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John Okely (1721-1792)

John Okely was the son of a barber and wig-maker from Bedford and the brother of the well-known Moravian minister Francis Okely (1719-1794). John received legal training although his name does not appear in the lists of Oxford and Cambridge alumni, and at the end of the 1730s he was resident at Furneval's Inn, part of London's Chancery Court.  In the early 1740s he emigrated to Pennsylvania and took up residence at the Moravian community in Bethleham where in 1745 he was recorded in the marriage register as being a 'scrivener, conveyancer and Justice of the Peace.' He also laboured as an itinerant preacher in eastern Pennsylvania.

Okely was married three times, namely to Johanna Robins in 1743, Elizabeth Hume in 1745 and Margaret Moore in 1780. He outlived all his wives and died in May 1792 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Source: Entry for Francis Okely in the Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995), website of the Bethlehem Digital History Project and William Seward Letter Book (reference DDSe) (MARC)

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