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Dover Friends Meeting

Dover Friends Meeting Records

1678-2007
23 vols., 2 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 D684

The Friends Meeting at Dover, New Hampshire, is one of the oldest in British North America, with worship held there as early as 1662 when three Quaker women missionaries arrived on Dover Neck. Originally called Piscataqua, the meeting emerged as Dover Monthly Meeting by the latter decades of the seventeenth century and became the hub of a thriving Quaker community and the font from which several other New Hampshire meetings derived. In addition to overseeing a number of worship groups and preparatory meetings, Dover became the mother of monthlies and Berwick and Sandwich, which were set off in 1802, and Gonic in 1981.

The records of Dover Monthly Meeting offer extensive documentation of one of the oldest Quaker meetings in northern New England. Although most of the earliest records have not survived, the collection includes a nearly unbroken set of minutes from the turn of the eighteen century to 1981; extensive records of births, deaths, and marriages; spotty records for Ministry and Oversight and finance, and an array of recent newsletters. Minutes for the Women’s Meeting for the years 1783-1814 are not present and presumed lost.

Background on Dover Friends Meeting

The Friends Meeting at Dover, New Hampshire, is one of the oldest in British North America, visited by two of the “Boston Martyrs,” William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson in 1659. The first Quaker worship in Dover probably dates to 1662, when three Quaker women missionaries (Mary Tompkin, Ann Coleman, and Alice Ambrose) arrived on Dover Neck. Originally called Piscataqua, the meeting emerged as Dover Monthly Meeting by the latter decades of the seventeenth century and became the hub of a thriving Quaker community and the font from which several other New Hampshire meetings derived. In addition to overseeing a number of worship groups and preparatory meetings, Dover became the mother of monthlies and Berwick and Sandwich, which were set off in 1802, and Gonic in 1981.

Population growth at Dover itself required construction of a second, larger meetinghouse in 1712 with a third following in 1768. This last structure remains in use today and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is considered the only surviving eighteenth century Quaker meetinghouse in the state. Reaching a peak in the early nineteenth century, however, the Quaker community in Dover began a slow decline, leading to a cessation of regular worship between 1912 and 1955. Dover remained active administratively overseeing meetings for worship at Gonic and Meaderboro.

Within New England Yearly Meeting, Dover was part of Salem Quarterly for more than a century (1705-1815) until Dover Quarterly was established. The long list of worship groups and preparatory meetings under its care have included :

Worship groups Preparative meetings
Barrington (1775-1783)
Berwick (1750-1761) Berwick (1761-1802)
Chestnut Hill (1838-1864)
Cocheco (1720-1763) Cocheco (1763-1768)
Dover (1901-1912, met irregularly, 1912-1955) Dover (1701-1901, 1955-1981 (also called Cocheco Preparative Meeting)
Gilmanton (1795-1814, 1846-ca.1889) Gilmanton (1814-1846)
Gonic (ca.1870-1950) Gonic (1950-1980)
Kittery (1742-1763) Kittery (1763-1783)
Lee (1795-1838, 1841-1846)
Lower Rochester (1742-1846): became Pine Grove Worship Group
Meaderboro (1782-1962): also Upper Rochester Worship Group, under Rochester Preparative Meeting, 1950-1962
New Durham (1797-1870)
Pine Grove (1846-ca.1870): became Gonic Worship Group
Rochester (1801-1901, 1950-1962)
Sandwich (1783-1790) Sandwich (1790-1802)
Seacoast (1970-1975)
West Epping (1973-1981): became part of Gonic Monthly

Scope of collection

The records of Dover Monthly Meeting offer extensive documentation of one of the oldest Quaker meetings in northern New England. Although most of the earliest records have not survived, the collection includes a nearly unbroken set of minutes from the turn of the eighteen century to 1981; extensive records of births, deaths, and marriages; spotty records for Ministry and Oversight and finance, and an array of recent newsletters. Minutes for the Women’s Meeting for the years 1783-1814 are not present and presumed lost.

Inventory

Minutes
1701-2002
Men’s Minutes
1703-1890
Dover Monthly: Men’s minutes and vital records: Births, deaths, and marriages
1703-1750
Bound vol.
09:A4
Dover Monthly: Men’s minutes and vital records: Births, deaths, and marriages
1750-1784
Bound vol.
09:A4
Dover Monthly: Men’s minutes
1786-1819
Bound vol.
09:A4
Dover Monthly: Men’s minutes, removals
1819-1840
Bound vol.
09:A4
Dover Monthly: Men’s minutes, removals
1840-1865
Bound vol.
09:A4
Dover Monthly: Men’s and joint minutes, removals
1865-1890
Bound vol.
09:A4
Women’s Minutes
1701-1886
Dover Monthly: Women’s minutes
1701-1785
Bound vol.
09:A4
Dover Monthly: Women’s minutes
1814-1845
Bound vol.
09:A4
Dover Monthly: Women’s minutes
1846-1886
Bound vol.
09:A4
Joint Minutes
1890-2002
Dover Monthly: Minutes
1890-1951
Bound vol.
09:A3
Dover Monthly: Minutes
1951 Mar.-1981 Aug.
Bound vol.
09:A3
Dover Monthly: Minutes
1986
Box 2: 8
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Minutes
1987
Box 2: 9
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Minutes
1988
Box 2: 10
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Minutes
1989
Box 2: 11
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Minutes
1994 June-1996 Jan.
Box 2: 12
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Minutes
1996 Feb.-1997 Dec.
Box 2: 13
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Minutes
1998 Feb.-1999 Apr.
Box 2: 14
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Minutes
2000 Feb.-2001 Aug.
Box 2: 15
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Minutes
2001 Sept.-2002 Apr.
Box 2: 16
(11:B4)
Correspondence and reports
1727-1997
Dover Monthly: Denials
1761-1801
Box 1: 12
Dover Monthly: Denials (marrying out)
1721-1800
Box 1: 13
Dover Monthly: Denials (military service)
1775-1788
Box 1: 14
Dover Monthly: Letter from Flushing Quarterly Meeting on visit of ministers Mehitable and Sarah Jenkins
1773
Box 1: 15
Dover Monthly: State of the Society (rolled up in tube)
1997
Bound vol.
10:I3
Memorials: Joel Bean and Roanna F. Bean [with accompanying documents]
1900-1914
Box 1: 4
(11:B4)
Philadelphia Epistles
1758-1808
Box 1: 5
(11:B4)
Testimonies
1728-1760
Box 1: 7
(11:B4)
Tyler, Jonathan: Testimony of service as a minister
1728 July
Box 1: 11
Steel, John: Testimony of service as a minister
ca.1760
Box 1: 11
Vital records
1678-1959
Dover Monthly: Births, deaths, and marriages (begun 1787)
1678-1862
Bound vol.
09:A3
Dover Monthly: Births, deaths, and marriages (copied)
1678-1949
Bound vol.
09:A3
Dover Monthly: Marriages
1789-1959
Bound vol.
09:A3
Worship and ministry
1793-1917
Dover Monthly: Ministry and Oversight
1793-1833
Bound vol.
09:A3
Dover Monthly: Ministry and Oversight
1873-1891
Bound vol.
09:A3
Dover Monthly: Ministry and Oversight
1896-1917
Bound vol.
09:A3
Financial and property
1877-1972
Dover Monthly: Treasurer (Walter Sawyer bequest)
1877-1893
Bound vol.
09:A3
Dover Monthly: Treasurer
1892-1917
Bound vol.
09:A3
Dover Monthly: Treasurer
1917-1944
Bound vol.
09:A3
Dover Monthly: Treasurer (Contributions book: Seacoast Friends)
1970-1972
Bound vol.
09:A3
Newsletters and publications
1756-1999
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1972-1976
Box 1: 8
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1978-1979
Box 1: 9
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1980-1987
Box 1: 10
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1988
Box 1: 11
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1989
Box 1: 12
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1986
Box 2: 1
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1987
Box 2: 2
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1988
Box 2: 3
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1989
Box 2: 4
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1994 June-1996 Jan.
Box 2: 5
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1996 Feb.-1997 Dec.
Box 2: 6
(11:B4)
Dover Monthly: Newsletters
1998 Feb.-1999 Apr.
Box 2: 7
(11:B4)
London Yearly Meeting epistles
1756, 1766, 1767, 1768
Box 1: 16
London Yearly Meeting epistles
1771, 1773, 1781, 1789, 1790
Box 1: 17
Miscellaneous
1728-1992
Dover Friends Monthly Meeting [history, with copies of related documents]
1979-1992
Box 1: 1
(11:B4)
Histories of the Dover Friends Meeting
1914-1935
Box 1
Bean, James: Dover Quarterly Meeting
1910
Box 1: 2
(11:B4)
Pinkham, Annie E.: Historical Sketch of the Friends Meeting, Dover, New Hampshire
1914
Box 1: 2
(11:B4)
Pinkham, Annie E.: A brief history of Dover Meeting
1935
Box 1: 3
(11:B4)
Spaulding, Violet: Letter to Thyra Jane Foster on marriage certificate of Seth Griffith and Joanna Hoag (1801)
1965 Oct. 20
Box 1: 6
(11:B4)
Rochester Preparative Meeting
1862-1873
Rochester Preparative (under Dover Monthly): Minutes
1862-1873
Bound vol.
09:C2

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Records, March 2016.

Related Material

This collection is part of the New England Yearly Meeting Records.

Current contact for the meeting

Website.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, October 2018.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Dover Friends Meeting Records (MS 902 D684). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Dover (N.H.)–Religious life and customs
  • Quakers–New Hampshure
  • Society of Friends–New Hampshire

Names

  • New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Genre terms

  • Minutes (Administrative records)
  • Newsletters
  • Vital records (document genre)

Link to similar SCUA collections

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting

Subjects

Dover (N.H.)--HistoryQuakers--New HampshireSociety of Friends--New Hampshire

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)NewslettersVital records (Document genre)

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