The Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy 1750-1930


From the Records Complied by William  Hinshaw from Monthly Meeting Records.
Sent in by Terry Gladfleter

Quaker Terminology

Quaker records are sometimes difficult to interpret unless you are familiar with some frequently used abbreviations, such as:

altm = at liberty to marry apd = attending places of diversion apd = appointed, appealed apt = appointed att = attached to, attended b = born BG = burial grounds btw = between bur = buried bef = before c = circa, about cem = cemetery cert = certificate cd = contrary to the Discipline ch = child, children, church chm = condemned his/her misconduct chr = charter co = chosen overseer (s), county com = complained, complained of comm = committee comp = complained, complained of con = condemned ct = certificate, certificate to d = died, day dau = daughter dec = deceased dis = disowned, disowned for div = divorced dp = dropped plain dress and/or speech dr = drinking spiritous liquor to excess drpd = dropped dt = daughter, daughters dtd = dated e = east end = endorsed FBG = Friends burial grounds fam = family form = formerly fr = from Frds = Friends gc = granted certificate gct = granted certificate to gl = granted letter glt = granted letter to gr dau = grand daughter gr s = grand son Gr Yd = grave yard h or hus = husband j = joined jas = joined another society JP = justice of the peace ltm = liberated to marry, left at liberty to marry lvd = lived lvg = living m = marry, married, marrying, marriage, month mbr = member mbrp = membership mcd = married contrary to Discipline MG = minister of the Gospel MH = meeting house, church mi = miles MM = monthly meeting mos = married out of society mou = married out of unity mt = married to mtg = meeting mvd = moved n = north na = not attending meeting neg att = neglecting attendance nmn = no middle name NW Terr = Northwest Territory O = Orthodox, Ohio ou = out of unity PM = preparative meeting PO = post office address prc = produced a certificate prcf = produced a certificate from prob = probably Qkr = Quaker QM = quarterly meeting rcd = recorded rec/rcd = receive, received recrq = received by request relfc = released from care for relrq = released by request rem = remove, removed ret = returned, retired (rarely used) ret mbrp = retained membership rev = reversed rm = reported married rmt = reported married to roc = received on certificate rocf = received on certificate from rol = received on letter rolf = received on letter from rpd = reported rrq = request, requests, requested rqc = requested certificate rqct = requested certificate to rqcuc = requested to come under care (of mtg.) rst = reinstate, reinstated s = son, south sep = separated sis = sister temp = temporarily transfrd = transferred twp = township uc = under care (of mtg) unm = unmarried upl = using profane language w = wife, west w/c = with consent of wid = widow w/pwr = with power wrkd = worked y = year YM = yearly meeting

Disciplinary complaints consisted of: fiddling, dancing, drinking intoxicating liquor to excess, serving in the militia or other armed forces, using profane language, fighting, failure to meet financial obligations, marrying contrary to the order used by Friends, deviation from plainness in apparel or speech, joining another religious society, etc. Unless the offending member expressed sorrow for his misconduct and brought a signed paper condemning the same, he was usually disowned.

When a member of the Society of Friends acted in a manner contrary to discipline, that member was visited by a committee appointed by the meeting If the member failed to acknowledge fault after visitation by the committee, then the member was disowned by the Society and could not be reinstated until acknowledgement of fault was made.

Members of the Society of Friends could be disowned for a variety of reasons. If you are reading Hinshaw's Encyclopedia, you will often see the notation that someone was "dis mou" or "dis mcd." "Mou" meant that they had married out unity to someone who was not a member of the Society.

Marriage contrary to discipline sometimes meant that the couple, both Quakers, chose to be married by the Justice of the Peace or a clergy from another religion thereby "by-passing meeting." To be married within the Society, the couple had to declare intentions before both the prospective bride's and groom's to insure that they both had no other obligations which would prevent their marrying.

A committee would be appointed to look into the character of both and then report back to the meeting. If they were found free to marry, they were granted permission to marry at the next meeting. This often took two to three months and sometimes couples were not willing to wait this long to marry.

When they were disowned, it was a forever thing =unless= they admitted their wrongdoing usually through a written petition to the meeting and then the meeting would decide whether or not to readmit the disowned member(s). In this case, you will see notations in Hinshaw indicating that a person "con their mou" or "con their mcd" indicating that they had condemned their own misbehavior. Unless they were specifically denied readmission you can assume that they were accepted back.

Often a couple who had mou or mcd would seek readmission just prior to requesting a certificate of transfer in order to move to a new meeting. This could be some years after their marriage in which case any children born prior to their readmission will not have their births recorded in the monthly meeting records. If you are tracking a couple be sure to record when they requested certificates to leave a meeting and when they were received at the new meeting.

Members could also be disowned for any number of other reasons such as attending a wedding of a sibling who mcd, marrying too close of a relative, dancing, not dressing plain, striking another, playing cards or taking up arms. Be aware of the dates when a man was disowned which might suggest that he had participated in a war.


VOL. II New Jersey and Pennsylvania

VOL. 111 New York

VOL. V Ohio

VOL. VI Virginia