Joshua was the second son and third child of Simon and Ruth Hadley. He was born in Ireland and was nine years old when he came to Pennsylvania with his parents and family.
Joshua married Mary Rowland on 7 mo. 2, 1725 at the New Garden, Chester County, Pennsylvania Society of Friends Meeting House. Mary was the daughter of Thomas and Mary (Mason) Rowland. Mary Rowland's mother purchased 700 acres of land in the northeast corner of Steyning Manor in 1708. Her father was possibly a close relative of John and Thomas Rowland, brothers who came to America in 1682 with William Penn in the ship, Welcome.
Joshua and Mary had three children:
1. Ruth Hadley (1726 - 29 March 1812) married John Marshall - 14 August 1742
Following the marriage to Mary Rowland, Joshua was given a tract of land by his father and purchased an additional Pennsylvania tract. Mary died in 1733, leaving Joshua with three small children.
2. Thomas Hadley (ca. 1728 - 01 September 1781) married Mary Thompson - 13 June 1850
3. Sarah Hadley (16 August 1730 - ??) married Joseph Fredd - 18 October 1753
After Mary's death, Joshua was accused of fathering a child out of wedlock with Margery Lindley.
(The following was received from Thomas Hamm, archivist and Quaker historian from Earlham College, Indiana.)
From New Garden MM Men's Minutes, Chester County, Pennsylvania:
"1st Mo. 27, 1736: Complaint from New Garden Preparative Meeting: "Margery Lindley says she is with Child by Joshua Hadley which he denyes yt she says true & he has since gone and married an other young woman by a priest therefore this meeting appoints Michael Lightfoot, Joseph Sharpe & Wm Miller to Endeavor to have Joshua and Margery together & here what they have to say & to prepare a Testimony for ye Clearing of Truth."
2nd Mo. 24, 1736: "Joshua Hadley declining to meet those appointed before Margery Lindley A Testimony is signed against each of them & Isaac Jackson Senr to see them read to Newgarden and send Joshua's to Notingham that friends there may have such use of it as they think proper."
3rd Mo. 29, 1736: New Garden Preparative Meeting informs that James Harlan "was assistant to Joshua Hadley in his marriage by ye priest and it was intimated several times Drinks strong Liquor to excess."
(Author's note: "I used abstracts of the New Garden records done by Gilbert Cope at the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, rather than the original minute book, but Cope's work is quite reliable.")
In 1735 Joshua married Patience Brown, born 5 mo 25, 1712, died 5 mo 23, 1783. Patience was the daughter of Jeremiah and Mary (Royale) Brown of Nottingham, Pennsylvania. Their marriage was performed by a priest, which was contrary to Quaker principles, and they were disowned by the New Garden Meeting on 2 mo. 24, 1736. Patience (Brown) Hadley regained her membership by making acknowledgement and received a certificate to New Garden monthly Meeting on 5 mo 30, 1737.
Joshua and Patience had the following children:
1. Simon - born 3 mo 5, 1737
2. Mary - born 1 mo 30, 1739
3. Jeremiah - born 1 mo 7, 1741
4. Joshua - born 5 mo 23, 1742
5. Joseph - born 10 mo 5, 1745
6. Deborah - born 12 mo. 29, 1747
7. Hannah - born 2 mo. 26, 1749
8. Catherine - born 9 mo 24, 1752
9. Lydia - born 11 mo 24, 1756
Joshua and Patience moved near the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia about 1748. At the time of his father's death in 1756, he was in Augusta County, now in Botetourt (Bote) County, at the junction of Craig Creek and the James River, just across the river from the present day village of Eagle Creek, Virginia. Joshua purchased other lands in the vicinity.
In 1756, at the age of 53 and within a few months after his
father's death, he joined his sisters Ruth and
Hannah and their families at Cane Creek, North
Carolina. Patience applied for a certificate for her family to transfer to
Cane Creek with the New Garden, Pennsylvania Meeting which was granted her
and her children 8 mo 28, 1756. In the Cane Creek minutes we read
"10-2-1756 Patience Hadley with husband received on certificate for New
Garden MM, PA".
It would appear that Joshua was not as well received as was Patience. It
is possible that Joshua was still upset with the local chapter for kicking them
out of Meeting as newlyweds. They had apparently been removed from the
influence of the Friends while in Virginia, and it was Patience who petitioned
for certificate, not Joshua.
Joshua lived only about four years after going to North Carolina. He
accumulated several tracts of land and built a mill in Alamance County. He
apparently established a reputation as an earlier founder of that area, because
in 1931 the South Alamance Pioneer Association erected a memorial monument to
him and his wife Patience at Spring Meeting near Snowcamp, North Carolina. The memorial is actually misplaced, as Simon and Patience are buried at Cane Creek Meeting cemetery and not the Spring Meeting cemetery. Joshua died in 1760, around September 17, the date on his last will and testament. The Spring Meeting wasn't established until 1762. It was not the custom of Quakers to have headstone markers in their cemeteries, so there are only the records of the Society of Friends to verify Joshua's and Patience's resting places.
The two branches of Joshua Hadley's family diverged widely. The children of Mary Rowland were very active in the Revolution and were therefore disowned by the Quakers. This branch also became slave owners. Earlier Hadley writers have intimated that this was possibly due to the mother, Mary Rowland. The children of Patience Brown remained devout Quakers, took no part in the war, and were against slavery. This is more likely the effects of the qualities and efforts of the mother, Patience Brown Hadley.
THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF JOSHUA HADLEY
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, I Joshua Hadley of Orange County in the province of North Carolina being weak of body but of sound memory (blessed be God) do this seventieth (17th?) day of September in the Year of Our Lord, One-thousand-seven-hundred-and sixty make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following (that is to say).
First, I give and bequeath unto Patience, my dearly beloved wife, all the profits, commodities arising from the plantation I now live on until the day of her death or the day of her marriage. It is my will that at the day of my beloved wife's death or the day of her marriage, it should please God to enjoin her with it that the plantation I live on shall be my son Joseph's, his heirs and assigns forever, in fee simple, also, it is my will that my son, Joseph, shall pay the sum of twenty-five pounds proclamation money to my daughter Lydia at the day of her marriage or at the age of eighteen. Also, I give and bequeath unto Patience, my dearly beloved wife, all the working utensils, furniture, and also all the stock of horses, cattle, sheep, or swine, also it is my will that my dearly beloved wife Patience shall pay the sum of fifty pounds proclamation money to my daughter, Lydia, at the day of her marriage or at the age or eighteen, but the horses, beasts that I give my sons viz Joshua and Joseph before, shall be their own property and likewise it is my will that my just debts and funeral is to paid first and the remainder of my moveables and money that is coming to me it is my will it should be my beloved wife's only the bringing up my children to the ages of maturity and giving them education excepting some small legacies I propose to will to my beloved children hereafter.
I will and bequeath to my son, Jeremiah, one tract of land called the Half-Moon Bottom on James River in Virginia containing one-hundred and fifteen acres and to him his heirs and assigns forever in fee simple. I give and bequeath to Joshua, my son, two tracts of land one called Long Bottom containing one hundred eighty-six acres and the other called Round Bottom containing fifty acres both lying on James River to him his heirs assigns forever in fee simple; also it is my will that my sons, viz Jeremiah and Joshua, each of them shall pay the sum of six pounds five shillings proclamation money to my daughter, Lydia, at the day of her marriage or at the age of eighteen. I will and bequeath to my son, Thomas Hadley, the sum of five shillings sterling and to my daughter Ruth Marshall and my daughters, Mary Poggo, Deborah, Hannah and Katherine I will and bequeath unto each one of them five shillings sterling they all being already portioned by my father and myself. I will and bequeath unto my daughter, Sarah Fred, all the money and bonds now due to me in Pennsylvania. Also, it is my will that my daughter, Sarah Fred, shall pay unto my son, Simon, the sum of five pounds to be paid within six months next after my decease also to pay my step-mother ten shillings yearly during her widowhood. I further do appoint my beloved wife, Patience, and my son Joshua to be my executors of this my last will and testament and I do hereby revoke all other wills and testaments by me made and I do deliver this to my last will and testament given under my hand and seal the day and year above written.
Signed, sealed, published, pronounced and delivered by the said, Joshua Hadley to be his Last Will and Testament in presence of us. N.B. It is my will that if any of my children should die before they come of age that their legacy should be equally divided among the rest that survives.