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Quaker Ancestors


London Grove
London Grove Meeting from its graveyard.
Many old Quaker graves never had names,
and many which did have disappeared.

Several groups of ancestors on this tree were early members of the Society of Friends, synonymously called Quakers. To describe the Quaker families on this site, there are three parts to this page:

  1. the first describes the Quaker families on this site from Delaware and Pennsylvania;
  2. the second works with family from Maryland;
  3. and at the bottom is a brief explanation of Quaker dates.

The page is organized this way because, broadly, Friends on this tree appear in in two different immigrant patterns: those in Maryland, and those in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The Maryland Friends recorded here immigrated as Puritans or members of the Church of England and became Friends in Maryland. Those from father north, however, immigrated from England or Ireland to flee persecution up to decades after their conversion (or "convincement").

One core tree, formed by the ancestors of John Lansdale, Jr., includes two sets of direct Quaker ancestors, both on on his father's side. The first are Quaker relatives from Maryland, within the ancestors of Harriet Franklin; the other is a northern group of Friends, within the maternal ancestors of Aaron Gregg, who immigrated to (what is now) Delaware.

Another core tree, the ancestors of Helen McLellan, includes one branch of Friends in its direct ancestors, the ancestors of Asahel Walker Cooper, Sr. who lived in south-eastern Pennsylvania. He was born in Pennsylvania and moved to New Orleans as a young man.

Lewis Evans 1749 detail Click here to see an eighteenth-century
map of the regions discussed on this page.

This page sketches out the descendants of immigrant ancestors for each of the three branches; an *asterisk indicates a direct immigrant ancestor on one of the core trees. Note that other Quaker families appear on the site outside of, or tangential to, these direct lines; these are noted below more briefly. There are also some genealogical connections between these various groups.

Friends considered it anathema to marry outside of the denomination, and those who did, like those who joined the military, were "read out" of the sect. This meant, first, that these groups tended to knit together over time more than many early American communities, and cousins at timed intermarried. Intermarriages which were too close—between first cousins, for instance—could draw the censure of Meetings. Examples of intermarriage occur in Harriet Franklin's ancestors, as described below. Second, this strict rule against inter-marriage, rules against military service, and increasingly firm stands against slavery beginning in the late eighteenth century meant that membership in Friends' communities began to decline in the nineteenth century.

Again, an *asterisk indicates a direct immigrant ancestor on one of the four core trees on the site. For more information, sources are attached the pages of individuals you can click on below. In general, one still excellent discussion of early Quakers in America remains Rufus Jones, The Quakers in the American Colonies. If you have suggestions or comments, please get in touch.

Immigrants to Delaware and Pennsylvania

The areas which are now northern Delaware and south-eastern Pennsylvania were not distinguished from each other in the 1682 land grant to William Penn. Maps at the time show one geographical area bounded by the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers. Separate sets of representatives for the states began to meet in 1704, in Philadelphia and New Castle, though one Governor remained for both, and pre-Revolutionary Delaware remained under the political sway of its more powerful and populous northern neighbor.

*William Gregg and his wife, *Ann, immigrated in 1687 from County Waterford, Ireland to the Christiana Hundred, which later became New Castle County, Delaware. They are the immigrant ancestors of the so-called "Quaker Greggs." They descend on this tree to Aaron Gregg, who was not a Quaker, and who married, curiously, into another (non-Quaker) Gregg family from Virginia (descended from immigrant Samuel Gregg); from him the core tree descends to Kentucky families including the Hamiltons and the Mannens.

Asahel Walker's pedigree
Refer to Asahel Cooper's pedigree for help!

The rest of the Friends on core trees from Pennsylvania, especially connected to Sadsbury Meeting, are ancestors of Asahel Walker Cooper, Sr.; his family had been in America for several generations, and he has about 8 sets of immigrant ancestors. Click on the chart at the right for help! I proceed through this section, as much as sensible, in chronological order according to when folks immigrated; this therefore does not go in top-to-bottom order according to the chart.

*James Cooper was in Lancaster county in 1675. His travels are unclear, but it seems that he and his first wife Hannah came to Pennsylvania as servants, in order to gain the 50 acres of land which Penn promised to indentures. He may have traveled back and forth to England. A son of his named Calvin Cooper, by his second wife *Mary Ludwidge, married Phebe Hall, whose father Samuel Hall may or may not have been a Quaker. The question arises because Samuel's wife Anna Springer was the child of Lutheran parents, immigrants from Sweden to Delaware, and I do not know which generation was convinced; I assume Phebe was so that she could marry Calvin Cooper.

*James Dilworth and his wife *Ann Waln immigrated in 1682 on board the "Lamb." They were Quakers from the West Riding of Yorkshire and eastern Lancashire escaping persecution; they brought with them a note from Settle Monthly Meeting, which was located along the Ribble in what is now eastern Lancashire. They are documented as companions of William Penn, and lived on land he granted in Bucks County. Ann's brother Nicholas Waln, along with several other family members, immigrated on the "Lamb" with them (see the biography of his grandson, below).

*Everard Bolton and his wife *Elizabeth were received in Philadelphia Monthly Meeting in 1682 with a certificate from Ross Monthly Meeting in Herefordshire. They settled in Cheltenham Township; 100 acres was surveyed for him there on September 10, 1683. He was apparently a prominent man in legal circles. The date of the Boltons' arrival implies that they were companions of William Penn that year, but their names don't seem to appear on arrival lists. Their son Samuel married Jennet Dilworth, daughter of James and Ann Dilworth.

*Lewis Walker immigrated in 1687 from Redstone Meeting in Pembrokeshire, Wales to Radnor, in Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania. At Haverford Friends' Meeting, on April (2nd mo.) 22, 1693 he married *Mary Morris, from England, who is said to have crossed the ocean in the same ship with him. He later moved to Tredyfferin Township in Chester County where he built a home he named "Rehobeth."

*Edward Jarman immigrated from Wales to Philadelphia by 1703; his wife is unknown. His daughter Sarah married Isaac Walker, son of the immigrant Lewis.

*Andrew Moore married *Margaret Wilson in Ireland in 1715, and immigrated by 1724, when he was one of several men who petitioned for the foundation of Sadsbury Friends' Meeting in the south-eastern edge of Lancaster County.

The movement of families to Sadsbury Meeting brings them together on this tree. Andrew's son James Moore married Anne Starr, daughter of *Jeremiah Starr and his wife *Rebecca Jackson. This couple had immigrated in about 1717 from County Meath in Northern Ireland to London Grove Township in Chester County. Anne Starr and James Moore married at London Grove, but their children appear in the Sadsbury Meeting records, indicating that they had moved further west.

*Richard Truman married *Martha Bayley at Chippenham Meeting in Wiltshire, England. They immigrated in about 1715 to settle first in what is now Montgomery County, where they attended Abington Meeting. Their son Thomas married Ann Bolton, daughter of Samuel and Jennet (above), moved westward to settle in Sadsbury Township in 1751. Thomas's daughter Susanna Truman married George Cooper; they were grandparents of Asahel Walker Cooper, the migrant to New Orleans.

Finally, a grand-daughter of Andrew and Margaret, Ann Moore, married Lewis Walker's grandson, Asahel Walker, in 1769 at the Sadsbury Meeting House. Asahel and Ann's daughter, Sarah Walker, married George Cooper, Jr. in 1805, who were the parents of Asahel Walker Cooper. Asahel was a carpenter bound out to learn his trade in Philadelphia, where he became interested in business and moved to New Orleans. He seems, however, to have kept contact with his home.

Birmingham Monthly Meeting
Some of Emma Malinda Lansdale's ancestors
married here, at Birmingham Meeting.
Note the two pairs of doors to separate
men from women, who sat separately inside.

What of Pennsylvania Quaker families outside of these core trees? One especially appears:

The ancestors of Emma Malinda (Woodward) Lansdale were Quakers from Chester Co., Pennsylvania. If you travel back far enough along the Harlan line, her family intermarries with the Quaker Greggs here. Her parents and grandparents generations exhibit some examples of Quaker intermarriage. (She is not, despite her name, related to John Lansdale Jr., but appears on the other Maryland Lansdale tree on the site; see the Maryland Mysteries page for more about the difference . . . .)

Here are two sources about Quaker history from Pennsylvania and Delaware which I include here because they may not be familiar.

"Nicholas Waln." This is a brief biography of one a notable Waln descendant taken from Quaker Biographies (Society of Friends, 1914), vol. 4. This Nicholas lived from 1742-1813.

"The Early Quakers in England and Pennsylvania," Harper's Magazine, Nov., 1882. This is a neat discussion, if a bit dated, of the immgration of William Penn's group of Quakers to southeastern Pennsylvania in the later 1600s.


Immigrants to Maryland

The most important Friends community in Maryland to donate members to this site was the West River Meeting, which was consolidated if not founded by George Fox himself, the founder of the Society of Friends, when he visited the colonies on a trip in 1672. Friends had been in Maryland before this, however; Elizabeth Harris, a very early Quaker missionary, had arrived in Anne Arundel County in 1656 to preach.

Harriet Franklin's pedigree
Refer to Harriet Franklin's pedigree for help!

This line of Quakers appears in the direct ancestors of Harriet Franklin. Her family has an example of Quaker intermarriage. Harriet's parents, Samuel Franklin and Mary Waters, were first cousins, since they shared common grandparents in Jacob Franklin, Sr. and Mary Giles. This means (refer to the chart for help) that Harriet had six (rather than eight) sets of GG Grandparents—which I note because at that stage we have reached the most recent generation of immigrants. Her GG and GGG Grandparents' generations both included immigrant ancestors.

[Harriet also had one Grandparent, Anne "Aunt Maney" Battee, who had no Quaker ancestors at all. The Battees were most likely Puritans at immigration, but Anne's mother, Anne Sellman, was most likely Episcopalian. I do not discuss this branch here, so see their individual pages for more on these groups.]

First, to the sets of shared immigrant ancestors:

*Robert Franklin, Sr. was the immigrant ancestor of the Franklin family of West River, Maryland. Confusingly, he had two wives named Sarah. His first wife's last name is contestable, but she was likely to have been *Sarah Puddington. She was the mother of Robert Franklin, Jr. who married Artridge Giles. Robert Sr.'s second wife was Sarah Gott. It's not likely that Robert was a Quaker when he arrived in Maryland, and the immigrant Puddingtons were not Quakers either, but his son Robert Jr. certainly was. Robert Jr. and Artridge married each other at the West River meeting house in 1680, which makes theirs one of the earliest Quaker weddings in the region.

*John Giles, and *Mary (whose last name is unknown) were probably Puritans when they crossed the Atlantic, and converted in Maryland. They were the parents of Artridge Giles who married Robert Franklin, Jr. Their children's births appear in the West River meeting records; his family later moves to Harford County.

The third couple includes another John Giles unrelated to Mary's husband above. This John Giles, an immigrant from Cornwall, married Rachel Griffith, the daughter of *Samuel Griffith ("of Wales") and a woman named *Elizabeth. This John and Rachel were Episcopalian, since their children appear in the church register for St. James' Parish (in Anne Arundel county), not in the West River Meeting records.

West River Burying Ground
The Burying Ground is all that remains
of the Quaker community which lived
around West River, Maryland.

This leaves four other pairs of immigrant GGG Grandparents for Harriet Franklin whose lines include Quakers. Two of these families were Quakers for generations.

*John Waters married *Susanna White. John Waters, the immigrant ancestor of the Waters family of Anne Arundel County, was brought into Maryland by Richard Wells before 1669. The Wells family had Puritan leanings. Waters participated in the Nanticoke Indian expedition on the Eastern Shore, for which he was rewarded by William Burgess with 120 lb. of tobacco in 1678. Since Quakers disapproved of military service, it must have been after this that he became convinced. In any event he did later convert; his second wife, whom he married before 1684, was Elizabeth Giles, who was definitely a Quaker; she was another daughter of John Giles Sr., and sister to John Jr. and Artridge.

*Richard Arnold (or Arnell) married Martha Thomas. Richard Arnold immigrated as an indentured servant, not as a freeman, which made his first years in Maryland, no doubt, rough, though he was able to purchase his freedom. Martha Thomas, born in Maryland after 1651, was the daughter of immigrant *Philip Thomas from Bristol. He was a Puritan, who was convinced some time before his death; his wife *Sarah Harrison, who outlived him, was a Quaker preacher. Their children and grandchildren were instrumental in forming Sandy Spring Meeting in Montgomery Co., Maryland.

Familial religious allegiance was, however, less fixed than we might imagine; this seems to be more true of the Maryland Friends than of communities farther north. The other two descents here contain generations which convert back and forth between sects. Conversion often happened, it seems, at marriage for the sake of a spouse.

*William Iiams Sr. married Elizabeth Cheyney. William had settled in the South River Hundred by 1665 as a planter, and not as a Quaker. He met his wife in Maryland; she was the daughter of immigrant *Richard Cheyney, who was apparently related to an English family of Royalist rather than Puritan leanings, so this was an Anglican family. Their son William Jr., however, married Elizabeth Plummer, and the Plummers were Quakers. It seems that Elizabeth left her parents' Quaker faith when she married William, since in June of 1698, at about age 20, as the wife of William Iiams Jr., she was baptized by the rector of All Hallow's Parish.

*Thomas Plummer and *Elizabeth Stockett. These are the parents of Elizabeth, above. While Thomas Plummer was a Quaker, the Stocketts were Anglicans, so Elizabeth Stockett would have been convinced to marry her husband. In the next generation, as mentioned above, their daughter Elizabeth Plummer converted back to Anglicanism to marry William Iiams Jr. And in the following, third generation, the marriage of their daughter Charity Iiams to John Waters (grandson of the immigrant) was also an Anglican marriage, which means that this line of the Waters family had moved away from Quakerism just two generations after its immigrant ancester John had become convinced.

The fact that Quakers read members out of Meetings for marrying outside of the faith or for joining the military meant that over time, Quaker populations decreased in Maryland. Another factor was probably slavery. Quakers owned slaves, but by the later 18th century many Meetings had resolved to fight it. In the process, some members who did not want to give up their slaves left Meetings.

Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins, philanthropist.

What of Maryland Friends outside of these core trees? Friends from other Maryland families marry into the core trees of this site, and are therefore cousins or the ancestors of cousins though they do not donate direct ancestors. I link here to the earliest ancestor of these connected families. NOTE that, as above, not all of the folks in these family lines were Friends.

As might be imagined, a wide array of Quaker families from West River marry into the core trees over generations. These families included the Galloway family, who lived at "Tulip Hill" in West River; the Chews; the Snowdens, who lived in Anne Arundel and in Prince George's Counties; the Hopkinses, including the family of the well-known philanthropist Johns Hopkins; the Johns family (where "Johns" Hopkins got his first name); the Cowmans; the Coales; the Richardsons; and the Janneys, who were mostly from northern Virginia, across the Potomac; others of these families also connect to northern Virginia and Pennsylvania Friends.

Another set of Quaker families here are from Sandy Spring in Montgomery County (and their relations further abroad, especially in Alexandria, Virginia). These include the Hartshorne family. Charles R. Hartshore married Ella M. Lansdale in 1886. Along with the Hartshornes come the Sandy Spring Brooke, Briggs, and Farquhar families. The Brookes especially were important in the founding of Triadelphia, where Lansdales lived for three generations (read more about this town on the Maryland Histories page).


On Quaker Dates

Quakers kept very good records. But as part of their rebellion against convention, George Fox and early Friends created a dating system which discarded the use of names for weekdays (Monday, Tuesday, etc.) and months (January, February, etc.), since these derive from older clerical and pagan traditions. Early Friends instead implemented a system of numbers. Sunday became "First day," Monday "Second day," and so on; and—most confusingly today—First month was March, the first month of the seasonal new year. "2nd d. of the 1st wk. of 3rd mo." in a Friend's diary, therefore, would refer to Monday in the first week of May. For the first three months of the conventional year, records use dual dating for years, so "11th mo. 1st day 1722/23" refers to January 1, 1723. This two-month offset occurs generally until September 1752 when the Quakers and everyone else converted over to the Gregorian calendar, though they retained numbers for months.

Not all meetings, however, changed at once, so I have kept the numbering system on this site whereever I have seen it until 1800, when I convert any numbers I have seen to regular months. (If anyone knows of an index which records what Meetings here changed over their calendars when, please let me know.). Here and here are fuller discussions of the system.

The problem for genealogists, as this reveals, is conversion. Some sources (such as the Brinton family history) convert dates; others (such as the excellent Harlan history) don't. Those who don't convert into named days and months continue on with the numbering system long after 1752, because Quakers did. Again, I only continue with the numbers until 1800.

Please note that, out of ignorance, I did not know of this system at the start. I have worked to repair this, but some dates may remain incorrectly unconverted on this tree: "1m 4, 1704 " may appear here as "January 1, 1704," though it is actually March 1, 1704 in the Julian calendar. Caveat lector, therefore, and please refer double-check with more authoritative sources than my site!