Native Americans, comprised primarily of members of the Shawnee tribe, were the original residents of what is now Cecil Township, but they were displaced by encroaching colonists. Today, there are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Pennsylvania, due to their forced relocation to Oklahoma reservations in the 1700s. However, descendants of the original Native Americans live in Cecil Township because their ancestors had assimilated into white society.
The early settlers, including the individuals (and their respective families) listed below, were of Irish, Scottish, English and German ancestry. It is believed that many of the Irish had immigrated to America to escape the Irish Famine of 1740-1741. With an agricultural-based economy, Cecil Township's first residents were mostly farmers. The area was also home to various tradesmen. As with any emerging community, opportunities arose for doctors, teachers and ministers, and some of Cecil Township's early community leaders were learned men whose education and business acumen played a pivotal role in the advancement of the township.