Since this claim seems to keep popping up from various Penns, maybe I can help put it to rest that there are no Penn surname descendants of Wm. Penn, the founder.
The following is from a speech Brigadier O F G Hogg, CBE, FSA, FR Hist S.:
"Although the great Quaker had 14 children, only William, his eldest son by his first marriage, and Thomas, his second son by his second marriage, have living descendants.These derive from Christina Gulielma, a granddaughter of William his eldest son, and Sophia Margaret, daughter of Thomas.Christina Gulielma married Peter Gaskell of Bath, and Sophia Margaret became the wife of the Honourable William Stuart, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland.After their marriage, they lived at Luton Hoo, the present home of Sir Harold and Lady Wernher.This William Stuart was the 4th son of John, 3rd Earl of Bute, George III's famous Prime Minister.Sophia Margaret's last remaining brother, who was heir to the Penn fortune, died in 1844 and left all his property to his eldest surviving son Granville John Penn.The latter on his decease in 1867 bequeathed in turn the family inheritance to the Reverend Thomas Gordon Penn, his younger brother.This gentle scholar, however, never entered upon the control of his possessions as the Court of Chancery held him incompetent to manage property.He was skilled in research activities, and his lunacy was of a mild type.With the passing of this amiable parson in 1869, the male line descended from Willam Penn, the Founder of Pennsylvania, came to an end.On the death of Thomas Gordon Penn, William Stuart of Aldenham Abbey and Tempsford Hall, the elder son of Sophia Margaret and her husband, the Archbishop of Armagh, became the " Tenant in tail general " and inherited all the property which remained of that which the three sons of the Founder had entailed in Pennsylvania.William Stuart thus received not only the John two-fourths but the Thomas one-fourth and the Richard one-fourth of the Pennsylvanian inheritance.
One rather strange thing about William Penn's descendants is that none of those deriving from his second marriage, i.e. what we might term his American family, are now in America except a cousin of mine who married an American as a second husband and lives in the States.She has two children by her former marriage who also reside there.Those of the original stock who did not die in Pennsylvania came back and settled in England.On the other hand, Christina Gulielma, who married Peter Gaskell of Bath, had property in Philadelphia left to her independently by her great aunt, Letitia Aubrey, who was one of the Quaker's daughters by his first wife.The only son of Christina Gulielma to leave descendants, Peter, went to America in 1785 on inheriting this estate and in 1824 assumed by Royal Licence the additional name of " Penn ". This Peter Penn-Gaskell, who was born in 1763, married in 1793, Elizabeth, daughter of Nathan Edwards of Radnor, Delaware.He had 8 children of whom only two, his son Peter and his daughter Christina, left issue.From the former spring the American families of Skillen and Coates.His grandson, another Peter, took possession of Shanagarry Castle and returned to Ireland.He had two sons.I cannot say whether any Penn-Gaskells are alive to-day.From the daughter Christina stem the American family of Hall.
Thus all Penn's descendants of American nationality are from his first marriage, i.e. his English branch, whilst his English descendants are from his second marriage.Sophia Margaret's issue derive through her son William Stuart and her daughter Mary Juliana who married Thomas, 2nd Earl of Ranfurly on 28th February 1815.Their third daughter.Lady Louisa Knox, who married Henry Alexander of Forkill, Co Armagh, was my grandmother.William Stuart has about 20 living descendants and Mary juliana about 40.Probably there are not more than 80 to 100 persons who can claim William Penn, the Founder, as an ancestor, and certainly no one of the name of " Penn ". A small contingent after 300 years."
Anyone wanting the full article can email me.
John Malcolm Penn