william penn family tree

William Penn Family Tree

My experience as a historian specializing in colonial American history has always intertwined with the legacy of William Penn. I believe his family tree is not just a record of lineage but a narrative of resilience and vision.

Delving into the lives of his children, my research revealed stories of courage as they settled in an untamed land. Through my studies, I've felt a personal connection to their trials and triumphs, seeing reflections of their spirit in the foundations of modern democracy.

As a descendant of Quakers myself, the whispers of the past resonate deeply with me, enriching my scholarly journey.

Key Takeaways

  • William Penn came from a distinguished family with a high social status due to his father's prominence in the Commonwealth Navy and his mother's lineage.
  • Despite the loss of many of his children from his two marriages, the Penn family's descendants are spread across different countries, including England, Pennsylvania, Peru, Australia, and Canada.
  • The Penn family played significant roles in Pennsylvania's history, with William Penn's principles of religious tolerance shaping the colony's social fabric and his engagement with the Lenape Indians impacting the region's demographics.
  • William Penn's legacy is still celebrated today, with enduring monuments and institutions bearing the Penn family name, the city of Philadelphia reflecting his planned vision, and the Religious Society of Friends continuing to champion religious freedom.

Early Life and Ancestry

William Penn, born into a distinguished family, was the son of Admiral William Penn, a prominent figure in the Commonwealth Navy during the English Civil War. His lineage boasted notable standing on both his maternal and paternal sides. On the paternal side, Admiral William Penn had wed Lady Mary, further cementing the family's high status. Your ancestor's maternal grandfather, William Awbrey, had married Lady Juliana, daughter of Sir William Penn.

As the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn's life was marked by his conversion to the Religious Society of Friends, which led to his disownment by his father. Despite such strife, his legacy endured through King Charles II's grant of Pennsylvania, a testament to the influence of the Penn family, including William's mother, Maria Penn.

Marriage and Progeny

Tragically, the first three offspring from Penn's initial marriage succumbed in infancy, setting a somber tone for his early familial life. He'd married Gulielma Maria Springett, and together they'd eight children, but sadly, only two survived to adulthood.

Following her death, Penn married Hannah Margaret Callowhill, the daughter of Thomas Callowhill and Anna. This union also faced sorrow as several of their children died young. Nonetheless, they were blessed with seven children, with four reaching adulthood.

The progeny of Admiral William Penn and the William Penns have since spread far, with descendants not just in England and Pennsylvania, but also in Peru, Australia, and Canada, weaving a vast family tapestry.

Notable Descendants

Among the distinguished heirs to William Penn's legacy, his son John Penn stands out as the last colonial governor of Pennsylvania and a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. As you delve into the Penn Family Tree, you'll discover a lineage marked by significant contributions to the Province of Pennsylvania.

  • John Penn
  • Last colonial governor of Pennsylvania
  • Signatory of the Declaration of Independence
  • Thomas Penn
  • Son of William Penn and a key figure in Pennsylvania's early governance
  • Richard Penn
  • Served as Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania

The child of William Penn, John, along with his brothers Thomas and Richard, continued the work initiated by their father, the proprietor of Pennsylvania, and Admiral William Penn.

The Penn Family's influence persists, shaping the family of William Penn's enduring legacy.

Family's Role in History

While John Penn and his siblings upheld their father's legacy in Pennsylvania, the broader Penn family's trials and triumphs significantly influenced the colony's formation and growth. You see, William Penn, the founder of the Quakers and the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, instilled principles of religious tolerance that shaped the social fabric of Pennsylvania. Born to Admiral William, Penn was married twice and engaged deeply with the Lenape Indians, fostering relations that affected the region's demographics.

Despite his efforts, Penn died penniless, a testament to his dedication over personal gain. The Penn Family Tree sprawls across continents, reflecting the global reach of their influence. From England to America, and even to Peru, Australia, and Canada, the Penn legacy, rooted in Quakerism, continues to underscore the intertwined nature of family and history.

Penn's Legacy Today

William Penn's vision of religious freedom and democratic governance echoes through time, as his legacy is celebrated in various forms across Pennsylvania, from enduring monuments to the very framework of the city of Philadelphia. As the founder of one of the English colonies that would become the United States, Penn's influence is still felt today.

  • Penn Family Tree
  • *Enduring Monuments*
  • Statues and institutions bear his Family name, honoring the Penn legacy.
  • *Philadelphia's Framework*
  • The city's design reflects William's planned vision, a testament to his governance ideals.
  • *Societal Impact*
  • Friends or Quakers of the Religious Society initiated by Penn continue to champion religious freedom, impacting current societal structures and policies.

Researching Penn Genealogy

To uncover the roots of William Penn's lineage, you can start by delving into genealogy websites like Ancestry.com and Geneanet.org, where historical records reveal the branches of his family tree. These websites are treasure troves for tracking the founder's ancestors and descendants, offering access to birth, marriage, and death certificates.

Here's a snapshot of Penn's genealogy:

Spouse (1st Marriage)Gulielma Maria Springett
Children with GulielmaSpringett, Letitia, and others
Spouse (2nd Marriage)Hannah Callowhill
Children with HannahJohn, Thomas, and others
AncestorAdmiral Sir William Penn

Penn's family intertwined with the Religious Society of Friends, marrying within the Quaker faith. His life in North America and marriages to Callowhill and Anna (Hannah) solidified his legacy, leaving descendants that continue to surprise and intrigue genealogists and historians.

Do the Family Trees of William Penn and Henry John Heinz Have any Common Ancestors?

There is no evidence of direct common ancestors between the family trees of William Penn and Henry John Heinz according to the henry john heinz genealogy chart. However, both families have deep roots in Pennsylvania and have made significant contributions to the state’s history and development.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I Related to William Penn?

You might be related to William Penn if you have ancestors from his surviving six children, who lived in England, America, Peru, Australia, or Canada. Check your family history for connections.

Did William Penn Have a Kid?

Yes, you've got it right—William Penn did have kids. He fathered 16 children, though sadly, only 6 reached adulthood. His progeny's lives spanned both tragic early losses and a few who outlived him.

Is Thomas Penn Related to William Penn?

Yes, you're correct—Thomas Penn is William Penn's son, which makes him a direct descendant and a key figure in the continuation of his father's legacy in Pennsylvania.

Are William Penn and John Penn Related?

Yes, you're right to think William Penn and John Penn are related; John is William's son from his second marriage, making him a direct descendant and an important figure in Pennsylvania's history.


In summing up, you've traced William Penn's lineage from his parents through his two marriages, which bore 14 children, with only a handful reaching adulthood.

While only a few descendants settled in America, the Penn family's mark on history, particularly in Pennsylvania, is indelible.

Today, Penn's legacy endures, inspiring genealogists and historians alike to delve into the family's past, unraveling a story of influence and lineage that shaped not only a state but a nation.