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Thomas Noxon will and administrative account


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Planter, surveyor, and gristmill owner Thomas Noxon founded Noxontown, Delaware, near present-day Middletown, in the early eighteenth century.

Noxon worked as a surveyor and map maker in colonial Delaware, and his work for the Penn family informed some of the earliest maps of the "three lower counties" that later became the State of Delaware. At the same time, he owned and operated at least two gristmills on his land in Noxontown.

Thomas Noxon was born the son of Thomas Noxon of New York, and was the brother Peter and Bartholomus Noxon and Elizabeth Gleaves. He married Mary (Gooding) Noxon, and with her fathered a son, Benjamin, and daughter, Sarah. Noxon moved to Delaware at some time in his early adulthood. In additon to his local business interests (including gristmills, land, and a brew house and malt house), Noxon was also engaged in business and trade with Godfrey Willson of Jamaica and Thomas Willet of New York.

Noxon died in 1743, leaving his mills and much of his land to his son Benjamin.

Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Delaware. Philadelphia: L. J. Richards and Co., 1888.

This last will and administrative account of Delaware planter, mill owner, and surveyor Thomas Noxon reveals Noxon's trading connections with Jamaica and New York, the extent of his property ownership and business interests, names of some of the people he enslaved, and the expenses paid from his estate by his executors from the time of his death in 1743 until 1753.

This will is likely a copy of the original given its uniform hand and lack of original signatures. Noxon's executors are named in the document, and include Noxon's wife, Mary, brother-in-law Abram Gooding, Esq., and friends John Mops, Esq. of Philadelphia and John Vance of St. George's Hundred. He also requested that his brother, Peter Noxon, and friend, Rick McWilliam of the Town of New Castle, assist his executors in managing his estate. The document was signed in the presence of witnesses George Stevenson, Ezekiel Bogg, John Janvier, and Jason Phillips.

Throughout the 5-page document, Noxon notes his desire to have a Christian burial, and makes arrangements for the disposition of his property, settlement of his business debts, management of his trading partnerships, and ongoing care of his wife, Mary, his son, Benjamin, his daughter, Sarah, and father, Thomas Noxon of New York. Noxon bequeathed five enslaved people to his family members: a woman, possibly named Hagar, to his wife; a girl named Phillis to his daughter; and three boys, Harry and brothers Tony and Joe, to his son.

The final page of the item enumerates the "Expen[ditures] of Thos. Noxon, Esq., Dec[eased] to his Representars."

Box 7, F0187: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0098 manuscript boxes

Purchase, 2011.

Processed and encoded by Lora J. Davis, February 2012. Further encoded by George Apodaca, March 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2015 February 11
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

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Collection Inventory

Thomas Noxon will and administrative account, 1743 April 14.
Box 7 Folder F0187

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