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These six volumes were compiled by William Wade Hinshaw from monthly meeting records and are among the most important works on Quaker genealogy ever published. According to the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, these volumes represent "One of the indisputably great moments of genealogical research in the twentieth century." (Volume XXXVIII, Number 2, June 1950).
The information contained in these volumes is of great importance because
Quakers did not have their vital statistics recorded in civil offices
prior to 1850. The records kept by Friends Monthly Meetings during the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries usually consisted of births, deaths,
marriages, and, of great importance, certificates of removal for Society
of Friends members who relocated from one meeting to another.
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| No class or group of records, religious or secular,
has been as meticulously kept as Quaker records. The oldest Quaker records span
three centuries of American history and illustrate a general trend of migration
from New England and the middle Atlantic states southward to Virginia, the Carolinas,
and Georgia, and west into the Northwest Territory to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
and beyond. The importance of these records cannot be overestimated. Not until
recently have Quaker vital statistics been recorded in civil offices; thus, for
about two centuries the only vital records concerning these people are in the
Quaker records. The records are monuments of painstaking documentation, recording
births, marriages, and deaths, as well as evidence of removal from one meeting
to another. (The monthly meeting, during which information is recorded is, in
fact a business meeting.)
Hinshaw's "Encyclopedia" is estimated to contain well over a half-million entries. The compilation was a tremendous achievement and represented almost a lifetime of labor. In its production, thousands of records were located and abstracted into a uniform and intelligible system of abbreviations. In general, the material is arranged by meeting, then alphabetically by family name, and then chronologically. Each volume contains a history of the yearly meeting and each monthly meeting is preceded by a brief historical sketch.
North Carolina Volume I
This is the first complete volume of Quaker church records for the monthly meetings of the Carolinas and Tennessee which were part of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting. The records consist of every item of genealogical value, including births, marriages, deaths, and minutes of proceedings. They are grouped together for each meeting by families, in alphabetical order, and cover 1680 through the early 1930s. The minutes relating to certificates of removal are numerous and of great genealogical interest, particularly as they give evidence either of membership in a previous monthly meeting or membership in a new meeting, thus enabling genealogists to trace Quaker ancestors from one place to another. Records contained in this volume refer to the following monthly meetings:
New Jersey and Pennsylvania Volume II
This volume is complete in itself for the New Jersey and Pennsylvania monthly meetings which were part of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. It includes all records of genealogical value, Orthodox and Hicksite, known to be in existence for the meetings from the latter quarter of the seventeenth century down to the time the work was originally published (1938). The records are (1) of births and deaths and (2) minutes and marriages, grouped together in alphabetical order by family name, in two sections for each meeting. For the researcher's convenience the marriages are recorded under the names of both brides and grooms. The work also contains invaluable abstracts of certificates of removal and admission and actions of disownment. Records contained in this work are those of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and include Salem Monthly Meeting (NJ), Burlington Monthly Meeting (NJ), Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (PA), and Falls Monthly Meeting (PA). Brief sketches of the various meetings place the work in historical perspective and document the original records. As with the other volumes in the set, a master index covers the whole of the volume.
New York Volume III
The material in this volume consists of data of genealogical interest recorded in the books of four monthly meetings covering the activities of the members of twenty-two Meetings for Worship and other meetings in New York City and Long Island. These records are supplemented by information found in family bibles of early Long Island Quakers; also by burial registers and tombstone data from several burial grounds, Quaker and non-Quaker. Births, marriages, deaths, and certificates of removal are grouped together by meeting and arranged in alphabetical order under the family name. About 370 pages are devoted to the important New York City Monthly Meeting; smaller sections cover the Flushing, Westbury, and Jericho Monthly Meetings. Unusual importance is attached to this book in that every item in the entire volume was extracted from original books of records and minutes and alphabetized by John Cox, Jr., author of Quakerism in the City of New York, 1657-1930 (1930).
Ohio Volume IV
Ohio Volume V
This volume completes the Ohio Quaker genealogical records. It contains the genealogical records found in all original books known to exist of the twenty-one monthly meetings listed below. These records now belong to and are under the jurisdiction of the Wilmington Yearly Meeting, Clinton County, Ohio, and/or the Indiana Yearly Meeting, Richmond, Indiana. All twenty-one meetings are located in south-central, western, and southwestern Ohio. Records of meetings formerly held in these areas, but now laid down (including Hicksite), are included. Ohio Yearly Meeting was established in 1813 by Baltimore Yearly Meeting and took jurisdiction over all meetings in Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and Indiana. (Indiana Yearly Meeting was established in 1821 and took jurisdiction over western Ohio and all of Indiana.) The monthly meetings included in this volume are as follows:
Virginia Volume VI
Virginia Yearly Meeting (later disbanded and attached to Baltimore Yearly Meeting) comprised thirteen monthly meetings and all particular meetings ever established within the state of Virginia with the following exceptions: (1) those particular meetings west of the Blue Ridge in the Valley of Virginia and those immediately south of the Potomac (belonging to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and later Baltimore Yearly Meeting), and (2) the nine particular meetings in the extreme southwestern part of the state (belonging to North Carolina Yearly Meeting).
As in the preceding volumes, births, marriages, and deaths are arranged by monthly meeting, then alphabetically by family name and then chronologically, with all names listed in the index at the end of the book. In addition to the records of the monthly meetings named below (at which the vital statistics were meticulously recorded), this volume includes separate sections containing the marriage bonds of Campbell and Bedford counties. Records contained herein refer to the following monthly meetings:
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