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Reverend James G. Penlington's English Textbook

James G. Penlington Belmar New Jersey Book

      In an exciting new development, we will be devoting a section of Passed Time to books owned by our ancestors (yours and mine). Photos of books, bookplates, and ownership inscriptions can be added to this group.The concept will allow not only genealogists, but future generations to see what might have interested and inspired their ancestors. Hopefully, it will also illustrate shared experiences between generations. Take for instance, the need for textbooks and teaching aids--one construct that has changed little through the years.

     This textbook was once owned by James G. Penlington (1913-1998) as evidenced by the ownership inscription found on the inner cover (seen below). In his penned note, Penlington stated he was a student at The King's College in Belmar, New Jersey. 

     The King's College is a liberal arts Christian College founded in 1938 by Percy Crawford (1902-1960). Originally located in Belmar, New Jersey, it subsequently moved to New Castle, Delaware in 1941. In 1955, long after Penlington attended, the college relocated again, this time to New York.

     Although Penlington does not provide a date of attendance, we know from his notation that he attended while the college was at Belmar.  Furthermore, the August 16, 1941 edition of the Pottstown Mercury indicates "Mr. James Penlington, a student at King's college [sic], Bristol, Term" was to conduct Sunday school. The class was part of a weekend event held by the Christian Endeavor Society of Chester County.2    Penlington might have attended The King's College after its move to Delaware. Although the book recently surfaced in Delaware, no documentation is known which suggests Penlington followed the school.   

      Penlington did leave another breadcrumb by stating that he resided in room B9. Although I could not find a photograph of that room, I did find a fun site containing old photos of the school at Belmar (see the link below). Many photos are shown on the Camp Evans ( website and perhaps Penlington's visage is one of the unidentified faces smiling at the camera. 

      James G. Penlington Belmar New Jerseyw

    Of course, Penlington's story continues beyond this book. Due to information found in his sister's obituary, it is made clear that Penlington received his theological credentials. Katherine Penlington Pritchard (1911-2010) outlived both her brothers--Lt. Robert Penlington and the Reverend James Penlington of Honey brook, Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the record of at least one marriage over which he presided was found on the internet (see External Sources below). Assuredly, church records would provide much more information regarding his clerical duties. 

     At first blush, the existence of an ownership inscription may appear a mundane occurrence. Yet, a few simple lines proudly written in a textbook afforded readers a brief glimpse into the life of the Reverend James. G. Penlington. Eventually, the information may make its way to a family historian and perhaps, Penlington will be more than just a random name from the past.  Best, Pat

  1 If you have familial books you would like to share, anyone of our help monkeys (see link on front page--green button, lower right) can help upload photos and information should you need help.

 2 Pottstown Mercury August 16, 1941 page 5.  

Internal Sources:

Brief Penlington genealogy outline from information provided in Katherine Pritchard's obituary.


External Sources:


Camp Evans - NJ

The 1938 freshmen class in front of the Marconi Hotel. In 1936 the Young People's Association for the Propagation of the Gospel purchased the Marconi property along Shark River Bay for the purpose of opening a Christian College. After careful preparation, the King's College, with Percy B.

Chester County Historical Society Portrait File Inventory. Although the photographs are not shown, the Historical Society has as at least three photographs of the Penlington Family. They also have a brief description of their holdings concerning the Chester County Christian Endeavor Union. This description includes mention of the 1941 Golden Jubilee briefly mentioned here. 

Family Currents: Genealogy Blog for the Ball, Brown, Bruner, Downing, Dunlap, Meredity, Talbot, Townsley, and Wilson families. Penlington officiated over a wedding between Audrey Irene Kouba and Mr. William H. Townsley.

Family Currents: Genealogy

William Ball II (10-Great Grandfather) was born in 1505 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. and died there in 1550, he was 45. In 1524, when William was 19, he married my 10-Great Grandmother in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. She was born in 1509 in Wokingham.

 Katherine Penlington Pritchard's Obituary on Main Line Media News

My Heritage (where I found dates for James Penlington) showing partial Pottstown Mercury ( is a subscription service)


Percy B. Crawford (1902-1960)

"You there, in front of your television set - I'm talking to you." Percy Crawford, "Youth on the March" Coast-to-Coast Network Television, 1949-1953 Percy Crawford was a youth-oriented, radio and television evangelist and prominent fundamentalist leader, whose soul-winning evangelistic work rekindled the spirit of revivalism in the 1930s and 40s, and whose sincerity and moderate tone helped to remake the public image of fundamentalism when it was languishing and marginalized in American life.


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