Zachariah Petty (~1761-~1835) – Part 3 – Quaker?

Were Zachariah Petty and his wife, Nancy Dodson, Quakers? So far I have not been able to find any direct evidence one way or the other. Below are the “For” and “Against” references that I have been able to find.

For

  • There is a family story that Zachariah and Nancy were Quakers descended from immigrants from England that can be found on the Petty Genealogy website (see note #6).[1]
  • Zachariah and Nancy lived in an area of North Carolina that had a large population of Quakers. They lived near New Garden in Guilford County. New Garden was established by Quakers who came primarily from Nantucket in the 1750s.
  • Some of Zachariah and Nancy’s children married Quakers.

Against

  • William W. Hinshaw compiled Quaker records from North Carolina and some other Eastern States in his Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. I-VI, 1607-1940.[2] He covered the North Carolina Friends groups quite thoroughly. Many neighbors of the Petty family were named and some of Zachariah’s children or their spouses were identified as Quakers. But there was no listing for Zachariah or his wife. The Quakers kept very good records of their meetings and members and to be a member and not listed somewhere in their records was uncommon.
  • The discussion mentioned above on the Petty Genealogy website (see note #7) says that Zachariah and Nancy were listed as members of the Petty Meeting House or the Flat Rock Baptist Church, which is now in Yadkin County. Zachariah’s father, William, was the founder of this branch of the Baptist Church and later Zachariah’s brother, William Eli, was the minister there. To date, I haven’t seen these records, but I hope to find copies so that I can verify the information.

Looking at the “For” and “Against” notes, I do not think that Zachariah and Nancy were Quakers mainly because there was no written record of them being Quakers. However, if anyone has additional information, I would appreciate hearing of it.

Quaker Connections within the Zachariah Petty Family

  • Zachariah’s daughter, Lucinda “Lucy” Petty married Reuben Macy, who was a Quaker. His parents were members of the Center Monthly Meeting[3] and his family was a part of the group that came from Nantucket before he was born. As an adult, he was a member of the Deep River Monthly Meeting. On 2 December 1809, he was dismissed. The Encyclopedia does not give a reason, but it may have been because he married a woman who was not a Quaker. About 1813, Reuben and Lucy left North Carolina and moved to Wayne County, Indiana.
  • Zachariah’s second daughter, Letitia “Lettice” Petty married Joseph R. Worth. Joseph was the son of Daniel W. and Eunice (Hussey) Worth, who were Quakers.[4] Lettice and Joseph were married on 14 February 1804 and then Joseph died in April 1812. Lettice married a second time on 11 Oct 1816 to Gayer Coggeshall who was also a Quaker. I have not found any dismissals for Joseph Worth or Gayer Coggeshall, so it is possible that Lettice joined the Quakers.
  • William Dodson Petty, Zachariah’s son, married Gayer Coggeshall’s sister, Mary. Mary was disowned by the Quakers on 28 November 1812, a month after her marriage, for marrying out of unity.[5] William and Mary lived in North Carolina until about 1826 and then they moved to Miami County, Indiana.
  • Elizabeth Petty, another daughter of Zachariah’s, married Richard Jones who was a Quaker. They married on 26 January 1807 and Richard was disowned for marrying out of unity on 5 March 1808. [6]
  • Watson Petty, Zachariah’s son, married Lydia Macy, a Quaker. Her brother, William Gayer Macy, married Rachel Worth, daughter of Joseph and Lettice (Petty) Worth, mentioned above. Lydia was condemned for marrying out of unity from the Deep Creek Monthly Meeting on 3 April [7] However, she was mentioned several times in the records over the next 30 years. I haven’t found a record stating that Watson was accepted by the Quakers, but he and Lydia were both buried in the Back Creek Friends Meeting Cemetery in Asheboro, Randolph County, North Carolina.

There may be other connections that I haven’t verified yet, but these are the main connections that I have found between Zachariah’s family and the Quakers.


Sources and Notes:

[1] There is a discussion about Zachariah and Quakers in the source material on the Petty Genealogy website at http://www.pettygenealogy.com/HMTL%20files/aqwc203.htm. See the Notes for Zachariah, #6 and #7.

[2] William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Edwards Brothers, Inc., 1936).

[3] Encyclopedia, Center Meeting Minutes, vol. 1, pg 661.

[4] Encyclopedia, Center Meeting Minutes, vol. 1, pg 671.

[5] Encyclopedia, New Garden Meeting Minutes, vol. 1, pg 567.

[6] Encyclopedia, Deep Creek Meeting Minutes, vol. 1, pg. 990.

[7] Encyclopedia, Deep Creek Meeting Minutes, vol. 1, pg. 995.

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