my wife Elizabeth Duffield.

Item. I give and bequeath to Francina Duffield and Margaret Duffield the other daughters of my son John Duffield the sum of thirty pounds to each of them after my decease and to each of them the additional sum of ten pounds to be paid to them at expiration of four years after my decease.

Item. I give and bequeath to George McIlvaine son of my daughter Mary McIlvaine the sum of ten pounds current money as above to be paid to him at the expiration of five years after my decease or the decease of my wife Elizabeth in case of her surviving me and to Andrew McIlvaine son of my daughter Mary the sum of five pounds five years after my decease.

Item. I give and bequeath to George Duffield son of my son William Duffield the sum of twenty pounds current money as above to be paid to him at the expiration of five years after my decease.

Item. The whole of the remainder of my estate both Real and Personal I will and bequeath in the manner following to wit my horse and best saddle of small fowling to my son George Duffield and five pounds current money as above to my son Samuel Duffield and the one half of the whole remain der of my estate both Real and personal to George and Elizabeth Duffield the children of my son George Duffield each an equal share of the same and the other half of the whole remainder of my estate both Real and personal to George Duffield son of my son Samuel Duffield for the condition of their paying the above legacies as requested and appointed and the se to be and remain to them and their heirs forever the whole estate to be sold both Real and personal five years after my wife's decease and I do constitute and appoint my well beloved sons George Duffield and Samuel Duffield sole executors of this my last will and testament disallowing all and every other will or wills testament and testaments by me hereto fore made. In witness where I have heretofore set my hand and seal this sixteenth day of June and year above written. N:B In addition to the sum above bequeathed to Francina Duffield I will and bequeath the sum of thirty pounds more to be paid to her four years after my decease and also the chest of drawers and a full half part of the household furniture and two cows to be hers at the decease of my will beloved wife.

George Duffield

Signed, sealed, pronounced, and declared in the presence of us William Forester, Thomas Sharp, David Whitehill.