Biddle family

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For people and other things with the name Biddle, see Biddle (disambiguation).

The American Biddle family of Philadelphia began when William Biddle (1630–1712) and Sarah Kempe (1634–1709), Quakers, emigrated from England to America in 1681, in part, to avoid religious persecution. Having acquired extensive rights to over 43,000 acres (170 km2) of lands in Quaker West Jersey, they settled first at Burlington. Two third generation brothers, William Biddle, 3rd (1698–1756), and John Biddle (1707–1789), moved from Mount Hope (1684) near Bordentown to Philadelphia in the 1720s and 1730s and constituted the first generation of the Philadelphia Biddle family.

Family members[edit]

Branch of William Biddle, 3rd (1698–1756) and Mary Scull (1709–1790)[edit]

  • Lydia Biddle (1734–1767), married William Macfunn (died 1768)
    • William Macfunn Biddle (1764–1809), married Lydia Spencer (1766–1858)
      • Lydia Spencer Biddle (1797–1871), married Samuel Baird (1786–1833)
  • John "Jacky" Biddle (1736–?) married Sophia Boone
    • Edward Biddle bought Biddle House on Mackinac Island
    • William Biddle married Abigail Johnson
      • Joseph Cadwalader Biddle (1805–1884) married Elizabeth Cook (died 1899) [1]
        • William Biddle married Anna W.?
          • Frederick Davis Biddle married Estelle Warne Harbeson
            • Eric Harbeson Biddle (1898–1993), businessman and diplomat, assisted Franklin D. Roosevelt during the creation of the United Nations[2][3] and the United Nations Establishment Commissions[4][5][6] (married Katherine Rogers, the daughter of Colonel John I. Rogers).
              • Eric Harbeson Biddle, Jr. (1928-2013), CIA Section Chief, later Immigration Lawyer
              • John "Jack" Biddle
              • Maurice R. Biddle (1932–1999), Jazz composer and pianist, also advertising executive in Philadelphia and New York City

Branch of Joseph Biddle (1705–1777) and Rebecca Arney (1711-[edit]

Branch of John Biddle (1707–1789) and Sarah Owen (1711–1773)[edit]

  • Owen Biddle, Sr. (1737–1799), American Revolutionary War soldier, mathematician, astronomer, observed 1769 transit of Venus at Cape Henlopen, member of the American Philosophical Society, married Sarah Parke
    • John Biddle (1763–1815)
      • William Biddle (1806–1887), married Elizabeth Garrett (1806–1881)
    • Owen Biddle, Jr. (1774–1806), member of the Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia, architect-builder, author "The Young Carpenters' Apprentice" (1805)
    • Clement Biddle (1778–1856), married Mary Canby (1780–1849) [18]
      • Robert M. Biddle (1814–1902), married Anna Miller (1823–1891)
        • Henry Canby Biddle (1845–1886), married Anna Mary McIlvain (1850–1926) [19]
  • Clement Biddle (1740–1814), American Revolutionary War soldier, helped organize the “Quaker Blues" volunteers, deputy quartermaster general of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey militia, married Rebekah Cornell (born 1755) daughter of Gideon Cornell
    • Francis Biddle (1775–1775)
    • Thomas Alexander Biddle, Sr. (1776–1857), married Christine Williams (1780–1861)
      • Clement Biddle (1810–1879), prominent Philadelphia Lawyer, served during the Civil War in Landis' Battery, Pennsylvania Militia Light Artillery.
      • Thomas Alexander Biddle, Jr. (1814–1888), married Julia Cox (1819–1906). He was the senior partner of the firm of Thomas A. Biddle & Co., bankers and brokers, and a director of the Cumberland Valley Railroad Company, the Allentown Iron Company, the Equitable Life Insurance Company, and other corporations.
      • Henry Jonathan Biddle (1817–1862), married distant cousin Mary Deborah Baird (1829–1900) who endowed Biddle University. He served as a Captain in the Union Army during the Civil War, he was mortally wounded during the battle of New Market Cross Roads
        • Jonathan Williams Biddle (1855–1877), he served during the War with the Plains Indians. He was killed at Bear Paw Mountain, Montana when his regiment charged a camp of Nez Perce Indians.
        • Henry Jonathan Biddle (1862-1928), Oregon/Washington engineer, businessman, and philanthropist. In 1915 he bought the Columbia Gorge landmark Beacon Rock and developed a trail to its peak; his children Spencer and Rebecca donated it to Washington as a state park.
      • Alexander Williams Biddle, Sr. (1819–1899), Lieutenant Colonel in the Union Army during the American Civil War, married Julia Williams Rush (1833–1898) granddaughter of Benjamin Rush
        • Dr. Alexander Williams Biddle, Jr. (1856–1916), married Anne McKennan (1858–1934)
          • Julia Rush Biddle (1886–1978), married Maj. Thomas Charlton Henry (1887–1930), mother-in-law of Philip D. Armour, Jr.
          • Alexander Biddle (1893–1973), married Margot Scull (1896–1972)
        • Henry Rush Biddle (1858–1877)
        • Julia Rush Biddle (1859–1885)
        • James Wilmer Biddle (1861–1927), married Cora Rowland (1861–1927)
        • Mariamne Biddle (1866–1917)
        • Lynford Biddle (1871–1941)
      • Jonathan Williams Biddle (1821–1856), married Emily Skinner Meigs (1824–1905)
        • Christine Biddle (1847–1900), married Richard McCall Cadwalader (1839–1918)
        • Charles Meigs Biddle (1849–1853)
        • Williams Biddle (1850–1852)
        • Mary Biddle (1851–1851)
        • Dr. Thomas Biddle (1853–1915)[1]
        • Emily Williams Biddle (1855–1931)[2]
    • George Washington Biddle (1779–1812)
    • Mary Biddle (1781–1850) married Thomas Cadwalader (1779–1841) son of General John Cadwalader
    • Rebekah Cornell Biddle (1782–1870), married Dr. Nathaniel Chapman (1780–1853)
    • Clement Cornell Biddle (1784–1855), married Mary Searle Barclay (1785–1872)
      • John Barclay Biddle MD (1815–1879), married Caroline Phillips (1821–1906)
      • George Washington Biddle (1818–1897), married Maria Coxe McMurtrie (1818–1901)[3]
        • George Washington Biddle, Jr. (1843–1886), married Mary Hosack Rogers
        • Algernon Sydney Biddle (1847–1891) married Frances Robinson
        • Arthur Biddle (1852–1897)[4]
      • Chapman Biddle (1822–1880), Civil War colonel
    • Anne Biddle (1785–1786)
    • Lydia H. Biddle (1787–1826)
    • Sarah T. Biddle (1789–1790)
    • Anne Wilkinson Biddle (1791-), married Thomas Dunlap (1793–1864)[5]
    • John Gideon Biddle (1793–1826), married his cousin Mary Biddle (?-1854)
    • James Cornell Biddle (1795–1838), married Sarah Caldwell Keppele (1789–1877) daughter of Michael Keppele (1771–1821)
      • Thomas Biddle (diplomat) (1827–1875), married Sarah Frederica White (1845–1870)
      • Caldwell Keppele Biddle (1829–1862)
      • Catherine Keppele Biddle (1831–1914), married William P. Tatham (1820–1899)
      • Rebecca Biddle (1833–1859)
      • James Cornell Biddle (1835–1898), married Gertrude Gouverneur Meredith (1839–1905). He served as an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War.
      • Cadwalader Biddle (1837–1906), founder of Union League of Philadelphia [20]
  • Ann Biddle (1742–1807), married James Wilkinson

See also[edit]


  • Washington Post; August 17, 1933 "Helen Avis Howard Engaged To Anthony J. Drexel, Jr. Dr. and Mrs. Clinton Howard, of Atlanta, have announced the engagement of their daughter. Miss Helen Avis Howard, to Mr. Anthony Joseph Drexel 3d, son of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Joseph Drexel, jr., of Philadelphia."
  • New York Times; October 14, 2004 "Nicholas Duke Biddle, 83, Scion Of Wealth Who Helped the Poor. Nicholas Duke Biddle, scion of two prominent American families who helped refugees from Cuba and Caribbean, dies at age 83. Mr. Biddle was originally named Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle III, after his father, Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle Jr., a prominent diplomat."


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  2. ^ "Records relating to Eric H. Biddle's missions to Great Britain". US National Archives. Office of Management and Budget. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ Eric H. Biddle (March 1935). "What Price Insecurity". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 178: 48–52. JSTOR 1019769. 
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  5. ^ "Oral History Interview with Ambassador John J. Muccio". Interview transcript. Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  6. ^ Thomas C. Blaisdell, Jr. (1991). India and China in the World War I era, New Deal and Marshall Plan, and University of California, Berkeley. University of California, Berkeley. pp. 169, 171.  Interviewed 1987-1988 by Harriet Nathan
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