Francis Chads (Chadsey, as the name was often written, or Chads, as he appears to have signed himself in 1688), doubtless came from Wiltshire, England, and settled in Chichester in 1684. The name of his first wife is believed to have been Hester, but it is not known that she left children. In 1695 he married Grace, dau of Francis Stanfield, of Marple, and probably settled soon after on the Brandywine, at the ford which bears the family name. There he built a mill, perhaps in 1707, as there was difficulty between him and is neighbors at that time, presumably about the dam or water-right. The mill was there in 1710, but it appears in after years to have gone down and the site was forgotten. When the foundations of the present mill were dug some timber were found which were pronounced to be a part of the old structure.]
Francis Chads died ca 1713, and his widow married 701601714 Gayen Stevenson. Their children were Sarah m 2-12-1714, Mordecai Cloud; John; Grace, m Thomas Clayton, 1724; Betty, m William Pyle; Ann m ___ Peterson; Francis, who died young or unmarried.]
John Chads married 8-2-1729, Elizabeth, dau of Isaac and Catharine Richardson, of Whiteland, and probably built the old stone house at the north end of the village of Chads' Ford. IN 1736 he established a ferry on the creek, and brought in a bill of 30 ƒ to the commissioners in the following year for building a "fflatt or Schowe". From the items in this and later bills it appears that a large cable-rope was stretched across the creek, and a windlass used to pull the boat back and forth. In 1760, just before his death, John Chads brought in a bill for rebuilding the boat and among other items charges ''for wood to burn ye old boat, and ye trouble of ditto, 1 £. He died in the 10mo 1760 and left no children, but divided his property among his relatives, of whom Joseph Davis, who married his niece Hannah Cloud, appears to have been the favorite. He was licensed to keep a tavern in connection with the ferry in Sept. 1736, and continued in the business a few years, but in 1746, he was succeeded by his brother-in-law, James House, and thogh he continued to own the property he did not keep the tavern. Amos Harvey followed House in 1752, and Henry Hayes came next, in 1757.]
His widow continued to reside in the old stone house, to which were attached 40 acres of land separate from the tavern, and at the time of the Revolution her nephew, Amos house, lived with her and farmed the land. She died ca 1791.
The name is generally and
incorrectly written Chadds, but the signature of John Chads shows the latter
spelling to be correct.