Ancestry believes that about half of the US population has at least one Quaker ancestor – if they had an ancestor living in or moving through the Mid-Atlantic region between 1680 and 1780! Finding a Quaker ancestor in your family tree may blow open multiple brick walls.


PROFILE OF A QUAKER – Finding a Friend in Colonial America    Beginner

The profile of a Quaker (Friend) can be as distinctive as a fingerprint with their unique ethnic origin, belief system, marriage practices, and separate record structure. This session will teach you the profiling techniques you’ll need to spot a Quaker in colonial America.

SIMPLY AMAZING – US Quaker Records Online   Beginner/Intermediate 

The Quaker faith was one of the largest religions in colonial America. Learn the basics of their record keeping and meeting hierarchy. In addition to the traditional vital records – hatched, matched and dispatched – Friends kept meeting minutes for both men and women. This was radical for its time. Friends also collected some unique records, including travels between meetings (called Removals); and events of early religious persecution (called Sufferings). Discover how wonderfully rich Quaker records can be.

QUAKER MIGRATIONS – Across Ye United States   Intermediate 

How do you find lost Quaker families? FOLLOW THE MEETINGS! Learn how to track your Quaker ancestors by following the opening and closing of monthly meetings they attended. Then marvel at an animated video clip of Quaker meetings marching across the country for 350 years. You won’t believe your eyes!

Ye BEST BOOKS – for Quaker Research    Intermediate 

Before the world wide web and the age of internet documents, books were one of the family historian’s most available assets. In the Quaker way, they allowed an expanding nation to share knowledge when the original records were concentrated in only a few repositories. While derivative materials are less reliable as sources, they play a valuable role as “Finding Aids” to help you locate the original record for your Quaker ancestors, or to understand if it even exists.

IRISH FRIENDS MIGRATION TO PENNSYLVANIA – Uncovering an Ulster Family Story    Beginner

Did you know that Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) was one of three major religions in America prior to the revolution? While small in numbers, the travels of Irish Friends are so well documented they provide a migration template for English-speaking nonconformists.

EXPLORING QUAKER RECORDS – In Ireland and Britain    Intermediate

The roots of American Quakers are most often traced back to relations from Ireland or Britain. While similar types of record were collected on both side of the pond, there are some important differences. In Ireland Quaker records were centralized and some surnames come with a detailed pedigree. Whereas English, Scottish and Welch Quaker records were merged with other “Non-Conformist” religions and are organized by county. Learn how to how to navigate both collections whether online or still in the archives.

FINDING YEARLY MEETING RECORDS – Quaker Archives in the US and Canada   Intermediate

Unlike other religious denominations, Quakers do not centralize their records. With over 36 Yearly Meetings in the US and Canada, each is responsible for its own archives. Learn where and how to gain access to these repositories whether housed at Quaker colleges, state historical societies, yearly meeting headquarters, or now available on-line.


The Quaker faith arose out of the violence of the English Civil War (1642-1651). Since then Quakers have refused to serve in the military, protested against wars, and sought alternatives to violence of all sorts. Explore how the Friends ‘Peace Testimony’ fared within the British colonies and along the American frontier up thru the rebellious war between the states.

SOUTHERN QUAKERS TO THE MIDWEST – An Unexpected Exodus    Intermediate

You say that the Quakers migrated from the south to the Old Northwest Territory in the early 1800s. Some say that slavery in the South caused it. Did that mass migration really happen? Retrace the exodus of Southern Quakers by comparing its footprints in printed sources, Hinshaw’s abstracts, and original records now available on-line.

QUAKERS ON THE MOVE – Three Friendly Migrations   Intermediate

By the 1730s Quakers were concentrated in four regions. Steady growth within their ranks and continued migration from the British Isles fueled three migrations waves. With their Certificates of Removal as their common currency, each migration is an opportunity for you to track your Quaker ancestor who was likely – on the move.

A RAMBLING FRIEND – Tracking an Ulsterman in US Quaker Records   Intermediate/Advanced

The depth and breadth of Quaker (Friends) records is simply amazing. Track one immigrant from Ireland – as he gets off the boat until he is disowned. But just when you think the records will run out, they will leap up and surprise you.

YOUR POT OF GOLD – Irish Quaker Records    Beginner/Intermediate 

Are you so lost in Ireland that you need a miracle or help from a leprechaun? Maybe your ancestor was a Quaker (Religious Society of Friends). This session will introduce you to various types of Quaker records so you can navigate the best church records of the Emerald Isle.