After Ancestry.com finally got back on line after 3 days of denial of service attacks, which seems to be happening to many high profile websites in the past few weeks (including my beloved Feedly), my patrons were noticing many Quaker records were coming up in general searches. I did a little research and found out that Ancestry had recently added 11.2 million new Quaker records. And for North Carolina genealogy research, Quaker records are extremely important. Quakers were instrumental in NC’s founding in the Albemarle region and continued to be a leveling force against the Anglican elite (see Cary’s Rebellion and read an earlier blog post A Very Mutinous People, the Struggle for North Carolina 1660-1713 by Noeleen McIlvenna) and a voice of reason against slavery (they were founders of the Underground Railroad), but importantly for genealogy, they kept copious amounts of detailed records. So Ancestry has become an even more of a valuable tool for Eastern North Carolinians of English ancestry.
But they weren’t just active in the eastern part of the state, the North Carolina Government and Heritage Blog has a post about a correspondence that was reprinted in the May, 1790 edition of the North Carolina Chronicle between General Nathaniel Greene and Quakers who lived in the vicinity of the just fought Battle of Guilford Courthouse (in Guilford County). In the letter he beseeches the Quaker community to help the wounded that were left near the battlefield by the Continental Army as they chased Cornwallis to Wilmington. The Quakers respond that they would do what the can but they had also suffered from the British troops. The State Library of North Carolina is interested in finding out why the paper reprinted the letters a decade after the battle.