Quaker Meeting Descriptions

Quaker Meeting Information Related to This Web Site

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A Quaker Collection site has been created on Rootsweb by Jerry Richmond. We haven't had time to fully explore it yet but there is a ton of information there. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jrichmon/qkrcoll/qkrcoll.htm.

Quaker Meetings: References and General Information

Major Sources: William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy and Index to Iowa Quaker Records, Swarthmore College; Willard Heiss, Abstracts of the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana ; Friends' Historical Association Inventory of Church Archives - Society of Friends in Pennsylvania; Sherman Day, Historical Collections of the State of Pennsylvania; Futhey & Cope, History of Chester County, Pennsylvania; Albert Cook Myers, Immigration of the Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania; Ulster Local Studies, Vol. 16 No. 1, Summer 1994.

Quaker Meetings for Worship

Meetings for worship could be held anywhere and were often held in members homes. They might be called indulged meetings or particular meetings. They were usually held on First-days (first day of the week) and sometimes one was held during the week. No preacher or leader was used, as the oral ministry of any member could be given. Sometimes the entire meeting was given over to the silent communion of worship.

A Russian visitor to the John Bartram family described attending meeting with them in 1769: "...and at last to the meeting of the Society, on the Sunday following. It was at the town of Chester, whither the whole family went in two wagons, Mr. Bartram and I on horseback. When I entered the house where the Friends were assembled--who might be about two hundred, men and women--the involuntary impulse of ancient custom made me pull off my hat; but recovering myself, I sat with it on at the end of the bench. The meeting-house was a square building, devoid of any ornament whatever. The whiteness of the walls--the conveniency of the seats--that of a large stove, which in cold weather keeps the whole house warm--were the only essential things which I observed. Neither pulpit nor desk, font nor altar, tabernacle nor organ, were there to be seen; it is merely a spacious room, in which these good people meet every Sunday. A profound silence ensued, which lasted about half an hour; every one had his head reclined, and seemed absorbed in profound meditation, when a female Friend arose, and declared, with a most engaging modesty, that the Spirit moved her to entertain them on the subject she had chosen....Either she must have been a great, adept in public speaking, or had studiously prepared herself, a circumstance that cannot well be supposed, as it is a point in their profession to utter nothing but what arises from spontaneous impulse, or else the Great Spirit must have inspired her with the soundest morality. I did not observe one single face turned from her...As soon as she had finished, every one seemed to return to his former meditation for about a quarter of an hour, when they rose up by common consent, and, after some general conversation, departed..."

Generally speaking these meetings are not of genealogical interest as those things that were a matter of record from the Quakers are found largely in the minutes of the Monthly Meetings, which was where the business of the Quakers was conducted.

Quaker Preparative Meetings

These were usually composed of committees and served as a clearing house for complaints against members or any other business that needed to be organized before being presented to the Monthly Meeting.

Caln and Bradford Preparative Meetings: Chester County, Pennsylvania. On 6/6/1716 Quarterly meeting granted a request for a first day meeting at Caln and gave liberty to build a meeting house on land of John Mendinhall (sic). When Bradford Preparative meeting was set up, Bradford and Caln alternated in holding meetings. In 1743 Bradford allowed the sale of the land to William Pim in exchange for Pim making a Deed of the burying ground to Trustees for the use of friends forever. In 1801 Caln became a Quarterly Meeting.

Quarterly and Yearly Meetings

Quarterly Meetings had jurisdiction over a prescribed number of Monthly Meetings and were gathering places for representatives from the Monthly Meetings to take care of larger questions of Quaker faith. Yearly Meetings took in an even larger sphere of oversight usually including a number of Quarterly Meetings.

Quaker Monthly Meetings - General Information

Monthly Meetings included members from all the indulged and preparative meetings under the jurisdiction of the monthly meeting. These are the meetings that contain information of genealogical importance. Monthly Meetings were business meetings where official records were kept of births, deaths, and marriages, and of the work of committees who were charged with the welfare of the membership. There were separate monthly meetings for men and women. While Quakers gave women much more equal status than was usual in the early days of America - the men's meetings took care of Quaker business in their interaction with the outside world, while the women's meetings had the task of maintaining discipline within the ranks of the female members of the Quakers. Meetings were presided over by Elders, assisted by Overseers who had oversight of such things as taking care of the needy. Quaker ministers had a calling from God and were often called to travel so they did not preside over meetings. Elders actually had oversight over ministers that they did not overstep the bounds of proper Quaker behavior. The traveling ministers fulfilled somewhat the same function as traveling minstrels in Europe in that they were also carriers of news.

For a list of Quaker Monthly Meetings, with locations and dates of operation, see the Rootsweb Quaker Meeting Site. For a list specific to Chester County, Pennsylvania see the Chester County Quaker site (with much more Quaker information).

For a list of Quaker Monthly Meetings included in William Wade Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy indexed to Volumes 1-VI in the Encyclopedia see the Rootsweb Hinshaw site. Volume VII of Hinshaw consists of 6 parts by Willard Heiss, titled "Abstracts of the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana." We have an index to Volume VII on this site. For a map of the distribution of Quaker Meetings by the time of the Revolutionary War Click on Ancestry.com Map Search Center and enter "Quaker Churches in Colonial America" as the search term. Note: this is just a generalized view that gives you a rough idea of how many there were!

Specific Monthly Meetings

Meetings in England and Ireland

For maps of English and Irish meetings {English/Irish Map Page}.
For information on English and Irish Meetings see the Quaker Family History Society Web Site

George Fox of England was the founder of the Quakers. Fox believed the religious life should be an every-day awareness of the presence of God - not just a Sunday observance. From this basis derived the characteristics of Quakerism - no clergy, no liturgy, no tithes, religious and civil liberty for all. These views were considered dangerous by Church of England authorities, and Fox and his followers suffered terrible privations, fines and imprisonment in order to stay true to their convictions. The first Quaker meeting was set up in England in 1652 and by 1655 meetings were being set up in Ireland as Quakers fled the torments in England. The Meetings in Ireland expanded by the encouragement of travelling friends or ministering preachers who toured up and down Ireland, holding public gatherings and preaching their experience of the inward Christ. There were about fifty of these preachers including William Edmundson who held the first meeting in Ireland and later the first meeting in Pennsylvania. George Fox went to Ireland in 1670 and helped organize the record keeping of the preparative meetings and the monthly meeting at Antrim.

Cartmel Fell and Height Meeting House: Westmorland, England

Lancashire and Westmorland were the ancestral homes of the Thornbrough families in England. They are mentioned in connection with the meeting at Cartmel. {Photo} {Map} (Ref: map and photo: Hugh Barbour "Quakers in Puritan England")

Monyash Meeting: Derbyshire, England

Abraham Marshall came from this meeting with a notation on his certificate "appears to have been a preacher." A kind person from the UK responded to our request for information and sent the following: "Monyash was a stronghold for the Quaker movement for over 100 years, and in 1668, John Gratton the most famous of the Midland Quakers, came to live in the village where he remained for 40 years. Apart from being imprisoned for his faith, he suffered grievously at the hands of his fellow men. As this extract from a book about his life relates '...I got on top of a the wall and spoke to the people, but a company of rude fellows set on to stone us, the stones flew above my head and rattled in the tree, yet hit me not. But a woman that happened to sit near me, a great stone hit her and wounded her... .' The Quaker Meeting House in the village is now used for other purposes." The quote is from a wonderful Web Site about the area of Moneyash: http://www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk/monyash.htm. There is a nice walking tour on the site so you can view the scenery that Abraham Marshall saw.

Antrim Monthly Meeting: Ulster, Ireland

Quakers settling in Ireland assembled in small meetings and visiting preachers came to them on occasion. These gradually were established into preparative meetings and committee members met together at a convenient central location, Antrim, to hold business meetings once a month. Antrim had established its own Preparative Meeting in 1669.

Lurgan Meeting: County Armagh, Ireland

Ireland in the 17th century was colonised by adventurers, including ex-army personnel from Cromwell's army who had not been paid and were granted plots of land in lieu thereof. Among these was William Edmundson. On a trip to England he met a follower of George Fox and embraced the Quaker beliefs in England. He returned to Antrim and in 1654 in his own home at Lurgan held the first Quaker meeting in Ireland. Like Fox, he kept a detailed journal and his journal is the only surviving record of some of the early preparative meetings in Ireland. As a traveling minister he went to Pennsylvania and helped establish the first monthly meeting there at Chester. The Thornbroughs were members of the Lurgan Meeting and went to Pennsylvania from there in 1725.

Mountmellick Meeting: Queen's County, Ireland

Nicholas Newlin and son Nathaniel came from Mountmellick to Concord Meeting in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1683.

New Jersey Monthly Meetings

Burlington Monthly Meeting: Burlington County, New Jersey

Two hundred and thirty English Quakers sailed from London in the summer of 1677 in the ship Kent and landed on an island on the east bank of the Delaware River about fifty miles north of Salem. They called their landing place Burlington. Five or six other ships followed in the next four years, bringing fourteen hundred more people to the new towns in West Jersey. Many were Friends as a census of 1699 showed that more than a third of the landholders were Quakers. A meeting for whorship was immediately held in a tent made from the sails of the Kent. A business meeting was set up the next year on 5th month 1678. A meeting house was completed in 1682. Thomas and Sarah Hamman Thornbrough were among the early members at Burlington. The Edwards family that interacted literally over centuries with the Woodward family also started here.

Pennsylvania and Delaware Meetings

(Pennsylvania maps)
Map of location of Friends Meetings in Chester County in the Eighteenth Century (we're still trying to make this one work - printing the map makes a better quality copy)

6/2006 There is a new Quaker Records site building that contains maps, photos, and databases of meetings in Pennsylvania and a few in Maryland and New Jersey. There is a good copy of the above 18th Century Map on this site.

Birmingham: Chester County, Pennsylvania

Concord Meeting gave permission to hold First-Day meetings in William Brinton's cabin at a very early date. Plans were made for a meeting house in 1718. The Battle of Brandywine was fought here and the British used the meeting house for a hospital. The meeting house was located a few miles southeast of West Chester, Pa, near the Delaware County line.

Darby Monthly Meeting: Chester (later Delaware County) Pennsylvania

Meetings for worship were first settled in Darby in the year 1682, and a meeting-house was after bult; their monthly meeting was settled in 1684, till which time they were joined to Chester monthly meeting. Early members included John Bartram and Abraham Marshall, James Hunt and John Blunston. The village of Darby is located on the Creek of that name south of Philadelphia, not far from Philadelphia Old Swede's Church.

Upland, Chester and Goshen Monthly Meetings: Chester County, Pennsylvania

For a sketch {click} Established in 1681 as Upland Monthly Meeting by Burlington Monthly Meeting of New Jersey after having functioned as a meeting for worship from 1675. Robert Wade, an English Friend, settled among the Swedes and Dutch on the west bank of Chester Creek at Upland, in 1675, and in that year William Edmundson on a religious visit to the American colonies held a meeting at Wade's house on 11/19/1681. This was the first Friends' meeting held in the Province of Pennsylvania. Wade's House was called Essex House and meetings were held there until 7/11/1682 when the Monthly Meeting agreed that first day meetings would be held at the court house at Upland. William Penn lodged with Wade when he arrived. A stone meetinghouse was erected on the east bank of Chester Creek in 1693. In 1711 the name was changed to Chester Monthly Meeting. Goshen Monthly Meeting was formed in 1722 as a division of Chester Monthly Meeting. Family names found at Chester include Simcock, Vernon, Maris, Coppock, Pusey.

Chichester and Concord Monthly Meeting: Chester County, Pennsylvania

Set up as Chichester Monthly Meeting by Chester Quarterly Meeting 17th day 1st month, 1684. A particular meeting had been established in 1682. Meetings were held in private homes until 1685. On 2 day 8th month 1686 it was ordered that the meeting be held one month at Chichester and one month at Concord. Meetings at Concord were held in Friends' homes until 1695 when a small meeting-house was erected on Birmingham Road in Concord Township. The land was donated in 1697 by John Mendenhall for the use of the Quakers for a burial ground and meeting house. In 1740 additional land to expand the burial ground was donated by Nicholas Newlin. Early Eavenson and Woodward records are found here. Among the first members were Richard Woodward, Nathaniel Newlin, Thomas Eavenson, and Esther Davis. There is some good history of Concord Meeting on-line in Ashmead's History of Delaware County including a list of those who subscribed to the building of the meeting house in 1697. An interesting name on the list is Benjamin Woodward - we have not encountered his name anywhere else and believe it is an error in transcription for Richard Woodward since we know he was a member in 1695. There is a Web Site with Concord Marriage Records at Quaker Marriages. Photo of Meeting House and Cemetery. The large monument in front was placed by later Marshall descendants and includes the genealogy of Thomas Marshalls for several generations.

Bradford Meetings: Chester County, Pennsylvania

Photo of Bradford Meeting House. "At our Quarterly Meeting held at Concord for the County of Chester the 9th of the 3rd month 1737 ... Desiring this meeting to Grant it then which this meeting after due consideration thereof do Grant and allow to the said friends of Bradford and Caln particular meetings Liberty of Keeping and Holding a Monthly Meeting for Discipline and Church affairs among them till further order, and to be kept and held on every third fifth day of the week in every month and be called and known by the name of Bradford Monthly Meeting. Jacob Howell Clerk William Pim nominated as Clerk till further order, Richard Woodward Elder for Bradford meeting, William Pim Elder for Caln Meeting, Varmont and John Coope overseers of Bradford meeting, Aaron Mendenhall and William Pim overseers for Caln Meeting."

Bradford Preparative Meeting (more above under preparative meetings) was set up in 1726 by Newark Monthly Meeting. It was sometimes called Marshallton Meeting as the first meetinghouse is reported to have been at or near the northeast corner of the land of Abraham Marshall. When Bradford Monthly Meeting was set up the preparative meeting became part of it.

Falls and Neshaminy Monthly Meetings: Bucks County, Pennsylvania

"Friends from Falls, as this southeastern region of Bucks County came to be called, met at first in their various homes for worship...On third month 2, 1683, they organized a monthly meeting of their own. The following year it was divided into two meetings, Falls and Neshaminy." Moon and Haworth families are first found here in Quaker records in America.

Hockessin Meeting: Mill Creek Hundred, New Castle County (later Delaware)

A meeting was held as early as 1730 but not regularly established until 1737. The meeting received its name from an Indian village formerly near the place. Friends included Cox, Baldwin, Dixon. In 1738, a meeting-house was built, and enlarged in 1745.

Centre and Hockessin Monthly Meetings: New Castle County, Delaware

Centre and Hockessin together composed the Monthly Meeting at the time that Centre was established in 1808. Both were in Newcastle County, but being very near the Pennsylvania line, had many members from Pennsylvania.

Little Brittain Monthly Meeting: Southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

See Web Site Quaker Marriages of Southern Lancaster County.

London Grove Monthly Meeting: Chester County, Pennsylvania

A parcel of land was sold by William Penn to a group of London Friends on 8/12/1699. These Friends and others formed the London Company and encouraged settlers to come. Among the settlers was John Allen, an Irish friend, whose descendants would intermarry with Woodwards. More of the Starr family also came to this location. London Grove Meeting was established by authority of Chester Quarterly Meeting in 1714 and meetings were held in East Marlborough, until 1724, when a meetinghouse was erected in the north-east corner of London Grove Township. In 1743 it was replaced by a larger house. Photo of London Grove Meeting House

Newark and Kennett Monthly Meetings: Chester County, Pennsylvania

After the division of Pennsylvania and Delaware it was located in Brandywine Hundred in the County of Newcastle, Delaware. George Harlan from Ireland was one of the founders of the meeting in 1682. It was authorized in 1686 by Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting. Valentine Hollingsworth in 1687 gave 1/2 acre of land for a burial place. The meeting was called New Work after the Hollingsworth plantation. In 1760 Newark became part of Kennett Meeting. Meetings were held in the meetinghouses of the preparative meetings under its care. Christopher Wilson was one of the most prominent of the early ministers of this meeting. He came from Ireland in 1712 and settled in NewCastle County where he married Esther Woodward. Photo of Kennett Meeting House

New Garden Monthly Meeting: Chester County, Pennsylvania

Set up in 1718 by Chester Quarterly Meeting. Meetings were sometimes held at Nottingham. Friends had settled there by 1712, and meetings for worship were held in various homes, the first one being in the home of Simon Hadly. A meeting house was built on land patented by William Penn about 1706. Six acres were granted to Simon Hadly, James Starr, Thomas Jackson and Michael Lightfoot on 10/26/1717 in trust for the meeting. The land was formally transferred to the meeting on 12/12/1723. Monthly Meetings alternated between Nottingham and London Grove until 1792. This meeting was named in remembrance of New Garden Meeting, in County Carlow, Ireland. New Garden Meeting in North Carolina was named after this meeting and later one in Indiana. The Starr family of County Meath, Ireland, settled at this meeting by 1715. James Starr married Hannah Jones, daughter of Evan and Sarah Woodward Jones at this meeting. James was first clerk of the Monthly Meeting. For more information including photos, see Barbara Ebberly's Web Page. Photo of New Garden Meeting House and New Garden Cemetery in 2001.

Sadsbury Monthly Meeting: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

A meeting house was built at Sadsbury in 1725. Sadsbury was set up as a monthly meeting in 1737 by Chester Quarterly Meeting upon the recommendation of the New Garden Monthly Meeting. Meetings were held alternately in the meeting-houses of the preprarative meetings. For many years Sadsbury was a powerful influence among the Friends in Lancaster and York Counties. Most of the indulged and preparative meetings in these counties were established by Sadsbury. It was the meeting of the Simcock family.

Redstone Monthly Meeting: Fayette County, Pennsylvania

(photo) Redstone was set off from Westland 4th month 26th day 1793, and probably included part of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and of Monongalia County, Virginia. The first settlement of Friends was at Uniontown about 1769. In 1776 eighteen families were residing about Redstone, Uniontown and Brownsville. This meeting is important to us as it was the repository for many years for certificates of families moving from Pennsylvania to Ohio. Millison descendants of James & Grace Woodward Millison are documented here.

Uwchlan Meetings: Chester County, Pennsylvania

By 1712 there were enough Friends living in Uwchlan to justify a request at Chester MM to form their own meeting for worship. John Cadwallader furnished his home above the Great Valley as a meeting place, and after a few years deeded the land on which the Uwchlan Meeting House stands. The original house still stands, the last house on North Village Avenue, in Lionville. It was incorporated into the larger meeting house built in 1756. Uchwlan Monthly Meeting was started in 1763 as a Division of Goshen Monthly Meeting.

Warrington Monthly Meeting: York County, Pennsylvania

Robert Cooke has submitted information on this meeting including a photo and burial records on line {Click}

Westland Monthly Meeting: Washington County, Pennsylvania.

Westland was opened 12th of 11th month 1785. The meeting included Washington, Allegheny, Westmoreland, Fayette and Greene Counties, Pennsylvania and adjoining counties in Virginia and Ohio. Local meetings under their jurisdiction included Westland, Redstone, Little Redstone, Fallowfield, Sandy Creek (Va.), Pike Run, Richland (Va), Plymouth, Sandhill and Wheeling. Millisons went to this meeting.

Maryland Meetings

Monoquesy Meeting for Worship: Monoquesy Valley, Maryland

This meeting was established just north of the Potomac River in 1726 with meetings being held principally in the home of Josiah Ballenger. The Meeting was set up by New Garden Monthly Meeting in Pennsylvania and the earliest records were kept by New Garden until 1730. After that they were kept by Nottingham Monthly Meeting until 1734 when Monoquesy was assigned to Hopewell Meeting in Virginia. Early records at Hopewell were destroyed by fire in 1759. Some of the records were reconstructed by the Hopewell Historical Association (see Hopewell below). A Monocacy Md Web Page on the Hopewell Site linked below includes excerpts from "Pioneers of Old Monocacy: The Early Settlement of Frederick Co., Maryland 1721-1743."

Virginia Meetings

Goose Creek Monthly Meeting: Bedford County, Virginia

Established 1794 and discontinued 1814. The description of this meeting in Hinshaw, Volume VI, page 347, is of particular interest to our family history as it tells much of the French and Indian War, as well as western migration.

Fairfax and Goose Creek Monthly Meeting: Louden County, Virginia

In 1785 Fairfax Monthly Meeting was divided into two meetings: Fairfax and Goose Creek. At the same time South Fork Preparative meeting was attached to Goose Creek. Meetings for worship had been held as early as 1749 at Goose Creek. In Hinshaw, Vol VI, page 609, much of the history of the settlement of the Shenandoah Valley and the establishment of its various meetings is given under Goose Creek Meeting. A large graveyard was associated with Goose Creek, said to be one of the most beautiful in Virginia.

Hopewell Monthly Meeting (Opeckan): Frederick County, Virginia

This was the earliest Quaker meeting established in this region during the settlement of the Shenandoah Valley. The exact date of its establishment is not known, although a sign outside the meetinghouse indicates 1735. "Hopewell...is situated in Frederick Co...five miles north of Winchester and Harper's Ferry Railroad. It was established about the year 1730 and was for many years attached to Concord Quarterly Meeting in Pennsylvania...The Monthly Meeting was established about 1735." Hinshaw's description of this Meeting in Volume VI, page 357-360, tells much of the early Quaker migration and settlement in this area. Many of our family names are associated with this meeting including Mills, Beeson, Beals, Morgan, Hollingsworth, Taylor, Thornbrough, and others. The first meetings for worship were actually held at Richard Beeson's house starting about 1733. Unfortunately the first book of minutes for Hopewell, covering 1735 to 1759 was lost in a fire, and equally unfortunately this is the very time period we are interested in. It is often only when a certificate from Hopewell is received at another meeting that we know our ancestors were there at all. Birth and death records are also incomplete since distances and difficulty of travel often prevented information from reaching the meeting. Committees were appointed to go out and collect data but "travel was over mountainous roads running through wild terrain fraught with great danger." There is a Hopewell Meeting Web Site with a photo of the Meeting House and a list of some of the first members, including where they purchased land in connection with their stay in Virginia. M. D. Monk sent photos of the meeting house which are displayed on our Hopewell page.

Cedar Creek Monthly Meeting (also called Caroline & Circular; now Richmond)

Counties within bounds of this MM: Hanover, New Kent, Caroline, Louisa, Orange, Bedford, Campbell, Albemarle, Halifax, parts of Amelia, Goochland and Henrico. At one time the meeting covered most of Virginia. Established 1739 from the Henrico-Curles Monthly Meeting. There were two movements contributing to the growth of this meeting: first, opening and settling of new lands above Richmond by those of Quaker faith and background. Second, was a spiritual awakening that converted many to Quakerism. This meeting sufferred much for its position on war. It was here that the first organized movement in the state was made toward the abolition of slavery. Stanley and Ballard were among the family names found here.

Fairfax Monthly Meeting: Loudon County, Virginia

Fairfax was set off from Hopewell Monthly Meeting in 1744, the first meeting being held on 4th month 26th day 1745. Monthly meetings were held in alternate months at Fairfax Meeting house and at Monoquesy Meeting house (the latter in Maryland). Many Friends certificates were directed to Hopewell regardless of where they resided in Virginia. It is often necessary to look for family records in Fairfax, Hopewell, and Monoquesy regardless of where the family lived. Early records for our family at Fairfax included Beals, Beeson, and Hunt.

North Carolina Meetings

(North Carolina maps)

I will do lookups in Volume 1 of North Carolina Monthly Meetings in the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. I just had to purchase this to replace the copy I had placed at my local LDS Library and which they callously threw away with all their other books. This book includes the oldest thirty three North Carolina meetings. You can request a lookup by emailing me at [email protected]. We can also negotiate for making copies of some of the information at a reasonable price but I will send short form information by email at no charge.

New Garden Monthly Meeting: Guilford County, North Carolina

New Garden Monthly Meeting was set up in 1754 by direction of Perquimans and Little River Quarterly Meeting. Friends requested the meeting because of the hardship of attending Cane Creek Monthly Meeting. Thomas Thornbrugh was appointed first clerk of New Garden. An early history of New Garden Meeting is abstracted from Southern Quakers and Slavery. Of the settlers who formed the New Garden meetings the first to arrive were doubtless the immigrants from Pennsylvania by way of Maryland. They brought the name with them from Pennsylvania. It has aways been a characteristic of Quakers to reproduce the names of the sections with which they have been associated in former years. The Pennsylvania New Garden meeting was named in remembrance of New Garden Meeting in County Carlow, Ireland. In 1751 a meeting for worship was granted by Cane Creek Monthly Meeting. New Garden was destined to become the most important meeting in the state, mother of many others. In 1754 certificates came from Pennsylvania and from Hopewell and Fairfax meetings in Virginia. On 19 October 1757 Henry Ballinger & Thomas Hunt purchased 53 acres from Richard Williams for five pounds sterling, to be used by the Quakers for the New Garden Meeting House and for a cemetery. Witnesses were John Beals & Bowater Beals. The settlers were soon reinforced by old Quaker stock from Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, beginning about 1771. The location of Guilford County is a little misleading as Guilford County was not formed until 1770, so before that date families may be referenced as being of Rowan or Orange Counties.

Westfield Monthly Meeting: Surry County, North Carolina

Tom's Creek Meeting was the predecessor of Westfield and was located not far from the Virginia line. The meeting for worship was organized about 1771; the preparative meeting in 1784. The name was changed to Westfield when the monthly meeting was established, in 1786. In addition to Surry and adjoining counties in North Carolina, Westfield included adjacent territory in Virginia and settlements in future Greene & Jefferson Counties, Tennessee. It was here that we learn in 1793 that Abraham Woodward and family had moved to the waters of the Holston River.

Center Monthly Meeting: Guilford County, North Carolina

This meeting was located about ten miles south of Greensboro. New Garden settled a first-day meeting at Center in 1756 and a monthly meeting was established in 1773. At first there were only a few families and the meetings were held in a private house. Men's minutes prior to 1835 and women's minutes prior to 1825 have been lost. This meeting was the meeting of the Abraham & Hannah Thornbrough Woodward family. The births of their children are recorded here. For a photo of the meeting see Barbara Eberly's Web Page.

Back Creek Monthly Meeting: Randolph County, North Carolina

Back Creek was established 29th of 12th month 1792 as authorized by Cane Creek. Previous to the establishment Back Creek Preparative Meeting had been attached to Center Monthly Meeting in Guilford County. Thomas and Miriam Winslow Thornbrough were charter members of this meeting.

Cane Creek Monthly Meeting: Orange (now Alamance) County

Cane Creek was established 7th of 10th month 1751, being located on Cane Creek in the central part of a large area comprising Orange County. This included all the present counties of Caswell, Person, Alamance, Chatham, Orange, and parts of Rockingham, Guilford, Randolph, Lee, Wake and Durham. When Chatham County was formed in 1771, he division line between Orange and Chatham Counties ran a short distance to the south of the meeting house. This accounts for some families showing children born early in Orange County and later in Chatham. There were some thirty families resident at the opening of the meeting. Not all are known but among them was the Robert Sumner family. Many other family names are mentioned in the early minutes including Ballinger, Beals, Beeson, Hiatt, Hodson, Hunt, Marshill, Mills, Thornbrough For more information on Cane Creek Meeting including photos see Barbara Ebberly's Web Site.

Holly Spring Monthly Meeting: Randolph County, North Carolina

This meeting was opened 18th of 4th month, 1818. While most of our Woodward relatives were long gone from Randolph County by that time there are many related names found there, including Dicks, Hoggett, Hinshaw, Newlin, Dixon, etc.

Spring Monthly Meeting: Orange (now Alamance) County, North Carolina

Spring Meeting is located in the southeastern corner of Alamance County a few miles east of Cane Creek Meeting. A meeting for worship was established in 1773 and a monthly meeting in 1793. Men's minutes prior to 1815 are lost. Female members at organization include Holaday, McCracken, Hadley, White, more.

Union Monthly Meeting: Stokes (now Forsyth) County, North Carolina

A meeting for worship had been established at Muddy Creek about 1771 and a preparative meeting in 1785. The location was two miles south of Kernersville. Union Monthly Meeting was organized 28th of 1st month, 1818, per request of Muddy Creek Preparative Meeting. Many family names are found here including Beeson and Mendenhall The meeting was discontinued in 1834.

Deep River Monthly Meeting: Guilford County, North Carolina

Western Quarterly Meeting authorized this meeting on 8/8/1778. The first meeting was held 9/7/1778. Many, many of our families are found here including Mills & Thornbrough. It is located in the western part of Guilford County, about 12 miles from Greensboro. As New Garden did, the meeting grew rapidly from the migration from the north and lost many, many members when the migration to the new Northwest territory began. The favorite destination in this migration was WhiteWater Meeting in Indiana.

Deep Creek Monthly Meeting: Surry (now Yadkin) County, North Carolina

The meeting was established 6th day 4th month 1793 and was authorized by Deep River. James Thornbrough and Bowater Beals were included in the committee that authorized the setting up of Deep Creek.

Hopewell Monthly Meeting: Guilford County, North Carolina

Hopewell was established 4th month 1824 per New Garden Quarterly Meeting. Original members included Unthank, Stanley, Macy, Swain, Mendenhall. Baldwin, Canaday, Edwards, Hunt, White soon followed.

Spring Monthly Meeting: Orange (now Almanace) County, North Carolina

Located a few miles east of Cane Creek Meeting. Monthly meeting established in 1793. Men's member list is missing, women included Holadays. Children of Sarah Beard Holaday listed at this meeting.

Springfield Monthly Meeting: Guilford County, North Carolina

This meeting was set off by Deep River on 5th month 1790. Meetings for worship had been held since about 1773. Original members included Mendenhalls, Kerseys, Haworths, Thornbroughs.

Back Creek Monthly Meeting: Randolph County, North Carolina

Back Creek was set up on the 29th of 12th month 1792. Thomas & Miriam Winslow Thornbrough were part of the original membership.

Perquimans & Pasquotank Monthly Meetings: Perquimans & Pasquotank Counties, North Carolina

North Carolina Quakerism had its beginning, toward the end of the seventeenth century in this coastal area of North Carolina. Earliest records at Perquimans begin with 1680. Earliest at Pasquotank are 1698. These are the meetings that Abraham Marshall was called to visit in his ministerial travels in the early 1740's. In addition these meetings provided settlers to the interior of North Carolina and there were intermarriages with our Woodward families.

Tennessee Meetings

(Tennessee Maps)
The exact date of Quaker Settlement on the waters of the Holston River is not known although John Mills is thought to have settled there from North Carolina as early as 1784, and Benjamin Thornbrough came down from Virginia about 1787. The early settlements were under the care of New Garden Monthly Meeting in North Carolina. New Garden transferred the membership of a number of families in 1791 to Westfield Monthly Meeting in Surry County, North Carolina. The minutes relating to this transfer state that the families were living on the waters of the Holston River and it was believed that it would be more convenient for them to belong to Westfield. Before granting these certificates New Garden Monthly Meeting assured itself that the lands on which the members were living had been purchased from the native Indian owners. Hinshaw in his description of Lost Creek Monthly meeting lists the early families transferred in this manner (Vol. 1, page 1101).

Lost Creek Monthly Meeting: Jefferson County, Tennessee

"Lost Creek Monthly Meeting was established the 20th of 5th month, 1797, near the present town of New Market... Nathan Hunt and Jacob Hunt were in attendance as representatives of New Garden Quarterly Meeting. Abraham Woodward and Sarah Mills were appointed Clerks. Henry Thornbrough, Richard Hayworth, Mary Turner and Eleanor Sumner were appointed to attend the next session of the Quarterly Meeting at New Garden, N.C. At the monthly meeting held 23rd of 9th month, 1797, John Mills, Henry Thornbrough, Sarah Mills and Rachel Thornbrough were chosen to serve as Elders. Abraham Woodward was recommended an elder on 4/18/1801 and was appointed to transcribe minutes 2/27/1808. Hinshaw noted that the minutes of Lost Creek Monthly Meeting were deposited at the Yearly Meeting House in Richmond, Indiana. A visit by a Woodward descendant uncovered the fact that the records had been transferred to Guilford College in Guilford County, North Carolina, some forty years ago. We have created a page of photographs of the Lost Creek Meeting House. The church steeple, headstones, and especially the signs are modern additions as early Quakers did not believe in such embellishments.

Newhope Monthly Meeting (formerly Nolichuky): Greene County, Tennessee

Newhope was established 28th of 2nd month, 1795, by direction of New Garden Quarterly Meeting and Westfield Monthly Meeting. Samuel Frazier was recorder and Joseph Thornbrough was one of the overseers. Settlement by friends had begun as early as 1784 and it was first called after the Nolichucky stream on which the settlement was located. Several of our family names are found there at inception of the meeting including Frazier, Beals, Coppock, Haworth. It was one of the meetings that received certificates for the Lost Creek settlement before the Lost Creek meeting was established. Patrick & Hannah Woodward Beard deposited their certificate here on 12/26/1795 when they moved to Lost Creek. John Beals was one of the first migrating to Ohio in 1804 by certificate to Miami Monthly Meeting.

Newberry Monthly Meeting: Blount County, Tennessee

This meeting was established from Newhope & Lost Creek on the 5th month, 14th day, 1808. First day meetings had been held since 1801 and weekday meetings followed in 1802. Removal of members to the North began with one certificate to White Water Monthly Meeting, Indiana, in 1812, for Patrick & Hannah Woodward Beard.

Iowa Meetings

Pleasant Plain Monthly Meeting: Jefferson County, Iowa

From The Quakers of Iowa, Louis T. Jones, Iowa City, 1914: "In this fair and fertile land the onward-moving Quakers once again bade their oxen "Whoa"; and upon a prairie now called "Pleasant Plain" they planted homes, and erected church and school...Rapid, indeed must have been the growth of the settlement which in less than a single year raised Pleasant Plain from the stage of a Preparative to that of a Monthly Meeting. On the 28th day of December, 1842, the members of the new community assembled...to solemnly establish a meeting in accordance with the ancient order of the Society. From the very first, certificates of membership began to pour into this new Monthly Meeting from all parts of the East and South. During the nine years from 1842 to 1850 one hundred and fifty members came from various Quaker centers in Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee."

Richland , Hopewell & Woolson Monthly Meetings: Keokuk County, Iowa

The Friend's Society was represented here in 1840 where a meeting was held in the home of Prior C. Woodward. Prior Woodward laid out the town of Richland in 1841. In 1841 or 1842 an organization was formed under the care of Pleasant Plain Monthly Meeting. Names of members were James and Angeline Williams, Prior, Susannah, Samuel, William & Ruth Woodward, the Hawthorn family of five, five Moormans, and nine Hadleys. In about 1850 a meeting was organized about 3 1/2 miles northeast of Richland. A Monthly Meeting was organized in November 1861. Hopewell & Woolson Meetings were split off from Richland. Samuel & Abigail Shelley Woodward gave a warranty deed March 30, 1846 for $6.75 to the Tustees of the Meeting House for the Society of Friends in Richland for Friends Cemetery. Prior Woodward is buried here. Friends Cemetery is currently located on the west side of the street approximately seven or eight blocks north of the northwest corner of the Square in the town of Richland. The family of Andrew Jackson Woodward is documented here.

Honey Creek Monthly Meeting: Hardin County, Iowa

On 27th of October 1855 land was deeded to Western Plain Monthly Meeting of Friends for the establishment of Honey Creek Meeting and Cemetery. The same parcel was deeded again on the 18th day of 2nd month 1860 to Honey Creek Monthly Meeting. The closest town to the Honey Creek Cemetery is New Providence. The cemetery is about two and a half miles south of that village on a black-topped highway and one half mile west on the road which leads to Hardin County Park. The Honey Creek Friends Church nearby is a National Historical Landmark. Samuel & Abigail Shelley Woodward are buried at Honey Creek Cemetery. Some of their children and grandchildren were also members of this meeting. (Photo on Marion Monk's Web Site)

Center Monthly Meeting: Jasper County, Iowa

Center MM was set off from Spring Creek MM in 1861. The 1st meeting for worhsip had been held there about 1846. In 1851 a Preparative Meeting was organized and set off from Spring Creek & Pleasant Plain. In 1861 Center MM & Plain View MM were set off but Pleasant View was soon put down. A Hammer genealogy tells us "According to its records, Center Friends Church, located northeast of Newton, was the first Friends Meeting to be established in Jasper County. In 1846, the Rev. Elisha Hammer and family came from Jefferson County, Tennessee, and the Evan Hinshaw and Beals families soon followed. Each first and fourth day they gathered in the Elisha Hammer home for worship. He did not live long after coming to Iowa, but the others continued to worship in the log cabin home of his widow Rachel and other homes in the settlement." Simon Barker Woodward and family were members of this meeting before moving to Whittier MM in California in 1906.

Oskaloosa Monthly Meeting: Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa, was part of a government purchase from Sac & Fox Indians in 1843. Mahaska was the seat of justice but the name was changed to Oskaloosa. Ouscaloosa was a greek child taken captive by the Seminoles. Osceola, chief of the Seminoles made her his wife - the name means "last of the beautiful." (more to come on dates). Andrew Jackson Woodward and wife Mary were members of this meeting and Mary Free Woodward is buried at Spring Creek Cemetery.

Salem Monthly Meeting: Henry County, Iowa

The first Friends meeting west of the Mississippi River was organized at Salem, Henry County, Iowa Territory, 1838. Meetings for worship had been held for a year before that. Women Friends first opened and held on 8/10/1839. Joint sessions of men and women held starting 3/1/1879. Prior & John Woodward recrq 4/30/1842.

Spring Creek Yearly Meeting: Mahaska County, Iowa

Set up 1862 3 miles east and a little north of Oskaloosa. David Hunt was first clerk. There were four Quarterly Meetings under its jurisdiction: Red Cedar (Springdale), Salem, Pleasant Plain, and Western Plain (Bangor).

Illinois Meetings

Vermilion and Hopewell Monthly Meetings: Vermilion County, Illinois.

At the time Vermilion Monthly Meeting was set off from Honey Creek (Indiana) in 1826, it was the most westerly monthly meeting in America. It was first held 2nd day 9th month 1826 four miles south of Georgetown. The area was settled as early as 1823. This meeting is the link to meetings in the west - certificates were deposited here until Salem Monthly Meeting was established in Iowa. Hopewell Meeting was set off from it in 1873. Haworths, Canadays, and Mills were founders of this meeting. The Haworth Association Web Site has photos.

Other Illinois Meetings

We have recently gotten the Illinois Meeting records that are on card file at Swarthmore College on loan at our local LDS library. The card file includes brief notes on the meeting establishment and when time permits we will add the information here. Golden is one of the names we have researched here.

Indiana Meetings

(Indiana Maps)

For a photograph (by M. D. Monk) of a painting that hangs at Earlham College in Indiana of Indiana Quakers at Yearly Meeting in 1844 {click}

New Garden Monthly Meeting: Wayne County, Indiana

New Garden was set off from Whitewater Monthly meeting on 18th day 3rd month 1815. It was located 1 mile south of Fountain City in the north part of Wayne County in what later became Randolph County. Meetings set off from New Garden were: Springfield, Perry Township, Wayne County (1820); Cherry Grove, Randolph County (1828) and Dover, Wayne County (1837).

West Grove and Milford Monthly Meetings: Wayne County, Indiana

The Friends were the first religious society in Center Township in Wayne County. In 1815 they organized the West Grove meeting for worship, about 3 miles northwest from Centerville, and built a log meeting-house. It was named by Robert Commons, West Grove, that being the name of the place he resided in Pennsylvania. They met in the woods at the place selected for the meetinghouse. There were Bonds, Cooks, Canadays, and Harveys. The West Grove Monthly Meeting was set of on 2/1818 from White Water Monthly Meeting. Milford Monthly Meeting was set off in 1823 from West Grove.

Whitewater Monthly Meeting: Wayne County, Indiana

Whitewater was set off from West Branch Meeting in Ohio and was first held on the 30th day, 9th month, 1809. It was the first Monthly Meeting established in Indiana Territory. Meeting for worship had started two years previously in the City of Richmond. Meetings later set off from Whitewater included: Lick Creek (1813) Orange County, New Garden (1815) Wayne County, Silver Creek (1817) Union County, West Grove (1818) Wayne County, Chester (1823) Wayne County, Kansas (1860) Leavenworth Co, Ks, Chicago (1866) Illinois, Archer (1884-1898) Florida, Kerr City (1886-1898) Florida, West Richmond (1909) Wayne County, and Dayton, Ohio (1909). Joseph Thornberry and Isaac Commons were among the original members of the meeting.

Lick Creek Monthly Meeting: Washington & Orange Counties, Indiana

Lick Creek was set off from Whitewater Monthly Meeting and was first held 25th day 9th month 1813. In 1807 or 1808 Jonathan Linley scouted the Indian territory and returned to North Carolina with glowing accounts of the land and forests. In the spring of 1811 he headed a company of sons and daughters and other near relatives and settled on Lick Creek 3 miles east of Paoli in what is now Paoli Township. WhiteWater Monthly Meeting reported in the 8th month 1811 "the lonesome situation of Friends living in the southern part of the territory and remote from meetings coming weightily under consideration Ephraim Overman & Andrew Hoover are appointed to visit them as truth may open the way..." A year later an indulged meeting for worship was allowed. Meetings set off included Blue River in 1815, Honey Creek in 1820, and White Lick in 1823. William & Hannah Brazelton Millican and family were received here in 1819 on certificate from Miami Monthly Meeting in Ohio. Several families were received here late in 1815 after a 34 day journey by wagon from the Chatham, Randolph, and Guilford County area of North Carolina (more on Indiana Journey page).

Blue River Monthly Meeting: Washington County, Indiana

Blue River was set off from Lick Creek on the 1st of 7th month 1815. It is located 3 miles northeast of Salem. Some of the families who came from North Carolina in 1815 (see journey above) were also received at this meeting.

White Lick Monthly Meeting: Morgan County, Indiana

This meeting was set off from Lick Creek and first held 9th day 8th month 1823. The meeting house was in Brown Township about one mile northeast of Moorseville. Two children of Ezra & Jane Woodward Hinshaw are buried at White Lick. Meetings set off were Fairfield in 1826 in Hendricks County, Sugar River in 1830 in Montgomery County and West Union in 1849 in Morgan County.

Plainfield Monthly Meeting: Hendricks County, Indiana

Set off from White Lick 8th of 4th month 1857. Located in the town of Plainfield.

Walnut Ridge Monthly Meeting: Rush County, Indiana

This meeting was set off from Duck Creek on the 16th of 1st month 1836. The meeting house was located 2 1/2 miles southwest of Carthage, Ripley Township, Rush County. Meetings for worship begen 12th month 1826. Several Thornbrough descendants were members of this meeting.

Ohio Meetings

Center Monthly Meeting: Clinton County, Ohio

Set off 2/7/1807 from Miami Monthly Meeting. They were under jurisdiction of Redstone Quarterly Meeting in Pennsylvania. Many Thornburgh entries. Benjamin Thornrough, a descendant of Thomas and Sarah Thornbrough is found here. Members included Haworth.

Fairfield Monthly Meeting: Highland County, Ohio near Leesburg

The Meeting was set off from Miami Monthly Meeting by authority of Redstone Quarterly Meeting in Pennsylvania, on 7th month 18th day 1807. A meeting for worship had been established about two years prior. A list of early members includes many of our family including Baldwins, Ballards, Beals, Canaday, Stanley, Hodgson, Hunt, Sumner, and Williams.

Miami Monthly Meeting: Warren County, Ohio

This meeting, located on the Little Miami River, was the first established in southwestern Ohio. It was the center from which Quakerism spread over western Ohio and throughout Indiana. Settlement began in the closing years of the eighteenth century and a meeting for worship was established about 1801. Miami Monthly Meeting opened 10th month 13th day 1803 by permission of Redstone Quarterly Meeting in Pennsylvania. Prior to the establishment of Miami Monthly Meeting, Friends left their certificates of membership at Westland Monthly Meeting, in Washington County, Pennsylvania or at Concord Monthly Meeting in Belmont County, Ohio. The meeting had a phenominal growth from the beginning at it was established just as the great wave of migration to the territory began. In the first five years about 550 certificates were received. Many, many of our family members migrated to his meeting, sometimes leaving certificates here when they actually settled in Indiana.

West Branch Monthly Meeting: Miami County, Ohio.

The meeting, two miles southwest of West Milton, was opened 1/7/1807. It was the second monthly meeting in southwestern Ohio. A meeting for worship had been established about two years earlier. Names include Coppock, Hollingsworth, Mendenhall. Early additions were Commons and Bond.

Fall Creek Monthly Meeting: Highland County, Ohio

Set off from Fairfield 5/11/1811. Sumner, Thornburgh & Canaday members.

Goshen (Darby Creek) Monthly Meeting: Logan County, Ohio

Goshen and Darby Creek were near Zanesfield, Ohio. Religious services were held beginning in 1807 and 1810 respectively. Darby became the first monthly meeting in 1811. Some of the Baldwin family were associated with this meeting.

Clear Creek Monthly Meeting: Clinton County, Ohio

Located 3/4 mile east of Samantha, this meeting was set off from Fairfield Monthly Meeting 12/24/1812. Hadley, Hunt, Beals, Baldwin, Moon, Mills, Cox were names associated with this meeting.

Newberry Monthly Meeting:Clinton County, Ohio

First held in the home of John Wright in 1810 under the direction of Clear Creek Monthly Meeting. First held as a monthly meeting 12th month 2nd day 1816. Located within the town of Martinsville, Ohio. Settlers were mostly Quakers: Mills, Hunts, Beals, Hiatts, Moons and many others on these family pages.

Stillwater Monthly Meeting: Belmont County, Ohio

Established by Short Creek Quarterly Meeting on 3/29/1809 and set off from Concord Meeting. Guy Woodward marriage 1914.

Mt. Pleasant Yearly Meeting: Jefferson County, Ohio

Erected in 1814. First yearly Quaker meeting west of the Alleghenies. Played a crucial role in propogating the Quaker fatih in Eastern Ohio. Located just slightly NW of Wheeling, West Virginia. (photo)

Kansas Meetings

Western Maps

Haviland Monthly Meeting: Edwards County, Kansas

Established 6/15/1885 by Rose Hill Quarterly Meeting and Kansas Yearly Meeting. First called Liberty Monthly Meeting and name changed to Haviland on 9/25/1885. Numerous Woodward members.