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An American Family History

Gwynedd Friends Meeting

The Society of Friends (Quakers) began in England in the 1650s, when they broke away from the Puritans. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, as a safe place for Friends to live and practice their faith.

Settlers often built log cabins as their first homes.

Gwynedd Township, Montgomery (was Philadelphia) County, Pennsylvania was was founded in 1698 by Welsh Quakers. Thomas Evans and William Jones were granted the land by William Penn.

The minutes of Gwynedd list the early settlers.

The Principal Settlers and Purchasers among others were William Jones, Thomas Evans, Robert Evans, Owen Evans, Cadwallader Evans, Hugh Griffith, John Hugh, Edward Foulke, John Humphrey, and Robert Jones. [They] . . .often met together to wait upon the Lord, at the houses of John Hugh and John Humphrey, until more were added to their numbers.

According to Memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Volume 2 only Hugh and Humphrey were Friends.

The minutes of the Haverford Monthly meeting recorded the beginings of the Gwynedd Meeting:

1699. --There is a General Meeting appointed at Gwynedd, the second weekly Third-day of every month, at the desire of Friends there.

Hugh Evans' memories are written in Memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Volume 2

When he was a boy, of twelve years of age, he remembered well that William Penn, with his daughter Letitia and a servant (in the year 1699 or 1700), came out on horseback to visit his father, Thomas Evans. Their house then was superior, in that it was of barked logs, a refinement surpassing the common rank. At that house, William Penn ascended steps on the outside to go to his bed-chamber; and the lad of twelve, being anxious to see all he could of so distinguished a man, went up afterwards to peep through the apertures at him; and there he well remembered to have seen him on his knees praying...

The Gwynedd Meeting records were in the Haverford Minutes until 1714.

The first meeting house was a log cabin built in 1700.

In 1714 William Coulston was overseer.

In 1717 Ann Coulston married Robert Jones.

In 1729 William Coulston, Jr. married Ann Rhoads.

 

William Penn (1644-1718) was a Quaker philosopher and real estate developer. He was the founder of the Province of Pennsylvania.

Montgomery County, in southeast Pennsylvania was created on September 10, 1784, out of land that was originally part of Philadelphia County.
Gwynedd Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania was founded in 1698 by Welsh Quakers. The township split into Lower and Upper Gwynedd in 1891.
 

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