Originally published in 1987, Our Quaker Ancestors: Finding Them in Quaker Records, by Ellen and Thomas Berry, has served as the standard guidebook for persons with Quaker ancestors. Our Quaker Ancestors provides a comprehensive introduction to the rich yet sometimes confusing body of records, repositories, and publications devoted to the Society of Friends. We are happy to report that thanks to the efforts of editor Jana Sloan Broglin, we now have a second edition of Our Quaker Ancestors that incorporates new information about Quaker records and updates the book for the digital age.
Our Quaker Ancestors describes the types of Quaker records that are available, the locations of the records, and the proper use of those records. It guides the researcher through the pyramidal “meeting” structure to the records of birth, marriage, death, disownment, and removal. The work begins with a history of the Religious Society of Friends’ movement and a discussion of its organization and structure, particularly as it affects genealogical research. Later chapters describe Quaker migrations to and within America, the special types of records available for research, and reliable methods for locating and using those records. The Appendices include a bibliography, maps of selected meeting locations, and a glossary of terms peculiar to the Religious Society of Friends.
This second edition is a welcome update to this valuable resource. While the background, organization, migration patterns, meeting records, and the methodological problems associated with the history and records of the Religious Society of Friends remain the same, since the book’s first publication in 1986 the digitization of records and the advent of the Internet have made Quaker resources far more widely available. Many Quaker organizations have a current website that lists their holdings, contact information, and a new chapter devoted to websites, as well as a new bibliography of online resources. No Quaker genealogy collection is complete without this new edition.