Do you remember back in January when I wrote about Strangeman (pronounced STRONG-muhn)? Do you remember that he had been disowned from the Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1796, but the Hinshaw abstracts did not give a reason?
Well, I found out the reason.
Earlier this year, the actual scanned records became available on Ancestry, and here is what I found in the records of the Deep Creek Monthly Meeting, Yadkin County, North Carolina.
At the meeting on the 3rd day of the 9th month 1796, it was reported that Strangeman wasn’t going to give what the Friends wanted:
One of the friends appointed to visit Strangeman Johnson reports he had an opportunity with him to Satisfaction but he not appearing inclinable to make Satisfaction. Samuel Welch and John Standfield are appointed to visit him again and if he refuse to make Satisfaction to prepare a paper of Denial against him & produce to next Meeting.
Strangeman was either very hard-headed and proud, or he had other reasons for not wanting to be a Friend anymore. First day of the 10th month 1796:
The friend appointed to draw a testification against Strangeman Johnson produced one which was approved of and Signed. Samuel Welch is appointed to give him a copy of it if he Desire one and if he Decline an appeal to read it at the close of a first day Meeting at Hunting Creek and return the paper with his care to next Meeting.
Continued on the _th of the 11th month 1796:
The friend appointed to read the paper of Denial against Strangeman Johnson, not being present the matter is continued another Month.
And finally on the 3rd day of the 12th month 1796:
The friend appointed to read the paper of Denial against Strangeman Johnson reports its complied with and has returnd the paper.
And what is it that my ancestor Strangeman Johnson actually did?
A heinous crime to be sure. Earlier, on the 6th day of the 8th month 1796:
The preparative meeting [Hunting Creek, in Yadkin County, North Carolina] complains of Strangeman Johnson for takeing too much strong Drink and takeing off his clothes in a publick and defensive Manner also for attending a Marriage consumated out of the unity of friends where one of the parties had a right of membership. Jacob Dobbins and John Bond are appointed to take an opportunity with him and Endeavour to lay before him the Evil of Such conduct & report their care to next meeting.
This, my friends, might be the funniest thing I’ve ever read about an ancestor.
Just exactly what IS taking off clothes in a “defensive manner”? Was this a bar fight? I can wrap my brain around the “taking too much drink,” but the defensive disrobing just has me baffled.
Nonetheless, the whole thing is hilarious, and not a bit boring. I think I would have liked to have attended that wedding!
Deep Creek Monthly Meeting (Yadkin, North Carolina) Men’s Minutes, 1793-1853. Ancestry.com. U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.