Quaker Ancestors: Canadian Friends Historical Association

 Do you have a Quaker ancestor? Then you might want to bookmark the Canadian Friends Historical Association\’s website. This great website has a wealth of information on the early history of Quakers in Canada. According to the website, Quakers started migrating into Upper Canada in the 1790s. Those who were in Dutchess County, NY settled around the Bay of Quinte. Quakers from New Jersey and Pennsylvania migrated mainly to the Niagara region. Before this, Quakers also migrated into Atlantic Canada. When Canada started expanding settlement to the West, Quaker settlements started appearing. The Canadian Friends Historical Association (cfha) has records focusing mainly on Upper Canada and the US Staes they came from.


 To explore their site, click on tabs on the top right of the screen and follow the drop down menus. I\’m going to focus on some of the sections in the WHAT WE DO drop down menu.

Who Are the Quakers?
If finding Quakers among your ancestors comes as a surprise to you, then this page is for you. There are 9 informative panels giving a general overview of Quaker history. You can view each panel separately, or download it as a PDF here.
Below the panel is a general overview of Canadian Quaker history specifically. For instance, did you know that after the Acadian Expulsion in 1755, the Friends of Philadelphia stepped in to help banished Acadians?
This section has several subsections that will be of interest. All are PDF downloads.
  • Research Papers – These papers highlight individual Quakers, Loyalist Quakers, and aspects of the Quaker faith. If your ancestry is connected to a fellow by the name of Timothy Rogers Jr., there is an interesting read called Timothy Rogers Jr: Quaker to Slave Master.
  • The Meeting House – The newsletter of the chfa. Check out the section called \”Transcription Tidbits\”. You might just find a mention of your ancestor.
  • Canadian Quaker History Journal – First published semi annually, then annually. This section has issues 46 to 81. You can view full issues from 46 to 68. Issues 69 to 81 have table of contents, that provide links to individual articles. I found issue number 68 especially interesting. It was an entire issue devoted to Quaker and the Penal System.
  • Newsletters from 1972 to 1988, 1998 to 2005 – Before the Journal listed above, the publication was in newsletter form. This is where you will find issues 1 to 45. 

This is the section you really want to look at. Here there are PDF transcriptions of Meeting Minutes, Journals/Diaries, Letters, and Memorials. The Meeting Minutes are by far the largest part of this section.
  • Muncy Monthly Meeting, PA – spans the years 1797-1834
  • Nine Partners Meeting, NY – spans the years 1779-1897
  • Ferrisburg Monthly Meeting VT – spans 1793-1816
Upper Canada
  • Pre 1828 Separation – various areas, spanning as early as 1739 to the late 1800s
  • Half Yearly Meeting – spans 1810-1864
  • Orthodox Meetings – various areas, spanning form the the early 1800s to the mid 20th century
  • Hicksite Meetings – various areas, spanning from the early 1800s to the mid 20th century
  • Canadian Meeting Outside Ontario – Bordon SK, spanning 1918-1983. There is also transcriptions of Epistles received from the Fritchley, England Society of Friends
Below the links to the various transcriptions are brief histories of the different areas covered.
Don\’t forget to check out their blog as well. Just a few day ago, they posted about the Quakers around Argenta BC. 
The transcriptions and digitization by the cfha are ongoing. If you found something on their site to further your research, thank them by making a donation. Even better, become a member to keep up to date on all the work they do. You can access their membership application here.

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