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quaker woman

Inexperienced researchers sometimes make uninformed decisions about Quaker ancestry. For example, one might assume that if he/she or one’s parents are not members of the Society of Friends now, they must not have Quaker ancestry. Nothing could be farther from the truth, inasmuch as countless descendants of colonial Quakers have changed their religious identity since William Penn founded Pennsylvania in 1682. Speaking of that great philanthropist, another misconception is that Quaker settlements were limited to Pennsylvania. This is also false; early on, substantial Quaker settlements arose in Delaware and what would become New Jersey, and by the time of the American Revolution, many Quaker meetings were operating in other colonies too. Third, most beginning or intermediate genealogists are pleasantly surprised to learn that the Quakers kept extraordinarily detailed records of their members’ births, marriages and deaths, as well as of members’ “removal’ to another meeting or from the faith altogether.

Quaker Monthly Meeting records are an extraordinary rich source for genealogists. Birth, marriage, and death records are just the tip of the iceberg. The Society of Friends also compiled records of removal (migration), disownment (excommunication) monthly minutes, and more. Here are some few of the ways you can profit from searching Quaker records—even if you are not a Quaker:

  • Quaker records of removal, which document the migration of church members (sometimes entire congregations) from one meeting to another—often across state lines are meticulously detailed.
  • Prospective  couples announced their intention to marry for two consecutive months in the separate men’s and women’s meetings. These intentions are preserved in the minutes.
  • The movement of the Quaker population from New Jersey and Pennsylvania into the colonial South went through the Monocacy region of Maryland, crossed the Potomac River, and reached Hopewell Virginia in 1732.
  • Despite the Society of Friends opposition to slavery, some southern Quakers became slaveholders through inheritance.

Painstakingly developed from these monthly meeting records, William Wade Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, [Published with] Index to Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia [Seven Volumes] is the magnum opus of Quaker genealogy. This massive work preserves the records of the Quaker population that extended from New England and the Middle Atlantic states southward to Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, then west to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The records include births, marriages, deaths, and minutes of proceedings, grouped together for each meeting by families, in alphabetical order, and covering the period from 1680 through the early 1930s. The minutes relating to certificates of removal are numerous and of great genealogical interest, as they give evidence either of membership in a previous monthly meeting or membership in a new meeting, thus enabling genealogists to trace Quaker ancestors from one place to another.

The composition of the Hinshaw Encyclopedia is as follows:

Volume I: North Carolina (including meetings in Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee)

Volume II: New Jersey and Pennsylvania

Volume III: New York

Volume IV: Ohio (including meetings in western Pennsylvania and Michigan)

Volume V: Ohio, Part Two

Volume VI: Virginia

[Volume VII] Index to Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy


Sale price expires at 11:59 PM, EST, Thursday, May 17, 2018

Right now, we’re offering both print and eBook volumes at substantial savings. If you act before 11:59 PM this Thursday May 17, you can save 25% off the price of any Hinshaw print or e-book. EVEN BETTER, you can purchase either the print or the eBook SET of the Quaker Encyclopedia at savings of greater than 40% off our regular prices.

Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia Complete On-Sale Sets

Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia On-Sale Volumes


Volume I:


Normal Print: $137  Special: $99.95

Normal E-book: $79.95  Special: $59.96

Volume II:


Normal Print: $131  Special: $99.95

Normal E-book: $79.95  Special: $59.96

Volume III:


Normal Print: $81.00 Special: $59.95

Normal eBook: $49.95 Special: $39.95

Volume IV:


Normal Print: $137.00 Special: $99.95

Normal eBook: $79.95 Special: $59.96

Volume V:


Normal Print: $131.00 Special: $99.95

Normal eBook: $79.95 Special: $59.96

Volume VI:


Normal Print: $131.00 Special: $99.95

Normal eBook: $79.95 Special: $59.96

[Volume VII]


Normal Print: $101.00 Special: $69.95

Normal eBook: $62.95 Special: $44.95

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