The Quaker Collection is an historical and genealogical study of some of the larger Quaker families. The size reference relates to the number of interested descendants, however the actual metric is somewhat subjective and is based on the level of activity of the people in a family while members of the Society of Friends as determined from a gross count of reference citations in the extracted Quaker records. The approach is not terribly scientific but is workable. Some criterion needs to be put in place to establish the scope of an undertaking like this and would, of necessity, be very arbitrary.
Thus a very large family in sheer numbers that had 10 members in the Society for a period of 25 years would be considered miniscule compared to a much smaller family that had hundreds of member in the Society over a 300 year period. The latter would be a candidate family for the Quaker Collection, the former would not. Occasionally I am asked if someone can nominate their favorite Ancestral Line for inclusion in the Collection. In every instance, I have had to regretably decline. The only families included are those that I have personally studied and researched.
One of the primary goals of this website is to present a definitive set of information on particular Quaker families that can be proven and justified by the Quaker record. Like any researcher, I do not guarantee accuracy; however I truly believe that the information presented here is the best available on the internet. There are a number of these families that have Family Associations with websites that present more on a particular descendancy. I have no interest in competing, we have differing purposes. In addition, I have
been called upon by several of the major families to act as an independent consultant on controversial matters.
A number of published genealogies in books and on the web as well as IGI data commonly makes the mistake of showing a marriage, for example, to have occurred on 10 Jul 1812 at Cane Creek MM,NC. Whereas the Quaker record shows that the individual in the example was in fact disowned on 10 Jul 1812 for marriage out or mcd. In a case such as this, one can infer that a civil marriage occurred in abt 1812 in the County in which the bride resided and cite the disownment as primary evidence. It is however a gross error to show this date as the marriage date and the Monthly Meeting as the marriage place. In these respects amongst others, the data here presented is more accurate than that commonly available elsewhere.
Many researchers take dates for events from the IGI or the Ancestral File. Almost without exception these sources are incorrect for events involving Quakers prior to 1752 due to the incorrect translation of Quaker Plain dates. The current accepted practice amongst knowledgable Quaker researchers, is to preserve Quaker Plain dates for events prior to 1752 largely as originally recorded. Any attempt to convert Old Style Plain dates to the Canonical Old Style Calendar (Julian) or Canonical New Style Calendar (Gregorian) adds confusion and is apt to introduce error. Numerous pre-1752 dates are displayed on this website as, for example, 3 11M 1711/2 which
is read as "3rd day of 11th month of 1711" which was 3 Jan 1711/2 O.S. Note that the year is double-dated as this event would have fallen into the year 1712 under the New Style Calendar. Typically the date of this event would appear in the IGI as 3 Nov 1711 and might also be duplicated as 3 Nov 1712. Obviously both are completely incorrect. Dates prior to 1752 on this website that are shown as plain dates have been verified against the Quaker record for accuracy. Dates prior to 1752 that are shown as Canonical Dates are taken from conventional sources and have not yet been reconciled with the Old Style Calendar.
The underlying information presented is contained in over 40 separate Quaker databases. One of the central goals here is to illustrate dramatically the interrelationships between these families in a way impossible of achieving by an individual Family Association. The insights provided in this manner in some cases represents major breakthrus on knotty problems that have worried family genealogists for years.