QUAKER-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > QUAKER-ROOTS > 2002-05 > 1022293272
Subject: [Q-R] Duck Creek MM, Delaware.
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 22:21:12 EDT
This is in response to various mailings to this web site concerning Duck
Creek MM of Friends in Delaware.
Although I am now far away from my source material, I have a copy of the
paper I wrote about twenty years ago, published in - DELAWARE HISTORY -
entitled "Quakers in Delaware in the time of William Penn". Although I have
compiled numerous records concerning Quakers in northern Delaware in Colonial
times- published in 1976 as _DELAWARE QUAKER RECORDS _, I have compiled no
such complete records of Quakers in southern Delaware. However, in writing
the paper in 1982, I tried to determine at least the family names of Friends
families living below the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal up to the time of the
death of William Penn in 1718. There may be a card file of my research
preserved at the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College, PA.
Duck Creek Monthly Meeting was the primary Monthly Meeting of Friends in
southern Delaware in early Colonial times. Friends had been living in this
area from as early as 1680 or before, but they did not have a formal
organization. Some had affiliations with Salem MM in New Jersey and others
had associations with Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. The Friends at St.
Georges (Georges Creek) in southern New Castle County, had contact with
Newark Monthly Meeting in Brandywine Hundred and Christiana Hundred in
On 6 mo. 7, 1704, Chester Quarterly Meeting in Chester County,PA
authorized the establishment of a meeting for worship at Duck Creek near
present-day Smyrna, DE. Duck Creek MM minutes date from 1705, It is
presumed that the earliest Duck Creek Meetinghouse was located near the old
burial ground near the northeast corner of Smyrna in northeastern Kent
County.---- The Friends of Georges Creek Meeting, which seems to have
already been established at St. Georges in New Castle County, applied for
membership in Duck Creek MM on 4 mo. 17, 1706.---- In 1707 another Friends
Meeting was organized that included Friends living on both sides of the
border of Kent and Sussex Counties. It became known as Murderkill (or
Mutherkiln) Meeting. The meetinghouse was located near Magnolia, Kent
County, DE. ----- In 1712 Friends living in east-central Kent County formally
organized Little Creek Meeting, although there had probably been a worship
group there since 1705. In 1982 the burial ground of the Little Creek
Meeting was still maintained two miles west of the village of Little Creek,
and the shell of the meetinghouse, then used for machine storage purposes,
was still standing some distance north and west of the burial ground, as I
remember it-----The other earlier Meeting in Kent County was first organized
about 1730 as Three Runs Meeting by Friends living along Mispillion Creek.
After perhaps an intermittent history, a new meetinghouse was constructed at
Milford, DE , and a Meeting was kept up there until about 1833. ------ The
other early Meeting associated with Duck Creek MM was Cold Spring (or Cool
Spring) Meeting, six miles west of Lewes in Sussex County. Cold Spring became
a Preparative Meeting of Duck Creek MM in 1720.
It is my impression that Murderkill Meeting was a fairly strong Meeting
at one time, and towards the end of the 1700's it may have become a separate
Monthly Meeting, but it seems to have declined and was torn apart by the
Orthodox-Hicksite Separation of 1827. The Murderkill Orthodox MM did not
endure for more than a year or two, and probably the remaining Murderkill
Hicksite membership was absorbed back into Duck Creek MM.---- I regret that I
am hazy on this matter.---- In 1805/06 Friends erected a new building at
Camden, a few miles south of Dover, and a flourishing school was held there
for a number of years. Beginning in 1814 a regular meeting for worship was
held there. This became Camden Meeting, which for many years has been the
only surviving Meeting of Duck Creek Monthly Meeting.
The Duck Creek Monthly Meeting minutes for 11 mo.16, 1709/10 mention a
certificate being sent to Philadelphia MM concerning "the realty of Rebekah
Freeland being the daughter of Mary Hall, wife of William Freeland, late of
Kent County". I wrote in my paper that ---- " William Freeland was a member
of the Provincial Assembly from Kent County in 1687, 1690, and 1692.
Philadelphia Quaker burial records , under the category of "Deaths of Persons
not Friends," list William Freeland as having been buried in Philadelphia on
1st mo. 12, 1698. The afore mentioned Mary Hall, probably his second wife,
was likely a Friend and seems to have been related to the Hatton family.
Susannah Freeland, who married Timothy Hanson, Jr. at the Philadelphia
Friends meetinghouse on 9 mo., 9, 1704, seems to have been a daughter of
William Freeland and his first wife, Susanna Richardson, who was a daughter
of John Richardson of Kent County, a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial
Council in 1683-84."-----Besides citing Philadelphia MM records abstracted in
Hinshaw's _ENCYCLOPEDIA_, I have also cited _COMLY FAMILY IN AMERICA_ (
Philadelphia, 1934), 845-49. 867-81, 983.
Concerning the Hatton family, I have written: "Philip England had come to
Philadelpia from England in 1683. His first wife having died, he married a
widow, Elizabeth Hatton, at Elizabeth's plantation in New Castle County on 10
mo. 1, 1688 under the care of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. Elizabeth's
first husband was William Hatton, and they had two daughters, Rebecca and
Martha. Soon after the Hatton family had come to Delaware from Lancashire in
1684, it appears that the daughter Rebecca married Joseph Harris. Following
his death in 1688, Rebecca married Joseph England." ------ As a source
reference, I have given: Will of Willam Hatton, New Castle County Wills,
Misc. 1.174, abstracted in "Calendar of Delaware Wills", 8, Abstracters
reading of names listed in the will may not be accurate.
---- The Hattons and Englands seemed to have been living north of the New
Castle County/Kent County line, between St. Georges and Smyrna, DE.
Some of the above data may have been altered in copying. Original
sources should be checked. It has been so long since I have dealt with these
complicated relationships that I don't remember all of the details, but it
appears to me that a diligent study of these early Duck Creek MM minutes,
along with a study of the minutes and records of Philadelphia MM,
supplemented by available civil wills and land transactions and other
documents, perhaps also supplemented by English Quaker and civil records,
might yield answers to many questions pertaining to the Freeland family.
As far as later generations of Quaker families in lower Delaware, I'm
afraid that I cannot be of much assistance, since I have not studied them
carefully and have no records available. I do remember that Levick was a
Quaker family name in Kent County, DE. In dealing with the Hanson family who
later lived in the Wilmington, DE area, I have become conscious that they had
roots in Kent County.
----- Herbert Standing, 1806 Bear Creek Road, Earlham, Iowa 50072..