Genealogies of Pennsylvania Families, Vol II, 736-739

Peter Righter, Junior, son of Peter Righter the emigrant, was probably born in Roxborough Township in the first decade of the 18th century. The record of his independent business venture does nnot begin until 1741. In January of that year he was granted by John, Thomas and Richard Penn, Proprietors, a patent for a ferry from his plantation on the east side of the Schuylkill in "Roxbury" Township to Lower Merion Township. The patent gave him the sole privilege of keeping a ferry at that place, and forbade all others from carrying passengers for 2 miles below his ferry. This privilege was granted for 7 years, at a cost to Peter of 5 English silver shillings paid on the first of March, yearly. Peter was requiored to have at all times a boat or boats in good repair and sufficient persons or hands to give attention for ferrying passengers, horses, cattle and goods. (Exemplification Book 2, 637) A ferry at this point, just above his mill is said to have been operated previously by Andrew Robeson, (Pennsylvania Magazine, "Stony Part of the Schuylkill, its Navigation, Fisheries, Fords, and Ferries," has a brief account of Righter's ferry) The patent was renewed by John Penn, Proprietor, 11 October 1765 (Exemplification Book 3, 518) and the ferry was mainteained by Peter for the rest of his life, and after h im by his son John. The location of the Righter Ferry is shown on "A Map of Philadephia and Parts Adjacent" of 1752 by Scull and Heap, a short distance above the point where the Wissahickon Creek enters the Schuylkill River. On the map it is marked "Ferry" with a hosue on the Roxborough Township side of the river. A road, private till 1824, from "Wissahiccon" Road (now Ridge Road) extended along the river as far as the ferry. On the Lower Merion side the road to the ferry became known as Righer's Ferry Road, and still is so called, although it no longer reaches the river. What is now School Lane to Ridge Road gave access to the ferry from GErmantown. The ferry was an important link in early communications between Lower Merion and Philadephia, Germantown and Lower Merion, as well as Roxborough and Lower Merion. It must have been a profitable enterprise, in which Peter was probably assisted by his 2 sons. The assessment for the Proprietary Tax of 1769 showed that he had one servant. (Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd Ser., Vol XIV, 15, "Peter Righter, ferry, 74 acres, 3 horses, 3 cattle, 1 servant)

The ferry patent of Peter Righter mentioned his pantation on the east bank of the jSchuylkill River. Peter acquired the 77 acres in this plantation 4 August 1741, for 86 pounds, 12 shillings, 6 pence, from Thomas Bishop Vickris (Vicaris) of Chew Magna, Somerset County, England, through his attorney Richard Hockley, Philadephia County, merchant. The land was located between the Schuylkill River and the Wissahickon Creek from the line near where Sumac Street now is, to a line 75 perches up the river. The section which reached the Wissahickon Creek was triangular with the broad base on the present Righter Street, then the road to Plymouth, and the narrow, blunted apex, 14 perches, on the Wissahickon Creek. The land rose steeply on the side of both river and creek to the Ridge. Inclyuded in the area to-day are the shops, formerly Pencoyd Iron Works on the River, Wissahickon Station on the Reading Railroad, Wissahickon Public School, and library, Northern Home for Children and a considerable portion of the residential section of the Wissahickon area. Ridge Road, both the original, difficult route and the easier one adopted later up "Righter's Hill" crossed his plantation frm the southwest to the northeast corner. A high rock cliff on Robeson's Hill, on the river side was set back from its east bank. Peter seemed to feel that his title was not sure, and 4 January 1743 he received a confirmation of the grant from George Thonas, Lieutenant Governor. (Deed Book G-2, 444; Exemplification Book 2, 639) Peter built his stone house at the ferry on the river. He also acquired a lot of 93/4 acres in Lower Merion at the Merion side of his ferry. (Recited in Montgomery County Deed Book 52, 395, H.G. Jones et al. to A. L. Anderson) He made further use of his river frontage in his shad fishery, an important business on the Schuylkill before the dam was built at Fairmount.

Peter Righter had married, but no record of his wife's name has been found (1982). There is no record of his connection with any church,. His oldest daughter was evidently born in 1741, and he had four other daughters and two sons. When in 1748 William Levering granted land for a public school in Roxborough, Peter Righter was name as one of the seven trustees (Deed not on record, but recited in Deed Book D-49, 476, when in 1771, addition land was donated).

10 January 1776 Peter Righter made his will, and died within a few days, for the willw as proved 20 January 1776. His grave has not been located. Perhaps it was in the plot on the Levering farm, given to the community as the Roxborough Burial Ground, but there is no gravestone there for him. By his will, he devised to his eldest son Peter two lots of land, one on the east side of the Schuylkill, between the river and the Ferry Road, and one of the 5 acres on the west side of the river. He instructed Peter to build a house on his land and provided that 100 pounds should be paid him when he did so. He gave Peter one half interest in his shad fishery. The residue of his lands, tenements and property he bequesthed to his younger son John. John was required to pay the money bequests to his oldest daughter Mary and his daughters Hannah, Rebecca, Sarah, and Margaret. He gave a case of drawers worth 8 pounds to Sarah and Margaret, and a large looking glass to Margaret. He named his sone John and son-in-law Enoch Levering his executors. Since his wife was not mentioned, it is provable she died before he did. (Will Book Q#, 240, #240, 1776) Children of Peter Righter, Jr.

1. Peter Righter. Very litle about him has been found. Whether he carried out the instruction in his father's will to build a hosue on his land, was not determined. In his brother John's will provision was made for the "legitimate" children of Peter to share in the estate in case John's daughter Esther died without issue. John seems to have acquired the land his father devised to Peter, for it was part of Esther's estate. There were three Peter Righters in Roxborough Township in this generation, and it is difficult to distinguish them. An incomplete assignment on a bond in the papers of an Owen Jones seems to relate to this Peter for his brother John and brother-in-law Enoch Levering were mentioned in it. (GSP Genealogical Notes, Vol. 9, 13)

2. Mary Righter. She married Enoch Levering, the date of the marriage license being 10 September 1765 (PMHB Vol 40, 332, "Pennsylvania Marriage Licenses, 1762 to 1768")

3. Hannah Righter. She married Aaron Levering, the date of the marriage license being 9 May 1763 (PMHB Vol 40, 216, where her name is given as Ann Wrighter) The history of the two Levering families has been traced by John Levering in his Levering Family, History and Genealogy - Published by Levering Historical Association, 1897. This work states that Mary died 21 February 1794, aged 52 years, so that she was born in 1742 and that Hannah died 6 September 1806, aged 65, so that she was born in 1741, but Peter Righter mentioned in his will his oldest daughter Mary. Aaron and Enoch Levering werwe brothers, and both moved from Roxborough to Baltimore.

4. Rebecca Righter. She was not mentioned in the will of her brother John, so may have died bedore 1790.

5. Sarah Righter.

6. Margaret Righter.

7. John Righter