A place to gather and share information about the Thomas Willcox and Elizabeth Cole Willcox Family of Ivy Mills, PA. For more information see the Home page link above or contact Deniane Kartchner at Denianek@gmail.com. My husband is a descendant of Thomas and Elizabeth's son James who married Prudence Doyle. Their son John's daughter Prudence married John Christopher Kartchner.

Note: This is a work in progress! I am trying to verify everything before I post, but feel free to send me corrections and/or suggestions. It’s also not a complete history of Ivy Mills or a website for current operations, although I will gladly try to answer any questions and/or lead you to the right information.

I'm currently working on tracing this family back to England through this link:


Willcox Marker in Jacksonville, Georgia

Photo found at http://www.pbase.com/jacksonville_ga/image/53002250

(Top left corner) In the early 1700s Thomas Willcox came from England to America and settled at a place in Pennsylvania he named Ivy Mills. Here under the religious freedom fostered by William Penn, he built a house, paper mill, auxiliary buildings, and church. His family was of the Catholic faith and deeply religious. Through skillful and ingenious application, he developed the paper manufactory into one producing the finest paper in the colonies. The paper was of such fine quality, including watermarks for security against counterfeiters, that it was purchased by the colonial government and Pennsylvania and was also in great demand by Thomas Willcox’s personal friend and customer, Benjamin Franklin, a printer in Philadelphia and one of the leading citizens and statesman of the day.  From Pennsylvania the Willcoxes spread to North Carolina, Georgia, and other states. The old home place is maintained by the Willcox family at Ivy Mills.  A family quilt, made by one of the Willcox women, has an ivy design suggested by Benjamin Franklin. Some of the ivy was brought to the Old Willcox Burreying Ground between Jacksonville, Georgia and Rhine, Georgia, final resting place of many Willcox ancestors and descendants.”

(Top Middle) "The Old Willcox Paper Mill at Ivy Mills, Pennsylvania, was started in 1729, the same year Thomas Willcox’s friend, Benjamin Franklin, started his print shop in Philadelphia.  They traded products."

(Bottom Middle) Thomas Willcox (1689-1779), papermaker of Ivy Mills, Pennsylvania, had two sons who distinguished themselves in the cause of the American Revolution. John Willcox, the oldest son, left Ivy Mills and went south to North Carolina. Here he constructed an iron mking concern and made cannons and cannon balls for the Revolutionary War effort. Because of this and the fact that he opposed the tyranny of local Crown officials who levied unfair taxes on the citizenry, he became a Regulator, one of a group of men who tried to thwart the Crown officials in their unreasonable practices.  To help him in his efforts for justice in the colonies, his friend Benjamin Franklin printed some of the pamphlets used to keep the people informed and stimulated toward an effort that came to be known as the American Revolution. While John was engaged in these activities, and also serving as a representative in the North Carolina House, his younger brother mark was assuming the responsibilities of running the family paper mill at Ivy Mills. Here he promoted the cause of the Revolution by making paper to meet the demands of the newspaper and pamphlets printed by Benjamin Franklin. He also printed the paper for the early paper money for Continental currency and other legal papers.  John died in 1793; Mark in 1827.

For info about descendents of John Willcox: Gen. John E. Coffee (1782-1836) and Gen. Mark Lea Willcox (1799-1852) see 

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