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Meet the Author: Joyce Mosley

Joyce Mosley assumed the role of family historian over twenty years ago. Her family is among the first families to reside in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She can trace her family history to the 1600’s to the first mayor of Philadelphia, Humphrey Morrey, and to Cyrus Bustill. Cyrus Bustill was born enslaved, purchased his freedom, and baked bread for George Washington’s troop at Valley Forge. Her family history began before the Revolutionary War. Joyce’s family members were active in the Underground Railroad, enlisted in the United States Colored Troops, and trained at Camp William Penn. The Morrey/Bustill family is one of the founding families of Cheltenham Township, just outside Philadelphia. They are also among the founding families of several African American churches in Philadelphia and the surrounding neighborhoods, including the historic African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, founded in 1792 as the first black Episcopal Church in the USA. Joyce is a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the Colonial Daughters of the 17th Century, The Society of Founding Families of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the African American Genealogy Group, and the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage. In 2019, PBS featured Joyce’s family research in an episode of “Movers and Makers.”  Her lineage has been accepted by the Society of the First African Families of English America and by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.   

This article Cyrus Bustill: A Revolutionary War Baker and the Ancestor of Paul Robeson presents the history of the Bustill Family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a family with African, European, and Native American roots that can trace their family history to the early 1600’s. The Bustill family is documented by local historians, records in the Quaker collection, and by several educational institutions, including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).