The “Welcome” brings a few of our Quakers

I have known for a while that we have Quakers in our ancestry. So, I thought it was about time I share what little I know about our Quakers who traveled to America in 1682, with William Penn.

The ship was called the Welcome, and it departed from Deal, England, on August 31, 1682. After a 57 day journey across the Atlantic, they finally arrived at the Delaware River on October 27. (Apparently this was considered a pretty slow trip for the time, although, our Isserstedt ancestors traveled 52 days from Hamburg to New York in 1855, so I am not convinced it was all that much longer than normal).

Drawing of the “Welcome” found online.

In July, 1682, the ship’s master, Robert Greenway, began to load the ship in preparation for the trip…August newspaper articles noted that Penn had “taken leave” of his friends and was preparing to board the “Welcome” to make the trip in the company of five other ships. On September 2nd another paper noted that Penn had sailed two days earlier with “a great many Quakers” to settle “Pensilvania”1

One of the passengers aboard this shipload of mostly Quakers, other than the famous William Penn, was my ancestress Ann Short, one of three children of Henry Adam Short and Miriam Ingram. Sadly, the Short family was not making this scary journey to a brand new world, away from everything that was familiar, with their father. He had died in Walberton, Sussex County, England at the family home.  Instead their Uncle Isaac Ingram, their mother’s brother, was taking on the roll of gentleman protector.

The Welcome was believed to be of an average size for the time period, being around 120′ long, and 24′ wide. Robert Greenway was the captain, who commanded a crew of about 36 men. Onboard were also the passengers of mostly Friends. The current, proven, list of passengers, according to the Welcome Society of Pennsylvania, is 65 (that means there were just over 100 people on this little wooden boat).2 It was a “slow sailer”, because, although it could travel as fast as ten mph, when there was a fair wind and a smooth sea, ships like the Welcome rarely did.

Like many cross ocean voyages in those days, the conditions would have been quite uncomfortable. The passengers most likely slept below deck, on the floor, with no windows to relieve the stifling lack of  fresh air or the gloom, although they would most likely have had covered lanterns of some sort. Rough seas, or rain, meant water would be pouring in through any cracks, soaking everyone and everything below. And of course there were no bathrooms to speak of. Which meant lots of very stinky, unbathed, people, relieving themselves overboard, or in piss pots. Did they have piss pots on ships?

The fresh foodstuffs menu would be short lived, then would begin the boring litany of salted dried meats, hardtack biscuits, etc. Although, they could occasionally add fresh fish to the larder to relieve the tedium of their diet. The barrels of water didn’t stay fresh long, so most folks on board ship would drink beer, liquor. Hence a sailor’s fondness for rum?

These close tight quarters also meant sickness spread like wildfire. And in this the Welcome was no different than any other ship. In their case it was smallpox which lead to the devastating loss of 1/3 of the people on board. This statistic tragically included my 10x great grandmother Miriam Short*, and her brother Isaac Ingram. The Captain had to delay their arrival at Pennsylvania to allow the illness to run its course, so they sat in Little Egg Harbor in New Jersey until it had done so.

Isaac left a will as he lay dying:

Vpon the Twenty-Sixth day of ye Seaventh Month one thousand six eighty & two. I Issaak Ingram late of Garton [sic] late of Surrey yeoman, being weake of body yet of perfect mind and memory doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament on board the Welcome Robt Greenaway Mr. bound for Pensilvania (Vizt) as foll.

Item I give & bequeath vnto my Sister Miriam Short lately deseased her three Children Adam Short Miriam Short & Anne Short all that thirty pounds lying in Ambrose Riggs hands living at Garton [sic: for Gatton] in ye county of Surrey to be equally devided betweene them viz ten pounds a peece further it is my will & mind that my Sisters children aforesd haue all the goods on board the Welcome equally divided between them…[other bequests]4

So now Ann, Adam and Miriam were left orphans, in a strange land and with no family to speak of around. Although it is said that another brother of Miriam’s took them in. He is only noted as G. Ingram, but I have seen no source for this statement, if true.

Now when I say orphans, I don’t mean young helpless children, because these “kids” ranged in age from about 20 to 16. With Ann believed to be the eldest. So they are actually young adults coping with the loss of their last parent, and making their way in a brand new world.


Ann married Joel Baily in 1687, and they eventually had at least 9 children together, all brought up in the Quaker faith. This line came into our tree with Margaret Mobley’s marriage to William A. Buchanan at about 1850. Of course, by then, the family practice of Quakerism had been left far behind. Margaret’s grandfather Caleb Millison and his wife Ruth Buffington were the last to have any connection to the church, as Caleb was kicked out for marrying Ruth who was not of the faith, about 1796.

* There is a slight probability that their mother had died very shortly before they left England, and the children were traveling with just their Uncle.

1. Research done by K. William Bailey The Genealogy Interests of K. William Bailey
3. Information on the voyage conditions taken from this site
4. Will transcription found in Journal of the Friends Historical Society, Volume 4, edited by Norman Penny at Google Books, page 5


2 thoughts on “The “Welcome” brings a few of our Quakers

  1. Interesting article. My lineage takes me back to Adam Short, the brother of your 10x grandmother. I couldn’t find any Short listed on the roster of the Welcome, but your post jibes with what I’ve been able to pull together. Seems like Miriam Short would have been listed if she sailed with her brother. So my guess, as you noted, is she died in England soon before departure.


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