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A Quaker Family History

(It started with a question about disownment...)


From: <huddlstn@ptw.com> 
Sat Mar 29 02:40 EST 1997
Organization: Huddleston/Hudelson Family History
Subject: Quakers

Disownment could happen at any time a member did something the members felt was against the policy of the religion. Marrying some one not of Quaker faith, was the most common at first, then using profanity, fighting in a war, or sin of all sin's listening to Violin music and enjoying it. Very plain life, but life was hard and those who wanted help from other members generally had to follow the rules or be outcasts, which few could afford. Using alcohol, or dancing was also forbidden, and this carried on to my Grandfathers time even tho the family had dropped out of the church about 1840 in Wayne Co., IN. My Grf. was a Methodist Minister in Indianapolis. According to him everything was a sin except going to church.

Don Cordell

...

From: <huddlstn@ptw.com> 
Wed Apr  2 02:35 EST 1997
Organization: Huddleston/Hudelson Family History
Subject: Quakers

Well my line starts with Katherine Chatham, a Quakeress who came to Boston in 1660 dressed in sackcloth as a sign of belief, and was so persecuted that they stripped her naked in the middle of winter and then drove her out of the colony into the woods to die, but she fooled them and survived to return and marry a widower John Chamberlin, about 1663, she had 3 children by him and then when he died in April 1666, (but believe it was really 1667) she then a few years later married Valentine Huddleston 1629-1728, and they had 4 more children.

I'm descended from their son Henry. This family was then Quaker up to 1837ish. Valentine, Henry, Seth, Seth, Jonathan b.1778 in Dartmouth, MA, family moved to NC in 1787, and to Indiana in 1815. At this time Jonathan began looking at the whole idea of christianity and decided it was, or rather the members were a bunch of hypocrites, they were at their best on Sunday, but left a lot to be desired during the rest of the week. Sorta like Peyton Pl.

Jonathan's son Jesse dropped out of the church in the 1840's. Jesse's son Samuel Brown Huddleston, was raised by a widow shortly after birth and she was a Hard Rock Baptist, and yes My grandfather was born in 1872, but you don't change a family lifestyle developed over 180 years of belief, and while my grandfather was first a United Brethren Church member so were many dropouts from the Quaker Faith. He married my grandmother Nellie Catherine Williams who was still a Quaker, and of course mothers have a lot of input in how children are raised and the lifestyle they are taught. My mother Lavon Huddleston married and then divorced when I was 5 years old, and I went to live with my mother, so her lifestyle was passed on to me, up to a point.

I started doing Genealogy in 1971, and as I traced my Quaker ancestors, and their beliefs, and behavior, I saw where my passiveness, and plainness came from in my life. I really began to understand myself, and why I had behaved in life as I have. As I went through Quaker records, searching my ancestry, I'm reading all the reasons for disownment, chastisement, and such trangressions that were recorded in the church minutes. At these times in life, life was very hard and we still have a negative name for people who don't take life serious and behave towards family correctly, we call them "playboys". If you weren't serious and spent every minute working and behaving, then your family might become a ward of the religious community who may be called upon to help out. There was no Welfare, only your community members who might have to take care of your family if you didn't.

However, I didn't follow any religious belief, and was shall we say the Black Sheep in the family. Still there was this being passive, and other traits that I can now see that were my seriousness towards life that guided my to be the person I still am to this day. We are not taught such things in school because families may have had different values and not all have had the same experience. My maternal grandparents never drank alcohol, smoked, cussed, danced, and I was told by my grandfather to never strike back if someone hit me, but to turn the other cheek and walk away. You know what?, it worked when ever I encountered a fight, and as I would walk away if the other person hit me from the back, the rest of those watching the confrontation would boo the other person, and shame him for hitting me from the back. None of my family smoked, however my youngest brother after leaving home and being in the service did develop a drinking problem.

The early family was from Wayne County Indiana, Jonathan Huddleston had 13 children and 80 grandchildren. With such a large family many members kept the others pretty much in line. In 1837 Jonathan wrote a book "The Monsters of Iniquity" a copy which is in the Indiana State Library, and it tears apart christianity, discussing how many people were killed during the crusades, how many people have been killed because they didn't believe the correct version of the truth, (which means which ever way you believe , if the other person doesn't agree with you). More people have been killed over differences in religious belief, than for any other reason.

Hope you can appreciate this and look into books that are available for Quaker records, some which may be found in Swarthmore College, in Swarthmore, PA, just south of Philadelphia. North Carolina Quaker records are available from Genealogical Publishing Co. in Baltimore, MD for $75. This covered all NC Meetings, a few from VA, and a few from TENN. Feel free to continue contact if your interested.

Sincerely Don Cordell

...

From <huddlstn@ptw.com>
Thu Apr  3 03:54 EST 1997
Organization: Huddleston/Hudelson Family History
Subject: Quakers

Yes you may use the information about our family. The brother with the drinking problem, was the youngest of us six children, and the first to die. He was never married, and although he was technically skilled at computer programming, he was not skilled at survival. Died at age 48.

There is a Quaker online site, that you might look for, I forget how I found it other than a SEARCH, but there is a lot of data especially the board in Portland, Ore. (Beaverton, OR). Have you ever looked at any Quaker Records?

In one case in our family in the 1840's we have a situation of my Great Great Great grandmothers brothers wife dying, so the 18 year old niece goes over to help her uncle with the children, and by some mysterious happening she finds herself pregnant, and marries her uncle, and he is chastized for carrying on an affair with his niece and marrying her, Indiana Quaker Records. In another case in NC there is a report of a mother wanting to remarry, based upon the fact that her husband left her for a younger woman with which he took the younger woman to Tenn, and has never returned.

So life hasn't changed all that much in all these years. In our family the Jonathan Huddleston my GGGgrandfather having brought his family to Indiana in 1815, soon after arriving another friend arrived and told Jonathan, that his sisters husband had left her, and she and the children were all alone, so he walked back to NC, Guilford Co., to get her and the children. It took him 6 weeks, and while he was gone his wife and 6 children, the oldest being a 14 year old girl, cleared an acre of land, built a log cabin, and dug a well. Pretty good family wouldn't you say?.

Thats why I have found all of this so interesting, life like I never realized our ancestors faced. I'm not sure where I have the story for our 4th Great grandfather, and it's not a real Quaker happening, but life during the Revolution, telling how meat was so scarce that 6 families shared one piece of beef to make stew, each family using the meat, to make broth, and then passing it on to a neighbor to use next. Can you imagine that today? And we think we have it hard. No medication, no refrigeration, no birth control, and another instance, in Ohio I'm looking at records for a cemetery, and see where in one month of Sept. a man loses his wife and 17 children to Cholera, children from ages of 24 to less than one year. I believe he still had 2 or 3 children that survived. It was not our family, but I just can't imagine how that family survived the tragedy. Nothing like the Bubonic Plague in Europe in the 1345-1350 era of course when 60% of the population died. Farms and cities were abandoned, hardly any food was being grown, many not sick from the plague died from starvation. There's a book "A DISTANT MIRROR" published in the 1970's that tells all about life during that century. Horrible.

Thats all for now. 
Don Cordell