Hinshaw's Records

One of the most important references for researching the names on Quaker quilts is the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy compiled by William Wade Hinshaw.  This encyclopedia was initially published in six volumes by the Edwards Brothers, Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan, between the years 1936 and 1950.  Its volumes have since been republished in paperback by the Genealogical Publishing Company of Baltimore, Maryland, along with an index to all six volumes.  Many public libraries have these volumes for use by family historians.  If your library does not have Hinshaw's volumes, you can access Hinshaw data at http://www.ancestry.com/ or purchase a CD containing all volumes by searching on "genealogy CDs".  Several web sites sell CDs containing the Hinshaw material.  (Be sure to confirm that the CD you are buying is compatible with your computer.  People who have recently purchased new computers find that their older Hinshaw CDs cannot be read by them.)

William Wade Hinshaw, a professional opera singer associated with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, was brought up as a member of the Religious Society of Friends in Iowa.  As an adult, he developed a keen interest in his Quaker background and worked with others to try to find Quaker records related to his family.  Over time he became convinced to copy the records of entire Monthly Meetings rather than search here and there through scattered documents across the country.  His goal then became, with the transcription and editing help of others, to publish abstracts of the extant records from all of the early American Monthly Meetings that could be found.  Unfortunately, this endeavor was cut short when he died in 1947.  His last volume was published by his widow after he passed away. 

Material for a volume containing Indiana meeting records had been compiled during this time  These records, edited by Willard Heiss, were later published by the Indiana Historical Society in three parts titled Abstracts of the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana.  The information in these publications also resides at the Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.


William Wade Hinshaw (left) and Hinshaw in the role of Mephisto in the
opera Faust, 1910-13.  Courtesy of the Hinshaw Family Association.

Hinshaw's volumes cover only a few states and include only a few, usually the earliest, Monthly Meetings within these states.  The volumes are:

Volume I: North Carolina (includes meeting records from North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and one meeting each from Georgia and Virginia.
Volume II: Pennsylvania (includes two meetings from New Jersey and some Pennsylvania meetings)
Volume III: New York (includes some meetings from New York and Long Island)
Volume IV: Ohio (includes some Ohio meetings, some Pennsylvania meetings and one Michigan meeting)
Volume V: Ohio (includes some Ohio meetings)
Volume VI: Virginia (includes most Virginia meetings)

The individual meeting records contained in these volumes are as follows:

Volume I - North Carolina: Back Creek, Cane Creek, Center, Contentnea (Nahunta), Core Sound, Deep Creek, Deep River, Dover, Greensboro, High Point, Holly Spring, Hopewell, Marlborough, Neuse, New Garden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Rich Square, Spring, Springfield, Suttons Creek, Union,Westfield and Woodland; South Carolina: Bush Creek, Cane Creek, Charleston and Piney Grove; Virginia: Mt. Pleasant (Chestnut Creek); Georgia: Wrightsborough.

Volume II - Pennsylvania: Falls and Philadelphia; New Jersey: Burlington and Salem.

Volume III - New York: New York (formerly Flushing); Long Island: Flushing, Jericho and Westbury.

Volume IV - Ohio: Alum Creek, Carmel, Chesterfield, Cleveland, Columbus, Concord, Deerfield (Pennsville), East Goshen, Flushing, Gilead, Goshen (Darby Creek), Greenwich, Marlborough, Middleton, New Garden, Plainfield, Plymouth, Plymouth-Smithfield, Salem, Sandy Spring, Short Creek (Mt. Pleasant), Somerset, Stillwater, Upper Springfield and West; Pennsylvania: Providence, Redstone, Sewickley and Westland; Michigan: Adriana.

Volume V - Ohio: Caesar's Creek, Center, Cincinnati, Clear Creek, Dover, Elk, Fairfield, Fall Creek, Green Plain,m Hopewell, Lees Creek, Miami, Mill Creek, Newberry, Springfield, Springsborough, Union, Van Wert, West Branch and Westfield.

Volume VI - Virginia: Alexandria, Bedford County (Marriage Bonds), Black Water, Camp Creek, Campbell County (Marriage Bonds), Cedar Creek, Chuckatuck, Crooked Run, Fairfax, Goose Creek (Bedford County), Goose Creek (Loudon County), Henrico, Hopewell, Pagan Creek, South River, Upper, Virginia Yearly Meeting and Western Branch.

Hinshaw also left an Index to Quaker Meeting Records--a cross index that lists surnames and indicates which meeting records contain these names.  This index resides at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College and consists of some 285,000 entries on 3" X 5" cards!  The index has been microfilmed, however, and the microfilm records are available through the Family History Library of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The Religious Society of Friends used a large number of abbreviations when recording information about member marriages, deaths, births, movements to other meetings, misconduct ,and other matters.  These abbreviations are contained in Hinshaw's records as well as in archival records of meeting minutes.  An explanation of these abbreviations is provided on this blog under Record Abbreviations.