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Quaker Practices

Marriage procedures. When a couple desired to obtain a marriage certificate, they made two appearances before both the Men's Meeting and the Women's Meeting prior to the marriage. Subsequent reports were made by the Committees appointed to attend the ceremony. Then, the report of the Committee so appointed reported at the next (following)Meeting that the marriage had been accomplished----within a month.

If a man and woman were members of different Monthly Meetings, they made their declaration where the woman was a member, the man being required to bring a certificate from his meeting that he was a member in good standing. The Minutes. Minutes contained a great deal of information, particularly during migrations. They related to memberships received and issued and various disciplinary actions taken against members. Thousands of such disciplinary measures are in the records. Unless the offending member repented, he was disowned, and no further records appear of him.

Almost all the Yearly Meetings in North Carolina lost one or more of its records, and the complete records of two Monthly Meetings are missing altogether -- Fredericksburg, S. C., 1753-1782, and Trent, N. C., 1792-1800.

George Fox, the founder, went to North Carolina in 1672, after the Meetings in Chuckatuck and Summerton, and he wrote in his journal, "After a visit in North Caroline and our horses having rested we set forward for Virginia again, traveling through the woods and bogs as far as we could well reach that day, and at night lay by a fire in the woods.

Quakerism began diminishing in Lower Virginia because of the great migration into North Carolina, and also because they did not win new converts to take the place of those who had removed themselves from the State.

In 1761, Daniel Stanton wrote of the Chuckatuck Meeting : "I was informed this had been one of the largest in Virginia, but not it is reduced to two or three families...."

When Colonel William Byrd was surveying the NC-VA borders, he commented "We passed no less than two Quaker Meeting houses. That persuasion prevails much in the lower end of Nansemond County...the ill reputation of the tobacco in these lower parishes makes the clergy unwilling to accept of them except such whose abilities are as near as their pay."

Localities of North Carolina-South Carolina Meetings:

Fredericksburg, S. C.
Trent, N. C.
Perquimans, N. C.
Pasquotank, N. C.
Suttons Creek
Rich Square
Core Sound
Cave Creek
Holly Spring
New Garden
Back Creek
High Point
Deep Creek
Mt. Pleasant
Bush River
Wrightsboro (in the N. C. book by Hinshaw, but this was in Ga.)
Cane Creek
Piney Grove
New Hope
Lost Creek

Source: Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy

Suggested Reading:

  • Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy
  • Early Quaker Records in Virginia
  • Menallen minutes, marriages and miscellany
  • Our Quaker Ancestors


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