Quaker Marriages

Guilford County had and still has a large Quaker population.  As part of the Quaker beliefs, both marriage partners should be members of the Society of Friends, and marriages should occur only after due counseling and consideration as to the nature of marriage.  Marriage bonds were often used to circumvent the requirement for calling banns on three successive Sundays (for other churches).  For a Friend, taking out a marriage bond involved the use of authority outside the Friends meeting (meaning a JP or a minister of another church), and was considered an indication of unseemly haste and violation of Friends’ teachings.

Vital records for all member meetings were recorded at the appropriate monthly meeting, but that does not mean that the marriage occurred at that physical location.

Interpreting Dates in Early Records

Dates should be given “as is” in their Quaker date format: year, month, day.

I cannot excerpt all marriages, as the Hinshaw abstracts are under copyright, but I am going to work to gather some examples together.  It is essential to understand the meaning of the Hinshaw abbreviations. The word “certificate” had multiple meanings and purposes.

Marriages “out of unity” or “contrary to discipline” occurred for various reasons, most of which related to marrying a non-Quaker (there are historical reasons why this was discouraged), and not following the group’s procedures for marriage among members.