John Bartram

Last updated 11 Sep 2021 in Spear–Johnson Family.

Individual

Born: 23 Mar 1698/99 in Darby, Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania, British America

Died: 22 Sep 1777 in Kingsessing Township, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States

Father: William Bartram (? – 1711)

Mother: Elizabeth Hunt (? – 1701)

Supporting evidence for:
name

book-colonial-families-of-pennsylvania-v1-1911: John W. Jordan (editor), Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, Volume 1; New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1911; book image (PDF), Internet Archive (https://archive.org: accessed 21 Apr 2018), held by Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center [This volume contains a history of Pennsylvania along with personal memoirs, and was published under the auspices of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 614 (PDF page 654) Thomas Marshall

Comment: Souce includes name (John Bartram).

book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979: Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th ed., Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1979.

Additional detail for reference: Micropædia, volume I, page 847, "Bartram, John"

Comment: Source includes name (Bartram, John).

book-maris-family-in-the-us-1885: George L. Maris and Annie M. Maris (compilers), The Maris Family in the United States: A Record of the Descendants of George and Alice Maris, 1683–1885; West Chester, Pennsylvania: F. S. Hickman, 1885; book image (PDF), Google Books (http://books.google.com: accessed 20 Apr 2018), held by General Library of University of Michigan [Source includes abstracts from wills and other documents, along with interviews with contemporary descendants.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 4 (PDF page 55)

Comment: Source includes name (John Bartram).

book-mendenhalls-a-genealogy-1969: The Mendenhalls; database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed on multiple dates); citing "Henry Hart Beeson, The Mendenhalls: A Genealogy; Houston, unknown, 1991" [This is a privately published genealogy, and appears to be typed rather than typeset. Reference is made to some original records, but there are no images or transcripts included.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 4 (image 6), accessed 29 Aug 2009

Comment: Source includes name (John Bartram).

book-natures-of-john-and-william-bartram-1996: Thomas P. Slaughter, The Natures of John and William Bartram; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, ISBN 0-679-43045-8 [Biography of John and William Bartram.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 3.

Comment: Source includes name (John [Bartram]).

marriage-bartram–maris-1723: Wedding record for John Bartram and Mary Maris (1723); U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935, database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed 19 Aug 2021) > “Pennsylvania > Chester > Chester Monthly Meeting > Certificates of Marriage Record” image 84; citing “Certificates of Marriage Records, Book A, page 88; Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Quaker Meeting Records”

Comment: Source includes name (John Bartram).

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,
birth

book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979: Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th ed., Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1979.

Additional detail for reference: Micropædia, volume I, page 847, "Bartram, John"

Comment: Source includes date (March 23, 1699) and location (near Darby, Pa.).

book-natures-of-john-and-william-bartram-1996: Thomas P. Slaughter, The Natures of John and William Bartram; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, ISBN 0-679-43045-8 [Biography of John and William Bartram.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 22.

Comment: Source includes rough date of not quite two and a half years before his mother's death in 1701, giving a very rough range of 1 Sep 1698 to 31 Aug 1699.

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,
death

book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979: Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th ed., Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1979.

Additional detail for reference: Micropædia, volume I, page 847, "Bartram, John"

Comment: Source includes date (Sept. 22, 1777) and location (Kingsessing, Pa.).

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,
father

book-natures-of-john-and-william-bartram-1996: Thomas P. Slaughter, The Natures of John and William Bartram; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, ISBN 0-679-43045-8 [Biography of John and William Bartram.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 22.

Comment: Source identifies William [Bartram] as the father of John Bartram.

book-mendenhalls-a-genealogy-1969: The Mendenhalls; database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed on multiple dates); citing "Henry Hart Beeson, The Mendenhalls: A Genealogy; Houston, unknown, 1991" [This is a privately published genealogy, and appears to be typed rather than typeset. Reference is made to some original records, but there are no images or transcripts included.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 4 (image 6), accessed 29 Aug 2009

Comment: Source identifies John Bartram as a son of William Bartram. The source does not provide sufficient evidence to denote the type of parent/child relationship.

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,
mother

book-mendenhalls-a-genealogy-1969: The Mendenhalls; database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed on multiple dates); citing "Henry Hart Beeson, The Mendenhalls: A Genealogy; Houston, unknown, 1991" [This is a privately published genealogy, and appears to be typed rather than typeset. Reference is made to some original records, but there are no images or transcripts included.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 4 (image 6), accessed 29 Aug 2009

Comment: Source identifies John Bartram as a son of Elizabeth Bartram. The source does not provide sufficient evidence to denote the type of parent/child relationship.

book-natures-of-john-and-william-bartram-1996: Thomas P. Slaughter, The Natures of John and William Bartram; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, ISBN 0-679-43045-8 [Biography of John and William Bartram.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 22.

Comment: Source identifies Elizah (_____) [Bartram] as the mother of John Bartram.

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Family #1

Spouse/Partner: Mary Maris (? – 1727)

Married: 25 Apr 1723 in , Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania, British America

Supporting evidence for:
marriage

book-maris-family-in-the-us-1885: George L. Maris and Annie M. Maris (compilers), The Maris Family in the United States: A Record of the Descendants of George and Alice Maris, 1683–1885; West Chester, Pennsylvania: F. S. Hickman, 1885; book image (PDF), Google Books (http://books.google.com: accessed 20 Apr 2018), held by General Library of University of Michigan [Source includes abstracts from wills and other documents, along with interviews with contemporary descendants.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 4 (PDF page 55)

Comment: Source includes date (2, 25, 1723 [old style]).

marriage-bartram–maris-1723: Wedding record for John Bartram and Mary Maris (1723); U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935, database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed 19 Aug 2021) > “Pennsylvania > Chester > Chester Monthly Meeting > Certificates of Marriage Record” image 84; citing “Certificates of Marriage Records, Book A, page 88; Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Quaker Meeting Records”

Comment: Source includes date (twenty fifth Day of the Second Month in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred & twenty three [od style]) and location (Chester County, Pennsylvania).

book-colonial-families-of-pennsylvania-v1-1911: John W. Jordan (editor), Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, Volume 1; New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1911; book image (PDF), Internet Archive (https://archive.org: accessed 21 Apr 2018), held by Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center [This volume contains a history of Pennsylvania along with personal memoirs, and was published under the auspices of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 614 (PDF page 654) Thomas Marshall

Comment: Source notes that Ann Mendenhall was married to John Bartram.

book-mendenhalls-a-genealogy-1969: The Mendenhalls; database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed on multiple dates); citing "Henry Hart Beeson, The Mendenhalls: A Genealogy; Houston, unknown, 1991" [This is a privately published genealogy, and appears to be typed rather than typeset. Reference is made to some original records, but there are no images or transcripts included.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 4 (image 6), accessed 29 Aug 2009

Comment: Source includes date (11 mo. 11, 1729 [old style]) and location (Concord Meeting [, Chester County, Pennsylvania]).

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Child: Richard Bartram (1724 – 1728)

Child: Issac Bartram (? – 1801)

Family #2

Spouse/Partner: Ann Mendenhall (1703 – 1784)

Married: 11 Jan 1729/30 in , Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania, British America

Supporting evidence for:
marriage

book-maris-family-in-the-us-1885: George L. Maris and Annie M. Maris (compilers), The Maris Family in the United States: A Record of the Descendants of George and Alice Maris, 1683–1885; West Chester, Pennsylvania: F. S. Hickman, 1885; book image (PDF), Google Books (http://books.google.com: accessed 20 Apr 2018), held by General Library of University of Michigan [Source includes abstracts from wills and other documents, along with interviews with contemporary descendants.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 4 (PDF page 55)

Comment: Source includes date (2, 25, 1723 [old style]).

marriage-bartram–maris-1723: Wedding record for John Bartram and Mary Maris (1723); U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935, database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed 19 Aug 2021) > “Pennsylvania > Chester > Chester Monthly Meeting > Certificates of Marriage Record” image 84; citing “Certificates of Marriage Records, Book A, page 88; Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Quaker Meeting Records”

Comment: Source includes date (twenty fifth Day of the Second Month in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred & twenty three [od style]) and location (Chester County, Pennsylvania).

book-colonial-families-of-pennsylvania-v1-1911: John W. Jordan (editor), Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, Volume 1; New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1911; book image (PDF), Internet Archive (https://archive.org: accessed 21 Apr 2018), held by Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center [This volume contains a history of Pennsylvania along with personal memoirs, and was published under the auspices of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 614 (PDF page 654) Thomas Marshall

Comment: Source notes that Ann Mendenhall was married to John Bartram.

book-mendenhalls-a-genealogy-1969: The Mendenhalls; database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed on multiple dates); citing "Henry Hart Beeson, The Mendenhalls: A Genealogy; Houston, unknown, 1991" [This is a privately published genealogy, and appears to be typed rather than typeset. Reference is made to some original records, but there are no images or transcripts included.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 4 (image 6), accessed 29 Aug 2009

Comment: Source includes date (11 mo. 11, 1729 [old style]) and location (Concord Meeting [, Chester County, Pennsylvania]).

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Child: Mary Bartram (? – ?)

Child: Elizabeth Bartram (1734 – 1734)

Child: Moses Bartram (? – ?)

Child: Elizabeth Bartram (1739 – 1824)

Child: William Bartram (1739 – 1823)

Child: Ann Bartram (1741 – 1777)

Miscellaneous Facts

Events

Event: (Appointed botanist to King Gorge III) 1765

Supporting evidence for:
events

book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979: Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th ed., Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1979.

Additional detail for reference: Micropædia, volume I, page 847, "Bartram, John"

Comment: Source notes that John Bartram was "botanist for the American Colonies to King Geroge III."

book-natures-of-john-and-william-bartram-1996: Thomas P. Slaughter, The Natures of John and William Bartram; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, ISBN 0-679-43045-8 [Biography of John and William Bartram.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 101.

Comment: Source includes year (1765) of appointment as botanist to King George III.

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Attributes

Residence: 1712 at , , Province of Pennsylvania, British America

Supporting evidence for:
attributes

book-natures-of-john-and-william-bartram-1996: Thomas P. Slaughter, The Natures of John and William Bartram; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, ISBN 0-679-43045-8 [Biography of John and William Bartram.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 22.

Comment: Source includes approximate year (1712) and location (Pennsylvania).

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General Notes and Anecdotes

When his father left for his travels in 1708, John and his brother James were left in the care of their grandmother, his mother having died shortly after James' birth. It was on these travels that his father was killed at the hands of natives, and is likely a significant reason for his intense, life-long hatred of the Indians. [book-natures-of-john-and-william-bartram (p. 22-28)]

John and his son William reflected two different personalities. John was more scientific, a man of facts and numbers, while William was more artistic, looking more to the romantic side of nature. [book-natures-of-john-and-william-bartram-1996 (p. xvii)]

John was a friend of Benjamin Franklin. [book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979]

In 1743, John was commissioned by the King to visit the tribes of the League of Six Nations, and to explore the wilderness as far north as Lake Ontario. [book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979]

During 1765--1766 he explored extensively in Florida with his son, WIlliam. [book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979]

A genus of mosses are named Bartramia in his honor. [book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979]

Supporting evidence for:
general notes

book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979: Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th ed., Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1979.

Additional detail for reference: Micropædia, volume I, page 847, "Bartram, John"

book-natures-of-john-and-william-bartram-1996: Thomas P. Slaughter, The Natures of John and William Bartram; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, ISBN 0-679-43045-8 [Biography of John and William Bartram.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 22-28.

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Research Notes (Conflicts/Spelling/Followup)

FOLLOWUP

There exists a Quaker marriage record for John Bartram and Mary Maris. Check Ancestry.com database U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935, in Pennsylvania > Chester > Chester Monthly Meeting > Certificates of Marriage Record, image 84. This is a good quality color image; there is also a black-and-white image that is difficult to see in another part of the database.

The "John Bartram House and Garden" is listed on the Register of National Historic Landmarks. The formal presentation took place on 8 Jun 1965.

Although he was a farmer in his early life, John became a botanist and horticulturist of international fame, and is regarded as the first native-born North American botanist. He also created what is known as "Bartram's Gardens" which still exists as a botanical garden and museum. (from website: <www.bartramsgarden.org>)

The bulk of his income came from plants and seeds he sold to collectors in Europe. Among those who were patrons are included Sir Hans Sloane (whose collections helped start the British Museum), Queen Ulrica of Sweden, and Carl Linnaeus (developer of the modern system of classification for living things).

John Bartram was a founding member of the American Philosophical Society, created by Franklin in 1743 and founded on the idea of promoting and developing the sciences. John filled the role as the first botonist in the society.

John's attitude toward slavery is somewhat open to interpretation. By Quaker teachings, he should have been against it. However, he did buy slaves for himself and his son William, though he did free at least one despite the financial loss. Records penned by John and those by others have painted a conflicting picture.

He was a good member of the Society of Friends in spite of the disownment of his father, (and the slave ownership mentioned above,) and married both wives within the discipline. However, in 1758 he was disowned, but not for his attitudes toward slavery and the Indians, both of which were out of alignment with the Friends. Rather, he was disowned (after over a year's worth of attempts to dissuade him) on the issue of heresy -- he did not believe in the divinity of Christ. This is interesting, because it was not a new condition and the others should have known about his beliefs for decades.

It is supposed that his death was hastened by his agitation over the approach of British troops leading to the Battle of Brandywine (11 Sep 1777), and his concern that his cherished half-century-old garden might not escape the ravages of the approaching army.

Sources

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