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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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CHALKLEY K. CLEAVER. Prominent among the enterprising business men of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, is Chalkley K. Cleaver, who was born at the family homestead, 10th mo., 15, 1857. He is a descendant of one of the old and prominent families of that section of the state, having migrated thence from Germantown, where they settled upon their arrival in the country, in the time of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. Although originally Germans, they have been among the stanchest members of the Society of Friends in every generation of the family.

Peter Klever, the progenitor of the American branch of the family, was undoubtedly one of the company of German immigrants which included the Shoemakers, Lukenses, Conrads and others, who came from the Lower Rhine sometime after the arrival of Pastorius and the earlier German settlers of Germantown, Pennsylvania. He is on record as having been naturalized in 1691, and he died in Bristol township, Philadelphia county, adjoining Germantown, in 1727. He left children as follows: Isaac, who possessed land in Cheltenham, and probably removed to that township; John, who succeeded his father on the farm in Bristol township, and was the father of six children, namely: Elizabeth, Peter, William, Sarah, John, and Hannah; Peter, Jr., mentioned in this sketch; Derrick; Agnes; and two married daughters-Christiana Melchoir and Eve Adams.

Peter Cleaver, Jr., third son of Peter Klever, settled in Upper Dublin prior to 1734, as his name is given in the list of taxables for that year in said township, as the owner of a hundred acres of land. His name is frequently mentioned as a road juror, etc., in the early records of Philadelphia county, from which Montgomery county was formed in the year 1784. The name of his wife was Elizabeth Cleaver. He died in 1776, leaving a will in which he mentions his sons-John, Isaac, Ezekiel, Peter, and Nathan-and his daughter, Elizabeth, who became the wife of John Roberts, of Whitpain township, a brother of Ruth Roberts, who became the wife of Nathan Cleaver, brother of Elizabeth.

Nathan Cleaver, son of Peter Cleaver, Jr., was born in Upper Dublin township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He was a farmer by occupation, and on his marriage with Ruth Roberts, daughter of John Roberts, of Whitpain township, he removed to Montgomery township, same county, and purchased one hundred and thirty- seven acres of land which had been part of the Isaac Jones property, located in the extreme lower end of the township. His children were: Phebe, who became the wife of Amos Griffith; David, who married and had several children, namely: Edward, a resident of Chicago, and father of a family of children; Annie, wife of Wilmer A. Wood, of Horsham; Jesse; and Rebecca, who died a few years ago at the Friends’ Home, in Norristown, Pennsylvania; Jonathan, who married Ann Jones, and was the father of one son, Elias, who married Ann Acuff; Nathan, Jr., who married Martha Shoemaker; and Salathiel, of whom mention is made later in this sketch.

Salathiel Cleaver, son of Nathan and Ruth (Roberts) Cleaver, was born 10th mo., 1780, and was an active and industrious farmer of Montgomery township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. His wife, Mary (Shoemaker) Cleaver, daughter of Daniel Shoemaker, of Upper Dublin township, bore him the following named children: Lydia; Nathan, who married Deborah Conrad, and Sarah C. James, of Byberry, is their daughter; Josiah, who married, 4th mo. 11, 1844, Martha P. Lukens, daughter of Peter and Mary Lukens, and among their children are: Mary, Daniel (deceased), Jane, wife of William B. Richards, of Plymouth township, near Norristown, and Phebe, wife of Charles Keisel; Daniel; Silas, mentioned at length below; and John, mentioned at length in the following paragraph. Silas Cleaver was born 2d mo. 7, 1819. He was educated at the Joseph Foulke boarding school, and after completing his studies he entered the mill of William Ely, in Whitemarsh, and learned the trade. The following eight years he operated the Walnut Mill, in Upper Dublin township, and then purchased the property on the Wissahickon, since known as Cleaver’s Mill, and now operated by Chalkley K. Cleaver, son of John Cleaver. Silas Cleaver attended strictly to business, prospered in his undertaking, and had made all preparations to retire, and had bought a handsome house, when he died rather suddenly, 2d mo. 18, 1884. He was a man of the highest integrity and stood well in the community in which he lived. He was noted for gentleness, which is a characteristic of the Society of Friends, causing them to be greatly beloved, and as a business man and in every other relation of life he was all that a man should be, and his memory will long remain among the succeeding generations. He married, 3d mo., 9, 1848, Mary E. Rupert, daughter of John Rupert, who is still living and now resides in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

John Cleaver, son of Salathiel and Mary (Shoemaker) Cleaver, was born November 1, 1822, on the homestead in Montgomery township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He remained on the farm with his parents until he was nineteen years of age, and his education was acquired in a private school on his father’s property, and later at the boarding school of Joseph Foulke, in Gwynedd. He decided to learn the trade of a miller, and, accordingly, he entered a mill on the Pennypack, near Bustleton, in Philadelphia county, as an apprentice. Having finished his apprenticeship two years and a half later, he went to Byberry, in the upper end of Philadelphia county, where he remained one year, at the expiration of which time he formed a partnership with William Buckman, long since deceased, this business relation continuing two years. In the spring of 1848 an opportunity presented itself for engaging in business with his brother, Silas Cleaver, who owned a mill on the Wissahickon, in Whitemarsh township. This business relation was of the most satisfactory character and continued until the year 1884, when the partnership was dissolved by the death of Silas Cleaver. William J. and Chalkley K. Cleaver, sons of John Cleaver, having been admitted into the firm the previous year, they continued the business until the death of William J., which occurred August 31, 1888. The business was then conducted by John Cleaver and his son Chalkley K., John acting as salesman and collector in Norristown and elsewhere, and since the death of the former named, in 1901, Chalkley K. Cleaver has managed it alone. John Cleaver was for some time a member of the Commercial Exchange, in the city of Philadelphia. In politics he was an earnest and uncompromising Republican. He was deeply attached to the principles of the Society of Friends, of which the family have for many generations been members. With his family, about the year 1885, he removed to Norristown, and for many years thereafter he served as overseer in that meeting, and he was also prominent in other society work. Mr. Cleaver married, November 11, 1852, Sarah J. Kenderdine, daughter of Chalkley and Ann (Jarrett) Kenderdine, of Horsham township, Montgomery county. Their children were: William J., born 2d mo. 3, 1854, deceased; Anna K., born 6th mo. 3, 1855; Ella, born 7th mo. 5, 1856, and died 1st mo. 17, 1860; Chalkley K., born 10th mo. 16, 1857; Mary R., born 9th mo. 14, 1859; Emma, born 10th mo. 16, 1862; Sarah, born 3d mo. 9, 1864; Tacie K., born 8th mo. 21, 1865; Silas C., born 12th mo. 17, 1866, and died 6th mo. 10, 1883. Anna K. Cleaver married George Rex, 2d mo. 26, 1880, and they reside in Philadelphia. He is a son of Joseph and Amanda Rex. Their children are: John C., born 2d mo. 26, 1881, and died 7th mo. 26, 1881; Joseph, born 4th mo. 8, 1882; William, born 11th mo. 18, 1885; and Sarah C., born 6th mo. 6, 1888, and died 5th mo. 3, 1894.

Mrs. John Cleaver is a descendant of Thomas Kenderdine, the head of the American family of that name, who was born in Montgomeryshire, Wales, about 1650, and died at his home near Byberry Meeting, in Abington township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, 8th mo. 2, 1713. He married Margaret Robert, daughter of John Robert, prior to 1680, and among their children was a son Thomas, who was born about 1692, and died in 12th mo., 1779, being buried 12th mo. 5, of that year. In 1720 he married Dorothy Roberts, but not through the Meeting, he not having the consent of his parents. Being dealt with, he delivered a paper of condemnation, was retained in membership and became a very active member at Horsham. Another son was Joseph (great-great-grandfather of Mrs. Cleaver), who was born 12th mo. 14, 1703, and died 2d mo. 23, 1778. His estate was not settled, however, until 1785. He married, 7th mo. 28, 1738, Mary Jarrett, and their family consisted of one son, John, and six daughters, Margaret, Mary, Hannah, Rachel, Sarah, and Jane. John (great-grandfather of Mrs. Cleaver) married Hannah Morgan, and their children were: Joseph, Issacher, and John. Issacher (grandfather of Mrs. Cleaver) was born 10th mo. 13, 1780, and died 8th mo. 15, 1848. He married, 10th mo. 31, 1804, Sarah Morgan, daughter of Morgan and Ann (Roberts) Morgan, and their children were: Chalkley, Morgan, Issacher, Ann Morgan, Hannah, Elizabeth and Jane. Chalkley Kenderdine (father of Mrs. Cleaver) was born 9th mo. 5, 1805, and died 2d mo. 23, 1885. He married Ann Jarrett, 1st mo. 2, 1828, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Lukens) Jarrett, and their children were: Tacie, born 4th mo. 29, 1829, and died 3d mo. 16, 1898; Sarah Jane, born 7th mo. 21, 1832, widow of John Cleaver; Letitia, born 5th mo., 2, 1838, who married William Ambler, 3rd mo. 8, 1860; and Elizabeth, born 5th mo. 24, 1840. The Kenderdine family are numerous in Bucks county as well as in Montgomery, and have intermarried with a majority of the old families of Friends.

Chalkley Kenderdine Cleaver, second son of John and Sarah J. (Kenderdine) Cleaver, was educated in the public schools of Whitemarsh, the Friends’ Central School, in Philadelphia, which has a high reputation for thoroughness and discipline, the Lauderbach Select School, in Philadelphia, and the West Chester Normal School, where he completed his studies. On leaving that institution he decided to learn the milling trade with his father, and later he was admitted as a member of the firm. After the death of his father he assumed entire charge of the business, and has since conducted it with great ability and success. He has introduced much improved machinery, and under his judicious management every department of work has been brought up to a high standard of efficiency. In politics Mr. Cleaver is an earnest Republican, the policy of that party corresponding with his convictions as the true theory of government. He is a member of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics. He attends Friends’ Meeting at Plymouth.

Chalkley K. Cleaver married, 5th mo. 27, 1884, A. Laura White, daughter of Thomas and Mary White, the former named being a retired cattle dealer of Norristown, and a descendant of an old county family. Their children are: Ella W., born 8th mo. 27, 1885; Mary A., born 8th mo. 5, 1889; and S. Isabel Cleaver, born 7th mo. 17, 1895.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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