Guide to the Transcriptions
Note: links to all transcriptions are further down this web page.
Rooted in their belief in the importance of testimonies and their role as “publishers of
truth”, Quakers have left us a rich and diverse collection of written documents. While
each meeting of Quakers regularly recorded the life of the meeting in minute books,
individual Quakers have generated a vast amount of personal correspondence.
Gleaned from the collections of the Library and Archives of Canada, various provincial
archives and the Canadian Quaker Archives, the Association is working to transcribe
these documents from their original handwritten form to more useful digital formats.
For more information about transcriptions, or to volunteer, please
contact our current Chair at email@example.com.Transcribers are always welcome.
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In the early days of Canada, there
were Quaker meetings in the Atlantic Provinces and Upper Canada. As
Canada opened westward, Quaker meetings followed there as well.
To see all the minute books of Canadian meetings held by the Canadian Quaker Archives go to Newsletter
#13. So far only books from Upper Canada have been transcribed.
Upper Canada meetings
The first meeting to be established was at
Adolphustown (1798) in the Bay of Quinte area under Nine Partners
Monthly meeting in Dutchess County, NY. This was under the NY Yearly
meeting. The second meeting to be established was the Pelham meeting
(1799) in the Niagara area under the Philadelphia Yearly meeting. The
third important meeting was Yonge St, established under Pelham in 1804
and soon after it became its own Monthly Meeting. In 1810, NY and
Philadelphia agreed to establish the Canada Half Yearly meeting under
the NY Yearly meeting. Adolphustown, Pelham and Yonge St were the three
Monthly meetings at that time.
Adolphustown and West Lake Monthly Meeting
established as a Preparative meeting in 1798 and then
a Monthly meeting in 1801. These meetings were established as
Preparative meetings under Adolphustown: Kingston, 1801; West Lake,
1803; Green Point, 1811; Cold Creek (indulged), 1815; Hiller
(Ameliasburg and later Wellington), 1817; and Yonge (Leeds), 1818. As
the Quaker community expanded, the West
meeting at Bloomfield was established as the Monthly meeting in 1821
Adolphustown returned to Preparative status. The meetings that were
under Adolphustown were now under West Lake and Cold Creek became a
Prep meeting in 1825 and Haldimand (near Colbourne) was added in 1827.
Leeds and Adolphustown Monthly Meeting was established in 1825.
Pelham Monthly meeting
Pelham was established first as a Prep meeting and then as a Monthly
Meeting in the same year, 1799. These Quakers came from southeastern
Lancaster County, and Bucks County in PA as well as Sussex County, NJ. See Richard MacMaster's paper, Friends in the Niagara Peninsula 1786 - 1802
about this chain migration that lasted till about 1820. These meetings
were established as Preparative meetings under Pelham: Black Creek
(Bertie Tp.), 1799; Yonge St., 1804; Erie (USA), 1807; Chippewa (USA),
1807; Willink (Hamburg, USA), 1810; Norwich, 1816; Ancaster, 1816; Pine
Yonge St Monthly Meeting
Yonge St MM at Newmarket on Yonge Street was established in 1806. Yonge
St was established by Timothy Rogers first with settlers from Vermont.
Soon after Quakers from Pennsylvania and the Niagara area moved in,
predominantly in the Uxbridge area. Later, Timothy Rogers started the
Pickering meeting. Timothy Roger's diary is transcribed and posted on this web site. These meetings were established as Preparative meetings under Yonge St: Whitchurch, 1810; Queen St., 1810; Uxbridge, 1810; Pickering, 1819.
Norwich Monthly Meeting
Norwich MM was established in 1819. These meetings were established as Preparative meetings under Norwich: Yarmouth (Sparta), 1823; Malahide (induged), 1822, Ancaster (indulged), 1816; Pine St, 1819.
In 1828 the Quaker Society
separated in two groups: one called Orthodox and the other called
Hicksite. After 1828 the Preparative, Monthly Meeting
minute books and
registers continued in either the hands of the Hicksites or the
Orthodox Quakers. Note the library code indicating Orthodox (O) and
Hicksite (H). Many more meetings developed after 1828. Click here for a chart of this complex set of meetings. This chart is from the end leaf of the A History of the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Canada, Arthur Dorland, 1927.
1881 the Orthodox branch separated into two Orthodox branches:
Conservative and Orthodox Church Friends. These two Orthodox branches
maintained Yearly Meetings that met separately but in the same places.
Jane Zavitz Bond wrote, "The schism occurred over living patterns,
not theology. The Conservatives felt keeping silent meetings, plain
and simplicity in way of life was required for Friends. The Church
were fitting into the society around them. Dress, activities, certainly
more of those who came to Friends via the camp-evangelical
meetings, who were not used to silent meeting and other patterns of
traditional Quaker life. Also
the isolation of rural meetings did not bring forth spoken ministry to
meet the needs of worshippers; they wanted hymns, scripture reading, ie
minister with order of service and these were added. But not
"The Genesee Hicksite Yearly Meeting and Canada Orthodox Church YM
began meeting in 'concurrent' sessions in 1928. They held separate
business sessions for related YM business, but met for some portions
together. CYM-Conservative was added in 1942 during WWII when Friends
were working together for Canadian Friends Service Committee and peace activities. The
Young Friends of all groups met together, helped to bring unification
Dorland was key to reunification having lived with Friends' separation
in Canada and desiring its end over his lifetime. As an influential
Friend who might be perceived as pressing too hard he went to Ireland
for the summer of 1955 to be absent from YM that made the final Minute
creating a unified Canada Yearly Meeting. This was the era when other North American
Orthodox and Hicksite YM's were reuniting after WWII shared work for
peace. The British Friends had not separated."
Below are transcriptions of some of the early meeting books. The
earliest books are from Nine Partners and Ferrisburg, VT. The Upper
Canada books start in 1798 with Adolphustown and a number of West Lake
and other books have been transcribed. We are currently working on the
Yonge St meeting.
There are additional transcriptions of minute books and registers not on this web site. They are for Norwich, Pelham, Yonge St., Halcyonia and Lobo Meetings and are available on the web site of the Quaker Archives and Library of Canada. Links are provided and noted with an asterisk.
Nine Partners Meeting, NY
This meeting in Dutchess
County reported to New York Yearly Meeting. Many of the Quaker settlers
to Adolphustown and later, West Lake in Prince Edward County, Upper
Canada, came from or through Nine Partners. The year 1810 is key since
in that year Canada Half Yearly Meeting was established and no longer did Adolphustown Quakers have to report to Nine Partners.
Ferrisburg Monthly Meeting was in Vermont and a number of members moved to Canada.
Upper Canada, Pre 1828 Separation
- Adolphustown Monthly Meeting 1798 - 1813, (O-2-1)
- Adolphustown Monthly Meeting Women 1808 - 1824, (O-2-2)
- *Norwich Preparative Meeting 1816 - 1829, (C-5-1)
- Norwich Monthly Meeting Book A, 1819-1842, (C-3-1) Currently being transcribed.
- Norwich Monthly Meeting Book B, 1842, (1761-1969)
- Norwich Monthly Meeting 1819 - 1822, (C-2-5) Currently being transcribed.
- Norwich Monthly Meeting 1822 - 1834, (C--2-6) Currently being transcribed.
- *Pelham Monthly Meeting 1799 - 1806, (H-7-2)
- *Pelham Monthly Meeting 1806 - 1834, (H-7-3)
- Pelham Monthly Meeting Marriage Register 1790 - 1856 (H-7-1)
- West Lake Preparative Meeting Women 1803 - 1825, (H-12-1)
- West Lake Preparative Meeting 1815 - 1825, (O-9-3)
- Yonge St Register Births & Deaths, 'Family Book', 1804 - 1824
- Yonge St Members Register 1868-1938 Parents, children, births, deaths, from 1791, (41-10)
- Yonge St at Botsford St, Register 1801-1973 Parents, children, births, deaths, etc. (41-1)
- *Yonge St Register Births and Deaths c1803 - 1866 , (O-12-1)
- Yonge St MM Register of Marriages 1804 - 1840, (H-15-2)
- Yonge St Preparative Meeting 1804 - 1862, (O-11-1)
- Yonge St Monthly Meeting 1804 - 1818, (O-11-6)
- Yonge St MM 1812 - 1825 loose notes: (Box 23), Marriages, complaints, disownments, removals ..
- Yonge St Monthly Meeting 1818 - 1828, (O-11-7)
- Yonge St Monthly MM, Certificates of Removal 1806 - 1879, (O-12-4)
- Ameliasburgh Preparative Meeting Women 1817 - 1840, (O-2--3)
- Ameliasburg Preparative Meeting 1853 - 1882, (O-2-4)
- Pelham Women's Preparative Meeting 1828 - 1878, (O-100-2)
- *Pelham Marriage records Bk A 1798- 1856
- *Pelham Membership, Marriage 1835 - 1958, (O-100-1)
- Pickering Monthly Meeting, Orthodox 1842 - 1870 (Box 101)
- Tecumseth Preparative Meeting 1869 - 1899, (O-8-6)
- West Lake Preparative Meeting 1833 - 1845 (Orthodox)
- West Lake Preparative Meeting Men, 1846 - 1860, C-4-3
- West Lake Preparative Meeting Men, 1860 - 1868, C-4-4
- West Lake Monthly Meeting 1828 - 1849, (O-10-1)
- West Lake Monthly Meeting Women 1828 - 1851, (C-4-1)
- West Lake Monthly Meeting 1849 - 1876, (O-10-2)
- West Lake Monthly Meeting Register 1820 - 1882, (O-9-1)
- West Lake Monthly Meeting Marriage Register 1855 - 1880, (O-9-2)
- Yonge St Monthly Meeting 1828 - 1835, (O-11-4)
- Yonge St Monthly Meeting 1896 - 1928 (Botsford St, Newmarket, 41-2)
- *Yonge St 1928 - 37, (O-41-3)
- *Yonge St 1943 - 49, (O-41-5)
- *Yonge St 1950 - 60, (O-41-6)
- *Yonge St Marriages 1901 - 1942, (O-41-8)
Hicksite Genesee Yearly Meeting in NY State included the Upper Canada Hicksite meetings
the separation in 1828.
- Green Point Preparative Meeting, 1862 - 1873, (H-2-3)
- Haldimand Preparative Meeting 1827 - 1842, (H-2-4)
- Lobo (Coldstream) Preparative Meeting 1857 - 1895, (H-3-1)
- Lobo (Coldstream) Preparative Meeting 1895 - 1912, (H-3-2)
- Lobo (Coldstream) Preparative Meeting 1912 - 1938, (H-3-3)
- *Lobo (Coldstream, est. 1857) First Day School, 1905, Book 3
- *Lobo First Day School, Book 4
- West Lake Preparative Meeting Women 1828 - 1872, (H-12-2)
- West Lake Preparative Meeting 1828 - 1860, (H-12-4)
- West Lake Monthly Meeting Book C 1824 - 1837, (H-11-3)
- West Lake Monthly Meeting 1837 - 1879, (H-11-4)
- West Lake Monthly Meeting Women 1825 - 1851, (H-11-5)
- West Lake Monthly Meeting, Women 1851 - 1882, (H-11-6)
- West Lake Register of Births and Deaths 1829 - 1866, (H-11-1)
- West Lake Register of Marriages 1829 - 1866 and Removals 1830 - 1892, (H-11-2)
- Yonge St Monthly Meeting, Bk 3, 1828 - 1851, H-16-3
Canadian Meetings outside Ontario
- Halcyonia is at Borden, Saskatchewan.