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Byberry, Philadelphia facts for kids

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Township of Byberry
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s) 215, 267, and 445

Byberry is a neighborhood in the far northeast section of Philadelphia, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Originally it was incorporated as the Township of Byberry and was the northeasternmost municipality of Philadelphia County before the City and County were consolidated in 1854. Its approximate boundaries are the Poquessing Creek to the north, Woodhaven Road to the south, the Roosevelt Boulevard to the west, and Thornton Road to the east.

Byberry had a strong abolitionist presence and may have been an original stop on the Underground Railroad. Today, the area occupied by the township is mostly synonymous with the neighborhood of Somerton, as the neighborhoods of Byberry and Somerton tend to overlap.


A township in the extreme northeastern part of the County of Philadelphia; bounded on the east and northeast by Poquessing Creek and Bucks County; on the northwest by Montgomery County; and on the west and southwest by the Township of Moreland.

Its greatest length was estimated at 5 miles (8.0 kilometres); its greatest breadth, 2 12 miles (4.0 kilometres); area, 4.700 acres (0.01902 km2). It was settled by a few Swedes previous to the year 1675, and in that year by four brothers—Nathaniel, Thomas, Daniel and William Walton—who were all young and single men. They had arrived at Newcastle from England early in that year, and, having prospected the land in the neighborhood of the Delaware River, chose the country near Poquessing Creek, and settled there.

They gave it the name Byberry, in honor of their native town, near Bristol, in England.

They were joined after the arrival of the ship Welcome in 1682, by Giles and Joseph Knight, John Carver, John Hart, Richard Collett and their families, and others. Byberry was the birthplace of Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The township was established at a very early date after the coming of William Penn. It contained very few villages at the time of consolidation, and was the most rural of all the townships of Philadelphia County. Byberry Crossroads, once called Plumbsock, and Knightsville were the principal villages.

Notable people

  • Reverend Thomas Hall, Loyalist Anglican cleric who emigrated back to England and subsequently served as the chaplain in Livorno, Italy. He was the cousin of Benjamin Rush and the nephew of Rev. Samuel Finley.
  • Harriet Forten Purvis, abolitionist and suffragette
  • Robert Purvis, father of the Underground Railroad
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