Chain of Title for 742 South Warnock Street

Grantee (new owner)
Grantor (former owner)
Date of Sale
Jeffrey A. Cohen and Linda May
Thomas A. Scafidi,
Executor of the will of Alfred Scafidi, deceased
June 21, 1989
Alfred Scafidi et ux.
Anna Farina Ricciuti
December 7, 1976
Anna Farina Ricciuti
Philip and Katherine Scarfo
October 31, 1957
Philip and Katherine Scarfo
Pennsylania Company for Insurances of Lives and Granting Annuities,
and Charles A. Patterson, Trustee of Emma P. Hope, deceased
May 21, 1941
Pennsylania Company for Insurances of Lives and Granting Annuities,
and Charles A. Patterson, Trustee of Emma P. Hope, deceased
Frank L. and Reba Marco
November 13, 1933
Frank and Reba Marco
Cesidio and Anna Maria Baccari
July 21, 1927
Cesidio and Anna Maria Baccari
Jacob and Sarah Zaresky
December 14, 1905
Jacob and Sarah Zaresky
Lazarus and Leah Cohen
January 13, 1904
Lazarus and Leah Cohen
William, Mary and Martha Pegley, and Mary E. Callahan,
by will of Sarah G. Pegley
May 20, 1903
Rowley and Sarah Pegley (Housepainter)
John H. McFetrich (Plumber)
April 25, 1863
John H. McFetrich (Plumber) Click for an image of the deed
Isaac Harvey, Jr. (Gentleman)
January 28, 1851
Isaac Harvey, Jr. (Gentleman) Click for images of the court records
John McCrea (Merchant)
May 12, 1841
John McCrea (Merchant)
Isaac Harvey, Jr. (Gentleman)
January 25, 1839
Isaac Harvey, Jr. (Gentleman)
Joseph Parker Morris, Executor of the will of John Bleakley (Gentleman)
October 16, 1824

Josiah Lownes (Merchant),
by will of Joseph Lownes (Merchant)
March 27, 1821
John Bleakley (Gentleman)
John Yeates (Merchant)
April 1, 1757
John Yeates (Merchant)
Joseph Cox (Hatter),
by will of Charles Cox (Yeoman)
June 30, 1749

Joseph Wharton (Cooper)
June 30, 1748
Joseph Lownes (Merchant)
Edward Bonsall
April 4, 1810

John Clifton (Merchant) and Culpepper Bridges (Merchant)
April 3, 1807

Samuel and Joseph Williams
???


This chain of title went rather smoothly until we came to the Harvey-McFetrich deed of 1851.  Rather than citing a previous deed to prove Harvey's ownership of the land, this deed mentioned a "deed poll" conducted by Sheriff Daniel Fitler in 1841 and referred to a lawsuit brought by Isaac Harvey against John McCrea.  The grantor/grantee indices from 1841 did not contain any record of this transcript because the land was transferred by a court case.  Fortunately, the city archives also contain district court records, and we were able to find the deed in a sheriff's deed book rather than a conventional one.  Although the description of the lawsuit was difficult to follow, it seems that the land, which had been sold to McCrea by Harvey just a few years earlier, reverted to Harvey's ownership due to McCrea's failure to pay his annual ground rents. 

Harvey then decided to divide the large lot into a number of smaller ones (the same size lots that exist today.)  He sold seven adjoining lots to three plumbers -- John McFetrich, John Hunter and William Wright.  Hunter and Wright had one of the most successful plumbing companies in Philadelphia at the time, and McFetrich may also have been part of the firm.  Each of the three men received two or three non-contiguous lots, one facing Fitzwater Street and one or two on Warnock.  A part of each of their deeds stipulated that within one year they were required to construct brick, three-story houses on the lots.  It is clear that the plumbers purchased the lots in order to develop them for resale. The details of the house to be constructed by McFetrich match the building presently on the site -- it is a three-story, brick structure with a marble watertable.  The next occupant of the property, Rowley Pegley, was a house-painter and the present owner has informed us that a good deal of his original paintwork has survived.

Unfortunately, we were not able to find out as much about the earlier owners of the property.  The large piece of land that Isaac Harvey sold to John McCrea in 1839 was originally two separate lots, one that he purchased from John Parker Norris and had belonged to John Bleakley, and one that he received from his wife's family, the Lownes.  Because the properties were described using several different, and often antiquated, measurements and made references to roads and landmarks that no longer exist, it was virtually impossible for us to determine which of the properties contained the land that is now 742 South Warnock Street.  We began researching the Bleakley and Lownes properties, but they too were consolidated from several different lots and there were soon too many branches for us to continue tracing each of them.  A detailed contemporary map of the area would help in determining which is the original property, but because the lot is south of South Street -- the original boundary of the City of Philadelphia -- such maps are more scarce and so far we have not been able to locate one.


Chains of title for neighboring properties:

744 South Warnock Street

1020 Fitzwater Street



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