This year FAH holds a year-long celebration that celebrates FAH’s 20th anniversary and that during this month of 2024, Tom Marshall (2/20/2024-2/12/2019) would have become a centenarian. The Marshall surname, meaning ‘servant or doctor of horses,’ is English in origin dating back one-thousand years to the military conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy (Norman Conquest). The Yorklyn Marshall ancestry has been traced back to Edmund Marshall born in 1542 in Youlgreave, Elton Parish, Derbyshire, England. Four generations of Marshall’s resided in the Derbyshire region of England before a pair of cousins emigrated to Pennsylvania Territory in 1684, settling in the Cobbs Creek area (now Upper Darby) of the Providence of Pennsylvania, three years after the North American territory was granted to William Penn by Charles II.

John Marshall arrived in the New World in 1684, within several months of his younger cousin, Abraham Marshall, both initially settling west of Philadelphia. How many generations of the Marshall family have lived in North America?


In recognition that Tom Marshall was born in February, this month’s Question & Answer looks back on 477 years of Marshall Genealogy. Below is the abbreviated genealogy for the John and Abraham Marshall family trees, the first Marshalls born in North America. Above the red line in the image below, are those Marshalls living in Derbyshire area of England. In the Marshall Generational Tree below, each Marshall family member’s name includes that of their spouse, along with dates of birth and death. Each North American generation number is tracked along the left.

A child of Edmond Marshall named Humphrey, had two sons, John, and Humphrey, and each brothers’ namesake, born in England, emigrated to the Territory of Pennsylvania as cousins both initially settling in what today is the Upper Darby area west of Philadelphia. John Marshall’s grandson, or John Marshall’s son (you will note a lot of males named John or Tom in the Marshall family and suffixes were not generally used), also named John, settled in the Chadds Ford area. A 3rd generation Marshall, John moved to Kennett Township in 1765 with his two children (eventually nine total!) after his first wife Hanna James passed away of complications after the birth of their second child, that begins the story of the Marshall family in the Kennett-Auburn-Yorklyn area. We will return to this Marshall branch shortly.

On the Humphrey Marshall branch, Abraham Marshall was born in the Territory of Pennsylvania later to become the United States of America. Abraham’s son Humphry (no ‘e’), settled in the West Chester area of Chester County, PA. Humphry’s brother James settled in the Glen Mills area. The first several generations of this Marshall branch’s lineage were botanists, bankers, merchants, and farmers. We have written about Humphry and Moses Marshall who are the 2nd & 3rd generations descended of Abraham Marshall as the ‘Botanical Branch of Marshalls’. It was Humphry that established the 2nd garden in the Philadelphia area helping to establish Philadelphia as the Garden Capital of the World.

A cousin of well-known botanists John and William Bartram, Humphry, wrote Arbustrum Americanum that was published two years after the Peace of Paris formalized American independence. Arbustrum Americanum continues to be recognized as the first botanical treatise written by a native American on American plants, produced in America and is considered a definitive treatise of the subject matter still referenced today. Humphry’s assistant and nephew, Moses, married Humphry’s wife’s niece, and led expeditions in America cataloging native American plant species. In 1791, a newly discovered member of the daisy and sunflower plant kingdom, the genus Marshallia (also nick-named Barbara’s Buttons), was named in 1791 in honor of Humphrey and Moses Marshall’s contributions to the field botany. The town of Marshallton, PA is named in recognition of the Humphry & Moses Marshall families.

Robert Marshall, the 4th child of 3rd generation John Marshall’s 9 children, lived during the period historians generally cite as the start of the American Industrial Revolution. Robert’s five children experienced first-hand how industrialization was changing the world they lived in and each contributed to the industrialization of America. Caleb and John formed the Marshall Iron Works that produced Terne Sheet (the predecessor to today’s galvanized sheet), the first commercially coated iron sheet in America often used for roofing. Marshallton, DE was named in recognition of their efforts. Caleb and John were officers of the Real Estate Bank of Delaware and the National Bank of Kennett Square respectively.

Martha Marshall’s husband Thomas Hannum owned a construction company and was involved with road machinery. Abner Marshall discovered kaolin on his property while plowing and eventually the property became the location of the first commercial kaolin mine in Delaware. Thomas S. convinced his father Robert to convert their grist mill to the making of paper using the newly improved cylinder paper machine. Thomas continued to make quality rag papers for financial ledger, legal document, and fine writing use while other Delaware paper manufacturers converted their operations to making cheaper and less durable wood pulp papers to supply the newspaper, advertising, wrapping, tissue, and general writing paper markets.

Thomas S’s three children, Israel, Mary, and Elwood were all involved in the family rag paper business as it grew to three paper mills (Marshall’s Bridge, Kennett Township, PA; Yorklyn, DE; Wooddale, DE). Israel refined the Marshall rag papermaking process to create an industrial rag paper suitable for not only making vulcanized fiber, he impregnated his special paper with resins and tallow to manufacture a strong scentless building paper to replace tar paper. The Thomas S. Marshall & Sons paper store at 126 Market Street in Wilmington not only sold Israel’s Pioneer Building Paper but manilla paper, paper bags and paper sacks. The brothers started Specialty Manufacturing Company in Kennett Square to make boxes, totes, suitcases, and trunks of vulcanized fiber under the Hercules tradename. After Israel and Elwood invented the Endless Fibre Machine at the start of the 1900s, the brothers’ sons, J. Warren, John A., T. Clarence, and Henry W., served as officers of Industrial Fiber and Insulation Company and later National Vulcanized Fibre Company until 1952 when J. Warren Marshall unexpectedly passed away.

T. Clarence Marshall operated a Stanley Motor Carriage Company dealership at Auburn Heights from 1910 until 1920 in addition to his responsibility as President of Marshall Brothers Company which he continued until 1953. Clarence invented an improved vulcanized fiber product and had patents on devices that made internal combustion engines operate more efficiently. He and his son-in-law, Norman Mancill, formed Marshall-Mancill Auto Company in Wilmington where multiple car brands were sold beginning in 1913. Changing the name to Diamond State Automobile Company in 1914 they branched out with Delaware Tire & Supply Company selling and installing aftermarket accessories. Later Clarence teamed up with Frank W. Diver to sell Packard automobiles through the Motor Company of Wilmington in 1922. The partnership lasted until 1940. Clarence’s niece Ester Marshall bought over 100 acres of property adjacent to her father J. Warren’s land and named it Oversee Farm which is now part of Auburn Valley State Park.

T. Clarence’s son, Thomas C. Marshall, Jr. is the 8th generation of the John Marshall family tree of North Americans. Like his ancestors, Tom was a businessman. He constructed the first Holiday Inn in Delaware and later added a second Holiday Inn to his business. He was a partner in Marshall-Greenplate Travel Company booking tours worldwide. He founded Historic Red Clay Valley, Incorporated (HRCV) which operates the Wilmington & Western Railroad. After opening Auburn Heights from 1961-1965 to fund HRCV, Tom reopened Auburn Heights in the 1970s as the Magic Age of Steam. Tom served on the boards of philanthropic and non-profit organizations, including Hockessin Quaker Meeting, Mercersburg Academy, the Friends of Old Drawyers, and the Red Clay Valley Association (now the Brandywine-Red Clay Alliance). Obviously, without Tom’s vision to preserve Auburn Heights and all that it encompasses, the history above might have become lost to time and this article would surly not have been written.

On the above Marshall Genealogy Tree, the notes include many of the important contributions the industrial Marshall branch made along with other information of interest. All the individuals noted in bold font have been discussed by Tom Marshall in his Weekly Highlights available on the FAH website. Additional information on the Marshall family is available through Auburn Valley State Park and the Friends of Auburn Heights.   

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