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Fairfax (Waterford) Monthly Meeting

Located on the eastern side of Waterford, Loudoun Co. Va. on Old Waterford Road. It is now a private residence. The adjoining graveyard is still intact and contains the graves of many who once worshipped there including Isaac Steer (who married Phoebe Hollingsworth).

After the laying down of Fairfax Meeting, the members of the meeting had their memberships transferred to Goose Creek Monthly Meeting.

Below are some excerpts from "Hopewell Friends History" and William Wade Hinshaw's "Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy" about Fairfax Meeting.

Hopewell Friends History

p. 70; Meetings Within The Verge Of Hopewell

In 1734 or soon thereafter Friends in Fairfax, then in Prince William County, Va., set up a meeting for worship. In 1741, as shown by Janney and others, they built a meeting house at Waterford where the Fairfax meeting was held for many years. The name Fairfax no doubt was taken from the name of the new county of Fairfax, which was carved out of Prince William about the time that the meeting house at Waterford was built. From 1735 until 1744 Fairfax was a part of Hopewell Monthly Meeting; then Fairfax was made a monthly meeting, including Monocacy.

p. 214-215; Places Of Meetings

FAIRFAX MEETING was in Waterford, in what is now (since 1757) Loudoun Co., Va. The first meeting house was built in 1741. Fairfax Monthly Meeting was established in 1744. See Janney's History of the Friends, Vol. III, page 249. It would seem that the Friends held meetings in Fairfax as early as 1735 or 1736. The region was then in Prince William County.

Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy

p. 463-466; Volume VI (Fairfax Monthly Meeting)

Fairfax Monthly Meeting of Friends was established in 1744, and was set off from Hopewell Monthly Meeting Frederick County, Virginia. The first meeting of Fairfax Monthly Meeting was held at Fairfax Meeting house on the 26th of 4th month 1745; it was agreed that the monthly meeting should be held in alternate months at Fairfax Meeting house and at Monoquesy Meeting house (the latter in Maryland). Fairfax Preparatory Meeting and Monoquesy Preparative Meeting had previously belonged to Hopewell Monthly Meeting, but were now assigned to the new Fairfax Monthly Meeting which accounts for the fact that the earlier records of these two preparatory meetings were kept in the books of Hopewell Monthly Meeting after the latter's organization in 1734. The records of Fairfax Preparatory Meeting prior to 1734 were kept in the books of Nottingham Monthly Meeting, Cecil County, Maryland, which was set off from New Garden Monthly Meeting, Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1730. However, many Friends who migrated into Virginia from Pennsylvania and New Jersey left their certificates at New Garden Monthly Meeting before the organization of Hopewell Monthly Meeting (1734) after which their certificates were directed to Hopewell Monthly Meeting, regardless of where in Northern Virginia they took up their new abodes. Monoquesy Meeting for Worship was established in the Monoquesy Valley, Maryland, just north of the Potomac River in 1726, their first meetings being held in the homes of the several members, but principally in the home of Josiah Ballenger, who had come to the Monoquesy Valley, with his brother, Henry Ballenger, from Salem, New Jersey in 1725. James Wright had also settled in this valley about the same time. Monoquesy Meeting was set up by New Garden Monthly Meeting, with approval of Chester Quarterly Meeting, Pennsylvania. The earliest records of Monoquesy Meeting were kept by New Garden Monthly Meeting until 1730, after which they were kept by Nottingham Monthly Meeting until 1734 when Monoquesy Meeting was assigned to the newly established Hopewell Monthly Meeting. Therefore, to trace the members of Fairfax Monthly Meeting back to their origins, it is necessary to examine the records of Hopewell Monthly Meeting, Nottingham Monthly Meeting and New Garden Monthly Meeting, but, unfortunately, the first books of minutes and marriages of Hopewell Monthly Meeting were burned in a fire at the house of the custodian in 1759; only the first book of Births and Deaths was saved from that fire.

In 1934 the Hopewell Historical Association made an exhaustive search for "leads" to the minutes and marriage records of Hopewell Monthly Meeting, gathering much data from the minutes and records of other meetings, especially in certificates of removal, connecting the early Hopewell members with various meetings, and thus compiled a large historical background for these early members. They published their findings in a valuable book entitled "Hopewell Friends History" 1734-1934, printed by the Shenandoah Publishing House, Inc., Strasburg, Virginia. In this book, they carried the marriage records down only to 1830, although the certificates of removal were brought down to 1890. However, we have brought all Hopewell Minutes, records and certificates of removal down to 1940 for this volume of our Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy.

About 1752 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting prepared accounts of the founding of many of its constituent meetings, which were edited by Samuel Smith, of New Jersey, and which were included in his History of Pennsylvania, for the Pennsylvania Archives. The Register of Pennsylvania, edited 1831 by Samuel Hazard, Vol. III, p. 134, contains the following information: (quoted from Hopewell Friends History, p. 54)

"About the year 1725, Henry Ballinger and Josiah Ballinger, from near Salem, in West Jersey, and soon after them James Wright, William Beals, and others from Nottingham, settled in the upper parts of Prince George's County, Maryland, near a large creek called Monoquesy (Monocacy). About the year 1726, they applied to New Garden Monthly Meeting for liberty to hold a meeting for Worship on First Days, which was granted, and held at the house of Josiah Ballinger and others until the year 1736, when a piece of ground was purchased and a meeting house built, which is called Cold Spring Meeting House, where meetings are still kept". (This Cold Spring Meeting House became Monoquesy Meeting House)

"About the year 1733, Amos Janney from Bucks County, and soon after divers other Friends settled about 40 miles lower in Virginia than Opeckon, who obtained leave to hold a meeting for Worship on First Days, which was held at the said Amos Janney's and other Friends Houses till the year 1741, when a piece of land was purchased, and a meeting house built thereon, called Fairfax, where meetings since are held twice a week.

Fairfax Meeting house was located on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains south of the Potomac River, and opposite Monocacy Meeting house, which was north of the said river, in Maryland. Hopewell Meeting house was on the west side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, some forty or fifty miles from Fairfax Meeting. A town was later built at the site of Fairfax Meeting and called Waterford. Fairfax Meeting was in Fairfax County, Virginia until 1757 when Fairfax County was divided leaving Fairfax Meeting in Loudoun County, Virginia, the new county set off from Fairfax County.

When Fairfax Monthly Meeting was established and set off from Hopewell Monthly Meeting in 1744, a line was established between the two monthly meetings which was roughly on top of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range; thus, all Friends living east of the Blue Ridge Range were automatically transferred to Fairfax Monthly Meeting. Since this transfer was without certificates of removal, we have no way of knowing exactly who all of the Friends were as no list of these Friends was made at the opening of Fairfax Monthly Meeting. Friends who were then members of Monoquesy Preparatory Meeting and of Fairfax Preparatory Meeting simply met together on the 26th of 4th month 1745 and proceeded to organize Fairfax Monthly Meeting. At this opening meeting, representatives from each of the two preparative meetings, "being called, they appeared". Temporary overseers of the new monthly meeting were appointed to serve "until further notice"; Samuel Harris and Jacob Janney were appointed overseers for the men's meeting of Fairfax Preparatory Meeting, and Mary Janney and Elizabeth Norton were appointed overseers for the women's meeting; Jane Hague was appointed clerk for the women's meeting; Henry Maynor and John Wright were appointed overseers for Monoquesy Particular Meeting; Francis Hague and John Hough were also early overseers. Amos Janney was appointed elder in 5th month 1745, for Fairfax Preparative Meeting and also as clerk of Fairfax Monthly Meeting, being the first clerk appointed for the men's meeting; Jacob Janney was later appointed clerk. The first marriage in Fairfax Monthly Meeting was that of Henry Brown and Esther Harris, who announced intentions of marriage at the first meeting held. Other marriages accomplished at Fairfax Monthly Meeting during 1745 were: Richard Williams and Prudence Beals; William Kirk and Mary Brown; Herman Cox and Jane John; Oliver Matthews and Hannah John; Richard Kemp and Susannah Piggot; many marriages were accomplished 1746 to 1750, etc; there were also a great many marriages "out of meeting", some between members and others married to non-members, for which act all parties who were members were promptly disowned, but the majority of those disowned made satisfactory "acknowledgments which were accepted" and the parties reinstated in membership.

Goose Creek Meeting for Worship was allowed by Fairfax Monthly Meeting, and set up on the 30th of 8th month 1745. This meeting was located near the South Fork of Goose Creek where the town of Lincoln, Virginia, is now located. This meeting was allowed to set up a preparatory meeting of its own in 1757. It was established as a monthly meeting and set off from Fairfax Monthly Meeting in 1785 and is still flourishing now, in 1946.

A meeting for Worship was allowed as an indulged meeting in 1768 and was called South Fork Meeting, the meetings being at first held in the house of Isaac Votaw. This meeting was located about 6 or 7 miles south west of Lincoln, Virginia (the site of Goose Creek Monthly Meeting). It was on or near the South Fork of Beaverdam Creek. It was reported, by Yardley Taylor in 1853 as "still active". The old burial ground near the village of Unison marks the site of the meeting house. When Goose Creek Meeting was established as a monthly meeting in 1785 South Fork Meeting was assigned to it. The members of South Fork Meeting were pretty "worldly" and caused great "concern" to both Fairfax and Goose Creek Monthly Meeting. Many of the young men of South Fork Meeting "drank to excess", had many fights, gambled, indulged in "horse racing", and were lax morally; many were disowned.

By 1783 a great many members of Fairfax Monthly Meeting had located homes in Alexandria, Virginia; they applied for and obtained leave to hold meetings for Worship and were allowed this privilege 23rd of 8th month 1783 and the first meetings were held at the house of John Butcher; Joseph Janney, John Hirst, John Hough and Solomon Dixon were appointed to "set" with Friends there; a meeting house was built at Alexandria in 1786; a year later, a preparatory meeting was allowed and Alexandria Friends were allowed to hold regular afternoon meetings on First Day; in 1802 Alexandria Monthly Meeting was established and its members set off from Fairfax Monthly Meeting. (Webmaster's note: A separate page will be set up with Hinshaw's information on Alexandria Meeting. They are still in operation today but appear to be in a different location than reported here. Also, they do not appear to have their own website at this time.)

PIPE CREEK Meeting, Maryland: An indulged meeting was allowed by Fairfax Monthly Meeting at Pipe Creek, Frederick County (now Carroll County) Maryland in 1756; in 1759 Pipe Creek was allowed a preparative meeting of its own; in 1767 Pipe Creek Monthly Meeting was established and its members were set off from Fairfax Monthly Meeting, at which time all members of Fairfax who lived within the verge of Pipe Creek Preparative Meeting were transferred to Pipe Creek Monthly Meeting, as usual, without certificates of removal. Pipe Creek Meeting was located about 40 miles west of Baltimore, Maryland and a half a mile from Union Bridge Station.

GAP MEETING (originally called Potts Meeting): In 1759 Fairfax Monthly Meeting allowed an indulged meeting to be held at the house of Jonas Potts, located near Key's Gap (later called Vestal's Gap) which formed a passage way through the Blue Ridge Range leading into the verge of Hopewell Monthly Meeting; this meeting was better known as "The Gap" Meeting. The Gap Meeting was discontinued 26th of 6 month 1765 but was again indulged 28th of 11th month 1772 but did not last long; Gap Meeting was re-established 24th of 9th month 1788. At this time, by agreement between Fairfax Monthly Meeting and the newly organized Goose Creek Monthly Meeting, it was found that some members of Gap Meeting lived on one side of this line and some on the other side. In 1812 the Gap Meeting house was improved and used for a school house, and the meeting was laid down.

MONOQUESY: On the 28th of 4th month 1759 Monoquesy Meeting house burnt down. All sessions of Fairfax Monthly Meeting were thereafter held at Fairfax Meeting house; on 29th of 9th month 1759 it was reported tht Monoquesy Meeting House had been rebuilt; on 29th of 11th month 1760 Monoquesy Friends refused to meet in the new meeting house; on 30th of 1st month 1762 Monoquesy Preparative Meeting was laid down although meetings for Worship were continued until 28th of 4th month 1764 when Monoquesy Meeting was abandoned; on 30th of 8th month 1766 it was reported that Monoquesy Meeting house and burying ground was "laid waste"; on 27th of 9th month 1766 Monoquesy Friends set up a new meeting for themselves in violation of discipline, which caused much concern for a long time, but the meeting was again allowed to be held 31st of 10th month 1772; on the 26th of 8th month 1775 Monoquesy Meeting was consolidated with Pipe Creek Monthly Meeting. A new meeting at Monoquesy was granted 22nd of 3rd month 1783 and the meeting house was furnished with a youth's gallery.

LEESBURG: A meeting was established near Leesburg, Loudon County, Virginia, by Fairfax Monthly Meeting 24th of 12th month 1785 according to Henry Hull's account of his travels through Virginia 1799, he attended the Leesburg Meeting which was held in the court house of Leesburg, Loudon County, Virginia. (Webmaster's note: No separate page is planned for Leesburg Meeting.)

WARRINGTON-FAIRFAX QUARTERLY MEETING: Established 1776 held its first quarterly meeting at Warrington Meeting house, York County, Pennsylvania 18th of 3rd month 1776; thereafter meetings were held alternately between Warrington and Fairfax each quarter, until 1786, when Fairfax Quarterly Meeting was set up. On 19th of 3rd month 1787 the last meeting of Warrington and Fairfax Quarterly Meeting was held. In 1789 Warrington and Fairfax Quarterly Meetings were transferred from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to Baltimore Yearly Meeting.

Baltimore Yearly Meeting (1865): "In the year 1855, and in the early part of 1856, a number of families of Friends, members of Hopewell, Fairfax and Goose Creek Monthly Meetings and consequently Fairfax Quarterly Meeting of Friends in the state of Virginia, removed and formed a settlement which they called Prairie Grove in Wayne Township, Henry County, Iowa"...They found in themselves a great desire to hold meetings in their community, and wrote, as a group, to the monthly meetings in Virginia to which they belonged, asking for the privilege of organizing a meeting among themselves and asked that this meeting be attached to the Fairfax Quarterly Meeting and Baltimore Yearly Meeting..." The feature (of this request) which arrested the attention was that these Iowa Friends would continue to be members of Baltimore Yearly Meeting of Friends which was not the one nearest to their settlement"... The Yearly Meeting Committee found precedents in certain acts of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, noting especially that meetings had been organized in far distant places (notably Charleston, S. C.), so it was decided that Baltimore Yearly Meeting could approve of the Prairie Grove Friends' request, since the nearest yearly meeting was the Indiana Yearly Meeting whose limits did not reach as far west as Prairie Grove, Iowa. (Note that this Baltimore Yearly Meeting was the branch of Friends generally known as Hicksites). So, Prairie Grove was organized into a preparative meeting at once, and a short time later into a monthly meeting; a meeting house was built costing $1300.00, half of which was paid by Baltimore Yearly Meeting. A body of these Prairie Grove Friends lived about 40 miles northward, mostly composed of younger families, so in 1860 a new preparative meeting was organized there and called Wapsanonoc Meeting and located on the border between Muscatine and Cedar Counties, Iowa, near a village called West Liberty; a meeting house was built and in 1863 this new meeting was established as a monthly meeting and soon thereafter a new quarterly meeting was established composed of Prairie Grove and Wapsanonoc Monthly Meetings. The quarterly meeting held its sessions alternately between the two meeting houses. A committee went out for the opening from Fairfax and reported a satisfactory and encouraging visit. Another meeting had been organized in 1869 near Marshalltown, Iowa, called Marietta Meeting which was joined to Prairie Grove Monthly Meeting and Wapsanonoc Monthly Meeting, and to the new quarterly meeting; all were still attached to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. In 1873 a new yearly meeting was established, called Illinois Yearly Meeting and held at Clear Creek Meeting, located at McNabb, Putnam County, Illinois, composed of Prairie Grove, Wapsanonoc, Marietta and Clear Creek Meetings. This separated them all from Baltimore Yearly Meeting. The members of all of these meetings had migrated to Iowa about the same time, mostly from Virginia, and from Fairfax, Hopewell Goose Creek and Alexandria Monthly Meetings.

It is to be observed that when, in 1827/28 a separation in the Society of Friends occurred, Fairfax Monthly Meeting joined in a body with the Hicksite Branch, as did Hopewell, Goose Creek and Alexandria Monthly Meetings, only a few members leaving and organizing new meetings known as Orthodox Friends of Hopewell and Goose Creek. It is interesting to note that while almost all Friends of northern Virginia espoused the ideas of Elias Hicks, those Friends living in Lower Virginia remained what they always had been, just the Society of Friends. No Hicksite meetings were set up south of Petersburg, Virginia, and there was, apparently, no agitation on the subject in Lower Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

As the town of Waterford, Virginia, grew, Fairfax Meeting became known as Waterford Meeting; the meeting flourished for many years, but began to decline in the 1880's, until in 1929 the membership had grown so small that Fairfax (Waterford) Monthly Meeting was laid down and the remaining members were attached to Goose Creek Monthly Meeting, which still flourishes (1946).

It is also interesting to note that when, in 1793, George Washington laid out the plan for the District of Columbia, and established the town known as Washington, D. C., he located this almost in the exact center of a huge and flourishing Quaker Community, which had meeting houses bounding it on all sides and which had been in existence for many years; and that in 1802 a meeting house was built on the exact center of the newly established city of Washington, then only a small village of some hundreds of inhabitants. This meeting was set up by Indian Spring Monthly Meeting (which was located about 20 miles from the heart of Washington) in Maryland; West River Monthly Meeting (established before 1672) was only a few miles away in Prince George's County, Maryland, and its verge covered George Town, which is now within the limits of the District of Columbia. Indian Spring, just outside of the present limits of the District of Columbia, is considered a part of Washington; Hopewell Meeting, Goose Creek, Fairfax Meeting and Alexandria Meeting hover closely around Washington, D. C. All anti-date Washington, D. C. by more than 60 years, excepting Alexandria, which antidates it by more than ten years, and which finally moved into the city and took over the Washington Friends Meeting on I Street, by 1817. However, George Washington was never a member of the Society of Friends. Dolly Madison, wife of President Madison, and who was doubtless the most colorful woman who has ever occupied the White House, was a birthright Quaker and was born in North Carolina; a number of our Presidents were of Quaker lineage; but Herbert C. Hoover seems to have been the only President who was an avowed member of the Society of Friends.

William Wade Hinshaw

A list of some of the people buried here.

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