Religious Records: Researching Quaker Ancestors
Learn the best genealogy records for researching your Quaker ancestors.
George Fox, the founder of what became the Religious Society of Friends, was dissatisfied with established religion in England and urged each follower to find his or her “inner light” for direct communications with God. When the Friends were first called Quakers, it was meant as an insult. But you’ll tremble with joy if you find them among your ancestors due to the many methodical records this sect keeps. And whether or not you seek your own inner light, you’ll find that Quaker ancestors can brighten your lineage.
When Fox started preaching in 1650, those who didn’t conform to the prevailing Puritan views were persecuted. During this so-called “Commonwealth” period, followers of Fox were jailed and had their meeting houses destroyed and property seized. Despite such measures, the Quakers gained converts throughout the British Isles among those drawn to the belief in an individual’s own ability to gain knowledge of God.