Map of Randolph County, North Carolina
Albertson, AndersonAtwood, Bailie, Barrow, Bigge, Charles, Cox, Elleman, Elliott, Few, Hiatt, Hudson, Hucstepe, Mainwaring, Newby, Nicholson, Oldham, Rednap, Sanders, Simson, Stone, Sutton, Tilden, Toms, Underhill
"The People Called Quakers"
There are not many popular images which are more distorted than that of Quakers. According to the popular conception, Quakers are an exceedingly mild and harmless people, largely given to silence, totally unaggressive, with a religion that is neither evangelical in content nor evangelistic in practice. It is generally understood that the appearance of Quakers has something of the benign character of the man pictured on the Quaker Oats box, and many identify Quakers with contemporary "plain people." Even those who realize that there have been changes in dress and manner of life still suppose that Quakers are prudent in all their ways and moderate in all their views. It is understood that they are good and kind, but also ineffective. Above all, it is believed that Quakerism is a faith, which, being essentially antique, is irrelevant to the life of modern men and women. Many, who hear of the Quaker faith, are not sure whether it is Christian, and few look upon it as a live option for themselves today. Some even believe that Quakerism is something into which it is necessary for people to be born.
The important thing to say about this image is that it is erroneous at almost every point. The conventional image has little fidelity in relation to the Quakers of 300 years ago, when the movement was marked by an amazing vitality. The only adequate corrective to the false Quaker image is that which is produced by direct confrontation with the explosive life of the earliest Friends, which often comes as a shock to the modern inquirer.
The Quaker explosion occurred during the 40 exciting years between 1650 and 1690. In this period, Quakerism began in England and spread rapidly to various parts of the world, including most of the British colonies on the western shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Starting from nothing, or almost nothing, first in the experience of George Fox and then in that of those who were enkindled by his brightly burning fire, Quakerism was, for a while, the fastest-growing movement of the Western World. Thousands of Quakers, both men and women, suffered cruel imprisonment; many were whipped and beaten; and four, including one woman, were hanged on Boston Common. Nearly all, in spite of wide differences of ability and of education, engaged in preaching to anyone who would listen, and even some jailers were convinced by the persuasiveness of the message. Kings were addressed; governments were influenced; books and pamphlets were published in fantastic numbers. Whatever the Quakers were, they were not a harmless sect. If they had been such, the persecution, even in a savage age, would have been incomprehensible. The great mark of the new movement was an undoubted dynamism.
The Quaker movement, at its inception and for a full 40 years thereafter, presented many of the characteristics of a cultural and religious storm. One evidence of the extreme character of Quakerism was the fact that the new preachers were disturbers of the peace. They spoke in church services where they had captive audiences; they shocked officials by treating them as equals, rather than with obsequious manners; they treated women as the equals of men; they sang in prison, and they made an effective witness behind prison walls.
Far from separating themselves from the world, the first Quakers established one important colony and were influential members of legislatures in several others. Indeed, the English colonies in America were so deeply affected by the Quaker movement that one cannot understand their story apart from some reference to the new faith. Not only was Pennsylvania established as a Quaker experiment in government; Quaker influence was earlier significant in at least three other colonies. In Rhode Island, Quaker governors held office for 36 successive terms. Robert Barclay, the greatest of the early Quaker thinkers, was appointed the first governor of East Jersey. In North Carolina, with a Quaker, John Archdale, as governor, Quakers controlled at one time half of all the seats in the assembly.
The influence on the world and the attempt to redress evils by vigorous action did not end with the first or classic period. Quakers were the first people of the Western world to make a direct assault on the institution of slavery, with the result that, 60 years before the Emancipation Proclamation, there was not one Quaker slaveholder in America. The Quaker great grandparents of living people underwent great personal risks, in the middle of the 19th century, in conducting the underground railroad, secretly conveying slaves from the border states to the Canadian frontier.
Quakers did not hesitate to speak of the movement as "Primitive Christianity Revived." The recognition of the danger of immodesty seems to have played absolutely no part in the early nomenclature. Thus, there was no hesitation among the early Quakers, particularly the dynamic men of the north of England, in calling themselves "First Publishers of the Truth." Another immodest name was "Children of the Light," such language being adopted boldly from the New Testament. Even the word "Friends," which later developed into an official name, "The Religious Society of Friends," was an adaptation of the words of Christ, "I have called you friends."
Because of the long-standing Quaker emphasis on the sinfulness of war, many of our own day picture the Quakers as wholly non militant in mood. It is really shocking to such persons to learn how far from the truth this conception is. The early Quakers, being steeped in the language of the New Testament, and therefore familiar with the military metaphors with which the New Testament abounds, did not hesitate to employ them. Knowing the Epistles as they did, they felt no embarrassment in speaking of "the breastplate of faith and love," or "for an helmet, the hope of salvation." When they were thrown into foul prisons, it helped them immensely to remember one who had said, "Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." Militant language was so congenial to Quakers in general that they tended to refer to their entire struggle as the "Lamb’s War."
Perhaps the strangest part of the present distorted image of Quakers is the idea that Quakers are excessively reticent and therefore uninterested in making converts. There may be such Quakers today, but it is doubtful if there was one such in the first 40 years of the Quaker explosion. All tried to make converts, and they tried all of the time. Any situation was a proper one in the Lamb’s War.
Closely allied to the notion that Quakerism is intrinsically unevangelistic is the equally erroneous notion that Quakerism is not tied to the Christian heritage. Some even suppose that Quakerism is a kind of religion-in-general, without a direct commitment to Jesus Christ. There may, indeed, be living Quakers who feel this way about it, but their position is not even remotely similar to that of Friends in the period of greatest dynamism. Not only was the earliest Quaker conscious of commitment to Jesus Christ; the same has been true of the mainstream of Quakers ever since and it certainly true of the majority of those who call themselves Quakers today.
One of the best evidences that the image which Fox and his associates conveyed to their contemporaries was a dynamic one, is that provided by the nickname Quaker, which, though originally given as an intended insult, has long been proudly adopted. The nickname Quaker was really an unintended compliment. It was a way of admitting that these people were not insipid, but were, instead, the movers and shakers of the established Deloisounts of the origin of the name Quaker. Though not identical, they bear equal witness to the fact that the faith of early Friends so took hold of them that they actually seemed to be shaken. "The priest scoffed at us," wrote Fox, "and called us Quakers, but the Lord’s power was so over them, that the priest began trembling himself; and one of the people said, ‘Look how the priest trembles and shakes; he is turned a Quaker also." According to Fox, the first individual who called the members of the new movement Quakers was Justice Bennet of Derby. He coined the term, Fox reported, "because we bid them tremble at the word of the Lord. This was in the year 1650." Though there was once a time when members of the movement preferred to be called Friends, there is a growing tendency, in the latter half of the 20th century, to accept the opprobrious nickname and even to rejoice in it. This is particularly true as we leave off vestiges of the quietistic period and understand better the extreme vitality of the original movement. Contemporary Friends are not ashamed of the fact that they are part of a movement in which men and women were once so shaken that they trembled; on the contrary, they are becoming ashamed of the fact that they are so little shaken themselves.
These people, in this amazing phenomenon, were not trying to set a new church or a denomination, for such an aim would have seemed to them to be low and unworthy. Since it was their intention to universal rather than sectarian, they called all men. What is amazing in the light of contemporary aims, is the ambitiousness of their expectations. Indeed, they expected nothing less that the transformation of the whole nation. Even beyond this they confidently hoped to reach men all over the world. "The field is the world," they read in Matthew, and they believed it. We do not understand the expectancy of the early Quakers until we realize that it was total. Their message was not for the peculiar people, but for all mankind.
The first Quakers were seldom mere followers; they were all involved as participators in what seemed to them an important under- taking. Other Christian leaders, including Martin Luther, had announced the priesthood of every believer as a doctrine, but these new people came close to demonstrating it as a fact. The most striking single aspect of the new movement was what might be called the "priesthood of every member." Each, as he was shaken, undertook to shake others; each little fire accepted the grave responsibility of starting other fires in human hearts.
When we speak of the explosion of Quakerism, this is a large part of what we mean. There was not much novelty of doctrine, and the organization, which came later, was really unimpressive, but total involvement is so rare that it will always be striking, and it necessarily involves radical consequences. If Fox had been merely a great speaker, he might soon have been forgotten, and if he had been merely a great organizer, he would have left behind a conventional church or denomination, but the phenomenon in question was much more than that of inspired and persuasive leadership.
We get some idea of the phenomenon of total involvement when we learn that Friends had produced, by 1715, about 2,750 tracts. In the first 13 years after the start of 1652, Quakers were responsible for at least 25,000 printed pages. In spite of numerous terrible hardships, including cruel imprisonment’s and other punishments, these dedicated people were writing, speaking and traveling with a fertility that it is hard to match in the history not merely of any religious movement, but of any movement of any kind. These simple people naturally amaze us, as we consider their story in perspective, but it is worthwhile to know that they themselves were also amazed.
The prophethood of every member did not mean that all were thought to be equal in power or in persuasiveness. Indeed, Fox and a few others were known as public Friends; but the important point is that they rejected the leader principle as it is ordinarily understood. Fox quoted the aspiration of Moses, "would (God that) all the people were prophets," as a kind of golden text to be followed. The private Friends were to be preachers just as truly as the public Friends.
"Origin Of The Society Of Friends
And Its Spread To America"
Fox swept aside all the clutter and trappings that weighed down the Established Church and put emphasis on personal ethics as they were embodied in the teachings of the original Christians. But he was not content with personal virtues only. Just as Jesus called for a change in the life of a nation, so Fox was concerned with the evil blight that was on England in his day. He urged judges to act justly, protested the low wages paid to laborers, proposed that palaces and manor houses be given to the under-privileged, and that the rich abbeys become orphanages or homes for old people. He demanded that Quaker shop-keepers be honest in weight and measure and that they place a single price on each piece of goods to be sold. He urged abolition of capital punishment and insisted that Friends live a life that took away the occasion for war.
George Fox wrote in his Journal, "Some thought I was mad because I stood for purity, perfection and righteousness." Friends believed that with Divine help a man might here and now become perfect, if he were to be wholly obedient to the will of God as "inwardly revealed." Friends held there was no need for priests and others to mediate between man and God but that there is an indwelling Light from God in the heart of every man which can speak to him and guide his actions. Friends live in response to the "Inner Light" which they believe is to be found within their fellowmen.
One of the central testimonies of the Friends was on the matter of simplicity - in all positions of life. The rituals and sacraments of organized religion were discarded as being only "outward forms." The Friends’ meeting for worship was a gathering of silence and waiting on His presence which might or might not be made vocally manifest.
Quakers first appeared in the American colonies as early as 1656. Within two years monthly meetings were established in Rhode Island and MA. In 1661, the first yearly meeting in America was opened and held at Newport, Rhode Island. Within the next thirty years, five more yearly meetings were established where there had come to be large centers of Friends. They were New York (1695), Philadelphia (1681), Baltimore (1672), Virginia (1671), and North Carolina (1698). It was one hundred thirteen years after the establishment of North Carolina Yearly Meeting before another yearly meeting was required.
North Carolina Quakerism had its beginning, toward the end of the seventeenth century, in the precincts of Perquimans and Pasquotank. A full account of this beginning is given by Dr. Stephen B. Weeks, in Chapters 3 and 4, of "Southern Quakers and Slavery." Refer also to "The Albemarle in 1682-1705," and Pasquotank Historical Society Yearbook, Vol. II, p 19)
The earliest existing records of a monthly meeting in Perquimans County begin with 1680. In that year Christopher Nicholson (1) and Ann Atwood were married in a meeting at the home of Francis Toms. Witnesses included William Bundy. Bundy and Mary Pierce were married 15d, 10m, in 1683, at the house of Mary Pierce. Witnesses included, Christopher Nicholson, William Bundy. Prior to 1690, most of the meetings appear to have been held at the house of Jonathan Phelps and Christopher Nicholson. (See Phelps Family) Between 1690 and 1700, they were more frequently held at the house of Francis Toms, indicating that there were two monthly meetings and a quarterly meeting. In 1717, weekday meetings were directed to be held at the houses of Timothy Clare and Samuel Nicholson. (See Winslow family)
About the end of the 18th Century, there began a great migration to the middle west which reduced the strength of all meetings in North Carolina.
Due mainly to the Appalachian barrier, population stayed on the Atlantic seaboard. The migration pattern of Quakers generally was to move south from Pennsylvania into northwestern Virginia, then farther south into the Carolinas. Quakers from Nantucket (due to the decline of the whaling industry) moved directly to the Carolinas. Prior to the Revolutionary War, a few Friends had started moving westward and had settled in what is now eastern Tennessee. By 1800 there were several settlements of Friends in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. About that time settlements were being founded in southern and western Ohio. The distance was so great and communications with Baltimore Yearly Meeting were so difficult that in 1813, OH Yearly Meeting was set off. It was first held at Short Creek in Jefferson Co., Ohio, and later at Mount Pleasant in the same county.
Ohio Yearly Meeting encompassed western Pennsylvania, all of Ohio, and that part of Indiana where meetings existed. Migration of Friends from the south in the next few years expanded original settlements and helped to start many new ones, including one in Washington Co. and another in Vigo Co., Indiana. The great distance and primitive roads - where there were roads - made communication between these far-flung settlements all but impossible. By 1820, there were several flourished Friends’ meetings in Wayne Co., Indiana, and in Warren, Clinton, and Miami counties, Ohio. all of these were included in the Indiana Yearly Meeting which was organized the following year and met at Richmond, Indiana.
After Indiana Yearly Meeting was set off, the limits of Ohio Yearly Meeting included the eastern part of Ohio and the southwest part of Pennsylvania. In 1828, a controversy that had involved most of the Society of Friends, with the exception of Friends in the Carolinas, finally caused a split in the membership of various yearly meetings. A source of confusion to the researcher in using either primary or secondary materials is that all four branches (Orthodox, Hicksite, Wilburite, and Gurneyite, used the same name, "Ohio Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends." Many of the names of the subordinate meetings were also the same. Only from an awareness of geographic locations, knowledge of names of Friends associated with each group, or other subtleties can distinctions be made when dealing with manuscript or printed sources.
Iowa Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) was established by Western in 1863. Salem Monthly Meeting had been established in 1839. It is important to note that all certificates of removal for Friends moving to IA prior to 1836 were deposited with Vermillion Monthly Meeting, IL, that being the nearest to the IA settlements. In 1878 IA Yearly Meeting (Conservative) was established.
Kansas Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) was established by Indiana Yearly Meeting in 1872 and met at Lawrence. A separation brought about the establishment of Kansas Yearly Meeting (Conservative) in 1879. Their annual meetings were held in Emporia, Kansas, the last being in 1929 when the Yearly Meeting was discontinued.
Extracted from website http://thorn.pair.com/earlyq.htm
The Friends Church was begun a little over three hundred years ago (1647 to be exact). George Fox, the founder, went to church with his devout Anglican parents until he was nineteen. Then he began to feel that there's got to be more to religion than this. George Fox spent the next four years trekking all over England going from church to church and preacher to priest looking for an answer to his questions.
At that time the official church of the land, the Church of England, carried on its worship with elaborate ritual and ceremony in stately cathedrals. Another group, the Puritans, (so-called because they wanted to "purify" the Church of England) stressed the judgment and wrath of God. Neither of these alternatives satisfied many of the common people. They had been reading the newly published King James Bible and knew that vital religion was possible.
Into this situation came young George Fox, a weaver's son, searching for inward peace and a group of people that consistently practiced the Christian faith. He knew the Scripture so well that a Dutch historian would later observe that if somehow all of the Bibles in the world came to be destroyed, it could have been reproduced from memory by George Fox.
Anyway, George Fox kept on moving around the English countryside and one day the lights turned on for him (he said he heard a voice). He realized (or heard) this basic truth: "there is One, even Jesus Christ, who can speak to thy condition." Wow! There it was: the answer that satisfied him, the answer that finally got to the heart of things.
This experience led him to four basic conclusions. First, he realized that Christ is a present reality, not just a good man who lived a long time ago and said some good things. In addition to being risen and "seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven," Christ lives here in the present moment and can communicate with and give guidance and power to those who open their hearts to Him. After all, he told His followers, "...I am with you always, even to the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20)
Second, George saw that a Christian is not necessarily someone who has his/her name on a church membership list or who has done something religious. The mark of an authentic Christian is a changed life. A Christian is someone who has been transformed from death to life in a firsthand encounter with Christ. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." (John 1:4)
Third, it became clear to him that the Church is not a building at the corner of Eighth and Elm or any other site. Neither could it be identified with ecclesiastical (that means "church") hierarchy or with an institution established by the state. The church is the fellowship of people who have had their lives changed by Christ and in whose hearts Christ lives.
Fourth, George understood that a minister is one who serves and who makes Christ real to others. All of the academic degrees and learning in the world cannot make a true minister of Christ. It is Christ's call to men and women which makes them ministers.
This became the central message of Friends--and still is. That's the good news for people who are turned off by the rules and rituals of religion. And George Fox began to tell everybody about this phenomenal discovery. Actually, this is not a new truth. The Bible had long since stated, speaking of Christ, "there is salvation in no one else." (Acts 4:12) But George Fox began to take the Biblical teaching about the adequacy of Christ more seriously than most people did.
Within a few short years there were thousands of persons throughout England who had found Christ as a living presence in their lives even as George Fox had. They became "finders" and worshipping groups of them took the name "Friends" from John 15:15 where Jesus told His followers, "I have called you FRIENDS, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." Those who opposed the awakening that Friends were bringing to the Church called them "Quakers" in derision because when some of them spoke in a moving way they sometimes trembled in the power of the Lord. Friends felt that this was actually a compliment and eventually did not hesitate to use the name themselves.
For fifty years George Fox and his followers crisscrossed Europe and America with this simple and fresh message that Jesus Christ was the answer to everybody's problem. Thousands of people who were tired of formal religion without much life became part of the Friends movement.
Then in the early 1700's something happened that was just about the undoing of the whole thing. The next generation of Quakers began to say things that should never have been said. "Let's major on the minors." There were certain things that Friends did that many other Protestants did not do and those things took on way too much importance. For example, George Fox would sometimes spend an hour in silent prayer and then he would preach for two or three hours. These second generation Quakers opted to forget the sermon and concentrated on silent prayer. That's where the whole idea of Quakers sitting in silence got started.
Well, once the message of Christ was diluted a whole bunch of Quakers turned inward and the dynamic of the Friends movement died. Many of the stereotypes people have of Quakers comes from this period. One historian stated that friends "settled down into a peaceable, respectful sect proud of their past and content to preserve their distinctive. Pleasure, music and art were taboo; dress was painfully plain and speech was Biblical...They gained few new converts and lost many old members.
Friends made a most profound affect on the course of American history. The first Quaker missionaries arrived on America's shores in 1656, one hundred and twenty years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Mary Fisher and Ann Austin landed at Boston where the Puritan authorities had them seized and kept under close guard. A hundred of their books were burned in the marketplace and they were dispatched to Barbados on the next departing ship. Their bedding and even their Bibles were confiscated to pay the jailer's fee. The Pilgrim Fathers wanted religious freedom for themselves but offered it to no one else.
Friends were welcomed in Rhode Island which was founded as a haven from the intolerance of Puritan Massachusetts. So overwhelming was the response there that at one time half of the population were Friends, and the colony elected Quaker governors for thirty-six consecutive terms--more than a century. Friends were also well received in Maryland. Lord Baltimore established the colony as a refuge for persecuted English Catholics and was willing to give liberty of conscience to others in religious matters. Spokespersons for the Quaker faith made some deep inroads into Virginia as well.
In 1657, a boatload of Quaker missionaries from England landed on Long Island. One of them, Robert Hodgson, drew large crowds to his meetings. He was arrested, imprisoned, flogged and treated very severely. At last some of the Dutch colonists interceded on his behalf and secured his unconditional release. Many continued to respond to the Friends message in spite of a firm edict issued against it by Governor Peter Stuyvesant. Finally on December 27, 1657, the citizens of Flushing drew up a magnificently worded protest reminding their Governor that their charter allowed them "to have and enjoy Liberty of Conscience according to the Custome and manner of Holland, without molestation or disturbance." This came to be known as the Flushing Remonstrance. It was the first time that a group of settlers in the New World petitioned the government for religious freedom. It was commemorated in a United States postage stamp issued three hundred years later.
Meanwhile the persecution of Friends in Puritan Massachusetts grew more intense. Friends were lashed behind carts and whipped from town to town. They were branded with a "H" for heretic; they had their tongues bored through with a hot iron; their ears were cut off; they were banished. Finally Governor John Endicott succeeded in having the death penalty invoked for any Friends who returned to the colony after being banished beyond its borders. Four Quakers were hung on Boston Common--William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson, William Leddra and Mary Dyer. She was the first woman to suffer death on these shores for her religious convictions. Today a statue of her stands on Boston Common, a reminder to all that our religious freedom was bought at a precious price.
In 1671, George Fox along with twelve others came to America and trekked up and down the Atlantic Seaboard. In 1672, he and a William Edmondson, who had already preached successfully in Ireland, became the first preachers who ever held any kind of Christian worship within the borders of the Carolinas. Later, John Archdale would become the Quaker Governor of the Carolinas and one-half of the representatives of the legislature were Friends.
The outbreak of persecution of Friends back in England again led seventeen Quakers to purchase East Jersey to serve as a refuge where Friends could practice their faith without interference. Robert Barclay, the brilliant young Scottish Quaker theologian, served as Governor of the colony for a time.
Then, in 1681, William Penn accepted the grant of land which became Pennsylvania as the payment of a debt which King Charles II owed his father. The Duke of York, who later became King James II, threw in the territory of Delaware in on the deal. Penn landed in his colony on the good ship "Welcome" in 1682. He met with the Indians under the great elm at Shackamason, the ancient meeting place of the tribes and made friends with them. He purchased land from them at a fair price and concluded a treaty with them that was agreeable to all. A century later the humanistic French philosopher, Voltaire, would observe that his was the only treaty ever made between white men and the Indians that was never sworn to and never broken.
In his carefully worded Frame of Government for Pennsylvania Penn gave the citizens both liberty and responsibility. He designed a government dedicated to religious freedom, to equality and peace. He laid out Philadelphia as the first planned city in the New World. Pennsylvania was Penn's "Holy Experiment," his attempt to apply the Christian principles held by Friends to the practical business of government. The guidelines of the Frame of Government gave the citizens the freedom to develop to the fullest of their potential and they and the colony prospered. For decades Pennsylvania stood as a model to the world of democracy, liberty and harmony.
When the Founding Fathers met in the latter part of the 1700's to write the Constitution that would design the government of the United States, they turned to William Penn's Frame of Government for Pennsylvania. If they had turned to Puritan New England for their model there would have been an established state church. If they had turned to aristocratic Virginia for their model there would have been a privileged class. Most of the rights and freedoms that we take for granted as a part of our way of life in America today were originally set forth in Penn's Charter of Liberties for his colony. Friends were the original architects of the free society that we enjoy.
Friends have tried to apply their faith to every aspect of their lives. This has often led them to be social pioneers and to come up with discoveries in a variety of fields.
When Friends came on the scene in the England of the mid-1600's it was the common practice to bargain for goods in the shops. The potential buyer would name a price far below that he expected to pay for the item. The shopkeeper would state a price far above what he anticipated receiving. From then on it would be a battle of wits to see who could get the best of whom. Friends felt that this practice was not Christian in the sense that it made people try to cheat one another. Quaker shopkeepers began to put what they believed were fair prices on all of the items in their stores and would not budge a bit on the downward or upward side. At first people avoided the Quaker shops like the plague. After all, what fun was it to go shopping if you could not try to outwit the shopkeeper? Later, people came to realize that they could send even their six-year-old child on an errand to a Quaker store and he or she would be treated just as fairly and charged the same price as any adult. As this awareness grew the Quaker shopkeepers got much more than their share of the business. Eventually other establishments began to follow the Quaker way.
Shortly before 1743, a young Quaker clerk in a store in Mount Holly, New Jersey, was asked by his employer to draw up a bill of sale for a slave for whom he had found a buyer. Since the request was sudden the young man complied. As he executed the transaction he did manage to stammer that he believed that the keeping of slaves was inconsistent with the Christian religion. Gradually he came to see that he must devote the rest of his life to convincing his fellow Quakers that slaveholding was an evil practice. In those days a great number of Friends families in both the North and the South owned slaves just like their neighbors. In 1746 John Woolman undertook his first long journey into Pennsylvania and the South and quietly tried to persuade the heads of households with whom he was staying that they were hurting themselves and their families by keeping slaves. He did not argue. He only shared the insights that he had been given in a gentle and loving way. He was as concerned for the well being of the slaveholder as he was for the well being of the slaves. In the next twenty-five years he traveled up and down the East Coast from New England to the Carolinas in the pursuit of his mission. Within a few years after his death in 1772 all Friends in America had freed their slaves. They were the first Christian group on these shores to do so.
In the latter 1700's it was still the practice in England to keep mental patients locked and chained in institutions where they were treated like criminals, laughed at, humiliated and brutally punished for variant behavior. William and Esther Tuke, Friends living in York, began to be convinced that the mentally ill might make substantial progress if they were looked after in a loving way. In 1796 William Tuke opened "The Retreat" in York, the first institution in the world devoted to compassionate care for the mentally disturbed.
In 1817, Elizabeth Gurney Fry, a Friends minister and the wife of a banker, walked alone into the woman's quarters of Newgate Prison in London. Surrounded by the most jaded, bitter and dangerous women prisoners, she picked up one of their children and all became quiet. She suggested that they might start a school for their children who were in prison with the, serving as teachers themselves. They discussed the idea for awhile. She told them a Bible story, prayed with them and then left. Soon the women were clamoring to be taught to read and sew. They began to meet daily in a work room under the direction of monitors of their own choice. The days began and ended with Bible readings sometimes given by Elizabeth Fry herself. As time progressed even those who had shown almost every sign of depravity were transformed into industrious, contributing members of an orderly community. Elizabeth Fry came to be recognized as the pioneer of prison reform the world over.
In the summer of 1840 Lucretia Mott was excluded for the anti-slavery Convention in London because she was a woman. In 1848 she joined with a few other women in calling the first women's rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York. Friends have always believed in the equality of sexes and have given equal place to women as ministers in their churches.
In England, the Quaker Rowntree and Cadbury families ventured into the chocolate and cocoa business because they saw hot chocolate as a possible alternative to alcoholic beverages. In Philadelphia, a Quaker grocer named Joseph Hires developed a concoction he came to call Root Beer in the hope that his employees and others might come to drink it instead of alcohol.
In 1768, a Quaker doctor, Thomas Dimsdale, was invited to Russia by Empress Catherine II to introduce vaccination against smallpox. Another Quaker doctor, Joseph Lister, is regarded as the father of antiseptic surgery. Today a widely used product in the United States bears his last name.
One could go on and on citing examples of the applied faith of Friends. Often the result has been a breakthrough for mankind. Friends have always endeavored to further Christ's Kingdom in the face of the challenges of their day.
This information is exerted from the Vancover First Friends Church Home Page, used here for historical reference purposes.
Quakerism grew up in England at a time of great political, economic and religious turmoil. Family records were recorded in the Parish churches of the Church of England and everyone was considered a member and governed and taxed accordingly. As the Quakers were dissenters they were an outlaw group, their marriages illegal and their children bastards. So it was early in the movement that they realized that they must have accurate records of their own. That pattern of records adopted in the 17th century has, in the main, been extended to the present. Quaker records in England and America are considered prime genealogical sources.
Two sets of records are of particular genealogical value - Birth, Death, and Marriage Records - and Minutes of the Monthly Meeting for Business. These today are stored in Yearly Meeting Archives.
As an introduction to American Quakers and their genealogical records Errol Elliott’s "Quakers on the American Frontier." (Cat. FQ BX 7635 E 44 1969) gives an excellent account of their migration to America and their trek westward.
The prime source of American Quaker ancestry is William Wade Hinshaw’s "Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy." Hinshaw was an IA Quaker who conceived the idea for the encyclopedia and in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s arranged with Quaker colleges to have students employed to research monthly meeting records of the area. They were given very explicit directions as to material to be recorded and the manner of preparing the notebooks to be turned in to Hinshaw. He paid them 25 cents an hour.
These notebooks were edited and he was able to publish six volumes before his death. After his death, his widow sent the notebooks to Swarthmore College where they were microfilmed. She paid to have the records placed on cards and alphabetically filed by monthly and yearly meetings in the format of the encyclopedia listing. This file is known as The Quaker Index. Six Volumes.
Willard Heiss, a Quaker genealogist with the Indiana Historical Society, took the microfilm of the Indiana notebooks and after extensive research, organization and editing, published Volume VII on Indiana, which includes 3 Illinois meetings. Later Roger Boone, of Ohio put out a volume of Additions and Corrections to the volume on Indiana.
Heiss also worked with microfilm of the unpublished notebooks and produced typed copies in the same format as the encyclopedia, called typescripts. The Wichita Friends Library, was able to buy them. They are now indexed.
The archive of Kansas Yearly Meeting - now named Mid America Yearly Meeting, 1872 to the present, are housed adjacent to the Quaker Collection in the Friends University Library. An alphabetical card file has been prepared on all members in the Birth, Death and Marriage Records in the archives.
The archives of Kansas Yearly Meeting Conservative, 1879-1929, are in the Quaker Collection in the Friends University Library, Wichita, Kansas. For details of these two archives see Index Cabinet #2.
Genealogical sources in the British isles include Quaker records as follows:
Charles II, King of England in 1681, granted a charter to William Penn, to a large province in the New World. Penn came in 1682. He admitted that the Indians were the only true owners of the land, brought them together (Indians from various parts of his province,) to form a treaty of peace and friendship. For 70 years, unlike most Indian treaties, this was never broken. Not a drop of Quaker blood was ever shed by an Indian.
Some authorities believe the name Lamb was originally taken from the Celtic word UAN, meaning "Lamb," probably given because of some peculiarity of character, appearance, or occupation. The name is found in ancient records spelled Lamm, Lam, Lomb, Lumb, Lemm, Lemb, Lambe, and Lamb, of which the form last mentioned is that most generally accepted today.
The same authorities who advance UAN as the original form of the name state that the family is descended from one Arca-Dearg, who was the great-grandfather of Uan, an Irish warrior of ancient times, most of whose descendants used the surname Lamb.
Families of this name were resident at early dates in the Counties of Berks, Kent, Suffolk, and Wilts, in England, in the city of London, and in Scotland. These branches are believed to have been descended from the Irish parent stock, but it is possible that many of the very early families of the name were totally unrelated to each other and that some were of English origin.
These families were, for the most part, of the yeomanry and landed gentry of Great Britain and were represented in the artistic, as well as in the civic and military life of England. Probably the most famous of the name in England was Charles Lamb, poet, critic, and essayist of London in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
An ancient coat of arms of the Lamb family, with the addition of a more recent motto, is described as follows: (Burke, Encyclopedia of Heraldry, 1844):
Arms - "Sable, a fesse or, between three clinquefils ermine, charged with a lion passant gules between two mullets of the field. "
Crest - "A demi-lion rampant gules, collared or, holding in the dexter paw a mullet sable. "
Motto - "Virture et fide", meaning "By bravery and faith" The earliest definite records of the name in England include those of William le Lambe, of Co. Cambridege, in 1275; those of Richard le Lam or Lamb, of Northamptonshire, about the same time; those of Ingrida Lomb or Lamb, of Huntingdonshire, during the same period, and those of Ann Lamb, of London, who was buried in 1665. These records are, however, only fragmentary From the files of Guilford College, North Carolina,
"The Family of Benjamin and Vashti Lamb, 1975"
"In the eighteenth century Nansemond County, Virginia, adjoined Perquimans County, North Carolina, and there was a natural movement of Nansemond residents to Perquimans as Virginia's population overflowed. The destruction by fire of Nansemond's early records obscures this movement and renders it impossible to trace the history of many Perquimans families. "One of the Nansemonders moving south was Henry Lamb, who brought his wife Elizabeth and about eight children to Perquimans in 1739. This was not the first of the travels of the Lamb family, who were reputed to have left Scotland for the New World in 1658, nor would it be the last, as the family seems to have possessed the spirit of wanderlust. Henry Lamb was a member of the Society of Friends and Virginia's harsh treatment of that sect may have induced his migration to North Carolina...Henry Lamb purchased a hundred-acre farm from Samuel Newby on 12 Oct 1740, located in the Ballahack section of Perquimans (now Hertfordshire Township), near Cypress Swamp (now Goodwins Mill Creek). He appeared on the 1740 tax list of Perquimans with three tithables. He purchased another fifty acres in the same area from James Padget on 24 Aug 1743.
"After twenty-one years' residence in Perquimans, Lamb decided to migrate again. On 29 July 1760 he sold all his land in Perquimans and on the first of October following he requested Friends in Perquimans to grant him a certificate to New Garden Monthly Meeting, which received him on the 29th of November. He followed his sons Jacob and Joseph to Rowan County, which then included the entire northwest corner of North Carolina. Most of his children also settled there... Rowan County was formed in 1753 and part of it was joined to part of Orange to form Guilford County in 1770. Nine years later part of Guilford County became Randolph County. Similarly, part of New Garden Monthly Meeting (established 1754) became Center Monthly Meeting in 1792. References to Lambs occur in all three counties and all three meetings, suggesting they lived in the present Greensboro-Asheboro-High Point vicinity. Among the Lambs' neighbors were the Beesons from Pennsylvania and the Hoovers, ancestors of President Herbert Hoover. Henry did not survive long in his new home. He made his will in St. Luke's Parish, Rowan County, on 7 Feb 1761 and died on the 10th. The will was probated the following April, with his sons Jacob and Joseph named executors. Little is known of Elizabeth Lamb, wife of Henry. She survived her husband by fourteen years, dying 13 Sep 1775 according to records of Center Monthly meeting."
Land Records, Rowan County, North Carolina Deed Book 4, p. 666, "Herman Cox of Orange County, North Carolina and wife Jean to Henry Lamb for 29 pounds 18 shillings Virginia Money 300 acres on Polecat Creek bought May 12, 1757, recorded November 18, 1760. Witnesses Thomas Lamb, Isaac Beeson. Lease and Release from Harmon Cox and wife Jean to Henry Lamb for 300 acres, 18-19 November 1760." "1773 Debtors of Col. John McGhee, Orange County, North Carolina", "The North Carolina Genealogical Journal" Vol. I, No. 1, January 1975: Widow Lambe.
Henry Lamb was listed in the 1754 taxables list of Perquimans County with five taxable males. Those five would have been Henry, and sons Reuben, Isaac, Easu, Joseph, and Jacob. From the 1779 Tax List of Randolph County, pertaining to Henry's sons: "Persons that have not taken the oath of allegiance, refusing or neglecting to return inventories of their taxables, Joseph Hinds District: Thomas Lamb, Jacob Lamb, Reuben Lamb, Joseph Lamb, Esau Lamb, William Lamb." There was also a Joshua Lamb on that list, but no connection to our Henry can be made solely from the inclusion of a name on a list of British patriots. At least one of Henry's sons, Joseph, is listed on the Patriots' Index for Private Service. As to refusal to swear an Oath of Allegiance, the North Carolina Assembly granted specific exclusion to those of the Quaker faith, replacing it with a milder statement of fidelity, as noted in the preface, although swift and severe punishment was administered to traitors.
The 1803 Tax List of Randolph County lists these sons of Henry and Elizabeth: Thomas Lamb, 1 white poll, 30 acres of land; Joseph Lamb, 1 white poll, 174 acres; Isaac Lamb, 1 white poll, 161 acres; Jacob Lamb, 1 white poll, 300 acres; Reuben Lamb, 1 white poll, no land.
Regarding the Guilford and Rowan County Quakers, of which Henry and Elizabeth were prominent members, the following notes are presented:
Excerpts from "The History of Guilford County, North Carolina," by Sallie W. Stockard, 1902, Gaut-Ogden Co., Printers and Book Binders.
"About 1794 the first settlers came to this section. At that time a heavy stream of migration was pouring into North Carolina. In the portion of the state marked by the present towns of Greensboro, Salisbury, Concord, and Charlotte, the Scotch-Irish and German settled. To the territory now known as Guilford County people representing three nations, the Scotch-Irish, the German exiles from the Palatine, and the English Quakers, came. These people were dissenters seeking religious liberty as well as homes for wives and children. From the colony of William Penn, where they had first set foot on American soil, they passed on through Virginia, where the Church of England was already established, and traveled through a wild country to a milder climate and the freedom of forest and river to be found in Piedmont North Carolina...in west Guilford the English Quakers took up their abode...the Armfields, the Beasons, ...the Elliotts,...the Mendenhalls, the Pughs, the Starbucks..."
"Unlike both German and Scotch-Irish was the Quaker in his territory in western Guilford. It is this element which makes the history of Guilford unique in North Carolina. The Scotch-Irish and German may be found in many other counties in the state, but not these three together. In the conjunction of these a clashing of ideas came about which has made history. In the question of slavery Guilford County history is vital not only in this State but touches national life as well..."
"In England, Quaker and Presbyterian had alike suffered religious persecution. They were impelled by the same purpose to gain for themselves new homes and freedom to worship as they chose... In the Quaker settlement the hip-roofed houses and the various crafts are manifestations of English training... the Quakers came from Pennsylvania about 1749... In 1764, Friends had begun investigations to find out who were the original Indian owners of their new homes, in order that they might pay them for the land, as they were trying to do at Hopewell, Va. It was reported that the New Garden section belonged to the Cheraws, who had been since much reduced and lived with the 'Catoppyes,' Catawbas."
"Colonial governor of North Carolina, Tryon described them such, "These inhabitants are a people differing in health and complexion from the natives in the maritime parts of the province, as much as a sturdy Briton differs from a puny Spaniard."
"These people did not live in crude log cabins. Many of them had comfortable homes, hiproofed, with dormer windows, built of brick or frame material. They had wealth; they loved beauty. All worked, continually stirring from four o'clock in the morning till late at night... They were a pastoral and agricultural people such as good living never spoils, but, on the contrary, develops in them spirit and energy. Spacious fields of wheat, corn, buckwheat and patches of flax and cotton surrounded their homes. Sometimes a hundred bee hives added another charm to the garden, with the lilacs, roses, sweet lavender and daisies. The home itself was like a colony of bees in which there were no drones. It was a custom that no young woman should marry until she possessed forty or more bedquilts, counterpanes, and snowy sheets that she had made herself. These articles of her handiwork she embroidered with all sorts of needlework...
They sold great quantities of cloth, wagon loads of butter, cheese and honey. They raised silk, flax, cotton and wool, and manufactured these products for sale. They sold green apples and chesnuts all winter... The men prided themselves on their physical strength. A friendly fight as a test was not infrequent, while even old men wrestled occasionally. It was customary for a company of men and boys to collect on Saturday evenings at a mill or cross-roads. One described a circle. Upon banter being given two men stepped into the ring and they laughed at black eyes and hard knocks. They boxed each others' ears as a joke, and gouged and bit each other for fun."
"Guilford has been a county of many religious sects, of churches and of ministers. However these people may differ in regard to other beliefs and manners, they all agree in the doctrine of Puritanism. To deviate from the Purtian standard to them is sin. The rigidity of Friends concerning outward show, and the will power of the Presbyterians relating to duty, have each the essence of Puritanism in them."
"The center of the influence and strength of the Society of Friends in North Carolina has been Guilford County. For a hundred and fifty years their Yearly Meeting has been held in this county, first at New Garden, but of late years at High Point, N.C. Friends had first settled in Pasquotank County, this State, and John Archdale was the good Quaker governor long before. But Friends came among the earliest settlers to this section. There is some record that they chartered or traded with the Catawba Indians for lands in the beautiful undulating plains of western Guilford. Guilford College, six miles west of Greensboro, is the seat of learning of Friends in the South... Friends have always been great advocates and leaders in regard to education. From the first they seemed to have believed in the equal education of the sexes. Their women have responded in the noblest and most intellectual types of character."
Excerpts from "I Have Called You Friends," by Francis C. Anscombe, 1959, Christopher Publishing House, Boston, MA.
"Concerning their gatherings. They did not call their assemblies 'church services.' They met primarily for worship... At first the men and women sat upon different sides of the meeting house. There are varying explanations for this custom, but the probability is that the men sat nearer the door to protect the women from molestation if and when soldiers or officers came to arrest the worshippers who were meeting contrary to law. Worship meant meditation, contemplation, prayer, a review of the past week and the search for Divine assistance for present and future obligations... There was no parson, no ritual, no prescribed order of service, no music and no singing. There was much of silence, but it was not a dead silence, it was a period of vital communication with the Eternal. There was liberty for any 'concerned' Friend to deliver a message. It must not be a long sermon, or a display of oratory,,, Women as well as men were at liberty to speak or offer prayer. For many years the men wore their hats except in time of prayer... It is said that the origin of this was that the churches in medieval times were unheated and so men kept their hats on for protection. The Quakers did not originate the custom."
"This body (the Monthly Meeting) is the heart of the Society... All members may attend and take part in the proceedings. Nothing is kept from the congregation. There are no secret committees. This body is a legal entity and may make contracts, control the local properties, and appoint representatives to attend quarterly meeting. A group of monthly meetings constitute a quarterly meeting, which convenes at various centers in rotation... it was regarded as a great occasion and was an opportunity to meet Friends and perhaps to hear some distinguished preacher... A group of quarterly meetings constitute a yearly meeting... Virginia established 1673, North Carolina established 1698."
"Women have a unique place within the Society. So far as it is known it is the only religious body which has given to females from the beginning the same standing as males. They may be ministers, elders, overseers or clerks; they may speak in both the meetings for worship and business."
"Deep River Monthly Meeting, Guilford County. A large number of the Quaker migrants settled in a community which was destined to become of historic importance, for it is no exaggeration to say that the Friends in this community preserved civilization during the dark days of the Reconstruction era, and that from this center have gone forth many families who have attained eminence elsewhere.
... Friends were here about 1750, and New Garden Monthly Meeting granted permission for a meeting to be held regularly at "the home of Benjamin Beeson, except when it held at Mordecai Mendenhall's." The preparative status was granted in 1760, and the monthly meeting was organized in 1778. A log meeting place was erected in 1758. ... the place 'looked very much like a barn... and was warmed by stoves, whose pipes extended through the overhead ceiling, discharged their contents into the space between the rafters. The final escape of this smoke was through the cracks between the shingles. Why the house did not burn down is an unsolved riddle. "
pages 19-20 The Fort Wayne Road
"Moore’s, Thomas’s, and Henry Osborne’s cabins were erected along this road." "Some time later, the Henry Osborne settlement had a sign which read 63 miles to Fort Wayne, 63 miles to Indianapolis"
"The earliest settlers of the township are descendants of those idealists and seekers after freedom, religious enthusiasts, and adventurers that left England in the 17th century for the new country in PA.—of the causes that led to their unrest, after 2-3 generations, and exodus to VA, and almost immediately to North Carolina, and the subsequent moving to the Middle West, there is an interesting account in ‘Southern Quakerism and Slavery’ by Rufus M. Jones. "
"Joseph Winslow was by occupation a farmer and miller, born Randolph Co., North Carolina, in 1777. He arrived Dec 28, 1829, held meetings in his home, settled his family."—Among these Quakers were Newbys, Beesons, William Osborn, Benjamin Benbow, Peter Rich, John Rich." - "After 1833, the country settled up rapidly --- Lewis Moorman, Solomon Parsons, Franklin Davis --in 1836, Thomas Winslow, Thomas Edgerton, William Osborn, Eli Moorman, Harvey Davis, Moses Benbow. ---1837, Peter Rich, Thomas Osborn."
There is a story about David and Mary Lewis, William G Lewis. Chn: Wesley, William, Mary, James, Morgon, Evelyn, John S, D, Sarah, Rebecca, Elizabeth.
"Nathan Morris and wife Miriam - came 1837 -father of 22 children, emigrated west in 1865, died in Jewell Co., KS, in 1881, a Friends Minister. "
page 103 "In 1835 Rush took up land now owned by John Kelsey"
page 104 "1836-William Osborne, his wife Keziah, and Mary, Abigail, Ruth, Lindon, Mahlon, and Lydia. Mary married Lindsey Baldwin, Abigail married George Shugart, Ruth married Samuel Roberts, Lydia married Milton McHatton, Lindon married Mary Reise, Mahlon married Arcadia Phillips.
page 108 "Jesse Dillon, Sr., brother to Mrs. Solomon Parsons, married Lydia Harvey, settled in 1832. Solomon Parsons and wife Rachel-1835. Rachel was sister of Thomas and Jesse Dillon, Sr. --and Keziah Osborn, leather workman. Chn: Keziah, Elizabeth, William, Anna, and Henry. Keziah married Henry Wilson, then Reise Haisley, moved to Jewell Co., KS. William moved and went to IA many years ago. Henry fought for the Union in Civil War, badly wounded, settled in IA, raised a family, honored religion.
Three handwritten undated sheets -----
In the year 1796 the friends of North Carolina believed the principle of human slavery to be wrong and liberated their slaves. They were placed under arrest and were forced to place their negroes under bondage. The friends appealed to the courts, they upheld them and they again liberated the slaves. The following winter the legislature passed an act making it a penal offense to liberate the slaves.
The friends appointed a committee of three - Jos. Hogens, Borden Stanton and name unknown to visit the northwest territory and select a suitable site to migrate to a place where slavery could never exist. They reported favorably on the site of what is now the extreme southern end of Jefferson County, Ohio.
The Trent River Quarterly Conference voted unanimous to go (and one hundred thirty families) and started in the spring of 1799. Left B ..... North Carolina in a sailing vessel was becalmed at sea and was two weeks in going to Alexandria. There they hired wagons to haul them and their goods to the mountains.
On arriving at the mountains they discharged the heavy wagons and hired lighter ones to take them over, they got as far as Red Stone, Virginia, and waited until the following spring for the land office to open. On arriving at what is known as the Short Creek Country in 1800, they then divided. Part went to Plymouth (now Smithfield) part to Concord and the rest remaining at or slight west of Mt. Pleasant. The Short Creek church was built in 1806.
The Large church or Yearly meeting house was built in or rather completed 1814 (at Mt Pleasant) was built by five Quarterly meetings at a cost of $8588. The five quarterly meetings were assessed as follows:
Redstone composed of 181 families were assessed $8.90 per family
Short Creek composed of 410 families were assessed $8.00 per family
Salem composed of 292 families were assessed $6.00 per family
Miami composed of 450 families were assessed $3.00 per family
West Branch composed of 359 families were assessed $3.00 per family
They were people who took their religion seriously. Wherever they went, they established and built churches and started schools along with building their homes.
They not only built churches, but they attended church every Sunday morning, and to fourth day meeting on Wednesday. They were married in the church, after asking the church’s permission. (no civil license was necessary) The children born to them became birthright members of the Friends church.
The church kept careful records of births, deaths and marriages. They took care of orphans, widows and needy persons, and the meeting acted as trustee of estates for minors, and executor of wills and testaments. The old Friends or Quakers, our ancestors, believed in democracy. They believed in equality of the sexes. They were the first church to record women as ministers. For their business sessions, the church house was divided and the men and women held separate meetings so neither would disturb the other. and each had its own clerk and reading clerk. To consider grave questions, they held joint sessions together.
By the time, our story of our Pioneer, Henry Lamb, begins, slavery was well established throughout all of the southern colonies, except Georgia. The whole system of agriculture depended on slavery. Friends began opposing slavery, and to free their slaves when they were convinced that it was wrong. North Carolina passed severe laws, making it a crime for anyone to free slaves, and any free or freed slave had to leave the state within a year. North Carolina Yearly Meeting owned from one time to another 3,000 slaves, so their owners could set them free and send them north.
On 15 Mar 1781, occurred the Battle of Guilford court House (now Greensborough) North Carolina. This was one of the important battles of the American Revolution, and was between Gen. Nathaniel Greene (disowned Quaker) and Lord Cornwallis. Greene was defeated but he inflicted such loss on Cornwallis that the latter was forced to leave the Carolinas. The Quakers came with wagons and medical supplies of the day and carried the wounded American and British alike into the big new Garden Meeting House. They buried the dead in a large common grave, in their cemetery. The wounded almost covered the floor of the meeting house, and they were taken care of until their friends or relatives came and took them off their hands. Some of Henry Lambs children were still members of New Garden MM, and they were among the number who helped in this work of mercy.
In 1787, the Northwest Territory (IN, OH, IL MI) slavery was barred forever. Friends in North Carolina heard of this, a vast new land, where they could live and not hold slaves. One Monthly Meeting sent a committee to "spy" out this new land and bring back a report. They told in glowing terms about the crops that would grow there, how corn grew 10’ tall. The MM censured them severely for deviating so far from the truth.
During the first fifteen years of the 19th century, more than 18,000 Quakers left the land of slavery, and made for the north, in the Northwest Territory. It was a moral protest for a people and a race not their own. Very few of the Quaker immigrants personally lived to profit from their long journey and hard life. They were well established and prosperous where they came from. There is no parallel in human history to the going of the Quakers. The greatest number of Friends found any where in the world, live in the Mississippi Valley in the states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, brought there generations ago by the highest motives that ever created a movement of peoples in all history.
The story of the Quaker Lambs starts in North Carolina.
"Joshua Lamb, of Puritan stock, in an affidavit made in Perquimans Co., North Carolina, asserted that he was of Massachusetts Bay in New England. On 17 April 1676, Sir William Berkeley granted "the whole Island of Roanoke" to Joshua Lamb, merchant of Roxbury Co., of Suffolk, in New England. Joshua resold the island three years later, 29 Sep 1679 to Nicholas Paige, merchant, of Boston. Mary Lamb, widow of Joshua, returned to Roxbury where she signed some papers in 1690, and calls herself of said town. (She died in 1700) Joshua left no will in Perquimans Co., North Carolina, and no direct line has been traced from him in that county, but it is thought that the next of the name to be found in the county may have been his son. "
History of Perquimans Co., North Carolina
by Ellen Wattson Winslow
Many speculate that this Joshua was father of our ancestor Henry, but this does not seem possible. This Joshua’s family records do not list a son Henry, and he died 23 September 1690, probably before our Henry was born. He was, however, the right age to be his grandfather. There was a Joshua Jr. I have searched the records of the Puritan Lambs, and do not find any apparent way that Henry can be fitted into this family, at this time.
From a family account given by Isaac Lamb, son of Thomas Lamb and Sarah Smith, printed In "Biographical & Genealogical History of Wayne County, Indiana" Page 1001 - 1003 Gen. P 977.21 W35, B1, Vol 2, we find that Henry Lamb, glovemaker, came to America in 1658, from Scotland, to escape Quaker persecution, and settled in North Carolina. "He was a Quaker of the Fox type, and freely suffered martyrdom in the cause of his beloved religion. His son, Isaac Lamb, was also of that faith, and was a glovemaker, and also a mason by occupation, and the father of Thomas." These dates appear much too early to me, but otherwise seems reasonable.
In the "Brandenburg-Maxwell Genealogy," by Sarah G Stiz, 1979, Henry Lamb and his brother Thomas, came from Scotland. The source for this was listed "a reply in the Hartford Times, 30 May 1954. She also lists a Robert Lamb as the 7th child of Henry, which I have not seen anywhere else.
In "Passengers to America" by Tepper, Gen Pub. Co., Baltimore, 1977, there was a Robert Lamb, age 16, who sailed from town of Gravesend, England on the ship "America" to VA, arriving 23 June 1635.
There was a Robert Lamb transported to Colonies by William Barnard, Esqr. Isle of Wight Co. VA, 10 Aug 1642. Relationship not known.
There was a Henry Lamb, about 1715, who was banished to VA from England, for utterances of unorthodox doctrines (Quakerism?) This could be our Henry, who turned up in North Carolina in July of that year. Some speculate that having been born in the colonies, he had returned to England for an education, and then took up Quakerism, and was sent back to Virginia, where he was born. The Virginia territory at that time was quite large, and included the present day North Carolina.
Henry’s past lies hidden in the record vacuum of Nansemond, Virginia, which he left in 1739. That area’s records were burned three times and Quaker records were often well hidden due to the persecution of Quakers in Virginia .
Robert Lamb, of Scotland
Raymond A Winslow,Jr. in [IT:The Family of Benjamin and Vashti Lamb:IT], 1975 alludes to Scottish Heritage for this Lamb family. Others believe him to be English.
In his great great grandson's, Rev. Elkanah J. Lamb, autobiography "Memories of the Past and Thoughts of the Future" published by the Press of the United Brethren Publishing House in 1905, it is indicated that the immigrant was Charles Lamb. This Charles Lamb is probably father or grandfather of Henry Lamb. "Me, a citizen of the United States of America, a prominent man of Colorado, belonging to a heritage that has been conspicuous in history from Charles Lamb down through the decades of glorious record till now."
This could not be the English essayist Charles Lamb, as he came along much later. My own grandfather told me we were descended from Charles Lamb.
From Virginia Quit Rent Rolls for Surry County, Virginia, 1704 is listed Thomas Lamb with 200 acres. Virginia Historical Magazine Volume 29 page 18.
my note: This Thomas could be the father of Thomas and HENRY who came into North Carolina in 1715).
From the Isle of Wight Virginia Court House will and deed book: "Bartlett, Roberts: Nuncupative, proven by Thomas Lamb, age 44 years and Elizabeth Davis age 35 years. Leg, a daughter, who was left in tuition of Tobias Kebble.
Registered May 1, 1679."
my note: This Thomas Lamb would be b 1635, could be the grand-father or father of our HENRY. The names Thomas and Henry appear in all the generations of HENRY's offspring).
Rowan County, North Carolina, later divided into Randolph and Guilford Counties, had in Guilford County, within a radius of 10 miles the present city of Greensboro, three Quaker Meeting Houses; New Garden MM started in 1750, Deep River MM started in 1753 and Center MM in 1757, by Quakers from Pennsylvania, Nantucket Island and Perquimans County.
To the present day, none of them are more than settlements, with the church the nucleus of the settlement. Guilford College (Quaker) grew up first as a boarding school, later a college. This is where the New Garden Meeting House is located.
To try and construct a story of the life of HENRY LAMB; he could have been born ca. 1696 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. The Thomas that came as a headright with HENRY to North Carolina, could have been his brother.
Chowan Precinct, North Carolina, had been opened to settlement around Catherine Creek, Bennetts Creek and the Indian Lands, around 1700, and many Surry, Isle of Wight and Nancemond Counties, Virginia people had received grants to this land. A good portion were of the Quaker faith.
After living 21 years in Perquimans County, HENRY sold his land and moved to Rowan County, North Carolina, some 150 miles west of Perquimans County. Here is a notation that explains about his land purchase in Rowan County; "Henry Cox and wife Jean of Orange Co., N.C. let HENRY LAMB of Rowan Co. have 300 acres on Middle Fork of Pole Cat Creek, for 5 shillings (the release price being 20 pounds and 18 shillings Virginia money on the next day).
When HENRY moved to Rowan County, his married sons Thomas and Reuben with families, and his (unmarried) sons Jacob and Joseph, and (unmarried) daughters Bethia and Elizabeth, went with him. Two sons stayed in Perquimans County, our ancestors Isaac and ESAU (he later moved there) and his married daughter Mary.
When the Lambs moved to Rowan County, Robert Lamb, with wife Rachel (Taylor) had been there 3 years. I believe he was the son of HENRY'S brother Thomas. Another Thomas Lamb passed thru on his way to South Carolina and I believe he might be a brother to this Robert. All Quakers.
I have information on all of HENRY's children and their families; they had 64 grandchildren. Most of the grandchildren moved to Ohio, Indiana and then some on to Iowa. Most following the Quaker religion.
??? I believe that the truth of Henry’s ancestors lies somewhere in the above account. However, I am leaving that to future genealogists.
Henry Lamb, together with Thomas Lamb, and eleven others, arrived at Chowan County, North Carolina, on 7-20-1715.
From Abstract of Records from Clerk of the Superior Court of Chowan County at Edenton, C. Court Records, taken from Book B, No. 1-Register of Deeds Office. "At Court held at the house of Henry King, 7-20-1715, Patrick Laughly proves rights for importation of - John Welch, Sr., John Welch, Jr., Elizabeth Welch, Edward Welch, John Gordon, Daniel Butler, Thomas Lamb, Henry Lamb, Richard Marshall, Ma Tucker, Matthew Dyer, Henry Clark and William Pratt. "Importation" did not necessarily mean from England, it could mean from another colony.
In the 18th century, Nansemond County, Virginia, adjoined Perquimans County, North Carolina, and there was a natural movement of Nansemond residents to Perquimans as Virginia’s population overflowed. The destruction by fire of Nansemond’s early records obscures this movement, and renders it impossible to trace the history of many Perquimans families.
Henry Lamb, Quaker, was received with his family, and with Thomas Lamb, on 2-4-1739, from Nancemund Monthly Meeting, Virginia, to Perquimans Monthly Meeting, North Carolina. Both counties are close to Roanoke Island. This may not have involved a move. It may mean that as new Monthly Meetings were established, and state boundaries changed, they merely changed membership to a closer Meeting. It may account for the confusion about where some of the children were born. Records are found in both places.
Henry Lamb was born about 1696, possibly in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. He was married/1 about 1720 in Chowan County, North Carolina, to Gulielma, maiden name unknown.
He was married/2 to Elizabeth Henley, who was born in 1690. One source gives 10 February 1739 as the date of their marriage, which would have been shortly after the change in membership. One IGI record of the LDS Library says he married Elizabeth about 1725; this would explain the 5 year gap between the birth of William, the second child, and the third, Mary. If either date is correct, then the younger children are Elizabeth’s, although she would have been a little old for childbearing assuming her birthday is correct.
Elizabeth went to Tennessee from Boston, Massachusetts. The Henleys were in Massachusetts three generations before the Revolutionary War. (For other Henley’s see Mayo-Henley Family Part VIII)
Henry purchased a 100 acre farm from Samuel Newby on 12 October 1740, located in the Ballahack section of Perquimans, (now Hertford Township,) near Cypress Swamp (now Goodwins Mill Creek.) He appeared on the 1740 tax list of Perquimans with three tithables. He purchased another 50 acres in the same area from James Padget on 24 August 1743.
The rapid growth of the North Carolina back-country, is illustrated by the formation of new counties. Rowan County, was formed in 1753 and part of it was joined to part of Orange to form Guilford County in 1770. Nine years later part of Guilford became Randolph County. Similarly, part of New Garden, Perquimans County (established 1754) became Center, Perquimans County in 1773, and in turn Center gave off Back Creek, Perquimans County in 1792. References to Lambs occur in all three counties and all three meetings, suggesting they lived in the present Greensboro-Asheboro-High Point vicinity. Among the Lambs’ neighbors were the Beesons from Pennsylania and the Hoovers, ancestors of President Herbert Hoover.
The family remained in Perquimans County until June 1760 when his sons, Jacob and Joseph moved to New Garden Monthly Meeting, in Guilford County, North Carolina. On 29 July 1760, Henry sold all his land, and on 1st of October following he requested Friends in Perquimans to grant him a certificate to New Garden Monthly Meeting. Henry and family, Thomas, and Reuben, were received there on 29th November, following Jacob and Joseph to Rowan County, which then included the entire NW quarter of North Carolina. Most of his children also settled there.
Shortly after the move, Henry made his will in St. Lukes’ Parish, Rowan County, on 7 February 1761, and died 10 Feb. His will was probated the following April in Rowan County in 1761, naming sons: Thomas, who was left a shilling, Isham (Isaac), Jacob, Joseph, and dau: Elizabeth. Elizabeth, his wife, who inherited all he had during her lifetime. She died 13 September 1774, recorded at Center Monthly Meeting, in Guilford Co. There were two black women; one to his son Joseph, the other to Isaac & Jacob. The children who were not named in his will, may have received a settlement at a prior date. William died earlier.
From the 1779 Tax List of Randolph County, pertaining to Henry’s sons:
During the Revolutionary War, the wounded were mostly left to die on the battlefield. Some of Henry’s children were still members of the New Garden Monthly Meeting. The Quakers came with wagons and medical supplies of the day, and carried the wounded American and British alike into the big New Garden Meeting House. They buried the dead in a large common grave in their cemetery. The wounded were cared for until their friends or relatives came and took them off their hands.
Henry Lamb, then residing in St. Luke's Parish of Rowan County had his estate probated on 22 Apr 1761 in Salisbury, Rowan, North Carolina. The Will and Probate record is recorded in Rowan County Will Book A:81, Court Record book II:333, 22 April 1761. The original of his Last Will and Testament is located in the North Carolina State Archives, Rowan County Original Wills, and reads:
"Will of Henry Lamb proved by Christopher Nation and William Proctor, witnesses. Jacob and Joseph Lamb executors. Court adjourned 1/2 hour; justices present Jno Brandon, William Giles, Edward Hughes, Alexander Cathey, Jacob Lash."
"In the name of God Amen, the Seventh Day of February in the year of Our Lord 1761, I Henry Lambe of the Parish of Saint Luke in the County of Rowan and Province of North Carolina being very sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given to God, therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body & knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make & ordain this my Last Will and Testament, that is to say, Principally and first of all I give & recommend my soul into the hands of God that give it and for my body, I recommend it to the Earth to be buried in a fitting like manner at the discression of my executor...wherewith it hath pleased God to Bless me in this Life, I give & Devise & dispose of same in the following manner & form-
"Inprime, it is my will & I do ordain that...my just debts & funeral charges be paid and satisfied. Item, I give & bequeath unto Elizabeth my dearly beloved wife, all & singular full dower & title to all that is mine or belonging to me during her life if she continues to live on and at her death to be equally divided between Easu, Jacob, & Joseph, Elizabeth & Bethia. To my sons Esau, Jacob & Joseph if they live to go (unreadable)..., and if my son Esau will not come up to live one year on land, the hole land to my sons Jacob & Joseph, whom I likewise constitute, make and ordain my only & sole executors of this my Last Will and Testament.
"Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Lamb, Esau and Mary a shilling to be paid by my executors after my decease. Whereby disallowing all and every other former Testaments by me in any way before this time, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above mentioned. Signed Henry (his x mark) Lambe. Witness Benjamin Beeson, Chris Nation, -?-"
Benjamin Beeson who signed Henry's will was the son of Richard and Charity Grubb Beeson, and was the father of Frances Beeson who married Henry's son, Joseph Lamb.
Elizabeth Henley (or Henby?), Henry's wife, was born about 1700. She died on 13 Sep 1774 in St. Luke's Parish, Rowan, North Carolina. Her death was reported by the Quakers of Guilford County in the Center Monthly Meeting; Hinshaw, Vol. I, North Carolina, p. 660.
A special thanks to Rex Wiley of Indianapolis, Indiana, for his collection from the following sources:
World Family Tree, computer Vol 1
Genealogical Dictionary of New England, 1860" by Savage
Genealogy of Lamb, Rose, &Others by D. S. Smith
Lamb, Savory, Merriman Families. 1900 by F. W. Lamb
Lamb Family, 1903 by F. W. Lamb
The Americana, 1934
Early Marriage Records of the Lamb Family. 1916 by W. W. Clemes
English and Welsh Surnames. 1901 by Bardsley
Early Virginia Immigrants. 1912 by Greer
D. A. R. Lineage Book, Volume 69, 1908
Virginia Revolutionary Soldiers. 1912, -Supplement, 1913
Officers of the Continental Army. 1914 by Heitman
PA Muster Rolls. 1907
American Biography. Volume 3, 1914 by Herringshaw
Visitations of Suffolk, 1862 by Metcalfe
County Genealogies. Kent, 1830 by Berry
Kent Visitation. 1898 Harleian Society
Visitation of Wiltshire. 1882 by Marshall
Atwood Family. 1903 Robinson Co. of Northampton. Volume 1, 1822-1830 by Baker
Lodge’s Peerage of Ireland. Vol 6. 1789 Archdall American Lambs