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Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Quaker Connection

My great-great-great-great-great grandfather John Frazier moved from Delaware to Guilford County, NC in 1754. He was a member of the Friends Society, known as Quakers. At this time he moved with his master. He was a 20-year old apprentice. In 1759 he married Abigail Millikan at the New Garden Friends Monthly Meeting. He acquired land near the present-day Guilford County and Randolph County lines. He was a simple farmer and his family was a part of the Center Friends Monthly Meeting once it was established. John Frazier did not fight in the Revolutionary War but had strong enough feelings about our nation's right to self-determination that he paid to finance two soldiers in the war. This earned him recognition as a patriot, even though he was a pacifist. In 1796 John's son, William, moved west to Jefferson Co., TN to help establish the Lost Creek Monthly Meeting. His daughter, Abigail, married a Baptist and was no longer allowed to be a Quaker. This was my great-great-great grandmother. In 1964 our family moved to Guilford County, NC. My father found work in the textile industry. No one in our family had any memories of our Quaker ancestors nor did we know of their sojourn in this same county many years before. It wasn't until 1980 that I became interested in genealogy after visiting with my ailing grandfather in East Tennessee and learning that his grandfather had fought in the Civil War. That information motivated me to begin years of research. The fruit of that labor is knowledge about where our family members were at significant times in the history of our country and even prior to that in Europe. One piece of that history was Quaker and it included the early years of settlement in Guilford County. I thought it only fitting for my grandson to have a cache named GGGGGGG Grandfather John Frazier (GCXXXXX) in order to commemorate the contributions of our Quaker ancestors. While not Quakers today (we are Baptists) we have crossed paths again with the Friends Society. My daughter is a graduate of Guilford College, the Quaker College right here at New Garden where John Frazier was married 250 years ago. I find the Quaker history fascinating and appreciate the good records that they kept. It makes family tree research much easier. If you get to visit the Guilford College area of west Greensboro, NC, be sure to stop in and visit some of the caches around the college. It will be worth your time.
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