The Mendenhall line is my maternal grandfather’s family. When I sat down to work on this line of my family, I did not expect to find very much. Boy was I surprised. There is more information on this family than I had ever expected to find. This family has a very long history in the United States and an even longer one in England.
A small portion of the Mendenhall family moved from England to South Africa in the middle 1800s. If there are any of the family left there, I do not know. If so, they are using a different name. The Mendenhall name in South Africa died out when Edward George Mendenhall fathered only daughters.
The Mendenhall story is one of nobility, fall from grace, and a struggle to rebuild. Moving to America was a second chance for Mendenhall. After wars in England and being persecuted for their Quaker religion, brothers, Benjamin and John, and their sister, Mary, left England to begin a new life in America. They were accompanied by their brother, Moses, who returned to England after a few years. This journey to America was taken at the time when William Penn was establishing himself in Pennsylvania. These were the first Mendenhall’s to set foot on American soil. Others have made the journey from England to America in the years that have followed.
After the research I have done, I am proud to be a member of the Mendenhall family.
Benjamin, John, and Mary were not the only children of Thomas Mendenhall. Their brother, Moses, had come to America then returned to England. Ther were other brothers and sisters also.
Not all of the Mendenhall’s remained in England. Some of the siblings’ grandchildren found their way to the United States. A couple made their way to South Africa.
Many of the letters written to and from the family members have been found and preserved. You can find the text of those letters at the link below.