Perhaps one of your family lines runs through Dover Friends Meeting

We get the occasional inquiry from someone researching a family genealogy and wondering if they were part of Dover Friends Meeting.

Records for early Dover are pretty scanty, including both First Parish and the Quakers.

Family registers in New England Quaker Meeting minutes have never been indexed, unlike William Wade Hinshaw’s ambitious volumes for Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Ohio or the subsequent multivolume project for Indiana.

Well, Dover’s births, marriages, and deaths compiled for publication in the early 1900s can now be found online, for those so interested.

Also, I should point out that the Puritans never called themselves such and did evolve into today’s Congregational and Unitarian-Universalist denominations. First Parish is heir to that stream.

On the Quaker side, connecting the dots from the Dover Combination signers as an early census, the court convictions for non-attendance at public worship, and the Friends Meeting’s records from 1701 and 1703 on hinted at the foundation of Quaker membership in the early years. A survey of online family genealogies helped immensely in filling in the general body, though I take many of those details with a grain of salt.

So here’s the core of the historic Friends community around the Piscataqua watershed:

Ring any bells?

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