Last Wednesday the Fredericksburg Regional Genealogical Society’s speaker was Elizabeth Ernst who presented information on researching Quaker ancestors.
She told us that Quakers dress normally, are mostly pacifists, mostly abolitionists, Civil Rights activists, and educators. There are approximately 359,000 Quakers worldwide with 87,000 in the U.S.
George Fox (1624-1691) of Leicestershire, England was the founder, and he believed “There is that of God in Everyone.”
In 1681, the King of England gave William Penn (one of Fox’s most important converts) 45,000 square miles in the new world for a Quaker colony. That colony was to be called Pennsylvania.
Quaker records were kept in the monthly meetings (not quarterly meetings). The monthly meeting records can contain information on births, marriage intentions, records of discipline, disownment, removal/transfer of membership, memorial minutes, and burial requests. There will be two sets of minutes – Men’s Meeting and Women’s Meeting. You might find non-Quakers in these records as they may have attended a marriage as a witness.
William Wade Hinshaw (1867-1947) is Elizabeth’s hero. He collected and compiled Quaker meeting records into family groups and produced the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. Ancestry.com has fully digitized all volumes. Other places to search for Quaker records are print collections in archives and university libraries, and online resources.