Thursday, September 30, 2010


Also known as The Society of Friends
Migration began between 1675 and 1725, leaving the North Midlands of England and coming to American to the Delaware River area of Pennsylvania and West Jersey. Some were in New England earlier, they weren’t Quakers when they arrived.  They came as Puritans and were converted a to Quakers
 In the 1650-1660’s  they were driven out of  Massachusetts Bay Colony and went to Rhode Island and places beyond.   The ones coming in 1675, came as Quakers from England because they were being persecuted but more so because they felt called to a spiritual pilgrimage. Quakers came from the lower middle class of English society. They were farmers, craftsmen, laborers and servants.
There was no “in-law relationships. If you married into the family, you became son or daughter or cousin!
Quaker families were a bit smaller than Puritan families there were fewer servants. Their communities were comprised of only Quakers. They were pacifists.

A Quaker could not marry a non Quaker, if the did they were disowned. For this reason, there were more of them that did not marry than in other groups. First cousin marriages were not allowed, but they often married relatives of a lesser degree of closeness.  Marriage was a community affair. Parental consent was required but had to be approved by the community as well!  Quaker wedding had 7 steps. Most involving the community. The wedding ceremony itself was very plain. Average age at marriage was similar to Puritans, 26 for men and 22 for women. They married for Christian love not for sexual attraction.

In keeping with their belief of equality, they named the first son for the wife’s father and the first daughter for the husband’s mother. Then reversed the process on the next son and daughter.

About 50% of Quaker children were given Biblical names. …. Most common: John, Joseph, Samuel, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Anna/Hannah, Ester/Hester.  They also used Teutonic names such as George, Thomsa or William  and plain English names such as Jane, Catherine, Margaret or Phebe, Grace names were popular with Quakers… ie: Grace, Mercy , Chastity, Preserve, Restore, Increase.

Famous Quakers:
Quakers were abolitionists, wanting freedom for the slaves, believing women were equal to men and did much with the equal rights for women … Susan B. Anthony and he under ground railroad.. Lucretia Mott.
Benjamin Lundy, organized the first formal antislavery society.
Elizabeth ( Betsy) Fry was the daughter of Joseph Gurney and Catherine Gurney. Dob 5/21/1780  Norwich
  She Married Joseph Fry……8/18/1800  had a daughter Katherine and 11 more children. She did lots of work in prison reform and mental asylum reform and welfare reform.

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