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Archives & Manuscripts

Fair Hill Burial Ground

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG4-069

Scope and Contents

Records of Fair Hill Burial Ground, originally overseen by a Committee of Hicksite Friends from the three Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, with the land owned by Green Street Monthly Meetings. Includes burial registers, lot records, publications, and other related items.

Dates

  • 1705-[ongoing]

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Access is through microfilm when available. Series III, the Registers of Interments, Vols. 1 and 11, and index, are available on microfilm and can be located under Green Street Monthly Meeting (MR-Ph 217). An additional Register, alphabetically arranged in 1883, not deposited at FHL, is also available on microfilm (MR-Ph 216). Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Biographical / Historical

Fair Hill Burial Ground was established on land bequeathed by George Fox in 1690 to Friends in Pennsylvania, including six acres "for a meeting house and school house and a burying place." A small meeting house was built in 1702-03 on four acres purchased by Philadelphia Monthly Meeting adjacent to Fox's twenty acres on a "fair hill." Fox's will was never probated in England, and title to the twenty acres remained in controversy with the heirs of George Fox until it was fully confirmed to Philadelphia Monthly Meeting in 1767. The 1705 warrant included in this collection was William Penn's attempt from England to clear title to the land because it was a gift from the proprietor to George Fox.

Part of the land was set aside as a burial ground as early 1707, but there were few interments. Interment ceased when the land was leased to a tenant farmer in 1795. In 1818 the Fair Hill property was assigned to Green Street Monthly Meeting. In 1830, it was proposed that a burial ground be established for three Hicksite Philadelphia Monthly meetings, Philadelphia, Spruce Street, and Green Street. Title was to be held by Green Street, with the cemetery initially under the care of a joint committee from the three meetings. In 1858, Rules and Regulations for the Government of Friends' Burial-Ground at Fair Hill was published. The records prior to 1843 have been lost.

In 1882, an indulged meeting was set up under Green Street at Fair Hill, and a new stone meeting house was erected by 1883. The Fair Hill Friends Association, which included members who were not Friends, was established in 1919 to promote a meeting of worship and a First Day School. However, by the 1960s, few Friends lived in the vicinity of Fair Hill. The property was almost sold in the early 1970s to be the site of a new school building for the Philadelphia School District, but the sale never materialized. In the 1970s and 1980s, the neighborhood continued to deteriorate, making the upkeep of the burial ground increasingly difficult. In 1985, the property was sold to Ephesians Baptist Church, with the original records to be retained by the Green Street Monthly Meeting. In March 1993, Fair Hill Burial Ground was incorporated, and in the same year, the property was purchased by the Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting, which now owns and maintains the burial ground. Fair Hill Burial Ground, Inc., deposited these records at Friends Historical Library. A small number of additional materials are located within RG4, Green Street Monthly Meeting.

Members of many Quaker family, including Morris, Truman, Lippincott, Child, Clothier, Longstreth, Lukens, and Parrish, are interred at Fair Hill. Probably the best known of the many prominent Friends is Lucretia Coffin Mott, the noted suffragist and peace activist, who died in 1880, and is buried beside her husband, Thomas Mott. The burial records will be of particular interest to genealogists.

Extent

3.5 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language

English

Overview

Fair Hill Burial Ground was established on land bequeathed by George Fox in 1690 to Friends in Pennsylvania, including six acres "for a meeting house and school house and a burying place." Part of the land was set aside as a burial ground as early 1707, but there were few interments. In 1830, it was proposed that a burial ground be established for three Hicksite Philadelphia Monthly meetings, Philadelphia, Spruce Street, and Green Street. In 1985, the property was sold to Ephesians Baptist Church, with the original records to be retained by the Green Street Monthly Meeting. In March 1993, Fair Hill Burial Ground was incorporated, and in the same year, the property was purchased by the Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting, which now owns and maintains the burial ground. The collection contains the records of Fair Hill Burial Ground, originally overseen by a Committee of Hicksite Friends from the three Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, with the land owned by Green Street Monthly Meetings. Includes burial registers, lot records, publications, and other related items.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into six series:
  1. Regulations and agreements
  2. Minutes, Committee on Interments
  3. Interment Records, 1843-1981
  4. Lots Sold and Maintenance, 1855-1977
  5. Correspondence, 1947-1971
  6. Miscellaneous, including Publications

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Fair Hill Burial Ground, Inc., 1995

Deposit: Green Street Monthly Meeting, 1996, 2009

Accession numbers: 95-011, 95-015, 96-019

Related Materials

Researchers interested in the records of Fair Hill Burial Ground should also consult the records of Green Strret Monthly Meeting Trustees, RG2/Ph/G7; records of the Jeanes Cremation Fund may also be found with the latter.
Title
An Inventory of the Fair Hill Burial Ground Records, 1705 - [ongoing]
Author
SKM
Date
1996
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English
Sponsor
Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

Contact:
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Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA