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Home North Carolina Perquimans County City of Winfall Historical Markers Old Neck Friends Meeting

Old Neck Friends Meeting

US 17 at Old Neck Road, Winfall, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 36° 12' 46.7136", -76° 25' 52.482"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Quaker meeting was established by 1680. Site of Yearly Meeting, 1698-1785. Discontinued, 1797. Building was 1 mile S.E."
It was in the Albemarle region that the Society of Friends had its North Carolina beginnings in the seventeenth century and it was from Yearly Meetings in Perquimans County that the later Piedmont meetings were authorized.

On his visit to the area in 1672, William Edmundson conducted worship services at the home of Francis Toms, a colonial official (the name was recorded as “Tems” in the journal). By 1680 regular worship was being held at Tom’s home. The record of the marriage of Christopher Nicholson and Ann Atwood in that year in “ye house of Francis Tomes, where ye meeting is kept in Perquimans” is the earliest record of organized Quaker worship in Carolina, according to Stephen B. Weeks. Worship services were established over the next two years at other homes in the area. “This was the organic beginning of the Society in the colony,” according to Weeks.

In 1698 the first Yearly Meeting of Friends was held at Toms’s house. By 1705, when a deed for the property was entered, a separate building for worship was in place. The name evolved over the years but “Old Neck” was in common use by the mid-1700s. The Yearly Meetings, which initially covered South Carolina and Georgia as well as North Carolina, were held at Old Neck until 1785. Monthly meeting status was granted to New Garden and Rich Square among others from Old Neck.

Beginning in 1758 slavery became the “leading question of the day” among the Friends who, over the next century, took a primary role in the anti-slavery movement. In 1786 powerful winds, probably a hurricane, destroyed the meeting house at Old Neck. A new building was in place by 1788 but the numbers soon declined, largely due to westward migration, and the meeting was discontinued in 1797.

North Carolina Yearly Meeting Minutes, Eastern Quarterly Meeting Minutes, Guilford College
Perquimans Monthly Meeting Minutes, Guilford College
Julia S. White, “History of North Carolina Yearly Meeting,” Bulletin of Friends Historical Society of Philadelphia, III (1909)
Seth B. Hinshaw, The Carolina Quaker Experience, 1665-1985: An
Interpretation (1984)
Stephen B. Weeks, Southern Quakers and Slavery (1896)
R. D. W. Connor, North Carolina: Rebuilding an Ancient Commonwealth (1929)
Perquimans County Deed Book A, p. 260
Old Neck Friends Meeting Historical Marker Location Map, Winfall, North Carolina