Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quakers in North Carolina

Tis a gift to be simple. Tis a gift to be true.
Tis a gift to have Quakers as ancestors too!

Sorry for the play on a traditional Shaker song but it seemed to fit. This past week I worked on a project where the maternal half of the family were Quakers. They came from North Carolina into Indiana in the early 1800s. It was such a wonderful thing to find them listed in Quaker records. The records were loaded with information.

The marriage record gave the names of the parents of both the bride and the groom. It also included a list of 12 witnesses who had to vouch for the couple. The names of some of these people looked like they might have been relatives. It reminded me a little of looking at the godparents in christening records and trying to figure out how they were related. Birth records were also included that listed each child and their birth date. It was such a fun find.

The records I looked at were originals on microfilm and they had ink blotches that made them at times unreadable but overall they were pretty good. I found some wonderful resources for the Quaker records in Indiana. Many of them have been extracted or abstracted and published in great volumes. What a quick way to do a radial search for ancestors that were Quakers in Indiana.

Another type of Quaker records that would be useful are dismissal certificates. These were given to members as the moved out of an area to be presented to the congregation in their new area. This helps you to know exactly when the family left one area and arrived into another. Makes a great paper trail!!

One of the keys to locating the records is to figure out what Monthly Meetinghouse might have been close to their home. A good map of the county for the time and a knowledge, through land records, where exactly your ancestors lived would be quite helpful. When in doubt, however, search all the records for the county that are available. =)

Wouldn't it be great if we all had a little Quaker blood?

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