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The Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, was founded in England in 1652 by George Fox, who had been preaching since the 1640s. The
first missionaries to North America arrived in 1655–56. The first New England Yearly Meeting—the first major meeting of the denomination in the American Colonies—took place in Rhode Island in 1661. The Quakers were welcomed there, unlike in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Perhaps the most famous Quaker in colonial America was William Penn, who settled in Pennsylvania with his followers.

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American Ancestors is America’s founding genealogical organization and the most respected name in family history. Established in 1845, We are the nation’s leading comprehensive resource for family history research and the largest Society of its kind in the world. We provide expert family history services through our staff, original scholarship, data-rich website, educational opportunities, and research center to help family historians of all levels explore their past and understand their families’ unique place in history.

We are a member-based nonprofit corporation dedicated to advancing the study of family history in America and beyond, by educating, inspiring, and connecting people through our scholarship, collections, and expertise.