Quaker Studies

Reconstitution of an Irish Quaker Meeting from Friend’s Records—A Critical Appraisal

Quaker Studies (2017), 22, (1), 47–83.

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a very detailed assessment of the accuracy and reliability of the archival records covering a period of 236 years, from 1678 to 1914, for members of the former Newgarden and Carlow Meetings, located in County Carlow, as a prelude to creating a computer-generated artefact (called a Reconstitution Model) from the data. While it was clearly demonstrated that the sources have many shortcomings, they are diverse and when reviewed in a global sense it was often the case that shortcomings in one source were compensated for in another. The Model is an amalgamation of all sources of data (Quaker and non-Quaker) and, while the verification process revealed some possible deficiencies, they are not serious enough to invalidate the Model or conclusions generated from the Model. Thus it may be used with some degree of reliability as a tool to explore and elaborate on a range of issues pertaining to the Meeting. For purposes of illustration Meeting population dynamics are discussed and analysed together with probable reasons for its eventual failure. Since the records for the Carlow Meeting are fairly typical of those available for other Irish Meetings there seems to be no impediment to applying the methods and approach described in this paper to explore and compare the internal dynamics and demographies of other Meetings.

Reconstitution of an Irish Quaker Meeting from Friend’s Records—A Critical Appraisal

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a very detailed assessment of the accuracy and reliability of the archival records covering a period of 236 years, from 1678 to 1914, for members of the former Newgarden and Carlow Meetings, located in County Carlow, as a prelude to creating a computer-generated artefact (called a Reconstitution Model) from the data. While it was clearly demonstrated that the sources have many shortcomings, they are diverse and when reviewed in a global sense it was often the case that shortcomings in one source were compensated for in another. The Model is an amalgamation of all sources of data (Quaker and non-Quaker) and, while the verification process revealed some possible deficiencies, they are not serious enough to invalidate the Model or conclusions generated from the Model. Thus it may be used with some degree of reliability as a tool to explore and elaborate on a range of issues pertaining to the Meeting. For purposes of illustration Meeting population dynamics are discussed and analysed together with probable reasons for its eventual failure. Since the records for the Carlow Meeting are fairly typical of those available for other Irish Meetings there seems to be no impediment to applying the methods and approach described in this paper to explore and compare the internal dynamics and demographies of other Meetings.

Abbott, T. (2004), ‘Quakerism in the Edenderry area 1673–1831’, Journal of the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society 2, pp. 40–56. Quakerism in the Edenderry area 1673–1831 Journal of the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society 2 40 56 Google Scholar

Butler, D. (2004), The Quaker Meeting Houses of Ireland. Dublin: Irish Friends Historical Committee. The Quaker Meeting Houses of Ireland Google Scholar

Coutts, P.J.F. (2012), ‘Members and Descendants of the Newgarden Meeting, County Carlow – Demographic Profiles 1600–1899: part 1’, Quaker Studies 17/1, pp. 48–109. Members and Descendants of the Newgarden Meeting, County Carlow – Demographic Profiles 1600–1899: part 1 Quaker Studies 17/1 48 109 Google Scholar

Coutts, P.J.F. (2013), ‘Members and Descendants of the Newgarden Meeting, County Carlow – Demographic Profiles 1600–1899: part 2’, Quaker Studies 17/2, pp. 149–202. Members and Descendants of the Newgarden Meeting, County Carlow – Demographic Profiles 1600–1899: part 2 Quaker Studies 17/2 149 202 Google Scholar

Coutts, P.J.F. (2015a), ‘Demographic profiles for Newgarden/Carlow families in transition’, Quaker Studies, 20/1, pp. 7–83. Demographic profiles for Newgarden/Carlow families in transition Quaker Studies 20/1 7 83 Google Scholar

Coutts, P.J.F. (2015b), ‘Governance of the Quaker Meeting at Carlow, Ireland as perceived from the minutes of their Meetings for Business’, unpublished manuscript. Governance of the Quaker Meeting at Carlow, Ireland as perceived from the minutes of their Meetings for Business Google Scholar

Coutts, P.J.F. (2016), Toward a history of the Quaker Meeting at Newgarden, County Carlow 1650–1730 including some new methods for analyzing Quaker records, Lulu Press, self published. Toward a history of the Quaker Meeting at Newgarden, County Carlow 1650–1730 including some new methods for analyzing Quaker records Google Scholar

Eustace, P.B. (1956), Registry of Deeds, Dublin: Abstracts of Wills 1708–1745. Vol. I. Dublin: Stationery Office. Registry of Deeds, Dublin: Abstracts of Wills 1708–1745 I Google Scholar

Eustace, P.B. and Goodbody, O.C. (1957), Quaker Records Dublin: Abstracts of Wills, Dublin: Stationery Office. Quaker Records Dublin: Abstracts of Wills Google Scholar

Eversley, D.E.C. (1981), ‘The Demography of the Irish Quakers, 1650–1850’, in Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the late K.H. Connell, ed. J.M. Goldstrum and L.A. Clarkson, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 57–88. The Demography of the Irish Quakers, 1650–1850 Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the late K.H. Connell 57 88 Google Scholar

Goodbody, O.C. (1962), ‘Irish Quaker Diaries’, in Journal of the Friends Historical Society 50, pp. 51–64. Irish Quaker Diaries Journal of the Friends Historical Society 50 51 64 Google Scholar

Goodbody, O.C. and Hutton, B.G. (1967), Guide to Irish Quaker Records 1654–1860, Dublin: Stationery Office for the Irish Manuscripts Commission. Guide to Irish Quaker Records 1654–1860 Google Scholar

Greaves, R.L. (1997), God’s Other Children: Protestant Nonconformists and the Emergence of Denominational Churches in Ireland, 1660–1700, Stanford: Stanford University Press. God’s Other Children: Protestant Nonconformists and the Emergence of Denominational Churches in Ireland, 1660–1700 Google Scholar

Greeves, J.R.H. (1948), “The record of the Society of Friends in Ireland” in The Irish Genealogist, Vol. 2/6, pp. 177–179. The record of the Society of Friends in Ireland The Irish Genealogist 2/6 177 179 Google Scholar

Grubb, I. (1937), ‘Irish Quaker Records: Some items of interest in the Dublin collection’, in Journal of the Friends Historical Society XXXIV, pp. 29–31. Irish Quaker Records: Some items of interest in the Dublin collection Journal of the Friends Historical Society XXXIV 29 31 Google Scholar

Harrison, R.S. (1992), ‘Irish Church Records’, in Irish Church Records: their History, Availability and Use in Family and Local History, ed. J.G. Ryan, Dublin: Flyleaf Press, pp. 15–40. Irish Church Records Irish Church Records: their History, Availability and Use in Family and Local History 15 40 Google Scholar

Harrison, R.S. (2008), A Biographical Dictionary of Irish Quakers, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2nd edition. A Biographical Dictionary of Irish Quakers Google Scholar

Homan, W.J. (1939), Children and Quakerism: A study of the Place of Children in the theory and Practice of the Society of Friends, Commonly Called Quakers, Berkeley: Gillick Press. Children and Quakerism: A study of the Place of Children in the theory and Practice of the Society of Friends, Commonly Called Quakers Google Scholar

Holme, T. and Fuller, A. (1672), A Brief Relation of some part of the Sufferings of the True-Christians, The People of God (in scorn caller Quakers) in Ireland for these last Eleven Years, viz., from 1660 until 1671. Cited as Microfilm 2, Monash University, Victoria. A Brief Relation of some part of the Sufferings of the True-Christians, The People of God (in scorn caller Quakers) in Ireland for these last Eleven Years, viz., from 1660 until 1671 Google Scholar

Isichei, E. (1967), ‘From sect to denomination among English Quakers’, in Patterns of sectarianism: organization and ideology in social and religious movements, ed. E.R. Wilson, London: Heineman, pp. 161–81. From sect to denomination among English Quakers Patterns of sectarianism: organization and ideology in social and religious movements 161 81 Google Scholar

Isichei, E. (1970), Victorian Quakers, London: Oxford University Press. Victorian Quakers Google Scholar

London Yearly Meeting (1834) Rules of Discipline of the Religious Society of Friends with Advices: Being Extracts from the Minutes and Epistles of their Yearly Meeting held in London from its First Institution, London: Darton and Harvey. Google Scholar

Rathbone, W. (1804), A narrative of events, that have lately taken place in Ireland: among the Society called Quakers; with corresponding documents and occasional observations, Liverpool: McCrecry. A narrative of events, that have lately taken place in Ireland: among the Society called Quakers; with corresponding documents and occasional observations Google Scholar

Ryan, J.G. (1997), Irish Records: sources for Family and Local History, Dublin: Flyleaf Press. Irish Records: sources for Family and Local History Google Scholar

Stockdale, W. (1683), The great cry of oppression. No publisher given. Cited as Monash University Matheson Library, Victoria, Australia Microfilm 2 Reel No 2079:13. The great cry of oppression Google Scholar

Vann, R.T. (1969a), The Social Development of English Quakerism 1655–1755, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. The Social Development of English Quakerism 1655–1755 Google Scholar

Vann, R.T. (1969b), ‘Nurture and Conversion in the Early Quaker Family’, in Journal of Marriage and Family 31(4), pp. 639–43. Nurture and Conversion in the Early Quaker Family Journal of Marriage and Family 31 639 43 Google Scholar

Vann, R.T. and Eversley, D. (2002), Friends in Life and Death: The British and Irish Quakers in the Demographic Transition, 1650–1900, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Friends in Life and Death: The British and Irish Quakers in the Demographic Transition, 1650–1900 Google Scholar

Webb, T.H. (1906), ‘Irish Quaker Records’, in Journal of the Friends Historical Society III, pp. 9–18; pp. 60–71. Irish Quaker Records Journal of the Friends Historical Society III 9 18 60 71 Google Scholar

Wight, T. and Rutty, J. (1751), A history of the rise and Progress of the People called Quakers, in Ireland from the Year 1653 to 1700, Dublin: I. Jackson. A history of the rise and Progress of the People called Quakers, in Ireland from the Year 1653 to 1700 Google Scholar

Abbott, T. (2004), ‘Quakerism in the Edenderry area 1673–1831’, Journal of the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society 2, pp. 40–56. Quakerism in the Edenderry area 1673–1831 Journal of the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society 2 40 56 Google Scholar

Butler, D. (2004), The Quaker Meeting Houses of Ireland. Dublin: Irish Friends Historical Committee. The Quaker Meeting Houses of Ireland Google Scholar

Coutts, P.J.F. (2012), ‘Members and Descendants of the Newgarden Meeting, County Carlow – Demographic Profiles 1600–1899: part 1’, Quaker Studies 17/1, pp. 48–109. Members and Descendants of the Newgarden Meeting, County Carlow – Demographic Profiles 1600–1899: part 1 Quaker Studies 17/1 48 109 Google Scholar

Coutts, P.J.F. (2013), ‘Members and Descendants of the Newgarden Meeting, County Carlow – Demographic Profiles 1600–1899: part 2’, Quaker Studies 17/2, pp. 149–202. Members and Descendants of the Newgarden Meeting, County Carlow – Demographic Profiles 1600–1899: part 2 Quaker Studies 17/2 149 202 Google Scholar

Coutts, P.J.F. (2015a), ‘Demographic profiles for Newgarden/Carlow families in transition’, Quaker Studies, 20/1, pp. 7–83. Demographic profiles for Newgarden/Carlow families in transition Quaker Studies 20/1 7 83 Google Scholar

Coutts, P.J.F. (2015b), ‘Governance of the Quaker Meeting at Carlow, Ireland as perceived from the minutes of their Meetings for Business’, unpublished manuscript. Governance of the Quaker Meeting at Carlow, Ireland as perceived from the minutes of their Meetings for Business Google Scholar

Coutts, P.J.F. (2016), Toward a history of the Quaker Meeting at Newgarden, County Carlow 1650–1730 including some new methods for analyzing Quaker records, Lulu Press, self published. Toward a history of the Quaker Meeting at Newgarden, County Carlow 1650–1730 including some new methods for analyzing Quaker records Google Scholar

Eustace, P.B. (1956), Registry of Deeds, Dublin: Abstracts of Wills 1708–1745. Vol. I. Dublin: Stationery Office. Registry of Deeds, Dublin: Abstracts of Wills 1708–1745 I Google Scholar

Eustace, P.B. and Goodbody, O.C. (1957), Quaker Records Dublin: Abstracts of Wills, Dublin: Stationery Office. Quaker Records Dublin: Abstracts of Wills Google Scholar

Eversley, D.E.C. (1981), ‘The Demography of the Irish Quakers, 1650–1850’, in Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the late K.H. Connell, ed. J.M. Goldstrum and L.A. Clarkson, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 57–88. The Demography of the Irish Quakers, 1650–1850 Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the late K.H. Connell 57 88 Google Scholar

Goodbody, O.C. (1962), ‘Irish Quaker Diaries’, in Journal of the Friends Historical Society 50, pp. 51–64. Irish Quaker Diaries Journal of the Friends Historical Society 50 51 64 Google Scholar

Goodbody, O.C. and Hutton, B.G. (1967), Guide to Irish Quaker Records 1654–1860, Dublin: Stationery Office for the Irish Manuscripts Commission. Guide to Irish Quaker Records 1654–1860 Google Scholar

Greaves, R.L. (1997), God’s Other Children: Protestant Nonconformists and the Emergence of Denominational Churches in Ireland, 1660–1700, Stanford: Stanford University Press. God’s Other Children: Protestant Nonconformists and the Emergence of Denominational Churches in Ireland, 1660–1700 Google Scholar

Greeves, J.R.H. (1948), “The record of the Society of Friends in Ireland” in The Irish Genealogist, Vol. 2/6, pp. 177–179. The record of the Society of Friends in Ireland The Irish Genealogist 2/6 177 179 Google Scholar

Grubb, I. (1937), ‘Irish Quaker Records: Some items of interest in the Dublin collection’, in Journal of the Friends Historical Society XXXIV, pp. 29–31. Irish Quaker Records: Some items of interest in the Dublin collection Journal of the Friends Historical Society XXXIV 29 31 Google Scholar

Harrison, R.S. (1992), ‘Irish Church Records’, in Irish Church Records: their History, Availability and Use in Family and Local History, ed. J.G. Ryan, Dublin: Flyleaf Press, pp. 15–40. Irish Church Records Irish Church Records: their History, Availability and Use in Family and Local History 15 40 Google Scholar

Harrison, R.S. (2008), A Biographical Dictionary of Irish Quakers, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2nd edition. A Biographical Dictionary of Irish Quakers Google Scholar

Homan, W.J. (1939), Children and Quakerism: A study of the Place of Children in the theory and Practice of the Society of Friends, Commonly Called Quakers, Berkeley: Gillick Press. Children and Quakerism: A study of the Place of Children in the theory and Practice of the Society of Friends, Commonly Called Quakers Google Scholar

Holme, T. and Fuller, A. (1672), A Brief Relation of some part of the Sufferings of the True-Christians, The People of God (in scorn caller Quakers) in Ireland for these last Eleven Years, viz., from 1660 until 1671. Cited as Microfilm 2, Monash University, Victoria. A Brief Relation of some part of the Sufferings of the True-Christians, The People of God (in scorn caller Quakers) in Ireland for these last Eleven Years, viz., from 1660 until 1671 Google Scholar

Isichei, E. (1967), ‘From sect to denomination among English Quakers’, in Patterns of sectarianism: organization and ideology in social and religious movements, ed. E.R. Wilson, London: Heineman, pp. 161–81. From sect to denomination among English Quakers Patterns of sectarianism: organization and ideology in social and religious movements 161 81 Google Scholar

Isichei, E. (1970), Victorian Quakers, London: Oxford University Press. Victorian Quakers Google Scholar

London Yearly Meeting (1834) Rules of Discipline of the Religious Society of Friends with Advices: Being Extracts from the Minutes and Epistles of their Yearly Meeting held in London from its First Institution, London: Darton and Harvey. Google Scholar

Rathbone, W. (1804), A narrative of events, that have lately taken place in Ireland: among the Society called Quakers; with corresponding documents and occasional observations, Liverpool: McCrecry. A narrative of events, that have lately taken place in Ireland: among the Society called Quakers; with corresponding documents and occasional observations Google Scholar

Ryan, J.G. (1997), Irish Records: sources for Family and Local History, Dublin: Flyleaf Press. Irish Records: sources for Family and Local History Google Scholar

Stockdale, W. (1683), The great cry of oppression. No publisher given. Cited as Monash University Matheson Library, Victoria, Australia Microfilm 2 Reel No 2079:13. The great cry of oppression Google Scholar

Vann, R.T. (1969a), The Social Development of English Quakerism 1655–1755, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. The Social Development of English Quakerism 1655–1755 Google Scholar

Vann, R.T. (1969b), ‘Nurture and Conversion in the Early Quaker Family’, in Journal of Marriage and Family 31(4), pp. 639–43. Nurture and Conversion in the Early Quaker Family Journal of Marriage and Family 31 639 43 Google Scholar

Vann, R.T. and Eversley, D. (2002), Friends in Life and Death: The British and Irish Quakers in the Demographic Transition, 1650–1900, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Friends in Life and Death: The British and Irish Quakers in the Demographic Transition, 1650–1900 Google Scholar

Webb, T.H. (1906), ‘Irish Quaker Records’, in Journal of the Friends Historical Society III, pp. 9–18; pp. 60–71. Irish Quaker Records Journal of the Friends Historical Society III 9 18 60 71 Google Scholar

Wight, T. and Rutty, J. (1751), A history of the rise and Progress of the People called Quakers, in Ireland from the Year 1653 to 1700, Dublin: I. Jackson. A history of the rise and Progress of the People called Quakers, in Ireland from the Year 1653 to 1700 Google Scholar


Details

Author details

Coutts, Peter J.F.

Moriarty, Christopher