Patrick Delaforce & Ken Baldry

'The Delaforce Family History'
Chapter 18 - The American Families

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Chapter 18

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882
"America is a country of young men.

The American Families

The Delaforce family at various times emigrated to America, occasionally in handcuffs, more often not. We introduce them here because it is as this time that the first Delaforces who emigrated to America depart from our main line. They just failed to qualify as the original Pilgrim Fathers who settled in New England in 1620, but one of them, Peter Force, helped sail the "Mayflower" to America in that year as a member of the crew. (Source Smithsonian Institute, which is fairly reliable. A word of caution - there are sufficient American families claiming deck-hands on the 'Mayflower' to crew the Queen Mary II). Peter was probably a great-grandson of Peter Force (1475-1530) born in the Auvergne (son of Sir Bernard de La Force and brother of Sir Anthony). Peter Force was a goldsmith of Faversham and Canterbury in Kent. Peter Foytz of Norton Folgate, London, of 1559 was perhaps related. There are several other members of the family in America early in the 17th century but there is no proof that they were related to Peter.

One of the earliest families was that of Matthew de La Force (source Virkus Compendium of American Genealogy) who was born about 1645 and married Elizabeth Palmer in 1667 in Albany, New York (Source Mormon IGI Index). Matthew came from England. His father was Matthew LaFors, born about 1620, who married in about 1640 at St. Olaves Benet, London. A sister, Martha, was born in February 1648.

The first Matthew recorded in the family history was in 1239, Matthew de Forte "Antipolitan" and in 1284 as "Matthaei de Forti, judicis Avenionsis, domino Phillipo" (a Judge in the Auvergne). His son Mathieu de Fortibus was a "juge de Quercy" in 1309. In 1552 Mathys de Fossez was a drapier or cloth manufacturer as a Huguenot refugee living in Ghansesstrate, Bruges, near John, James and Nicholas. In 1569 Mathurin Fort was a 'huissier" or court usher in Bordeaux. In 1631 Mathewe Fursse died in Silferton, Devon, possibly the father of Mathew LaFors.

Matthew and his wife Elizabeth Palmer settled at Gravesend on Long Island, NY and later moved to New York City, which had been taken by the English in 1664. Their son Matthew Force initially married Joan Prior in 1691 at St. Marylebone's in London, and then as Matheas De Foss landed in Delaware in 1693. (Source Reindeers Settlers in Delaware).

The Puritans suffered and were persecuted at this time in England and some emigrated to America when the monarchy was restored in 1660. Matthew married again in 1697 to Sarah Morris and they lived in Woodbridge, Middlesex. (Source IGI Index). Their children included John born in 1697, Elizabeth in 1699, and Mary in 1701.

Matthew and Elizabeth Palmer also produced Thomas, born 1668-72 (source Virkus), who lived in Westchester NY, and Woodbridge New Jersey. He was a sergeant in Captain George Bradshaw's Queen's Company of New York. Matthew and Elizabeth's daughter Damaris married John Ogilsbie in 1684 (IGI Index). Their daughter Elizabeth married Samuel Smith in 1692. Thomas was 'deeded' 25 acres of land at Woodbridge by his brother Matthew.

Matthew's family continue after Thomas, with his son Obadiah, born 1691, who lived in New York and Essex County, married a Miss Manning and died in 1789. The Boston massacre and famous tea party occurred in 1770. Their son Manning, overseer of the poor, was a member of the Newark Troop 1769-1788. He married Lucretia Winchell in 1751. Their son William Force 1752-1827 was a corporal in the American Reserve and married Sarah Ferguson in 1788. One son, Manning Force, born in 1789 married Nancy Monro and went into the Church. They had two children, William Monro and Jemima Baxter. William, b.1817 married Mary Elizabeth Cooke in 1840 and became Clerk of the Supreme Court. Their daughter Mary Frances Force appeared to be the only child. Her oldest son was called William Force Marvin and her youngest daughter Mignonette de la Force Marvin.

William and Sarah's other son was called Peter, 1790-1868 born 26 Nov. at Passaic Falls, New Jersey. He married Hannah Evans and had two sons Manning Ferguson b. 17 Dec. 1824 in Washington DC and died in 1899, and William Quereau 1820-1880.

The Dictionary of American Biography, vol.6 by Johnson & Malone lists both Peter and his son Manning Ferguson.

Peter was an archivist and historian. He worked initially in the printing trade, became a lieutenant in the war of 1812, later Mayor of Washington. He established the newspaper "National Journal". Politically he was a Whig. He was an editor of much historical material and published the "American Archives" which he later sold to the Library of Congress for $100,000 He published 6 books altogether. His younger son Manning Ferguson was a soldier, jurist and author. He became a Major in the 20th Ohio Regiment, a Colonel in the Civil War, in camp with General Grant, commanded the 2nd Brigade under General Sherman. He received the Gold medal of honour, became a Brigadier-General and eventually Major-General. He married Frances Horton on 13 May 1874. As an author he wrote, like his father, 6 books.

The second early family probably descended from Thomas Fouch, age 16, and Hugh Fouche, his brother, age 17, who were transported to Virginia from Gravesend in 1635. In 1656 "the Report of the Commissioners of the Admiralty in London upon a proposal by Thomas Fossann to make Saltpetre upon the islands in America belonging to the Commonwealth. Letters should be written to the Governors of Barbadoes, St.Christophers & Antigua desiring them to permit Fossan & his agents to dig for saltpetre in those islands." The Committee set up consisted of Lord Lisle, General Montagu, Lord Strickland, Earl of Malgrave, Colonel Jones and Sir Charles Wolseley. Saltpetre was an important element in the manufacture of explosives and the influential committee followed Thomas' recommendations. UnFortunately in 1658 Thomas Fossan 'deceased' an officer of the American military expedition. In 1685 Thomas and John Forcey, or Facey or Faucey, who were rebels amongst the Duke of Monmouth's supporters, were transported to Barbadoes via America on the ship 'Betty'. Possibly they were sons of the saltpetre enthusiast. In 1716 Thomas' wife Susanna Delaforce age 46 (i.e. married about 1686) was living with 5 children in St.Michaels Parish, Barbadoes.

The third early 17th century family was that of Benjamin Force, born about 1670, who married Elizabeth in 1689 and lived at Wrentham near Boston. Since their three sons were christened Benjamin (1690), Thomas (1693) and Matthew (1695) it is likely that Benjamin was a son of Thomas and perhaps a nephew of Matthew (i.e. Thomas and Matthew were brothers).

The fourth 17th century family was that of Mark Force, born about 1670, and who was married initially to Deborah Maccane in 1698 and later to Sarah Hills in 1709. (Source New England Historical & Genealogical Registers). Mark was probably Benjamin's brother.

There are several other Force families living in New York, Brooklyn, Chicago, etc. Some are descended from Matthew, some from Peter and others from the gentlemen in chains - Joseph, James, William and Stephen/Etienne.

There was a large family of Forces descended from James b.1790 in the USA, married to Hepza and living at Lacolle, close to the New York Border. James almost certainly descended from James Foss who sailed for Boston in 1768.

The William and Joseph Force family now of Brooklyn and Illinois probably descend from Joseph, a convict, who sailed in 1770 from England. The New York Census of 1790 shows a Solomon, a Sylvester, a Timothy and a Zebulon Force.

The shipping records (passenger and immigration lists index) chronicle Delaforces sailing the Atlantic who may have been part of Matthew's or Thomas' families.

Anne (age 18) and Barbara la Force (age 22) sailed in 1709.
Pet(er) la Fosse sailed for Georgia in 1735.
Elizabeth Forsee sailed for Maryland in 1744.
Claude La Fosse sailed for Louisiana in 1756.
James Foss, who sailed for Boston in 1768, was possibly a brother of William.
Mrs Defossee age 50 who sailed to Mississippi in 1820, was possibly Sarah Ferguson, William's wife.
M. Delfosse aged 48 who sailed to New Orleans in 1823 was possibly a Manning, also a M. Delfosset age 36 who sailed to Baltimore in the same year.
Charles Forss sailed for Philadelphia in 1829.
William Force sailed for New York in 1830 aged 17. He may have been a convict.

Now the records show various convicts (Coldham, English Convicts in Colonial America') Two Stephen (or Etienne) Delfoss sailed for Philadelphia in 1718, presumably father and son, and Etienne la Forte, aged 35 sailed for Louisiana in 1719, but he was not necessarily a convict.

James Force, who sailed for America in 1767, was also a convict and so was Joseph Delaforce in 1770 on board the 'Scarsdale".

The main Delaforce family now living in the USA (apart from Patrick's sister in California), derived from Edward Delaforce who lived in Hare Alley in London, where he was born 19th Feb. 1779. He married in 1802 Mary Lambert at Christ Church, Newgate Street in Battersea, a London suburb south of the river Thames. He died aged 65 and was the foreman of a silk weaving factory. The trees of this family are below.

In September 1846 James Moses Delaforce, Edward's third son emigrated to America with his two sons James Edward and Edward William Joseph. They settled in Milan, Michigan as farmers, and sold timber and firewood. James Edward was also a farmer, and owned a machinery repair shop.

The family continued with James Moses' grandsons, Arthur James, George Henry and Willis.

The twentieth century Delaforces include Richard Gordon, George Robert and Warren Arthur, and the family continue to live in Michigan at Milan, Ann Arbour, Marine City and Detroit.

The sources for USA shown in this chapter are but a small fraction of those available within that country. Their purpose is directed at the family historian in the UK who may have a family or relatives in the USA, and wishes to establish genealogical links with them.

Most of the printed sources now mentioned are available in the UK at major libraries (certainly the British Museum library) and probably the Society of Genealogists.

The next step is to consult the various Indexes of Emigration to the USA to try and identify names, dates and some idea of destination.

Telephone directories of major American cities are held in a few major libraries in the UK. The response rate to possible, even probable, relatives shown in these directories will be about 1 in 10, perhaps 2 in 10, but rarely more. But those answers may help immensely, depending how far back the links are in the chain.

Since the above was written in 1980, the research by American Force, Vorce, Vorse etc families has revealed that many trace back to Matthew, born in 1640. Those family trees in our possession are in Appendix V below.

The last stages apart from working holiday visits to the States were as follows:


Join an American Family History Society if you are now sure of a 'settlement area'. Some are listed in the sources that follow.


Consult (by post) the efficient Mormon Society archives (which lists 210 Force baptisms & marriages 1667-1887)


Consult the US National Archives, complete their investigation forms and send their modest search fees to them.


Join the 'Rootsweb' circulation list for Force information.

Sources: In the UK


Public Records Office, Chancery Lane, London - see Calenders of State, Colonial, American and West Indies Papers 44 volumes 1574-1738. Also at the British Museum library and Guildhall library open shelves.


PRO Lists and Indexes No. XXXVI and XLVI (American Loyalists). See PRO leaflet No.56.


Journals of the Commissioners for Trade & Plantations, 14 volumes.


Huguenot Society publication XXIV "Lists of naturalisation of Foreign protestants in the American colonies under Stat. 13 GEO II".


City of London Record Office, Guildhall, London has useful material on emigration and transportation.


Society of Genealogists, London has collection of American Family Histories, periodicals.

Published Information


"Compendium of American Genealogy" by Virkus.


"Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy".


"Enc. of American Quaker Genealogy" by Hinshaw.


"Top. Dict. of 2885 English Emigrants 1620-1650" C.E. Banks / E.E Brownell.


"Emigrants in Bondage" M. & J. Kaminkow, Baltimore.


"New World Immigrants".


"Transcript of three registers of passengers from Gt. Yarmouth to New England" C.B. Jewson.


"American & British Genealogy & Heraldry", Chicago, P.W. Filby.


"Bibliography of ship passengers lists 1538-1825 to N. America" A.H. Lancour.


All books by Peter Wilson Coldham "English Convicts in Colonial America 1617-1775" etc


"Immigrants to the Middle Colonies" by Tepper.


"Port Arrivals of Boston" Whitmore.


"Emigration to New York" by Edwards.


"Settlers in Delaware 1693" by Reindeers.


"Original Lists of Persons of Quality" by J.C. Hotten

In the USA

"New York Genealogical & Biographical Records" NY 1909/10 Consult US National Archives & Records Service, General Services & Administration, Eighth St. and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington 25, DC 20408, who will send appropriate forms requesting specific information in various categories.
"NY Census 1790" is in printed form.
General Society of Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150. They will send application forms for information from CFI.
Library of Congress, Washington DC - major repository of records and historical papers.
Association of Professional Genealogists P.O. Box 11601, Salt Lake City, Utah 84147.

Family History Societies in USA

Some of them are members of the UK Federation of FH Societies in Plymouth.


International Soc. for British Gen. and Fam. History, P0 Box 20425, Cleveland, Ohio 44120.


National Genealogical Society, Mrs P. Johnson, 1921 Sunderland Pl, NW Washington DC 20036.


Historical Soc. of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust St., Philadelphia 7


Florida Genealogical Society, L.D. Jordan 1508 Georgia Ave., Tampa, Florida 33609.


Harris County Gen. Soc. Mrs E.L. Burke, P0 Box 391, Pasadena, Texas 77501.


Houston Gen. Forum Mrs L.M. Leighton, 7130 Evans, Houston, Texas 77061.


English Interest Group, Minnesota Gen. Soc., 9009 Northwood Circle, New Hope, Minn. 55427.


Santa Barbara Co. Gen. Soc., P0 Box 1174, Goleta, California, 93116.


Seattle Gen. Soc., P0 Box 549, Seattle, Washington, 98111.


Utah Gen. Assoc., Mr R.C. Flick, P0 Box 1144 Salt Lake City, Utah 84110.


New England Hist. Gen. Soc. 101 Newberry St, Boston, Mass 02116.

The Society of Genealogists in London receive practically all American Family History Society magazines and should be consulted for the regions not covered in this list.

Huguenot Societies in USA


Hug. Soc. of America, New York Genealogical & Biographical Society Building, 122 East 58th St. New York City 10022.


Hug. Soc. Founders of Manakin, Colony of Virginia, do Librarian, Mrs P. Tulane Atkinson, Hampden Sydney, Virginia.


Hug. Soc. of Pennsylvania, Hall of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust St. Philadelphia, Pa.


Hug. Soc. of South Carolina, 25 Chalmers St., Charleston, S. Carolina 29401.

The Emigrant Check by the Surname Archive, Mr Francis Leeson FSG, 108 Sea Lane, Ferring, Sussex BN12 SHB, has index of nearly 100 published and unpublished sources of UK emigrants to America, Canada and BWI between 1600-1850.

The Currer-Briggs Colonial Records Index contains names of 50,000 persons from unpublished sources in England and Virginia for the period 1560-1690.

Ship Passenger Lists to USA 1538-1825 published by Carl Boyer, P0 Box 333, Newball, Cal. 91322. USA.
Passenger & Immigrant Lists Index by P.W. Filby & Mary Meyer, Gale Research Co. of Detroit. USA.
"Searching for your ancestors" Gilbert Doane, Univ. Minnesota Press.
"Colonists in Bondage, USA" by Abbot Emerson Smith.


Edward 1779-1844 was Foreman, Silk Factory, Battersea, London. Lived in Hare Street; married Mary Lambert, Christhcureh, Greyfriars, Newgate St. All their children were baptised at St. Leonards, Shoreditch. Edward was brother to Augustus Edward who produced a large London family of silkweavers.

James Moses was married at St. Mary’s Church, Battersea. He and his family emigrated to USA in Sept. 1846, lived York Township, Milan, Michigan.

Edward DELAFORCE (19/2/1779 - 30/1/1884) Foreman in a sik factory in Battersea = (22/11/1802) Mary LAMBERT

Edward DELAFORCE (15/9/1803 - ?)

Edward William DELAFORCE (31/12/1804 - ?) = (1824) Jane BROWN

Edward William DELAFORCE (12/1824 - ?)

Jane Mary DELAFORCE (12/1825 - ?)

Sarah Jane DELAFORCE (23/7/1807)

James Mose DELAFORCEs (11/3/1809 - 28/12/1885) = (25/5/1828 St Mary's Battersea) Ann Elizabeth SIMMONDS
Emigrated to York Township, Milan, Michigan in Sept. 1846

See next family tree below

Harriet DELAFORCE (17/1/1811 - 1813)

Augustus Thomas DELAFORCE (21/12/1812 - 1813)

Mary Ann DELAFORCE (27/7/1815 - ?)

James Mose DELAFORCEs (11/3/1809 - 28/12/1885) = (25/5/1828 St Mary's Battersea) Ann Elizabeth SIMMONDS
Emigrated to York Township, Milan, Michigan in Sept. 1846

James Edward DELAFORCE (10/7/1836 - 30/4/1921) = Marion Alice BUTLER

See next family tree below

Edward William Joseph DELAFORCE (17/8/1839 - 25/6/1915) = ?

See 3 family trees below below

Ann DELAFORCE (1835)

James Edward DELAFORCE & Marion Alice BUTLER

James Edward DELAFORCE (10/7/1836 - 30/4/1921) = Marion Alice BUTLER

Anna Edith DELAFORCE (1866 - 1957)

Arthur James DELAFORCE (1868 - 1950) = (4/4/1893) Lois Amanda FRENCH

(see next family tree below)

Nellie Marion DELAFORCE (1875 - 1934)

Mable Jane DELAFORCE (1879)

Arthur James DELAFORCE

Arthur James DELAFORCE (1868 - 1950) = (4/4/1893) Lois Amanda FRENCH

Vera Marian DELAFORCE (1894 - ?) = (1928) William Percy THOMSON

Florence Julia DELAFORCE (1899 - ?) = (1930) Bruce DELAND

Warren Arthur DELAFORCE (1/8/1911 - ?) = (29/6/1934) Berniece BIRD

Edward William Joseph DELAFORCE

Edward William Joseph (17/8/1839 - 25/6/1915) = ?

Eva A DELAFORCE (1864 - 1917)

George Henry DELAFORCE (7/9/1866 - 21/6/1919) = (21/3/1900) Mary Emma SANFORD

(see next family tree below)

Willis DELAFORCE (20/4/1869 - 20/4/1900) = Daisy BARTON

Barton Ivan DELAFORCE (1898 - ?)

John William DELAFORCE (10/4/1900 - ?)

Elvie DELAFORCE (1874)

Allie E DELAFORCE (1878 - 1962) = A C RICHARDS

George Henry DELAFORCE

George Henry DELAFORCE (7/9/1866 - 21/6/1919) = (21/3/1900) Mary Emma SANFORD

Edna Emma DELAFORCE (1901)

Dorothy Emma DELAFORCE (1904)

Bertha Maud DELAFORCE (1906 - ?) = Jack OZBAT

Wyman Traver DELAFORCE (1910)

Richard Gordon DELAFORCE (1911 - ?) = (1931) Anna Marie ENGALLS

George Robert DELAFORCE (b 1946)

Marjorie Ester DELAFORCE (b 1942)

Marjorie Ester DELAFORCE (1917 - ?) = (1942) ?

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Contact: Ken Baldry for more information, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 but best to e-mail him
©1980-2004 Patrick Delaforce. All rights reserved Last revised 17/12/2005