Skip to content

Quaker Arrivals in Philadelphia

09/15/2016

If you’re lucky enough to have Quakers in your family tree, there’s a wealth of information they’ve left behind in the form of Meeting Minutes. Local Meetings, Monthly Meetings, Yearly Meetings, Quakers keep meticulous records of births, deaths, marriages, and general happenings within their network of communities. All of my Quaker ancestors that I’ve been able to trace thus far have come through the port in Philadelphia, PA.

Quaker Arrivals in Philadelphia: 1682-1750, by Albert Cook Meyers, M.L., 1902, (digitized by Microsoft) contains names and dates of immigrating Quaker families’ arrivals at the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, and describes where they came from. It’s a great link between Quaker records in England and the various volumes of Encyclopaedia of American Quaker Genealogy by William Wade Hinshaw, which can be searched here at the Haithi Trust, but not downloaded for some reason even though the books have fallen into public domain and were all digitized by Google. Very frustrating.

Advertisements

Cass Co., MI; Calhoun Co., MI; Lycoming Co., PA

09/14/2016
historylycomingcopa

William M. Howell, History of Lycoming County Pennsylvania, pg. 619.

At the turn of the 20th century it became fashionable to write county histories depicting the conception of the county, describing the founding families and their prodigy, and tracing the more prominent families up through the generations. If you’re one of the lucky researchers to have a family line written up in a county history, it can fill in a lot of blanks – especially in those years before censuses and State mandated marriage licenses and death certificates. I have found the following books, all digitized by GoogleBooks, while searching for a family line in Michigan and Pennsylvania:

History of Lycoming County Pennsylvania, edited by John M. Meginness, 1892. 1400 pgs.

History of Cass County Michigan, edited by Waterman, Watkins & Co, 1882. 661 pgs.

History of Calhoun County Michigan: VOL. I, by Hon. Washington Gardner, 1913. 649 pgs.

History of Calhoun County Michigan: VOL. II, by Hon. Washington Gardner, 1913. 839 pgs.

Biographical Review of Calhoun County, Michigan, edited by Hobart & Mather, 1904. 739 pgs.

 

 

The Descendants of Samuel Spencer (1672-1705)

09/09/2016

spencerfamilytreeThe Spencer family of first Pennsylvania and then Virginia was a well-established Quaker family documented for many generations in local, monthly, and yearly Meeting Minutes at regular intervals. They were as successful as they were prolific, marrying into many of the Quaker lines that make up my mother’s family tree. Finding Genealogical Sketch of the Descendants of Samuel Spencer of Pennsylvania by Howard M. Jenkins, 1904, digitized by Google Books was a windfall for me. Mr. Jenkins notes sources, and states speculation as such, so there’s no doubt what is fact and what is not. But really, the story is fanciful enough on it’s own. Young Samuel and James Spencer, having tragically lost their father and mother to drowning in a flood in Pennsylvania, are sent to Barbados to be brought up by relatives, and then return to Pennsylvania and their inheritance once they come of age. It’s a story that writes itself.

The book follows several lines of descendants fairly well, but unfortunately doesn’t mention James or his lineage too much.

Huguenots in America

09/07/2016

Most families have a family legend, and mine is no different. Mine, on my father’s side goes something like this: Our immigrating ancestor came over to American in the early 1700s, a French Huguenot teenager fleeing persecution, dressed as a woman. Also, he married Daniel Boone’s sister/cousin. Yes, flavors of Bonnie Prince Charlie with an American twist. The truth, I’m almost certain we will find, is something slightly less dramatic and less noteworthy to anyone outside our lineage. And yet, I’m so very curious.

Memorials of the Huguenots in America by Rev. A. Stapleton, 1901, certainly isn’t the most up-to-date text on the subject, but he does give a fairly solid history of John Calvin and the Protestant Reformation should you need a quick refresher on just who the Huguenots were and why they were distinct from say, the Walloons, or other non-conformists. Then, region by region, he traces the arrivals of Huguenot family names to America. What’s beautiful about this .pdf version of the book is that it’s searchable, so you don’t have to know where your ancestor came in through or even settled, and you don’t have to skim the whole text. Do be sure to try multiple spellings.

Pennsylvania Marriages Prior to 1810

09/06/2016
paarchivestableofcontents

Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, Vol. IX, Table of Contents

The Pennsylvania Archives has a tremendous amount of historic information, even though the site itself is difficult to wade through at present.  I was able to find this gem, Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, Vol. IX, Record of Pennsylvania Marriages Prior to 1810, published Clarence M. Busch, State Printer of Pennsylvania, 1895, so it’s out of copyright.

As you can see from the Table of Contents, the book covers specific church registers, Quaker Meeting Minutes, and also as an added bonus, gives the names of elected officers for different counties (Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, Coroners, Attorneys General, Clerks of the Court, etc.). Don’t forget to refer to the ever-useful Genealogical Pennsylvania Map for a county breakdown when digging through your records. They’ve moved around a lot.

Pennsylvania Genealogical Counties Map

09/02/2016
tags: ,

Interestingly, none of my family immigrated through Ellis Island, and sadly, none of my family was part of the indigenous peoples here in America before the European invasion. All of my ancestors (that I’ve been able to trace thus far) arrived in either the 1600s or 1700s, and nearly all of them arrived through Pennsylvania (a few stragglers came through Maryland). The map to the left, found on the Pennsylvania State Archive’s website, has been hugely beneficial in helping me understand where they were, when they were, because it looks – in land deed and wills – like a person, or family, is hopping around, but in reality, it’s county borders moving and changing names. The map is also incredibly informative as to historic migration patterns for groups of people, and gives a chronology for land deed releases. So much is packed on to this one sheet!  This map was prepared by the Pennsylvania Land Office in 1933, and updated in 1999, so it’s under copyright. Use this for your own edification and research – it’s a great resource.

McElroys in America

09/01/2016
McElroy

Page excerpt from The Scotch-Irish McElroys in America, AD1717-AD1900.

While researching a branch of my mother’s line, I came across a great resource on the McElroy family line in America. The Scotch-Irish McElroys in America, AD 1717-AD1900, by Rev. John M. McElroy, D.D., 1901, was available in .pdf format online, so of course I grabbed myself a copy and poured over it. Inside are photographs and the tracings of lines through many states, including (but not limited to) PA, KY, DE, VA, and NC.