Establishment of Plymouth Twp. “…And that Plymouth, with all ye land west of the Susquehanna River, south and west to the [Westmoreland] town line, be one district, by ye name of Plymouth District;….Minutes of Meeting at Wilkes-Barre Tuesday 1 March 1774, History of Wilkes Barre Vol. II. page 794.
Here is an interesting description of Plymouth Twp. in the Wyoming Valley:
Plymouth Township, originally five miles square, is one of the original townships formed by the Susquehanna Company. The first settlers came in 1769. Forty settlers were assigned to the township. By 1773 at least twenty-five more home seekers had appeared. Except as noted below, the land was divided in strips forty rods wide. These strips extended from the river over the entire westerly expanse of the township. The flat land below Plymouth was regarded as unusually valuable, so much of it was out in what were called “House and Meadow Lot.” These small lots contained from ten to twenty acres. By this arrangement each of the forty settlers received a share of river flat land, as well as hill and mountain land. The forty settlers paid each, in Connecticut, about the equivalent of sixty dollars. When a young New Englander reached the Wyoming region, he frequently traded his horse, bridle and saddle for a “right” of land, as it was called, about four hundred acres…Of the names on this original list of forty, that are common in Luzerne County today, we find: Butler, Aldon, Bennett, Fuller, Gaylord, Goss, Hopkins, Marvin, Nesbitt, Pierce, Roberts, Watson, Atherton, Harvey, Ransom, Reynolds, Wadhams, and Love.
Source: Historical Sketches of Plymouth, prepared by B. L. Smith, found in the records of the Plymouth Historical Society in Plymouth, PA, 2008.
By an enrollment of the resident inhabitants of the valley, made in 1773, in the handwritting of Col. Zebulon Butler, the following persons are known to have been settlers in Plymouth: Noah Allen, Peter Ayres, Captain Prince Alden, John Baker, Isaac Bennett, Daniel Brown, Naniad Coleman, Aaron Dean, Stephen Fuller, Joseph Gaylor, Nathaniel Goss, Comfort Goss, Timothy Hopkins, William Leonard, Jesse Leonard, Samuel Marvin, Nicholas Manville, Joseph Morse, James Nesbitt, Abel Pierce, Timothy Pierce, Jabez Roberts, Samuel Sweet, John Shaw, David Whittlesey and Nathaniel Watson.
Source: History of Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming County, PA with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches etc. page 348, W. W. Munsell & Co., 1880
The township dates back to December 28, 1768. The Susquehanna company at Hartford on that day, by resolution, formed the five townships of which this was one, each five miles square. It was eventually enlarged in 1790 to include what is now Plymouth and Jackson townships, and was one of the eleven townships of the county.
Source: History of Luzerne County, with biographical selections, by Henry C. Bradsby, Plymouth Twp., page 364 to 641, Publ. 1893.
In 2008, I traveled to Pennsylvania and shared my travels in my blog “Pennsylvania Wanderings.” My headquarters, so to speak, was Wilkes-Barre but I did rent a car and visited the area.
If you take a look at this rendering of Plymouth Twp., I think I know why the Goss family migrated to Huntington Twp. This view of Plymouth shows it was very hilly. I remember that the streets that went north from the main road were steep.
In my blog post of September 18, 2008, I visited the Plymouth Historical Society. At that time they were housed in the basement of a church, no longer a church, and apparently they still are. They did have hours but they were very limited. So check their website before you go. https://www.plymouthistoricalsocietyluzernecopa.org/
Here is what I wrote on that day that I visited back in 2008:
The Plymouth Historical Society is in the basement of a church that is no longer being used as a church. They still have the wooden pews and a velvet carpeted stage area with a curtain that is in pretty good shape. The museum’s treasures are on the same upper floor in the back part of the church behind the big curtain. It is a large room and items are displayed around the room in smaller rooms.
This society is tucked into the town (or maybe borough) of Plymouth along Gaylord Street which is one way going south. The backside is on the next street west of Gaylord and there is a small grassy driveway where you can park your car. There are other options for parking your car, so give them a call before you come. Gaylord is permit parking only during the week.
I had arranged to be there at 1:30 p.m. to do research in their library on Monday, September 15th. This is outside their regular hours. I arrived about the right time and met another lady coming in from upstate New York to do research as well.We found the entrance on the north side of the church building in the back, through a small white door. You can see the signs in the window on the northwest corner. Remember I am may be slightly off on my directions because to me the angle of the Susquehanna River is northeasterly in this area? So get out the map of Luzerne which I obtained one at the Chamber in the Public Square of Wilkes-Barre for $3.00. The Visitors Center on the other side of the square gives them out free but they go fast.
The society have a card catalog with names and subjects which I checked. They have family history files in vertical filing cabinets. Cemetery records cover mostly the Plymouth area and are heavy with the Shawnee Cemetery. They have books that cover Luzerne area history and several titles for Plymouth history. They do have church records which you would need to contact them for more information.
I had a pleasant afternoon chatting with Elizabeth who greeted us first. Mary came a little later to assist us. She remembered me from the Luzerne County Historical Society last Thursday. They are friendly, helpful and accommodating to busy researchers schedules. I joined their society (for a short time).
Do remember that the townships back when they were originally established in 1769 and onward are a lot different then the townships that are in existence today. So keep that in mind when you are researching.
The above is a picture of the main street through Plymouth, the town. Most of the town is located near the Susquehanna River. I usually drove through it on my way to Huntington Twp. to tour and explore.
Look for the Shawnee Tavern (if still there) and a gas station about the middle of the long main street you see here in Plymouth. That is where Gaylord is. Remember Gaylord is one way south, so you need the street before or the street after to get to the Historical society.
Happy Hunting!” end of post.
Here is a map of today showing Plymouth as it is now and how it relates to Wilkes-Barre. I would cross one of the bridges in Wilkes-Barre, turn left and drive along Hwy 11 going west to get to Huntington Twp.