Quakers!! Oh My!!

Bruce Vail

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#1
My brother Tom up in New York has been working with me in trying to unearth family history that we never knew as kids (Family schisms: Don't ask).

He just found a long-forgotten monograph on the Vails of NY and NJ that reveals the shocking truth -- in the old days, our family was full of Quakers!!

I'm going to need to do some serious reading to sort out all the connections. But it's a big clue to why my branch of the Vails doesn't have a military history to speak of, and that we all talk funny. :smile:
 

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#3
I have several Quaker ancestors in my family tree too. Wiley Russell who is in my
signature married the daughter of a Quaker named Eliza Lassiter from Randolph County
North Carolina which is right in the middle of what is known as the Quaker Belt
in this state. The Lassiters and families that were associated with them before were
all Quakers dating back to the 1600s in Virginia. The Russells were a Primitive Baptist
family and Wiley didn't let his wife's Quaker faith or his large family dissuade from
enlisting in the Confederate Army at the age of thirty nine in 1861. Wiley was
originally from neighboring Montgomery County.
 

Bruce Vail

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#4
The North Carolina Quaker Belt is new to me. I first read about it a couple of months ago here on CWT.

Just learned today that Long Island, NY, was a hotbed on Quakerism 1660s-1680s. Seems that the Puritans in Massachusetts and Connecticut made the Quaker immigrants from England feel unwelcome, so many migrated to Long Island to get away.
 
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#6
My brother Tom up in New York has been working with me in trying to unearth family history that we never knew as kids (Family schisms: Don't ask).

He just found a long-forgotten monograph on the Vails of NY and NJ that reveals the shocking truth -- in the old days, our family was full of Quakers!!

I'm going to need to do some serious reading to sort out all the connections. But it's a big clue to why my branch of the Vails doesn't have a military history to speak of, and that we all talk funny. :smile:
Bruce, I was equally shocked when I found my family line of Quakers six generations back, and in South Carolina, which drove most of them out of the State for their slave sympathies long before the War. My line stayed in SC another generation, but their abolitionist activities went underground, and their religion became publicly known as "Baptist". I imagine they also "talked funny", occasionally falling back into saying "thee" and 'thou" like Elizabethan Englishmen.
 

Tom Elmore

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#8
There was a Quaker belt in northern Virginia, including these towns:

Hamilton: At Hamilton are still many Quakers (July 1863). (Major Alex Biddle, 121st PA)

Middleburg: July 20 (1863), started for Middleburg, which is about 13 miles distant from Hamilton. Passed through the Quaker settlement and through Circleville. Stopped at the Quakers’ houses and found them very pleasant and hospitable. (War Diary and Letters of Stephen M. Weld – aide to Maj. Gen. Reynolds)

Waterford: Waterford was a Quaker community that was strongly abolitionist and supported the Union. (The Civil War News, January 2013)
 

Bruce Vail

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#9
Bruce, I was equally shocked when I found my family line of Quakers six generations back, and in South Carolina, which drove most of them out of the State for their slave sympathies long before the War. My line stayed in SC another generation, but their abolitionist activities went underground, and their religion became publicly known as "Baptist". I imagine they also "talked funny", occasionally falling back into saying "thee" and 'thou" like Elizabethan Englishmen.
Imagine my brother Tom's reaction to learn that there was a New Jersey Quaker named Thomas Vail who sold his slaves about 1820 in obedience to the ruling of his local Meeting that Quakers shouldn't be slaveowners anymore!
 

Bruce Vail

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#10
I have several Quaker ancestors in my family tree too. Wiley Russell who is in my
signature married the daughter of a Quaker named Eliza Lassiter from Randolph County
North Carolina which is right in the middle of what is known as the Quaker Belt
in this state. The Lassiters and families that were associated with them before were
all Quakers dating back to the 1600s in Virginia. The Russells were a Primitive Baptist
family and Wiley didn't let his wife's Quaker faith or his large family dissuade from
enlisting in the Confederate Army at the age of thirty nine in 1861. Wiley was
originally from neighboring Montgomery County.
We may be related, in an extremely remote sort of way. The Vails were kin to the Thornes in the old days.
 
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#11
We may be related, in an extremely remote sort of way. The Vails were kin to the Thornes in the old days.
We could be. My Thornes were from the Edgecombe/Wilson County area and before
that they lived in Virginia. I'll post the story sometime in the future about how my
Thorne Civil War ancestor had a second cousin who shared the same name. This cousin
Martin V.B. Thorne had a family that moved to Indiana in the 1820s. He grew up there
and fought for the 57th Indiana Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Both Martin
Thornes died of disease during the War, the Confederate Martin R. Thorne died in
October 1862 in Virginia and the Union Martin V.B. Thorne in New Orleans in 1865
from Yellow Fever. I'll see if can find the last letter Martin V.B. Thorne who fought for
the Union wrote to his family. It is interesting reading.
 
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Jimklag

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#12
My brother Tom up in New York has been working with me in trying to unearth family history that we never knew as kids (Family schisms: Don't ask).

He just found a long-forgotten monograph on the Vails of NY and NJ that reveals the shocking truth -- in the old days, our family was full of Quakers!!

I'm going to need to do some serious reading to sort out all the connections. But it's a big clue to why my branch of the Vails doesn't have a military history to speak of, and that we all talk funny. :smile:
Shades of Long Sol.
 

Booner

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#13
The North Carolina Quaker Belt is new to me. I first read about a couple of months ago here on CWT.

Just learned today that Long Island, NY, was a hotbed on Quakerism 1660s-1680s. Seems that the Puritans in Massachusetts and Connecticut made the Quaker immigrants from England feel unwelcome, so may migrated to Long Island to get away.
Daniel Boone's family were Penn. Quakers who moved to N. C.
My earliest Penn. ancestors were originally Quakers who later became members of the Church of the Brethren, or "Dunkers," which seems to me to be rather Quaker-like, but I don't know.

So in your ancestral quest, if you run out of Quakers, they may have done the same as mine.
 
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los angeles ca
#14
My brother Tom up in New York has been working with me in trying to unearth family history that we never knew as kids (Family schisms: Don't ask).

He just found a long-forgotten monograph on the Vails of NY and NJ that reveals the shocking truth -- in the old days, our family was full of Quakers!!

I'm going to need to do some serious reading to sort out all the connections. But it's a big clue to why my branch of the Vails doesn't have a military history to speak of, and that we all talk funny. :smile:
We know some Quakers most famously Richard Nixon's GGf fought and died for the Union. How many Quakers violated their religious principles would be an interesting question.
Leftyhunter
 

Bruce Vail

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#18
Next question: how did that work out?
Leftyhunter
I don't think it worked out for anybody. I'm sure the slaves were happy to be freed, but I seriously doubt they were compensated for their servitude, or that the racial laws and social norms of 1780 New York were much to their liking. I imagine old Tom Vail felt some religious gratification -- but would rather have had the money. As for the Vails of North Salem, they seem to have dropped their attachment to Quakerism shortly afterwards.
 
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#19
Be
I don't think it worked out for anybody. I'm sure the slaves were happy to be freed, but I seriously doubt they were compensated for their servitude, or that the racial laws and social norms of 1780 New York were much to their liking. I imagine old Tom Vail felt some religious gratification -- but would rather have had the money. As for the Vails of North Salem, they seem to have dropped their attachment to Quakerism shortly afterwards.
Better to be freed in New York then the South.. No micegenation laws and they could vote. New York had black civil servants way before the South. Yes there was indeed racial discrimination in the Empire State but better is better.
Leftyhunter
 

Bruce Vail

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#20
There was a Quaker belt in northern Virginia, including these towns:

Hamilton: At Hamilton are still many Quakers (July 1863). (Major Alex Biddle, 121st PA)

Middleburg: July 20 (1863), started for Middleburg, which is about 13 miles distant from Hamilton. Passed through the Quaker settlement and through Circleville. Stopped at the Quakers’ houses and found them very pleasant and hospitable. (War Diary and Letters of Stephen M. Weld – aide to Maj. Gen. Reynolds)

Waterford: Waterford was a Quaker community that was strongly abolitionist and supported the Union. (The Civil War News, January 2013)
FYI - From the website of the Loudon Museum:

The Loudoun Valley was broken up into smaller grants—a few in the Middleburg/Upperville region given to Tidewater planters, but most given to immigrants from an overflowing Pennsylvania—the Quakers, Scots-Irish, and Germans interested in starting small farms. The Quakers had significant influence in the central Loudoun Valley, settling in and around such communities as Waterford (now a restored historic village), Hillsboro, Goose Creek (now Lincoln), and Unison. Their stone buildings are a major feature of the Loudoun landscape. Germans settled in the northern end of the Loudoun Valley, especially in the area around Lovettsville, leaving a number of log structures as their architectural legacy. Unlike the settlers to the east, neither of these groups believed in the use of slaves, thus inaugurating a division that would be important in the years leading up to the Civil War.
 



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