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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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JOHN CASSEL BOORSE, surveyor, conveyancer and justice of the peace of Towamensing township, was born June 27, 1831, in the township of which he is still a resident. He is the son of Henry C. and Susanna (Cassel) Boorse.

Harman Boors (great-great-grandfather) emigrated from Holland and settled in what is now Towamensing township, Montgomery county, about 1750. He lived near the present village of Kulpsville, and was a man of wealth and a leader in the community. He returned to his native land on business several times, and while returning to America for the last time, he died. His children: John and Henry, died unmarried; Peter, married, and died May 1, 1797; Arnold, and Harman (great-grandfather).

Harman Boors (great-grandfather) was also a farmer. He married and his children were: John (grandfather); Margaret, born September 8, 1765, left no children; Peter, born August 28, 1767, married and left four children; Henry, born December 25, 1769, died November 27, 1777; Anna, born September 22, 1772, married, October 22, 1793, Abraham Hendricks; Catharine, born March 28, 1775, married, November 10, 1796, Samuel Metz; Sybilla, born April 2, 1777, married Jacob Hendricks; Susanna, born February 25, 1779, married, February 19, 1799, Jesse Lewis; Elizabeth, born February 17, 1782, married Samuel Kriebel.

John Boorse (grandfather) was born October 17, 1763, and died January 26, 1847. He married, June 8, 1797, Elizabeth Cassell, who died July 26, 1830. Their children: Abraham; Henry C.; Magdalena, married Jacob Boyer; Peter, Daniel, Joseph, Harman, Jacob; Catharine, married James Lloyd; Mary, married Elias Cassel; and Hubert.

Henry C. Boorse (father) was born October 14, 1799, in Towamensing township. He married, March 5, 1822, Susanna Cassel. He died April 26, 1869, and his wife, April 6, 1856. He was a farmer and held several township offices. Their children: Barbara, born December 8, 1822, married Henry K. Zeigler, of Skippack, and died in March, 1866; Ephraim, born January 24, 1825, married, March 16, 1845, Elizabeth K. Ziegler, daughter of Abraham K, and Rachel (Krause) Ziegler, and they have six children; he is a retired coal and lumber dealer of Norristown; John C., the subject of this sketch; Catharine, born December 6, 1836, married William Bechtel, of Collegeville, Montgomery county, and died May 7, 1877; Susan, born September 9, 1839, died December 18, 1856.

John C. Boorse was educated in the public schools in the neighborhood of his home, and in the Washington Hall School, at Trappe. After leaving school he worked on the farm until his marriage.

On January 21, 1855, John C. Boorse married Mary, daughter of Samuel and Mary Rittenhouse, of Towamensing, and a descendant of the celebrated David Rittenhouse, the astronomer. Their children: Alinda, born May 29, 1856, died January 31, 1857; Mary Ann, born December 18, 1857, married Humphrey W. Edwards, of Kulpsville; Malinda, born January 3, 1860, died August 31, 1860; Ella, born March 21, 1862, married Dr. D. K. Bechtel, of Kulpsville; Lizzie, born March 25, 1864, married Allen H. Tyson, of Lansdale; Henry R., born September 21, 1866, editor and publisher of the Towamensing Item, which was established in 1885; Alma, born December 9, 1868, married Henry C. Hunsicker, of Norristown; Nora, born June 7, 1871; Edith, born October 21, 1879.

In 1855 Mr. Boorse bought the old homestead of the Boorse family from his father and lived there until 1868, when he removed to his present home. In 1855 he was elected township assessor, a position which he held for eight years. He has also filled the office of school director for six years, that of judge of election for two terms, has been a member of the election board since 1869, and was a leading member of the Republican county committee for many years. In 1862 he was elected to the office of justice of the peace and has served ever since. He has always endeavored to settle cases so that they should not be referred to the court, and has received the highest praise both from the judges and from the people in general. In 1870 he received the appointment to take the census of Towamensing and Lower Salford townships and acquitted himself with credit. In 1865 he was nominated for county commissioner, but failed of election by a small majority. He was a delegate to the state convention at Lancaster in 1875 and voted for John F. Hartranft for governor. He is a member of the Montgomery County Historical Society.

Mr. Boorse made the original survey for the borough of Lansdale, and was official surveyor of that borough from 1872 to 1881. He was one of the original directors of the Lansdale Water Works Company, a director and secretary of the Lansdale Cemetery Association; one of the original members and secretary of the Towamensing Creamery Association; a director in the Perkiomen Fire and Storm Insurance Company of Montgomery county, and one of the originators of the Kulpsville Literary and Library Association. He was one of the leaders in the movement which established a telephone line from Norristown to Kulpsville, by way of North Wales and Lansdale. Mr. Boorse has, in fact, been prominent in every progressive movement of his community.

He belongs to the I. O. O. F., Providence Lodge No. 345, having become a member in 1867. He has been its trustee, treasurer, and the representative to the grand lodge, and a director in the Odd Fellows Endowment Association, of Pennsylvania. He became a member of Charity Lodge No. 190, Free and Accepted Masons, Norristown, on October 10, 1872. On January 25, 1875, he was knighted in the Knights Templar, Hutchinson Commandery No. 32, Norristown, and also belongs to Norristown Chapter No. 190, Royal Arch Masons.

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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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