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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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ISAAC E. AMBLER, son of Andrew and Mary (Johnson) Ambler, is a descendant of an old and honored family on both sides. He was born at the Ambler homestead at Wissahickon, now the borough of Ambler, in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, July 1, 1833. He was reared to useful industry in the woolen mill and on the farm, and educated in the schools of the vicinity.

The Amblers are well known residents of Ambler, which borough, formerly the village of Wissahickon, from the beautiful stream of that name which flows through it, received its present designation from the mother of Isaac E. Ambler, Mary J. Ambler. Andrew Ambler, her husband, descended from Joseph Ambler, who on May 1, 1723 purchased of William Morgan ninety acres of land in Montgomery township, then Philadelphia (now Montgomery) county, Pennsylvania. The tract passed in 1768 to Joseph’s son Edward, who in 1770 bequeathed it to John Ambler, his brother, who was the grandfather of Andrew. Andrew Ambler was the son of Edward and Ann Ambler. Andrew was a fuller by trade, and in 1832, three years after his marriage, purchased and located on the tract of land in Upper Dublin township on which was afterwards built the flourishing borough of Ambler, one of the most important towns on the line of the North Pennsylvania Railroad. There had been an old family mill on the property which was once owned by Daniel Morris. On the site of the old mill Andrew Ambler erected a more modern structure, which remained in use many years, being the site of an active business carried on by himself and his sons, until the building was destroyed by fire on the last day of the year 1869. In the summer of 1856 a terrible accident occurred on the North Pennsylvania Railroad some distance below Ambler, in which a large number of lives were lost, the victims being members of Catholic Sunday schools in Philadelphia on an excursion. Their train collided with another, and a frightful scene was the result. Mary J. Ambler, mother of Isaac E. Ambler, was soon on the ground and exerted herself greatly for the relief of the wounded in the wreck. It was in recognition of her labors for humanity on this occasion that the name Ambler was given to the railway station, and later became applied to the borough. In every relation of life, Mary J. Ambler was a model of what a woman should be. Charitable, kind and loving in disposition, she was esteemed by the whole community.

Mary J. Ambler was the daughter of Benjamin and Abigail (Roberts) Johnson, of Richland (Quakertown) Bucks county, Pennsylvania. Her mother was a granddaughter of Edward Roberts, an early settler at that place, who came to America from Merionethshire, Wales, when he was but twelve years of age. He located first at Byberry, becoming a member of the meeting at Abington in 1699, the year of his arrival. In 10th mo., 1714, he married Mary, daughter of Everard Bolton, a very prominent Friend of Abington Meeting, who owned five hundred acres of land in Cheltenham township. In the latter part of 1716 a minute was granted to Edward Roberts and wife for removing to Great Swamp, as Richland was then called. The couple actually removed, however, in the spring of that year, where they lived surrounded by Indians and almost alone for a time. A meeting was soon established, however, of which Edward became in time a minister, continuing as such for more than forty years until his death. The fourth child of Edward and Mary Roberts was David, born 1mo. 10, 1722, died 8th mo. 14, 1805, who married 5th mo. 2, 1754, Phebe, daughter of Thomas Lancaster, another well known minister of the Society of Friends and Phebe Wardell, his wife. The children of David and Phebe Roberts were: Amos, born 1758, died 1835, married Margaret Thomas, born about 1758, died 1840; Mary, born 1758 (twin) died in infancy; Elizabeth born 1760, married Israel Foulke; Nathan, born 1762, died in infancy; Jane, born 1764, married Samuel Ashton; Abigail born 1767, mother of Mary J. Ambler; Nathan, born 1769, married Margaret A. Ashton; David, born 1772, married Elizabeth Stokes; Evan, born 1775, married Abigail Penrose. All the children of David and Phebe Roberts, with the exception of the two who died in infancy, married and became the founders of families, some of whom having very numerous descendants at the present day.

Benjamin Johnson, father of Mary J. Ambler, was a descendant of Casper Johnson (originally Jansen) who was of German or possibly Scandinavian nationality, and settled at an early date at Richland. The family are still very largely represented in Bucks and Montgomery counties. The children of Benjamin and Abigail (Roberts) Johnson: Samuel, born 6th mo. 8, 1789, married Margaret Roberts; Casper, born 3d mo. 28, 1791, married Mary Gibson; David, born 6th mo. 10, 1793, married Susan Foulke; Elizabeth born 3d mo. 7, 1797, married Samuel Foulke; Joseph, born 1799, died in childhood; Anthony, born 2d mo. 1, 1802, married Elizabeth Foulke (Anthony died at the age of ninety years leaving three children); Mary (mother of Isaac E. Ambler, the subject of this sketch) born 3d mo. 24, 1805, married, 5th mo. 4, 1829, Andrew Ambler, who was born 6th mo. 12 1793, died 3d mo. 7, 1850; Benjamin, born 6th mo. 15, 1808, married Tacy Stratton. Of the brothers and sisters of Mary J. Ambler, Samuel died at twenty-eight years; Casper at thirty-four ; Elizabeth at eighty-one; Benjamin at forty-one. Mary J. Ambler died 8th mo. 18, 1868, in her sixty-fourth year.

The children of Andrew and Mary (Johnson) Ambler: Joseph Mather Evans, Benjamin Johnson, Isaac Ellis, Edward Henry, David Johnson, Lewis Jones, Evan Jones, Andrew and Mary J. Of these the following died unmarried or in infancy: Benjamin J., born 10th mo. 30, 1831, died 12th mo. 9, 1858; Edward H., born 11th mo. 9, 1834, died 11th mo. 5, 1869; Andrew, born 11th mo. 26, 1842, died 11th mo. 7, 1870; Mary J., born 3d mo. 17, 1848, died 4th mo. 29, 1848. The remainder of them married, as follows: Joseph Mather Evans Ambler was born on the family homestead, 7th mo. 23, 1830. His educational advantages were acquired in the schools of the neighborhood, and he remained under the parental roof until he attained years of manhood. He married, 2d mo. 16, 1854, Hannah, born 7th mo. 30, 1830, daughter of Solomon and Lydia (Shoemaker) Cleaver. In 1854 he engaged at farming on his own account on the farm now occupied by Isaac E. Ambler. In 1856 he removed to Spring House, and there he leased the Solomon Cleaver farm, and operated it until 1866, when occurred the death of his father-in-law, Solomon Cleaver. Mr. Ambler purchased the farm and successfully continued farming until 1876, when he practically retired from active business pursuits. The same year (1876) Mr. Ambler purchased the property on Ridge avenue, Ambler, where he resided up to his death which occurred 4th mo. 7, 1895. He was a just and conscientious man in all the affairs of life, and had the respect and esteem of all who knew him. His wife survives him.

David J., son of Andrew and Mary (Johnson) Ambler, was born 3d mo. 22, 1837; married, 3d mo. 6, 1862, Caroline F. Penrose daughter of Aaron and Maryetta (Foulke) Penrose, born 5th mo. 25, 1839, died 9th mo. 13, 1891. The Penroses are an old family of Richland of English origin, although they came to Pennsylvania from Ireland. Robert Penrose, son of Robert and Jane Penrose, born in Yorkshire, England, removed to Ireland in Oliver Cromwell’s time, along with many other Scotch and English colonists, and settled there. Robert in 1669 married Anna Russell. The couple had three children. A son, also Robert, born in Blackane, Ireland, in 1670, married in 1695 Mary Clayton and had thirteen children with a part of which large family he came to Pennsylvania in 1717. A son, also Robert, born in Ireland in 1697, followed the others of the family to Pennsylvania, and in 1731 married Mary Heacock. Robert and Mary (Heacock) Penrose resided at Richland, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. They had nine children, of whom John, born 1739-40, married Ann Roberts, daughter of John and Martha (daughter of Edward) Roberts. It is worthy of note as showing how frequent were the intermarriages among the old families in the little Quaker colony of Richland, that three children of Robert and Mary Fenrose, two sons and a daughter married grandchildren of Edward Roberts and raised families. John and Ann Roberts Penrose’s family consisted of ten children, of whom the ninth, Evan, born 1782, married Rebecca Ball, of another old Richland family. Evan and Rebecca (Ball) Penrose had several children the oldest being Aaron, born 12th mo. 28, 1809, married, 3d mo. 22, 1838 Maryetta Foulke. Of their three children Benjamin F., elected county commissioner in Montgomery in November, 1902, married Alice Thomson (now deceased); Caroline married David J. Ambler; and Rebecca married David’s brother, Lewis Ambler. David J. and Caroline Ambler had one child, Ella, born 3d mo. 27, 1864, married, 5th mo. 7, 1884, DanieI M., son of Dr. Edwin C. and Susan (Lukens) Leedom both deceased. The children of Daniel M. and Ella (Ambler) Leedom: David Ambler, born 3d mo. 9, 1885; Caroline Foulke, born 1st mo. 11, 1887; Susan A., born 5th mo., 1891, died 2d mo. 8, 1892; Daniel M., born 1st mo. 11, 1894. David J. Ambler occupied for many years a position in the Quakertown National Bank, but he has more recently lived retired at Ambler.

Lewis J. Ambler, son of Andrew and Mary (Johnson) Ambler, was born 2d mo. 17, 1839, married 9th mo. 25, 1862, Rachel Walton, of an old Friends’ family, who died 5th mo. 26, 1874. The couple had one child, Benjamin G., born 6th mo. 9, 1864, died 8th mo. 24, 1890. Lewis J. Ambler married (second wife) 3d mo. 4, 1880, Rebecca Penrose, sister to Caroline, wife of David J. Ambler, his brother. They have one child, Aaron Penrose Ambler, born 5th mo. 10, 1882, Lewis J. Ambler resides in Philadelphia, where he is engaged in business.

Evan J. Ambler, son of Andrew and Mary (Johnson) Ambler, was born 1st mo. 8, 1841, married 4th mo. 26, 1877, Mary, daughter of William H. and Catharine (Hallowell) Jenkins, of Gwynedd. He died 8th mo. 16, 1893, having been engaged as a merchant at Ambler for some years, his widow continuing the business for a time after his death. She now lives retired at that place. The Jenkins family are one of the oldest in that section of Pennsylvania, having descended from Jenkin Jenkins, who came from Wales and settled in Gwynedd in or about 1729, although he ultimately bought land in Hatfield township. The family became noted for industry, enterprise, thrift and longevity.

Isaac Ellis Ambler, subject of this sketch, son of Andrew and Mary (Johnson) Ambler, was born 7th mo. 1, 1833. He was reared at the homestead, remaining there until, on the death of his father, he and his brother Benjamin took charge of the mill, both having learned the woolen manufacturing trade. They conducted the business six years, when Isaac married, 5th mo. 1, 1856, Eliza Moore, and settled himself to farming on the homestead. After the lapse of two years he returned to the mill, where he remained three years, and then located on the farm on which he now resides, on the Bethlehem turnpike, about three-fourths of a mile from Ambler station, but within the limits of the borough. After the death of his mother he obtained this portion of the land of the original homestead. Other portions were sold, and about 1870 the town of Ambler was laid out, much of it on the Ambler homestead. Isaac Ambler has given all his attention to the farm and its products, attending market, maintaining a dairy, and selling milk for many years. He is a practical and successful farmer, and has been one of the few who has made farming profitable by devoting his entire attention thereto and making the best of everything. He has sold lots from his farm for building purposes. In politics he is, like all his family, an active Republican, being thoroughly in harmony with the principles and policy of that party, but he has never aspired to public office or preferment. He married 5th mo. 1, 1856, Eliza M. Moore, daughter of Edwin and Phebe (Foulke) Moore, of an old family of Friends in Upper Merion township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. Their children: Edwin M. Ambler, born 4th mo. 13, 1860, deceased; Anna, died at the age of five months. Edwin Moore Ambler married 4th mo. 18, 1883, Annie Foulke Webster, daughter of William (deceased) and Elizabeth (Jones) Webster. Their children: William W., born 10th mo. 3, 1884; Alice Hannah, born 3d mo. 14, 1889; Eliza Moore, born 9th mo. 6, 1893. Edwin M. Ambler died 4th mo. 14, 1896, as the result of injuries received by the falling upon him of a barn door at his home near Custer station, on the Stony Creek railroad. Annie F., his widow, is connected by descent and intermarriages with many of the leading families of Conshohocken and that section of Montgomery county. Her father, William Webster, born 8th mo. 5, 1825, died 9th mo. 1, 1897, was the son of Jacob and Sarah Webster, and his wife, Elizabeth (Jones) Webster, who survives him, residing in Norristown, is the daughter of the late Jonathan and Eliza Jones. The Jones family are of Welsh descent, and were long settled on a farm which occupied the present site of Conshohocken. The sons of William Webster, except William, Jr., who resides at Swede and Jacoby streets, Norristown, are resident in the vicinity of Plymouth Meeting. Davis J. married Lillian Potts; Samuel F. married Lydia Conard; Jonathan married Anna Potts; William, Jr., married Annie Ambler. Eliza J., sister of Annie F. Ambler, married Carbon Wolfe.

Eliza Moore, wife of Isaac E. Ambler, was born 3d mo. 9, 1835. Her father, Edwin Moore, belonged to an old family of Scotch lineage who appear in the history of Pennsylvania in colonial times, and have been for nearly two centuries residents of Montgomery county. Edwin Moore married, in a public meeting of Friends at Gwynedd meeting-house, 5th mo. 13, 1834, Phebe Foulke, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Foulke, of Gwynedd township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. Their children: Eliza, wife of Isaac E. Ambler; Joseph F.; Daniel Foulke, a leading merchant of Phoenixville, born in Upper Merion township, July 24, 1841, enlisted during the rebellion in the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and served nine months, participating in the battles of Antietam and Chancellorsville, and enlisted a second time in an emergency regiment about the time of the battle of Gettysburg, to repel the invasion of General Lee, was afterwards engaged with the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company as a telegraph operator, and in 1870 organized the firm of Caswell & Moore at Phoenixville in Chester county, which firm successfully carries on the tin and slate roofing, plumbing and hardware business, he is a member of the Society of Friends, and since 1902 has been an acknowledged minister therein; he served as a member of the state house of representatives for three years at the legislative sessions of 1893, 1895 and 1897, being in politics an Independent Republican. He has been twice married, his first wife having been Melissa Conard, of Upper Merion, and his second, Emily M., daughter of Henry Ashenfelter, of Phoenixville, by whom he has one daughter, Martha W.; Richard and Edwin, Jr.

Edwin Moore, father of Mrs. Eliza Ambler, was the son of Richard and Abigail Moore. The mother was a member of the Eastburn family of Upper Merion township, being a daughter of Benjamin and Margaret A. Eastburn. She and Richard Moore were married 11th mo. 11, 1807. The children of Richard and Abigail Moore: Eliza, born 3d mo. 5, 1809; Edwin (father of Eliza Ambler) born 11th mo. 29, 1811; Samuel, born 10th mo. 8, 1815, married, 2d mo. 18, 1840, Ann Foulke, a sister of Edwin Moore’s wife. The children of Samuel Moore were Richard, married Elizabeth Carver; Elizabeth F., married Benjamin Hilles and resides on Jacoby street, Norristown; Henry Clay, married Hannah Jones; Hannah M., married Edward P. Hollingsworth, and resides in Maryland. Joseph F. Moore, brother of Eliza Ambler, married, 4th mo. 27, 1887, Jennie Bunting; her remaining brother, Edwin, Jr., married (first wife) Clarissa Buckwalter, and (second wife) Emma Lukens.

Benjamin Eastburn, grandfather of Edwin Moore, was the son of Samuel Eastburn, and Samuel was the son of John and Grace (Colston) Eastburn. John Eastburn was the son of Robert and Sarah (Preston) Eastburn. John was born in England, 7th mo. 15, 1697, and came to Philadelphia with his parents in the year 1713, when he was sixteen years of age. John purchased 150 acres of land on the Schuylkill river, in Norriton township, now Montgomery county, of Isaac Norris in 1732, and in 1740 one hundred acres adjoining his first tract. The family ultimately, however, migrated to the west side of the Schuylkill, in Upper Merion township, John Eastburn having in 1741, in conjunction with his brother Benjamin, purchased two hundred acres of land in that township of the heirs of William Penn, which land at the death of John, in 1772, at the age of seventy-five years, was devised to his grandson, Benjamin Eastburn, son of John’s son Samuel, and great-grandfather of Eliza Ambler.

Edwin Moore remained on the homestead farm near Port Kennedy, which during the Revolutionary encampment at Valley Forge, in the vicinity, was the home or headquarters of General Peter Muhlenberg. The building which he occupied at that time is still standing, although it has been considerably enlarged. Edwin attended the neighboring schools of his day, and continued on the farm, although, in accordance with the custom at that time of having another occupation besides farming, he learned the wheelwright trade, but never followed it. He was an energetic and industrious man, and became an influential member of the community. He conducted farming on an extensive scale adding to the paternal acres, and using sound sense and good judgment in all his undertakings. He was for some years president of the Montgomery County Agricultural Society, and a director of the Montgomery Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He was a Whig, and from 1856 a Republican in politics. He was frequently executor of estates and guardian of minor children, his well known integrity and his superior ability qualifying him for work of this kind, and he discharged every trust ever reposed in him with absolute fidelity. He was a member of the Society of Friends. His last years, after the death of his wife, were spent with his niece, Elizabeth F. Hilles, in Norristown, where he died, 2d mo. 26, 1894, at the age of eighty-three years. His wife died 7th mo. 5, 1876.

Joseph Foulke, father of Mrs. Edwin Moore, was for many years a conspicuous figure among Friends of Gwynedd, where he was born 5th mo. 22, 1786. In 1817 he appeared as a minister in the Society, became a recommended minister in 1821, and continued a prominent preacher until his death, a period of more than forty years, making numerous visits to distant meetings, including those in New Jersey, New York, Canada, Maryland, Ohio and Indiana. He learned the wheelwright trade, originally that of his father, Hugh Foulke, but preferred to be a teacher, which occupation he followed the rest of his life. Commencing in 1811 he had charge of the Friends’ school at Plymouth Meeting for six years, and then taught one year at Upper Dublin, establishing in 1818 a boarding school for young men and boys on part of his father’s estate. It was very flourishing for more than forty years. He published a life of Jacob Ritter, and conducted for many years the publication of the Friends’ Almanac, making all the astronomical calculations therefor, the Almanac being continued after his death by his son, Joseph Foulke, who with his brother Daniel and his cousin Hugh was long a teacher in the Foulke school. Joseph Foulke was very prominent in Society work, being called to go to Washington as early as 1836 as one of a committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to influence congress and the national administration against the admission of Arkansas into the Union as a slave state. Joseph Foulke was fourth in line from Edward Foulke, the immigrant, who came with his wife and children from Wales and settled at Gwynedd, in 1698. He died in 1863, having lived a consistent and dedicated life, on 2d mo. 15. His wife, Elizabeth (Shoemaker) Foulke, survived him and died 8th mo. 1, 1873. The ancestor of Joseph Foulke, Edward Foulke, left records in the Welsh language translated by his descendant, Samuel Foulke, of Richland, in Bucks county, in which he traced the family back to Shirid Flaidd, a tribal leader of note in Wales in the twelfth century.

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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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