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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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ISABELLA F. AND MARY CORSON are descended from one of the oldest families in Eastern Pennsylvania. They are the daughters of Alan and Elizabeth (Francis) Corson. Cornelius Corson and wife emigrated from France about 1685, soon after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and settled on Staten Island, New York. All the family in America are descended from this couple. Cornelius Corson’s will was probated in 1693. His son, Benjamin Corson, born on Staten Island, settled in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, about the year 1726. He is the ancestor of the Corsons of Bucks, Montgomery, and adjacent counties. His son, Benjamin Corsoil (great-great-grandfather) , was seven years old when he came from Staten Island with his father. He married Maria Sedam, or Suydam, and had one son, Henry, who married Margaret Cornell. The other children were: Benjamin, Cornelius, John, Richard, Mary, Jane, Abraham.

Henry Corson (great-grandfather) had the following children: Benjamin (grandfather), Wilhelmas, Richard, Cornelius, Alice, and Mary. Henry Corson lived in Plymouth township in 1790. According to tradition he was very stout, weighing four hundred pounds. He was buried at Falls of Schuylkill about the year 1800.

Benjamin Corson (grandfather), eldest son of Henry, was a farmer, in Whitemarsh township, Montgomery county. He married Mary Febridge. They had three children: Margaret Corson, unmarried, now deceased; Susan Corson, married Peter Weaver, and had no children; Alan Corson (father), married Elizabeth Francis, daughter of Thomas and Margaret Francis, of Shannonville, now Audubon. Benjamin Corson married (second wife) Christiana Febridge, sister of his first wife, by whom he had two children: Amos E. and Mary F. Amos married Mary A., daughter of Abraham Heydrick, of Chestnut Hill. They had one child, Sarah T. Corson, who married James Vancourt, who lived near Fort Washington. Mary F. Corson married Charles Vancourt, and had five children: Benjamin F. (deceased); James, who married his cousin, Sarah Corson; Emma (deceased); Howard, in the publishing business, married Sarah E. Rickert, and they have five children; Horace, who married Anna E., daughter of the late Jacob Craft, of Norristown.

Alan Corson (father) was reared and educated in Montgomery, where he was born March 29, 1808. He taught school in the county for many years, but finally settled on a farm near Audubon. He carried on general farming and attended market, being of good business capacity. He was often called upon to prepare legal documents and settle estates. He served as justice of the peace for many years. He was a Whig in politics, and was one of the progressive men of the community where he lived. He died April 19, 1855. His wife was born October 7, 1813, and died October 1, 1894. She was the daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Umstead) Francis. The children of Alan and Elizabeth (Francis) Corson: Isabella F.; Thomas F.; Margaret, died at the age of three years, and Mary.

Thomas Francis (maternal grandfather of Isabella and Mary Corson) was born in Montgomery county. He was of Welsh descent, and his wife of Holland Dutch. He was not a church member, but was trustee of the building of the Episcopal church, and was an advocate of all that was good. He was one of the early settlers of Lower Providence township, and was widely known and respected. Their children: Issabela (Mrs. William McHarg); a son who died unmarried; John U.; Joseph, married Mary Phillips; and Elizabeth (mother).

Thomas F. Corson, brother of Isabella F. and Mary Corson, was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and was a prominent physician. He was an assistant surgeon in the Civil war, and afterwards settled in Philadelphia and engaged in the drug business and in the practice of his profession. He later retired from active practice, and was in the real estate business until his death on May 29, 1902. He married (first wife) Margaret Johnson, and had one daughter, Jeanette, who lives with her aunts, Isabella F. and Mary. He married (second wife) Edith McPherson, and they had one son, Alan Corson, a civil engineer, who is married and lives in Philadelphia.

Isabella F. and Mary, the oldest and youngest of their father’s children, have never married and for years have lived together at Audubon, in Lower Providence township. Their niece Jeanette also lives with them, and their home is a proof of the fact that three women may live happily together.

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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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