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  • Eleanor Parvin (1708 - 1775)
  • Michael Lightfoot (1683 - 1754)
    Rapp's Dam Road and Phoenixville once had an earlier byway known as Lightfoot Road (by French Creek) Michael's half-brother Samuel was an early surveyor of Chester and Lancaster Counties. see page 10 ...
  • William Evans (b. - 1757)
  • Samuel Lightfoot (1701 - 1777)
    "With the death of Joseph Pike in 1729, having never set foot in Pennsylvania, his eldest son Richard became owner of Pike’s Pennsylvania properties, which included land in Caln Township, in Bucks Coun...
  • Mary Lightfoot (1677 - 1754)
    ~• as a Quaker by way of Ireland, Mary may be related to the Newby emmigrants who settled in Newtown township, Province of West Jersey. > I add her to the Irish Quakers project {MMvB}

Quakers in Ireland

Scope of this project is to create a genealogical collection of Early Irish Quakers profiles
Feel free to add profiles not already listed to the project

About Quakers

Quakers (or Friends) are members of a group of religious movements which is known as the Religious Society of Friends in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and parts of North America; and known as the Friends Church in Africa, Asia, South America and parts of the USA. The movements were originally, and are still predominantly, Christian in basis. Members of the movements profess the priesthood of all believers, a doctrine derived from 1 Peter 2:9 They include those with evangelical, holiness, liberal, and traditional Quaker understandings of Christianity.

History of Quakers in Ireland

William Edmundson brought the Quaker message to Ireland. He formed the first recorded Meeting for Worship in Lurgan, Co. Armagh in 1654. We commemorated this in 2004, 350 years later.

Edmundson had been a soldier in the Parliamentary Army in England but left it and moved to Ireland with his young wife Margaret and became a shopkeeper. On a later visit to England he heard a Quaker preaching, felt in unity with what was said, and became one himself. Back in Ireland again he was a powerful advocate of Friends’ method of worship and way of life. In due course he moved to Rosenallis near Mountmellick. He was a good organiser, and over the next few decades he played a major role in the growth of the Society of Friends in Ireland. William Penn became convinced of the Quaker faith while in Ireland under the influence of several Quaker pioneers including Thomas Loe.

Those who joined the Quaker faith in Ireland during the 17th century were almost, to a one English or Scottish. Take heed in research of prior generations that ancestors of these individuals, if they were born in Ireland, had predecessors who were from off the Emerald Isle.

Quakers and the Irish famine

Members of the Society of Friends (Quakers) were amongst those who understood the seriousness of the situation and many of them reacted by setting up relief operations in their own areas. In the autumn of 1846 soup kitchens were set up by Quakers in towns such as Waterford, Enniscorthy, Limerick, Clonmel and Youghal. Any thought of setting up a more comprehensive relief programme was hampered by two drawbacks. First, the number of Quakers in Ireland was small—a mere 3,000 or so out of a population that exceeded eight million. Second, the Quaker population was concentrated in certain areas and was almost entirely absent from the west, including Donegal, Kerry, Clare, west Cork and the whole of Connaught. Quaker relief, therefore, could not be offered directly in the areas which would suffer most.

Researching Irish Quaker Records

  • findmypast has a search engine that identifies individuals. It involves a subscription fee. I do not see that this database is accessible elsewhere as yet...(2019)
    • "Sufferings" take up the first few pages; Marriages/Births begin on page 22 with the EDMONSON family
  • The Irish Tenth in West Jersey Province

Quakers who settled in the Mountmellick area (County Laois)
As early as the 1400s there was a small community where Mountmellick is located now, in a bend of the river Owenass. The foundation of the town we see today was laid by members of the Society of Friends, also known as Quakers. In 1659 William Edmundson settled in Mountmellick along with other recent converts.

Quaker Businesses

  • Banking – Hoare, Pike, Newenham, Pim
  • Milling – Shackleton, Grubb, Goodbody, Davis
  • Engineering – Jacob, Grubb, Edmundson, Wigham
  • Shipping, building and owning – White, Malcomson, Beale, Pim, Pike, Lecky, Richardson. Walpole, Bewley
  • Linen, Cotton, and Jute spinning and manufacturing – Malcomson, Richardson, Sinton, Uprichard, Hancock, Greer, Greeves, Bell, Goodbody, Douglas, Allen, Walpole
  • Cut glass – Penrose, Gatchell, White
  • Jam manufacturing – Lamb, Peile
  • Structural steel – Pearson
  • Railways – Pim, Haughton
  • Tobacco – Goodbody
  • Brewing – Strangman
  • Cafes – Roberts, Bewley,Goodbody
  • Biscuits – Jacob, Marsh

Quaker businesses

  • Bewley's
  • W & J Jacob
  • Thomas Pim
  • Goodbody
  • Malcolmsons
  • Richardsons

Notable Quakers in Ireland

On to America

Immigration of the Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania, 1682-1750 : with their early history in Ireland by Albert Cook Myers lists in Chapter 3: SOME PROMINENT IRISH FRIENDS OF PENNSYLVANIA

additional reading