It seems to me that the sky has opened and I believe there is a very good reason why I’m just stumbling upon such great information this week in particular. I’m pretty sure that within the next two weeks, I’ll have reviewed both the 1837 and 1856 African American Quaker censuses. I’m hopeful that I will find my 5th great grandfather in the 1837 index. However, any find for this time period, whether my ancestors are indexed or not, is GREAT find in my opinion. Hopefully, one day this information will become useful to someone.
Among many historical institutions in Philadelphia, Mother Bethel is one of the most influential in African American religious life. In the past few years, on a site used as a municipal playground, the old Mother Bethel burial ground has been found. After a campaign, the site will be preserved and not desecrated for development. Also, this site could prove VERY valuable for research purposes. So while burial ground site may not have any specific resources pertinent to me, in a general sense, it may help me build a better portrait of my ancestors on a broader level.
Terry Buckalew has created an index of African Americans buried in the Bethel Burial Ground. The list is not complete but it does offer nice details, akin to what we might find on a more contemporary death certificate, i.e. cause of death. Below is a description of the index with a link to the index.
The following is an alphabetical directory of 1,617African American Philadelphians who were buried at the Bethel Burying Ground in the 400 block of Queen Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1810 to 1864. Research is only 50% complete. (Revised 10 November 2013)
Additional information can be found here:
WECCACOE: BURYING GROUND, GARDEN, PARK AND PLAYGROUND – A HISTORICAL SKETCH AND TIMELINE FROM 1800 – 2012