QUAKER-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > QUAKER-ROOTS > 2006-02 > 1140664816
From: "Mal Humes" <>
Subject: RE: [Q-R] Welsh Quakers vs. Welsh Baptist & Howell JAMES
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 22:20:16 -0500
I parked this for a week, so it's a little late in reply and there have been
other responses on this.
I've attached some Howell James info below and some more context on the
Baptists, and a few links to some excellent research reosurces online on
Others have gone into the Quaker vs. Baptist and other faiths a bit, but I'd
like to add some more specifically on the context of the times and the
Keithian Quaker Separatists which led to an early schism of Quakers turning
I wouldn't focus too much on Quaker vs. Baptist when doing family research
since there were many relgious conversions and people expelled from the
Friends for various reasons who found other affiliations. The 1600's trough
1800's were a time of much evangelism and conversion and new sects
attracting families from other churches. In the early 1800's there were
concerns about the new colony eroding morals and the 1800 Presidential race
painted Jefferson as leading the country to hell in a handbasket that echo
some of the debates and opinions of today.
'With Jefferson as President, so warned one newspaper, "Murder, robbery,
rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced, the air will
be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with
blood, and the nation black with crimes."' He got elected, and his
Vice-President Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel,
which has been the topic of a lot of news references this last week. Of
course most of the things predicted were already happening before the
Revolution anyway and are not issues specific to the USA.
I was amused to recently learn that Benjamin Franklin had been a proponent
of leading into Congressional or Constitutional Congress meetings with a
prayer, and that his words on the Constitution suggest he wasn't happy with
some aspects of it but that he had the foresight to ask others to put aside
doubts and unamimously support it, saying, in part:
"Most men indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves in
possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so
far error. Steele a Protestant in a Dedication tells the Pope, that the only
difference between our Churches in their opinions of the certainty of their
doctrines is, the Church of Rome is infallible and the Church of England is
never in the wrong. But though many private persons think almost as highly
of their own infallibility as of that of their sect, few express it so
naturally as a certain french lady, who in a dispute with her sister, said
"I don't know how it happens, Sister but I meet with no body but myself,
that's always in the right-Il n'y a que moi qui a toujours raison.""
I've gotten used to doing a little digging to find things like when the
Baptists started to appear in PA (late 1600s), the Methodists (mid 1700's)
and so on. It helps offer some context and the church histories are also a
possible source of otherwise undocumented history.
I haven't found a good timeline of world religions yet, but an atheism
related site is actually one of the better collections of overviews that are
informative and not as biased as histories from a particular point of faith
tend to be:
I actually never thought I'd find religious history very interesting but
when to comes to genealogy research I find that so much of it revolves
around religious centers of communities and records of these and their
cemeteries. We tend to want to categorize and look for certain affiliations
but I have records of Presbyterians married in Lutheran churches and see a
lot of movement away from and sometimes back to Quakerism in later
The Quaker method of counseling for a period before marriage resulted in
some disowned for marrying sooner out of the local Meeting, even though they
had announced intent to marry, probably because they were already expecting
a child. Others came and went for various reasons due to marrying outr, or
trangressions. One of the funnier notes to me is referenced in Ashmead's
history of Dealware County citing a man disowned for calling a Vernon a
"little pimp" and other insults, and it appears he only had to recant to be
alllowed back in but it's not clear if he did.
One of the Radnor MM area family histories I'm reading talks about the
Keithian Quakers that became Welsh Baptists. This appears to have been the
first schism in the Quaker faith followed by a string of others, and the
time period is just after many of the Welsh Quakers arrived.
When Alan posted the book info recently about Josiah Cole as an early Quaker
evangelist (he was imprisoned in VA, then made his way to RI and was
expelled, sent back to England and influenced Penn, then died shortly after
being cursed for his beliefs) heading north to RI I went looking for
connections to my Coles in Rhode Island as I never knew that had been a
Quaker enclave and most had come to MA before the Quakers rose but I thought
they could have been a reason for Josiah heading there. I found a book at
Earlham covering more detail on his history, and that set me off on a
tangent on Christopher Hussey and Rev. Bachilor who broke from the Puritans
to head to NH and was father-in-law of Hussey, an early Quaker.
That reading that that led to some old posts here asking about Separatists
and citing Hussey as one of the Quaker families that had been the 9 to buy
Nantucket as a recluse from the persecution of Quakers in MA. It appears
that Separatists are another term for Keithian Quakers, which seemed to be
something no one was clear on in that thread from some years back.
For some references on Keithian Quakers splitting to become Baptists try:
A short fractured history of Friends in America
"This Upper Providence congregation split on the question of the Sabbath,
and dissolved. However, those who favored keeping Sunday were gathered
together about 1715 by Rev. Abel Morgan, and, in 1718, built a meeting-house
in Birmingham Township, bearing the name of Brandywine Baptist Church. The
Sabbatarians, on the other hand, united at Newtown. In 1717, a number took
up considerable land between Brandywine and French Creek, and, reinforced by
some seceders from the Great Valley Baptist Church, this congregation,
called Nantmeal, became a strong one."
Quite a few surnames associated with Brandywine Baptist and Great Valley
Baptist are Welsh surnames found in the families associated with Merion MM.
"There were other companies of Keithian Quakers who arrived at the same
conclusion. Edwards continues:
Thus have we seen that the Keithian Quakers ended in a kind of
transformation into Keithian Baptists; they were also called Quaker
Baptists, because they still retained the language, dress and manners of
Quakers. We have seen also, that the Keithian or Quaker Baptists ended in
another kind of transformation into seventh-day Baptists, though some went
among the first-day Baptists and other societies. However, these were the
beginning of the Sabbatarians in Pennsylvania. A confession of faith was
published by the Keithian Baptists in 1697; it consisted chiefly of the
articles in the Apostles' Creed. The additions are articles which relate to
baptism by immersion, the Lord's Supper; distinguishing days and months by
numerical names, plainness of language and dress, not swearing, not
fighting, etc. (Edwards, pp. 59, 60)."
Back to Howell James:
There's some info on a Howell James in the first of the files on Merion
burials and families notes at usgenweb:
Gwenllian James, wife of Howell, 11 Mo. 1686, buried last day.
Howell James was from Pontmoel, Monmouthshire. His certificate is
dated 5 Mo. (July) 1684. Settled in Radnor. He was highly esteemed among
the Friends. In 1690, Howell James married Maudlin Kinsey, widow. He had
a son by his first wife, Gwenllian - a son named William James and a dau.
Howell James, a widower and Maudlin Kinsey, widow, both of Radnor
in the Welch Tract, at David Price's house in said twp, 9 Mo. 20, 1690.
Gwen James, daughter of Howell and Gwen, was b. 9 Mo. 30,
1686. Birth recorded at Merion Meeting.
The witnesses to the marriage of Howell James, widower, and
Maudlin Kinsey, widow, were James, William, Thomas and Philip James; John
Kinsey, John Bevan and others.
Maudlin, or Magdalen Kinsey, was the widow of David Kinsey of
Radnor, and early purchaser. Their son, John Kinsey, in 1690, sold 300
acres of his father's purchase, to James James of Radnor. See Penna.
Archives, Second Series Vol. XIX p 406.
The name of Howell James appears on Dr. George Smith's "Map of
Early Settlelments in Delaware County". Howell James was located in Radnor
toownship, near a branch of Darby Creek, and between Radnor Friends'
Meeting and St. Davids episcopal Church.
On the same map are the names of James James and David Kinsey,
located in Radnor, on branches of Darby Creek, near the "street
Road"; David James near what is now Villa Nova.
Howell James afterwards removed to New Castle Co. (Now in
I recommend reading all the files on Merion Welsh families at the link above
as these tend to overlap a lot. The Welsh naming conventions also mean the
surnames can be used much differently than we might expect, and many of
these early Welsh were known by multiple names.
Also the Digital Quaker library at Earlham has a wealth of digitized Quaker
history books online. See http://esr.earlham.edu/dqc/
The search engine is a little confusing to use and a search for Josiah Cole
will find all references to Josiah and to Cole, which makes it a little
harder to find things. I found something there on the Josiah Cole journey
that complemented the hostory Alan had recently scanned but the way the site
works based on logins it seems to be difficult to specific books.
I'd like to draw people's attention to the multiple volume set of Joseph
Besse at the above collections as thiscovers extenisve history of the
sufferings of Quakers in the UK an other places in colonial times. There are
many records of the abuse of individuals catalogged, noting the people
jailed, stoned and otherwise harrassed. This seems a valuable historical
resource and genealogical resource. I have found some interesting stories
about US migrations in the journals there of Quaker evangelists. And if you
have ancestors who were among the early Quakers in the US this seems like
one of the most valuable references other than meeting notes to find where
they may have come from, and why.
I've been reading up on the Welsh parts, trying to match up ancestors and
that's pretty difficult with Welsh naming, but there's some clear history of
the Merionshire and Mongtomeryshire families that were jailed and otherwise
abused before they or similarly named individuals headed to Penn's colony in
the 1680s. I am fairly sure I saw Howell James in tehre but can't find him
in a search. I also saw some reference to the Anabaptists suffering similar
persecution at the time the Welsh Quakers did also documented there but not
This collection would be all the more valuable and helpful if it was indexed
in Google, and if it was possible to download PDF or text copies of these
books to read without being logged into the search engine. There are
probably concerns and reasons why this isn't the case, but I'd encourage
feedback if you find the library there useful as it is one of the better
digitized book collections I've found, aside from the interface difficulties
in search it more easily. And that may be partly my problem of understanding
Just to say it again, clearly: Digital Quaker library at Earlham
"DQC is a digital library containing full text and page images of over 500
individual Quaker works from the 17th and 18th centuries. The proprietary
software developed for Earlham School of Religion provides multiple search
functions and an interface for viewing pages."
See especially: Besse, Joseph. - A collection of the sufferings of the
people called Quakers, for the testimony of a good conscience from the time
of their being first distinguished by that name in the year 1650 to the time
of the act commonly called the Act of toleration granted to Protestant
dissenters in the first year of the reign of King William the Third and
Queen Mary in the year 1689
With about 1450 pages of documentation on a 39 year period critical to
Quaker history and the founding of PA as a Quaker colony it's really an
Swarthmore's manuscripts and collections deserve mention too, though not
much is online, but if you have early PA Quakers or Quaker roots there's a
good chance there's references to them in journals or papers archived there
in addition to the Quaker Meeting records they house.
Searching that is also a little tricky. There's a search of the manuscript
collections, and there's a search of the entire combined library holdings of
Haverford, Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore.
|RE: [Q-R] Welsh Quakers vs. Welsh Baptist & Howell JAMES by "Mal Humes" <>|