Doing Research Offsite

Manuscript Quaker marriage certificate
Thomas and Katherine Sharp's Marriage Certificate

The best way to do Quaker family history research is to visit Friends Historical Library.  If this is not possible, we offer a limited research service.  Although our staff is very small, one hour only of preliminary research of the Quaker secondary sources available in the Library can be provided for a non-refundable fee of $40.00, payable in advance by check made to the order of Friends Historical Library and sent to Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, 500 College Ave., Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399.  Requests are answered in the order received.  The success of the search depends on the amount of specific information you are able to provide, including full names of family members, dates, places of residence, and name of the monthly meeting attended, if known.  If you are not sure whether your ancestor was a Quaker, writing us is not likely to result in any helpful information.  Please print or type all names, dates, places, and names of meetings.

There is no master list of Quaker names.  Quakers can only be found in the records of the individual monthly meetings of which they were members.  Most meetings are named after the townships in which they are located, and Quakers were required to belong to the monthly meeting nearest to their home. Therefore you have to know where Friends lived in order to determine their monthly meeting.  Most monthly meetings kept records of births, deaths, marriages, and removals (i.e., transfers), as well as minutes that include decisions about individuals. Again, be as concise and specific as you can.  General requests for "any available information" will not be considered.  The $40.00 fee will include up to five pages of photocopying from published sources and unpublished indices.  If you require more extensive research or if you are not sure that your ancestor was a Quaker, you may want to contact directly the researcher(s) listed below:

  • James E. Hazard    212 Kendal Drive, Kennett Square, PA 19348 (610)388-1696

Although we cannot endorse any individual researcher, the listed researcher(s) has had experience in Quaker genealogy and has requested that his name be furnished to inquirers. The Library assumes no responsibility for his work. The usual rate is a minimum of $35.00 an hour, but the rate is at the discretion of the self-employed genealogist.  Please make your own business arrangements with any of those listed. 

You may also want to explore our online catalog and other resources available through our "Tips for Searching" page which includes a link to the Hazard Index of New York Yearly Meeting Records. Many smaller manuscript collections, however, and some other resources, such as the biographical files and picture collections, are not yet in the on-line catalog.  In any correspondence, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped long (business size) envelope. Thank you for your cooperation.

  For further information, contact Susanna K. Morikawa, Archival Specialist.