Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Quaker's and I'm not talking Oats
I wanted to talk about what I learned this week. This is a starter blog on the topic of Quaker's and Religion in my Family Tree. After getting a new Hint in my Ancestry DNA I got to looking at an older branch of the Stitt line. The line was the Mills which joined the Stitt line back in the late 1800's. Something I had not really looked at in my family research before was their religious beliefs.
The interesting thing wasn't the two families coming together it was how they eventually ran into each other. From what I have researched so far was that the Stitt's came from PA to KY to OH and eventually to IA. The Mills side came from PA to NC to TN to IA over the same approximate time frame. Both of the families often traveled in groups when they made their big moves. The Mills were Quakers and had a prominent impact in TN Quaker history. Before I continue on and in case you are new to what Quakers are here was a useful piece for me.
Quakers are often confused with the Amish or with Shakers, two independent groups with whom there is no direct historical or theological connection. Despite a shared concern for peace and a historic emphasis on simplicity, Quakers are a unique body of Christians, formally called the Society of Friends.
Friends do not withdraw from the world into private celibate communities, as did the Shakers to the point of extinction. Nor do Quakers isolate themselves from the modern world, indicating their uniqueness by the wearing of unusual clothing and by rejecting technology as do the Amish. Instead, Quakers are a diverse group of Christian believers who seek to maintain a personal relationship with God while remaining active participants in the world around them.
Like I said earlier it looks like most of the family moves where with religiously like minded friends "no pun intended." And after about a century of moving around they all showed up in IA.
I am going to leave you with that for now, however another thing I learned about the Quakers is they took good notes at their meetings keeping things like vital statistics (births, deaths, marriages, changes in membership.) There are multiple volumes of meeting minutes from all the states involved that I plan on checking out. So look for future blogs with Quakers in the title and I will share new discoveries as I find them.