Searching for Records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
Records of the Quaker meetings and committees that are part of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends have been deposited in the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College and in the Haverford College Quaker Collection; usually the originating meetings only retain records currently being used. The primary access to information about these records is through a joint finding aid maintained by both Libraries.
There are in-house name indices to individual meetings in PYM, including Abington and Chesterfield. However, the bulk of these indices are not available on-line, and need to be viewed in the Library itself. A list of these, by meeting, is available.
Researchers should be aware that due to the Hicksite schism in 1827/28, there may be two Quaker meetings with the same name in any location, and the records of each will be mutually exclusive, usually until Reunification in 1955. If you are searching for individuals during this period, there may be a shortcut to determining their affiliations. One of the simplest is to check the 2-volume set of Quaker Necrology, located on the index shelf next to the Microfilm Reading Room, or in the card file index to birth, death, and marriage announcements in Quaker periodicals; the name of the periodical is a good clue to affiliation; for instance, Friends Intelligencer was published by Hicksite Friends, and the Friend (Philadelphia) by the Orthodox.